Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 74

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 74

There are a few seats still available for Dan’s free lecture this Saturday, April 16 in Santa Cruz.

I always tell people about teaching and training the hinge movements: “If your hamstrings are sore the next day, I am a good coach. If your lower back is hurting, you weren’t listening.”

I taught the Hardstyle Kettlebell Certification here in Salt Lake City this weekend and I woke up to horribly sore hamstrings, so I must have done something right. I really like the HKC and I think knowing the swing, goblet squat and Turkish getup are MUSTs for coaching. As much as I like the Olympic and power lifts, sometimes you need these three great tools in your toolbox.

Ben Fogel hosted us and this interview with him is worth your time.

This line is gold:

“Actually, my goal is to be the ‘worst’ coach at my gym! We have four coaches at my gym and if I’m really the worst one on the gym floor, then that’s a testament to how we coach and train our coaches.”

While I was floating around the DD site, I found, again, my favorite piece ever on Quadrant IV training:

“What did we do? We focused on making the entire workout efficient so that it would take minimum time and require minimal equipment yet accomplish the goal of large strength increase with minimal weight gain. We also decided that all strength work should be done in the weight room. This would improve efficiency and reduce time on the track.

Still quoting:

Here is the basic plan, based on strength training sessions on 3 consecutive days:

Dynamic stretch before each session, static stretch after each session
Deadlift every session, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps @ 85-95% 1RM, TIMED
Plyometrics at the end of each set, within 1 minute of set completion
Usually depth jumps from varying heights but occasionally used stand triple jump or long jump, generally 6 jumps or less. The focus is on delivering maximum strength in minimum time.
One of the following at each session, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps, TIMED
Push Press
Bench Press
Push-ups or Box Push-ups
One of the following at each session, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps, TIMED
Power Clean
Clean and Jerk (this would replace #3 above for the session)
Abdominal exercises each session, 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.
Always isometric and always timed
No Lifts To Failure!!

This article is something that  most of us would “know” without much comment,but still the message doesn’t seem to be heard by most of us.

“If you combine enjoyable movement with better dietary choices (less food out of a box and more meals with one ingredient food) the Biggest Loser, Dr. Oz, Food Babe, and any other self-proclaimed expert of the health and fitness world become obsolete. Our health is a complex problem with multiple layers that far exceed the scope of this article. I’ll leave that to the scientists and experts to debate. However, some of the solutions are simple and right in front of you. All you need to do is open your eyes (not your wallet) and change your perspective.”

Tiffini, my wife, often makes fun of the fact that my work is popular in Germany. She calls me the “David Hassellhoff of Fitness.” This article is a German translation of one of recent articles on the snatch.

If you are in a “field” and you spend your time focused in an area that someone can major in college, you will find this article absolutely true. The fact that being “anti-sugar” is even an issue shocked me. Truth comes to us “one death at a time.”

“Professor John Yudkin retired from his post at Queen Elizabeth College in 1971, to write Pure, White and Deadly. The college reneged on a promise to allow him to continue to use its research facilities. It had hired a fully committed supporter of the fat hypothesis to replace him, and it was no longer deemed politic to have a prominent opponent of it on the premises. The man who had built the college’s nutrition department from scratch was forced to ask a solicitor to intervene. Eventually, a small room in a separate building was found for Yudkin.

“When I asked Lustig why he was the first researcher in years to focus on the dangers of sugar, he answered: ‘John Yudkin. They took him down so severely – so severely – that nobody wanted to attempt it on their own.'”

I really like the Art of Manliness site. This article on the characteristics of an educated man really resonated with me. It’s an easy read.

“Rather, you should entertain an idea in the same way you entertain a guest. You talk with him in a public setting first, at a distance. If you’re intrigued, you then invite him over for a chat. You spend some time getting to know him. And if he turns out to be a bad apple, you stop letting him come around. But sometimes, the person you didn’t think you had anything in common with becomes your new best friend.

“The educated man has an easier time in seeing this. His varied experiences and studies have given him multiple opportunities to see how the information he has learned has changed his opinions–even if it took those new ideas a long time to be invited in. The sheltered man who only interacts with people just like him and only reads things that confirm his preconceived ideas will not have these experiences to draw upon, and will thus greet all new ideas like menacing strangers, shaking his fist at them from the safety of the other side of his crocodile-infested moat.”

I used to own the Five Foot Shelf and the Great Books collection. One hundred years ago, the sign of an educated person was the bookshelf and, perhaps not obviously, some proof in speech and manner that one had read them. I still have to explain the one scene in “The Great Gatsby” where it is obvious that Gatsby has the books, but has never opened them and slit the pages apart.

This article shows the weaknesses of the Five Foot Shelf, but I found the selections absolutely entertaining and I would still defend including Dana’s great voyage to early California.

“Clearly, this is not a basis for a complete scientific education, nor was it intended to be. The Classics provide something smaller but rarer–a humanistic appreciation of science. They bring to life a period when science was still, in William Harvey’s phrase, a ‘department of the republic of letters.’ In our own time, we see science victorious, the acknowledged ruler of human destiny; in the Harvard Classics we find the more inspiring spectacle of science militant, the proud, embattled rationality that fought against ignorance and superstition for centuries.

“We can hear this note already, though tentatively, in Copernicus, who resolves that ‘I should no longer through fear refuse to give out my work for the common benefit of students of Mathematics.’ But the trumpet-call is sounded by Francis Bacon, in the preface to his Instauratio Magna. Bacon denies “that the inquisition of nature is in any part interdicted and forbidden….the divine philosopher declares that ‘it is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but it is the glory of the King to find a thing out.’ Even as though the divine nature took pleasure in the innocent and kindly sport of children playing at hide and seek, and vouchsafed of his kindness and goodness to admit the human spirit for his playfellow at that game.”

This is a review of my Art of Coaching workshop. Some of the points are far more developed than my presentation and it’s worth the read.

I can’t cut and paste off the site to give you a quote, but the Joker, Stand Up Comedian and Entertainer are certainly right.

Walt Dorey has been on a roll lately pumping out a lot of articles on training. I would include that Greg Henger invented the Slosh Pipe as well as dozens of other ways to ruin one’s day.

“This kind of strength allows you to move furniture without getting sore the next day and withstand hours of strenuous outdoor activities. It goes far beyond bi-lateral barbell strength and gives you the ability to move, act, and react with strength and grace.

“During the last few months we’ve worked on the kettlebell snatch and trained with sledgehammers. I am giving you the tools to develop the kind of unexpected, gorilla-like strength I used to hold my own against my coworker. The next tool you will need for the program I am building to get you there requires some assembly: the slosh pipe.”

I will be in Northern California this weekend videoing my new talk “Now What?” on Saturday. Sunday, I will be teaching another HKC in Mountain View, so this will be whirlwind weekend.

Until next week, keep lifting and learning.


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Publisher’s note: Newest article on OTPbooks.com is
Joey Wolfe: Connecting with Players is Coaching to Win