Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 75

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 75

We’d like to thank Joey Wolfe and his staff at Paradigm Sport for hosting Dan’s lecture event Saturday. Thanks also to all the attendees for giving us such great energy in the room for the filming. The video of Dan discussing “Now What?” will be ready in a couple of months.

I spent a great night with Robert Gummerson last night. He was a San Jose State shot putter and we have crossed paths a lot in the past forty years. He was living in the epicenter of throwing and knew and knows everyone. It was magical time for the shot and discus and he was in the middle of it.

I like Robert for his honesty and appreciation of history. Oddly, we both had the same insight of “if I would have known then what I know now.” Basically, intelligent training trumps idiocy.


So, hang around with smart people, hard working people and fit people. This article really tied some ideas together for me.

“‘Self-made millionaires are very particular about who they associate with,’ Corley writes in his book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. ‘You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with. The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.'”

If you want a role model for ongoing fitness, let me share “THIS GUY:”

“Variety is key. I start every day with a protein shake because, as you get older, your protein synthesis no longer functions as well. I avoid sugar and eat lots of meat, especially fat. I’ve been on a fat trip lately. Fat! Piles of fat. Yet, I was in a supermarket the other day and was perplexed to find yogurt with zero fat. What on earth is that? The idea of the nutrition pyramid where, at the top, is a little fat and meat, and at the bottom a lot of carbohydrates, is, excuse me, bullshit. Humans are so unbelievably stupid that we have begun to tinker with food. Our theories of nutrition have resulted in a pandemic of obesity. Can you imagine a hunter-gatherer enjoying a low-fat yogurt? Let me tell you this, too: I read a report recently which said that a fatty diet also increases your libido.”

Read that, then enjoy his TED talk.

When I first came on the web, most sites devoted to weights were following Arthur Jones. They were all “Hardgainers,” as if there is any other kind of person trying to improve lean body mass, and they preached a message of fear. Then I found Art Devaney and really enjoyed this piece of his. It’s hard to find now, but there was NOTHING like this in 1998. Side note: on one of the posts, Robb Wolf’s email was embedded. A note to Robb was the second email I ever wrote!

I have strong opinions on education, as you may guess. Submitted without comment:1979 versus 2016. Read them both and “wonder.”

My brothers, at 18, had a funny set of skills picked up fighting in Vietnam. I imagine they could start a conversation with a stranger.

Time to change gears. I liked this article by TC for his honesty and candor.

3 – Go on a Steroid Cycle

“Yeah, yeah, the weightlifting purists out there will no doubt aspirate their Wheat Chex and then spew a milky froth over their screens as they read this, but a short, modest, well-planned cycle isn’t likely to hurt anyone and may even improve your health.

“Moreover, you’ll finally get to know how the assorted high-level bodybuilders, preternaturally gifted athletes, and action movie stars (who manage to transform their formerly non-descript physiques into something truly remarkable in just a few short months) are able to look or perform so phenomenally well. You’ll marvel at just how fast the muscle piles up and the fat melts off, pretty much regardless of how sophisticated your training program is or how good (or bad) your diet is.”

Me: Well, like I said: honesty.

After I read that, I wondered (as I wandered) about what the mainstream media thought and found this classic. It’s the article that got the late George Frenn all worked up.

“Testosterone also produces characteristic body changes, Dr. Pope said, with the most marked muscle growth in the upper body and the biceps. Dr. Pope has published photographs of men who did not use anabolic steroids and grew as big as possible without them, and of men who used them. His goal, he says, is to show what a steroid-enhanced body looks like as a way to discourage use of the drug. ”It’s the lying that really gets to me,” Dr. Pope said. ”I’ll give a lecture and show a photograph of some huge bodybuilder and someone will say, ‘Do you think he took steroids?’ I’ll say, ‘Do you think World War II really happened?”’

While I was down the rabbit hole of internet history, I rediscovered the FIRST article I ever read on what we now call Intermittent Fasting…before it was called IF.

“We will start our diet in the morning. The night before we replenished all our carbs before going to sleep. It is morning and we wake up and our body is in what mode? Fat burning mode!!! The first thing you usually learn is that if you want to burn the most fat off with aerobics you do it in the morning before you eat. Since we are in fat burning mode why would we want to ruin it with food that would raise insulin? And for what? What exercise are you going to do which you are going to need all that energy for? Remember you are fully carbed from last night. If you are fully carbed up and you eat carbohydrates then where are the carbs going? They can’t go to muscle so they are going to FAT! Your morning meal makes you fatter!! So what do we do? You most likely are going to sit in a car and go sit in an office for 8 hours or so. The only thing which needs sugar is your brain and it doesn’t need much.

Whenever we discuss fasting, people start talking “over their pay grade” about hormones. I found this site to be safe and sound. Sometimes it pays to ask an expert.

“Thyroid hormones have been used as a weight loss tool in the past. Many studies have shown that excess thyroid hormone treatment can help produce more weight loss than can be achieved by dieting alone. However, once the excess thyroid hormone is stopped, the excess weight loss is usually regained. Furthermore, there may be significant negative consequences from the use of thyroid hormone to help with weight loss, such as the loss of muscle protein in addition to any loss of body fat. Pushing the thyroid hormone dose to cause thyroid hormone levels to be elevated is unlikely to significantly change weight and may result in other metabolic problems.”

Did you ever wonder how we go from smart to stupid in fitness? The most common way is to take something sane and turn it insane. Most people, by the way, don’t know that the Burpee is named after someone, Royal Burpee. That, by the way, is a great name.

“Royal H. Burpee was a physiologist in New York City who invented a much milder (and less tormenting) version of the movement, intending it to be done just four times in a row as part of a fitness test. In fact, he even spoke out against his movement being done in high volumes. Although there are only two remaining copies of Burpee’s thesis, we were able to get the low down on the origins on the burpee from the granddaughter of Burpee himself — Sheryl Burpee Dluginski.”

So, until next week, try to be sane. Continue that path while you keep on lifting and learning.


Help me out—Share on Facebook!
Like Dan John's Wandering Weights: Issue #75 on Facebook

Publisher’s note: Have a look at Mark Cheng comparing movement to money: