Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 84

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 84

Yo! Check it out: Dan’s new video!

St. Mary’s University has been a great experience. The days are long, but I enjoy this college atmosphere. Laree has been working hard on releasing the new DVD “Now What?” and I have been trying to stay connected as best I can with the big shift in time zones.

The NBA season finally ended and The Game of Thrones finally had an episode where something happened, so the world is a different place this week.

I thought this article was very good. The whole point of the article really popped for me with this section:

“That’s another thing that we don’t teach enough in math – or in writing, probably – that the first draft is supposed to be terrible. Just get a first draft. I have a lot of trouble with this, I would admit. My wife, who’s an artist, said to me that the way I write would be like if I were painting with the smallest brush. Like, I’m painting it all the details, trying to put the commas in the right place, and not thinking enough about the overall structure, the overall architecture of whatever I’m trying to do. And she said, and of course anyone knows this, that you have to paint first with the big brush, get the overall shape, and don’t fill in the details until towards the end. You don’t know where you’re going, how can you possibly do it?

“A similar thing with students trying to come up with a proof or derive an equation. They often are trying to do it step by step, and it doesn’t work like that. You have to see the overall picture, which draws on a different part of the brain – intuition, visualization, some daring. And, by the way, social activity. We often mischaracterize math as this isolated and solitary endeavor, and it’s not. A lot of math involves two people or more batting ideas around and arguing, trying to understand each other. It’s social. That also can be messy, but that’s how a lot of creative work is done.

“Math and writing do have a lot of overlap in that they require these two facets of creativity. The first is the willingness to make a mess, and then the willingness to clean it up.”

This site is always fun. I thought this particular article is worthy of sending to a loved one as it really has some wisdom here.


Actions Steps:

·      Get out of the gym and exercise outside in a variety of environments.
·      Increase your temperature tolerance by working out on a hot day or venturing out on a cold one scantily clad (always use wisdom in discerning your limits – you want to push yourself, not hurt yourself).
·      Take cold showers.
·      Increase your mobility and flexibility.
·      Thicken the skin of your feet by running barefoot.
·      Exercise with your nasal passageways constricted.
·      Develop your endurance and ability to “ruck” over long distances.
·      Do a GoRuck challenge.

This post by Pat Flynn is certainly contrarian, but it is well worth the read and a few moments of thought.

“I guess what surprised me most about college is how little people were there to learn and how little they were actually taught. This was made clear by all the glad faces whenever classes were called off; even more so by how many faces never showed up in class at all. Like, you know you’re paying for this, right? Now I may not have agreed with many of my professors – some I thought were downright dumb – but I was paying for this, and so I never missed a class.

“My advice? Think about it. It may seem like it’s either you go to college or resign the rest of your life to some low level of income. But that isn’t how it is.

“You can be as successful as anyone when you seek out those who have done amazing things and bother the hell out of them. ‘Hey Mr! How did you do that?’ It’s funny what you can learn outside the walls of academia when you try. And seriously – Youtube. Check it out.”

While floating around Pat’s site, I found this, too.

“While not the ultimate or only exercise there is, I still really like kettlebell snatches. Mainly because so few moves aside snatching can so consistently give me such a strenuous sweat. Sprints can, I’ll admit that, but I don’t enjoy them and am always worried someone will think less of me once they see how I run. Christine says I look like an ostrich, actually, when I run – ‘too upright’, and ‘like a little asshole.’

“People snatch for different reasons but all tend to enjoy their work. There is a kinship with the movement, a bond you feel once you land those first, very few, cool, couple of reps after days, maybe even weeks of frustration. It’s like changing a tire. There is so much animosity at first, because nothing is ever easy going, but once you get it on, it’s cool – and you’re cool. You’re actually proud of it, even though you punched the car a few times in the process and freaked the hell out of your friend.”

Greg O’Gallegher has been busy lately. This article included this gem:


Summary of how to get high testosterone:

·      Socialize
·      Go for walks
·      Do more things you enjoy and have fun
·      Intermittent Fasting
·      Eat moderate protein
·      With high fats and carbs
·      Get sun
·      Sleep naked
·      Train 3 times a week
·      Have sex
·      And listen to your body

I thought this article was brilliant. This point is applicable to everything I know.

“Some Judokas are too relaxed—and they are easily thrown. Others aren’t relaxed enough, and they ultimately burn more energy and fatigue more quickly than their opponent during the match. At the top of the kettlebell swing, all of your muscles must contract to allow the kettlebell to float briefly and then quickly relax so you can begin the backswing. The tension/relaxation principle taught in Hardstyle kettlebell training is incredibly valuable for the Judoka. Throughout a Judo match there is a constant—almost yin and yang like—balance between relaxation and tension. When working with Colton on his swings, I regularly reminded him to create tension at the top of each swing with the cues “tight abs” and “tight glutes”. At the same time I also checked for a full exhale, and during the backswing I would remind him to ‘relax’.

“One principle from Hardstyle kettlebell training that I continually drive home with my Judo athletes is the transition between tension and relaxation. Kettlebell swings allow athletes to quickly create maximal amounts of tension followed by relaxation. This is a skill that can be transferred into almost any throw attempted on the mat.

“Kettlebell training has played a big part in Colton Brown’s physical preparation for the Olympics, and I believe that kettlebell training is of particular benefit for anyone involved in martial arts such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Muay Thai. This also holds true for any other type of combat sport like wrestling, boxing, or MMA.”

One of our readers, James, sent this in.

“In a clinical trial, obese patients who use the device after every meal with regular meetings with counselors about healthy choices were able to lose about 12% of their total body weight after a year. Comparatively, those doing counseling alone lost about 3% of their body weight.”

From Laree

“Given Warburg’s own story of historical neglect, it’s fitting that what may turn out to be one of the most promising cancer metabolism drugs has been sitting in plain sight for decades. That drug, metformin, is already widely prescribed to decrease the glucose in the blood of diabetics (76.9 million metformin prescriptions were filled in the United States in 2014). In the years ahead, it’s likely to be used to treat — or at least to prevent — some cancers. Because metformin can influence a number of metabolic pathways, the precise mechanism by which it achieves its anticancer effects remains a source of debate. But the results of numerous epidemiological studies have been striking. Diabetics taking metformin seem to be significantly less likely to develop cancer than diabetics who don’t — and significantly less likely to die from the disease when they do.

“Near the end of his life, Warburg grew obsessed with his diet. He believed that most cancer was preventable and thought that chemicals added to food and used in agriculture could cause tumors by interfering with respiration. He stopped eating bread unless it was baked in his own home. He would drink milk only if it came from a special herd of cows, and used a centrifuge at his lab to make his cream and butter.”

Joe Mills was one of the best O lifting coaches in American history. He was “to the point” on everything. Look at this one one power building:

“Bob Bednarski has been a good Olympic lifter for a long time. When I first began coaching him about seven years ago he seemed to have all the ingredients necessary to become an Olympic champion except one. He had the desire, determination and form but he was lacking in basic power.

“I worked out a routine for him designed to increase strength and raw power in a relatively short time and I told him to incorporate it periodically into his regular training.

“Bob trained on the system for four weeks and then went back to his regular training methods and found that he was able to break all of his personal records. What caused the sudden increase in strength? The answer was simply that by changing his training and using strength movements and lifts that he had never used, he developed lifting muscles which he very seldom used.”

I am off to lecture. Until next week, keep lifting and learning. Oh, and check out the new video!


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