Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 91

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 91

If you delete your copy of WW and need to look something up later, you can always find it in the WW Archive.

I’m sitting here in the Edinburgh, Scotland in the Aspire Lounge and there is a good chance I won’t get out of Europe today. By the time you read this, it will all be settled, but today’s Delta outage reminds me of how thin the veil of civilization is…and always has been. Listening to the complaints of the people in line in “Sky Priority” really underscores how many of us, and I hope I am not part of it, get very angry when things go sour. “Somebody needs to fix this,” said the lady behind us.

I think the world might do better if more of us replaced “Somebody” with “I.” By the way, it is a rare day on my travels when a European doesn’t ask about a certain presidential candidate with orange skin and a Scottish mother. And, no, I can’t explain things in the USA either.

So, in my carryon bag, I have:

Roll up backpack
Roll up winter jacket
Clothes I can wash in a sink.
Enough medicines and entertainment for two trips.
Clothes for four kinds of weather (although I forgot my shoes that I use for white water rafting….need to always bring those)
Water bottle/shaker

I learned years ago, that travel can be stressful (yes, quote me!) and I can relieve a lot of the stress by bringing fewer clothes and more “stuff” to make me comfortable most nights and bail me out in emergencies.

So, as I sit here wondering how I will get home, I’m okay.

This article is a good starting point for something that isn’t the end of the world, but a bit of a pain:

“Flashlights + batteries. Read our primer on flashlights, and get yourself at least a couple. Having at least one of the hand-crank, emergency variety is recommended, as they don’t require batteries.

“Radio. Either battery-powered or the hand-crank, emergency kind. With TV and wifi down, radio could be your only source of information during a power outage. If it’s battery-powered, be sure to have extra batteries stashed away.

“Cash. ATM, credit card, and POS (point-of-sale) machines are likely to be down for the count. Having some cash on hand for needed transactions will be handy (even if backup electricity systems are in place for some companies).

“Non-perishable foods. While always good to have on hand anyway, a supply of non-perishable, non-refrigerated foods (meals, too) is a necessity for lengthy power outages. If you have a gas stove, keep some food stocked that you can cook exclusively on a stovetop like soup and pasta. (Keep in mind that most modern gas stoves get their flame from an electric starter; you can start them with a match, just be careful.) If you have an electric stove, you’ll want to always have a stash of things like jerky and meal replacement bars. Or if you have a camp stove, you can use it to boil water for dehydrated meals.

“Bottled water. A blackout can compromise a city’s water purification systems, especially if the outage is prolonged. If your water becomes unsafe to drink, you’ll want to have some bottles of it available. Consider establishing a long-term supply as well for especially dire and prolonged emergencies.

I enjoyed this article. That was the key to the Velocity Diet: it changes the way you think about food and your habits with food.

“From the unconventional election, Penn Jillette talked about his new book ‘Presto!’ and the unconventional way he lost over 100 pounds. Jillette was approaching his 60th birthday with a blood pressure reading of 220, which he compared to ‘U.K. voltage.’ A doctor had said he would need surgery to help him lose the weight that was necessary to lower his blood pressure. Jillette said he always took the easy way to try to lose weight. That’s when his friend and former NASA scientist, Ray Cronise, stepped in and said he should lose weight the hard way, with something that would change his life. Cue the potato diet.

“For two weeks, Penn Jillette ate nothing but potatoes. The idea behind it is ‘anything that knocks you out of the habit socially and knocks you out of your eating habits.'”

The discussion of Keto Diets came up again in the gym. Men’s Health had a big article on it and the Tour de France guys are using it…or whatever. This site has all you need to know.

Lori Crock adds a nice twist to the 10,000 swing challenge. I think she makes some excellent points and this is a “tested article.” She trained people doing this, threw out the chaff, and gives us what works.

“I like the 10,000 swing program for a small group class environment for three key reasons:

“1.  The challenge builds excitement for kettlebell swings and helps people set goals in a competitive but good-natured environment. We can see everyone’s swing totals on a white board, so we encourage, cajole and challenge each other to keep going strong. People often start doing swings outside of the gym when they can’t make it to class.

“2. Everyone’s kettlebell swing technique improves dramatically, and that makes everything else we do in the gym better. Swings are fabulous for hip mobility, glute, back and abdominal strength, cardiovascular endurance, and overall strength and conditioning for life and sport.

“3. Our other lifts and movements naturally get stronger when we do more swings. When we do barbell deadlifts every two weeks, we see PRs nearly every time when we have increased swing training. Snatches are easier, cleans are stronger, grip improves, and torso strength goes through the roof.”

I thought this piece really summed something I learned about from Laura McNallyand the book, Spring Chicken:

“The hormetic dose is the ideal dose leading to beneficial change/positive adaptation. Much like pharmaceuticals, prescribing the correct exercise dose is crucial. Consistent under dosing leads to no progress—you need enough exercise to promote positive adaptations. And overdosing leads to overtraining. Exercise is more powerful than any pharmaceutical across the board. Pharmaceuticals just manage diseases, while you can reverse chronic disease and improve health with exercise. As a trainer, you should place as much importance on prescribing exercise and think about it as seriously as a physician does with pharmaceuticals.”

Ben Fogel. I love this guy. He is a good friend, a great coach and becoming an excellent writer:

“Use the Pareto Principle – this principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  Management consultant Joseph M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who, while at the University of Lausanne in 1896, published his first paper ‘Cours d’économie politique.’  Essentially, Pareto showed that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.  You can look at this a little differently by thinking of filling a large mason jar with several big rocks, then dump sand in afterward.  The sand is the 20% – the small stuff that we usually waste most of our time on.  The 80% are the big rocks – these are the daily habits you can create to make lasting change in your life so you don’t feel like your days are wasting away.  Big rock examples include having a to-do list with only one or two major things you need to get done today.  Or, setting a schedule for certain tasks during the day.  These are important habits that will help you be a time saver and not a time waster.  Always think of the “big rocks first” then fill the rest with sand.”

My “bestie” Anne does it again. I laughed out loud when she sent me the original. Here is the blog version.


Signal to Your Body “It’s Time”

Do a few push ups.
Get in a handstand to get the blood flowing to your head. (This is a great trick in the morning, too.)
Roll out what feels tight.
Reverse lunges to stretch hips and work the legs.
Rub your belly.
Tell your butt it is go time with glute bridges.
Check out yourself with warm up shoulder external rotations in the mirror. Look at that face, how can you tell yourself no?

End quoting.

Well, I hope I make it to Long Beach this weekend for Perform Better. Until then, keep on lifting and learning.


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Publisher’s note: Did you get a look at Mark Reifkind’s Body Maintenance Workshop video yet?