Dan John: Wandering Weights, Issue # 99

Wandering Weights
Our Epic Journey Through All Things Heavy, Issue # 99

Last week on OTP: Eric Beard Explains Thoracic Spine Disassociation

I’m sitting in my apartment in Galway, Ireland. It takes two days to get here with plane flights and train rides, but the four-mile round trip walk to Black Rock Diving Tower always revives me.

We swim in Galway Bay. Now, “swim” is a reach. The bay hosts temperatures just above freezing and, last night, the waves were massive. But, a few minutes in the water and the walk back does wonders for the bloat and issues of travel.

Here in Galway, when you order food, you can ask about where it comes from locally. The oysters come from Kelly’s and the fish come from “about right over there,” and the waiter points to a location in the ocean. The other thing about Ireland is the dairy products. The butter is just fabulous. Every brand is what butter should taste like in a perfect world.

So, between walking, swimming and eating, my jet lag is not bad.

On a sad note, my father-in-law, Ron Lillie died. He died on October 2nd, the same day my mother died in 1980. October tends to be the month that tragedy enters my life. My father died in October also and most my life’s “issues” have come in October.

Ron was a good man. He was sheriff in our county and most proud of being on the motorcycle patrol. I called him “Poobah,” from the old Flintstones show…and that’s a story for another time.

That was the thing with Ron: If you knew him, you had a story. We were at a gathering years ago and we were asked to play in a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. I’m not a fan of cards, but I agreed.

The other guys were all “experts.” One guy was doing the whole, “When I saw you had a four and an ace, I knew I had a 17.2% of winning.” Another went all in early and Lynn Hemingway said, “Well, okay,” and flipped over his two aces. Lynn won.

But, Ron was the show. Since these guys took it so seriously, Ron played a master game of “underwhelming.” He kept getting the chips wrong and drove the “experts” crazy. One guy slammed his fist on the table about the ninth time Ron put the wrong amount in the pot.

I had my doubts about Ron’s intelligence for a moment.

Then, I realized something: He knew exactly what he was doing. It took me a few more hands to see the genius of his approach as the guys spotting stats were being vacuumed by the guy who couldn’t keep the chips straight.

Ron cleaned up the table under two hours and took everyone’s money.

That was Poobah. He will be missed.

I have to thank the readers for all the feedback, by the way. This week as I wandered around the internet, I was helped by people from the forum and from some emails. It really does help. Let’s look around.

I was amazed at the quality of this video (all three parts; just stay tuned on the link for Parts Two and Three). Dimas is a hero of my mine, but this went so deep into actual weightlifting. It also answers the question of “what is the right method?”

In case you were wondering what is the best reason for doing loaded carries, well, here you go.

“Given the body mass of this species (between 4 and 5 tons), it would have been extremely difficult to transport the entire carcass and even challenging to transport complete hindquarters weighing between 600 and 750 kg, and forequarters weighing between 250 and 300 kg. Taking into consideration these values, the best hypothesis is that the Megatherium was hunted or scavenged near the site, the skeleton was butchered into smaller parts, and these units were then transported to their current location at the site. The larger bones were transported with portions of meat already removed, and the bone may have been used for other purposes such as bone quarrying.”

I thought this was a simple list for those interested in writing. I get emails about become a fitness writer often. In fact, I even wrote something for On Target on this, but this is pretty good.


1. You must write.

2. You must finish what you start.

3. You must refrain from rewriting except to editorial order.

4. You must put it on the market.

5. You must keep it on the market until sold.

End of quote

This article does a nice job putting the 10,00- hour of practice question into focus. Yes, practice is important. But, it isn’t just practice.

“What’s more, the explanatory power of practice fell even further when Hambrick took exact level of expertise into account. In sports—one of the areas in which deliberate practice seems to make the most difference—it turned out that the more advanced the athlete, the less of a role practice plays. Training an average athlete for a set number of hours yields far more results than training an élite athlete, which, in turn, yields greater results than training a super-élite athlete. Put differently, someone like me is going to improve a great deal with even a few hundred hours of training. But within an Olympic team tiny differences in performance are unlikely to be the result of training: these athletes train together, with the same coach, day in and day out. Those milliseconds come from somewhere else. Some may be due to the fact that genetic differences can account for some of the response to training. At Stanford’s ELITE study, which looks at the most accomplished athletes in the world, Euan Ashley, a professor of medicine and genetics, is studying how an Olympian’s body may respond differently to a given training regimen. Some changes are due to genetic variants that may affect blood transport or oxygen uptake or fat metabolism, or any other number of factors. Some are due to sheer luck—How much sleep did you get? How are you feeling? And some, of course, are due to hours of training. But at the top of the top of the top, the power of additional training falls off sharply.”

I just thought this was a good little piece. Nothing earth shattering, but this is the kind of article you print off and give to somebody. This reminded me of the way the internet was in the 1990s frankly: back then, articles were tight, to the point, and filled with information.

“Scrambled egg casserole: $3.95
“4 slices of bacon $2.33 3 eggs: 62 cents 1 cup shredded cheese: $1.00

“It’s never a good idea to go to class on an empty stomach. But who wants to wake up early to cook? If you’re on a time crunch and have limited resources, this scrambled egg casserole is perfect.

“In a microwaveable container crack three eggs and add half a cup of cheese. Grab some of those free salt and pepper packets from any dining area in your school and add it to your dish. The next step might surprise you but don’t worry, it is totally safe.

“Partially cook 4 strips of bacon in the microwave. For this recipe, I cooked them for three minutes but the time may vary depending on the type of microwave. Make sure the bacon is at least partially cooked so that when you place it in there again with the eggs, it’s safe to eat.

“Once the bacon has cooled off, cut it up into small pieces and throw it into your egg mixture. Scramble it up with a fork and pop everything in the microwave one last time. For my small container the cooking time was only 3 minutes. If you have a bigger container the cooking time will probably be longer.”

This article is about my good friend, Chip Morton. Chip is one of the best guys in the business and practices what he preaches. If you want a good laugh, look up NFL films and watch the video about Chip.

“Morton admitted that like many people, getting in a workout takes work, “We are trying to get them to do something they don’t always want to do.”

“The workouts in the fitness center were designed to improve flexibility, strength training, and aerobic capacity. But Coach Morton said they were really about teaching discipline to perform better on the field and better in the game of life.

“The trend really is about a different level of accountability to coaches, other players and the whole team.

Mike Rosenberg sent in this article. I’m glad people have eased up on Facebook about meal pics, but this is something a bit different.

“I got the chance to try out the beta, taking pictures of my dim sum and my rice-based meals, but it didn’t quite give me correct results. (It thought my broccoli was ravioli.) That said, a Lose It! representative told me that it can learn and improve the more I use it and add my pictures as a custom food. Obviously, this means it takes work initially, but once more foods are entered into the database everyone uses, it supposedly gets better and better.”

In case you need a laugh, this is some amazing stuff. You might be offended by some of this, but it is a great list of stand-up comic routines, plus most of the videos.

Well, I’m off to pick up some items for my stay. I am going to take some good advice while I am here and not workout on this trip, save for my daily four mile walk and swim in the bay.

But, for the rest of us, keep lifting and learning.


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