Dan John Intervention book

(13 customer reviews)

In Intervention, Dan John provides  a clear and systematic approach to coaching and training. From assessments, to rep schemes, to exercise selection, to exercise programming, Dan  covers it all and will give you step-by-step process for designing effective training programs for any and every person.

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Product Description

Dan John Intervention, Available in Text, Audio or Video formats
Course Corrections for the Athlete and Trainer
by Dan John



The Exact System A Master Coach Uses To Get His Clients To The Next Level of Performance

Great coaches seem to have a ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to working with athletes and clients.

Dan John recalls a conversation he had one day with one of his interns:

This whole project began when someone asked, “How do you do it?”

One of my interns had been listening to me, week in and week out, on the phone with athletes.

“Do what?”

“Well, you seem to give solid advice every call and I recognize the basics we do, but, then…”


“You seem to have some individual advice that just comes up out of your mouth, things I’ve never heard you say, and it’s like every call this happens.”

Great coaches often amaze the rest of us with their ability to come up with the right solution in any and every situation.

This amazing ability is not the result of magic, however. It’s from decades of experience working with thousands of people in a variety of situations.

By being exposed to many situations, different types of problems, and being able to test different methods and solutions, experienced coaches are able to develop an instinct and mental process for what to do in different situations.

Because this ability is developed slowly over the course of years, it becomes an unconscious process that is virtually second nature to the coach.

Now, while this unconscious process is certainly impressive to less-experienced coaches and athletes, the question often left is—

How are you—as a coach or trainer without the luxury of having decades of experience working with thousands of people—able to learn what these great coaches do if even they aren’t fully conscious of how they do what they do?

If you’re asking that same question, we’ve got some good news for you.

One of the most respected strength coaches in the world, Dan John, has taken the time and effort to unpack the EXACT process and system he uses to assess and improve the strength, conditioning and fitness of the people he coaches.

It took Dan John four years to really dig into the unconscious system he had developed over the course of 35 years of training and competing as a field athlete, and coaching all kinds of clients from high schoolers, to people looking to lose a few pounds, to older athletes wanting to move without pain, all the way up to professional athletes in the elite categories of sport.

But he did it.

And luckily enough for the rest of us, Dan made it clear and simple (and yes, he has a reputation for doing that).

The result is what you now find in his book, Intervention.

Get Dan John’s complete coaching system and you’ll never be left guessing about what to do with your athletes or clients.

In Dan John Intervention, Dan explains the system he developed over the course of 35 years training and coaching athletes. The Intervention system consists of 10 questions and 5 principles that can completely change the way you train or work with clients.

Intervention is a complete toolkit to help you find the most direct route from Point A to Point B with whoever you work with—from everyday men and women, right up to elite athletes.

You’ll never again be left confused, wondering what to do with the different methods, techniques and tips you hear about, wondering where they fit into an athlete’s program.

You’ll never again be confused about which exercise to pick for your clients.

And you’ll never again be left without a clear path, and a process to use to move your clients from where they are, to where they need to be.

I’ve always said the greatest compliment to a coach is to say he gets it.
Dan John really gets it…and knows how to put it on paper.
Read and enjoy.
~Michael Boyle, Strengthcoach.com

What’s Covered in Intervention

In this material (text, audio or video formats), you’ll learn about—

  • The Four Quadrants for assessing and training athletes
  • How to get to Point B: Ten essential questions to help every athlete or trainee get to where they want to be
  • Step-by-step progressions for the five fundamental human movements that make up a person’s athletic base
  • The five principles of effective program design
  • Applying the Intervention system to real athletes and trainees
  • Training year-round: Smart programming to minimize burnout and maximize long-term results
  • Applying the Intervention approach to diet and nutrition
  • …and much more.

You’ll walk away armed with a toolkit that will help you train any client, from sedentary elderly people, to 40-year-old moms, and high school or professional athletes.

You’ll learn just about everything you need, from assessments, to rep schemes, to exercise selection—all presented as a logical, coherent step-by-step process.

You’ll be able to finally see exactly what you need (and don’t need), and what to do next.

If you’re a serious athlete, coach or fitness professional, this might be the single most important book you’ve ever read.

Assessing athletes and clients

Before you’re able to set appropriate goals or design effective programs to get there, you need to know where you’re starting from. As a coach or trainer, correctly assessing where your athletes or clients currently are is crucial for knowing which path to take.

Dan spends a lot of time unpacking how he assesses athletes and clients as a part of his Intervention system.

Guiding athletes and clients to where they want to be

If you’re a coach or trainer, it’s crucial that you don’t get lost in the details. Dan keeps the big picture of your role in front, and gives you the underlying principles, philosophies and tools necessary for keeping your eye on the bigger picture.

Step-by-step progressions for all essential athletic movements

Unfortunately, many coaches, trainers, and athletes never take the time to create a logical progression to their exercises or programs.

Dan John will help you avoid the trap of training haphazardly, jumping to and from the latest crazes by giving you step-by-step progressions of all movements that make up an athlete’s base.

These movements are integrated into a complete process and system of progression and mastery. You’ll always know which movements you should be working on based on where you’re at, and where you need to be.

Designing an effective program for clients and athletes

After learning the basic principles and progressions for effective athletic programming, Dan will guide you towards the finer details of actually creating a suitable program for your clients and athletes based on the results of your assessments.

Putting It All Together In Real Life

Dan John also addresses the finer details, questions and coaching points that you might question when implementing the Intervention system with your clients and athletes. With over 35 years experience as an athlete and coach, you’re sure to pick up a few things from Dan to add to your own toolbox.

And much more

Packing more than 35 years of experience training thousands of clients and athletes—from high school athletes, professional sports people, and everyone in between—Dan packs lots more training and coaching wisdom inside Intervention.

Get Your Copy Today

Get Dan’s Intervention coaching system and start applying it with the athletes you train.

I love Dan John’s back-to-basics yet progressive approach,
his coupling of the physical and spiritual dimensions of training,
his attention to detail and his ability
to help push us to find our inner limits.

~Todd Durkin, ToddDurkin.com

Chapter List



Point A to Point B

Reverse Engineering My Brain: Getting to Intervention

The 10 Questions

First Question: What’s Your Goal?

Second Question: Is this a Health or a Fitness Goal?

Third Question: Will this Goal Allow You to Spiral Out—to Enlarge Your Life?

What if You’re Spinning Out of Balance?

Fourth Question: Which Quadrant is Your Goal in?

Quadrant Three

Everything Works

Fifth Question: How Old are You?

Sixth Question: What do You Lift in the Weightroom?

Seventh Question: What are Your Gaps?

Eighth Question: Are You Willing to go Back to Basics?

The Fundamental Human Movements

The Push

The Pull

The Hip Hinge

The Squat

Loaded Carries

What is the Order of Learning?

The Sixth Movement

Ninth Question: Are You Willing to Correct Your Problems?

Tenth Question: Would You Mind if Everything was Seamless from Start to Finish?

Seamlessly Putting the Fundamental Human Movements Together

The Secrets of the Toolkit

The Five Principles

Implementing, Primer, Understanding Programming

Programming with Patterns and Grinds: The Four Steps

Simple Strength: A Few Months on the Park Bench

The Intervention Approach to Diet and Nutrition

The Quadrants of Diet and Exercise

Concluding Thoughts



Dan John Intervention Index Pages

Dan John Program Design Fundamentals Part 1

Dan John Program Design Fundamentals Part 2

Intervention, Chapter 21, The Secrets of the Toolkit (audio and text)

Intervention, Chapter One (audio)

The Place of Corrective Exercises

Corrective work has exploded over the past decade. As with most things in life, we went way too far in one direction and now the pendulum is swinging back to the point where some are saying it’s all a waste of time.

Here’s the issue with correctives: Most people think correctives are simply strange-looking exercises. Yes, they can be. But correctives can also include moves you’ve never done, or have neglected. For example, if you’ve never done a loaded carry, farmer walks would be a corrective.

They also don’t need to consume the whole workout. If you’re doing sets of bench presses, you can slide correctives between sets.

You can also put correctives in your warm-up. Some movements, like the goblet squat, swings and the getup, serve as great correctives for many people. If you’re learning the squat, a set of goblet squats between a set of military presses is quite instructive. It develops the pattern, certainly, but it also provides some extra time to master the movement. If you give this a try, you’ll be amazed at the simplicity of this game-changing tweak.

People often think of corrective exercise as unimportant, unchallenging stuff. Don’t let them deceive you, though. If you do the right correctives properly, they can often cause more sweating and exhaustion than the actual training, and also allow you to get much more work into a training session.

The key to correction is for the coach to have a toolkit of regressive movements that allow one to deload and destress so they can perform the fundamental movements comfortably and pain free.

The first step to addressing any corrective work is to find your gaps. If you look at my list and argue instantly for a vertical push versus horizontal push, and a vertical pull over horizontal pull but you’ve never done a deadlift, swing, squat or farmer’s walk, well, there’s your first gap.

I look at it three ways. First, are you doing each of the basic human movements at least weekly? I argue you should do each of them daily—just the movement for a few reps with a light load. A daily light set of goblet squats will do wonders for hip mobility and the overall squat pattern.

If I had an empty schedule and unlimited time to train, I would love to throw every corrective exercise and soft tissue modality at my old body and see how supple I could get. The fact is, no one has that kind of time (or patience), nor is it even necessary.

Take it from me: regressions are the best corrections.

Correct Exercise Versus Corrective Exercise

It’s also important to keep in mind the idea that corrective exercise is supplemental. Far more thought should be put into designing a program that maintains movement quality.

Injuries and imbalance will always be present, so correctives will almost always be a part of any program. However, prescribing the right exercises, emphasizing proper form and keeping a reasonable load on the bar will go far in maintaining movement quality and minimizing the need for corrective exercises.

When it comes to corrective exercise, prevention really is better than cure.

As I have given the basics of Intervention to my fellow coaches, a few reoccurring themes have emerged as they take back the key points to try them on themselves and their athletes. I refer to these as the secrets, in the same way ‘buy low, sell high’ is a secret.

Who Benefits?

Athletes, coaches and trainers who are interested in Dan’s assessments and workout programming

13 reviews for Dan John Intervention book

  1. Kevin Mass (verified owner)

    I’ve been reading Dan John for years. His articles are always entertaining and and to the point. His book Intervention is no different. As a 52 year-old male not in the fitness industry, I really liked it because it gave a simple and concise description of how to see yourself and where you are RIGHT NOW and how to get further down the road of fitness and life. He really ties together a lot of threads of his previous writings. It was a real joy to read.

  2. Kyle

    I am a 35 year old woman who was lucky enough to stumble upon this book a couple of years ago. I had pretty smart personal trainers in the past, but this opened my eyes to a whole new world of thinking and fitness professionals. I sought out a trainer who thinks and programs along these lines and I am currently in the best shape and most pain-free in my entire life. No hyperbole. This book contains simple insights that can open whole new doors. A must read for anyone looking to understand how strength and fitness can actually work for a person long-term.

  3. TJ

    His practical approach to programming combined with his delivery make for a great, entertaining read. If you are looking for one book to tell you how to train, THIS IS IT. This should be on every fitness/health pro’s bookshelf.

  4. Johnny Hickman

    Fantastic book that changed my mindset and approach to fitness. Have fixed the basic movement issues and am healthier and enjoying life more than before. Very enjoyable book to reread.

  5. Jon Schultheis

    If the fitness world were to throw out every book on philosophy and progression/regression but this single source; we would ALL be in much better shape (figuratively and literally). I have been training for nearly four decades and the common sense and friendly logic with which Dan writes is unmatched! I have met with, read, and trained under some of the best…but in many ways, Dan is peerless!

  6. Stef

    As a trainer, I use this book as a guide on how to train my variety of clients. It’s in my office for quick access when I do my programming. Dan has a way to simplify complicated concepts. A must have for trainers who work with older populations and elite athletes, the same.

  7. Ridge Carpenter

    This was (yes, really) the first training book I read once I’d started training a few years back. It immediately clarified so much in my own training (my life, really) and in how I dealt with my clients. It’s still the strongest influence on who I am as a trainer, and was the start of an extremely rewarding journey through other resources and experiences.

  8. Jake Steinmann

    Dan John’s Intervention is a lot of things. It began life as a seminar, it seems, which turned into a DVD set. Which then turned into a book. I’m sure I’m missing some steps here, but that’s what seems to have happened from the outside looking in. This is a review of the book. Well, the book package. This thing is available in so many different formats that I feel the need to highlight that separtely.

    Inside Dan John’s Brain

    Coach John describes Intervention as the culmination of the process of reverse engineering his brain. In essence, it’s a system for identifying where you are in your training, where you need to be, and how to get there. That makes it sound incredibly simple…which, in a way, I guess it is. In other ways, it’s very complex. Deep, even.

    The book consists of 28 chapters, which explore the Intervention process, some tools that Coach John uses for applying it, and guidelines for making it work for you or your athletes. The core of the process is a series of ten questions, and five connecting principles that inform how you should respond to the answers you get to those questions. There’s also information on patterning, exercise selection, a little bit of diet and nutrition advice (“eat like an adult” has got to be the simplest, best nutrition advice out there), and no small amount of philosophical life-musing along the way. One of the things I find really fascinating about Coach John’s work is the way he draws upon his background in history and theology to inform his training. I’ve read many strength and conditioning books that made me want to train, and quite a few that made me want to read more about strength and conditioning. Dan John’s books are the only ones that make me want to go read philosophy. If I finally get around to reading the Tanakh this year, it will be in no small part because of Dan John.

    The ten questions and five principles serve as guidelines. They are, in a sense, a formula. Plug in the answers, apply the principles, and you will see where you need to go. Again, it sounds simple, but there’s a lot of work to be done within it. One of Coach John’s favorite expressions is “I said it was simple, not easy.” That’s a pretty good description of the Intervention process. I’m starting to work with and experiment with it, but I know it’s going to take some time for me to get it nailed down.

    Intervention has informed my thought processes about how I’m going to train for the next year, and will likely continue to inform them for years after that. There is a lot of good info in here.

    The Physical Thing

    I don’t normally make a big point out of this, but the folks at On Target Publications have done such an amazing job of offering Intervention in a wide variety of formats that I need to bring it up.

    Intervention is available as a print book, an ebook, a DVD, an audio book, AND a downloadable video. There’s also some nice package deals. I got the one that includes the physical book, the ebook files, and the audio book. It was a nice deal, and COMPLETELY worth it. I listened to the book several times while driving my son around. I have a copy on my kindle for easy transport. I’ll be marking up the physical copy, and keeping it on hand to flip through. And I looked at the PDF while writing this review.

    “It’s not available in a format I like” is NOT a valid excuse for not buying this book.

    Who Is It For?

    If you are any kind of trainer, strength coach, or educator in general, you need to read this book. The concepts and principles contained in here are gold, and applicable to anyone.

    If you have been hitting the gym for months or years on end without getting anywhere, you need to read this book.

    If you’re a strength and conditioning junkie…well, you probably already read this book. If not, you should.

    Really, I can’t think of a population this book isn’t suited for. MAYBE a raw beginner…if you have never exercised before, parts of this book might be overwhelming. But it also gives you a format for how to figure out where you’re going…so, I guess a raw beginner could use it too.

    Hell, just go read it. It’s worth your time

  9. Ben

    As always Dan over delivers. Amazing book with many great ideas

  10. Dan Fosselman, DO

    Intervention is a book built around the concept of reasonable goal setting, and thus appropriate program development. By using his ability to take topics that have been overcomplicated, such as goal setting, and simply them into an easy to use format, Dan’s genius is truly shown in this work

  11. Troxell

    This is just one of Dan John’s epic contributions to the world of strength, coaching, and building a better coach and athlete. About anything produced by Dan is worth your attention if you have an interest in this field. He is wise, experienced, and clearly cares. I have been fortunate enough to attend one of his workshops as well. Take any opportunity you have to dive into his well of knowledge.

  12. Dudley

    This is a thoughtful overview of decades of training and coaching with a simple philosophy of counteracting whole body movements that are just right.

  13. Scott

    Intervention will change your life. As I attempted to rediscover my athletic self as a I approached 50, I found that I was overwhelmed by all the new workout approaches as well as trying to master my chosen sport of mountain biking. The principles in Intervention distill years of hard earned wisdom about what really works and how to approach athletic training. It has helped me craft a successful and sustainable path to health and athletic performance.

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Product FAQ

The print book is 6×9, paperback, 270 pages, ISBN: 978-1931046176.

The ebook edition includes the PDF, Kindle and epub files.

The audio book is 5 hours and 42 minutes, written and narrated by Dan John.




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