Gray Cook Dan John Essentials of Coaching

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Gray Cook and Dan John provide tools to identify and iron out weaknesses holding your clients back. Learn how to take the information you get from assessments and use it to prioritize components of your training for maximum effectiveness. Gray and Dan also provide exercise choices, drills and coaching tips so you can put what you learn into practice right away.

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Product Description

Gray Cook, Dan John & Lee Burton

Gray Cook Dan John Video — Gray Cook Coaching — Dan John Gray Cook Loaded Carries

Change The Way You Coach & Train Yourself & Your Athletes Forever

Once you identify movement problems and categorize your training priorities, what do you do next?

How do you decide where a client fits into the training continuum, and when to progress or regress?

There is no question that tapping into the right movement can radically change an athlete. Take Dan John, for example, who recounts—

“A few years ago, I worked with Ted. Now, Ted’s issue was interesting: He was a fairly solid powerlifter (bench press, squat, and deadlift) and was very good at the two Olympic lifts, the snatch and the clean & jerk. In other words, folks, he was not a wannabee, a beginner, a neophyte, nor an internet warrior. Ted was the real deal.

“Good, I thought, I can help. Within seconds of his first attempt with the farmer bars weighing 105 pounds apiece, he was a stumbling drunk. He could pull hundreds of pounds off the floor, but didn’t have the stability, the cross-strength, to handle more than a few feet with the bars. We tried a heavy carry, and he was gasping for breath from being choked by having to squeeze the 150-pound bag, and then move around. Literally, his human ‘inner tube’ had almost no range past five seconds.

“A few weeks later, I get ‘that’ call: ‘Dan, you’re a genius (humbled coach blushes, but nods knowingly). My deadlift has gone up (low 500s to high 500s), and I am just thicker all over.’”

Is There Something Holding You Back From Reaching Your Full Athletic Potential Too?

Like Ted, you, or the people you coach, may already be solid athletes. But if you are lacking in or aren’t improving in the fundamental movements that are the building blocks of all other athletic qualities, chances are, you’re leaving a significant amount of performance potential on the table. Not only that, you may also be leaving yourself open to a greater risk of injury due to hidden ‘structural weaknesses’ in your body. But there’s help.

Let Lee Burton, Gray Cook and Dan John Help You Tap into Your Full Potential

“This past year, I have talked with Gray dozens of times trying to hone our vision of taking our initial assessments, then seeing if they hold over load and movement. At the Perform Better Summits, we practiced our craft and refined our message until we were able to film the ideas at Long Beach.” ~Dan John

In Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums, Dan and Gray will show you the approach you need to identify, and how to work on hidden weaknesses in your training programs that are holding you, or the athletes you coach, back.

They’ll show you how to take information from assessments, and categorize your training priorities to ensure that you have no holes in your athletic base, and are working on the activities that will give you a bigger return on athletic performance.

In this engaging live-event lecture, Lee Burton sets the stage for Gray Cook and Dan John to outline an efficient exercise continuum you’ll be able to immediately use in your training programs.

I have heard a martial arts master say, “Posture is balance and balance is power.” Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums presents a powerful package of unique loaded postural drills that aim to make you powerful, not just pretty. Highly recommended.
—Pavel Tsatsouline, Chairman, StrongFirst, Inc.

In this engaging live-recorded lecture, you’ll learn—

• Exercise choices for power, work capacity and metabolic load
• How to evaluate movement health, competency, capacity and complexity
• The difference between an exercise continuum and a training progression
• Minimum standards to progress, hold or regress
• When to correct and when to coach
• The metrics of the 4 Bs—Breathe, Bend, Balance, Bounce
• What it means to play, practice or train, and who needs which
• Postures and patterns, and drills to develop both

What’s Covered in Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums

Part 1 with Lee Burton, Disc One

The presentation opens with a 20-minute section by Lee Burton on the background of the development of the FMS, its necessity and application to modern physical training.

Here’s what Lee covers (page markers refer to the included transcript):

  • Where the idea of looking at movement came from, and how it reached the world of fitness. pg. 2-3
  • The origins of the FMS. pg.2
  • Gray Cook’s Performance Pyramid, a conceptual system on how evaluating movements, identifying impairments and skill testing all relate. pg.4
  • What the FMS is and isn’t designed to do. pg.4
  • The role of the SFMA. pg.4
  • The 7 baseline movements in the FMS. pg.4
  • The FMS scoring system. pg.4
  • What you should score on the FMS movements before moving into other high-level activities. pg.5
  • What an acceptable FMS score looks like. pg.5
  • What dysfunction looks like on the FMS movements. pg.5
  • Why there is a ‘3’ score on the FMS. pg.5

Part 2 with Gray Cook, Disc One

In part two, Gray Cook presents an approach to training based on the needs of the individual according to the assessment results.

In this second part, Gray presents:

  • A 3-step process to developing the kettlebell swing. pg.1
  • How working on your kettlebell swings aids your deadlift. pg.2
  • Whether or not you should mix deadlifts up with single-leg deadlifts and single-arm deadlifts when double-leg deadlifts get a little boring. pg.2
  • One of the first things Dan, Lee and Gray do when they work with a group. pg.2
  • What Gray says to people who tell him, “We don’t have time to work that into the program.” pg.2
  • Why it’s hard to get people to stop doing certain exercises. pg.3
  • The opposite directions in which exercise and professional sports have developed, and how that put many exercise participants at greater risk of injury. pg.3
  • Traditional kettlebell swings vs. overhead swings: What the paperwork says and what real world results from the force plate say about power generation, risk and safety.
  • What Lee and Gray would do to improve the push press of a 14-year-old girl who plays competitive tennis. pg.4
  • A method to try if you want to improve your bench press (and you can use this method to improve any movement because it works on stabilization). pg.4
  • Two activities that give a big return on investment if you’re trying to develop athletically, get a metabolic after-burn effect, improve alignment, or maintain strength. pg.5
  • Whether to fit those two activities on a push or a pull day. pg.5
  • What a continuum is, and its relationship to exercise. pg.5
  • Why it’s dangerous to look to the gym for a solution if you’ve got pain with a movement. pg.6
  • The dangers of using the old-school ‘working around pain’ method when training clients, and what you need to do instead. pg.6
  • What a progression is, how it’s different from a continuum and why this difference matters to professionals. pg.7
  • How the best of the best, like Dr. Stuart McGill and Dan John, coach. pg.8-9
  • 4 ‘B’ words, in order of priority that will help you evaluate and coach movements, and identify bottlenecks in fitness improvement. pg.9-10
  • What martial arts and yoga, which have been around for thousands of years, both start with. pg.10
  • A good $40 test if you’re training older people. pg.10
  • The mistake most people make training older golfers in the gym. pg.12-13.
  • Why yoga beginners look so awkward when they try to hold a yoga pose, and what that teaches you about training for performance. pg.13
  • Why you see a lot of problems in people who run every day as their sole exercise. pg.13
  • What the best athletes in the world always skip in their training, and what they tend to get to as quickly as possible. pg.13
  • The importance of differentiating between training and playing. pg.14
  • The five components of play. pg.14
  • The five components of training. pg.15
  • The important distinction between training and practicing, and how that impacts your approach to new skill sets or exercises. pg.15
  • The legend of Milo of Croton: How he lifted a fully grown bull, and what the story should teach you about exercise. pg.16
  • What fitness people don’t do enough of. pg.16
  • How you can really change the training effect for some of your clients by changing  the balance of practice, play and training. pg.16
  • Why you shouldn’t be scared of setting up failure in the gym, or in physical education. pg.16
  • Gray’s best definition of stabilization. pg.17
  • Why babies learn and develop so fast physically, and how those same principles can help you improve faster. pg.17
  • Farmer’s walk or kettlebell swing—which is probably a good idea to do first when working to improve stabilization. pg.19
  • The alignment Dan wants to see in clients when they finish moves in the gym, or when they impact in contact sports. pg.18
  • The advantages of using self-limiting exercises when coaching and improving movements. pg.18

Part 3 with Dan John & Gray Cook, Disc Two

In the final part of the presentation, Dan and Gray present useful drill progressions that you can use on yourself, or your clients. They demonstrate and discuss:

  • What 28,000 Americans die from each year that is never talked about, despite having a lower survival rate than cancer. pg.1
  • The thing that aging people need to work on that hasn’t caught on yet in the fitness industry. pg.2
  • Get Back Ups—a great exercise for older clients that may save their lives, and gets them doing it with the correct technique without any instruction. pg.2-3
  • How to activate the glute medius without a word of instruction. pg.3
  • A kettlebell activity to do on your knees that improves your alignment under load with minimal coaching. pg.4
  • A rotary exercise with a kettlebell that will improve your alignment. pg.5
  • How to know how long to hold a position. pg.6
  • For rotational sports like golf and discus—the key to throwing further. pg.6
  • What stiff people do when trying to turn after sitting at work all day. pg.8
  • Improving alignment: Different postures, and different ways to turn while holding a kettlebell (these are also great warm-ups for motor control). pg.7-8
  • Different options for increasing load on the postures and patterns. pg.8
  • The only criteria for choosing your kettlebell weight for the Turkish getup. pg.8
  • The key to superior performance that most people get wrong. pg.9
  • How to tell if someone can still hear you as you coach an exercise. pg.9
  • How to get a sense of upper body mobility by observing positioning during an overhead carry. pg.10
  • How to tell if you’re not aware of your alignment with integrity under load. pg.10
  • A cue Gray constantly uses on the kettlebell, no matter what the position. pg.10
  • One of the central problems in Western fitness. pg.11
  • What you should practice before you lift a certain weight. pg.11
  • The one prerequisite for doing carries. pg.11
  • Whether or not these exercises have any relevance to marathoners. pg.12
  • The exercise a lot of big guys struggle with. pg.12
  • The exercise movement that a lot of people struggle with, especially people who’ve been in collision sports, and what should be added to programs. pg.12
  • How long a group new to kettlebells can usually go with carries. pg.12
  • Whether or not you should add stairs or lunges as part of a progression with carries. pg.13
  • What tool to use if you’ve got a football player or person in a collision occupation who needs more progression with carries. pg.13
  • What Gray does with someone who’s running into a problem in the rotations while on their knees with a kettlebell. pg.14
  • What exercise to work on if your clients finish their kettlebells swings with their butts too far back. pg.14
  • Which ways your toes should point in the tall-kneeling position. pg.15
  • How to set up your hips, knees and feet on the tall-kneel. pg.15
  • Where the goblet squat, swing, and tall-kneel lie on the continuum. pg.15
  • Which kettlebell position people who have weak cores and tight hip flexors have trouble with. pg.16
  • Possibly the best four-week program for significantly adding repetitions to pull-ups. pg.16
  • How to work around Middle Age Pull-up Syndrome where your elbow starts to ache. pg.17
  • The best foot position for a squat. pg.17
  • Why Gray gets people to squat with their feet parallel on the Functional Movement Screen, even though they don’t squat like that under load.  pg.17
  • What it means if you can’t squat deeply with your feet parallel. pg.18
  • Squat, or pull? Which do children naturally use when picking up something heavy? pg.18
  • Which movements are you safer training: squats, deadlifts or swings? pg.19
  • Whether or not you should be squeezing the kettlebell when you carry it overhead. pg.19
  • How to position your hand in the kettlebell overhead carry. pg.19
  • The two reasons why the arms fall forward in the bottom half of the overhead squat. pg.19-20
  • Why the deep squat is the last thing to work on in the movement screen. pg.20
  • How Dan teaches the overhead squat. pg.20
  • How Gray tests if someone has mastered the goblet squat movement, and how to fix it if not. pg.20
  • What resource to get if you want to learn how to use the movement screen to develop someone’s corrective strategy. pg.21
  • What resource to get if you need to know more about the Turkish getup, chop, lift, or deadlift. pg.22

    Get Your Copy Today

    If you would like to get the tools and knowledge to know exactly what to focus on and advance in in your training programs to maximize athletic performance, get your copy of Lee Burton, Gray Cook and Dan John’s Essentials of Coaching and Training Functional Continuums today.


Live workshop video
Drill Progressions PDF
Workshop presentation slides
PDFs of the lecture transcripts
MP3 audio files of the lectures
Dan’s Goblet Squat Instruction PDF

  • Exclusive video clip from Dan John’s Carried Away DVD (8 minutes 41 sec)
  • Dan John: From The Ground up, 97-page ebook in PDF format
  • Dan John: The Quadrants of Diet and Exercise, a 22-minute MP3 audio recording, accompanied by a 5-page PDF transcript
  • Gray Cook: What’s the Big Deal About the Toe Touch? A 48-minute MP3 audio recording, accompanied by a 9-page PDF transcript
  • Gray Cook & Brett Jones: Holds & Carries: A Shortcut to Correctives If You’re Willing, a 16-minute MP3 audio recording, accompanied by a 18-page PDF transcript

Who Benefits?

Trainers, coaches and anyone who is interested in work capacity training, loaded carries, warmups and correctives

1 review for Gray Cook Dan John Essentials of Coaching

  1. Brandon Hetzler

    Beyond good! Dan and Gray on one product? That alone makes it worth buying. I’d listen to these two recite the alphabet – Dan would have plenty of real world stories to keep it entertaining and informative, while Gray would have you questioning if you ‘really’ knew the alphabet.

    This product is beyond good. Everything on this DVD is applicable. The simplistic brilliance of the information they are sharing is something that everyone can use, regardless of background or philosophies.

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Product FAQ

The physical DVD is a 2-disc, 131-minute DVD set.

The digital video contains the same material as the physical DVD, but is available for either immediate download or streaming video.

Filmed at Perform Better Long Beach, 2014.


The physical DVD will ship from the warehouse in Kansas on the business day following your order.

The digital video is delivered instantly via download from a digital dashboard here on as soon as your order is placed.