Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”)

I just bought “Never Let Go” for my Kindle (it came out this May, but I hadn’t noticed earlier; it showed up under you-might-also-like when I bought Rippetoe’s and Kilgore’s “Practical Programming” for a second time because I wanted to own the Kindle edition as well) and I thought I’d note some of my take-aways.

Free Will

“You basically have about one can of Free Will” (loc 200; p25)

That’s a great point. The idea is that there are quite a few opportunities during the day/week/life where you have to choose between the easy way and the best way, and that every time you decide against the easy way this will sap a bit of your Free Will until none is left. So how to preserve Free Will? Simple, make sure that there is no choice left

  • Follow a no-choice diet plan when trying to lose weight
  • Have someone else create and supervise your training program because of the conflict between you the trainer and you the trainee (hence the title of the post)

Velocity Diet

For 28 days, consume all your calories in the form of protein shakes (1 meal per week allowed). Add fiber and fish oil (loc377; p40)

Not sure I like this one, but it is certainly worth remembering. Sounds like an ultra-Atkins without calorie-reduction, and it goes well with the Free Will argument. Time will tell…

One Lift a Day

  • Pick one lift a day, and do it for the entire workout (loc593; p58)
  • Week 1: 7×5 across. Week 2: 6×3 across, heavier. Week 3: 5-3-2, max. Week 4: off.
  • Lifts: squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, row, …

I like the sound of it. This is probably because I haven’t tried it yet…

5×5 Variations

loc1017; p95

  • “Straight”: 5×5 (same weight in all sets; plus warm-up)
  • “John Powell”: start with 4/3/1/1/1 and build up over time to 5/5/5/5/5 (ie keep the weight, increase the volume)
  • “Ramping Up”: start low, finish high
  • “Wave”: weight progression something like 5@315/345/335/355/365/370 (ie there is a drop in between)
  • “Wave II”: similar with 5@345/355/365/315/365/335/345/355/365
  • “Dropping Back”: start high, finish low

Straight 5×5 is my core program – or at least it used to be it when I was focussing on barbell stuff  (now I am more 3×5 because of recovery, and because this allows me to do more than one lift in one session).

I sometimes do Ramping Up when I haven’t lifted for a while and I am not sure where about I should be. Especially on 5×5 (but also on 3×5) it allows me to be aggressive with the target max weight, but to feel my way into it and to back of if need be. Rip in Practical Programming posits that working sets are only those within about 10-15% below the max, so I try to keep my sets within that range (in practice I use 2.5kg increments) – it seem to me that Dan goes a bit wider

I rarely do Dropping Back, but I have done it today on overhead presses, the reason being that my reservoir exhausts rather quickly on those, and a max that is just about achievable in the first set is not achievable in the last one. I am still in two minds about the use of Dropping Back in general: almost certainly it will allow for higher weights than either of the other choices. This has advantages (training impact, ego) but also a big disadvantage: higher risk of injury. Given that I am in my early forties now I decided to go for safety over ego, if this makes sense.

John Powell does make sense to me, but it doesn’t make sense for me, if this makes sense. Translation: I am lifting / squatting about bodyweight, so I am far away from my genetical max. So for me it makes more sense to increase weight rather than volume.

I need to think about the Waves – or rather I need to try them. No opinion at the current moment.

Dan’s Tabata Workout

Front squat 8@35-65kg, 10s rest; repeat 8x (loc2439; ca p225)

Seems like a nice one to try – I have done Tabata’s with swings before, and 8 reps sounds about right; Dan’s “median” suggestion for weight is 65kg, but he also thinks that people should squat and pull at least twice bodyweight, so I will probably stay below that for the time being

That’s all folks! (well it aint, and I might post some more nuggets at a later date. stay tuned!)

UPDATE: here and here. And here for the modifications to my training program.

5 thoughts on “Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”)

  1. Pingback: Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”) – Part II | Thor Falk

  2. Pingback: Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”) – One more thing: the Slosh Pipe | Thor Falk

  3. Pingback: Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”) – Take aways for my training | Thor Falk

  4. Pingback: HIIT, Complexes, the Lactate System, and Fat Loss | Thor Falk

  5. Pingback: Dan John: Mass Made Simple – A review | Thor Falk

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