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

Continuation of my notes after reading Dan John’s  “Never Let Go” (you see I had a lot of time today – taking the train back from London to France). Part 1 is here.

Asymmetric Stuff

Most exercises have an interesting asymmetric (one-arm, or two-arms-with-different-weight variation), generally with (a) dumbbell(s) or (a) kettlebell(s)

  • Bench press
  • Military press
  • Waiters & suitcase walk (& lunges; but Dan finds those to Jane Fonda’ish – who cares…)
  • Clean, Snatch
  • Deadlift
  • Overhead squat

I think this is a great idea. Evidently with my kettlebell work I only do one-arm stuff (…I only own one bell…) but so far that has been mainly limited to the classic clean&press, snatch, swing & get-up (I did some overhead lunges as well … just sayin’…). Clearly something I want to be more systematic about

Goblet Squats

Goblet Squats rule, just ahead of front squats

I knew that (well, I suspected that…) and it is great to get confirmation from people who know. The movement is great. Also, goblet squats can be done with quite a few tools (dumbbell, kettlebell, stone) which is good for me as I do not have access to a gym with barbells on a regular basis. And even in the gym where they do have barbells they dont have a safety squat rack (and no competent spotters) which means PR backsquats are out of question as well. Frontsquats on the other hand are somewhat safer to dump. Gotta work on my wrist-mobility though…

The BIG List

“If it is important, do it every day. Otherwise, dont do it” – loc 3587

  1. Horizontal Push (bench press, push-up)
  2. Horizontal Pull (row)
  3. Vertical Push (military press)
  4. Vertical Pull (pull-up)
  5. Explosive Full Body (swing, snatch, clean, jerk)
  6. Squat’ish
  7. Posterior chain (deadlift, good morning)
  8. Anterior chain (med ball abs throw, sit-ups, leg raises)
  9. Rotational/torque

Hint: to do it every day, include it in the warm-up, eg 8 reps of each Power Snatch, Overhead Squat, Back Squat, Good Morning, Row, Deadlift

The check-list is great, and to base the warm-up on it is simply a work of genius. I am sold!

The five lifts

loc 3333

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Good morning
  • Bentover row
  • Plank (& push-ups)

Started with squats, then deadlifts (under the assumption that the latter are harder on the back, so I wanted to give myself some time to build up strength). Need to look at good mornings, but not too sure the weighted GM’s are such a great idea without competent coaching – and the latter is hard to find. Have done a lot of planks coming from the Pilates side. Completely ignored rows – always felt like assistance work to me (to be fair, I am not bench pressing any more as I dont have good spotters and I almost cut off my finger at one point – still cant wear my wedding ring – otherwise I would have done rows to balance)

Base of all performance improvement

loc 3622

  • Max effort
  • Speed work
  • Isometrics (deadstop, sticking points)
  • Reps, reps, reps. And more reps.

My favorite is max effort – but then, I am a beginner, and linear progression still works for me pretty well. Will add the other one’s as and when needed. As for reps – evidently.

Transformation Program

Some physiology

  • Tonic muscles (slow twitch, stiffening with age): hamstrings, pecs, upper traps, psoas, inner thigh, calf biceps, forearm flexors
  • Phasic muscles (fast twitch, weakening with age): abs, glutes, mid and lower traps, triceps, rhomboids, forearm extensor

Transformation Program (1 min rest between sets)

  • Mon – 1 Power Clean & 8 Presses x 3; Power Curl 3×8; Abs
  • Wed – 1 Power Clean & 8 Front Squats x 3; Overhead Squat 3×8; Abs
  • Fri – Whip Snatch 3×8; Clean-grip Snatch 3×8; Abs

The tonic/phasic stuff is nice to know. And it sorta makes sense: everything to do with kicking and punching is fast twitch, everything to do with posture and endurance is slow twitch (NB: quads have been left out; I assume they are phasic). Need to try the program when I have access to barbells for longer. Or even better: I try to do it with a kettlebell. Most of the stuff should carry over…

3 thoughts on “Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”) – Part II

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

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

  3. Pingback: Me, Myself & Dan John (“Never Let Go”) | Thor Falk

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