T Nation

Dan John Programs

I’ve been injured, and just have been having a hard time being consistent and having patience with my training.

Dan John’s programs are simple as anything, but get all the right things done. I want to take this simplicity to my training while I’m home for the summer, just working out of my garage.

My only goals are to add strength and size to my whole body. I’ve been eating a ton, and I’m gaining weight.

What Dan John program would be good for me to go with?


Mass Made Simple, either version, will work wonders, although I prefer the original “high rep squats and complexes” version.

I agree. In the last 12 weeks, you’ve had threads talking about wanting to do a Thibaudeau training program, Starting Strength (“Here’s what I am going to do for next 9 months”), 5/3/1, and now a Dan John routine.

Not to add to the options, but the 40 Day Workout would address both of your issues since it forces you to be consistent and patient.

Like Dagill said, Mass Made Simple is a great size-focused plan. The 10 Secrets routine is another good choice. Starting Strength is another good choice. 5/3/1 is another good choice. Pick any one of them and stick to it.

More details on this would be useful. Are you currently dealing with an injury or the after-effects of an injury?

What did you weigh 12 weeks ago and what do you weigh now? How has your strength on the big lifts changed in that same time?

I really enjoyed the 40 day programme, and made good progress on it. It should work well with training at home.

5/3/1 and Starting Strength were tough to stay on just because of my current schedule and lack of time. I injured my wrist a couple weeks ago, and even before that I was having a hard time.

With 5/3/1 I’m following %'s and I needed to be consistent over 3 months to make progress because missing days on that program doesn’t work. I’m sure for someone with their life in order, it’s a great program and I still would recommend it to anyone because I did progress on it.

The point being… Life keeps getting in the way. And you could say make more time. But on my list of priorities at this stage of my life I have things I have to do and things I want to do and this is something I just want to do. That’s my whole point of bringing up Dan John because his simple training style could fit my lifestyle and my current situation.

x2 with Chris stop program hopping.

The core of mass made simple is 2 days a week, just do it. Everyone has time for that

Part of being consistent is finding ways of being consistent when life gets in the way. Because here’s the kicker: Life will ALWAYS get in the way.

You will never find a time in your life when your priorities dont clash so you can list all the goals you like, until you make those goals priorities they aint gonna happen.

This is not to say that you must train 5 days per week all year around. Christmas for example, i need to fit what I can, when I can in.


This. Unless you’re a professional athlete, there will always be higher priority stuff in your life. Be honest with yourself about your priorities. There’s a fantastic chapter at the end of beyond 5/3/1 that talks about how much time you can honestly, properly, consistently commit to your lifting goals. I can’t top that for advice, read it, then make it work.

What Tsantos and Dagill said. You must find balance to your life and lifting. There are thousands of busy people, parents and people with demanding jobs being succesfull on their training. Why? Because they can balance training and life. This is the first thing you must learn. Jumping to a another program wont help a thing.

You should not skip days no matter the program. 5/3/1 is probably one of the most adjustable programs around there with all its variations. You can easily do it with different splits or with changing schedules. So don’t say that you must change program because of schedules.

Dan-senseis programs are awesome choice, but be honest where the real problem lies.

We’re saying the same thing. I guess John’s approach’s are sound but also a simple. He tries to create programs that don’t have you thinking about the weight you’re lifting or the %'s or adding load. In many of his programs he talks about a don’t think, don’t talk, just lift approach. It’s a simple pull this, press this, carry this that I’m finding both beneficial for me because it keeps me focused on exactly what I need to be doing and I’m not confined to time and making sure I’m hitting the next %'s, as well as always adding load to the bar. He stresses natural progression, and sets challenges.

What I want from training is strength and size. I understand the principles all these coaches and programs have.

I think the perfect program for me would be…
1- Squats for high reps (John advices 185 lbs. if you weigh between 135 & 185)
2- Deadlifts (the rule of ten applied)
3- Press (the rule of 15-25 applied)
4- Farmer’s walk bodyweight 100 yards & back
5- rows and bodyweight work being assistance

I’ve learned from Jim Wendler the importance of balance and long-term progress through consistency and patience.

You can see balance in MMS, I think what I have as a good program for myself is balanced.