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Dan John: Tuesday, Prime Time


Now, I am worried. We actually had some questions above the level of "will EZ Curls mixed with Triceps Kickbacks help me"...

No, they won't.

I would enjoy discussing issues related to long-term success.



Long term success huh?

I began your idea of 40 days of: pullups/chinups, a press, deadlift, and a quick something (snatch) this morning. I like it because I don't like working on "this phase" (ex: speed strength) for 6 weeks and then working on "that phase" (maximal strength) for the next 6 weeks, etc. I want to work on all of it all the time.

A few questions as it pertains to long term success which is really what this is all about to me:

  1. From my point of view, there's a natural tendency to be impatient and want everything now so I train almost daily. Is this good for long term success or would an every other day thing work better (ex: Monday on, Tues off, Wed on, etc)? Or if we are eating properly and sleeping properly then maybe we can train everyday?

  2. Since you (and a lot of us) do a lot of the same things over and over (a press, deadlifts, quick lifts, chins, gpp stuff, etc) how have you stayed motivated and not bored/burned out for so many years?


Question about overhead squats. I know you've said the wider your grip, the better. When I go wider the weight seems to shift further behind me and throws me off balance. Do I want to keep the bar centered above me, slightly behind my head, or slightly in front?


I'm definitely not Dan but from my limited experience, I would say behind.


SicTorn, you will receive my personal attention to this on my upcoming visit. The world will be a better place.

Let it drift a "touch" behind. You shouldn't be able to see the bar (rookie mistake) but let it push your chest down between your legs. I have new people put their chest on their quads to just get a sense of things.

Also, I do a thing where I have my athletes do a "Buddha Belly" Overhead Squat (relaxed tummy and chest) then a Mr. Universe (imagine me in a speedo...oh, I mean, Big Chest and Abs in). You can do this in the deep position to "warm up" the position.

The best way to learn is to do reps of 15 and just crank 'em out. Don't worry about a bunch of stuff...just do...


How do I stay motivated? I address this in my workshops. The key, for me, is community. Once a week or so, Mark Twight will come over, or Nick, or other Nick, or somebody. I go to meets. I go to camps...

Community, for me, is the key. Also, the fact that I am not a fan of losing...


Coach John,

What are your thoughts on wind sprints as a conditioner for the OL? I know the counterargument of possibly pulling a ham, but the same energy source is used. Just curious. By the way, thanks for your advise before and after my first OL meet.



You oughta be worried.

Yesterday, you impuned my Red Hat Society Lady spotters, and I quote:

"In other words, are people starting to back away when you ask them to spot or is the nice lady in the red hat spotting your squats?"

It's a well-known fact, reported by Ellington Darden Ph.D. in "HIT 2006: How to Get In and Out of the Gym in Nothing Flat" that when Arthur Jones trained Casey Viator in the 1970s, he used Red Hat Society Lady spotters. Jones had Viator do one set of negative-only Nautilus curls, and the ladies (who aren't real strong) provided the EXACT right amount of help. Viator performed this movement once every three weeks, and in a month gained over 70 lbs. of lean muscle on each arm.

Harumph. LOL.



That's great!

I mean this in the most respectful way, that's very fitting that you mentioned "community" because community is HUGE in the Catholic church. I was a chaplain assistant for a while in the Military. In addition to a Force Protection/Security Forces guy. What a combination huh:) :slightly_smiling:



You are a fan of high reps huh?

To "grease the motor learning groove?"


Thanks! I'll keep what you said in mind (except for the image of you in a speedo) and feel them out tomorrow when I lift. :slight_smile:


I thought the image of me in a speedo would actually help...they use my speedo pic at the clinic to help people get rid of ingested poisons...


Up hills or pulling sleds fine, Nick, but don't do the flats. O lifters run funny...like throwers...and have an odd habit of yanking hamstrings. Or, don't do them and get everything you need from the O lifts...

Trust me on this: O lifter types have great top end speed but run funny and the hamstring pops fast.


hello Dan John...

What do you recommend to increase the Clean and Press, pre '72 style?

Contrary to the people in that era...my weak lift is the press not the clean.

By the way...there seems to a problem with the file of getup 5, volume 3. This download never finishes, stuck at 142kb...tried several times and several days.

Thanks in advance.


I imagine it could also be used as a weight loss tool. Though it could cause bulimia...


I had no problems with the edition. It is only four pages...

Well, what they used to say was "Press." Press every day. Press everytime you get near a bar. Press.

Makes sense at some basic level, I guess...



I'm thinking about competing in olympic lifting one day (maybe I'll need like a year or so) so what would be the best way to begin?

Would you say:

  1. practicing only olift stuff every day (eliminate: pullups, deadlifts, hill sprints, gpp stuff etc)

  2. practice a piece by piece method so to speak (power snatch then overhead squat/power clean then front squat, etc) or practice the moves (snatch, clean and jerk) EXACTLY how they will be in competition w/say a broomstick or barbell? Should I focus on either the snatch or clean/jerk one at a time or both simultaneously?


If you go to my site, http://danjohn.org/coach I answer this question about 87 different ways...I have a free book, a ton of articles, a bunch of other things and a massive Q and A section. Try reading that stuff and get back here. I honestly doubt I would have more to add...


AWESOME! Thanks! Actually, I'm going to follow your advice in "The Ground Up." I'm going to focus on squatting (probably front-because I'll focus on clean and jerk first) and then clean/jerk portion of it.

Would you recommending me deleting all of the "extras" such as: gpp stuff, sledgehammer, hill sprints, pullups, etc?


You are an experiment of one. I learned the O lifts while competing in the discus and found that my knees started to go out because of all the plyometrics (back when this was the rage...) and all the jogging (back when this was the rage...) my coach forced us to do. Two to three hours a day at Dicks and two to three hours a day with the team...

I got very damn strong, but burned up.

Here is the thing: do.

Don't ask until you do.