T Nation

Wednesday PT with DJ


You know, I have been thinking about an assignment I used to give my students in my "Death and Dying" class. It was called "My Life is My Message."

I am starting to think that these odd bytes of information left up here in T-Nation will be part of my legacy. Let's hope I get something right...


How's it going Dan?

Based on your answers to some of my questions, I think a lot of times you misinterpret my questions for either: being kinda obnoxious or "philosophical" as you put it. Actually, I never intend to be obnoxious and as far as being "philosophical" it's just that there are sooooo many different opinions out there regarding strength/conditioning, so I like to see what your opinion is compared to the other experts' opinions. (ex: John Davies, Charles Staley, etc) It's not my intention to get you to bash anybody.

Half of the time, I get that damn paralysis by analysis that you talk about: I end up wanting to try kettlebells, free weights, bodyweight cals, gymnastics, functional this, strongman that, etc and it's annoying.

My goals are (in this order): to lose some fat, and be all around strong, fast, agile, etc.

I was loving the power snatch/overhead squat combo for a while until one of my knees began acting up so I quit squatting of any sort but I still do power snatches but mostly w/dumbells at home now.

I know that you feel tabata's are the most (or one of the most) powerful training methods for losing fat (which is one of my goals) so what exercise would you do if you couldn't do thrusters or front squats like me because of my knee?

Do you feel like doing some sort of weighted tabata style workout once per week is more effective for fat loss than doing say bodyweight gpp stuff (jumping jacks, shuffle splits, burpees/squat thrusts, mountain climbers) every morning?

I know that you were saying that one of the things that you have been struggling on was overall leaness.

Do you attribute this to you not doing your tabatas frequently enough because you dread them and they are so hard?

Thanks Dan.


Hi, Coach!

I asked a (bunch of) question earlier, under the heading Back to Basics - I'd really appreciate it if you would take a look!

Anyway, close to bedtime in Norway.. Have a good one!




You really have no idea, do you?

All kinds of us get value from the articles and personal correspondence here on T-Nation.

Yet most of it just influences our training and nutrition.

But you ... you change our lives.



Coach, I think Bastard hit it on the head. You're doing a whole bunch of people a whole bunch of good, and not just with this "exercising thing" we all do. Who else could introduce a new generation to the joys of overhead squatting and kilt-wearing & heavy-stuff throwing? Personally, I think I learned more from "To Grad, From Dad" than I did from "From the Ground Up". Thank you for that.

On a mostly unrelated note: Are you familiar with Bud Jeffries? Specifically, his ideas on multiple-implement workouts sound like something you'd approve of. Any opinions on his books/works/info? Thanks. Thank you. Thanks.


Dan, your message is right on. You're the only person I know of that actually accounts for life in your suggested programs. You tell us what worked for you but we are all experiments of one. That "experiment of one" comment is so important. I look at all the elite athletes out there and the only thing I can find that they have in common is hard work. Finally, you're generous with us and treat all of us well. We learn more than lifting and throwing from you. Thanks. Thanks again. We appreciate everything you do for us. jim


I see you guys cranked it up again last night. I figured it was over. Very thoughtful. Today is the same, must be after Labor Day.


I'll just echo what's being said about your articles and advice - that it carries over into our lives. While I have gotten a lot from the other authors, I have gotten more out of your words than any other. Your advice transcends training. Good coaches prepare you to compete. The best coaches prepare you for life. You are one of the best.




I think it's time for a group hug.

On a training side note, you've thrown just about anything that's not bolted down. Have you tried dwarf tossing and if so, how valuable a training tool is it for someone interested in the weight throwing events?



I think...after looking it over...that OLAD might be right up your alley. I noticed you had a lot of "can't s" in the text. You need to think some of this through...you are going to need a full quiver of ideas to accomplish any goal you set out...so, you should start looking around. Norway has a great tradition of O lifting and throwing...there has to be people locally who can help you learn some of the lifts and train in their places...


That's my goal every day. Ask my wife...I leave the house and say "I'm going to go change lives." The sad thing: I'm serious.


I have never officially competed in the event. When my girls were younger (mostly smaller)...I used to hold their feet in the mid part of swimming pools and they would stiffen up and I would toss them like a caber and make them do a somersault in the air before they came down in the water. The other kids would line up...but usually I just reserved it for Kelly and Lindsay. Funny memory.

You know, we go as a family to this Loch Aidle Games every year...before I met Tiff, our second date, photos of the girls as babies...and I keep thinking that "this is the stuff of their memories." I mean, they are going to be my age trying to explain to their kids that "grandpa Danny" wore kilts and threw stuff far.

Their kids will think it is stupid.

The circle of life.


Thanks for the email today. The phone lines are only out at my desk and the next one over. Today was a good day.



If I wanted to use the one-arm version of O-lifts as a conditioning exercise i.e. sets > 8 reps after the main strength workout, which would also include the main O-lifts, is this too much or are the one arm lifts sufficiently different to allow both forms of the O-lifts to be used in the same workout?

Also, when doing Tabatas, should they be the only exercise for the workout or can they be thrown in at the end of a main strength workout? And, before you say it, I know that they shouldn't be done all the time, I'd just like to add another exercise to my conditioning workout selections.



Fantastic stuff! Whenever kids come along for me in a few years I'll be able to cross-train swimming laps with "kid-bell somersault swings"! Should be a great core workout.....

Also, you could measure your progress by the number of somersaults they can do before hitting the water, the higher you throw the more they can do!


I have an article like OLAD revisited or something that talks about this. I would mix and match...

Day One
Rt ARm
Day Two
Left ARm
Day Three
Day Four
O lift

along those lines.

I only do TAbatas when I do TAbatas...I mean, c'mon...why do more?


How did I miss this? I lost track of Bud when he was writing for Dino Files, then had some personal trouble. He seems nice enough...I like his stuff. I know he quotes me sometimes...which is either a really good idea or a sign of the end.


I attribute my fat ass to nine years of a desk job, too much booze and nearly daily luncheons. Amazingly, changing jobs, eating a small lunch and salad everyday has eliminated much of this.

It ain't science, but it is working.

Yeah, it does bug me when you ask the other PTers the same questions. Many of us talk on the phone a lot and some of the guys make a living from doing personal coaching. So, what I hear from these guys is that they feel like it is one thing to explain (optimize!) an article or training idea, but it is another to get baited into little piss fights or, for them worse, cause them to lose clients.

I mean, I hate questions like this: Dan, you wrote an article about Overhead Squats. Why? Do you hate Zercher Squats?

I get these...


My goals are to increase my jump. Should I jump?

So...I gravitate towards the questions from people that I feel are really trying to move from "here to there." You can tell when you read them...

Let's be honest, I offer a fair amount of free information on my website and I also post in several different forums, when I can. I don't even cover expenses on this stuff. So, when someone asks me "What Get Up has this or that?," I cringe. I mean, it's free.

So, I'm not mad at you or anything.


Hi Dan!

I am trying to work more Olympic lifts into my training (snatches, clean and jerks, etc.). Do you have any tips or tricks on improving the "dipping portion" of my snatch? I can tell it is a big limiting factor for me to improve on this lift. I can tell I am using way too much arms and upper body to get it going.

Thanks in advance for your insights. Love your articles.




I must have missed this somehow, but what's your new job?

Unfortunately I am mostly desk-bound myself these days rather than walking around construction sites (heaps of stairs) all the time like when I started out being an engineer, and I have subsequently found out about the struggle to maintain conditioning when being sedentary for most of the day.



Power Snatch the weight.
Overhead Squat it.
Lower it to the hang. Power Snatch it.
Overhead Squat it.
Lower it to the hang. Snatch it in a deeper position. Overhead Squat it.

If you want to Squat Snatch...add this last rep:
Lower it to the floor. Squat Snatch it.