Thoughts of Dan John

Not too long ago I sat down and read Dan John’s Never Let Go for a second time because I enjoyed it so much the first time. Dan John is a legend in strength training, having compiled over 30 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach.

Dan John

One of the things I really like about Dan is his ability to keep things simple. With everyone talking about their crazy periodization schemes amongst many other things, Dan simple; become brilliant at the basics and keep adding weight, getting stronger and stronger.

With that being said, I thought it would be good to share my five favorite quotes from Never Let Go, a book that I think anyone with an ounce of interest in fitness needs to read.

If it’s important do it everyday

Pretty straight forward but couldn’t be truer. If your mobility sucks, some mobility work everyday may be a good idea. If your tissue quality sucks, grab your foam roller and roll out a couple of times everyday. If your grades in school suck, study more everyday. If your terribly out of shape, do something to get in better shape everyday. I could keep going, but this can and will apply to almost every area of your life.

Two great principles of strength and conditioning. Everything works. Everything works, but only for so long.

Here is something I feel a lot of people really miss the boat on. Doing 3 sets of 10 reps is great and will work, but at some point its going to stop working and you’ll need to make some changes. Conditioning three times a week might spark some fat loss, but at some point you will stall and will need to make some changes. Everything works for a varying amount of time, but everything stops working at some point.

Look at your goals. Look at your behavior. Does your behavior match your goals?

Brilliant. How many times have your heard someone talk about the goals they have yet you watch their actions and realize they don’t match their goals in any way, shape or form. Goals are great and important if you want to accomplish things, but in order to do something bigger and better than what you currently have, you are going to have to change your behavior to match those goals.


Measure your progress in the weight room one of three ways. 1) Your deadlift max is up. 2) You did more REAL pull ups. 3) Your three jump score increased.

I think the deadlift is a great exercise, especially the trap bar version. Furthermore, if your deadlift number is getting better and better, I will guarantee that you are getting stronger and stronger and developing total body strength. The same goes for pull ups. They are hard. Not many people are great at them. But the thing is, I’ll guarantee that the kid that can do the most pull ups is probably also one of the strongest kids you now, can squat and bench more than most everyone else – its funny how things like that work.

Here’s my ultra-secret diet regime: Follow Mom’s first rule!
• Eat breakfast everyday
• Be sure to eat three meals a day
• If you’re hungry an hour or so after a meal, you didn’t eat enough protein
• Water should be your major beverage
• There’s nothing more fiber can’t cure

Spot on, don’t even need to add anything to this. Eat three to four meals a day and don’t skip breakfast. Focus on protein and drink plenty of water and make sure you get enough fiber – chances are you don’t.

Never Let Go

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