When you train with me, I make you lift heavy then sprint hard? You know when you feel like you’re sucking air through a snorkel. Then 2 weeks later you’re leaner. Those are called Livtinov sprints. I learned them from Dan John.
I read his book “ Never Let Go” a year ago . I was definitely at one of the low points in my training/coaching when nothing seems fresh and I was just burnt out. His book really got me back into the game and influenced how I train you, myself, even how I write this blog.
I got to talk to him and see him do a presentation last week..
He has a PHd in Religous Studies, a University professor, Fulbright scholar, and professional writer. Until recently Dan John was coaching at a private Catholic High School in Utah. Last week due to his wifes job change he’s relocated to California to write and coach You could say he’s definitely well rounded.
He’s one of the most respected fitness/strength and throwing coaches walking the earth today. For 43 years he’s competed at Olympic levels, coached everyone from high-school to Olympic athletes, trained and excelled at disciplines as varied as the Triathlon to the Scottish Games(think throwing a telephone pole end over end), strength and power sports, Crossfit, and Olympic discus and Hammer throwing.
This is what I wanted to pass on to you from his 3 hour talk.
1. Mentors- You need one. More than one would be even better
This was his very first point and I agree.
You have to recognize 2 things.
1)There are no overnight successes. They just appear to be overnight successes. You don’t see the messy trial and error that got them to the top. So in a sense with fat loss you don’t see the habits change you just see the dress sizes get smaller.
2)No one get’s very far alone. You have to have mentors. Another thing that’s not always visible to the naked eye. To accomplish something major. It’s nearly impossible without guidance from someone who’s been there first.
The definition of mentor is a trusted friend, teacher, counselor, usually a more experienced person. In his book he refers to a number of coaches and personalities that have led him and influenced his training.
One of Dan John’s own mentor’s said …”Little and Often over the Long Haul.”
This may be the best prescription for really dramatic physical change-that lasts. Training hard for a short period, often over time leads to a leaner body and better habits-over time.
2) Keep Journals.– Different goals-different journals
His exact words, “The secret to fat loss is the food journal.” This from a guy who’s personally tested every diet since the late 60’s.
I’m always pushing this and it’s good to get backed up by a legend.
The thing with the food journal is you have to look at it as a tool. Like a hammer or a screwdriver. It there to help you get the job done. In this case fat loss.
Do you wonder where that last 5 or 10 pounds came from? Keep a food journal for 7 days. Just 7 days. Like magic you’ll have your answer revealed! In writing no less!
Journaling is simple. Simple does not always mean easy. All get great results when they use it. And you will too.
You won’t necessarily have to use it forever. But it will help you get the results you want. Then you can move on to other tools or techniques.
There are training journals too.
Dan John was able to pull out a training journal from 1965. Then another from 20 years later! He was able to show the evidence of the power of sticking with it over time.He was doing a lot of the same foundational exercises except he was 300x stronger.
The last journal but not least important is a goals journal. To put in writing where you want to be. What you want to accomplish and the process of it all.
3) Write down your goals- They’re just dreams and wishes until you write them down.
I do write down my goals and you should too.
There’s another exercise Dan John suggested if you’re struggling with reaching your goals.
He see’s winning can become a habit and losing can become a habit. It depends on reinforcement.
Write down your goal. Then answer in writing these questions.
1. What is the Pleasure of getting this goal?
2. What is the Pain of getting this goal?
3. What is the Pleasure of Not getting this goal?
4. What is the Pain of Not getting this goal?
He pulled this from working with teams that had a history of failure and learning to break that bad habit.
4) Don’t hang around negative people–Don’t listen to negative people. Do your best to minimize the negative people in your life. Cut them out entirely if possible.
Just as important is to get around positive froward moving people.
I’ve heard this from many sources over and over the last few days.
I’d be willing to bet it’s the most common characteristic of achievers. When you think about it how could it not be. Like attracts like.
Clients keep their old friends sometimes, but not always. I’ve heard “I just had to get away from them” more than once.
5) Embrace the Journey-I’m terrible at this but I’m trying.
This may be the most important thing too. Because there are going to be problems and setbacks and missteps. If you remind yourself it’s not the end and just part of the road you’ll rebound faster.
Dan John likes this from Don Quixote: “It’s the road, not the inn.”
I’m like my clients in a bad way too often. I’ll find I’m only looking for the “after” picture. That’s not good because the habits that get you to the after photo are built over time. And the fact is it does take time. So we better enjoy it.
Training shouldn’t feel like drudgery either.
When I start you on a program. You have an idea of what’s possible. But I’ve seen how much better you’ll really be in the end. You have more energy. You wear clothes that you like and that fit. You don’t think about having enough energy to get through the day. Like Nike say’s you “JUST DO IT”. Your quality of life is just amazing. So I’m always pushing towards the end results.
What I don’t want you to miss.
You’ll see thing others never do. The sun coming up over the city after bootcamp. When you’ve accomplished before 7 more than most will all day.
The feeling of being firm and capable of anything.
When you walk past a store window and you don’t recognize yourself. Because you’ve changed so much.
That’s the journey.
Don’t miss it.