Building High-Performance Muscle™

Old School Soldier
An Interview with Dan John


Sometimes it's really interesting to dig into the microscopic details of training and nutrition, to dissect the body of academia and examine every little study. That's how we learn things. That's how we refine the science that later helps us get bigger and stronger and leaner.

It's also how we catch a bad case of "analysis paralysis."

That's what I like about Dan John. This guy mows through the minutia forest like Paul Bunyan on No-Doz. That's refreshing. That's the result of twenty-five years of teaching and coaching.

And Dan is no armchair expert either. Currently, he's ranked number one in the world in the Highland Games (ages 45-49), broke the American record in the Weight Pentathlon and very nearly the world record, and has racked up dozens of weightlifting titles.

It was time T-Nation met up with this guy and picked his hyperactive brain.

T-Nation: You've written several articles for us, Dan, but I don't think our readers know you very well yet. Lay some background on us.

Dan John:

T-Nation: So the football player became a thrower?

Dan John:

T-Nation: Which are?

T-Nation: Dan, I think you're becoming a sort of modern "voice" of hard, old school training. Where do you see the new school going wrong? Try to keep your answer under 10,000 words!

Dan John:

T-Nation: You better rant. That's why we like you! Now, I saw a presentation of yours about long term fitness planning. Are there any special challenges faced by older athletes? Any myths about guys in their 40's and 50's and weight training?

Dan John:

T-Nation: What do you mean?

Dan John:



T-Nation: Good advice! Now, you once wrote to "work hard… simply". What do you mean?

Dan John:

T-Nation: I almost hate to ask, but what else do you see in the strength training community that drives you nuts?

Dan John:

T-Nation: You're kind of a poet, you know that, Dan? Okay, aside from what most modern lifters are doing wrong, what are they missing?

Dan John:

T-Nation: You've talked about this mysterious "fun" thing before. Is fun really that important? Isn't this all about hard work and sacrifice?

Dan John:



T-Nation: Cool. You're one of the top Highland Games athletes in the country. What's the attraction to that sport? How'd you get into it?

Dan John:



T-Nation: Good story! You told another story once where someone advised you to use steroids as a discus thrower. What's up with that?

Dan John:

T-Nation: Not a big steroid fan, huh?

Dan John:



T-Nation: Good points. Now, you've written some interesting things about motivation. What's the secret there? What makes some people stick with training until they're 80 while others can't last two weeks?

Dan John:



T-Nation: That's a support group I'd join! Next topic: you've often said that the body is one piece. What do you mean?

Dan John:

T-Nation: What are your thoughts on overtraining?

Dan John:

T-Nation: You told us at the seminar I attended that the secret to success is to just "show up." Let's talk about that some more.

Dan John:



T-Nation: What's your take on all the gadgetry invading the fitness and lifting communities? I know you've used a Swiss ball to teach an Olympic lifting technique, but I also had the impression it was almost painful for you to find a use for that thing!

Dan John:



T-Nation: When it comes to weight training, what's better: reams of scientific studies or the school of hard knocks?

Dan John:

T-Nation: Okay, when we met up in Vegas you briefly mentioned your "Leaves, Meat and Berries Diet." What is that?

Dan John:

T-Nation: Thanks for the chat today, Dan. Go ahead and plug something if you want.

Dan John:

T-Nation: Cool. We look forward to more articles from you, Dan!

 

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