Dan John is well known, respected and often referred to in matters of strength. You may know him from his contributions to Dragondoor, T-nation and other sites, as well as him being quoted in numerous articles.
His unique style comes from combining an Olympic lifting and competitive throwing background with a university education in religious studies (don’t worry, he doesn’t get preachy). All of this, along with many years in the game, informs his writing and leads to a different approach than most modern coaches. His focus is on strength, goal setting and life, and especially on how these influence each other.
“Never Let Go” is a collection of articles and should be read as such, as there are discrepancies between the individual articles. Through stories, anecdotes and humorous observations the articles document some of the learning processes that we can all relate to in our search for improvement. Very little of this is new information (by Dan’s own admission), but sometimes going back to basics and being reminded of what we already know (but don’t do) is just as valuable.
This leads me to what I have taken away from this book:
- Most importantly, I was thoroughly entertained and the book is well suited to just picking up and reading.
- I tried a variation of the Litvinov workout (which was horrible!)
- Tabata front squats (even worse than the Litvinov!)
- More single arm work.
- Carry stuff.
- Less stress over individual workouts and a better focus on the bigger picture. Simplify (simple, not easy).
- Play more, whether in the gym or out of it. Experiment with different skills, sports etc., while still working the basics.
All in all, this is a great summer read for anybody who is interested in strength training and performance. “Never Let Go” is full of laughs, good ideas and all-a-round inspiration, now I just have to do the work.
Book review by Christian
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