‘Never Let Go’ by Dan John – 5 Intriguing Points
Dan John is a world-wide record holder and author whose book ‘Never Let Go’ is considered a classic In the weightlifting scene.
Dan can toss metal, hoist rocks, drag sleds, launch a discus and clean and jerk loaded Olympic bars with the biggest and best of strongmen.
On top of that Dan is intelligent, sharp and creative. He has Masters degrees in history and religious education and studied in numerous parts of the world.
Dan John is a strength coach, track and field coach and an avid student of life. His book ‘Never Let Go’ is a classic, and today you will learn the 5 key points of the book to make you bigger, faster and stronger.
1. Never Let Go
As Dan was strolling around the library as a young kid, he found a book called ‘The Sword in the Stone’. It’s about King Arthur and the famous, you know it, sword in the stone.
In that book little Dan learned the phrase: “Never let go”. It inspired him to hang on in tough times.
This simple mantra of never letting go made Dan consistently strive to be better. To know more and to be bigger, stronger and faster.
And I think this is one of the most crucial advice in the book, hence it’s chosen as the title. Most people study hard in high school years and some of the lucky few even in college, yet most of us stop our pursuit of knowledge after we get our certificate.
We forget that progress and achievement is a life-long process. There’s no such thing as retirement when it comes to the gym, our career or our personal development. We need to never let go.
2. Manage your free will
Have you ever wondered: Why do people in prison have better bodies than us?
While there are multiple variables involved, one common denominator seems to be a concept called free will.
See, most of us have one can of free will in a day. One full can that helps us make decisions. The normal person wakes up in the morning and makes the active decision to stand up and not hit the snooze button. One sip is taken from the can of free will.
The person then walks over to the wardrobe, choosing for 5 minutes which kind of clothes to wear. Another big sip is taken from the can of free will.
After we move our ass to the kitchen we decide which kind of food we have for breakfast. Another sip is taken from our can of free will.
After an entire workday at the office some of us go home to our children, that, as beautiful as they are, nag us with constant demands, our can of free will is empty. We have no choice but to turn on the TV and watch past episodes of Walking Dead, where the season was not yet full of crap.
The prisoner, on the other hand has to make zero of those decisions. He doesn’t choose when to wake up in the morning, a prison guard comes in and tells him to wake up. He gets regular breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The only time he really can choose, is when he has 1 hour to train in the gym. And guess what, at that time his can of free will is still full enabling him to put all of his effort in gaining muscle.
To have extraordinary results in literally everything that we want to achieve, we need to take a look at our daily choices. Do we really need 20 different pairs of socks in a multitude of colors? Does wearing different socks make us that happy?
Does it really matter if we eat oats in the morning or if we go for a protein shake? The less decisions we make on a daily basis, the more likely is it that we reach our goals.
3. Increase the price of failure
Most of us set goals that we deep down know, that we are not going to achieve.
We would not say this out loud, but deep down we already know that we’re going to fail.
Why? Because we don’t tell other people.
A goal of mine is to scale my business up to $10’000 a month. And saying that publicly to a couple thousand subscribers puts a lot of pressure on my shoulders.
What I do by saying that is increasing the price of failure. If my business fails in the next months not only do I deem myself a failure, but countless of other people do so online.
This simple fact helps me push through situations were every normal person would give up. And here’s a secret: In almost all goals that you’re trying to achieve that are worthwile, there comes a point where every normal person would give up.
Don’t believe me? Why are most people overweight? Why do 95% of all diets fail? Why do nearly all businesses fail? Because every normal person would give up.
So put your goals out there. Increase the price of failure.
4. What matters is consistency
In five workouts, I have one good workout, Dan states.
In that same amount of five workouts, Dan has one absolutely awful workout.
The other 3 workouts of that five are punching-the-clock workout. Going in, moving some weights and leave. A workout is better done than perfect.
Most people think that they need to puke every workout, when in reality, 80% of all the workouts that we do are punching the clock workouts.
Some people online claim that we need to add 5lbs every week to our bench press. If this would be the case, why are they not bench-pressing 1000lbs if they have trained for 4 years?
The only place this tactic will lead you is to the hospital. Training improvements are not linear. And this goes for everything that we do.
80% of running a business for example is probably wasted doing mundane tasks, but this doesn’t mean that we can erase that. Well, at least not all of it. I mean it’s those 80% that keep us in the game, these 80% turn out to be the fundament for the 1% of decisions that really move the needle.
5. Keep it simple
Dan John is famous for writing a one lift a day program. And this created a ton of controversy.
In the day and age of high intensity interval training, v-shred and booty builder workouts, Dan emphasizes to keep it simple.
One lift a day workouts are simple, but definitely not easy. There are 0 excuses in this program.
You do 45 minute workouts 5-6 times a week. A total of 7 sets of 5 repetitions on a workout day. SO a week could look like this: Monday: Bench press, Tuesday: Rowing, Wednesday: Squat, Thursday: Off, Friday: Military Press, Saturday: Deadlift and Sunday: Off.
Yet only 1% of people watching this will ever try this program. Why? Because it is hard. Because it is easier looking for the next best alternative than sticking to one effective plan.
Remove the clutter in your life and do stuff that is simple.
Conclusion – Dan John Never Let Go
These were the five points of Dan John, a legend in the scene of weightlifting. Dan teaches us to never let go, manage our free will, increase the price of failure, focus on consistency and simplicity.
Too often than not we’re searching for that new gimmick, that invention that makes everything easier. When in reality what really moves us closer to a goal is often banging our head repeatedly, in multiple variations against a wall until the wall breaks.
Get the book on Amazon: Click here.