the joy of strength training


October 5th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Review: Everything’s Over My Head from Dan John

Dan John Everything's over my headThis 3-part DVD from strength coach, thrower and all-round good guy Dan John combines three films that he’s made some time in the (looks like) dim and distant past before Windows Movie Maker.

For me this is like watching old Bones Brigade movies. You can giggle at the low budget, dated production values for about two seconds before the content takes over and you are mesmerised.

Carried Away is the first film on the DVD and it is mainly about walking with weights. It doesn’t get simpler and it doesn’t get harder than this. I just wrote a lengthy and detailed post about assistance exercises; I’m thinking about deleting it and writing “do everything in Carried Away”.

If you work out at home and you love the low tech, you will be particularly inspired by this short film. I was also gobsmacked by the mountains in the background (we don’t have anything like that in the UK).

The next film is From The Ground Up. Some people will recognise the title as also being that of Dan John’s free ebook on olympic weightlifting. Personally I think the third film follows on more naturally from Carried Away but there you go. From The Ground Up is a family affair in the backyard. Mom and Dad do Olympic lifting in the garden while teenage daughters look on indulgently.

Coach Dan John, back in the day

Coach Dan John, back in the day

If you coach athletes (and that includes you – if you train yourself at home you are Head Coach of Team You) this film will be useful, giving very sensible drills, progressions and coaching cues. I don’t know enough about Olympic weightlifting to know whether it is ‘good’ but it all makes sense to me.

There are exercises in here that I have seen popping up in various other contexts, including Crossfit workouts, so I’m not the only one who thinks, “darn that looks useful”. If you’ve done little or no Olympic lifting before, this film will get you putting stuff over your head with confidence.

The third film is Everything’s Over My Head, which continues the milieu of the first movie – outdoor training at home, very low tech, but focussing on overhead, Olympic lifting-inspired training.

Throughout the films, Dan John’s delivery – mostly in voiceover, sometimes to camera – is perfect: funny, clear, authoritative, warm-hearted. Anyone who has read his articles or his book will know what to expect. Simple, sensible, inspirational advice. Stuff that you know isn’t going to go out of fashion.

Carried Away might well be genius. It’s so simple, you almost wonder why Dan John even made a DVD of it, because most people wouldn’t even recognise it as ‘training’. But once you see people actually doing it, it makes sense and that is possibly the genius part.

Recently a lot of people have been catching onto this idea. Olympic lifting and sprints? Dan John has been talking about it for years – go straight to the source.

More Dan John

I am happy to say that I now have the Everything’s Over My Head DVD for sale in my shop. Get your copy here.

Unfortunately I don’t have a clip from Everything’s Over my Head to show you but if you are unfamiliar with Dan John’s teaching style or you just want to watch something cool, take a look at this clip of Dan teaching the turkish get up from one of the new DVDs (which I will be getting in stock soon!).

Review of A Philosophy of Strength Training DVD from Dan John

My post on The wisdom of Dan John

What’s on the DVD

Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn from Everything’s Over My Head DVD:

Carried away From the ground up Everything’s over my head
Sled dragging and sprinting
Kettlebell carries
Farmer carry
Suitcase carry
Waiter carry
Rock carry
Front squat
Back squat
Squat walk
Deadlift walk
Overhead press walk
Duffel bag work
Litvi Sleds
The top rules of weight lifting
Various squat drills
How to learn the squat
Goblet squats
Front and overhead squats
Warm up variations: dumbbells, pvc pipe and kettlebells
Chain work
Power Snatch
Romanian deadlifts and variations
Coach Dan John’s personal teaching tips
Shoulder Raises and odd lockouts
1/2 Get-Ups
Military Press
Press Behind Neck, Bar and Kettlebell
Frog Stance & Push Work
Jerks, 2 styles
Combination Sets, 2 options
Wrist Stretches
Mixed Implement Training
Lift, Throws and Drags
Strongman Moves: Press Walks and Carry Walks
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