10 Things I Learned From Dan John

10 Things I Learned From Dan John

To say I learned a few things from Dan John would be an understatement.

I learned so much from him, and even more than learning, I “re-learned” a lot of what I already knew or had forgotten.  Sometimes in life we get distracted by some crazy new idea and forget about the basics.  Sometimes we find ourselves chasing shiny objects, or with our minds yelling “SQUIRREL!” instead of getting down to business.

The point being it’s always good to go back to what you know works and to use it.


1.  Stop Focusing On “The How”

If something works, it works. The human body is very complex, as much as we think we know everything, we really don’t.

It’s ok not to know HOW something works.  If it works, it works.

This was a huge thing for me to remember, because I am always feeling the need to know “the science” or the deep hormonal or anatomical reasons why.  This really helped me be ok with not always needing to overanalyze.  Sometimes, you just have to be alright with not knowing everything!


2. Focus On Something Bigger

Another big one for me and my business/training is having a bigger something to focus on.

Dan talked about a three-word mission. This hit home for me.  My mission at HWTC to Transform Newfoundland from “Fattest To Fittest” Province.  That’s my ‘something bigger’.


3. Decide

What’s the best diet?

What’s the best training program?

Everyone in life is looking for the next best thing, magic pill or big mystery. For example, think of all the people who change training programs or their diet every Monday!

“I tried diet X and it didn’t work for me.”

Wait.  What?  You tried it for 3 days!

“I did program X.  I didn’t like it”

Huh? You did 2 workouts.  You barely got your feet wet.  How can you say that?

Find a thing, decide, and do that thing.

If you start a nutrition program or training program see it through.  Finish it.


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4. Your 10 Best

Write down your ten bests.

Your 10 best movies.
Your 10 best books.
Your 10 best meals*

Take your favorites, share them with others, look for patterns in your lists, reflect on who you are and expand and grow.

The meal one is interesting, because it’s more about the service and the CONVERSATION, not the food. Having Dan John say his dinner with us on Saturday night with my coach and friend Kevin made his top 10 was a honor. We discussed travel, training, philosophy, shared stories and just generally had an amazing time.


5. Your “Best & Worst List”

Make a list of the ten best experiences in your life.

Then make a list of your ten worst things or experiences.

This is pretty crazy actually. It’s hard to do, BUT in doing so you will learn a lot about yourself and what truly makes you happy.


6. Make A Difference

This was amazing.

In an industry that’s full of egos, bigger bench pressing and bigger biceps and looking better it’s refreshing to hear that our true goal or the reason we train clients and coach people is to make a difference.

Helping a client become 15 pounds lighter or jump higher or lift heavier is part of my job. My GOAL is to go beyond those things and make their lives better.

Literally, it is a toolbox of every decision I make…will “this or that” make a difference? If “Yes,” do it!!!!”

Note. – Day  1 of Dan’s seminar was about deeper stuff than just training. It was awesome. I could write for hours on this alone, but I will add in some training info for the last 3.


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7. Build in Correctives in Your Programs

Simply put, add in more exercises to undo some of the damages from your training and your life into your strength programs.

For example if your doing a bench press why not do a set of TRX T’s or TRX Y’s after it?  Maybe some band pull-aparts.  Anything to help your body recuperate.

After a set of squats, add in a set of glute bridges.

Maybe add in a stretch after your set of dumbell presses.

You get the point.  We all need more upper-back work, stretching & foam rolling in our lives, so add it in right after your strength exercises.


8. Mastery Of Basic Human Movement Trumps Everything

If you don’t move well you won’t be strong (for long).

Moving well is primary to health and strength so you should always be training MOVEMENTS not MUSCLES and try to always be improving your movement.


9.  Easy Strength In A Nutshell

– Lift Heavy
– Keep your reps and sets low
– Stop your sets and reps before you get fatigued.


10. Kettlebells Rock

I will admit I wasn’t much of a “Kettlbell guy” I just didn’t “get it” when it came to kettlebells.  Well that has changed big time now. I see the crazy potential for training myself, a client and a huge group of 60 people with kettlbells.

My mind has been opened and I can’t wait to see what else I learn in the future with regards to kettlbell training.



I can’t begin to start to say how much I enjoyed my two day seminar on “Correctives” & “Intervention” with Dan John.  Not only was the knowledge and training amazing it was great to hang out and talk to Dan and get to know him.

After the seminar my friend and coach Kevin Farrell and I got to go to dinner with Dan which turned out to be an “eventful night”.  What happens on the road stays on the road but let’s just say that night hit my “Top 10” list of dinners for sure.

Thank you to my friend Rick Kasselj for hosting the event and thank you Coach Dan John for sharing your stories and knowledge.


Here are some videos from the Dan John seminar in BC

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