Book and DVD Reviews

Writes Lyle McDonald: Dan John has been in the lifting weights since about the history of recorded time. He’s seen it all, done it all, and tried it all. His knowledge and experience is encyclopedic… coupled with his willingness to share that information with anybody who cares to show interest For just about anybody involved in the field, I really can’t recommend this book too highly. For those who are old and jaded like me, Dan may give you an insight into some decidedly old school approaches to training that flat out work. Click here to read his entire review.

In her review, Krista Scott-Dixon said, “I started reading Never Let Go while sitting on a deck with a friend who was reading a newspaper. By the second page in, I was exclaiming, “Let me read you this funny bit!” By the fifteenth funny bit, I gave up on interruptions and just read it out loud for several hilarious pages. We followed Dan’s adventures through crappy workouts, the Velocity Diet, ridiculous contests of strength, and coming to terms with his belly devouring his belt. We plowed through programs to get strong, programs to get fast, programs that would probably, in the end, make me a better person for doing them as well as a better lifter.”

Dave Draper wrote: I wrote a book once and it had a picture on every page and handful of words somewhere in between. Brilliant. Dan John writes a book and there are no pictures and an Olympic bar full of words creatively, skillfully and accurately expressed about lifting, living, learning, winning, pressing on and never letting go. Now that’s brilliant.
Dan doesn’t need eye-catching pictures; he paints them abundantly and precisely with words and experience. Intelligence and honesty and understanding establish bold and dynamic form, while emotion and energy and humor color each page with robust splashes and subtle tones. His work’s a cross between Peanuts, the cartoon, and the powerful frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. And you thought Never Let Go was about strength training. How dull.

From Dr. Ken Leistner: Something truly different in strength training—a literate, well-written book full of enjoyable information and an opportunity to cull through it and choose what might enhance one’s training. That’s unusual in our field, but Dan has provided a volume one can go back to numerous times and benefit from.

Michael Boyle: “If the first thing you think when you read this is “who’s Dan John?” you have some catching up to do. Dan might be my favorite writer in the world of strength and conditioning. Dan’s stuff is common sense and witty.”

Mike Robertson: “After reading textbooks and journals for months on end, it’s refreshing to read something training related that not only gives great take home points, but is actually fun to read as well.” Read the entire review here:

Dan Cenindoza: “The simplicity in it is beautiful. I think I’ve told that to everyone I’ve talked training to since I read it. I am a big fan of this kind of message, summary and presentation of information.” Continued:

Chris McClinch: “Just a fantastic book. Dan John’s knowledge is incredible, but what really sets this book apart is his writing. Much like The Complete Keys to Progress or Brother Iron Sister Steel, this is a book you’ll reread not just for the information, but for the pleasure of the way it’s written. One of the few training books I’ve ever read that’s made me laugh out loud or prompted me to read sections aloud to people around me.” More from Chris:

Thom Plummer: “The Essence of Fitness: Dan talks about pure fitness, meaning doing things that actually get people into shape, as opposed to main stream fitness where everything is pretty and convenient and nothing really works for long. In other words, because of how we train members we actually build failure into the workout because after about 6-8 weeks the person doesn’t progress, gets frustrated and eventually leaves.” Keep reading:

John Koenig: “I find myself more impressed with “Never Let Go” just from thinking about it the last few days since finishing reading it. Lessons and stories continue to sink in and make an impression. Dan John wants his readers to stop being wrapped up in the complexities of programs that don’t work, and get back to workout basics. And have a hell of a good time doing so.” For more:

Eric Beard: Love never Let Go by Dan John, great pearls of wisdom mixed with humor, dedication and experience! Great common sense, training nuggets and humor mixed with philosophy. Will try a few ideas today.

Zach Even-Esh: I CAN’T put this book down!!

Josh Hanagarne: “One of my favorite books of all time. It’s official.”

Susanna Hutcheson: “Buy this book if you need encouragement in your training and fitness program. Moreover, buy it if you want to learn how to cut through the BS and get to the real meat of how to get from where you are to where you want to be.”

John Izzo: “I got my hands on his new book and I literally couldn’t put it down.” The rest of the review:

Steve Shafley: Everything I know about lifting, I learned from Dan John.

There’s been a lot written about Dan John lately. It’s reassuring to see him getting his due, because here’s a man who’s walked the walk of life, and is still smiling and enthusiastic about his passions. He’s genuine.

I’ve known Dan for a while now. We met online in 1999 or 2000, and corresponded frequently, in email and on assorted message boards and in the occasional phone call. In 2007 I finally got to meet him, twice, both out in Utah and at Denison University in Ohio. I consider him a friend, and knowing him has much enriched my life.

I held off writing this bit until I’d gone through his book a few times. It’s hard not saying what other folks have said: Dan’s down-to-earth voice and advice cuts through noise and is pure signal, Dan’s a humble genius. Dan’s a coach’s coach. Dan’s gently scathing humor draws our attention to the realities of life and lifting and competition.

I can’t match the eloquent and descriptive phrases such luminaries like Pavel Tsatsouline and Dave Draper and others have used to describe Dan’s contribution to the written word of the Iron Game. I can only say that it’s good. It’s excellent. It’s humbling to me personally. Explaining why is difficult, if not impossible.

If you buy one book about training, hell, if you buy one book about life, this year, or this decade, make it Dan’s book. You might not ‘get it’ yet. That’s OK. You will.

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