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Thread: Review - Dan John: Utah Workshop Event, 4 DVD Set

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    Review - Dan John: Utah Workshop Event, 4 DVD Set

    Note: This review is simply the opinion of one person who does not or ever will have the level of knowledge as the products author.

    Who is this guy and what is this product?

    Review - Dan John: Utah Workshop Event, 4 DVD Set

    Dan John has been teaching and coaching for well over thirty years. He is the former Strength Coach and Head Track and Field Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah He remains a full-time on-line religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri and contributing writer to Men's Health. Originally from South San Francisco, Dan came to Utah to throw the discus for Utah State University and recently returned "home" after 35 years away. He currently lives in Burlingame, California.

    Dan has Masters degrees in history and in religious education, as well as intensive work at the American University in Cairo, University of Haifa, and Cornell. Dan has written articles for Catechetical Update and Utah Historical Quarterly, as well as being a columnist for the Intermountain Catholic. Dan was also a Fulbright Scholar in 1985.

    What does this product claim?

    DVD set 1

    Told with humor and great insight, you'll learn:

    ~ The Role of the Strength Coach
    ~ Levels of Strength Coaching
    ~ How a Home Trainer Becomes His Own Coach
    ~ The Influence of Strength Coaching on Performance
    ~ Strength and Athletic Performance
    ~ How to Narrow Your Training Focus
    ~ Systematic vs Systemic Learning
    ~ Setting a Non-Competitive Training Goal
    ~ Phasic vs Tonic Muscles
    ~ How to Stay Youthful while Aging
    ~ Movements, Not Muscles
    ~ Dan's Hip Displacement Continuum
    DVD 2

    You'll perfect your form of the two most important RKC exercises
    The Hardstyle Swing
    The Kalos Sthenos Get-up to Hips-High

    The Program Minimum & Minimum Minimum
    Dan's Hip Displacement Continuum
    Why Swings Hurt Your Back
    Hardstyle Method Review
    Rotator Cuff Stress
    Joint Mobility Issues
    Mark Cheng's Four Knots
    The Chain-Link Fence
    Kenneth Jay's VO2-Max
    The Snatch
    Spiked Swings
    Towel Swings
    Planks, Done Right!
    RDL Stretch Position
    Quarterback Hike Stretch
    DVD 3

    In this 80-minute DVD, Dan taught:

    * Olympic lifting overview
    * Snatch positions
    * Push jerk
    * Split jerk
    * The Jerk
    * Overhead squat
    * Goblet squat
    * Shoulder mobility
    * Putting weights overhead
    * Hamstring lengthening
    * Romanian deadlift stretch
    * Wrist flexibility
    DVD 4
    Dan shows his daily favorites:
    Gait Warm-up
    Goblet Squat & Bootstrapper Squat
    Hip Flexor Stretch & RDL Stretch
    Plank Series
    Horizontal Shrugs
    Maxercist and Parked Rows
    Crocodile Pushups
    Heartbeat Squat
    Kalos Sthenos Getup
    Ab Circuit
    Star Plank
    Barbell Complexes
    A full warm-up series
    Sample workouts, insights and more
    Where can I get it and how much does it cost?



    Product Generalities:

    I watched this both on a 42" LCD TV and computer w/ 22" Monitor. DVD picture was clear\sharp and sound was largely clear and consistent throughout with a very rare echo\displacement.

    Dan John is an excellent speaker and after popping this in the DVD player the view is in for a treat. The DVD series presents a great deal of information and it is presented in a way that is easily digestible. Most of the presentation encouraged audience participation so there is the occasional awkward pacing but fortunately "that guy" seemed to have overslept so the questions are by in large relevant and the answers are interesting. Mr. John speaks clearly and with a confidence build through a lifetime of learning and teaching others those lessons. He presents with a pleasant demeanor and speaker and is interesting to both listen to and watch. All of the DVD's include menus which can go directly to any topic you choose which is a nice touch, especially since the transitions between topics are often subtle and there are going to be times when you will want to backtrack on one subject or another. The video work is solid with the occasional logical switch between cameras and there appears to little obvious editing with only a few moments displaying the telltale magical displacement.


    DVD Set 1

    The first caveat that I'm going to toss in this review is to remind everyone that this is "A Philosophy of Strength Training". We're talking theory here people. If you're looking for a thirty day plan on how to get cut then you're not going to find that here. The seminar by in large does an excellent job of covering the topics that it promises to cover within the context of subtle approaches and general "philosophy". What the viewer will achieve out of this is a set of lenses or questions in which they can view their current training situation and apply Mr. John's philosophy. You can decide yourself if you want to apply the philosophy of an elite athlete\trainer to your world or not. Overall I liked this quite a bit. As someone with a medium amount of fitness knowledge who is not an athlete this DVD re-enforced some lessons I've learned the hard way and introduced some concepts that I've been struggling to find answers for. While the presented information did not change the way I do everything, I think it has given me perspective that will allow me to apply my training knowledge better than ever before.

    DVD 2

    After watching this I have little to no doubt that I can "Hard Swing" the shit out of a kettlebell or do a KS Get-Up with only the slightest pauses for memory jogging cues. Swings were one of...ok the only...exercise(s) that I knew how to do. In my little world of ignorance I had no idea of what a hard swing was or the value of doing a swing in this particular manner, but now I do. The same thing can be said for the get up variant. This particular variant was mentioned\demonstrated in another DVD and I had a little trouble wrapping my brain around it. This time however I was following along as Mr. John teaches a large group of people step by step and for the most part it looks like both me and the participating audience were able to get it. The additional items (read as everything not specifically included as instructions for the previous two items) can be thought of as "things you should probably know when performing the two exercises the DVD is based around". They aren't really super critical in and of themselves but do a good job of supporting the rest of the instruction.

    I think the true value of this DVD probably rests in the ability to learn and teach the two exercises given. If you're looking for a wide variety of exercises that promise the secrets to a larger or smaller anything then you're going to be disappointed. That isn't not promised and isn't delivered. If you're interested in learning how to do a Hard Style Swing, or Kalos Sthenos Get-Up, this will teach you. Additionally after listening to the cues and background information you'll have the tools to teach a monkey how to do it as well.

    DVD 3

    Of the 3 "practical" DVD's in this series, this was easily my favorite. Most of my lifting knowledge sprouted from the random teachings of powerlifters. The Olympic lifts were mystical beings that to learn required the alignment of Mars and Venus, a young priest, an old priest, and a 200 year old East European who doesn't believe in deodorant. They always sounded cool but I pretty well came to peace with me never learning them. Hell, I can't swim either.

    Apparently the stars had other plans. The 3rd in the series from Mr. John's seminar this is probably my favorite of the practical DVD's. The pacing was solid throughout with the vast majority of the time being spent on instruction VS. answering random questions. The two main lifts taught are the Snatch and Jerk. Each is went over in fair amounts of detail and coaching cues for each. Each additional bullet is also well explained and most everyone that watches this should be able to do everything presented. The "not main lifts" portion of the DVD was interesting to me because it contained a great deal of just "stuff you should know and consider". Little of it is absolutely critical but it's all tips and tricks that were gathered over a lifetime of doing and teaching and everything makes sense. It's pretty neat to see the logical progression from the various teaching tools to the actual lifts themselves. It's this sort of instruction that partly bridges the gap between cold and calculated instructional DVD's and hands on training. While Mr. John isn't helping "you", he's probably covering something you're doing wrong with a tip he learned on how to correct it. That's pretty cool.

    This DVD is information dense while being very approachable. Mr. John does an excellent job teaching. I feel confident that there are millions of nuances that he didn't mention but there comes a point to where you can't be paralyzed by information and you just need to get in the gym and try things. This is a good first step. The DVD does what it claims to do and deserves a look by anyone interesting in dipping their toe into the O-Lift pool.

    DVD 4

    The title of the DVD could easily be "Warm-Ups, and some other stuff". Especially considering the the complexes are\can be part of the warm up. As noted before there was considerably more time spent on the warm-up exercise demonstrations than the other portions but in this case, that isn't a particularly bad thing as the complexes are explained to the point that most viewers can get a grasp of what's going on and include exercises that gym goers that have free weight experience should either know or be able to figure out. The demonstrations include all of the promised material. Some of the things people will be familiar with, some are a little more unique. Most of which can be done in any gym by any gymgoer without extra equipment or feeling like someone is going to comment about how nice it is that people like you can get out and experience life like the normals.

    Mr. John is the master of his happy little domain, a clear and comfortable speaker. Even when the pacing slows down (such as "OK, now you do this exercise random person") the astute listener can pick out several cues on each exercise. The workout portion of the DVD is different than what you're thinking it is. First, the group moves through an exercise session followed by a sit down Q&A that explains the general reasoning of what just happened and why it happened the way it did. This section has something of interest for both the individual and the group trainer but these are largely concepts and not hard and fast rules so the viewer need to be paying attention.

    After watching this for the first time I was underwhelmed. It's fine. The movements are fine. Mr. John is fine. You watch it and it's just not particularly "WOW THAT'S AMAZING!!!" stuff. Then I went to the gym (aka my garage) and went through the warm up. After 25 minutes I felt better than I've felt in ages. After using it about 8 times or so in the last two weeks my hips feel fluid. This was especially obvious doing rounds on the heavy bag as throwing both kicks and punches my hips sunk right in. Additionally noticeable on sprints, normally it takes .5\-.75mi to get longer the case. I've spent a good chunk of effort on stretches and listening to people say what to do and none of it has ever had the return that doing these movements have. These movements are going in the toolbox and I don't see removing them any time soon.

    Overall Impression

    This is one of those things that I think the whole is far more valuable than the parts. Each DVD (or set) as a stand alone item does a reasonable job doing whatever the intent of that particular presentation was supposed to do but the information was meant to build on itself. Over the course of the series you learn some practical hands on tools on what a warm up or training session is and the items to put in it. More importantly you learn the philosophy on why you're doing these items, why it's important, and how to teach it to others. Take this information and especially when combined with Mr. Johns book Never Let Go you can form a vision of what the path is.

    Mr. John teaches athletes how to perform better while holding on to the mantra of "Do no Harm". This is probably the first time that I've ever seen anyone lay down the actual foundation of a training system that includes athletic performance and injury prevention in a way that actually makes sense and is doable (period). I like the quote "perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." and that is what we have here. Strip away the nonsense. Refocus your training on running faster, chucking heavy things, and generally feeling better than you did the day before.

  2. #2
    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    Review - Dan John: Utah Workshop Event, 4 DVD Set

    I'd love this on my Christmas list, should Santa be reading...

  3. #3
    Administrator Roland Denzel's Avatar
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    Review - Dan John: Utah Workshop Event, 4 DVD Set

    BTW, here are the links to the previous reviews of the DVDs and book.

    Dan's Book - Dan's book, Never Let Go


    Of course, like Tony writes, you can get the 4 DVD set here, for about the price of 3 DVDs alone.


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