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Thread: Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

  1. #1
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    [align=center:2fr2o7e3]Who is this guy and what is this product?



    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.


    This is Dan John's new bulking guidebook for those who need to build strength and size. This is a 7x9 inch, spiral bound lay-flat book consisting of 119 pages of text, followed by a 6-week training log.

    Tried and true, Dan describes exactly what's to be done to add mass -- what, when and why. Each week's workout plan is laid out, and each day's workout is preplanned, every rep scheduled, later to be documented in the fill-in-the-blanks log pages.
    You can learn everything you want to about Dan by visiting DanJohn.net and or his FREE Q&A page at DaveDraper.com

    Where can I get it and how much does it cost?

    $20 at DaveDraper.com

    Notes:

    Product Generalities:

    This is a spiral bound book weighing in at 160 pages cover to cover. Construction is firm. Paper is a fairly heavy selection. The margins are typical. Print is by in large easy to read 12pt font. Some pages contain a hint of shadowing from the printing process, which may be my particular copy. Regardless all is easily readable and of quality construction.

    The book is broken down into a handful of sections\chapters. Each chapter highlights a general point or emphasis on whatever topic is being covered. They can be thought of almost as stand alone articles or pieces that happen to be placed in a logical continuum within the context of a bulking program. Topics cover everything that you need to consider before setting foot in the gym including what bulking is and isn't, mental preparation, nutritional guidance, planned\unplanned variances to the program, and what to do after your road to swoledom is complete. One thing that I thought was particularly amusing is that each section is laid out with easy to follow and adhere to advice with an immediate follow on to what you as the reader will actually do (as in not follow simple instructions). It's like your dad leaving for the weekend, you promising not to take out his prized mustang to impress the girls, and then him telling you to make sure to buckle up and be safe since you're going to break the rules anyway.

    Also included in the book are step by step instructions that go through every day of the six week period covering what to do the entire way. Additionally if you're too lazy to log your information like a good boy there are logs, pre-printed and idiot resistant.



    Finally you are given a bit of a Q&A that will likely cover any grey areas that you might be concerned about. Overall the writing is succinct and application is comprehensive.

    Misc Thoughts

    If you've been around a little while you've heard the promises of training like an athlete. Everyone should train like an athlete and you'll grow three inches, get a new car\job\girlfriend, and likely get a talking monkey to fling poo at your enemies. Most of the people that pass this recommendation are pimping a highly specialized powerlifting style program and very possibly recommending some sort of corrective strategy to help compensate for all of the aches and pains that such a method produces. At the end of the day maybe you will look like an athlete!



    Perhaps...maybe...that's not what you're shooting for. Maybe you're something more of the "I'd kinda like something that's been testing on thousands of people at a variety of levels and it's worked well the majority of the time". With that in mind, this approach "Mass Made Simple" might be something you might be interested in. What you're given is a simple to follow program (including recommended weights for different sized folk), with simple guidelines (do you like sandwiches?), with a minimum of time, finance, and equipment overhead. I've never tried it and quite frankly it scares me half to death. The program is built around squatting...a lot. After making it near the end of the programming I threw up a little in the back of my throat just out of reflex. Don't know how to squat? Don't worry little buddy, uncle Dan has you covered w\ a 6 week break in program that goes into exact detail every single step, every single day on what you need to do to get you to the point that you can back squat safely.

    It's six weeks of high caliber work with a time tested coach holding your hand the entire way, and at a reasonable price. While not mentioned in the book, if you do a little mining on DaveDraper.com you'll see some variant recommendations on using the program (successfully) as a fat loss book or as a general strength cycle. Overall this is a high quality product that is self contained and infinitely applicable to your training. If you can get into the weight room on your own power you can use this program. If you follow simple instruction, it'll work.

    PS.
    Typically I try to hit a review a little closer to a release, but real life got in the way so there's some established opinions already out there. Figured I'd display some google-fu and show you what I've found!

    Reviews by:
    Lyle McDonald
    Josh Hillis
    SquatRx

    Pavel:
    Mass Made Simple is a foolproof muscle building plan. The program design is brilliant. It features the safest, technically and loadwise, high rep squat progression I have ever seen. It makes a smart use of ladders and complexes. It delivers. Another two thumbs up for Dan John!
    Individuals Training Logs:
    PM
    Bryce
    Dex[/align:2fr2o7e3]

  2. #2

    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Good review. This is another solid product by Dan John. I love the peanut butter and jelly diet recommendation.

  3. #3

    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    You know, I grew up having to walk through deep snow pulling a sled and didn't get bulky like Dan so I don't believe it

    Great book and nice review Tony.

  4. #4
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Nice review. Thanks.

    I am going to CT this weekend to attend a Dan John seminar and can't wait.

  5. #5
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by "davetropeano":1d6xkuj5
    Nice review. Thanks.

    I am going to CT this weekend to attend a Dan John seminar and can't wait.
    How was it?!

  6. #6
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    The seminar was excellent. It was titled "Secrets of Strength" and was a mix of new material, material in the more recent articles Dan's written and some material that will be in his forthcoming book "Strength Made Simple" (cowritten with Pavel).

    Dan didn't want many of the details to get out onto the internet but I think this isn't giving away too much:

    - The event was held at Kettlebell Daily in West Haven, CT. KBD is a great place with a good feel and attitude. Their "goal board" is a thing to model and copy no matter where you work out - basically, every trainee gets a 5x8 frame and mounts their personal goal. Could be "lose 20 pounds before reunion on May 22" or "pass HKC", etc. But everyone has a goal. One person's goal was to "determine her goal within 3 months"

    - Dan heavily emphasized his maxim "The goal is to keep the goal the goal" and laid out his templatized approach to phone/email consulting with athletes and regular people like me.

    - The 4 Quadrants. Dan's been on the lecture circuit with this talk and it presents a general model for the needs of people from professional football players to soccer moms.

    - Dan's 5x3 matrix of movement types and movement goals (my words). He's talked about the movement goals of "patterning", "grinding" and "symmetry" in an article on T-Nation (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...etabolic_swing) before.

    The 5 movement types are his take on the essential human movements. Similar to what Lou did in NROL and other folks like Chek and Coach Dos, etc. have. Dan's take is very much in line with his view that carrying weighted objects for distance is essential.

    The matrix was something we kept coming back to again and again. Dan showed us programming techniques by combining different pairings of the matrix and the logic behind them.

    We got some time to practice a few of the patterning moves and workout pairings. The "Butt Blaster 4000" was a favorite.

    Dan gave a number of examples of athlete's (some named, some not) situations and how he introduced additional work once the pattern/grind/symmetry was in place.

    - The role of hypertrophy and joint mobility.
    - Basic strength markers: controversial, yes. But the basic reaffirmed the tenet of working toward a BW bench, 2xBW deadlift, 2 min plank, and at least a BW squat.

    - We did some group exercises where Dan read us emails from folks asking for help and we got into teams and crafted programming advice based on the matrix and material covered.

    - Rep ranges. Dan covered his rules of 10, rule of 15-25, and the rule of 75+

    - Asymmetry, 1-arm work, and when to add asymmetry into your programming

    - Dan's maxim "The Warmup Is The Workout" and how this can be applied to group training, as a core component to the MMS program (Mass Made Simple - latest book), and other programs.

    - Programming Details. I can't talk too much about this section as Dan said the material was unpublished. He reviewed an approach to specific programming covering strengths, weakness, corrective exercises, and sports specific training. The matrix again played a major role as does Dan's experience as a coach and his many interchanges with Pavel (Tsatsouline).

    - The 40 Day Workout "version 7.8b - grinds emphasis". This was an update to the 40 Day Workout material presented previously on T-Nation (http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_..._40day_program). This was a much more detailed and prescriptive approach than the original article. Dan's done lots of versions of 40 Day on the Dave Draper site and in emails. This is the latest thinking and specific programming taking into account the matrix and a desire to improve in grinds.

    Lots more that I'll spare everyone in the interest of time and space.

    It was a really great atmosphere with the folks that attended. I'd go to another seminar by Dan in a heartbeat.

  7. #7
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Thanks for the detailed review! Sounds like it was well worth your time!

  8. #8
    Senior Member davetropeano's Avatar
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    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Aside from all the details, it was just a damn fun event. Dan has a good sense of humor, loves to tell stories, and traveling to the seminar was one of the case studies from MMS (Tyler on the Draper forum), a T&F coach he works with from VT (Lonnie, who Dan's known since Lonnie was in 6th grade or so), and a few folks from Dan's local gym in CA.

  9. #9

    Review - Dan John - Mass Made Simple

    Great opportunity. Dan is one of the finest fitness speakers out there.

    It's been interesting to see how his approach has been changing over the years, with more attention to issues such as movement quality and patterns people from the PT world such as Gray Cook and Gary Gray have been talking about.

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