Interview with Dan John

Dan John is one of the most recognized, influential, and creative minds in the world of strength and conditioning.

He is credited with inventing the Goblet Squat and the athletes he has trained over the years have won countless awards and medals. Dan is not just some “muscle head”, he is a Fulbright Scholar, has been published in countless magazines and websites and has written numerous books: Never Let Go, Can You Go, Intervention, Mass Made Simple and co-authored Easy Strength with Pavel Tsatsouline and Fat Loss Happens on Monday with Josh Hillis.

Did I also mention he is an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri?

Dan has competed as an All-American discus thrower, as well as at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, and is an avid competitor at Highland Games.

Beyond all the strength stuff, he is also a giant geek who loves Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter (his dog is named Sirius) and like myself a lover of front squats and scotch.

In this episode we discuss:

  • His morning workout
  • What he feels are his current weaknesses
  • Connecting the dots of “what you need to do” to “here is where you are in life and here is what we need to address”
  • Finding the best metabolic workout while still addressing the big things
  • How difficult it is to stay on track and keep it fundamental and simple
  • His “pop” quizzes on the first day of class
  • Building the framework of knowledge
  • Once you add something in you have to take something out
  • “Let’s bring horses back into training”
  • The Diderot Effect by James Clear (former podcast guest)
  • How you help people see the benefits of weight lifting
  • The benefits of lean mass
  • Why he doesn’t program in bench pressing or curls with some athletes
  • 80/20 Rule
  • His interns and what he expects of them
  • Coaching is mostly cost/benefit analysis
  • Solving “delightful” problems
  • “Think” through the problem
  • Mark Fisher Fitness
  • What Dan John looks like angry
  • His clan Tartan
  • Bastardless family trees
  • Kirk vs Picard
  • The first time he saw Star Wars
  • His disappointment in the Prequels
  • Where he would go in a time machine
  • His preference on scotch
  • What his interns have taught him
  • What he still has to master
  • Cleaning the leaves out of the gutter
  • What spurred him to apply to be a Fulbright Scholar
  • His best experience traveling the Middle East
  • What he worries about or fears
  • Giving back to his community
  • What famous person he would have dinner with
  • How do you remain united when people are divisive
  • His definition of evil


Dan’s Website


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