Next Level Interviews: Dan John


The ‘Next Level Interviews’ is a series that I’ve created to help give you the more interesting and effective health and fitness information available. I’ve sought out the definitive leaders in their field, to ask them what they are currently working on, and what they find personally interesting regarding health and wellness.


Dan John has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.

Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also a religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems.

His books on weightlifting include Intervention, Never Let Go, Mass Made Simple and Easy Strength, written with Pavel Tsatsouline, as well as the short piece, From Dad to Grad. He also has six popular workshop dvds, and recorded his book Intervention as an audiobook.

His newest book, co-authored with Josh Hillis, Fat Loss Happens on Monday, was released in November, 2014.  He also writes regularly on his site,

What is an area that you are focusing on with clients now that you previously did not emphasize?

Well, right now, we are attempting to follow this rule: “We are going to focus on what you NEED to do, not what you WANT to do.” And, “Good Luck!” with that! So, if you need mobility, that’s our focus along with the other qualities. Moreover, we have eliminated moral judgment from nutrition issues. Nothing is good or bad, but, like Josh taught me, it has an affect on your path towards your goal.

What is the thing you find the most exciting about what you are doing now with clients?

We are pretty much injury free. As long as we are sticking to the weak areas discovered in our assessments, we are bringing up the whole system. For my throwers, having the ability to video them on a iPhone and then say “see this” is very helpful to this generation of throwers. They don’t speak my language when it comes to metaphors. They need to see the tech.

What are your top 3 key daily habits that you find most valuable to your overall health and well-being?

Well, I hate to say this: Food journal, Water intake check marks and zero booze. The first two are just a pain in the ass and the third one just makes me cry. But, journaling and keeping an eye on my water intake really make a difference on the scale and waist measurement.

What is one area of fat loss that you discuss in the book which you think most people under appreciate?

Food prep and food journaling. There is no question about that. We just had the Super Bowl and literally I sat with people who ate and drank non-stop from the “Star Spangled Banner” to the final “Take a Knee.” So, and there is no finger pointing or “I am better than you,” success starts BEFORE you reach into the platter of chips.

What are the one or two things you hoped to accomplish when writing this book?

Only one: let the world know how insightful Josh Hillis is about this topic. That’s it. I hope I succeeded.

Check out more from Dan:

Fat Loss Happens on Monday




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