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Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning
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Never Let Go: A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,003 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Coach Dan John breaks down the most complicated concepts of strength training and high-performance athletics in his personal, no-nonsense, thought-provoking and motivating style. Workout routines, Olympic lifting guidance, Highland Games, track and field and Strongman events are all covered, in addition to weight training philosophy for the general public. You'll learn...H ...more
Paperback, 413 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Ontarget Pubns
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Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it

Someone once shared with me the piece advice that you should never trust a man with two first names. Dan John is making me reconsider that particular piece of wisdom. Apparently something of a living legend in certain strength and conditioning circles, I only found him after reading a few posts of his on a random internet forum. I subsequently discovered his website, blog, and articles; I liked what I read, so I bought Never Let Go.

The book is a collection of articles, some of which were previou
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not for the novice athlete. Definitely aimed at the seasoned weight lifter. Written in a conversational, straightforward language, John's work is accessible, and reads like a collection of blog posts (which, I believe, it is). The text does not go into any detail at all about performing the lifts (and in literally dozens of places throughout, he has laundry lists of 8-25 different lifts and variations, all without explanation of how to actually perform the lifts). You will definitely get more ou ...more
Dane Kalejta
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I only pray that one day my kids are coached by someone as wise and brilliant as Dan John. His articles are about life and lifting, some border on spiritual without mentioning anything religious.

Now, not everything in this book is for beginners, but I would fully recommend it to anyone who uses iron as their therapist.
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book is not meant to be read as a book. It's a bunch of blog posts and it's repetitive. That said, it's the first book in a long time that I want to pull some notes from and keep for reference. Dan John lifts way more than I want to, but his keep it simple style makes me want to do better with what I've got.
Mattias Johansson
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dan John isn’t your average fitness guru talking about six-packs or calorie counting. He cuts straight to the chase and explains, with humor, how you can improve your training and nutrition routines today. No magic pills. No big secrets. Just straight forward methods that, if you follow them, can help you increase your strength and muscle mass. Dan John will supply you with the knowledge and experience. In return, he expects two things: dedication and hard work.
Sean Goh
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Collection of blog posts from Dan John.
As such there is no clear central narrative joining everything, more of overarching themes that get repeated here and there (least he's consistent).
But he's a humorous writer.

The biggest value of a personal trainer is someone else's will replacing your will.

3 options to make better choices:
1: Be proactive and try to find someone or some way to cut back on the options, all those deadly choices and decisions.. especially in nutrition and training.
2:Bring ever
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just fantastic

After reading a lot of fitness and strength books it's a breath of fresh air to read such a down to earth view to training for strength and athleticism. Just brilliant
Andrew Wilson
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I had downloaded this book on my Kindle a while ago and decided to read as I am recovering from an injury and was looking for a little motivation to get back in the gym. It definitely wasn't what I expected as many other reviews mentioned it is a collection of blog posts rather than a cohesive book. Too bad I didn't read the reviews before, as this wasn't what I was looking for, but I still found some value.

The content and writing style isn't bad. It is at times motivating, funny, and informativ
Tim Thirion
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
As others have said in their reviews, this is a collection of blog posts rather than a fully coherent work. Dan John's writing is funny, entertaining, and informative, though I would've reconsidered my purchase had I known the full content is available for free on the web.

With that said, I did gain some new insights and was overall pleased with my investment.

So what did I learn?

First, everything works for about six weeks, as John repeats often. This has anecdotally been my experience too.

Jaroslav Tuček
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you thought the words "lifting" and "philosophy" don't go together, coach Dan John will prove you wrong. His Never Let Go discusses not only all things important to the strength athlete - weight lifting, body composition, nutrition etc. - but also succeeds in framing them in the bigger picture of living a balanced life.

I cannot imagine anyone even remotely interested in strength not loving this book. It reads easily - as a laid-back conversation with an old friend would, a friend who has live
C. P.
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
The basis of this book is a series of articles written by the author on T-nation, short for Testosterone nation, a pretty familiar website for fitness enthusiasts and people that want to learn the basics from the very best in general.

Seeing an introduction from Dave Draper is what convinced me to approach this book In the first place. I was expecting something similar to his type of writing, and I was somehow disappointed to see that these are only articles without a specific connection between
Shawn  Stone
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lifting
Dan’s competed at the highest levels in various strength sports and rubbed shoulders with some of the best minds and trainers in the business. This compilation of articles represents his accumulated years of training, nutritional and motivational wisdom. Although the articles sometimes lack a consistent and unifying theme, there are still some great take-away points that can be readily applied to improving one’s training.

Fave Quotes – “If it is important, do it every day, if it isn’t, don’t do i
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness
This book somewhat betrays its origin as a series of posts from Dan John's blog. There's occasional repetition between chapters, and the emphasis is on short, easily digestible chunks of information rather than long considered discussions.

Having said that, what this means is that you get a lot of short, easily digestible chunks of information from a guy who has years of experience in strength training and teaching strength training. If you want a specific workout program, this is not really the
Charles Miske
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall, an excellent book to read in bits and chunks. That's what you get when you compile blog posts into a book. This isn't bad though, because sometimes life says all you get is bits and chunks of time in which to read.

I think if you can get one snippet of info, or inspiration, from each chapter, then it's well worth the expense. One of my favorite take-aways:

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing every day"

The only reservation I have is that I noticed a lot of "back when I was younger and d
Rori Rischak
I've got a bit of a collection of workout books (including some Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Rippetoe, Lou Schuler, Randall Strossen, and Alwyn Cosgrove who was mentioned in this book!). This fits right in with the collection, but it doesn't really stand out in any way. Good, sound information, some nice insights, some workouts that I noted down to try in the future (my boyfriend did the one-lift-a-day deadlifts workout, I did one of the five-and-five workouts he recommended). The writer has an e ...more
Cody Lasko
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In reality it's a collection of articles and blog posts, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the most enlightening reads when it comes to the realm of strength and fitness I've encountered.

Dan's straightforward, no-bullshit approach is revered by many in the fitness industry for good reason. The man knows his stuff. And like the artist he is, he takes an incredibly smart and complicated subject and says it in a very simple way. It's brilliant, practical, funny, and inspiring.

With so muc
Петър Стойков
Дан Джон е американски олимпийски лекоатлет (диск) и тежкоатлет, а в момента треньор. Книгата е сбор от различни негови статии, които не са тематично свързани и са публикувани преди това в различни издания и сайтове. Не бих казал, че ми бяха особено интересни или полезни, тъй като изобилстват главно с лични анекдоти и истории и личното мнение на автора по различни въпроси на физическото възпитание и живота като цяло.

Описанието на метода Табата беше интересно, тъй като не го знаех до сега и мисля
Henry Barry
Jan 09, 2015 added it
Shelves: fiction
Great book about weightlifting and life philosophy in general. Dan John provides a very good "big picture" view of lifting, approaching it from a lifetime perspective, rather than just a standard 6-12 week perspective like many coaches/gurus out there. He emphasizes a lot of basic, hard, heavy workouts, and that is about it. A wonderful book. The best part? At the end, he gives a suggested reading list.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great read. This was one of those books that sat on my shelf for a long time. I finally got to reading it and was floored. I'm kicking myself for having taken so long to read it. The book is a grouping of many short texts covering aspects of lifting, training, and sports. The ideas that Dan John has proposed just make sense to me. I kept nodding my head and saying yes over and over as I read this.

It you get an opportunity, you should see him talk in person. Very motivating.
Alison Prendergast
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is filled with the kind of common sense that's not so common - the kind that comes from years of experience, accomplishments, and mistakes. At first the eclectic writing is a bit odd but it soon becomes entertaining and endearing. It feels as if you're hanging out with your friend's dad, having a good conversation about life lessons. I loved his honesty, candor, and humor.
Jack Visoky
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of articles/short chapters written by Dan John. There is some great information in here for anyone interested in strength training. Dan John's down to earth approach makes this book very easy to get through. I found most of the chapters to be solid but a few I thought really stood out as excellent. Overall a great book worth reading
Ramón Nogueras Pérez
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fitness
Una serie de posts de blog conjuntados sin mucho orden ni concierto, tratando diferentes temas relacionados con el deporte y un poco de filosofía de vida. No es una mierda porque Dan John es un monstruo en su campo y escribe muy bien, pero no hay un editor y eso daaña la calidad del libro. Podría haber tenido 4 estrellas.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Johnson's philosophy on life. Even for non weight lifters, there's cups of insight, like "when things go wrong, simplify" and "resting is important." sound obvious? This book drills it home...and offers a ton of exercise and lifting program ideas, too. Nothing fancy, nothing miraculous, but consistent, hard work.
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Dan John is a genius! I love reading anything he's ever written. No matter what you need, strength programming, fat loss, inspiration or life balance, you'll find something here. If you work out, read the book.
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dan John is the mentor every young athlete needs. Not only does this book offer advice for training, but for all areas of life. Keep it simple and keep it smart. This book is a wealth of knowledge and gives reference to handfuls of other books to keep you reading for years.
Craig Cecil
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weightlifting
Just finished reading this book. I'm now going back over it again to pick up all the individual tips and techniques. As Dan says, people like stories, and this book has a lot of them woven into lessons and observations. I wish this book would have been available to me years ago.
Ian S Williams
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No bullshit

Finally a no bs philosophy on fitness. Completely makes me rethink my whole approach and what I've been doing wrong: listen to too much noise and lose value in focusing on the basics.
Brian Cox
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Call me coach

A great read. Life's lessons learned by trial and error. A true mentor on navigating the fitness world and driving forward no matter what. Brings clarification to a very complicated industry. Never let go.
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness
Good. My edition was Kindle. No pics, no index, and there's not strong organization to the book, so one finds repetition and some frustration. But the ideas are thought provoking and seem to make sense and author comes across as credible.
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health-fitness
Great book. Found it full of great insights and information. Dan John is a very interesting guy and very thoughtful in his approach to life.
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Dan John has coached for more than 30 years. He's helped hundreds of athletes pack on double-digit pounds of rock-solid muscle. As an athlete, John broke the American record in the Weight Pentathlon. He is the author of several books.
More about Dan John...
“If it is important, do it every day. If it’s not important, don’t do it at all.” 8 likes
“The problem is yes, everything works. Doing everything at once makes you marginal at everything... at best.” 4 likes
More quotes…