Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Dan John's Intervention DVDs

Over the years I have spent (often more accurately wasted) a lot of money on books and DVDs on fitness, weight-training, diet and self defence.  I am intrigued by the sales copy  (will this contain the secret that will turn me into a great athlete?) and then too often disappointed by what I get in response to my Paypal payment.  I  can cope with poor presentation or production but if the information is lacking or derivative then I am very disappointed and frustrated.

However...when I ordered Dan John's new DVD's (and I paid for these, these were not free copies for review)  I was pretty confident that I would not be disappointed.   You feel like you can trust Dan....he is a "good guy."

Dan John is solid, reliable and sensible and his material is as well.  He speaks from experience - from his own success in sports -  and from coaching athletes.  He has a background as a teacher too - always a good quality in a coach - so he knows how to get a message across, explaining things clearly and in straightforward language and concepts.


What is intervention?  It is a 3-disc DVD set, a 3.5 hour lecture from Dan which gives his philosophy of coaching.  It provides the tools, the conceptual framework that he uses to address the needs of clients - be they young athletes or 50 somethings looking to regain function.  You get an insight into how Dan analyses an individual and using some simple filters gives a prescription for their training.

I like material that builds up like this, that shows you the basic principles, the foundations then bit by bit constructs an elegant and rational structure.  It is all beautifully logical - each item builds bit by bit to give a coherent approach.

A lot of this stuff is already out there if you follow material that Dan has published in earlier articles (check out the compilation of them here) or in his book Never Give Up  but in this series of DVDs you get a consistent philosophy, all the elements of Dan's approach woven together, so that you can see how each element of his thinking relates to the rest.  I came away from watching  this lecture feeling like I had learned a lot: armed with a toolkit of techniques that could let me train myself more effectively and also to train anyone else whatever their needs.  It also has the feeling of being slightly "obvious" - you "know" all this stuff but somehow you never connect the dots.

That being said there is a lot of new stuff here - some of the patterning moves and symmetry exercises are very fresh. 

The DVD's are good in themselves, but also included in the package are a bunch of other files.  There is an mp3 of the entire lecture - I listened to this on a long car journey before watching the DVDs - the whole thing is transcribed onto pdf, so you can read it at your leisure, and all the handouts that Dan uses are provided too.    There is also a booklet - Expanding on Intervention -  in which Dan develops the ideas that he has introduced in the lecture.  Also included is a pdf -  already available here - giving the warmups, routines and moves that Dan and his pals use in their regular park workouts at Coyote Point, all of which make more sense now I've watched the DVDs.

I have learned a lot from this material and if you have any interest in improving your fitness, health and performance then I would recommend these DVDs.   

Here are some samples

You will get the idea that I like this material!  You can buy your set here

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