davedraper.com home

First Things First

Before you get distracted by all the great options you're about to find here, please sign up for Dave's free weekly newsletter so he can continue to encourage and motivate you toward your fitness goals.
Chris M writes:
"You blend plain-spoken wisdom, motivational fire and wry humor into a weekly email jolt that leaves me itching to hit the gym. Whether I'm looking for workout routines, diet tips or a friendly kick in the butt, the Bomber comes through every time." ... Read more...

Never Let Go: The Reviews

Now that Dan John’s book, Never Let Go, begins to settle into its new spot on nightstands around the world, the reviews are starting to roll in.

Why, my mom, who appreciates the benefits of her gym training but who wouldn’t recognize many of the tools Dan uses in his, wrote to tell me she’d gotten so caught up in Dan’s prose she was late for an appointment this morning. Now that’s saying something!

Let’s keep these reviews together here in the blog for future readers — I invite you to write a review comment or leave a note for Dan in the comments section below.

Writes Lyle McDonald: Dan John has been in the lifting weights since about the history of recorded time. He’s seen it all, done it all, and tried it all. His knowledge and experience is encyclopedic… coupled with his willingness to share that information with anybody who cares to show interest For just about anybody involved in the field, I really can’t recommend this book too highly. For those who are old and jaded like me, Dan may give you an insight into some decidedly old school approaches to training that flat out work. Click here to read his entire review.

In her review, Krista Scott-Dixon wrote, “I started reading Never Let Go while sitting on a deck with a friend who was reading a newspaper. By the second page in, I was exclaiming, “Let me read you this funny bit!” By the fifteenth funny bit, I gave up on interruptions and just read it out loud for several hilarious pages. We followed Dan’s adventures through crappy workouts, the Velocity Diet, ridiculous contests of strength, and coming to terms with his belly devouring his belt. We plowed through programs to get strong, programs to get fast, programs that would probably, in the end, make me a better person for doing them as well as a better lifter.”

And via Twitter and Facebook, I’ve spotted some fun one-liners, such as:

Eric Beard: Love never Let Go by Dan John, great pearls of wisdom mixed with humor, dedication and experience! Great common sense, training nuggets and humor mixed with philosophy. Will try a few ideas today.

Zach Even-Esh: I CAN’T put this book down!!

Click here to order your copy of Dan John’s Never Let Go.

Click here to read an excerpt from Never Let Go.


35 Responses to 'Never Let Go: The Reviews'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Never Let Go: The Reviews'.

  1. Wicked Willie said,

    on May 25th, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I’m roughly halfway through my copy. I stopped at chapter 23 and figured I’d pick it up again tomorrow. That way, I’ll really see everything that is there and get something out of it.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the IOL and anyone that might read this…Dan John’s “Never Let Go” is a special and rare book. I’ll say it right here – it’s the “Brother Iron, Sister Steel” of the strength and athletic training world.

    What makes it so special is not necessarily the information (though the information is very, very good) but the author. Dan John has the heart and soul of a teacher. He desires quality knowledge, the wisdom to correctly apply this knowledge and he has the desire to impart this knowledge to others. In Dan John, you have one of the rarest of combinations. You have a teacher possessed of great knowledge and wisdom that is also a world-class athlete, who can express himself clearly and concisely. Dan has the ability to take a complex concept and boil it down to its essential component(s) and then tell you about it in simple language…often assisted by a wry sense of humor.

    The book is easy reading and yet information dense. The average chapter length is three to five pages, since Dan doesn’t waste words nor try to impress you with his vocabulary. What you get in those three to five pages is pure gold.

    I often found myself chuckling out loud at some of Dan’s imagery. I also found myself agreeing with him…A LOT. I can assure you that this book will assume a valued place in my Iron Game library…even though I’ve only read halfway through it. It’s that good.

    Bill Peel

  2. Carol Setterlund said,

    on May 25th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    This book has something for everyone and a huge lot for many. Very readable, it lets you into Dan John’s personal as well as professional and public life. A ‘hard to put down’ book! I love the philosophy, the good thinking and the human quality.

    Carol Setterlund

  3. Corinne McCloskey said,

    on May 25th, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I am not an athlete, coach, nor trainer. However, I enjoyed the book immensely. Dan has such an easy writing style, the pages just flew by. He writes from his soul, his wit and his love of sports and life. Even though I am his sister-this review is totally unbiased!!

  4. Richard John said,

    on May 29th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I have read most of the book and wished I had some of the advice that Dan implores about coaching. I coached over 20 years and none of the head coaches I worked for or the coaching clinics ever mentioned to tell the athletes what was the most important thing to learn. My brother writes so even his oldest sibling understands. I do laugh out loud when reading and have to explain to my wife what is happening. Dan has written a book to use for workouts and for everyday living. Contrary to my sister I am bias, because I think Dan has written an outstanding book and people should buy it.

  5. Randy Hauer said,

    on May 31st, 2009 at 7:49 am

    The subtitle to Dan John’s new book is A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning. A collection of Dan’s essays, this book succeeds in laying out his very basic ideas to training with weights and how he goes about teaching others to train. It also succeeds in being thoroughly engaging, often laugh out loud funny, frequently provocative and always insightful. And it maintains a high level of all these qualities for over 400 pages. Impressive.

    In his Preface, Dan touches on his approach to weight training which exists in essentially three bullet points. The balance of the book, the essays, (or as Dan might prefer: stories) can be thought of as lessons each expanding in some way on these basic ideas. Dan is a professional educator after all and there is pedagogical purpose behind all his writing. It’s certainly not dry academics, but it’s not simply pure entertainment either. Dan’s three bullet point mission is a basic structure, a form, an idea. To use a music analogy, the 12 Bar Blues is about as simple a music form that’s ever been created…but in the hands of a master there is an entire universe in that simple three chord progression. So each of Dan’s stories is a kind of rif on some aspect of his basic “three chord” training philosophy, liberally sprinkled with anecdotes, life lessons, encounters and good humored, self-deprecating asides.

    Like any good composer, Dan doesn’t pretend to have come up with his ideas in a vacuum. No, Dan has “connects” and they are all either long established iron game/track and field legends or more contemporary “legends in the making”. As masterful as Dan is about presenting his own ideas, he’s just as humble acknowledging when his ideas have been inspired and refined via his interactions with other professional coaches. (Stolen is his how he characterizes many of his ideas) That humbleness should also be instructive to the reader, especially if that reader has designs on a “fitness industry” or teaching career: Dan really is one of the best, yet he never loses sight that he stands on the shoulders of those masters that came before him. There is very telling essay in the book that really brought this quality of Dan’s home for me called That Guy. (That story will tell you something about yourself too. It might not be a comfortable something either. Which is why it is so good and how it avoids being trite or simply sentimental.)

    When it comes to sound weight training advice, there may indeed be nothing new under the sun. You could say the same thing about 12 bar blues. But then you throw in a CD of anything by Buddy Guy or Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughn and you will be blown away by the variety of creative expression inside a simple three chord (or so) progression. The thing about it is, creative expression requires a context to shape it…it’s not just doing anything you want whenever you want, there has to be a structure for the creativity to spin in, to contain it, to give it a shape and something to work with and against; boundaries to test. As mentioned above, Dan’s basic mission has been to get across three basic points. The points themselves are simple and direct and they provide a structure for testing and grounding new ideas. His creativity when it comes to communicating those three basic points is staggering. This book was for me as much a lesson in how to write well as it was on how to train well.

    I’m not saying Dan is the Clapton of strength writing, but then again I’m not saying he isn’t. I am saying this is a book every strength enthusiast/coach/trainer should read. But only if you want to learn something new, be entertained while you learn it and then use what you learn to get better at what you do. Otherwise, it’s not for you.

  6. Dave Draper said,

    on May 31st, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    About Never Let Go: I wrote a book once and it had a picture on every page and handful of words somewhere in between. Brilliant. Dan John writes a book and there are no pictures and an Olympic bar full of words creatively, skillfully and accurately expressed about lifting, living, learning, winning, pressing on and never letting go. Now that’s brilliant.

    Dan doesn’t need eye-catching pictures; he paints them abundantly and precisely with words and experience. Intelligence and honesty and understanding establish bold and dynamic form, while emotion and energy and humor color each page with robust splashes and subtle tones.

    His work’s a cross between Peanuts, the cartoon, and the powerful frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

    And you thought Never Let Go was about strength training. How dull. ~Dave Draper


  7. on May 31st, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    If you don’t know who Dan John is, you’ve been missing out. His online presence has been huge over the past decade on forums, online articles, video segments of seminars, interviews, and, of course, his online newsletter “Get Up!”.

    This book is a compilation of his articles and new chapters. In it, you won’t find a dissertation on muscle fiber types or a literature review of the latest research on supplements. What you WILL find is practical advice on training and life – stuff you can and will use the next time you train or roll out of bed.

    If you are a first time reader, you will be blown away by this S&C coach’s sage advice. If I were to describe his writing, I’d say imagine olympic lifter/writer Bill Starr meets author of the Dilbert, Scott Adams meets Ernest Hemingway. If you are a long time reader, you will appreciate the new pieces and a glossary to help you find that one tidbit you know you need, but can’t remember exactly.

    For me, this will never be a book collecting dust on a forgotten shelf. It will be read, re-read, highlighted, and referenced for years to come.

  8. Phil said,

    on June 1st, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Dan-

    Great read. This is classic Dan John. Great info. that’s founded in real world principles and every day hard work. It’s the stuff everyone needs to know, but no one wants to hear, or adopt. Put in the time, put in the work and you will see the results.

    It’s a great read for both those new to Dan’s writing and those who have followed him for years. a great mix of new and old in an easy to read format that allows you to read it cover to cover or go a step at a time and pick at the gems.

    Cheers,
    Phil

  9. Dr. Ken Leistner said,

    on June 2nd, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Something truly different in strength training: a literate, well-written book full of enjoyable information and an opportunity to cull through it and choose what might enhance one’s training. That’s unusual in our field, but Dan has provided a volume one can go back to numerous times and benefit from.

    Dr. Ken Leistner

  10. Warren said,

    on June 2nd, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    A little over a year ago, I came across Dan’s written work for the first time. I read all his articles on T-Nation. I even found a 129-page PDF kicking around his website. Enthused by his writing, I ordered his DVD too.

    I promptly binned everything I thought I knew (the bin was still mostly empty afterwards), learned the Olympic lifts, and began competing. “Just show up” he said.

    Dan’s writing online inspired me to pursue a healthier and happier life. And now that I’ve got his book, my eyes are relieved too – I no longer have to sift through that accursed goldmine of an unformatted PDF.

    Dan’s book is required reading if you’ve ever considered improving yourself. Motivating and hilarious, I find myself constantly reading exerpts out loud to my other half.

  11. Greg Winslow said,

    on June 2nd, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Old school rules! Every chapter is packed full of great instruction interlaced with Dan’s wit and wisdom.
    The Pacifica Barbell Club Squat Challenge and the Southwood Workout bring back fond memories.
    The Litvinov Workout…what an animal! NEVER LET GO is a must read for aspiring coaches.
    I highly recommend purchasing Dan’s DVDs too. Watching Coach Dan demonstrate the exercises is priceless.

  12. Josh Henkin said,

    on June 3rd, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Dan John is simple a rare find nowadays — One of the very few who has done it and coached it with amazing success. In an era of big buzzwords and confusing pseudo-science, Dan John has been a leader in teaching simply what works! His book “Never Let Go” is an absolute must-read for anyone who is interested in being successful. The principles in the book take you through real programs that work and are realistic to implement for any ability level, such information itself would be worth the price of the book. However, it wouldn’t be a Dan John book if he didn’t speak about all aspects of training.

    Dan John is a master of how every part of life plays a role for continued success. The book covers fantastic teaching methods, how to have balance in life, simple (yet, amazingly effective) nutritional tips, and not only programs for short-term success, but how to accomplish life time goals as well.

    In true Dan John style too, the book is entertaining and you can read it from cover to cover without even knowing it! Simply, if this is not in your training library you are truly missing out!

    -Josh Henkin, CSCS
    Creator-Sandbag Fitness Systems


  13. on June 11th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t know if I have ever met anyone more generous and definitely not more knowledgeable in the strength and conditioning world.

    There may be but I sure have not met them.

    With 40+ years of hard and sometimes smart training under his belt there isn’t much Dan doesn’t know or hasn’t tried personally

    He is prolific writing leads us to this perfectly titled book for all those wanting to make a true ‘lifestyle’ out of lifting and athletic performance.

    Here’s my YouTube video review:


  14. on June 13th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    If the first thing you think when you read this is “who’s Dan John,” you have some catching up to do. Dan might be my favorite writer in the world of strength and conditioning. Dan’s stuff is common sense and witty.

    Here are few gems I wrote down while devouring Dan’s book this week.

    On Diet – “As a senior at Utah State I weighed 218 and threw the discus 190 ft.. Then I got some advice from the people at the Olympic Training Center. I needed carbs they advised and lots of them. They pointed to studies done on American distance runners. I should have followed the logic… Being an idiot I took the advice to eat like emaciated over-trained sub-performers. It took years of high carb grazing to learn the evils of this advice.”

    On Physical Education- ””Today the wise leaders of our youth have banned rope climbing because it is dangerous. Guns, drugs and bombs make it into high school but, rope climbing is dangerous.”

  15. Patrick Ward said,

    on June 14th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I have been a Dan John fan for a number of years. From his articles on the web to his excellent book, From the Ground Up, I have appreciated the simplistic approach he takes to strength and conditioning. Nothing fancy, just keep it simple and master the basics.

    His latest book, Never Let Go, is an excellent contribution to the strength and conditioning world. Sure, there is the whole “keep it simple” approach being preached. You know, be able to press your body weight, do a double body weight deadlift and whatever weight you can bench you need to be able to squat and clean also. But this book goes beyond that. This book gives us insight into the philosophy of Dan John – the coach and the human being.

    If you read through the text, you will not only find great training information, incredible stories, and the history of dieting (which is a hilarious chapter), but you will also find pearls of wisdom that apply to every day life.

    I don’t know Dan John. I have never met him and I have never spoken to him before. But, from reading this book, I imagine him to be not only a great coach, but an even better human being.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in being strong both in the gym and out.

    Patrick Ward


  16. on June 14th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Loved “Never Let Go” so much I ordered Dan John’s “Everything is Over My Head” dvds.

    Anthony Renna, via twitter

  17. Scott Bird said,

    on June 15th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I love this book.

    If you’ve ever read anything by Dan John, you’ll know that he’s a natural storyteller. The fact that these stories are both incredibly entertaining and relevant to training is a fantastic benefit.

    To give you an idea of just how powerful Dan’s pieces are, here’s a brief insight into my own reading habits. Unusual, perhaps, but it illustrates the point.

    Typically when I read a book – on any subject, strength-related or not – I’ll read through it once, put it on the shelves for a while, and return to it as/when the need arises. Or, in the case of fiction, when I’m simply looking for something to read.

    Occasionally, though, I become so enamored with the style of writing that I’ll read the book several times in succession. I get to the end, take a breath, and turn back to the first page. I may read the book 3 or more times before putting it back on the shelf.

    This is such a book. I’m currently into my fourth reading, discovering a little more each time and generally enjoying myself. It really is a well-written piece.

    Quite apart from my own strange reading habits, this book is essential reading from that other key angle – ‘relevant to training’. Dan John certainly knows what he’s talking about, and has been examining, testing and applying the various concepts to his own training for a number of years.

    If your own goals include becoming pain-free, focused and obscenely strong; grab a copy of Never Let Go. A superb read.

    Scott Bird

  18. Steve Wedan said,

    on June 15th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I’m going to savor this baby!

    Steve Wedan


  19. on June 16th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    One of my favorite books of all time. It’s official.

    Josh Hanagarne


  20. on June 16th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Anything will work for three to six months. What then? That’s the dynamic message I got from Dan’s book, Never Let Go.

    Oh, there was a lot more here. But I generally take one or two new and interesting ideas from a book — assuming it’s a good book. And this one is.

    Dan’s book is really a collection of essays. They’re not in any particular order. I say that because he mentions his fat period twice — once in the early part of the book and again towards the end. Both are written in the time he is recovering from his fatness.

    But that doesn’t take away from the messages of the book.

    Dan believes in making things simple. Not easy, he says. But simple. I like that idea more and more as I get older. It makes more sense for anyone. Our lives are already far too confusing and full and rushed and out of control.

    Dan recons we should focus on our main goal and plan our activities, our workouts and exercises accordingly. If you want to lose weight, you must follow different activities than someone who wants to get power or strength or run a marathon, for example.

    Again, this makes sense and simplifies things for us. This is the way Bruce Lee was able to be so great in martial arts. He tried many things and discarded the things that didn’t work or didn’t help him in his main persuit — his goals for his unique purposes.

    I find this idea empowering. And you’ll find it in abundance in Dan’s new book.

    While you might think the book is written for weight lifters or bodybuilders, it’s really for anyone who wants to get fit.

    Some of it you may discard. You may find parts of it just don’t apply to you. But there is enough encouragement and no BS information in the book that you’ll thoroughly enjoy it and come away the wiser. You’ll profit with more useful workouts that actually get you to your goal.

    Dan cuts through the myths and the outright lies we see in advertising and muscle mags and gets to the heart of the matter. He tells it like it is. And since he’s not a young man, we know he’s probably tried it all and seen most of it and is well equipped to give you honest solutions.

    Buy this book if you need encouragement in your training and fitness program. Moreover, buy it if you want to learn how to cut through the BS and get to the real meat of how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

    – Susanna K. Hutcheson
    Follow me on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/powerwriter


  21. on June 21st, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Just a fantastic book. Dan John’s knowledge is incredible, but what really sets this book apart is his writing. Much like The Complete Keys to Progress or Brother Iron Sister Steel, this is a book you’ll reread not just for the information, but for the pleasure of the way it’s written. One of the few training books I’ve ever read that’s made me laugh out loud or prompted me to read sections aloud to people around me.

    Chris McClinch

  22. Bill Long said,

    on June 23rd, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    “Never Let Go”: I typically read 2 or 3 books at a time because there is normally not one book that I can just pick up and keep reading. For the first time in a long time I could not put this book down. Dan John masterfully elaborates on the many years of experiance he has acquired in training and puts it into this 400+ page book. I know a lot of people who say wow that’s a big book and don’t even consider reading it. But this book is so well written I couldn’t put it down and it’s easy to read. Meaning the words are big enough for you to see and you don’t have to have a Doctorate in rocket science to read and understand the simple yet effective workouts he lays out for you. This is not just a book on training; it’s about life and how to achieve anything you desire with hard work and perseverance. I will come back to this book over and over for that extra pick me up of motivation that I need from time to time.

  23. John Koenig said,

    on July 1st, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I find myself more impressed with “Never Let Go” just from thinking about it the last few days since finishing reading it. Lessons and stories continue to sink in and make an impression. Dan John wants his readers to stop being wrapped up in the complexities of programs that don’t work, and get back to workout basics. And have a hell of a good time doing so.

    Click to read the entire review.
    John Koenig

  24. John Izzo said,

    on July 1st, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I got my hands on his new book and I literally couldn’t put it down. Read the rest of the review.
    John Izzo


  25. on July 1st, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Everything I know about lifting, I learned from Dan John.

    There’s been a lot written about Dan John lately. It’s reassuring to see him getting his due, because here’s a man who’s walked the walk of life, and is still smiling and enthusiastic about his passions. He’s genuine.

    I’ve known Dan for a while now. We met online in 1999 or 2000, and corresponded frequently, in email and on assorted message boards and in the occasional phone call. In 2007 I finally got to meet him, twice, both out in Utah and at Denison University in Ohio. I consider him a friend, and knowing him has much enriched my life.

    I held off writing this bit until I’d gone through his book a few times. It’s hard not saying what other folks have said: Dan’s down-to-earth voice and advice cuts through noise and is pure signal, Dan’s a humble genius. Dan’s a coach’s coach. Dan’s gently scathing humor draws our attention to the realities of life and lifting and competition.

    I can’t match the eloquent and descriptive phrases such luminaries like Pavel Tsatsouline and Dave Draper and others have used to describe Dan’s contribution to the written word of the Iron Game. I can only say that it’s good. It’s excellent. It’s humbling to me personally. Explaining why is difficult, if not impossible.

    If you buy one book about training, hell, if you buy one book about life, this year, or this decade, make it Dan’s book. You might not ‘get it’ yet. That’s OK. You will.

    Shaf


  26. on July 1st, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    The book wanders from Dan’s training philosophy, honed after decades of working with thousands of students and athletes, personal philosophy and a unique look at what fitness really is and how to achieve it. His personal story makes it a good read and his trials and tribulations make it funny as well.

    My take, however, is that the book also points out why and how we fail the average consumer who comes to our clubs. Dan talks about pure fitness, meaning doing things that actually get people into shape, as opposed to main stream fitness where everything is pretty and convenient and nothing really works for long. In other words, because of how we train members we actually build failure into the workout because after about 6-8 weeks the person doesn’t progress, gets frustrated and eventually leaves.

    Click to see how this philosophy relates to the business of fitness.
    Thom Plummer

  27. Steve Rogers said,

    on July 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 am

    This is a great book on the pursuit of athleticism. Each chapter is a lesson in the guise of an entertaining and enlightening story told by a master practitioner of the strength arts. Reading and rereading these stories will help you in your own strength practice, whether as a coach, athlete, or fitness enthusiast. As you read it you will sometimes think “I knew that”, while realizing that you’ve just reached a better understanding.

  28. Dan Cenidoza said,

    on July 12th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I just finished reading Dan John’s book Never Let Go and all I can say is I’m sorry I waited this long to read his work. This guy is an incredible author! I’ve seen his name thrown around on message boards but all I really knew about him was that he was a thrower and coach somewhere out mid-west. I had never read any of his stuff, and for that I was unfortunate.

    Better late than never I suppose but reading this book earlier would have saved me a lot of misdirection in my training career. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a while and I put it up there with other favorites like Dinosaur Training, Power to the People and Rock Iron Steel. It has done me a lot of good to hear how Coach John breaks things down into such simple, simple concepts. One of my favorites parts of the book is right in the preface when he says,

    There are three kinds of strength training:
    1 – putting a weight overhead
    2 – picking it off the ground
    3 – carrying it for time or distance

    The simplicity in that is beautiful. I think I’ve told that to everyone I’ve talked training to since I read it. I am a big fan of this kind of message, summary and presentation of information.

    As I read this book, I was constantly reminded of the Bruce Lee quote about “simplicity being the height of cultivation”. As someone who reads a lot and knows a lot about strength training, I could see how cultivated Dan John’s training philosophies are and I could see that he knows a lot more than I do. And right after I would read something that would totally blow my mind, in the very next paragraph he’ll write that he’s not telling me anything I don’t already know. In many cases he was right, but hearing training concepts distilled to such purity really helps refine ones own philosophy.

    My favorite workout that he writes about is the One Lift a Day program. I first did this workout in 2003 in preparation for a strongman contest – this was long before I read anything by Dan John. In that workout I deadlifted 405 for 53 reps in 50 minutes. The last time I did this workout (Thanksgiving 08) I deadlifted 405 for 100 reps in 60 minutes. The One Lift a Day program is a great workout! But I thought I made it up! Apparently not because in June of 1979 Dan John squatted 315×30, 275×30, 225×30. I squatted 225×30 once and I thought I might die. Wait, in June of 1979 I was not even a year old. Hmm. Ok, I guess I didn’t make that workout up but it’s still one of my favorite workouts that I hate doing.

    The subtitle of the book is “A Philosophy of Lifting, Living and Learning” and I find it refreshing to have those things highlighted in a book on training. When training is such a large part of a persons life, and they’ve spent so long learning about training, and teaching training to others, you can’t leave that stuff out in a book on training. This is exactly what I want to read about! I want to train, I want to learn and I want to live.

    Dan John will tell you that everything he knows he has stolen from somebody else, in other words, he gives credit. Coach John, I will do the same when I steal from you!


  29. on July 18th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I pride myself in reading quite a bit. And I’ll read just about any type of book: Motivational, psychological, business, training, I don’t care. If it’s good, I’ll read it.

    With that being said, this is the single best training book I’ve read this year. I would say it’s THE BEST book I’ve read all year, but Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is simply fantastic. Regardless, don’t let that take anything away from Never Let Go, there’s something in this book for everyone.

    While I’m still relatively young and new to the game, I’d like to think I’ve read more than the average gym-goer. And this book reminds me of some of the throwbacks – it’s eerily reminiscent of John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress”, in the fact that it’s brutally simple, honest and to the point.

    If you’ve just gotten started in the iron game, save yourself some time and pick up a copy today. You’ll waste a lot less time, and get a lot better start, than most of us did.

    If you’re a season vet, pick up a copy today. You’ll be reminded of what really works, and be thoroughly entertained a long the way. Dan’s storytelling has a tendency to suck you in.

    After reading textbooks and journals for months on end, it’s refreshing to read something training related that not only gives great take home points, but is actually fun to read as well.

    If you haven’t already, pick up a copy today. You won’t regret it.

  30. Mark said,

    on October 26th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Just wanted to let you know I just finished “Never Let Go” that I purchased from the Draper site. The insights & experiences you shared pertaining to your coaching and lifting methods inspired me to change my own exercise program.

    I train outdoors more, use kettlebells & sandbags plus a pull up/chin up bar as my main tools. I do not have room for an olympic bar setup, but I can hit all the compound lifts with my current setup. Lots of double kb cleans, presses, front squats, snatches, rows & swings. The only drawback to not having room for the olympic bar is that I cannot do traditional deadlifts. Instead, I stand on two cement blocks approx. 10 inches high & deadlift two 62# kettlebells in each hand. I will not be setting any deadlift records, but they are challenging. I have the option of draping chains around the kettlebells for additional weight.

    I enjoy carrying the kettlebells & sandbags overhead & walking for distance. I would have never thought to do this if I had never read your materials.

    I am not a spring chicken anymore (44yrs old), but I still feel that my conditioning is better than most folks in the local commercial gyms around here.

    Take care, and thanks again for sharing your experiences,

    Mark

  31. Anonymous said,

    on June 21st, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Dan John, is now a “hero” of mine. Other then a few close friends, mentors or my Dad I’ve never said that about another person. Dan John in his book “Never Let Go” REALLY puts training a living in perspective w/ no b.s. “Must read”is a waaay overused expression, but in this case it’s totally appropriate. Check out my video tribute(s)


  32. on September 25th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    A friend of mine yesterday mentioned a book by Dan John, “Never Let Go”.

    I was looking for a review of this book and landed on this page.

    Wow, I am going to get this book today!

    Excellent reviews – I look forward to reading the book.

    Thank You!

  33. john henderson said,

    on December 17th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I am in the process of re-reading Never Let Go and I just want to say thanks. I am quite impressed with the whole book and your common sense “show up and put in the work” approach to lifting and life. I am 51 years old and, barring divine intervention or a significant catastrophic event affecting every other lifter in the world, will probably never compete in the Olympics or win the Mr. Olympia title. I’m okay with that. I’ve spent over 30 years in Law Enforcement raising other peoples kids, many of who grew up to lead productive lives. I’ve spent over 11 years as a licensed and ordained minister trying to make a difference. I’ve spent most of my life learning and am a voracious reader. I say all that to say this: I’ve read countless books on lifting, some good, many not so much. Your book out shines the majority of them, not only for the technical info that it imparts in a low tech way, but most of all for its emphasis on learning from study and from those who have gone before you. I guess of all the chapters in the book, the two that impressed/touched me/resonated with me the most were the Afterword and Suggested Reading portions. I’ve read the majority of those books and those that I haven’t, I will. I have used Millman’s The Way of the Peaceful Warrior in teaching a Stress Management for Law Enforcement class for years. I will also be using your recent T-Nation article Work, Rest, Play, Pray in this class.

    Thanks again for sharing your passion and wisdom. God Bless,
    John Henderson

  34. JD said,

    on March 7th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    this is a great review , thanks alot . Going to order this book today . Love Dan John and all his stuff.

    cheers ;)


  35. on November 21st, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    […] Now check out the reviews! […]

Post a comment