If You Do Something Every Day, It’s Important – a Twist to Dan John’s Theory

“If something is important, do it every day.” – Dan John

I’m not one to start off an article with a quote, but in this situation it works.  If you don’t know who Dan John is, I advise you to look him up.  He simplifies strength and conditioning in such a way that his theories make even the smartest strength coaches think to themselves, “How did I not think of that?!  It makes so much sense”.  That’s how I would sum up Dan John: He just makes sense.

During training, what is important?  Foam rolling, mobility work, stretching, activation, single leg work.  This means that every workout, you should first foam roll, stretch, activate, do some mobility, and include some single leg work.  I don’t mean to do full front squats every workout with 200lbs, that would be stupid.  If it’s not a lower body lifting day, include a lunge matrix (credit to Mike Boyle), and some unloaded single leg deadlifts into your mobility work.  Your hips will thank you.

Now, we need to ask ourselves:  what do we naturally do every day?  Think about everything you’ve done today that you know you did yesterday, and the day before that.  We get out of bed.  We poop (hopefully).  We open lots of doors.  Obviously, these things are pretty important to functioning in everyday life.  If we are not capable of doing one of these things, we would need someone to help us at least once throughout the day.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of needing help to poop.

Let’s briefly analyze each task and see how we can reinforce the movement.

Getting Out of Bed

You open your eyes, and finally decide that it’s time to start your day.  You sit up on the side of the bed and get up (or if you sleep on the floor, you get up off of the floor).  That’s a lot of getting up.  In a training setting, how can we reinforce this movement?  If you said bent leg sit-ups or crunches, give yourself a slap on the back hard enough to produce a herniated disk.  Hey, it’ll happen eventually if you’re doing lots of crunches for your abs.  Throw away Ab Ripper X and start doing Turkish Get Ups (TGU) instead.  Many people think that Turkish Get Ups are for your legs and shoulders, but I would classify them as a REALLY-FUNCTIONAL-CORE-EXERCISE.


(This is Neghar performing a TGU with half of her bodyweight!  I suggest you start with no weight.)

Sitting On the Toilet

The toilet’s low, and you need to squat down to meet the seat.  If you’re afraid of public rest rooms, you might be holding this squat for a long time.  How can we reinforce this movement to make something like using the rest room a piece of (chocolate) cake?  Goblet Squats.  The reason I like these is because they mimic a natural squatting pattern of a toddler.  Also, holding the weight up by your collar bone emphasizes good posture.


(This is Bruno (above) performing a Goblet Squat with 120lbs.  I suggest you start with no weight.)

(This baby is executing a perfect squat, and he probably does it everyday.)

Opening Doors

When entering a building, we usually need to pull a door open.  Chances are, if it’s a windy day, or if the door is heavy, we need to pull it hard.  An excellent way to make opening these doors a cinch is Single-Arm Cable Rows.  Remember to keep your abs tight.


(Bill Hartman knows how to make you a Pulling Machine!)

Feel Like the Hulk

If you do something every day, it’s important.  This means that we need to train these movements in the gym to make everyday life feel like you’re the Hulk.  Start incorporating Turkish Get Ups, Goblet Squats, and Single-Arm Cable Rows into your lifting programs, and reap the benefits in the everyday world.