I just finished reading Easy Strength, finally, yesterday.
I've read a far amount ABOUT that book over the years, and a fair amount of Dan John posting "even easier" stuff and commentary. I was excited to finally get to the book.
Wow, was it disappointing. For one, it's a rambling disorganized mess. It's framed as the transcript of a conversation or series of conversations between DJ & Pavel. It doesn't READ that way. It reads like they solicited an essay or set of essays from DJ, and then asked Pavel to react / comment / chime in via email. So you've got wallpaper of DJ musings, and then an inset of commentary illustrated with Pavel's head.
I'm not trying to say that it's without value. There's some nice nuggets in there detailing research, stuff I can imagine wanting to reference back to. But the #1 takeaway message seems to be, different people with different goals might need to train differently. That's a valid message, but maybe not sufficient basis for a book. If you want to get better at your sport, then do your sport, and only spend a little time lifting. That makes sense; but again, maybe not quite a book.
I did like the formalization of the quadrants:
- Q1: Kids first developing physical qualities in their sampling period
- Q2: Fighters and football players
- Q3: Me and most everyone else
- Q4: Power lifters and sprinters: "narrow" specialist athletes
But I have this question coming out of the book: what exactly is the Easy Strength "program"?
Is it 2-3 "bang for the buck" exercises, 2-3x per week, at 80%-95% of 1RM?
Is it the 40-day plan with 5 exercises hitting the big-5 movements? 2x5 for the lifts and 1x20-50 for the explosive conditioning move?
Is it the whole-body "Rule of 10" program DJ talks about?
Is it the Justa singles daily deadlift at 70% of 1RM? They spend a lot of time on the importance of low %s, like 50-70. So is that the recommendation?
I mean, I read all over this board about how people have "done" Easy Strength or "tried" Easy Strength, or changed up their program with a block of Easy Strength. It seems damn weird that I come out of this book with no idea what any of those people did. Exactly what program is "Easy Strength"?
Maybe I'm just not the target audience. If it's for experienced lifters and trainers and coaches, then there are a lot of IDEAS in here that one could use to spice up one's training or programming for clients. I can see that it could be a very valuable resource.
But man, it is at least a little confusing.