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Bingo, Won a Few Contests

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I'm just a guy from Jersey who likes to work out and happened to win Mr. America and stuff doin' weight lifting. I started with pushups, chins and dips like scrawny kids do, bummed some weights when I was 12 and messed around with 'em till I was outta high school.

Then I joined a YMCA, learned a few tricks, moved to California and learned a few more. I trained regularly, I grew, I ate, trained hard, grew some more, trained harder, ate more protein and sorta got cut.

Bingo, won a few contests.

People want to know how I did it, what'd I do, what'd I eat, what's the secret. Fact is, I just answered all the questions in the above paragraph. Technology has us making things complicated, asking a million questions and needing a million answers. When does anybody have time to work out after looking for all the answers and heaping up all the information?

I admire that information gathering, that quest, that inquisitiveness, that internal and eternal need to know: fascinating, challenging, fulfilling and enriching, absorbing and endless. Me? One more set and you can have the bench, thanks.

Over the years I've rambled on about the training routine I would do if I had to do it all over again, perhaps shedding a little light on our favorite subject. And sometimes (often), I fell short. I must try harder to make myself understood.

Some questions: Why did I superset? Why did I perform volume training? Because I like the pace, the rhythm, the flow, the perfection of form, the athletic feel, the etching repetition, the dance, the busy-ness, the involvement, the pump, the burn, the efficiency, the cardio-respiratory application, the high.

I noticed I was always able to add hard muscle as I eat big and smartly. I was always able to employ a more complete percentage of my muscle tissue with a locomotion of sets and reps performed with exact full range of motion, intensity and zeal. Throughout my training history, my first rep was thoughtful and deliberate; my last rep was thoughtful, deliberate and red-zone intense.

The volume delivers maximum-force saturation, maximum muscle involvement.

Why did I always mix in heavy days with deads, squats, power curls and presses throughout the month? I liked the strain, the mighty exertion, the challenge, the force of will, the aloneness of concentration, the pause and focus and grapple of determination, the gravity and poised iron, the total body-mind execution, the play, the white-light approach to the single and the trembling darkness after the single is completed.

I recommend the power moves because I like the power, the mass and the thickness they encourage.

Why do I mix everything in my loose fashion? First, why miss any of it if you can have it all? Second, because I like to and because it worked for me. I think we stumbled onto something here -- perhaps something we can all agree on, the most enlightening truth learned throughout the years of writing and reading these letters and wildly spinning on IronOnline.

We're all different and we all need different methods of training. What works for you may not work for me, and vice-versa. Too simplistic? No!

Now, some folks know the chemistry, the physics, the physiology, the hormones, the fast twitch and slow twitch, the research, the theory and the science. Still the questions are posed and the answers are parroted. Over the years, I've honestly mentioned that there is nothing new that has surfaced in science or experience or experiment that has altered my original training philosophy and habits for the better.

I'm open enough. It's just that there's nothing there. Lots of ideas, styles, hype arguments and misunderstanding. Give me the iron and let me soak. Most of what I read today provides reinforcement of the basic and simple practices I've applied from the 1960s forward.

A lot of folks grow angry and disappointed when the progress is slow. It's always slow. Now is not soon enough.

I remember when I was a little kid, 12 maybe, and I hung from a broomstick in my cellar while other kids were playing baseball in the park. Nobody was there saying, “Go, Dave, go. You can do it. You look great. Pull! Pull! One more rep. This'll make your lats scream.”

When the stick broke and I fell on my back, nobody picked me up.

When the red vinyl and chrome kitchen chairs wobbled as I knocked out dips and accidentally built supplementary muscle as I fought to keep them from tumbling, nobody suggested it was fun or even good for me.

And yet the muscles grew.

It's not you go your way and I'll go mine, see ya. It's not my way or the highway... your way or no way. We're on the foothills together. Any one of us can get to the mountaintop by desire, faith, trial, logic, failure and persistence.

We can all get there by encouragement from one another, with spirit and humility.



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