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...


Download the full Draper here newsletter
in printable pdf format here.

You'll be surprised to learn that tomorrow, the fourth Thursday of November, is Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. Already? No way! And just when you found peace and comfort with pizza, beer and TV every night of the week.

Thanksgiving is not the day people begin a new diet. More likely, it is the day they terminate the old one.

The comments I hear tell me Thanksgiving is in many small and personal ways the most popular holiday on our list of special days. Less sensationalized and exploited than other occasions, we have the opportunity to wrap our arms around it and hold it close. We enjoy “thanks giving” because it's enjoyable, whether at the mission or at home with the gang. Of course, there's the food in abundance, in variety, everywhere: candied yams on the front burner, guilt on the burner in the back.

I'm struck as I write that I forget how many of our friends and neighbors, though a minority, are seriously trying to gain healthy weight day by day and greet Thanksgiving through the New Year season as the bounty months for their hard-pressed endeavor. While the masses surrender their discipline and struggle with shame and ever-growing waistlines, the thin muscle-growing population gleams and thrives. A lot of food is good, more is better and all you can eat is best of all.

That's life. It's time for the overweight to apply the ole self-control or pay the hefty price and it's the day for the underweight to pack in the food and grow. The perfect climate for gaining muscle weight is realized when a person is eating large amounts of good food in frequent servings throughout the day and training hard, weight training being by far the most effective mode. Add plenty of rest and you are in get-huge heaven.

We have embarked on a long and festive season. It's winter, short days, chilly nights, tan's gone, layers of clothes, and the holidays stretch from now into next year, gleefully advertised with an abundance of food and sparkling wine. Some call it gratefulness and sharing. Some call it gluttony and frivolity. We all participate.

I remember in the old days at Gold's gym (when there was only one and it was composed of blood and sweat, cinder blocks and iron). The really hardcore would be at the gym at 6 to open the doors on the morning of every holiday. True, a few of the guys had no place else to go, but there we were -- seeking the elusive pump, as if a rep on a holiday was worth five on another day.

There's Joe with Thunder, his big German Shepherd; Zabo doing leg raises, something like 400 reps passing though his mind as he gazed at the world; Eddie Giuliani and Ric Drasin observing, assessing and causing mischief, Zane and me focused on some intriguing multi-set combination, Arnold and Franco on the platform abusing an Olympic bar packed with plates, Kenny Waller with his hands on his hips before the heavy end of the dumbbell rack.

By 10AM the sanctuary was empty but for Zabo, who was over in the corner doing Roman Chair situps.

As we scattered into the streets, the growing and gathering and consumption of superior food high in protein and lower in carbs was the central activity and naturally accompanied by hardy work and hearty laughter.

All for one and one for all, the participants grew in might and in number and in thankfulness.

Happy Thanksgiving and God's blessings, bombers.

Rejoice... DD


Take a trip over to our
Musclebuilding Q&A Blog
... where Dave allows us a peek into his email outbox.

Did you sign up for Dave's expanded email yet?
It's free, motivating and priceless!
We'll also send you a link to Dave's free
Body Revival Tips and Hints e-report with your confirmation notice.

Cut through the confusion! Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel to make your training path clear.

Our IronOnline Forum will answer your training and nutriton questions right here, right now.

Golden Era fans will rejoice in this excerpt from West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

Here's Dave's previous week's column.