Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


According to the calendar we are a month away from winter's end. Although in Santa Cruz our dozing fair weather plans never entirely sleep, they do uncurl and stretch out as the spring approaches. Skis, snowboards and the white-capped mountains still have their days but thoughts of shorts and the beach and a tan have crossed our warm-blooded minds.

The secret to building muscle and losing fat, if there is one, is consistency. Once you've confronted the prickly subject of deconditioned-ness and engage in a program of physical renewal, never let go. Alter, re-think or re-vamp but don't stop, not for a day, not for a minute. The monster of ugly dwells in the shadows of skipping your workout or straying from your sensible food plan. It is at once cruel and obnoxious and hates to see you move on toward a better life. While your young efforts reach out to overcome, a subtle and sneering interruption appears and sabotages your advancement. I call this the gap. Beware.

The first days — months really — establish your habits and your attitudes, as well as incredibly develop your muscular system, respiratory range and internal chemistry. Why doth thou stoppeth, oh lion-hearted warrior? I emphasize this point because, as we underestimate our potential and strength, we are easy prey on life's outback and often misjudge our vulnerability. I can't stand to see you falter because I or someone else failed to reach out and pull you up early on. This exercise thing is far too important to a happy and fulfilled life.

Let's add to your growing collection of exercises to give you options and room to move. Jumping around like a monkey in your routine is not recommended but knowing your upcoming exercise possibilities disposes of the caged up feeling to which one yields when bound to sameness. Give me liberty as I pursue my freedom.

The Tough Fit Combination is a likely next step from The Busybody Routine you are currently practicing. Use the same abdominal warm-up, crunches and leg-raises. The mid-section function will gain in its priority as you continue with your progress and discern your needs. We'll expand on abdominal fitness another time. You've got one hour, four days a week, an extra day with the extra interest and willingness you're developing. You can now apply the split routine technique: upper body (torso) on Day One, arms and legs on Day Two; Day Three is a rest day, upper body on Day Four, arms and legs on Day Five, Days Six and Seven off, and repeat the following week.

Upper Body

Torso Bench Press (2-4x12, 10, 10, 8)
supersetted with
Supine Chin —Wide-grip (2-4x8-10)

One-arm Dumbbell Row (2-4x6-8)
supersetted with
Stiff-arm Pullover (2-4x12)

Steep Dumbbell Incline Press (2-4x8)
supersetted with
Bent-over Lateral Raise (2-4x8)

Arms and Legs

Seated Dumbbell Alternate Curl (2-4x8) supersetted with
Lying Triceps Extension (2-4x12)

Wrist Curl (3x12-15)
supersetted with
Chair Dips (3xMax)

Squat (2-4x15-20)
supersetted with
Toe Raise (2-4x15-20)

Deadlift (2-4x8)

As you become familiar with the exercises and workout area the routine will flow and become comfortable. Be attentive and confident. There's nothing to doubt. You're doing absolutely the right thing for this time. Stick to your outlined routine for at least four weeks with intensity and assurance. Only then will your body adapt to the consistent overload and build muscle. During these days you'll practice, develop form and learn a hundred things I can't describe, things you'll discover that will add to your life more than you ever expected.

A reminder: if you don't play hard and work hard, continue to include aerobic activity to your schedule three days a week for fifteen to twenty minutes. Try a selection of walking and jogging intervals, steady vigorous bike riding, hiking or swimming. This will increase your fat-burning, muscle-building metabolism and improve the health of your heart, lungs and vascular system. All this combines to enhance your energy and endurance enabling you to train more effectively, the coveted upward cycle.

With the weeks invested in your home workouts you'll be familiar with the elements of training and the muscles' responses. You'll be conditioned and ready to increase your resistance output. These routines, with gradual weight and repetition upgrades, can serve you successfully for six to eight months. Does it appeal to you? Stick with it. Are you ready for a change? Move on.

We have taken the awkward and dubious first steps of physical fitness, a stumble or two endured, and are beginning to get our footing. This is in itself an extraordinary accomplishment. The home workouts, the renewed attention toward nutritious eating and the desire to expand our training plans and make them work are taking root. Planting is difficult, cultivating a charm and reaping a magnificent joy. The soil is fertile and it won't be long before we take a close-up of training at a local gym.

Speak up, please. You dare ask about food, what to eat and what not to eat? I thought you might shy from the matter and pretend it is of no concern. Well, curious and devoted muscle builder, in the weeks to come we'll talk about the simplicity and importance of sound nutrition. What we want and what the body needs seldom agree. The foods endorsed by the glittering marketers across every media unconscionably misdirect us and send us to the warehouses to buy junk to line our arteries with plaque, our backsides with adipose and their pockets with gold. The rules of sound eating are basic and must be observed if we're to traverse the great bellibulgious divide.

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