Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Training Log

Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


The plan has been to get you in shape and improve your health through consistent exercise and good eating habits. Trouble is you've heard the speech to the point that the words no longer carry force; they are, in fact, boring and annoying. I feel like I'm standing in a crowd of busy citizens selling yesterday's newspaper... Extra. Extra. Read all about it. Build a strong and terrific body... blah, blah, blah.

I live in a world where you can't extract the men and women that are in the midst of devoted training without the assistance of a stun gun. To keep them from the iron and steel would be cruel and unusual torture. I spend my days making sure the equipment and atmosphere to perform their workouts is proper and guarded. They read the headlines the day they were made. Here are twelve things they learned as they pursued the story, "Build a strong and terrific body:"

1. Exercise and diet works, and only exercise and diet works. A truth.

2. Within a month of sound training you are stronger and building healthy muscle. The fat is diminishing.

3. Your energy and endurance improve markedly. You feel like doing things.

4. The exercises you once found awkward and undesirable become friendly and controllable. You're learning new skills.

5. You identify with exercising as a creative expression and hardy pastime. What sit-com?

6. What you interpreted as cold and loathsome work one is obligated to perform is, rather, a challenging diversion you anticipate with zeal. You're functioning.

7. Where once you sought a mindless distraction (TV) or a tasty treat (Ding Dong) to sooth your stress, you now engage its sick energy in character building and bodybuilding. You blast the weights.

8. There's a nice world of healthy, intelligent and sensitive people of all ages and in all shapes and sizes doing the same thing and making the world a better place. Those endorphins put a smile on your face.

9. Muscle and might are right, and the discipline, order, patience and self-control make life easier and you tougher, close to bulletproof.

10. Self-esteem, an elusive stranger to many of us, genuinely — from the inside out — improves. The loser takes a hike.

11. Once you get hooked you never let go. You might wander on occasion but you'll be back. There is nothing in the world like being in shape.

12. Oh, yes. It's fun.

I like lists and summaries. Without them I forget what I'm doing, where I'm going and why. Which reminds me: In my last writing I promised to give you a rundown on nutrition as I've come to know it over the years. Bodybuilders, one of which I am for-like-ever, have been accredited with knowing (by logic, experience and instinct) how to eat to build muscle, lose fat, increase strength and energy while staying healthy. The facts over the years have not changed. Science goes this way and that in theory with their experiments on rats, monkeys and little white mice, but the hardcore musclehead holds the line. Between lifting and sleeping he or she is eating large amounts of protein, primarily, from red meat, chicken, fish and dairy. He eats medium amounts of complex carbohydrates from vegetables and grains and doesn't run for cover when fat is set before him in thoughtful amounts. The big killers are the sugars, saturated fats and weird chemicals that compose an alarmingly large portion of the average person's diet each day.

Let me ramble. Your typical Bob or Jane, whether ten or fifty, gets up in the morning, brushes his or her teeth and has a cup of coffee and a poptart, donut or toast. This sends him buzzing off to work, school or play till mid-morning when another cup of coffee or soda or candy bar props him back up till lunch. Here comes the Big Mac, fries or pizza or bologna on white and a monster cola. Four out of ten will have four to ten smokes by now, usually with each meal. Yum. As the afternoon rolls by and the energy droops, more cola or coffee accompanies a muffin or bagel.

Did I almost forget the beerskies? Don't let me forget the beerskies. Thank heaven, the day is over and it's home to a dinner full of good stuff and as much as we can eat. Pasta, sausage and meatballs or is it Chinese take out with those pork rolls and glazed chicken wings? Burritos. Burritos. We want burritos. Don't forget the slurpy drinks. How about some brews? TV, video games and bags of munchies bring to close another adventurous day. Well, almost. Perhaps one last smoke for a few night owls. Sleep tight.

Does this sound like an exaggeration or does it sound like some folks you know? A cup or two of coffee is OK. Of course, the cigarettes are no national secret and the beers can become an all too friendly, fattening and numbing habit. The question is, where are the wholesome nutrients that the body desperately needs to grow strong and healthy? There's lots of sugar to get you going, but not very far or for very long.

Beware of diabetes. It's up four hundred percent in the past five years. I detect enough protein to fake some minor tissue repair but hardly enough to build new vibrant muscle and fill out the slimfit bathing suit this summer. I see plenty of saturated fat to line the arteries and inner thighs, yet the essential fatty acids to assure sound arteries and healthy joints are nowhere in sight.

Beware of heart disease. It's up in both men and women big-time. Eat some fish; pop some nuts in your mouth. Eliminate the fast food. Add salads and fresh vegetables and fruits and half a gallon of pure water to your daily menu. I told you it was simple. I can see we need to talk more about this. I'll talk if you'll listen. That's what email newsletters are for.

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