Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Training Log

Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


Good day, sunshine. Aren't you glad you're working out, watching your diet and getting in shape? We are ten weeks old and the tough job is over, partner. Confronting, starting and persisting for thirty to sixty days compose the rockiest stretch of any exercise venture, like pushing a wheelbarrow of mud up Empire Grade. Training familiarity, investment and return level the ground before you. The way is clear. You need only to continue, submitting to no tempting distraction, contrived obligation, petty discomfort or other unpardonable excuse. You know how it goes: a day off leads to one more and then another. Don't play the game or in a single snore on the couch you'll need to start all over again. Ugh. What a revolting predicament this is.

I offer you today's change of pace to spark your interest and startle the body: Perform twenty crunches followed by ten leg raises followed by ten deep-knee bends. The exercises are executed with a focus on form and sound pace. Three cycles with a short pause between each series are sufficient, though four is very cool and more repetitions for the more enduring are dandy. Ease into this ambitious warm-up applying your might as you build up momentum. The harder you work the greater the return. You're stretching and contracting a lot of muscle and the heart and lungs are pumping. Life is good.

Next, with your feet placed firmly in a shoulder-width stance, crouch over a pair of light dumbbells as they lay on the floor before you. Apply a convincing grip, stand up and raise the dumbbells in one continuous motion to the shoulders, pause and press to an overhead position. Congratulations. You've just completed one rep of the dumbbell clean and press, a most significant and productive exercise. Slowly and attentively reverse the movement and return the weights to their starting position. Repeat for a total of eight to ten repetitions. Three sets with sixty- to ninety-seconds rest between sets will serve you well. This gutsy original exercise is regaining its popularity (trendy lifters find it too tough) due to its systemic action; the entire body is involved in its execution resulting in the development of a network of muscle, practical strength, cardio-respiratory efficiency and functional skill. A golden exercise worth practicing, perfecting and framing. Tough is good.

Not to change the subject but have you been eating your protein lately? Muscles are made of protein, you know. I agree with those docs who declare that no adult should ingest less than one hundred grams of the precious ingredient no matter how big they are. Unless you have a pre-existing kidney or liver ailment, extra gobs of the stuff are not going to hurt you. Au contraire. As well as being the prime ingredient of muscle tissue, protein is a superior source of energy — unlikely to add fat anywhere. Excuse me. Espousing such propaganda get can a person in trouble — strong and muscular but in trouble. As a convicted, life-long bodybuilder I feel compelled to toot my horn for protein. Sugar is a stinker. Oops.

Across America most people are eating too much and eating the wrong foods. And, very few are truly exercising. hence, our roundness and sluggishness. Diet trends have us embracing carbohydrates, scorning fat and dabbling in protein. We need to be careful. Research groups under private grants telling half-truths to satisfy the interests of their wealthy sponsors — those corporations advertising the junk we eat — are perpetuating the misinformation we receive about nutrition. Hey, we're getting fat on politics. At least we'll never starve.

Good nutrition, like good training, is simple — learn the basics and practice them consistently. A little knowledge and a lot of discipline is the secret. Apply yourself diligently; look ahead, don't look back and don't look for shortcuts. There simply aren't any.

Health and fitness have climbed to the top of our popularity list and have become big business. As you've noticed, there's a gym on every corner and a glut of diet and bodybuilding formulas to pack on muscle and burn off fat.

Competition is fierce, the promises are bizarre and we're all confused, suspicious and eventually numb. We have on hand a zillion ways to diet, feed ourselves and live our lives for fitness. In the weeks to come we'll summarize the fundamental nutritional facts, manipulate them and determine an eating plan that is sensible, agreeable and appropriate for you. We'll do it together. Not a high-wire act under which there is no net, but an on-going, rewarding and healthy spring forward.

The task is easy, a daily practice without beating yourself, demanding quick and unrealistic results or applying numbing scrutiny. Discounting laziness, lack of ambition, irresponsibility and other ignoble disabilities, only one enemy stands in your way: doubt, a deception also known as negativity, misperception, suspicion and poor attitude. We win not by luck or brilliance but through trust, confidence and persistent, positive performance. We start in two weeks with twelve rules to clear the air and set us sailing. In the meantime think of these proportions: forty, forty, twenty - percentage of protein to carbs to fat. Pssst... sugar is trouble, certain fats are essential and protein is, well, not to be worshipped but mildly adored.

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