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


The spring has concluded its hide and seek act and the warm weather is settling upon us. Tans are showing up on the rascals who have the time and found those great places at the beach that shield the cool breezy air and magnify the sun, natural ovens between the rocks. There's my old bathing suit, and it looks so small. Why is that, I wonder? The naked truth.

May, and nothing but fair weather and California dreamin'... but my body is a winter's nightmare. There's time, isn't there? Of course there's time... for next year. (Joke.) Start trimming now, like everybody else, and you'll all make a big difference.

This is what you've got to do: The diet goes in place now. I don't care if you don't like the word "diet," that's what we call it on such short notice. Comprende? This means you eat smaller meals, more often throughout the day (every three hours), up the protein (a gram per pound) and drop the sugar (none is good), drink gallons (2 liters will do) of pure water (no pop) and take your vitamins. How we doing so far? Get your fingers out of your ears. This is the smartest thing you've done in months.

I'm with you every step of the way. Goals are a must. You set your goal the minute you unearthed your beachwear. You want to lose a few pounds of extra weight and tone up the muscles. Right? You want to restore your energy and regain your enthusiasm for life. Yes, indeedy. You want to look good and feel good and shape up. I hear ya. You need to work out smartly with an impressive attitude and amazing regularity. This is the stuff lean and tough men and women are made of.

I've got just the plan for you. Locate that hour a day that fits well in your schedule. Don't shrug your shoulders and look away. Listen carefully. We are talking about your health, well-being and ability to perform and function. You need and deserve that hour — now, not tomorrow — and it's out there. Suggestion: Early mornings are superlative. It's your time. You are king or queen of the day, miles ahead of the mopey crowd and nothing can get in your way. It's true. Try it. Takes some adapting but life will open up. You'll find yourself busier, sharper and more creative throughout the sunny hours, benefits that contribute to your revitalizing objectives.

Got the goal. Got the groceries. Got the time. Now, make the commitment. This is serious. Commitment is not like a promise to be broken. It's your word and your worth to be honored. It's your personal lifetime guarantee.

Pack your gym bag the night before the big day (tomorrow, I hope). Make sure your gym membership is valid and that the gym is still in town. Nothing to hold you back now. Here's the routine for the first month, a full body, every-other-day workout for 60 minutes with 30 minutes walking and jogging on the days in between. Simple and tough cuz that's what works best.

Walk into the gym and go directly to your place on the floor. You've had your pre-workout fueling meal of cottage cheese and nuts or your favorite protein shake and your water bottle is by your side. It's time for five minutes of crunches and leg raises. Remember those? Work them in slowly and build up to two sets of near-maximum reps of each exercise, back to back. Way to go. Mid-section complete and the training is happening. You're warmed up, stretched out and focused.

Move on to the main gym floor and contemplate your workout. You'll be employing the superset technique that keeps you moving from one set of exercise to another with little rest. This method of training has been a favorite of mine for thousands of workouts and has a way of keeping you involved, energized and pumping. It works particularly well for the winterized body that secretly craves the more athletic movement engendered by supersetting. Your heart rate remains higher over an extended period of time and thus affords near aerobic fitness. It takes less time and you get more done, too. What a bargain. Let's call it the fat-burning, muscle-building, body-sculpting and spirit-restoring, push-pull, whole-body-blast routine for short.

It goes like this:

Bench press supersetted with overhead pulldown (3 x 8-10 reps)

To clarify the superset technique: Perform a set of bench presses for ten spectacular repetitions and immediately follow it with a set of wide-grip pulldowns to the chin for ten magnificent reps. Rest for sixty seconds and repeat for two more stunning supersets. You've just engaged and overloaded the chest, front shoulder and triceps areas (bench) and the lats and biceps (pulldown). Cool. Move on.

Dumbbell incline press and barbell stiff-arm pullover (3 x 8-10 reps)

Here in the press you load the shoulders and tris from another advantage while the pullover recruits the lats, biceps and triceps. Like the above combination, you are pushing and pulling in a very complementary way.

Bar curls and machine dips (3 x 8-10 reps)

A specific arm combination, which also stabilizes and pumps the entire torso. Girls. You will not — I repeat, you will not — get big arms... only shapely and strong arms.

Leg press and calf raises (3 x 15-20 reps)

The legs require higher reps for early conditioning and muscle response. Again, ladies, your attention: No spot reducing is possible. Apply yourself to the whole and the spots will follow... in time. It's the only way. Sorry. We will spend more time on trouble areas when the time is right. Nothing beats a complete body workout for all the details. Trust me.

Deadlifts (3 x 10 reps)

Light and dedicated repetitions to build and protect the infamous lower back. Be strong. Be courageous. Be consistent. Be happy.

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