Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation

No aches, no pain... nowhere

The learning never stops for those inclined to look and listen; for those determined to get ahead when getting ahead might mean not going backwards and for the few who don't reject that patience is still a primary virtue in a modern, racing world. I receive an occasional email from some of the young and restless lifters who wish I'd get on with the facts, information and routines that work and leave the miles of musing and persuasion in the computer. Fact is, a small collection of facts works well if the lifter works hard; the lesson is in the doing.

Several things I note and consider as I proceed to offer cutting edge facts and modern truths to the hip readers in outer space:

The greatest problem people face across the board is getting to the gym, be it under the house, in the garage, around the neighborhood track or to the gym down on Main Street. Absolutely everything is in the way. Persuade.

The second obstacle has something to do with enthusiasm (a distillation of spirit, drive, energy, motivation, joy and desire) or, rather, the lack of enthusiasm when the good folks stand in gym attire before their course of exercise. Enthusiasm has life and lives inside us. It's a mind and soul thing that we need to nurture, not a fact to list on a page like barbell curls, sets and reps. Inspire.

Another dilemma equipped with tentacles I must wrestle to the ground: being a typical human mental case, I wonder periodically if my gracious information is nothing more than my own boastings wrapped up in a bundle of early-day muscle talk. No doubt my ego gets in the way, but here that is not the case; in this instance early-day talk equals truth -- time honored, practiced and uncomplicated truth. But it also means limited in scope. Review.

There's only so much fact to spread around before I exhaust the supply, though honest invention based on the truth is boundless. That's what we try to do here, now and again: magnify, expand, customize and regulate the working facts to serve our particular needs... injury compensation and repair, periodic heavy-duty work or fitness goals, change of scenery, bulking and power needs or seeking shape and definition. Innovate.

Unless it's new, improved, just revealed or the latest, it's probably old, used, last year's or old-fashioned... what good is it? It's embarrassing and it's uncool. Truth is eternal and little is known that hasn't been sent your way. Enticed by hype is uncool. Focus.

While we're on the subject of truth, trust yourself. I dare you. This is an ongoing practice that has the pungent odor of arrogance, but, with a grateful heart, a challenge we are obliged to apply. Advice sought and tested is wise, but follow-the-leader can trap you in a maze. Think.

Spring of last year I was determined to exhaust myself physically before going on a series of short, out-of-town trips, the terror of missing my workouts gripped me hard. (He's so weak). At least two honest, though confused characters live inside me, Dumb and Smartso, and Dumb gets his way every time. I did heavy squats and deadlifts back-to-back and thought the ole boy had taken it to the cliffs and over the edge. DOMS were superceded by IMS (Immediate Muscle Soreness) and aggravated by PMS (Permanent Muscle Soreness). I felt old and tender to the touch for a long time. Crotchety.

I was certain that there would be no more heavy lifting, ever; fitness appearing as the appropriate goal toward which to aspire. I sought chiropractic treatment and relinquished to light therapeutic training -- health and comfort my clear goals. I don't do anything in my training without thinking about my relationship with my IronOnline co-trainees; what impact they have on me, what impact I have on them. They want to know what's going on day-to-day in the generations ahead as well as today and yesterday. Gotta keep the reports in order. They're not going to like this one. It's over at 58. You are tethered to the end of the dumbbell rack where small girls and their babysitters hang: lots of aerobics, no need for all the calories and protein. How does that Swiss ball work? I think I'll attach one of those Harpo Marx rubber ball horns to my walker for laughs. Attitude.

November, last year, I crawled under the Buffalo Bar and stood upright like a beginner. Go back about five articles and you'll see a reference to this momentous occasion. Up and down I went like a yo-yo on a knotted string. It worked, but my knees, hips, lower back, shoulder cage and wrists ached. Fine. I warmed up.

Last weekend, Saturday, after squaring away the gym for the night I locked up and turned out the lights except for a row in the corner... I could feel my way around in the familiar shadows. I had planned a leg workout earlier, but I got busy and decided to blast it for an hour before I headed home. I squatted 430 my last set, pause, no bounce, so deep only my head was visible above ground. Two days later I deadlifted 405 on my way out of the gym late in the afternoon. No records, but no aches, no pain... nowhere. Point?

The point: I'm learning. I didn't panic when the "other shoe" appeared to drop on my head. I didn't submit. I just went on with relative calm, made a few comments to y'all as I observed the passing time, and my intuitive actions resuming their integral role. September 11th settled on the world, putting perspectives under polished glass and I struggled by your side to understand.

I feel very good (carefully avoids super words, such as "great"), remain vigilant, curious and hopeful, persistent and disciplined; nothing new to report in the way of facts, truth or information. Am I missing something? A rhetorical question, asked as if speaking to the wind.

Flight to the strong who look and listen... Dave D

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