do you feel today? Are you hopeful, energetic, energized? Will you
eat to nourish and strengthen your body, to fuel it or fuel your
emotions -- a dutiful habit, a compulsory chore, a satisfying muscle-building
opportunity or a frenzied delight? Will you eat at all, or too much,
and what will be your choices of food -- hmmm
beer, bananas, bagels?
you feel blue or gray or red-hot
and do you plan to work out?
Are thoughts of training at the sharp, bright edge of your mind
or trapped in the dull depressions where they might remain for days?
Are my relentless questions stirring, trite, annoying, difficult,
discouraging or reassuring, and who or what decides their answers,
the outcome of your life?
I don't think so. The responses to these inquiries offer a slight
reflection of who we are and might very well determine who we become.
Unless we are pinned under the bumper of a bus, a "care less"
treatment of the queries indicates a preoccupation with convention,
a compliance to everyday life; the rat race, the treadmill, the
beginning to the end with little between; do it as it is done by
everyone else, without nurturing, vibrancy, finesse and love.
week long: wake up, stand up, sit down, eat, work, grin, lie down
and sleep. Friday: dinner, drinks, movie, laugh or cry, lie down
and sleep. Saturday: TV ballgames, yell, snack, cheer, nibble, fix
leaky faucet, grumble, lie down and sleep. Sunday: church or sleep
in, papers, funnies, snooze, eat and sleep. Monday: more, again
you glad you're a wild and crazy muscle-building nut? That was my
last question and a rhetorical one at that. From now on it's action.
We don't have time for muttering and digging around in our weird
little minds. We have protein to devour, energy to stoke, inspiration
to harness and enthusiasm to express. We live here and now, enjoying
moments of creation, participating, adding, fueling, building, preparing
and absorbing. Everything we do has purpose, it's all fulfilling;
when it's done, it's meant to be.
your body and your senses wisely. We have weights to lift, cables
to set in motion and gravity with which to contend. In an hour Laree
and I head for the gym to unleash the caged beasts.
is what I have up my sleeve (I will reveal my plan of action to
you as I reveal it to myself):
fueled myself with the necessary ingredients (Bomber Blend protein
drink -- yum), I'll start with hanging leg raises (15) tri-setted
with rope tucks (25) and hyperextensions (15). Five multi-sets at
a steady pace will provide my version of mid-winter aerobics. (Yea,
) Warm, stretched, contracted, prepared, invested, confident
and inspired, I am ready for the mission. This workout will be composed
of the basics, 75 percent of which will be vaguely routine (minus
the banality that usually accompanies "routine") and 25
will be impulse. I request latitude where impulse is concerned,
as this is an imagined workout to accommodate our newsletter conversation.
goes like this:
review my most recent training sessions: exercises performed, body
parts worked, intensity applied and access the good damage done;
what is sore, what is injured, what is aggravated, what needs to
be done and what is over-done. This takes about 10 to 30 seconds,
some of which are conscious. It's "arms day" and this
means intense, yet not all-consuming, whereas leg workouts are short
but b-b-bad and chest, back and shoulder sessions are long and downright
elbows are okay; maybe I'll wrap them. The wrists are fine; I'll
wrap them if they complain. Where's my water? Start with wrist curls
but use the 2-inch Apollon's Axle bar to change the demand on the
hands and wrists and forearms
warm up good and slow. After
warm-up, pump out 4 working sets in the 12 to15-rep range. Superset
this with reverse grip bent-bar curls, starting strict and light,
and work up to a heavier weight that requires a miniature, slow
and controlled clean-like action. 12 reps with light weight and
decrease reps with incrementing weight, 12,10, 8, 6.
are craving activity and respond well to overhead pulley extensions,
where I position myself with my back to the pulley system; hands
and arms over and behind the head and leaning away from the overhead
pulley, I extend the handles toward the wall before me (want that
in English?), 15-rep range as I strain for form and output; I am
an octopus with two arms.
I have choices. Having been a good boy lately, I am rested and full
of juicy food neatly distributed to all parts of my body. I can
go for pace, form and reps, which is exhilarating and muscularly
rewarding; great pump, freedom to move, action, excitement and
burn, pain, burn. Or, I can go heavier and more deliberately;
deep and strong, stoic, pauses that are drenched with preparation,
motivation and psyche. They are also burdensome and at some point,
dull. What will it be?
the thick Apollon's Axle, I choose to superset reasonably strict
standing curls with deep stretch, lying triceps extensions with
the bent-bar. This combo, with its minor modifications (thick bar,
deep stretch), has me moving steadily, slowly and intentionally;
care must be taken to work the muscles and not inflame humorless,
easily insulted tendons. 5 supersets of 6 to 8 repetitions of the
fat curl followed by 5 sets of 10 to 12 of the extension. Water,
they drag me off the gym floor I go to the dumbbell rack and say
a prayer. I then grab a pair of 50-pounders and pull them thumbs
up for 6 or 8 reps of hefty, heaving hammer curls (form hides under
the squat rack); three breaths and I move to the 45s for six; three
more deep ones and I tug the 40s for five, then four with the 35s
and finish with 30-pounders for three. I gasp, my eyes are crossed,
I'm hunched over and my arms are distorted; I can't open my water
bottle. Great set.
I stagger toward the cable machine for some pulley pushdowns. Out
of the corner of my eye I see them coming, there's four of them,
maybe five. They're crouched low and spreading out
I go peacefully.
bless you as you fly high and glide wide.
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