Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation

The Compromise

Anyone who read last week's newsletter deserves the honorary davedraper.com Plead Award, reserved for those few individuals who display the outstanding characteristics needed to slug one's way through the thicker struggles of life. The Plead Award (acronym) recognizes perseverance, loyalty, endurance, aggressiveness and discipline -- rare qualities indeed, yet common among Bombers.

Plead is another word for beg, which is what most readers did as they sought the end of the endless e-manuscript.

So... there goes my development of the intricacies of Level 2 concentration, the resulting healthy neural-pathway excitement and its primary enlargement of the till-now illusive Endorphin-X Factor and natural retina-focus hormonal enhancement, which inevitably determines unprecedented exerted anabolic action (technically XAA, also known as the Big Rush) in the once palm-size, now 30-pound rats scientists are currently working on in underground labs. Silly stuff, really. There's more to life than big muscles.

Instead, here's a grim dilemma with which we've all been faced, on-going training disruption. An IronOnline member writes:

"I'm building a house in another community so I have let my Y membership lapse. I move into my new home (with a sufficient gym in the basement) in late June. All I have to work out with until then is an incline/flat/decline bench and a set of dumbbells from five to 50 pounds in five-pound increments. My lifts are well into the 350-pound range and with these dumbbells I'm doomed to low-weight, high-rep workouts. Does this mean I'm doomed to lose strength and size, too? Thanks, Lon"

Good for you, Lon. You are awake and living the American Dream... with a gym in the basement. Insatiable!

Lon, it's not clear if you're building the house personally or having it built as you wait in limbo. The former delivers a maximum of stress and requires lots of time and hard physical work. I've endured similar projects in building several gyms in the past years and yielded my commitment to their significance. They were hands-on grueling, yet I bore up well under the forfeiture of regular workouts. That is to say, I stayed in shape and enjoyed the strength and capability my training afforded me. I put my body to use, a most fulfilling experience.

The secret is during the 12-week bouts I worked vigorously (workout replacement) and ate extraordinarily well. It was the old Igloo routine, with tuna, prepared lean burgers and red potatoes in Tupperware, crunchy vegetables, cottage cheese and protein shakes -- a veritable Styrofoam kitchen in tow. The careful eating regimen reminded me of my former (original) life and served to maintain the order and discipline I'd come to respect and rely on every day. I caught a light workout when I occasionally hyperventilated from withdrawal and always kept my eye on the premise -- the honorable profession of building another iron and steel gym -- to replace the depression of training absence.

I recall wanting to seriously scream a few dozen times: wall's erected in the wrong place; you need another staircase; the sewer line's corroded and six feet deep; the inspector said you must redo the entire electrical system and the landlord refuses to talk about the leaks - not in the lease. Having understood the ventures from the onset and undertaking the commitment like an adult (yeah, right), internal conflict and stress were minimized.

Do not, in times like these, neglect faith, hope and prayer.

Now if you are standing anxiously on the construction site and observing the men in hard hats, you are safe, yet not exactly immune to worries and woes. The delays and the vanishing bucks will do you in if you're not tough -- the American Dream can take on the appearance of the American Nightmare. Be strong, bundle up and enjoy the weather; lightening and thunder are powerful and momentous, the rain feels good in suitable gear and we need the water. Remember, the sunshine is always there... just beyond the silver lining.

Take that bench and those dumbbells and invest them with respect and affection. Arrange three 60-minute workouts a week to engage in attentive and precise exercise. Upon first consideration, I would outline two routines that compliment each other, then alternate them. Agree, as you have with the house building and training pause, that this must be done and done well. Disappointment, disagreement, reluctance and attitudes of similar description are destructive and will chew you up. Spit them out as you would French fries and a coke.

Do this: crunches and leg raises three times a week on off days; catch three 15-minute cardio sessions as a treat, and embrace those one-hour dumbbell workouts like a long lost friends. Add dips and chins to your repertoire and you're covered. You won't lose size or strength worth measuring and you'll gain a new training perspective, which one only learns while under pressure and improvised circumstances. Locate a gym for single-day workouts (every three weeks, when you get the urge) and wallow in heavy bench, squat and deadlift sessions. These are to be for fun and a contribution to your health -- so don't do anything silly, sonny.

Next week, if interest prevails, I'll list the variety of exercises you can squeeze out of the limited equipment and outline two routines that will do the job.

Fly above the clouds, endure the turbulence, avoid the storm and seek always your destination... Dave

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