Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation

Hey, Sarge

Laree has turned into a taskmaster. She scowls as she stands before the easel repeatedly tapping the pointer against the palm of her hand. "Listen up. You're gonna be in Kansas City on Tuesday. The following day it's St. Louis for two days... and over here," she stabs at the map on display, "en route to Chicago is Joliet... Hey. Hey, Buster... pay attention." She cracks the pointer down hard on my desk scaring me half to death. I'm caught drawing figures of little stickmen lifting weights under palm trees on the beach. Geez, Lareez.

I exaggerate. My sweetheart is working very hard and efficiently setting up my book-signing appearances at bookstores across the nation. A headset is attached to her ear and the chatter is incessant. She sends out press kits with her left hand and flyers with her right and is pursuing media coverage over the phone like a used car salesman. She spins like a top selling a yoyo... HA --(Highly Aerobic).

We feel good about the book, its subject matter, content and title. I believe it's an important book and the reviews, though few, have been extraordinary. We love the cover, but it is more suitable for a mystery novel (She Fled into the Setting Sun) than a book about the exercise and nutritional needs of an ailing world. It's a stumbling block that needs revision.

Enough about books, already.

By the way, the name of the book is "Your Body Revival, Weight Loss Straight Talk" by Dave Draper. They wanted to know.

ZANE-DRAPER SECURITY

I received a call on the hotline from the authorities in Las Vegas. They wanted to know if it was true Frank Zane and I were going to appear together at Paradise Park on the outskirts of The Strip on the October 19th. I was interrogated: What exactly would we be discussing, would there be photo-ops and autographs and barbecued ribs. Once I was certain of their authenticity, I said, "Yes, it's true, we will be there to inform and to contribute, but for obvious reasons I cannot divulge the details of our talks." There was a brief yet noticeable silence over the phone line. "We may have a security problem, sir," the caller said. "We might need to beef up the police force and riot control in case things get out of hand. Hate to bring in the National Guard."

I assured the man, a Major-somebody, that the crowd we expected was a solid, bold and mighty group -- well trained and disciplined -- who could easily handle any excitement that came their way. After a time-consuming phone conference with a two-star in Washington, I convinced the pair of officers that "a minimum of uniform exposure and hands-off" would be the wisest treatment of the situation. One helicopter and 10 plain-clothes would be sufficient, we agreed.

Details are a nuisance.

ON TRAINING

I have a friend in Denmark who keeps me in check. For example, a few months ago I casually remarked that I was approaching my 59th birthday and was considering an alteration in my training to accommodate the rise in years (how humble, I thought, unflappably considering my age among my fellowship of bombers). My buddy from across the sea quickly emailed and said he couldn't wait to see the changes I planned to make, in detail, and exactly why I made them. He also did the math and told me by the way I was going to be 60. Swell. Another time in an article I spoke of the nifty gym Laree and I had opened in Santa Cruz 15 years ago. "No, no, Dave, it was 14 years ago September 19th, 1989," said The House from Denmark via an urgent email.

How about this one? I generously listed and itemized my typical daily menu for one week in a report to the Bomber Squad and my buddy -- surprise, surprise, an accountant by trade -- wrote back pointing out my discrepancies in calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats. He thought I might want to know. I wanna know what makes him tick.

We call Henrik "The House" because he's big. Last week The House Mouth wrote again and explored my recent training revision to accommodate my 60 years (60, as noted by the now-famous Danish muscle-building historian), which works each body part twice a week in a four-day routine. "This allows me more precious time to recuperate," I said, "while getting the job done -- better."

Take a wild guess who wrote the following question:

"Could you please describe the split you use to get the job done better, Dave?"

You all are correct. It's him, larger than ever, The Skyscraper. I'm hesitant to speak; he or someone like him might somehow know more than I do and contest me. I'll risk it -- with the courage of NYC. I'll write fast and dazzle the readers, a thought a second at the speed of light.

Now, what were we talking about? Speed, lights, New York... tall buildings... yes... here goes.

I insist on training every body part twice a week. Training each body part once a week is okay for someone who has attained decent physical development over the years, knows his workouts and understands his body. For those in their beginning phases of training and development, I say this; "I wouldn't if I were you. A good farmer doesn't feed his pigs on one day, horses on the next, chickens on Wednesday, dogs toward the end of the week and the goat when he gets around to him, does he? Dern! What kinda farmer are you?"

It is no secret I contend volume training is the best all-round training principle for natural male and female muscle builders of all ages, training every muscle group twice a week. This year I decided to trade one day of training for a day of rest, reducing my workout schedule to four days a week with intensity and might.

My favorite split is three days on, one day off, one day on, two days off. I superset in every combination throughout 80 percent of my workout and I am ready to alter my routine according to mind and body instincts at any time... No, I don't wander aimlessly. I perform the basic moves and, persuaded by injury and age limitations, improvise grooves and exercise modifications regularly for maximum muscle involvement. Anyone watching me work out might think I got instructions at Sears and Roebuck.

My training today is only slightly different than it was nearly 40 years ago when Mr. America and Mr. Universe stared me in the eye. Though never a competing powerlifter, I always incorporated heavy movements in my muscle-building routines for the fun and common sense. It's the big weights that build the big muscles, right? They present the big test, right? Piling on the plates is noisy, nasty and cool, right? I handle heavy weights where I can and put aside three or four days each month for some low-rep and single-rep attempts with the squat and deadlift and some other odd-ball moves that challenge the body, the system and the... um... no, not the ego... er... the mind.

I strive for the focus and form that moderate-plus weights allow, and the consistent intensity that is achievable without tearing things loose. I go around injuries like a racecar driver weaving his way through a pileup, yet treat them with respect because they teach you the heart of the matter. Learn or burn.

Plateaus come and go like moods and I hold fast, waiting patiently for better days around the corner. Overtraining has the smell of fish; it stinks but it's not always bad. I push it in the gym, accentuate the rest, check stress at the door and feed the beast extra portions of protein, fats, carbohydrates and micronutrients. If that doesn't work, I back off the level of training input, rearrange my workout scheme or take some time off. I don't last more than five days in a passive mode... I get hives.

"You're stalling, Draper. What's the outline of the big four-day split? Spit it out or it's Danish pastry for you," said Henrik, The Towering One. And he used to be such a nice boy.

I start with the midsection.

My midsection routine constitutes my aerobic input, 20 minutes of intense crunches, leg raises and rope tucks, hyperextensions, lightweight deadlifts or hanging leg-ups in some riveting non-stop combination. Aerobics at work, I call it, double-duty aerobics.
Certainly, standard cardio activities play an important role in the exercise plan of many athletes, musclebuilders and fitness buffs. I presently hold them in reserve.

DAY 1 -- FOREARMS, BIS and TRIS

Combination One:

Barbell wrist curls (5 sets x15-20 reps)
supersetted with
Reverse wrist curls (5x10-12)
SS with
Dumbbell thumbs-up curl (5x10,8,8,6,6)
SS with
Overhead pulley triceps extension (back toward apparatus and leaning forward in a staggered-leg position, pulley extending from behind the head and forward).
Upon completion of 12-15 reps, turn around and force out 6-8 reps standard pulley pushdown. (5x maximum reps)

Combination Two:

Standing bent bar power curl (5x6-8)
SS with
Lying triceps or seated triceps extension (5x10-12)

Combination Three:

Low incline dumbbell curl (4x10,8,6,6) -- one end of bench raised 12-14 inches.
SS with
Machine dips (4x12-15)

An interesting word or two at this juncture: As one day of training has been removed from my workweek and a day for recuperation added, I have intensified each of my four workouts (force, focus and thoughtfulness) due to an overall increase in energy and desire. This timely alteration appears to have afforded more worthwhile and enjoyable input in fewer days.

DAY TWO -- CHEST, SHOULDERS and BACK

Combination One:

Steep barbell front press -- free bar preferably (5x15-warmup, 12,10,8,6,6)
I use the Smith Press due to a shoulder limitation -- anyone who knocks this movement as being inferior has yet to see a sunrise and sunset.
SS with
Wide grip pulldowns (5x12,10,8,8,6)

Combination Two:

Dumbbell incline press (5x10,10,8,8,6)
SS with
Seated lat row (5x15,12,10,8,6)

Lying sidearm lateral raises -- left to right, back and forth (5x8-12)

One arm bentover dumbbell row -- left to right, back and forth (5x12,10,8,6,6)

Cable crossovers for pecs (5x10-12)

DAY 3 -- LEGS

Combination One:

Leg extensions (5x15,12,12,10,8)
SS with
Calf raise (5x12-20)

Combination Two:

Leg curl (5x10-12)
SS with
Calf raise (5x12-20)

Squats (5x15,12,10, 8,6)
SS with
Stiffarm dumbbell pullover (5x12,10,8,8,6)

This completes three hard workouts three days in a row, typically Monday through Wednesday. They are subject to minor changes to suit the flow of the tide and moon risings; for example, thoughtful exercise substitutions or swapping shoulder day with leg day should upper body be fatigued.

I prepare myself for the outlay of energy and attention; I'm devoted during my time in the gym and don't toss myself around the streets when I'm not. Not everyone wants or needs to train with the dedication I and many other iron and muscle enthusiasts apply. Go at your own pace to satisfy your own concepts of training, needs and possibilities. The point is, keep going... attentive and learning and growing.

Your menu should be simple and always settled within smart margins. Neither let go of the weights nor let your diet get out of hand. It only gets better. Hang on.

DAY OFF

As we all have noted, while exercising one muscle group specifically, we are also engaging peripherally and often substantially other nearby areas. Hence, the above program intentionally cross-trains muscle groups adding to their load saturation.

The slugfest below calls for a buildup to heavier weights to prod the system. It includes a selection of basic movements, some with an odd twist that will work the entire body to assure twice-per-week body part training.

DAY 4 -- THE HEAVY METAL AMALGAMATION

Deadlifts -- done for 5 to 7 sets for either exercise repetitions of 12, 10s and 8s or for low reps and singles or an occasional PR. Lotsa complete leg work here.

Barbell row (5x10,10,8,8,6) -- More complete leg work plus bis. Set aside power days throughout the month for lower reps.
SS with
Thick bar bench press -- narrow grip (5x8-10 therapy reps) -- Front delts, pecs, tris.

Reverse grip thick bar curl (5x6-8) -- Biceps, grip, forearm.
SS with
Thick bar pullover and press (5x6-8) -- Upper torso, triceps.

Dumbbell shrugs (5x 10-15) -- Ttraps, grip,bis.
SS with
Short farmer walks (over there and back)

Day 4 workout to be followed by two days off.

This is a free day with the accent on favorite movements that don't have a regular place in my workouts. They either present aggravating physical problems with frequent practice or are slow and laborious or experimental in effect and payoff. However, the random exertion for the day is novel, exhilarating and rewarding. Someone might just come up to me and say, "You're having fun, aren't ya?"

"It's simply bombarding."

The Drapes

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