Club Med or Dance Floor
you'd like to download the full Draper here newsletter in live-link,
pdf format, click here.
gym is nothing more than a large playpen filled with heavy, oversized
toys. And we, its participants and frequenters, are not unlike children,
only older, larger and more complicated. At first sight our actions
have all the appearances of adult actions, thoughtful, proper and
purposeful. In a short time, however, it becomes evident the child
has not left the body and he’s there to play, have his own
way or pout and rebel.
along with the rest of the kids is a welcome sign of growth and
part of a child’s behavior (okay in kids, yet unhealthy in
adults) we see in ourselves, imperceptibly, and those around us
early boredom, daydreaming, a penchant for chattering, the inability
to focus on activity, impatience with listening and learning, the
unwillingness to share, a need for attention, lack of invention
and resourcefulness and loss of interest due to the demand of the
game or the absence of immediate reward.
grand thing is that the playpen -- rather, the gym floor -- can
make men out of boys and women out of girls. It can direct and accelerate
the growing process of the body, mind, emotions, personality and
spirit of a person, if they endure... of a people, if they persist.
sure, there are obstacles, disappointments and interruptions along
the way. And it’s these weighty matters that provide far greater
challenges for personal progress than the barbells and dumbbells.
Finding the time to exercise, the will, the energy, the patience
and the desire are among the top ten snags that test us. How, when,
where and why can also throw us for a loop.
hang-up I’ve observed that most regularly frustrates aged,
overgrown kids from becoming adults is their desire to play and
be kids forever, even while pursuing important goals. Cute concept,
but not practical.
and chatterers are the first to leave the demanding muscledome.
They might be back, but for now the gym floor is not convenient
or desirable for their passive pursuit. It’s back to the kitchen,
the hangout, the coffee shop, mall or street corner for cogitators,
gossips and conversationalists. The bored might stay a long time
going from machine to machine, barbell to dumbbell, TV to treadmill,
and to the nose pressed against the window overlooking the parking
lot. They linger and lift and manage and mutter. Hey, they’re
here; they could easily weigh 50 pounds more if not for their active
wandering of the gym floor.
of bigger kids don’t focus well and have difficulty listening
and learning, but they will improve dramatically in the large person’s
toy box. I mean, who taught them to focus and listen in the first
place? Mom and Dad? Who? Mom and Dad? Who? See what I mean? The
teachers in junior and senior high school? They tried, did their
best, exhausted and frustrated themselves, but they did not teach;
they monitored. It was the TV in the den, living room and bedroom:
Looney Tunes and MTV, LA Cop and X Files... and their swell, indoctrinating
advertisers. Education en masse. Listening and learning comes from
watching and imitating. In the gym, under the cold heavy stare of
the iron, there are essential lessons, basic understanding and swift
behavioral responses. Lift, push and pull.
has got to go if a lad and the lass are to make it in the world
of authentic grownups and mature youth. Haven’t you noticed?
Wanting more and needing your way drive a wedge between you and
people and things. The most selfish act you can perform is eliminating
the rude characteristic from your personality. Selflessness achieves
far more than self-centeredness ever will. Don’t be fooled.
The loaded bar on the platform and unwieldy dumbbells on the rack
don’t acquiesce to sniveling outbursts and childish insistence.
And standing behind you, the lady with her hands on her hips and
determination in her eyes and the guy with smoking guns hanging
by his side aren’t the types to step aside for a pushy nuisance.
Be smart, be nice and lift.
We’re all a little needy. Everyone hates rejection. Encouragement
is as vital as air. Yet some people absolutely insist on being handheld
and directed, stroked and guarded and otherwise spoiled rotten.
United they stand and alone they fall. Good for a nation, but deadly
for a survivor of one in a land of iron cages, metal cables, and
steel bars. I am eager to assist anyone when he a spot. I’m
willing to share my equipment if a lifter needs the space. I’ll
talk to those who need support and information. But do it yourself
if you can, work around others when you are able and leave religion,
politics, sports, home-improvements and vacation planning to neat
conversations at the juice bar, in the carpool or at the poolside.
This isn’t a dance floor or Club Med. And for crying out loud,
don’t let your personal trainer hand you the weights or count
your reps unless you absolutely cannot do it yourself. Do it and
beginning to sound stiff and stern, bordering on grouchy, like the
gym is no place for fun and games. Hmmm... I have my hand to my
chin and I’m thinking seriously. I delight in my workouts,
even when the weights are immovable and there aren’t enough
wraps and straps to curtail the pain in the joints. My training
sessions number in the tens of thousands and the best ones are those
that are uninterrupted, evenly paced, thoughtful and focused, well-planned
yet creatively modified to suit immediate needs. They present, of
course, convincing burn and enough pump to inflate a mid-size dirigible.
Perfection -- a fool’s treasure -- is not sought, but very
good is most desirable and achieved frequently. Eight out of ten
always something to prevent a perfect workout, thank God, or I’d
be increasingly frustrated as I tried to achieve it just one more
time. Certainly all subsequent workouts would fall short of perfection
and life would become a horror. I love very good, very much.
have no worries ever about lack of training disruptions and training
perfection. Background music is provided to successfully disrupt
workout excellence: too loud, too repetitive, too redundant, too
vulgar and too absolutely unbearable. There’s the group who
think everything’s a joke, therefore they laugh, giggle and
cackle between, during and after every set and rep. There’s
the couple doing walking lunges in front of the dumbbell racks and
crunches on huge balls between the cable crossovers. There’s
the teenager jumping rope forever in the middle of the only lifting
platform and there’s the older and shorter new fella who wants
to work in on squats -- looks like a neat exercise, he says.
I’m not grouchy, but I am serious about the training environment.
Noisy, disorderly, chatty, a barrel of laughs, posh, stylish, social-cliquish,
boy-meets-girlish and soft and cuddly do not describe the atmosphere
conducive to power lifting and muscle making. Worse yet is arrogance,
rudeness and I’m bad. Pass me the stungun. That doesn’t
mean a gym can’t be honest, open, friendly, fresh, welcoming,
enjoyable, fun, thrilling, motivating, inspiring... and intense.
Time... time and practice, that’s all it takes. The same thing
can be said about playing a violin or driving a Formula-1 racecar.
Gaining the most from the toybox and growing up in the process requires
continual play and attention. At some point one begins to figure
it out and respond to the repetitious input. The monotony combined
with the almost-accidental progress leads the non-adult to try different
exercises and experiment and truly experience. Imitating no longer
works and one requires subtle alterations; alteration becomes invention
and invention involves discovery and discovery unearths self-awareness.
It’s a matter of evolution. The kid evolves. The kid becomes
a Gym Rat. Wow!
Rats live forever, they are not children and the gym is no longer
a playpen. It’s a citadel. Gym Rats are also known as Muscleheads
and from a distance no one can tell them apart; it’s a matter
of fur, whiskers and the tail. They never lose interest in training
because it’s far too... well... interesting... and fulfilling.
The demands are enormous, but so are the benefits. The rewards come
with time, and they keep coming and coming.
Rats and Muscleheads are like Bombers except Bombers have wings
and travel at great heights at high speeds. They are skilled, clever
and exceedingly maneuverable. Did I mention courageous and dauntless?
rule the sky.
Did you sign up for Dave's expanded
free, motivating and priceless!
May we answer any bodybuilding questions for you in our forum?
If you haven't yet read Dave's bodybuilding book, Brother Iron, Sister Steel, here's more information.
You may also enjoy our ongoing weight training and fitness article blog, which we update with new material several times each week.
Are you in the mood for reading an weight training book excerpt?
Can I tell you about whey protein powders?
Could you use a new 8-week workout routine or a bodypart workout program? Need to learn how to squat or how to deadlift?
Or select a link to the left to discover our most popular pages that are sure to answer all your training questions..
here to visit our IronOnline Bulletin Board
here to order West Coast Bodybuilding Scene
here to see the previous week's column
here to order a Top Squat
New | Online
Store | Weekly Columns | Photo
Archive | Weight Training
| General Nutrition | Draper
History | Discussion Group
| Mag Cover Shots | Magazine
Articles | Bodybuilding
Q&A | Bomber Talk | Workout
FAQs | World Gym Listing | Santa
Cruz Local | Muscle Links | Need
More Help? |Site Map | Contact
All IronOnline pages copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
All rights reserved.