Defines One’s Achievements
you'd like to download the full Draper here newsletter in live-link,
pdf format, click here.
week, as I sit with my head pressed against the blank computer screen
while gripping the keyboard till my knuckles are white, those days
when trying to formulate the substance of yet another stirring newsletter
with the aid of meditation practiced while hanging by my thumbs
from a chinning bar under the house, and, yes, during the lonely
midnight hours paging through old muscle magazines in search of
inspiration and originality, I wonder to whom am I writing, who
is it I’m trying to reach and who reads these desperate words
squeezed from my parched brain.
Is it you? Then I’m encouraged and I’ll write again;
I’ll write till I’m pale and bent. Worthy words I will
send you though they be reworked like clay in the potter’s
hand, the same true mud in another shape, another form, sometimes
a cup, sometimes a bowl or serving dish, other times a pitcher or
a decorative wall hanging or an imaginative abstract design.
In my curiosity I assembled a list of IronOnline reader types and
I present the results to you. Please stand up when you recognize
the type that most accurately describes you.... at least raise your
hand and say “here.” Alright, just raise your hand.
Okay, then, just sit there like a lump of meaningless clay. See
if I care.
youngster who simply wants muscles and doesn’t need psychoanalysis
new, never-touched-a-weight trainee and no longer a kid, needs
trainee, lifted in high school more or less and recognizes the
real need for fitness
and needing weight loss and general conditioning
person looking for fun, friends and a date; muscle, might and
health be darned
and seeking muscle, mass and strength
pursuing peak performance -- strength, energy, endurance, speed
guy or gal -- no longer a kid, yet a kid at heart -- who trains
regularly, has been bitten by the bug and wants to get into well-muscled
shape: veins, abs and striations
hardcore lifter, been around and knows black from white, and wants
what he or she can get -- honorably
kid or no-longer-a-kid musclebuilder who wants it all now, as
convincingly promised by the fakes, frauds and liars (that would
be, merchants), knows all the goofy ingredients and all the “razor-ripping,
cutting-edge” techniques by name, thinks they’re real
and wants a final opinion as to which is best (that would be fast,
painless and cheap)
slick-dude type who’s got a membership at Gold’s and
24-Hour, one personal trainer (who sez he’s a former Mr.
America from Brazil), two online training certificates -- HPTA
and RPTA, Huge Personal Trainer Association and Ripped Personal
Trainer Association -- and met Arnold at the 2002 Classic. Considers
Frank Zane old-fashioned and the Bomber out of touch and can’t
help setting us straight.
think that covers it. You can sit down now, lower your hand... good...
you are, whatever your specific needs might be, the basic requirements
are the same. You must weight train hard, attentively, consistently
and confidently. No matter what level you have achieved and what
boundaries confront you, tough input is fundamental, absolutely
imperative. It’s the musclebuilding fact of life. The same
is expected of your eating habits. They must be simply and wisely
defined and toughly applied. Be tough.
anything that’s tough sounds rough and agonizing, difficult
and unappealing: tough neighborhood, tough exam, tough journey.
They are not friendly; they do not suggest joy; they are in fact
undesirable. This is not so in the application of “tough”
to a workout or to the performer of such a workout. Tough is not
grim. Tough is very good, very cool, the embodiment of all that
is strong and gutsy and exceptional. Tough is enviable and is to
be embraced. A tough lifter faces a tough workout with a welcome
chill, his head up and an unconscious correction of posture -- it
just happens. Tough is tough, a badge of honor. Anyone who grumbles
about tough, is not. Remember that, Bombers. Tough is reserved for
the silent fighter.
like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What one perceives as
tough is not tough to another. Beware of the jagged edges protruding
from its nasty step-cousins. Be as tough as you like, tough in workout
quality, volume performance and personal expectation, but not damaging,
bitter, harsh or mean. Don’t be cruel, don’t be merciless.
Be tough and merciful and take the time to understand the difference.
cool. You cool? We’re cool, we’re tough.
Then there’s intensity -- intensity in physical exertion,
in attitude and pursuit. The intensity factor rules, not things
of learning so much as things of the heart and instincts, passions
and mettle. Commit intensely. Desire intensely. Hope intensely.
Focus intensely. Persist, push and pull hard, of course, but intensely
pursue exercise understanding. The routines, the exercises, sets
and reps are stacked up in a neat pile according to the needs of
the athlete. Any bodybuilding primer for dummies will provide the
necessary formulas to accomplish most degrees of development. They
are not profound, complicated or exotic, nor need they be. They
are embarrassingly simple and ordinary, original and essential.
The stack is large for large advances and small for small advances.
Commonsense plus logic equals results. Master commonsense, apply
it intensely and you will master musclebuilding, good health and
long life -- and, I dare say, that list goes on and on.
I have observed on various gym floors various degrees of intensity
in various weight trainers. Excluding the remarkably muscular men
and women who have it by nature, the harder one exercises the more
one achieves. And the more one achieves, the more encouraged, inspired,
fulfilled and happy one becomes. Training with intensity thus becomes
a joy. I have also observed, apart from the champions, few train
with the forced intensity or joyful intensity one must apply to
progress. Their achievements thus are slow in coming, their joy
and fulfillment is delayed. The delay of attainment and gratification
is costly should they wander off before the magnificent experience
of muscle and might graces them.
exercises champions of today perform for building big arms, what
regimens I apply to lose weight and get in shape or how Haney gained
muscle mass and power in the chest and shoulders are interesting
discussions and help us in moving forward. Yet, we will find no
new thing; the methods put forth don’t require the application
of complex formulas nor are they brilliant techniques unfolding
as we speak. What we learn are things as familiar as one-syllable
words, one plus one equals two and see Jane jump. The burly fellow
in the shredded tank top scratching his bottom by the water fountain,
he’s got it. It’s easy.
defines one’s achievement.
is a state of training performance. Seek it, locate and define it;
research and study it as you apply it, determine the measure that
is personally agreeable, desirable and lock on. This is your target-intensity
as you focus on your workouts, your level of exercise output based
on pressure and pain and your willingness to endure it. Embrace
it and know it, understand it. It has the personality of a dear
and dependable friend.
suspect you’ll want to regularly increase intensity’s
valuable effect. That is, you’ll want to blast your workouts
more and more for the fun and achievement of it.
folks take intensity to hideous levels. They vomit (yuk); they stagger
and drop, they use smelling salts and rude outbursts to accompany
their lifting madness. Their training becomes fodder for war stories
to be bragged about and circulated among the troops. They mount
the injuries high, lower the quality of exercise performance and
shorten their careers as lifters. They fall out of love and lose
affection for the wholesome activity; fear, dread and hate are the
replacements for the higher emotions.
are frightened by intensity as if their muscles will certainly fall
off their bodies and onto the gym floor should they apply the alien
force. Oh, my. What are we to do now, Cynthia? Pain is as close
to them as Jupiter and as desirable as hemorrhoids. They flutter
and flit about, the total iron on the machine’s weight stack
barely a counterbalance to the handle swinging from the cable’s
end. They do seriously high reps with three-pound dumbbells on the
incline bench and you find yourself nodding off to the hypnotic
rhythm unconsciously registering in your peripheral vision. Inspiration
and aspiration are not among the motivators of this particular species
of gym rat. Typically they carry on 20 minutes, as long as it takes
to reach exhaustion or boredom, which ever comes first.
comes in different shapes and sizes. Have you seen the guy whose
intensity is so great his eyes are like saucers upon entering the
gym? He’s red-faced and deep breathing with both arms clutching
a bundle of raggedy gear, the sneakers dangling by knotted laces.
His membership card’s gripped in his bared teeth and to the
person behind the counter he offers the moist plastic with a nudging
action of his chin. Once on the gym floor the intensity drains from
his faint body and he practically falls asleep stretching, earphones
in place. If anybody needs to apply training intensity it’s
this guy, a walking freaked-out danger zone.
Intensity often takes on the appearance of unfriendliness, sternness,
anger or distress. This I know. It’s not uncommon that the
high-intensity trainer is a perfectionist, self-demanding, and loathes
distraction. He’s bad, which is good.
I don’t see any other way to get where you’re going
if you plan to get there. Review the possibilities, make your choice
and suit yourself.
heaven (or your lucky stars) we are bombers, tough, intense and
on target. There’s a time to glide and let the currents carry
you along, and there’s a time create some wind of your own,
a storm if you must.
loose and ride the horizons.
always, but not to be taken for granted, God’s speed... Dave
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.