First Things First

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Bill Pearl, Highlight of Bash 05


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The Arnold Classic is around the corner, followed by spring and then the Bash. Life is so simple.

Though the Bomber Bash is still months away and Laree and I love secrets, we thought you ought to know the news now; fact is, we can’t contain ourselves -- the excitement is so great -- and to inform you any later would be unfair. You’ll need the time to save some extra dough, reschedule your vacation plans, rearrange your priorities and make room for the momentous occasion, one no one can afford to miss.

There’s no doubt. It’s true. It will happen, unless, of course, something unforeseen occurs, like a plague of locusts, a giant wave or an outbreak of tuberculosis. Laree will check into theses things, but personally I’m optimistic.

Are you ready, bombers? May we have the rumble of 45-pound plates, the clang of dumbbells and the groans of straining lifters, please?

Bill Pearl and his wife, Judy, are joining us for the Bash weekend, July 9th: the seminar, barbeque, movie and general mischief. This is sorta like winning the Lotto or the Kentucky Derby or the Indy 500: a major score, a triumph, a most unforgettable occasion. Everything you ever wanted to know about muscle building and might will available through the heart and mind of 5X Mr. Universe, Bill Pearl. As DiMaggio and Mantle are to baseball, Pearl is to bodybuilding. As Tchaikovsky is to classical music, Bill is to powerlifting. The stadium is packed, the concert hall is humming.

I’ll stand in the background with bottled water, a grin and queries of my own. How can I get huge... and ripped... and mighty... and tan?

I think this is a most fitting pair of iron heads to offer insight to a group of high-spirited and explosive Bombers. Bill planted his footsteps in the gym 11 years before I, and I did my staggering best to follow them. I trained in the early AM, I trained like an animal, I trained for power and mass and density, I trained when I was sick, broken and broke and I never missed; I ate protein till it came out my ears and wore a beat-up oversized sweatshirt. Just like Bill. I was nuts then and I’m nuts now and I’m not getting any better. Bill’s just fine.

Bill! Please! Help me!

Curious IronOnliners will receive straightforward answers to the popular questions about training -- favorite arm routine, off-season bulking, injury repair – and be accurately informed about weightlifting through various stages, changes and conditions of life. I’m just a snotnose at 63; Bill has 11 more years of practice, right-of-way and savvy.

How we did what we did to gain, to grow and to muscularize without undue science, complication, affectation and bravado. Bill talks turkey and I, wild duck. He loves this musclebuilding stuff and I know little of anything else.

Bill has a life. He collects fine old-time memorabilia, immaculately restores antique cars and trucks, counsels and conditions astronauts for NASA, represents Life Fitness at national expos, lectures regularly about health and fitness, authors superior books and attends his internet business with his wife and confidant, Judy.

And Judy is to Bill as Laree is to me: everything.

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The Latest on Aging

I’m feeling great. 63 this spring, if I make it, and my training, nutrition, lifestyle an attitude are right on. Heading home from the protein man in Livermore with my truck loaded with Bomber Blend, I thought of my current training, the years gone by and those ahead. Gotta keep your eye on the outstretched wings, bombers.

I figure if I drop 100 pounds for a few months and slowly rebuild -- re-inflate -- to my original weight -- 231 according to the digital freight scale at UPS -- I will rid myself of these gathering wrinkles. It’s not that I’m vain or self-conscious, embarrassed or freaking out or depressed. I mean, they are not that plentiful, conspicuous and ghastly. And I’ve grown fond of wearing jumpsuits -- comfy, cool and versatile. Great colors.

Hair loss doesn’t bother me, either. Some people find it a problem. Not me. It’s part of letting go and seeing life with what I call reality-vision. A tribute, really: It takes a long, long time -- an era -- to develop accurate reality-vision. Besides, I’ve always liked hats and caps and think they look smart coordinated with jumpsuits.

And while we’re on the subject, the vision thing is also over exaggerated in my opinion. Number one, the right pair of glasses can add to one’s attractiveness and sex appeal. Am I right or am I right? Two, who really reads the fine print -- you’ll notice everything important today is written in large type: Twist To Open, One Capsule Twice Daily Or As Prescribed, Men’s Room, Stop, Go, Mind The Gap. Furthermore, if you stare long and hard enough an image usually takes shape and you can fake it. And three, have you seen the size of the TV screens at Costco lately? I can see the dern things from the middle of the parking lot. Finally, a minor point, but worthy: I wear my glasses around my neck suspended by a sleek cord for convenience. Your sight is at your fingertips, people. Very cool. Cords come in a variety of colors to match hats, caps and jumpsuits. I kid you not.

One more thing: I wear combat boots to complete my wardrobe and support my aching ankles.

And, what is Laree getting me for my birthday, you ask? Well, my gym bag is full of straps and wraps and hand pads that look like strings and threads and shredded foam rubber. The gym bag itself looks like an old hunk of canvas ripped from a rotting tarpaulin covering rusted engine blocks down at the junkyard. I’ve been hinting for a month and storing the mess next to her gear in the kitchen corner. I sure would look sharp going to the gym with a spiffy tote bag full of slick, clean and odor-free gadgetry.

Like most of you over 30, 40, 50 and 60, I don’t feel old. Most bodybuilders don’t. It’s the weights and healthy lifestyle for sure, but it has something to do with their shared intrinsic mentality -- that is, the mentality of large, over-aged kids. We like our toys, playthings, games and repetitive actions and counting and mimicking. Who’s that in the mirror, how much weight can my muscles lift today, how big are my bulging biceps? These games are incomparable. Bend over, pull, stretch, push -- again -- bend over, pull, stretch, push -- great, again -- bend over, pull: this stuff cannot be beat... any time at any age. Then there’s stand, pull, squeeze, lower -- eight more -- stand, pull, squeeze, lower -- another. How about lay, lift, lower, contract -- again -- lay, lift, lower, contract -- more. Amazing. The combinations are countless, the joy unending. How does one have time to grow old? One tuna, two tuna, three tuna, four -- five tuna, six tuna, seven tuna more.

It just goes on and on.

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But Wait. There’s More.

I know. You’re disappointed. Not a single word about how to get huge, ripped or powerful. Alas, I’ve run out of original thoughts on these subjects. Sometimes one needs to take an old-fashioned break from a thing or things -- an old friend, a practice, a study, a place -- to restore one’s reserves and revitalize one’s spirits. In truth, I feel mentally lazy. I expect to be in the gym in an hour or two blasting arms and shredding my midsection. I shall avenge wrinkles and thinning hair with barbells, dumbbells and cables, even if it takes a cane and a seeing-eye dog to lead me about the heavy iron. Which reminds me: The Dungeon has continued to evolve, Odis and the team dialing in the most recent upgrades and modifications to assure perfection. I watch from afar.

Laree and I plan to scoot down to Torque Athletic in Indiana the day after the Arnold Expo for final adjustments and approvals before unveiling the friendly, rugged, heavy, powerful and efficient multi-purpose beast. We continue to calculate the costs and date of availability. Not cheap, but righteous and soon are our closest estimations.

I imagine a pewter grey cage with thick shiny stainless steel pegs and chinning bar complex and black accessories -- utility bench, dip bars, adjustable flat bench and upholstery and so on.

Wait till you see the 1.5” thick custom power handles -- there are six. They’ll be available separately ASAP. You’ll flip.

Did I mention the 1.5” thick customized bent curling bar? I was saving this one for next week, but I’m just a kid. You won’t believe, guys and girls, how much improvement the increased bar-diameter makes. The hand sends a message to the brain that sez lift more weight more intensely and grow.

My flight plan is set and it’s time for takeoff. Never postpone or delay an arm-blasting mission. Zoom!

God’s speed, everyone... Double D

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Click here to read the Bill Pearl section of Dave's book, Brother Iron Sister Steel

Click here to read an excerpt from Bill's autobiography, Beyond the Universe

You can read more about Bill on his site, here

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