First Things First

Before you get distracted by all the great options you're about to find here, please sign up for Dave's free weekly newsletter so he can continue to encourage and motivate you toward your fitness goals.
Chris M writes:
"You blend plain-spoken wisdom, motivational fire and wry humor into a weekly email jolt that leaves me itching to hit the gym. Whether I'm looking for workout routines, diet tips or a friendly kick in the butt, the Bomber comes through every time." ... Read more...

In Case We Don't Answer the Phone


If you'd like to download the full Draper here newsletter in printable, live-link, pdf format, click here.

Laree is on a magic carpet ride. Fitted with professional stereo headphones and seated before her computer displaying multiple windows, she is reviewing and compiling a dozen hours of DV tape collected from four individual cameras. The Pearl and Draper Seminar is in the air and being edited this very moment. Can you feel the vibrations? Organizing and detailing and creatively arranging are her specialties. Her mind is like a camera itself, capturing and retaining clear images that are, left to others, lost in time and space.

The girl becomes animated and her eyes sparkle as she shares her editing ideas and designs with me. Stills from the past, old footage, up-close interview material yet to be gathered, and sound... Hollywood would be impressed. The DVD should hit the marketplace by early fall. Laree’s quickie test-project, a 10-minute film clip of the bash, will be sent to you by a special davedraper.com email upon completion in a day or two. The film rendering process (wha?) travels with slugs and snails… very slowly.

**Update: Here's both video links**

Bash 2005 highlights, 20 megabytes

Dungeon demo, 12 megabytes

I have a stack of newsletters contained in a fat manila envelop sitting on my desk. Yet unopened, it represents a month of casual, yet dedicated perusing by the swift- and agile-minded Karen Orsi. As a professional writer and objective reader, KO did what I could not: She picked the top of a heap of some 330 IronOnline newsletters sent to you weekly since 1999. This collection will be the main ingredient of a book to be published by mid-November.

I’ll review the mess, smooth it with a wire brush and look over Laree’s shoulder as she assembles it into a suitable work with theme and commonsense. Steve Strong, musclebuilder, wrestler, artist and long-time friend from Muscle Beach and associated environs, will complement the words with his striking sketches and artwork.

We’re as busy as squirrels causing pile-ups on country roads.

Oh! And speaking of animals how can I forget the restless beast pacing to and fro in the dark corner of the World Gym in Santa Cruz? We have Dungeons to let loose on the unsuspecting world and have not yet decided how. Inventers, technicians and muscleheads we are, marketeers we are not. I once offered a man dying of thirst a bottle of cool mountain spring water. He refused, saying I didn’t have a smooth and compelling manner, my face was too honest and he didn’t trust me. He purchased a Big Gulp from 7-11 and succumbed to hyperglycemia instead. Go figure!

Anybody want to buy a thick-bar handle? They’re neat! See what I mean? Now there’s unmistakable, surefire selling genius. How can one resist? I’ll take ten. What else ya got in the bag?

Back to the Dungeon, it’s as fine a machine as you could imagine, and you want to throw a set of wheels on the thing and drive it around town. It’s fast off the line, turns on a dime, has the torque of a Mack truck and reaches speeds topping 160 on the straightaway. Great off the road and sleeps four comfortably. Maybe we should display one at a GM dealership and see what kind of response we get. Always thinkin'.

The fact is the Dungeon is not a two-for-the-price-of-one bargain item made in China of recycled rice husks. Dungeons are made by my buds and me in the USA with the best steel, all-American engineering and musclehead commonsense. Priceless! The cost for the whole kit and caboodle is larger than a bread box but smaller than the store: 6,995 authentic dollars plus shipping get you the moon, sun and stars. Some folks drop that at a craps table in Las Vegas and more on botox or various implants.

The cool part is you can buy it in parts; the basic rack at 2,995, and the added utility pieces separately as you please. Along with the special Bash film clip, look for an uncut late night rendition of the Dungeon demonstration video... scary... any day now.

I remember as a gym owner the sale price of a colossal Dungeon would get you one lousy treadmill (you needed six) or a leg curl machine and a leg extension machine. Gee. Squats, anyone? Here’s an entire gym of machines and you don’t need a vacated Safeway to house it.

I’m a gym rat who prefers a place to go and the space to wander and the light yet tight contact of like-energy. Today, the place to go is a 60- to 90-minute round-trip commute in stop n' go. "Hi, everybody. Nice day. Got Gas?" The space, when I’m there, is occupied by swell folks using the very same equipment I want to use... hmmm. And a lot of them wear headsets and peer from glazed eyes, another world. I’m almost tempted to nod. Some do walking lunges, use multicolored rubber band assists, do presses from atop giant plastic balls while someone’s handing them their weights and counting their reps. I’m not complaining, just observing; ain’t the same game as when I first came to take steady aim. Does anyone see the target?

Parking’s getting tight.

Perhaps the ideal workout scheme is a combination of communal gym training and specific home training: Off to the gym on those days when traffic and mood are most suitable, and to the Dungeon when focus and solitude are the qualities you crave.

And now the exact measurements of the DD Rack are… the envelope please:

Depth -- 77" (front to rear stabilizing bar/ handle-holder)
Width -- 65" (outside edge of barbell holders)
Height -- 96" (top of overhead pulley and chin bar attachments)
Depth with seated low-row attachment in place -- 107"
Width with dip bar (26") and leg-up (24") attachments in place -- 110"
Width to outside of plate holders -- 86"
Inside rack width -- 52"
Inside rack depth -- 42"

A single-car garage, even the reduced floor plan one finds in a townhouse, is the perfect size of a comfortable dungeon. Get rid of the existing junk, stop collecting additional junk -- two valuable improvements in anyone’s life -- and set up your Dungeon like a village planner. Add a dandy sound system and hang some inspiring posters, pictures and memorabilia where they belong. Heavy overhead lighting works best and a mirror, if any, must be the most complimentary mirror in the world. There you have it; solitary confinement. How about this? Pick up a mini refrigerator at a garage sale. Cool. Park the car in the driveway.

A spare room with windows works wonders, the larger the better, eight by twelve is a minimum. Closets are for hanging clothes and hiding stuff -- too small. Carports are wonderful where weather permits, and the basement is ideal if you don’t share it with rats, leaky pipes, a boiler and old Uncle Louie.

The Dungeon is for the intentional lifter who wants and needs the essential equipment; it must be powerfully built, easily accessible, smooth and highly functional, and there’s nothing wrong with it being beautiful and inspiring. Our physical performance is profoundly affected by our environment and our concept of it. We do our best when settled amid brawny and unshakable columns of steel fixed with robust bar holders, spotters and supports and conveniently placed utility apparatus. Urges become restless, the heart pounds, adrenalin flows and we can feel the pump. The thought of a jiggling rack and benches that wobble can keep a good man or woman out of his or her gym, in harms way and on the border of depression. "If only it was wood, I could burn the thing in the fireplace."

Get this: a captain from a large, not-to-distant fire district attended our recent bash. He loved the universal unit for all its design, utility and magnificence and put in a requisition for seven. I gave him a free Bomber T-shirt and promised him satisfactory delivery upon committee approval. Now that’s where the market is: fire stations, police stations and small businesses that care for their employees. Beats an elliptical trainer, a Lifecycle and a TV in a downstairs storage room, right?

Good thing about city services and small considerate business affairs is they have a few bucks or can get simple financing. We’re trying to arrange private financing for individuals, but it takes some maneuvering. Banks will loan on million-dollar properties, allowing you to pay interest only, but for an item under 3-to-7 Gs that you intend to keep -- forget about it.

Now if I was a personal trainer, which I am not -- don’t have a certificate -- I would raise my prices and get a Dungeon as soon as I could. Listen. You can charge your clients just to look at the stunning structure and for an added fee let them climb on it. Once they use the humming, well-oiled muscle factory, growing like wildflowers and spreading the word, you can open a chain.

The Dungeon remains fully constructed at Santa Cruz World Gym for anyone interested in viewing or purchasing it. Save on trucking, get a free bomber T-shirt, meet Laree.

Time to taxi down the ole runway, bombers. Keep an eye on my taillights... I’ll keep an eye on yours.

God’s speed... Dave

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

TOUGH GRIP

The only truly revolutionary products to come our way in the past half-century, besides the Top Squat and Bomber Blend, are the Thick-bar Pulley Handles and Thick-bar Easy Curl Bar by the industrious Bomb Squad. The one-and-one-half-inch thick bars are a full half-inch thicker in diameter than normal bars and provide both comfort and mechanical advantage to lifters, large and not-so large. The improved thickness is the thickness lifters (Sandow, Louis Cyr) started with a hundred years ago, another test and builder of might. When the iron went commercial, the one-inch bar was popularized.

Live and learn, as they say. Can you imagine the brutes we’d have walking around the gyms today, if they had retained the elemental diameter? Scary!

A one-inch bar looks like and feels like a pencil in comparison.

There are six thick-handles from which to choose, satisfying a variety of musclebuilding needs:

Short straight-bar
V-bar
Easy curl bi-tri bar
Hi-lo close-grip bar
Wide-grip bar
Medium-wide parallel-grip bar

These beefy muscle makers are available in either a tough-grip knurled finish or a rugged pebbled flat-black powder coating.

The broader bar distributes the resistance over a wider area, diminishing an overload to any specific small area. More comfort. The greater thickness offers more bar-control and directionality. Groove management. The increased diameter alters the center of gravity for unique, increased muscle demand. Advanced mechanical advantage.

The truth is the thick bars just feel better, work better, and perform better. They encourage exertion, power and one more rep. Get this: they’re capped hollow 11-gauge steel tubing, accurately cut and shaped and tig- and mig-welded. They don’t weigh a ton to counter your pulley resistance or knock you silly when you bump your head into the rascals as they hang hazardously in the middle of the gym floor.

The Bomb Squad

You'll find Dave Thick Bar Handles here

The Bash 2005 reports are here

The Bash photos are here

Other new pages of the website to inspire your training

Did you sign up for Dave's expanded email yet?
It's free, motivating and priceless!
We'll also send you a link to Dave's free Body Revival Tips and Hints booklet with your confirmation notice.

Enter your email address here:

Our IronOnline Forum will answer your training and nutriton questions right now

Golden Era fans will rejoice in this excerpt from West Coast Bodybuilding Scene

It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists sqatters with shoulder problems

Click here to see the previous week's column