Startling New Training Scheme from the Dumpster

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We’ve spent the better part of winter considering clogged arteries and system restoration after open-heart surgery. Aren’t we a jovial group? We faced the mess, dug deep and learned a lot. And not about cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein/a only, but about vulnerability and courage under fire.

Exercise, eat right and enjoy the moment. Be hopeful always. Tomorrow will come with all its surprises (cross your fingers).

Now on to grander pursuits like getting lean and ripped for the summer, dropping 10 pounds of loose ends before Memorial Day and goodbye ‘n good riddance to pouches ‘n potbellies.
Short approach: Crunches and leg raises and 15 minutes of high intensity interval cardio every other day and 60 minutes of weight training on alternate days, accompanied by appropriately sized and balanced meals when needed throughout each day.

Long approach: The same, but with adjectives and adverbs distributed plentifully to add color and imagery.

In an attempt to be verbose and redundant, boring, transparent, annoying, dim-witted and pompous, I’ll expand on the workout. Design two training sessions, have them complement each other and practice them alternatively. Be simple and orderly and logical. While you’re at it, be consistent, dedicated and focused. There’s more: Be hopeful, enthusiastic and well-fueled.

Why do I do this, repeat myself like a squawking parrot perched atop the squat rack? Because truths can never be repeated often enough. It is by the basics we learn, live and grow. A straight line is the simplest, most direct and expedient route to our destination. Facts do not waste time, energy or resources. Furthermore, fanciful and elaborate techniques can lead to lost time, futility and disappointment. Keep it simple.

Polly wants a cracker. Heavy curls for big biceps.
Choose six exercises to engage various muscles of the body from the overflowing and well-used bin marked Basic Exercises and perform three sets of each, completing 8 to 10 well-formed and tough, burning and pumping repetitions. Exhilarating and fun are the appropriate words to describe your experience. Fulfilling is another swell descriptive. “Wow” is sufficient for the less loquacious and those with limited vocabularies. Often amid my workout, my eyes simply glow with pleasure and I don’t say a word.

Two sample training sessions from Bomber Selections, Unlimited:

Workout 1)    

> Front Press (shoulder, upper pectoral regions). I perform this exercise on the Smith Press with the assistance of a steep incline bench -- dang shoulder limitation. Nothing like free-weights, and dumbbells are my favorite tools for control, muscle growth and near-injury-free performance. Alas, they are difficult to the point of rejection to handle (clean into position) these days. I’ve gotta be in a good mood and take my time. It all works, if you’ve got heart.

> Pulldown (lat, back, serratus regions). Widegrip or close grip or under grip, your choice, Captain. What’s your desire, what’s your need? Am I making this too difficult for you, offering selections rather than making the choices? Good. In fact, you can choose the seated lat row as a strong alternative. Time to show some independent thought and creativity, kids. It all works, if you work hard.

Superset the above two movements if you choose.

> Sidearm Lateral Raise (deltoid region). Now this exercise had been regrettably and sadly eliminated from my training schedules for years because of a disconnected supra spinatus shoulder stabilizer. Just recently I’ve practiced a single sidearm lateral raise while supporting myself and leaning outwardly from a sturdy squat rack upright. Yes, as old as the hills, this basic exercise, when performed with injury-directed finesse, engages the deltoid super-sufficiently, providing a gratifying and productive burn and pump. It all works, if you try and try again.

> Seated Dumbbell Alternate Curl (biceps region). I suggest this exercise cuz Leroy Colbert -- the first man on the planet Earth to display a 20 ½ inch muscular arm -- does it and he showed me how to do it with rhythm and style in the corner of Union City, New Jersey’s Weider Barbell Company warehouse amid stacks of bars and plates and cases of food supplements in 1962. Leroy still does the Big Biceps movement in the storeroom of his health food store on Ventura Boulevard in Van Nuys, California. Leroy is a great guy, a dear friend and we are both slightly mad.

Visit his colorful website at

About the exercise: Sit on the very edge of your bench, grasp the light-to-medium-weight dumbbells like good old friends and let them hang by your sides. To notice the weight, to be aware of the downward pull and the tightness of your grip is to know the exercise. We must know a thing to own it, befriend it or conquer it.

Too often we grab the barbells, dumbbells or gear and charge into action, forcing every fiber of our startled muscles to move the formidable objects in the general direction of our choice. We thrust, growl, contort and shake, the dumbbell moving like five o’clock traffic on the freeway off ramp. We strain in pain and desperation till the deed is done and we’re frazzled. What was that all about? Come to think of it, we’re not sure. Next set.

That sort of ‘blasting it’ has merit, like activists screaming for human rights in the town square -- no form, no order, no direction... just noisy passion. But there are times when focused and smooth motion dedicated to the engagement of each and every cell of the muscle being worked is most effective and delightful. Maturity, I suspect (not old age or wimpy prudence or Mister Do Right preciseness), teaches this valuable method of operation.

Think and feel and know. One arm at a time, observe the individual repetitions and polish them like fresh fruit till they shine. 10, 8, 6 reps, they’re all good if you are there every inch of the way, all the way. Two battles are fought, full body straining and full-minded attention, both for the same cause: Growth... your growth. Silent snarling and inconspicuous thrusts are permitted, secretly encouraged.

> Machine Dips (triceps, shoulder, pec and upper back regions). I love dips for a hundred reasons. Topping the list, they build functional and attractive muscles in lotsa places, they can be performed between appropriately arranged rocks on the moon, and I grew up with them, along with the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Tootsie Rolls and Wonder Bread. Machine dips are appealing as they enable you to safely position yourself to recruit specific muscle regions and to work them solidly. A widegrip with a forward lean and you light up the chest, rear delts and upper back. A close-grip with a more upright torso position fully engages the triceps, and involves a subtle variation of the pectoral and mid-back muscles. Mix the positions and go for reps from 10 to 20; add full range of motion and committed concentration. And a big smile... almost forgot.

Superset the above two movements if and when you choose.

> One-arm dumbbell row (back, core, bis). If this exercise is done with full range of motion, focused extension and contraction, and heart, you are going places. These places include thicker and denser, stronger and tougher, more resistant and more resilient, healthier and more confident. There is a very attractive female version of the above. Trust me.

Bentover rows pursue heavy weights, seek increased power and produce meaningful muscle growth, and are meant to be demanding. They involve lots of muscle and oxygenation and a be-here-now attitude. No, they’re not scary; they’re awesome and they’re fun... and they’re terrific.

Lean your hand on a bench before you, comfortably position your back low and flat, creating a stable triangle with bent legs as you prepare to execute the movement. Lift the weight from its resting place and let it hang, iron and gravity at work. Like so many exercises, you are free to move about slightly to locate your favorite, most effective placement as you engage the cuddly object. We’re not prisoners of exact form. Be fluid and flexible, attentive and creative.

You want to pull that iron with power and sureness from a most beneficial place to a most beneficial place. Consider this motion, from where and to where. Up and down is close enough for the time being, but as you learn, grow and feel, you’ll want to define the movement -- the extension, the arc of direction, the contraction and the return -- to gain the most from the action and input.

The lighter the weight, the more control you have allowing full forward extension of the dumbbell (a real stretch on the lats) and high contraction for a wide lat action. The heavier the weight (I almost always increase the weight in any series of consecutive sets), the less control, but the greater the mass-building resistance you have. Range of motion is limited... to tight and nasty.

Think about it: You can apply this mumbo-jumbo to all your exercises, from squats to crunches and rope tucks. Be my guest.

We no sooner get warmed up and it’s time to take off. The second of the two workouts, cleverly titled, Workout 2), will be the provocative subject of next week’s newsletter. You won’t want to miss it. Tell a friend, tell your dog.

I’m still flying slow and low, keeping my tail behind me and wings to the left and right and nose straight ahead. No fancy stuff till the ailerons are stable, the struts are tight and the prop spins like a top.

See ya up there... DD


Quick note: To avoid mucus formation and the resultant throat-clearing that guarantees thunderous pain in the wired sternum, I ingested no milk products to this date. I’ve been a dairy man all my life. Today I mixed two scoops of Bomber Blend in cold water and guzzled it like a wild pig. No mucus, color returned to my face, I felt a warm pump all over and I laughed for no apparent reason, the first time in three weeks. Go figure.

I'm seriously considering the elimination of milk from my diet, maintaining some yogurt and cottage cheese and increasing my already substantial intake of the Bomber Blend. Man against mucus!


IronOnline, our weekly newsletter, has been delivered to mailboxes and shared for eight years.
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Enjoy and trust them.

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