Dripping Springs or Bust

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Right about now, Thursday the 26th, a small contingent of IOL Winged Warriors is off to that idyllic patch of earth due west of Austin known worldwide as Dripping Springs. Forty-some bombers, Laree and me included, will converge on the restful town of 2,000 neighbors and kick up some dust: camping, campfires, barbeques, musclemaking at Mike Graham’s Old Texas Barbell Club, dinner at Threadgill’s (Joplin’s ole’ hangout), a private tour of The Todd-McLean Physical Culture Collection (University of Texas at Austin) and six-shooter practice on the wide-open range.

It is my desire to keep ya’ll busy -- outta trouble -- while we’re romping around the Wild West and catchin’ outlaws, bank robbers, cattle rustlers, horse thieves and such. With that in mind I present the following deep and moving thoughts concerning subjects we rarely visit, much to our shame.
Muscle and might, health and fitness: What do you want, what can you expect and what are you willing to do? It’s a good idea to answer these questions before you decide your training routine. And the answers to the three should be consistent, if you’re to be consistent. Consistency determines your success.

Scribble a few lines of common sense on a page and they look like serious laws -- Principles of Life. Truth is, common sense is more valuable than laws. If people applied logic, their greatest resource, to their daily lives, there’d be no need for laws. Instead, common sense is obscure, buried, doubted, untapped and ignored.

Muscle building and fat loss are common sense.

~What do you want? The answer is based on your imagination, high hopes, dreams, boldness and, lastly, intelligence. How about barn-door lats, veins like cables, boulder thighs and horseshoe triceps for guys, curves and leanness for the gals, and bigger, stronger and faster for athletes?

The answers change with time and maturity. What you want now is not what you wanted, say, eight years ago when davedraper.com first appeared on the internet. A large number of us flying about the friendly skies, though motivated and seeking, have rearranged our purposes and pursuits and premises. We still want much, but less likely arms measuring 20 inches or cuts as deep as the Rio Grande gorge. I’ll personally pass on watermelon deltoids (my eyes are on the summer cantaloupes).

The world has gotten bigger and faster, it seems, more crowded, confused and demanding. This questionable reality has some people thinking there’s less time to seek their fitness goals. Time and money are borrowed and stress is overflowing. Let’s be smart where we invest our time and money, Honey.

Stop and think for a moment, if you have a moment: Never before have fitness and the gym been more valuable. The big guns and hourglass shape might be less important than during the summer of ‘99, but the need to be healthy and strong and emotionally fit is on the rise (there are creepy things in the shadows). Weight training accomplishes all three, the gym is a refuge.

What we want takes on more general terms with the passing years. Take me, for example (always the sucker): at 65 I no longer seek top-notch professional physique titles or powerlifting records. I kid you not! Despite Laree’s persuasion, pleas and urgings, I gracefully put those days behind me. There comes a time in one’s life, bombers, when... well, more on that subject later. Much later!

I glanced behind and looked ahead, and decided to do what I’ve always done -- take what I can get with what I have, and what I have is regular, ordinary common sense.

The will is there, matched with discipline and sufficient madness. Most -- some, a few, several, one or two, barely enough -- of the muscles remain; adequate knowledge and sufficient understanding are on hand and I’m open to daily events -- setbacks, obstacles, the passage of time. Come to think of it, it’s been that way for the past few decades.

Training is the same, there’s nothing new. I arrange the basic exercises like brave and dutiful soldiers on the battlefield. I modify exercise input to match available energy and strength and ability to recuperate. I think positively, apply myself steadily and focus like a curious lab tech attending his microscope. I train consistently, eat right and rest a lot. In other words, I bomb it... I bomb it good. More laws from the department of common sense.

What can I expect? In a breath, heal the ticker, resist injury and disease, grow muscle where possible, lose fat where possible, retain, sustain and maintain the rest, while I have a blast and go with the flow. Disappointment and discouragement must be fought preemptively, subdued posthaste.

~What can you expect? Expect much and achieve much. Expect little and achieve little. Expect too much and be disappointed. Expect too little and be a disappointment. Look around you with wide-open and honest eyes. Reality is a stranger to many of us.

We’re in this together, bombers, genes, structure, age, gender, gains and losses and commonsense. Some things have changed and some things have not.

Let me guess. A few years have gone by and left their impression, good times, bad times and ups and downs. Training’s come and gone and come again, muscle and fat are seasonal, energy and fatigue are distinguishable, and your health and strength are questionable. You wear glasses now and your favorite music is older music and you look at the world and you shake your head. What going on here? You never looked at the world before. Too busy, till now.

Don’t be dismayed with the troubling thought that it’s time for some changes -- workout and menu, purpose, direction, exertion. It’s just a troubling thought. You are permitted a grace period -- AKA a period of denial -- as you make subtle adjustments in your subconscious and pride, hair, dress and vehicle. Health before mass? No! Safety before triceps extensions with a loaded Olympic bar? Nay! Fitness before three-percent bodyfat? Not! Age before beauty? Never!

Goals not uncommon among weightlifters between the ages of 18 and 55: huge and ripped, 400-500-pound bench press, squat or deadlift, big arms, shoulders and back, lean abdominals, sweeping thighs and diamond-studded calves... with health and well-being trailing behind but catching up fast.

There comes a time when health and fitness, safety and wellbeing rise to the surface like corks in a hot tub. Last, but not least, they pop to the top with a hop and a lump and a limp.

You might be young and visit IronOnline because you appreciate what you interpret as clear thinking and honesty, a breath of fresh air from yesterday, today and tomorrow. You’re where you belong, I suspect. Listen and learn and grow. Your youth will grow with you, your muscle and might.

~What are you willing to do? How much time and work are you willing to invest in attaining your lifting goals? Here’s where consistency comes into play. What you want, can expect and are willing to do must be compatible.

The muscle and might goals you set might seem fair, but exceed your potential. You can’t cross the wide blue Pacific in a classic biplane.

The mind may be willing, but the body not able. There’s no breaking the sound barrier in a sporty Piper Cub.

The bigger the goal, the more it takes. You cannot expect to transport tons of cargo in your four-passenger Cessna, Captain.

As you might have suspected, Chief, age can be a factor. The Kitty Hawk will fly, but soaring can strain the struts.

Gliders can be fun, they say. You want a bomber, be ready, willing and able to bomb it.

Personally, I like those nifty Beachcraft Bonanzas: sturdy, compact, manageable, long-range, low-upkeep, neat tail arrangement.

Wrapped up in a single, commonsensical one-liner I offer a half-a-dozen principles of training: Logically determine your possibilities and abilities, qualities and resources and drag them to the gym and apply them passionately and consistently. Simple, but no one said it was easy.

The hangar is empty; the birds are in the sky. See you there... dd

Update: Click here for Dave's post-bash report


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.
Our endeavor began as a weekend curiosity (whatsa-web-site?) at the brink of 1999 and grew into a gazillion (3,000) page wonder. We enjoy each other, we encourage each other, we inform each other, we depend on each other, and one might say we know each other.
Aware of this community relationship, Laree and I do our best to provide the best of everything to make your muscle journey productive, enjoyable and complete: inspiration, motivation, information, instruction, explanation, suggestions and advice in muscle and might, exercise and nutrition, attitude and behavior.
Among our ranks are some of the brightest trainers who have been there, done that, and delight in doing it still. They have joined forces with us to offer devoted bombers direct personal training through IOL. Here’s an opportunity to engage in one-on-one training with IOL’s finest to progress confidently and vigorously in your training -- workouts, menus and motivation.
This gallant team of muscle minds and iron heads are long-time friends. They are knowledgeable, understanding, honest and generous benefactors who will help you over the obstacles that drive us Crazy.

Enjoy and trust them.

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