Blast Not, Lose Much

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Wait! Before you hit the delete key, we need to talk. Where have you been lately? You're not at the gym, we haven't seen you at the health food store and it's reported you no longer jog around the park. Going through your garbage, we found crushed pizza boxes, empty beer cans (you should recycle), Big Gulp containers and Twinkie wrappers.

We're worried about you, we being the notorious Bomber Online Muscle Bureau or BOMB Squad. We’ll stop at nothing to restore your commitment to blasting the iron.

He who blasts, lasts.

What possesses a man or woman to abandon his or her training has long been a mystery to the Bomber Psychotherapeutic Clinicians. There are countless reasons blended with assorted excuses, and many are valid: loss of interest, disappointment, troublesome, tiresome and painful. All are sufficient grounds for giving up mere exercise. Ah, but not for aborting one’s solid and bold training.

Exercise and training are as alike as Playschool and Princeton, the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Marines. Exercise is walking, occasional jumping jacks and eating your veggies. Training is pushing the iron with passion and balancing your protein intake with valuable carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients. Exercise is cute; training is powerful.

Bombers are either training, or discovering training. They have exercised and endured and are evolving as ironheads with calluses, a repertoire of routines for power, mass and muscular definition and a cupboard full of supplements. Mere exercise has been replaced with a training lifestyle that positively affects everything in their lives, job, sport, relationships, health, nature, mind and soul.

As so aptly avowed in the hallowed pages of Zen and the Resounding Clang of Iron, training is not time-consuming; training is. Training is not effortful; training is.

How, then, do they become the center of a BOMB Squad investigation? Why and where did they go wrong? Are they in a slump, behind closed doors, under a spell, over a barrel, in the closet or out to lunch? The depths of a man’s mind are unfathomable.

An aggressive confrontation with the “What ifs?” of the situation will resolve the matter. No man or woman of sound mind can walk away from the steel-hard, iron-cold truth.

What if I don’t train and what if I do? Let’s take a look at the possibilities and make a choice.

Remember, training is the devoted practice of well-planned weightlifting, smart eating and daily care and rest. Training is not walking the dog, eating celery sticks and holding your stomach in.

What if I don’t train? Holy smoking guns! Just presenting the notion causes me to cringe, like I made a blasphemous statement before the raging spirits of muscle and power. The thunder I heard, that flash of light -- tell me these were my imagination.

Let’s try that again. Ask yourself:

>> What if I don’t train?

• You shrivel up and die within seconds. Just kidding! It takes days. Still kidding. Personally, I’m hoping humor will protect me from obliteration, an old-fashioned superstition steeped in mystery and fact. When I don’t train (never happens), I slyly wear a wooden cross around my neck to guard me from demons.

• Guilt is immediate, and eats away at the soul.

• The muscles die from lack of stimulation and tender, loving care.

• You become confused -- life and things become less clear. Disorder rules, collapse is inevitable.

• You care less, as there is less to care for and care about.

• Stress mounts, as that which dissipated the dreadful disease is no longer present.

• People point and stare and whisper about your squishy arms and jelly belly. People can be cruel.

• What once was light in weight becomes indescribably heavy. Oooff is an unappealing (and most revealing) sound you make more and more frequently, like, when carrying out the garbage.

• Your snug T-shirt fits like a sack and your baggy sweatpants like a leotard. Cute.

• You find it fatiguing to order pizza and beer from Joe’s Place. You wish they’d just send it automatically.

• Great energy is expended moving from the recliner to bed after the late show, nevermind moving iron from the squat rack to the bench press after work.

• The only discipline you exhibit is when your dog drags you around the block for the evening poop ‘n scoop. Down, Spot.

>> What if I do train?

• Your stored fat and sugar will supply the fuel to get you in motion and recommence the musclebuilding process.

• Guilt vanishes, attitude brightens and you glow.

• Life makes sense and purpose returns, and friendly calluses appear on your strong hands.

• Stress evaporates with each set and rep and groan of exertion.

• Daily living is less of an effort, rather, no effort at all and between supersets you find yourself pleasantly daydreaming of a long and productive retirement. Focus! No daydreaming between sets!

• The sun shines, the birds sing, the flowers grow and little children play again. Hi, Mister, what big muscles you have.

• Walk past a construction site, girls, and the guys whistle. Guys are as dumb as wood.

• Pizza and beer is replaced by Bomber Blend Muscle Makers.

• You consider canceling your will and life insurance. Who needs it?

• Discipline is restored, procrastination is eradicated and tasks become incidentals.

• Joy is discovered in labor and thanks are given on all occasions.

• Energy is restored and perseverance is revived and both are applied as regularly as breathing in and breathing out.

• True self-confidence replaces fragile wishful thinking. I can do this!

Email received commonly at IronOnline indicates the frequent fragility of bomber training. Laree and I are commended for our authentic encouragement, which has put wind under your stalled wings or kept you aloft when the skies were stormy or less than inviting.

When confronted with the grim choice, to train or not to train, don’t think about it. That’s not a choice; that’s a no-brainer. Go to the gym and engage the entire body in a healthful, sporty and musclebuilding workout.

More thoughts for the earnest:

• Anything is better than nothing. Just be there. It only gets better.

• Do what you want to do and what you like to do, not what you think you must do. Don’t be a taskmaster. Not yet, anyway!

• Good workouts are alive with the sound of music. Listen. Sing along, hum, tap your feet. Do something!

• The first exercise is the hardest. The first sets and reps count. Engage! Momentum is near and momentum builds.

• Training is not going through the motions, an irritable thing to be gotten out of the way or a chore to be over and done with.

• Training is a primary source of light and life. Wake up, breathe deeply, look around and give thanks. You are here and now, the beginning and end. Hello.

• Basic and simple, push and pull, trust, be consistent and develop.

• No junk food, no whimpering, no leaving till you’re done.

In doubt, fed up, lost, up to your ears and otherwise blue? Train every other day with the weights for 30 to 60 minutes, and cycle and work midsection on the alternate days for 30 minutes. All better now!

Choose five push and pull exercises for three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions (my choice: dumbbell incline press, seated lat row, low-reaching lying triceps extension, barbell curl and bent-over lateral raise). That’s all it takes to jump-start a winged machine. Once she’s sputtering, she’ll pick up speed and catch some air, and flight is as real and miraculous as the stars in the sky.

They went that away, sky high and star bound.

God’s speed... Dave

The Great IronOnline End of Year Challenge

Though I’m not an active participant in the IOL Forum, I am aware of its members and their activities. Too much of Dave Draper becomes evident real quick, like a frolicking skunk in a small neighborhood. So I sit on the bench with my lifting belt slung over my shoulder and root for the champs.

They are a very good bunch. Do you know how hard it is to round up a good bunch? The world is full of weirdoes, man.

They have just introduced a free-for-all fitness challenge to assist each other in confronting the slippery slopes of winter and holiday training, and the response has been positively enthusiastic. Positive enthusiasm, according to muscleheads, anthropologists and psychiatrists, is the rarest and most essential ingredient in mankind’s will to live and get bigger, stronger, faster and more ripped.

This is not me-against-you competition, but me-for-myself-while-I-share-with-you quest: Fun, instructive, enabling, engaging and progressive. It works. Set a goal, log in once a week with your short or long comments and watch the improvements begin. Laree presents a descriptive blog post to fill you in and further entice you with the Challenge’s personal possibilities.

My goal: return to my pre-op 215 pound bodyweight and star in my own TV mystery series.

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The  Package includes a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute tape of the July seminar, two muscular slide shows, plus a 32-page booklet outlining the subsequent interview between the mighty one, Bill Pearl, and me in which we discuss some favorite subjects untouched by the seminar. ~Dave

Cut through the confusion! Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel to make your training path clear.

Readers agree: Dave new book, Iron On My Mind, is non-stop inspirational reading.

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

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

Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

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