Mr. Universe Dave Draper
Bodybuilding, weight training, nutrition
Education, motivation and
Golden Era camaraderie

whey protein powder
Protein Powder
Dave's own blend


muscle beach bodybuilding book
The Golden Era
By Dick Tyler


squatting device
Squat device
Dave's invention


triceps bar
Triceps Pulley Bar


weight loss diet book
Weight Loss
Straight Talk

by Dave Draper

weight loss cookbook
Creative Cooking
by Stella Juarez
E-Book $12.95

Brother Iron weight lifting book
A Bodybuilder's Book
by Dave Draper

training log
Training Log

Dave Draper's Iron Online

Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


Russ Warner,  Dave Draper - Malibu Canyon

Someone asked me recently on Irononline if I supersetted regularly in my early years of training. As I recall I applied solely the classic East Coast approach to building muscle and might. A style one may very well call "Onslaught Training."

You position yourself roughly before a barbell and with little warning you pounce on it and beat it to the ground. Breathing heavily, crouching and circling, you grab the dumbbells in a power lock, twist, pummel and as before slam them down without mercy. Always on the move, sweating and cursing, you hold your rusty pig iron opponent at arm's length before performing an excruciating overhead press, a crushing barbell drop set and, finally, the backbreaking deadlift. No whimpering, no reason, no questions, no excuses, no witnesses. All that stuff came years later.

I moved to California in '63 and refined my moves, put order in my workouts and began to use primarily superset techniques. I got a handle on protein, fats and carbs and bore the yoke like an ox on the threshing-floor, season after season. For three years the bulk of my training was hard and heavy and my bodyweight hovered like a blimp at 245 pounds, a significant mound at the time. My workouts went three hours from 6 to 9 AM, six days a week times fifty-two a year with the following split:

Chest, shoulders and arms - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Back and legs - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

15 to 20 sets per bodypart @ 3 to 4 exercises x 5sets each

A popular 10,8,6,4,4 (+/-) rep scheme was used most frequently on major moves with the 6 to 8 rep standard managing secondary movements and change of pace days.

Crunches and leg raises and hyperextensions were done first thing every morning for torso strength and warm-up. No aerobics [what's that?]. Always worked forearms and did PRs in various moves every third week to apply the muscle to the max.

Through the years I've tried every technique and muscle group combination, various splits, high reps and low. Always, I've come back to beefy workouts with last rep intensity, providing form is B+ and joints and muscle connections aren't severely compromised. On occasion, of course, one must pay the executioner. I'm constantly moving set to set, actively recuperating and psyching or arranging equipment for the next combination. Though I'm driven, I don't rush. I like time to immerse myself in my workout... I average 70 MPH in the 65. When I'm done, I'm done.

Not much has changed over the years except I train 2 hours a day in the mid- morning and work each muscle group twice a week. My pulling is as good as ever but the pressing has taken a dive due to injuries and wear 'n tear. I'm 225 and more enthusiastic than the wide-eyed dungeon days. Heck, I've got you with whom to share it.

Here's the arm routine, then and now:

Standing barbell curl 5 sets x 10,8,6,6,4 +/- reps
Superset with
Overhead triceps extension 5 x 15,12,10,8,6 reps

Seated dumbbell alternate curls 5 x 6 - 8 reps
Superset with
Lying triceps extension 5 x 15,12,10,8,6 reps

Barbell wrist curl 5 x 15+/- reps
Tri-set with
Bent bar reverse curl 5 x 6 - 8 reps
Pulley pushdown [tris], rope always 5 x 12 - 15 reps

How basic can you get? You can easily cut this routine down to 4 sets per exercise without feeling guilty or ashamed. Sort of removes the horns but leaves the hooves, as Texas Dave always sez.

Remember. Though you are working bi's and tri's specifically, a full body of muscle groups is coming into play as a system. Recognize the large amount of work being done, take advantage of it and reap the benefits.

There's no better big, full biceps builder than the standing barbell curl when done with heavy output and complete range of motion. Note the work being done as the weight becomes heavy and an effective, non-cheating body thrust is applied to accommodate continued intense rep performance: from the feet through the thighs to the trunk and back and traps... clenching, pulling, stabilizing and balancing. Combined with the overhead triceps extension, you are further involving the back, shoulders and torso. Functioning toughness.

Alternate curls, with their back and forth movement, develop oblique and mid-section power and muscularity. Superset number two provides another greater-than-arms-only-task upon which the entire system will grow.

And, forearms are not forearms only. Strengthen your grip and you hold the world in your hands.

Wait! Did you sign up for Dave's email yet?
It's free, motivating and priceless!

Enter your email address here:


What's New | Online Store | Weekly Columns | Photo Archive | Weight Training | General Nutrition | Draper History | Discussion Group | Mag Cover Shots | Magazine Articles | Bodybuilding Q&A | Bomber Talk | Workout FAQs | World Gym Listing | Santa Cruz Local | Muscle Links | Need More Help? |Site Map | Contact IronOnline | Privacy Policy

All IronOnline pages copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Dave Draper
All rights reserved.