Sights and Sounds Free of Charge

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Three hours ago I glubbed an ordinary, yet spectacular Bomber Blend concoction, grabbed my lucky gym bag and blasted off my remote launching pad for the Santa Cruz Weight Room. In less than 20 minutes I was barging about benches and racks, setting up my gear for my first incredible series of multi-sets. Without pause I was immersed in an authentic musclebuilding workout. The sets were flying, exercises were strewn across the floor and a pump emerged beneath my sweaty t-shirt; within the depths of my muscles a searing burn smoldered.

There were no jesters, jokers or jerks; I was not hurting or busted, bored, fatigued or flustered. The exercise choices were mucho perfecto mundo, senior, as they say in the south of France.

Zip... “Huh?”... Zap... “What the...?”

Free of charge. The electricity stopped, went off, shut down halfway through the workout, providing sweet silence and sufficient natural light from the glass entryways and skylights to distinguish a barbell from a broom, a dumbbell from a donut.

Swell... heaven and hell.

A few disappointing moans came from wheezing treadmillers in the aerobic area as their whirring travels to nowhere hopelessly ended. Oh, well, that’s life in the fast lane.

Don’t you just love the iron? It is so absolutely independent. A hapless tree had fallen across a luckless electrical line in the innocent park across the quiet street, and the rockin’ barbells and rollin’ dumbbells did not skip a beat, a clink or a clank. The racks stood tall, the benches held their ground and the pulleys twirled on like the wheels of time.

We’re good. Who needs electricity when the dynamics of iron and might are in our hands? Lifters of metal bars and steel plates are radiant; they provide their own energy and generate unique electricity. Lightning strikes in the field of steel; thunder can be heard in the distance if one only listens.

It’s a very different story, Skyrider, when light turns to dark and noise fades to silence and clarity slips to vague. Distance vanishes, boundaries contract, edges sharpen, distractions diminish, your focus sharpens, your heartbeat intensifies and you become you. The abrupt alteration, the sudden reduction of sights and sounds and sureness, baffles the system.

Curiously, the short in the circuit is short-lived when you’re amidst a meaningful workout. I noted an audible click of an internal switch and a perceptible zing in my central nervous system the moment light and sound vacated my senses. I was drawn to the weights -- connected, magnetized -- as if they were an extension of me.

I grabbed a pair of dumbbells and felt the rough knurl of the handles and the brazen heft of the iron. They were no longer 35-pounders -- black, circular behandled steel plates. They were tension and resistance within my muscles and bones, invisible and indefinable objects not separate from me.
I heard every sound without listening: the scruff of my grasping hands against the bars, the anxious scraping of plates released from the rack, the groan in my shoulders as they grappled the familiar load; heavy breathing, a swallow, a snort, and the ruffling thrust of iron moving against fabric and air and struggling sinews. Steel benches squeak and creak, unsolicited comments, when no other sounds can be heard.

To the composer, an orchestra in the pit tuning up before a great concert.
There are hoots and howls and growls and yowls and hisses and snarls and expletives accompanying the metal as it rises from down to up, and down again. I knew it wasn’t quiet, but forgot how noisy the action of pressing a weight can be. Metal against metal is clamorous, but man against metal is cacophonous. There’s a difference, you know. Who’d of thunk it, till the electrical power’s gone out?

Without power, an ironhead has extra time to think. Duh...

Not the thinking of the sort that solves problems (the coefficient of 1,234 minus the square root of NYC), or answers perplexing questions (The Nobel Peace Prize? Why?), but the mind-work beneath skin-deep geared to scrutinize and investigate and assess and wonder.

Not a rep goes unnoticed when electricity stops dancing through the wires and flooding the mind with light, sight and sound. On the contrary, each and every exercise, set and rep assumes increased dimension, more curves and intersections, expanded coloration and contrasts and deeper nature and character. They, the actions, are no longer simply black and white, heavy and light.

And the unfolding elaboration doesn’t make them confusing. It makes them fascinating and alive... exciting and spontaneous.

Of course you’ve pondered similar experiences yourself, the primary motivation of your continued training engagement. Yup!
I also dig the shredded muscle mass and brute strength my bouts with the weights produce: small, yet worthwhile fringe benefits, fun added attractions, mentionable exercise byproducts. These alone are great temptations to cart the stout metal contrivances from point A to point B, again and again. Kid stuff -- big guns, deeply carved pecs, Herculean shoulders -- but admittedly alluring.

Did I hear someone say, “Hey, Instant Replay: You forgot to mention patience and perseverance, respect and responsibility. You don’t want a bunch of bombers to leave here half-winged and partially propelled. They might miss their targets and flip their flaps and alienate their ailerons. And what about health and fitness, Son of Jersey?”

Yeah, yeah... always a bat in the belfry: May the wind beneath your wings, like whimsical electricity, vanish into the thin, still air.

Do this -- you’ve got an hour:

It won’t build any muscle, unless you train hard and consistently and believe it will. With any luck, the generator will run out of fuel.

Midsection -- core workout to include high-hip bridges, leg raises off a bench or hanging leg raises (5-10 minutes). Cycle, jog or walk on off days (15-20 minutes).

Day 1) Chest, lats, shoulders, legs (tris, grip)

Bench press (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Straight-arm pullover (2, 3 or 4 sets x 8 to 12 reps)
45- or 60-degree dumbbell incline press (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Side-arm lateral raise (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps)
Walking lunges with light dumbbells (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)

Day 2) Biceps, triceps, legs (grip, shoulders, back, chest)

Standing barbell curl (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps)
Dumbbell alternate curl (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps)
Dips (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Lying or overhead triceps extension (2, 3 or 4 sets x 8 to 12 reps)
Dumbbell squats and calf raises (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)

Day 3) Shoulders, back, legs (bis and tris and grip)

Front press (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Bentover lateral raise (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Wide-grip chins (use block for assist) (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
One-arm dumbbell row (2, 3 or 4 sets x 6 to 12 reps)
Farmer walks, up stairs if possible (2 sets x 25 yards)

One set is for beginners, two sets are for girls and old men, three are for guys and dolls, four sets for men and Chiquita Gorilla, and five sets are for maniacs, lost causes and nincompoops like you and me.

Every other day with two days off between the threesome is authentic and legal and presentable.

Smile and soar silently when you have the chance... DD

Dan John Book: Never Let Go
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Did you know Bomber Blend will provide the least expensive and most nutritious meals in your daily eating regimen? It’s not an added extravagance to your food budget; it reduces your budget and improves your nutritional intake. It builds lean, strong and shapely muscle. Regular servings of Bomber Blend raise your IQ and enable you to time travel. Made into a poultice and smeared on the scalp will prevent baldness and kill tics. Good stuff.

Scoop the blend into a glass, stir and drink with pleasure and satisfaction, when you need to, want to or should. All the time.

Soak yourself in a taste of bodybuilding’s Golden Era with Dick Tyler’s on-the-scene record, written in his easy-going, one-of-a-kind style, West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

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

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