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


Flex Wheeler, 1988?
Can this be Flex Wheeler, 1988?

The great Arnold extravaganza was an explosion of experience, a monumental expenditure of inspiring and powerful physical energy, a kaleidoscope of colorful and compelling personalities. The vast Expo of hundreds of booths throbbed with merchants showing their wares as hearty consumers like cattle in holding pens nudged their way obligingly from aisle to aisle. Bombers, the place was packed beyond your wildest imagination.

Sensational acts from Cirque du Soleil entertained throughout the day as powerlifters set records. How about a 63 year old brute benching 620? Martial artists with excellence and passion flashed their skills and the female bodybuilders displayed the indescribable work of sharpened chisels to bodies of stone.

Old news is no news. Fact is, it has all come and gone and our exciting participation, the radiant presence of the Drapers, the concussing of has gone unreported. Due to some rare strain of, perhaps, an interplanetary virus, my spontaneous and explosive journals of the three slam-bam days have been delayed. Everybody knows Flex won. All I have now are some half-hearted stories to bore you with about some stuff that happened... What was it, last weekend? Oh, boy. Another Draper scoop.

Bwana Mike. He's the greatest. Concerned that my symptoms pointed to pneumonia, he concocted some Western hi-tech herbal potion to kill the evil spirits I absorbed while flying, severely immobilized for critical lengths of time. I am slowly regaining consciousness.

Flex Wheeler was the man of this year's 25th Arnold Classic, no dispute there. Blink your eyes and Chris Cormier could've taken first, or, maybe popular Kevin with a few assorted moans and groans. Yet, here's a story for our books, Bombers. Laree and I during our early association 15 years ago dabbled in a venture called "On Target with Dave Draper." (Ring a bell?) One of our pursuits was to photograph the highly popular physique shows, compile articles and sell the pics where we could. The first contest we worked was Paul Love's NPC pro qualifier in San Jose, California, 1988. Young Flex Wheeler had his hands full on stage that night with Mike Quinn, Jim Quinn and 50 other raging bodybuilders of the rambunctious 80's growling down his neck. Flex, at 19 and 190, was the man then, as he is the man now. Searching the attic now for that thirteen year old classic slide.

Can you imagine looking in any direction at any time during a 72 hour muscle celebration of such grandiose proportions where the average attendee is paying $2,000 between tickets, meals, tips, rooms, cabs, airfares and merchandise, without seeing something bizarre if not, at least, a little bit catchy. How about that wholesome and endearing young fellow sporting those graceful 28" upper arms fully pumped with Synthol solution: no forearms, no traps or deltoids, none, zero. Just biceps like hubcaps. They actually set him up onstage as if to give him credibility. Give that man a dunce cap to go with his hubcaps. Inspiring.

The World Gym dinner, an Arnold co-event on Friday night, beheld its own respectable spectacles. The Italian Bull, mighty Flavio Bacciaini, charged the spokesman's stage mid-evening and coerced the speaker, the diminutive Lou Ferrigno, to step down the two steps to floor level, a descent of 18." There, head to head, he proceeded to bate Lou into a pose-down. Lou at 6'5" and 296 pounds and the Italian Bull at 4'11" and 148 made the match realistic enough but the two opted to embrace and decline to carry the Good Fight to its end. Both, of course, were unanimous winners by popular demand.

Times flies, space collides and in one spontaneous overview there we are. Millard and his dear wife Heather are stretching and sipping water from their ever-present crystal containers. From their Beyond booth they answer questions and engage a captive audience which includes Laree and me. From a distance the four of us notice a commotion as two rowdy studs push their way towards us, shouting and flailing their muscular arms. Wouldn't 'ya know, it's Ivan the Barbarian Librarian and Shawn the Terrible, plastic bags full of samples and literature and autographs of the security guards. Mark Pittroff, three booths over smiles and nods to Millard and me as he observes the innocent ruckus and carefully positions another squatter under the Manta Ray for the ultimate thigh experience.

Fred Kungl and his savvy wife Jackie, former black iron gym owners and now successful entrepreneurs (IOL originals caught in the lava flow), promise to meet us all for steaks at 3:30 - you know where. Rick Cartwright and his wife, early birds like sparrows gathering tidbits, flew off to higher ground saying they'd visit later. Guy Miller, though the crowd is now a throng, manages to mosey over to the IOL prescribed meeting area at the Expo, his customized fanny pack stocked with water, MRPs, tuna, baggies of sups, fruit, nuts and a large exer-tube. What a group. I was hoping Guy wouldn't unravel his heavy-duty rubber gizmo to demonstrate the unique bench press he'd devised for the trip when Lyle McDonald, once again, saved the day. He and his unassuming and gracious science confidant Bryan Haycock, provided additional substance to a congealing and separating group that was forming by whim and caprice in a free radical oversized Expo ooze. Who's this, last but not least, the benevolent Midnight Muser; lean but not mean unless you make a big mistake; Gary Cornwall is a star. The giant structure, as you are now convinced, was PACKED with people and all they bring with them. Yet, for the time we were together, we owned the place.

I'm late for work. At the iron crib I relieve Laree, who wants to send this musty, cob-webbed, tarnished yet illiterate garble out before it's summer. Gotta keep up our professional reputation. There is so much more to report and we will as it is still relevant with the passing of time, my great nemesis.

God Bless us... dd

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.