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Lies, Prevarications, Fibs and Deception

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During the last two months I’ve republished five newsletters randomly picked from the IOL archives of ’03 and ’04. Yup, recycled trash. I’m unforgivable, lazy and sneaky; out of material, out of touch, out of paper, out of wind and out of whack. But, then, you knew that. The interesting thing is no one mentioned my sly misdeeds, which leads me to believe no one reads my illustrious words.
Fine! I’ll stop trying so hard. From now on I shall offer material lifted from pre-’70 Muscle Builder magazines stashed in my attic and Readers Digests found in my doctors’ waiting rooms. I refuse to end the flow of my weekly power bursts and muscle flashes. I have my integrity, loyalty and virtue to maintain.

Honor before surrender.

Let’s move forward. This week’s topics: Twenty ways to build 20” arms, including the biceps and not excluding the triceps. The routine works particularly well in conjunction with my subtle yet revolutionary, eat-all-the-junk-food-you want-and-gain-100-pounds-quick program. Trust me, size-seekers, this is a winning combination.

… Silent scream of frustration…

It’s one of those days -- the middle of December, I haven’t started my Christmas shopping, I have nothing to write about and I’m seriously considering eating the chocolate Santa Claus ornament hanging on the Christmas tree. Laree -- ho, ho, ho -- is on a diet amid the festive holiday season and I’m in the toilet. Seldom do I let my mind stray, but it’s going sideways like a three-legged hound dog chasing a rabid rabbit.

Choices: flush the toilet, eat the chocolate Santa or go to the gym. I’m off to the gym where forgiveness and strength are found, refuge and relief, pain and anguish. I’ll be back with tall tales of muscle and might and conquest. Don’t move.

I’m back and you moved. Know how I can tell you moved? The chocolate Santa is gone from the Christmas tree. Naughty, naughty! No muscles in your stocking.

Having reduced my weight training to two days a week for various reasons, the days I’m in the gym need to be wisely utilized -- the selection of movements, the tightness of pace, the intensity of exertion, the quality of focus and the level of awareness. Each workout is based on the last workout and the resultant muscle-load and recuperation.

I prefer four weekly bouts with the iron, but time, age and condition no longer allow the approach. I try to pace myself when I stand before the iron, knowing it would be to my advantage, but I insist on pushing each set to maximum. I cannot do four sets of eight moderate reps, smile at the wall, turn and saunter to the next exercise. Hi, Mr. Iron. How are you today?

Not me. I crawl, eyes crossed and tongue hanging out the side of my mouth.

When I was a kid, I did what kids do. I lined up the weights and kicked them, head-butted them, kneed and elbowed them and beat them with a stick. Then I lined them up again and attacked them again. This went on until they quit and I went home and ate and slept. The gruesome methodology worked for years until I grew up, which took a really long time. Now I use commonsense.

The six-week and eight-week routine thing also worked for years... good order, growing discipline, truckloads of gagging patience and goal-setting. Hence, the season of bulking, the season of power, the season of hardening, the season of cutting, the season of injury, the season of repair. Hello. Supersets, trisets, giant sets, high reps, low reps, singles. Help!

Commonsense saves the day.

Somehow, somewhere along the line we gained some muscle and some muscle understanding. Lucky us. Not exactly! We busted our buns, girls and boys. Now, no longer kids, we can train with a well-earned looseness of style. Style looseness doesn’t necessarily mean looseness in effort. It means scrutinized looseness in blending the movements we need and want and are able to perform to achieve healthy and sufficient muscle and strength, workout by workout.

I call it tight looseness. Laree calls it loose tightness. She’s also on a diet during the holidays. What can I say.

I get a lot of email (two or three a week) from kids my age who suffer elbow and shoulder and knee pain workout to workout, and I think it’s cuz of the day-by-day sameness of their training. Bench, bench, curl, curl, dip, dip.

The certainty of the routine is comforting, but the continuous identical overload on the less-than-youthful ligaments and joints is costly. And I don’t think the established muscles appreciate or require the sameness of action. They, not unlike the restless mind, young and old, delight in change. They, too, have memory and crave new experiences.

It’s food for thought, hungry yet menu-restricted bombers. Each of my workouts is different. They are not haphazard or casual or chaotic. They are thoughtfully, carefully and wisely unalike yet complementary. I choose from the popular basics. Actually, I choose from whatever I can still do, which includes the popular basics under clever modification, reconstruction and reinvention.

I do four sets of each exercise and typically follow a 12, 10, 8, 6 rep scheme. Sometimes 20 reps are sought with certain movements (pulley pushdowns) or as many as 50 reps (rope tucks). Four sets enable a complete warm-up, the discovery and application of the effective grooves and the enriching overload the region needs. If on any given movement I think one more set would be perfect, I reach for five. Likewise, on rare occasions, if the third set is just right, I hold tight; I don’t fight.

Too much is too much, not enough is not enough.

Lift and shut up, Draper!

Wait! One more thought, I think: I like supersets; I like pushing and pulling combined, not pulling and pulling and pushing and pushing, as some intellectualize. I like training by feeling rather than training by thinking. My brain helps, but mostly gets in the way. But then you knew that, too.

Did I mention Bomber Blend? Take two scoops and mix with your fav… a bana… shak… get huge… rip… pow… youthf… energ…

Go… Godspeed… Dave


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