The Expectant Spectator, Huge and Rippling

Dan John
During Sunday's filming of his Intervention workshop, dvd forthcoming

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Do you ever get the feeling life is about to begin? It’s happening now of course, but we’re more or less hanging before it really, really begins—as soon as one or two more things are complete. As soon as school is out, we get a job, a car, a house, we’re married, divorced, promoted, respected, recognized or huge ’n ripped. Then life will be in our hands, clear, manageable, enjoyable and everlasting. We will be whole and at peace and ready to live life each day, every day, one fabulous day at a time.

Meanwhile we wait with suspended breath, creased brow, clenched jaw and that persistent pain in the middle of our burdened back. Our focus is fixed on the things, the suspicions, the doubts, the two or more major worries between us and all else.

We’ll prepare ourselves and arrange our surroundings and secure our relationships. We’ll consider how life should be, fix what’s broken and put things in order. And the sooner all this is accomplished, the sooner we can get on with life and all its promise. What a relief.

Flash: This is it. Life is here, now, unfolding before our eyes. Wake up. Rise and shine. Look and see, touch and feel, breathe and smell the fresh air.

Plans are good, organization is important and order makes sense. Goals are absolutely essential. Set them wisely and keep them within grasp. Life without them is a maze.

Our life is our actions, including our occurring mental, emotional and spiritual energies. But our time is spent elsewhere -- in anticipation, preparation and pursuit, or hiding and dodging, and not here in this moment in the act of being.

Sit, cross legs, meditate… Ohmmmm...

Many of us are out of step and out of time with ourselves, our actions and our purposes. We’re not here, now -- the only place: we’re there, later -- an imaginary place. We need to be aware of what we do as we do it to do it well, to the best of our abilities.

I’m not referring to the mundane things of life, bombers. I’m talking about the consequential undertakings; the real, sensible, essential and important practices and events, like lifting weights, building muscle and getting bigger, stronger and faster.

Great workouts are defined by the might demonstrated in exercise and the energy sustained throughout a training session. The pump achieved and the burn endured are factors of no less magnitude when describing workout superiority. Attitude and mood decide the input and output.

The greatest workouts happen when we’re involved, when we’re engaged, when we’re invested in each set and rep, movement after movement, unquestioning and undistracted; experiencing, discovering and flowing, warm and loose.

My best workouts are occur when…


     ~I maintain my mental focus from start to finish.

     ~I am determined, even-paced yet unhurried. I achieve a rhythm.

     ~I am comfortable and at ease without compromising the intense training edge. This indicates confidence and the calm that accompanies it.

     ~With each movement I carefully assume my pre-exercise body position and intuitively powerize (psyche) and oxygenize to assure maximum output.

     ~The workout, the sets and the reps are important, but they’re not a matter of life and death. They’re a matter of quality. They have detail, atmosphere and direction, sound and silence, temperature, black, white and color.
     ~Each set is approached with high regard, near affection, yet not worshipped. Every set has solid substance, casting light in a dark place.

     ~Each repetition is acknowledged, scrutinized and understood and meticulously recorded in the system forever. Every rep has its own character and role, the good, the bad and the ugly.

     ~The workout, entirely or any single part of it, is a thing to be aspired toward, accomplished, achieved, attained and won and not a thing to be gotten out of the way. It is a sure investment, another step, one more concrete block in place.

     ~I apply discipline and yet maintain freedom from depressing training restrictions: concentrate, don’t castigate. Look, listen... and talk rarely (hi, how are ya, I’m okay, you’re okay, end of conversation).


     ~I have no other immediate responsibilities or distractions and no time limit.

     ~I train regularly within the same timeframe.

     ~I preload with a Bomber Blend protein shake (16 ounces reduced-fat milk, 2 scoops Blend, banana and two raw eggs, ice), creatine and Nitromax (BCAAs by Anabol Naturals).

     ~I’m accompanied on the gym floor by a bottle of fresh water and a variety of wraps.

     ~I’m wearing a favorite T-shirt, old, ugly, shredded but clean (the t-shirt, that is, not me).

     ~The gym floor has a handful of cool lifters going about their business.

     ~The music is not blasting and obnoxious or dull and boring (the music, that is, not me).

Anyone for beer and pizza? It’s been a long day and I’m starved. My treat.

The Drapes   


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