First Things First

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Spring Boot Camp -- A Kick in the Butt


Dan John
During the recent filming of his Intervention workshop, dvd forthcoming

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I sat atop the staircase overlooking the length of the gym floor and gazed at the activity below. What I saw was a hopeful and warming sight, 20 or so guys and gals of various shapes and sizes and ages, the neighborhood’s relative few who are following through with their fitness and musclebuilding programs. And they were not perched on the leg extension, sipping Perrier as they chatted about soccer or stock prices. They were working.

The energy, devotion and spirits were high and I wondered why so few choose to care for themselves. It’s nuts. Fewer than five out of a hundred exercise for their strength and health, while 25 out of the same hundred smoke and drink. Oddly, we as a society tend to abuse ourselves -- subtly and unconsciously, or blatantly and deliberately -- rather than care for ourselves. And, then, should we notice or care, we attempt to conceal the consequences with fashion, cosmetics, attitude, distractions, medications and surgery. I shouldn't wonder and I don't judge (too harshly) as I have wandered the empty wastelands for a dispirited period myself.
 
Out of social convention bad habits are born. Come to think of it, social convention is a bad habit.

We are all heroes and winners and champions, yet pervasive forces threaten to hold us back and bring us down: fatigue of a burdened spirit, the gravitational pull of heavy emotions, lethargy due to ailing creativity and apathy fed by recycled inspiration.

The baggage of life. Too much junk, not enough action. Garbage in, garbage out.

Let us, you and me, continue to break the common molds cast by a society, which, given a chance, sits on soft pillows with one hand in a sack of sugar-coated, deep-fried, chemical-dense, nutrient-sparse tasty treats, and the other hand on the remote with both eyes glued to the screen, devastating precious time.

Our edge: Awareness of the symptoms keeps us from the disease.

Knowing the dangers and pitfalls, we bypass the destruction. We peer at our weakness and failing, procrastination and ignorance, excuses and carelessness, lack of will and lack of incentive as if projected on a screen, a picture of our lives, a project in process -- our mission, our journey. We are safe, self-inoculated, humbled and mildly proud.

Here's our duty -- One day at a time, with an eye on the next and a glance at the last, we put both hands to the task. You’ve done it before, now do it again. Clean the junk from the refrigerator and cupboards and your pockets and mind. Splash water on your face and lift that steel and push that iron. We've got work to do, brothers and sisters. Set the direction, clear the path and be the light. We've got to shine for those who don't. It's easy to shine in the world today.

You need a quality, high-protein breakfast when you rise, and three or four more equally nutritious meals throughout the day. You need to put aside that special time for rejoicing alone or with like minds three or four days a week -- 60 exhilarating minutes of vigorous exercise. Do it!

Do you have any idea how the simple paragraph you just read can change your life? I bet you do and you're rare.  Re-read it, 50 words. Further, if you actually practice the outlined precepts, you are extraordinary and have more life here and now and before you than the poor individual to your left and right and behind you… the others, them, the rest of the world.
 
This big, old world was built for bombers and bombing.

Golly gosh, people say, the plan, the practice, the process, the predicament sounds harsh and demanding and void of laughter and peace. Are you kidding me? Who among us may know true laughter and real peace without knowing harshness and demand? They are brothers and sisters of the same family. You can’t avoid them. Embrace them with your whole heart.

Fact is, I don’t know an authentic lifter of iron who can live without it, the iron, that is.

I’m getting restless.

Let’s work out. Let's get to it. Let’s hit it hard and get it done. Load the bar and move the iron. Take the metal down as it lifts us up. Everybody wins, nobody loses.

I call it bomber justice.

The action goes like this:

Hanging leg-raise, 4x20 reps
Works abdominal region, hip flexors, grip and muscles throughout forearms and biceps and a variety of muscles that control suspension -- lats, serratus, etc.

Clean and press – warm-up set, then 4x6-8 reps
Works midsection and torso, range of muscles throughout thighs and back, traps and shoulders, triceps and ample grip and forearm. Lots of deep breathing and blood flow. Systemic benefits (whole-body response due to massive muscle involvement, which exerts certain muscle-growth changes in body chemistry -- enzyme and hormonal).

Heavy barbell curl – warm-up set, then 4x6 reps
Works biceps and muscles throughout torso that support the heavy assistance movement. Limited systemic response.

Pullover (bent arm) and press, 4x6-8 reps
Works lats and serratus, pecs and triceps, front delt and bis and grip and abs. Limited systemic response.

Squats – warm-up set, then 4x6-8 reps
Works everything from head to toe. Lots of deep breathing and blood flow. Systemic benefits.

Bombs away, bombers… the Bomb

PS… The last time I did this routine I had hair…

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