First Things First

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Dr. Whatshisname and Dr. Whatshername


Dave's furniture, circa 1970

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The people revolt and the bullets fly, the winds rage and houses splinter, the forces appear out of nowhere and the enemy disappears into the sea; fortunes are lost, promises are made, the innocent pay, the wicked play, the strong stand and time never stops. And the iron moves from rack to floor to bench to the sky overhead… again and again.

What more can we do? Grasp, exert, release and move on. Lift, live, learn and grow. The strong stand strong. The strong never quit.

It’s the weekend, the California sun is shining, the beaches are calling and the cars are on the road in that familiar headlight-to-taillight procession. The gas is in the tank making its way through the carburetor fast as it heads in a haze for the tailpipe, and now it is no more. Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s life.

“Fill ‘er up with the cheap stuff, Mister.”

“Ha, there is no cheap stuff, Son. They say next year this’ll be the cheap stuff. And fill ‘er up yourself, Slick. I look like the ESSO serviceman at the 19.9-cent pump?”  

Remember those days? Joe DiMaggio, Coke in bottles, Charles Atlas, butch haircuts, cheap bread, cheap gas, cheap dates, smoochin’ in the back seat? Me neither, but here we are today -- a couple years older and deeper in debt.

I blasted it yesterday (funny the damage you can do with a few well-placed firecrackers) and today I shall rest in peace (RIP). I just might hit the deck and catch a few afternoon rays over a can of tuna and a bottle of water. Such a divine combination of glories in the musclebuilding world is known as heaven. Paradise, even… nirvana, super duper, very cool, too.

Of course, the very first question, a burning question filled with mystery, wonder and excitement, is what exactly was the famed blasting session? Oh, you information-hungry, fact-thirsty, fun-seeking and lovable lifting maniacs – you want more, more, more of the profound and scintillating good stuff. I commend you.

Naturally, the 75-minute eruption needed to cooperate with its previous counterpart, the arm sizzler described in last week’s newsletter. My workouts fit together like pieces of a life-size puzzle, with you and me and the iron as the vibrant theme. Note the sensitivity to detail and subtle improvised applications while using basic tools and bold movements. Ah, the priceless byproducts of time and practice, deliberation and resolve.

I might point out while my fingers still work, a strong and well-nourished attitude cannot be broken. The factors determining an admirable attitude are wide and varied, but at its emergence encouragement is its water and rich, fertile soil. Remember: Encourage and be encouraged.

My doctor, whatshisname, says I speak tangentially. Who asked him? Did I mention the importance of Bomber Blend in your musclebuilding, joy and long life? I cannot do without it. I rather lift without weights than lift without Bomber Blend.

The obvious alternate to my last training session was my all-inclusive whammy, the pretty-perfect pound, pummel and penetrate performance. When you only have 75 minutes or else, and you can no longer move at the speed of greased lightning and your energy and endurance resemble Mutt and Jeff and your strength is compared to that of a kitten (yes, my neurologist, a 50-something female, while giving me a series of standard manual tests last week commented I had the strength of a kitten… and my legs are skinny – good thing Laree was there or I would have decked her), everything must count.

The whammy goes like this:

I started with kneeling rope tucks, 25 broad-range reps with ample extension and tight contraction, total concentration and a rhythmic pace. Without pause, I repositioned to a sitting posture, completing an additional six repetitions of lat pulls to the chest. I did three sets with deep breathing between sets.

I commenced with leg extensions supersetted with leg curls and sissy squats and leaning calf pushes.

I did three supersets, instead of four or five, ‘cuz I was experimenting. Four and five or more sets of exercises were needed in the past when growth and power were being sought and I was partially crazy, but now totally nuts and going on 70 (inside not-so-funny joke), three sets might be just right. And, too, I’m experimenting on reserving the intensity of the last reps, staying one or two shy of maximum exertion. The last mean and nasty reps, though adored, drain my cardiovascular resources and I feel like I’m gonna die, as Gilda used to say. Another thing, since you ask, within two days DOMS takes over, my joints inflame and become stiff and achy and I move like a greased rock.

Spare me the grief. The Mr. O O (Mister Olympia Octogenarian, 2022) isn’t for another eleven years.

Focus, form, rhythm and pace and joy must replace the misery of intensity and force and injury and suffering, no small trick. Stand and be strong, faithful warriors.

Noticing the lack of action and pump and pain in the upper-upper body, I moved like a slug to widegrip pulldowns behind the neck, mainly because the bar was already set up and, though they hurt good, they are not a wicked, I’m-gonna-die movement. The lats and bis and upper back can use the work and I can use the tug and stretch. Let me tell ya -- love rope-tucks, but hate the mondo-set of the personality-challenged, unhappy four. Yuk. Pure labor to get the job done.

One-arm cable crossovers slid in nicely after the pulldowns. The three sets are vigorous as they are done in a slightly bent runner’s stance in the appropriate placement afore the cable to encourage a wide and sweeping, pec-contracting crossover action – full extension, tight contraction, left, then right, pause and breathe, and back at it for sets of 10 to 12. Pecs, lats, bis, torso. Fight sagging, People.

The last set of three of 10 to 12 reps were performed on the popular custom Excalibur pec-dec, rear-delt blaster. Straddle machine, sit, grab handles bearing immediate resistance at arm’s length before you, and exert muscles to draw handles rearward till satisfied, return handles with approved effort and repeat till upper back and rear deltoids scream in unison. The handsome machine is located at the rear door for easy exit.

I’m outta here, 75 minutes exactly. Slugs of fresh air, water and Bomber Blend on the way home as the traffic unwinds and the sun shines.

Going, going, gone…

Godspeed… Doctor Dave

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