Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Weight Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation


Dave Draper, side chest

Last week I hastily outlined my mass building workouts of 1962 to reflect changes I would make applying the experience and knowledge I've gained over the nutty years gone by. Two things stand out immediately as I recall those years, my habits, disciplines and goals. First of all, it doesn't seem like such a very long time: 38 years, the lifetime of a man or woman whose concern of turning forty is nibbling at their heels. Second, nothing has changed. I'm still me in an older body practicing the same basic combinations to fulfill the same basic needs; eating the same basic menu to sustain the same basic muscle. And it's not because I'm old fashioned, stubborn, conservative or unaware. It's because the wheel is round and I like it that way. It works best when it's round.

I've tried some version of it all at one time or another, by invention, by accident, by suggestion and by trend; Olympic lifting and power lifting have been frequently intertwined in my bodybuilding but not exclusively for any length of time. Often I've engaged in multi-sets, a variety of splits, twice a day combos, high and low reps, instinctive free style and HIT training. They all offer something for everybody, they all have their magnetism and, eventually, we are drawn to one or the other or some mix by our nature, temperament, personality and chemistry. I propose that whatever we like is whatever makes us grow.

Weight training for me has always been a need. Working through the stages of growth has not always been fun. There were times when it was a dog and I doubted and moaned and it was miserable. Those times were some of the best times where growth was of the spirit and soul. Your only company was you and you learned to listen to yourself and understand; you learned to like yourself in spite of it all. Heck, everybody else might just as well be looking the other way or in the mirror. Life's like that. Today, I absolutely love to train and like most of my gym members, must train. Know what I mean?

About the workouts ... I start off with the mid-section to strengthen, to build muscle, to warm up and stretch. During this time I'm able to eliminate the noise of the world, gain focus and gather training momentum and rhythm. This takes a non-stop 20 minutes of sets and reps of a combination of incline crunches, leg raises, rope tucks and hyper extensions. I plan to elaborate on mid-section next week to match our ab-get ripped push.

Each workout varies according to feel and need. Each abdominal exercise is practiced at least two times per week. Supersetted amongst the above is five sets of a favorite secondary exercise to match the body part to be worked that day. This infusion adds interest, improves heart rate and prepares that day's muscles for the onslaught. Done with vigor, I've accomplished a sufficient aerobic effect to meet my current needs.

Now I'm ready for the meat. Within every workout there is room for flex. I like to know where I'm going each day aware that I'm not strictly bound. Early on in the 60's I trained each muscle group 3X in a six-day workout week. I suggest today that more rest is healthier and more productive. I prefer a five-day week hitting the muscle groups 2X. A three on and one off, two on and one off with maximum intensity and slugging pace sounds just about right.

Henrik noted that I appear to train chest specifically only once a week. Smart kid. The second half of the training week has me condensing my shoulder and chest routine. Hoping to work on my bench pressing power as part of my mass intentions I place one benching day early in the week to match my 'wing-it' power workout. The mid to steep incline will sufficiently bomb both high chest and shoulder mass. The inclusion of dips for arms will, with focus and body positioning, further the chest cause. Plenty of hard and complete pec work without overload is provided. Too much repetitive, heavy benching is tough on the rotators over the years ahead.

Remember, there are months and years ahead of us to observe, alter, grow, revise and grow again. Therein lies the hope and fascination. Too often, may I mention, trainees change before growth has fully incubated and able to hatch. They're fickle. They switch routines because they're impatient and hunting for the fast track or someone said to or they're bored or think they've plateaued or lack steely confidence or raw perseverance. Blast on, Bombers.

I love wide grip chins to the front with a nice arch for a big, wide back. Pulldowns to the front are also wonderfully effective for achieving your lat development; the only substitute if you're not ready for chins. This superset or any superset done with an aim for mass will help you build solid and well-shaped muscle by the pounds, in time, providing your menu is as sound and particular as your training. Don't be misguided and believe supersets are for getting ripped only. You can still handle the poundage as you condition yourself and plan ahead.

Bent-over rows are a major, comprehensive mass builder. They fall into the category of squats and deads in that so much of the muscle-system is involved that entire body growth is stimulated. I go once a week on barbell rows to save the lower back from overload. One arm dumbbell rows with a supportive three-point stance allow you to go very heavy without excessive low back demand. And you have the advantage of varying your range of motion and contraction that only dumbbells provide. Here, too, a power program can be implemented to get all-over mass and thickness. Yummy.

Hey Bomber Type Kids. Laree is gonna groan (hate it when she does that) the moment she sees this thing is a 1,000 words long.

Train hard and enjoy it.


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