Getting Straight to the Point

Dan John's Intervention, the book!

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My latest killer workout, the one-day-at-a-time routine, has multiple benefits and, curiously, blends well with my all-time favorite, the whatever-you-can-do-today-that-doesn’t-kill-ya muscle-maximizer. I’m one of those ironheads who plans ahead and needs to know precisely what he’s doing.

It’s taken me some 50 years of consistent iron management, up-close and hands-on encountering, and journals and blackboards full of set-rep algorithms to determine exactly how and when to decisively shift cumbersome ferrous forms.
Some hapless folks think the determination of the trajectory of applied weighted objects is dumb, dull and repetitious hard work. Not so, pumpkin! It’s a science, it’s an art form, it’s a love affair, an inexpressible expression and a daring discipline; an unrelenting taskmaster, a vicious form of self-abuse, a sick obsession, a boorish pastime and an indication of something important missing in the psyche of the perpetrator. It’s what we do best.

Here’s a question for you, droopy drawers and smarty pants.

How does an older lifter (master blaster, ripened ripper, bald 'n bearded bar bender, teetering-tottering tri-setter, time-tested tonnage-tosser) know when he’s building himself up during his training, maintaining his muscle and well-being or wearing himself out? What is too much, what is not enough, how much exertion, how long and how frequently should he or she work out?

But wait, that’s eight questions.

When a man is a lad and a lady is a lass, the answers are important, but they are not critical. Add 50 years to the buggy ride and you’ve got road signs to observe: Speed Bump Ahead, Reduce Speed, Caution – Soft Shoulder, Be Prepared to Stop, No Parking. Break the laws and there are consequences: warnings, loss of operating privileges, moving violations, collisions, tow charges, impound fees.

Dragging rear ends, flats, overheating and smoke pouring out the tailpipe are further effects, a fun discussion for another day. Oops, there goes my hood ornament.

Day by day, workout by workout, that’s my scheme for master training. The biggest challenge is getting to the gym, wherever it is. The pre-iron decision can be heavier and tougher than the workout itself. If you were born in the '50s, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re from the '60s, you have a pretty good idea... the '70s, your nose is still runny; the '80s, you’re a brat.

Once there, already pistol-whipped and submissive, I typically go to the nearest cable system and hang on for dear life as I knock out four sets of rhythmic rope tucks (25 reps) and slip gracefully into a seated position and add six reps of full-range lat rows. I’m tuckered as I lean against a rail and do 25 reps of push-truck thigh/calf movements and sissy squats between sets.

Mid-set resting is an exhausting process… gasp…

Now, warmed up and invested (dangling by my thumbs), I go to a combination of incline dumbbell pressing for shoulders, chest and tris (make the most of solid, clean, forceful reps with accents on anything and everything that counts) and wide-grip pulldowns for the back, lats and bis. Mild thrusting is okay on the final reps to engage some mass.

Four supersets are still my choice, 8 to 12 reps on these movements suits me fine. Heavy is no longer a word I use to define the weight I handle -- light is more precise. But the exertion I employ is pure and full.

Gasp, gasp…

I have a brilliant idea, novel and adventurous: low incline dumbbell curls (6-8 reps) and overhead triceps extensions with cables (12-15 reps) for four supersets. Throw in some wrist curls just to be rude and obnoxious… I dare ya…

Gasp, gasp, gasp…

Home, James!

I know I didn’t answer the central question, “How much is too much?”  I’m still working on that one, bombers. Once I’m under the spell of the iron in motion, I go for an hour, tough and hard, but not harsh and ruinous. Twice weekly is all she wrote.

Here comes my bus… see ya… D


Laree here...

In the late '60s, Dave hunkered down in a studio for a couple of weeks to read some kind of training information product for Joe Weider. The recording was never released, but the memory is so huge that to this day Dave doesn't do phone or radio interviews, and wouldn't even consider doing a lecture for our site.

To him, the idea that people would be willing to talk into the 20 recorders we have traversing the country for the audio lectures is just crazy. He thought I'd never find people who would do it, yet we now have about 100 lectures on the site, and usually have a waiting list for the recorders.

Fast-forward to today, and I have years in print and digital, and about a year-and-a-half experience editing audio lectures, but hadn't worked on an audio book. Print books, audio book.

Dan John told me a few years ago he'd be willing to read Never Let Go for an audio book, but in the busy-ness of life, neither of us made it happen. Then, earlier this year as we started working on Intervention, we talked about doing an audio book, but again, no real momentum. About a month ago, Dan told me to send him a recorder and he'd record it.

I sent the recorder, but honestly, I expected to get the recorder back in a couple of months, empty. Really, it's just too much to ask. Reading your own words is hard. Reading anything out loud is hard. Reading your own words, out loud, for public production? For pay? Yikes. No way did I think this would happen.

You know where this is going, right? to discover the rest and listen to the first chapter.


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