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The Weightiness of Time and Iron

Dan John: Intermittent Fasting

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Stop. Take a moment: Look, listen and live; assess, absorb and appreciate.

That’s a daring request to make these days. Stop, for starters, is a harsh word. Positioned at the beginning of a statement, it’s sudden. Now you have harsh and sudden. Follow it by the requirement to take a moment to perform a sequence of deeds and you have a possible predicament -- PC confusion, societal intrusion, invasive -- on your hands.

A moment? Seriously? Who has a moment? And the tone: Very stern.

Stop, look and listen, bombers, dismally implying it’s later than you think. Harsh, sudden, invasive, stern and dismal.

Point, please? Sooner than later, thank you.

The weeks are zooming by. I mean, high-speed, non-stop, double-fast and omigosh-swift. I’m sitting on the deck soaking up California rays while slurping a shrimp-oyster smoothie, and it’s gorgeous out. And it’s Friday... again... already. It was the last day of the week just the day before yesterday. I want to grab time by my hands, pull it in with my arms, roll it into a ball with the might of my shoulders and the power of my back and sit on it with my rippling glutes.

“Don’t move.”

Desperate, incoherent thinking creeps into the minds of older ironheads... so I’ve been told. An abundance of time, pondering and written words have been dedicated to associated age-old matters. “Life is fleeting...the thinnest of vapors... a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes,” sayeth the Good Book. Slow me down, Lord. Who knows where the time goes? Here today, gone tomorrow. Ain’t it funny how time slips away?

I’m not laughing.

Just thought I’d mention it, kids, as time incorrigibly slips away. Let’s get the show, the drama, the comedy act on the road, bombskis. We have work to do, iron to lift, protein to tally, junk food to avoid, and poses to practice. Somebody get the lights, the camera, makeup...

The other day I escorted my reluctant body into Gold’s labor camp. We grabbed a bar along the way and located ourselves in an empty region of the gym -- just me, my body, a bar and a bench. As I proceeded to do my latest variation of the close-grip bench press -- engaging my pecs, front delts and triceps -- I also paused inwardly to assess my actions, my severe surroundings and the 20-some athletic and youthful lifters at work across the floor.

I agreed anything I did today was a plus. I could easily disagree and consider it a minus, but negativity has no place amid vivacity. I positively performed close-grip bench presses (10 sets x 6 reps) to healthfully strain and saturate the upper muscle regions and via consequential overload, recruit rare alternate back and lat muscle support. I think I just made that up, uncommon commonsense.
The 20-some gang of 20-something guys and gals crisscrossing the ironbound floor is impressive. They’re eager, engaged and learning. Humility rises above arrogance, no outstanding wise-guys, no obnoxious noise-makers, lots of ink from head to toe and mostly amigos. They wear shorts. I only hate the ones who have naturally good calves. But they all have good calves, naturally. I’ll get over it.
Years ago, the years I suggest we ponder, there were maybe six other dudes on the gym floor. They looked similar -- vigorous, curious and earnest, though probably older, more calloused for their years, and they did the same things -- curls, presses and grunts. The only things different were the absence of 10 tons of machines underfoot and squawking TVs overhead and irritating iPods in pants pockets.


I, the B71 Bomber, felt the pain and pump of my 10x6 routine, but I was not bloodied, gasping and wheezing like the grisly bombers on the run from Boston’s finest (Yes!). Give me a perch and I’ll sit, sing and strain till sundown. 10x6 or 8 or 10 works once in a while for an overload benefit or a change of pace or for intrigue or for as long as it feels good and right, especially with thoughtful groove modifications along the way. However, I missed my afternoon grasp ’n gasp at the pulley station.

Pulleys in hand, I’m good for prodigious 'n prosperous pushing and pulling and pummeling for 20 nearly pause-free minutes. There’s something fluid, stabilizing and oxygenizing about the flowing, effortful action; something spirited, entertaining and refreshing amid the hard work.

Dangling by one or two threads of steel from one arm or both, I weaved my way through a pounding persuasion of all angles of wide and varied torso muscle.

Coordinated movements at will: Ropetucks -- wide-grip pulldowns, front and back -- close-grip pulldowns, over- and under-grip -- triceps pushdowns and overhead triceps extensions. Breathing and burning, puffing and pumping, I’m not necessarily building more muscle, but keeping the ones I have alive and active.

Pause and ponder, or not... Dave

God Bless America and Her Friends


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