Never Relinquish Your Grasp

Download the full Draper here newsletter
in printable, live-link, pdf format, here.

I’m drawn to looking out a narrow window aside my desk that views a steep, wooded hillside. Two men are hard at work chipping fallen branches and reducing stout limbs to firewood—worthy tasks rendering valuable fuel for the winter.

Watching makes me weary. Chainsaw buzzing, chipper grinding, arms full, backs loaded, up and down, back and forth. I’m humbled.

Muscles functioning, calories burning, hearts pumping, works accomplished. I’m envious.

So instead, gym time. Over the highways, through the intersections, across the parking lot, toss the tote bag in the corner and head straight to the hunky pulley machine. Hello, hunky pulley machine, how’re your cables hanging?

Enough of that, no time to lose, here’s where the action begins, the friendly and cooperative iron confrontation.

First, the search for the perfect handle to attach to the end of the dangling cable. Happy hunting. This can take a few testy minutes as there are about thirty handles of various lengths, shapes and thicknesses snarled in a heap, along with hooks, chains and carabineers. Priceless tools of the trade.

Many a pinched finger and bloody knuckle are retrieved from the mess, only to dig out a mere look-alike contrivance, a piece of mistaken identity, a cheap imposter. Nothing less than a specific handle—the real McCoy, the genuine article, the grippus perfectus—will do for the neurotic lifter. Anything less and he’s outta there.

Well, not exactly, but he will cuss, act up and throw stuff. Come to think of it, that’s common behavior for most muscleheads east of the Mississippi.

I don’t recall when muscle building became such a fussy business. For years I lifted weights wherever I found them and left them wherever and whenever I was done. Seemed to work okay at the time. Of course, I was limited to a single corroded dumbbell and a space the size of an Army footlocker. How messy can one soldier get? Besides, those associated with the Army try to be all they can be.

Nowadays I am orderly and precise. Form and focus have replaced the amount of weight used and the strength exerted as the lattermost elements require continuous updating (they fade into the shadows of time).

Pace has gained importance (steady as she goes) and exercise grooves have been slowly modified and perfected. They are precise, barely resembling the archaic oversized, far-reaching movements of my earlier training days.

Where would we be without the progress of time and the latest technology? Precision Exercise Performance (PEP) is the Advanced Training Methodology (ATM) of applying the Only Exercise That Doesn’t Hurt (OETDH), or the Last Remaining Groove (LRG), or the popular This Way Or No Way Dynamic (TWONWD).

Life Made Simple (LMS). Life simplified.

I hasten to catch up with you, my devoted training partners, and march by your side with iron determination and steely deliberation. Having heaved heavy metal for more than half a century, making light of all levels of lifting, I only know how to live. Sticking to it and never giving up and staying airborne are our daily objectives. Flying, soaring, bombing and occasional taxiing are our foremost objectives and mutual responsibilities.

I maintain that all we really need to know about muscle making and strength building is wrapped up in a seed the size of a dumbbell containing a bowl of good food and an attitude of appreciation. Once planted in fertile soil, it grows by continued watering and faithful attention.

Health and might imperceptibly pierce the soil and die off if not valued and cared for. This doesn’t mean we need or ought to worship the living thing, but feed it we must. Nourishment must be provided during the cloud-covered and frosty months and in the heat of the dry summer. Let’s be there side by side to offer a breath of fresh air and appropriate provision.

Push that iron.

Many of us regard weight training as the most important thing in our lives. Well…mmm…not more important than, say, our family or friends or our precious and flourishing almighty dollar (ha…cute, very cute), but the relationship between us and them is directly related. Our workouts are up, our treasures are up; our workouts are down and we’re broke, busted, not worth a dime.

Exercise sensibly and eat right are the rules of engagement. Keep it simple and make it a joy are the codes of performance.

Button up, buckle down, breathe deep and barrel ahead. The challenge now is to not let go and lose momentum.

In closing, before I fold up my wings and tuck them in my tote bag, before I deflate my hovering dirigible and stuff it in my backpack, let me assure you of this: Never do I engage in a set or rep without total involvement.

My kicking, screaming body might occasionally become snared in a net or cage, a pit or an illusion, but never do I relinquish my grasp of the iron.

It’s not the workouts as much as our relationships with them. We strangely and regularly encounter an invisible pull or magnetic tug, a cosmic force or soulful union compelling us to surrender our being to the touch of iron. Be not confused, bombers. Love is expressed in infinite ways.

That’s a wrap, airborne ironminds and flying muscleheads.



Take a trip over to our
Musclebuilding Q&A Blog
... where Dave allows us a peek into his email outbox.

Did you sign up for Dave's expanded email yet?
It's free, motivating and priceless!
We'll also send you a link to Dave's free
Body Revival Tips and Hints e-report with your confirmation notice.

Cut through the confusion! Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel to make your training path clear.

Our IronOnline Forum will answer your training and nutriton questions right here, right now.

Golden Era fans will rejoice in this excerpt from West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

Here's Dave's previous week's column.