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



Dave Draper.

Today I'm sporting my trusty scattergun and prepared to fire it at will, no specific target in mind. This gives me freedom from accuracy and allows quick fire, pellets hitting objects of all shapes and sizes.

Big question, "What do I think of HIT — DINO - Mentzer's Heavy Duty training techniques?" You all know I'm a volume trainer — always and forever; 5-6 days per week, basic muscle groups worked two times per week, 3-4 exercises per muscle group, 4-5 sets of each exercise and often a 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 sequence, or 8-12 rep range. I'm big on supersets and rarely lay off.

Throughout a month of training I spend 6-8 workouts with heavy weights to tempt some doubles and singles in any variety of basics (deads, squats, barbell curls, shrugs). Intensity throughout my workouts is routine. I come up short of max reps when form is compromised, risk is eminent, insertions feel tattered (overtrain/overload) and/or my blood mixes with my sweat. I like to move like a rail yard locomotive, switching segments of cars from one track to another, precisely, intentionally and with great effort, for a good long time.

There's a logic to this training and it's the only way I've ever gotten anything done; big, broad and hard strokes, yet rhythmic and intricate. The muscle action is felt, understood, determined, with focus on moving an appropriate weight through the body's full range of motion. My groaning, a good partner in training, is audible, yet contained.

HIT, Mike's training and the other recognizable intensity offshoots have credence. Obviously, because there are groups of strong trainers who worship them. Those systems as I understand them, are part of my training style. Threaded through my training over the years, low rep, near failure methods have added power, mass and core muscle to my body. They've provided a full dimension to my workouts that would have otherwise been conspicuously absent. Intensity training has satisfied my "limits" curiosity, need for inner training PR goals, my training pleasure and ego. I love it, but not alone — I've gotta keep moving and fill in the gaps.

As I add years to my training experience, complete with impact and wear and tear, the Intensity techniques shift to the background. It would be wise for men and women even half my age to consider the possible deleterious effects of low volume, super heavy weight, short term extreme output training as their entire menu. Insertions and joints really take a beating when not conditioned with a thoughtful muscle building, shaping, pumping system of reps. Articulate tissue needs this healthy stimulation under moderate resistance, not max resistance only.

Different strokes. Personality, attitude, metabolism, genetics, early impressions and influences, conscious and unconscious goals play no minor role in the systems and patterns we chose and practice. Think, train hard, love it and respect your neighbor's good intentions.

Spotters, assists and me....

Occasionally I'll have someone stand nearby in the squat and bench to prevent major crushing. Otherwise, I prefer to train unassisted. This has to do with focus, the accurate assessment of my full-on input, the elimination of distraction and creating dependency. If I'm unable to get the last rep, I put the weight away — rack or properly dump it. This is rare, as I don't set myself up for failure. This happens enough throughout the day without my help.

Spotting and assistance have their place in training that has proceeded to at least an intermediate level. You need to be conditioned by sound exercise, have your form down and a complete understanding of regular load bearing exercise. Then it will be of value as it's woven into your training pattern thoughtfully, knowing its purpose, your goals and then proceeding with caution. Practiced too often, this technique developed to build strength and break plateaus becomes ordinary and loses impact physically and psychologically. You stand the chance of becoming dependent upon a partner, your training may become rigid, and there's the risk of tendon and joint overload, muscle tear or overtraining. When performing serious assistance training, be prepared for some extended repair and recuperation time.

Training partners....

Training partners are great while they last. Some last forever, some won't go away. Problems arise in setting partnerships in motion. There needs to be personal connection, physical compatibility, goal alignment, matching zeal and timing. Good luck.

When one partner is lost or late, precious time marches on. Tough training is a psyche and misplaced time frustrates that valuable cerebral spark, leaving you dull and sluggish. I don't want to hear about the horse on the freeway or the baby you delivered in the elevator. I'm loosing my pump here. Give me the gym, the weights, and wide-open spaces. I've had three very important year-long training partners back in the 60's in Muscle Beach — they taught me and I taught them. Always there, great mutual support, necessary, fundamental, integral, hardcore and a blast. We pushed.

Arnold and I bounced around in the late 60's, America sharing with Europe; Zane and I paced each other in the early 70's. But we were all enroute, alone or together; it was effective just to be in the same gym at the same time, doing our own thing.

"Come along" partners (spontaneous partnerships) work well now and again to pick up the spirits, change the pace and add a smile to the routine. Outside the gym doors life is crowded and scattered about - down right hard to get authentic partnership together. Not impossible, just hard.

These days someone passes by my bench as I press and urges, "Come on, Draper," and I power out two more reps; next day my elbow hurts. Can't afford a training partner anymore. It's me, myself and I. What a wacky collection of characters that is.

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