First Things First

Before you get distracted by all the great options you're about to find here, please sign up for Dave's free weekly newsletter so he can continue to encourage and motivate you toward your fitness goals.
Chris M writes:
"You blend plain-spoken wisdom, motivational fire and wry humor into a weekly email jolt that leaves me itching to hit the gym. Whether I'm looking for workout routines, diet tips or a friendly kick in the butt, the Bomber comes through every time." ... Read more...

Getting Ripped

Dave Draper, lat spread

Need I remind you? It's May, the month of getting ripped. Back in September of '99 we planned to celebrate our winter-long training with an all-out 'ripping month' in March. Mid-March, you may recall in "The Lumps" article, we gladly agreed to postpone getting ripped 'til May. Further, being gifted with flexibility, we altered the 'ripped' idea to doing anything worthwhile that took us significantly forward in our tough training pursuit (super sets, spin classes, volume training, lower the carbs, up the protein, stop the smoking). 'Getting ripped' became synonymous with 'getting tough.'

And so, the formidable and glorious month of May 2000 goes on... here's what the droll IOL on-the-spot reporter has to say.

They gather ceremoniously in the fields of space, some stretching as before an event, others in mild focus tuned to inner musings; most, mingling and playful. The thirty-one days that lay before them stirs the apprehension that often accompanies hope and the sweet mystery that cloaks a well-appointed challenge. There'll be no losers. The content and ready participants are, you might say, of a royal blood, selfless spirits bound to loyalty and good cheer.

No gun is sounded. This is neither a race nor they the contestants. This is a proud occasion, a month in duration, where self-achievement is sought by hearty companions and shared for the prosperity of all. Physical aspects (muscle size, bodyfat content, weight, strength) are the obvious measures of improvement but growth emotionally and spiritually are the concealed treasures most highly prized. 'To be, to know, to understand' read the sign posts as the days advance.

Three days into the wild deed, they move as one. The pace is steady, the direction as sure as the North Star, the energy inspired; the progress of each, however designed and toward what end, is on-going... step by step, moment by moment. This optimistic and encouraging band of men and women know the landscape, they've been in these waters; these steep foothills and bare slops are neither foreign nor strange, nor are they a great comfort. One leaves comfortable things behind when one starts the journey. The extra weight is loathsome when striving. Here, too, they agree.

What is, to an 'outsider,' hard and grueling labor to be parceled out for minimum wage is the essence of their endeavor; their craving, to be deliciously satisfied; the rock-ribbed passage to unknown strength. Discipline is not a gift.

The undertaking of the heavy load is not for the faint-hearted and weak-minded. Never. The hand to the task is not a foolish hand. The sinews that contract to hold a thing in place or move it about are daring and miraculous, awesome to behold. Courage does not appear as a mist and fill the bones. Wisdom is born of attentive labor, error examined and the hand of God.

Though the road is mapped and clearly ahead, if it is worth traveling, it is never clear of obstruction. Patience, resourcefulness, willingness to confer and pause to consider prove mighty tools to unclog the way. And without humor, a good laugh and an ever-ready smile, how is the journey possible... why would one bother? Character comes with the chisel of life and the mallet of living, the sting and the echo that mold...

No one needs to step aside or make way for this oddly matched team of players, this scrappy collection of friends, this family brood. You see, I'm one of them and I know their moves. You're welcome to join us if you're of like mind or you can blink your eyes and watch us from the place we've been. We're on the move: muscles to build and fat to burn and about cigs: no more smoke and that's no joke.

Altogether now... We're on the move...

Muscles to build and fat to burn, no more smoke and that's no joke.
Muscles to build and fat to burn, no more smoke and that's no joke.
Muscles to build and fat to burn, no more smoke and that's no joke.

We're also silly and weird. Don't repeat that.

Be happy. Be mighty. God bless you.

Your follower... Dave 'Bomber Blend' Draper


For more about getting ripped, here's Dave's tuna and water plan

Not ready for your contest?

Can we give you some tips from our forum?