davedraper.com home

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...

Dave’s Heart Surgery — An Overview

There’s sure to be confusion over Dave’s upcoming heart surgery (the Jim Fixx syndrome, am I right?), topped with a dollop of internet turmoil. I’ll do my best to explain what we know, and wherever possible, provide links to information that you can apply to your own goal of a healthy heart.

Dave’s surgeon will be repairing two distinct problems, one caused by alcohol abuse decades ago, the other from arterial blockage accumulated over time.

You probably already know part one: Years of excessive alcohol caused congestive heart failure — he flatlined in 1983. Every cardiologist Dave’s seen in the intervening years has commented on his remarkable recovery, and all have said, “Keep doing whatever you’re doing, Dave.” Still, while the heart muscle recovered to near perfect, a valve is loose, doesn’t close properly and leaks. This the surgeon will fix by sewing a ring around the valve opening to tighten it.

The second issue concerns the artery replacement — bypass grafts done using arteries from other parts of the body. This is needed when blood can’t flow well through arteries clogged by plaque. He’ll come home with three replaced arteries, but because one has a fork in it, it’s counted twice (we just have to assume the surgeon is smarter than this implies), bottom line: quadruple bypass.

One twist that’s still to be discussed — the elephant in the room: steroids. Steroids are known to cause heart problems, notably heart attack and stroke, as well as increasing LDL cholesterol while lowering HDL cholesterol. Dave did not have a heart attack or stroke; his cholesterol regularly rests in the 130s total (at the time of his first stent work in 2000, his total cholesterol was 118); and his cardiologist said under no circumstances did steroid use decades ago cause his problem today.

Next, let’s talk some more about cholesterol and blocked arteries, what we think caused Dave’s problem and how you can use this information.

98 Responses to 'Dave’s Heart Surgery — An Overview'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Dave’s Heart Surgery — An Overview'.

  1. John said,

    on February 21st, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Hello Dave:
    Is this an actual true story about your undergoing heart surgery ?. This rings a bell for me. I was never in a hospital until 1982 at the age of 62 . I underwent quad by pass surgery. I felt so good that I thought I could now eat all the steaks and fatty foods. I was wrong,15 yrs 1997 another quad,I had now learned my lesson. It is now 25 yrs from 1st by pass and I am a healthy 86 yr old exercise every day and I am still an active realtor, thinking about a 100 yr celebration. I like you letters and commentaries. Good luck to you Regards John

  2. Chris Barnhart said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Dave , I first saw you in a little town called Wenatchee, back in ’82. And now , I am really enjoying your writings very much! Super glad , you will be back “bombing again BETTER than ever”. Thank you again for the motivation. I also want to buy your book, will you sign it for me? Thanks again Chris

  3. Miketee2 said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 3:26 am

    Dave, you’ll be back in no time, rest up the body and hit that cardio, you’ll be back bombing in no time

  4. Guy Miller said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 5:06 am


    I got a reservation for you at the squat rack in June. Let me know if you’ll need a spot.



  5. Tim Engel said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 6:51 am

    Dear Dave and Laree –
    I am thankful that the good Lord got you through your surgery and that you are on the road to recovery!! Even sounds like you’re in good spirits!

    On cardio/aerobics – I discovered spin class last year and continue now into my 8th month – and I am very thankful. People were encouraging me to try the class which is pretty tough – and it has helped me to lose 35 lbs and really step up my endurance.
    Strength has suffered a bit – but I’m sure my heart is thankful for the drop in weight and the great exercise.
    If you get into spin – it’s a good idea to get the bike shoes (sounds like Laree has taken care of that) with cleats. This will help you to prevent foot/knee problems and provide a good power transfer to the pedal.
    All the best – and God bless –


  6. on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Hi, Dave,sorry to hear about your condition went thru a similar situtaion .Couldnt figure out how it happened.Then i dicovered that a high estrogen level contributed to drying up the arteries walls
    which led to cracks ,the bodys natural defence
    mechamism sends patches of fat (cholesterol) to fix the cracks and tears.Problem is the system does not
    shut down.and clogs the arteries.The bypass surgery
    will make you like new again….We need you around
    you are after all a legend to all of us ..Steve

  7. Anonymous said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:17 am

    You are a tough guy Dave and our thoughts and prayers are with you. You’ll bounce back from this and be better than ever. Something like heart surgery will not keep you down. You are an inspiration to us all. Good luck and keep the faith.


  8. on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:24 am


    I just read about your surgery in this week’s letter. All the best for a perfect recovery; you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Many thanks to Laree for the details, both now and forthcoming.

    Life is much brighter with both of you.


  9. David said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Dave, just read about your surgery and want to offer my thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery.

    While I have not had any heart related problems myself, I flunk heredity. I have often thought of what is the right balance of lifting and cardio –
    number of times per week, duration, intensity, variety. Since we are all “experiments of one”, I look forward to your insights on how to tackle this balance.

    Best of luck in your rehab.


  10. Hawk said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Golden Bomber,

    What a thrill it was for me when approximately 6 months ago I happened up on your website. I remembered how I used to follow all of your hints when I was younger and very much into body building.
    Thanks for hanging in there and being who I thought you were those many years ago. We’re about the same age now and I’m still lifting but have (about 6 years ago) started some serious running.
    God bless you and take you to full recovery.

    A fan.

  11. Len Hess said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:49 am


    I’m in the 62nd year of my life, and the 45th year of my weight training, and so far, so good regarding the heart, although I have accumulated an arthritic right knee and left shoulder, and bone fragments in the left elbow, all from a severe fall down a dozen concrete steps when I was in my 20’s. These things catch up with you as the years pile up. I did a lot of powerlifting and have some trophies from contests in PA and W. VA during my 20’s and 30’s, which wasn’t had for a skinny, light-boned 6’1″, 150-lb high school graduate. Gaining was always a struggle. I competed in the 242 lb. class, then went down to the 220-lb class when it was installed. My top lifts in competition was 430 squat, 270 bench, and 570 deadlift, all ancient history. I stopped competing when the sport was taken over by the “‘roid monkeys”.

    I’ve had a treadmill for about ten years or so, but it was on-again, off-again. About 5 years ago, when getting my annual physical, my doctor gave me some good advice, which really hit home. He said, “The weight training is very good as you get older. It will help maintain bone mass and muscle tissue, which tends to degenerate as the body ages. But the treadmill will keep you ALIVE!” I’ve been quite religious about that advice, and after I finish my weight workouts (1.5 hours 3 times a week, including warmups), I hit the treadmill for 30 minutes (2 min. warmup, 26 min. full speed, 2 min. cooldown). I walk at a brisk pace of 3.5 mph on a 7-degree incline. A few weeks ago, I was walking at a good pace at 13,000 feet in the Andes mountains with no problems. So my advice to you is “DO THE CARDIO!”. You will be in my prayers.

    Len Hess
    Stahlstown, PA

  12. on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Fact (1) Doctor’s ware gloves so they don’t leave finger prints.
    Fact (2) If you had drank more of Granny’s Rumatisim madicine 40 years ago, you would not be in this fix now.
    Age is a state of mind,I wish someone would tell our body’s.
    God’s speed: Chip

  13. Carrie Franklin said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 7:57 am

    Hope you feel better soon and we are praying. My father had a triple bypass about five years ago and he is doing fine. I’m sure the workouts you have done all these years will help give you a speedy recovery.

  14. Jeff Easley said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 8:18 am

    I was very sorry to hear of your medical woes,But am confident that you will,indeed,come back better than ever.I wanted to look like you 40 years ago…40 years later I still do.You are an inspiration to us all.

  15. Melinda said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Hi Dave,
    Best wishes and here’s to a speedy recovery.

    Keep us updated on your recovery observations, I’ll be looking forward to your reports.

    Laree will have you soaring high in no time!

    Best wishes,

  16. David said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 9:24 am


    Like many “boomers” we all admire you. I followed your workouts from the 50’s thru the 70’s. I wasn’t as genetically gifted as you, so I began competing in Triathlons in the late 60″s. Today, I’m too old (mid 60’s) and heavy (245) to seriously compete. However, I still like the disciplines of weight and cardio training. So I still follow your weight training regimine and swim, bike & run. I still run marathons – slowly today.

    Don’t try to come back too fast or you’ll have a relapse. Follow your Doctors recommendations and use the bike Laree has for your recovery. Enjoy many quiet walks with your wife. Best of luck.

  17. Layne Norton said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 9:30 am

    My best wishes for you. Myself and my fiance will be rooting for you to come out of this stronger than ever.


  18. Jim McLellan said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 9:47 am

    If I were the recipient of a ship wreck and had the good fortune of spending time on a topical island with a scantily clad lady..who would I pick? (Don’t let my wife see this..although, she is definitely in the running). If however, the only choice was a dude, …who would be fun, humorous, bright enough to discuss the mysteries of life__ perfect to spot my bench press, & ingenious enough to make a complete gym out of old shipwrecked parts, __who would I pick?

    If I were falsely arrested for whistling at girls on Muscle Beach and had to spend the night in the slammer & I had to
    have a cell-mate, who would I pick?

    Who gets my vote for inspiring, informative, unpretentious, down to earth…..a real guy who just happens to be a legend? Would I call him my hero, my idol?____Right
    up there with Roy Rogers???…You betcha!!

    Jim McLellan
    Iron Man author in the ’60s
    Golf Pro and dancer in the 2000s

  19. Guy E. Miller said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 9:52 am


    I reserved you a spot at the squat racks in June. Let me know if you need a spot.

    God Speed


  20. katie said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 10:40 am

    your get-well letters seem to be from men. just wanted to let you know that you have some female fans who also look to you as a mentor. wish you a speedy recovery and will hold you and your family in prayer. thank you and laree for all you do.

  21. Dallas Cove said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Dave: I met you in the fall of 1970 out in the street beside the Brooklyn Academy of Music, you had just defeated Rick Wayne and won the IFBB Mr. World title. You were surrounded by fans, I was one of them. I’ve always followed your career in the magazines and you’ve been an inspiration to me. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery and long life always. My best to you and Laree. Dallas

  22. Jim Wilson said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 12:17 pm


    Welcome to the CABG club. I know you will do all the right things to get your self ready to hang and bang again. Just take it easy as you once suggested to me. I had my CABG (3 vessel) in September 1991 and your recent guidance has helped me to overcome the fears I had for working out again.. Be patient and everything will fall into place. God speed

  23. Mike Wirth said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Dave, Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery.Thanks for all your info and helpfull tips on the iron game.I’ve been a fan for over thirty years and you will always be #1 in my book!Er,Steve Reeves is a close second though.Take care! Mike

  24. ed krawiec said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Dave: I hope you get well soon.Your advice helped me with my angio and 3 stents 4 months ago. Now I can bench 300,and do my seated press with over 200lbs.My Md’s can’t believe how well I recovered.Dave get well soon.

  25. Jude Frigerio said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 2:02 pm


    Wishing you all the best in your recovery. I am only barely 40 but you have been an inspiration to me since i was 13, seems like i read all of your articles from old dogeared copies of musclebuilder and the like. Love your weekly newsletter it gets me through some tough times. Thanks to you and all at DaveDraper.com

  26. Tom Courtney said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Dave, wishing you a healthy recovery and a speedy return to the Iron!

    God’s Might!

  27. DRAKE said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Recently got three books from you and the DVD,really excellent stuff,just what I needed.Followed your amazing progress from the start and tried to keep the faith too.Bodybuilding got me thorough the worst times of 35 yrs on the streets as a fed and a cop,thanks to guys like you.

    I’ve had three angioplasties myself,changed my diet and been doing aerobics(stationary cycling) for the last decade.I still blast when the joints ain’t acting up.

    I’m sure it isn’t “fun” being everyone’s inspiration,as years go by,but we really do appreciate you taking the trip with us, and leading the way.

    Dave,it seems your always just ahead of the curve when it come to health knowledge,strength and now medical information.Thanks for always being there and keep us informed on your progress,we’re all behind you,as usual.

  28. Ken Purcell said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    If I could count all of the times that I have read your article of the week or something else on your site that made me feel better that day, I would be an exceedingly rich man. Your delivery of experiences and your kind way of doing is truly a testimony to the light that you carry around inside you. You are truly an inspiration to me and you always will be, not only to me but millions of others. God Bless you and Laree. By the way.. the greatest gift that you gave to me was not an exercise routine or a nutrition tip. You instilled into me and countless others that I was a champion. Regardless of how much weight I could lift. That advice and the deliverer of it- are priceless.

  29. Britt Smith said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    God Speed on both surgery and the recovery. I have enjoyed your weekly musings (and Laree’s reality checks) as well as inspiring us “old” folks to keep reaching for the stars or at least the next set of dumbells.

    Again my thanks to both of you for all you do, and our hearts (no Kidding) and prayers are with you.

  30. Terry Adams said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Dave
    I have been reading your weekly column ever since I came across your website a couple of years ago. It is THE BEST WRITTEN, MOST MOTIVATING column there is for a true lifetime trainer. We all feel like we know you because you write from the heart and about your experiences. Your knowledge of training, and why we all should be doing it is unsurpassed. Wishing you a quick recovery.

  31. Bumble said,

    on February 22nd, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Dave,
    I still see in my mind’s eye your picture in the comic books of my childhood (1960s). The ad’s products are long forgotten, but your image is indelible. Apart from that we share no resemblence, I wanted to look like you. Now, as an adult, I still find myself looking up to your example.

    God bless you and thank you for sharing your spirit of life with us.

  32. Rich Turner said,

    on February 23rd, 2007 at 6:51 am

    Mr. Draper,In 03 I had a serious motorcylce accident. More than once my PT guy told me if all of my patients tried as hard as you, my job would be much easier. Wait until they see you! God speed and Thank You

  33. Anonymous said,

    on February 23rd, 2007 at 9:42 am


    Dear Dave, you like I survive the 60’s..compere to that Heart Surgery is a joke!!

    Take Care

  34. Jim said,

    on February 23rd, 2007 at 12:17 pm


    You inspire and motivate us even in illness and convalesence.

    What a unique and special ‘friend’ you are to us who are drawn close by all that you share.

    Stay strong – we need you, and we are here for you.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    Wishing you all the very best,


  35. Dan Hunter said,

    on February 23rd, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Dear Mr and Mrs.Draper,
    Very tough time you are both going through.Please be assured that you are in myself and my wifes prayers. We will say another Rosary for you tonight.
    God bless you in the name of Our Blessed Mother and through the intercession of Her only Son,Jesus please recover soon.We need more Bomber Blend.
    God bless.

  36. Lucky said,

    on February 23rd, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Dave, my wife and I are keeping you in our prayers.YOU were the ONE that inspired me to start lifting 40 years ago. Get well soon.

    your brother in Christ,


  37. Dwight Hastings said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 7:02 am

    Thanks for the inspiration and motivation. Wishing you a complete and speedy recovery.

    God bless you.

    Dwight Hastings

  38. Tom Caterino said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Hi Dave: Wishing you a full recovery and always remember that Jesus never fails.

    God bless

  39. Kenny Moran said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Dave. A month here in New Zealand will give you all the lift you want. It’s summer here now. Take your time, then take advantage. Your PUMP will never look back. Cheers Kenny

  40. Anonymous said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Dave, best wishes for a speady recovery.

  41. DBowden said,

    on February 24th, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for the inspiration you have given over the years, all the best to you and your family and praying for a quick recovery.


  42. Jeff Pearce said,

    on February 25th, 2007 at 8:52 am


    I just heard about this, best of luck, best wishes and i will pray for nothing but good for you. You have been an inspiration for many and one could only hope to live the life that you have. Keep fighting Dave! Nothing can hold you down brother! Keep fighting!!



  43. Susie said,

    on February 25th, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Hey Dave,
    I just read your newsletter and was startled to see you were having heart surgery. You sure will be in my prayers tonight, that God will give you an easy operation, and an easy recovery, better than before.
    You and your wife are doing a real service to many of us out here who gain so much inspiration from your website and weekly newsletter. I look forward to your newsletter every week and read it eagerly. I love your writing style and your honesty. You have earned yourself many friends you don’t even know about!
    I am a 44 year old at-home Mom to 2 kids (5 and 10) in New York and have only “discovered” bodybuilding 3 years ago. The gym has become such a big part of my life, and I have gained so much in so many ways from lifting. I have ordered and read your books and about the history of bodybuilding and your (big) part in it. You have one of the most beautiful physiques ever, and I was happy to discover you have a personality to match. Your lovely wife is a lucky lady. I wish you both comfort in this difficult time, and a speedy recovery, better than ever.
    P.S. My father had this same surgery a couple years ago, and had a bout of depression afterward, which the doctor said was common after heart surgery. I hope you avoid this, but if you feel blue, this is just a head’s up. Love to you both, God Bless

  44. Jeff said,

    on February 25th, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Dave, Sorry to hear of your surgery and I pray it will go well for you. I’m 62 years old and I had quintuple bypass surgery last May 19 after getting short of breath. It went well, no chest pain after surgery and never needed pain pills after a couple of days. The stomach tubes were the worst. It will be a breeze for you with your conditioning. You’ll be running around the cardiac care unit with the nurses the day of the operation. I will be very anxious to follow your training regimen for the next 6 months as I was not sure exactly how I should train.

  45. Traps said,

    on February 26th, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Dear Bomber,
    Im sory to hear of your surgery and hope all goes well mate. Trust you will be back in no time. From us all in oz best wishes for a speedy recovery.


  46. Kris Gethin said,

    on February 26th, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Dave, I just come onto the board to myself to hear from the horses mouth. Ed Corney told me on the weekend that you were in hostpital but had no solid info.

    I’m glad it wasnt as I first thought. Being mentally and physically strong, I know you will make a speedy recovery. Photographer – Robert Nailon from Australia sends his regards also.

    God Bless,
    Kris Gethin

  47. Jeff Locke said,

    on February 27th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    You are a man in every sense of the word. Keep that affable attitude, take a deep breath and know that God continues to guide you Bomber! I will pray for your continued health and for Laree and your family. Be strong, fly high and tip your wings heavenward as you bring hope and good cheer to those around you. Hope for the fruitful recovery that is God’s design for you. Take care and God bless!

  48. Bob Rimli said,

    on February 27th, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Dave- You have been the inspiration for my son Matt and I over the years. We will pray for your speedy recovery. Get we’ll soon and don’t chase too many nurses. Your friends in NJ, Bob and Matt Rimli

  49. peter argenti said,

    on February 27th, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Dave: – I just read your newsletter about your heart
    Surgery – Wishing you a complete and speedy recovey Knowing you Dave you will come back as Strong as ever – God Bless you are the man that inspired this Canadian to lift weights again.
    Peter Argenti

  50. Father Bill said,

    on February 28th, 2007 at 6:14 am

    “Be strong: wait on the LORD.” Get ’em, Bomber.

  51. Johan said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Dave! Get well soon, we need you out here!

  52. ALAN ENDE said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Hey Dave,,,wishing you a speedy recovery..you have been my inspiration since i was kid….It was a thrill to have met you at the N.Y.C . seminar a few summers back…With a great gal like Laree,,, we know you’ll be back ‘BOMBING ” in Jiffy !! Regards….Alan…..

  53. Chris Ricci said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Dear Dave,
    Wish you well and a speedy recovery. I know you’ll come through with flying colors. I’m a young bodybuilder (20- something, lifting 3 yrs.), but I always turn to your site for advice first. It takes a special kind of character to perservere and succeed for as long as you have.

  54. john tugaoen said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Just heard about your cardiac surgery. I am a lifetime bodybuilder{competitive} as well as practicing cardiologist. I also recently underwent elective open cardiac valve replacement surgery 2/5/07. I am gradually getting better. Doing 30 minutes of cardio/treadmill daily.
    Will hold off weights for about 3 months.I have no doubt you will be back in the gym in no time.Hope to see you in the Arnold classic next year.Let me know how things are progressing.

  55. Andrew Brunt said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    Hi, Dave you dont know me but my mother Elanor Brunt is a nurses aid at Good Samaritan Hospital. On Monday she brought home your book Brother Iron Sister Steel, that was singed by you. I want just want to say that ment alot to me and has helped to further motovate me in my workouts

  56. Charles (Australia) said,

    on March 2nd, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    Dear Dave,
    It came as a shock to hear your news especially with your amazing dedication to diet and exercise. I hope everything goes well for you and that you come through the surgery better than ever. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope you are bombing again in no time. Im thinking of you and Laree at this time and send my best wishes – Charles

  57. Greg Welton said,

    on March 3rd, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Dear Dave
    Hope you are already feeling like a million bucks! Just read your last letter and was surprised to hear of your situation. I will of course keep you in my prayers. I have really enjoyed your news letters and fully expect to be reading them for a long time to come. God bless you in your recovery, and life brotha.

  58. Russell Maxwell said,

    on March 4th, 2007 at 4:06 am

    Dear Dave and Laree,
    You are in my prayers. dave I hope you have a speedy recovery, you are an inspiration to many people.
    Canberra, Australia

  59. on March 5th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    […] Here’s the link to the rest of the details. […]

  60. Don Carroum said,

    on March 5th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I remember reading Mr. America magazine back in the mid-sixties and keeping up with your career along with others in that period (Harold Poole, Freddy Ortiz, Larry Scott…) The mid 70’s I got away from bodying building and into running and other cardio activities. I got back into weight training last year and stumbled across you web site a few months back; your weekly new letter has really inspired me. I bought a copy of Brother Iron, Sister Steele which is an outstanding read and cuts through all the BS. I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to more inspiring newletters and books.

  61. J. Klein said,

    on March 7th, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Dave, we are all waiting…waiting for your next e-mail!! I keep turning on this dumb computer hoping that it will be there…because if it’s there. you’re there!!… and that’s what everyone is praying for!! I don’t care what it says or how long it is…just want it to be there. After that first one everyone will know your back and in charge again!! Go Bomber!!! John…Mogadore…Ohio…3/7

  62. Doug Hartley said,

    on March 7th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Dave, just wanted to say I hope your doing well, you’ve been an inspiration to me over the years.I’ve had two caths done myself last year and I really appreciate the newsletters.You help keep me on my toes.It’s getting harder keeping the bodyparts together as we get older. Good luck and hurry back. Doug Hartley, West Virginia.

  63. Frank Ulrich said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Dave, I just want to say that I wish you the very best in a speedy recovery. You are a true inspiration to all bodybuilders. A few times over the years upon reading your newsletter and I sent an email commenting on it , you returned the emails. You made time for others and that is important, Frank

  64. JAY D. WEIR said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 11:33 am


  65. Bob Atwater said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Dave….. you wrote the best article on Steve Reeves I’ve ever read in “Brother Iron Sister Steel” Why do I bring this up, Steve was a close friend of mine and admired you greatly, if you didn’t know already then I though you should be aware of that. I’ve always believed you as one of the greatest physical culturists ever. May the good lord bless you and Laree with happiness & health at least another 50 years.

  66. on March 8th, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    I’m glad that they call you on time. You are In my preyers. Keep going.

    Carlos, from Puerto Rico

  67. Darin said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Hello Dave and Laree,
    just found out about your bump in the runway of life shall we say. Im glad to hear your doing better. Sometime’s a break from the routine of the gym is a good thing, but never when its not by choice. I hope for your speedy recovery. By the way, Im still training hard with gym partner Paul. Twenty years with the same training partner. We still use many of your old training principles in our routine. Thanks for always being a possitive beacon to all us bombers. God bless, Darin

  68. Fred Yack said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Dave….so happy to rceive your latest e-mail letting us know you are recoverying.I have ordered many products from you over the years vitamins,protein powder,books and the dvd with bill pearl.You and Laree are always available to help with any questions I may throw at you.I know in no time you will be back throwing the iron around.Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  69. markie-mark said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Hey bomber, I know you’ll be back on the right track heaving those free weights, starting a cardio
    program and using your Bomber Blend.

    I think that bodybuilders like you and me can handle pain better than most people, and you’ll do what needs to be done to get back on the road to peak

    Keep bodybuilding alive Dave

    Mark–Toronto, Canada

  70. on March 8th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Dear Dave:

    Best of luck with your new heart. I had my mitral valve repaired four years ago by Dr. Stephen Colvin M.D. at NYC Medical Center in NYC. I was an avid bodybuilder who had torn the cordae of the mitral valve. Dr. Colvin performed the minimal invasive approach and today I am only on a baby asprin 81mg qd. Dr. Colvin saved my life. I was 53 years old when the repair occurred today I am 57. I must admit the only draw back is that my bodybuilding days are over. Good luck Dave..

    Best regards, Jack

  71. Anonymous said,

    on March 8th, 2007 at 9:47 pm


    I am so glad to hear you are progressing well. Once you are up to it, get out there and walk and then walk some more. It’ll work wonders.

    Can’t wait to see you at the AOBS diner in June.

    All the best.

    George – Spring Grove PA

  72. Jim said,

    on March 9th, 2007 at 5:23 pm


    Just heard about your surgery. Hang in there and keep up the good work. You and and your newsletter have been an inspiration to me over the years. I met you at your book signing in Vancouver, Washington, back a few years. I’m now 40 and much concerned about matters regarding heart/cardio/weight lifting balance etc.

    Nothing can stop the Blond Bomber!

    Godspeed on your recovery.


  73. David Simmonds, England said,

    on March 10th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Dave

    Sorry to read about your health problem.

    I note your comment regarding the layoff from lifting allowing joints and muscle hurts to ease up and thought you might be interested in something I have experienced with great success. Promise not to laugh!

    I have a repetetive problem due to a damaged sacro-iliac joint and last year, 2006 January, I was unable to train for the whole month; I truly thought that age(69) was catching up at last.

    A friend recommended that I try Chi Kung exercises. Very gentle movements but, surprisingly, one is perspiring after about 20mins. I persevered with these and after about 3 months began to notice significant improvement, not only in my joints but also overall flexibility and, in particular, the pain in the sacro iliac joint just disappeared altogether for the first time in 36 years. I carry out these exercises for 20-30 minutes and 3 or 4 times a week. Not only has my cardio fitness improved somewhat – resting heart beat 51 – but my poundages have improved; squat up to what I was lifting when I was a fit 19 year old, bench press up by 10%; and I enjoyed my 70th birthday in January just passed.

    Try it out Dave, I believe you will find great benefit.

    Get well and take to the skies again soon.

    Dave Simmonds England

  74. Badge said,

    on March 12th, 2007 at 4:40 am

    Dear Dave,

    Amused to see that you’ll now be donning cycling shoes and riding a bike. It’s great fun – strap on the iPOD, put some TdFrance vids on the TV or PC and away you go.

    I caught the cycling bug in Aug, 2003, as I mentioned when I joined up to your site again. I ride every day for 30 min, and starting at age 52 it only took me a few months to get up to speed (though the first 6 months were tough going, I got a sudden improvement in March 2004.)

    One thing about cycling is it’s fairly gentle on your body recovery-wise, even if you really hammer during the ride. You’re already in great shape so it should go fast. In addition it’s proven that good hormones are pumped into your system during aerobics, enhancing mood.

    Good luck and all the best. You are in our prayers!


  75. Timothy I. Applegate said,

    on March 13th, 2007 at 12:29 am

    I’m a 27 year old bomboer learning to fly. I read your newletter every week. It gets me off of my butt and into the gym. Sometimes getting there is the hardest thing. Thanks for the inspiration.
    You recover, and I’ll do the squats and curls.

  76. Scott said,

    on March 13th, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Dave!
    Hang in there and get well soon. Don’t forget to use the mind as well as the body to get your heart and health stronger! I always enjoy your insights on bodybuilding with the e-mails you and Laree produce. You have a good girl there(don’t forget!) and a ton of fans that will support, inspire and encourage you as you do us with the iron. Bombs away!


  77. Frank Tatulinski said,

    on March 15th, 2007 at 4:52 am


    Read your last newsletter and you sound great!
    You know the drill….take it slow brother!
    The iron is waiting for you……remember…
    “Good things come, to he who waits (weights?!)”

    God speed…..now…..slowly off the runway, Captain of the Bombers…..the sky waits you!


  78. Wanda Honeywell said,

    on March 15th, 2007 at 6:27 am

    Hello Dave,

    Knowing your unusual determination and energy after open heart surugery to do what it takes to recover with such a positive attitude, sends a strong message to devoted fans as a remarkable role model to NEVER GIVE UP!

    Best wishes for a less painful and speedy recovery.

    Wanda Honeywell

  79. Anonymous said,

    on March 16th, 2007 at 8:01 pm


  80. Steve - Toronto, Canada said,

    on March 21st, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Hi Dave!

    Just heard the news about your misfortune. Hope you have a speedy recovery…if any one can beat this thing, you can!!

    Remember, all things are possible with God!

    Best regards,

  81. Kevin T said,

    on March 22nd, 2007 at 5:24 am

    Been away from the computer for a while, just heard about your surgery! Take care of yourself and let your body heal! Your words of encouragement are more powerful than your muscles, use every gift God has given you to it’s fullest, just as you have always done!
    “Psa 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. “

  82. on March 23rd, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    Hi Dave,

    You were greatly missed at the Ironage Legend’s Reunion held recently in Columbus. I had the pleasure of taping it and will send you a copy of the tape as soon as I can. We only got back home from USA yesterday.
    Good speed in making a full recovery as fast as possible. I agree with every word written by others as to the importance of cardio. You will soon be as good as new again!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,

    Wayne Gallasch

  83. James Dodd said,

    on April 4th, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Only recently found this site, you’re a real inspiration to me Dave, thanks for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. Get well soon!

  84. Mike O'Brien said,

    on April 10th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    Hi Dave; Just found out about your heart condition when Laree replied back to me regarding the picture I sent of you guest posing at the “Mr. Eastern Canada” contest held in Quebec City, Canada back in ’68. I’ve never forgotten the day I met you at that contest and what an inspiration you were to me at the time. I want to wish you a speedy recovery and God speed.
    Take care.
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  85. on April 25th, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Inflammation, Heart Disease and Aging…

    It’s now been a little over 2 months since Dave Draper’s open heart surgery, and much has been learnt in that time. Laree Draper takes an excellent look at heart health, and its relationship with longevity. It’s a great read…….

  86. mike said,

    on May 19th, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    hang in there buddy. about 4 years ago i had quadruple bypass when i woke up from the surgery, i remember some doctor saying “you`ll never lift anything heavy again” well, a little over three years later. i had a 550 pound bench press under my belt.
    i am now 46 and intend to compete soon. i wanted to share this with you. because some years ago, i got into bodybuilding. i remember i was very young
    when i started to become fascinated in muscle development. then, i was watching tv and saw an episode of the beverly hillbillies. when i saw you i was pushed to start messing around with weights.
    i hope this message hits you the same way your message overtook my life. i sure am glad granny didn`t fix that barbell bloat. hang in there dave.
    san antonio texas

  87. on May 20th, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    wishing you well on your surgery .i am a 53 year old i had by pass surgery almost two years ago the surgery was elective found out by accident that the arteries were very blocked.and was unsure if i would be able to lift anything over 10 pounds i am not a weight lifter or body builder but i have always been strong and able to lift over 150 pounds my surgery was successful and my stay at the hospital was 2 days.it took over eight months to start feeling better i walked 2 miles a day for about 1 year and a half .but i find when i am doing any heavy work that my sternum area hurts for a day or so .wishing you well joe from nj

  88. Tony Myrick said,

    on November 27th, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Dave
    I had CHF due to alcohol abuse for a 103year run from age 30 to 43 but was a very serious lifter before that. I was a bencher of 430, squated 560, weighed 260 with a 34 inch waist. I now am 49 with a fully fused rod in my neck from a accident, both shoulders rebuilt torn everything including the labrium,rotators etc. I was given stem cells in a FDA study in Jan of 06 for the heart. I now weigh 255 with a flat belly. I bench up to 315 for a single once in awhile. I do pull downs with my hands facing me while seated to ease the pain of the neck with the 8″ rod. I am now blowing friends minds when they see me. I also had sleep apnea with the heart disease called cardiomyopathy. I take D-ribose,L-carnitine along with creatine and other supplements. I read the new book by Dr.Sinatra. I am glad to see you are someone I can relate to like a older brother who’s been there and done that. I quit the drinking when the heart was found to be enlarged (2000) I was abused while growing up so weights took me to new heights and have once again rescued me from my past demons.

  89. Anonymous said,

    on February 8th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Dave: well my situation is different my dad is in the hospital they were trying to do a markpass for him but it didnt work his situation is more complicated his life is in a very good risk now my mom doesnt know what to do we all are really sad i hope he really makes it throu this surgery all we do is pray, please give me an advice he is only 65 years old is not that old, we are really sad and so scared.
    well write me back if u can that’ll be good thanks

  90. ldraper said,

    on February 8th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Oh, boy, sorry to hear this! I’ll pass the message along to Dave. I don’t have your email address, but if you’d like to drop Dave an email, he’ll write you back. He’s at dave@davedraper.com.

  91. Tom Harwood said,

    on May 8th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    All the best Dave; I also has a M.I in my 30’s; now 52, and hanging in there. You however, have a wonderfull gift that many of us survivors don’t have, and it is this gift that will enable you another 25 years, that gift is Lauree… Best to both..Tom

  92. Anonymous said,

    on July 10th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Hi, I hope your pacemaker went well. 17 ys ago I had a heart attack caused by 95% blockage of the LAD which was opened up by atherosclerosis. Reaming out the plaque for the technically minded. On march 1st of this year during a Friday night out, I felt a strange tingling in my shoulders (after an hour of lifting in the am and 45 min of arm work in the pm, as usual) Drove to the emergency room and LO! I was told I was having a heart attack. This time an angiogram revealed near total blockeges in 4 arteries.
    Cardiologist decided to open up the Lad again with 3 stents, the others were not able to be opened. Some others might possibly have opted for arterial grafts, but the longevity is the same with medical management. Also less chance of complications such as stroke or instant death. I am back in the gym and doing well, angina has dissapeared and next week I go for a stress test.
    I am finding out that heredity plays a huge role in this, my cholesterol is 135 and triglycerides are 137, I am a vegetarian and use a few good vitamin pills and work out, but still the plaque got me.
    Good luck to you and I hope you feel as great as I do.

  93. Arne Borok said,

    on July 10th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Hi again, I forgot to say next week I will be 73, so keep up the good work, I look forward to your email every week.

  94. Dr Victor said,

    on December 5th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Dear Dave I Know you for long time and I know good lord loves you with God all is possible. I also need to remind you we all love your writing. you are great. Thanks for all your email and good words. Dr Victor

  95. on November 8th, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Please Dave, read Dr Joel Fuhrman & Dr Caldwell Esselstyn in regard to recovery from heart disease. Don’t play with fire eating animal protein, drinking coffee & eating dairy.

    The truth is you can still regain much of your cardiac health. NO animal protein, alcohol, caffeine or dairy- choose plant based high-nutrient foods, lose weight & live longer & healthier- that’s a promise!

  96. on December 31st, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    today is the last day of the year I know you for a long time you have been a great man and I know everyone loves you have a happy year 2011

  97. on January 6th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I forgot to thank you on behaf of all the soldiers that saving this great country and making sure to bring peace to the world

  98. on January 31st, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Great post !! The new technology offers a minimally invasive alternative to patients who are considered too risky for bypass operations and others whose surgically repaired arteries have re clogged. It also reduces risks to patients and will help dramatically improve recovery times.

Post a comment