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Allow Me to Confuse You

ironmanmagazine.comLet me guess. You’ve got to train today, and you don’t want to—that’s “don’t,” spelled “do not” with the emphasis on “not”—but you must or your muscles will wither, your mind will wilt, your spirits will wane; fatigue will consume you, guilt will paralyze you, evil forces will overcome you.

Nothing like a long, exciting list of incentives to invigorate one’s training.

What happened to the original motivators: big guns, barn-door lats, cannonball delts, four plates clattering on a steadily ascending Olympic bar? They came, they conquered, they moved on, and here we remain, bright-eyed traumatized victims, grinning empty hulks, giggling remnants of hard-fought bloody battles.

Let’s face it, steel heads, without the iron we’d be a mess.

I never know what’s gonna take place at the gym these days. There was a time I knew exactly what was going to happen, give or take two reps or a 2 1/2-pound plate. Grab iron; toss, hoist, shove repeatedly; pump, burn, sweat a lot; grow strong and big most certainly. Boom, zoom.…

Today, getting there twice a week for an hour is a major accomplishment—and a major necessity, I might add. Without the dreaded duo I would not be deliriously happy, a laugh a minute and a heap of jokes. I would be, instead, delirious, a laughable heap, a joke.

Sixty minutes, one slim hour, is my max: slender, symmetrical, skeleton training sessions.

Seriously? Seriously. Short and sweet and still satisfying.

Push-pull combinations with heart, body and mind intently focused on tailored form, maximum muscle engagement, light weight, max exertion (6, 8, 10, 12 reps) with intelligent care and caution. Injuries and downtime, big-time costly, are eliminated.

The older, the lesser. It works. The sooner you welcome less-demanding, less-punishing workouts, the longer you and your muscles and strength and joy will last. The wise survive.

Heavy weights have done their work. Time for friendly force, focus, form and finesse. Spare the shoulders, save the elbows, rescue the joints. The big question to ask: Are we wearing ourselves out or building ourselves up?

Don’t spend yourself in one place at one time. Save some for a rainy day, a windy day, a sunny day, another day, the day after tomorrow.…

Growing old and growing up are two entirely different phenomena. The former is certain; the latter is optional—or you might say, in the hands of the beholder, up for grabs. Never let go. Growing old simply happens, but growing up is tricky. It takes finesse and consistent practice along the way.

Bomber Code: Befriend time, exercise daily, eat right, rest well, laugh often, love lots, and do not step in front of oncoming buses.

“Next stop: Fourth and Broadway.…”

This is where I get off.… See ya…the Bomb

—Dave Draper


Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit www and sign up for his free newsletter. You can also check out his amazing Top Squat training tool, classic photos, workout Q&A and forum.


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