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I Hear You Knocking at My Front Door

7206-train9Right about this time every year for the past 13 years I have glowingly declared that the days are getting longer. I’ve leaned back as I’ve bedazzled my keyboard and reminded us it’s time to ramp up our training and get in shape for the rocking summer ahead. It’s what we do, bombers. We’re muscle builders and iron heads, lifters of steel and sculptors of bodies.

Having set the stage, I, with contagious excitement, have detailed a thoughtful menu and a thorough workout to refresh our winter-logged minds and build lean, shapely muscle and powerhouse might. Sets will fly and reps will soar while we lift up the iron and gulp down the protein. Yes, indeedy, that was then.

Today, however, my mind is numb. I can’t think of a meaningful thing to say. Zap. I just deleted another page filled with stale words, sentences and phrases. That makes an even bodybuilder’s dozen since I started to write this. A bodybuilder’s dozen is any number between eight to 15 repetitions, depending on the pump and burn.

Yeah, right! And when’s the last time you had a pump ’n’ burn, Mr. Mighty Max Muscle Marvel Man? I thought I was getting a pump last week, but as it turns out, I strained a tendon and it was swelling from the injury. Rats!

It gets worse: Due to circumstances beyond my control, I missed a workout last week. That was no big deal back in the day when I trained twice a day, six days a week, but nowadays “a” workout is half my workouts for a seven-day period. At that rate I won’t qualify for the Mr. Droopy Drawers finals of 2013. What will my grandkids think?

Odds are I’ll be out of the running for the Most Skin Hanging Loosely Award this year. Heartbreaking! Get this: I have the original of Sinatra singing “My Way” on digital—not to mention my black-and-white checkered posing trunks, my top hat, bow tie and walking stick.

Note: I don’t compete for the trophy. I confess, I just love the applause.

Another brave confession from the bottom of my open heart: I do not want, need or desire to see the inside of a gym for the rest of my life.

This is my public statement, of course, until I—hand-to-throat gasp—actually miss a training session. Should I in real life skip, omit or otherwise fail to work out, grief commences immediately and severely. My back bows, my knees buckle, and I’m suddenly three inches shorter than normal. The world spins, my head cocks to one side, my sopping tongue protrudes from my gaping mouth. I look upward from drowsy eyes, my voice muffled as I search for words. Limp hands reach for support as I haplessly lurch from place to place.

“Hey, buddy! Can you give me a spot?”

Ummm.… How about mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (providing you have one of those protective masks handy), a miniature brain transplant, a pair of electrifying backstage passes to the OhBama Pageant, whatever that is.

Two workouts a week seem to do it for me. I’d do more if I could, but I can’t, so I don’t. If I did, I’d be miserable, so I do what I must, can, should and will. Exactly!

It all used to be so easy: Enter gym, see dumbbell, lift dumbbell, go home.

Best workout:

• Rope tuck, leg raise and freehand squat combinations for 15 inspiring minutes

• Seated dumbbell curls supersetted with low-incline dumbbell flyes-to-presses (3-4 x 10, 8, 6, 12-15)

• Wide-grip pulldowns behind and before the head supersetted with machine dips leaning forward and back with bombastic finesse (3-4 x 12, 12-15)

• Lying bent-bar stiff-arm pullovers and triceps extensions, a jumbo bombo combo (3-4 x 10-12, 6 reps)

Laree and I have a little fox that visits us midday for scraps of food. So cute, about 30 inches long, nose to tail’s end, and 10 pounds soaking wet. I want to be a fox when I grow up.

Fox rocks.… Go.… Godspeed… D

—Dave Draper


Editor’s note: For more from Dave Draper, visit 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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