Week Older, Again
have a friend from Muscle Beach who is three-quarters of a century
old this July. He lifted weights when not fighting the enemy in
Mindanao during WWII and can no more give up his workouts than a
dummy can give up his ventriloquist. His advice is to figure out
what exercises dont hurt and do a lot of them. Its called
wisdom from the Chief. You might scribble that down on a napkin
for future reference while we seek out other alternatives to put
into motion. We have a head start.
word to the young and the wise: Dont ignore or read with less
intent the tedious information that appears to be constructed exclusively
for the adult sporting streaks of gray and a creased brow. The lessons
apply to all of us, for at any given time we share a fight bearing
similar threats: accident, injury, illness, despondency, boredom,
the fray assumes many forms and bites at the heals
of men, women and kids. Gird thy loins.
I mentioned last week, my training today is fundamentally the same
as it was when I trained for contests in the 60s and '70s,
hard, long, supersetted and volume accented. I advocate working
with the weights three to four times a week for 75-90 minutes, each
muscle group two times per week. This is the outside margin for
the ready rascal who can match the training with his lifestyle and
still keep his friendships and pay the bills. He or she leads the
parade. For those who might not love a parade, three days a week
for 60 minutes is not at all shabby. March fast on off-days. Two
days works to maintain the thread, if one is busy and squeezes in
some vigorous walks. One is better than none, till he is able to
fix the problem. None is a problem.
or long-time trainee: It is not a waste of time to stop and think
about your training plan. The training plan is not only the routine
of exercises practiced in the gym, but the time allotted for the
workout, the timing of the workout, your eating and nutritional
habits and your rest and sleep. Of course, your devotion and attitude
are major players in your training scheme. That you are reading
this newsletter indicates you are curious enough to pause and make
notations of where you are, where you came from and where you are
going. A brief overview will put things in order, a precious commodity
in our confused world. Order and wisdom are cousins seldom found
one without the other.
pause is not a slowing down that hinders momentum, but a quick assessment
that enables you to proceed without lost time. Consider:
the best time to train?
stronger, more energetic, more mentally receptive, less prone to
injury and, thus, more productive in the early afternoon, rather
than my formerly scheduled early morning timeframe.
level of training output is recommendable?
as hard as you are able or as hard as you want according to your
limitations. Many of the over-40 members of our gym in Santa Cruz
train with an intensity that is agreeable, healthy and sufficient
for maintenance. They are light-years ahead of their neighbors.
Some of my buddies are pushing it to keep that hard edge, outwit
the injuries and foil the stooped stalker. I train with heightened
senses to blast it most every set without explosions and devastation
to the surrounding real estate. That is to say, I apply the intelligence
of warming up; I move continually but without haste; I grasp the
weights and assume my lifting position precisely to protect the
prickly joints and other odds and ends, and I proceed lifting with
cautious aggressiveness until red lights come on. I then regroup,
oxygenize and move on with attention and resolve. I want all I can
get without breaking. (Excuse me
I counted 10 Is
in this paragraph, hopefully to make a point.)
long can you train?
disabler is hurry, and the anxiousness, carelessness and discomfort
that accompany the thug. Oh, that we could find the time in this
unfair world weve built to allow us to wallow in the enterprise
of health and muscle-making. Once youve established your training
plan, you can accomplish your fitness needs without haste and anxiety
in 60 delicious minutes. Three times a week and some weekend treats
are a fair share of exercise work n play for the well-behaved
citizen soon to get 10% off on Dennys Senior Special and discounted
tickets at the Cinemaplex.
as some of you, have the luxury to train longer without excessive
pressure on the boiler system. I do not linger or tally or loiter,
but press more care and preparation into more time. I can no longer
grab a set of innocent dumbbells and flail them around like a rattle
for 10 reps and move on to the next attack. Im as hard working,
yet less brash. I position myself, grope around for the dear groove
and mindfully squeeze out the reps for maximum muscle tension.
seconds allocated for grateful movement add up.
hit a total 35 to 40 sets per workout apart from torso work. Legs
go slowly when under the bar. I watch people come in and go out
as I pant. My workouts are 90 to 120 minutes, but whos counting?
exercises are wrong and should be eliminated?
ones that hurt the most. The longer we roam the planets surface
the greater the potential for accident, overuse, abuse, disability
from illness and general wear and tear. And, there are some of you
young guys and gals who know more pain and rough terrain than any
of us born before Sputnik. Our bodies and sometimes our doctors
tell us what to discard and when. Pain dictates our moves and pain
deserves respect. Youve heard me commend pain as if it had
life and personality, the stern instructor, teaching, directing,
humbling and protecting. Take advantage of the brute; listen closely.
been knocked around a bit, I found myself running out of moves that
didnt threaten the old bone pile. I gave up flys 'cuz they
pulled at my biceps; after shoulder surgery, bench presses were
removed from my memory through repeated electro-shock treatments;
reverse curls for biceps and forearms became impossible 10 years
ago and sidearm laterals refused to cooperate after the earthquake
in 89. Front presses eluded me in the same year but the deltoids
held on through traditional dips and some sneaky light-weight dumbbell
is gruesome. Revenge is sweet. Out of need and desperation I dragged
each retired movement from the heap and with determination, patience
and time, reinvented them one by one. I will elaborate on this matter
next week, a discourse for both young and old. Dont forget.
is a realistic goal for an older beginner?
over 40, 50, 60, and so on, can be and should be a treat, a highly
regarded undertaking, a thrill, a commendable robust challenge,
a cool and courageous endeavor, a productive diversion, a favored
sport of action and purpose and a fulfilling release. It is so healthful
as to make you want to burst with pride and thanksgiving. You are
fixing, restoring, replenishing and reviving; you are adjusting,
exacting, developing and improving; you are polishing and brightening
and readying and preparing. Why do people think exercise, good eating
and fair care are a painful, unthinkable labor?
the precepts put forth on the pages of davedraper.com and on the
pages of some of the choice websites and books out there:
can and will build muscle
will build strength and overcome weakness
You will add tone and shape to your body
You will improve cardio-respiratory action
You will improve energy, endurance and well-being
You will control your body weight
You will channel stress
You will improve the function and harmony of your internal system
You will improve hormonal balance and productivity
You will think more clearly (and positively and creatively, no doubt)
You will glow and laugh when others dimly groan
your goals high enough to be noble and low enough to be humble
Set your commitment in concrete
probably wont win Miss or Mr. America
You probably wont bench press 450 pounds
You probably will exercise, eat right and be happy for a long time
diet is the same today as it was when preparing for those crazy
contests during the last half of the last century
I no longer have an appetite for sugar and desserts (chocolate will
raise my eyebrow) and protein remains the priority. Beneficial carbs
and fats share a role of equal importance. I add EFAs, Super Spectrim
vitamin and mineral supplement, CoQ10 (heart health), niacin (vascular
system) and Body Ammo Glucosamine-Chondroitin-MSM mix (joint, etc).
eat four or five solid meals with the vastly important Bomber Blend
protein drinks carefully placed as brick and mortar to hold the
whole structure together, adding to its height and reach.
the intake of saturated fats, sugar, junk food, fast food, packaged
food and chemicals.
Control cravings, dont binge or stuff yourself at single sittings.
Eat living foods high in natural nutritional value (vegetables and
fruit in variety).
Dont smoke. Limit your alcohol; drink water instead.
Get a thorough checkup.
Take a nap.
skies overhead, pilots
There are no limits this fine day.
Flex your wings.
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