Training - Bodybuilding - Nutrition - Motivation
Anvils and Logs September 2, 2003
you read last week’s newsletter? Say yes; humor me. I went
on for quite awhile about nothing and felt guilty because I offered
no earth-shaking information on how to reach your goal, whatever
it might be, in a few short weeks. I mean, that is the point of
it all. So I claimed I would reveal my Secret 14-Day Muscularizing
Routine and Eating Plan in this newsletter.
lied. There is no secret routine. The truth is there is no secret
eat lots of protein and train like crazy till the job is done. Not
much more to it than that. What there is, you figure out along the
way. Try it. Worse thing you can do, besides quitting, is thinking
too much: researching, reading, studying, referring to the muscle
mags and asking everyone else for advice. You are “it,”
bomber. You and your self are the whole, the question and the answer,
the problem and the solution, the challenge and the victor, the
raw material and the finished product. Intellectualizing is exhausting
and suffocating. You need oxygen and action. Got it? Get it.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk things over with
a friend, a tree stump or your pet. Mugsy, my cat, and I don’t
get into great detail, but we sort out the basics and encourage
each other regularly. Review and encouragement, reflection and hope,
observation and humor, assessment and adjustment, these are the
essential tools of construction, the implements of development seldom
at hand. Let’s make them ever-ready.
word of support can carry you over broken glass and burning embers.
The other day a guy stood behind me and said, “You’re
looking good, man. Stay tight, two more reps, you can do it.”
I got four and a pump and burn like I was 21 and loaded with jungle
carbs. Turns out the guy at my back was 13 and talking to his schoolmate
on the next bench. I would have been embarrassed if I didn’t
feel so darn good.
perplexed I remind myself that someone had to think this stuff up.
Many hazy years ago some brute, probably, or a less-then-delicate
woman with hairy legs, stood in silence and contemplated muscle
and strength. How can I be more powerful and physically impressive,
lift heavier barrels, anvils and logs and bend bigger spikes? Practice,
train, perform and repeat. Start small and add weight and size to
the objects of attention. Improvise stuff, devise and contrive weighted
things to assist the muscle-building and strength-building process:
stones of different sizes, logs of various thickness, length and
weight, graduating barrels filled with material of increasing density,
assorted steel rails and axels with wheels on the ends.
latter is a most interesting concept, worth developing.
things is unlike pushing things and broadens the treatment of muscle
and might. A rope over the back or around the waist or formed into
a harness is attached to a wagon, empty at first and later loaded
with men and women of like interest. The passionate one-man beast-of-burden
pulls with all his might till the wagon creaks forward and his body
screams in glorious pain and the whole affair reaches its mark across
a stretch of rutted dirt road. The occupants go for the ride of
their lives and spectators line up to award the rope-bearing, sinewy
marvel with cheers and laughter. What a grand feat.
about this? Sitting on the ground with his feet braced facing the
wagon and the rope in his grasp, Big Mac pulls the staggering load
to him hand over hand. Or, a platform is constructed, a rope is
dropped through a hole in its center and attached to a weighted
object and lifted from above. Here’s a simple one: the strongman
hangs from an overhead beam and pulls himself upward till his chin
touches the beam and fully lowers himself as many consecutive times
as possible -- call them a set of repetitions.
I’m saying is this, sky-buddies: It’s not rocket science
with mathematical formulas and equations requiring genius. It’s
not masterful techniques and intimidating processes. Nor is it inherent
talents or accomplished skills. It’s lifting weights -- and
eating good food -- for Pete’s sake. It’s not voodoo
and a witch’s brew, black magic, smoke and mirrors. It’s
logic, good old common sense, and persistence. It’s resourcefulness
and guts. It’s glorious hard work.
and be confident. Don’t stiff-arm your training or place it
coldly outside your life as if it were a bad-tempered junkyard dog
or simple-minded relative. Get comfortable with exercise, cozy with
your training. Know it as you know a friend. We can love good friends
and find them maddening at times, but they are entirely too important
to be without. So it is with the vigorous activity of exercise,
the vital undertaking of fitness. A little of both sentiments with
an accent on appreciation and respect is quite an acceptable mix.
promising venture takes more time and work than most people think,
much to their surprise and disappointment. After a month most aspirants
feel beat up and cheated, toppling off the wagon and onto the rutted
road below. The wagon bounces along with a hardy bunch still clinging
to its sideboards, the journey a wild one and destination a seductive
unknown. God bless them and mercy on those who toppled and settled
with yesterday’s dust.
the selection of goals sought by the lifter, muscularity is possibly
the classiest. Muscle mass is impressive, shape is envied and strength
is everyone’s prize. Yet, fine muscle definition carried with
ease is hot like fire. Sinew visible through thin skin and crowned
with faint veins conveys instant quickness, sudden power and boundless
energy. Raw human life itself is seen in vivid action: rippling,
separating, stretching and contracting; functioning, living and
breathing. In man or woman, it’s fascinating, captivating
and alluring. I want some.
When the urge to muscularize is overpowering, the first thing I
do is reference my 101-book library and stacks of muscle magazines
and start my thumb-through study. I run a search on my computer
with any word that suggests raw, ripped muscles. After weeks of
collecting material from 10,000 sources, I narrow the field of approach
to 49, my favorite number. Of course, now I’m exhausted and
could care less about… what was it again, rips, tears, cuts,
that fails I perform the same routine that provides muscle mass,
only I lighten the load by 10 to 20 percent and increase the pace
by 10 to 20 percent. This is an estimation that is calculated through
my sensory perception and never reaches hard copy. The exercises
are the basics, and supersetting -- one exercise followed by another
that complements the first -- is a key technique. Be prepared for
volume in your routine, that is, lots of sets and reps, pumping
and burning, as well as an exciting pace… and panting, till
you’re conditioned by the enthusiastic method of operation
and readied for its benefits.
or new age lifters might say, “The basics, supersetting and
volume? You’ll never build muscle that way. I read it somewhere.
well get over it. Unless you’re one in 20 million (my own
approximation) or you’re looking for cute little teeny weeny,
itsy bitsy muscles, you’re going to require hard work and
lots of it. I withdraw the second condition of the former statement;
itsy bitsy muscle requires hard work and lots of it, too. And if
you’re new at this stuff, maybe muscularity isn’t in
your immediate future. Good old-fashioned muscle of any description
might be most acceptable… and agreeable. You’re reading
a chapter for another day in the life of your pursuits. Be of good
cheer; the information is still useful.
where learning to love your training comes in handy.
early disclaimer: Beware of excessive aerobic exercise in your eagerness
to achieve muscle hardness and separation. You might very well lose
valuable muscle at the cost of losing bodyfat. I find nothing more
frightening except maybe the boogieman. Consider HIIT sessions of
12 to 15 minutes four days a week, on your off-days when possible.
want to train each muscle group, directly or indirectly, two times
a week over a four-day workout week. Don’t be random in your
routine, but allow yourself legitimate margin for exercise alterations
where and when necessary.
Without being a wimp, if a series of tough workouts fatigue you,
let a day go by so you can blast it the next day. If the insertions
are tender in the biceps, change your standing barbell curl to thumbs-up
curls or reverse curls or wrist curls; if the bench is killing your
shoulders, go to dumbbells to avoid damage and allow relief and
repair. When your legs are noodles, work the shoulders and arms
and catch up with the legs the following day or so. Fit it all together
with feel, instinct, logic and finesse -- and responsibility.
the abs and torso and lower back as a region three or four times
a week with full-bore vigor, high reps, tight contractions and multi-set
combinations one workout to the next. Vary the combinations of exercises
to make the job interesting and certain, as the healthy condition
of the region of muscles is vital and its toned appearance most
appealing. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for the tough, worthwhile action,
remembering the activity is aerobic and prepares the body for action.
You’ll beat the back pain and disability of midlife and old
age. You’ll stay strong.
exercise doesn’t change from moment to moment or year to year,
as does medicine, high tech and finances, let me review once again
my own workout fundamentals to give you a design you might want
to adopt for yourself.
put down my landing gear, I’ve come to the end of the runway.
Let’s go over the scattered details of my approach to gaining
hard muscle next time we gather in the field. Take advantage of
the summer’s amazing days and the fine life we share.
note: Laree will send you to a short download for you to view by
the end of the week. It’s a preview of a comedy routine --
not very funny -- I recently did to demonstrate the formidable Top
Squat, the apparatus I invented to make squatting a more positive
experience and better muscle builder. I am absolutely thrilled with
its advantages and applications. I’ll post reviews as I receive
them now that it’s reaching consumers, those brave souls with
vision, trust and a keen desire to develop great legs and protect
their backs, knees and shoulders.
we see promise in the screening we’ll do a series of rough
MTV-like training routines for individual muscle groups and slumpbusters
that can be offered in DVD or VCR format. You’ll grow and
I’ll become overnight a rich action hero, run for president
and put an end to terrorism.
bless us all,
Did you sign up for Dave's expanded email yet? It's
free, motivating and priceless!