First Things First

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Just The Facts, Ma’am


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Anyone remember Dragnet, a cop show as old as television, featuring two no-nonsense detectives getting to the bottom of crime without messing around? Sergeant Joe Friday, the lead investigator, would repeat when necessary, which was often, the stiff line, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” It worked every time. He and his partner, Officer Gannon, would go about the neighborhood, collect the facts, solve the crime and go home. End of story.

That’s where we are today: Just the facts, Ma’am. Fiction, guessing, exaggerations, elaborations, misconceptions, lies, tall tales and conjecture will not do. Not anymore, not for you and me, not for bombers. We’re up to our ears in research, hypothesis, trials, analysis, contemplation and consideration. We want the facts, Ma’am, just the facts. Not reports, accounts, chronicles and data. Not anymore, not for you and me.

I’m going to list 20 facts that pertain directly to you and me in our endeavor to develop muscle and might. See how they compare to your list. No yawning, ma’am, I’m just trying to get to the bottom of things.

Here goes:

1) There are no secrets; there are no shortcuts.

2) Weight training and proper eating combined is the most direct way to build muscle and might.

3) Right living and proper rest contribute significantly to the lifter’s progress.

4) The trainee’s genetic makeup is a large determining factor in his or her structural and muscular development, strength and rate of advancement.

5) External factors, such as environment, gym atmosphere, support and inspiration add greatly to the training process and outcome.

6) Consistency in training is an absolute in its success, as are passion and commitment.

7) Training intensity must be measured and applied both intelligently and instinctively.

8) Exercise and eating are basic and simple in form, yet tough in application.

9) Many people start weight training to achieve fitness goals, only to give up because they don’t reach their expectations quickly, and because the activity is demanding.

10) Mankind’s failure to exercise and eat right is killing him.

11) Gain weight too fast and the lifter will gain fat weight; lose weight too fast and he will lose muscle.

12) Early weight training requires order in exercise, sets and reps and practice, as the lifter focuses on form, muscle engagement, pain, endurance, exercise groove and pace.

13) Though fundamental, weight training and musclebuilding are ongoing processes of learning and discovery, as the trainee’s development unfolds, as plateaus, injuries and obstacles are engaged and as time goes by and years are added.

14) Hypertrophy, or musclebuilding, is caused by regular muscle overload; too much overload can cause overtraining or injury.

15) Immature weight trainers seeking extraordinary musclebuilding goals are easy prey for marketing hype promising sensational advancements from pills packed with multi-syllable “cutting edge” ingredients, or advanced methodologies that are, at best, novel.

16) Advanced or long-lasting musclebuilders, applying wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and rips and tears, settle into the training basics with finesse, intensity, instinct and continuing hope... continuing discovery.

17) Musclebuilding is not limited to building physical health and strength alone; as discipline, patience and perseverance are required to approach the activity, so, too, are these rich qualities developed.

18) It occurs often that a seeker of muscle and might will undertake a course of exercise and right eating for a worthy period of time and quit, only to return steadfastly to the activity upon declining -- they never were healthier, looked better and thought more clearly than when they trained.

19) This might not agree with the so-called facts gained by research, but about one in one hundred takes his or her health seriously by training seriously -- another five pretend to care by going through feeble motions, and the remainder don’t care enough to even pretend.

20) One of the best arguments for exercise and eating right is, “What if you don’t?”

So, there’s my 20. I know. Your list is bigger than my list, and more comprehensive, too. You went into protein and hormones and high reps versus low reps, catabolism and the truth about B-complex. You’re so smart. You ask, “What about multi-sets, the anabolic environment, the progressive weight training techniques and percentages of the one-rep max?” I get stuck as soon as I get past squats, tuna and water.

In an effort to reinforce my list I shall add a handful of training factors that occur amid my workouts that deserve amassing.

There’s the last rep in a set that I intend to perform, the last rep I’m able to perform and the last rep I, in fact, do perform. Each one exceeds the other until only darkness, stillness and silence stand before me and quitting. When building muscle, that is the only rep. Seek it as a loved one, or buried treasure, a vein of gold, oil reserves.

The focus required to build muscle and might is of the sort that allows no other thought to penetrate the mind or feeling affect the body except the total involvement of the movement. The lifter who converses -- chats, gabs, gossips -- while he’s lifting is divided. United we stand, bombers, divided we fall.

Check all cell phones at the door.

He who stares out the window or at the exit door between sets, or reads Vanity Fair while seated on the leg extension or otherwise abandons his attention to more important things than intense and directed training is on the outside looking in, lonely and alone. His days attending health and strength are numbered. He needs purpose, or his purpose renewed. Somehow he forgot the good reasons he’s in the gym, and notes only the less-desirable attendants of the training process. He’s bored and unrewarded, one step from lazy and on the brink of apathy. Give the man a generous portion of old-fashioned encouragement, a timely attitude adjustment and the excitement that comes from the last almighty rep, the same rep that builds muscle and might. Attentive Inspiration would awaken him and passion would spur him along. He must be attentive, doubt free and forceful. If he’s not, he’s history, yesterday, gone. His troubles are just beginning.

Doubt is like heading down the freeway in the wrong direction. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a head-on collision with reality. Doubt doesn’t appear once or twice during the wild ride, and then vanishes. It, like oncoming traffic, is continuous till you turn yourself around. Keep your eye on the road, driver. Beware of Construction Zone. Shoulder Work Ahead.

Just when you think you can’t go on (but you will) and you’ve endured more than you can stand (of course, you know no bounds) and your back and mind and spirit are surely broken (they are, in fact, like pillars of steel), a stranger says, “Where’d you get all those muscles, Mister,” or “Wow, you’re looking good, Man.” Ah, sweet music to the ear. Encouragement, my friend, is a better musclebuilder than the bench press. Sincere support at the right time builds bodies more ways than Wonder Bread. Throw some crumbs out there; they come back when you need and least expect them.

The antithesis to doubt is certainty. Here’s where I trip slightly over my two left feet: I’m not certain about certainty. Nothing is predictable, not exactly. That doesn’t mean there is no place for a genuinely positive attitude. In fact, if there is one sure thing, it would be there is no place for a negative attitude. The gym, and the action that takes place within its boundaries, must be assertive, straightforward, unyielding and intense. And how can they be without a strong attitude to lead and accompany the overpowering combination? Do not enter the iron and steel environment with questionable confidence. You are fire against ice. Do not stand before the power-rack with fear and submission. You are warrior against foe. Do not wander about indecisively searching for something to do. Grab a handful of metal and get to work. You are lifter against iron.

I hear music coming from the speakers, ‘60s stuff that bounces off the walls like good old memories. This is perf, providing it’s not too loud... accompanies the rhythm of training and prevents people from whispering like they had secrets. I train in a tall and clean concrete rectangle where everyone is busy building muscles and testing their strength without being jerks. It’s like heaven, I think.

My point: Bomb it with God’s might... DD


DO YOU REMEMBER…

Last July we held a seminar at the Santa Cruz Bomber Bash with Bill Pearl as our guest and Eddie Corney making a surprise visit. We recorded the 2-hour QnA talk with three cameras from different angles and points of view... 6-to-8 hours of recorded material. Swell. The following month Laree and I visited Bill and Judy at their home in Oregon and recorded Bill and me in another two hours of compelling (cool word, compelling) conversation.

This stuff is priceless, we're thinking: Now to throw it all together and offer it to our internet participants, a small army of authentic musclebuilders, and fans of the golden era. They’ll be jazzed.

No problemo; a dozen editing-specific computer programs later and a hundred hours on the how-to-edit help line and Laree is ready for action. The roar of trucks driving by, hums of overhead fans, the clattering of ladders to turn off overhead fans, periodic jingles of incoming phone calls and my persistent coughing and sniveling had to be removed from the soundtrack to make it comprehensible. The junk, redundancy, lengthy questions and extensive answers, and embarrassing moments had to be cut. Order to the disorder that comes from random conversations among 225 enthusiastic and hungry bodybuilders had to be explored and sensibly arranged. Entertainment and substance and professional presentation were the elements pursued. Good luck. Add music where it works, add stills where they work and throw in a couple of slide shows for the fun of it. Presto!

One day a month ago Laree emerged from her hellish computer station in the lonely loft for food, water and human contact. The production was complete. I tried to be sensitive as she was given to outbursts of tears and incoherent babbling. Still cute, I pat her on the head, assured her a shower would help, some Bomber Blend... she nodded helplessly.

The finished product was sent off to the pros to be duplicated -- stamped, printed and encased... whatever -- and is now in stock for immediate shipment.

The  Package includes a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute tape of the July seminar, two muscular slide shows, plus a 32-page booklet outlining the subsequent interview between the mighty one, Bill Pearl, and me in which we discuss some favorite subjects untouched by the seminar.

Be the first one on the block to own this indescribable entertainment and informational extravaganza starring Oscar-winning performers from around the world

Click here to order your copy of the Bash 05 Seminar dvd with Dave and Bill Pearl

Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel here

Click here to order Iron On My Mind

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