First Things First

Before you get distracted by all the great options you're about to find here, please sign up for Dave's free weekly newsletter so he can continue to encourage and motivate you toward your fitness goals.
Chris M writes:
"You blend plain-spoken wisdom, motivational fire and wry humor into a weekly email jolt that leaves me itching to hit the gym. Whether I'm looking for workout routines, diet tips or a friendly kick in the butt, the Bomber comes through every time." ... Read more...

The Months of December

Download the full Draper here newsletter
in printable, live-link, pdf format, here.

Easy does it. We don’t want to hasten this month, the last of the year. December tends to be crazy, more like two or three months in one: the month following Halloween and Thanksgiving, the month winter descends, the last month of the old year, the month before the New Year, the month bearing Christmas and all the shopping and decorations, praise and celebration, and, finally, there’s Auld Lang Syne, parties and New Year’s resolutions.

Hark, sinuous, sinewy tinsel-heads: Expect chaos amid the festivities, and aggravation amid the cheer. Life with a capital L. Like a fuse ignited, December sparkles wildly along with an exciting hiss until Christmas Day, when there’s a spectacular burst of joy, and New Year’s Eve, when a grand explosion is heard ’round the world.

But who wants to miss the hullabaloo, as if that was possible, and why should we? We simply need to be a set and a rep ahead of the crowd around us. Train generously with a warm heart, a jingle and a clank. Eat the right stuff regularly and the left stuff sparingly. And remember, like hunky old Santa said, just cuz muscles don’t grow on trees doesn’t mean you’re bound to have twigs for arms and sticks for legs.

Seriously, bombers, I never could get into the Santa thing, or the elves and the reindeer. Rudolf? Really? But the dude has a point about the sticks and twigs. I suspect he would go on about growing round and fat, but that’s his image, and he, like you and I, is a slave to his image.

Sooooo, bombster… What’s your image of yourself these days?


That was the mind-numbing blare of the Image Warning Alarm System (IWAS) sounding off across the planet Earth. Saved by the blast. Not exactly. You can run, but you can’t hide. The blare only serves to expose image-duckers. ERRRRRRRRRT… There’s no escape, Daffy. You can waddle, but you can’t duck.

An assortment of self-images ricochets though our minds like a 22-caliber slug. One is a companion, another is a burden, one depresses and the other inspires. 

The image you perceive when you’re in a good mood, the steadfast and robust athlete, is a good companion indeed. The self-conscious slug sagging your shoulders as life happens is a burden indeed. The downcast shadow that follows you around when you’re feeling bad, the insecure mope, is depression. And, last but not least, the lean, lithe and admirable character you pursue while training enthusiastically is the mighty inspiration.

These characters have step-cousins running around your mental playground; Happy, Lumpy, Slappy, Pumpy, Hunky, Clunky and Clinky and Clanky. Sort out the good and ship out the bad. Permit only the daring, bright and swift to share your aspiring facility. Each of us has work to do in our backyards. is, of course, a rugged and vigorous musclehead site. Thus far this week we’ve addressed twigs and sticks, elves and reindeer and the IWAS -- profound, insightful and constructive. Now I offer the steely and stern law of the month: Absolutely no less than two assertive workouts a week -- three is better -- and no more than one mini-menu-splurge in the same period of time, which is seven days by my last count.

Beware: January is payback, the month of the girl-dog.

Some bombers are in better shape than others and can slip ’n slide with more agility and tolerance than others. Two workouts a week will serve them well, providing they stay busy each day and avoid sluggishness and pigaciousness, aka pigacity. They’ve got years of old-time muscle time invested. Or they have that incredible, enviable metabolism that makes me want to torture them, the miserable muscular wretches.

Get the UTT (Underarm Tickling Thigamajig).

Some guys and gals will continue to flog themselves as they need, the last to leave the gym on Christmas Eve and the first to blaze a trail at the park on the first day of the New Year.

Get a job.

Some are squeezing the Holiday Season, which they claim officially started on Halloween, of every conceivable excuse to afford them excess comfort and gratification. Cruising and snoozing, boozing and losing, taking a bruising and singing the blues thing.   

They’ll get theirs.
Aren’t you glad you work out -- know how to, that you should, and where and why and when? Here’s another trick question: How many days in the gym under the iron does it take to make up for the lost workouts and over-consumption during the months of December?

Get a calculator.

It gets worse. What’s more painful, destructive, unbearable: the guilt you harbor, the grief you bear, the departure of those big guns, the arrival of these big buns or the listlessness of fit-less-ness resulting from slothfulness? How about your sinking purpose and will, the mounting stress and irritability or the absence of rhythm and rhyme in your pathetic life since you surrendered to evil?

Get ye behind me, devil dude.

You want to know what I’d do if I were you? Yeah? Well I’ll tell you anyway. Put the negative considerations behind you, as they are mute ’n moot. You simply will not submit to these regrettable indulgences this glorious season.

Got that?

You will train with quiet zeal and continued determination. Zeal and determination are not things an ironhead discards easily, like empty tuna cans and plastic water bottles. They are certain, always and forever, like a shiny brass nose ring or a multicolored tattoo of a venomous snake coiled around the bis and tris.

Get this!

Another thing for sure: Life is unpredictable.

Go… God’s Power… The Drapes


Soak yourself in a taste of bodybuilding’s Golden Era with Dick Tyler’s on-the-scene record, written in his easy-going, one-of-a-kind style, West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

Take a trip over to our
New Musclebuilding Q&A Blog
... where Dave allows us a peek into his email outbox.

Did you sign up for Dave's expanded email yet?
It's free, motivating and priceless!
We'll also send you a link to Dave's free
Body Revival Tips and Hints e-report with your confirmation notice.

Cut through the confusion! Grab your copy Brother Iron Sister Steel to make your training path clear.

Readers agree: Dave book, Iron On My Mind, is non-stop inspirational reading.

Our IronOnline Forum will answer your training and nutriton questions right here, right now.

Golden Era fans will rejoice in this excerpt from West Coast Bodybuilding Scene.

Are your shoulders tight? Do your shoulders hurt when you squat? It's practically a miracle! Dave's Top Squat assists squatters with shoulder problems.

Here's Dave's previous week's column.