THAN EVER - TRAINING LEGS WITH DAVE DRAPER
Magazine, June 1991.
Frank Zane, MA. Property of Weider Publications
had been 18 years since I'd trained with Dave Draper, and as I walked
into his World Gym in Santa Cruz, California, I reminisced of those
bygone years. The last time we trained seriously together was during
the summer of 1972 at the old Gold's Gym on Pacific Avenue in Venice
while preparing for the Mr. Universe contest. Dave, Arnold and I
could usually be found in the gym at the same time and we'd work
legs together more often than not. Leg extensions, leg curls, heavy
squats, hacks, donkeys, standing and seated calf raises were our
usual fare. We never did aerobics in those days - not to each other's
knowledge anyway. We were content to get an aerobic effect from
our weight training workouts by not resting more than a minute between
training day would start with a phone call from me to Dave at 5:45
am. Dave was always up and it wasn't long before I was off to the
gym where I would meet him by 7 am. It was too early for anybody
without serious training motivation to be there and the gym atmosphere
seemed spiritual; the loudmouths usually didn't start arriving until
I looked around Dave's new gym, it reminded me of the original Gold's
where we spent our formative years. Solid, bold and mighty, Dave's
gym is filled with a plethora of free weight training equipment,
custom-made precision pieces by Excalibur, and all the latest Eagle
Cybex machines, plus an upper balcony of Lifecycles, StairMasters,
Lifesteppers, rowers and a Versaclimber. I knew immediately that
this was my kind of gym and that I would get a great workout here.
Then I spotted Dave, tanned, oiled and pumped as he performed slow
concentrated reps for Chris Lund's magic lens. Dave was ripped and
in great shape and looked like the Draper of the early 70's. At
that moment I wished I had dieted down more strictly for the training
photos we were scheduled to take the next day. Dave's delts and
lats impressed me most as he did a variety of cable raises and pressdowns.
next day we began our leg training at 9 am. Dave agreed to do my
usual program rather than his, and so we started off with leg extensions.
I was amazed at the separation in Dave's quads as well as the vascularity
throughout the length of his thighs. We knocked off four sets of
10 to 15 reps increasing the weight after each set.
were leg curls, again done for four sets of 10 to 15 reps with increased
weight on each set. Dave's leg biceps were really separated to the
extent that you could visibly notice the tie-in between the outer
leg biceps head and the gluteus!
we moved to the Double Leg Blaster and did four sets of 15, 12,
10 and 8 reps in the squat with the upper body leaning slightly
backward. This strict position forced the thighs to do all the work:
I used 95, 115, 135 and 155 pounds for each successive set, while
Dave worked up to 175 pounds on his last set of 8 reps. I followed
Leg Blaster squats with Leg Blaster lunges for three sets of 10
reps with light weight of 35, 45 and 55 pounds. I finished off my
thigh routine with Leg Blaster step-ups using 55 pounds for three
sets of 10 reps while Dave did five sets of barbell full squats
starting with 12 reps with 225 and increasing the weight to 405
while decreasing the reps on each set.
launching into calf work, we took a few minutes break because our
thighs had become extremely pumped from resting less than two minutes
between sets. Although Dave had a nice variety of calf machines
in his gym, we decided to do five sets of 20 reps of standing calf
raises plus five sets of 20 reps of donkey calf raises, using the
Leg Blaster for both exercises. We used the tall side on the Double
Leg Blaster with a heavy duty calf block that Dave had built. The
pump was incredible, as we rested between sets only long enough
to permit the other to complete his set. It's important to get a
burn with each and every set of calf raises if you want your calves
to really grow.
had been a long time since I had been pushed so hard through a leg
workout, and I felt that Dave was training even harder now than
he had 18 years ago. The workout left a lasting impression on my
body - I was sore for several days afterwards - and in my mind,
for it brought back memories of days when bodybuilders trained together
for the camaraderie and sheer joy of great workouts.
ZANE LEG BLASTER
day nearly a year ago, I received a surprise "gym warming"
gift from Zabo Koszewski - a double-sided gym model of Frank Zane's
new Leg Blaster. We bolted it into the floor of our new World Gym
here in Santa Cruz, and a group of members quickly gathered to critique
the new piece. We'd all seen pictures in the magazines, but none
of us had seen or used the Zane Leg Blaster itself.
the Excalibur equipment we have, the Blaster is more heavy-duty
than most of the modern equipment; it reminds me more of the older,
more hardcore equipment from the days at Joe Gold's old gym. It
requires you to do the work but gives assistance for knee or back
weakness areas, encouraging a squat movement for a person who otherwise
ultimate thigh development, front squats are, in my estimation,
superior to all leg exercises, including the honored full squat.
But the arrangement of the bar across the shoulders is precarious
and painfully abusive to the upper body. The Zane Leg Blaster's
rugged harness provides the same resistance on the thighs without
the discomfort or uncertainty of a standard barbell setup. Complete
quadriceps action is achieved as you squat directly up and down,
precisely as in the standard squat. The Blaster puts a healthy demand
on both the hamstrings and the glutes, adding power to the thighs
without the overload on the back and knees.
stands close to the apparatus and leans back as he performs the
movement (much the same as a sissy squat) to gain the thigh advantage
and development he prefers. The ease of foot placement allows and
encourages you to vary your movement within the set, a unique freedom
to direct the pressure and to isolate certain areas, enhancing leg
have a number of members here who were accustomed to the squat movement
and know that squats pack on the size, but due to previous recurring
injuries, had given up on this powerful movement. The Zane Blaster
proved to be great for the people who weren't able to do regular
squat movements due to back or knee injuries or weaknesses.
there are a number of different movements, we've noticed that most
people use the Zane Leg Blaster for the traditional squat movement,
preferring lower weights and more control for maximally directed
World Gym Santa Cruz members and I would like to thank Zabo for
such a great gift and to commend Frank for his efforts on this piece;
it's effective, popular, and, better yet, safe for injury-free squat
work. The Zane Leg Blaster has become an essential piece of leg
training equipment in our gym and its use is in high demand.
LEG BLASTER ROUTINE
are a dime a dozen; it's the consistency and intensity with which
you perform them that counts. Basics are agreeably the best, and
there's nothing more pure and simple (although not easy) than the
following order of exercises for leg development relying on basics
and the Zane Leg Blaster movements.
superset of leg extensions and leg curls (20 reps per set) to warm
up the muscles and joints, raise the heart rate and get in gear.
sets of full squats (pyramid: 12, 10, 8, 6)
sets of the Zane Leg Blaster squats (sets of 15)
supersets of leg extensions and leg curls (20 reps on the extension,
15 on the curl)
sets of standing calf raises or Blaster curl raises on a block,
supersetted with five sets of seated calf raises (15-25 reps on
first glance this is a typical superpro leg workout. What's new?
The Leg Blaster addition is new, and you're burning thighs will
tell you exactly that. With the Leg Blaster, your level of raw intensity
will continue to develop, as will your form and your personal style.