- - - - - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - - - - -
1 - Draper here. Startling New Training Scheme from the Dumpster
2 - Laree here, taking over with IronOnline news
Printable pdf version of this newsletter:
You'll also find Dave's column online at the link below.
1 - Draper here. Startling New Training Scheme from the Dumpster
We've spent the better part of winter considering clogged arteries and
system restoration after open-heart surgery. Aren't we a jovial group?
We faced the mess, dug deep and learned a lot. And not about
cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein/a only, but about
vulnerability and courage under fire.
Exercise, eat right and enjoy the moment. Be hopeful always. Tomorrow
will come with all its surprises (cross your fingers).
Now on to grander pursuits like getting lean and ripped for the
summer, dropping 10 pounds of loose ends before Memorial Day and
goodbye 'n good riddance to pouches 'n potbellies.
Short approach: Crunches and leg raises and 15 minutes of high
intensity interval cardio every other day and 60 minutes of weight
training on alternate days, accompanied by appropriately sized and
balanced meals when needed throughout each day.
Long approach: The same, but with adjectives and adverbs distributed
plentifully to add color and imagery.
In an attempt to be verbose and redundant, boring, transparent,
annoying, dim-witted and pompous, I'll expand on the workout. Design
two training sessions, have them complement each other and practice
them alternatively. Be simple and orderly and logical. While you're at
it, be consistent, dedicated and focused. There's more: Be hopeful,
enthusiastic and well-fueled.
Why do I do this, repeat myself like a squawking parrot perched atop
the squat rack? Because truths can never be repeated often enough. It
is by the basics we learn, live and grow. A straight line is the
simplest, most direct and expedient route to our destination. Facts do
not waste time, energy or resources. Furthermore, fanciful and
elaborate techniques can lead to lost time, futility and
disappointment. Keep it simple.
Polly wants a cracker. Heavy curls for big biceps.
Choose six exercises to engage various muscles of the body from the
overflowing and well-used bin marked Basic Exercises and perform three
sets of each, completing 8 to 10 well-formed and tough, burning and
pumping repetitions. Exhilarating and fun are the appropriate words to
describe your experience. Fulfilling is another swell descriptive.
"Wow" is sufficient for the less loquacious and those with limited
vocabularies. Often amid my workout, my eyes simply glow with pleasure
and I don't say a word.
Two sample training sessions from Bomber Selections, Unlimited:
> Front Press (shoulder, upper pectoral regions). I perform this
exercise on the Smith Press with the assistance of a steep incline
bench -- dang shoulder limitation. Nothing like free-weights, and
dumbbells are my favorite tools for control, muscle growth and
near-injury-free performance. Alas, they are difficult to the point of
rejection to handle (clean into position) these days. I've gotta be in
a good mood and take my time. It all works, if you've got heart.
> Pulldown (lat, back, serratus regions). Widegrip or close grip or
under grip, your choice, Captain. What's your desire, what's your
need? Am I making this too difficult for you, offering selections
rather than making the choices? Good. In fact, you can choose the
seated lat row as a strong alternative. Time to show some independent
thought and creativity, kids. It all works, if you work hard.
Superset the above two movements if you choose.
> Sidearm Lateral Raise (deltoid region). Now this exercise had been
regrettably and sadly eliminated from my training schedules for years
because of a disconnected supra spinatus shoulder stabilizer. Just
recently I've practiced a single sidearm lateral raise while
supporting myself and leaning outwardly from a sturdy squat rack
upright. Yes, as old as the hills, this basic exercise, when performed
with injury-directed finesse, engages the deltoid super-sufficiently,
providing a gratifying and productive burn and pump. It all works, if
you try and try again.
> Seated Dumbbell Alternate Curl (biceps region). I suggest this
exercise cuz Leroy Colbert -- the first man on the planet Earth to
display a 20.5-inch muscular arm -- does it and he showed me how to do
it with rhythm and style in the corner of Union City, New Jersey's
Weider Barbell Company warehouse amid stacks of bars and plates and
cases of food supplements in 1962. Leroy still does the Big Biceps
movement in the storeroom of his health food store on Ventura
Boulevard in Van Nuys, California. Leroy is a great guy, a dear friend
and we are both slightly mad.
Visit his colorful website at http://leroycolbert.com/
About the exercise: Sit on the very edge of your bench, grasp the
light-to-medium-weight dumbbells like good old friends and let them
hang by your sides. To notice the weight, to be aware of the downward
pull and the tightness of your grip is to know the exercise. We must
know a thing to own it, befriend it or conquer it.
Too often we grab the barbells, dumbbells or gear and charge into
action, forcing every fiber of our startled muscles to move the
formidable objects in the general direction of our choice. We thrust,
growl, contort and shake, the dumbbell moving like five o'clock
traffic on the freeway off ramp. We strain in pain and desperation
till the deed is done and we're frazzled. What was that all about?
Come to think of it, we're not sure. Next set.
That sort of ?blasting it' has merit, like activists screaming for
human rights in the town square -- no form, no order, no direction...
just noisy passion. But there are times when focused and smooth motion
dedicated to the engagement of each and every cell of the muscle being
worked is most effective and delightful. Maturity, I suspect (not old
age or wimpy prudence or Mister Do Right preciseness), teaches this
valuable method of operation.
Think and feel and know. One arm at a time, observe the individual
repetitions and polish them like fresh fruit till they shine. 10, 8, 6
reps, they're all good if you are there every inch of the way, all the
way. Two battles are fought, full body straining and full-minded
attention, both for the same cause: Growth... your growth. Silent
snarling and inconspicuous thrusts are permitted, secretly encouraged.
> Machine Dips (triceps, shoulder, pec and upper back regions). I love
dips for a hundred reasons. Topping the list, they build functional
and attractive muscles in lotsa places, they can be performed between
appropriately arranged rocks on the moon, and I grew up with them,
along with the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Tootsie Rolls and Wonder Bread.
Machine dips are appealing as they enable you to safely position
yourself to recruit specific muscle regions and to work them solidly.
A widegrip with a forward lean and you light up the chest, rear delts
and upper back. A close-grip with a more upright torso position fully
engages the triceps, and involves a subtle variation of the pectoral
and mid-back muscles. Mix the positions and go for reps from 10 to 20;
add full range of motion and committed concentration. And a big
smile... almost forgot.
Superset the above two movements if and when you choose.
> One-arm dumbbell row (back, core, bis). If this exercise is done
with full range of motion, focused extension and contraction, and
heart, you are going places. These places include thicker and denser,
stronger and tougher, more resistant and more resilient, healthier and
more confident. There is a very attractive female version of the
above. Trust me.
Bentover rows pursue heavy weights, seek increased power and produce
meaningful muscle growth, and are meant to be demanding. They involve
lots of muscle and oxygenation and a be-here-now attitude. No, they're
not scary; they're awesome and they're fun... and they're terrific.
Lean your hand on a bench before you, comfortably position your back
low and flat, creating a stable triangle with bent legs as you prepare
to execute the movement. Lift the weight from its resting place and
let it hang, iron and gravity at work. Like so many exercises, you are
free to move about slightly to locate your favorite, most effective
placement as you engage the cuddly object. We're not prisoners of
exact form. Be fluid and flexible, attentive and creative.
You want to pull that iron with power and sureness from a most
beneficial place to a most beneficial place. Consider this motion,
from where and to where. Up and down is close enough for the time
being, but as you learn, grow and feel, you'll want to define the
movement -- the extension, the arc of direction, the contraction and
the return -- to gain the most from the action and input.
The lighter the weight, the more control you have allowing full
forward extension of the dumbbell (a real stretch on the lats) and
high contraction for a wide lat action. The heavier the weight (I
almost always increase the weight in any series of consecutive sets),
the less control, but the greater the mass-building resistance you
have. Range of motion is limited... to tight and nasty.
Think about it: You can apply this mumbo-jumbo to all your exercises,
from squats to crunches and rope tucks. Be my guest.
We no sooner get warmed up and it's time to take off. The second of
the two workouts, cleverly titled, Workout 2, will be the provocative
subject of next week's newsletter. You won't want to miss it. Tell a
friend, tell your dog.
I'm still flying slow and low, keeping my tail behind me and wings to
the left and right and nose straight ahead. No fancy stuff till the
ailerons are stable, the struts are tight and the prop spins like a
See ya up there... DD
2 - Laree here, taking over with IronOnline news.
You tired, all worn out, thinking maybe you're anemic? Maybe got that
Geritol thing going. whatsit, iron-poor blood? Possible, but not
Excessive iron intake from Dave's higher-than-average beef consumption
is one of the elements that keeps popping up in my continuing search
for the cause of Dave's arterial blockage. There's some cause for
concern, but the good news is the testing is easy and the fix simple.
In fact, I almost hope this is the cause, because it means the search
for the origin of his heart disease is over and the long-term solution
As it turns out, too much iron is more common than too little, and,
amazingly enough, there are multiple types of anemia, most of which
are caused not by too little iron, but by too much. Who'da thunk?
Too much iron causes fatigue and joint pain, and increases the risk of
arthritis, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, cirrhosis of the liver
and Type 2 diabetes. Something to take seriously, so let's take an
overview, see what blood tests to get and figure out what's going on.