Brother Iron Sister Steel: A Bodybuilders Bookby Dave Draper
Thousands of people were charged by the heroic photos of Dave that were plastered through magazines of every genre in the 1960s and 70s, and today email messages clog Draper's inbox as people, now in their 40s and 50s, write to express their appreciation to him for his influence on their life of fitness. On Target Publications is happy to present this offering to share that experience with today's readers.
Author Notes: The ten years behind the counter and on the floor of my gym in California have signaled to me that everyone must exercise and eat right if he or she hopes to live a sound and fulfilling life. Too few do and far too many lives are in a shambles because of it. As conscientious gym owner, I am in a prime position to help the ailing, negligent and uneducated masses. And, certainly others and I do.
Brother Iron, Sister Steel was written to engage that edge of the population who dare to walk in the gym only to walk out because purpose and desire were missed. It was written as well for the tentative trainee who wanders the floor with desire, yet remain is without a clue. The intermediates who love the pump and burn and want to dig in deeper will, undoubtedly, identify with the facts, tales, fascinations and frustrations of muscle building as visited by an old timer... still and always one of the boys. The young and the hardcore... about them I cannot be sure, only that in the years to come, should they endure, they will appreciate the content and philosophy and, perhaps, wish they had referenced it sooner.
Are you confused and have a question about your training? If there is an answer, chances are the answer is here. Be strong. Dave Draper
About the Author: Dave Draper is a former Mr. America, Mr. Universe, Mr. World of the 1960s and '70s. Currently fifty-eight, Dave began his training adventure at the age of eight; fifty years of bodybuilding experience form the nucleus of his life, his book and his gym in Central California.
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Read an Excerpt
From Chapter 9, pages 197-199 - Overcoming...
My fingers don't float over the laptop with the greatest of ease. Eventually, they find the keys as if they were lost and manage to depress two or three at once. I mutter and tap, delete, backspace and tap, mutter, tap. We're moving right along.
Thus far, if you started at the beginning, you've read of the early days, Muscle Beach, my emergence as a bodybuilder, the training styles I embrace and the exercises I do: how, why and when. Nutrition and its role were outlined and hopefully caused you to consider how, when, what, why and how much to eat. A variety of obscure peeves were addressed and lesser-recognized attributes applauded. What's left?
How about the daily obstacles that detract from the joy of lifting? Let's scrape together a heap of the most unpopular and revolting stumbling blocks we can recall and give them a toss. The pungent pile should sufficiently beat us up and make us stronger.
Plateaus and Sticking Points
Discouragement and Lack of Motivation
Nausea After a Workout
Abandoned Workout Routines
I Ain't Got No Time and I Ain't Got Nobody
Pain and Injury
Rotator Cuff — The Most Common Injury
Slumps and Seasons
Training Partners and My Dog, Spot
Training On and On
As we move along in our training and vigorously apply the six basic keys (if you forgot 'em, see page 33), we need to be aware of the various bodybuilding snags and pitfalls. At any and every level of training our deadliest and most subtle enemy is overtraining. After an initial surge, muscular gains come slowly at best and only from a lot of hard work. We therefore conclude that the harder we work, the greater our growth. This faulty “more is better” logic will surely lead us to a discouraging dead-end. In our eagerness to build muscle, we exceed our beginning training limitations and tear down more muscle tissue that the body is able to repair.
The major symptoms of overtraining are chronic fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, proneness to injury and illness and the inability to achieve a pump. You may think you have the flu as muscles ache, bodyweight and strength drop and you have a nagging loss of interest in your training.
If any of these symptoms of overtraining heap up on you, ease off your training immediately and take time out to re-evaluate yourself and your workouts. Recovery from overtraining is often brought about by decreasing your training levels, either the number of workouts, number of exercises or number of sets.
This may be a good time to be creative. Try something new or alter your training to reactivate your interest. Check out your diet. Make sure you're getting plenty of muscle-building protein and carbohydrate before and after your workouts. The body feeds off its own tissue as an energy source if not adequately supplied by food intake. It's vital to keep your attitude up and seek encouragement from partners and friends. This healthy sharing and introspection furthers your learning experience and overall awareness.
You may wisely choose to take a layoff entirely, giving the body a chance to recuperate and your mind the needed time away from the gym. You'll come back after the rest days mentally and physically refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm.
The information and advice given above is standard: concise, clean and safe. I feel like Percival the Nobleman. You may all go about your busy business and build concise, clean and safe muscles. I must admit that I have generally overtrained in adherence to my obstinate theory that hypertrophy must be an insistent process. Slam the workouts, eat big and in smart balance, rest as you must equals The Draper Formula (a.k.a. The Bomber Formula).
Slam means slam: sets and reps and numerous movements in volume with heavy doubles and triples on the systemic movements two or three times a month. No misses, no layoffs, the head and body hard at work. I'm not saying it works. I'm not telling you to try it. It's what I do.
There's a term, “periodization,” we talked about earlier attached to a method of training that I've always practiced, undoubtedly one of the most common training methods employed by bodybuilders and attributable to their common sense. Simply (minus all the technical garbage), periodization means training for a given goal over an extended period of time with appropriate changes in sets, reps, exercises and phases. Such an approach intelligently and comprehensively works the different muscles in differing ways to satisfy their respective and varying growth components without overtraining or overloading: maximum efficiency accomplished. I believe I apply the principles of ... ahem ... periodization to the max, accidentally.
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