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Dave Draper

Drew Price
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2009/07/23 08:47:35 (permalink)

Dave Draper

I don't know if you're familiar with Dave Draper the 'Blond Bomber', he's an ex bodybuilding champ well into his 60's a still going strong. This pic is him at 63.

He has a good article on training for the over 40's here:


I get the weekly newsletter, it's a mix of inspiration, journal, rant and instructional Q&A, here's yesterdays:

- - - - - Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - - - - -

    1 - Draper here... Champ, Big Guy and Bubba to the Rescue

    2 - Dave's Q&A blog

    3 - Laree, 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... Champ, Big Guy and Bubba to the Rescue

The hills are quiet this afternoon. A gulch several hundred yards
below our house leads to the ocean, if you care to take the hike, and
is an efficient conduit for the sounds of mankind below. The freeway
hums early in the morning and the surf is a kind rhythm late at night.
Restlessness stirs the air as July's lucky ole' sun keeps rolling
along and the glorious day folds upon itself.

Time to break the soft afternoon serenity with the crack of iron and
the thunder of steel. Danger Zone! I'm off to the factory where strong
bodies, minds and souls are built. Hard Hat Area! Enter with caution
the gritty shop where pressure is released, character is defined and
gratefulness is earned.

Outta my way... comin' through... another day older and deeper in

The last time I caused the iron to crack and the steel to thunder I
had sideburns and a headband. Now I've got sideburns and a headache.
But I can still make the plates jingle when I must.

Jingle, jangle... jink, jink... I went to the gym and now I'm back. I
didn't jingle the plates, but I did juggle the dumbbells.

Before you beat it out of me, I confess the workout was -- how should
I put it? -- less than inspiring. "Iffy," crosses my mind; in the
neighborhood of three on the one-to-ten Training Superiority Scale
(TSS). And, lacking any burning desire to launch the metallic
implements skyward, the act was short and sweaty. 50 years of ‘sweaty'
tends to dampen one's burning desire.

"Get the bum's prints, photograph him and stick him in holding under
heavy restraints." As if captured -- not captivated -- I wanted
freedom the minute I passed the entryway, a feeling I am not
unfamiliar with.

I remember lonely descents into the Dungeon a lifetime ago for
workouts qualifying as cruel and unusual punishment. Once I broke the
early morning silence with the forceful tug on the poorly hinged door,
I was committed to two-and-a-half to three hours of confined, dimly
lit, self-imposed torture.

"I'm innocent, I tell ya. Frank Zane did it!"

And get this: Today those mean and nasty times are called the good old
days, the Golden Era of Bodybuilding. Gee, if only we had known...
live, learn and grow.

What's that you ask, a look of incredulity in your eyes, a frown of
wonder crossing your forehead and the obvious question held loosely in
your half-open mouth: How exactly did I juggle those dumbbells in the
hollows of the gym when I could have been soaking up rays at a
gorgeous California beach? 

It wasn't easy. I did my five sets of ropetucks with sufficient effort
to convince my reluctant body I was in motion and building momentum.
This is an old trick, which I supported with fragile musclehead
proverbs, like anything's better than nothing, Champ, or this must be
done, Big Guy, or no pain, no gain, Bubba.

This is embarrassing... No, not humbling... Embarrassing!

I then grabbed a pair of light dumbbells (more embarrassment) and did
six reps of low-incline curls. It occurred to me if I put them back I
might not pick them up again -- I was teetering -- so I thrust them
overhead and continued to do six reps of duel triceps extensions (bis
and tris, clever, I thought). Ha, I laughed to myself, and felt a
vague yearning in my shoulders and pecs beckoning me to knock off six
reps of low-incline presses (did you know the number six is a magical
number?). Wow, I exclaimed in the silent recesses of my absent mind,
this continuous combination is constructive and comfortable.

I sat up, allowing the dumbbells to hang by my side, and recalled
indistinctly like it was just 10 years ago that it might have been my
original intention to prioritize the guns. Why not? Urged by the
sudden flash, I decided to accentuate my biceps-building endeavor by
completing the venturesome set with six reps (an authentically magical
number) of seated dumbbell alternate curls.

Lots of stuff going on, I observed. In addition to a cute pump in my
shoulders and pecs, my bis and tris were buzzing, my hands were
aching, my wrists and forearms were burning and I of crappy heart
health was breathing like a steam engine peaking Mount Mucho Macho.
Light on the oxygen, but not a bad view from up here.

I stood tall and reached for the rope dangling on the cable machine
for balance and assurance, and the continuation of part two of the
humbling superset, the aim of which was appearing before me as I
proceeded. I was here, what the heck? Pulley pushdowns to engage the
triple peaks of the triceps assumed various positions and directions
of thrusts within one set of 18 reps. Each of three modifications of
the pushdown -- overhead, downward and forward -- consumed six
mystifying, gravity-defying reps.

I did four multiplicity-supersets, increasing the reps or the weight
each round to create interest. Momentum, I noticed, is a stealthy
companion and rhythm a compelling friend. Investment, like a favorite
uncle, encourages always and never ceases. Discipline and
determination and perseverance are priceless concomitants and can not
be purchased.

So, that's it, Champ? Not exactly, Big Guy. I want to walk out the
front door, Bubba, not jump out the toilet window. There are five sets
of secret lats rows I can no longer resist sharing with you. Tell no
one or endure the famous curse of shriveling muscles.

I love seated lat rows -- lots of back, bis and core -- but the seated
and bent-forward position can be torso-inhibiting and exhausting for
an already worn, weary and uninspired lifter who made it to the gym by
the skin of his teeth. Hello! The secret lat row is a similar action,
freer and less bombastic, but no less magnificent.

I utilize the high pulley of the pulley/cable machine with a pair of
loose strap-handles. With a modest weight compared to that used in the
seated lat row, I step away from the machine and lower myself to one
leg -- one leg outstretched for support. I lean forward, fully
extended, reaching toward the pulley with the weight remaining
suspended -- the feel-good starting position of an oarsman about to
engage in his exhilarating and musclebuilding sport.

Pull and lean back, way back -- the handles the oars -- and contract
deliberately upon completing the action. 12 to 15 reps define the work
and activate key muscles from stem to stern (boat talk): Grip, biceps
and forearms, lower back to the upper back, delts and pecs (I'm
serious), lots of core muscles and stretching and extending with a lot
less congestion in the midsection and intrusion upon max breathing.
Swoosh... swoosh...

Secret's out, bombers, I leave the rest to you. Find your groove.
Don't make waves. Never let go. Thumbs up, flaps down.

Godspeed... DD

Early heads-up: Stella's Kitchen and the first of four Dan John DVDs
from the recent Utah Bash are in the wings. Line forms at the rear. No
shoving. Push that iron.

      2 - Dave's Q&A blog

Latest updates in Dave's Q&A blog:

~ Bulking up the traps
~ Using the Top Squat
~ Exercise for lower biceps

... where you'll find tidbits from Dave's email outbox, a one-liner or
two to clarify something that's been nagging at you.

      3 - Laree, taking over with IronOnline news

I see Dave's started a buyer's line-up. It's a bit early for the Dan
John seminar dvd announcement; the video part is finished, the
graphics and dvd extras still to be done. But about Stella's Kitchen,
he's right, it's time to find out how many of you missed the
opportunity to get a copy of Stella's cookbook the first time around.
The printer shipped our book inventory today, and we should have stock
in a week to ten days. Have you been a frustrated cook, waiting for
the day we could get a copy in the mail to you?

Our newer readers may not be familiar with Stella's recipes -- on the
order page, you'll find a sampler pdf with a few recipes to give you
an idea of Stella's cooking style. What you can expect is healthy, low
calorie and easy... with the nutritional breakdown of each serving on
every recipe page. Click the link below to order or grab that sampler
pdf; your credit card will not be charged until shipment.

In the blog this week, we have a guest writer, Nick Tumminello, an
original thinker in a field where those are few and far between. Nick
offers a few small, but important twists to our shoulder prehab
protocol: Our old fav, the shoulder YTWLs, are gone!

For your pondering and self-testing, get after the Tumminello LYTPs:

On Facebook, a simple discussion: Are you still using your foam



7 Replies Related Threads

    Aaron Hallett
    MuscleTalk Reporter
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/07/23 13:59:21 (permalink)
    one of my favourite all time bodybuilders
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/07/23 18:20:21 (permalink)
    i saw him do a seated behind the neck press ( in goulds gym, santa monica) with three hundred and fifty -five pounds.unbelivable strength.
    also , a real nice guy.
    Senior Member
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/07/23 21:22:57 (permalink)
    Good to see him still going!
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/07/24 00:03:30 (permalink)
    Dave is the man- i get those updates in my inbox- he's something of a philosopher.
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/07/25 16:13:03 (permalink)
    He show age is truely no obstacle.
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/08/07 10:12:56 (permalink)
    wow thats a cracking physique at any age never mind 63
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    Re:Dave Draper 2009/08/07 19:55:03 (permalink)
    He is 67 now and pretty much looks the same.
    Lost a bit of muscle mass since his operations I understand.
    post edited by octatonic - 2009/08/07 19:57:36
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