Dave Draper

Subscribe to Dave Draper feed
Answers to common weight training questions
Updated: 3 hours 15 min ago

Too bad for them

July 16, 2017 - 13:22

I told a friend about your superset programs, which I’ve been using for a couple of years. I feel better and am in better shape than ever, and I’m sure it’s because of the supersetting. The guy won’t listen, says his trainer doesn’t believe in them. Too bad for them!

That reminds me of a story:

When I was a boy of 13 I got a job at Tito’s Bar And Bowling Alley setting up pins. You had to be 15 to work in the place and I decided to …er…pretend.

The time came at the week’s end to collect my earnings.

“Mister,” I said, overcome with guilt and shame, “I’m only thirteen.”

The scruffy owner look down at me without seeing and grumbled his street-wise philosophy, “What they don’t know don’t hurt ’em. Kid, ya gotta learn to keep ya mouth shut. Beat it.”

It was right about then that I began doing heavy bentarm pullovers.


Hit an impasse at age 50

July 16, 2017 - 13:17

I know the body goes through changes during the 50s; however, I am trying to become as muscular as I possibly can. I seem to have hit an impasse. What would you suggest to increase metabolic efficiency? Also, how to deal with loose skin, if you have a solution.

Occasionally I glance at my tarnished over-60 trophy and wish I had another 25 years to train for it. Time, the bandit, shows no mercy, no favoritism; he just takes and takes and gives nothing in return but loose skin and slowing metabolism.

The only thing we can do is continue what we do in all its nuances. Enough aerobics (HIIT is best) to suit your circumstances — 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week — and the training style you trust 3 to 4 days a week.

My methods suited me over the decades and I trust them for everyone, the sets and reps and focus and pace and intensity and combinations and consistency.

Standard sound eating habits, the typical bodybuilding practices, are a large part of the scheme to gain muscle and counter fat. The addition of vitamins and minerals and the protein are needed to keep training and repairing at the highest level.

Beyond those chief ingredients, I wonder how effective the exotics or specialty items are in the big fight. I like glutamine and branch-chain aminos… creatine. I also like to pay my rent.

Abate and bruise time with patience and confidence and joy. If these things don’t work… cheez, I dunno…


Looking for motivation to change

July 9, 2017 - 17:50

I’m looking for motivation to make changes in my life, but so far I can’t seem to get it together. I’ve got the common issues of gaining weight, missing workouts and not eating very well. On the weekends I do a little smoking and drinking with the gang. I’m not yet 30 and feel pretty good. It’s easy to put things off when you feel okay, I guess.

When we’re healthy or okay we resist smart yet pleasure-sacrificing changes because we think we can get away with things. Then, when it’s too late, we try to fix it, saying with gut-wrenching regret “if only” and “I should have…” taken care of the diet, the drinking, the smoking, the dismal abuses, the weight gain, the missed workouts…

Smoking is for fools, sugar is for kids and a year from now without restraint you will be a wreck.

Same old story with everybody, and I’d do anything not to be as weak as the masses around me. I’m not being careless or superior, just taking a lesson from my surroundings and experience and feeling responsible. It takes courage to do what is good and right. It is also exhilarating and joyful.

Saying you can’t get it together is like saying, “I’m a loser and have no control of myself.” It’s not true… or is it?

Simply fix it. One step at a time, or more appropriately, one giant leap of guts and confidence and commitment. By the fall, you will be a renewed person with strength, energy and self-esteem.

I fully well know “simply fix it” doesn’t work until we get to a place where we actually want to make a change. So maybe that’s the answer: Figure out how to want to make the change.

Your buddy The Drapes

PS: Read Your Body Revival

Tell us your Christian history

July 9, 2017 - 17:50

You write “God’s Speed” and other references to God and Christianity. Can you tell us your Christian history?

I’ve been a Christian since childhood, but wandered after heavy exposure to the devil’s world that was Venice CA during the 60s when sinful freedoms ruled. Sheesh, what a mess. By 42, after nearly 20 years of bad choices and full of dope and booze, I was admitted to the emergency ward with near-fatal congestive heart failure. Lots of hospitalization, lost weight, muscle, strength and health for several years during the immediate recovery, and lingering side effects always, including into these days of heart trouble.

It was at that very time — diagnosis — I was recalling my early Christ-centered upbringing and turned to Him in the days and months of my release from the hospital. Time, prayer (mine and others’), the Bible, church, Christian friends, learning and growing and the Holy Spirit have made it all right. I didn’t turn to AA, but the church and Christ.

Of course, all the cliches are there. He provides and heals and is the answer. The fact is these are all true and must be meditated upon, sought after, embraced and trusted. The growth that comes through the process is priceless, the healing consistent and certain, though often slow. I had to be taken to the edge.

Back then, no one could tell me to stop my bad habits. I eventually tried but failed and failed again, cuz I’d gone so far and had become so weak and shabby in spirit, mind, performance and appearance. Ugly stuff, but by God’s grace I pulled through and praise Him where I can without chasing away my audience.

Thanks for asking and I hope this reply serves you in some way. Go with God… Dave

Overweight, lose weight, gain muscle?

July 9, 2017 - 17:50

I am overweight (male, 300 pounds at 5’8″) and I know it is so difficult trying to gain muscle while losing fat. My doctor is concerned because of high blood pressure and triglycerides, and suggests 75 grams of protein per day, which is a struggle because I am a vegetarian. I eat plenty of pasta and grains.

Without meat, you will still find substantial sources of protein in eggs and milk products and Bomber Blend (my fav),. I’d be looking to get 200 grams a day, but at least try for 150. Your doc and I don’t agree about protein intake… the research doesn’t solidly support either of us, as is often the case with nutrition, unfortunately.

Lower your useless carbs. Drop 10 pounds slowly — save the muscle — after any initial water weight is lost.

There are numerous diet alterations, medicines and even supplements you can take to lower blood pressure and triglycerides. I have no expertise in that area, but I suspect weight loss will take care of this with no need of medicine.

It is possible gain muscle and lose weight at the same time, particularly at this bodyweight. Choose a favorite four-day-a-week bodybuilding routine and train with zeal. Don’t look for power gains, and don’t train to get ripped either. Be strong and patient. With added attention to diet and consistent hard-yet-no-pressure training, things will fall into place — more muscle, less body fat, lighter, improved chemistry and lower BP.

Chicken and fish is nice…. lotsa salads, remember the salads…

Motivation and encouragement is the key to all this stuff once you have the basics down.

Go… God’s speed… DD