Goals Take You There

Dave Draper

Page 1

You don’t take your bow to an empty field and randomly shoot arrows in the air, do you? You do! Well, so much for my brilliant analogy. Let me put it another way. When Tiger Woods steps onto the golf course and tees his ball, a specific goal consumes his mind, doesn’t it? He chooses his club, addresses the ball, concentrates deeply and swings with just the right amount of force and finesse to put the ball in the distant cup. Without the goal, he might just as well have used a baseball bat in place of a nine iron, a boccie ball in place of a golf ball, and beat the thing into the ground rather than seeking a hole in one or par for the course. He could have stayed home, practiced his swing or made another commercial; it doesn’t matter without the goal.

“Tiger beats boccie ball into fairway with baseball bat at Pebble Beach. Fans go wild!” What’s the world coming to? You’ve gotta have goals, bombers—big ones and small ones. That’s part of this month’s message. What are our goals?

Our goals are piled high like apple pie in the sky. Oh, my! (I studied under Dr. Seuss.) We train to get in shape and stay in shape, get healthy and stay healthy, lose fat and stay lean, get strong and stay strong. We exercise to improve our well-being and impress our peers, overcome disabilities and diminish limitations, increase vigor and gain confidence, develop discipline and sharpen character, be more decisive and less divisive. The act itself, seeking admirable goals, makes us better people. We lift for the challenge, wellness, goodness, fun, diversion and fulfillment.

Isn’t it remarkable? I’m not inventing this stuff, these are not my imaginings, and I’m not even exaggerating. I’m stating some seldom-considered facts. Each item listed is true and right on, whether it’s a predetermined goal or not. If they aren’t on your list of training goals, add them—free of charge. They belong there.

How about specific goals? You know—to win a contest, look slick at the beach, break a state powerlifting record, climb Mt. Fuji or scare your mother-in-law.

Goals become more understandable and real when they are envisioned and dwelt upon; they gain substance and structure and direction as they are imagined and examined. And when you discuss them in tangible terms with friends, they are no longer simple goals; they become commitments—they’re the real thing happening.

Your goals, objectives and purposes, when considered with honesty and passion, are truly inspiring. Furthermore, the greater the consideration and passion, the greater the motivation and reality of accomplishment.

Got muscle-building goals? (Please, don’t say no.) Make them work for you like the burly, handsome Clydesdale draft horses that pull brewery wagons stacked with kegs of beer across the countryside. They love to work and flex their muscles, strut and toss their heads.

In seeking my specific goal—getting in shape for a Broadway musical extravaganza by the month’s end—I shall do nothing different. I’ll let the goal sit in the driver’s seat and take control around the turns and up the slopes. I suspect training finesse and order and pace will increase as the target date approaches. My focus will subtly sharpen, and my mood will rise with the added pitch of adrenaline. The menu will be the same, though an unconscious tightening will be applied. There will be no misplaced workouts, no temptation to risk injury, no far-fetched powerlifting, no devastation—only sound, near-sane training. I might gargle and practice the scales—do, re, mi.

Tracking down a special objective—for a month, for a cause—I can do this. It’s fun and revealing and fortifying. It’s worthwhile. Goals are a must.

Of course, if your goals are far-fetched, unreasonable or silly, they will be costly and painful obstacles to your progress. They will cause grief and disappointment; injury, lost confidence, confusion and apprehension. Those aren’t the teammates you want hanging around your corner of the playground. You must experience them, however, to know them; and then you must eliminate them before they become troublesome thugs. Beat it, ya bums.


Build Muscle, Burn Fat

John Hansen

Build Muscle, Burn Fat

Q: I’m 42 years old, and I’m working out in my garage and running. Can I build muscle at my age? Should I be working my abs every day? For example, I do crunches between sets of incline dumbbell presses and so forth all through the workout. Does a low-carb/higher-protein diet build muscle mass? How can I lose fat and build the muscle? I’ve lost quite a bit of weight already, but I don’t want to lose muscle. By the time I’m 44, I want to be featured in one of these magazines. I’m 6’6” and a retired Blackhawk test pilot from the 101st U.S. Airborne Division. Before that, I was in the Marine Corps.


John Little


“Where is it etched in stone that one rep of a set must be followed immediately by another? Or, as I once blindly and uncritically accepted, that only the last rep of a set should require 100 percent intensity of effort?”          

—Mike Mentzer


Mike Mentzer has been justly praised for bringing forth new methods of raising the intensity of bodybuilding workouts. For example, while he didn’t create such techniques as rest/pause, his endorsement certainly popularized their use in the bodybuilding arena. Other techniques, such as Infitonic and Omni-Contraction, were unique to Mike.

Back to the Rack

Bill Starr

Back to the Rack

In the early ’60s isometrics seized the country with the virulence of an influenza epidemic. Anyone seeking more strength spent a portion of his training time pushing and pulling against a stationary bar. On the heels of pure isometrics came muscle contraction with movement, which was called isometric-isotonic exercise. More properly, it should have been named isotonic-isometric exercise, since you moved the bar slightly before locking it into an isometric hold.

Histrionics Don’t Help

Randall Strossen, Ph.D.

Histrionics Don’t Help

Some years ago I trained in a gym that had a front room for the (big, carpeted, filled with machines and mirrors), a side room for the aerobics classes (spacious, light and airy) and a back room for the weightlifters (small, dank and stuffed with three lifting platforms). The front room was all spit and polish, and the gym owner was always doing one of two things: vacuuming the rug or polishing the mirrors. Occasionally he did a third thing: cursing whoever had sneaked in the chalk and sullied his janitorial jewel. By contrast, the back room was unkempt and always smelled of Tiger Balm or dirty socks, and if you’d forgotten your T-shirt or sweats, you could probably find something on the floor that would fit. As you might guess, people often dressed up to use the front room or the side room, but dressing down would have been more appropriate for the back room.

From Sex to Survival

John Balik

From Sex to Survival

What gets you into the gym? What makes you want the pain? Is it an emotional need? Is it the muscle that attracts the opposite sex or the confidence the muscle helps to create? The truth is that the reason is different for different people, and it changes at different times in their lives.

In a very real sense sex is survival. From puberty forward the need to procreate is undeniable, but as we pass through those very good years, survival of the species evolves into personal survival. That’s also the way the bodybuilding lifestyle evolves. Ask a young man why he trains, and being more attractive to the opposite sex is usually among his top three reasons. Being attractive to the opposite sex is always important, but priorities change. All of a sudden “functional strength” becomes a part of your vocabulary.