Misery Loves Company
Dave DraperQuestions from the bomber ranks
Before Laree and I hop in the bomb and head north to Bill Pearl’s Oregonian territory for a workout in his old barn gym, I thought I’d leave you with a stack of questions and answers to clutter your mind. So that you don’t think you’re the only one, here are a few bombers struggling with troubles of their own.
We’re strange creatures, gaining comfort from the quandaries of others. That doesn’t make us bad people. Listen, empathize, and learn.
Q: I came across an article that said you went from 165 to 235 pounds in a year. I’d like to embark on a similar bulking diet, but I have a few questions. I’d like to know how often you trained each muscle per week and/or how often you would recommend training. I would also like to know approximately how much you were eating.
A: You read some article printed for entertainment value and not real information. Some muscle mags often do that (not this one, of course). Truth is, I never gained more than 10 pounds in any given year while I was determined to build size and strength, and I did that by consistent force-feeding and training in general. I trained each muscle group two or three times a week, depending on the season or year of my life, and today I suggest training each muscle group twice a week as the solid way to achieve muscle mass and density, fitness and muscularity.
Everyone is different, and few, very few, muscle builders require less. The theories recommending less come from either the drug camp, where gains come from thin air; or the scientific camp, where gains come from books, note pads and theories and not experience; or boastful hotshots with limited understanding and desire making deceptive claims. You’ve got to blast it, or you’ll get big and strong and fat.
Bring on the red meat, milk products and eggs big-time, along with chicken and fish, lots of salad and fresh vegetables and choice fruit. Get your carbs from whole grains. Protein rules. Add essential fatty acids to your diet and a good protein powder for convenient and essential meals—a.m., p.m., pre- and postworkout. Bomber Blend is the best, in my opinion.
No secrets here. Major bulking—say, from 165 to 235 pounds in a year—is crazy. Not healthy, not fun, not possible. Ten pounds a year is wise and manageable for a young man.
Train hard, eat right, and settle in. You can’t hustle musclebuilding.
Q: I’m trying to get information on muscle building and cardio for my friend who is incarcerated. As his time to exercise is severely limited and equipment is insufficient, he needs in-cell training recommendations.
A: The best way to answer the exercise question is by asking myself, “What would I do if I were in the same dilemma?”
I was once speaking directly to prisoners in their barred cells who asked the same question. I suggested running in place, performing high-rep crunches and leg raises and pushups. There are ways to grasp bars (if available) and use them to push and pull in a manner that duplicates real exercise. Deep knee bends and lunges move a lot of blood. These various improvised movements, developed into a tight routine by practice and common sense, will provide plenty of muscle work and deep breathing and will raise the heart rate considerably.
The greater the affinity one has for exercise, the more realistic and doable these basic suggestions are. The process requires heart, imagination, purpose and fortitude—at the same time building those qualities, something your friend needs in stacks while behind bars.
Buy tuna at the prison store, drink lots of water, read the Bible.
Q: As I’m trying to get leaner, should I lay off the protein before and after workouts? I’m getting about 250 grams of protein per day, and part of that is 50 before and 50 after the workout. I’m trying to lose the fat and not the muscle. I’m wondering if the protein was causing more harm than good.
A: The last place you want to reduce your calorie consumption is with protein. Your protein composes only 1,000 calories of your total daily intake. I recommend that you maintain the anabolic environment (complete proteins, essential fats and nutrient-strong carb foods) and continue to train smart and hard. Let the training build the muscle and the good food provide the energy and ingredients for muscular gains over time. Think of gaining muscle rather than losing fat.