Dave Draper

The Mind of a Champion

Here, Dave Draper is talking about bodybuilding. His answer applies to any worthy pursuit our lives might chance.


Q: What’s your advice for a younger lifter who wants to be a bodybuilding champion?

A: Think twice about the champion part and fall in love with the lifting of iron and steel. The goal can get in your way, causing you to trip over your feet before you learn how to squat. Train hard, eat right, find joy in the disciplines and practice them consistently. Grow up and into the sport day by day, and thus avoid setting yourself up for disappointment, expecting too much, being ever critical and trying to satisfy an image.

The real deal is in the training, the struggle, the perseverance, the self control and the determination. The champion will rise up from these qualities.

This excerpt is from last week’s IronOnline Newsletter . . . and if you aren’t getting it, you’re missing out on some of the greatest & astutest Muscle Philosophy on the interwebs.



What it Takes to Win

Heart MusclesLet’s begin with a quote. Dave Draper wrote it, and I’ve been thinking about it every day since:

The day is ours, by God, to add to our riches.
Don’t waste it, make the best of it;
smooth its course with repeated treading.
Dedication and devotion, they beat like resonant drums.

I’ve got no arguments with any of that. Lots of distractions, but no arguments. The passage almost makes me think of having Purpose. That crazy notion that we went and got ourselves born for something greater than checking our cell phones, more powerful than surfing Facebook, more enlightening than watching TV.

We all have our weaknesses. Sometimes it feels like my weaknesses are stronger than I am. How could that not be depressing? Hoist some steel, depression is scared of steel. Go for a run, depression can’t keep up. Depression is actually kind of lazy, if you think about it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t strong.

As soon as you start talking about purpose, some jokester wants an immediate answer. What is your purpose? Quick, you’ve got five seconds to answer . . . whaddya got? Don’t be fooled by the question. There is no easy answer, no short answer, no quick answer. Maybe you have an answer, but probably not. It doesn’t matter. Purpose isn’t defined by what you come up with on the spot, purpose is about the process, our life’s journey.

Just because you don’t have an immediate answer, or a thorough understanding, doesn’t mean that you have no purpose, it just means that you’re still in the process, still on the journey, still engaged in this life you went and got yourself borned into.

The day is yours, by the grace of God, to add to your life. Don’t get distracted, stay engaged; the more you work, the more benefit comes from your work. Focus and purpose are the rhythms of your life, and what you do is the melody.

Write lots of songs.

Muscle Lit– The Best Writing on Physical Culture

Somewhere beyond my own attempts to write about the mystery & magic of muscle and how it gets that way are great writers who have paved the path and set the tone for quality, eye-catching, soul-swooning literature about yep, muscle. In honor of these great writers who have broken out of the textbook model of anatomical muscle talk, I created a page to collect and display their finest efforts. Click the link to visit my new blog:

Muscle Lit– The Best Writing on Physical Culture

and if you know of an article, quote, or anything you think should belong with this Catalog of the Greats, let me know and I’ll get it posted for present enjoyment and future reference.

For you fast readers & skimmers, here it is again:

Muscle Lit– The Best Writing on Physical Culture

and as an added bonus, here is a picture of the Blonde Bomber (probably taken a few years back) complete with order & autograph information: