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Brother Iron, Sister Steel: A Bodybuilder's Book Paperback – January, 2001
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"Solidly affirming... Entertaining, even philosophical. ...Fun, informative, and (I have to say it) brawny..." -- Fearless Reviews, November, 2000
Powerfully good writer... part exercise strategy, part memoir, part motivational training guide... Manages to be highly entertaining on all counts. -- Tai Moses, Metro Magazine
Simply the best book on training. Bar none. I'll never need another bodybuilding book again. -- Douglas Malcolm, Bookideas.com
This book is an inspiration... one of the best iron sport related books I have ever read. -- Dr. Ken Leistner
You'll get hooked on "Brother Iron, Sister Steel." In every word, Draper leaves the mark of his genius. -- Julian Schmidt, Flex Magazine
From the Publisher
Thousands of people were charged by the heroic photos of Dave that were plastered through magazines of every genre in the 1960s and 70s, and today email messages clog Draper's inbox as people, now in their 40s and 50s, write to express their appreciation to him for his influence on their life of fitness. On Target Publications is happy to present this offering to share that experience with today's readers.
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Top Customer Reviews
He's funny, yes, and remarkably charming. But at their core the essays in this book are poetic. They clang with the passion of someone who holds belief in a religion or knows an unknown disease cure; they are deeply personal. There are no references to a study done last year on the T levels of ten football players at some college, just to the experiences of one guy who has lifted for 40 years without stopping, East Coast to Muscle Beach to Mr. A and Mr. U to a gym on the California coast; Draper lifts because he has to, he says so all the time; you know what, me too. And I just started.
If you're looking for everything you need to know to begin lifting, you may not find it in this book (Draper writes in more technical depth elsewhere). But you will find a friendly voice every lifter deserves to hear. You will find the heart of lifting, where instead of obsessing over which prohormone stack or what starch has the lowest g.i., you simply stroll your butt to the gym, warm up and find the squat rack and start blasting (or bombing); the sweat stark reality of the squat rack. That's Draper.
If anything, his weekly email posts (found via his web site) show his writing maturing. Skillful word choice, eloquent but casual phrasing, the rhythm in the langauge, even its sound... (yeah, I confess now, I teach English for a living). Dave, at his best, belongs in Best American Essays. He has a gift. I have no doubt. The steel community is lucky to have such a mentor/writer; all lifters will benefit from his tone and content.
As I've hinted, the book isn't perfect; as others have noted, I'd like to see pictures of the exercises (though it seems this was published locally by Dave et. al. and production cost may have been an issue). If he had instructive photos, he could spend less time writing intricate descriptions of the lifts, and do what he really does best: write sermons on iron for those who love it already and need to love it more. And tell his own story.
In some ways perhaps the book is more than one book, or one book trying to know what kind of book it wants to be when it grows up. But have no doubt, it's worthwhile to watch the journey. Those five stars I gave are well-earned.
I recommend the book to anyone interested in bodybuilding. You just have to hear Draper write. If nothing else, it's bound to get you into the gym.
In Dave's unique writing style (he has a great sense of humor) he explains the basics of bodybuilding as it pertains to both the beginner, the intermediate and advanced bodybuilder or the person who simply wants to get in great shape. He presents some very workable and realistic training programs that incorporates the superset training principle, which not only gives you superior muscle development and cardiovascular health, but also saves time in the gym and are a lot more fun.
Dave has almost 50 years of bodybuilding experience. In the 60s he build one of the greatest physiques of all time with some of the shabbiest equipment allowable by law. The 60s is considered the golden era of bodybuilding and anyone who like me is a big fan of the golden era bodybuilders will really enjoy reading the section of the book where Dave tells a lot of great stories from those days with insight and humor. Not to mention the great pictures of Dave throughout the book.
I've had the pleasure of meeting Dave in person and at age 58 he is still in fantastic shape. Like Bill Pearl, he is one of the few remaining TRUE bodybuilders.
So if you want to learn from the best, I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyed the writing style and stories from
someone who was in the trenches day in day out.