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Brother Iron, Sister Steel: A Bodybuilder's Book Paperback – Jan 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Ontarget Pubns (January 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931046654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931046657
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #229,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Solidly affirming... Entertaining, even philosophical. ...Fun, informative, and (I have to say it) brawny..." -- Fearless Reviews, November, 2000

Marvelous new book... for average folks who want to put weight lifting in their lives. -- Eric Schoeck, KUSP, National Public Radio station

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For those of us who spent our misbegotten adolescences in the dusky YMCAs and Boys' Club gyms chasing the elusive muscles of Steve "Hercules" Reeves and Gordon "Tarzan" Scott, the name of Dave Draper (the blond bomber) strikes a mental chord synonymous with California, alluring sexpots, and gigantic muscles. After all, he gazed out at us from endless Muscle magazine covers, the original beach Adonis, the daunting and awe-inspiring realization of our fondest daydreams. Yet, as our ideal Draper also reminded us all that with progressive weight-training, or working out, we could, with enough time and effort, vastly improve our physical beings and in the process transform our own idea of who we are. Now, thirty-five years later we stumble on this book only to discover what a wonderful writer he happens to be!
Here he reminds us of just how good a role model we would-be muscleheads chose so long ago, as he demonstrates his wisdom, good humor, and keen intelligence in explicating with class, verve and thorny personal experiences what it really means to live a life of physical culture, and how attractive that can be in a time of such uncertainty and superficial culture. And he knows of from where he speaks, for Draper, like Reeves and Scott, also appeared in a number of films, most notably with Tony Curtis and the late Sharon Tate in a offbeat Southern California beach comedy called "Don't Make Waves". His huge presence stole the film away from his co-stars.
Indeed, his own presence and personality shine through the typical '60s Hollywood treatment of any given bodybuilder as a naïve, self-absorbed, and narcissistic nonentity.
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Format: Paperback
Fact is, Draper is the best writer on bodybuilding in print. I don't mean he sprays all kinds of technical (sometimes useful) prose around like more research based writers (though he seems to be current in lifting theory); what he does do is write for the soul of the lifter. Weights for weights sake. The simple, tender but direct, conversations one needs to hear to grow as a person on the gym floor, inside and out, are in this book.
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).
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Format: Paperback
No one is more qualified to discuss the heart and soul of what it takes to become a champion bodybuilder than Dave Draper.
I remember seeing Draper for the first in 1963 at the IFBB Mr. New Jersey contest which he won. What I saw was a big bulky guy that probably wouldn't go much further. Boy was I in for a surprise!
Two years later, Draper would win the IFBB Mr. America in a hotly contested event. He followed that with a win in the 1966 IFBB Mr. Universe. For whatever reason, Draper declined from entering the Mr. Olympia. In the shape he was in, he probably could have won.
1967 was a bad year for Draper. He got sick doing exhibitions in Mexico right before the Mr. Olympia. Oweing to the integrity of the guy, he competed anyway, although way out of shape.
In 1970, Draper would return placing third behind Arnold and Sergio Oliva in the AAU Mr. World in Columbus, Ohio. I was at that contest and in my opinion, Draper should have been second to Arnold. Oliva showed up smooth. Likewise, no way Draper should have lost to Reg Park in the NABBA Mr. Universe. In all due respect to Park, he was past his peak on that night. At his best....it would have been a different story.
Unfortunately, Draper dropped out of competition. What a shame. He surely would have become a Mr. Olympia had he stayed with it. But as Dave relates in his book, he had higher values.
Dave Draper had more heart and desire than probably any other champion bodybuilder other than Arnold. Perhaps it was training with Draper in the late 60's and 1970 that laid the foundation in Arnold for what he eventually became???
This book, Brother Iron Sister Steel is a must read for any serious bodybuilder. It contains the heart and soul of a champion bodybuilder who has done it, not just an author who writes about.
As a bodybulder from the 60's, I am excited to see legends like Draper writing books. It is rare that we can look inside the mind of a real champion.
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