This is part one of three with Bud Jeffries interviewing Dru Patrick.
Here’s the transcript of this interview. Stay tuned for the next part coming soon.
Bud: Hi, everybody. God bless you all. Listen, I’m here with my friend Dru Patrick today and you’re going to see him in StrongerMan.com and DruPatrick.com. Brand new, he’s a part of our brand new project. We haven’t discussed it all. I told everybody the secrets yet but he’s a part of our brand new project. And why? Because we’re out looking for superhero strong guys and that’s what we’re looking for. And obviously Dru, my boy, is looking like a comic book superhero but I know this is what we all want to look like. In fact, I just turned the camera on because we were having this gigantic discussion about why we do we do this insane stuff and it goes back to the—nobody wants to admit this, like you see all big, “No, we’re fine,” and all that stuff. Nobody wants to admit that it was the Hulk or a comic book lifter that inspired to me be what are you, and here’s the, and everybody goes—
They ask the truth about why I run this. My favorite was the Hulk as a kid that’s what put me in, put me over, or whatever. That’s why I started doing what I’m doing. Everybody, but the truth is everybody wants to be a superhero. Phil Pfister’s Brother said, “Everybody wants to rule the world. What are you actually doing to do something about it?” Well, I did my thing, you do your thing.
Bud: So I want to talk to everybody and kind of introduce Dru here because I’ve been—I think what we’re doing is literally making a collection of the strongest human alive at the very best at what they do and I think Dru is probably the best dumbbell lifter, dumbbell-type lifting in the world of bodybuilding. It’s kind of hard to define. If you can be at powerlifting, you have to be even in Strongman, you have some kind of crazy stories there. You’ve got done some wild stuff but you’re kind of like me in that you kind of do your own thing. You’re kind of special on a lot of dumbbell work and I haven’t seen anybody do some of the dumbbell lifts that you’ve done. So tell everybody some of them, you know, some of what you’ve done.
Dru: My best dumbbell lifts that I’ve ever done, I’ve done a dumbbell row with a 400 lb dumbbell. I’ve done a dumbbell half press with a 200 lbs dumbbell in each hand.
Badu: That’s seated?
Dru: Seated, I tried for two there. It was really frustrating, like should have easy so the second one just didn’t go. But I think I can rep that. I’ve done some laterals with the 165 for 5. I’ve done tape presses with 165 for 5. I’ve done inclined double with a 220 lb dumbbell. I mean, I’ve also done a 505 incline and 460 overhead from bottoms up. I’ve done a lot of different presses but, you know, that’s a few dumbbell lifts that I’ve done.
Bud: Right. And that’s a huge thing, man. And people like—I love it. I’m just sort of—I don’t care. Whatever, if it’s heavy, let’s play with it. I don’t care what it is. If you say something stupid, stuff are like—but I think are dumbbells are one of the most powerful for truly all around development and for actual usable strength. You’re not talking about this for a day but you can tell everybody why—I know it was about individual hand movement instead of a locked in movement.
Dru: Well, I mean here’s the thing, Bud. Never in life unless you’re playing hockey and you want to crosscheck somebody do you have the barbell on your hands. Now, a barbell is good because you can force production. That’s what strength, force production. That’s what you want to do but when you’re doing dumbbells, it becomes more of a high level, pro athlete-type thing here, boxers, MMA people, things like that, everything is moving in—football players, all these athletes, basketball players, their hands are always moving.
So when you’re strong not just in one locked in range of motion but in multiple locked in range of motion, that’s the idea. That’s what real functional strength becomes with that hand skill combined. But when you have not just, “Okay, I’m right here. I’m set up. I’m jammed up in one spot and in one standing position, here we go.” That’s great, absolutely, but do everywhere, overhead. That’s what I’ve always thought about it. I’ve always want to be strong head to toe and be strong in as many things I can be.
It’s not really about dumbbells or barbells or whatever it is. I mean, if I can do everything, great! That’s always my theory. I see guys all the time. They go and they do things and they have no more body or they have no back or they have no arms or whatever it may be, then I think to myself, what the heck are you doing? Why didn’t you try to do it all? Why? Because it’s hard, because it’s brutally hard. He goes home with my training system and I mean, it’s very, very difficult but it’s very rewarding as well.
Bud: Right. Well, you don’t get anything out what you don’t put in training and it’s absolutely true that the harder you train, the better you get, and that’s just the truth. So now you have a very unique strength training system and we’re already talking in detail about definitely in the future about bench presses or world bench press world records. We can talk about that. We can talk about dumbbell training and definitely about muscular size training and some of the unique time training you do but let’s talk a little about your basic system and I don’t want to give the farm away but tell everybody. You know you have unique stuff comparatively, because the modern theme right now is work, work, work, work, work, more, more, more, more, more, and you have a kind of a different theory on that.
Dru: Well, first things first. Everybody thinks practice makes perfect. That’s incorrect. Perfect practice makes perfect. So you only have a finite amount of energy to go to the gym and bust your butt and get these things done correctly. So how do you maximize that or what do you do? Oh my God! What exercise do I pick. My system is 8 days a week, and what I do there is I take a Monday, Thursday and Monday, and make that in a week.
So for me I’ll do a max up for upper bench movement. On Monday, I do a maximum overhead movement and then an arm accessory, on Thursday and then Monday. The next Monday, I’m going to rotate either a squat or deadlift variation max lift. Then I’ll continue to I’m flip-flopping next week and then the next week after that, it’lI flip-flop again for the squat and for the deadlift. The bench and the overhead is like the same throughout the whole time.
As it gets to be too much because after about 60 days of this, it’s brutal. You go into a dynamic/max effort mode and what happens there is you do dyadic work and you do one exercise for that, and then for the rest, it’s repetition. As that gets to be slow, you finish off the program with rep effort at a conditioned pace. It’s one minute maximum rest, one minute between each exercise. So if you’ve got 10 reps straight you’re banging out, rest one minute. 10 reps, bang it out, rest one minute, and that’s more for conditioning.
At the end there, you take the de-load and then you come back the next training cycle stronger, which is something that I’ve seen happen with 20 other people that I’ve trained with which is why I like it myself. Because I stay injury-free, which is what nobody—and I haven’t talked to any lifter who’s over 30 years old and doesn’t have injuries, because what do they do? Constantly constant. Never reduce. Keep going, going, going, and that’s it. More has got to be better. No.
Better is better. And it is a basic idea. Just do the right thing. Do it better. Do the correct thing. If you know you’re hips are killing you and you’re going to go and squat and be tough, and then you’re going to blow your hip out and the knee, or you’re going to go to a contest and you’re shoulder’s bothering you. You have to take care of your body, take care of yourself. And by 8-days week, it allows you the rest periods between your training events to get super strong and stay injury-free.
It’s not just going to work for the training cycle. It elongates your career over 20, 25 years. I’ve been doing it for 19 now. So I’m looking at another 10 years on top of that. That 30-year long career, that’s what you want. There’s a lot of people who want X amount of injuries. You could have a laundry list. You’ll see people like 10 years, it’s more—
Bud: And it’s over.
Dru: And it’s over. “Oh, my knee.” “Oh, my shoulder.” “Oh, my hip.” That’s the one thing that you want to avoid because all it’s going to do is going to kill you. You tear your biceps. You blow out your knee. These things are killers. They’re going to destroy your career. You’re going to have a permanent injury, all these things. Are you going to be in a … You can’t come back. I mean you can come back but at least you’re going to have something. Just like your shoulder, you came back from it but you always had that thing, “Oh, my shoulder. I got an injury there. Oh, what’s going to happen?” So you’re got to try to avoid it the best you can. It’s that fair.
Bud: Oh yeah, absolutely. I have found that 99% of injuries I ever got were from contact sports, though.
Dru: Oh, sure, sure. I mean—
Bud: Football, and that was way worse than that. So you really heavily attribute the full recovery to staying injury-free? Because that’s a big issue today and we’re going to talk about that. That’s a real big thing and I have a similar thing I’ve just found its actually hard to find some high level lifters but I totally agree because you look at most high level lifters they have very short careers.