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Table of Contents: 1. Why Do You Seek Greater Bulk and Power? by Anthony Ditillo
2. Split Training for Body Bulk
by John McCallum (1964) 3. Developing Greater Strength by John Grimek (1958) 4. How They Train: A Report from the World Championships by C. D. deBroglio (March, 1962) 5. How They Train, Part Two by C. D. deBroglio (March, 1962) 6. Squat, the Key Lift by Bill Clark (1962) 7. Pulling Power’s Contribution to the Three Olympic Lifts by Doug Hepburn (1962)
by Bradley J. Steiner (1973) 9. For a Better Back by Bradley J. Steiner
10. My Experience with Weight Gain
by Anthony Ditillo 11. Increasing the Press by Brooks Kubik
12. Seminar with Kazmaier
by Jon Smoker (1980) 13. A Bulking Schedule by Bradley J. Steiner 14. Powerlifters and the O-Lifts by Frank Bates (1972) 15. How I Trained to Win Mr. Universe by Reg Park from Health and Strength (1967)
Why Do You Seek Greater Bulk and Power?
by Anthony Ditillo Just what is a power lifter? He does not possess, generally speaking, the graceful lines of a champion bodybuilding enthusiast. He does not have the overall flair and speed of foot of the average Olympic Weightlifting champion. No, the power enthusiast is a very special, different type of man. Physically speaking, the average power lifter is a very, very dedicated athlete, the type of man who has the urge of creative power embedded in his very soul. There are no worldwide competitions in which he has a chance to win for himself some glory; in fact, most international coaches are a bit wary of allowing such international competitions to ever take place. They feel, some do, anyway, that such incredibly heavy lifts may damage the body, internally as well as externally. So you see, we power trainees cannot claim ourselves as internationally known athletes, in the strict sense of the word. Moreover, these very lifts with which we are so happy to perform are not in themselves a true indication of good health, coordination, speed of reflex or flexibility; yet we are absolutely dedicated to training on such torturous movements as the full squat, the half squat, deadlifts, etc., and all for the sheer joy of it. What is the motivation behind this apparent fanaticism? Just how can one enjoy placing such physical stress upon oneself? Why not sacrifice some body bulk and obtain a more pleasantly proportioned physique, one which would create comments from friends, relatives and neighbors? These questions are very intricate and self-involved to answer and they only go to show you just how involved and intricate the power trainee really is. Generally speaking, the average weight trainee was once a sickly, weak, individual who, is a last attempt rose up from the depths of physical, emotional and psychological distress to his well-deserved 'place in the sun'. If this be the case, why, then, would there evolve from the quagmire of training drives, a type of enthusiast who would be willing to ostracize himself from the rest of his fellow weight enthusiasts and alone, and solely on his own seek to develop in himself those qualities in which he alone can perceive any worthwhile socially redeeming value? There is something about bulk and power training that invades your very soul. It is extremely hard to put into words. The exercise movements themselves are quite simple to perform. The routines one must utilize in order to gain rapidly that much sought after strength are not especially interesting or dynamic in appearance. All in all, power lifting and bulk training is a rather mechanical robotlike procedure, which is performed methodically, yet undoubtedly with great zest and enthusiasm running rampant in the minds of its devotees. There are many
en who will do absolutely anything in their quest for greater muscular bulk and power, and when I say anything, I mean anything. Special foods, special diets, special routines, 'the championship way to train', the cheating principle, the power overload principle, these are a few of the many varied thoughts which run through the average power trainer's mind. They are part of his 'bag', so so speak. They make him what he is, that no one can deny. I became interested in bulk and power training, surprisingly enough, not too long ago. In the beginning of my athletic career of using weights, I, too, was a young ambitious bodybuilder in my early teens, who thought Steve Reeves and Clancy Ross were the living end. I ate, drank, worked, slept and strained for bodybuilding. I had all the various pictures of various champs pasted all over my little cellar walls. I would wear nothing but formfitting tee shirts in winter and summer. When walking around in public I would continually spread my little lats and swell out my 'massive' chest. As you can see, I was a perfect example of a 'musclehead'. As I now recall my early training years, I realize I was not at all odd or unusual in my emotional desires or my physical makeup. There are even now, in this day and age, literally thousands of young trainees walking around, their heads in a daze, seeking an extra half-inch on their calves and greater definition in their upper pectorals. This is really nothing unusual. Rather, this occurrence is something to be expected; I mean, bodybuilding is such a popular type of pastime for the young physical culture devotee. Since most young men are very concerned about their physical appearance even before they may actually begin bodybuilding, you can see how it would only seem normal and in perfect accord with the average adolescent's mind and emotional makeup to put the preferred interest they show in a kind of sport which would most assuredly improve their own self-image, as well as the image they would constantly see in their training mirrors. After my relating to you the vast interest there is in bodybuilding, not only in America, but all over the world, it may shock some of you now when I tell you that the majority of power lifters come from the ranks of those young teenage bodybuilders mentioned in the last paragraph. What happened? What made them change so drastically? Why and how such an acute transition? Like all intricate and involved things, the answers are great and many. I changed over to strict power training not too long ago. I had been bodybuilding for some time, and just as I have already related to you, I followed all the rages of the day. Then something happened; a dark wind came blowing up from out of my future and after reaching me, left me with such an indelible memory that it managed to change, for the most part not only my training, but my entire life as well. One Friday evening I was down in my cellar as usual, awaiting the arrival of my
training partner who, as usual, was a little bit late. I was really 'hopped-up' for this workout, so I decided I had waited long enough and began the workout without him. The first exercise movement on our agenda was that ever-popular bench press. The routine called for five sets of twelve reps, using 200 lb. I got through the first set all right. The second was a little tougher an the third was positively fatiguing. Now, since I was a young and reckless fool, and since my training partner had not yet arrived, I began that fateful fourth set all by my lonesome. I did pretty well up until the tenth rep; then in the middle of the eleventh repetition something strange began to happen. All at once my arms began to tremble and ache; they twitched and shook as is they had a well of their own. And all this happened while the barbell was overhead and I was lying on the bench! Frightened and surprised, I tried cautiously to replace the infernal bar back on the bench pressing rack. Inch by inch I strained my way to the rack, and just when it seemed I was safe and out of danger, the bar came crashing down on me, hitting full force, my mouth and teeth. All at once I realized I must, at all costs, remove the bar off my face and somehow force myself to my feet. Don't ask me how I managed it, but the next thing I knew I was standing upright, holding a towel to my face while the bar which had seemed so ponderous to me only moments ago, was lying five or six feet away, where I had thrown it, in the corner of the cellar floor. Outside of a quick rush to the local emergency ward and the terribly pinching sound of the stitches being put in, and later the insidious pain of having four teeth capped, there is nothing left for me to relate to you concerning this little episode except perhaps a brief explanation of how such an unfortunate occurrence could shape my entire life. A short while after the accident, whenever I would begin to train again, a short but nauseous felling would leave my mental and physical state in total upheaval. You see, it had finally dawned on me that something that I had wholeheartedly loved and respected had 'turned its back on me' so to speak, and left me with scars and psychological doubts concerning the accident itself, the aftermath (being stared at by parents, by friends, teachers at school, etc.), and also, in this particular case the most important, it left me with the knowledge of my physical weakness in time of sore need and dire necessity, and it was at this time that I first began to doubt the effectiveness of my particular type of physical training. Being quite honest with myself, I came to realize that although I had drastically altered my physical appearance, strength-wise I was just a little stronger than the average untrained man. This hurt. It meant that for all the hours I spent supersetting, tri-setting, cheat-curling, and all the rest, I was still basically a weak fellow. What was I to do? Should I give up weight training altogether? If I became a weightlifter in the true sense of the word, would I lose all semblance of a symmetrical physique? These questions were very puzzling and had me worried for quite a while. During this time of my life I took my first layoff from training. I spent my days looking though back issues of various magazines in search of an answer to my problem. How could one develop superior strength and a superior body at the same time? Just what type of training was necessary in order to
insure your body of adequate physical strength and muscular bulk and impressiveness? These were only a few of the many questions which were in my dark and dreary mind at the time. It was around this time that I made one of the most important discoveries concerning my future in bulk and power training. It was at this time that I began reading articles concerning Paul Anderson. Shortly afterward I found a few of my back issues which contained some articles about and by Doug Hepburn. And it was by using the example of these two great strong men that I was able to instill within myself my basic power training philosophy. After reading and rereading the various stories and adventures of both these strong men, I began to notice very many new and interesting things. First and foremost was my initial interest and fascination, so to speak, in their huge physical measurements; why, Hepburn's chest was at least 55", and he almost bench pressed 580 pounds! Outside of a slightly large waist (compared to a bodybuilder's), he was very impressive, physically speaking. What huge bulky arms, and what a deep broad back! This man was a proverbial giant in power musculature. In fact, his fleshy physique actually suited him! No, I just could not realize his appearance with a bodybuilder's type of physique and the ability to lift all those huge weights like he did. While on the subject of my initial motivations to dedicate myself to bulk and power training, it would be frail indeed not to mention the other part of this dynamic duo, Paul Anderson. Now here was, and is, most assuredly, the strongest man who ever lived. There is no need to try and exaggerate his physical abilities; the lifts speak for themselves. A full squat of over 1200 lbs., a press off rack of nearly 500, a deadlift of over 1000 lbs., a bench press of 600 with little training on the lift and with a narrow grip! As you can readily see, there is no reason to exaggerate the feats of this "monster". And let's not forget his physical measurements altogether either. Now I believe Mr. Anderson will himself admit he is not very pretty to the eye; for one thing his hips and thighs are enormous, and all over he carries quite a bit of fat. But there lies, under this layer of fatty tissue, the largest muscular body in the world! There is no doubt in my mind that if Mr. Anderson ever decided to train down his bodyweight somewhat, although he would never develop into what one would call a champion type of physique, he would still be able to carry 260 lbs. of solid useful muscle quite easily. Even at his huge bodyweight of 360 to 380 lbs., there is still visible muscle all over his arms and shoulders and back, and those muscles of his appear quite firm to the touch! Truly, here were two of the greatest power lifters who ever lived. And all power lifters, both young and old, should be thankful to both these men for their sterling example of just how far the proper training motivation and dedication can take one is his quest of body bulk and greater power. While I did not want to go all out for strength and therefore pattern Anderson's method of adding bodyweight for the purpose of adding greater power, I was,
however, interested in Doug Hepburn's method of greatly adding to his body bulk. If you care to follow his athletic career as I did, by using refernce to the old issues of various magazines, you will also find, as I did, that at the beginning of his career Doug was by no means a large, strong fellow. On the contrary, he was quite normal in every sense of the word, outside of an injured ankle and calf. But somehow, by using a power and bulk routine he was able to greatly add to his bodyweight and measurements and also he became an Olympic weightlifting champion and one of the strongest men in the world. So it was by using the training principles outlined by both these men that I began my initial attempts at developing a bulky and powerful physique. So you see, it took an almost critical accident to turn my mind's eye from adolescent bodybuilding to finally advanced power training. And I feel that by relating to you the changes in my emotional and physical development into its present state, that somehow along the line I have enables you to answer the question I first asked at the beginning of this rather wordy dissertation: "Just why are you seeking greater body bulk and power?" Was it due to a sudden realization that you had no real 'future' in the bodybuilding field? Did you somewhere along the way realize you were heading nowhere in your training? Did the whole rigamarole of spread lats and inflated chests begin to disgust you too? Or perhaps you were inspired by some well known star as I was. Or was it the local lifting champ at your neighborhood YMCA? Did you see him literally toy with weights that you could hardly budge? Was there something physically 'attractive' about his musculature? Did you secretly begin to admire his massive proportions? The answers to these questions belong to you and me alone. No one else could possibly understand the power lifter's enjoyment in lifting heavier and heavier weights, in seeing his massive proportions become bigger and more huge. "Why are you a power lifter?" If you do not know, who does?
Split Training for Body Bulk
by John McCallum (1964) I left the car in the parking lot and walked over to the gym. It was a hot day and the traffic was heavy. A fat woman was trying to park a new Chevy in front of the gym. She cut in too sharp and jammed against the curb. She sat peering over
her shoulder and gripping the wheel tight with her pudgy hands. She was wearing a schoolgirl hat but her face was big and red. I wondered if her husband still thought she was pretty. Two teenage girls were looking at the muscle pictures in the gym window. One whispered something in the other’s ear and both giggled. I opened the door and went in. It was cold inside. A fan was blowing in one corner and the air felt nice. The fan swung around slowly and you could smell the leather and the paint and the freshness of the new lumber on the lifting platform. The “Big Man” was working out as he said he would be. He was finishing a set of hyperextensions and he had a crowd around him. I wondered how he liked working out with everybody watching. He finished the extensions and got off the table. He walked over to the squat rack and began loading the bar. He was wearing a full sweat suit and lifting boots and he looked big as a house. I saw him when he won his title but he was a lot bigger now. His shoulders rolled out like two ski slopes and his back looked wide enough to paint pictures on. I went over and spoke to him. “I phoned last night about some information,” I said. “Remember?” “Oh, sure,” he said. “Glad to see you.” His face was tanned and when he smiled his teeth were strong and white and even. “You’re looking good,” I said. “You’re heavier now, aren’t you?” He grinned, “Getting old and fat, I guess.” “I wish I looked so old and fat.” He laughed easily. “Anything special you want to talk about?” “Yeah,” I said. “I wanted to ask you about split training. You use it, don’t you?” “Sure,” he said. “All the time.” “Why?” “Just suits me best, I guess. I don’t like to spend all day working out. By splitting it I can do each section faster and easier.” “You’re doing that today?”
“That’s right. Legs and back today, shoulders, chest and arms tomorrow.” “Do you want to go on with your workout? We can talk between exercises.” “Sure,” he said. “That’s good. I’ll tell you what I know about it as we go along.” He piled plates on the squat bar. “I usually warm up with hyperextensions and then go right into the squats.” “Do you like doing squats?” “Gosh, no!” he said. “Does anybody?” He did five sets of squats, five reps per set. He alternated light pullovers with the squats. He started light and worked up heavy and I never saw anyone work harder. I walked over to the fountain and got a drink of water. The water gushed up high and clean and so cold it hurt my teeth. He finished the squats and I went over again. He was breathing hard now, sweat filming his forehead and running down both cheeks. “Boy,” he said, “those things hurt everything but your eyeballs.” “Good exercise though.” “The best. I figure a guy could build up on squats alone.” “Do you always do them?” “Oh, sure. For bulk anyway. You know, it’s a funny thing – when I first started I didn’t use to do any squats. Just curls and stuff. You know? When I started squatting I gained more in three months than I had in the previous three years.” “I can believe it. You’re working on bulk now, aren’t you?” That’s right. And power, of course.” “How do you work split training for bulk as compared to, say, definition?” “Nothing to it,” he said. “I just juggle the number of days a week I work out.” He got up and took a couple of deep breaths. “I don’t want to cool off too much. Do you mind if I do my next exercise?”
“No,” I said, “Go ahead. I like watching you.” He walked over to the lifting platform and loaded the bar. He cleaned it smoothly and went into front squats. For a guy who didn’t like squats he really put out. He was pouring sweat and gasping when he finished the fourth set of ten. He got a drink of water and came over and sat on a bench with me. “You know,” I said, “I get tired just watching you.” He laughed. Sweat was running into his eyes and he pulled some slack in the front of his sweatshirt and wiped his eyes off. “I wouldn’t want to be doing these outside today. It’s sure hot, isn’t it?” “Sure is,” I said. “Listen, you say you juggle your workout days?” “That’s right.” “How do you mean?” “Well, when I’m working for bulk and power like I am now, I work out four days a week. Two days on legs and back, two days on upper body.” “Is that enough?” “Oh, sure. That means I work my whole body real hard twice a week. That’s lots to grow on.” “I guess it is if you work that hard.” “Sure. Actually I don’t think I could do my whole body at one workout. I wouldn’t have anything left when I got to my arms.” “So you leave it to another day?” He laughed. “That’s right. Run away, work again another day.” “And how about shape or definition?” “Then I work out six days a week. Three on legs and back, three on the rest.” “Sounds tough.” “It is. I don’t do it very often though. Just before a contest or exhibition.” “What about stomach work?”
“I do some every workout day. When I’m working for bulk I do a little and when I’m working for definition I do a lot.” “I see.” “Of course I change the exercises a bit.” Do you want to talk about my definition program?” “No,” I said. “I’d rather stick to your bulk program, if you don’t mind.” “Sure,” he said. “Anything you like.” He got up. “Do you mind waiting a minute?” I want to do some calf stuff.” “Go ahead,” I said. “I’ll catch you when you’re finished.” He went over to the calf machine. I got up and wandered around the gym. I went to the door and looked out. The fat lady had her car parked and the two girls were gone. I went back and watched his calf raises. He did four sets of 20 and came over and sat on the bench again. “What do you concentrate on for bulk?” “Heavy stuff. Squats, rowing, cleans and so on. I do a heavy exercise for five sets of five and then something lighter for four sets of 10 to pump the area.” “Like your squats and then the front squats?” “That’s right. I do that with the big muscle groups. Five sets of five to the absolute limit, then four sets of 10 with something lighter.” “What about your calves?” “No. Calves and arms are small muscle groups. I just do one exercise for those parts moderately heavy. They grow from the other heavy stuff.” “Yours sure did.” “Too many beginners waste their time doing curls when they should be working their legs and back. Get the bulk and power. The arms will come along.” “You specialize on your arms sometimes though, don’t you?” “Sure. But not when I’m working for bulk.”
“And you figure four days a week are best for bulk?” “That’s right. And power, too. Two day legs and back, two days upper body and a little gut work every workout day just to keep it in line.” “Sounds good. What do you do next?” “Well, I’ve done my leg work – squats, front squats and calf raises. Now I do a straight power exercise.” “What’s that?” “Power cleans. I figure that’s one of the best.” “Go ahead. I’ll watch.” He went over to the lifting bar and loaded it up. He chalked his hands and gripped the bar carefully. He pulled. The bar came up like it was going into orbit. He whipped his elbows under and dipped his knees slightly. The bar crashed onto his chest. He lowered it to his thighs, dipped and pulled again from the dead hang. He did five sets of five and the sweat ran down his face and sprayed out every time the bar hit his chest. He came over to the bench and sat down. He was gulping air and he kept flexing and straightening his fingers. “Jeez,” I said. “You really put out, don’t you?” He laughed and wiped his sleeve across his eyes. He looked like he’d been under water. He ran his fingers across his eyebrows and the sweat beaded and coated his finger. “You gotta work,” he said. “Not many work as hard as you do.” “Maybe that’s the difference.” “What do you do now?” “Rowing,” he said. “Five sets of five. Then I finish off the lats with four sets of 10 on the chins.” “And that’s it, eh?” “Yep. Except for one set of leg raises. 25 reps.” “That’s not really too long a program, is it? “No,” he said. “But it’s heavy. That’s the beauty of split training. You can work
each part to its limit but you never do too much on any one day. That way your muscles get all the work they need and enough rest to grow on. “What days do you do this?” “Mondays and Thursdays legs and back. Tuesdays and Fridays upper body.” “What do you do for the upper body?” “Well, I work it in groups. Same as today. Heavy and light.” “What exercises do you do?” “I start with the chest. Bench presses five sets of five, then incline dumbbell presses four sets of 10.” “Just a sec,” I said. “I better write some of this down.” “Sure. I’ll do my rowing now.” He went to the bar and did his rowing. Five sets of five. I scribbled down some notes and wandered around the gym some more. I got another drink of water and went over and looked at the pictures on the wall. There was a row of muscle shots. All the big names. Some of them would give a tailor a heart attack. He finished his rowing and we went back and sat on the bench. “O.K.” I said. “I’ve got your chest exercises. What comes next?” He was puffing still. I should have let him catch his breath. “Shoulders,” he said. “Press behind neck, five sets of five. One arm military, four sets of 10.” “And that’s all for the shoulders.” “Sure. That’s plenty for bulk.” “And then what?” “Arms. I alternate curls and french presses four sets of 10 each.” “Some of the guys do more arm work than that, don’t they?” “Sure. So do I. But not when I’m working for bulk.” “Fine.” I scribbled it down. My handwriting looked like chicken tracks and I hoped I’d be able to read it after. “And is that all?”
“Except for the gut. One set of sit-ups. 25 reps.” I wrote it down. “Time for the chins,” he said. He went to the chinning bar and tied a plate around his waist. He jumped, grabbed the bar and did chins with a wide grip. He did them smooth and easy but was pulling hard on the last few. “You’re almost finished,” I said. “Except for the leg raises.” I looked at my notes and said, “Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. You work out four days a week for bulk.” “And power.” “Yeah, bulk and power. Two days legs and back. Two days upper body.” “Right.” “You concentrate on the heavy exercises. Do them five sets of five and pump the arms with something lighter four sets of 10.” “Right.” “Your leg and back workout is: warm up with prone hyperextensions, squats – 5x5; light pullovers between sets; front squats – 4x10; calf raises – 4x20; power cleans – 5x5; rowing – 5x5; chins – 4x10; leg raises – 1x25.” “That’s it.” “And your upper body workout is: bench press – 5x5; incline dumbbell press – 4x10; press behind neck – 5x5; one arm military – 4x10; curls and french presses – alternated for 4x10 each; sit-ups – 1x25.” “Right.” “What about your diet,” I said. “I guess you eat a lot on a bulk program, eh?” He put his head back and laughed. “That’s for sure. My wife’s crying all the time.” I grinned. “Women are like that.”
He was still laughing. “The grocery bill came the other day. It looked like a ransom note.” “It averages out, though,” I said. “You don’t smoke or drink, do you?” “No.” “You’d make it up there, then.” “Uh, sure.” He walked over to the incline board and rattled off 25 leg raises like a machine gun. I stood up. “Well,” I said. “I guess I got it all. And you’ve finished too, eh?” “Yep,” he said. “I’ve had it.” He was soaking wet. Sweat was running down the front of his neck and a circle on the front of his shirt was wet and dark against the blue cloth. “Well look,” I said. “I want to thank you very much. You’ve been real good about this.” He smiled and said, “That’s O.K. Glad to help.” “You’re doing your upper body stuff tomorrow then?” “Yep. That’s right.” “Do you mind if I come in and watch?” “No,” he said. “Not at all. Glad to have you.” “Good,” I said. “I’ll see you then.” “Sure.” We shook hands and I walked out. It was hotter than ever outside. The sun came in on an angle and the heat bounced off the sidewalk like a blast furnace. The fat woman’s car was gone. The car in front had a gouge in the rear fender and there was glass on the road. Two little boys and their mother were looking at the muscle pictures in the window. One of the boys had on a T-shirt and he was fooling around imitating the poses. His mother spoke to him and he stopped clowning around and they all stood quietly and looked at the pictures.
Developing Greater Strength
by John Grimek (1958) Physical strength is a masculine characteristic. It is admired by all men, women and children – at least certain aspects of it. On the whole, most men not only admire great strength, but secretly desire it as well. It is a fact, however, that while only a small percentage of people possess some type of unusual strength, which may have been acquired through heredity or from specialized training, it is possible to acquire this attribute through progressive weight training or heavy lifting. Records in our files show that numerous individuals have doubled their strength after several months of training, and tripled it within a year’s time. It must be admitted, however, that not everyone can achieve such remarkable results in such a short length of time, although anyone can increase his strength to an amazing degree with proper training. There are some men who are naturally strong in certain regions, as, for example, the legs and lower back which are considered important strength zones. Other men have great strength in their arms and shoulders, but only a comparative few seem to possess all-round strength, which, of course, is the best and ideal combination. This combination of strength is not easy to obtain and may only be acquired through heavy training and supporting feats. Physical strength that is greater than average depends on a number of factors and not only upon the size and shape of muscles. Nevertheless, THE FEWER “WEAK LINKS” THE BODY HAS, THE GREATER THE POSSIBILITY OF ACHIEVING ALL-ROUND STRENGTH. Individuals having strength only in certain regions, such as the arms, shoulders, back or legs, cannot be considered strong in the strict sense of the word. Regional strength, therefore, should not be sought after except where one part is weaker in comparison to another; then, additional effort is required to increase the power in those weaker parts. How then is all-round strength acquired? There are several avenues possible. Strength will result only when the muscles are pushed beyond their normal activity. In fact, muscles MUST BE FORCED against progressively heavier resistance in order to increase their contractile capacity. Heavy training of this nature activates all the muscular fibers and packs power into them. Moreover, the tendons, those cable-like structures which branch out from the muscles and attach to the bones, also grow thicker and stronger from this training. The supporting of heavy weights in various positions is particularly beneficial to the tendons and ligaments, which grow thicker and stronger from this practice. Of course, whenever strength is discussed, leverage should not be overlooked.
Few people indeed realize the importance of good leverage in connection with strength. But the fact remains, whenever this leverage is favorable, strength is easier to acquire. Good leverage makes it easier for muscles to contract, allowing heavier poundages to be used in all movements, and this in turn results in greater strength. I’m certain the above statement is bound to bring in a flood of correspondence if I don’t explain in detail how this leverage can be improved. Therefore, let me explain the basic principles here and now. Improvement of muscle leverage, in some cases, lies in the thickening of certain fleshy parts that will shorten the actual movement of the muscle. For example, if the shoulders, arms, trapezius and other adjacent groups become thicker, certain movements that involve the arms and shoulders become easier because of this increased mass. Naturally the basic condition cannot be altered since much of this is due to skeletal formation and upon the insertion of the muscles themselves. Nevertheless, by thickening the fleshy areas, improvement is possible. Let’s discuss, for example, the case of a “poor” presser, and show how improvement in this lift is possible through specialized training. There are numerous fellows who say that they can’t press a heavy weight because they have poor leverage. In some cases this complaint is fully justified, but in others this leverage business is merely an excuse which can be blamed on the individual for not knowing how to press, or because he doesn’t practice the lift enough. If poor leverage is the cause and prevents improvement on this lift, then specialized training should be employed to increase the arm and shoulder mass, which generally helps to improve pressing leverage. This should explain why a large percentage of all bulky lifters are generally the best pressers. Many of our champion lifters have improved their pressing ability by this combination of bulking up and doing more pressing. There are three fundamental rules to observe for acquiring all-round strength: (1) Employing maximum resistance. (2) Employing minimum repetitions. (3) Lifting and supporting heavy poundages. Persistence in training is a must where greater strength is desired. Once or twice a week a heavy all-out training program for power should be employed. Too frequent heavy training, especially if prolonged in nature, may weaken rather than increase strength. There is another fallacy that seems to persist among some people whenever strength is mentioned. They have the opinion that only short fellows are strong and make the best lifters. This opinion is based on the knowledge that there are more shorter fellows than taller men lifting in competition. They further contend that the shorter fellow doesn’t have to lift the weights as high. This deduction is
plain humbug. Anyone will admit that the taller man does lift his weights higher, but in most cases his skeletal leverage is better to accomplish this. By way of contrast let me illustrate the handicap shorter men like Dave Moyer and Joe DiPietro have when they lift on a regulation barbell. This, as anyone who has ever lifted weights off knee-high supports knows, is awkward and a disadvantage. Because, when the body and legs are almost straight it is harder to exert a strong pull that sends the weight upwards. A clearer illustration might be had by having both men, the tall and the short, do an ordinary deadlift with a weight they can easily clean. Notice how much higher the taller man lifts his weight in this position compared to the shorter fellow? Now visualize for a moment the impetus the taller man can obtain with his longer arms and legs and his shorter back as he crouches, almost doubled up, then straightens up pulling the weight. In contrast, visualize the efforts of the shorter man, whose legs and back are almost straight as he begins the lift, making it impossible for him to utilize the full use of his back and legs unless he uses the smaller, lower plates. I’m sure you’ll agree that the tall man has certain advantages even though he has to lift his weights higher . . . but he has better leverage to do this, especially if he bulks up in the right places. For curious people who ask why there aren’t more tall men lifting in competition, I’d say that there are more taller men in competition today than ever before. But it is also true that a large percentage never go into lifting competition because they feel they haven’t got a chance against the shorter, stronger fellow. More bosh! Let me cite another example along this line. Some years ago we conducted an experiment here in York with one Jack Cooper, a man of imposing altitude (well over six feet) and weighing 200 pounds. In spite of his bodyweight he still looked underweight. His arms, though not heavy were long, as were his legs. But his shoulders were considered broad for his size. This fellow acquired the ability to lift some terrific poundages, and believe me, he lifted them HIGHER than any other lifter! He was convincing proof that tallness, even without great bulk, is not a handicap if one has the interest to excel in this game. Jack was especially adept on the quick lifts, and while his press wasn’t exceptional, he did press an impressive weight. He would have done much better had he bulked up his frame, especially around the arms, shoulders and upper back.
One of the problems of strength most lifters and bodybuilders have is improving their press. I’d like to use this lift as an example and show how additional strength can be acquired in this lift. Assuming you already know how to press but lack the necessary power to make a heavy lift, the following training schedule should be helpful. Start with a weight you can just press five or six times easily . . . just as a warm
up. For your next attempt increase the weight to within 75% of your best pressing poundage. Press this three times. Always rest a few minutes after each set of presses. Now, increase your next weight to about 85% of your max and press it two or three times. Continue to increase the weight in five or ten pound jumps and press only in single attempts. Repeat until your limit in this lift has been reached. This, however, does not conclude the program by any means. Increase the weight by 20 pounds beyond your best press and perform two or three push presses with it. In this exercise be sure your arms and shoulders do most of the work after the legs provide the impetus. Keep increasing the weight until you are unable to do any more without using a full dip or split position to get the weight overhead. Upon reaching a poundage that you must jerk instead of pushing it overhead, the next exercise is to hold this weight (or more) at your chest, but instead of resting it across your shoulders make an effort as if you were going to press it. Hold it in this position for several seconds or until you are unable to sustain it any longer. Replace it back on the rack and again add more weight to the bar. Take a rest, after which you should support it again in the same manner. You shouldn’t have any trouble, once you get used to supporting more weight than you can jerk in this style. This exercise will strengthen you for the press, and when you become strong enough to support twice as much weight as your press, your press will have greatly benefitted. All supporting feats are particularly good for strengthening and thickening the tendons and ligaments, the true source power. Another excellent power builder for pressing is to lie in a supine position and support a heavy weight. While in this position and holding a heavy weight, the arms are allowed to bend a few inches and then locked out again. Repeat for about five or six consecutive repetitions. How much weight to use? About 50 to 100 pounds more than you can military press. Increase the weight as rapidly as you safely can. Your arms, shoulders, and the adjacent muscle groups will develop greater power from this exercise. By now you must realize that nothing packs so much power into the muscles as heavy supporting feats, especially in holding weights overhead. You should construct a device that enables you to get under the bar with only a slight split or dip with your arms extended and elbows locked. In this supporting feat all the muscles contract to sustain the overhead load, while every joint, tendon and ligament strains to keep the body balanced. This supporting feat is one of the best means of increasing body power. It helps a lifter to secure a strong arm and shoulder lock. The back, hips and legs all combine to hold the body in a strong, steady position. As an exercise, a heavy weight should be supported overhead for several seconds. After a brief rest more weight should be added and the exercise repeated until six to eight attempts have been completed. Begin by holding about 50 pounds more than your best jerk in this one. Increase the weight as rapidly as you safely can. And once more, be sure that your supporting rack or chains are high enough for you to get under the bar without bending your
knees too much. The more you bend your knees the more difficulty you will have in supporting the weight. Another one for the arms and shoulders. Take a weight, about what you can military press, and hold it at your side as if you were going to do a one-arm side press, holding the elbow off the hip. Hold this position for as long as you can, then replace the weight back on the supports and repeat with your other hand. Use alternate hands and support the weight with each arm about four times. Continue to increase the weight. For lower back. Use knee-high supports for this one and use about 150 pounds more than you can jerk. Grip the weight securely and move slightly away from the supports. Now bend forward as in a regular deadlift, but only until a slight strain is felt in the lower back. Straighten up and again repeat five to six times. Increase weight with each set by 20 to 30 pounds and do at least six sets. Use the heaviest weights safely possible but do not overdo it until your back has been thoroughly accustomed to this exercise. Poundage increases can be made rapidly with all these partial and supporting movements, and failure to exercise caution can result in some very real stiffness and strain. For legs. Legs can be packed with power by including heavy partial squats (bending the legs only slightly), BUT ONLY AFTER SOME COMPLETE SQUATS HAVE BEEN DONE. Here again, heavy poundages should be used to impart spring and strength to the legs. Five to six repetitions should be used. Repeat for at least five sets . . . more if desired. By now you should be starting to realize exactly how hard one must work to increase his strength. All of the exercises and supporting feats mentioned here will give you greater strength if you practice them at least once a week. However, let me emphasize one fact – you cannot obtain great strength by using light poundages or by training only once in a while. Training must be a regular habit, and HEAVY, ALLOUT TRAINING should be done at least once a week. In conclusion, I’d like to say a word to the younger fellows who do not fully appreciate the importance of all-round physical strength. Just remember, as you grow older your back (lower region) and legs will be the first to show signs of weakening unless you train regularly. It is advisable, therefore, to keep these parts strong and flexible through a variety of exercises that will keep them youthful. Older persons need not do heavy training, at least not too severe (unless they so desire and are capable), but an occasional heavier than usual routine should still be done. Keeping your strength once you have acquired it is more difficult than maintaining physical fitness . . . because it requires heavy training. Keep this in mind and you will have solved the problem.
How They Train: A Report from the World Championships
by C. D. deBroglio (March, 1962) NOTE: The following article is taken from “The Australian Weightlifter” and was originally written by Mr. Oehley and Mr. deBroglio of the South African Weightlifter’s Assn. This is one of the most informative articles about how other countries train their lifters and we thought that readers of Lifting News would receive a great deal of benefit from it. In this article they discuss the world championships and the lifters they observed training, and tell of some of their visits with top lifters regarding training methods. We feel this is one of the most important and significant articles we have published and believe you will feel the same. I arrived in Vienna on the 14th September. We had our first training session on Friday the 15th with the Iranians and Colombians. The Iranians were very impressive and SERIOUS. They had about 30 supporters who had come to see them train as there is apparently a large Iranian student community in Vienna. There were only two Colombian lifters, a lightweight and a middleweight. We shared a bar with them. The unknown Colombian lightweight, Peres, proceeded to shatter our standards by pressing 264½. Then the shocks started. Two of the Iranians whom we did not recognize and who looked like a light-heavy and a midheavy, were snatching in the region of 300 pounds! It turned out that one of them was Boromand who placed 4th in mid-heavy with a 980 total and a 308½ snatch. The very next minute the feather-weight Elmkhah, did an easy clean & jerk with 297½, then 308½, just missing with 319½. Their CONFIDENCE and LACK OF RESPECT for HEAVY POUNDAGES started to rattle me. They did not look faster, stronger, more intelligent, and yet they outlifted our best by many pounds. After the Olympic lifting, all the Iranians pulled out their CANVAS STRAPS and proceeded to do high pulls with wide, then narrow grips. These straps are 1” wide canvas belting, ⅛” thick. the canvas is about 24” long with a loop in the middle to put the hands through. The two ends are then wrapped around the bar inside the hands and with a slight twisting of the fingers, made very tight. When pulling, all the strain is placed on the wrist and the hands do not hurt. This allows lifters to train REGULARLY on their pull without developing a psychological HATE for the exercise. I know many lifters who shirk heavy high pulls because of sore hands and I am one of them. Immediately on my return I made a pair of these straps and tried them out on my first workout. The high pulls were a real pleasure to perform. I feel that THIS SIMPLE PIECE OF INEXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT IS A
MUST FOR ALL LIFTERS. I was so impressed by the standard of lifting that I power cleaned 264½, my best ever, and then foolishly copied the Iranians with high pulls working up to 341 for 3 reps. I had never handled this sort of poundage before and was so stiff afterwards that I could not have a proper workout again until I lifted a week later. The Iranians did high pulls until 3 days before they lifted. The feather, Elmkhah, at the end of his workout, was doing sets of 5 reps on high snatch pulls with 198¼ lbs. and then going down into a squat snatch on the 6th rep. The Iranians seem to train VERY HARD and rather differently from the Russians. They do not seem to put as much stress on suppleness and agility, although THEY WARM UP VERY THOROUGHLY. The next day we heard that the Russians had arrived so we rushed to the gym. We got there before they did and found some of the Iranians training AGAIN, doing squats, press from stands, etc. Then the whole Russian team arrived. They stripped in the gym and we were impressed with the physiques of Vlasov, Stepanov, Kurinov and Minaev. Lopatin looked rugged but not very impressive. However, they all had one thing in common. They looked SUPPLE, SOFT, AND AGILE. They all put on elastic belts about 4” wide under their lifting costumes (so did the Iranians) – they seemed to be used as a support for the lower back muscles, as well as a leather belt. They then proceeded to warm up. They did a combination of shadow weightlifting with broom sticks, sprinting, gymnastics, ballet dancing, high jumping and the S.A.B.C. daily dozen. Vlasov was probably the most supple. In fact he looked almost double jointed. He stretched all his muscles, from his neck to his wrists and his back. This was the most instructive part of their training, especially when we found out that this phase of their training is carried out on the off days as well. It was remarked that competitors like Minaev, Vorobyev and Stogov, although old, looked fresh, supple and completely free of injuries, sore knees, etc. After about 20 minutes of warming up they started on the weights. The surprising thing is that they did not start pressing. They all did different lifts. Stogov and Minaev did a few sets of power snatches, then snatches. Kurinov did power cleans and push presses, all very fast. Vlasov did sets of 2’s up to 380 in the press. We realized later that he did his presses first because he was not snatching that day, nor cleaning. He only did presses, high pulls up to 550, incline bench presses and squats. He pulled the 550 up to his chest using the canvas straps. None of the Russians worked high on the press in that workout. They seemed to be concentrating on snatching and cleaning.
Another interesting point is that they do 3 or 4 sets on 132 to get warm and then jump to a much higher weight without wasting energy on intermediate poundages. For example, Kurinov did about 4 sets of 2’s in the snatch with 220, then went straight to 275 for a single and 286 for another. Minaev would jump from 132 to 198. Vlasov took 220 for his warm up sets then straight up to 303. They all rested the next day and then trained on the Monday again, except Stogov, who just played with a broomstick, as he was lifting on Wednesday. The Russian coaches were there during the workout and merely made notes of poundages handled, observing styles at the same time. On the rest days, the Russians spent about 30 minutes in the morning doing handstands, press-ups, broad jumps, floor dips, shadow lifting with a broomstick, etc. On training days they only do the shadow lifting for about 15 minutes in the morning. One of the most impressive lifters was Palinski. He is a very handsome, rugged individual who snatched 286 easily and toyed with a 386 clean & jerk. He did not split more than 8” for the clean and jerked it, lowered it behind his neck, then jerked it again – by far the most impressive lift we saw in training. He faithfully recorded every lift in his training book which he keeps very methodically. Another sensational training effort was 3 power snatches with 242½ by Baszanowski, Polish lightweight. On their second workout the Russians worked on the press and the clean. Minaev pressed 242½ easily for 3 singles. Kurinov worked up to 308½ in good style and cleaned 374 – a very beautiful lift. He looked in fantastic shape. Vorobyev cleaned 386, but looked rather flat. At the end of their workout they again spent about 15-20 minutes loosening up: jumping, running, fast squats, shadow lifting with broomsticks, etc. The Americans and Japanese arrived on Sunday (rather late I thought). Vinci, Berger and Kono all trained on Monday which was their last workout. We missed them through transport trouble. On Tuesday, Jim George, Dick Zirk and Sid Henry trained. Their training was very conventional – 7 sets of presses, 7 sets of snatches, and about 8 clean and jerks. THEY DID NOT WARM UP VERY MUCH, and they paid very little attention to style. They just tried to get the whole weight up and registered LOTS OF FAILURES, contrary to the Russians, Poles, Japanese etc. Jim George had four hopeless attempts on 396 clean & jerk – in the competition he only managed 374. The Americans did not seem to be very scientific about their training. We became very friendly with Mekhanik, one of the Russian coaches who works at the weightlifting institute in Moscow. He did not do any coaching at the championships but just watched the proceedings. He holds the Left Hand Snatch world record at 192 in the lightweight division (quite a lift). He was very friendly
and gave us lots of training tips. When I asked him for a general training program, he said it was impossible as every athlete was different and liked different exercises. He said he would give me a course after he saw me lift. I was surprised to see him at the side of the platform every time I came off after a lift. He saw a lot of mistakes in all my lifts; bad starting position for the press, too erect under the weight and he suggested more lay back and DROPPING OF THE SHOULDERS. In the snatch and clean he criticized my starting position, buttocks not low enough and back too rounded and BACK TOO ROUNDED, CAUSING THE WEIGHT TO TRAVEL FORWARD, poor pull due to lack of high pulls and also lack of flexibility of the hips and thighs to go into a low split. He suggested that I should snatch and clean first in my workouts at least twice a week, doing sitting presses, incline presses, or presses from a stand at the end of a workout. This more or less confirmed the general training methods of the Russians, Iranians, Poles etc. It was further emphasized by Louis Martin with whom we had a long chat a couple of days before he lifted. His workout goes something like this: Monday – Press : 145x3, 145x3, 220x2, 250x2, 270x2, 285x1, 300x1,1,1. Snatch : Concentrating on technique, working up to 250. High Clean : 320 up to 410 in 5 sets of 2. Front Squat : sets of doubles and singles, 300-420. Wednesday – Snatch : sets of doubles and singles up to 300. Incline Press : 6 sets of doubles and singles, 280-350. Jerk from stands : singles, 300, 350, 80, 400, 420. Friday – Power cleans : up to 280, then Cleans up to 380-390, 10 sets. Push press : from stands, up to 340. Sunday – Squat snatch : from chest position. Full squats : and a couple of other optional movements such as the High snatch and Bench Press. As you see from this workout, Louis tried to avoid using the same muscle group two workouts in succession. After talking to him you realize how much thought he has given to his training. He is absolutely dedicated and did not leave the camp from the day he arrived until the day he went to the hall to lift. He told us that he has never seen any lifting at world’s championship from bantams to light-heavies. The other top grade lifters who place in the first six all
have the same attitude. They do not watch any lifting until they go on. Otherwise they would have late nights and also lose nervous energy watching the record attempts, etc. An interesting point is that all Russian lifters rested for the whole day in their rooms the day before they competed. You would never see the Russian feather on the day the bantams were lifting nor the lightweight on the day the feathers were lifting, etc. Vorobyev seemed to actually disappear for a couple of days. He was probably a bit off form and rested more than the others. The day they lift they act normally, walk around, play chess, etc. A lot of trainers will be interested to know that WE NEVER SAW ANY LIFTERS EXCEPT THE AMERICANS AND PHILIPPINES TAKING ANY FOOD SUPPLEMENT (protein, vitamins, etc.). Most seem to rely entirely on training, rest and ordinary wholesome food. Very few lifters smoked before the contests. Palinski was one exception, about 6-10 cigarettes a day.
How They Train, Part Two
I would like to condense the general training principles which seem to stand out from our observations and discussions, then give an example of a basic strengthbuilding routine I have been using, geared towards the Olympic lifts. Agility and Athletic Ability Do not neglect this important part of training. Don’t forget that most champion lifters were pretty athletic when they first started out, and this athletic ability revealed their promise. Unfortunately, some lifters neglect their other athletic pastimes and become little less than “muscle machines” resulting in slower improvement in any quick lifts and development of power. Don’t be afraid of running, jumping, tennis, swimming, etc. on off days. Even if these activities are a little tiring they won’t make your muscles weaker but will make them more supple and coordinated and more responsive to heavier training. A seasoned lifter should think of himself as an athlete, not as a crane. It takes a real athlete to snatch 280 pounds at a 148 bodyweight. The same should be true of heavier lifters and in most cases is. Before training spend at least 15 minutes limbering up – toe touching, trunk twisting, leaping into the air, running short distances, loosening shoulders, hips, etc. Then do deep splits, squats and stretches. This warm up will help prevent muscle injuries and make the muscles soft and supple.
Power Movements One of the most important factors in training is the development of maximum pulling power. How can a lifter hope to snatch 250 if he can’t do a high pull in good style with snatch grip with at least 280, or clean 320 if he can’t do a decent high pull with 360? There may be exceptions to this rule due to fantastic coordination or style, but I am not dealing with exceptions. Don’t forget Vlasov can pull 550 lbs. to his chest and he cleans 464. Baszanowski can power snatch 242½ three times. No wonder he can snatch 293, and so it goes. The more you can pull the more you can lift. Of course if you are a squatter you must develop sufficient leg power to recover from the heavy squat, and if you are a splitter, a heavy lunge. Planning a Training Schedule We discussed with the Russians the problems of how often to train and they told us that they recommend four times a week in most cases: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Workouts last between two and three hours. I must point out, however, that according to our observations, the whole of the three hours is not spent lifting, but at least one hour is used for changing, warming up thoroughly, and loosening up after training. Actually 1½ to 2 hours is spent lifting. They do not rush between attempts, but take their time. THEY DO NOT SIT DOWN, but keep walking around and limbering up for the next attempt. Mekhanik advised only three or four movements per training session. The four training sessions are different. Athletes must not be too rigid in their training but allow their moods to dictate their workouts. If a lifter is rather tired it is better for him to have a light workout such as light presses, light power snatches, and fast light squats than to through a heavy workout with top poundages. By having a light workout he allows muscles to recuperate but at the same time keeps them active. A heavy workout would only tire his muscles further and retard his recuperation, leaving him more tired for his next training session. A lifter should feel eager to train, otherwise his workouts are not well planned for his constitution, and he gets more and more sluggish, thereby restricting his possible progress. Since my return from Vienna I have been working on the following schedule. This program is set up for a splitter in both lifts, but can easily be reworked for a squatter mainly be switching from lunge-style movements to squat-style. (I have put these changes in brackets.)
This schedule does not include much performance of the three lifts as I am now trying to increase my basic strength, making the routine a fine one for a trainee wishing to do the same while using mainly Olympic assistance movements. Every morning I spend about 20 minutes doing agility exercises and shadow lifting with a broomstick to improve my style, coordination, timing, etc. The press has been place at the middle of the workouts to give me more emphasis on the fast lifts, which I have experienced slow progress on over the last ten years. Remember that a routine such as this can easily be tailored to an individual’s needs after determining what they are and doing a bit of head-work. Pressing first every workout has the following results. During the first year of training the lifter uses rather low poundages which do not tire his back muscles or shoulders unduly so that his press keeps improving for a while and the fast lifts are not adversely affected. However, as the press improves heavier poundages are handled and the back and pressing muscles are taxed unduly at every training session. Then the press begins to stick and improvement on the fast lifts becomes almost impossible. The press sticks because the pressing muscles never get a chance to recuperate. The fast lifts suffer because the lifter is never fresh for snatching and cleaning. Overhead pressing involves the back muscles to a great degree, something to consider when designing programs. In South Africa the majority of our lifters press between 20 and 60 lbs. more than they can snatch. I contend this is because of the reasons stated above. I can think of at least a dozen lifters who snatched better than they pressed early in their careers, then the press phobia took over and five years later their snatch had become hopeless in comparison with their press. Don’t forget there is more to developing complete body strength than just pressing followed by a few halfhearted pulls and squats. By pressing in the middle of the workout the press will not suffer but, as proved by the Russians, will most probably improve. I am sticking my neck out here, but I feel that many lifters fall in the trap of being too conventional in their training methods. It is important to experiment and try out new ideas. Tommy Kono is known to experiment a lot with his training. Monday Power Snatch : 7 sets of 3’s, 2’s, 1’s. High Clean : 5 sets of 2’s, 1’s. Seated Press : 7 sets of 3’s, 2’s. Lunges (Squats or Front Squats) : 5 sets of 3’s. Wednesday
Power Clean : 7 sets of 3’s, 2’s, 1’s. Jerk from Racks : 5 sets of 2’s, 1’s. Seated Press : 5 sets of 3’s, 2’s. Lunges (Squats of Front Squats) : 4 sets of 3’s. Friday Cleans : 7 sets of 2’s, 1’s. Push Press (from racks) : 5 sets of 2’s, 1’s. High Snatch : 5 sets of 2’s. Light Presses (from racks) : 5 sets of 3’s. Saturday Press from Racks : 5 sets of 2’s. Power Clean (snatch grip) : 5 sets of 2’s, 1’s. Squats : 5 sets of 3’s. Bench Press or Incline Press : 5 sets of 2’s. Style Perfection of lifting technique in any of the weight disciplines is essential in order to use basic strength to the maximum. Proper style can make a great difference in your personal bests, a fact that should become more and more obvious over time. Style in the Olympic lifts is a combination of speed, timing and ability to go into a low position. For the development of speed and timing, shadow lifting with a broomstick is ideal. Shadow lifting, if carried out every day will develop reflex action. By this I mean that a perfect snatch with low position will become second nature, and will become so ingrained in the mind that the applying of maximum effort will not disturb the pattern of the movement. I think we have all seen lifters with good style (apparently so on low poundages) suddenly lose all coordination on a heavy lift. This is due to the mind not being sufficiently impressed with the pattern of the lift. When snatching with a weight, only 20 to 30 repetitions are done and some of them are far from perfect. With a broomstick hundreds of reps can be performed and perfection attained. FEAR OF THE WEIGHT CAN ALSO AFFECT COORDINATION AND THIS IS USUALLY DUE TO FAULTY TRAINING I.E. REGISTERING TOO MANY FAILURES IN TRAINING. Young lifters particularly should never be allowed in training to attempt lifts which
they have only a slight hope of making. A special day each month should be set aside for trying out maximum lifts. This can either be a small competition or a training session selected in advance.
Squat, the Key Lift
by Bill Clark (1962) The squat has been labeled a monster by the Journal of American Medical Association (Aug. 1961) and by Prof. Karl Klein of the University of Texas in Sports Illustrated (March 12, 1962). Coaches across the country, who once used squats as a conditioner, now shun it with alarm. I offer myself as proof that the squat is a valuable exercise, and is not harmful if properly done. You never send a baseball pitcher out in the spring to throw full game the first day. He works hard doing pushups, lifting dumbells, running, chinning and throwing for hours at half speed before he is ready to toss a high, hard one. The same applies to the squat. During the summer months I spend most of my evenings crouched behind the plate as a baseball umpire. My position ranges from full squat to half squat. In an average nine-inning game, I’ll crouch no less than 300 times, and often will make quick movements from that position. Working a two-man system means the plate umpire is continually running. A man’s legs must be both strong and flexible to withstand 100 to 150 games a summer, most of them behind the plate. I received a badly damaged knee in high school some 14 years ago. Though the knee hurt considerably no one checked it. Today, when I grow lazy and do not work with the weights the knee still troubles me. Only by squatting and running am I able to hold up an entire summer on the ball field. Since squatting is both fun and helpful, I’ve made it my pet lift. My immediate goal is a 600-lb. squat by this coming August. Last August my personal best was 410. Here’s one man’s method of progressive training to keep the legs and knees in condition and make a name for yourself to boot. To get the muscles loose and the blood flowing, walk or run three miles. The run need only be a slow run and the walk should be a heel-and-toe walk. I prefer the latter. When I don’t run or walk, I try to box 3 to 6 rounds before working out. In case I do none of the three, I start the workout with a set of abdominal raises on an inclined board without touching back or shoulders to the board. Usually 30 reps are sufficient.
Then I take 275 and do half-squats (parallel), then full squats, little rest between warmup sets. Next I take 315 and do 10 reps in the normal squat. This is with feet as wide apart as the shoulders and toes pointed straight ahead or slightly pigeon-toed. Heels are flat on the floor and often squats are done barefooted. I never use a heel board. After these 10 reps I take 365 and do five reps in the half-squat from the bottom. This means coming only halfway up, then returning to the full squat position. Using the same weight I often try (often without success) to do five reps in the breathless squat. When the full squat position is reached, it is held and all the breath is exhaled. Then return to normal standing position. (A paused full squat with bottom exhalation and return to top on empty lungs.) Move the weight then to 415 and do three reps in the double squat. Go down full, but return only halfway to standing. Then go full again and stand all the way. Do this three times. Jump to 450 and see how many times you can execute a double squat. Jump to 470 and do as many reps in the normal squat as possible. I try a maximum squat once every two weeks. Now comes the top end. Go 50 pounds more than your maximum and do two sets of half-squats or lower with that weight. Move to 600 and do the same, then to 650 and do the same, maybe making only quarter-squats here. Jump to 750, 800, 850, 900, doing quarter-squats, as many as possible. Go next to the hack lift. Warm up with 455, doing five reps. Jump to 500 and try to get 10 reps. Go next to 550 and try to make 4 reps. Single rep at 600, if possible. This should be, and is, a long, hard workout. But it has allowed me to jump from 410 to 505 in five months of working out on an irregular schedule. Start with weights you can handle accordingly. Be your own boss. Let your ability determine what weight you should use and don’t get in too big a hurry. Big mistake. You must be progressive in your training, just like a baseball pitcher. Work three times a week for best results. I’ve set the following goals for myself by August: 600 squat / 700 hack / 500 Zercher / 425 one-handed deadlift. It will be interesting to see if this routine will make it. Also, to see if my knees collapse.
Pulling Power’s Contribution to the Three Olympic Lifts
by Doug Hepburn (1962) When viewing the three Olympic lifts in their entirety it is generally concluded that pulling power is the vital essential. This assumption is further strengthened by the fact that it is more difficult to shoulder maximum poundage than to fix this same weight overhead. Fortunately, the muscle groups involved in the elevating of a barbell to the shoulders respond readily to the correct exercise movements. The aforementioned muscles are recognized as the largest and strongest in the human body, so it follows that proportionate increases can be made in the poundages lifted. Regardless of the degree of pulling power developed one must not overlook the importance of muscle-coordination as applied to cleaning and snatching. An all too common error made by the aspiring weightlifter is to overemphasize the strength factor through the performance of a wide variety of assistance exercise movements at the expense of actual cleaning and snatching. Such a practice invariably culminates in a retardation of the increase in Olympic Total. Numerous lifters make the mistake of adopting training routines used by the various world champions. “What is good for Schemansky or Vlasov is good enough for me” seems to be the opinion held by a good many as yet unpolished and inexperienced weightlifters. Such an attitude is similar to a novice pilot attempting to fly a supersonic jet plane. It is to be remembered that men like Schemansky and Vlasov HAVE ALREADY ACQUIRED an impeccable lifting technique coupled with overall basic body power in the Olympic lifts. This was not accomplished in mere months of training as any informed lifter knows. In short: concentration should be directed upon the assistance exercises (as in the cases of Vlasov and Schemansky) only after a solid foundation of lifting technique and strength has been acquired. By this I do not mean that the trainee should discard the performance of assistance exercises, but what I do mean is that the said exercises must be regarded as secondary and that mental and physical effort should be directed mainly upon the a actual lifts and that the assistance movements be regarded as secondary in the effort application. A diamond has to be cut before it is polished. Let this serve as the credo of the dedicated and aspiring weightlifter.
I am of the opinion that the potential of unadulterated pulling power has never been fully explored. I see no reason whatsoever why a 450-lb. clean or more could not be accomplished. This accomplishment would entail a good many years of application to pulling weights from floor level to the shoulders. Such a training routine would be designed so that the actual power clean movement and the other directly connected assistance exercises would form the bulk of the exercise period. It goes without saying that if a lifter could succeed with the 450-plus power clean that with the application of the cleaning technique (such as is used in international meets) a 500-plus clean would indeed be within the realm of possibility. One could even say (after viewing the tremendous increase in the poundages lifted in the Olympic Three in the last ten years that as far as weightlifting records are concerned the “impossible” is an entirely flexible conception. The following is a training routine designed to promote maximal pulling power. If, in the future, anyone succeeds with a 450-plus power clean I am certain that the training routine used will be very similar to this one. WARMUP – Perform five consecutive repetitions pulling the bar from the hang position in front of the body to the shoulders (position the bar on the shoulders just as in pressing or cleaning before lowering). This movement is to be performed without unlocking the knees or moving the back. In other words, the movement is accomplished with the utilization of the arms and shoulders only. Increase the weight, performing one single repetition at each increase until a failure is experienced in shouldering. Poundage increases should not exceed ten pounds during this phase of the exercise. It is important that the body remains in the position explained during all the movements, especially the heavier ones. After the failure to clean is experienced, commence bending the knees and utilizing the back by bending the upper body forward at the commencement of the pulling movement. This alteration of the pulling movement brings into play the muscles of the thighs and lower back, thus increasing the pulling ability – consequently the bar can now be shouldered with the poundage previously failed with. Perform a series of single repetitions increasing the weight ten to fifteen pounds at each increase until a failure is experienced in shouldering. The back and legs
are to be utilized to a greater degree as the weight is increased so that when the near limit is reached the bar is being lowered well below the knees. Take the poundage failed with and clean from floor level (the bar is not to be resting on the floor prior to cleaning). When shouldering the bar from the floor do not split or dip as you would normally do when cleaning in the Olympic fashion. Continue on in this manner, increasing the weight ten to fifteen pounds each single rep until a failure in shouldering is encountered. After the bar cannot be shouldered, continue to increase the poundage ten to twenty pounds each succeeding repetition and perform regular high pull movements., gradually to lower and lower heights, consummating with a limit, or near limit, deadlift. It is recommended to perform a series of sets of Deep Knee Bends after the Power Clean, High Pull, and Deadlift routine is completed. When executing the Deep Knee Bends it is important that the spacing of the feet be identical to that utilized when Cleaning and High Pulling. In this way the muscles associated to Cleaning will receive the ultimate benefit. A good way to ascertain the suitable spacing of the feet is to place them just as when attempting a standing broad jump. In some cases the heels will a tendency to rise off the floor when the low Deep Knee Bend position has been assumed, with the results that balance and leverage will be hindered. To overcome this event, if fit should occur, a shoe or boot with a slightly raised heel can be worn.
by Bradley J. Steiner (1973) In this article we’re going to be addressing the advanced barbell man. When I say “advanced” I mean fellows who have been playing (ahem!) with barbells and dumbells for several years (or a year, at least), and who have succeeded in becoming (a) Big, (b) Strong, and (c) Are satisfied with their existing level of size and strength, at least for the time being. Beginners can read on, if they like, but I urge only lifters who have achieved points a, b, and c to actually use the training methods we shall discuss. In lifting, as in many other fields, there is a time and a place for everything. As most of you are probably already aware, I regard muscle pumping, cramping and “muscle spinning” exercises as the worst mistake a weight-trainee can make. I have succeeded, I am confident, in making readers acutely aware of the importance of the heavy, basic exercises in building and maintaining size and strength. Too much cannot be said about the desirability of heavy leg, back, shoulder and chest work for the best results in training. For a skinny fellow, a
hard gainer, or even a natural athlete who wants great gains, the BASIC work is the thing. Don’t ever forget that. But once you’ve successfully built up to a decent level, then what? How then can you bring out the most, how can you “sharpen up” a well-bulked physique and not lose strength? With VARIETY in training! So much garbage has been written about the value of such exercises as the concentration curl, the hack squat and the various “shaping” exercises. Many advanced men have actually come to regard it as axiomatic that advanced workouts must be “pumping up schedules” requiring hours every night of the week if they are to be successful in shaping and molding a big defined body. NONSENSE! You can see the fallacy in this widely accepted notion by remembering the following: If a body is big because it is fat, then the only thing that a super-duper three-hour schedule will accomplish is tearing down the solid tissue you’ve built, and replacing it with inflated tissue. If you want muscles that are shapely, then the main requirement is to build them up more, never, ever to reduce them or overwork them! Please reread that last sentence. It happens to be a fact – a truth about the human musculature – that very, very few trainees seem to realize. Merely burning off excess fat will not make muscles more slender in appearance, and more defined. You don’t have to work for that, though – you can get it simply by eating less. Also, working hard for extreme “anatomy chart” definition can put you in the loony bin. Working correctly for shape can put you ahead of that game. The key to building superior shape, as I’ve said, lies in maximum development of the muscles. The key to maximum development is heavy exercise. The key to using heavy exercise for the ultimate in shape is variety. NOT a variety of light, spinning and pumping movements, but a variety of good, heavy-duty exercises. To illustrate what I mean, have a look at the following three routines: Routine A Press Squat Bent Arm Pullover Deadlift Situp Barbell Curl Routine B
Press Behind Neck Front Squat Bent Rowing Power Clean Leg Raise Two-Dumbell Curl Routine C Dumbell Alternate Press Breathing Squat One Arm Row Good Morning Twist Reverse Curl Any of these three schedules, followed thrice weekly, would put the exerciser in fantastic shape. It would build more bulk and power than he’d want, and it would surely suffice in bringing him past the stage where he felt like an old lady when he wore a T-shirt. Please notice that all of the routines are different. The exercises vary with each schedule. Yet, all of the routines are the same with regard to one point – there is not a single pumping exercise to found in any of them. Also observe that even though all three schedules use only the heavy exercises, each schedule works the major muscles from a slightly different angle. Most trainees would do well to follow each individual routine for about six or seven weeks. After that, they should take a one or two week layoff, and then pick up on one of the other routines for another six or seven week stint. However, and this is the main point of this article, an advanced lifter can use each routine once in every week. For example, on Monday he can do Routine A; on Wednesday Routine B and on Friday Routine C. He would thus be giving his body a most thorough “going over” with a full course of 18 different exercises during each week’s training. If he attempted to do justice to all of these movements during a single workout he would, of course, have to be removed from the gym on a stretcher; but this would not be the case if the work was divided over the course of a week’s sessions. The lifter would NOT be training any longer on this variety routine than he would be on any other, and he would be using an excellent assortment of exercises. This is advanced training. Every single workout will call for maximum, hard exertion, since the basic idea is to stimulate growth. Growth will occur – to be sure – since the tissue stimulation provided by this system of training is all-
encompassing. Where the arms are worked hard on one “groove” with the curl, they are then stimulated in a different fashion by the dumbell curl, and finally, the workload is shifted to the forearm and grip with the reverse curl in the weeks third workout. The same muscles are worked but from different positions. Variety training such as this may be used for as long as the trainee wishes, and so long as he finds that he is making satisfactory gains. It need not be discontinued after a certain length of time like many other “specialization” courses. This method is by no means overtraining, since the body receives no more than three good workouts a week. It is not by any means a tedious method, either, since there is a switch in one’s exercises with every day’s workout. However, and this is the program’s merit – it is a very hard way to train. I am convinced that this method of training should be followed for at least three months with periodic back-off weeks for maximum benefits. Only the heavy, basic exercise programs can begin to bring the trainee to his full development. The routines that built the greats were built around the big exercises. Do not be misled by many instructors who say that once you have attained the desired degree of strength and size you can now forget about heavy training and concentrate instead on “shaping” exercises. Because a thing is widely accepted does not prove that it is rational, true or valid.
For a Better Back
by Bradley J. Steiner In this article we’re going to cover a lot of important territory. There are more basic exercises for the back than there are for any other single body area, and they should ALL be used, at one time or another, by every lifting in his training program. Heavy back training will build enormous body power. It will help in bringing about overall muscle and weight gains. It will help in bringing the body to a peak in physical fitness and all-round condition. Along with heavy leg work, BACK EXERCISE is the key to great development and strength. To begin then, here is a list of the essential exercises for the back: 1.) Stiff-legged dead weight lift. 2.) Repetition power clean. 3.) Barbell bendover, or “good morning” exercise. 4.) Heavy, bent-forward rowing. 5.) Heavy, one dumbell rowing.
6.) Heavy shoulder shrugging. 7.) Neck bridge with weight resistance. This last exercise you might want to say, is not for the back at all, since it works the neck muscles primarily, but remember, please, that this movement is a fine developer of the trapezius muscles, and also – since we are concerned in this series with the essential exercises for the entire body, it is necessary to place neck bridging somewhere in our repertoire. It is logical to include it with the back work. In glancing at the above list you may suddenly protest that this writer is off his head for neglecting to have included the standard dead weight lift. After all, everyone knows that the basic exercise for the lower back is the deadlift, no? No, it is not. The regular deadlift is a fine test of one’s basic body power, but as a developer of the spinal erector muscles in the lumbar region of the lower back it is highly overrated. It is my intention to present in this series only those exercises that have proven themselves to be the finest developers of the muscles that they work. I am interested in building bodies, not in experimenting with them. It may not be popular to say it, but for the purpose of back development you can dump the traditional deadlift. Rest assured that the exercises herein discussed will bring you satisfactory results – if you work hard with them. In previous articles we’ve discussed the importance of concentration and effort in your training programs; now we’re concerned with those exercises you should be concentrating upon. So, taking them one at a time, in the order previously listed, let’s examine each basic back exercise and see how you may utilize it in your training. The first exercise is the Stiff-legged deadlift, and let me say this at the outset about this fine exercise: If you work to your limit on the stiff-legged deadlift, constantly striving to handle more and more weight, you will find this to be the best lower back builder, a super-power developer, and a superbly efficient body conditioner as well. With the inclusion of a very few other exercises in a program, the stiff-legged deadlift can turn you into a Hercules if you’ll put forth an honest effort in training. The stiff-legged deadlift should always be done with the heaviest possible weights. You should always use a barbell; never dumbells, for the simple reason that more weight can be handled in this manner, and when you are advanced you should do the stiff-legged deadlift while standing on a strong bench or block. This will enable you to lower the barbell below your feet, and the enormous development of power and flexibility that will result from this exercise style will utterly amaze you. For the LOWER back then, the stiff-legged deadlift should be employed almost to the complete exclusion of any other exercise. Yes, it is that excellent. Yes, it is that important. Yes, it will give you the results that I have said it will give you, and
no, I stand nothing to gain if you employ it in your program. You simply should know, to save your own time and effort, that this particular exercise is number one for its purpose, and you’ll be cheating yourself if you fail to use it. There are two other essential exercises for the lower back area: the Power Clean and the Bendover or good morning exercise, but use them only as a means of getting out of a training rut or as a variation from time to time. They are good, but they cannot approach the stiff-legged deadlift. Since they are good, let’s turn to them next. The power clean is a favorite exercise of Reg Park. It is hardly necessary to point out that Park’s back development leaves little, if anything, to be desired! Let’s face it – he must have done something right to get it, and one of the “right” things, no doubt, was work hard on the power clean. The secret of getting the most out of your power cleans is, of course, to constantly strive to handle heavier and heavier weight. The exercise, like the stifflegged deadlift, can be done with a pair of dumbells, but the necessity of always striving toward maximum poundage makes me warn you not to use dumbells unless you have access to real super-heavies, such as might be found in some commercial gyms, or set up with sturdy plate loading bars. Otherwise, stay with the barbell! The power clean is NOT a weightlifting feat. It is an exercise. Do not confuse it with the type of cleaning done by Olympic lifters. In the power clean there is no significant body dip and there is no leg split or squat whatever. One simply grasps the bar with both hands in the overgrip (knuckles forward) and “cleans” it to one’s upper chest and shoulder level. Then the weight is lowered to the floor and the exercise is repeated for the desired number of repetitions. After a few weeks of power cleaning you should notice a very pleasant increase in both your overall bodily power, and in the muscular bulk of your upper back. The power clean is a triple-purpose exercise that will give a thorough workout to the trapezius, latissimus, and erector spinae muscle groups. You’ll find that in addition to the wonderful back-building results you’ll slap some extra meat on your upper arms also. How about that for a bonus? The third and last exercise for the lower back region is the barbell bendover, better known in weight training circles as the “good morning” exercise, and no, I do not know why it’s called the good morning exercise. Call it the “good night” exercise if you will; I do know this: it is an excellent developer of the lower back. Weightlifters frequently use this exercise as a supplement to their training on the basic lifts, and it will quickly prove its worth to you after a few weeks’ training. The performance of the good morning may not be known to you, so briefly, this is how it’s done. Take a barbell, of moderate weight in the beginning, and hold it behind the neck
as you would if preparing to do a set of squats. Now, keeping the legs straight, and being careful to maintain a flat back and strong grip, incline your upper body forward from the waist until it is parallel to the floor. Using lower back strength only (DON’T bend your knees), raise your upper body to the erect starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions. This movement takes some getting used to, but it is nevertheless a fine back exercise. When you become sufficiently advanced you will be able to employ heavy poundages, and of course you’ll reap excellent gains. By far the most important group of back muscles to every bodybuilder are the “lats” or upper latissimus dorsi group. Huge, bulky lats do give the entire physique a broad, powerful appearance. To acquire powerful lats that possess corresponding shape and bulk, you need concern yourself with only two exercises and their variations. The exercises are: the heavy bent forward barbell row, and the heavy one-dumbell row. We shall begin our analysis with the heavy, bent forward barbell row since it is number one on the list, and number one in importance. Reg Park (one always has to refer to Park when one wants to cite physical perfection) considers heavy barbell rowing to be the best all-round back developer. It is. Please note at this point that I say “heavy” bent forward barbell rowing. Brothers, if it’s a mighty back that you’re after, you’ve got to face the fact that only heavy training will achieve your goal. For upper back development you should push heavy barbell rowing in every workout. Keep forcing the poundages way up. This is terribly important, and if there is a reason why some lifters fail to reap satisfactory gains from barbell rows it is due to their use of weights that are too light. There are three methods of doing your barbell rows. The first is to use a wide grip and to pull the weight up to the chest in fairly strict form. The second method involves a closer grip, and you pull the weight up to your stomach. The third method is to use an ultra-heavy weight and to perform the exercise as a kind of bent forward “clean.” Surprisingly, this last variation is not at all a bad one to employ, since, no matter how you cheat in barbell rowing it is still the back that always bears the brunt of the work. I advise you to use all three forms of barbell rowing in your routines. It doesn’t matter which style you do when, just DO it. The heavy one-dumbell row is a fine lat developer and the only reason for possible failure with this exercise is, you guessed it, the use of weights that are far too light. You absolutely MUST use heavy weights if you expect maximum development of the back. In order to increase the poundages that you employ in this exercise it is desirable at times, as with the barbell rows, that you cheat. DO NOT, however, let your cheating take the form of pulling the dumbell to the waist or midsection. When you utilize a heavy dumbell row, this will not result in
satisfactory progress. You’re better off staying with a weight that you can pull to your chest. Again, cheating from time to time is O.K., but it should take the form of using body impetus to pull the weight up to the upper chest, NOT to your midsection. An excellent variation to the one-dumbell row that can be used at times is the one arm row with the loaded end of a barbell. This is not really a variant of onedumbell rowing per se, but the similarity in performance is what prompts me to consider the movement a variant of the one-dumbell row. John Grimek has used this exercise to good effect, and need I argue the point that Grimek knows what is happening in the Iron Game? Perform the exercise very strictly, using heavy weights, and for heaven’s sake, stand STRADDLING the bar! I once noticed a fellow in the gym trying to do the movement by standing off to one side. That’s a swell way to get a nice back injury. You should prop the empty end of the bar against a sturdy support, and place your non-exercising hand on its corresponding hip; leave it there, and unlike the dumbell row, do not permit yourself to cheat at all. Often neglected by bodybuilders, yet nonetheless important for all-round strength and symmetry, the trapezius muscles rank as an important group to develop. To an extent all forms of rowing and the power clean affect these muscles, but for really powerful and complete development you should include what is another essential exercise: Heavy shrugging. In shoulder shrugging it doesn’t make one bit of difference whether you use a heavy barbell or a couple of heavy dumbells. What counts is only that you use HEAVY weights, and that you take care to perform this apparently simple exercise correctly. Correctly means letting your trapezius muscles do the shrugging, and not allowing your arms and hands to relieve the back of its work. This, by the way, is a very common error among trainees, and you would do well to guard against it. Remember: your hands are to serve only as links to hold the weight. LET YOUR TRAPEZIUS MUSCLES DO ALL THE WORK. To put it even more simply: SHRUG, as the name implies, and DON’T PULL with the hands. The final essential exercise for the back area is the bridge with weight resistance. I consider neck exercise to be important, both from an appearance, and certainly from a health standpoint. Since, as was explained earlier, this exercise does work the trapezius muscles in addition to the neck, I have chosen to include it in this, the back exercise part of our series on the essentials. The neck muscles are very quick to respond to exercise. They develop rapidly. While it is wise to take it easy on the neck for the first week or so of training, the fact that it is a body part that responds readily to exercise will enable you to work up to considerable resistance, and thus build a fine neck. DO NOT NEGLECT
THIS BODYPART. When you are doing the neck bridge, keep a barbell plate on your chest, and always (unless you happen to have an unusually thick skull) place a folded towel or pillow under your head. Raise up SLOWLY, lower SLOWLY, and repeat. Again, it will pay you never to neglect neck exercise, even if you have read somewhere that Mr. Superman spends four hours a day working everything but the neck. Phooey on that garble! You want a real body, not a puffed up anatomy chart. Back exercise is tremendously simple in its performance, tremendously difficult in the effort it demands, and, lest we let your forget, tremendously important for total development. Do not be misled into taking the easy way out, no matter what you may read or hear, as regards back or any other exercise. The movements we have discussed are IT – the very best – so give ‘em all you’ve got. Always strive to constantly work harder, for in the lifting the hard way is the easiest way to succeed.
My Experience with Weight Gain
by Anthony Ditillo Since I first began writing these articles, I have always wanted to write one up on gaining weight. To me, gaining weight is a relatively simple matter. You merely ingest more nutrients than you use. This results in a backlog of unused matter which results in an increase in bodyweight. The more good, high-quality food you eat, the more you weight you gain. It’s as simple as that. And yet somehow many of you fellows fall by the wayside somewhere along the line. There are many different reasons for this, which in the course of this small article I hope to point out for your benefit. Many, many times I have received a request from an interested trainee who is desirous of gaining additional weight and claims that he is willing to do anything that is necessary to make such gains. Nine times out of ten, after I go through the trouble of writing up a weight gaining routine and diet, I never receive a reply from this fellow again. What happens? Where did I go wrong? Well, fellows, I believe it is the lack of training drive, the lack of ability to change one’s daily patterns or work, recreation and rest, and also the lack of drive to work really hard and long at the task at hand that is responsible for most of these trainees giving up and calling it quits. To gain weight you must force yourself to continually ingest more and more nutritious food. Whether you prefer liquids to solids is up to you. I myself like
prefer to combine both these methods of force-feeding in order to guarantee a steady increase of nutritious material constantly coursing through my body. The good points involved in an increase of liquid nutrition are that the body can absorb this form of food more easily and quickly and it does not bloat the body to too great an extent. Since I have always had a good appetite, I mainly prefer solid foods to liquids. But if you do not have an appetite which will allow you to eat enough food to gain on, I would greatly advise you to use one of the many concoctions regularly featured in this magazine. While it is of the utmost importance to be sure that you get enough protein in your diet, we must not do away with the importance of carbohydrates and fats, which must be used also in a gaining diet. You see, if you eat only protein foods you will not have enough energy producing nutrients in your body for everyday normal needs, let alone your workouts. This means that the proteins your body should be using for building muscles will be used for producing energy. This is not too good a situation. How then will you be sure that you are eating enough protein to grow on? The answer is: You won’t! In my opinion, the best sources of natural carbohydrates would be the following: fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, beans, whole grain products and milk (which is a great combination of fats, carbohydrates and protein, in itself). When trying to gain weight be sure to eat frequently of these foods every day. But don’t forget, the most ingredient in your diet would be protein; you simply will NOT gain in size without it. When discussing the factors involved in gaining useful bodyweight, we must also include the saturated and unsaturated fats. There are also energy producers and are needed by the body in order to insure a steady production of energy to last through those hard workouts you must take. Butter, margarine, vegetable oils, etc. fall into this category, along with heavy and light cream. Be sure to include some of these foods in your diet each day when trying to gain weight. This will insure a constant supply of energy for the body. So, we have come to the conclusion that both liquid and solid nutrition are necessary in order to constantly increase the amount of food we can consume. We have also come to the conclusion that we need protein, carbohydrates and fats, all three in order to have proper body functions. Today the physical culture world is enveloped with training systems most of which are not worth the paper they are printed on. You hear all kinds of reasons for not being able to gain weight: high metabolism, low metabolism, high energy level, low energy level. What is all the ballyhoo about? If you have low metabolism than your problem would not be one of being unable to gain weight, but of controlling this weight and keeping reasonably lean. If, on the other hand, you have a high metabolism you must perform mass muscle movements in low
sets of repetitions twice a week. You also must continuously force yourself to eat more and more good wholesome food. Drink lots of milk. It can really make you grow. Eats lots of lean meat. It’s good for you. And don’t forget the fruits and vegetables. They’re ALL important. So you see, it’s not all that involved when it comes to gaining weight. All you have to know is what category you fit into, and train and eat accordingly. Instead of taking one multi-vitamin per day, increase to three. Three to four quarts of milk per day, fortified with some protein powder and powdered milk can go a long way in increasing your weight. Six to eight meals a day (solid as well as liquid included) may be necessary to jolt your system to adaptability for gaining weight. All Italian foods are high in calories and loaded with carbohydrates for energy along with quite a bit of protein in the form of grated cheese, pizza cheese, meatballs, veal, according to the ingredients. Our editor, some time ago, wrote an article on gaining, and in it he recommended the use of fortified, thick, rich soups. Well, my own experience on the subject agrees with him completely. Such a meal is easy to prepare, costs little, tastes fine and is very easy to assimilate. Within it you get a great deal of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats; the very things which we have already discussed and proved necessary for rapid weight gains. High potency, fortified protein drinks are also very necessary for full weight gains. IronMan has carried many such drinks in the past and there are many to choose from. You merely suit your own palate. These drinks are invaluable in your quest for a more massive form. I am now about to introduce you to two meals that I have used when extensively when trying to gain weight. They enabled me to weigh at one time 258 lbs. at a height of 5;6”. I hope they work as well for you. Sample Weight Gaining Soup Three cups prepared vegetable soup. One cup peas. One cup corn niblets. One pound precooked lean beef. One cup pork and beans. One cup lima beans. One cooked potato, cut up. Do not add any water to the above recipe.
Sample Weight Gaining Drink One quart whole milk. One pint light cream. One pint heavy cream. One pint ice cream. Two packets gelatin. One cup skim milk powder. Three tbsp. honey. One cup fruit salad. One cup protein powder. Blend the ingredients together. I would recommend drinking half this mixture an hour before a workout, and finishing the other half one hour before retiring for the night. Coupled with all the information and suggestions in this article I can’t see why anyone can’t gain all the weight he wants.
Increasing the Press
by Brooks Kubik In the old days, most men who lifted weights in a serious fashion practiced the standing press – and most of them were reasonably good at the lift. Let’s work together to bring that aspect of training back to the Iron Game. Make it a belated New Year’s resolution: “This year, I WILL get serious about my standing press numbers.” Having said that, let’s discuss some basic points about getting started on the standing press and increasing your poundage in the lift. Here are twelve tips for lifters who are starting to re-discover the standing press: 1.) Practice Makes Perfect There is a very precise pressing groove. You learn “the groove” through practice. To become a better presser, you need to press way more often than once a week or once every 10-14 days of heavy pressing. In the old days, Olympic lifters trained the exercise three, four or even five times a week. Personally, I think that four or five times a week would be excessive. But there’s nothing at all wrong with doing standing presses two or three times per week. In fact, many will find that it’s the best way to improve the lift.]
2.) Train Heavy If you do high or medium rep sets in the standing press, you probably are not going to develop exactly the right groove for heavy presses. With light and medium reps, you use light weights, and with light weights, you can easily push “close” to the right groove, but not “in” the groove. Close only counts in horseshoes, folks. In lifting, your goal should be to make an absolutely perfect lift on every rep you do. As noted above, the standing press requires you to develop a very precise pressing groove. In this sense, it is both a “skill” lift and a “strength” lift. You MUST train the lift with heavy weights and low reps in order to learn how to do it properly. Think about how lifters train cleans and snatches. Do they do high reps? No. They do singles, doubles and triples. If you do higher reps in a “skill” lift your form breaks down and you actually teach yourself the WRONG groove. 3.) Select the Proper Rep Scheme To use heavy weights, you MUST use relatively low reps. Anything over five reps is too many. Doubles, triples and singles are great. The 5/4/3/2/1 system is excellent. And remember, you don’t need to do 50 presses in every workout. a total of 7 to 15 presses is fine. (5/4/3/2/1 equals a total of 15 reps, which Bob Hoffman considered to be ideal.) 4.) Train the Lower Back Always remember, the standing press builds works, trains and conditions the lower back. That’s one of the most important aspects of the exercise – indeed, it may be the MOST important aspect of the exercise. But the other side of the coin is this: if you have not been doing serious work for your lower back, you are NOT ready to train hard and heavy on standing presses. Unless your lower back is strong and well conditioned, the FIRST thing to do is to go on a specialization program for the low back. After six to ten weeks of concentrated lower back work, you will be ready for standing presses. This is especially important for anyone who has been avoiding squats and training his legs with leg presses, hack machine squats, dumbell squats, wall squats or any other exercise that takes the lower back and hips out of the picture.
Ditto for anyone who does trap bar deadlifts as his exclusive lower back exercise. The trap bar deadlift is not as effective a low back builder as are deadlifts performed with a regular bar. It’s more of a hip and thigh exercise. Many lifters injured themselves by using trap bar deadlifts as their exclusive low back exercise, not realizing that it really does not work the low back as effectively as other movements. Then they hurt the low back doing squats, rows or curls, and wonder what happened. Anyone who has been training with bench and incline presses (or dips), back supported overhead presses (or machine presses), leg presses and trap bar deads -- a schedule I mention because it is highly popular and similar to that used by many modern lifters – should devote serious attention to training his lower back before he tackles standing presses. Such a lifter may have fairly strong shoulders and triceps, and may THINK that he can go out and start doing standing presses with BIG weights. He can’t. His lower back will not be anywhere strong enough and well conditioned for serious work on the standing press. Let me also note that one of the very best exercises for building STABILITY throughout the lower back and the middle of the body is the wrestler’s bridge. Try 3 sets of 30 seconds per set (with no weight) and work up slowly and steadily until you can do 3 sets of 3 minutes each. You won’t believe how much stronger and more stable you are when doing your barbell exercises. In this regard, don’t forget that I started to do bridging in the Spring of 2000, and by the Fall I had worked up to 12 reps with 202 lbs. in the “supine press in wrestler’s bridge position.” At about the same time, I hit a personal best of 270 in the standing press. Coincidence? I don’t think so. If you ask someone to list a few good “assistance exercises” for the press, they’ll usually say, “dumbell presses, side presses, incline presses, push presses, jerks, upright rowing, etc.” – in other words they’ll think of “shoulder exercises” and different types of pushing movements. That’s lazy thinking. The shoulder, triceps, traps and “pressing muscles” get plenty or work from pressing. The most beneficial “assistance exercises” for the press are those that strengthen the middle of the body. 5.) All of the foregoing points apply to training the waist and sides. Unless you already have been doing this, work hard on these areas for six to ten weeks BEFORE starting to specialize on the standing press. With regard to the waist and sides, the big problem is the crunch. The exercise gurus who have promoted the crunch for so many years have done nothing but develop a generation of lifters who lack any reasonable degree of strength and stability in the middle of their bodies. Scrap the crunches. Replace them with
bent-legged situps (with weight, 3x8-12), lying or hanging leg raises, heavy sidebends and the overhead squat. The overhead squat? Kubik, have you lost your mind? No, not at all. The overhead squat builds tremendous strength and stability all through the middle of the body. It hits the inner abdominal muscles that lie BENEATH the “abs.” When it comes to strength and stability, these are the muscles that count. And while we’re talking about core strength, let’s talk about the power wheel. Paul Anderson used a simple cart type of this apparatus, described in an earlier press article in IronMan. 6.) Start Your Day With Presses Many lifters train their presses after doing heavy squats or heavy back work. That doesn’t work very well, because your lower back is tired and you are less stable. Do the presses first. That’s the way Olympic lifters did their training in the old days, and remember, those guys were all specialists in the standing press. 7.) Be Aggressive Every single one of you can develop the ability to do a standing press in perfect form with bodyweight. I mean that. Dead serious. Every single one of you . . . bodyweight . . . in perfect form. That should be your long-term goal. For the younger guys, and for the stronger, more experienced lifters, bodyweight is just the beginning. Once you hit bodyweight, set your sights on 110% of bodyweight. When you can do that, shoot for 120% . . . Anyone who can handle bodyweight in the standing press is STRONG! Anyone who gets up to 130% is handling weights equal to some of the very best Olympic lifters in the world back in the pre-steroid days. Norb Schemansky, in the 198-lb. class, handled 281 pounds. If you do the math you’ll see that Schemansky was pressing 142% of his bodyweight. These numbers show what a strong, determined man can achieve with years of proper, hard training. 8.) Try Cleaning for your Presses
Many lifters find they can press more if they clean the weight than if they take it off racks or squat stands, because the bar is better positioned for a heavy press. So learn how to clean, and try cleaning the bar before pressing it. You might find it adds a little more zip to your pressing. 9.) Dumbell Pressing From Saxon to Grimek, from the beer halls of Austria to Davis, Hepburn and Anderson, many, many old-timers specialized in heavy dumbell pressing. And guess what? The best dumbell pressers usually turned out to be the best barbell pressers! You see, heavy dumbells are very hard to balance. To improve your overhead pressing, you need to do plenty of overhead pressing. Heavy dumbell exercises, however, are a tremendous assistance exercise for the standing press. Keep them in mind, and when your progress slows down, work them into your schedule. Harry Paschall used to swear by them; heavy dumbell pressing is one of the “secrets” in his 1951 classic, “Development of Strength”. 10.) Handstand Pressing Another excellent assistance exercise for the standing press is the handstand press. Grimek used to do plenty of handstand presses and gymnastics work, and he became one of the best overhead pressers of his generation. Sig Klein used to specialize in handstand presses and tiger bends, and he managed an amazing record in the military press – a heels together, letter perfect military with 150% bodyweight. Paschall, who was good buddies with both Grimek and Klein, swore by the movement. Give them a try! 11.) Keep the Back, Abs and Hips Tight For proper pressing, you need to “lock” your low back, abs and hips. Most lifters will do best if they also tense the thighs. The entire body must be tight and solid. Pretend you are doing a standing incline press without the incline bench. Your body must support the pressing muscles and the weight of the bar exactly the same as would an incline bench. (This is NOT to say that you lean back and try to press from a 60 degree angle or any similar foolishness. I don’t want you to lean back as if you were ON an incline bench, I want you to understand that your back, hips and abs have to give you that same level of support that a solid bench would provide.) 12.) Specialize for a While The standing press is an exercise that responds very well to specialization
programs. Try a schedule devoted to very little other than heavy back work, squats or front squats and standing presses. Remember, the great Olympic lifters of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s devoted almost all of their time to cleans, snatches, presses, squats and jerks, with a significant amount of their training being devoted to the press. They built enormous pressing power and tremendous allround strength and power. You cannot do better than follow their example. The foregoing tips will help anyone become not just a good, but an EXCELLENT presser. And remember one more thing – pressing is LIFTING. The standing barbell press is one of the most basic tests of strength ever devised. It has been a standard measure of a man’s physical power since the invention of the barbell. When you become a good presser, you can rightfully claim your place among the lifters of the past and present. Do it!
Seminar with Kazmaier
by Jon Smoker (1980) The one powerlifting record that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Don Rheinhoudt’s 2419 total. Like an impregnable rock battered by breakers, it has withstood the test of time and many challengers, proving just how far ahead the others Rheinhoudt was. If anyone is going to catch him, anyone out of the current crop of superheavyweights, it would seem that Bill Kazmaier has the best chance. For a seminar at SMO’s World Gym, Schererville, Indiana, Kazmaier was confident, analytical, shrewd, realistic and methodical about his lifting. And he also possessed that one ingredient so essential to success in lifting but so often overlooked – inventiveness. And when these attributes are combined with his massive, powerful physique, his breaking of the total record seems imminent if he can stay free from injuries. The contrast with his predecessor could not be more striking. Rheinhoudt is boyish, affable, and bends over backwards not to offend anyone. It is hard to imagine anyone saying something negative about him. In fact, I have always found it downright paradoxical that one so huge and so incredibly strong should be so humble. Kazmaier, on the other hand, will tell you matter of factly that he is currently the best; not with braggadocio, just business-like. Because the seminar followed a bench press meet, and it is, admittedly, Bill’s favorite lift (as of this writing he has the world record at 633 lbs.), much of the discussion centered around bench pressing, all of it in a non-structured, question and answer format. He began with just an empty bar, demonstrating his technique. Bill brings it down
low on his chest, keeping his wrists directly over his elbows, because he feels that this position, rather than a wider or narrower grip, will keep the muscles involved in bench pressing in balance with each other. His descent is slow, controlled, as he wants to hit his chest in the perfect position; and then he explodes the bar off his chest with pectoral and triceps strength, inching it back off and up (stair-climbing, he called it) so that his knuckles turn slowly over the bar and finish in a more upright position than at the start. Tricep and deltoid strength are used in the lockout. Bill also recommended wrist wraps for the extra stability they provide. When training for a meet, he likes to bench every 4th day, alternating light and heavy workouts. Most typically he will do about 8 sets of regular bench presses and then 3 sets each of narrow grip and wide grip benches. For the narrow grip, Bill moves each hand in about one inch from his normal grip and brings the bar down lower on his chest. For wide grips, he moves his hands out about an inch on each side and the bar is lowered higher on his chest. He feels that benching with these three different positions gives him all the overall development he needs. For this reason he said that incline presses are unnecessary. Some members of the audience must have found that hard to believe, as he had to reiterate that point more than once. Bill usually takes about eight weeks of concentrated effort to get ready for a meet. He plans the entire cycle ahead of time, including the reps and weights to be employed during every workout. The cycle starts with reps of 5, then cuts to 3 and 2, adding progressively heavier weights the closer he is to the meet. He rarely misses any of the sets since the workouts are planned intelligently in advance, which gives him plenty of time to concentrate on the weight, projecting himself handling it. Being certain the plan is a realistic progression helps too. The day after his bench work, Bill hits his triceps with 8 to 10 sets that can include extensions, push-downs or french curls. He also uses front lateral raises and dumbell presses for his deltoids, and seated hammer curls for his brachialis, which he thinks are very important for the controlled descent when benching. He demonstrated his unique technique on the triceps extensions. Using an E-Z curl bar, he neither touches it to his chest nor completely locks out. It’s more of a quick rocking action that covers only about 12”, and his elbows are held at a 90 degree angle, rather than perpendicular to the floor. He also mentioned that since his triceps get plenty of work the day after bench pressing he doesn’t lock out his benches during workouts either, concentrating instead on the mid-range and initial explosiveness. While talking about assistance movements for the bench, someone asked Bill what he thought about Mike McDonald’s cambered bar. Although he expressed much admiration for McDonald’s amazing records, he did not have much use for the bar. “It wouldn’t touch my chest. 315 lbs. isn’t enough weight to drive the bar
to my chest; I need about 400, so how could I possibly use that bar? I could never touch my chest with it.” He also stated that while McDonald’s wide grip obviously worked well for Mike, he could not bench that way either; having tried it in the past he found that it put far too much pressure on the pectorals, causing pulls and tears. Kazmaier’s training for the squat is similar to that for the bench press. He uses an eight week cycle, decreasing reps from 5 to 2. Like the bench, he hardly ever does singles in training, preferring to save that for meets. He likes to squat about every 6th day and on the days that he squats light he does assistance work for the legs and deadlifts heavy first. On the days that he squats heavy, he does his rack work for the deadlift. His assistance work for the legs is mainly limited to leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises. Of late he has been doing a lot of high repetition. light weight leg extensions, trying to rehabilitate a quadriceps injury. While on the subject of injuries, someone asked Bill about groin injuries, and he thought that cable abductions with a wall pulley were the most effective. Having experimented with different foot spacings on the squat he has found that the best technique is to keep the knees directly over the ankles, to prevent undue strain on the knees and ankles. Bill also does no running since it too causes problems with he knees and shins. To get extra cardiovascular work he prefers the stationary bicycle instead. Kazmaier demonstrated his style on the deadlift: hips high and back flat. He found that this style works best for him as he readily admits to getting a lot of back into his deadlifts. For that reason he feels that straight-legged deadlifts have no value for him because, “my back gets enough work from the regular deadlifts I do.” Bill does, however, use hyperextensions to supplement the development of his erectors. His assistance work on the deadlift usually comes the second day after deadlifts and it includes wide grip pulldowns to the chest (as he is too tight in the upper back to do them behind his head), narrow grip pulldowns, bentover rows with dumbells and regular bentover barbell rows. He thinks that power cleans are unnecessary as the pulling power involved is different from that of deadlifts. Moreover, he thinks that the traps are worked more effectively and he demonstrated his technique on them. He did about 30 reps and the first were done with a quick pumping motion; the last 10 with a slower, more controlled style. The only difference in his deadlift 8-week cycle is that he works in the lower rep sets earlier on in the cycle. And he does use straps when training except for heavy doubles and an occasional single. Of course, people wanted to know how Bill maintains his weight, and he stated that he eats a lot of small meals during the course of a day. He also likes to have a couple of blender drinks per day, favoring milk and egg protein powder. Bill recommended large doses of Vitamin C for recuperation. He has no intention of forcing his weight up to a sloppy 350, although he could if he wanted to; believing that “an eight of an inch of muscle is worth more than 2 inches of fat.” And Bill does work at keeping his waist firm, preferring abdominal work with very heavy
weights. As with most seminars, the steroid question came up, and Kazmaier had some cautionary advice. He used the example of a miler to make his point: suppose he is running a 4:05, and after a period of time with steroids he finds he can do 3:55. “Ten or twenty years down the road, when he is feeling after-effects from the steroids he took, will he think it was worth it?” Bill’s second point was that once a person begins taking steroids they can never go back; they will never be satisfied with doing less again. “So maybe it’s better never to begin, and be satisfied with what you can do without them.” And finally, he said if you feel that you must take them, get them from a doctor and have periodical blood tests done.” Bill personally knew of athletes who had “really messed up their blood” with steroids and wound up in the hospital. After the seminar Bill showed more of his class as he patiently fielded still more questions, signed autographs and posed for numerous photos shaking hands with people who will show them to their friends later on and say, “Now you can see how big Bill Kazmaier really is.”
A Bulking Schedule
by Bradley J. Steiner It seems that two problems, or questions, are uppermost in the minds of many young trainees. The first is, “How can I gain weight?” The second question, the ever-present “big arms question,” is by far the most common, and when you come right down to it, both questions are directly connected to each other. You can’t follow a well-planned bulking schedule without adding to your arm size. You might think that all a gaining program will do is fatten you up, but I’ll tell you quite honestly that the average lifter will make umpteen times the gains – ON HIS ARMS – from following a good all-round gaining routine than he will from following all of the super-blitzing arm specialization schedules yet devised. The reason is simple. The arms do not possess very heavy or powerful muscle groups. They tend (especially with harder gainers and most small framed individuals) to break down more than they build up if the trainee tries to blitz and blast his limbs into superrapid gains. On the other hand, when a gaining routine (emphasized leg and back work) is employed, then the indirect action that the arms receive from the extremely heavy holding, lifting, pulling, pressing, etc., serve to coax them into making the best gains possible along with the added muscular bodyweight. Only very slight localized (isolation) exercise is then needed for the arms – when a good bulking program is followed. In fact, very moderate amounts of arm work, when included in a properly designed bulk-up routine, should be more than
enough to bring about excellent gains. So, if you’ve been hammering your head against your flat bench because your arms won’t budge no matter how hard you train them, or if you’re among the majority or lifters who desire a pleasingly welldeveloped, bulkier physique instead of your present sparrow dimensions, I think that it will pay you well to devote very careful attention to the following training routine, and the advice contained in this article. There’s a very, very good chance it’s the solution to your problem and an answer to those two questions above. The key exercise in the bulking routine that we shall outline here is, of course, the squat. But you’re going to be using it in a variety of ways for the duration of a four-month training period. the aim of this routine will be to build lots of good, solid bodyweight – and to do it fast. Follow the course exactly as you find it enumerated here, and you’ll be a different person four months from now. You’ll be heavier, stronger, and very well prepared to go on and build closer to your limits in development. But before you plunge into your training, let me suggest the folloing. First, take a nice, clear week off from any training you may have been doing. I assure you that if you start this program (which is quite severe) when you’re rested and fresh, you’ll make infinitely greater progress in the long run. Second, cut out ALL other physically demanding sports and pastimes for the four months. You will only slow your progress by detracting from the energy that might be better spent on your workouts. Third, drink two quarts of whole milk every single day while you’re on this gaining routine. This, in itself, will do more to insure adequate protein intake than all of the supplements you could use, and cost a lot less, too! Fourth, sleep eight hours or more each and every night. Fifth, eat lots (and I mean lots) of meats, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter, whole wheat spaghetti, and fruits and vegetables. Remember these points, because to the extent that you adhere to them, they will add materially to the progress that you make in your training. Remember this also: You must constantly strive to lift the MAXIMUM POUNDAGE you are capable of, without cheating. I get lots of mail from guys who say that they just can’t use the limit poundages that I advocate. Apparently these gentlemen misunderstand what I’m talking about when I speak of “limit poundages.” I mean the maximum weight for you as an individual, in accordance with your PRESENT level of development – weights that you can use in correct lifting style, for the required number of reps and sets. I am not speaking of arbitrarily drawn up poundage schedules that I am insisting you force your body to adjust to. This is absurd. I try to be reasonable, and I don’t suggest that you
must exercise with poundages approaching Reg Park’s or Doug Hepburn’s, unless, of course, you happen to become as strong as they have. Simply strive to work to YOUR limit. Of course you must always, always, always, ALWAYS try to keep pushing that particular limit up a wee bit more as the weeks pass . . . for this is the secret of continued gains in strength and development. Without some scheme trying to work with heavier and heavier weights you’ll only reach a standstill in the progress you make. And now for your four-month program. I want you to keep a record of the work you do during this schedule. Record your routines, exercises, sets, reps, poundages, etc. in a notebook and also keep a small notation of how you feel at the completion of each workout. If you find that, for example, you train for three consecutive sessions and are constantly lethargic, then you’ll have provided yourself with a reminder to really wake up and work starting with your next workout. Should you see, on the other hand, that you’re quite satisfied with your progress – GREAT! Seeing just those very words right there in front of you on the paper will serve to inspire you to even greater efforts (and hence better gains) in future training sessions. You might think that small items, such as this type of record keeping, are nothing more than trifles, but keep this very important point in mind – nothing that may help you to achieve any of your goals can be considered “unnecessary.” I’ve always found that keeping a training record helps immeasurably, and I’ve spoken to several other men in the weight game who agree 100 percent. Hoping that you’ve assimilated the advice I’ve given here – and hoping that you will always keep it in mind as you train – here is your first month’s schedule: 1.) Warm up with Prone Hyperextensions – 2 sets of 15-20 reps. 2.) Breathing Squat – 1 set of 20. 3.) Light Dumbell Breathing Pullovers – 1 x 15. 4.) Stiff Legged Deadlift – 2 x 15. 5.) Bentover Barbell Row – 4 x 10. 6.) Straddle Lift – 2 x 10. 7.) Standing Barbell Press – 2 x 8-10. Follow this schedule on three non-consecutive days each week for one month. That’s a total of only 12 workouts – yet, if you work hard enough, eat well and get enough rest – then it will be just enough to start triggering gains all over your
body, and coaxing your metabolism into adding some bulk to your frame. And it will prepare you for your second month’s routine: 1.) Warm up with rapid flip snatches – 2 sets of 6 reps. 2.) Alternate Dumbell Press – 2 x 10. 3.) Close Grip Barbell Curl – 1 x 10-12. 4.) Breathing Squat – 2 x 15. 5.) Light Pullovers after each squat set – 2 x 15-20. 6.) Bench Press – 2 x 10. 7.) Stiff-legged Deadlift – 2 x 15. 8.) Bentover Barbell Row – 3 x 12-15. Follow this schedule for another month. Three days a week on alternate days. After two months you ought to be in really high gear, so here’s a routine that you should use for your third month of training, that will jolt your growing muscles into a slightly new groove and keep it growing. 1.) Warm up with Leg Raises – 1 x 15-25. 2.) Standing Press Behind Neck – 4 x 8. 3.) Squat (in breathing style – 3 deep breaths between each rep with absolute limit poundages) – 5 x 8-10. 4.) Flat Flyes between sets of squats – 5 x 10. 5.) Bench Press – 4 x 6. 6.) Power Cleans – 5 x 5. 7.) Good Mornings – 4 x 8-10. After this third month you should be noticing a change in your body, if indeed you haven’t sooner. For the fourth month (three alternate days a week) let’s wind this gaining cycle up with another variation: 1.) Warm up with rapid Flip Snatches – 2 x 6. 2.) Seated Press Behind Neck – 4 x 5-8.
3.) Squat (breathing style, three breaths between each rep) – 1 x 20, this time with every ounce of weight you can handle for the one set. 4.) Pullovers after squats – 1 x 25. 5.) Stiff-legged Deadlift – 3 x 15. 6.) Bentover Barbell Row – 5 x 10-12. 7.) Barbell Curls – 2 x 8-10. There’s four months of workouts to help you push forward to bigger gains in strength and development. You could make a big change in yourself if you start this program and stick with the hard work through it all. That’s what you want, isn’t it?
Powerlifters and the O-Lifts
by Frank Bates (1972) I am a great believer that a good powerlifter can become a good Olympic lifter if he trains correctly. By this I mean that he would have to prepare himself to do at least a few thousand real light presses, for form, with a good training partner or coach to watch him periodically and insure him of his progress. Now would be the time to learn speed for the clean for the press, and again speed for the press itself. This would be the first great sacrifice the powerlifter would have to make, but I am sure that it would be well worth the effort that the lifter would choose to make. The next O-lift, the two hand snatch, is a beautiful lift when done correctly. To train for this lift, again it means a few thousand repetitions and 90 percent of them should be hangs below the knees to get to understand what the SECOND PULL is. Once this is incorporated into the pull the lifter will find to his amazement that his snatching will improve to a great extent. The powerlifter will also be pleased to find that the same second pull is applied to the clean for the last of the Olympic lifts, the clean and jerk. Again the correct method of training for this lift is to do very light weights even if it’s only the empty 45-pound bar to develop the second pull by pulling from below the knees and going into the squat, as this would be more of an advantage than trying for the split style of cleaning.
I try to impress upon the reader that the bar alone would be sufficient, but I certainly would not like to see a person use more than 115 pounds until he has developed smooth and solid form with the use of the second pull. I would like to see a lifter start the first one from the floor, then four hangs. This, I believe would be the best to get coordination. When the lifter feels that he is now getting the correct movement, and his coach or an experienced trainer agrees, then and only then would I permit the lifter to use more weight. Most of the top officials in this country will remember that Tommy Kono, when he missed a real heavy weight in the snatch or the clean for the jerk, would do the same weight from the hang. The same weight that he missed from the floor. This only proves one thing – that Tommy did a few hundred thousand hangs to get the correct movement for all of his three lifts. There is one thing that that the powerlifter must remember if he decided to try the Olympic lifts – he should also do his squats, front and rear squats, correctly. He should maintain good form by keeping his upper torso erect, for now it will be very important for him to do front squats with heavy weights correctly. It stands to reason that powerlifters in this country are making new records all the time. It’s amazing how much they’ve improved in the past six or seven years. The only reason that I got started in writing some articles on weightlifting is because of the lack of knowledge that the public has on bodybuilding and weightlifting. I believe that we do possess the necessary knowledge that is so desperately needed, but no one has the time to put all this information in proper sequence and into a book like the weightlifting rule book, or a book that would be called the weightlifting manual. I hope to see a day when a young or old person can pick up a book that can direct him by giving him the basic information right up to the day when this person would be able to develop a positive training system for himself, one suited to him alone, and not be misled by anyone who thinks that because you are strong you don’t have to be in some ways guided by a proper system, as success at lifting does not come easy. Like I’ve stated in the early part of this article, after a few thousand movements you realize the coordination of all the movements, and with speed and power a person has the confidence of giving a good account of himself. This is mainly because he has eliminated his faults. It would be wonderful if all who are interested in Olympic lifting could spend two weeks in the Olympic Development Camp that Morris Weissbrot has supervised for many years. But this is impossible, as only the top teenage champions are invited to the camp. A large-scale development camp such as this would be
wonderful to have in this country. I would not be surprised to one day see colleges in this country start offering courses in weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. Today, for a powerlifter to successfully develop technique and reach his strength goals, he must train as hard and spend as much time and energy training as an Olympic lifter.
How I Trained to Win Mr. Universe
by Reg Park from Health and Strength (1967) My interest in development was kindled by my grandfather who worked in a coal mine from the age of ten to sixty-five, during which time he had pushed trucks full of coal along tunnels, and in doing so had developed a pair of enormous calves. His calves were so big that I remember my grandmother telling me that when he was in uniform during the 1914-1918 war, when soldiers wore puttees, his calves were so big that people thought he had balloons under his trouser legs. My grandparents had two paintings of an ancient Greek wedding where the man wore a toga and I recall thinking that whilst the groom had wonderful legs, his upper arms were poorly developed. These memories go back to the time when I was about eight years old, so it is apparent that I was physique conscious at a very early age. At school I reveled in sport, in particular soccer, athletics and gymnastics, but although I possessed an athletic physique, at 16 I was 6 ft. and weighed only 160 lbs., certainly nothing to set the world alight. At the Leeds open-air swimming pool I was constantly aware of fellows who possessed good physiques, and I suppose it was inevitable that sooner or later I would meet someone who for those days possessed an outstanding physique in the person of Dave Cohen. Dave was 5 ft. 8½” ins. and weighed 185 lbs. with 16½ in. upper arms, a 47 in. chest, 26 in. thighs and a 32 in. waist. It turned out that Dave trained with weights in a room in his friend’s house, and when I asked if I could join him, he readily said yes. I started weight training in about August/September 1945, and trained in a haphazard kind of way until April 1946, and from then until July 1946 when I was ‘called up’, I spent my free time at the pool and did very little training. At my army medical in 1946 I was 6 ft. and weighed 180 lbs. In the army I was in the P.T. staff in Malaya, and whilst I had plenty of exercise, only once or twice did I have access to weights. I was demobbed in July 1948 and weighed 190 lbs. This was about a month before the 1948 Olympics held that year in London, and also the first ever Mr.
Universe contest held in London. Naturally, by this time I was an avid reader of the muscle magazines and was therefore familiar with the top bodybuilders who were participating in the contest, namely John Grimek and Steve Reeves. It’s history now that Grimek won the 1948 Mr. Universe with Reeves runner-up. I recall saying after the contest that one day I’d win the Mr. Universe title, and amongst those present were Oscar Heidenstam and John Barrs, editor of the old Vigor magazine. I’ve often wondered what their thoughts must have been as they listened to a young punk like me boasting that I’d win the Mr. U. My training started in earnest about September 1948, when I was 20 years of age and weighed 190 lbs. In those days I trained three nights a week and Sunday morning, and if my memory serves me well, my course was something like this: Incline D.B Press – 5 sets of 5 reps Flat Bench D.B. Press – 5x5 Pushups with Press – 5 x 10 Standing Barbell Press – 5x5 Press Behind Neck – 5x5 Standing Two D.B Press – 5x5 Chins – 5x8 Barbell Row – 5x8 D.B. Row – 5x8 Barbell Curl – 5x8 Incline D.B. Curl – 5x8 Central Loading Curl – 5x8 Standing D.B. Triceps Curl – 5x8 Lying D.B. Triceps Curl – 5x8 Triceps on Lat Machine – 5x8 Donkey Calf – 5 sets Cross Bench D.B. Pullover – 5x8 I don’t recall doing any squats in those days, but when I look back I realize that I was doing about 90 sets a workout which I’m sure was far more than any British bodybuilder was doing in 48/49. By March/April 1949 I entered and won the Mr. N.E. Britain, beating the previous national winner, Charlie Jarrett, who was also placed in the 48 Mr. Universe. Not bad for only 7 or 8 months of serious training. At this time I weighed 205 lbs. and my measurements were 48 in. chest and 16½ in. upper arm. Three weeks before the 1949 Mr. Britain final I trained at Henry Atkins’ gym in Walthamstow, London, during which time I worked calves and thighs (3 sets of 20 reps) superset with pullovers on the Yoga bench, three mornings a week, and trained upper body in the evenings. I ate and drank great quantities of food and liquid, and my bodyweight by the time of the contest was 226 lbs. I drank two
pints of diluted concentrated orange juice with glucose and honey mixed in it at every workout. I won the 1949 Mr. Britain title with Paul Newington second and John Lees third. At that time my chest was about 51 in., arm 18 in. and thigh 26½. In December 1949 my parents gave me the greatest gift I could have had, a six month visit to America. In America I met and trained with many champion bodybuilders, such as Bill Barad, Marvin Eder, Abe Goldberg, Clancy Ross, Floyd Page, Norman Marks, Malcolm Brenner, etc. I also trained at the Weider Barbell Co. and am the first to admit that Weider, Barton Horvath and Charlie Smith all helped me considerably with my training, but Weider made far too many claims about training me, so many that I eventually wrote to him severing all connections with him. This was in April 1952. I came back to England in May 1952 and decided to enter the Mr. U. which was held early that year in either June or July. In the meantime, York Barbell Co. had persuaded Steve Reeves to represent them at the same Mr. U. and he had gone to York to finalize his training there. On the day of the contest I weighed in at 215 lbs. and Reeves at 225. Reeves was bigger than I was, but I was terribly muscular, with my legs, torso and arms cut up with definition. Reeves won the contest, but he was a very worried man prior to the announcement, and I recall the then editor of Health and Strength, Johnson, striving to convince him backstage that he had won. When I reflected that with less than two years’ serious training I had given the very famous Steve Reeves, who had been training at least five years, such a good run for his money, I did not feel too bad, but then and there I was determined that no one would beat me in the 1951 Mr. Universe. In September 1950 I went back to the States, where I trained hard at Abe Goldberg’s gym in New York for the 1950 America’s Best Developed Man contest, held at St. Nick’s Arena in New York. I won this title and with it most of the subdivisions, and in doing so beat such famous bodybuilders as Floyd Page, Al Stephan, Ed Theriault and Al Pavio, who was the current Mr. Canada. From New York I went of to give exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Oakland, Los Angeles and Hawaii, returning to England in January 1951. From January until the Mr. Universe contest I trained regularly, hard and heavy. Regular poundages used in training were sets and reps with over 200 lbs. on the Press and Press Behind Neck, Incline and Flat D.B. Press sets and reps with 2x140 lb. dumbells, Bent Rowing with 250-300 lbs., Incline D.B. Curls with 2x70 lb. dumbells, and 3 sets of 20 reps on the Squat with 320 lbs. My workouts in those days were:
Incline D.B. Press – 5x5 with 140 lb. dumbells Flat Bench D.B. Press – 5x5 with 140 lb. dumbells Pushups Press Behind Neck – 5x5 with 210 lbs. Press – 5x5 with 210 lbs. Two D.B. Press – 5x5 working up to 100 lb. dumbells Dumbell Lateral – 5x8 with 50-60 lb. dumbells Chins – 5x8 Bent Barbell Row – 5x8 with 250-300 lbs. One Arm D.B. Row – 5x8 with 100-120 lb. dumbell Lat Pulldown – 5x8 Central Loading Curl – 5x8 with 140 lbs. Incline D.B. Curl – 5x8 with 70 lb. dumbells Barbell Curl – 5x8 Lying On Back Two Dumbell Curl – 5x8 with 50-60 lb. dumbells One D.B. Two Arm French Press – 5x8 Lying B.B. Triceps Extension – 5x8 Triceps Dips or Parallel Bar Dips – 5x8 Triceps On Lat Machine – 5x8 Donkey Calf On Machine – 10x20 Squat – 3x20 with 320 lbs. D.B. Pullover – 3x10 My weight went back to 225 lbs. but I possessed a much different physique compared to when I won the Mr. Britain at 226. Now I was proportionate, balanced and more heavily developed. My eating habits were not difficult. My mother cooked and baked well, and I ate anything and everything, and I was particularly fond of my mother’s baking and cups of tea, relying on hard training to use up the carbohydrates. As you know, I won the ’51 Mr. Universe after only three years of serious training. As with each of the other two occasions when I won the title I was a little flat emotion wise after being announced the winner, and I REALIZED THAT THE EXCITEMENT WAS NOT IN WINNING BUT IN TRAINING TO WIN.