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Keys To Progress Training Routines By John McCallum

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:56 PM

What routines do you use when bulking up?

Here’s some bulk and strength training routines from John McCallum’s book – Key’s To Progress. If you haven’t read the book yet It’s a must read. I wish I came across soemthing like this when I started off learning how to train instead of relying on Flex Magazine lol!


I remember reading ‘Keys To Progress’ by John McCallum and he said in one of his chapters that Reg Park when going for Bulk would handle the heaviest possible weights 3 times a week, full body training with the exception of no arm training – only the very basics.

Which brings me to the question: Do you think it’s true that alot of the old-timers never trained their arms directly when going for bulk? And do you agree now in regards to today’s modern era that when bulking it is best not to train the arms directly or not?

Here's the articles...

“The Complete KEYS to PROGRESS” – John McCallum

Page 1.

The Time Factor

There’s a young man down the street from me who trains with weights. He’s been at it for about three years now but you’d never know to look at him. He’s got no build at all. My grandmother’s been dead for twelve years and she probably still looks better than he does.”

When I bought the book and read that first line I bowled over in a fit of laughter and was totally hooked straight away. This book is great, highly recommended and contains plenty of old-school training routines.

John McCallum refers to a man called Earl Clark on page two from his ‘Keys To Progress’ book. I did a search for his name and came up with this….


Not much detail about Earl but check out the routine and poundages lifted by Len Sell.

On page 2 of ‘Keys To Progress’ John McCallum explains how he popped in to see Earl down in Chula Vista one summer. He asked Earl how a man should train. Earl replied….”From an hour to an hour and a half.”…..”Three times a week.”

Good basic Routine #1

  • Press Behind Neck: 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Curls: 1 set of 10 reps
  • Squats: 2 sets of 15 reps
  • Pullovers: 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 1 set of 15 reps
  • Leg Raises: 1 set of 25 reps

* Completed in 1 hour or less.

* Superset the pullovers with the squats. Eat loads and train on this 3 times a week.

One of John McCallum’s simplier workouts went as follows:

Page 12.

  • Press Behind Neck: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Squat: 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Pullover: 2 sets of 25 reps

* Superset the pullovers with the squats. Use light weight on the pullovers – go for the stretch.

* 3 times a week perform this workout. Work hard on getting your squat poundage up. Eat, Eat and eat some more. Include supplements and sleep loads!

Harold Cleghorn (1950 Commonwealth Games GOLD Medalist)

Increasing his squat poundage from 300-400 up to 500 lbs for sets of 5 was his belief of increasing his muscular bodyweight from 200 up to 250 lbs thus helping him further his strength gains in his competitive lifts.

Page 19 – For Size and Strength – Keys To Progress

If anyone has any picts of Harold please post one up?

Jim Bradford

By Osmo Kiiha

Jim Bradford is one of the all-time best American Olympic Lifters and is arguably the best pure presser ever.


It has been said by many that if Jim can just clean it, he WILL press it. In training, Jim once pressed 440 (from bottom press position without cleaning the weight.) He is also one of the greatest sportsmen to compete in any sport. Jim gave up his last attempt clean & jerk at the 1951 World Championships, in Milan, Italy because he was afraid the injured John Davis would attempt more weight and cause permanent damage to his leg. James Bradford gave away the World Heavyweight Championship title to help his friend, it was one of the finest acts of sportsmanship ever witnessed. He was a member of the York Barbell Club, was coached by Bob Hoffman and was a teammate of Davis, Tommy Kono et al. during the “glory days” of American Weightlifting.

Jim started lifting weights in 1944 and competed as a Heavyweight.

A list of his major championships include:

  • 1950 Jr. National Champion – first place
  • 1951 World Weightlifting Championship – second place
  • 1952 Olympic Games – silver medal
  • 1953 National YMCA WL Championships – first place
  • 1954 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
  • 1955 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
  • 1959 World Weightlifting Championships – second place
  • 1960 Senior National WL Championships – first place
  • 1960 Olympic Games – silver medal
  • 1961 Senior National WL Championships – first place

Jim retired from competitive lifting 1961.

Best all time lifts made at the 1960 Olympic games:

  • Press - 396 3/4
  • Snatch - 330 1/2
  • Clean & Jerk - 402 1/4
  • Total - 1129 3/4

Bodyweight 286 pounds.

Article Source: Click here.

Page 28: Power Training – Keys To Progress

Jim Bradford is briefly discussed for having incrediable shoulder development.



  • Barbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 3 reps
  • Barbell Curl: 5 sets of 3 reps
  • Squat: Sets of 3 reps —- adding 10 lbs every set —– keep going until you miss
  • Pullovers: 8-10 reps (light weight) after every set of squats


  • Bench Press: 5 sets of 3 reps (using same weight on each set)
  • Hang Snatch: 5 sets of 3 reps
  • Hang Power Cleans: 5 sets of 3 reps
  • Deadlift: Sets of 2 reps until you miss (each set increase poundage by 20-30lbs)



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