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  1. The Hard Gainers Routine By Bradley J Steiner If you're a skinny guy who struggles to gain weight / muscular bulk and strongly feel that you are a hard gainer, then try the routine below. Simple, basic, full body workouts are considered the most effective training routines for hard gainers and skinny guys. FULL BODY TRAINING ROUTINE: (For Skinny Guys / Hard Gainers) Barbell Shoulder Press: 2 sets of 10 reps Barbell Curl: 1 set of 10 reps Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 reps Barbell Row: 2 sets of 12 reps Squat: 1 set of 18 - 20 reps + 1 more set of 12 reps / Supersetted with Dumbbell Pullover Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 1 set of 15 reps ROUTINE ABOVE EXPLAINED: BB Press 1×10, add weight for a second set of 10. Every third workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. Curl 1×10. Every third workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. Do not be in a rush to add weight for the first couple of months. Pour your effort into the other exercises. Bench Press 1×12. Add weight for a second set of 12. Every third workout, try to add 5 to 10 lbs to the bar Row 2×12. Every third workout, try to add 5 lbs to the bar. Squat 1×18-20. Add weight for a second set of 12. Every third workout, try to add 10 lbs to the bar. Pullover Superset the squats with light pullovers. Stiff-leg Deadlifts 1×15 Every sixth workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. When the weight begins to feel heavy, reduce by 5 lbs and add nothing for 3 weeks. Situps 1×25-30 with no weight. TRAINING FREQUENCY: Perform the above routine 2 to 3 days a week. If you can manage 3 days and make gains, stick with 3 days a week training but make sure you rest a full day in-between your workouts. Source: From the early 1970s classic “The Hardgainers Bible” by Bradley J. Steiner (long out of print)
  2. Super Squats - How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks Author of this Article: Unknown Edited by: Strength Oldschool The most famous of all old school minimalist bulking routines by far is Randall J. Strossen’s “Super Squats” program with which, it is common to gain 30 pounds of bulk in as little as 6 weeks. The core of this training routine is one 20 rep set of squats, just one set, supersetted with pullovers. Add to this two to three sets of some bench presses, rows and some overhead presses and the routine is complete. Using these full body compound movements will force your body to use all of its stabilizer muscles and burn calories as well as no other. Quoting Strossen on diet: “In addition to the 20-rep squats, trainees are advised to eat a lot of wholesome food, drink at least two quarts of milk a day, and to get plenty of rest in between the twice or thrice-weekly workouts. That’s it: one set of 20-rep squats, a couple of other basic exercises, plenty of good food, milk and rest. But, oh, those squats! ” The routine is performed monday, wednesday and fridays and should take no longer than 30-40 minutes. Start off with full ATG (ass to grass) squats and hit a few warm up sets of 10 reps or so. On the one 20 rep squat set, you want to choose a weight that you could do comfortably for about 15 reps. The following five are to be done rest-pause style, doing the first 15 reps, then taking three or so breaths and then another rep, then three or so more breaths and another rep and so forth until all 20 reps are complete. After this, you grab a moderately heavy dumbbell and do one set of cross bench pullovers for 20 reps as well, using a weight that will allow you to complete all 20 reps in good form. Strive to add 5 – 10 pounds a week to the squats, and you will gain some serious bodyweight. Again quoting Strossen about doing “only” one set of squats, "Make no mistake about it, however, this one set of 20-rep squats is not your ordinary cup of iron tea: Whatever our recipe might lack in complexity of volume will be more than recouped in intensity." NOTE by Strength Oldschool: ATG on squats is not necessary, go as low as you can, as long as you hit parallel or close to, that will be fine. The Super Squat Routine: Press behind neck: 3 x 12 Squat: 1 x 20 supersetted with Pullover 1 x 20 Bench press: 3 x 12 Rowing: 3 x 15 Stiff legged deadlift: 1 x 15 Pullover: 1 x 20 * (add a gallon of milk a day!) The above routine is the ultimate ‘hard gainers’ routine and should be done 2-3 times a week. * Super Squats - How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks By Randall J Strossen can be purchased here.
  3. 1997 Interview with Maurice Jones From Keys To Progress By Randall Strossen (Editor of "The Complete Keys To Progress" book and owner of Milo Magazine) * If you haven't already read an article from 1941 about Maurice Jones, click here. This book contains John McCallum's (photo of John McCallum pictured above) original articles which first appeared in "Strength & Health" magazine, which ran from June 1965 through to November 1972. Some of these articles referred to the mysterious muscle character, Maurice Jones. From the book... Chapter: The Time Factor Page: 2 Quote from book: From the book... Chapter: Power Training Page: 30 Quote from book: First of...Who was John McCallum (1912 - 1993)? John lived in New Westminster, B.C. and worked for the Fire Department. * The following article is from 1997 when Maurice Jones was 85 years old * Any self-respecting student of John McCallum emerged with a number of basic principles, which ranged from squatting until your eyes bulged to achieving an overall balance in your life. The true ‘McCallumite’ knew that he certainly better not be a mirror athlete, nor should he limit himself to just being strong, flexible and having loads of endurance coupled with brimming good health. No, he should recognize that he had a brain, and he should put it to use, cultivating additional interest and activities. So the great paradox was that the McCallumite was out to chase and capture pounds and inches with unparalleled zeal and success, but this was only the beginning – he would also end up becoming a well-rounded person in more than the literal sense. Maurice Jones (pictured below - 1945) was one of the principal characters in McCallum’s articles, and it’s no accident that he stands as a model of this whole-man concept. Since Maurice Jones never sought the spotlight, articles on him were few, and largely confined to rare issues of older muscle magazines. In fact, were it not for John McCallum’s writing the larger world might never have had a chance to benefit from Maurice Jones’s example. Being a rabid McCallum fan back in the 1960's, and never reluctant to seek out someone of interest, I managed to reach Maurice Jones on the telephone, and he patiently answered all the questions a teenaged lifting nut could think to present. I’d also had the advantage then of buying a handful of photos of Maurice Jones from the venerable collector Angelo Luspa. Recently, nearly 30 years later, I had the great fortune and privilege to once again talk at length with Maurice Jones. Maurice Jones started lifting weights when he was about 17 years old. “As a kid I was sickly. I can remember the awful colds I used to have. I wasn’t that healthy, so that’s what made me embark on some kind of training regimen, and one thing led to another.” What it led to was the emergence of a true Hercules – a massively muscled man who was unquestionably among the strongest in the world, and whose muscular and cardio-vascular endurance could sustain labors of heroic proportions. If we turn back the clock to the 1930's, we see a 5’9” 150-pound Maurice Jones beginning to lift weights. Although his eventual success might not have been predicted by any, his tenacity should have signaled that good things, amazing things, were to follow: If you want to understand what it means to train consistently, just remember that in his first 5 ½ years of training, Maurice Jones never missed a single workout. In the intervening decades, this dedication has never wavered. “I wasn’t away from them (the weights) for very lengthy periods. I valued it greatly. I always felt so much better when I would have a good workout. I stayed with it,” explains Jones. “I held a certain amount of self-pride, I was going to stick with it till the end. You know, that attitude, and I’m still doing that. I do lots of situps and press-ups between two chairs at times when weights aren’t available.” As we go to press (1997), Maurice is about to turn 85, and he reports, “I’m training. I’m very active physically.” And while he laughs at the weights he uses, consider this: He still does presses and curls with 50-lb. dumbells! “That’s nothing compared to what I once handled,” he says apologetically, but if those weights don’t speak to his fortitude, consider that Maurice Jones also continues with his “outdoor activities – cycling and trail hiking.” Mountains have long been his passion so it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there have been some accidents along the way, which have led to a string of surgeries on his back, neck, and both knees. “I’m an avid alpinist, and that’s when most of the injuries occurred,” explains Jones. “I can’t blame it on the weights,” he says with a laugh. Currently weighing “a stable 185,” Jones says the most he ever weighed was 225, although he generally weighed 200. “I didn’t stay up at that heavy weight for a great length of time. I was quite comfortable at 200 pounds.” Once when I was talking to Doug Hepburn, I told him that when people asked me about Maurice Jones, I’d say, “Well, picture a cross between Doug Hepburn and John Grimek.” Doug thought about that for a minute and then said, “That’s not a bad description.” Considering that he emerged as such a formidable physical specimen, Maurice Jones’ training program should be of great interest. “I’d work out for sometimes two hours – that was when I was younger, up until probably 40 or 45 or something. That would be three times [per week], two hours,” said Jones, and when asked for an authentic workout, here’s what Jones said: “I’d do a bit of a warmup at the beginning, before I’d start: calisthenics, bending, arm waving, that sort of thing. I’d always start with situps on the steep board. Then I’d do my presses: Press, curl, press, curl. Rest a minute and then do another press and another curl. Three sets altogether. That was the military press. I didn’t do those leaning back presses. They called them military presses at that time. Then I’d do three sets of rowing motions; I’d do my bench presses in between (row, bench press, row, bench press, row, bench press). Three sets of bench presses." “Now the squat. One set of heavy squats up around 400 pounds – about a dozen repetitions. At that time I was still doing hiking on weekends so I got plenty of legwork there, and I’d have 30 or 40 pounds on my back in my rucksack. 400 pounds sometimes and if I’d drop the weight, I’d increase the reps." “In between sets, I’d rest a minute – I wouldn’t sit down. I know some fellows who used to train a gym I worked at a couple of times would sit down and read a magazine in between exercises,” Jones said with a smile. A cardinal principle in Maurice Jones training was strict style: “I always tried to adhere to good form. I couldn’t stand these guys that would come in and be curling and it would be a back exercise as well. That didn’t go over well with me at all. I wanted to see a straight body, and the arms working as they should.” Considering his immaculate form, it was remarkable that Maurice Jones used to do presses behind the neck with 200 pounds for 12 reps and dumbell curls 70 lbs. x 12 well before World War II (1939 - 1945) – figure what that’s worth in today’s terms, and your jaw should hit the floor. Asked about his squatting, Maurice Jones said “I got up into the very heavy stuff – it used to frighten me before the act. How it all came about was with Milo Steinborn: I read that he had created a world record in the deep knee bend, which I was bound and determined to break, but nobody knew anything about it. And I did get up there over 500. My memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to, but it was around 525 pounds.” Not one to brag, Maury doesn’t bother to mention that this lift put him among the foremost squatters of the day. Perhaps even more prodigious were his performances in the stiff legged deadlift, where he did 425 for 15 repetitions in ultra-strict style: standing on a bench, lowering each rep to the tops of his feet. If the 425 x 15 isn’t already impressive enough, consider that Jones allows that “it [the poundage] may have wandered a little higher from time to time.” While running was not as central to his training program as was weight training, it wasn’t uncommon for him to include running a couple of times a week.” Maurice attributes his high level of muscular and cardiovascular endurance to a combination of his weight training, running and his mountain hiking. Asked if the stories of him putting rocks in his rucksack before taking off up a mountain were true, he said they were. “I used to be crazy,” he laughed. “I still do that, as a matter of fact. I put in at least 30 pounds, just to get a little additional benefit.” It’s tempting to think that this dedication to training means that somehow training hard came easy to Maurice Jones, but that’s not the case. “I’ve put up with a lot of pain over the years, years I suffered, but I never avoided my training. You can’t do it for the best part of your life and just forget it. The way I’m built, I have to continue, obviously not as strenuously as before, but I never forget it. I guess there are a lot of weight trainers and people who have done over a period of years and are still doing it.” Asked about his diet, Maurice said it “was just very plain. I’m afraid that I just qualify as a meat and potatoes man.” It has been reported that Maury disliked Olympic-style weightlifting, but he said that isn’t true. “I never went in for weightlifting myself because I didn’t have the time, mainly.” Nonetheless, the first time he tried a clean and jerk it was with 300 pounds on an exercise bar, and Jones says, “It was easy for me. I couldn’t believe it, you know, once I got those legs in action. That was when they did a split, not a squat. One chap came up from California, and that was the first time I saw a squat clean, and the snatch the same way. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t fall over when he did a snatch!” Although Maurice worked as a graphic artist and retired as a director of the YMCA, earlier in his life he wrestled professionally in England and on the Continent. Even though this was quite a while ago, some things never change because when asked about it, Jones said, with distaste, it was “as phony as anything could be.” Pro-wrestling seems out of character for Jones, but he explained, “It was a means to an end for me. I wanted to continue with my schooling, and my father was very ill at the time. I had to keep the household going.” Asked what he’d say if a young kid came up to him and said, “Mr. Jones, do you think I should take drugs to get bigger muscles or to get stronger?”: “I would say, don’t become a fanatic, although I must have appeared that way to a lot of people. If you get fanatical about something, it spoils it. You have to recognize the line – that’s the trouble.” To read more stories about Maurice Jones, Reg Park, Basic Training, etc get the book "The Complete Keys To progress" by John McCallum.
  4. Train for Power - Part 2 (1954) By Reg Park Since writing Part One a number of incidents have arisen which I feel will be of interest to our readers. They are as follows: 1/ I received a letter from Al Murray advising me that he had prepared an article, "Body-builders Can Be Strong," which was prompted by the trend in the London area amongst the body-builders. 2/ I hit an extremely good spell -- making the following lifts (1954): 550 squat 2 reps 510 squat 5 reps 500 bench press 270 press 3 reps 270 press behind neck 2 reps 220 strict curl When Chas Coster (see photo above - left to right - Dave Sheppard - Pete George - Charles Coster - Tommy Kono ) learnt of this he was extremely pleased because it would emphasize the importance of POWER TRAINING, of which he has long been a great advocate. Many authorities are inclined to stress too much importance on technique rather than on power. 3/ An old copy of S & H magazine showed up at the office showing Eder (photo above) as he was at 17-1/2 and giving a list of measurements along with his best lifts at the time. At a height of 5'7" and a bodyweight of 181 pounds - 340 bench x 2 250 press 370 squat x 10 That was exactly five years ago (1949) and for your interest his measurements now are: 5'7" 198 pounds 18" arms And his best on those three lifts are: 480 bench 350 press 500 squat x 5 sets of 2 Marvin's interest has always been on building a powerful physique and during our workouts together in 1951 (photo above) we used 350 pounds on bent-over rowing, also 120 pound dumbbells on the seated DB press -- the other lifts and poundages escape my memory. Interesting facts about both Eder and Hepburn -- whilst both train on the press and bench press, they do not practice these two lifts on the same day, and when utilizing the bench press to improve their pressing ability as I understand Davis also does, they use the same width of grip as they would when performing standing presses and start the press from the chest. Issy Bloomberg (photo above) who I had the pleasure of training with during my recent tour of South Africa, and who pressed over 300 pounds as an amateur is another lifter who appreciates the importance of power of body-building exercises such as the full and quarter squat, bench press, bent-over rowing, etc., in order to build up his body power and so benefit his Olympic lifting. Although I may be stepping on someone's corns, it has long been my contention that some of the British lifters who wondered why their performances do not compare with those of the Russians, American and Egyptians (taking the advantages of these countries' lifters into consideration such as time and standard of living) do not stress sufficient importance to such exercises as heavy squats, bench presses from the chest, rowing motions, deadlifts, etc. A comparison which comes to my mind is training for the "long jump." Whilst the actual jump is of importance, and needs to be practiced, it is a fact that sprinting plays an important part and most long jumpers are excellent sprinters. The same thing applies with the three Olympic lifts, whilst it is essential to practice the correct style, technique and performance of these lifts, it is true that such exercises as the full squat build up terrific power and coupled with actually performing the Olympic lifts assists improvement on the latter. Anderson is an example of this for he trained purely on the squat and built up his body power so much that when he went on to the Olympics his performances amazed even the most ardent physical culturists. In order not to confuse you, my interpretation of body power means performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses from the chest and bouncing, which permit you to handle more weight and so build greater ligament and tendon power than can be derived from the practice of the press, snatch, and clean & jerk ONLY. Schedule Two You should now feel refreshed to start Schedule Two after training on Schedule One for a month and then having a full week off to rest up. Schedule Two involves training three times per week i.e. MON, WED, FRI, for a month. Please note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. Exercise 1: Squat With Bar At Sternum (Front Squat) Those of you who have never practiced this lift may experience difficulty in balance and also a strain on the wrists, but if you allow the bar to rest on the deltoids instead of trying to hold it at the chest you will find it much easier. This exercise is also very beneficial to lifters who employ the squat style technique. Perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions. Exercise 2: The Clean and Press For poundages and repetitions I would suggest that if your best Press is 250 pounds, warm up with 200 x 2 reps, then 220 x 2, and finally 5 sets of 2 with 230. If you are still strong, perform 2 sets of jerk presses with 240-250, doing 3 reps a set. When you are able to perform this schedule increase your poundages by 5 pounds throughout. Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Exercise 3: Upright Row This exercise has quite recently been accepted by the A.A.U. as one of their strength lifts. Using the same grip as when performing cleans, lift the bar from the floor until it rests across the thighs and then with a hard fast pull lift the bar up until it touches the neck with the elbows held up high, and then lower the bar to the thighs and repeat from there. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 4: Parallel Bar Dip This is a particular favorite of Eder, and I well remember his brother telling me that he considered this exercise had done more for Marvin than any other. Perform 5 sets of 8 and use added weight. Exercise 5: Dumbbell Curl Numerous men, such as Grimek, have handled 100 pound bells on this exercise. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 6: Deadlift When following both schedules only do deadlifts once a week, on an off day and on their own. Work up in singles to the highest poundage you can lift.
  5. Train for Power - Part 1 (1954) By Reg Park Today physical culture has more followers than ever before, and in consequence the progress of the past few years has been amazing. Weight-lifting (read "strength" here) records are constantly being broken and the standard of physique has also improved. Unfortunately, however, bodybuilding and weight-lifting are for the most part regarded as two distinct sports, and it is rare indeed that you find a bodybuilder with REAL POWER or a weight-lifter with a PRIZE WINNING PHYSIQUE. By power I do not necessarily mean that one should become an Olympic lifter and specialize on the press, snatch, and clean & jerk. (Or a powerlifter, if written today). My interpretation of a powerful man is one who can put up a good performance on a variety of lifts, and one who instantly comes to my mind when I think of a strong man is Marvin Eder (see photo below), whom I consider to be The World's Strongest Man when bodyweight is taken into consideration. Marvin has successfully combined training for Power and Physique. His bench press of 480 pounds and his reported overhead press of 350 are the heaviest weights ever lifted by a man under 200 pounds bodyweight. John Grimek also comes into the above category -- having been an American weightlifting champion and winning every physique honor possible. Here in England we have two fine examples in Buster McShane and Bill Parkinson. But the fact remains that there are many top bodybuilders who cannot lift weights in accordance with their physique and at the same time there are strength trainers whose physiques leave much to be desired. When Stan Stanczyk (photo above) was the world light-heavyweight weightlifting champion, it was reported that some youngster who saw him on the beach did not believe that Stan was the world champion because the kid said, "I know fellows with bigger muscles than you." Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is a fact that Stan did devote a lot of time to bodybuilding. I have listed a number of exercises which I consider to be real Power Builders and can be used by bodybuilders and strength men alike. I have split them up into TWO SCHEDULES and would suggest that you train three non-consecutive days i.e. MON, WED, FRI, per week on Schedule One for a period of one month followed by a week's full layoff, and then train on Schedule Two three times per week for a month and note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. SCHEDULE ONE Exercise 1: Squat This is a great power builder and has been put to good use by such men as Anderson (photo below ) and Hepburn in their own training, but it is a lift which many weight-lifters omit completely; while bodybuilders tend to rely too much on squats to a bench. Like my good friend Leo Stern, I have always favored the parallel squat and prefer to wear heels on my lifting boots rather than placing the heels on a wooden block. The heeled boots give me a firmer base as well as greater confidence. You may have noticed that Kono lifts in shoes and Sheppard has a built up heel on his lifting boot. I also believe a belt should be worn when performing this lift. The squat should be performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions -- increasing the poundage with each set. For example, I do 3 sets of 5 on the squat working up to the heaviest weight I can handle then I increase the weight by 100 pounds and do 1 set of 5 half squats, and then increase by another 100 pounds with which I perform 1 set of 5 quarter squats. It has been reported that Anderson can handle 1,500 pounds for the last method and Pete Farrar and myself used to perform 10 reps with 1,000 pounds. Exercise 2: Bench Press This lift has created a great deal of controversy overt the past few years but nevertheless both the B.A.W.L.A. and the A.A.U. now use it as a strength lift in championships. There are several pros and cons but if the lift is performed correctly (pressing each repetition from the chest) and not bounced off the chest, it is a great power builder both for deltoids and triceps as well as giving speedy development to the pectorals. The strict style does in fact cramp the pectorals more than the cheat style. This lift has done wonders for me (Photo of Park above) as I know it has done for Eder, Hepburn and Parkinson. A variety of grips can be used but I favor the same width as taken when performing Military pressing. 5 sets of 5 reps are ideal. Exercise 3: Two Hands Clean The technique of this lift has been fully covered in Al Murray's article on the Clean and Jerk so I will not dwell on it, other than to say 8 sets of 2 repetitions should be employed, working up to as heavy a weight as possible. This exercise can then be followed by taking a weight in excess of your best Clean off the squat stands and holding it at the shoulders for a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. Exercise 4: Press Behind Neck Like most bodybuilders I have favored this exercise for shoulder development -- and in order to illustrate the power this lift can build I include here the best lifts of several prominent men: Doug Hepburn does repetitions with 300 pounds; Eder 300; Eiferman 280; Wells 280. The bar can either be cleaned or taken off the squat stand, whichever you prefer. The weight should then be pressed and not jerked to arms length and lowered until it touches the back of the neck. Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with the maximum weight possible. Exercise 5: Barbell Curl Perform this for 3 sets of 5 in strict style increasing the poundage if possible with each set, then increase the weight by 20 to 30 pounds and do 2 sets of 5 adapting the cheat or swing style. Exercise 6: Deadlift This lift should be practiced only once a week working up in singles until you have reached your maximum. It is better to attempt this lift on a rest day and not when performing exercises 1 to 5. There are of course other important factors which must be taken into consideration when training for power and in order of importance they are as follows: 1/ To overcome the fear of heavy weights by having a complete positive mental attitude when training. 2/ As much good food as possible especially meat, milk, fruit, starches, etc. 3/ 8-10 hours sleep each night. To read PART 2 click here!
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