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  1. The legend Freddy Ortiz training in his 60s. Impressive. The man built one of the best physiques and most incredible arms of all time. A living legend of the sport. Now in his 70's and still training.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  2. Two giants of Arm Wrestling. Photo May 2021. Check out the thickness of Michael Todd's arm? (left). Larry Wheel's pictured centre.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  3. Great photo of Lee Haney in the gym training his biceps using Barbell Preacher Curls. The above quote from Sergio Oliva was taken from a 2001 Interview with Sergio Oliva by Brian D. Johnston.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  4. I came across this photo online showing Big Ronnie Coleman curling 143 kg (315 lbs) using a straight barbell. Is this photo real? It looks real. Was Ronnie strong? He sure was. The only thing about this photo that bothers me is the fact that writer Chris Sloan states it was a "STRICT" curl!! Ronnie Coleman was Gorilla strong but was he strong enough to perform a strict barbell curl with 143 kg (315 lbs)? By the way, in case anyone hasn't watched Ronnie's documentary entitled: "Ronnie Coleman - The King" (2018), check it out, it's great!
  5. Any true bodybuilding fans in this world MUST appreciate just how AMAZING Arnold's arms really were. Genetically blessed and driven by a superior work ethic he built probably the greatest arms ever! For me it's a toss up between Arnold & Sergio Oliva as owners of the most incredible arm development. If anyone has opinions on any of the videos below or in general regarding Arnold's arms comment below. More footage of Arnold's arms... More... More....
  6. The following article was originally published in the March, 1966 issue of Iron Man entitled "The Boys From Belleville". Phil Grippaldi may not be a physique title winner, but he certainly has a magnificent physique that is all solid muscle, and has some of the largest, if not the largest, muscular arms of any teenager in the world, with 20 inches, which he possessed at the age of 16. He amazed the audience and the officials when he came out to lift at the Teenage Nationals this year. Such size, muscularity and power is just too unbelievable in a teenager! His chest of 50" tapers to a waist of 32. Big biceps don't grow on trees, but in Belleville, New Jersey they grow, and grow, and grow on two young giants. Phil, the small giant, has 20-1/4 inch arms. Mike, the large economy giant, has 22 inch arms. Mike is also the bashful giant, allowing no measurements or exercise or physique shots at the moment because his arms are down from their usual 23 inches. Phil Grippaldi, whom followers of Lifting News know from his string of successes in Olympic lifting. Phil is fast becoming a legend. Mike Guibilo, who is known only to his intimates and to others by a few news items in the strength magazines. Mike is fast becoming a myth. IronMan, which deals only in facts, enjoys smashing legends and exploding myths. So we sent out ace myth-buster to Belleville to have a look-see. He reports that unless measuring tapes shrink on the long trip from California to New Jersey, the legend is truth and the myth more fact than fiction. The tape had discovered its first ever 19-inch arm in Chicago, but it was hardly prepared for the massive chunk of muscle that Phil Grippaldi calls his arm. Phil Grippaldi and Mike Guibilo are training partners. Mike is a fabulous giant of a man being 6'4" and weighing 248 pounds and more at times. His arm goes as high as 23 inches, with a chest of over 58 at times when weighing 265. His thighs at that weight are 26 with calves of 18. He has a terrific forearm of 18" and as far as we know has never been beaten at wrist wrestling. Mike became interested in weight training at about eleven, but didn't get really started until he was thirteen. Now, at about 21, his huge upper body tapers down to a tiny 32 inch waist. Mike is very religious in the regularity of his training and works extremely hard every day. He has never permitted anyone to take his photo stripped but has promised some photos for IronMan soon. But take a look at the pictures of Phil (photo above). The right arm is 20, the left is 20-1/4, and it's hard muscle too. Phil had been working them for over an hour before the pictures were taken, as he's determined to get them up to 20-1/2 cold by summer's end. He can throw a 49-1/2 inch chest, a 32 waist and 25-1/2 inch thighs into the measurement pile to go along with his arms. Things were not always so for Phil. When he started working out at 14 ("I wanted to get bigger"), he spread his skinny 140 pounds on a 5'4" frame. He made steady increases with no real sticking points. By the time he was 16, he already had a 20 inch arm at 5'6" in height. But he weighed a fleshy 215 and he was bulky but not hard, big but not shapely. Now at 5-8 and about 200, he has size, shape, hardness - and still a 20" arm. Phil works under a handicap of sorts; he confines his bodybuilding to the summertime when lifting is dormant in his area. It also happens to be the time when his coach, Butch Toth of the Keasby Eagles closes the gym and goes fishing. Butch looks down his nose at power lifting and passionately dislikes bodybuilding. So Phil has only a hurried three month program to work on his arm goal as he has to let his arms drop back to about 19 inches to control the weight properly in the clean. In spite of the arm kick, Phil has no aspirations as a bodybuilder; he's too good an Olympic lifter for that. In the year and a half he's been lifting, he has entered close to a dozen meets. He has one third place, one second, and the rest firsts to his credit. Only three of these meets were teenage meets. His best individual lifts (practice or meet) were all made in the same meet - 305, 370, 340, for a 915 total. So, it's obvious that Phil is a competition lifter. His goal in lifting for the coming year is a 950 total. He could also make it as a power lifter, although he's never entered that kind of competition. He has bench pressed 430, squatted with 505 (he did 420 when still 15), and can dead lift 600. If all put together in one meet, he would have beaten the present Junior National champion by 90 pounds. But don't get the idea that it is only his uncommon strength and development that set Phil apart from other teenagers (these pictures were taken one month after his 19th birthday). He has the drive and enthusiasm expected of youth, but he also has a maturity that belies his years. His exposure and travel in competition have helped; but it's his frank assessment of his achievements and his clear-eyed setting of attainable goals that impress. There is no conceit, no dwelling on his accomplishments - just a stating of them as a prelude to greater achievements to come. And there is no apology for limited goals. When they are achieved (and with Phil you get the idea it's only a question of when, not if ), there will be others. And they'll undoubtedly be met too, because Phil sets his sights on what he knows is possible for him and leaves the wishes to others. And what is that Grippaldi Arm Routine? It's borrowed from his coach, Mike Guibilo. Phil and Mike are workout partners; both have well equipped basement gyms where they work out alone or together. Mike sets up the torso routines for the two of them; Phil works out the leg routines. Phil's summer routine is split into a two day routine, six days a week. He uses 8 repetitions on all sets, feeling that this number is the best for him in in attaining a desirable amount of definition. He uses maximum weight in all sets to gain the utmost in size. Even though we have a picture of Phil doing a situp, he's a stranger to the board. He doesn't use it in bodybuilding, and he's a strict type of presser who hasn't found the need for additional abdominal strength to develop a whip-press. First Day Bent Arm Laterals. Press Behind Neck (seated, from bench press rack). 4 sets of alternate DB curls. 4 sets of DB peak contraction curls (photo above). 4 sets of French presses. The above is the afternoon workout. In the evening he tapers off with 8 sets of squats. Second Day 8 sets of Bent Arm Pullovers. 8 sets of seated alternate DB curls. 4 sets of barbell cheat curls. 4 sets of French presses. 4 sets of incline curls. Phil finds a problem in warming up his thick muscles; this is complicated by an old football knee injury which bothers him when lifting. He's given up football completely for lifting now. In competition or practice he finds he has to warm up at least 15 minutes, preferably 30. During the lifting season he warms up, works on the three lifts in order, for form then does high pulls, front squats, and squat cleans with increasing weight. Then if Butch isn't looking, he may work in a curl or two. Mike doesn't have a lifting coach looking over his shoulder. He is strictly a bodybuilder and has been since he was 13. Unlike Phil who was short and skinny when he started, Mike was tall and skinny - 5'11" and 130 pounds. He played school football but always there was bodybuilding - five days a week, usually two sessions a day, one spell of 3-1/2 years without a single break and never more than 3 or 4 days without a workout. A killing routine, but Mike has the results to show for his efforts. In the pictures of Mike and Phil together, Mike is wearing a sweater that seems to be bulky. But that bulk is all Mike and the sweater is stuffed with nothing but muscles. Mike is at a crossroads now. He is trying to decide whether to take the quick way to sudden glory via the professional contest or the slower amateur path first with its broader-based competition, greater coverage and more significant titles. In any event, he just finished a two month layoff because he felt he was growing stale. He was just now commencing a new routine to give greater emphasis to his legs which he admits do not match his torso. Even after his long layoff he could still claim a cold 22 inch arm, 32 waist, 25.5 thighs and 56.75 chest at 6'4" and 248 pounds. He has been about 15 pounds heavier but he feels that ultimately on his frame he can best carry a 22.5 inch cold arm and a 57.5 to 58 inch chest. Mike is only 20 now but has not set a definite period yet in which to achieve his goals. Perhaps the fact that he intends to marry shortly with a resultant change in workout routines makes him cautious about predictions. If determination and hard work count for anything, Mike is halfway there already. Look at Mike Guibilo's Training Routine before his layoff: He had a day routine that took 3.5 hours and an evening routine that took 1.5 hours - no talk, no long rest, just workout - 5 to 6 days a week. Day Routine 1. Bench press varying the position of the incline but not the weight or the sets which were always 3 with 8-10 reps each. He had 5 positions from flat on up through the four notches of his bench to nearly 90-degree incline. He has done a wide grip, touch and go bench press with 548 lbs). 2. Seated press behind neck (the basement ceiling is too low to permit him to stand, and besides, he feels he gets more or what he wants out of this way ), 4 sets, 6-8 reps, 350 lbs. 3. High pulls, 4 sets x 5 reps up to a maximum of 450. 4. Dumbbell curls (strict, as are all of his exercises for maximum benefit ), 8 sets, 8 reps, 68 pounders. 5. Cheat curls (the only exception to the strict maxim), 3 sets, 5 reps, 325 lbs. 6. Peak contraction curls between the legs, 5 sets, 8 reps, 68 pounds. 7. Bent arm pullovers. 8. Situps on the board, 1 set of 150-200 reps, bodyweight. Evening Routine 1. Sometimes squats, depending on how he feels. 2. Kneeling military press (remember that ceiling? ), 3 sets, 2-3 reps, 300 pounds. 3. Peak contraction curls again, but only with 55 pounds. 4. Straight arm pullovers, 4 sets, 5 reps, 285 lbs Both workouts, 5 to 6 days a week. Mike has found over the years that he could make gains for about 6-8 months before reaching a sticking point. Then he'd change routines and continue on to the next sticking point. While the above routine is highly specialized, remember it was the latest of many Mike has devised for his own needs and desires. His torso development seems unbalanced, but Mike has no intentions of entering contests until he can present overall balance. Until then the myth of Mike will grow, and grow, and grow.
  7. STRONGEST ARMS IN HISTORY ** HEAVIEST EVER CHEAT BARBELL CURL (1 REP MAX) LEADERBOARD ** * Regardless of lifters weight classes or type of barbell used. Heaviest Weight lifted WINS! 1. Denis Cyplenkov - 170 kg (375 lbs) - Ez Bar - (?) - Done for 2 reps! 2. Bill Kazmaier - 143 kg (315 lbs) - Straight Barbell ? - (1985) - Done for 12 or 15 reps! 3. Levan Saginashvili - 142 kg (312 lbs) - Ez Bar - (?) - Done for 3 reps! 4. Magnus Samuelsson - 140 kg (308 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (?) - Done for 4 reps! 5. Chuck Loesch - 140 kg (310 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (?) 6. Doug Hepburn - 136 kg (300 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1959) 7. Kirill Sarychev - 132.5 kg (292 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2015) - Done for 6 reps! 8. Kyriakos Grizzly - 120 kg (264 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2021) - Done for 14 reps! 9. Leonidas Arkona - 120 kg (264 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2019) 10. __________________________________________ Let's use this forum to document the heaviest weights lifted on a barbell cheat curl and also include some stories regarding those strength legends with "Out Of This World" claims! Let's begin with... Bill Kazmaier It is an Internet rumour that three time World's Strongest Man winner, champion powerlifter and general all round strength legend, has cheat curled 200 kg (440 lbs) back in 1985. He has also reportedly cheat curled 143 kg (315 lbs) for 12 or 15 reps. However, with no photos or video footage or witnesses, those so called records will need to remain a rumour. Kaz was known to be very strong in the arm department but without evidence, who really knows what he would have been capable of. As far as I'm aware, Kaz has never confirmed the 200 kg curl strength feat? Moving on to Strongman... Manfred Hoeberl Manfred built the World's Biggest Arms back in the 90's with a pumped measurement of 26" by Iron Historian Joe Roark. In 1994, Manfred wrote a book entitled "10 Minutes to Massive Arms" detailing at the time, how he trained his arms to get them so big. Within his book, he must have claimed that he could curl 200 kg (440 lbs) because a bodybuilding writer by the name of Steve Neece (RIP) challenged Manfred's claim and offered to pay Manfred $5,000 to prove it. Some sources claim it was really $10,000!! In an Interview back in 2012 (Jan 18) with Viking Strength, Manfred was asked how strong his arms were back in the 1990's when he possessed 25 Inch arms! Manfred's reply was... I'm not sure what year Neece challenged Manfred to prove he was able of curling 200 kg but If Manfred did accept Neece's challenge, he may not have followed through with it due to tearing his bicep in 1997. If you're a Manfred Hoeberl fan check this video out... Let's move on to Strongman... Magnus Samuelsson 1998 World's Strongest Man winner is known to have one of the strongest arms in the world including GRIP having officially closed a number 4 Captains of Crush Gripper. From his training DVD entitled "The World's Strongest Arms", Magnus cheat curled 140 kg (308 lbs) for 4 fairly strict reps. In an Interview with Ironmind back in 2010, Samuelsson stated... To make the reps more challenging and work his grip more during barbell curls he would let the bar roll as far down toward his fingertips as possible during reps, before bringing it back into his hand, curling his wrists, and then continuing the movement. In case anyone ever wonders if Magnus ever tore his biceps...The answer is yes and both of them!
  8. STRONGEST ARMS IN HISTORY ** HEAVIEST EVER STRICT BARBELL CURL (1 REP MAX) LEADERBOARD ** * Regardless of lifters weight classes or type of barbell used. Heaviest Weight lifted WINS! 1. Doug Hepburn (photo above) - 116 kg (255 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1959) 2. Denis Cyplenkov - 113 kg (249 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2015) 3. Luther Rogers - 107 kg (235 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1960) 4. Larry Wheels - 105 kg (231 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2020) 5. Bruce Randall - 103.6 kg (228 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1954) 6. CT Fletcher - 102 kg (225 lbs) - Ez-Bar - (?) 7. Hermann Goerner - 100.2 kg (220.5 lbs) - Straight Barbell (1932) 8. Hafthor Bjornsson - 83 kg (183 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2020) 9. The Gorilla Corey West - 82 kg (180 lbs) - Ez-Bar - (2019) 10. Maurice Jones - 80 kg (176 lbs) - Straight Barbell (?) ** STRICT CURL RULES ** * Old School Rules regarding Strict Curling: Click here. ** Current Strict Curl "online" Rules ** Upper back and butt must stay in contact with wall during full curl motion. During lift, lifter can take a close or wide foot stance. Heels must be 12" / 30 cm from wall during lift. Head, upper arms, wrists and elbows can move as much as you want as long as back and butt remain against wall. Strongman Doug Hepburn (1926 - 2000) who was the 1953 World Weightlifting Super Heavyweight Champion, strictly curled a MASSIVE 255 lbs (116 kg) back in 1959! He used a straight barbell. Quote Source: Ironman article: "Developing Curling Power" - March, 1961 (see below). The current World Record holder hasn't actually improved on the strict curl. Instead, the record has been lowered! As to the reason why...Who knows? That official record today is owned by Denis Cyplenkov with a strict curl (using an Ez-Bar) of 249 lbs (113 kg). Photo below shows Denis setting his first Strict Curl World Record with 108 kg (238 lbs). Keeping track of records throughout history is very challenging as rules keep changing. Doug Hepburn's record on the strict curl should still stand today as it was done standing freely while using a straight barbell. Cyplenkov's curl is a slightly different lift, his back and shoulders are braced against a wall and he's using an Ez-Curl barbell which does make the lift easier, especially on the wrists. More strict curl stats will be added soon so keep checking the leaderboard! If YOU come across any documentation (photographs or videos) that details any lifters performing "Strict Barbell Curl" strength feats, then post them below. In the mean time I'll leave you with an impressive photo of Cyplenkov's arms...The man is a BEAST!!
  9. The Gigantic Arms of Bill Pettis By Joe Weider The greatest bodybuilders in the world pass through the portals of Weider’s Woodland Hills establishment. The lavish appointment of this modern installation is reflected in the great human products that complement it. Massive muscle in repose lends a scenic treat matched only by the magnificent Santa Susana Mountains facing the broad, glass front. Attempts at conservative tailoring fail as muscle spills over. Shirt sleeves are carefully split to accommodate burgeoning biceps. You gape in awe at the likes of Arnold, Waller, Gable or a Paul Grant. You never saw such muscle. Never, that is, until the advent of Bill Pettis. Nothing causes as much commotion as the gigantic arms of Bill Pettis. You have to look twice to make sure they are arms and not two other people with him. Not many people can stifle their curiosity about such ponderous muscle and the most sophisticated observer finds himself asking the usual question: “What do your arms measure, Bill? ” Would you believe 23 1/4 inches? That’s how big he had them four years ago, weighing 230 pounds. That was pumped, after he had done 100 sets of arm work. In those days he worked his arms all day long. They would stay big like that for two or three days. Bill has gotten conservative now and keeps his arm at 21 1/2 cold. It pumps to 22 1/2. He no longer spends all day on arm work, having to cut it down to 1 1/2 hours three times a week. That alone, causes the layman bodybuilder to gulp, realizing his whole workout is that long. Compounding the incredulity of it all are the amounts of weight Bill uses on arm work. Generally noncommittal, when he starts to talk about it, you hear the poundages coming across in a soft voice that has all the innocence of a falling barometer on a balmy night. You’re not sure you heard it straight when he says he does standing triceps curls with 315 pounds on the bar. How can triceps handle that much weight like that? His do, and that’s a fact. It always comes as a shock when you hear how some guys go far astray of the orthodox methods of development, the venerable tried and proven principles, to develop incredible muscle and strength. The great Paul Anderson (1932 - 1994) was one of those backyard strongmen. He dug a trench (see photo below) so he could get under his ponderous, immovable squat bar. Often great feats are accomplished in silence. When applause tore the air over 21-inch biceps on the world’s posing platforms, here’s an unknown man silently carving out a biceps over two inches bigger than any of them anywhere. They are muscular biceps also. The credit is misapplied in referring to them as biceps, however. Despite the immense ball of the biceps muscle itself on Bill’s arm, the greater portion of the mass lies in the triceps. Where his biceps peaks like a 30-foot wave, his triceps curves downward like the underbelly of a giant shark. The arm under flexion seems to loom. It negates comprehension. The forearms are equally massive with cables of muscle extending from the elbow to wrist. Straight out they measure 15 3/4, in a “goose-neck”, 16 1/2. The average bodybuilder fights hard to get his flexed upper arm that big. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of humble origin, he grew to be resourceful. He got into weight training by making bells out of 25-pound cinder blocks. He worked out with them for a better part of a year back in 1960. He wanted to build his strength for other sports. He became a devastating high school athlete. In football he made All City and All League as a guard. In baseball he pitched. When he was on, he could strike out 12 men in a game. A moment’s reflection makes you wonder where he went astray. YOU see those massive arms, the tremendous potential, and you imagine him as a big league pitcher. He obviously had speed and control, looking at his high school strikeout record. With his easy, quiet manner, and geared-down movements you suspect it’s deliberate, an attempt not to startle with all that overpowering size. But, he’s got a primitive speed. He ran the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds. He landed in a small college, but economics and a family that needed his support at home forced him to quit. What has been professional baseball or football’s loss has been bodybuilding’s gain. Like many other great potential athletes he got hooked on the private challenge of bodybuilding. Only someone who has tried it can understand the powerful attraction. The bodybuilding ranks are full of former great athletes. Guys like Ken Waller and Roger Callard left careers in football to take up muscle building. Now 28 years old, Bill recalls 20 years ago when he cold flexed a pretty good little biceps. That he possessed natural muscle potential leaves no question. Only a natural could curl 220 pounds six reps. That’s what he does today – and a whole lot more. Listen to this arm workout: Barbell Cheat Curl: 5 sets; 6 reps, 220 lbs. Scott Bench Curl: 5 sets; 6 reps, 160 lbs. Barbell Curl: Strict: 5 sets; 6 reps, 180 lbs. Triceps Pushdown: 5 sets; 6 reps, 150 lbs. Standing Triceps Press: 7 sets of 225 lbs for 6 reps; 275 lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps; 315 lbs for 3 sets of 4 reps. Parallel Bar Dips: 4 sets, 25 reps. Reverse Triceps Push-ups: 6 to 8 sets, 50 reps, No weight. A look at the program makes it evident that the triceps gets the major share of the work. The greater part of the muscle volume of the upper arm lies in the triceps. Bill recognized that fact and trained hard on triceps. As a result his arm shows perfect balance, both biceps and triceps developed to the fullest. The biceps in recent years has gotten favored treatment because it’s a showcase muscle. As a result the arms of some superstars show lagging development in the triceps. Bill uses a medium grip with all the barbell movements. He follows the Weider “Quality” training technique and rests only a minute between sets, slightly long, perhaps, but that’s because he works heavy with low forced reps. The Scott Bench curl (photo above) gives him the low, wide biceps. He uses the straight bar on the Triceps Pushdown (photo below), keeping the elbows tight against the sides, raises the bar to the chin, and pushes down until the elbows lock. He does no partial movements in any exercises. The Standing Triceps Press is his forte. The bulk of his upper arm muscle comes from it. He takes the weight off the squat rack and jerks it overhead to start the exercise. He lowers the bar to the shoulders and immediately drives it to arms length overhead with triceps alone. He can work up to a single rep with 340. He follows that with weightless push-ups, doing several sets that total up to hundreds of reps. In this way he can literally flush gallons of blood through the great muscle mass and get an extreme pump. He has done as many as 3000 push-ups in a workout, which took him something like five hours. He doesn’t get into these drawn out affairs these days. He doesn’t need to. Though he works his upper arms three days a week, he works his forearms every day. He does 10 sets of wrist curls over a bench, five sets regular, five sets reverse. Forearms, like calves, must be worked every day for growth, a fact many bodybuilders aren’t totally aware of. His main advice to the beginning bodybuilder who wants total arm development is the necessity of working the triceps to the fullest. This means at least twice as much as the biceps. If it is neglected in the beginning, it never seems to catch up fully. It will be worth the development when one gets into competition. With recent emphasis on five or six meals a day, Bill gets along on only two. His food intake is not excessive, amounting to three or four eggs a day with bacon, steak, fish, fowl, fruits and vegetables. Earlier in the game when he was striving for size he would eat 25 pancakes at a sitting, but he stopped doing that. He supplements his diet with protein, yeast and liver tablets. Bill’s development is heartening to those who refuse to take steroids. He has never taken any synthetic anabolics. Aside from the cost, he has preferred to be cautious, and has proved you can get ultimate muscle mass and cuts without it. In fact, he aims to compete with and beat those bodybuilders who happen to be heavy into muscle building drugs. No one would question the validity of his aim. With no great effort to develop other lifts, Bill does a commendable bench press with 475 lbs and a squat with 620 lbs. One could easily foresee records falling if he cared to convert his great potential for muscle building into powerlifting. He trains with his friend Bill Grant at Gold’s Gym. The powerful, iron-clan look of Chuck Sipes offer Bill the style and ideal he prefers. He intends to make it work for him. He wouldn’t mind winning Mr. America. Bill’s mighty arms excites the professional wrist-wrestlers, but he will have no part of it. He likes his bodybuilding. If he were to injure an elbow by some remote chance, his bodybuilding hopes would disappear. He’s happy the way he is. He’s due to find his niche in the world of muscle. He’s got the look of a legend. It’s a timeless quality. After all, how many guys got arms that big? This ad appeared in the November 82 Ironman… NOTE from Strength Oldschool: I hope you have enjoyed reading this classic bodybuilding article on Bill Pettis. Because this is a Joe Weider Article, I wouldn't fully believe the claims of Bill Pettis's Arm Measurements or Strength Stats. I'm sure he did have impressive arms as can be seen from the photos, but I highly doubt they were even close to 23 inches! As for his strength levels in the gym, who knows? Unfortunately Bill (1946 - 2016) has now passed away and the following footage may shock some fans. If anyone has stories on Bill, please share them below. Thank you. RIP Bill Pettis Farewells from fans.... Royal's mom wrote: The Spy wrote: unknownbillionaire wrote: Dilraj Shergill wrote: Jack Horgan wrote: Antoine King wrote: Betty Boop wrote: Peters World wrote: Gustavo wrote: Betty Boop wrote in response to Gustavo: NeftyN3f wrote: Betty Boop wrote in response to NeftyN3f: If anyone would like to share stories on Bill Pettis and provide facts regarding his life, eating habits and training, please do so by responding to this article. Great article on Bill.
  10. How to Build Strong and Powerful Triceps By Charles A. Smith (1953) Edited By: Strength Oldschool There was a play written some years ago by the late George Bernard Shaw, and although you lifters likely won’t be the least bit interested in it, I think you will be in its title . . . “Arms and the Man,” because regardless of the fact that they might be beginning lifters, physique champions, or just plain ordinary members of the public, everyone associates a large, muscular and powerful pair of arms with a manly, forceful character. A pair of well-developed arms sets off a man’s physique; that is certainly true, and it is also a fact that people often judge you by your body and its shape. I have yet to meet a bodybuilder who hasn’t at one time or another spent twice as much time exercising his arms as any other part of his physique, and I have yet to hear of one who was satisfied with the results that followed. The most common complaint among bodybuilders seems to be this . . . “My arms just won’t grow. I’ve curled and curled but they won’t grow.” Now it is easy for me to see why they fail on a program, but it isn’t always so easy for a beginning lifter. Experienced men have discovered their own easiest and fastest way to gain arm size and strength, and have found the main rules that ensure continued progress. But the newcomer often finds himself unable to make any gains, and is also unable to figure out why. Now, developing size and strength in the arms is not all that difficult, so why is it that some fail, and what is the best way to correct that failure. The key to the problem lies in an understanding of arm muscle function and training methods. Every beginner trains to get bigger arms, but trains along the wrong lines, for he almost always devotes the major portion of the time spent in arm training in curling. One of the hardest tasks I know is trying to convince beginners that large arms are not obtained by curling but by exercising the triceps; that the bodybuilders with the largest, best-developed and most powerful arms are those with the biggest and strongest triceps. Now it is true that the biceps muscle does add greatly to he shape of the upper arm and is responsible for some coordinated pulling strength, but it is the triceps that gives power and bulk. One muscle has only two sections, while the other has three, all of them contributing to the overall qualities. Glance at the photo of any great physique model or strongman, especially one who is famous for arm massiveness. You will notice that the arm as a whole looks big. There’s nothing disproportionate about it. A great meaty curve to the triceps and a full, often high biceps formation that is even further set off by the muscle on the underside of the arm. It is obvious that a great deal of specialized bulk work has gone into building it up to such a model of strength and physical perfection. Where do we go from here? One step further, to the training routines of these men. What magic have they used here? No magic, but simply finding out the functions of the muscle and applying certain straightforward principles. But there are other factors. It is a fact that a great proportion of lifters are not nearly as flexible in the use of their exercises and routines as they could afford to be. Most of them use one or two movements for each basic muscle group and grind away month after month whether they make progress or not. The experienced, thinking man retains a favorite movement, and in addition uses a wide variety of exercises over the years, thus working the muscles with many different approaches. Take Reg Park, for instance. Reg’s favorite triceps exercise is the standing French, or triceps press movement (see photo below). He also uses presses behind the neck with a barbell, bench triceps presses and some dumbbell triceps work. That is the pattern behind almost every successful lifter’s arm strengthening and building progress. Keep to a favorite exercise and select a changing variety of movements for the same muscle group. The favorite movement can always be retained, but the rest of the schedule is changed as soon as it fails to yield further results. Marvin Eder uses bench presses with varying width grips for his triceps power and bulk. This is the main exercise, but he’ll often go to the dipping bars (see photo below) and pump away at scores of sets of dips with a heavy weight tied around him. Then he’ll go on to other triceps movements. Workouts are kept enjoyable in this manner and enthusiasm and challenge are always maintained. When any particular muscle group is given special attention, that constitutes specialized training and one has to take into consideration not only the exercises and apparatus used, but also such matters as diet and rest. Any specialization routine entails the use of a lot of energy, both physical and nervous. You’ve got to work hard and sometimes work on your nerve to jar those triceps muscles into greater power and growth, then let them rest until ready again. The triceps straightens the forearm on the upper arm. You don’t even have to move the upper arm to get full triceps benefit. Hold your upper arm tight against the side of the body, and straighten the forearm out from the curl finish position. As you move the forearm, resist with your other hand; hold the left hand with the right and just straighten the arm from the biceps flexes position. You’ll feel how much work your triceps does. So, you will soon be able to prove to yourself that the triceps are worked pretty fully in all arm extensions. They are in their most powerful position when the upper arms are level with the shoulders, for overhead presses, and start to exert their main force from here. From here to arms’ length, there is a powerful movement or contraction of the triceps muscle. The advantage of using demanding poundages and utilizing the Multi Power (power) rack in a triceps routine should also be explained now. Muscle receives the greatest stimulus from heavy resistance. You might say, “What if the weight is so heavy that I can’t even move it from the starting position? ” If you shorten the range over which the weight is moved you will find that you can handle that “immovable” weight. In other words, if you perform a half squat instead of a full squat, you can handle poundages far in excess of your full squat limit. The same applies to any exercise, and you can build the power of ligament, tendon, and muscle, but you’ll become mentally accustomed to handling heavy poundages. And this, in my opinion, is half the battle. Here I’m going to give you five triceps exercises. First you should use your favorite triceps movement, no matter what it is. Use the exercise that has proven to give you the best results over time, and perform each repetition from complete extension to contraction. After you have completed three or four sets of this movement, start your rack triceps routine. Each exercise should be used as a “half movement” at first, with the resistance increased either by adding more weight, or by lowering the bar in the rack. A good plan is to increase the bar a single hole and continuing in this manner as long as possible. Then you can return to the half movement again and handle considerable more weight. The illustration of the exercises give you the approximate half positions but you will have to experiment a little and find the position which is most comfortable for you to start at. Each exercise should be concentrated on intensely. The triceps muscles can stand a great deal of work and you need not fear you’ll overwork them. Use as heavy a weight as possible, beginning with 4 sets of 5 or 6 repetitions, working up to 4 sets of 10 or 12 repetitions before lowering the starting position, and eventually increasing the poundage. Exercise 1. Seated Lock Out Presses: Place an exercise bench inside the rack. Sit on the bench so the bar is in back of the neck, and level with the top of the head, or at such a height that the upper arms are horizontal. Grip the bar with a fairly narrow grip. Press to arms’ length, lower slowly and repeat the movement. Note, as shown in the accompanying illustration, that the elbows are pointing forward and not to the sides so as to place the strain on the triceps. Exercise 2. Standing Lock Out Presses: The bar should be raised to such a height that it is in the press position just above the top of the head, or at such a height that the upper arms are horizontal. Grip the bar with a hand spacing just slightly less than shoulder width. Press to arms’ length, elbows facing front, lower steadily and repeat. Exercise 3. Standing Triceps Press - Palms Up: Take a look at the illustration and notice the position of the lifter. The forearms are level with the ground while the upper arms point straight up and the elbows face forward. The bar is gripped with a narrow hand spacing, palms of the hands facing up, and is raised to arms’ length and then lowered slowly. Exercise 4. Lying Triceps Press - Palms Down: Set the bar in the rack so that when you lie under it, your forearms are level or slightly above level with the floor and your upper arms pointing straight up. Again you use a narrow grip but this time the palms of the hands are turned down. This is a very tough triceps movement and you’ll have to fight to get the weight to arms’ length. Don’t forget to control the bar down to starting position and note the elbow position. Exercise 5. Supine Lockout Presses: You’ll be able to use hundreds of pounds in this movement, and you’ll certainly get strong, bulky triceps. Set the bar to the position indicated in the drawing. Get under the bar and grip it palms forward with a hand spacing just less than shoulder width, elbows properly positioned. Press the bar to arms’ length, then again use that controlled lowering to return to the starting position. In all these movements you must use the greatest amount of weight possible, in combination with the sets and repetitions indicated. Concentrate fully on the action of the muscle, be determined that you are going to build strong, powerful triceps of great development. Don’t forget to obtain plenty of rest and good food, high in protein content, but above all, WORK HARD! Schedules are peculiar things. They won’t work unless you do.
  11. Casey Viator - 1971 Training Routine - 3 Days a Week By Achilles Kallos Nineteen year old Casey Viator from New Iberia, La. is the youngest bodybuilder to have won the Mr. America title. He started training when he was fifteen, which, in my opinion, is the right time to start bodybuilding. Casey has been fortunate in many ways, having a good physical background, sound training advice and a superb genetic potential. At the same time, however, he is an exceptionally hard trainer, in spite of the fact that he works long hours at his job as a welder. Two former Mr. Americas have guided him: Boyer Coe and Red Lerille. For the past year Casey has been training under the watchful eye of Art Jones of Deland, Florida. As you may know, Art Jones invented the Nautilus machine. This machine enables you to train your body harder in less time with outstanding results. According to Jones, Casey is one of the strongest men he has ever trained and no one yet has been able to exceed the poundages he uses on the Nautilus machine. Although Casey has not really bothered to exert himself with maximum poundages as he prefers to train for bodybuilding, he has done the following: Bench Press: 460 lbs. Full Squat: 505 x 14 reps. Press Behind Neck: 280 lbs. Barbell Curl: 225 x 4 reps. Casey trains three times a week, working the whole body in one workout lasting about 2 to 2½ hours. He employs the Nautilus machine mainly for the arms and lats and conventional barbell and dumbbell movements for the rest of the body. When he trains on the conventional exercises he does some of them one after the other without much rest. That is why he is able to train his whole body thoroughly and in such a short time. Here is Casey’s three day a week routine: Legs (conventional method) 1. Leg Press - 750 lbs. x 20 reps. 2. Leg Extension - 250 lbs. x 14 to 20 reps. 3. Full Squat - 505 lbs x 14-20. 4. Leg Curl - 150 lbs x 14-20. These exercises are done one after the other without the usual rest associated with such large poundages. I would like to see anyone else duplicate this. NOTE BY STRENGTH-OLDSCHOOL: The style of Leg Press machine that Casey was using was different and much harder compared to the angled Leg Press machines of today. Lats (Nautilus machine) 1. Pullover - 3 sets of 20 reps. 2. Circular Pulldown - 3 sets of 20. 3. Chins - 3 x 20. Each exercise is done in the normal set fashion. Deltoids (conventional and Nautilus) 1. Standing Laterals - 60 lbs. x 3 sets of 20 reps. 2. Barbell Press Behind Neck - 215 lbs. x 3 sets of 20 reps. 3. Nautilus Lateral Raise - 3 x 20. You will note that two movements are done with barbell and dumbbells and one on the Nautilus. 4. Barbell Shrug - 280 lbs. 3 x 20. Chest (conventional) 1. Barbell Bench Press - 350 lbs. 2 x 20. 2. Incline Barbell Press - 225 lbs. 3 x 20. 3. Dips - 100 lbs. 3 x 20. 4. Cable Crossover - 40 lbs. 3 x 20. Arms (Nautilus) 1. Conventional Barbell Curl - 200 lbs. 1 x 20. 2. Combination Triceps and Biceps exercise - 120 lbs. 1 x 20. 3. Triceps Extension (similar to pulley pushdown) - 110 lbs. 1 x 20. 4. Compound Triceps movement - 1 x 20. Calves (conventional) 1. One Legged Calf Raise - 85 lb. dumbell 4 x 50. Forearms (conventional) 1. Barbell Wrist Curl - 145 lbs. 2 x 20. Deadlift 400 lbs. 1 set of 30 reps. Many of us think we are training hard, but after looking at Casey’s routine we might have to review our definition of hard work! You will note he employs high reps. Obviously this involves a lot of concentration as well. To read a 1980 Interview with Casey Viator click here.
  12. Casey Viator Talks Arms By Doris Barrilleaux Doris: How big were your arms when you began training? Casey: When I started training I had about a 17 1/2 inch arm. Doris: Along with the methods you use today, what were some of the methods that worked for you in your early years of arm training? Casey: I used to use a lot of heavy, heavy movements, barbell curls, heavy lying tricep extensions, heavy dipping and chinning. Everything was done pretty strong. I moved slowly so I've never had elbow or knee problems. I did this without thinking. Arthur Jones later contributed because he brought all this to light. I now understand what it takes for intensity in each set. Doing high intensity sets in the beginning, I didn't quite understand what I was doing. I was doing multiple sets - 8 sets for my biceps in one movement. I was sacrificing my recuperative power, my ability to recuperate from one exercise period to the next. * Arthur Jones (Inventor of Nautilus) using his Nautilus Pullover Machine Doris: How powerful are your forearms, biceps and triceps? Casey: I'm doing 225 pounds on a wrist curl, biceps 225 pounds strict curl (see photo above), and triceps - I do 300 pounds lying tricep extensions. NOTE: * Casey Viator compares forearms with bodybuilding legend, Gunnar Rosbo Doris: How big do you think it's possible to build an arm? Casey: There is so much lying in the books. I think a 21 inch arm would be freaky and scare people. I don't think anyone in the field has 20 inch arms. Doris: On the stage one time they asked Boyer Coe (see photo below) what his measurements were and he said he didn't know what they were and he didn't care. He said people can lie. It is how you look that's important. Casey: That's exactly how I feel about it when people ask me about my measurements. I don't care what my measurements are as long as I look good. Doris: Who's arm impressed you most during your early career? Casey: Larry Scott all the way. I think Robby Robinson has a nice arm as far as peak. * Larry Scott at Robert Nailon's gym in 1978. Doris: What do bodybuilders do wrong in their arm training? Casey: They train too much. And they quit right when they are starting to warm up that muscle. They quit at 8 reps when they should go on. I personally think the maximum you can do is 6 sets for both biceps and triceps and still get maximum gains with intensity. 6 sets of 10 - 15 reps progressive. Repetition, you know, also contributes to all these injuries from doing many sets. Your elbows and knees just have so much lubrication. Doris: I read an article on a woman bodybuilder that said she does 20 or 30 reps. How do you feel about that? Casey: She can do that, but the thing is she has to save herself. If she'd do 2 sets all the way to failure, she'd accomplish a lot more. When you try to do too many reps, you're saving yourself for the next set. Doris: Do you have any comments on arms and overall physique symmetry? Casey: WOW! That's going to take some time. I think arms are my best asset. I think if you can display them right it is one of the basic things to win a physique contest. Proportions mean so much. You have to have everything balanced, that's what the problem is with professional bodybuilders today. There's not a balanced physique. Well, Zane has it but he's not big enough. * Frank Zane - 1966 Mr Olympia Contest Doris: Do you think size is that important? Casey: Definitely! If you're symmetrical. Zane has come as close as possible because his calves are proportioned to his thighs and he is cut up and can display his physique well. Doris: What do you think about women and bodybuilding? Casey: I think it is beautiful, a beautiful healthy sport. I just hope the money starts rolling in for you people and things start coming on strong. * Female Bodybuilder Lisa Lyon Doris: You say you think a man's arms are his most important part, right? On a female anatomy do you think the upper or lower body is more important? Casey: I think the lower body is more important as far as calves, buttocks, lower back and abdominals. I think the upper body is last. Doris: That's the way I feel. I think the lower part is most important and the rest should be in proportion. So many women are now going into the bulky look. Casey: I've never seen a woman's calves too big. The Europeans have a standard there that's very good. They keep their calves up. All the Europeans believe in the calves and lower body. Few own cars, so they get a lot of exercise. * Cory Everson Doris: Do you have any amusing stories from your training career? Casey: When I first came down from Louisiana to work with Arthur (see photo below) I was living at his house with his son Gary. Arthur was into making him protein milk shakes. He thought up one made with peaches and fried chicken livers. He mixed it up in a blender and handed it to his son and said; "Drink it." Gary sniffed it and said; "Dad, I just can't do it." Arthur became very obnoxious demanding that he drink it. They argued back and forth, and when Gary took a sip he gagged. Arthur snatched it from him saying; "Give me that damn thing! " He took a whiff of it and said; "WOW, that does smell bad! " and he poured it down the sink. He also used to make the same kid that we're talking about squat, (he had a squat rack in his living room) squat until he'd - how shall I say - put dropping in his pants and pass out! EDITOR'S NOTE Arthur Jones is a staunch realist in all things. He believes to grow fast, hard and strong --- that means training to failure. I've personally witnessed a bodybuilder retching from going to the maximum in a 'Nautilus' style leg routine under Jones' scrutiny. Jones can get a trainer to achieve more in one set that most men can get out of 4 or 5 workouts. To him, intensity is everything. The 70's were his - rather, the 'Nautilus Decade'. * Deland Florida - Arthur Jones [pictured centre] (1971) * Info on Nautilus Gym Equipment * "Jones patented the Nautilus machine and introduced it to the public in 1970 - First to a weight lifting convention in Los Angeles, California. He would hold demos on how the machine worked (The Blue Monster - pictured in Iron Man magazine Nov. 1970). This is the machine Arthur hauled out to California. In 1975 Dr. Michael O'shea opened his facility, Sport Training Institute in New York City, and offered only Nautilus Equipment. It was the advent of Nautilus machines that made resistance training appealing to the general public, fueling the fitness boom of the 70's and 80's and resulting in Nautilus gyms in strip malls across America. They could use the nautilus name for branding as long as they ran their business in an ethical manner and only offered nautilus equipment with the exception of utility benches etc. There were no franchise fees to use the nautilus logo all you had to do was buy the 12 piece circuit, this did get the nautilus name out across the country but it also posed a problem for Arthur to protect the rites of his brand. Jones sold Nautilus in 1986 and founded MedX where his aim was to perfect the testing of human strength, endurance, and range of movement." ~ CyberPump.com Casey Viator now lives in California and trains with Mike Mentzer. As this goes to press, he has just won his first IFBB Pro Grand Prix contest. Nine years after winning the AAU Mr. America, Casey Viator is finally getting the credit and publicity his greatness deserves. * Mike Mentzer - Samir Bannout - Casey Viator
  13. My Favourite Routine for Building Massive Arms By Gene Mozee [Gene Mozee] In 1951, when I first began bodybuilding, I used to go to Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, every day during summer vacation and on weekends during the rest of the year. The superstars of that era – Steve Reeves, Armand Tanny, John Farbotnik, Marvin Eder, George Eiferman, Malcomb Brenner, Joe Sanceri, Clark Coffee, Ed Fury, Joe Gold and Zabo Koszewski, among others – were always there, and you could watch them train at the beach or at Vic Tanny’s famous gym, which was just a couple of blocks away. Today’s stars are practically unapproachable, but the atmosphere was totally different in those days. The champs and Muscle Beach regulars were accessible and easy to get to know. Once they understood that you were sincere and that you weren’t a flake who was wasting their time, they would freely give helpful training advice. My brother George and I got a lot of workout ideas and routines that way. There will never be another era like that in bodybuilding. From 1950 to 1980 I met almost every great bodybuilder in the world. I had the opportunity to interview them and discuss their training and nutrition secrets, and I even had the opportunity to train with several of those great superstars. It helped me to build 20 inch arms at a bodyweight of 220 pounds and bench press 455 lbs in strict form. In 1956, I bought the Pasadena Gym from John Farbotnik (photo above), who held the titles of Mr. America, Mr. World and Mr. Universe. That’s when I began to use all of the great training techniques and exercise routines that I learned from Reeves, Eiferman, Jack Delinger, Clancy Ross, Vince Gironda, Bill Pearl, Farbotnik, Sanceri and many others on my clients. We produced dozens of pro football players, track and field record holders, baseball and basketball stars and weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding champions. One of the greatest physique athletes of the pre-steroid era was John McWilliams (Photo below). It’s believed that McWilliams and Bud Counts (Photo above) were the first bodybuilders to have arms that measured more than 20 inches cold. John was also one of the first men in the world to bench press 500 pounds. I met McWilliams at a powerlifting meet in San Diego. At that moment he was working as the training director of George and Beverly Crowie’s gym in the San Diego area. He had most of the top stars of the Chargers football team under his guidance, including All-Pros Jack Kemp, Keith Lincoln and Ron Mix. McWilliams (Photo above) was more than 40 years old at the time, and he trimmed down to a bodyweight of 186 pounds. Bill Pearl’s mentor, the immortal Leo Stern, measured John’s arm at 19 ¼ inches cold, his chest at 52 ½ inches and his waist at 31 inches. These are phenomenal numbers for someone who weighs 186 pounds, and he got them without steroids or the benefit of today’s nutritional supplements. John and I became friends, and he described one of his favorite routines for building more massive upper arms. Not only did I use this workout myself, but I put 37 members of my gym on it. The average gain was 1 ¼ inches in six weeks. The following program is designed for those who’ve been training steadily for at least six months. Beginners should stay with a much simpler routine consisting of basic exercises. Here’s how McWilliams described his arm training... Muscular arms are growing larger every year. They’re stretching the tape to dimensions thought impossible a few years ago, and the drive behind this extra size has been the development of more triceps specialization. The triceps forms the greatest bulk of the arm and gives that rich and massive look to the backs of the upper arms, especially when they’re relaxed. When they’re flexed, the triceps give them that dramatic horseshoe-shaped look of power. It’s no surprise that the best bench pressers all have huge triceps. I know that a few years ago the average bodybuilder concentrated too much on his biceps and assumed that if this muscle was big and bulging, that was all that mattered. Today’s outstanding bodybuilders have discovered, however, that you must work to build longer and larger triceps to give your upper arms that desired extra size and shape. I advise you to follow this procedure if you want to add extra inches of muscle to your arms. I’ve also found that if you want to get the ultimate arm development, you must learn to relax your arms. The special relaxing movement I use is to close my fists tightly, then suddenly let go completely. Practice this a few times before and while exercising, and don’t hesitate to stretch and yawn whenever you have the chance. These movements take only a few seconds, and they’ll help move stagnant blood and bring a fresh supply to tiring muscles, breathing new life to them. So relax those tense muscles. I’ve spent many years reading all the articles I could find on arm development, studying how champions exercise theirs. I’ve devised my own system that I’m passing on to you. A great many people have used it successfully, and I’ll be very happy if this system does as much for you as it has done for me. May your progress be speedy. John McWilliam's Arm Training Program McWilliam's arm routine uses a number of double-compound movements, which gives your muscles a unique blast. Use the following program three times a week with at least a day of rest between arm workouts. 1/ Pullovers and Presses: This is not only a good exercise for the chest and shoulders, but it’s terrific for the arms. I attribute 75% of my own arm development to this double-compound exercise. There are many variations of this that you can perform. In this routine it’s used as a warm-up and the first exercise, as follows. Lie on your back on a flat bench that’s at least 18 inches high. Grasp the barbell with your hands approximately 10 inches apart. Begin with the bar resting on your chest and then press the weight up about 12 inches. With your arms bent, continue by guiding the bar back, over your head and down as far as you can. When you reach the lowest point, pull hard and bring the weight back to the original position on your chest. Repeat for 12 reps, inhaling as you lower the weight and exhaling as you pull back to the starting position. Do this part of the movement slowly so you can feel the muscle pulling both ways. When you finish the 12 pullovers, without taking any rest, do 12 narrow-grip bench presses, exhaling as you press the weight to arm’s length and inhaling as you lower it back to your chest. Still taking no rest, perform six more pullovers and six more bench presses. This last round of the double-compound exercise really brings the blood to the target region, which gives you a massive pump that sticks around for the rest of the arm routine. Do two sets of this super movement, resting about 90 seconds between sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Giant set (All exercises performed one after the other = 1 set - Repeat 1 more time to complete 2 sets total) Barbell Pullovers - 2 sets of 12 reps Close-Grip Bench Presses - 2 sets of 12 reps Barbell pullovers - 2 sets of 6 reps Close-grip bench presses - 2 sets of 6 reps 2/ Two-Arm Curls and Triceps Presses: This double movement is one of the best exercises for the biceps. While standing erect, with your feet about 18 inches apart, hold a barbell with a medium, palms-up grip and slowly curl the weight from your thighs to your shoulders, tensing the biceps at the top. Lower the weight slowly to your thighs and repeat for 12 reps. Remember to stand stiff and let your biceps do all the work. When you finish the curls, go right into the triceps presses. Switch to an over-grip and press the barbell overhead, which positions your palms facing forward. Holding your elbows stationary throughout the movement, bend your arms, letting the weight travel down to the backs of your shoulders, and then push the weight back to arm’s length with triceps power alone. Inhale as you let the weight down, and exhale as you press it up. Perform 12 reps and then without taking any rest, grab two fairly light dumbbells and do 10 fast curls using good form, which means going all the way down without swinging the dumbbells. When you finish that, again without taking any rest, do 10 fast triceps presses with the dumbbells. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat this double-compound exercise for a total of three sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Giant set (All exercises performed one after the other = 1 set - Repeat 2 more times to complete 3 sets total) Barbell Curls - 3 sets of 12 reps Triceps Presses - 3 sets of 12 reps Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets of 10 reps Dumbbell Triceps Presses - 3 sets of 10 reps 3/ Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions: This is one of my favorite exercises for building triceps size. Lie on your back on a flat bench and start with the bar at arm’s length above your chest and keep your hands 10 inches apart. Keeping your elbows pointed toward the ceiling, lower the weight slowly behind your head. Inhale as you lower the barbell and exhale as you press back to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 12 reps, resting for 45 to 60 seconds between sets. The above training breaks down as follows... Lying Barbell Triceps Extension - 3 sets of 12 reps 4/ Close-Grip Benches and Triceps Pumper (Kick-Backs): This is another superior size builder. Lie on a flat bench, and use a weight that you can sustain for three sets of at least 10 reps. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up, and rest about 60 seconds between sets. When you finish the third set, taking no rest, pick up a dumbbell with your right hand and bend forward at the waist, with your left hand holding onto a support. Do 20 kickbacks, then switch the weight to the other hand for 20 reps. Rest for 30 seconds and perform a second set for each arm. Well, there you have one of the best size-building programs for getting big arms fast. One modification that some of us at the Pasadena Gym used was to start with dumbbell concentration curls, performing four sets of 10, eight, six and 15 reps, while increasing the weight on the second and third sets and dropping it on the last: for example, using 40 pounds for 10 reps, 45 pounds for eight reps, 50 pounds for six reps and 30 pounds for 15 reps. We did this while taking no rest at all between sets. Only the more advanced guys who have been training for quite some time used this program, however. The above training breaks down as follows... Close-Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 10 reps Dumbbell Tricep Kick-Backs - 2 sets of 20 reps John McWilliams put a strong emphasis on the big-three fundamentals of bodybuilding: Consistent hard training Proper nutrition, including supplements Sufficient rest, relaxation and growth promoting sleep The workout techniques that enabled McWilliams to become one of the pioneers of super-massive arm development are still valid today. His training secrets can help all those who use them build massive arms rapidly, enabling them to reach their goal of physical perfection much sooner. Why not try it – and watch your arms grow!
  14. The Legendary Leroy Colbert Training Philosophy (1977) By Howard Alpert When the definitive history of bodybuilding is written, a significant section will be devoted to a man who 'rewrote' the rules of training and whose physical development still remains as a standard that other bodybuilders try to reach. In an era when a 16-inch arm was considered very good and an 18-inch one was something that trainees dreamed about, the fabulous Leroy Colbert smashed all barriers by developing a 21-inch muscular arm. Only a near-tragic accident (Motorcycle accident in 1955 ) prevented him from going on after winning the Mr. Eastern America title to become Mr. America and Mr. Universe. Leroy loved his motorcycles However, the unfortunate event had a silver lining. It gave Leroy some time to seriously think about his future. He knew that he wanted to find a career doing something that would help people live a healthier life. At first, Leroy thought about opening his own gym. Then he realized that he could reach many more people if he had a health food store. The idea of opening a traditional health food store was not in keeping with the Colbert desire to do things in a bigger and better way than they had been done before. Finally, Leroy decided to open a 'health department store'. Today, Leroy and his lovely wife Jacqueline own and operate the two World Health Centers in New York City. These are unique establishments that contain everything from protein supplements and vitamins to fresh organic vegetables, fish, eggs, and meats, all of which are delivered daily. In addition, each store contains a large selection of exercise equipment. Leroy Colbert and Wife Jacqueline When I discussed with Leroy the idea of doing an article about his training philosophy the concepts that helped him to develop one of the greatest physiques ever seen, he graciously said that he would be only too happy to provide this information for readers. If you could see the busy schedule Leroy maintains during a typical day, you would get a better understanding of how difficult it was for him to set aside time for an interview. You would also get a clearer realization that he is so dedicated to helping others that he did provide the time even though it meant extending his working day well into the night. Leroy Colbert at 15 Years Old Before Leroy stated his training ideas, he wanted to be sure that I set down his views on using steroids. You know me long enough to know that I rarely get angry. But when guys come in here and tell me that the only way they can build a good physique is by using steroids, I want to grab them by their necks and shake some sense into their heads. How can anyone be so foolish as to play Russian roulette with his health? Fortunately, I have been able to convince a considerable number of fellows that steroids aren't necessary by showing them photos of the guys that were my contemporaries when I was competing. How many bodybuilders today can equal the development of Jack Delinger, George Eiferman, Marvin Eder, Reg Park, and, if you want to talk about the defined and vascular physique that is in vogue today, which of the present day stars would like to compete against Roy Hilligenn or Bob Hinds when they were at their peak? Oh yes, there were also a couple of fellows named Bruce Randall (photo below ) and Enrico Thomas who would have given today's competitors a few nervous moments. All of these guys and many, many more built their bodies to exceptionally high levels of development, and they did it the way we did it at that time - through consistently hard training. And we didn't have the information that the guys today have. Nor did we have the different types of supplements - liquid, predigested, even without any carbohydrates. All we knew was that if you wanted to gain weight and size, you trained like the devil and ate everything in sight. When you wanted to cut down, you trained like the devil and ate less. If we had the facts on nutrition that are common knowledge today, we probably could have gotten results in half the time. No, I repeat that the most foolish thing a bodybuilder can do is to take a chemical substance into his body, a substance whose side-effects are potentially so dangerous and that was never intended to be used by healthy people. With that off my chest, let me say a few things about training. When I started to train, the 'rule' was that you never did more than three sets for a bodypart. I wanted a body so badly that after using the three-sets idea for a while, I just decided I had to try something else. As I recall, Marvin Eder (Photo below) decided one day that we would do 10 sets of each exercise we were using instead of the usual three. Then we swore that we would meet again early the next morning to see if we were both still alive. When we felt the difference from training that way and found out that we both lived through it, I threw the 'rule book' out the window and started to grow as I never had been able to do up until that time. From that workout on, I decided to use my head. I used many types of routines until I found the ones that worked best for me. What I found was that 10 sets was the minimum I could use for my 'easy-growing' parts. Usually I did 15 sets for most parts and sometimes went as high as 20 sets a workout for those parts that were really stubborn. I found that working with very heavy weights that forced you to do the exercises slowly was not as effective as working with a weight in a continuously moving manner until you completed the set. I don't mean working so fast that you use sloppy form, but I mean that you don't actually pause at the top or bottom of a repetition but just keep moving the weight in a controlled, steady way. Notice that I said "controlled." I believe that you can't fully control a weight that is so heavy that you can barely do your reps with it. I get much better results by using a weight that makes you work but not one that you have to 'kill' yourself with to get through the exercise. I mentioned before that I usually did a certain amount of sets for a particular area. Actually what I did was to go more by the feel of the muscle and the pump I was getting. If I found that I was beginning to lose the pump in an area I was working, I would stop exercising it even if I hadn't completed the number of sets I planned to do. I found that any sets that weren't increasing the pump were a waste and perhaps were even overtraining the muscle. On average, though, I usually did about 15 sets for most areas. I used to change my workout around every two or three months. I found that if I tried to stay on exactly the same program month after month, I would go stale. Sometimes I would change several of the exercises. Other times I would just rearrange the order of the exercises. For example, if I was doing chins, pulldowns and rowing for my back, I might change my routine by beginning with rowing and finishing with chins. Sometimes I might switch to dumbbell rowing, bent-arm pullovers, and close-grip chins. There is an endless variety of changes that can be made. I found that each new program was a new challenge. 70 lbs Dumbbell Curls with Tom Sansone When I did exercises like squats, bench presses, or deadlifts, exercises for which you would use sizable poundages, I would begin with about 2/3 of the weight I could handle on my heaviest set. I would work up to sets of 8 reps until I hit my top set of 8. This would take about four sets. Then I would drop back for two finishing sets of 8. For exercises that didn't require heavy poundages, I would generally stay with one weight for all my sets. I always kept the repetitions on my exercises between 8 and 10. I think that it is important to maintain a fast pace throughout the workout. I always began my next set as soon as my breathing returned near normal. I found that the more work I could do in a given period of time, the better I would respond. I think that if I had only one thought that I wanted readers to remember, it would be that consistency in training is the thing that separates the best from the ordinary. Train heavier on the days that you feel strong and lighter on those days that you really don't feel great, but don't miss a workout. Every champ I trained with rarely missed a workout. I don't mean that you should train if you are really sick, though we did because we wanted to build our bodies with such a deep intensity that we wouldn't even let illness stand in our way. Just don't let laziness cause you to miss a workout. Cut your poundages in half just to get into a workout on a real 'down' day. Very often by the time the workout is over, you will find it has been one of your better sessions. With these concluding comments, Leroy said that he had to get back to work. Time had passed so quickly that the bright sunshine had been replaced by darkness. Judging by the pile of papers on Leroy's desk, I knew that he would be having a very late supper that night. But as we shook hands, he smiled and thanked me for giving him the opportunity to convey his thoughts to readers. I might add, and the photographs that accompany this article will substantiate it, that although Leroy expressed many of his ideas in the past tense he is still training regularly and is in excellent condition. Leroy Colbert is one of the greatest champions the bodybuilding world has produced. His achievements and philosophy will remain as a permanent legacy to inspire the bodybuilders of today and of the future. MORE PHOTOS... RIP Leroy (1933 - 2015). A lot of personal content by Leroy on training etc is on Youtube. You can also check out Leroy's website! If anyone has information or stories on Leroy please share below in the comments section.
  15. 2009 Interview with Pat Neve Bench Press Legend and Champion Bodybuilder By Noelia Sanchez, Jeff Cabacungan and Chad Freeman Edited by: Strength Oldschool If you haven't read the 1980 Interview with Pat Neve, you may wish to read that first. Click here. Pat Neve can be reached online at his personal Facebook page. (Photo above): Pat Neve at 61 Years Old Name: Pat Neve Age: 60 Location: Arizona Occupation: Former Nissan Dealership Owner and Former Mr. America Source: Lowrider.com Many will build fortunes but very few will build dreams. Meet a man who’s got the money, the toys, the success, and the fame. He’s also got something that many wealthy individuals don’t have: true happiness and a family’s genuine love. Everyone has a dream. Some dream of fame, others dream of fortune, but how many people actually have the discipline, self-motivation, and determination to go after it? Early on Pat realized that with hard work, anything is possible. He started competing professionally, winning Mr. Phoenix at age 19. To many people’s surprise, he won his first 10 contests in a row, and a few short years later he won the overall title for Mr. USA - a title rarely obtained by competitors in the middleweight class. The following photo is NOT Photoshopped. That really is Pat Neve's arm! The long head of his tricep is trully amazing!!! Alongside his success in bodybuilding, Pat also built a career around another passion of his, cars. He worked his way up through the car-selling industry and eventually reached another dream that many have but rarely achieve: he bought the lot. He turned his locally known car dealership into one of the top-selling dealers in the nation. He set his financial goals high but never too high where they couldn’t be reached. First $100,000, then $500,000, then a million, and before he knew it he was a multimillionaire with access to the top-of-the-line Ferraris and Lamborghinis. We all know that person with all the potential in the world who never achieved a single goal. How do you keep yourself from being “that guy” and ending up a loser? According to Mr. America, it’s all about commitment, self-motivation, and having a dream. Growing Up What was your life like growing up? I was brought up in the projects, in a rough neighborhood. It was hard just going to school. I used to have to fight everyday to keep my lunch money. My parents were immigrants from Italy, so I’m the first generation here. We were very poor. My parents decided to move to the west side of town, and that change of environment affected me tremendously. I came from the east side where you had to fight for everything. I asked the first person I met, “Who’s the toughest guy in school? ” And he said, “I don’t know? Why would you want to know that? ” I said, “Well, I just have to fight him so I can get it over with.” He said, “Well, I don’t know who the toughest guy is but that guy over there is the best athlete.” At that moment I found out that if you were an athlete you would be more popular and successful. So I picked up sports. That was one of the turning points in my life. Were you a natural athlete? I excelled at sports from the seventh grade on. The confidence and hard work that came with sports and the change in my environment changed my train of thought. It made me focused. I tried different kinds of sports and excelled in all of them. Then someone introduced me to weight lifting, and I picked that up too. That’s when I started bodybuilding and everything went from there. Dealership Tell us about your last business and how you sold it? My last business was a Nissan car dealership. I sold it about a year ago. Someone came along who had 16 other dealerships and wanted a Nissan dealership. He called me up one day and said, “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” So I said OK, and he made me the offer. The offer was quite a bit more than I thought. When we look back now it came at a really good time because the economy and car industry has slowed down. Tell us about the dealership? We had over 10 acres of land and we carried $20 million worth of cars. It was a big dealership. What kinds of things did you look for in an employee? I was really a hands-on owner. I went to work every single day. Before I owned the store I worked my way up so I knew what each position had to do and what I wanted to find in each person. I bought the store from a man who didn’t have any kids and who had instilled the ideas of loyalty and working hand in hand with your employees. I had an open door policy where whoever was at that door when I came to work, I had time for them. Did that approach work well for you? We did real well. You can either be the nice guy or the bad guy. I wanted to be the nice guy. I had a good relationship with all my employees. We had a home atmosphere in the dealership. That’s hard to do when you have over 100 employees. I made sure everyone felt as important as the next person and that everyone had an important part. Bodybuilding What kind of business were you in before you owned the dealership? Before the car dealership I owned a gym. It was called Pat Neve’s Fitness Center, which I opened up in 1979. It was right after I won Mr. USA and Mr. America, and took Second in Mr. World and Mr. Universe. I had the gym for about seven years. How did you achieve your success in bodybuilding? I had a philosophy: I thought that if I trained very early then I would have a head start on everyone else, so I would train everyday at 5 a.m. I knew if I worked harder, longer, and faster then I would be successful. How young did you start competing? I started lifting weights at about 15, I started competing when I was 18, I won Mr. Phoenix at 19, and Mr. Arizona at 20. Although, there’s no money when you win these amateur contests. How did you keep yourself going in those early years as an amateur? I was really fortunate. I won my first 10 contests in a row, so even though there was no money, I went from winning Mr. Phoenix to Mr. Arizona to Mr. Southwest to Mr. Western America to Mr. North America, and so on. Later, I didn’t always win. I went to one contest and took 11th place and then the next year I went back and won it. I set six world records in the bench press. I didn’t set it on my first try, but I always knew that I could do it. You use determination and motivation and you can’t give up on yourself. What kind of role did your wife play in your success? Well, without a doubt my wife played a major role in my life. My wife is 100 percent my best friend. She was always behind the bodybuilding. Never once did she discourage me at all. I remember when we were about 18 or 19 years old we would sit on a swing out in front of the trailer her parents owned and we would talk about getting married, having kids, and we would say we wanted a double-wide trailer, a Corvette, and I was going to be Mr. Arizona. Those were the goals we started with. Now we have over a $1 million house, $600,000 worth of cars, and I’ve won Mr. USA, Mr. America, and Mr. World. What obstacles have you overcome in bodybuilding? I’ve overcome so many obstacles. When I was 32 years old, two weeks away from Mr. Universe, I was riding my bike doing my daily 10-mile ride when a truck runs a stop sign and runs me over and breaks my hip and my elbow. At the time that happened I thought, “This is the end of my career.” I got down on myself and started to think, “Man, I did all this for nothing.” But time heals all and I started healing myself. I remember getting physical therapy and walking in the first day with my elbow as big as a watermelon. I had a cane and as I was limping in, there was this elderly lady. She looked at me and said, “One year from now you won’t even remember those injuries.” That stayed in my mind and one year later I came back and won Mr. Universe. That’s what life is. Life has its ups and downs. Life is not up all the time. Bad things are going to happen and you’ve got to fight through them. How did you keep chasing your dreams even when things went wrong? You can’t give up on your goals. There was a time when I was down to my last 500 bucks. This was in 1979, and I told my wife, “I don’t know what we’re going to do.” Two weeks later I go to this contest and win $7,000 and I keep going from there. In one month I went from $500 to like $25,000. But I didn’t know where I was going, I just kept plugging away. People would tell me, “Get out of the bodybuilding stuff. Get a real job.” But I turned it all around. Now they ask me how I did it. Whatever your goal is don’t think you can’t reach it because you can. So many people are their own worst enemy. What do you say to someone who tells them self they can’t do something? Don’t talk yourself out of it. If you start thinking, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it,” eventually you can’t do it. I’ve lived long enough to see poor go to rich and weak go to strong. It doesn’t just happen by luck. When things get hard your mind wants to say, “No!” It’s really hard to make a lot of money. Not only that but anything in life that is worth having is really hard to do. Considering that you’re both a successful bodybuilder and businessman, do you see any correlation between the discipline necessary to train and the ability to make millions in business? Everything I learned from bodybuilding. Let’s say for instance if you thought you needed to work on your waist area. Well, you just work on that area harder and it improves. The same goes for business. If you think your closing skills are bad, you just work on that. When I won Mr. USA I was the first middleweight who had ever won the overall title. Usually, the middleweight doesn’t win the overall because you have to beat the light heavyweight and the heavyweight. I wasn’t happy with just winning the middleweight title. I wanted to win the overall title too. So I did that. (Photo below): 1977 - Off Season Patrick Neve and Manuel Perry Achieving Success When did you start making millions? You have to know that when I bought the dealership it was like winning the lottery. The person I bought the dealership from didn’t believe in doing any advertising. As soon as I bought the store we increased the advertising to $150,000 a month and we increased business by 66 percent. All of a sudden I’m like one of the top dealers in the United States because we turned it around so much. Well, it’s like I won the lottery. I was buying everything. I was buying $5,000 suits, $30,000 watches, $1,000 shoes, and $1,000 ties and pens. What do you think it was that drove you to succeed? You have to find that motivation within yourself. It’s not always about making money, it’s about setting a goal for yourself and then going after it. Anyone who knows me will say the same thing: Pat Neve is focused, he’s determined, and he’s motivated. I didn’t start with my dreams saying, “I’m going be a multi-millionaire.” You’ll defeat yourself if you do that. You have to stick with the thing that you love and try the best you can. That’s how you really succeed. Did you ever have people who doubted you? There are doubters in everything you do. When you start getting a little bit successful people will always doubt you and say things to try and hold you back, but if it’s something you really love, you just have to keep pushing yourself. I’ve found that positive thinking and motivating yourself are really important. You can’t be successful if someone else has to motivate you. It has to come from within. I remember there was this man when I was 17 who used to help all the kids in the neighborhood with bodybuilding. He had his PhD in Kinesiology. He contacted me and brought me over to his gym and said to me, “Pat, I know all about you. I hear you’re really strong and I think you’re going to be one of the best Mr. Arizona's we’ve ever had.” I told him, “Well, I hope to be one of the first Mr. USA's the state has ever had.” He looked at me and said, “Pat, you’ll never know what it takes to be Mr. USA.” Eight years later when I won Mr. USA, my wife and I landed at the airport, got in our car, and went straight to his house. He already knew I’d won because it was in the paper the night before. I knocked on the door and he answered and smiled and said, “Congratulations.” I looked at him and said, "You will never know what it takes to win Mr. USA.” Did you have your family’s support? My parents never motivated me. My dad actually had a saying, “If it doesn’t give you money, it’s not worth doing.” Every weekend my dad would come over and I’d show him all the new stuff I’d bought because I wanted him to be proud of me. He would just laugh at me and say, “Who do you think you are, one of the Rockefellers? ” But one Sunday I had it all planned. Finally, I got my first exotic car after all these cars I had (Porsches, NSXs). I got a Ferrari 512 Testarossa. I had it shipped from Denver to my house on Easter Sunday. The truck drives up and that’s the first time in my life I can recall my dad smiling. Being born in Italy, that Ferrari meant something to him. We took the car off the truck and put it in my driveway. The first thing my dad said was to my wife, “Vicky, you got a camera? Take my picture.” I think that was the first sign of my dad finally realizing, “I guess my son did make it.” (Photo below): Pat Neve and his son What would you say to someone who wants to be rich? I have people say to me once or twice a week, “Boy, I’d like to be as wealthy as you.” Well, it didn’t come to me. I had to go get it. I had to go grab it. It’s not going to come to you no matter how religious you are. You can pray everyday to the Lord to make you rich but it’s not going to happen. He’ll give you the capabilities to get wealthy, but you have to take the bull by the horns and do it yourself. That’s how life is. What about getting to the next level? How do you become a multi-millionaire? When I made that first $100,000 I just thought, “Alright, I’ve achieved this level, now it’s time for me to go to the next level.” So I just put more of myself into the business. With my training, everyday I would try something a little bit different to motivate myself and keep me on top. In business, I reached that $100,000 mark, then I reached the $500,000 mark, and then the goal was a million. Someone once told me, “You’re not a millionaire until you have $1 million in the bank.” Well, my business was worth many millions but at first I didn’t have that million in the bank. When I finally did I started thinking about achieving more millions I wanted to make myself more successful. It’s about competing against yourself and competing with your mind. At what point did you realize that you were truly successful? I think after we found the land our home is on. We designed one room for the Ferrari and the Lamborghini. The Ferrari was the ’92 512 TR and the Lamborghini was a ’01 Diablo. I can remember walking in by myself and looking at those cars and getting a real humbling feeling. I thought to myself, “How did I do this? How did I overcome all of these obstacles? ” It all hit me at that one moment, with the accomplishment of having two successful boys, the love of my wife, and the backing of all my friends, I really felt like I had made it in life. I felt humbled to think I paid cash for these cars and I have all this—everything I ever dreamed about and more. Having The Best Cars Tell us about your cars? All throughout my life I always had the coolest cars. Of course, being Italian, my first [exotic] car was a Ferrari, and I just ordered what is called a 599 GTP GTB Ferrari. They’re only going to send 250 to the United States and only three in Arizona. You have to be on a list to get them. I paid my dues on this list—$400,000 and it’s completely top of the line. Those cars to me are like art. Sometimes you think of a person like Steve Wynn who has a $30 million Picasso painting, and you think to yourself, “What the heck does he do with that $30 million painting? ” Well he looks at it. In my garage, I have it all fixed up. I just go in there, I look at the cars, I polish the wheels I dust them off. I just love looking at those cars. Don’t get me wrong, I like driving them but I truly have love affairs with my cars. My first two or three Ferraris I always traded in for better ones. The same goes with my Lamborghinis. I always upgraded them. So when I get the 599, it’s the highest upgraded Ferrari you can get. It’s more than driving them. It’s feeling humbled to be able to afford to own them. Are you going for quality or quantity in your car collection? The harder they are to get, the more I want them. For instance, the Ferrari I have right now is called an F430. When it first came out there was a waiting list. I was on the list and I got mine in one year. For the 599 there’s a five-year waiting list. From the time I ordered mine to the time I’ll get it is about a year and a half. What makes me proud is to be able to get something that is so hard to get. It doesn’t matter who walks in that Ferrari store. Ferrari sees no one except for the people on the list. You have to work your way up. Of all the things I’ve accomplished, last month when I sat down and got to order that 599 from beginning to end, from color to interior to wheels, was another humbling experience. Do you have any other collections? I have about 20 watches. Probably one of my favorites is one I got about seven or eight years ago. My wife, Vicky, and I were in New York and we stopped at the Harry Winston store. I have this thing that wherever we go I buy a watch. So I was just looking to buy a $2,000 or $3,000 watch, since I buy one everywhere I go but for some reason the salesman says, “You know, we just got this new model that they only made three of. The one we have is the first one.” He brings it out and I don’t even want to ask how much it is at the time. I just looked at it and thought, “I don’t want to spend this much, but wouldn’t that be something to have the first one.” I got discouraged, so we left and I thought about that watch all night long. I kept thinking, “Number one, to have the first one.” We went back there the next day and I purchased that watch. What do you think these cars and watches say about your personality? A watch for a man is one of the first pieces of jewelry a person sees. It doesn’t really matter how you’re dressed. If you have a $30,000 or $40,000 watch on, you have a certain status. People see that right away. A real big compliment to me one time was when I took my Porsche to Walgreens. I was inside the store and I saw a man walking up and down the isles. He comes up to me and says, “You own that Porsche out front don’t you? ” I said, “Yes, I do. How did you know that? ” He said, “’Because I can tell by the way you carry yourself.” (Photo below): 1989 - Turbo Porsche - Pat Neve Values Do you have any words you live by? There are two things I really believe in: You can either be the smartest or work the hardest. Since I wasn’t the smartest, I knew if I worked the hardest good things would happen. I went from being a professional bodybuilder and owning a gym to being in the car industry. I used the same things that made me successful in the bodybuilding world and in the workforce and it all worked out the same. It’s all about commitment, hard work, and loyalty. In everything I did, including when I trained for Mr. America, I used these same principles. It sounds like motivation is a big thing for you, is that right? As soon as you start doing something you love then you have to try to be the best at it. Even if you don’t become the best, just trying to become the best will make you successful. That’s how you motivate yourself. If you do well you usually get promotions, but you have to love what you do. If you don’t then you should keep trying to find something that you do love. I loved cars from day one, ever since 1964 when my dad gave me a ’49 Chevy. It’s funny how something like that can turn out to be your occupation and make you a multi-millionaire. I’ve met the top bodybuilders in the world and I’ve also met billionaires. They all have the same competitive, straightforward, hardworking, focused attitude. It doesn’t matter if I was talking to Arnold Schwarzenegger or the number two car dealer, they’re talking about different things, but they sound the same and they all have self-motivation. A former feature said in his interview that the two hardest things were getting money and muscles. Do you agree with that? That really made me laugh. I told my wife, “Look what this guy said. He thought the two hardest things are to get muscles and to get rich, and I did both. I was Mr. USA and am a multi-millionaire.” (Photo below): 1976 - Guest Posing - Pat Neve and Mike Mentzer Which one do you think is harder to do? If I had to choose between those two and if I were doing it right now, I’d say they’re almost the same. I think the hardest thing in life is trying to be a good person. When you pass on, people don’t necessarily say, “Boy, he had the best build,” and they don’t say, “Man, he had millions.” They usually say he was either a good guy or a bad guy. I think it’s better to go through life thinking, “I need to make enough money to help my family get everything they want and leave a good impression on this world.” How did you raise your sons to have the same values as you? My sons know that their dad was famous. All their friends know that I was Mr. America and Mr. World. Sometimes that was good for them and sometimes that was bad. They had their own little problems because of my name but I think it made them better people. They excelled at sports also. They knew that was how their dad did it. I always told them, “If it isn’t sports, do something else. I will help you with whatever you want to do.” They used to see me at that car lot and if a car was out of place I’d walk out there, get the keys, and pull that car in. It didn’t matter if I had my $5,000 suit on and it was a 115 degrees out. They found out that if you do it yourself, it’ll get done. They’re real good boys—they know what’s right and wrong, they know what hard work is, they know success comes from hard work. It really rubbed off, but it took a while. They went their ways, got their tattoos, did things I didn’t really like, but they turned out to be real good men and they both have a child now and are doing well. What advice do you have for someone just beginning to be successful and make money? I know you’ve probably heard this before but sometimes it’s easier to make the money than it is to hold onto it. I wouldn’t start spending big money, like $600,000, on cars, and $1 million on a home, until I was sure I had the money in the bank. I think it’s really important to make the money and save the money before you start spending the money. Every time I think of someone like Mike Tyson making a $100 million and losing it all is just crazy. It takes a smart person to hold onto their money after they make it. It’s not easy. Do you believe that money can make you happy? There are so many people who make millions of dollars and are so unhappy. I’ve been in a car with a billionaire sitting next to me and everything he said was negative. He wasn’t happy with his life, his business, and he was in love with his billions, which was crazy, but he wasn’t happy with his life. How do you call yourself successful if you have lots of money but you’re not happy with your life? The money can’t bring you happiness. A good living and trying to reach a goal will make you successful and happy. You don’t have to have millions of dollars in the bank to be happy, but so many people think that’s what it’s about. Feel free to add comments about this article or share your Pat Neve stories if you have any.
  16. The Two Hands Slow Curl By Charles A. Smith It wasn’t so many months ago when the weight lifting world was roused into a really fine fury. Charges and counter-charges flew thick and fast with bets, wagers, challenges and conditions laid on the line so heavily that the arguments were unheard above the steady thump of money bags. Friendships were broken and enemies made, and all because someone said that a certain famous bodybuilder couldn’t perform a certain number of repetitions in the two hands slow curl with a certain poundage. Long were the arguments and many the words but most of all of the people concerned missed one thing – NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM ever quoted the rules for the two hands slow curl! In fact, they had as much idea of what you could be ruled out for, and what constituted a GOOD curl as I have of building an atom bomb all on my little own. They called the lift the “Military curl,” “the cheating curl,” “the anything but the right name” curl, and they didn’t know in the slightest what they were talking about. Since there is no ruling in existence in this country governing the lift, it didn’t matter how the Curl was performed for the particular “King of Strength,” but everyone was trying to impress the other with his ideas as to how it should be performed, and if anyone else expressed thoughts contrary to the guy with whom he argued, then the dissenter was a louse and a stool pigeon of commercial interests! It really caused quite a stir and several guys, wise in the ways of those who make a fast buck, muscled in on the quarrel and built themselves quite big reputations. It’s all over now, but it isn’t forgotten because every so often, when I walk into a gymnasium, I see a little group engaged in heated words about how to do a strict curl and if the strict style of performance is better for bodybuilding than the cheating method. A Young Arnold Schwarzenegger Performing a Cheat Curl Arnold Schwarzenegger Barbell Cheat Curls Casey Viator - Heavy Cheat Curls Now, all methods of exercising are good and of benefit, but there are certain rules which govern the lift when it is used as an attempt on a record or as a medium of competition, and these rules are applied by only one country, which happens to recognize no less than 42 different lifts that can be used for record-breaking and competition. Until those rules are recognized in this country, then I don’t see where any person can go telling another where he gets off insofar as the two hands curl is concerned. Anyway, no one agrees as to how a good curl should be performed and I might be the lone voice crying in the wilderness. So, whether you like it or not, I’m going to give you the rules for the curl and some assistance exercises that go along with it. If you are one of those fortunate or unfortunate beings – it depends on whether you are a weight lifter or a body builder what view you take – who can only exploit your strength an development by appearing in body building competitions, then the rules will, beyond any doubt, help you. The two hands curl, as it is popularly known in this country, is a very useful and necessary part of a weight trainer’s schedule. The style used is loose but the results gained from it are still good. I will touch but briefly on the anatomy of the biceps and restrict myself entirely to the method of using it and the benefits to be obtained from same. The two hands curl will build you an impressive looking muscle without adding greatly to the size of the upper arm as a whole. That function is reserved almost exclusively for the triceps which forms the major portion of the arm. Yet there is something very satisfying about the height and shape of the biceps, the two-headed split formed by the muscle. If you feel inclined to improve your performance and build up a larger upper arm in conjunction with the other muscles, then the assistance exercises and the rules that follow will help you a lot. Next time you see Melvin Wells (pictured below), take a good look at his biceps. Notice the definition and SIZE. Wells is perhaps the one man who makes use of the ultra strict style called for in the rules that will eventually follow. Never a bit of a backbend or a shift of the upper arm when Melvin curls. With an arm of enormous strength and shapeliness, despite the terrific sweep of triceps, Melvin would lose considerably in size if his biceps were merely above average instead of being “out of this world.” I have seen Melvin perform repetition curls with 145 pounds – I forget the exact number of repetitions, but have the impression it was around 12 – without a single curl losing anything in style and ease of performance. Another strength athlete whose curling feats border on the incredible is Hermann Goerner (photo above). Here was a man who for sheer brutal power of arm and back has never been equaled. His favorite lifts were the dead lift and the curl and he loved to find different ways in which to lift a barbell or dumbells in these feats of strength. These lifts were made with almost every conceivable type of apparatus – grip – position. He used blockweights, kettlebells, dumbells, ring weights and human beings standing on bars that were already loaded to capacity. Judge the power of his arms – biceps, from the following lifts OFFICIALLY performed by him with competent officials acting as judges. Two hands slow curl with barbell: 220 ½ pounds (Performed on September 1st, 1932 at Leipzig ). Two hands continental curl: 241 ½ pounds (Performed on November 4th, 1932 at Leipzig ). Right hand slow curl with kettlebell: 110 ¼ pounds (Performed on December 14th, 1932 at Leipzig ). Right hand slow curl with barbell: 121 ¼ pounds (Performed on April 17th, 1934 at Leipzig ). His reverse curls were also terrific and if anything were more deserving of merit than his orthodox curls, but since we will deal with this lift in a future article, I will not quote these at this present time. All the above feats of strength were impromptu – that is, they were not specially trained for and were undertaken during his actual training periods in the gymnasium, and as officials happened to be present. It might well be that his powerful dead lifts had some effect on the power to curl, on the strength of the biceps, for the author has observed that curling was always easier when dead lifts were included in workout programmes. I hesitate to say that is conclusive for I have not had the opportunity to conduct the research necessary, but I can well imagine that the dead lift itself would have a psychological effect on curling, making the weight FEEL LIGHT in the hands, and the lifter, as a consequence, more confident of curling it to the shoulders. Here are the rules for the two hands slow curl as recognized by the British Amateur Weightlifters Association. Pay particular attention to the title of the lift and the reasons for disqualification. TWO HANDS SLOW CURL The barbell grasped with both hands (palms to the front) shall hang at arm’s length across the lifter’s front, from which position it shall be lifted to the shoulders by bending the forearms completely on the upper arms. Throughout the lift the trunk must not be inclined backwards, forwards or sideways, the shoulders must be kept quite level, the legs straight. The slightest deviation from this position shall be counted cause for disqualification. Although a count is not insisted upon at the commencement of this lift, a pause must be observed and the lift must not be continued from the momentum gained by lifting the bar into the commencing position. So much for the rules. You will notice that the lifter is NOT FORBIDDEN to use a shrug of the shoulders, neither is he forbidden to pull the elbows back. So long as he maintains a perfectly upright stance with neither a forward, backward or sideways angle to the body, and providing he does not unlock the knees or slope the shoulders from one side to the other, the lift is a good one. The main function of the biceps muscle is to flex the forearm onto the upper arm AND to turn the hand palm uppermost – supinate it - and the exercises which follow are designed to make the most of the muscle function. There are instructions included in the exercises which explain the use to be made of the types of muscular action – the eccentric and concentric muscle actions. The exercises strengthen the biceps in its entirety – the muscle movements which call for a strict style affect the lower part, or “belly.” These are the incline curls and the cramping curls. The higher portions of the arm are exercised with the cheating curls, the looser style enabling the weight trainer to get the barbell past the so-called sticking point and into the region where origin approaches insertion – where the muscle is STRONGER and can exert more power! The supinating exercise forces the “peak” of the contraction and builds a higher shape while the seated curl with the barbell held across the thighs strengthens the biceps in the sticking point area. So you have in all six exercises which affect every part of the muscle – and remember, before you start your assistance exercises, there is NO SUBSTITUTE for the actual lift. Practice this FIRST and the assistance exercises AFTER and you will improve. ASSISTANCE EXERCISES FOR THE TWO HANDS SLOW CURL Exercise 1. In all exercises designed to build up curling strength, full use must be made of the concentric and eccentric muscle actions. Together with reasonably heavy poundages, the biceps is developed to the full. It is the one muscle which provides ample and continued progress in size and strength. I have always called it a “psychological muscle” because the effect it has on the training outlook is profound, with the shape of the upper arm adding immeasurably to pleasurable training and perceived progress. As you may have read in previous articles, there are two types of muscle contraction – Concentric, when the origin approaches insertion – Eccentric, when the muscle acts as a brake and static when the muscle contract without actually functioning – takes up the slack! This first curling assistance exercise movement utilizes the heavy poundages, the concentric action and the eccentric action. It furthermore accustoms the biceps to handling progressively heavier poundages and it strengthens the muscle in the sticking point area. Sit astride an exercising bench and rest a barbell across the thighs and close to the groins. Take your usual curling grip and from this position, curl the barbell to the finish position. From here, SLOWLY LOWER the weight, fighting it every inch of the way, to the thighs. Start off with a weight 20 pounds below your limit and make 3 to 5 reps for 3 sets. Work up GRADUALLY to 10 reps for 3 sets before increasing the poundage by 10 pounds. Exercise 2. The single arm supinating curl. One of the main functions of the biceps muscle is to supinate the hand – turn it palm up. The movement considerably heightens the biceps and is a great delineator and definer. Take a dumbell which you can handle for 8 comfortable repetitions. Hold it in the commencing position with the knuckles to the side. From this position, curl it until the forearm is at right angles with the upper arm and when the dumbell arrives at this position, TURN the hand at the WRIST until the hand is PALM UPPERMOST. Rotate it in this manner without raising the dumbell any higher, then lower it to the starting position after THREE ROTATIONS and repeat. After each turning of the hand and wrist make a special effort to twist it a fraction of an inch further. Start off with 3 sets of 8 reps and work up to 3 sets of 15 reps before increasing the exercising poundage. Exercise 3. One of the most successful biceps curls is the bench cramp curl. Take an exercise bench and lie along its length on your stomach so that your upper arms can rest on one support or end. To gain the bench height necessary, stand one end on a box. With the barbell held in your hands with a CLOSE grip, and keeping the UPPER ARMS STILL throughout the entire exercise, curl the barbell to the chin. HOLD the contraction for a short count of two, an then LOWER SLOWLY and repeat. Start off with a weight you can comfortably handle for 8 repetitions, 3 sets and work up to 3 sets of 15 reps before increasing the exercising weight. Don’t forget – LOWER the weight slowly, feeling the resistance every inch of the way. Exercise 4. Stand back of an incline bench and lay your ENTIRE arm along it so that the top of the board rests just under your armpit. The board should be sloped at its greatest angle. Hold a dumbell in your hand while keeping the UPPER ARM absolutely motionless, curl the bell up until it touches your shoulder. Lower as SLOWLY as you can and repeat. Commence with a weight which you can JUST handle for 5 reps, 2 sets and work up to 2 sets of 10 reps. Again, it is important to LOWER the dumbell as slowly as you can – and – DON’T move that upper arm! Exercise 5. There is another favorite curling exercise which helps to increase the starting power of the curl. Adjust the incline board to its steepest angle and lie on it with a barbell held in the hands with a FAIRLY narrow grip and across the thighs – the hands should be so close that they TOUCH the thighs. From this position curl the weight to the upper chest keeping the arms tight against the sides of the body. Lower as slowly as you can and repeat. Start off with a weight you can comfortable handle for 6 reps, 3 sets and work up to 3 sets of 12 reps. Place a lot of emphasis on a CONTROLLED lowering of the bar. Exercise 6. For building bulk and power in the upper arm, heaving curls are tops. They are particularly valuable in getting the biceps used to handling heavy weights and toning up the entire biceps brachii region. Take a weight equal to your LIMIT poundage on the curl in CORRECT STYLE as outlined in the rules earlier on in this article. Stand with the body bent slightly forward and the bar touching the thighs. Straighten the body and at the same time give a heave and curl the weight to the shoulders – timing the effort so that the power of the body heave is coordinated with the action of the arms. Make every effort to lower the barbell as slowly as you can and repeat when it arrives at commencing position with NO pause in between reps. Start off with 3 sets of 5 reps and work up to 3 sets of 10 reps. In all these exercises, concentration on every movement is of the utmost importance. All the time, think of the action of the muscles – flexing the forearm on the upper arm and supinating the palm. Only by attention to every detail can your lifts improve and your strength increase. [NOTE from Strength Oldschool] How STRONG are you in the Strict Barbell Curl? Whether you use an Ez-Bar or a Straight Bar, compare yourself to others on the site and with athletes from history! Click here.
  17. John Grimek - Acquiring Shaplier Biceps From Strength & Health Magazine, Nov, 1957. ** Actual article pages are attached to the bottom of this article ** The arm, particularly the biceps muscle, is the best-known of all muscles and incites more interest and controversy than any other group of muscles. Both old and young are, for some inexplicable reason, fascinated by strong, muscular looking arms. The very young are always intrigued and will hound anyone with a fine pair of arms to "show me your muscle! ” Youngsters don’t realise that almost 700 muscles comprise the muscular makeup of the body, but to them only the biceps are muscles because they knot up to a peak when the arm is flexed. And, speaking of older people, on a return trip from Canada a couple of years ago, Jake Hitchins and I stopped for gas in an upper New York state town. It was hot and sticky that day, and my shirt, a short sleeve cotton one, clung tightly to me, especially around my arms. After telling the attendant to “fill ‘er up ” I went to the men’s room to freshen up and didn’t notice an older lady rocking in the shade. As I went by she called to my companion asking him the nature of my vocation. Jake merely answered I was a writer. A pause followed in apparent contemplation, then she added, “My, what a wonderful pair of arms that young man has! ” When I was told this incident after we got under way I was pretty sure that old gal hasn’t seen many lifters or bodybuilders, and calling me a young man was proof enough her vision wasn’t 20-20. She must have been 80-plus if she was a day, and people that age consider anyone younger a mere kid! I mention this because it bears out my conviction that arms for reasons unknown attract more attention than any other muscle, from the very young to the extremely old. At practically every stop we made, some comments were made regarding my arms, primarily because my sleeves seemed to be strangling them. However, this was not the first time such incidents occurred. On every trip I ever made comments were made towards other muscles but it was always the arms that received the most. For this reason I often wear long sleeve shirts or jackets for such comments can sometimes be embarrassing and annoying. But a man doesn’t have to have large arms to create attention. Frequently a well developed arm of 15 or 16 inches causes quite a stir among the neighbourhood small-fry who incessantly request the owner to “show your muscle! ” Perhaps all this interest for arms is the result of many romantic tales relative to arm strength which come down to us through generations. Even Longfellow’s poem about the Village Blacksmith did much to popularize “the brawny arms ” conception from which “muscles stood out like iron bands.” Although today the village smithy is as obsolete as the horse and buggy, the “brawny arms ” conception is still with us. Frequently large arms are associated with strength, and while this may be true in many cases, it does not reflect the truth for the majority. Arm size does not indicate exceptional strength, although the two make an impressive combination. However, when a good sized arm is capped by well-rounded deltoids and massive forearms they make an even better striking appearance and certainly any man with this combination is bound to be fairly strong, especially if these muscles were developed through coordinated, sensible exercise. I find another odd incident regarding the biceps. Many muscle culturists consider the biceps as a single muscle and assume all biceps have the same general shape in all individuals. The biceps, meaning two-heads, vary considerably among all types of athletes and individuals, showing varying contours even when fully developed. In my opinion there are three distinctive shapes; the high peaked biceps, the rounded baseball type, and the longer but massive biceps without any apparent apex. Biceps that show a high peak are more impressive when the arm is flexed, but the baseball type is also impressive and appears more powerful. The long biceps, when muscular, look more massive and larger than either of the aforementioned two and are usually exceptionally strong. But, shape is usually determined by the manner in which the muscles originate and where they insert, although exercise can help to bring out its basic shape. Biceps strength, too, does not depend on size and frequently a medium-sized arm will out-perform a larger arm in various arm tests. Therefore, while some find it difficult to acquire greater arm mass they invariably acquire unusual strength and vice-versa. But here again this accomplishment depends on training and those, especially beginners, who insist on using heavy weights with fewer repetitions are apt to “toughen up ” the muscle making it harder to develop, for a time at least. Under these conditions no amount of training seems to have any effect, although they will show improvement in strength. When this condition occurs it is best to rest from all arm exercises from two to six weeks, to allow the muscles to return to normal, then light progressive training should be undertaken to coax the muscle along, using 8 to 12 repetitions. Resistance should be increased only when the 12th repetition becomes easy, although some may prefer as many as 15 counts. However, as progress is made and heavier weights are employed the repetitions need not exceed 10, because, quite unconsciously one may be doing more exercises and even employing series of the same exercise making higher repetitions unnecessary. Nevertheless, in doing any set number of counts be sure that most of them are done in correct style. I repeat, the first 5 or 6 reps should be done rather easily, but the remaining reps should require increasing effort on your part… there’s your cue and the true secret of biceps development. Those who begin to swing curl or “cheat” with the first repetition are not using the entire biceps muscle, consequently develop a peculiar shaped arm. When hanging normally at the sides, the crook of the elbow isn’t as full or in proportion to the upper biceps, and when the arm is flexed a large gap between the curve of the biceps and the elbow is seen. Naturally some space will be evident because the biceps contracts and shortens, but in many cases there is an excessive gap in what are considered well developed arms. Arms that have their tendons torn will naturally show a decided gap, but arms that are normal with this excessive space are the result of specialising too early on cheating curls, or employing such exercises that eliminate the starting action of the lower biceps ends. To develop this lower end of the biceps will require more deliberate starting action and a thorough extension of the biceps each time the arm is flexed. Reverse curls also react favourably here, as do curls with dumbells while keeping the palms facing each other. I want to emphasize here that I am not condemning cheating curls simply because this method is favoured by the “opposition.” Such exercise may have a place in the training routine of many exercise fans, but is not suited to the beginner or the man whose development is below par. Personally, I have never seen such curls develop any arm from scratch to outstanding proportions, and I have never met anyone else who did. Those who use such exercises NOW have done enough proper exercises to develop their arms first before using this style, more as a means of using heavier weights, which point is conceded, but even then the question remains, whether the biceps actually got stronger or whether it is the combination of other muscles involved that encourage the use of heavier poundage. Anyone who employs this exercise realizes the biceps alone do not curl the weight, but the powerful muscles of the back, legs and abdomen all help to provide the impetus for completing the exercise. I can readily understand the use of this style to encourage more strength where progress of strength has not kept up with development, but so far as actual development resulting from the exclusive use of this style, it is doubtful. In one of our exhibitions on a cross country tour in 1940 I cleaned-curled 295 lbs. which I also pressed using the same undergrip, but this clean was nothing more than an exaggerated form of cheating curl. Yet, under strict conditions I was capable of 215 but could easily cheat curl 240 and 250 in repetitions. To make claims for “curling such weights ” would be preposterous, and this is precisely what many are doing today. My real purpose for doing an occasional cheating curl those days was not to encourage biceps development, but as a means of increasing my cleaning ability, which was done mostly by arm power! For complete biceps development they should be thoroughly exercised by employing the full range of action’ contracting and extending the biceps fully. Repetitions for developing purposes for the majority seem to favour 8 to 12 counts, more for some, less for those who include more variety and multiple sets. Beginners will always do better when 12 or even 15 reps are used, since they do not include a large variety of exercises. Ordinary chinning will often increase biceps size for the average individual, and when combined with such exercises as rope climbing and rowing, gains are more rapid. Yet, chinning never did increase the arm girth of those who already achieved fair development from weight training, unless weights were attached to the feet to increase the resistance. Curling exercises react more directly and resistance can be applied to meet the demand of the growing muscle, benefitting the biceps. Many muscle culturists believe that only curling movements will effect biceps development, while in reality there are many exercises that influence and activate the biceps. In all rowing exercises, for example, the upper arm muscles are strongly involved, especially the brachialis, the muscle that adds width and thickness to the biceps region. Lots of fellows have huge looking arms hanging at their sides, but when viewed from the front the biceps are thin and shallow looking, all because the brachialis lacks complete development. A well developed arm usually looks wide from the sides and equally as thick from the front. It’s because the brachialis, which lies beneath the biceps and extends on each side of the arm, helps to show more massive development. Its tendons attach deeper and lower into the forearms and provide better leverage for the biceps. Most exercises done on the “lat machine” induce some biceps growth, effectively different from regular curling and is advisable if this apparatus is at your disposal. High pullups are equally beneficial to the biceps, as are all methods of cleaning weights to shoulders. Therefore, it’s easy to see how the biceps can be worked even if curls were not included regularly. However, some form of curls are best included if one seeks to attain the maximum in biceps size. Nevertheless there are some fellows who think that in order to get big arms or keep them they have to curl and curl everyday, often using the heaviest weights possible. Frankly, with only a minimum of exercise I manage to retain myself in fair condition as the posed pictures recently taken show. What’s more, for almost seven years I have done practically no curls and am only now trying to coax myself into using them, yet I find no obvious decrease in arm girth. In my training I try to get the most out of my exercises with the least amount of effort and anyone else can do the same, providing they follow sensible training methods. Occasionally we have training with us a man who finds a way to cheat in any exercise you give him and one of his specialities is a travesty on the two hands curl which he calls “lurchers”, which are nothing more than a forward-bend, a heave and then a backbend before the dumbbells reach his shoulders … all in “perfect military form ” because he doesn’t use either the split or squat style! Whenever we ride him for his efforts his retort is always…it works my arms! This we know, but we also know what a terrific strain his back suffers, and once his back gives out the “lurchers” will come to an end! Often I have challenged him to hold those dumbbells in his hands without any effort to “curl” them, for a minute or so, to prove he will still feel the same strain but he refuses to accept the terms. It doesn’t take much reasoning to realize that any strain or stress is enough to fatigue the muscle, but my question is, does this help development? Development results only when the muscle is used over its entire normal range, and this applies to all muscles as well as the biceps. Proper curling motions will undoubtedly cause the biceps to grow and strengthen, although the exercises mentioned previously are also very beneficial and can help to round out this muscle more fully. Regular curls work the biceps very well but some men fail to achieve full contraction in this upright position. By bending forward from the hips, leverage is increased and imparts greater action and resistance to the biceps. Reverse curls, knuckles up, works the biceps differently and bring the forearm muscles into play. Curling dumbbells, knuckles facing out, also works the forearms and activates the lower points of the biceps. Alternate curls are no different except when one acquires the rhythm of performance, more weight can be used in each hand. Nevertheless, I would like to reiterate, while weight is important in all exercises to gain size and strength, it must be emphasized here that correct performance is equally as important in early stages even more so than employing limit poundages. If handling heavier weights is your objective then you can do the exercise in any fashion you like, but if you seek optimal development, be sure you work the muscle correctly first, then if additional work is required for strengthening purposes, employ maximum poundages in the cheating style. To achieve optimal biceps size it’s not necessary to do a dozen biceps exercises, although three to five exercises can do done unless numerous sets are used, then fewer exercises and lower reps are advocated. A word regarding measurements. Regular readers all know we do not stress measurements. The reason for this is obvious; too many grossly exaggerated measurements are published in other magazines. The reason for this is obvious; too many grossly exaggerated measurements are published in other magazines. The number of men today claiming 18, 19 and even 20 inch arms is difficult to count, yet only a small percentage actually have the measurement they claim. Our aim therefore is not to encourage falsified girths but suggest such measurements be judged by proportions and not the tape. A man whose forearms are well developed will have a large looking arm, but if the forearm lacks development the upper arm may appear larger than it is because of the contrast and vice versa. In fact, forearm size is controlled to a large degree by wrist size, the upper arm by the forearms and deltoids. One writer, Alan Calvert, was of the opinion that if the forearms and deltoids were superbly developed, the upper arm would take care of itself. It might to a certain extent but some direct exercises should be done to encourage this growth. Arm length is another factor to consider in relation to arm size. The longer the humerus the “more meat” will such an arm have, making it more massive, although it may not appear any larger than the arm that is two or more inches shorter and equally developed. Stanko’s arm is rather long and shows massiveness not accurately revealed in pictures. Bruce Randall (4) (see photo below standing next to Reg Park(5) ), who visits us regularly, has tremendous looking arms of exceptional length. Strangely enough they look more massive when just hanging at his side or when he flexes his triceps in front of his chest. Because of his arm length he probably has “more meat” on his arm than any man his size, being muscular as well. As for exercises, there are more than can be mentioned if one considers all movements that influence biceps development, but a brief break-down is that barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells can all be used to affect the biceps. Just as many can be done with cables or chest expanders, “crusher apparatus”, gymnastic equipment and many can be done without any equipment. However, increasing resistance must be maintained if the muscle is expected to improve with certain number of repetitions needed to stimulate this muscle growth. Bear in mind that several correct movements are essential that work the biceps over their full range before the shorter, heavier movements are done. Repetitions need not be excessive and those bent on following a system of sets instead of a wider variety should try the 10-8-6-5-3 system of reps which call for increased weight with each consecutive set. Using this system, three to five exercises would be more than sufficient, particularly if several indirect movements are employed in your training routine. Nevertheless, remember to do them correctly, if you are interested in building a shaplier biceps. ** Actual article pages attached below **
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