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About Me

Found 4 results

  1. 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

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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