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  1. The Bill Starr Power Training Routine Author: Unknown Monday – Heavy Day Squat – 5 sets of 5 Bench – 5 sets of 5 Powerclean – 5 sets of 5 Weighted hyperextensions – 2 sets Weighted sit-ups – 4 sets On Monday, the weight for each lift is increased on each set of 5, from a light warm-up to an all out set of 5. For squats, something like 135×5, 185×5, 225×5, 275×5, 315×5. The weight should be increased evenly from your first to last set. If you are working up to bigger weights, say above 500, you can add a sixth set of 5 just to avoid making large jumps between sets. Your fifth set equals the triple from the previous Friday’s workout. Wednesday – Light Day Squat – 4 sets of 5 Overhead Press – 4 sets of 5 High Pulls – 4 sets of 5 Sit-ups – 3 sets On light day, Squat the first 3 sets of 5 just as you did on Monday, and then do a fourth set of 5 with the weight used on the third set. An extra fifth set at this same weight can be added. Overhead Press is done using the same scheme, working up to 2-3 sets of 5, but with about 70-80% of the weight flat bench, to accommodate the leverage difference of the incline. High Pulls are done by feel, but usually pretty heavy. Friday – Medium Squat – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8 Bench – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8 Powercleans – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 5-8 Triceps and Biceps – 3 sets of 8 each On Friday, the first four sets are the same as they were on Monday. The fifth set, done for three reps, should be a jump of about 2.5% over what you did for your fifth set on Monday. As you become more experienced with the system, you can experiment with the weight you use on this triple. This should NOT be a PR triple attempt every week. In fact, the goal is to come back the following Monday and get the same weight for 5 reps that you got for 3 reps the Friday before. To avoid missing reps, pick weights carefully. Take it easy the first few weeks, and don’t over do it. In fact if you’ve tested/already know your 5 rep maxes you shouldn’t be using that weight until the 4th week. After the big triple, drop back to the weight you used for your 3rd set and try to get eight reps.
  2. The Hard Gainers Routine By Bradley J Steiner If you're a skinny guy who struggles to gain weight / muscular bulk and strongly feel that you are a hard gainer, then try the routine below. Simple, basic, full body workouts are considered the most effective training routines for hard gainers and skinny guys. FULL BODY TRAINING ROUTINE: (For Skinny Guys / Hard Gainers) Barbell Shoulder Press: 2 sets of 10 reps Barbell Curl: 1 set of 10 reps Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 reps Barbell Row: 2 sets of 12 reps Squat: 1 set of 18 - 20 reps + 1 more set of 12 reps / Supersetted with Dumbbell Pullover Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 1 set of 15 reps ROUTINE ABOVE EXPLAINED: BB Press 1×10, add weight for a second set of 10. Every third workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. Curl 1×10. Every third workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. Do not be in a rush to add weight for the first couple of months. Pour your effort into the other exercises. Bench Press 1×12. Add weight for a second set of 12. Every third workout, try to add 5 to 10 lbs to the bar Row 2×12. Every third workout, try to add 5 lbs to the bar. Squat 1×18-20. Add weight for a second set of 12. Every third workout, try to add 10 lbs to the bar. Pullover Superset the squats with light pullovers. Stiff-leg Deadlifts 1×15 Every sixth workout, try to add 3 to 5 lbs to the bar. When the weight begins to feel heavy, reduce by 5 lbs and add nothing for 3 weeks. Situps 1×25-30 with no weight. TRAINING FREQUENCY: Perform the above routine 2 to 3 days a week. If you can manage 3 days and make gains, stick with 3 days a week training but make sure you rest a full day in-between your workouts. Source: From the early 1970s classic “The Hardgainers Bible” by Bradley J. Steiner (long out of print)
  3. Super Squats - How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks Author of this Article: Unknown Edited by: Strength Oldschool The most famous of all old school minimalist bulking routines by far is Randall J. Strossen’s “Super Squats” program with which, it is common to gain 30 pounds of bulk in as little as 6 weeks. The core of this training routine is one 20 rep set of squats, just one set, supersetted with pullovers. Add to this two to three sets of some bench presses, rows and some overhead presses and the routine is complete. Using these full body compound movements will force your body to use all of its stabilizer muscles and burn calories as well as no other. Quoting Strossen on diet: “In addition to the 20-rep squats, trainees are advised to eat a lot of wholesome food, drink at least two quarts of milk a day, and to get plenty of rest in between the twice or thrice-weekly workouts. That’s it: one set of 20-rep squats, a couple of other basic exercises, plenty of good food, milk and rest. But, oh, those squats! ” The routine is performed monday, wednesday and fridays and should take no longer than 30-40 minutes. Start off with full ATG (ass to grass) squats and hit a few warm up sets of 10 reps or so. On the one 20 rep squat set, you want to choose a weight that you could do comfortably for about 15 reps. The following five are to be done rest-pause style, doing the first 15 reps, then taking three or so breaths and then another rep, then three or so more breaths and another rep and so forth until all 20 reps are complete. After this, you grab a moderately heavy dumbbell and do one set of cross bench pullovers for 20 reps as well, using a weight that will allow you to complete all 20 reps in good form. Strive to add 5 – 10 pounds a week to the squats, and you will gain some serious bodyweight. Again quoting Strossen about doing “only” one set of squats, "Make no mistake about it, however, this one set of 20-rep squats is not your ordinary cup of iron tea: Whatever our recipe might lack in complexity of volume will be more than recouped in intensity." NOTE by Strength Oldschool: ATG on squats is not necessary, go as low as you can, as long as you hit parallel or close to, that will be fine. The Super Squat Routine: Press behind neck: 3 x 12 Squat: 1 x 20 supersetted with Pullover 1 x 20 Bench press: 3 x 12 Rowing: 3 x 15 Stiff legged deadlift: 1 x 15 Pullover: 1 x 20 * (add a gallon of milk a day!) The above routine is the ultimate ‘hard gainers’ routine and should be done 2-3 times a week. * Super Squats - How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks By Randall J Strossen can be purchased here.
  4. Bill Starr - 5 by 5 Training Routines Author: Unknown Perhaps the most critically acclaimed and enduring book ever written on the subject of weight training is Bill Starr’s “The Strongest Shall Survive: Strength Training for Football” written in 1976. Seemingly endless variations of Starr’s original routine have sprouted up all over the Net and for good reason – it is possibly the most perfect routine ever devised. His routine focused on bench presses, squats and power cleans, done on a Monday – Wednesday – Friday rotation with heavy, medium and light days. Bill Starr is where the “5×5″ routine came from; each exercise was done following a protocol of five sets of five reps. Starr’s 5×5 routine uses the three exercises which Starr referred to as “the big three”, quoting Starr: “These are 3 basic exercises used by weightlifters to increase their strength….the football player (and you can insert Martial Artist, Fighter, whatever there) must work for overall body strength as opposed to specific strengthening exercises….In other words the athlete should be building total leg strength rather than just stronger hamstrings. He should be seeking overall strength in his shoulder girdle rather than just stronger deltoids….the program is fast, simple and, most importantly, effective. It requires very little space and a minimum of equipment….” NOTE by Strength Oldschool: The author is wrong when they state that Bill Starr developed the "5 X 5" training method, this was done many years earlier by Reg Park! Bill Starr’s 5X5 Routine In Its Original Form Monday – Heavy Power cleans – 5 sets of 5 Bench – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set (add 10 rep sets after 8-12 weeks on program) Squats – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set * Set 1: 35% of target * Set 2: 70% of target * Set 3: 80% of target * Set 4: 90% of target * Set 5: Target Wednesday – Light Power cleans – 5 sets of 5 Incline Bench – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set Squats – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set / set 5 use weight from 3rd set of Monday Friday – Medium Power cleans – 5 sets of 5 Overhead press – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set Squats – 5 sets of 5 + 1×10 weight from 3rd set / set 5 use weight from 3rd set of Monday The Bill Starr Power Routine Monday – Heavy Day Squat – 5 sets of 5 Bench – 5 sets of 5 Powerclean – 5 sets of 5 Weighted hyperextensions – 2 sets Weighted sit-ups – 4 sets Wednesday – Light Day Squat – 4 sets of 5 Incline Bench – 4 sets of 5 High Pulls – 4 sets of 5 Sit-ups – 3 sets Friday – Medium Squat – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8 Bench – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple, 1 set of 8 Powercleans – 4 sets of 5, 1 triple Weighted Dips – 3 sets of 5-8 Triceps and Biceps – 3 sets of 8 each * More info on this "Power Training Routine" by Bill Starr can be viewed here. Bill Starr’s Beginner 5×5 Monday (Heavy Day – 85%) Back Squats: 5 x 5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 reps across 5 sets Bench Press: 5 x 5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 reps across 5 sets Deadlifts: 5 x 5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 reps across 5 sets Wednesday (Light Day – 65-70%) Back Squats: 5 x 5 using 60% of Monday’s weight Bench Press: 5 x 5 using 60% of Monday’s weight Pullups: 5 x 5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 reps across 5 sets Friday (Medium Day – 70-85%) Back Squats: 5 x 5 using 80% of Monday’s weight Bench Press: 5 x 5 using 80% of Monday’s weight Rows: 5 x 5 Ramping weight to top set of 5 reps across 5 sets The Bill Starr Strength Factor Routine Monday (Heavy Day) Back Squats: 5 x 5 ramping to limit Bench Press: 5 x 5 ramping to limit Deadlifts: 5 x 5 ramping to limit or Bent-Over Rows: 5 x 5 ramping to limit Incline Dumbbell Press: 2 x 20 Calf Raises: 3 x 30 Wednesday (Light Day) Back Squats: 5 x 5 using 50 lbs less than Monday or Lunges: 4 x 6 ramping to limit Good Mornings: 4 x 10 or Stiff-Leg Deadlifts: 4 x 10 Standing Overhead Press: 5 x 5 ramping to limit Dips: When you can do 20 reps, start adding weight and drop the reps back to 8 Curls: 3 x 15 Friday (Medium Day) Back Squats: 5 x 5 using 20 lbs less than Monday Incline Bench Press: 5 x 5 ramping to limit Shrugs: 5 x 5 ramping to limit or Clean High Pulls 5 x 5 ramping to limit Straight Arm Pullovers: 2 x 20 Chins: 4 sets to failure Bill Starr’s “Big 3″ Program Monday – Heavy Day Powerclean – 5 sets of 5 Bench – 5 sets of 5 Squat – 5 sets of 5 Wednesday – Light Day Powerclean – 5 sets of 5 Benchpress – 5 sets of 5 Squat – 5 sets of 5 Friday – Medium Powerclean – 5 sets of 5 Benchpress – 5 sets of 5 Squat – 5 sets of 5
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