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About Me

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  1. I thought I'd begin posting my workouts, not all but some, for personal reference and hopefully it may interest others. This training journal will detail full body workouts performed from 3 days a week to as much as 6 days a week. It will also detail split training workouts from time to time (depending upon how I feel), and grip training. A variety of thick grip training tools will be used throughout my training which will include, axles, thick grip dumbbells, fat grips, alpha grips, etc. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I will also post links to the training equipment I use. Yesterday (Mon 19 July 2021) I performed a full body training session to find my 5 rep max on various exercises. Max attempts were performed as strictly as possible. Full workout took well over 3 hours! I wouldn't normally train this way but I wanted to perform all my training lifts in one workout instead of taking it over two or more days. I didn't rest long between sets, as soon as I got my breath back I proceeded to the next set / exercise. The purpose of finding my 5 rep max lifts is to use a percentage of that max lift for future "Full Body Workout" sessions. 3/4 SQUAT (2" Thick Watson Barbell) - Check out this bar here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 90kg (198 lbs) - 5 reps 100kg (220 lbs) - 5 reps 110kg (242 lbs) - 5 reps 120kg (264 lbs) - 5 reps 130kg (286 lbs) - 5 reps 140kg (308 lbs) - 5 reps 150kg (330 lbs) - 5 reps 160kg (352 lbs) - 5 reps No knee wraps or belt was used. Top weight (marked in red) was 160kg. I achieved 5 reps and should have added more weight but decided not to. I perform 3/4 reps instead of full squats due to past knee injuries. I also tore my left quad muscle two years ago (non weight training related) and to this day I'm still worried about it happening again. So from a leg training point of view, I'm still experimenting. RACK DEADLIFTS (2.36" Thick Axle - Pulling from just above knees) - Check out this bar here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 4 reps My grip gave out on the last set so I wasn't able to achieve 5 reps which meant my top set (marked in red) was only 70kg. I don't perform full deadlifts from the floor at this moment in time due to a past injury. I will gradually increase the range of motion over time. However I do like rack pulls and so may stick with them and just avoid full range deadlifts. FLAT BARBELL BENCH PRESS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 85kg (187 lbs) - 4 reps LAT PULLDOWN MACHINE (Wide-Grip Watson 2" Thick Handle) - Check out this handle here. 20kg (45 lbs) - 10 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 55kg (121 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 4 reps INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS (2 Plates steep - 2" Thick Watson Bar) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps 85kg (187 lbs) - 2 reps LAT PULLDOWN MACHINE (Gym Pin "D handle" bar + Two Rolling Thunder Thick Grip Revolving Handles) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 55kg (121 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 65kg (143 lbs) - 2 reps Gym Pin website (UK based but ship world wide) - click here. Gym Pin "D handle bar" - click here. * Apply "strengtholdschool10" at checkout to SAVE 10% off your purchase at Gym-Pin. Rolling Thunder Handles - (International) click here / (UK based) click here. STANDING BARBELL SHOULDER PRESS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 45kg (99 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 2 reps INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS (2 Plates steep) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - * Did not attempt * * I stopped after 2 sets. I was using adjustable dumbbells and the major negative with adjustable dumbbell handles is that after the weight is loaded, cleaning the dumbbells and resting both dumbbells on my thighs is too painful and uncomfortable. With Hex Rubber Dumbbells, this is a lot easier and much more comfortable to do. So I decided to end the exercise until I work out my options... either I switch to Hex Dumbbells (which I had initially planned to sell my collection) or I try out a device such as "Spot Grips" (expensive). ONE ARM LAT PULLDOWNS (Rolling Thunder Handle) 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 2 reps BARBELL ROWS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - 5 reps 50kg (110 lbs) - 5 reps 60kg (132 lbs) - 5 reps 70kg (154 lbs) - 5 reps 75kg (165 lbs) - 5 reps 80kg (176 lbs) - 5 reps BARBELL CURLS (2" Thick Watson Barbell) 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 22kg (48.4 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 27kg (59.4 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 32kg (70.4 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 3 reps I injured my left bicep about a month ago and it bothers for curling and pulling movements or cleaning dumbbells etc. It was stupid of me to do curls as I felt the pain from the very first set! TRICEP PUSHDOWNS (2" Thick Watson EZ-CURL BAR) - Check out this handle here. 10kg (22 lbs) - 20 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 5 reps 40kg (88 lbs) - X The last set would not budge lol. STANDING ONE ARM DUMBBELL PRESS 10kg (22 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - (L)X (R)5 reps I forgot about this exercise and decided to throw it in, probably not the best idea after hitting triceps directly. Left arm presses were a no no due to my bicep on the last set. So I stopped there. LYING EZ-CURL BAR TRICEP EXTENSIONS (2" Thick Bar) - Check out this bar here. 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 20kg (45 lbs) - 5 reps 25kg (55 lbs) - 5 reps 30kg (66 lbs) - 5 reps 35kg (77 lbs) - 3 reps I like this exercise but it kills the elbows! Very rarely will I attempt heavy weights on this exercise but I wanted to see where my limits were roughly. DUMBBELL CON. CURLS 8kg (17.6 lbs) - 5 reps 12kg (26.4 lbs) - 5 reps 15kg (33 lbs) - 5 reps 17kg (37.4 lbs) - 5 reps I should have added more weight but was satisfied. The above workout was recorded as a LIVE workout on Youtube. My camera lost charge towards the end of the workout I'm afraid but most of the training was recorded. OVERALL COMMENTS Some of my lifts where I used thick grip handles / barbells on pulling exercises did not display my actual 5 rep muscular max as my grip strength gave out first. So looking back I probably should have switched to a standard barbell etc to get an accurate true 5 rep muscular max lift on certain exercises. But it doesn't matter. Now I plan to create a '3 Day a Week Full Body Training routine' based on the above lifts. Workouts will be much shorter, hopefully no more than 1 hour. Light weights will be used (pumping style), no heavy training as I fully believe muscle can be built using light weight with medium to high repetitions and not training to failure! Anyway, stay tuned for future workout journals.
  2. * The following training system and information is from the book "Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story" by Tom Thurston. Edited by: Strength Oldschool This chapter contains all the information that you will need to make yourself as strong as you wish to become. The product of over sixty years of study, experimentation and training, it is easy to understand and employ, works equally well for either sex and produces regular and continuous gains that are precise enough to last months, possibly years, into the future. Since there are no tricks or drugs involved, the strength that results is real and will last well into later life. The first step is to decide how many times a week you will be able to train. For best results, the minimum is two times and the maximum is six times per week. Less than twice will not allow the body enough exertion to realize its potential in either size or power; more than six will not give the body enough time fully to recuperate between workouts - especially if the workouts are rigorous. The second step is to choose the exercises that you feel will most efficiently work the muscle groups that you wish to strengthen, and to organize these routines into a weekly schedule that never exceeds more than three exercises per workout, never work the same muscle group more than three times per week, and if you are working out more than three times a week, never include upper and lower body exercises in the same workout. Failure to follow these rules can over-tax the body within a few months, or even weeks, into your training. If you desire a total body workout but can train only two or three times a week, you should choose the three exercises that will most effectively work the three largest muscle groups. My experience has shown these exercises to be the full squat for the legs, the bench press for the chest and the deadlift for the back. For example: TRAINING 2 TIMES A WEEK (Tuesday + Thursday) Bench Press Squat Deadlift TRAINING 3 TIMES A WEEK (Monday + Friday) Bench Press Squat Deadlift (Wednesday) Olympic Press Squat High Pulls If you desire a total body workout and can train four to six times a week, you should choose six exercises. Three are those mentioned above. The other three should target muscle groups that complement the first three. For best results, I would suggest arm biceps curls (pictured below) for the front of the arm, since the bench press thoroughly strengthens the back of the arm; leg biceps curls for the back of the leg; high pulls for the upper back, since deadlifts thoroughly strengthen the lower back. TRAINING 4 TIMES A WEEK (Monday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Tuesday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Thursday) Bench Press High Pulls Arm Biceps Curls (Friday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises TRAINING 6 TIMES A WEEK (Monday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Tuesday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Wednesday) Olympic Press High Pulls Arm Biceps Curls (Thursday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Friday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Saturday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises With the 3, 4 and 6 times a week schedules, you will notice that on some training days the bench press and the deadlift have been replaced with the Olympic press and high pulls (pictured below). This is because they work more or less the same muscles as the bench press and the deadlift, but are not quite as taxing. If you prefer to employ the more strenuous bench press and the deadlift in place of the Olympic press and high pulls (respectively) this will be fine. Just be aware that in doing so, because you are working each muscle group three times a week, you increase your chances of encountering muscle stagnation. Conversely, if you adhere strictly to the aforementioned training rule of never exerting your maximum lifting ability during training, muscle stagnation should not become a problem. If you want to strengthen a specific muscle or muscle group rather than the body as a whole, feel free to employ any exercises that fulfill the requirement. Take care, however, that you give equal attention to opposing muscle groups. Failure to do so can throw the body out of muscular balance and, as a consequence, make it more susceptible to injury. Two common failures are doing bench presses without doing opposing rowing or high pulls; doing arm biceps curls without opposing arm triceps extensions. Once you have organised your exercises into a workable schedule, your final step is to choose an appropriate training program for each exercise. While scheduling establishes what you want to do, programming outlines how you will do it, by giving precise starting poundages, poundage increases and repetition increases for each exercise. For the purpose of developing maximum size and power in the shortest time possible, my "A" and "B" programs have yet to be beaten. DOUG HEPBURN'S "A" TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SIZE & POWER The "A" program, although the less rigorous of the two, has been designed to increase the lifting capacity of any large muscle group (pectoral or thigh, for example) 120 pounds per year and any small muscle group (biceps or triceps, for example) 60 pounds per year. It is composed of two routines: a POWER routine for developing maximum strength in the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and a PUMP routine for developing maximum muscle size and endurance. The power routine is always completed first. To begin the "A" power routine, pick a poundage/weight that you can lift eight times in a row without resting (eight continuous repetitions) but not nine. For your first workout, perform eight sets of two repetitions with this weight, which is written in weightlifting shorthand as: 8 x 2. A set is one group of continuous repetitions (in this case, one group of two) and you always take a two to three minute rest after each set. For your second workout, add one repetition to what you did in your first workout to get seven sets of two repetitions plus one set of three repetitions, or 7 x 2 and 1 x 3. For your third workout do 6 x 2 and 2 x 3 and keep increasing repetitions in this manner until you can do eight sets of three repetitions, or 8 x 3. At this point, increase your training poundage no more than ten pounds for large muscle groups and five pounds for small muscle groups and return to the 8 x 2 formula. So your workouts should look like this... First Workout: 8 sets of 2 reps Second Workout: 7 sets of 2 reps and 1 set of 3 reps Third Workout: 6 sets of 2 reps and 2 sets of 3 reps Fourth Workout: 5 sets of 2 reps and 3 sets of 3 reps Fifth Workout: 4 sets of 2 reps and 4 sets of 3 reps Sixth Workout: 3 sets of 2 reps and 5 sets of 3 reps Seventh Workout: 2 sets of 2 reps and 6 sets of 3 reps Eighth Workout: 1 set of 2 reps and 7 sets of 3 reps Ninth Workout: 8 sets of 3 reps Once the above-noted power routine has been completed, take a five minute rest and begin your "A" Pump routine. Reduce your training poundages by about twenty percent and, for your first workout, do three sets of six repetitions, or 3 x 6. For your second workout, do 2 x 6 and 1 x 7 and keep adding repetitions in this manner until you can do 3 x 8. At this point, increase your exercising poundage five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and return to the 3 x 6 format. So your workouts should look like this... First Workout: 3 sets of 6 reps Second Workout: 2 sets of 6 reps and 1 set of 7 reps Third Workout: 1 set of 6 reps and 2 sets of 7 reps Fourth Workout: 3 sets of 7 reps Fifth Workout: 2 sets of 7 reps and 1 set of 8 reps Sixth Workout: 1 set of 7 reps and 2 sets of 8 reps Seventh Workout: 3 sets of 8 reps DOUG HEPBURN'S "B" TRAINING PROGRAM FOR ULTIMATE SIZE & POWER Once you have employed the above-noted "A" program for at least one full year and wish to embark on a more rigorous training schedule, the "B" program is the ultimate for developing both power and size. Like the "A" program, it is composed of both a power routine and a pump routine - with the power always performed first. It differs from the "A" program in that it incorporates "heavy singles," where the athlete lifts a weight only once before resting. The advantage of this procedure is that it allows you to employ the heaviest poundages possible during your workout, thereby allowing you the fastest strength gains. Be aware, however, that because the poundages used are considerably heavier than those in the "A" routine, there is more danger of injury or overtaxing. To begin the "B" Power routine, choose a warm-up poundage that you can easily lift once. Take a three to five minute rest and increase the poundage to a weight that you can comfortably lift once. After a three to five minute rest, increase your poundage to a weight that you can do for three continuous repetitions but not four, and this will be your training poundage. For your first workout, do five sets of one repetition, or 5 x 1, making sure to take a three to five minute rest after each heavy single. For your second workout, do 6 x 1 and keep adding one repetition per workout until you can do 8 x 1. At this point, increase your training poundage by five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and return to the 5 x 1 format. So your 'Power' routine should look like this... First Workout: 5 sets of 1 rep Second Workout: 6 sets of 1 rep Third Workout: 7 sets of 1 rep Fourth Workout: 8 sets of 1 rep After completing the power routine, take a ten to fifteen minute rest and do the "B" Pump routine. Decreasing your training poundage to a weight that you can comfortably lift for eight but not nine consecutive repetitions, perform six sets of three repetitions, or 6 x 3. For your second workout, do 5 x 3 and 1 x 4 and keep adding repetitions in this manner until you can do 6 x 5. At this point, increase your training poundage by five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and go back to 6 x 3. So your 'Pump' routine should look like this... First Workout: 6 sets of 3 reps Second Workout: 5 sets of 3 reps and 1 set of 4 reps Third Workout: 4 sets of 3 reps and 2 sets of 4 reps Fourth Workout: 3 sets of 3 reps and 3 sets of 4 reps Fifth Workout: 2 sets of 3 reps and 4 sets of 4 reps Sixth Workout: 1 set of 3 reps and 5 sets of 4 reps Seventh Workout: 6 sets of 4 reps Eighth Workout: 5 sets of 4 reps and 1 set of 5 reps Ninth Workout: 4 sets of 4 reps and 2 sets of 5 reps Tenth Workout: 3 sets of 4 reps and 3 sets of 5 reps Eleventh Workout: 2 sets of 4 reps and 4 sets of 5 reps Twelfth Workout: 1 set of 4 reps and 5 sets of 5 reps Thirteenth Workout: 6 sets of 5 reps Since the number of workout days in the 'Power' routines are different from the number of days in the 'Pump' routines ( 9 workout days in the "A" power routine compared to 7 workout days in the "A" pump routine; 4 workout days in the "B" power routine compared with 13 workout days in the "B" pump routine. It is extremely important that, when you reach the end of either a power or pump routine in either program and are directed by that routine to return to its beginning sets and repetitions, you do not automatically return to the beginning of its corresponding routine at the same time. Each routine must be completed as written, or you will overtax your body by increasing your repetitions and training poundages too quickly. Follow the directions of each routine separately and the programs will take care of themselves. To obtain maximum benefit from these two programs, adhere to the following rules: always keep as relaxed and at peace with yourself as you can; always follow a power routine with its indicated pump routine; never miss a workout, repetition increase or poundage increase; never attempt to accelerate your progress by taking drugs or altering the program. Above all, never "over-train". In other words, never push your body faster than it can physically withstand. This is probably the main reason why lifters fail (notice that I said lifters and not programs) and most lifters are guilty of it at least once in their lives. Sadly, many lifters over-train on a regular basis, but remain unaware that they are doing it. Look at it this way: when a lifter arbitrarily decides to increase his or her training weight ten pounds a week, he or she is really saying 520 pounds a year or 1,040 pounds in two years - a completely unrealistic and unattainable goal. Unable to keep up with such a rigorous schedule, the body will quickly "stagnate" - a weightlifting term that means become unable to lift past a certain poundage due to muscle fatigue. Although all programs will probably result in stagnation if followed long enough, it has been my experience that faithfully following the two rules about repetition and poundage given above will produce constant and predictable gains for at least one year - quite probably two to three. What's more, you will never feel that you're struggling. As friend, protege and twice Canadian weightlifting champion Paul Bjarnason explains it: Should muscle stagnation occur, there is a simple cure. Eliminate the "Power Routine" for two to three weeks and continue the "Pump Routine". If the problem persists, drop the power routine for another two weeks. If the problem is still present and you are adhering to the "no more than one repetition increase per workout " rule, then your training poundage needs to be reduced. You have either started with too heavy a weight or are adding weight too quickly. For best results, a good rule is "never expend your full lifting capability while working out." Occasionally, you can load up your barbell or dumbbell for a maximum lift to gauge your progress. But do this no more than twice a month - and only after your regular workout, followed by a fifteen to twenty minute rest. If a five to ten pound resistance increase becomes too much for your body to handle during any of the aforementioned programs or routines, feel free to reduce the amount of your increases to whatever you feel comfortable with. Since every person gains strength at a slightly different rate - depending on a variety of hereditary factors - it is just a matter of finding what works best for you. Also, be aware that when a person begins a strength program, he or she will usually gain fairly quickly because the muscles will be relatively fresh and quick to respond to the stimulation. As the program continues, however, progress will usually slow as the body begins to feel the effects of the extra work you are putting on it, and you might need to reduce slightly your rate of increase to compensate. Listen to your body as you exercise and you will know exactly when and how much. As long as you regularly increase your training poundages to some degree, your strength will increase in direct proportion. In this case, "slowly but surely" is the only rule to follow. Another common reason why athletes fail in their strength aspirations is because they embark on a program that they do not have the time to maintain. Outside obligations and distractions invariably get in the way until the athlete either skips workouts (thereby destroying the program's long term effectiveness) or quits altogether. It is imperative, therefore, that you examine thoroughly your social obligations before you schedule your training. Better a moderately rigorous schedule that you can stick to, than a super-rigorous schedule that you can't. This is particularly relevant if you plan to compete, because every pound that you are unable to lift due to irregular training is one more opportunity that you give your opponents to beat you. Once you have a specific goal firmly fixed in your mind, whether it is a future meet that you wish to win or a certain amount of weight that you wish to lift by a certain date, spend time meditating on it while you perform your workouts. The more you can visualize yourself succeeding at your goals, the more likely you will be to succeed for real when the opportunity arises. Seven-time World Weightlifting Champion John Davis of the United States (pictured above) once confided to me that he never attempted a lift - either in training or in competition - that he wasn't absolutely certain that he could complete. Former World and Olympic Champions, Paul Anderson, of the United States, Yuri Vlasov of the Soviet Union and Vasili Alexeyev of the Soviet Union also adhered to this philosophy. Visualizing yourself succeeding during your non-training hours also enhances your lifting ability. Many times, while I was preparing either to enter a contest or to attempt a maximum lift, I would spend the entire day before the event not just "watching" myself complete the lift but actually "experiencing" myself completing it - over and over until it felt as though I had performed it hundreds of times. When the time to perform came, I was so "hyped up" I literally exploded with power and confidence. Another mandatory and too often overlooked requirement for maximum size and strength gains is the maintenance of a proper diet. If you wish to gain a lot, you must eat a lot. In preceding chapters, I have referred to the massive amount of food that I consumed during my training (over 10,000 calories a day). If your goal is to compete on a world-class level, you must do the same. If your goal is to get strong for the sake of getting strong, then listen to your body and feed it well every time it asks for food. Just as some athletes find it impossible to realize that the body needs time to recuperate after a heavy workout, so others seem unable to comprehend that it also needs to be adequately fueled after hard exertion. On numerous occasions I have watched enthusiastic athletes undergo a lengthy training session only to sit down to a meal that wouldn't sustain a field mouse. They then wonder why they failed to gain more strength or size. When forcing your body to handle ever-increasing poundages, your food intake must be ever-increasing as well. Your diet must never be random. For maximum strength gains, it must be balanced and high in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and complete amino acid-based protein. Dietary information has increased dramatically since the '50s, so do some research. Read books and talk to professionals for a program that is compatible with your goals. Once you begin training, weigh yourself daily (in the nude for accuracy) and keep a lifting journal. If you don't experience substantial increases in both strength and body weight, re-evaluate your lifting program and food intake. Also emphasize liquid calories and nutrients. Shakes made from milk, juices, eggs, protein powder and honey are digested more easily than solid foods. Liquids also let the body assimilate more foods in less time, accelerating progress. I also recommend milk, juices, shakes and other liquids during the actual training session. I have, on many occasions, consumed as many as three quarts of milk during a single session, with no ill effects. As a result, I have actually gained weight during my workouts. The only solid foods that can be consumed during a workout are easily digestible high-energy foods such as dates, figs, raisins and honey. But they should be taken in small doses only. This rule also applies to all cold liquids, including water. One of the best ways to obtain quick energy during a lifting session is to drink a mixture of coffee and honey. Since coffee contains caffeine, however, it is recommended that you follow this practice only when you are competing, demonstrating or attempting a maximum lift. Once you have established an effective diet and training program, it is crucial that you receive regular sleep and relaxation to offset your physical exertions. As previously noted, heavy barbell exercise temporarily depletes the body's energy reserves and the only time that the body can replace this energy is when it is at rest away from the gym. At least one hour of extra sleep a day is recommended if you are following the "A" program, and two hours if you are following the more rigorous "B" program. Perhaps even more important than getting enough physical sleep every twenty-four hours is getting enough mental relaxation. Regular meditation will allow the mind, which is constantly racing to keep up with the hectic pace of the world around it, to slow down and relax. Tensions will melt away and you will soon be better able to distinguish those aspects of your daily life that deserve concerned attention and those that do not. During important competitions or public demonstrations, I made it a habit never to stand when I could sit, and never to sit when I could lie on my back with my eyes closed. A lot of athletes and spectators perceived this to be laziness, but it was a simple technique that many world class lifters of the time employed. The great American lifter John Davis, had so conditioned himself in this method that he was able to sleep immediately prior to competing and had to be awakened when it was his turn to lift. As important as it is, at times, to be able to blot out everything around you except lifting and thoughts of lifting, it is equally important to be able to blot out all thoughts of competing and training. Life is more than just exercise; in order to be truly happy, you have to know how to give equal time and attention to such endeavours as family, career, hobbies and relaxation. As philosopher Paul Brunton once said: Be aware, also, that by faithfully following the above-noted programs, you will discover more of yourself. What you accomplish, you accomplish on your own because you have the faith, honesty, courage and determination to delve into yourself and discern your exact capabilities. While dishonest lifters struggle to create an illusion, you tear illusion away and, as a consequence, build a strength of spirit that no dishonest lifter can come close to, and no amount of aging can destroy. Before my conception and implementation of these training principles, the general state of weightlifting was at a standstill. No one in the world, for example, had been able to bench press 500 pounds (which is why it was referred to as the "500 pound barrier"), and most world strength authorities considered it impossible. Not only was I the first man on the planet to do so (completely drug free) (1953, June 30 - Western Sports Centre, Vancouver), I added another 85 pounds to my world record within a few months. My methods were emulated following my gold medal win at Stockholm. The Russian and Bulgarian lifting teams began studying and adopting my principles and training procedures - to the point of following me from competition to competition. This is because they were able to realize early that the total poundage that an athlete lifts over a long and controlled time period is infinitely more beneficial than a series of maximum or near maximum lifts performed over a shorter, more sporadic time period. What you must understand if you are to get the most from your training, is that these principles will work as well fifty years from now as they did fifty years ago because the timing of the routines has been synchronized, as far as possible, with the body's inherent rate of response to training with heavy weight. Athletes and other so-called experts in the field have resorted to drug use because they have been unable to accelerate the effectiveness of these programs and routines in any other way. In conclusion, let me re-affirm the promise that I made at the beginning: this information is all that you will need to become as strong as you wish to become on all three levels of your existence. The rest is up to you. Good luck and good training. Doug Hepburn
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Bodybuilding Legends Views on Full Body Training Author: Unknown From the early days of weight training, full body training programs were a common thing. Nowadays, split training is used more. What's changed over the years?...Why do lifters frown when they hear full body training? Here are three champion bodybuilders, all considered legends of the sport who believed in training 3 days a week, Full Body style. John Grimek "I trained everything in every workout - I didn’t do what they call split workouts and train legs and arms one day, back and other stuff the next day. No, the only way I ever isolated a group of muscles was when I was finished with my routine for the day and I still thought I needed more for my back or chest or legs or whatever. Then I threw in an additional two to three exercises and much heavier-you know, trying to maximize the thing. And that was it. What is called split training wasn’t used then, although I had read somewhere that Hackenschmidt was using a method where he would isolate certain groups on certain days or else put more emphasis on a specific part while training the entire body on a given day. But I never had a yen for that. I was making progress all over, so there was no need for a concentration on a certain area. And I never found that training the whole body in each workout was too tiring. In fact, when I got through, I was feeling a helluva lot better and more ambitious and energetic than I did when I started." ~ John Grimek Steve Reeves "I trained my whole body every workout. I’d work as hard as I could for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Whatever it took. The split system of training came later, but I don’t believe in that approach anyway. I think if you really train hard, you use up everything- your nervous energy and all the rest of your energies. So you need to recuperate the next day. Recuperation is just as important as Training. I’d train three days a week and rest four. I’d train the entire body almost to failure, then take the next day off." ~ Steve Reeves Reg Park "In regards to whether full body routines 3 times a week work is dependant on the time available and individual enthusiasm. For instance at one stage I worked out 3 hours in the evening Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I trained my entire body. So doing 3 full body workouts 3 times a week can and does build strength, power and bulk." ~ Reg Park NOTE by Strength Oldschool: What's everyone's thoughts on full body workouts, three times a week?
  8. Rack Work - The Key to Power Lifting (1964) By Terry Todd Several years ago, Bill March (pictured below) began to take rapid and successive steps up the ladder of Olympic lifting. His gains in power and physique were both regular and phenomenal. These gains were in part due to a system of training devised and refined by Dr. John Ziegler. We know this system by many names, such as limited movement, isotronics, partial movement, isometronics, and so on. However, as the system has spread and been adopted by the weight trainers of the country, a name has been used with ever increasing clarity and regularity . . . Rack Work. This name (Rack Work) sums up in simple terms the essence of the new system of training. Strangely enough, not much has been written on the applicability of rack work to powerlifting (1964). The chief reason for this is doubtless because only recently have the Power Lifts emerged as a popular sport. Up until a few years ago, the bench press, squat, and deadlift were used only as a means to an end and not as an end in themselves. This has changed almost overnight, and soon national, and possibly international championships will be held in Power Lifting. The purpose of Power Lifting is to determine a man's all-around bodily strength,and the three lifts now generally used; the bench press, squat, and deadlift, are well chosen for this task. They all involve large areas of the body's voluntary musculature and they all require a minimum of technique. This is in direct contrast to the Olympic lifts, where all three lifts have become "quick lifts" involving a high degree of flexibility, coordination, and practice. Many men are physically and psychologically well-suited for Olympic lifting, but not for Power Lifting. The reverse is also often the case, and the recent surge of interest and participation in Power Lifting presents an excellent and deserved chance for those men who are not cut out for the Olympic lifts to enjoy and gain from competition. For the man who enters competition in Power Lifting, as well as for the bodybuilder who feels a need for more strength to break a slump, Rack Work is the answer. It offers that combination which is rare in many areas of life -- maximum results with a minimum of effort. Detailed below is a program used by some of the Power Lifters and bodybuilders in this area. This program has brought excellent strength increase to all who gave it a fair test. Several variations of the method have been tried here at the University of Texas, but this particular routine has proved to be the most result-producing. Listed below are the exercises, the method or performance, and the poundages used by the author (Terry Todd). Monday: 1) Low Bench Press - begin with the bar just touching the chest. Raise the bar off the chest and hold for 12 seconds. Add weight when the bar can be held off the supports for 12 seconds. 570 lbs. 2) Top Squat - Begin with the bar at about 6 to 8 inches from the completed position. Perform 2 repetitions and pause just above the support pins on the way down from the second rep. Hold this position for 12 seconds; raise the weight again to straight legs; and finally lower the bar to the supports. Add weight when 12 seconds can be done. 1,300 lbs. (Limit of the bar). 3) Top Dead Lift - Begin with the bar at about 6 inches from the completed position. Raise the bar to the completed position being careful not to rest the bar on the thighs, lower to the starting position just above the supports and hold for 12 seconds. Add weight when 12 seconds can be done. 1,070 lbs. (With straps). 4) Frog Kicks - Hang from a chinning bar and pull the knees as close to the chest as possible. Perform one set of 25 repetitions. Tuesday: 1) Middle Position Bench Press - Begin with the bar at approximately the sticking point. Perform 3 repetitions from a dead start. Add weight when 3 reps can be done. 450 lbs. x 3 reps. 2) Low Squat - Begin at the bottom position of the squat. Raise the bar from the support pins and hold off for 12 seconds. Add weight when 12 seconds can be accomplished. 625 lbs. 3) Low Dead Lift - Begin with the bar at the height of the start of a regular dead lift. Raise the bar smoothly off the floor and hold for 6 seconds. Do not jerk the bar off the floor and if the back begins to round or hump excessively, return the bar to the floor or supports. 775 lbs. (With straps). 4) Bentover Rowing - Perform these in the regular fashion for 3 sets of 5 reps. Employ a loose or "cheat" style after thoroughly warming up. 465 lbs. x 3 x 5 reps. (With straps). 5) Frog Kicks - same as Monday. Thursday: 1) Bench Press Lockout - Begin with the bar at about 3 inches from the completed position. Press the bar to arms' length and hold it for 12 seconds with arms slightly bent. Add weight when 12 seconds can be completed. 740 lbs. 2) Top Squat - same as Monday. 3) Middle Dead Lift - Begin with the bar just below the knees. Perform 3 dead lifts from this position. Add weight when 3 reps can be done. 765 lbs x 3 reps. 4) Frog Kicks - same. Saturday: 1) Bench Press - work to a limit or near limit for 3 single repetitions. 465 lbs. x 3 singles. 2) Squat - Work to one limit or near limit single. 640 lbs. x 1. 3) Dead Lift - Work up to one limit or near limit single. 715 lbs. correctly, and 735 lbs. with a hitch. 4) Bentover Rowing - Same as Tuesday. 5) Frog Kicks - Same. The inclusion of the standard application of the bentover rowing exercise may seem strange at first glance, but there are five reasons for its appearance in this routine: 1) It enables the man who does some Olympic lifting to continue exercising the pulling muscles of the arm and shoulder girdle group. As an example, after practicing this program exclusively for two months, the author (Terry Todd) made a power clean with no foot movement of 385 lbs., 10 pounds better than his previous best. 2) It enables the bodybuilder to keep these same large muscle areas well exercised and filled out. 3) It exercises muscle areas that would be neglected unless it were included. In this way, this brief routine becomes complete since every major body part is vigorously worked. 4) The exercise does not lend itself well to work on the Power Rack. Because of balance problems and the chances of a back injury, the bentover row is one of the few major exercises not conducive to the heavy partial movement of Rack Work. 5) Last, but most important for the Power Lifter, the exercise bulks and thickens the latissimus and teres area, which is important in giving the original impetus to the barbell in the bench press. It is interesting to note that Pat Casey (photo below), the world's best in the bench press, always performs some type of latissimus-teres exercise, either the bentover row or the wide grip chin. This is basically the program that has been successful for many Power Lifters and bodybuilders in this area. It is no miracle worker, but it is a program based on a combination of the empirical method of trial and error and the observation of body mechanics. Its success depends in large part on the adherence to the general rules of good health and on the development and cultivation of a positive frame of mind toward whatever objectives are desired. If these rules are followed regularly and diligently, Rack Work can be the solution to many discouraging training problems, as well as the best method of adding those elusive pounds to the three Power Lifts.
  9. 1997 Interview with Maurice Jones From Keys To Progress By Randall Strossen (Editor of "The Complete Keys To Progress" book and owner of Milo Magazine) * If you haven't already read an article from 1941 about Maurice Jones, click here. This book contains John McCallum's (photo of John McCallum pictured above) original articles which first appeared in "Strength & Health" magazine, which ran from June 1965 through to November 1972. Some of these articles referred to the mysterious muscle character, Maurice Jones. From the book... Chapter: The Time Factor Page: 2 Quote from book: From the book... Chapter: Power Training Page: 30 Quote from book: First of...Who was John McCallum (1912 - 1993)? John lived in New Westminster, B.C. and worked for the Fire Department. * The following article is from 1997 when Maurice Jones was 85 years old * Any self-respecting student of John McCallum emerged with a number of basic principles, which ranged from squatting until your eyes bulged to achieving an overall balance in your life. The true ‘McCallumite’ knew that he certainly better not be a mirror athlete, nor should he limit himself to just being strong, flexible and having loads of endurance coupled with brimming good health. No, he should recognize that he had a brain, and he should put it to use, cultivating additional interest and activities. So the great paradox was that the McCallumite was out to chase and capture pounds and inches with unparalleled zeal and success, but this was only the beginning – he would also end up becoming a well-rounded person in more than the literal sense. Maurice Jones (pictured below - 1945) was one of the principal characters in McCallum’s articles, and it’s no accident that he stands as a model of this whole-man concept. Since Maurice Jones never sought the spotlight, articles on him were few, and largely confined to rare issues of older muscle magazines. In fact, were it not for John McCallum’s writing the larger world might never have had a chance to benefit from Maurice Jones’s example. Being a rabid McCallum fan back in the 1960's, and never reluctant to seek out someone of interest, I managed to reach Maurice Jones on the telephone, and he patiently answered all the questions a teenaged lifting nut could think to present. I’d also had the advantage then of buying a handful of photos of Maurice Jones from the venerable collector Angelo Luspa. Recently, nearly 30 years later, I had the great fortune and privilege to once again talk at length with Maurice Jones. Maurice Jones started lifting weights when he was about 17 years old. “As a kid I was sickly. I can remember the awful colds I used to have. I wasn’t that healthy, so that’s what made me embark on some kind of training regimen, and one thing led to another.” What it led to was the emergence of a true Hercules – a massively muscled man who was unquestionably among the strongest in the world, and whose muscular and cardio-vascular endurance could sustain labors of heroic proportions. If we turn back the clock to the 1930's, we see a 5’9” 150-pound Maurice Jones beginning to lift weights. Although his eventual success might not have been predicted by any, his tenacity should have signaled that good things, amazing things, were to follow: If you want to understand what it means to train consistently, just remember that in his first 5 ½ years of training, Maurice Jones never missed a single workout. In the intervening decades, this dedication has never wavered. “I wasn’t away from them (the weights) for very lengthy periods. I valued it greatly. I always felt so much better when I would have a good workout. I stayed with it,” explains Jones. “I held a certain amount of self-pride, I was going to stick with it till the end. You know, that attitude, and I’m still doing that. I do lots of situps and press-ups between two chairs at times when weights aren’t available.” As we go to press (1997), Maurice is about to turn 85, and he reports, “I’m training. I’m very active physically.” And while he laughs at the weights he uses, consider this: He still does presses and curls with 50-lb. dumbells! “That’s nothing compared to what I once handled,” he says apologetically, but if those weights don’t speak to his fortitude, consider that Maurice Jones also continues with his “outdoor activities – cycling and trail hiking.” Mountains have long been his passion so it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there have been some accidents along the way, which have led to a string of surgeries on his back, neck, and both knees. “I’m an avid alpinist, and that’s when most of the injuries occurred,” explains Jones. “I can’t blame it on the weights,” he says with a laugh. Currently weighing “a stable 185,” Jones says the most he ever weighed was 225, although he generally weighed 200. “I didn’t stay up at that heavy weight for a great length of time. I was quite comfortable at 200 pounds.” Once when I was talking to Doug Hepburn, I told him that when people asked me about Maurice Jones, I’d say, “Well, picture a cross between Doug Hepburn and John Grimek.” Doug thought about that for a minute and then said, “That’s not a bad description.” Considering that he emerged as such a formidable physical specimen, Maurice Jones’ training program should be of great interest. “I’d work out for sometimes two hours – that was when I was younger, up until probably 40 or 45 or something. That would be three times [per week], two hours,” said Jones, and when asked for an authentic workout, here’s what Jones said: “I’d do a bit of a warmup at the beginning, before I’d start: calisthenics, bending, arm waving, that sort of thing. I’d always start with situps on the steep board. Then I’d do my presses: Press, curl, press, curl. Rest a minute and then do another press and another curl. Three sets altogether. That was the military press. I didn’t do those leaning back presses. They called them military presses at that time. Then I’d do three sets of rowing motions; I’d do my bench presses in between (row, bench press, row, bench press, row, bench press). Three sets of bench presses." “Now the squat. One set of heavy squats up around 400 pounds – about a dozen repetitions. At that time I was still doing hiking on weekends so I got plenty of legwork there, and I’d have 30 or 40 pounds on my back in my rucksack. 400 pounds sometimes and if I’d drop the weight, I’d increase the reps." “In between sets, I’d rest a minute – I wouldn’t sit down. I know some fellows who used to train a gym I worked at a couple of times would sit down and read a magazine in between exercises,” Jones said with a smile. A cardinal principle in Maurice Jones training was strict style: “I always tried to adhere to good form. I couldn’t stand these guys that would come in and be curling and it would be a back exercise as well. That didn’t go over well with me at all. I wanted to see a straight body, and the arms working as they should.” Considering his immaculate form, it was remarkable that Maurice Jones used to do presses behind the neck with 200 pounds for 12 reps and dumbell curls 70 lbs. x 12 well before World War II (1939 - 1945) – figure what that’s worth in today’s terms, and your jaw should hit the floor. Asked about his squatting, Maurice Jones said “I got up into the very heavy stuff – it used to frighten me before the act. How it all came about was with Milo Steinborn: I read that he had created a world record in the deep knee bend, which I was bound and determined to break, but nobody knew anything about it. And I did get up there over 500. My memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to, but it was around 525 pounds.” Not one to brag, Maury doesn’t bother to mention that this lift put him among the foremost squatters of the day. Perhaps even more prodigious were his performances in the stiff legged deadlift, where he did 425 for 15 repetitions in ultra-strict style: standing on a bench, lowering each rep to the tops of his feet. If the 425 x 15 isn’t already impressive enough, consider that Jones allows that “it [the poundage] may have wandered a little higher from time to time.” While running was not as central to his training program as was weight training, it wasn’t uncommon for him to include running a couple of times a week.” Maurice attributes his high level of muscular and cardiovascular endurance to a combination of his weight training, running and his mountain hiking. Asked if the stories of him putting rocks in his rucksack before taking off up a mountain were true, he said they were. “I used to be crazy,” he laughed. “I still do that, as a matter of fact. I put in at least 30 pounds, just to get a little additional benefit.” It’s tempting to think that this dedication to training means that somehow training hard came easy to Maurice Jones, but that’s not the case. “I’ve put up with a lot of pain over the years, years I suffered, but I never avoided my training. You can’t do it for the best part of your life and just forget it. The way I’m built, I have to continue, obviously not as strenuously as before, but I never forget it. I guess there are a lot of weight trainers and people who have done over a period of years and are still doing it.” Asked about his diet, Maurice said it “was just very plain. I’m afraid that I just qualify as a meat and potatoes man.” It has been reported that Maury disliked Olympic-style weightlifting, but he said that isn’t true. “I never went in for weightlifting myself because I didn’t have the time, mainly.” Nonetheless, the first time he tried a clean and jerk it was with 300 pounds on an exercise bar, and Jones says, “It was easy for me. I couldn’t believe it, you know, once I got those legs in action. That was when they did a split, not a squat. One chap came up from California, and that was the first time I saw a squat clean, and the snatch the same way. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t fall over when he did a snatch!” Although Maurice worked as a graphic artist and retired as a director of the YMCA, earlier in his life he wrestled professionally in England and on the Continent. Even though this was quite a while ago, some things never change because when asked about it, Jones said, with distaste, it was “as phony as anything could be.” Pro-wrestling seems out of character for Jones, but he explained, “It was a means to an end for me. I wanted to continue with my schooling, and my father was very ill at the time. I had to keep the household going.” Asked what he’d say if a young kid came up to him and said, “Mr. Jones, do you think I should take drugs to get bigger muscles or to get stronger?”: “I would say, don’t become a fanatic, although I must have appeared that way to a lot of people. If you get fanatical about something, it spoils it. You have to recognize the line – that’s the trouble.” To read more stories about Maurice Jones, Reg Park, Basic Training, etc get the book "The Complete Keys To progress" by John McCallum.
  10. Train for Power - Part 2 (1954) By Reg Park Since writing Part One a number of incidents have arisen which I feel will be of interest to our readers. They are as follows: 1/ I received a letter from Al Murray advising me that he had prepared an article, "Body-builders Can Be Strong," which was prompted by the trend in the London area amongst the body-builders. 2/ I hit an extremely good spell -- making the following lifts (1954): 550 squat 2 reps 510 squat 5 reps 500 bench press 270 press 3 reps 270 press behind neck 2 reps 220 strict curl When Chas Coster (see photo above - left to right - Dave Sheppard - Pete George - Charles Coster - Tommy Kono ) learnt of this he was extremely pleased because it would emphasize the importance of POWER TRAINING, of which he has long been a great advocate. Many authorities are inclined to stress too much importance on technique rather than on power. 3/ An old copy of S & H magazine showed up at the office showing Eder (photo above) as he was at 17-1/2 and giving a list of measurements along with his best lifts at the time. At a height of 5'7" and a bodyweight of 181 pounds - 340 bench x 2 250 press 370 squat x 10 That was exactly five years ago (1949) and for your interest his measurements now are: 5'7" 198 pounds 18" arms And his best on those three lifts are: 480 bench 350 press 500 squat x 5 sets of 2 Marvin's interest has always been on building a powerful physique and during our workouts together in 1951 (photo above) we used 350 pounds on bent-over rowing, also 120 pound dumbbells on the seated DB press -- the other lifts and poundages escape my memory. Interesting facts about both Eder and Hepburn -- whilst both train on the press and bench press, they do not practice these two lifts on the same day, and when utilizing the bench press to improve their pressing ability as I understand Davis also does, they use the same width of grip as they would when performing standing presses and start the press from the chest. Issy Bloomberg (photo above) who I had the pleasure of training with during my recent tour of South Africa, and who pressed over 300 pounds as an amateur is another lifter who appreciates the importance of power of body-building exercises such as the full and quarter squat, bench press, bent-over rowing, etc., in order to build up his body power and so benefit his Olympic lifting. Although I may be stepping on someone's corns, it has long been my contention that some of the British lifters who wondered why their performances do not compare with those of the Russians, American and Egyptians (taking the advantages of these countries' lifters into consideration such as time and standard of living) do not stress sufficient importance to such exercises as heavy squats, bench presses from the chest, rowing motions, deadlifts, etc. A comparison which comes to my mind is training for the "long jump." Whilst the actual jump is of importance, and needs to be practiced, it is a fact that sprinting plays an important part and most long jumpers are excellent sprinters. The same thing applies with the three Olympic lifts, whilst it is essential to practice the correct style, technique and performance of these lifts, it is true that such exercises as the full squat build up terrific power and coupled with actually performing the Olympic lifts assists improvement on the latter. Anderson is an example of this for he trained purely on the squat and built up his body power so much that when he went on to the Olympics his performances amazed even the most ardent physical culturists. In order not to confuse you, my interpretation of body power means performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses from the chest and bouncing, which permit you to handle more weight and so build greater ligament and tendon power than can be derived from the practice of the press, snatch, and clean & jerk ONLY. Schedule Two You should now feel refreshed to start Schedule Two after training on Schedule One for a month and then having a full week off to rest up. Schedule Two involves training three times per week i.e. MON, WED, FRI, for a month. Please note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. Exercise 1: Squat With Bar At Sternum (Front Squat) Those of you who have never practiced this lift may experience difficulty in balance and also a strain on the wrists, but if you allow the bar to rest on the deltoids instead of trying to hold it at the chest you will find it much easier. This exercise is also very beneficial to lifters who employ the squat style technique. Perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions. Exercise 2: The Clean and Press For poundages and repetitions I would suggest that if your best Press is 250 pounds, warm up with 200 x 2 reps, then 220 x 2, and finally 5 sets of 2 with 230. If you are still strong, perform 2 sets of jerk presses with 240-250, doing 3 reps a set. When you are able to perform this schedule increase your poundages by 5 pounds throughout. Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Exercise 3: Upright Row This exercise has quite recently been accepted by the A.A.U. as one of their strength lifts. Using the same grip as when performing cleans, lift the bar from the floor until it rests across the thighs and then with a hard fast pull lift the bar up until it touches the neck with the elbows held up high, and then lower the bar to the thighs and repeat from there. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 4: Parallel Bar Dip This is a particular favorite of Eder, and I well remember his brother telling me that he considered this exercise had done more for Marvin than any other. Perform 5 sets of 8 and use added weight. Exercise 5: Dumbbell Curl Numerous men, such as Grimek, have handled 100 pound bells on this exercise. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 6: Deadlift When following both schedules only do deadlifts once a week, on an off day and on their own. Work up in singles to the highest poundage you can lift.
  11. Train for Power - Part 1 (1954) By Reg Park Today physical culture has more followers than ever before, and in consequence the progress of the past few years has been amazing. Weight-lifting (read "strength" here) records are constantly being broken and the standard of physique has also improved. Unfortunately, however, bodybuilding and weight-lifting are for the most part regarded as two distinct sports, and it is rare indeed that you find a bodybuilder with REAL POWER or a weight-lifter with a PRIZE WINNING PHYSIQUE. By power I do not necessarily mean that one should become an Olympic lifter and specialize on the press, snatch, and clean & jerk. (Or a powerlifter, if written today). My interpretation of a powerful man is one who can put up a good performance on a variety of lifts, and one who instantly comes to my mind when I think of a strong man is Marvin Eder (see photo below), whom I consider to be The World's Strongest Man when bodyweight is taken into consideration. Marvin has successfully combined training for Power and Physique. His bench press of 480 pounds and his reported overhead press of 350 are the heaviest weights ever lifted by a man under 200 pounds bodyweight. John Grimek also comes into the above category -- having been an American weightlifting champion and winning every physique honor possible. Here in England we have two fine examples in Buster McShane and Bill Parkinson. But the fact remains that there are many top bodybuilders who cannot lift weights in accordance with their physique and at the same time there are strength trainers whose physiques leave much to be desired. When Stan Stanczyk (photo above) was the world light-heavyweight weightlifting champion, it was reported that some youngster who saw him on the beach did not believe that Stan was the world champion because the kid said, "I know fellows with bigger muscles than you." Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is a fact that Stan did devote a lot of time to bodybuilding. I have listed a number of exercises which I consider to be real Power Builders and can be used by bodybuilders and strength men alike. I have split them up into TWO SCHEDULES and would suggest that you train three non-consecutive days i.e. MON, WED, FRI, per week on Schedule One for a period of one month followed by a week's full layoff, and then train on Schedule Two three times per week for a month and note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. SCHEDULE ONE Exercise 1: Squat This is a great power builder and has been put to good use by such men as Anderson (photo below ) and Hepburn in their own training, but it is a lift which many weight-lifters omit completely; while bodybuilders tend to rely too much on squats to a bench. Like my good friend Leo Stern, I have always favored the parallel squat and prefer to wear heels on my lifting boots rather than placing the heels on a wooden block. The heeled boots give me a firmer base as well as greater confidence. You may have noticed that Kono lifts in shoes and Sheppard has a built up heel on his lifting boot. I also believe a belt should be worn when performing this lift. The squat should be performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions -- increasing the poundage with each set. For example, I do 3 sets of 5 on the squat working up to the heaviest weight I can handle then I increase the weight by 100 pounds and do 1 set of 5 half squats, and then increase by another 100 pounds with which I perform 1 set of 5 quarter squats. It has been reported that Anderson can handle 1,500 pounds for the last method and Pete Farrar and myself used to perform 10 reps with 1,000 pounds. Exercise 2: Bench Press This lift has created a great deal of controversy overt the past few years but nevertheless both the B.A.W.L.A. and the A.A.U. now use it as a strength lift in championships. There are several pros and cons but if the lift is performed correctly (pressing each repetition from the chest) and not bounced off the chest, it is a great power builder both for deltoids and triceps as well as giving speedy development to the pectorals. The strict style does in fact cramp the pectorals more than the cheat style. This lift has done wonders for me (Photo of Park above) as I know it has done for Eder, Hepburn and Parkinson. A variety of grips can be used but I favor the same width as taken when performing Military pressing. 5 sets of 5 reps are ideal. Exercise 3: Two Hands Clean The technique of this lift has been fully covered in Al Murray's article on the Clean and Jerk so I will not dwell on it, other than to say 8 sets of 2 repetitions should be employed, working up to as heavy a weight as possible. This exercise can then be followed by taking a weight in excess of your best Clean off the squat stands and holding it at the shoulders for a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. Exercise 4: Press Behind Neck Like most bodybuilders I have favored this exercise for shoulder development -- and in order to illustrate the power this lift can build I include here the best lifts of several prominent men: Doug Hepburn does repetitions with 300 pounds; Eder 300; Eiferman 280; Wells 280. The bar can either be cleaned or taken off the squat stand, whichever you prefer. The weight should then be pressed and not jerked to arms length and lowered until it touches the back of the neck. Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with the maximum weight possible. Exercise 5: Barbell Curl Perform this for 3 sets of 5 in strict style increasing the poundage if possible with each set, then increase the weight by 20 to 30 pounds and do 2 sets of 5 adapting the cheat or swing style. Exercise 6: Deadlift This lift should be practiced only once a week working up in singles until you have reached your maximum. It is better to attempt this lift on a rest day and not when performing exercises 1 to 5. There are of course other important factors which must be taken into consideration when training for power and in order of importance they are as follows: 1/ To overcome the fear of heavy weights by having a complete positive mental attitude when training. 2/ As much good food as possible especially meat, milk, fruit, starches, etc. 3/ 8-10 hours sleep each night. To read PART 2 click here!
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