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Anthony Ditillo Training Routines for Bulk and Power Routine #1 This full schedule should be repeated 2 times per week. However, if you want, you could increase it to three times per week, but this is up to your ability to handle work. Monday and Thursday: Squat – One set of 10 reps, as a warmup, followed by five sets of five reps using all the weight possible for each set. Deadlift – Same as Squat. Bench Press – Same as Squat. Bentover Row – Same as Squat. Routine #2 This kind of training routine is more severe and that is why you only do 2 movements per training day. You will be working these 2 movements quite hard and this will cause you to gain. Monday: Squat – 1×10; 1×8; 1×6; 1×4; 1×2 and then 5 sets of 3-5 reps using all the weight possible. Bench Press – Same as squat. Thursday: Deadlift – same sets and reps as Monday. Bentover Row – same sets and reps as Monday. Routine #3 This would be the ordinary every other day schedule for the ambitious, underweight trainee. Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Squat – 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps using all the weight possible. Bench Press – same as Squat. Deadlift – same as Squat. Bentover Row – same as Squat. Routine #4 This type of routine would enable you to concentrate on one movement per workout for power and the other two for added muscular bulk. However, you will positively have to be sure to eat enough of the complete protein foods and get more than enough calories in order to grow. Monday: Squat – 1 set of 10 for a warmup, and then 8-10 sets of 3 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle for each set. Bench Press – 2 sets of 10 for a warmup and then 3 sets of 5 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle. Bentover Row – 2 sets of 10 for a warmup and then 3 sets of 5 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle. Thursday: Deadlift – 1 set of 10 for a warmup, and then 8-10 sets of 3 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle for each set. Bench Press – 2 sets of 10 reps, and then 3 sets of 5 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle. Bentover Row – 2 sets of 10 reps, and then 3 sets of 5 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle. Bulk And Power Routine No. 1 In this routine you will be performing the three basic power lifts. In it you use both low and high repetitions. This will allow you to gain in both muscular power and muscular size. Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Bench Press: 5 sets of 2-4 reps Bench Press: 2 sets of 10 reps Full Squat: 5 sets of 2-4 reps Full Squat: 2 sets of 10 reps Deadlift: 5 sets of 2-4 reps Deadlift: 2 sets of 10 reps Bulk And Power Routine No.2 In this routine I have you working for bulk in the upper body while you are specializing on the lower body for power. The sets and reps are well suited to gaining in both and I have even broken down the workouts themselves into three distinct sections. I have you working the chest and shoulders on Monday and the back and arms on Wednesday (rowing and cleans work the arms quite hard!). Then on Friday I have you really work your thighs and hips and back. Monday: Bench Press: 5 sets of 3-5 reps Incline Press: 5 sets of 3-5 reps Wednesday: Bent Over Row: 5 sets of 3-5 reps Hang Cleans: 5 sets of 3-5 reps Friday: Full Squat: 10 singles using 90% of your one rep limit Deadlift: 10 singles using 90% of your one rep limit Bulk And Power Routine No. 3 This routine has you training for power on the bench press and the seated press while your leg and back work aids in gaining size. Monday: Full Squat: 1 set of 20 reps using a weight which is 50lbs. greater than bodyweight. Take 5 deep breaths between each rep. Deadlift: 1 set of 20 reps using a weight which is 50 lbs. greater than bodyweight. Take 5 deep breaths between each rep. Heavy Bent Arm Pullover: 5 sets of 5-7 reps, maximum weight Wednesday: Full Squat: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Deadlift: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Bench Press: 10 singles with 90% of your 1 rep limit Friday: Half Squat: 5 sets of 3-5 reps High Deadlift: 5 sets of 3-5 reps Seated Press: 10 singles with 90% of your 1 rep limit Bulk And Power Routine No. 4 Monday and Thursday: Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps Bent Row: 10 sets of 3 reps Full Squat: 10 sets of 3 reps Tuesday and Friday: Incline Press: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Deadlift: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Half Squat: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Bulk And Power Routine No. 5 Monday: Full Squat: 10 sets of 3 reps Dip: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Weighted Chin: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Wednesday: Deadlift: 10 sets of 3 reps Bent Arm Flyes: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Curl: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Friday: Bench Press: 10 sets of 3 reps Half Squat: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Rack Deadlift: 5 sets of 5-7 reps Intermediate Mass Program The intermediate mass program is NOT for the advanced man. He would never respond to the amount of work I’m going to advise herein. Being advanced necessitates diversity in performance and volume of work as well as tightening up the dietary schedule, since continued weight gain would NOT be desirable for the truly advanced man who has already gained sufficiently in basic bodyweight. For the majority of beginners and intermediates, three total body workouts per week seems to be just about right. You will have two heavy days and one medium day, for variety and recuperation. On your two heavy days the movements are heavy and basic. The repetitions are kept low to enable you to use truly heavy weights to ensure mass gains. The first and second sets should be warmup sets. Sets three, four and five are to be performed with all the weight possible for the required reps. Rest no longer than one minute between sets. When sets three, four and five can be done fairly easily, add ten pounds to your upper body movements and twenty pounds to the lower body movements. The entire schedule consists of between twenty-five and thirty sets. Surely this much work can be finished within ninety minutes. Monday & Friday (heavy days) Press Behind Neck – 5 sets of 5-7 reps. Bentover Barbell Row – 5 sets of 8-10 reps. Barbell Curl – 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Lying Triceps Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps. Half Squat – 5 sets of 8-10 reps. * On your off days, do four or five sets of calf raises and light abdominal work. Wednesday (medium day) Dips – 4-5 bodyweight sets doing all the reps you can. Chins – the same as dips. Full Squats – 2 sets of 20 reps as described. Stiff-Legged Deadlift – 2 sets of 10-15 reps using light to medium weight.
Should You Train Heavy? By John Grimek (1962) The subject I’ve selected do discuss this month is certain to prove controversial among lifters and bodybuilders alike, especially the latter group. The question of how heavy to train has always proved perplexing to bodybuilders, particularly to beginners. It has also been the subject of much discussion and debate among barbell men for as long as progressive weight training has been known, and yet no one has come up with a simple solution to end the confusion . . . at least not to the satisfaction of everyone. This problem, how heavy to train, is individual and usually depends on what one hopes to accomplish by his training. If the trainee seeks to improve his general musculature and physical efficiency, which is usually the case, then regular barbell training with medium-heavy resistance would do much to help him achieve his objective. Conversely, if he entertains greater ambitions of strength and lifting prowess, he must be willing to train heavy, much heavier than he would if training for merely physical fitness. So it’s obvious that this problem is individual and the decision rests on the ultimate goal one hopes to attain. It’s also true that when light training is followed for conditioning, an occasional heavy workout should be included to keep the strength of the muscles, tendons and ligaments at a high peak. Moreover, heavy training tends to stimulate the lesser used fibers and thus encourages fuller and better muscle contours. Lighter weights, on the other hand, can work the muscles very efficiently but only when the exercises are performed correctly. Medium or light resistance should be employed for increasing speed and to perfect lifting form. In this regard light training is certainly not to be overlooked if one hopes to excel at lifting. And where greater power is desired the overload and power plus principles outlined in the “York Advanced Methods of Training,” pages 23 and 28, are practical for this purpose. However, in keeping with development of greater power the Isometric-Isotonic method of power training simplifies this approach and makes it possible for many to beget increased strength. In defense of heavy training let us use some of the champion lifters as examples. These champions, we all know, must train heavy most of the time so their muscular power remains at a peak. However, even these men occasionally employ a light training day that helps to keep their muscular coordination keen, their lifting speed swift, and the lifting form perfect. But heavy training is employed chiefly to keep the muscles strong so they are capable of handling heavy weights without any difficulty . . . which is what makes a champion! At this point it might be proper to mention that if a lifter lacks good lifting style his poundage is sure to suffer, and under the circumstances he should use less weight to perfect his lifting form. Using heavy weights does not help to improve one’s lifting style. If anything it makes it worse because one is apt to depend on actual “muscle strength” instead of muscle coordination and speed to overcome the gravity of the weight. Using lighter resistance and practicing lifting does not impede body speed and results in better lifting style. Most lifters follow this type of training – heavy weights to keep their muscles toned up for greater power, and light training to add more speed to their movements and improve their lifting form. Recently I received a letter along this line from a 46-year old man who wanted to know how he could acquire more squatting strength. His best performance was 260, but this he has managed only on a few occasions. Now he has made several repetitions with 250 pounds on numerous occasions, but when he attempted 265 he was unable to recover. He also admits that there are times when 250 feels very light and he is capable of doing high repetitions. But there are days when even 240 proves to be a challenge. He squats about twice a week and has been training for five years, and has failed to make any improvement with his squatting in well over a year. How can he increase his squatting poundage, he asks. The problem as I see it is not unusual. Almost anyone who has trained for any length of time has had days when the weights feel unusually light, and at other times feel extra heavy. This is natural and usually reflects the mood you’re in. For example, if you are genuinely enthusiastic and anxious to train, the weights always feel lighter at such times. But when you lack ambition and the desire to train, the weights will feel very heavy. So when this man writes that he can do several repetitions with 250 and fails to do at least one with 265, certainly this would indicate his lack of confidence in his ability. I’m inclined to think that he has a mental block which prevents him from exerting his full strength when he attempts 265 in the squat. If he had complete confidence in himself he would be capable of putting out more effort when he needed it, and thus succeed with the weight easily. In order to acquire this confidence he must first overcome his fear of the weight. To do this he should practice quarter or half squats using a much heavier weight than he can squat fully with. This will build his confidence. At the same time his legs, knees and hips will get stronger from these partial movements especially if the heavier weights are employed. Of course it’s not difficult for any man to do half or quarter squats with 400 or 500 pounds if he is capable of doing a complete movement with 260. And, as a matter of fact, any time you support or handle a heavy weight for a few repetitions and then reduce the weight to about half, which may still be your limit, you’ll find this weight lighter!!! I know. I used this same technique in my early training. Whenever I failed to clean a weight that was near my limit, I never grew discouraged but quickly loaded the bar to a heavy poundage and did a few deadlifts with it. Then I unloaded the bar to the previous weight that I failed to clean and, lo and behold, the weight would almost fly up. It’s because the muscles were taxed by a much heavier load and so were geared up to exert greater force. Reducing the weight found those same muscles ready to exert just as much effort as before, but because the weight was reduced, it felt lighter than the first time. Of course, bear in mind that you do only a few of the heavier reps to, in effect, condition the muscles to the effort. If you continue to do a lot of sets and repetitions with the heavier weight you’ll end up not even getting the original lighter weight off the floor. You’ll be too tired. But a few fast repetitions (speed with this heavier weight is important), then back to the weight you failed with before will make a big difference. Try it and see. Try it on other exercises as well. Getting back to the lifter: we all know that he must train regularly to stay ahead of his competitors or be overtaken. But the fellow who seeks only to improve or maintain his physical condition doesn’t have to fight competition, consequently doesn’t have a real purpose to use the heavy weights all the time. For one thing, he may develop a “fixation” in his mind that he will never handle certain poundages, and this may often put a damper on his efforts so he is unable to exert his full force. The 46-year old man mentioned earlier may never surpass his 260 pound squat unless he assumes a more positive mental approach by including the half-squats also mentioned before, or by employing a heavy straddle lift. This heavy training will help him lose his fear of certain weights and, because he’ll be handling much heavier weights in the half squat, he might attempt and even succeed with 300 in the squat. It’s possible once he establishes confidence in himself. But older men are more prone to injury than younger men so should spend some time in thoroughly warming up their muscles before attempting a limit lift. Many men inquire if they must train heavy to develop certain muscle groups. To develop muscle it’s not necessary to follow heavy training all the time, but an occasional heavy workout is required to stimulate the deeper muscle fibers that remain inactive when light training is practiced. MUSCLES, HOWEVER, CAN BE DEVELOPED BY MEDIUM-HEAVY RESISTANCE, BUT STRENGTH IS ACQUIRED BY HEAVY TRAINING. Those who are confused as to how they should train might find the solution by employing the old principle that has been widely used by many – the heavy, light and medium training system. The heavy system to increase muscular power; the medium system to build muscle; the light system to develop speed, coordination and improve conditioning. This training system involves all the phases of training and one is sure to obtain maximum benefits and satisfaction by using this method. So whether you should train heavy depends on what you wish to accomplish, and how hard you intend to train to obtain your wish. Whether you hope to reach any particular goal or not doesn’t matter, but it is a good idea to take a heavy workout once in a while to keep the muscles at their peak. So regardless of your goals include this type of training when you feel the urge to do so. You’ll enjoy it more and feel refreshed after you’ve finished. It’s all in the way you feel and the mood you’re in . . . follow your mood.