"NO POOL, NO CHROME, NO MUSIC"
Vince's Gym -
Vince's Gym -
by Gene Mozee (1992)
The art and science of bodybuilding are far more complicated than simply “pumping” barbells, dumbbells and various pulley machines. It takes careful planning and intelligent use of the available equipment to get the ultimate benefit from weight training.
Every great physique star I’ve met, both past and present, has adhered to three main principles:
1.) Set a goal, focus on it and work toward it with all the direction and intensity you can muster.
2.) Explore and learn everything you can about exercise and training procedures that can help you to succeed.
3.) Always train with a positive, enthusiastic frame of mind – think only of success.
I’ll never forget the words of the immortal Vince Gironda when he said, “Are you on a training program or are you just working out.” It’s like jogging – running to keep fit but not to exceed. Vince has trained and advised a multitude of Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia winners, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu and Chris Dickerson. His motto has always been – Set a reasonable goal, go for it and train until you accomplish it. He is an advocate of maximum pump for maximum muscle growth.
The science of developing muscle successfully involves developing more capillaries and more nerve pathways for better and stronger nerve impulses to the muscles,” Gironda said. “This permits greater muscle response to exercise and maximum flushing of the muscles with blood for a greater pump, which leads to greater muscle growth.”
There are some in the lifting field who feel that heavy weights and low reps are the only way to get muscle size. They contend that training procedures like supersets and tri-sets are strictly for shape and definition – that these pumping movements give the muscles a false fullness that is quickly lost when you temporarily discontinue training.
While opinions vary among bodybuilding authorities as to which training methods are best, I’ve found that a combination of heavy-weight movements AND maximum-pump exercises produces rapid growth as well as quality. Guys with whom I’ve trained, like Arnold, Don Howorth and Charlie Fautz, used a similar method to build championship physiques. In fact, almost all of the superstars I’ve seen train successfully over the years used this technique.
The basic principle behind power pump training is to select one heavy exercise, plus two other exercises to superset for each muscle group. You work the muscle with a heavy power movement to activate more fibers, and then do a superset to produce the maximum pump. This combination works the muscle fully and promotes new growth.
The power pump program I present here is a split routine – you train half your muscle groups one day and the other half the next. For example, you do the exercises in group A on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the exercises in group B on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Each workout should last about 90 minutes.
It goes without saying that this is an advanced training program. If you’re an intermediate, do it four times a week instead of six. Another variation is to train five days a week, doing group A on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and group B on Tuesday and Thursday the first week. The following week you do Group B on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and group A on Tuesday and Thursday, alternating each week for the length of the program – six to eight weeks. Or you can organize your weak points into group A and your strong ones into group B, doing group A on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and group B on Tuesday and Thursday every week.
The following sample routine is one that I used while working out with Bob Green and Steve Downs when we trained at Vince’s Gym. On some occasions we were joined by Pete Caputo, Steve Reno and John Maldonado for some great power pump workouts.
GROUP A (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
Power Bench Press (add weight each set) – 5 x 5-8.
Incline Dumbbell Press – 5 x 8 supersetted with
Decline Pulley Flyes – 5 x 10.
Behind the Neck Press (add weight each set) – 5 x 6.
Lateral Raise – 5 x 8 supersetted with
Bentover Lateral – 5 x 10.
Incline Dumbbell Curl – 5 x 6-8.
Preacher Curl – 5 x 8 supersetted with
Alternate Dumbbell Curl – 5 x 8-10.
Lying Barbell Extension – 5 x 6.
Two-arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension – 5 x 8-10 supersetted with
Triceps Pushdown – 5 x 10.
Bent-leg Knee Raise – 3 x 50.
GROUP B (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)
Bentover Barbell Row (add weight each set) – 5 x 8.
Wide-grip Lat Pulldown to Front – 5 x 8 supersetted with
Seated Close-grip Pulley Row – 5 x 10.
Leg Press – 5 x 8-10.
Hack Squat – 5 x 10-12 supersetted with
Leg Curl – 5 x 12-15.
Seated Calf Raise – 5 x 10-15 supersetted with
Standing Calf Raise – 5 x 15-20.
One-legged Calf Raise – 5 x 15-20.
Elbows to Knees Squeezes 3 x 20-25 tri-setted with
Bent Leg Raises – 3 x 30-35 and
Seated Knee to Chest Raises – 3 x 50.
Our favorite training days were the ones in which we did the group A routine because of the tremendous upper-body pump and the heavy weights we handled on the bench press – more than 300 pounds – and the behind the neck presses – more than 200 pounds. The group B days were agony. Let’s face it, leg work is tougher and less fun than working upper body. The results, however, were excellent on all muscle groups.
You may select a different group of exercises if you have found you make better progress with them. For example, you may prefer to do incline barbell presses instead of flat bench presses, barbell squats instead of leg presses, etc. Whatever combinations you choose, perform the supersets with no rest between movements, and try to add 5 to 10 pounds to the power exercises once a week.
If you are one of those individuals who gain better on slightly less work, try this program four days a week, doing only four sets of each exercise – a total of 12 sets for each muscle group.