Malcolm Brenner is a huge man, standing over 6' 1" tall and weighing 240 pounds. Still, with all his massiveness, he retains the clear cut muscularity of a lightweight, full of strands of definition and perfect form. Malcolm makes a reverse-grip bench press of 375, one hand dead lift of 650 and incline curls with 100 pound dumbbells.
Basic Principles for Gaining Definition
by Reg Park (1951)
Whenever I hear some bodybuilders use the term "definition" I always feel like asking them just what they think it means. It is a loosely used word, with certain authorities in particular throwing it about without any deep thought of what the development of muscular definement entails, or if certain types of lifters actually CAN acquire it. In fact, it is common to hear many novices talk of definition development before they have even built the foundations of a good physique.
I have my own ideas of obtaining the maximum of muscular separation, and while some will claim they are a departure from accepted standards I have found that in every instance of their application by me on the boys that I term guinea pigs, I have never failed to achieve what they previously thought was the impossible -- building muscular definition without any loss of strength or muscular bulk.
One can read of boxers undergoing the tortures of the damned in order to make a certain bodyweight, and it is often this point which misleads so many bodybuilders in their delineation quest -- they confuse REDUCING with training for the quality of definement. By rights, any bodybuilder who undergoes a definition program and LOSES muscular bodyweight has been training along the wrong lines . . . incorrectly . . . for if his schedule of exercises had been properly planned he would have lost no muscle, would have retained his strength, perhaps even gained in power, yet would present a different physical picture thaqn when he first started on the course.
There are certain essentials that make up the definition routine. First -- DIET. Second -- EXERCISE. Third -- arrangement of SETS and REPS. But there is another immensely important factor -- YOU! In other words, your physical type predetermines whether you can build up definition. Some guys might as well try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and hope for success as attempt to gain definition. The physical makeup they possess says NO to any definition routine. These men have large bones and joints, especially the hips and shoulders. The skin is thick and the subcutaneous layer of fat is impossible to burn off with any amount of exercise or dieting.
On the other hand we have men like George Paine and Elias Rodriguez, who look as if the muscles are about to burst through the skin. These men seem to gain muscular definition without any trouble and are the chosen few of bodybuilding. It is my honest opinion that these men would have their degree of separation no matter how they trained and notwithstanding the frequency. At the extreme end of the scale we have men like the giant Doug Hepburn, who altho blessed with exceedingly pleasing proportions and shape for a man so big, would never get definition.
The vast majority of weight trainers are those who have to work hard for what they have and just as hard to keep it. It is to these men that I address these words. First, the reason for definition training. A program which is designed to produce greater muscular separation is what is commonly known as a "specialization" program. It is NOT for the newcomer to bodybuilding. It IS for the more advanced man, the guy who has a couple of years of solid training under his belt and wants to IMPROVE his appearance. It is a program which produces the ILLUSION OF GREATER SIZE when that doesn't really exist. It is also a program which not only ADDS a finer, sharply chiseled shape, but POWER and a more efficiently functioning body as a whole.
It produces the appearance of greater measurement in one of two men . . . where both bodybuilders have identical measurements, yet one looks so much bigger . . . where one man so stands out that his companion looks mediocre by comparison . . . and yet they both have 17" arms and 48" chests.
Let us first consider the question of diet. Heavy, stodgy foods do not go well with a definition routine. These should be replaced by foods which contain a great deal of vitamins and protein. All types of starchy food are out . . . as well as foods that are highly spiced or salted. In fact, you must go without salt as much as you can, for salt aids the body in retaining its water content. No white bread, or for that matter bread of any description. No rice, bananas, cauliflower, potatoes in any shape or form, and definitely no macaroni or spaghetti. Cut out starchy foods, the carbohydrates . . . substitute fresh fruits and all types of salads and FRESH vegetables.
Overeating must be avoided at all costs.Eat until you feel your hunger allayed, but never eat for the sake of eating. You can perform no finer exercise than pushing yourself away from the table. DON'T OVERDRINK. In fact cut down as much as possible on liquids, confining your liquid intake to juicy fruits and vegetables and SMALL glasses of fruit and vegetable juice. Don't drink during your workouts no matter how thirsty you may feel. Instead, keep a lemon handy and suck it or rub it across the tongue. All types of alcoholic drinks are out AT ALL TIMES. This goes for smoking too. Under normal circumstances a cigarette or two does no harm, but the program required to induce definition is of the endurance type and poor wind lessons the ability to carry such a schedule out efficiently.
It is also important to see that the organs of elimination . . . the skin and the bowels . . . function freely and naturally. The use of purgatives is strictly advised against. Instead, rely on natural means to regulate the bowels. A dish of prunes on rising, a glass of lemon juice and hot water in equal quantities, will do much to promote healthy bowel action. All kinds of citrus fruits, as well as sun-dried fruits are good. During your workouts wear a thick track suit so that you can sweat freely. After your workout is finished take a shower as hot as you can bear it and rub yourself down briskly with a towel as rough as you can obtain.
During the summer months you will find that sunbathing does much to take the excess liquid out of your system. You sweat freely, rid the body of the wastes resulting from your previous workout, and acquire a coat of tan that in itself helps create the impression of greater definition than you possess.
After your workout take a good rubdown with that rough towel and massage the muscles. Massage, like exercise, tends to normalcy. Especially work hard on those areas that show signs of flabbiness and fat. In your actual exercise schedule make certain that not only do you use basic exercises, but others that take care of the little-known and used muscle groups. In other words, not only are the sets and reps important, but the quantity of exercises too . . . VARIETY of muscle movements.
It has previously been the accepted theory that low reps and high poundages produced bulk, while high reps and moderate poundages built definition. Now, there is some truth to this theory as applied to the commonplace program of exercises, those which are composed of basic exercises and employ the three-set system. But modern bodybuilders have discovered that for the utmost in definition . . . the utmost that your physical type will allow you to procude . . . higher sets with moderate reps and MORE TYPES OF EXERCISE are necessary.
Not only must you use such exercises as presses, curls, rowing motions and squats, but you must also specialize on the individual muscle groups. Take the press for example . . . the bench press. This exercise in itself works the triceps, the deltoids and the pectoral muscles. Or the standing press . . . which exercises the triceps, deltoids, serratus magnus and trapezius muscles. So not only must you practice the press, but also movements that EXERCISE EACH AND EVERY MUCLE USED IN THE PRESS, INDIVIDUALLY. The same goes for the other larger groups . . . the thighs and lower back in the deep knee bend. You must also practice leg extensions for the vastus muscles, leg curls for the biceps femoris, leg presses for the large extensors, iron boot exercises for the sartorius muscles . . . stiff legged dead lifts . . . shrugs . . . chins for the lats . . . and every type of movement that works the muscles of the muscles of the back and thighs.
And in addition, the muscles of the front of the torso must receive extra attention. Some bodybuilders even include a set of abdominal exercises between each set of the other exercises. Side bends, sit ups, leg raises and good morning exercises will help to tighten the hips and waist. It would also be wise for you to take stock of yourself. Try and figure out which areas of your physique have previously been neglected. Then, compile a schedule which not only works out the body generally, but also pays extra attention to those negelected areas. In the major muscle movements such as compose the general schedule . . . presses . . . curls . . . rowing motions . . . deep knee bends . . . breathing pullovers . . . dead lifts, confine your sets to 3 and the reps to no more than 15 with the heaviest poundage you can handle. But in ALL THE AUXILIARY MOVEMENTS, use 5 sets and as many reps as you can squeeze out. The higher the better. And . . . here is another very important factor . . . MAKE THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN REEL OFF. Never perform your movements slowly or deliberately . . . but always FAST. And don't use a sloppy form but keep strictly to a good exercising style!
Start off with three training days each week and make sure you get a good rest between each workout. Get plenty of sleep . . . eight hours . . . but not too much for this will cause you to feel sluggish and remove the zest for training. Train for three times a week for three weeks, then add another training day. Work the four days for another three weeks, then add another trainin day so you work out five times weekly. On you non-training days do no exercise with the exception of a few sit ups, legs raises and side bends. Over the weekend, which will normally be your non-training period, get as much rest as you can without dropping the sit ups, side bends and leg raises. Plenty of sleep will be needed when you get to this point.
In addition to plenty of salads and fresh fruits, step up your protein intake. Soft boiled eggs, cheese . . . LEAN BEEF, veal, liver, and all kinds of shellfish are good. Don't use any white sugar but confine your 'candy' consumption to a few spoonfuls of honey each day.
And finally . . . WORK HARD . . . hard and with 100% determination. Keep yourself wrapped up warm while you train and don't be afraid to sweat freely. eat plenty of meat . . . with, again, a sole exception . . . PORK. Use cottage cheese instead of butter and don't eat any fatty or fried foods. The most important points in your definition program are these . . . A TREMENDOUS VARIETY OF EXERCISES . . . CUT DOWN ON ALL STARCHES . . . STEP UP YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE . . .AND . . . ONCE AGAIN, WORK HARD.
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- When Rest is Best - Charles Fraser
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- Definition - Reg Park
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