Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Powerlifting for Competition - Terry Grimwood


Coal, Steel and Iron:
Pennsylvania's Golden Triangle of Strength
by Dave Yarnell
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Doug Hepburn







Powerlifting for Competition
Three-Day Alternating Week (16 week) Program


Because lifters wear so many different kinds of suits and supportive equipment, it is difficult to determine just what percentage each lifter will gain from his equipment. Therefore, we will not consider the use of any equipment throughout this particular program unless otherwise stated.

On your squat, bench, and deadlift perform all of your warmup and progressive sets with minimum reps. However, make sure you are warmed up enough to progress from set to set to avoid injury. Do not waste your energy on those climbing sets! Finally, approach each workout with equal concentration.


NOTE: An explanation of "progressive x" -
e.g. 3 sets moderate-heavy progressive x 8 reps
 - Begin with a moderate weight and progress to a heavier intermediate weight for the next work set  before finally finishing with your heaviest work set which should be performed with equal concentration and technique for all 8 reps. Adapt this explanation to "6 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10-15 reps" and all the other "progressive x" sections of the workouts. This allows the intensity of assistance work to be varied through the cycle.


Week 1, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curls (hamstring warmup)
2-3 light sets, light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
Warmups - just enough.
3 sets x 10 reps.

4.) Leg Extensions
3 sets light weight x 15 reps.

5.) Leg Curls
3 sets light weight x 10 reps.

6.) Calf Raise (good stretch)
3 sets light weight x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 1, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Dumbbell Flyes (flat)
2 sets light weight x 10 reps.

5.) Seated Overhead Press (dumbbells) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Dips (bodyweight)
3 sets x 10 reps, go deeper each set.

7.) Triceps Pressdowns
5 sets light weight progressive x 15 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

9.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 1, Day 3 (Friday) 

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (40% of current max)
Warmups - just enough.
3 sets x 10 reps (if conventional)
6 sets x 5 reps (if sumo)

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
6 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10-15 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

Finished!


Week 2, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (50% of current max)
Warmups - just enough.
3 sets x 8 reps.

4.) Leg Extension
3 sets light weight x 15 reps.

5.) Leg Curl
3 sets light weight x 10 reps.

6.) Leg Press
3 sets light weight x 15 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light weight x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 2, Day 2 (Wednesday) 

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (50% of current max)
Warmups - just enough.
3 sets x 8 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps. 

5.) Close Grip Bench Press
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.


Week 2, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (50% of current max)
3 sets x 8 reps (if conventional)
6 sets x 4 reps (if sumo)

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
6 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 15 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

Finished!


Week 3, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (60% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 15 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 15 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 3, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (60% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 8 reps.

3.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Dips (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x failure (go deeper each set).

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 15 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

8.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 3, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (60% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps (if conventional)
6 sets x 3 reps (if sumo)

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
6 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Hyperextension (bodyweight)
3 sets x 10 reps.

6.) Stretch
3 minutes

7.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 4, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (70% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 4, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes

2.) Bench Press (70% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

5.) Close Grip Bench Press
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
6 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

8. Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 4, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (70% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps (if conventional)
6 sets x 3 reps (if sumo)

3.) Stiff Legged Deadlifts
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
6 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8-10ps.

5.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.
6.) Stretch
3 minutes.

7.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 5, Day 1 (Monday) ALTERNATING WEEKS BEGIN!

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight x 10 reps.

5.) Leg Extension
3 sets light weight x 12 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light weight x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 5, Day 2, (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (75% of current max)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 5 reps.

3.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Dips (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x failure (go deeper each set)

6.) Triceps Pressdown
6 sets x moderate-heavy weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

8.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 5, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps (if conventional)
5 sets x 5 reps (if sumo)

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
5 sets moderate weight x 10 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight x 8 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes.

6.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 6, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (75% of current max / with suit & wraps)
Warmup - just enough
3 sets x 4 reps.

4.) Heavy Walkouts
(begin with a weight that exceeds your heaviest set that day be 10%, then by 15%, then by at least 20% for your third and final set).

5.) Leg Press
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

8.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

9.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 6, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Bench Press (closer grip)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 6, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (75% of current max / with suit)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 4 reps (if conventional)
4 sets x 3 reps (if sumo)

3.) Rack Pull (four to six inches above knee)
1 set, max deadlift weight x 3 reps
2 more progressive sets over max x 3 reps
(lock each one out and hold last rep for 3 seconds).

4.) Stiff Legged Deadlift
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5 reps.

5.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
5 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Hyperextensions (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

9.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 7, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight x 8 reps.

5.) Leg Extension
3 sets light-moderate weight x 12 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets light-moderate weight x 12 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light-moderate weight x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 7, Day 2 (Wednesday

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (80% of current max / with shirt)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 3 reps.

3.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

8.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 7, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (40% of current max)
3 sets x 8 reps (if conventional)
5 sets x 5 reps (if sumo)

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 8, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 light sets x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (85% of current max / with suit and wraps)
Warmup - just enough
3 sets x 3 reps.

4.) Heavy Walkouts
(begin with a weight that exceeds your heaviest set that day by 10%, then by 15%, then by at least 20% for your third and final set).

5.) Leg Press
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

8.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

9.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 8, Day 2, (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 8, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (85% of current max / with suit)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 3 reps (if conventional)
5 sets x 2 reps (if sumo).

3.) Rack Pulls (four to six inches above knees)
1 set, max deadlift weight x 3 reps
2 more progressive sets over max x 3 reps
(lock each one out and hold last rep for 3 seconds.

4.) Stiff Legged Deadlift
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5 reps.

5.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
5 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps
.
6.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Hyperextensions (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

9.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)

3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 9, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curls (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight x 10 reps.

Leg Extension
3 sets .ight-moderate weight progressive x 12 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets light-moderate weight x 8 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light-moderate weight x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 9, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (85% of current max / with shirt)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 3 reps.

3.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Bench Press (narrow grip)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

8.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)

3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 9, Day 3 (Friday)
1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (40% of current max)
3 sets x 8 reps (if conventional)
5 sets x 5 reps (if sumo).

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 10, Day 1, (Monday)
1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (90% of current max / with suit and wraps)
Warmup - just enough
2-3 sets x 2 reps.

4.) Heavy Walkouts
(begin with a weight that exceeds your heaviest set for that day by 10%, then by 15%,then by at least 20% for your third and final set).

5.) Leg Press
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Leg Extensions
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

8.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

9.) Hyperextensions (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x 10 reps.

10.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 10, Day 2, Wednesday

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Press (narrow grip)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 10, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (90% of current max / with suit)
Warmups - just enough
3 sets x 3 reps (if conventional)
5 sets x 2 reps (if sumo).

3.) Rack Pull (four to six inches above knee)
1 set, max deadlift weight x 3 reps
2 more progressive sets over max x 3 reps
(lock each one out and hold last rep for three seconds).

4.) Stiff Legged Deadlift
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5 reps.

5.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Hyperextensions (bodyweight or weighted)
3 sets x 10 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

9.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)

3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 11, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

4.) Leg Press
3 sets moderate weight x 10 reps.

5.) Leg Extension
3 sets light-moderate weight x 12 reps.

6.) Leg Curl
3 sets light-moderate weight x 8 reps.

7.) Calf Raise (get a good stretch)
3 sets light-moderate weight x 8 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 11, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-20 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (95% of current max / with shirt)
Warmups - just enough
2 sets x 2 reps.

3.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

5.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

6.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 11, Day 3 (Friday)
1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (40% of current max)
3 sets x 8 reps
5 sets x 5 reps (if sumo).

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to rear)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 12, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (100% of current max / with suit and wraps)
Warmups - just enough
2 sets x 2 reps.

4.) Heavy Walkouts
(begin with a weigh that exceeds your heaviest set that day by 10%, the by 15%, then by at least 20% for your third and final set.

5.) Leg Press
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

7.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

8.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 12, Day 2, (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (40% of current max)
3 sets x 10 reps.

3.) Dumbbell Bench Press (flat)
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

4.) Seated Overhead Press (DB's) or Press Behind Neck
3 sets light weight progressive x 10 reps.

5.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

6.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets light-moderate weight progressive x 10 reps.

7.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 12, day 3 (Friday)
1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (100% of current max / with suit)
Warmups - just enough
2 sets x 2 reps (if conventional)
3 sets x 1 rep (if sumo).

3.) Rack Pull (four to six inches above knee)
1 set, max deadlift weight x 3 reps
2 more progressive sets over max x 3 reps
(lock each one out and hold last rep for three seconds)

4.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes

6.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 13, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curl (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (40% of current max)
3 sets x 8-10 reps.

4.) Leg Extension
3 sets light weight x 12 reps.

5.) Leg Curl
3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

6.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!


Week 13, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (100% of current max / with shirt)
Warmups - just enough
2 sets x 2 reps.

3.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes.

Finished!



Week 13, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Deadlift (opener with suit)
Warmups - just enough
Opener x 1 (your opener should be between 85-90% of your present max).

3.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

4.) Stretch
3 minutes

Finished!


Week 14, Day 1 (Monday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Leg Curls (warm up hamstrings)
2-3 sets light weight x 8 reps.

3.) Squat (opener with suit and wraps)
Warmups - just enough
Opener x 1 (your opener should be between 85-90% of your current max)j.

4.) Leg Extension
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

5.) Leg Curl
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

6.) Stretch
3 minutes

Finished!


Week 14, Day 2 (Wednesday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes.

2.) Bench Press (opener with shirt)
Warmups - just enough
Opener x 1 (your opener should be between 85-90% of your current max).

3.) Seated Machine Bench Press (close grip)
3 sets moderate-heavy weight progressive x 5-8 reps.

4.) Triceps Pressdown
5 sets moderate weight progressive x 8-10 reps.

5.) Stretch
3 minutes

Finished!


Week 14, Day 3 (Friday)

1.) Stretch
5-10 minutes

2.) Lat Pulldown (wide handle to front)
3 sets moderate weight progressive x 8 reps.

3.) Stretch
3 minutes.

4.) Hang From Bar (bodyweight, upright position)
3 sets x 15-30 seconds each.

Finished!


Week 15 OFF ALL WEEK / DO NOT WORK OUT / REST COMPLETELY!



Week 16 MEET! 
(Usually at the end of the week on a Saturday or Sunday / This will give you two complete weeks of rest / DO NOT LIFT! / Save it for the meet / You have done everything necessary with your training to have a great meet / Good Luck!!!!

































Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Varieties of Deadlifting - John Grimek





Varieties of Deadlifting
by John Grimek (1962)

In spite of some opposition to the deadlift by a few authorities in the past, the deadlift is still one of the finest exercises for any barbell man to include in his training. But the name "deadlift" has a strange, ominous ring to all who are not familiar with weight training, although many comedians have kicked it around here and there and gotten some laughs with it. In spite of its name being the butt of an occasional joke there are many varieties of this exercise that exert tremendous influence upon the body when employed regularly, either as a muscle and strength developer or a remedial exercise.


Click Pics to ENLARGE
Art Weige, who was a very good deadlifter for a tall man, 
lifting a heavy weight in the old York gym.


For some reason the importance of this exercise over the years has been overlooked, and today only a small proportion of all weight lifters include this movement regularly in their training. The few who employ it do so primarily as a back strengthener and conditioner. Many bodybuilders have the impression that it has no particular value for them. This conclusion is wholly unjustified. Those who share this conclusion are foolishly depriving themselves of a fine exercise. However, when this exercise, the regular deadlift, is used faithfully it has exceptional merits in keeping the back strong and the spine flexible . . . something we all need.



Steve Reeves, with his long arms and wide shoulders
doing one of his favorite forms of deadlifting
holding the rim of each plate.


Actually the deadlift is one of the oldest exercises known in body culture. At one time this exercise appeared in all training courses, most of which proclaimed it to be the finest all-round exercise for the body, putting greater emphasis on it as a back conditioner and overall power builder. And even today among the better informed this opinion still exists; only actual lifting movements are comparable. When this exercise is worked regularly it serves to develop those two cable-like muscles, the erector spinea, that run along each side of the spine (from the head down to the hips) better than any other exercise except, and I repeat, the quick lifting movements. All these movements and exercises, such as the deadlift, serve to develop and strengthen the entire back. This is important since this is the region where weakness is first felt by most persons. Yet this region can be kept strong and flexible throughout life with proper training, and especially with some of the exercises mentioned here.
 

Tommy Kono illustrates the isometric deadlift on the power rack.


The real truth of the matter is that very few people give their backs any consideration. It is only when they get "laid up" with a backache that they begin to realize the necessity of keeping the back strong and flexible. Exercise is always thought of by the uninitiated as a means to fight off accumulated weight to which most of us are so easily susceptible in this society, but exercise is just as important in keeping the muscles toned up and strong so they can oppose the pull of gravity upon the body. Once the muscles lose their tonicity they are subjected to many injuries, and the muscles of the back seem to be the most prone to injury when we choose to allow them to weaken. This weakness is reflected in the numerous cases of ruptured disks we so frequently hear about these days. But if the muscles along the spine and sides were kept strong such back conditions would be much less frequent. And when there is weakness in the lower back the pressure between the vertebrae is increased, thus breaking down the disks and resulting in what is commonly known as a "ruptured disk." Confinement with traction usually follows, augmented by heat, massage and medication. When improvement fails, surgery is often called for, with varying results.


Ron Lacy, Mr. America 1957, shown doing the stiff legged deadlift from the floor. 



Most people are unaware that the spinal column is made up of approximately 33 vertebrae and arranged in such a way as to provide maximum bending movement in all these segments except the coccyx region. Each vertebra is bound and kept in place by strong ligaments. Through this column passes the spinal cord, the nervous system of the body, with nerves passing through this column to every section of the body. Any subluxation of the spine can cause pain, making any movement very uncomfortable. Strengthening the muscles in and around this area will help to keep the back in better condition and thus prevent future backache. As pointed out earlier this can be accomplished with the deadlift variations given herein, all of which work these muscles and will safeguard you from back miseries. 


140 pounder, Art Neiss, lifting 460 at Muscle Beach, Santa Monica, California.



Naturally the question of body proportions and structure governs anyone's ability to perform a commendable deadlift. A fellow with proportionately long arms, regardless of height, will always outlift the shorter armed fellow if both are of approximately the same strength (and determination). His longer arms allow him to get into a better position to pull on the weight; neither does he have to lift the weight as high, but just barely above the knees. For a time many were of the opinion that fellows with shorter legs and longer upper bodies would make the ideal deadlifters. I always doubted this. Instead I felt that a man with longer legs and a shorter back would be better suited for lifting heavier poundages in this lift. My reason for this conclusion, and you'll probably agree with me if you analyze the movement, is that most of the lifting is done with the legs, and a shorter back with longer legs permits a better position to be assumed for making a heavy deadlift. And because the torso is shorter less strain is placed on the back in straightening up. A fine example of this was the featherweight lifter John Terry. At a bodyweight of slightly over 130 pounds  he deadlifted around 600. Terry wasn't a tall man by any means - around 5'2" - but his legs were long for his height, as were his arms. His arm span equaled that of the average 5'10" man, and when he completed the deadlift the weight was only an inch or two above his knees.

In fact, most men with longer backs are more flexible than those who are shorter in this region. This explains why so many longer legged fellows are unable to touch their toes (unless they have unusually long arms) as the shorter men can do. Many long legged men are unable to lower the weight past their toes in the stiff legged deadlift, while those with longer torsos can do this without too much trouble. Consequently, body mechanics do help to make it easier for one individual to do the stiff legged deadlift, while another finds the regular style of deadlifting easier and more appropriate.

 

Left: Harry Johnson, Mr. America 1959, uses a high bench for stiff legged deadlifts.
Right: George Shandor does the exercise with a low bench. 


Some bodybuilding authorities in the past had the opinion that too much stretching and stiff legged deadlifting help to overstretch the spine and the ligaments that bind the vertebrae. Personally, I don't think this is a serious as it may sound. Actually, all the muscles, tendons, and ligaments become stronger with use, and if this is ever overdone an injury is likely to result, not merely an overstretching of these parts. Nevertheless, there is no point in overdoing any exercise. The object of regulated training should be towards the improvement of the body, and not to injure or debilitate it!



O.B. Smith of Kansas City
regular deadlifting for power with over 550 pounds.


Let us analyze some of the methods of deadlifting exercises and learn which muscles such exercises activate.

Regular Deadlift: in this lift the back, legs and hips bear the brunt of the movement. Also activated are the shoulders, trapezius, biceps, abdomen and the grip.

Stiff Legged Deadlift: All the muscles mentioned in the previous lift, plus the buttocks and all the muscles located on the rear of the legs from the buttocks down to the heels.

Bendover or Good Morning Exercise: This one is similar to the stiff legged variety so far as similar muscles are concerned, but less weight is used to accomplish this. Because the weight is held on the shoulders behind the neck the leverage is vastly increased. Certain individuals prefer this variety to the stiff legged deadlift. Both are good developing exercises.

Deadlift by Holding Rims of Plates: A fine novelty of the regular deadlift that requires strong fingers and an exceptional arm span. Affects almost the same muscles as the regular deadlift, though the latissimus dorsi is involved somewhat. Grip and arm span remain a big factor in this lift.

Straddle Deadlift: Some men can do more in this variety than in the regular deadlift. You begin in exactly the same way as you would in doing the straddle (Jefferson) lift, except the weight is lowered until it touches the floor and the back is rounded. Although the upper and lower sections are strongly involved, the legs and trapezius are vigorously involved.

Isometric Deadlift: All muscles as described above in all varieties.


Now, which exercises among this group should you do? That's entirely up to you and what you wish to accomplish. You may have noticed that most lifters use either the regular deadlift, the straddle type of deadlift, and isometric pulls for power building. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, favor the stiff legged variety because it reacts favorably upon the muscles and is an excellent conditioner. In any case, if you want to keep your back strong, flexible and free from annoying misery, now and in the future, this is the time to start and continue to exercise your back regularly.


Gene Neil, first man in North Carolina to deadlift 700 pounds.


It's always a good idea to finish off your deadlifting with an extra strong pull on the power rack, or to handle a weight that is near your limit. However, and I want to emphasize this point, always warm up your back before attempting anything that is near your limit. The powerful muscles of the back respond best, for bodybuilding purposes, when 8-10 repetitions are used, even more in some cases. But for strengthening purposes and building overall power, 1 to 5 reps with limit poundages and repeated for 3 or more sets should be used. 


















Friday, September 14, 2012

The Two Hands Snatch , Part One - Dave Webster and Al Murray

Great Britain, 1964


Preface

These notes have been published by popular demand.

Al Murray and Dave Webster travel extensively and are personally acquainted with top lifters and coaches from all over the world. They are very experienced in all aspects of weightlifting, but unlike many others, they do not rely on their own subjective observations and personal judgement alone. In addition to observation, tests, measurements and discussion with leading research workers, anatomists, etc., Webster filmed the lifters and then methodically analyzed the lifts in the light of anatomical and mechanical principles. The lifts are sometimes filmed with three cameras at the same time so that they can be seen from several angles. At other times a particular part of the body is filmed on its own - for example, loop films may be made of the rear foot only as it lands in the split. No effort has been spared in their investigations.

Both authors are actively engaged in many aspects of film and TV work. Webster appears regularly on several television stations and his "Get Fit" series on Border TV had an extended run while "Leisure Time" on Grampian TV was another most successful series.

Al Murray has appeared in various types of films including an interesting series of advertising features. He has also appeared with success in numerous instructional films, the best known of these being "Weight Training for Sport" and "Easing the Effort." These are two of the excellent range of sports and recreation films.

Their lectures, books and magazine articles have aroused considerable interest but their depth of knowledge is still largely untapped as they must often cater for large numbers who require basic knowledge rather than the minority group who wish advanced theory.

The qualifications of these writers asre many. Both are very experienced weight lifters and have held records in several weight divisions. Both are college trained Physical Educationists and both were selected to lecture at the first Coaching Conference at Munich. Their talks were so successful that they were asked to prepare further lectures for the second Conference, held in France. In permitting publication of these notes, the authors stress that they must always remain flexible in their teachings and be prepared to alter techniques in the light of new findings and interpretations of the rules.

  




THE WELL TRODDEN PATH

To appreciate fully the various aspects of snatching and to drive home the lesson that styles arre constantly changing, a review of snatching styles is necessary. It would be unwid\se to trace the entire history of the lift as it has been included in the lifter's repertoire ever since the sport became organised, and even at the turn of the century it was included in weightlifting textbooks (Scientific W/Lifting [T. Inch], Text Book of W/Lifting [Arthur Saxon]), alongside the bent presses and continental lifts so popular in those days. In those times, however, the briefest of descriptions would be considered sufficient, and even up to the time of the second world war many "experts" would give their entire theory of snatching in half a page - and this with a little bit of padding.

Most of our knowledge of lifting styles of those times has been gained from photographs and eye witnesses' accounts, and frankly we are not impressed by the accuracy of these methods. Suffice it to say that the snatch was done with a shoulder width grip and at the lowest position the lifter was  half squat, half split position, generally looking up at the bar.

When the lift was regularly included in the Olympic Games, great advances took place in technique.

Generally speaking, prior to the 1936 Olympics, the French lifters seemed to favor the split style and the Germans and Austrians the squat style. It is relevant to note that both employed an UPRIGHT position of the trunk.

Britons have almost always preferred the split style but there was a swing towards the squat when in 1935 two American lifters, Bill Good and Bob Mitchell, came to Britain and amazed audiences with efficient squat style snatches. Mitchell was an upright snatcher, going quite low without any exaggerated forward bend. Good, however, did a half squat and at the end of the dip his head would be poked forward and hips would be well back. The reaction was shown in an oft published photograph where he was forced onto his toes. being a half squat, he was under the bar fast and this speed stunned the onlookers. The style caught on and to our knowledge it was the first time the term "dislocation" style was used.

The performance of Germans Josef Manger and Rudolf Ismayr in the squat style added further popularity to squatting, but again Manger had some bad habits which were copied. Many, perhaps most, of his lifts were half squats; he too did the lift onto his toes, but he looked up at the bar and had a fairly upright position of the trunk.

It is a great pity that it was the spectacular and faulty styles which were copied, for had they imitated the more workmanlike squatters who jumped their feet a little bit astride and got their hips close to their buttocks whit body fairly upright, then progress would undoubtedly have been faster. The British lifters were at a further disadvantage because even in the mid-thirties the rules still demanded a shoulder width grip. The unsuccessful efforts to improve with half squats, on the toes and with the dislocation style, and the continued success of Egyptian lifters who were mainly split stylists probably had an effect in keeping the split style favorite in Britain, and as far as normal mobility is concerned it is easier to do a split snatch than to attempt a squat snatch in the very early days of training. A few years before the second world war most of the world records were held by squat lifters but by 1941 the pendulum had swung the other way and split lifters reigned supreme with EVERY RECORD being held by splitters.

Naturally hostilities prevented any great progress and by the time the fighting was over, new lifting habits had been developed.

Many of these were very bad techniques. For example, recovery to the front foot was common and lifters were quite wrongly taught to thrust their heads forward in front of the bar when snatching.

It took the British Coaching Scheme to correct these major faults in their own country, and it was a long uphill fight.

With another swing back to squat snatching, the whole cycle of mistakes was repeated. People had evidently forgotten the lessons of the mid-thirties and when in the 1948 Olympics, Pete George electrified audiences with his fantastic lifting, the clock was turned back to the poking head dislocation styles. It is emphasized that this is not by any means a personal attack on George, a wonderful lifter who considerably enriched the Iron Game. However, we believe that just as people copy the champions and profit by their good points we can also profit by the mistakes of the greats. Always it is the exciting and colorful lifters who capture the imagination and are copied. Much was written about Pete George's style of snatching but the writers of the period would have done a great service to lifting had they CORRECTLY interpreted Pete George's style, for we have photographs and films to show that in many when Pete hit the lowest position, he was indeed in the position we advocate, with body upright and hips close to the heels. His head and back position a fraction later being partly reaction and partly an idiosyncrasy, possibly cultivated by his instructors. Actually the great majority of squat snatchers of this period, the late 40's and early 50's, were upright squatters, and numerous examples can be given.

It is mainly with this upright style that records have gone ahead and whereas in pressing it can perhaps be claimed that alteration and interpretation of the rules has contributed largely to the amendments in the record lifts, with snatching improved techniques is mainly responsible.

There have been many other variations in snatching. There was a phase when the influence of the Egyptians made the Dive Start popular; there were some who used a one-legged squat or half split style when Stan Kratkowski broke the USA middleweight record in 1937. When Rigoulet placed his thumb alongside the fingers instead of around the bar, some even copied this. So it goes on - phases, fashions, styles, call them what you may.

However, while the authors re reluctant to make any rash or exaggerated claims, there is no doubt that many experts believe that until the appointment of Al Murray as National Coach, and the introduction  of the BAWLA Coaching Scheme, weight-lifting instruction was not of a high standard and certainly not explained in sound anatomical and mechanical principles as outlined in this publication.

It has always been the policy of the British National Coach and the Chief Scottish Coach to base their instruction on these methods and make their theories available to all, though there is a danger of these principles being utilized by coaches and instructors outside the coaching scheme - and indeed outside Britain.

This booklet is not for the average lifter who does not want to be bogged down with data, this can be confusing to those who are not inclined to studying mechanics, anatomy, and physiology.

The movements have been analyzed from films taken by the authors at competitions all over the world. They were thoroughly studied in terms of skeletal mechanics and muscular action and, once the principles are understood, lifts may be taught and executed with greater efficiency and accuracy. In addition, strain will be diminished and there will be less danger of injury.

Those wishing to make a deeper study of mechanics applied to human motion are advised to obtain Geoffery Dyson's book "The Mechanics of Athletics."





In this publication we will not try to alter the course of weight-lifting as a result of our research. What we will do is to recommend you put into practice what believe is the greatest lesson to be gleaned from this resume of snatching techniques:

YOU MUST ALWAYS BASE YOUR THEORIES AND PRACTICES NOT ON WHAT THE CHAMPIONS DO BUT ON SOUND PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND KINETICS.  



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Staying Motivated - Tom Kubistant






 “In Romania, I train on a bar that is bent. My gym has bad lighting and very little heat in the winters. Here in America, you have everything you need to train. It’s not in the bar or the gym or the platform . . . it’s in you.”

Nicu Vlad





Becoming Versus Staying Motivated


The first step in better understanding motivation is to realize that there is an important distinction between becoming motivated and staying motivated. Becoming motivated if really pretty easy. I become motivated when I see someone really putting out in the gym, when I pick up a lifting book or magazine, after a run of a couple of outstanding workouts, or when I receive compliments on what I've done. All of these sources inspire me to greater efforts.

However, the really challenging thing is learning how to stay motivated in training, especially when those nice positive outside stimuli are not around. Staying motivated is a major key in putting in consistent workouts. Staying motivated is less influenced  by situational occurrences such as receiving compliments or reading a magazine. It has its base in one's attitudes, beliefs, and goals.   

So, the critical issue of motivation is learning how to stay up for every workout. There is nothing magical about it. Staying motivated is a learned habit that takes a little awareness and effort, but pays dividends in providing consistent and regular results.

In order to better understand how to stay motivated in your training, take a little time now and answer this question: "What things do I need to regularly do, be, or have in order to stay motivated in my lifting?"

?

Some of you may have responded with such answers as good equipment, a regular training partner, previous successful workouts, appropriate and obtainable goals, good nutrition, intense concentration, or persistence. If you look at the types of answers you gave, you will notice that they usually fall into two general categories: those sources outside of you and those inside of you. 


The Two Forms of Motivation

Successful lifters and bodybuilders understand that there are two forms of motivation: extrinsic (external) and intrinsic (internal). Each form is necessary in order to achieve consistent gains, but as in cooking, one has to know when to use each ingredient.

Extrinsic motivation comes from sources outside us. We become inspired when we view a bodybuilding or lifting competition, receive compliments and support from friends who understand what we're doing, or read and learn about new training approaches. Once we become motivated in this way, we then usually seek to copy, repeat and continue to apply these inspirations. The challenge with using extrinsic motivation is that unless we integrate it into our belief systems and lifestyles, we will soon run out of the willpower to continue.

You see, willpower (or self-discipline) is a very finite entity. For example, right now as you are reading this, see how long you can stay angry. Go ahead . . . BE ANGRY!

 @#$% @#$! @#$ %$%#! @#$%$%^! #%#%$^&&!


 For most of you, the longest you could stay angry was about two minutes. What usually happens is that your resolve diminishes, you become distracted, and then return to reading this. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that discipline is necessary only in doing something that you do not want to do! Unless the sources of our extrinsic motivation are connected, are integrated with something more personal and meaningful, our willpower will not be strong enough alone to sustain our energy.

Extrinsic motivation is nice. It's the frosting on the cake. However, this implies that there has to be a cake in the first place. And this metaphorical cake is called intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is that energy that emanates from our inner goals, desires, needs, and wants. Although it is not as flashy and overtly emotional as extrinsic motivation, our intrinsic motivation is the energy that keeps us focused, striving and persistent.

Intrinsic motivation comes from what is meaningful to us. The key to understanding this form of motivation is to break down the word itself. Ask yourself this question: "What are my motives in my lifting?" Since there will probably be many layers of answers to this question, take your time in answering it as completely as you can.

1. _________________________________________
2. _________________________________________
3. _________________________________________
4. _________________________________________

You may want to return to this question when you finish reading this section or at some later date to gain a broader perspective on your motives. Answering completely is important.

As you discover some answers, you will soon see how one relates to another. Once you find out your motives in your training you will then be better able to understand how they influence your lifting goals, needs, wants, desires, dreams, drives, and aspirations.

Establishing the connections between your motives and your goals and desires is important because each feeds the other. For example, when I am really psyched for an upcoming workout I am more likely to establish appropriate and obtainable goals. On the other side of the coin, when I have the structure for my training provided by my goals I am more likely to be excited about reaching them. Motivation and goal setting must be continually linked so that they can build upon each other to provide more concentrated training.

The more specific you become in describing your motives for lifting, the more sense they will make to you because you have connected with other things that are important to you. Once you have done this, your motivations will become more concrete and manageable so you can more easily channel them into your training. The net result will be that as you operate on these more specific and tangible levels, you will stay more motivated in your training.


The Power of Attitude

One quality among lifters who stay motivated in their training is that they have4 a realistic and pervasive postitive mental attitude (PMA). These people have discovered the powers of PMA and have not only integrated them into their training, but the rest of their lives as well.

A strong positive mental attitude is grounded on the following realization: In any situation we face or decision we make, we can approach it only in one of two ways -- in a positive, optimistic, and building-up point of view, or a negative, pessimistic,and tearing-down point of view. There are no other choices. There is no middle ground. I also submit to you that if you do not know in which way you are approaching a situation, you are in reality dragging yourself down.

But why is it that more of us do not actively choose to be positive more often? It takes much more awareness, courage, creativity, dedication, and just plain guts to be positive. Becoming pessimistic is simpler. It just requires doing nothing actively for yourself. Then your fears, doubts, and insecurities will creep in and drag you down into being negative.

This notion of essential choice is really quite simple. In today's hectic pace of life with so many changes, options, and alternatives it is refreshing to discover that I can approach these situations in only one of two ways. And since I have just explained these two choices, only a fool or a masochist would choose to be negative. So I really only have one choice and that is to be positive.

Being positive is an active process that involves conscious choices to build yourself up. Being positive is not wishing, hoping, or some kind of pie-in-the-sky attitude. Rather, it is a realistic affirming of yourself and what you choose to do right now.

Being positive is really a matter of perspective. A few years ago, the Peace Corps had a television commercial that showed only a half glass of water. The announcer then asked, "Is this glass of water half full or half empty?" He went on to say that if you viewed it as half full, the people from the Peace Corps were interested in talking with you, because you were the type of person with the attitudes they wanted. The same perspectives can be applied to lifting.

Whatever perspective you choose is accompanied by a lot of power. Most lifters are totally unaware of this fact. Whichever direction you choose, you set in motion the processes to achieve that particular choice. The power or our attitudes is best summarized by the famous radio commentator Earl Nightengale, who said, "You become what you think about." It is as simple - and profound - as that. You become what you think about. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, for stronger or for weaker, you become what you think about.

If you keep focusing pessimistically on your weak squat (for example, My chest is just awful," your your chest will likely remain small. Or, if you say, "There is no way in the world I will ever be able to squat that amount," there will be no way you can.

On the other hand, if you say, "Look how far my back has come and let's just see how much more I can improve it," chances are you will continue to improve your back. Of if you say, "I am going to give my best shot at cleaning that weight," chances are you will.

In lifting, as well as in the rest of our lives, what we accomplish is largely governed by the principle by the principle of the self-fulfilling prophecy. What we decide we can or cannot accomplish, we will probably actualize. As Mark Twain wisely put it, "If you think you can or if you think you cannot, you're probably right."

We continually have to recognize and reinforce what we have, instead of what we have not. Sure, top lifters and bodybuilders search for deficiencies, but they always place them within the larger framework of improving themselves even further. They say, for example, "If I build up my lagging calves, I will become more balanced and proportional." Or, "If my deadlift goes up so does my total." The secret of Positive Mental Attitude is that as you remain realistically positive and optimistic, you tap into a huge inner reservoir of energy that you can channel into your training.

cont.



 




Softening Up For Weight Gains, Part Three, John McCallum






Softening Up For Weight Gains, Part Three
by John McCallum 
(from Strength & Health, February, 1970)


For the past  two months we've been outlining a program that's designed to soften you up and force weight gains. The procedure, in brief, is to ease up on your normal routine for about three months and do a few of the fattening things normally considered taboo. Actually, once you try it you'll like it. The fat cat life feels pretty good once in a while. And the change, strangely enough, will do you a world of good. It takes a little while to get over the guilty feeling of watching your old lady cut the lawn, but once you manage it you're home free.

Some people are inclined to look down their noses in contempt at the lazy man type of weight gaining program. These are the puritans of weight training, and quite often they're heaping scorn on something they haven't even tried. They're the critics who attach more importance to antiquated theory than to constructive suggestion; the pseudo-academics more interested in preconceived opinion than in visible results. If someone like this is influencing you they'll probably talk you out of even trying the program. But if you do your own thinking, and I suggest you should, then you might want to give it a whirl. And you'll be pleasantly surprised if you do.

Once you decide to give the routine an honest try, you can figure on a few nice things happening to you. You can plan on a tremendous surge in your energy supply, greatly increased training enthusiasm, a whole new outlook on living, and, most of all, a big boost in your body weight. 

The principle of getting as lazy as possible for a short period of time isn't new. The idea of conserving your energy has been around for a long, long time. The old-timers, in fact, had a saying that became almost a cliche. "Never run when you can walk," they said. "Never walk when you can ride. Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie down."

Bodybuilding, at least in recent years, is a pretty positive thing. Most of the paths have been well explored and charted. Years ago bodybuilding failures ran high. More men failed, in fact, than succeeded. Guys beat their brain out for years and never got their arms past fifteen or their chests past forty. But today any trainee can make good progress. Everyone can't be Mr. America, of course, but everyone can build a strong, shapely, herculean body. And most of all, everyone can gain weight. There's no excuse for staying thin. If you're trying to gain weight and you're having trouble doing so, then you're doing something wrong and it's as simple as that. If your gains aren't coming, then you're making one or more of several clearly defined mistakes.

Probably the most common mistake in bodybuilding, and the one you're most likely to be making, is frittering away your energy on a multitude of projects. Versatility is a great thing in most endeavors. It's a positive asset if you're a professional handyman. But it's no help in bodybuilding, and particularly not if you're a hard gainer.

A lot depends, of course, on how much you want to accomplish. Almost any form of training will develop you a little bit, but if you want to gain a lot of weight, if you want to really bulk up, then you've got to dedicate yourself to that goal. You've got to channel all your energy into adding pound after pound of solid muscle to your body.

Gaining a lot of weight in a hurry is clearly a form of specialization. You must realize this. If you want to add twenty, thirty, or forty pounds of muscle, then you've got to put your mind to it. You've got to dedicate yourself. You've got to make a few sacrifices. You've got to conserve your energy and direct it towards a great and rapid increase in muscular bulk.

If you're dashing around and doing the million and one things that burn up energy then you're making a big mistake. Don't forget that gaining weight is specialization, and during the period of specialization you've got to restrict your outside activities. You can do anything you want to after you gain the weight, but while you're gaining it you've got to devote yourself to that one basic purpose.

My Uncle Harry is a good example. He put me on to the softening up thing in the first place. Uncle Harry packs around more shapely muscle than any man is really entitled to. He's got a lot of things going, like blonds, brunettes, and redheads, and he leads an incredibly active life, but when he decided to gain weight, he restricts everything else for that one purpose. He goes on bulk sprees from time to time, and when he does he gains weight like a herd of elephants.  

I was over at Uncle Harry's apartment a while ago. I asked him about some of the changes he makes in his normal way of life when he's on a bulk kick.

Uncle Harry stretched and yawned. He had on an enormous sweat shirt with a big button pinned to the front of it. The button read, "J. Edgar Hoover Sleeps With A Nite-Lite." "Well," he said, "I sleep a lot more than usual. I get nine or ten hours per night and a nap in the afternoon or early evening."

"Every day?" I asked him.

"Sure," he said. "I just wallow around and take it real cool."

"And that's one of the secrets, eh?"

"That's it," he said. "The nitty gritty."

"What else?" I asked.

"I get real lazy," he said. "I don't play any other sports, or jog, or do anything that burns up energy. I save everything for gaining weight."

"Doesn't it get boring?" I asked him.

"No," he said. "Not really. In fact, it's kinda nice for a change. It might get boring after a while, but don't forget this is only a three month deal. After the three months are up I go back to my normal way of life."

"That must be nice for the girls," I said. "They'd be getting pretty lonely by then."

"Uncle Harry polished his nails on his sweat shirt. "They are," he said, "but I'm worth it."

Let's get on with the exercise routine. It's a three month deal, you'll remember, and the routine for the first month looked like this:

Seated Press Behind Neck - 3 x 12
Squat - 1 x 30 with six deep breaths between each rep
Breathing Pullover 1 x 30
Stiff Legged Deadlift - 1 x 20

The squats are the most important exercise. They're to be done in puff and pant style with all the weight you can handle. Take about six deep breaths between each reps, and if you can walk properly afterwards you're not working hard enough.

The routine for the second month was a little longer, and looked like this:

Seated Press Behind Neck - 3 x 12
Standing Side Lateral Raise - 3 x 15
Rear Lateral Raise - 3 x 15
Squat - 1 x 30 with six deep breaths between each rep
Breathing Pullover - 1 x 30
Hip Belt Squat - 3 x 15
Stiff Legged Deadlift - 1 x 20
Shrug - 3 x 15
Lat Machine Pulldown - 3 x 15

The routine for the third month is different again:

The first exercise is the One Arm Military Press. This exercise can cause deltoid strains if you're not careful. Warm up well before you tackle it. Spend at least five minutes doing light presses, presses behind the neck, and lateral raises. Use very light weights for the warm-up. Just get your shoulders ready, don't wear them out.

When you've got your blood circulating well, do the one-arm presses. Maintain a very erect position. Don't sway over any more than five or ten degrees from the upright. You can hang onto a post or something with your free hand if you like. It'll help you to hold a strict military position.

Do the presses 5 sets of 12 with each arm. Alternate arms. Use a moderate weight for the first set, your heaviest weight for the second set and drop the poundage five pounds per set for each of the last three sets.

The second exercise is the Breathing Squat. Do 1 set of 20 reps with all the weight you can lift. If you've been working hard enough, this should be a pretty impressive poundage by now. TAKE THREE HUGE, GULPING BREATHS BETWEEN EACH REP AND LET IT ALL HANG OUT. As soon as you finish the last rep do 20 breathing pullovers with a real light weight.

You can have a five minute rest now, and you should need it badly. Some of you, I'm afraid, haven't grasped the concept of hard work on squats. You can figure as a rough rule of thumb that if you're not totally wiped out on the 20th rep then you're not working hard enough and you're not going to gain properly.

After you've rested up from the squats, you can go on with the rest of the program. The next exercise is the Hip Belt Squat, the same as in last month's program. Do 3 sets of 15. Hip belt squats, properly employed, will do more to bulk up and shape your thighs than any other single exercise. They don't have the overall growing effect that regular squats do, but for pure leg work they're unbeatable. Some of you seem to misunderstand the exercise, so we'll devote a little more space to it in another article.

The next exercise is the Stiff Legged Deadlift. Do them as in last month's routine -- 1 set of 20 as heavy as you can.

The next exercise is actually two exercises combined. You alternate Parallel Bar Dips ->with->  Concentration Curls. Do a set of dips and then a set of curls for each arm. Then another set of dips and another set of curls for each arm, and so on. Do 15 sets of 10 reps in each exercise.

Start the dips with as much weight as you can handle tied around your waist. Cut the weight down each set and keep the reps up to 10. When you get down just your body weight you may have to drop the reps a bit. Do your best with it and keep working at it. The weight isn't too important in the curls. Use a moderate poundage and reduce it as you have to. The important thing is to get a good pump. You should be blown right up when you finish the final sets of the sequence.

The whole routine, then, looks like this:

One Arm Military Press - 5 x 12
Squat - 1 x 20 with three deep breaths between each rep
Breathing Pullover - 1 x 20
Hip Belt Squat - 3 x 15
Stiff Legged Deadlift - 1 x 20
Parallel Bar Dip - 15 x 10
alternated with
Concentration Curl - 15 x 10

That completes the program. Keep your supplement intake very, very high and follow the dietary suggestions from last month.

I'm running out of space. Give it all you've got -
surprise your friends and confound your enemies. 

Softening Up For Weight Gains, Part Two, John McCallum




Softening Up for Weight Gains, Part Two
by John McCallum
from Strength & Health (January, 1970)


I went to visit my Uncle Harry the other night. He's got a one bedroom thing on the 12th floor. He met me at his door.

"C'mon in," he said, "and I'll be with you in a minute. I'm on the phone."

He went into his bedroom. I walked into the living room but I could hear him talking on the phone. "Listen, Shirl," he said, "call me some other time, will you? I've got company."

Uncle Harry's living room is right out of Playboy. The furniture is black leather and the floor is three inches of crimson wall-to-wall. He's got deep toned semi-abstracts on the walls, and a professional looking bar in the corner with enough booze eon the shelf to float a small boat.

Uncle Harry came out of his bedroom.

"What's with all the sauce?" I asked him. "You don't drink that much of it, do you?"

"I don't drink at all," he said. "The girls do, though."

"They're not very smart girls," I said.

The phone rang and Uncle Harry went back into the bedroom. "Not tonight, Bev," I heard him say. "I've got company."

He walked into the living room again. He had on cowboy boots, checked flares with a three inch belt, a tan turtleneck, and a creamy colored cardigan. 

"You know, Uncle Harry," I said, "this is a real groovy pad."

He stifled a yawn. "Just four walls and a roof."

I squinted at him but he looked serious.

"Uncle Harry," I said. "You're unreal. How do you do it?"

"How do I do what?" he said.

"You know what I mean," I said. "How do you stay so young?"

He frowned. "What do you meanay so young? I ain't that old, you know."

"How old are you?" I asked him.

He looked up at the ceiling. "Around forty."

"Sure," I said. "Second time around."

He grinned at me. "How old do you think I am?"

I thought for a moment. "About a hundred and seven."

"Fifty-eight," he said. "Fifty-eight and not a day more."
The phone rang and he went into the bedroom. "Sounds good, Alice," he said. "Not tonight, though."

He came out again.

"What I mean is you look like about twenty-eight," I said. "How do you do it?"

The phone rang again.

"Sorry, Flo," he said. "Not tonight. I've got company."
He came out of the bedroom.

"Listen, Uncle Harry," I said. "Would it be better if I went home and phoned you?"

"It's okay," he said. "I took it off the hook."

"Jeez, Uncle Harry, you didn't have to do that," I said. "I'm not that much company."

He sat down. "You're not company at all. I got somebody else coming over tonight and you got exactly one half hour."

"Okay, Uncle Harry," I said. "I'll be gone. I just wanted to find out some more about that softening up thing you do."

"What do you want to know about it?" he said.

"Everything," I said. "Like why it works, for example."

He thought about it for a minute. "The big thing, I think, is that it's such a change. You do the minimum amount of training -- just a few growing exercises. You eat a lot more. You burn up fewer calories. You change your mental approach. You have to gain weight."

"Isn't there a danger of getting fat?" I asked him.

"Some," he said. "You gotta watch it. I usually put on a little fat when I'm doing the thing, but it's easy to work off afterwards and the extra surge is worth it."

"Gimme some more details," I said.

"Well, first, of course, there's the workout," he said. "I make a few changes in that."

"Like what?"

"I already told you what I do the first month, didn't I?"

"Yeah," I said. 'You did. Seated press behind neck, 3 x 12. Squats, 1 x 30 with six big breaths between each rep. Breathing pullovers, 1 x 30. And stiff-legged deadlifts, 1 x 20.
"Right," he said. "That's for the first month. Now, for the second month, I make a few additions.

"I still start with the press behind neck," he said, "for three sets of twelve. But, when I finish them, I go straight into lateral raises for the deltoids. I do them standing erect for three sets of fifteen, and then bent forward at right angles to the floot for another three sets of fifteen.

"The big thing," he said, "is to pump the deltoids. Don't worry too much about how much weight you use. Do them in very strict style, with as little rest between sets as possible.

"I take a short break," he said, "and then do the squats and pullovers, both with plenty of heavy breathing. One set of thirty each.

"Then," he said, " I do hip belt squats. I cinch the bar up real tight under the crotch, use small plates on the bar, and put a 2 x 4 under my heels. That way I can squat right down until I'm practically sitting on the floor. I do three sets of fifteen and my thighs pump up like balloons.

"Now," he said, "I do the stiff-legged deadlifts the same way as the first month. But, when I'm finished them, I do shrugs. Three sets of fifteen as heavy as I  can. I try and get a full range movement out of it so that my shoulders raise and lower three or four inches.

"And finally," he said, "I do pulldowns to the back of the neck with the lat machine. I use a medium width grip, not too much weight, and concentrate on getting a good pump."

"That sounds like a pretty short workout," I said.

"It makes you grow," he said. "That's the main thing."

"What else do you do that's different?" I asked him.

Uncle Harry got up and turned on the stereo. It's a thousand bucks worth of mahogany and gold mesh with more controls on it than a rocket ship. The whole thing is faintly illuminated by a dark green swag lamp hanging right above it.

"Anything you'd like to hear?" he asked me.

"Anything," I said. "It doesn't matter."

"How about a little Deanna Durbin?" he said. "Or maybe some Nelson Eddy?"

I ignored him.

"Just kidding," he said. "Camp is out."

He put on a Gordon Lightfoot.

"Well?" I said.

He sat down again. "I change my diet a bit," he said. "I'm always on a supplemented, high-protein diet, you know, but I loosen up a bit for the gaining thing. I still take the supplements and proteins and all, but I add a few things I don't usually eat."

"Like what?"

"Desserts," he said. "But it's a change, and that's the idea of the whole program. It gives you a load of extra calories so you can soften up and gain weight."

"Anything else?" I asked him.

"Oh, sure," he said. "I eat potatoes and bread, too. Normally, I hardly ever eat them, so it's a real treat for me. I bake the potatoes and slather them with butter and grated cheese and eat them skins and all."

"Do you eat white bread?" I asked him.

"Oh, no," he said. "Just whole wheat. I prowl through the European stores and the delicatessens and buy the darkest, heaviest bread I can find. Bohemian rye and pumpernickel and so on. I make it into big, thick sandwiches with cheese or meat or something and wash them down with milk."

"You still drink milk, eh?"

"Sure," he said. "More than ever."

"How much?"

"When I'm on this program," he said, "I drink at least four quarts a day. Sometimes more."

"That's a lot of milk," I said.

"Sure," he said, "but it does the trick. It's really great for softening up and gaining."

"Okay," I said. "Buy any time you see a bull coming, you better brace yourself."

"Don't worry," he said. "I will."

"Anything else?"

"Supplements," he said. "Take a lot of supplements."

"You always do, don't you?"

"Yeah," he said, "I do. But I take about twice as many on this program. It makes all the difference."

"What do you take""

"Practically everything," he said. "I use protein powder, vitamins and minerals, good oils, anything I feel like. I just take an abundance of everything and don't worry too much about it."

"It sounds like a pretty creamy deal," I said. "What else do you do?"

Uncle Harry opened his mouth to speak, but the intercom buzzed and beat him to it. He went over and spoke into it.

"Great," he said. "C'mon up."

He walked over and put his hand on my shoulder. "That's it," he said. "Split."

"What d'ya mean?" I said. The half hour ain't up yet."

"I know," he said. "But Trixie got here a little early."

He took my arm and ushered me to the door.

"Listen," I said. "I want to talk about the rest of your progarm."

"And we will," he said. "Some other time."

He opened the door and pushed me out into the hall. The elevator doors opened and a redhead stepped out. She came down the hall with her lips parted and a walk that would have been censored out of an Italian movie. Uncle Harry took her arm and guided her through his door.

"Okay," I said. "But I want to know about the program. I'll phone you."

He stepped into his apartment. "Not tonight," he said. "I've got company."






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