FORMING THE PROPER TRAINING GROOVE
We now come to one of the most important aspects of any successful training venture, we now come to the actual formation of you training routine. Since there are many types of goals in which you may be trying to succeed, you can be sure it will take some forethought before you can expect to come to the correct formulation of exercises and training regimen, in general, and thereby accept all the possible advantages such correct decisions will bring.
Believe me, without the proper training routine and diet, you are working for a goal with both hands tied behind your back and both eyes blindfolded. In short, you are leaving yourself blind, completely defenseless to any of the training pitfalls and disappointments which may be coming your way. However, by fully analyzing your training goals you are at least halfway on the road to your most cherished dreams.
I mean, there are so many variables to consider. First of all, you must take into consideration your training likes and dislikes. For instance, if you simply hate to do arm work and usually shirk such important training, then in actuality you may need a specialization period which would put the greatest emphasis on arm training. But if you really dislike such arm training, then if you do not try to formulate the proper training goals and desires, you will probably neglect your arms until they are under par with the rest of your physique and it will be ten times as hard to bring them up to par later on.
If, on the other hand, you formulate the proper training goals, you will be able to realize such a physical shortcoming as under par arms, as a bar in the road which would otherwise lead you to the end of your successful venture, and you will then be sure to rectify the situation by placing great emphasis on these body parts, whether you consciously liked to perform such movements or not. In this way not only are you training correctly, you are also exercising your power of will, so to speak, and therefore you gain not only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense also.
When planning the training routine it is also necessary to take into consideration which type of exercising agrees with you, and which kind does not. For instance, if you have found cheating curls to do absolutely nothing for your upper arms, you would be foolish indeed to continue to include them in your program, no matter who tells you to do so. Either an exercise works for you or it does not. As fabulous as an exercise may be, if it does not work for you the way you feel it should, then don't bother with it any more, and replace it with an exercise of the same nature and type, so as to receive almost the same type of response that you would have liked to receive from the first exercise which, for some reason, failed to live up to expectations.
For example, if cheating curls do not work, then perhaps rebound seated barbell curls will. In this way the arm muscles are still worked hard and effectively and in almost the same manner; that is, a manner in which you would be trying to gain in bulk and power. If, on the other hand, you switched from the cheating barbell curl to the one-arm concentration curl you would be doing things completely wrong, for the concentration curl is not suited for building size and strength in the same way or amount as the cheat barbell curl is, and if you switched these two movements, one for the other, you would be trying, in effect, to obtain similar results from two very different exercises and in the end the only thing you would obtain, in all probability, would be a case of severe despair; a despair so dark and deep, and disturbing that in all probability you would forego all training altogether.
And whose fault would it be? I would be yours and yours alone, for it is your responsibility to seek the proper training information and also it is your responsibility to put such correct training information into practice.
Rest periods are another aspect of a truly intelligently planned training routine. You must be your own trainer. You must be your sole judge. Only you know how long it takes you to rest sufficiently between each and every set and each different exercise movement. This no one, in all honesty, can advise you; this is something that only you have the answer for. Some men require more rest than others. For some fellows, a rest of two minutes is quite sufficient for proper training pace; for others this amount of time would be insufficient an they would not be able to get through half their training program using such a short resting period. If they did try to stick it out, in all probability after a half hour of such a pace they would become very nauseous and sick to their stomachs and would have to forestall any further training until the next day, when they would hope to feel better. On the other hand, to some a two minute rest would seem too long! They would feet that they were resting too much and would become very nervous after a few sets of training in such a manner. This type of trainee would thrive on a fast, very fast routine, with emphasis put on training speed and not just training poundages.
The speed of repetitions is another intricate and truly personal thing. Some men feel better performing their repetitions using all the weight and all the speed they can muster, while others prefer a slight reduction of weight and a slower performance, making the involved muscles feel the weight almost every inch of the way.
Now, both these types of training will work for you if you are suited for the type of training you have chosen. However, if you do not weigh your decision most emphatically, taking into consideration from all sides of the spectrum both the good and the bad points involved in the ultimate choice you are about to pick, you cannot begin to feel secure in your immediate decision. And if you do not feel confident in the choice you have made, you will not be able to concentrate on getting the most out of your training routine. And without the proper concentration, you may as well beat your fists against the invisible wind.
How then can one know if he is training and progressing correctly? Well, for one thing, he must go by the way he feels, not only during the workout, but after the workout and during the day also. For one thing, you should not feel tired all the time, especially if you make a conscious effort to receive the proper amount of rest each and every day. If this be the case, and you are still tired all the time, then you can almost be sure it is the intensity of your training routine that is the culprit. And in most cases it will come to your attention that your routine was not really suited for your natural gifts and temperament, and this was one of the major reasons it did not work. Using it, you were trying to force your body to respond to a type of training in which it was not naturally suited.
Now please don't feel that I am being too dogmatic. In reality, I will always be the first to cry out that since all men are different you simply cannot generalize on such involved subjects as to how every man should train. But, to be sure, very few men indeed will gain in bulk by performing concentration curls and lateral raises. And since the natural easy gainers are not generally given any importance in this book, it would seem silly indeed to dwell on their training methods for any great length of time.
Yet it also must be mentioned that such great generalizations as 'body types' etc., are to me a lot of hogwash, for I am a definitely complete opposite as far as my station and post on such a chart is concerned. For although I have all the physical characteristics of the heavy boned, slightly obese individual, who does not have too much energy, and is generally speaking lazy and easy going, for me the last two parts couldn't possibly be true. For one thing, I detest resting for long periods of time during the workout, and also, I get up at seven o'clock in the morning just to be able to type and read for one or two hours before I go to work. If I was lazy I wouldn't take any care or trouble in getting up any earlier than was necessary. I also, unlike my counterpart as far as my type listing goes, have a great deal of nervous energy to burn up and could not possibly be considered an easy going, calm and relaxed person.
In my opinion, such tables of 'body types' so ardently admired and respected by many young bodybuilders are very misleading This is due, in part, to the great complexity due to the number of men they are trying to involve in such a scheme, and also in the neglect of the psychological aspects of the men they are reviewing.
For instance, Doug Hepburn was, by far, a completely normal built fellow in his early years. He was no monster, that is for sure. And if this be the case,then how on earth did he ever manage to develop himself into such a massive, muscular, powerful man. Where did his voracious appetite come from? If he would have gone by his charted place he would have found that he was supposed to have a very slight appetite and have a lot of nervous energy which would burn up all the calories he was able to ingest, and therefore remain slightly built, almost skinny. However, as we all know, Hepburn had the appetite of almost two men, and was certainly not the nervous type; neither was he slight in size. So how does the chart rate in correctness as far as he is concerned? It rates quite poorly, as anyone can see.
I had a training partner at one time, who was a complete paradox of complexities. For one thing, he was quite tall and quite slim. He was the nervous, jittery type who would always gulp down every meal and literally run from the table after supper He suffered from frequent headaches and when seeing a physician he was given tranquilizers and told he was suffering from hypertension. Yet he was able to gain almost 60 pounds of muscle and it was not from power training. No, he would perform high sets of high reps in which he would use a weight which was much too heavy for him to use in a strict manner. So he would use the cheating method. In other words he would use around 180 in the cheating barbell curl for 5 or 6 sets of 10-12 repetitions. In this way he combined heavy weight with high repetitions and a laxity in style and, for him, it surely worked.
Yet, when I tried the same routine for me it was a complete fiasco. For one thing, I was too tired all day long, and for another, instead of gaining in muscular bodyweight I lost almost 10 pounds in the process! And remember, I was using the cheating system, a system which is supposed to bulk you up like mad. How did this happen? I for one truly do not know. All I can say is that to believe wholeheartedly in any generalization, and to give such a generalization complete dominance over the forming of your opinion concerning the involved subject is a grave and foolish mistake, for just as there are no two leaves or two stars of the same exact measurements or formations, so are there no two men who are completely alike. This is why what worked for my partner did not work for me. This is also why fat men are sometimes very jittery and nervous, and skinny men are sometime quite lazy and slothful. Even though such actions and corresponding body types do now seem to compute, they still exist, and for them there is no written law; for them there is only "attempted theory."
Did you happen to know that to some men it makes a very big difference on the success or failure of their training ventures whether or not they train in a plush gym or alone in their cellars? Well, although at first such a supposition may seem quite odd and amusing, I can assure you, for many trainees it is the absolute truth.
For many men, to be left alone, in a homemade gym, with no one to bother them with questions concerning their opinions on training, diet, 'who is the best lifter', etc., is truly heaven on earth. These are the truly introverted types of fellows I had mentioned to you once before. Here is the type of man who would make the perfect type of power champ as far as mental state is concerned. He can stand alone; he does not need public approval to enhance his personal self-image. He does not need to be in the limelight in order to continue to enjoy his training. He is a complete entity unto himself. He asks nothing of anyone, and he relies completely upon himself. His equipment would be simple in construction and sturdy and dependable. Although the cellar or spare room in which he would train might not be too attractive to the eye, the equipment would be placed properly around the room, creating a neat and ready to use atmosphere. Since this man would own his own equipment, he would naturally admire its beauty and long lasting quality and would go to great pains to see to it that such equipment was used properly and treated with respect. An 'introverted' cellar trainee would be, in all probability, the kind of fellow who would be sure to get all his equipment ready at the end of one workout so that he could use it without hesitation in the next workout!
On the other hand, there are many men who simply cannot stand to train alone. To them, being alone in a roomful of weights would become quite stifling and boring after a short while. These men thrive in the friendly, warm atmosphere of a commercial gym. Here they can unburden their various little problems onto the ears of well-meaning friends. Here they really feel at home, they can let themselves relax, and they find it possible to unwind. This type of men are the extroverts. They are usually the outgoing type who enjoy excitement and abhor any set pattern or routine for living. This chokes their creative powers, as smoke can choke one's lungs. Alone, at home, in a made up cellar gym, such a man loses his initiative for heavy training. The importance of such training becomes vague and fuses itself into the surrounding woodwork, making the struggle for greater size and strength seem frail indeed. Yet, while in the gym, in the company of his friends, he will put out to the absolute limit, just to receive the well earned praise and to 'entertain' such training partners in a manner they all appreciate, the lifting of very heavy weights.
Both of these men are entirely different as far as personal preferences are concerned. One is retiring, one is outgoing; one is spontaneous, the other meditative; one seeks the 'action,' the other seeks 'peace.' One man enjoys a crowd, the other wants to be alone. And which one is correct in his likes and dislikes? Which man will make those great gains which he has always had in the back of his mind?
Why, both men, of course. For it is not the choices we make concerning out training routine which determine either the success or failure of such a venture, but the correct application of such principles, which is concurred after much deliberation and planning.
So you see, forming the proper training groove requires much consideration and patience. It is not something which one can think up n an hour or two. It requires much time and painstaking precision. You must take into consideration your training goals, your likes and dislikes, your training preferences as far as exercise motions themselves, your training tempo and rest periods, your attitude toward such training, and also your like or dislike for a particular training atmosphere. In short, you must take into consideration all things which may be useful or advantageous in enabling you to reap a truly great reward: a stronger and more powerful body.