Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ed Coan Interview from "Tribe of Mentors" - Tim Ferriss (2017)

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Ed Coan is widely recognized as the greatest powerlifter of all time. He has set more than 71 world records in powerlifting. Ed's best single-ply lifts are a squat of 1,019 pounds, bench press of 584, and deadlift of 901, for a total of 2,504 pounds. His 901 deadlift was at a bodyweight of 220. Ed became the lightest person in history to cross the 2,400 pound total barrier. 

Note from Tim Ferriss: This profile is a bit different from the rest. Ed is a childhood hero of mine and one of the best lifters the world has ever seen. I couldn't resist asking a bunch of training-specific questions, in addition to this book's tried-and-true set of questions toward the end. 

Tim Ferriss (TF): Were you always good in sports? 

Ed Coan (EC): When I was a little kid, I had no hand-eye  coordination. I had to to go Illinois Institute of Technology at night and wear something like horse blinders because I couldn't even bounce a ball. I was really little. My freshman year in high school, I was 4'11" and 98 pounds, so I never went out for baseball and never went out for foot. I was scared. Eventually, I wrestled, because there was a 98-pound class. That's when I found lifting.

I could dive into lifting by myself. It was only me and the weights. I'd sit in the basement at midnight on these ad hoc machines with little weights, going nuts for hours because no one was watching me. It was just me. 

TF: Were there any counterintuitive or particularly surprising findings that you found when looking at your notes from 28 years of training? 

EC: At the time I wrote the notes down, no. But when I look back at them, yes. The biggest surprise was that I took my time and made a little, tiny bit of progress four or five times a year. When you make a little progress four times a year over 28 years, you're going to be pretty good at what you do. I never thought, "Oh, I have to lift X amount of weight or accomplish Y." I just thought, "I'm going to get better, and this is what I have to do to get better. "These are my weaknesses; let me correct my weaknesses."

TF: What are some of the most common novice mistakes you see in lifting? 

EC: They don't take their time. They don't look at the long term goals, the big picture. I'll ask kids an old question that every old guy asks: "Where do you want to be in five years? Where do you see yourself?" If I apply that question to lifting, a lot of people don't get it. They're only thinking, "What am I going to do within six months?" They don't realize that if you make the whole body strong in every aspect that you possibly can over a period of just three years, you've created an impenetrable machine that won't get hurt, that won't break down, that you can have for the rest of your life because you followed what you're supposed to at the beginning.

They don't take the time to to dot their i's and cross their t's. By analogy, they can write the best paper in the world and turn it in to the teacher, but based on grammar, they're going to get a D. They don't take the time to do the little things: the assistance work, extra technique work, proper diet, prehab (injury prevention) exercises, etc.

I was fortunate because I was introverted - I realized what all of my weaknesses were. I only did two contests a year because I like to get better and have all that time to work on my weaknesses. So, for instance, my strength is my back and my hips. During my long off-season (roughly December to mid-June), I would do a high-bar Olympic close stance squat. Instead of regular deadlifts, I would do deadlifts with no belt and off of a deficit (an elevated platform) or use stiff-legs off of a deficit.

For the bench press, I would ask myself, "How can I make this harder so it will help with my lockout?" I'd then bench with my feet up and do more close-grip and incline benches, things like that.

What do I know will help me not only get (generally) strong but also transfer over to the main lifts? It doesn't matter if you have a pretty peak on your biceps if it doesn't do anything.

TF: When is it okay to max out with a lift? 

EC: Twice a year at meets. 

Usually, when people max out in a gym, they're pretty insecure and not confident about what their end results are going to be. Years ago, I went to Russia with Fred Hatfield and a few other people. This is before perestroika, and the USSR was incredibly powerful. I was in one of their old gyms, something you might see in a Rocky movie. I talked with the guys about training and they said, "You only have so many max attempts in your body over your lifetime. Why waste them in the gym?" I tend to agree with that.

TF: Are there any particular exercises that you think are neglected or that more people should incorporate? 

EC: Usually it's the hard ones like sets of pause squats. Guys can't use as much weight, it's harder, and a lot of the time they don't do them. The only way to get out of the bottom once you stop is for your whole body to push and sync at the right time. You can't have bad technique or you fall forward right away. I don't pause to a box . . . I taught myself how to stay tight with the barbell. 

TF: What are the most common mistakes you see in a squat? 

EC: People don't focus on the body as a whole when they squat. Everyone thinks you just use your legs. They think, "You don't want to hurt your back, so don't use your back." But you need an equal amount of push going down through the floor, which is your legs, and push going up, which is your back driving against the bar. This dual action is what allows your hips to activate and move forward like a hinge on a door. If one of those is not working, you fall forward. So I concentrate on hitting the hole, driving with my legs and driving straight up with my back into the bar. That makes the hips react. It's the same principle in the deadlift.

TF: Are there any particular prehab exercises that you like or dislike? 

EC: Layne Norton has suffered hip and back injuries over the last four years, and he came back. He has a tutorial of hip exercises on his Instagram account (@biolayne) that really helped him. I tried them, and they work phenomenally well.  

I also do some Kelly Starrett stretching with bands to open things up, and I use a lacrosse ball to work on the pecs, rhomboids, etc.

For the pecs, for instance, you stand at the side of a door frame, place the lacrosse ball directly on the pec tendon, then lean against the wall. If you're working on your right pec, you'd stand in front of the left side of a door frame, and your right arm would be straight out in front of you, inside the door frame, the right pec pressing the ball into the wall. The key is that you don't move the ball. Instead, you move your straight arm up and down while pushing against the ball, and you'll feel that sucker roll over the tendon. You're causing your own pain, which is more tolerable. 

TF: During your competitive career, did you find anything unusual to help with recovery? 

EC: Four times a week I received chiropractic care from a friend of Dr. Bob Goldman. Every time I went to see him, he worked on me from my feet up. Now you see a lot of people like Chris Duffin and Kelly Starrett rolling out the bottoms of their feet and doing ankle prep. At the time, we used something that looked like an abacus. Right after using it, I'd walk around and, all of a sudden, my knees didn't hurt and my back was tight. These days, I use a lacrosse ball. 

TF: I've heard you never missed lifts in training, which is rare. Where did you learn that approach? 

EC: I'm pretty sure it was on my own. I used to read Powerlifting USA when I was younger, but my routine was a basic linear periodization with a lot of thought put into picking assistance exercises. So here's what I would do: If I had a 12-week training cycle, I would start from week 12 - sets, reps, weights - and work my way back(wards) all the way to week one. I would have every set, every rep, and ever weight for every single exercise predetermined. I didn't care if it was a leg curl or a pause squat or shoulder press or bent row; whatever it was, my weight, sets, and reps were all figured out for the entire training cycle.

Then I would stop and I would look at that routine, all written in pencil, of course. I would ask myself, "Okay, is every single thing here doable?" If you have to think about it, change it. Make it so that you know 100 percent everything is doable. When you start that routine, imagine how positive your mental outlook is. It's huge. 

I was never depressed. I was never stressed. I never worried about "Can I do this next week?" I always knew I could. 

TF: Looking back at your peak training, what did your weekly split look like during that period of time?

EC: Mondays would be squats and all other leg assistance. Tuesdays would be off. Wednesdays would be bench with chest assistance and a lot of triceps work. I would come in on Thursdays, after pre-fatiguing the triceps on Wednesday, and only hit shoulders (primary go-to exercise: seated behind neck press, working up to 400-plus pounds). I would deadlift on Friday (with light squats as a warmup), do all of my back work. Saturday would be a light bench day for recovery using wide-grip bench, flyes, etc., with occasional smaller exercises like light curls and grip work. Sundays were off. 

TF: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? 


As angry and "focused" as I was as a younger man, I found that those two words made my life much easier. I used to have a scowl on my face if anything differed from what I believed in any way, shape, or form. I don't know if this was because it was hard for me - as such an introvert - to express things outwardly, or if I was just a jerk. I don't think I was a jerk because I never acted on much.

Then, one day, there was this idiot in the gym who really, really used to get under my skin.

I took a deep breath, let it go, walked up, and said, "Hey, how are you doing? You look great. Congratulations on finishing school." Suddenly, I thought, "Holy Crap! This is amazing!" It was like I'd set myself free. it was gone. So even now, I just try to relax (with something like) "Hey, how are you doing? Nice to see you." If I really don't like something, or if something doesn't agree with me, I just walk away or talk to someone more positive.

I see this a lot with powerlifters Mark Bell and Stan Efferding. They don't let anybody or anything get to them. It's like water off a duck's back. 

TF: When you feel overwhelmed of unfocused, what do you do?   

EC: When I travel and I'm on long plane rides, I'll go through my last two weeks: What I did, what I thought of, how I can improve it, and what I'm going to do so I don't make mistakes. Stan Efferding actually taught me how to do that by writing lists (and it might only take 30 minutes) . . . When I put it on paper, it takes the emotion out and makes it easier to follow.

For instance, it's usually my procrastination and fear that have stopped me from doing things. I tend to think of things as a big whole and get overwhelmed. If I break it down, put it down on paper, then look at it a half hour later, all of those smaller things don't seem like a big deal. When I write it down on paper, it looks so much easier, because the fear in my mind is externalized, I can look at it and realize that it's not so scary.

TF: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? 

EC: I have been doing Jeet Kune Do counter-violence training for some years since I stopped competing in powerlifting, and I love it. That would be on the short list. I had to teach myself how to move again, because I wanted to be an athlete and not a one-dimensional gorilla.   

TF: What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?

EC: It's a picture of my parents that I had framed. I've never heard my mom or dad badmouth anybody. The picture makes me think about how I should treat everyone I love.

The picture was taken only a few years ago, and it's my mom and dad together, next to each other - an upper torso shot. I'd never really seen them showing that much affection. My whole life, I never really saw it because of the five kids. and now the grandkids. They hadn't really had a chance to show it. They're both around 87 years old now, and they've had their health problems, but they're still kicking. They love life, they love their kids and grandkids, and it keeps them going. 

I think what they instilled in my without me even knowing it was the ability to observe. Still today, I think that's one of the things I'm really good at: just sitting back and observing. I've never been one to try to be the life of the party or to be too loud. I usually just sit back and observe with a smirk on my face. I don't think you realize how much your parents have given you until you get older and can reflect on it. 

TF: What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?

EC: I love my routine and when nothing upsets my routine. My dad used to tell me, "I know never to die and have my wake or funeral on a lifting day, because I know you won't be there." 

I've also taken a nap every day since I was a kid. I still try not to miss it. Usually it's 45 minutes to an hour and ideally around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

TF: What is the best purchase you've made in recent memory? 

Not too long ago, right after a surgery, the pulmonary doctor and anesthesiologist came in my room, and it was like the TV show Intervention. I said, "What's up, guys? You're not smiling." They said, "We have to talk. Your surgery took a little longer than usual because of the density of your bone and the size of your muscles and tendons." 

Now, that's fine with me. I'm happy. Then they said, "The hardest part of your whole surgery was keeping you breathing." Subsequently, I went in for a sleep study. They figured out that when I fall asleep on my side, I stop breathing eight times a minute. When I fall asleep on my back, I stop breathing 24 times a minute.   

So I got a CPAP machine, and it changed my life. It's helped me improve my focus, overcome negative thoughts akin to depression, and more. Your blood pressure comes down, your blood work starts changing, everything starts to happen because of it, I guarantee I'd been dealing with sleep problems my entire life. I just didn't realize it.

TF: What are bad recommendation you hear in your profession or area of expertise? 

EC: "The newest training ideas are the best!" Wrong. Tried-and-true basics lay the foundation for everything we do in and out of the gym.

TF: I hope this doesn't sound offensive, but why do you spell your name "Eddy"? It's an unusual spelling.

EC: The reason I don't spell it E-D-D-I-E is because of the first guest lifting appearance I ever did. I did a deadlift exhibition when I was young in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was on St. Patrick's Day of all days, and I already look like a freaking leprechaun. I pulled a deadlift and, after, some lady came up to me with Bill Pearl's book Keys to the Inner Universe, which is a gigantic book, and she said, "Would you sign this for me? I think you're going to be famous some day in powerlifting." I said, "Sure," but my hand was still shaking from the adrenaline of having just lifted. I still had my belt on and chalk on my hands. So I went to sign it and out came E-D-D-Y. I thought to myself, "You know what? I have to sign my name E-D-D-Y for the rest of my life so I don't negate the signature that I did for this lady." 


Monday, November 20, 2017

The Impressive Areas - John McCallum (1968)

Originally Published in This Issue (July 1968)

Once upon a time there was an enthusiastic young man who trained very hard weights. He wanted to look like Mr. America - only more so. He took York supplements wisely and he went through all the proper training routines. He bulked up with power training, high set pumping routine, and enough food to supply the British 8th Army. When he began to get a little soft looking, he hardened up with intensive P.H.A. training, running, and the definition diet.

At the end of the first cycle he owned a strong, shapely, muscular physique. Still he wasn't satisfied.

"Something," he said, "is lacking." 

One evening he went into the living room to discuss the problem with his father who was watching "Star Trek" on the television.

"Dad," he said. "I'd like to ask you something." 

His father was crouched on the edge of his chair and leaning tensely forward.

"Dad," the young man said. "You know more about bodybuilding than anyone else I know." 

His father stared straight ahead.

The young man spoke louder. "Sir," he said. "I consider you an authority." 

His father stirred slightly. "Thank you, Mr. Spock," he said. 

The young man shook his father's shoulder. There was no response.

"Sir," he said. "I've got a problem. I train real hard. I get results. But I still don't look good enough. How fast can I reasonably expect to improve?" 

There was no answer. 
"At what speed should I improve, sir?" 
His father looked at him. His eyes were glassy. "Eh?" 
"What speed, sir?" 
"Warp seven, Mr. Suto." 
The young man leaned down and looked carefully at his father for a long time. He turned and looked at the television. He watched it for a while, and then very slowly and without taking his eyes off the screen he pulled a footstool towards him and sat down. They sat side by side in the semi-darkness and watched the flickering figures. Finally the crew beamed back aboard the Enterprise. The ship broke orbit and streaked away. The picture faded and the commercial came on with a burst of fanfare. The young man's father leaned back and exhaled slowly. He looked around. "Hi," he said. "Just come in?"
"Not exactly," the young man said. "I wanted to ask you a question."
"Does it involve money?" 
"Okay," his father said. "What is it?" 
"It's about my training," the young man said. "I don't look good enough." 
"You look real good," his father said. "What're you complaining about?" 
"I don't know," the young man said. "I seem to lack something." 
"Take off your shirt," his father said. "Let me have a look at you."

The young man took off his shirt and his father studied him for a moment.

"I know what it is," the father said. "You're ready to specialize on your showy muscles for a while."
The young man stared blankly at him.
"There're certain muscle groups that are more showy than others," his father said. "Generally speaking, they're the areas where untrained people show no development at all. When these areas are highly developed, they look incredible to the average person. The three most impressive areas are the deltoids, pectorals, and abdominals. Develop them to the maximum and you'll look like something from another world." 
"Like in 'Star Trek'?" the young man said.
His father gave him a cold look. "What you need to do now is to specialize on those areas for a short time. It'll transform you from merely looking good into looking sensational." 
"Okay," the young man said. "Tell me how." 
"Work out six days a week," his father said. "Work the specialization areas on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Work the rest of your body on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On your specialization days, do this:
 "Start with seated presses behind neck. Do 5 sets of 7 reps. Use a moderate weight for the first set, a little more for the second set, and all you can handle for each of the last three sets. Use a wide grip and work up into very heavy poundages. Use the rebound style. Don't let the bar rest on your shoulders between reps. Just touch the back of your neck and drive it right up again.
"Next, lay face down on a 45-degree incline board and do dumbbell lateral raises. Do 4 sets of 10 in rigid style. Don't worry too much about the poundage. Hold the position for a split second at the top of the movement.
"As soon as you finish, lay on your back on the incline board and do forward raises with a light barbell for 4 sets of 10. Keep your arms straight and do these in strict style also.
"Your last deltoid exercise is a bit different. You use weights and cables both. Tie plates to the handles of the cables. Then do lateral raises using the weights and cables simultaneously. This keeps tension on your deltoids all the way - from the cables at the start and from the weights at the top of the movement. Work hard and do 4 sets of 10.
"Take a short rest and then start the pectoral work. Begin with incline dumbbell presses. Do 5 sets of 7.  Moderate poundage for the first set, more for the second set, and all you can handle for each of the last three sets. Keep the dumbbells well out to the sides all the time. Use a 45-degree incline and work into very heavy weights.
"The next exercise isn't too well known. You need flying rings suspended about shoulder-width apart. Get into position face down with your hands holding the rings and your feet on a bench or something about the same height as the rings. Bend your arms a trifle. Now, keep your elbows locked in that position. Don't bend your arms any further, and don't straighten them out. Let the rings go out to the sides while your body drops down between them. Now pull the rings together so that your body is levered up again into the original position. Pull the rings together till your hands meet and then squeeze your hands together for a split second. Do 4 sets of 10. It takes a little getting used to, but it's the best localized pectoral exercise. 

"The next exercise is the flying exercise on the incline board. Do 4 sets of 10.

"Take a rest and then do your abdominal work. Start off with incline situps alternated with side bends. Do the situps 4 sets of 25 and the side bends 4 x 50. Do 25 situps. Then 50 side bends with the weight in one hand, and then 50 more with the weight in the other hand. Now another set of situps and then another set of side bends as before, and so on for 4 sets each. 

"When you finish the situps and side bends, alternate high bar leg raises and seated twists. Do 4 sets each, 25 reps for the leg raises and 100 reps for the twists.

"That completes the specialization part. On alternate days work the rest of your body.

"Start with prone hyper-extensions. Do 3 sets of 10.

"Now do your squats. 5 sets of 5. Use the first two sets to warm up on, and go all out for poundage on the last three sets.

"Do a light set of pullovers after each set of squats.
"As soon as you finish the squats and pullovers, go to the calf machine and do 5 x 25 on the calf raise.
"That completes the leg work. Now you do wide grip chins behind the neck. 4 x 8. Tie weights around your waist for added resistance, and try to work up into fairly heavy poundages.
"From there you go to your arms. Do incline bench dumbbell curls alternated with triceps extensions on the lat machine. 4 sets of 8 reps each.
"As soon as you finish your workout, put on a heavy track suit and go for a run. Run about two miles at a nice easy pace.
"Keep your protein intake high. You don't have to cut out carbohydrates completely, but keep them to a minimum. Stick to meat, eggs, cheese, milk, fish, and poultry for the bulk of your diet.
"Take supplements. Vitamin/mineral. some form of oil, and the best protein supplement you can afford.
"Now," the young man's father said. "Do you think you can handle all that?" 
"I'll try," said the young man. "And you figure it'll make me look more impressive?" 
"I guarantee it," said his father. "You'll get mobbed when you step on the beach this summer." 
"Good," said the young man. "Any idea how I can hold off the admiring hordes without hurting them?" 
"Certainly," his father said. "Set your phaser on stun." 



Sunday, November 19, 2017

Get M & F'ing Huge, Parts One and Two - Andrew Gutman (2017)


35 Years Ago

60 Years Ago

More by Andrew Gutman:

by Andrew Gutman (2017) 


The go-to bulk-up formula is often to add weight to the bar, reduce the reps, rinse, and repeat. It'll work, but it's not optimized for maximum results. In fact, a review of 15 studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that periodized training - implementing various training phases in one program - had a greater effect on performance improvements compared with programs that applied no variance.

And that's what Pat Davidson, Ph.D., had in mind when he developed Mass, a 16-week periodized program that trains all your energy systems, or pathways.

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"If you don't train a particular pathway, it won't develop," says Davidson, a New York City-based personal trainer. Just one underdeveloped pathway can lead to diminished strength, lackluster conditioning, and less muscle mass. 

Davidson's Mass regimen, he's adapted to an 8-week program for Muscle & Fitness, targets one pathway per workout and requires balls to the wall intensity from start to finish - but it's worth it. "If you complete this program, you're going to put on muscle mass and get a lot stronger," he says. "You'll also be a grittier, more confident person." 

Day 1:

Work Capacity
Davidson named this specific protocol "Staring Down the Barrel of a .45" since you'll be completing 45 total reps for your first two lifts, resting 45 seconds between sets. This combination of high volume with minimal rest is designed to increase your work capacity and trigger a huge hormonal response. "The moderate load combined with the short rest periods is going to create a lot of metabolic stress," Davidson explains. "The person should get a pretty significant growth hormone response, which should last up to 72 hours post lift. This increases your potential to build muscle and burn off some fat." 

How to Do It 
Perform exercises marked A, B, and C back-to-back, resting only after the last exercise is complete.

Day 1: Follow this Percentage Chart for the Back Squat and Bench Press -
Set 1 - 65% of 1 rep max
Set 2 - 70% 1RM
Set 3 - 75%
Set 4 - 70%
Set 5 - 65%
Set 6 - 70%
Set 7 - 75%
Set 8 - 70%
Set 9 - 65%
all for 5 reps, 45 seconds rest between each set.  

Back Squat, 9 sets of 5 reps - 45 seconds rest between sets.
Bench Press, same as above.
Seated Cable Row, 3 x 10 - 45 secs rest.
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press, same as above.
1A) Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 10 -> go immediately to
1B) Triceps Pushdown, 3 x 10 -> go immediately to
1C) Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 3 x 10.

Day 2:

Davidson uses Triphasic Training, a lifting protocol invented by strength coach Cal Dietz, that breaks down each lift into the lowering (eccentric), static (isometric), and lifting (concentric) phase.

Coming Soon:
You'll focus on just the eccentric, as "an eccentric tempo puts your muscle fibers under tension for longer, which should lead to a greater adaptive response and can help your muscles grow much faster," Davidson says.

The Takeaway - the more overall fibers you recruit, the greater your potential for overall strength.

How to Do It
For the first two main lifts, use 80% of your 1 Rep Max. For the accessory work, complete exercises marked A, B, and C back-to-back, resting only after the last exercise is completed.

 Note: For tempo (e.g., 6-0-0) - The first number is the lowering phase of the lift, the second is the pause (in this case there is none), and the third is the up (raising) portion.

Deadlift, 5 sets of 2 reps, Tempo 6-0-0, 120 seconds rest between sets.
Incline Bench Press, 5 x 2 reps, Tempo 6-0-0, 120 seconds rest.
1A) Romanian Deadlift, 3 x 10 reps, Tempo 3-0-3 -> immediately to
1B) Pushup, 3 x 10, Tempo 3-0-3 -> immediately to
1C) Seated Cable Row, 3 x 10, Tempo 3-0-3, 45 seconds rest.
2A) Dumbbell Skull Crusher, 3 x 10 -> immediately to
2B) Bentover Rear Delt Flye, 3 x 10, 45 seconds rest.

Day 3:


This day is all about building muscle through time under tension (TUT), which is achieved with a high rep count. Unlike the other three days, you'll have a little more time to rest between sets and supersets, but you should be reaching failure at 15 reps for every set. "It's still a pretty decent load if you really are pushing yourself hard," Davidson says.

Back Squat, 3 sets of 15 reps, 150 seconds rest between sets.
Bench Press, 3 x 15, 150 secs.
1A) Reverse Dumbbell Lunge, 3 x 15 -> immediately to
1B) Bentover Dumbbell Row, 3 x 15, 45 secs.
2A) Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 15 -> immediately to
2B) Triceps Rope Pressdown -> immediately to
2C) Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 3 x 15, 45 secs.

Day 4:

Performing three full-body exercises as a circuit taxes your major muscles, sends your heart rate soaring, and improves your efficiency in each movement. "Because the volume is reduced by about 50% compared with Day 1, it's not as stressful on the system," Davidson says. "It just feels that way, because while you're doing it, it's just vicious - this workout will kick you in the butt every time you do it."

Complete all three exercises as a circuit. The goal is to get 15 reps per move and to do the reps within 30 seconds - if you get 15 before the second window is over, stop. Rest 30 seconds between exercises, then 2 minutes between rounds.

1A) Deadlift, 4 sets of 15 reps, 30 seconds rest, then to ->
1B) Bench Press, same ->
1C) Squat (either front or back), 4 sets of 15, 2 minutes rest.
Walking, set the incline of the treadmill to 15% and walk at a pace between 2.5 and 3 mph for 20 minutes.

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Last month we introduced you to Mass, an 8-week program that targets one energy system (or pathway) - like your strength, work capacity, conditioning, or amount of muscle mass - per workout to ensure complete development.

In Part Two of Mass, Pat Davidson, a personal trainer in New York City, a former professional strongman, and the creator of this routine, sticks to the same basic formula but changes a few things around. Here's what you can expect during the second block:

 - Two of the four main protocols, "The Deuce" and "Static Shock" will be different compared with last month, while the other two will remain the same but with lower reps. "It's a basic linear progression," Davidson says. "The volume (a.k.a. sets and reps) is going to be cut back a little, but the intensity (weight lifted) is going to be higher."

 - You'll notice that there are two new protocols - "Arm Farm" and "Delt Domination" - added to Day One. While Davidson stands by traditional compound movements such as the squat and bench press for building strength and size, he also acknowledges that every guy wants jacked arms and shoulders. Consider it a gift, a painful one we might add, from him to you.

 - You'll see more timed sets, specifically in "The Deuce." It's a hellish way to build some serious muscular endurance and mental fortitude, but it works. Just ask Davidson, who, at a bodyweight of 225 pounds, squatted 425 for 8 reps and benched 360 for 2 after running this program. If you need to rest at the top of the movement, that's fine, but do not put the weight down at any point

Day 1: The Deuce

Target, Work Capacity
This day is meant to increase the amount of weight you can handle for high reps. Also, this training day will cause a huge release of anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, which will carry over into the rest of your training for the week, making you stronger by bolstering your recovery.

Start with 70% of your 1 Rep Max for both lifts. Perform the bench press for two straight minutes, aiming to accumulate as many reps as possible. Then rest four minutes and repeat for the deadlift. That's one round, and you'll perform three. If you get more than 65 total reps for both moves in one round, increase the load to 80%. If you get 56 to 65 reps, increase the load to 75%. If you accumulate 55 reps of less, keep the weight the same.

And remember, do not put the weight down at any time.

1A) Bench Press, 3 sets, 2 minutes straight, rest 4 minutes, then ->
1B) Deadlift, same as above.

Next, go to . . .
"Arm Farm" -
Perform both protocols once through as a giant circuit. "Do not rest at any point or drop the weight down," Davidson says.

All exercises performed for 10 reps.
Overhead Dumbbell Extension ->
Dumbbell Curl, palms up ->
Dumbbell Skull Crusher ->
Zottman Curl ->
Cheat Hammer Curl ->
Dumbbell Shoulder Press ->
Incline Dumbbell Press.

Now, move on to . . .
"Delt Domination" -

Front Raise ->
Lateral Raise ->
Dumbbell Shoulder Press ->
Incline Dumbbell Press ->
Dumbbell Bench Press.

Day Two

Target: Strength

"Static Strength"
Instead of taking six seconds to lower the bar, as in last month's program, you'll pause at the bottom part of both the incline bench press and the back squat. This isometric hold will increase your muscular stability and also help you produce more power from a static state, carrying over to your regular-speed sets. For "Tempo" the first number represents the lowering portion of the lift, the second one is the static (paused) position, and the last one is the concentric (up) part of the lift.

Use 80% of your 1RM for the first two lifts. As for the accessory work, perform moves marked with with A, B, and C back-to-back, resting only after the last exercise.

Squat, 5 sets of 2 reps, Tempo 0-6-0, 2 minutes rest
Incline Bench Press, same as above
1A) Romanian Deadlift, 3 x 8 reps, Tempo 3-0-3 immediately to ->
1B) Pushup, same as above ->
1C) Cable Row, same as above, 1 minute rest.
2A) Barbell Curl, 3 x 8 -.
2B) Dumbbell Skull Crusher, 3 x 8 ->
2C) Bentover Rear Delt Flye, 3 x 8,  1 minute rest.

Day Three 

Target: Hypertrophy
Like last month, this day will reflect a more traditional bodybuilding-style workout. You'll perform each lift for sets of 12 reps to increase your time under tension (TUT) to trash your muscle fibers so they recover and in turn grow larger.

Perform exercises marked with letters in succession, resting only at the end of each superset.

Deadlift, 3 sets of 12 reps, 150 seconds rest between sets
Bench Press, same as above
1A) Reverse Lunge, 3 x 12, immediately to ->
1B) Dumbbell Row, same as above ->
1C) Dumbbell Curl, 3 x 12, 60 seconds rest.
2A) Rope Pushdown, 3 x 12, immediately to ->
2B) Lateral Raise, 3 x 12, 60 seconds rest.

Day Four

Target: Conditioning
If you followed along last month,then you're no stranger to this arduous protocol that has you perform a circuit of multi-joint movements. This particular workout will still target all your major muscles, jack up your heart rate, and elicit a huge hormonal response. The only difference is that instead of 15 reps, you'll perform 10 but with heavier weight.

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds with the goal of getting 10 reps. (If you get 10 before the 20-second window is done, stop.). Then rest 40 seconds and move on to the next exercise. After you perform all three exercises, rest for three minutes between rounds.

1A) Deadlift, 4 sets of 20 seconds, 40 seconds rest, then to ->
1B) Bench Press, same as above ->
1C) Squat, same as above.
Treadmill Walk, set treadmill at 15% incline and 2.5 to 3 mph and go for 20 minutes.

Delt Training - Vern Weaver (1963)

Article Submitted by Liam Tweed

Usually the average person who has never been concerned about bodybuilding is very impressed by huge shoulders. Maybe you have attained some very impressive measurements such as 18" arms and 28" thighs but unless you have developed a good set of wide shoulders even the average person can sense that there is something missing.

Some very lucky individuals have naturally wide looking shoulders. By naturally wide shoulders I mean someone who has never exercised, but has wide shoulders nonetheless. Aren't you envious? The natural width of the shoulders is constituted by the length of the clavicle bones. The longer the clavicle bones, the wider the shoulders. If we intend to increase our shoulder width beyond the natural width the clavicle bones create we must increase the size of our deltoid muscles. So, let us concern ourselves here with the muscles which cover the shoulder joints, the DELTOIDS. 

The delts consist of three main segments. 

I will refer to the front part as the Anterior segment, the side part as the Lateral segment, and the rear part as the Posterior segment. All exercises found in this article do stimulate the complete deltoid to some extent, however, in most cases one segment will receive more benefit than the others. In order to avoid any unnecessary confusion I shall list each exercise and describe the effects of each. I will also point out the segment which is mostly effected. 

1) Military Press and Dumbbell Press:
These exercises are listed together because the movement is the same, so the effects are almost identical. Regardless of how much weight is used or how many repetitions are employed this exercise will primarily stimulate the anterior segment of the deltoid. 

2) Press (From Forehead Level Off The Rack): 
This (partial range of motion) exercise stimulates the deltoids incredibly. The weight is pushed from about forehead level to lockout position. A maximum amount of weight should be employed. This is one of the very best deltoid exercises in use today. I would say it effects all three segments approximately the same. This aspect makes it even more attractive. Maintain a very erect position. A wider than average grip is advisable. 

You may be seated on a bench if you prefer. In fact it can be of an advantage because you will be able to maintain a more erect position. Naturally this exercise should be done with maximum poundages, however, very good results can be obtained through the normal reps and sets system.

3) Bench Press:
This exercise is used chiefly to develop the muscles of the chest and arms, but as usual it is impossible to do any pressing movements without effecting the deltoids in one way or another. In this case the anterior segments of the deltoids receive a thorough workout. Most better than average bench pressers will a superior anterior deltoid development. Please take note.

4) Cleaning Movement:
This is another exercise which affects the complete deltoid muscle. It would be very hard to isolate the effects of this particular exercise to any one of the three segments, therefore it serves as a very good all-around deltoid exercise not to mention the other benefits derived from this movement.

5) Dumbbell Laterals On Bench:    
This exercise stimulates the anterior deltoid muscle much the same as the bench press except for the stretching movement involved. The higher (toward the head) the dumbbells are forced the more deltoid action you derive.

6) Standing Dumbbell Laterals:
This exercise stimulates the entire deltoid, but it mainly effects the lateral segment. This is a general favorite of bodybuilders throughout the world. The results which can be obtained from this exercise are limitless.

7) Forward Dumbbell Raise:
Again, as usual this exercise effects the entire deltoid, but in this case the anterior segment is the primary target. When this exercise is done slowly and concentrated one can obtain maximum contractions in the deltoids. It is a good exercise to obtain muscular separation of the deltoids.

8) Chinning:
Although this exercise stimulates many body parts the posterior deltoids receive a severe workout. Anyone who does a great abundance of chins will develop very superior posterior deltoids.

9) Bentover Rowing:
This type of rowing works the posterior segment of the deltoids, although it is considered a good lat exercise. Many men have used this exercise in order to get that big, w-i-d-e look and this exercise will do it.

10) Forward Incline Dumbbell Lateral:
Last but not least by any means is the forward incline lateral raise. It is a fabulous exercise for the posterior deltoid. I certainly recommend this exercise.

Two Arm 

One Arm 

All of the 10 exercises listed are very well known and need little explanation. I am sure you employ most of them in your present routines. In fact there are many of you who do most of them in each exercise period. There is a possibility that you may be doing too many exercises which target the deltoids and the result is that you are overworking them. Don't do too many at any one training session! 

True, the deltoids are a strong group of muscles but they are not of great mass and one must be careful not to overtrain them. The lifter puts great stress and strain on them while exercising many other body parts.  Every time a lifter makes a lift he puts unusual stress on the deltoids in one way or another. 
If you have noticed there are some lifters who do not have sufficient deltoid development to withstand the necessary stress and strain of lifting. These same individuals train like madmen on the Press in order to increase their pressing poundage. The main reason they cannot gain is because they continually overwork their deltoids. Some people can survive such punishment, but most cannot. If one keeps in mind that his deltoids are one of his MOST VULNERABLE BODY PARTS he will make much more progress in the long run. 
Naturally it is necessary to train rather heavy in order to obtain superior deltoid development, but you must not handle too many heavy weights in a single workout because you will not recuperate before the next scheduled workout period. 
Try to list several upper body exercises you can do when you have a "bum" shoulder. You will find that you are very limited. This proves just how important your deltoids really are. Many bodybuilders are so interested in getting big lats and pecs that they forget all about the deltoids.
To me there is nothing worse than a lifter with well-developed lats and pecs that are lacking equally developed deltoids. This type of development very unnatural and phony looking. Even in Mr. America competitions you can find this type of development, so as you can see it is not very unusual. This fact does not rectify the case. The only thing that could possibly remedy the situation would be proper training methods. Even more basic than that . . . COMMON SENSE. 
General Application
If your deltoids are definitely lagging in development you should do something about it. Base all your upper body routine around your deltoids. Do your heavy pressing and cleaning movements first in your routine. Place your other body parts as secondary. All the exercises listed above are very good ones. Regardless of which exercises you choose, very favorable results can be obtained if you follow my simple suggestions. 
I realize that there are other body parts to be considered during every workout, so in order to avoid overworking the delts try doing two (2) heavy exercises listed in this article. NO MORE. Do approximately 5 sets of 5 reps. You should choose at least one shaping exercise listed also. Approximately 3-4 sets of 8 reps. NO MORE. Remember, the heavy exercises encourage more growth than you may realize! 
Otherwise continue in your usual manner. This simple change could make a day and night difference in your development and strength. I certainly wish you the very best. 
Vern Weaver

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Excerpt From "The Art of Lifting" by Greg Nuckols and Omar Isuf (2015)

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Chapter 17: Results

The book of Matthew has some of the best advice for life and lifting disputes -
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

As the old saying goes, "You can't argue with success."

One of my pet peeves is seeing someone comment on an 800-pound deadlifter's video, "He's doing his reps touch and go. That doesn't build strength," or comment on a pro bodybuilder's video, "He's doing half reps. That doesn't build size."

Excuse me.

The results are directly in front of you. Unless you're saying they're magicians performing illusions, the results are undeniable.

Using these examples, maybe resetting every rep of the deadlift might be better for most people, and maybe full range of motion exercises tend to produce more hypertrophy than partial range of motion exercises. But to see success directly in front of you and then say the means someone used to attain it don't work is to deny reality.

Maybe something could work better, or maybe something works for reasons that the proponent doesn't understand (low-carb diets usually fall into this category; when people cut out all their carbs, they usually end up eating fewer calories, but it's the reduced calories that caused the weight loss, not the lack of carbs), but those are entirely different scenarios from flatly saying it doesn't work.

An example I like to use for this is DAILY MAX SQUATTING. It was popularized by the Bulgarian weightlifting coach Ivan Abadjiev in the 1980s and produced some of the strongest weightlifters of all time. It is exactly what it sounds like - working up to a near-max squat every day or almost every day of the week.

The whole bit earlier in this book about the general volume and intensity ranges that tend to be most beneficial? Yeah, that's out the window (at least how most people apply it. If you've downloaded the Bulgarian Manual, you know that to make this style of training even more effective, you end up training in a manner that is much more "kosher." But I digress.

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Daily max training defies a lot of the basics of modern periodization theory except for the SAID principle. But it works - if your body can handle it. For me personally, as a drug-free lifter, I added almost 100 pounds to my squat in 10 weeks by walking into a gym, working up to the heaviest set of squats I could manage with good form and no psychological arousal, wrapping up my squat training for the day, and repeating the process 6 to 7 days per week. Volume was "too low," intensity was "too high," frequency was WAY "too high: . . . and none of that mattered, because it worked. 

Again, that's not to say it's the universal best approach for all people at all times, and it's not saying that perhaps something else couldn't have worked better for me at that time. But, however you look at it, IT DID WORK.

Identifying trends of things that usually produce results or that should produce results is worthwhile, but keep an open mind and don't automatically write off something that is counter-intuitive conceptually but that's getting people the desired outcomes in practice. 

Chapter 21: Contentment and Quality of Life

This is the last thing I want to leave you with in our Stuff That Matters discussion.

Picking things up and putting them down is a hobby.

There are things that REALLY matter in life. Close friends and loved ones, cultivating empathy, providing for yourself and your dependents financialy, etc. 

Unless your ability to pick up heavy things or your ability to pose on stage or in front of a camera is contributing to those things and putting food on your table, it's a hobby.

That's not to say hobbies are unimportant. They give us a sense of release from the grind of day-to-day life, they help us keep our sanity, they give us personal depth, they give us a sense of fulfillment via mastering skills, and a host of other things. Heck, the gym may even be your "third place," which many consider essential for the cohesiveness of human communities. 

However, never forget context. 

Does lifting give you more confidence, help you be a better spouse/parent/friend, alleviate stress, and help contribute to a sense of enjoyment of life, self-worth, and achievement? Great! You're doing it 100% right. If you never gain another pound of muscle, or never hit another PR, but working out continues to fulfill those other purposes to contribute to the really important things in life, you're doing it right.  

Does lifting stress you out, distract you from the people and interactions around you, make you feel like you'll never be good enough, and detract from the more meaningful aspects of life? If so, it's irrelevant what you achieve in the gym or in a sport. It if builds your body up while tearing the rest of your life down, you're doing it wrong, your physique or PRs be damned. 

Because, keep in mind - this is a hobby. Pursuing gains isn't a reasonable excuse for missing work, skipping family gatherings, neglecting time with your friends, or feeling bad about yourself.

It should be fun, it should be challenging, and it should enhance the rest of your life, not consume it.

Forearms - Bradley Steiner (1979)


Chuck Sipes

Casey Viator

Frank McGrath 

Massive Forearms Can Be Yours
by Bradley Steiner (1979)

There's certainly no denying that large upper arm muscles rate high in popularity among bodybuilders. This has always been the case, as far back as I can remember, and, judging from some of the routines being urged today as "guaranteed to build 20"-plus biceps," huge upper arms STILL promise to rank high on the lift of "must have" items on the agenda of the bodybuilder of the 21st century! 

Still, even considering the importance attached to the biceps and triceps, it is impossible to overlook the enormously impressive appearance that powerful, large FOREARMS impart to their possessor! I am, I admit frankly, more impressed by a pair of rugged looking forearms and thick wrists than I am by over-bloated biceps. 

Forearm muscles are PRACTICAL muscles. And I don't mean "practical" for impressing some idiot who gasps when he shakes a strong man's hand. I mean that well-developed forearms are - OF ALL THE MUSCLES IN THE ARM ASSEMBLY - the singularly most useful for practical, everyday needs. On the job, good forearm development makes work easier, and delays fatigue brought about by working with one's hands. At play, strong forearms often permit us to play a better game of tennis, maintain a better control in golf, etc. And, in an emergency, a hefty pair of strong forearms can be a formidable aid in self-defense. In climbing a rope, ladder, or scaling an obstacle, the forearms are brought more heavily into play than any of the arms' muscle groups. And tell truth: Don't you envy the guy who, in normal street attire, rolls up his sleeves nonchalantly and reveals massively bulging sinewy forearm development? 

The Bone Structure Question

To start off I want to make it clear that your inherent bone structure will determine, to a degree, how much forearm and wrist development you can obtain. The most massively-impressive forearms can be attained, obviously, by those who start with the most favorable natural potential - the endomorphs and mesomorphs (big-boned and medium-boned people, respectively). Small-boned people (like myself) have the disadvantage of not being able to develop size that is actually "huge," yet still, these small-boned trainees can often LOOK huge, because even an slight, slight size increase shows up tremendously anywhere on the slender natural frame. 

So, nobody can be a loser in this quest for forearm development. Only a few exceptional people can build forearms like clubs, but all of us can guild a good pair of forearms - with effort! 

How the Forearms Work

The forearm muscles work when:
a) The wrists bend or turn
b) The fingers clench
c) The hands hold onto something
d) The arms support and lift.

Quite obviously, from the list above, you can see that the forearms come into play OFTEN, even when we are engaged in activities far removed from training.

The key to organizing an effective forearm specialization course is to duplicate an intense form of workload that forces the forearms to exert themselves in a manner conducive to their growth.

One particular myth that has build up around forearm development (and that I'd just as soon clear out of the way now) is the notion that forearms are an especially "troublesome" part of the body to develop, or are, in many cases, "the most difficult" body muscle to build. Nonsense. Forearm training, put simply, is TOUGH and PAINFUL. But if you do it, you'll build big forearms, and it will only be a short time until you do! 

I am going to introduce you to a rather special piece of training equipment. It is easily made up from an ordinary dumbbell bar, and is called a "leverage bar" or "leverage bell." All this is is a dumbbell loaded with a moderate weight AT ONE END ONLY. When the free end is grasped and held, the weighted exerts a force of leverage against the grip retaining the bar, and thus the name "leverage" bar. There is probably no finer device in existence for developing all-round forearm size and power. And here I am taking into consideration the "wrist roller" device when I say this.

To make up a leverage bar simply remove the sleeve from one of your dumbbell bars and use two collars to lock a small (say 2.5 to 5 lb.) plate at one end. That's all you need to do! This leverage bar can, incidentally, be improvised by using a 15 inch length of strong broomstick and cementing a cement-filled tin can on one end. You'll never need a heavy weight in the exercise I'm going to teach you, so a homemade, improvised leverage bell of fixed-weight is just fine.

Here is a book chapter by David Willoughby on Leverage Bell Forearm Training: 

Stand erect and hold the leverage bar at your side, arm straight down. Slowly raise the bar until it points directly forward. Hold it, feeling the force of gravity all the time. Now lift the bar to a position where it is pointing upward, all the time keeping your arm at your side, and using wrist and forearm strength alone. Lower the bar deliberately to the side, then repeat the sequence. I would suggest that this be done in the following set/rep scheme, every-other-day: 

3 sets of 12 complete reps, each arm. The important thing, I caution you, is FORM. It matters not a bit how little weight is on the bar. In fact, for many new pupils, the bar alone might be enough, with even 1.25 lb. plates being too much resistance!

This is a leverage-resistance movement, please remember. That means that it HAS TO FEEL AWKWARD. That very "awkwardness" is what's making the exercise productive. It is imposing an unusual stress on the forearm muscles - one they'd not normally get. 

One other excellent exercise: 

Stand as you did before, holding the bar at one side. Now move the weighted end in a complete and deliberate circle using the strength of the supporting hand and forearm ONLY, until one full repetition - one way - is completed. Reverse the circle, and do a full movement in the opposite direction. Repeat. I suggest 3 sets of 12 circles (6 each way) per arm. 

The wrist roller is a good forearm developer, but I don't think everyone can gain well from using it. Personally, I find it effective, but I recall instances where I placed people on a wrist roller schedule and the results were, to put it politely, marginal.

I suggest that, if you're interested in developing your forearms, you TRY the wrist roller, to see how well you respond to its use. You needn't buy one (though they're very inexpensive). You can make one from any short, thick, rounded length of wood by drilling a half-inch diameter hole through the center. Pass a two-foot length strong cord through the hole, knot one end, and presto . . . you've got a wrist roller! Tie a weight to the free end of the cord and you're ready to stand on a block or a bench and "roll" the weight up on the wooded support by turning both ends of the piece. When the weight reaches the top, "unroll" it, and roll it again when the rope is fully unwound. Again, some people gain on this and others don't. It's worth a try- that's for sure! I recommend the following as a good wrist roller routine: 

Wind and unwind steadily for 10 minutes without a rest, using a moderate weight, and forcing the wrists and forearms to do all the real work. Do this every other day. NOT in conjunction with the leverage bar exercises. 

Finally, WRIST CURLING with a light barbell rates very high as an excellent forearm builder. This exercise has not, to my knowledge, been known to fail in helping anyone who used it correctly, to build great forearms.  

Hold a light barbell in your hands - palms up, as for curls - and sit down on a bench or stool, permitting the forearms to rest on the thighs, hands extended with the bar in their grasp. Permitting only the wrists to bend, lower the hands and raise them rapidly, while maintaining a tight, TIGHT grip on the bar. Speed it up! Don't count reps! Keep going! After a while your hands and fingers will burn unbearably. This is never harmful, so don't worry. Gradually, your wrists and fingers will seem to melt and fall apart. The bar will then drop to the floor. At that point (if you push that hard - and you should) you'll notice that your forearms grew about an inch! They'll feel so congested and tight that it may worry you. Well, stop worrying. Do another set instead. Same way.

Wrist curls can be done with palms facing down as well, if that style suits your fancy. In fact, I'm going to give you this variation in your program, which is to come shortly.

Whenever doing any exercise for the forearms always keep in mind that THE TIGHTER YOUR GRIP THE BAR, THE BETTER THE RESULTS WILL BE. You can increase the value of any forearm exercise you do simply by tightening your grip on the bar.

A Forearm Specialization Routine

Up to now I discussed the major and best forearm exercises, with recommendations on how to use them in the most efficient set/rep schemes. Now, let me outline two fundamental forearm routines, the first for a relative beginner, and the second for a rather advanced fellow. Remember these basic pointers regardless of which routine you employ:

1) Train three days a week. NO MORE. 

2) Always work as STRICTLY as possible, and with as much concentration on correct movement as you can muster. 

3) Do not train slowly - try to keep a forceful, rapid pace when training forearms. 

4) Use a weight that is only as heavy as you can properly manage.

5) Keep a tight, TIGHT grip on your bar! 

A Beginner's Course

1) Seated palms-up barbell wrist curls, 1 set of 30 reps

2) Seated palms-down barbell wrist curls, 1 set of 15-20 reps, done as soon as possible after the first exercise. 

3) Leverage bar circles, 1 set of 16 reps, each arm (8 circles each way before changing sides).

An Advanced Forearm Course

1) Warm up with 5 minutes of fast wrist roller work

2)  Seated palms-up wrist curls, doing 2 sets with a moderate weight VERY FAST until the weight falls out of your hands. 

3) Seated palms-down wrist curls, doing 2 sets with a moderate weight VERY FAST until the weight falls out of your hands.

4) Leverage bar combination movement: This merely incorporates the two basic leverage bar exercises into one, and is done as a single exercise. Holding the bar in the arm-along-side starting position, do one full, regular straight raise to an "up" position. Now, from there, do a complete circle, on one direction. Do a reverse circle, ending up in the "up" position. Lower to the side and repeat the entire sequence, 1 set of 6 movements each arm. 

No one can guarantee you'll develop the proverbial blacksmith's forearms, but I'll promise you great gains if you give one of these routines an all-out effort. Follow as schedule for six weeks, then discontinue specialization or staleness with set in. By the end of six weeks you ought to have a pair of forearms that puts your present ones to shame.

Here are some final tips:

Try extra hard to literally CRUSH the bar in your hands when doing any form of arm, shoulder, chest, or back exercise, as this sort of added effort adds materially to forearm exertion. Also, remember to make the still-legged deadlift with NORMAL GRIP your back exercise, instead of standard deadlifts - since this exercise most affects your forearms strongly. If possible, try your hand at rope climbing. This activity produces and maintains fantastic grip and forearm strength.

With the thoughts and instructions I've given you in mind, you can rest assured that you now know what is necessary in order to build a great pair of forearms. Only one thing is needed beyond the knowledge, and that is the doing . . .   


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