Courtesy of Liam Tweed
The next post will be on Diet, also by Steiner.
They fit together very well.
It seems that two problems, or questions, are uppermost in the minds of Iron Man's readers. The first is, "How can I gain weight?" The second question is by far the more common, and when you come right down to it, if one understands how to answer and solve this particular problem, then number one takes care of itself.
That is, you CAN'T follow a well-planned bulking schedule without packing a lot of beef onto your arms. You might think that all a gaining program will do is "fatten you up," but I'll tell you quite honestly that the average barbell trainee will make umpteen times the gains - ON HIS ARMS - from following a good all-round gaining routine, than he will from following all of the super-blitzing arm specialization schedules yet devised. The reason is simple.
The arms DO NOT possess very heavy or powerful muscle groups. They tend (with hard gainers and small-framed individuals) to BREAK DOWN MORE THAN THEY BUILD UP, if the trainee tries to "bomb" or "blast" his limbs to super-rapid gains. On the other hand, when a bulking routine (emphasizing leg and back exercises) is employed, then the INDIRECT action that the arms receive from the extremely heavy holding, lifting, pulling, pressing, etc., serve to COAX them into making the best gains possible. Only very slight localized (isolation-type) exercise is then needed for the arms -- when a good bulking schedule is followed. In fact, one set of moderately heavy curls included in a bulk-up routine should be MORE than enough work to bring about downright spectacular gains in forearm and bicep size and strength.
So, if you've been hammering your head against your flat bench because your arms won't budge in size (and perhaps they're slipping backward a little), or if you're among the (far from silent!) majority who desire a pleasingly developed, well shaped, bulky physique (instead of your present sparrow-like dimensions), I think that it will pay you well to devote very careful attention to this month's training routine, and the advice contained in this article. It's probably the solution to your problem.
The key exercise in the bulking routine that we shall here is, of course, the SQUAT. But you're going to be using it in a variety of ways for the duration of a four month period.
The aim of this routine will be to build lots of good, solid bodyweight -- and to do it fast. Follow the course exactly as you find it enumerated here, and you'll be a different person four months from now. You'll be heavy, strong, and very well prepared to go on and build the limit in superman development.
But before you plunge into your training, let me suggest the following:
First, take a nice, clear week off from any training you may have been doing. I assure you that if you start this program (which is quite severe) when you're rested and fresh, you'll make infinitely greater progress in the long run.
Second, cut out ALL other physically demanding sports and pastimes until you're bulked up to the level you desire. You will only slow your progress by detracting from the energy that might better be spent on your workouts.
Third, drink two quarts of whole milk every single day while you're on this gaining routine. This, in itself, will do more to insure an abundantly adequate protein intake than all of the supplements you could use, and the two quarts of milk cost much less, too!
Fourth, sleep eight hours or more each and every night.
Fifth, gorge yourself on lots of meats, eggs, fish, poultry, peanut butter, spaghetti, macaroni, and interestingly enough, baked potatoes. This last is especially great for gaining (not just any potatoes, but BAKED potatoes -- because you can eat the skin -- and the skin is the most nutritious part.
Remember those points, because to the extent that you adhere to them, they will materially add to the progress that you make in your training.
Remember this also: You must constantly strive to perform your exercises with the MAXIMUM poundage of which you are capable, without cheating. I get lots of mail from guys who say that they just can't use the limit poundages that I advocate. Apparently these gents misunderstand what I'm talking about when I speak of "limit poundages." I mean the maximum weight for YOU as an individual, in accordance with your PRESENT level of development -- weights that you can use in correct lifting style, for the required numbers of reps and sets. I an NOT speaking of arbitrarily drawn up poundage schedules that I am insisting you force your body to adjust to. This is absurd. I try to be reasonable, and I don't suggest that you exercise with poundages approaching Reg Park's, unless you happen to be as strong as Reg Park. This isn't asking too muchy of you Iron Man readers, is it?
Simply strive to work to YOUR limit. Of course, you must always, always, always, ALWAYS try to keep pushing that particular limit up just a wee bit more as the weeks pass . . . for this is the secret of continued gains in strength and development.
Without some scheme of trying to work with heavier and still heavier weights, you'll only reach a standstill in the progress that you make.
And now for your program.
I want you to keep a record of the work you do during the four month schedule. Record your routines, exercises, sets, reps, poundages, etc., in a nice, stiff-backed notebook -- and also keep a small notation of how you feel at the completion of each workout. If you find that, for example, you train for three consecutive sessions and are consistently lethargic, then you'll have provided yourself with a kind of "reminder" to really wake up and WORK starting with your next workout. Should you see, on the other hand, that you're quite satisfied with your progress, GREAT! Seeing just those very words right there on paper will serve to inspire you to even greater efforts (and hence better gains) in future training sessions.
You might think that small items -- such as this record keeping which I'm suggesting -- are actually a mere trifle, but keep this very important point in mind: NOTHING THAT MAY HELP YOU TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS CAN BE CONSIDERED "UNNECESSARY. I've always found that keeping a training record helps immeasurably, and I've spoken to several other men in the weight game who agree 100 percent.
Hoping that you've assimilated the advice I've just given you -- and hoping that you shall always keep it in mind as you train -- here is your first month's schedule:
1) Warm up with prone hyperextensions, 2 x 15-20
2) Breathing Squat, 1 x 20
3) Light Breathing Pullovers with Dumbbells, 1 x 15
4) Stiff Legged Deadlift, 2 x 15
5) Bench Press 2 x 10
6) Bentover Barbell Row, 4 x 10
7) Straddle Lift, 2 x 10
8) Press, 2 x 8-10
Follow that schedule on three alternate days per week, for ONE month. That's a total of only twelve workouts on the routine -- yet, if you work hard enough, eat well, and get enough rest -- then it will be just enough to start triggering gains all over your body, and coaxing your metabolism into piling some bulk on your frame. And it will prepare you for your second month's routine:
1) Warm up with rapid flip snatches, 2 x 6
2) Alternate Dumbbell Press, 2 x 10
3) Close Grip Barbell Curl, 1 x 10-12
4) Breathing Squat, 2 x 15
5) Breathing Pullovers after each squat set, 2 x 15-20
6) Bench Press, 2 x 10
7) Stiff Legged Deadlift, 2 x 15
8) Bentover Barbell Row, 3 x 12-15
Follow that schedule for another month. Three days a week on alternate days. After two months you ought to be in really high gear so here's a routine that you should use for your third month of training that will jolt your rapidly growing muscles into a slightly new "groove" and keep 'em growing:
1) Warm up with leg raises, 1 x 15-25
2) Press Behind Neck, 4 x 8
3) Squat (in breathing style with absolute limit poundages) 5 x 8-10
4) Lying Breathing Flyes between each set of squats, 5 x 10
5) Bench Press, 4 x 6
6) Power Clean, 5 x 5
7) Good Mornings, 5 x 5
After this third month you should be approaching the the kind of body size you're after, if indeed you haven't already attained it -- so, for the fourth month (three days per week), let's wind up this bulk program with a schedule that will see your physique changing even more:
1) Warm up with rapid flip snatches, 2 x 6
2) Seated Press Behind Neck, 4 x 5-8
3) Breathing Squat with all the weight you can possibly handle, 1 x 20
4) Breathing Pullovers after squats, 1 x 25
5) Stiff Legged Deadlift, 3-4 x 15
6) Bench Press, 4 x 5-8
7) Bentover Barbell Row, 5 x 10-12
8) Barbell Curl, 2 x 8-10
There's your four month trip to bigger and better gains in strength and development. You could be a new man if you start on this program and stick with it. You'll get big, strong, and well built.
That's what you want, isn't it?
Next: more on diet.