Peary Rader's Note: Many years ago a man by the name of Roger Eells in Columbus, Ohio who was suffering with TB and not given long to live decided to do something about his condition.
Long study and search led him to barbell exercise and subsequently, he developed what we call the breathing squat.
In a short time, by use of this system, he was able to transform his thin, sickly physique into a really great body and erase the damages of tuberculosis. He subsequently operated a health studio on Columbus and later went into the ministry. Basically, the following article by Mr. Salisbury is a similar system with some modifications he has found useful, but don't go into it unless you want hard work and people with organic disorders should not attempt it.
Several variations of this system have been developed, and we may bring you others at a later date.
Assuming that 10 hours of weight training will produce X amount of muscle,
then surely 20 hours will produce 2X.
UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS NOT THE CASE.
This is just a theory and only one thing is certain for the genuine hard gainer,
THIS THEORY IS FULL OF HOLES.
If your deepest desire is to build for yourself a Herculean physique that oozes power and granite toughness, and so far all the workouts you have done haven't produced any worthwhile gains, then ask yourself this question:
WHY ARE YOU WASTING SO MUCH OF YOUR PRECIOUS TIME AND ENERGY EMPLOYING A METHOD OF TRAINING THAT OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU?
If you continue to sweat blood training in a way that does not yield the results you desire, then you as a hard gainer will probably suffer the frustration of not achieving anything remotely like your goal.
As a hard gainer, you can take heart in one fact: you're different from the average bodybuilder. This means, you won't be following the crowd, you can experiment and think for yourself. Determine to discover a personalized system of training which will produce the maximum gains possible for you and then stick with it.
The late George F. Jowett spent his childhood as a frail weakling. Unfortunately, in those days, any vigorous form of physical activity was frowned upon for people in his condition Nevertheless, despite the general consensus of opinion, young Jowett threw caution to the wind and spurred on by the determination to develop a robust body, he exercised in secrecy. Perseverance always succeeds. Eventually he became one of the strongest men of this time and was acknowledged as a leading authority on the subject of bodybuilding. In his writings, Jowett stressed an extremely important fact: "Build your chest from the inside out. Herein lies the secret of phenomenal gains for hard gainers, therefore let us analyze the mechanics behind this training philosophy, once you grasp the deeper meaning behind it, it will be like dynamite in your hands, you'll be on the road to the greatest gains of your life.
The development you will eventually achieve is determined to a great degree by the strength of your legs. From these facts, a picture emerges. When you work your legs really hard, not only your legs but your rib box also is affected. When your rib box starts to grow, everything starts to grow. You gain fantastically all over. In a nutshell, when you increase the size of your rib box, you increase your overall size.
Most exercises and training routines don't really cater to the internal needs of the hard gainer's body. The breathing squat is an exercise that works the body brutally hard both inside and out. Besides being an excellent leg exercise, it is responsible for more genuine 50 inch chests than all other exercises put together. Squats will adjust the metabolism, increase the appetite and improve the assimilation.
If any well-meaning bodybuilder tells you he's tried breathing squats and didn't gain, don't listen. Everyone who uses them will gain if he eats right and works hard enough. If he doesn't, there is something wrong with him, and anyone who isn't in good health won't be capable of doing breathing squats correctly anyway.
The following chest specialization program utilizes this amazing exercise to full advantage. The sooner your make a start the sooner you can wave goodbye to your skinny body.
(a) Warm up the knees and lower back with light squats, stretching and bending.
(b) Position a well padded barbell across the back of your shoulders. Use a light weight which you are capable of handling for 10-12 repetitions. Start to squat, keep your back flat and use a controlled fluid movement. Parallel is as low as you need to descend. DON'T crash to the bottom and bounce back -- your knees won't thank you for it. Important, BREATHE THREE TIMES BETWEEN REPETITIONS. Descend on full lungs and breathe out whilst rising to the starting position. Simply taking deep breaths isn't good enough. You should forcibly inhale to stretch those ribs, make them real lung busters. As the reps proceed, increase the inhalations to six or more. When you reach the twelfth rep, don't stop; it's imperative that you continue . . . you're going all the way to twenty. Each repetition may seem like your last. Your grip is starting to give out, your shoulders ache and you feel drained. Only sheer will power and determination can keep you going when your body is ready to quit. Hang on -- grit your teeth -- force out those reps. You must realize that it is essential to complete the twenty repetitions with at least three to six huge breaths between each one. Make no mistake, it is grueling work, but if your desire for big muscles is the kind that burns inside, you will complete the set and each week add a further five pounds to the bar.
(c) When you're finished, don't collapse. Instead, lie supine across a flat bench and execute twenty perfect strait arm pullovers. Breathe in while lowering the weight to arms length behind you and out as it is returned to the starting position above the face. Only use a light weight, twenty pounds is plenty and don't forget, put the emphasis on the breathing.
"To get big -- enlarge your rib box!" urged John McCallum, a staunch advocate of the breathing squat.
"As your rib box grows, your chest deepens, your shoulders widen, your whole upper body potential increases fantastically."
(d) Finally, perform three sets of seated calf raises. Place the same barbell you used for the squats across your knees (make sure it's padded), and use a sturdy block under your toes. Full contractions and full extensions. Work you calves until they ache right down to the bone.
These three exercises will work miracles if you apply yourself correctly. In three or four weeks time, when you have developed sufficient stamina, you can add a further set of squats followed by another set of pullovers. Utilize this second set in exactly the same way as the previous one, but reduce the weight of the bar by 20%.
Here is the complete leg-chest specialization routine:
Breathing squats, 20 reps
Straight arm pullovers, 20 reps
Breathing squats (20% reduction), 20 reps
Straight arm pullovers, 20 reps
Seated calf raises, 3 x max
It must be stressed that this is extremely intense work, so do not on any account attempt more than two sets of these special squats (in some cases one set may be more than efficient). These two sets should drain your energy levels completely. If you are capable of doing more. then you haven't been working anywhere near hard enough.
It would be madness to embark on a program like this without paying careful attention to your diet. You need three square meals a day with plenty of protein. Develop a taste for milk, build up slowly to a minimum intake of two quarts per day.
Use this specialization program three times a week. Stick with it for three months if you can. When you go back to regular training you'll be surprised at how fast your muscles will grow. This is because your new bulk will soon make the old poundages seem light, consequently, you'll be able to handle heavier weights. Also, your internal processes will be much more efficient therefore your muscles will grow at an unbelievable rate. This, of course, is the aftereffect of working so hard on the breathing squat.
A good way to train if you need to gain a lot of weight (say 80 or 90 pounds) is to alternate this specialization routine with normal training -- three months special squat program, three months normal routine, then back to the squat program, etc.
If you possess the capacity to train in this way for two or more years, the inevitable transformation would be phenomenal; not only would you be the proud owner of a deep, powerful chest which would give your vital organs plenty of room to function, but you would also be extremely muscular and incredibly strong.
They say a thousand mile journey starts with the first step.
This journey starts with the first set of breathing squats.
Enjoy Your Lifting!