Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mini Routines for Maxi Gains - Anthony Ditillo

Top Photo - Paul Anderson at the Paul Anderson Youth Home.
Middle - Bob Galluci squatting with a Magic Circle.
Bottom - Vasily Alexiev.

Some time ago I wrote an article entitled "These Three Exercises Will Give You Fantastic Size and Power." Since I had received many letters and reports from trainees all over the world telling me how much they enjoyed the article and, more importantly, how much they gained in size and strength after trying the routine, I have decided to write up a few more such articles from time to time, so that you hard gainers will have a selection of routines to use whenever staleness or periods of no progress depress you into inactivity.

The theory behind working extremely hard on only two or three movements in order to overcome training staleness or to stimulate faster bodyweight, size and power gains is not new, for Peary Rader has been advising thin fellows and hard gainers to do just that for many, many years. But sometimes a younger fellow is hesitant to follow the advice of an older man when it comes to weight training, whereas, if another younger fellow offers him the SAME advice, he will unhesitatingly agree to give it a try, and it is for this reason that I am writing this article.

It wasn't so long ago when my arms measured fifteen and a half inches and I had a chest which measured all of forty-four! I was as weak as a kitten and as massive as a hat rack and many people who know me then would not recognize me if they saw me now! For one thing thing, my chest is just under fifty-six and my arms just under twenty-one pumped and, while I freely admit I am carrying some lard as well as muscle, I still favor my present appearance to my former one!

One of the first things I had to learn before I really began to gain was how to properly use my training energy without overtraining. Believe me, this can be very hard to finally come to grips with, because when you're young and ambitious and have plenty of free time, it is easy to fall into the trap of training all too frequently and much too much. This has probably happened to you and it most assuredly happened to me.

One of the biggest mistakes an intermediate or beginning trainee can make is to try to emulate the workouts of the "champions." This type of intensive, gut-busting training bay be alright for Franco Columbu or Bill Kazmaier bit it is certain suicide for the fledging bodybuilder or size and power seeker. This kind of advanced work necessitates that you're in tip-top muscular shape to begin with from ten to fifteen years of agonizing hard work and sweat. This kind of work is for perfecting the almost perfect physique for competition with the world's finest strength athletes. It is not for any one who is just starting out, it is not for the underweight trainee and it is not for fellows like you or me! I have been training for around nine years and if I tried to follow a Mr. Universe's training routine for any length of time I'd fall flat on my face. And believe it or not, so would you. You must minimize the amount of training time and effort into intensive, short workouts on two or three basic movements in order to gain quickly in size and strength or you are going to shrink instead of grow.

I train with a fellow who is really coming up fast in size and strength. His name is Steve and he's been training with us at the Elizabeth YMCA for about seven months now. Steve has an upper body that is out of this world. His deltoids and pectorals are massive, thick and loaded with striations. His back looks a yard wide and lumpy with muscle and his arms are finely shaped with high, thick biceps peak and massive horseshoe triceps. With a few months of thigh specialization he'd be good enough to enter in national competition. This is what I am presently trying to talk him into doing. And when he feels ready, I'd like to do a story on him.

Steve trains six days a week with workouts which last three to four hours. He is one of the hardest workers I've ever seen in the gym and I've already told you about his great physique, but even though he gained training the way he does, this doesn't mean you or I could do the same thing.

I have seen this fellow train his chest and shoulders with such ferocity it is enough to awe and inspire you, but in all honesty, I would not advise his routine to any of you. This is why I haven't listed it here for you to see. I'd be afraid some of you would try to copy it! I know such tales are stimulating and encourage you to train harder but as I said before, overtraining is suicide for the underweight man and severe training is only for th fellows with years of hard work and experience. In order to follow a champion's routine you must already be big, big enough so you can afford a few inches here or there in order to get into top muscular shape. Now do any of you fellows reading this feel you're big enough already???

The following workout is short, concise, and very hard. It is not for those of you who are afraid of hard work nor is it for those of you who like to pump up with light weights. It is a workout for a man and it will make QUITE a man out of anyone who cares to try it. It will not only build a fine looking physique but it will also bring, with the newly acquired muscles, much power.

This routine can be followed three times per week. However, if after being on it a week or two you feel that it is too strenuous, then cut it down to twice weekly, but remember: Follow all movements as described and in the given order. Strive to handle the heaviest weights possible and finally, follow the advised diet.

1.) Full Squat: Begin with a weight comfortable for twelve repetitions. Now load the bar to a weight heavy enough for five, possibly six reps and perform three sets with this weight. For the next set, load the bar for a weight comfortable for eight reps and perform this last set for as many reps as possible. Rest as long as necessary between sets but try not to rest too long. About three minutes is right.

2.) Clean and Press: Power clean the weight for these presses and perform the press slowly and strictly and NOT in the Olympic manner. Begin with a warmup set of eight repetitions. Now jump the weight for six reps, then four reps, and finally two clean and presses with your heaviest weight. If you wish you can now drop down to a weight you can clean and press around ten times and this last set will really work your muscles, heart, internal organs and metabolism quite hard. Be sure to return the weight to the floor after each press and then clean it again for your next repetition. In this way, for every clean you do, you also press, and vice versa. Rest as long as necessary between each set but do not dawdle.

3.) Bent Arm Pullovers: This is the last movement in your mini-routine. The squats and clean and presses have worked the major muscles quite hard and tis last movement will the finishing touches on the routine. Primarily the chest, shoulders and upper back are worked hard with this movement and I am sure you fellows will enjoy the pump and muscle growth ache this movement will give you. Begin with a set of twelve for a warmup and then jump to two sets of four to six reps using the heaviest weight possible. For a final set, drop the weight so that at least eight reps are granted without undue effort. Be sure to breathe deeply between each repetition and be sure to perform each repetition slowly and strictly for best results. Rest as long as necessary between each set.

All in all you have performed only fourteen sets during this entire workout. Yet you have worked up to heavy weights in three of the most severe and result producing movements you can find. This entire routine shouldn't take more than one and a half hour's work and this is really too long! It really shouldn't take more than an hour and fifteen minutes. Couple this routine with an one of the bulk gaining diets that are published regularly and get enough rest and sleep throughout the week and I'm positive you will gain greatly. Finally, if any of you want further information concerning such bulk training, feel free to write me at 145 Inslee Place, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 07206.

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