Friday, February 1, 2008

Some Hepburn Things

Strength And Bulk

The fundamental purpose of this Course of Training is the development of maximum muscular bulk and strength. The information contained herein is the end product of years of experimentation by the author in the quest of an exercise procedure wherein a minimum of time and effort would nevertheless yield extraordinary bodily size and strength.

The utilization of the principles of weight-training outlined in this course enabled the setting of ten World Weightlifting Records by the author. I feel, as do other qualified authorities, that my system of Power Training has directly influenced weight-training procedure throughout the world.

If the trainee adheres strictly to the instructions contained herein all personal performances established prior to following this course will be exceeded within sixty days.


Your Training Routine

It is to be remembered that the following routine of exercise has been designed to promote maximum muscular strength and bulk. To this end certain basic power movements have been accentuated so that maximum returns are promoted in respect to the time and effort expended. The exercises to be performed influence the entirety of the basic muscle groups situated in the upper and lower regions of the body. For example: When curling comparatively smaller muscles are involved such as the biceps muscles of the upper arm, the front portion of the deltoid muscle of the shoulder, and to some extent, the forearm. These muscles constitute a small portion of the total muscular bulk/weight of the body. If follows then that gains in bodyweight would be proportionate to the muscles utilized in the particular exercise. The Deep Knee Bend or Squat exercise influences the large and extremely powerful muscles of the lower body. These muscles compose a major portion of the muscular bodyweight hence increased gains in strength and body size. From this conclusion we may surmise that for every pound of bodyweight acquired through curling, twenty pounds could be acquired through the performance of the Deep Knee Bend exercise. This is also the case in any of the various heavy power movements such as the deadlift, bench press and Olympic press.

I do not believe in combining upper and loser body exercises in the same training period. I have advised a system of training based on this principle that will also assist in the eliminating of muscular staleness thereby insuring continued progress in the acquisition of muscular bulk and strength. This is achieved through the alteration each exercise period of the upper and lower body exercises. The following are two separate training routines. All the trainee need do is to perform the upper body routine one day and the lower body routine the following workout period. I am not going to set down definite training days as I feel that many persons, due to their hours of work and other social commitments, would find it difficult to adhere to such a schedule. All that is necessary is to perform the routine alternately each training day and allow one or two days rest between sessions. On occasion as much as a three day rest period may be taken, especially so when a slight staleness is present. If the trainee abstains from exercising for a longer period than three days there is a possibility that gains in strength ans muscular bulk will be lost.

Warmup performing five consecutive repetitions with a poundage that can be handled comfortably. Next perform five SINGLE repetitions increasing the poundage each single repetition so that on the fifth and final repetition a near limit poundage is used. Strive to increase the single repetitions to FIVE in the final near limit poundage by adding again of ONE single each training period. When this can be accomplished increase the warmup poundage and all individual poundage increases by ten pounds and again as explained above strive for the required five single repetitions in the final poundage. IMPORTANT: do not increase the poundage until the required repetitions can be performed. Otherwise muscular staleness will be encountered.

After the above portion of the exercise routine has been concluded reduce the poundage so that FIVE sets of THREE CONSECUTIVE repetitions can be performed. Stay with this poundage, striving to increase the number of repetitions until FIVE sets of FIVE CONSECUTIVE repetitions can be performed. When this can be done increase the poundage by 10 pounds and continue as explained. It is interesting to note that the poundages used in the single and consecutive repetitions will increase proportionately.


Press From Stands

Bench Press

Two Hands Curl



High Pull Movement

Two Hands Deadlift


The Hepburn Method


Standing Press


Bent Row

Warm-up –
4x8 with increasing weight.

Power Group –
8 sets. Close to a max triple for the first set
then seven sets of 2 with the same weight.

Mass Group –
6 sets. Same weight all sets, all out effort. 6,5,4,4,4,3.

Pump Set –
1 x 10.

At each workout following, add one set of 3 to the Power Group.
So, workout two’s Power Group would be 2 sets of 3 and 6 sets of 2.
When you reach 8 sets of 3, add 2 ½ pounds in the Power Group
and Mass Group for upper body exercises and 5 pounds for lower body exercises.



This training routine has been designed for those who are familiar with the principles of weight training and are willing to devote themselves completely to a concentrated training schedule.

The trainee must be prepared to exercise every day as there will be no rest days between workout sessions. The training routine is so arranged that a variety of basic power exercises can be performed without encountering muscular staleness.

By following this routine religiously lasting results can be obtained in less time than when exercising in the normal manner. This in turn will enable the trainee to realize personal goals in a reduced period of time.

This course will prove invaluable to those preparing for competition when time is short.


Due to the fact that there are no rest days between training sessions it is imperative that the trainee receives a minimum of at least ten hours sleep each night. Those who can manage to obtain even twelve hours sleep should do so.

A short nap after the evening meal and before each training period is also recommended. In the majority of cases it will require at least three hours after retiring for the body to completely relax. Even when sleeping the body can remain tense and when it is in this state the processes of recuperation and rebuilding are impaired. Consequently a person who has been subjected to daily heavy barbell exercises will require an additional period of sleep.

A hot beverage such as hot chocolate should be taken before retiring to assist the body in relaxing. This practice is especially recommended to those who are inclined to be nervous or high strung. Remember – you just can’t get enough rest when performing the heavy exercises in the course daily – what applies to the normal weight trainer does not apply to the follower of this course.


During the day it is vitally important to conserve as much energy as possible. This does not mean that one must become lazy. Do what is required of you in any and all necessary obligations and do it well. However, do not acquire unnecessary responsibilities if it can be avoided.

During your free time and when not actually training, rest as much as possible. Refrain from unnecessary physical activity as even over-indulgence in social activities such as dancing will sap vital nervous energy causing a retardation of the rebuilding processes of the body. I will leave to the reader’s discretion the extent of social activities to be curtailed. In making your decision keep this in mind. The body contains a limited amount of energy so the bodily processes associated with recuperation and growth cannot function efficiently when the body energy content is depleted.

Learn to direct your energies – both physical and psychological – into the training routine. If the reader sincerely desires to become stronger this must be accomplished.


The correct attitude of mind is just as important as the physical aspect of weight training – perhaps even more so. Keep your training uppermost in your mind at all times – let nothing interfere with this. It is essential that the mind and body function harmoniously in training and in everyday living if maximum progress is expected. Each day say to yourself, “I am going to add a repetition on all exercises today.” In nine cases out of ten you well. To sum it up – you must be willing to live weight training every wakeful hour and if you dream of it so much the better.


Because of the exceptional amount of energy expended while following this routine it is important that the food intake be substantially increased. Foods in a liquid state should form a good part of the diet as they are easily digested. This is an important factor when increasing the intake of food as the digestion system must not be abused through overwork.

A food blender is invaluable when an increase in bodyweight and strength is desired. This device can be used to mix a wide variety of foods in a liquid state. Milk, eggs, bananas, and honey can be easily blended to form a highly nourishing, easily digested and palatable meal.

Milk, especially, should be consumed in large quantities, as much as four quarts daily. It is recommended, however, when consuming copious quantities of milk, to also drink a liberal amount of orange juice to counteract the mucous forming properties of milk.

Consuming food in small quantities throughout the day is a good practice as this will not overload the digestive system. Moreover, a greater amount of food can be consumed in this way.

Do not go overboard regarding diet food charts, etc. This could result in the trainee becoming over-concerned with the diet at the expense of exercising. one can’t go wrong if a good amount of food and a variety of plain foods are consumed each day. You will notice that there are strong men in every country and that the diets of all these men will vary in accordance to the foods obtainable in the particular geographical area where they live. If the trainee is in good physical condition and is performing heavy barbell exercise the body will be capable of extracting more nourishment from inferior foods than would a non-conditioned individual.

If the reader can afford it I advise taking a protein food supplement. A protein supplement is composed of a highly concentrated form of protein. Protein heads the list of muscle building foods. It can be combined with milk or fruit juice.

Honey is a superlative energy food and can be utilized by the body almost immediately after taking. Honey should be taken before and during the training session. Honey can also be used in place of sugar with cereals and hot beverages.

Certain foods can be consumed even while training. Milk, if consumed in small amounts, will cause no ill effects. Dates, figs, raisin and nuts can also be eaten during the exercise period.

A hot food such as a thick soup should be included in the noon and evening meal. Stews composed of various meats and vegetables are highly nutritious and should be consumed in large amounts when increasing the food intake. Canned or fresh fruit and salads composed mainly of green vegetables should be included with meats and starchy type foods. This will assist the digestive and eliminative processes as hyperacidity and constipation will be counteracted.

If possible try and eliminate drinking tea or coffee while following this course. These two beverages have little food value and contain two harmful stimulants, tannin and caffeine, both of which are harmful. Substitute hot chocolate, Ovaltine, or other similar beverages.

If the reader drinks alcoholic beverages or smokes it is advisable to minimize or eliminate this practice when adhering to this course. This decision will be the reader’s. Remember – the less you smoke or drink the greater will be the results.


Perform a warmup with a poundage that FIVE CONSECUTIVE repetitions can be performed with comfortably, after which, perform four SINGLE repetitions, increasing the poundage at each single rep so that on the fourth single a near limit poundage is attained. The trainee is to continue with the final poundage and strive to increase the number of singles by ONE in each succeeding training session until a maximum of THREE SINGLE REPETITIONS can be performed.

NOTE: Do not attempt to perform more repetitions than advised as this practice could cause staleness.

When the required amount of repetitions can be performed increase the warmup and the following four singles – as explained above – by five pounds and again strive for the required three single repetitions. When this can be accomplished repeat as explained.

NOTE: When performing lower body exercises a ten pound increase if permissible.

When the trainee has completed the above portion of the exercise routine decrease the poundage so that FIVE SETS OF THREE CONSECUTIVE REPETITIONS can be performed. Strive to increase the number of repetitions by ONE in each training session.

For example, assuming the trainee has performed the five sets of three consecutive reps, in the next training period he will perform:

Four consecutive reps in the first set and three in the remaining four sets. Then, in the following session:

Five consecutive reps in the first set and three in the remaining four sets. Then, in the following session:

Five consecutive reps in the first set, four in the second set, and three in the remaining three sets.

Continue in the manner above until the required five sets of five consecutive repetitions can be performed, then increase the poundage and repeat from the beginning as explained above.

NOTE: The instructions as to number of sets and poundage increases applies to all the exercises in each daily training routine. In the majority of cases the poundage used in the heavy singles and the sets of consecutive repetitions will increase proportionately.

IMPORTANT: As training progresses the trainee will encounter intervals when a failure to succeed with the required addition of single reps occurs. This is quite normal and should not be regarded as staleness. When a failure to succeed with a single repetition gain in the sets of singles occurs proceed as instructed with the sets of consecutive reps. If the trainee then experiences a failure to add one repetition to the consecutive reps, he may then conclude that a mild staleness is present and therefore it is advised to discontinue training until the following training period. If the stale condition persists in the following exercise sessions, a layoff of one week is advised. If this fails to correct the stale condition all training poundages are to be reduced so that the minimum number of repetitions can be performed and proceed from this point as before.

NOTE: When striving for a repetition gain the trainee may take a second attempt if so desired. This is recommended if a failure is experienced that was almost successful.

  • Monday – Squat, Deadlift
  • Tuesday – Bench Press, Curl
  • Wednesday – Squat, Deadlift
  • Thursday – Press From Rack, Curl
  • Friday – Squat, Deadlift
  • Saturday – Bench Press, Curl
  • Sunday – Press From Rack

To insure the trainee of rapid and continued progress I am ready to extend my assistance if any problems are encountered progress-wise when following this course. If any difficulty should arise end the particulars and I will reply via return mail.


Dear Reader:

One of the most difficult to master of all the many varieties of lifts performed today is the Two Hands Clean and Press. During my lifting career I have attended many weightlifting meets in the capacity of both a spectator and competitor. This gave me the opportunity to observe the performance of many experienced lifters, including top level men, at first hand.

Generally speaking, the form in the quick lifts was highly recommendable. I could see that almost without exception they had devoted many hours in improving their technique in the snatch and clean and jerk.

Unfortunately, their style and form in the press was not comparable to that of the quick lifts and was in contrast to the scientific and efficient manner displayed when cleaning, jerking, or snatching.

It must be kept in mind that championships are won on total pounds lifted in all three lifts. Regardless of the style and perfection shown in only one lift, since this is still not sufficient to take first place in a weightlifting contest.

In this course I have gone into detail regarding the correct technique of all phases of the Olympic press. I have devised a training routine that will give maximum results with a minimum of time and effort.



For those of you who are not familiar with the term “clean” it is simply means lifting the bar from the floor to the shoulders prior to pressing of jerking overhead. Almost all lifters, except in rare cases, have little difficulty cleaning for their presses. However, it is important to clean the weight as efficiently as possible as this conserves vital energy for the more difficult press movement.

Load the bar to the desired poundage and then step forward to the middle of it, the fronts of ankles almost touching. The heels should be approximately ten to twelve inches apart, toes pointing slightly outwards. Grasp the bar with the thumbs around grip (palms of the hands facing towards the floor), the distance between the hands should be approximately shoulder width. The arms should be on the outside of the knees and completely extended and should not be bent until AFTER the bar has left the floor and the trainee is in the process of shouldering it.

Many lifters have the faulty habit of partially bending the arms before the clean movement has actually commenced. This results in a loss of efficiency due to restricted pulling power. It should be mentioned here that many squat lifters start their clean with the arms on the inside of the knees. This is due to the extreme wide spacing of the legs.

It is imperative that the back be kept flat at the commencement of the clean movement and maintained in this position throughout the primary stage of the pull. This is done for two important reasons. First, it prevents injury to the lower back region. Second, it helps maintain superior pulling efficiency and leverage. The head should be kept upright as much as possible throughout the entire clean movement as this tends to keep the bar close into the body as it progresses upwards. This is highly important as many cleans are lost due the bar being so far in front of the body that it cannot be properly fixed at the shoulders at the completion of the clean movement.

After the trainee has correctly positioned himself prior to the actual clean it is no longer necessary to watch the bar so fix the eyes on a point directly ahead and slightly upwards. Concentrate on maintaining this position of the eyes and head throughout the lift.

Just before you commence the pull, take a deep breath and then start pulling the bar upwards. Make sure that the back and legs are straightening simultaneously. Another common fault when cleaning is to extend the legs before the back, or vice versa. These two portions of the body must coordinate to attain maximum pulling power. Naturally the arms and shoulders must work in harmony with the back and legs, however, this portion of the body does not come into play until the bar is well off the floor and is approaching the region of the knees. At this point the arms commence to bend with the elbows well away from the sides an moving upwards and backwards. All the major muscles of the upper back and shoulders are influenced as the bar reaches the region of the midsection and the back and legs have almost exhausted their pull.

Actually, the bar id lighter at this point than it was when stationary on the floor or in the first stage of the clean. This is due to its upward momentum, as the faster the bar is traveling upwards, the lighter it will be because of acceleration. The inertia is first overcome by the large and powerful muscles of the thighs and back. One can, with a little thought, realize how the comparatively weaker muscles of the arms and upper back are capable of continuing the bar’s upward progress.

There are two more important points that will contribute in elevating the bar from the floor to the highest point when pulling. First, when the bar reaches the general region of the lower chest the heels are raised completely off the floor. This will add extra height as the whole body and bar will attain a higher position. Second, the head and shoulders are thrust backwards just at the completion of the pulling phase of the clean. This will also increase the height of the bar. Naturally it is important to elevate the bar as high as possible as this will facilitate shouldering, thus saving energy for the press. I have seen many lifters disqualified in competition because of loss of balance, energy, and time as they became so fatigued that they couldn’t complete the press.

We now come to the most crucial phase of the clean. It is at this point that the majority of lifters experience the greatest difficulty. The timing and coordination must be exact so that the bar can be shouldered efficiently and with a minimum of effort.

The bar has been pulled to the highest possible point. This point will vary with the lifter and to what extent he has perfected his style. Normally the bar will reach the area approximately half way between the waistline and the nipples but because of the fact that the majority of lifters can clean in excess of their limit press the bar will be pulled to a higher position. In many cases top level lifters can clean for the press without splitting or dipping. I do not recommend this as extra energy is expended and could have been conserved by using the split or semi squat style.

When utilizing the split method of cleaning for the press (it must be kept in mind that this style is slightly different when attempting a limit clean), as soon as the bar reaches the highest point thrust one of the legs backwards (either the right or left leg, most lifters favor the right leg) to a point approximately twenty-four to thirty-two inches from the original point where the heel was prior to the split or dip. The front foot (the one that remained stationary) is bent at the knee as the dip is performed so as to lower the body to facilitate shouldering the bar. It is to be moved forward very slightly as compared to the distance traversed by the back leg and at the completion the foot should be resting flat on the floor (toes and heels both in contact). The thigh of the front leg should be almost parallel with the floor. The back leg should be slightly bent at the knee and the foot resting on the toes.

When dipping under the bar the upper body maintains the erect position with the elbows thrust forward (not as when intending to jerk the weight). If you attempt to press with the elbows too far forward you will lose pressing leverage and consequently this will detract from a limit attempt.

Always maintain a good solid grip on the bar at all times and do not relax when the bar contacts the shoulders as this allows it to roll back on the fingers. This tends to set the bar too far in on the shoulders and this again causes faulty leverage. Always press with the thumbs around grip. I do not recommend using the thumbless grip (thumbs on the same side of the bar as the fingers), as in my opinion you have less control of the bar whether cleaning or pressing.

We will again assume that the trainee has successfully shouldered the bar and is prepared to rise from the low split position. This is to be done as quickly as possible so as to conserve energy. First, straighten the front leg and then move the foot inwards towards the body approximately twenty two inches. The straightening of the leg and moving it inwards should be done in one coordinated movement. It is to be noted here that all measurements will vary with the trainee’s height, length of legs, etc. The measurements quoted here will apply to a person of normal height and leg length.

I would advise chalk-marking the floor or platform so that a measured diagram will show the various positions of the feet in all phases of the clean movement. Place the feet at the starting point of the diagram and then go through the actual clean while concentrating on placing the feet as close as possible on the desired points. Many of the top lifting coaches advise this procedure as part of their training program.

The back leg is now brought forward in line with the front foot. The position of the feet should be slightly wider than at the start of the clean (sixteen to eighteen inches). The feet cannot be spaced beyond this as per international ruling. I recommend the extra wide stance as this aids the back in attaining the “lock” position when assuming the “lay-back” stance just prior to pressing and also alleviates pressure to the lower back region.


This is a much simpler movement than the split clean and in some ways superior. The most important point in its favor is that one can shoulder the bar in less time. I also believe that a perfectionist utilizing this style can shoulder the bar from a lower position. However, to counteract the benefit of this style as compared to the split method are two outstanding points.

First, it is much more difficult and in some cases impossible to counteract faulty position. This will prove fatal in competition. On numerous occasions champion lifters have lost because of being off form. Second, It is more difficult to rise from a low squat clean position. Numerous outstanding squat stylists are incapable of rising with their limit cleans and even if they could it is doubtful whether they would succeed with the jerk.

As you can see, both squat and split styles have their benefits and detriments. Personally, I feel that the split method is safer. I will leave this up to the reader as to which method you care to use. If you are suited to the squat method and it seems to come naturally to you then by all means continue on with it.

When squat cleaning it is necessary to wear a shoe with a raised heel. I do not advise this heel to be any more than one and a half inches. Make sure that your lifting shoes have both rubber heels and soles as leather bottoms are too slippery and can be extremely dangerous when lifting. Many lifters wear a heavy work boot. I prefer these as they give the ankle added support.

Load the bar to the desired poundage and step forward to the middle until the ankles almost touching. As I mentioned previously, the feet are spaced wider than the split method, so position the feet approximately sixteen to eighteen inches apart at the heels. Take your grip on the bar (approximately shoulder width), with the arms on the outside of the knees (knees should be facing outwards). The pulling movement is performed in the same manner as outlined for the split clean. When the bar has reached the region of the lower chest you quickly assume the semi-squat position and at the same time thrust the elbows forward and under the bar so as to allow you to shoulder it. As soon as you feel the bar contact the upper chest and shoulders immediately arise to the erect position. Strive to keep the upper body as upright as possible and concentrate when pulling from the floor to keep the bar close into the body for it becomes difficult to fix it at the shoulders if it is too far away from the body at the completion of the pull movement. As I mentioned, the squat style allows little room for error. It is not necessary to assume a deep low position when cleaning. It is sufficient to dip to a point where the thighs are above the parallel position. The feet do not have to be moved as they are already in the correct position for the press.


We will assume that the bar has been shouldered either in the split or squat style and that the trainee is prepared to perform the press movement.

The “lay-back” style of pressing is by far the most efficient method of pressing. It is the style that I have always used and I am not alone in this as the majority of record holders in the press use this style. The reason why more poundage can be lifted in this style is as follows:

1.) Increased pressing leverage because of the superior body position.

2.) More of the pressing muscles are brought into play, especially the pectorals and latissimus dorsi. When pressing in the completely erect position the muscles basically influenced are the triceps, deltoids and trapezius. The latissimus and pectorals are not brought into play to their fullest extent and these muscles are comparatively larger and stronger.

3.) There is actually less pressing distance when laying back as the bar rests on a higher point of the upper chest.

To assume the lay-back position lock the thighs by forcing the knees backwards as far as possible. The alleviates much of the pressure from the lower back as the strain is taken by the muscles on the front of the thighs, hips and midsection. The hips must be thrust forward to compensate for the laying back of the upper body. When the hips have been so positioned allow the upper to lay back until you feel it “lock”. Move the hips forward as you lay back and make sure that the knee are well back and the thighs tensed. Also be sure to tense the midsection while assuming position. I would also recommend the trainee perform certain exercises in his lower body training routine to strengthen the lower back. I would advise the squat, deadlifts and the high pull. These movements will toughen and enlarge the waist muscles at the base of the back thus forming a natural support.

Another important to be remembered is to position the bar well forward on the upper chest prior to pressing and when assuming the lay-back press position as this will compensate for the chance of stance of the upper body. By moving the bar forward on the chest you automatically bring into play the powerful pectoral and latissimus muscles and this in itself will increase the limit effort by many pounds.

Throughout the press the head should be held so that the line of vision is at an approximately forty-five degree angle upwards. It is not necessary to look at the bar as it progresses overhead, in fact this habit can be cause for disqualification when lifting competitively.

Many lifters, especially the Russians, are inclined to press with an unusually wide grip. The advantage is that there is less pressing distance, also it is easier to lock out in the last stages of the press. However, the drawback is that at the start of the press there is a loss of “drive” or starting power due to the extra wide hand spacing. It is for this reason that I recommend the medium width hand grip, not too close and not too wide. In this way you have the advantage of being able to get a good strong start in the press, which I feel is of primary importance. To ascertain whether or not your hand spacing is correct take a light bar and stand in front of a mirror. When you have shouldered the bar and have assumed the lay-back press position the forearms should be in a vertical position or at right angles to the floor. A person using the extreme close hand spacing loses the advantage of leverage and is directing the strain almost entirely on the deltoids and trapezius and not utilizing the assistance of the pectorals and latissimus dorsi.

I would like to cover more fully the breathing process from the commencement of the clean to the completion of the press. This method is for single attempts only.

As you start to pull the bar to the shoulders at the beginning of the clean you inhale. DO NOT EXHALE when the bar is at the shoulders and you are in position to press. The inflated chest serves as a support and tends to raise the bar to a higher point thus simplifying the press as there is less pressing distance. Also, if the trainee exhales at this point the bar will drop causing the muscles of the chest and shoulders to sag so that vital time and energy is lost repositioning the bar. When this is done the bar will be in a lower position than it was originally. Sometimes the position is lost completely, causing a failure with a limit attempt. Do not exhale until the bar has passed through the sticking point of the press. Normally this is the region of the top of the head of forehead. The reader might feel that this is an unusually long time to hold the breath, but it is only a matter of a few seconds so there will be little difficulty, especially when one is conditioned for it.

When starting the press it is all important to drive the bar off the chest as quickly as possible. The faster the bar is traveling from its stationary position on the upper chest to overhead the less difficulty will be experienced at the dangerous sticking point. The gist of this is, at the start of the press concentrate on putting your all into driving the bar off the shoulders, think of nothing else but this. Speed is all important at this point and all great pressers the world over, without exception, possess a tremendous drive or starting power at the commencement of the press. A quick muscular reflex is the prerequisite of a good presser and if you are so endowed in this way you are well on the way to becoming an outstanding presser, providing of course that you train correctly. In fact I guarantee that anyone can become an outstanding presser by following the training principles outlined in this course.

It is a natural occurrence if the bar tends to slow down after the initial drive in the press and as it approaches the sticking point, but if it has slowed down to the point where it is almost stationary keep fighting it and at the same time allow the upper body to assume a slightly deeper lay-back position. This will assist in lockout out the arms and enable you to complete the press. If you do not do this and the bar stops completely it will be cause for disqualification as the bar must not stop in its upward progress. The rules will allow for a slight back movement and it is wise to take advantage of this. There is no cause for disqualification by completing the press in the lay-back position AS LONG AS THE PRESS STARTED FROM THIS POINT. When the bar is overhead make sure that the elbows are completely locked as the press is not properly completed until this takes place. Do not attempt to bring the bar and upper body forward to the erect position when the bar is overhead at the completion of the press. This is a waste of energy and can also be the cause for disqualification.


One of the most common mistakes made by both the beginner and the advanced weight trainer is the improper use of sets and repetitions. It is generally accepted that low repetitions and reasonably high sets will promote maximum muscular strength. I am in accord with this principle and I believe that the SINGLE REPETITION method combined with fairly high sets promotes the greatest degree of strength. I am sure that the reader desires high quality muscle with tendon size and strength. This is an absolute essential for one who wishes to become an outstanding strength athlete.

To develop maximum muscular bulk I have included in this routine sets of fairly high repetitions. In short, this routine is designed to build the highest degree of muscle size and power.

This routine should be performed every third day. I assume the reader wishes to specialize so I advise this press routine to be done with the upper body exercises. The reader will find that the assistance exercises to the press will be all that is necessary for the upper body routine, with the exception of the two hands curl, which can be included.


Two hands clean and press – Place the bar on the floor and load to desired weight, in this case a poundage you can press five repetitions for a warmup (take a poundage you can do comfortably without straining). From here, graduate into single repetitions. It is necessary now to perform three single reps, resting between each single (rest period should be from three to five minutes when performing single reps, as well as consecutive reps). The weight is to be increased on each of the three singles so that on the third single a near limit poundage is attained. You must be able to perform FIVE single reps with this weight. If you cannot, reduce the poundage until you can. Stay with this weight until you can perform EIGHT single reps, then increase the poundage so that a minimum of five singles can be done and then work up to eight singles etc., etc. . . Be sure to increase your warmup poundages accordingly when making a weight increase.

This completes the first portion of this press routine.

After the required number of single reps have been performed, decrease the poundage so that a minimum of three CONSECUTIVE REPS can be done. Do five sets of three reps with this poundage and stay with this weight until FIVE sets of FIVE CONSECUTIVE REPS can be performed. You will note that the poundage you are using for repetitions will increase proportionately with the single reps. These sets of repetitions done after the heavy single reps will develop stamina and promote muscular bulk.


Two hands bench press – This exercise will help increase the drive or starting power for the Olympic press. It will also enlarge and strengthen the major muscles of the chest. I maintain that a large and deep chest is an asset when pressing as it serves as a solid foundation on which to rest the bar prior to pressing. The muscles of the chest also play an important part in the press as I mentioned previously and these muscles are directly influenced by the bench press movement.

To gain the full advantage when incorporating the bench press into this routine it is essential to use the same hand spacing used in the Olympic press. All bench presses are to be done from a dead stop from the chest and then the bar is pressed to arms length. Concentrate on driving the bat off the chest with the same speed as when performing the standing press.

The legs are to be completely extended at the commencement of the assistance bench press movement. This will prevent the hips from raising off the bench. The hips are not to be raised under any conditions during the press so be sure that the legs are always extended prior to pressing.

Hold the bar over the chest with the arms completely extended. Fill the chest to capacity and commence with a CONTROLLED LOWERING of the bar to the chest so that it contacts at a point slightly below the nipples. Allow the chest to take the full weight of the bar then pause momentarily before the bar is driven to arms length. Use as much speed as possible.

Follow the same set and rep system as used for the two hands clean and press.

Don’t push yourself too hard on the single reps, as this could cause staleness. You will probably find that when following this routine for a period of time that you will experience a mild staleness. This will first be noticed when performing the heavy singles and is a natural occurrence experienced by all lifters. To overcome the staleness eliminate the single reps entirely from your routine for two or three weeks and continue on with the sets of consecutive repetitions. You can increase these from five sets to seven in the Olympic press and from five to seven sets in the bench press. Normally this will completely overcome the staleness and in a short period of time you will be lifting more that ever. After this layoff from the single reps include them again in your routine. If this staleness still persists again eliminate the singles for two weeks and continue with the sets of consecutive reps as explained above. This second rest, except in extremely rare cases, will solve the staleness problem.

This routine should not be performed more than twice per week with a minimum of one day’s rest between training periods, three days the maximum. I consider a lower body workout the same as a rest day in regard to this press routine. Space the lower body training periods equally with that of your upper body routine. Again I repeat, just make sure that you perform this perform this press routine twice per week, no more, and I guarantee that within a space of time the results will amaze you. If any other problems arise pertaining to this course mail your questions to me and I will be more than happy to assist you with them.



Doug Hepburn

It is my opinion that insufficient emphasis is being directed upon the factor of Mental Attitude in Weight Training. The physical aspect of barbell exercise is of course highly important and should be regarded by the trainee as fundamental. However, the secondary factor of the correct application of Mind/Mental Attitude must be present if maximum development of muscle size and strength is to be attained.

The reader is no doubt aware that the Mind/brain constitutes the “Control Center” of the body. The brain or Mind, in a sense, telegraphs thought impulses, via the nervous system, to the various muscle groups of the body causing an activation of the muscles so influenced. This physiological process occurs irregardless of whether combing the hair or cleaning and jerking three hundred pounds.

Why is it that some individuals can lift so much more than others when to the eye their appearance in muscular dimensions or bone structure seems almost identical to other weaker persons? Numerous theories have been propounded regarding this most puzzling question. Some claim that superior body leverage is the reason. Others assert that the stronger individual possesses an exceptional quality of muscle, tendon, etc. The aforementioned factors are an integral part of Physical Strength and should not be minimized. I sensed, however, that an even more important factor has been overlooked or minimized by many – the factor of mental attitude and application as directed upon their training procedure.

All champion Strength Athletes have utilized the factor of mental attitude and application to great degree as evidenced by their exceptional bodily efficiency. When performing competitively these men display an above normal ability to concentrate when preparing themselves for an all out effort. This power of concentration has much to do with the setting of Weightlifting records or the attainment of a “Mr. America” physique.

I am sure that at one time or another the reader has seen accounts in newspapers or magazines describing the unbelievable acts of strength accomplished by mentally unbalanced persons. I remember one case in particular where an elderly woman who weighed not more than one hundred pounds actually bent thought the steel bars on the window of the room where she was confined. In a similar instance a man tore the tendons from the bone through his exertions.

Here then is conclusive evidence as to the capabilities of the human body when the barrier of mental restriction has been removed. This ability to tap the reserve of physical strength can be acquired by anyone who learns to utilize correctly the power of concentration.

Is it not reasonable to assume that the control and application of Mind would be relative to bodily efficiency as applied to Weightlifting/Bodybuilding when exercising with ever increasing poundages? Concentrate on applying the Mind completely on each training endeavor. This practice may prove difficult at first but continued application will condition the reader so that the ability to concentrate will assume a natural process thus accelerating gains in muscular bulk and strength.

Doug Hepburn -
the 1953 World Weightlifting Champion and Pioneer
of the Powerlifts interviewed by Robert O. Smith, CFMI Radio,
in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

RS: As a youngster in California, I was drawn to weightlifting through the inspiration of monthly reports in Hoffman’s old Strength and Health about weightlifters like John Davis, Norb Schemansky, and a thunderbolt from the North, Doug Hepburn, who astounded the world with his 371 ¼ pound press in 1953 that helped him win the World Olympic Lifting Championships in Stockholm, Sweden. Suddenly, my boyhood hero was the talk of strongmen everywhere. Who else could bench press 500 lbs., squat around 800 with only an olympic belt, a bathing suit, a t-shirt, and no knee wraps? Who could set 25 world records in the odd lifts and stand alone as the Strongest Man in the World? Doug Hepburn, from the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, that’s who. Today, Doug can still standing press 270 lbs., bench press 360, squat and deadlift with about 550. Doug is drug-free and always has been. He’s now 62 years old. I finally met Doug after moving to the Vancouver area to pursue a radio career. Doug has his own equipment business and a line of health food supplements.

We started our talk with the phenomena of “explosion” in lifting.

DH: I would say that it would be very difficult for a person to ‘explode’ if they didn’t have a very fast reflex. Reflex is the cause of explosion. I think reflex has more to do with mental attitude than people think. To a certain stimulus you could probably make a person move faster than they normally would. Even a slow moving person could be forced to move faster if they, for example, used electrodes in the muscles of his arm. If he got a shock, his arm would jerk very quickly. Why then could he not make it jerk that quickly, or ‘explode’ when he lifts a weight? It’s because there’s something lacking in the transfer of that impulse to the muscle itself. Before you can ‘explode’, you have to comprehend what the word means. What I experience when I do a lift, if I was to ‘explode’, and I’ve done it many times with a heavy press, is when I commence the lift, I don’t know about anything until it’s over my head. I’m unaware of what happens at the start. I go black. The concentration of my mind becomes so pinpointed that the sense of awareness of the outside environment disappears. This constitutes a complete ‘direction’ of power. Another thing I could do, which powerlifters can practice, is to sit in a chair, motionless, in front of the barbell that I was going to lift. I used to do the standing press and I’d take it off the racks and push out 400 pounds or whatever it was. I’d sit and look at this bar and not move a muscle and I could bring my pulse rate up to about 150. It was repetitive psyching and it became a conditioned response.

I would say that the greatest force can only result from a state of complete relaxation. A man needs one fraction of time before he commences his all-out effort, when he should be under a state of complete relaxation. If the muscles are relaxed, you have a greater ‘length’ of contractual drive. If you get more speed from the start of the contraction and more distance to contract, you’re going to have a greater speed at the point when you push the bar through the lift. I say don’t get yourself tense when you start, but begin from a point of complete relaxation, mind and body, and then suddenly explode.

RS: When I asked Doug about diet, he had a message that really summed up a wise philosophy for masters lifters.

DH: This is a fact of diet. I’ll try and put it as simply as I can. When you get over a certain age in life, certain life processes reverse themselves. When you’re younger, let’s say before the age of 50, the more you eat, the stronger you can get. When I was young I used to eat and my system could absorb it and I used to build up strength. However, when you get over a certain age in life, it varies with the individual depending on condition, mental outlook, and so on, there’s a reversal that takes place where the body is literally, to some extent, dying more than it’s living. From birth to death we have the two extremes. Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is a point where the latter portion of one’s life is taking precedence over the beginning. What I discovered is this: if a person continues with the eating habits they acquired building strength, beyond the age of between 40-50, the process will reverse itself, and they won’t get stronger from it; they’ll make themselves sick.

The strength in the latter age of life comes not from the food you eat, that’s secondary. It comes from vitality. Vitality is dependent upon the amount of food you eat. If you overeat, you detract from your vitality. For example, if somebody could do a transplant and put the internal organs of the young man into my body, the muscle, even at 62, would begin to develop. What happens is as you become older, your body loses the ability to absorb food. If you overeat, you detract from your vitality. For example, if somebody could do a transplant and put the internal organs of the young man into my body, the muscle, even at 62, would begin to develop. What happens is as you become older, your body loses the ability to absorb food. If you keep putting it in and there’s no absorption taking place it builds up toxic waste, which causes disease. Most people literally eat themselves to death. I’ve experimented on myself and I’ve found that if I’ve gone all day and eaten very little, I’m stronger than if I eat a lot.

Through the conditions of our society, the way that we live, and the way that we’re brought up, we form habits, including eating habits. They go much deeper than we think. For example, a man of 50 years may be sitting at the table and he’s actually eating too much, but his children are there, and his wife is a wonderful cook, so he’s gobbling it up and digging his grave. What would people think if the man suddenly threw up his hands and said, “This is it. I’m not going to go this route and end up sick. I don’t want any more. I want to eat when my body tells me to eat.” Now, this is a very important thing. When a man’s older, he should only eat when his body tells him to eat. You do not eat just because it’s a certain hour of the day and it’s supposed to be breakfast, lunch or supper time. That’s a killer.

RS: Powerlifters have idols like Doug Hepburn, Paul Anderson, Bill Kazmier and the like, but who started the inspiration going in Doug Hepburn?

DH: You know who my idol was? John Grimek. Yes sir, that was my idol. That’s the man, when I was young, who influenced me more than any other. I’ve been in John Grimek’s house and he cooked breakfast for me once. He was my idol.

RS: What about Bob Hoffman?

DH: I first met Bob Hoffman when I went to York. He did an awful lot for weightlifting, but he was very particular about his American team. Being a Canadian, he accepted me, but I still wasn’t one of his boys, let’s put it that way. He did say to me, “Through your lifting and what you’ve done, your internal organs are not those of an ordinary man any more.” He meant that my digestive system, my heart, my lungs, were those of a super person. Partially from genetics, but heavy squatting influences those internal organs, they function better, you get ‘taller’ in there. Especially in the apparatus that develops muscle tissue in the body.

RS: Today, his close friends know Doug as a singer, poet, reader of fine literature, avid bike rider, cartoonist, non-drinker and inventor. He has a gadget for sale similar to the Marine Corps exerciser of yore, but more versatile and compact, and something that’s serious exercise equipment, the Dynatron. Unlike a toothless fellow giving head, it’s not to be scoffed at.

DH: The Dynatron will build muscle. It will pump it even more than a weight sometimes. I have guys make gains on it. It’s more than what it seems to be. I’ve got the United States patent granted on it. I also own all the tooling, the injection molds and so forth. With backing I could turn out about 4800 of those units every 2 days. To some extent it will replace the barbell, and I’m not just saying that because I invented it.

RS: What about training the deadlift, for instance?

DH: You wouldn’t be able to do a heavy deadlift, but you could do a front squat. By holding the bar up it will work your legs. it won’t go over 200-250 pounds, but because you don’t have to stop the exercise to change the load, you can keep going. It gives you a new dimension in training because you can do a set, turn the dial back, and continue. In a given period of time you can almost double your workload.

I have other machines that I’ve invented. There’s something that once came to mind, a powerlifting machine. It’s a big bar, on chains, with a big dial in between and you can the dial and go up to 2000 pounds. A guy could be doing 1000 pound squats in his living room. This machine would allow you to do something that’s very unusual. You could pull yourself down into the squat. Ever use those muscles before?

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