Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sides, Advice and Layoffs - Bob Hoffman and John Grimek

Sides, Advice and Layoffs
by Bob Hoffman and John Grimek (1951)

Are Layoffs Beneficial?

Question: A couple of months ago I enjoyed your article on the Effects of a Layoff. Without realizing it I have been forced to accept a number of layoffs due to circumstances beyond by control, and have made remarkable gains nonetheless. At least I think so. However, very my recently my position has changed so it is no longer necessary for me to skip my training. Under such circumstances do you think I can make better progress by taking a voluntary layoff or continue training progressively and regularity without missing any training periods?

Answer, by John Grimek: It would be natural to assume that if you’ve made good progress while being forced to take a brief layoff now and then that a periodical layoff every few weeks would prove helpful. I recommend it. Train steadily and progressively for 4-6 weeks, then rest or ease back on your lifting for a week or ten days, and resume your progressive training at the end of that time. This layoff gives the body and mind an opportunity to rest and replenish, and when you begin training in earnest again they will respond all the more. Your previous experience along this line should provide all the proof you need that a brief layoff or cutting back is very beneficial for anyone training hard over several weeks in succession. Yes, I’d definitely continue taking layoffs even if circumstances didn’t force me to.

Body Building Advice
by Bob Hoffman

To succeed, never miss a scheduled exercise period. If, due to unavoidable circumstances, you are forced to miss a scheduled session, make up for it or you will find it easier to miss in the future. Regularity is an essential of success, so be sure that you don’t offer yourself excuses. Missing a training session is a retarding factor which will lead to failure. If you train Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and are forced to miss your training on Wednesday, for instance, exercise on Thursday and Saturday, or two days in succession if that is more convenient.

A rule of success in lifting is to constantly strive to handle more and more weight. It is natural that a man who can acquire the ability to press 200 pounds will build more muscle than a man who uses 100 pounds in the same way; and a man who can perform 10 correct curls with 135 pounds will develop more muscle than the man who can only curl 80 pounds. But you can only gain as fast as your strength increases. Strength building comes from organic and glandular improvement, so it is necessary that you practice as number of movements which involve all the muscles, greatly amplifying the circulation and the organic and glandular action. These exercises, many of which are in York course No. 3, and No. 3 of the new Advanced Methods of Weight Training, will help you make these changes in metabolism which will permit the growth of more strength and muscle.

York Course No. 3 (The Repetition Weightlifting Course)

1. One Arm Repetition Jerk with Barbell
2. One Arm Snatch with Barbell
3. Two Arm Press
4. Deep Knee Bend (on flat feet)
5. Holding Barbell Overhead with One Hand, Squat to Low Position (i.e., One hand Overhead Squats)
6. High Pull (to belt height)
7. Press Behind Neck
8. Two Arm Dead-Hang Snatch
9. Two Hand Jerk
10. Two Hand Dead-Hang Clean

York Advanced Methods of Training Course No. 3 (The Weightlifting Course)

1. Clean Without Using Legs or Back
2. Continuous Pull Up and Press
3. Repetition Snatch
4. Two Arm Push
5. Pull Up to Chin Knee Bend
6. Rapid, Bouncing, Leaping Squat
7. Upright Rowing, Close Grip
8. Press Front and Back
9. Repetition Clean
10. Repetition Jerk
11. Deadlift to Continental (waist height) Position
12. Front Squat

Don’t practice cheating methods too often. Cheating in any movement robs the principal muscles involved of much of the value of the exercise. For instance, cheating in the curl means to start while leaning forward, to bend back and heave up on the bar. The arms are robbed of the value of this movement, and instead of being a good movement to develop the biceps it becomes a poor movement to develop several parts of the body, and a possible cause of injury if an attempt is made to lower the overly heavy bar slowly. A young salesman frequently trains with us in York who weighs only 132 but can perform several cheating curls with 185, one with 205. It should not be called a curl, but he does go through the motions. The best men, those with the greatest strength and the finest physiques, are those who habitually perform the movements correctly. Perform the movements correctly for as many repetitions as you can. If you must, cheat on the last two or three repetitions. But if you cheat on all of them you will be robbing yourself.

Muscular size, strength and shape are gained by a proper combination of progressive exercise, adequate nourishment and rest. Exercise is the most important, if you are strong, it is more than likely you will be healthy. If you are strong and healthy, you will sleep faster, sounder, and obtain more benefit in less sleeping hours. And if you are strong and healthy, you will have superior digestion, assimilation and elimination, and gain more from the food you consume. You can hasten your progress by making certain that you give your body enough of the protective foods, milk and dairy products, eggs, fresh meat, some of an organic and glandular nature, green and leafy vegetables and fruits.

Don’t train on your never too often, one limit day a week of training is sufficient. Make this the day you increase poundages and/or repetitions, create new records if possible, and make demands upon the body. But on the other days of training take a more comfortable workout, train but do not strain too much, husband your nerve force, gently stimulate the internal works of the body, gradually strengthen all the muscles, train on all but your limit day well within yourself. Never more than 90% of the poundages you use on your limit day, on one training day not more than 70% of limit. Success comes more often from making haste slowly.

Ground work must be done first. You defeat your purpose in trying to reach the limit in strength and development if you try to perform advanced exercise schedules too soon, and try to specialize before you are ready. Do not be misled. Some men are easy gainers, faster gainers than others, but strength and muscularity are not built overnight.

How Strong are Your Sides?
by Bob Hoffman

Few physique champions or weight lifters in publications offer their favorite exercise movements which develop the side muscles. These muscles, among the most important in the body, are usually neglected by the body builder. It has been said that a chain is no stronger than its obliques; a man can’t really be strong unless he is strong all over as a powerful unit. The side muscles also have much work to do in protecting the internal organs and glands and in holding the body erect.

Seldom are these side muscles developed to the maximum strength of which they are capable. Most body builders perform one of two popular side-strengthening exercises. The side-to-side bend with one heavy dumbell, or the side-to-side bend with barbell on the shoulders. These are good as far as they go, but the men who have extraordinary development and strength in their sides perform a great many more exercises. Hermann Goerner, believed by many to have been the world’s strongest man, performed many such movements.

He was considered to be the world’s kettlebell swinger, and these exercises, swinging in a great variety of ways, had a great deal to do with developing the power in his sides which made it possible for him to walk around the circus ring in his daily performance with the weight shown in the photo above. 1104½ pounds was the weight often given officially.

In addition, he practiced a great deal of one-hand lifting, one-hand shrugging and carrying a weight on one shoulder. At one time he carried 600 pounds of bricks up a ladder with a hod on one shoulder. He habitually performed a human merry-go-round, revolving with a bar on which one man was seated, four others hanging onto the ends of the bar.

Other good exercises for developing the sides are the barbell teetotum (twisting dead weight lift) . . . placing a barbell upon the shoulders and twisting to the right, back to center, to the left, back to center . . . a revolving pattern with barbell upon shoulders . . . bending to the right, to the front, to the left and continuing with a circular movement.

Many swingbell exercises and Roman chair exercises are beneficial. In the York gym we have a pair of straps and chains which fit back of the upper calf. The feet are held in stirrups against the wall so that the body can be bent backward and twisted in a variety of ways. Exercises on a table, both prone and supine, permit a great range of action up and down as well as side to side which will develop all the muscles of the midsection, particularly the sides.

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