Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Power Building - Harry Paschall

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Tommy Kono

Power Building
by Harry Paschall (1951)

In approaching the serious problem of a strength-building schedule we must realize that each individual will require individual handling, and it is impossible to lump all trainees into one classification and prescribe a perfect, foolproof course of instruction that will work in exactly the same manner for everyone. You, therefore, will have to make your own adjustments in the schedules we are about to give you.

Let us begin by stating our aims. First, our principal object is to build strength. Second, realizing that strength and physical fitness must go hand in hand, we are also concerned in giving you a routine that will improve your organic physical condition and promote stamina. Third, believing that a strong man should look strong, we should like to include in our training sufficient shape-building exercises to insure a well-muscled, shapely body.

This leads us to consideration of the various exercises by classification, and perhaps we may clarify our future choice of exercises in our schedules by arranging these various movements under three general headings, viz., SHAPING Exercises, CONDITIONING Exercises, and STRENGTH-BUILDING Exercises.

(1) Shaping Exercises
Leg Raises
Side Bends

(2) Conditioning Exercises
Squats (high repetitions)
Bouncing Split
Stiff-Legged Deadlift and Shrug
Squat While Pressing From Behind Neck
Overhead Squat

(3) Strength-Building Exercises
All Supporting Lifts
Shoulder Shrug
Dead Lift
Leg Press
Heavy Squat
Handstand Pushup
Dumbbell Press

In concocting our various schedules we have tried to apportion these various exercises so that in each routine we have at least one conditioning exercise, two or three shaping movements, and five or six strength-builders.

Having now cautioned you in the official manner that all I am about to say may be used against me, let us blithely leap in where angels fear to tread:

Schedule No. 1

(a) Warm Up – 5 or 6 fast Pull-Up-and-Press, or Flip Snatches without moving feet.

(1) Stiff-Legged Dead Lift and Shrug – 10 reps. This exercise is a bit tricky in performance. You bend forward and pick up a bar with overgrip, just as if you were going to perform a stiff-legged dead lift. As you come erect, shrug the trapezius muscles high, then leaning back slightly you rotate the shoulders and transfer the pressure from the shoulders to the latissimus muscles of the back. At this point, by practice, you will able to achieve a latissimus “lock” – spreading the shoulder blades and widening the back to its utmost. While keeping these muscles spread, you bend forward to lower bell almost to floor while maintaining the “pull” on the back muscles all the way. Start light, and remember, “feel” is important in muscle-moulding exercises such as this.

(2) Squat – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
(3) Pullover – 15 reps.
(4) Support Exercise – Barbell hangs from ceiling suspended on chain at about shoulder height. Get under in split or squat position with arms locked and braced, then raise weight to full arms’ length above head with legs straight and in finishing jerk position. Stand erect for several seconds. Lower and repeat. Breathe in just before lifting movement, and breathe out with weight overhead. Breathe in shallowly again and lower. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

(5) Side Bend – 10 reps each side.
(6) Clean, without moving feet – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
(7) Leg Raise – 20 reps.

(8) Overhead Squat – Squatting with the bar held overhead in the snatch position is one of the very finest exercises for the back, legs and waist region, as well as promoting bodily poise and coordination. A combination conditioning and strength builder. Snatch the weight to overhead and squat low. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

(9) Alternate Dumbbell Press (see-saw) – If you have difficulty in cleaning two dumbbells to shoulders it may help to load the bells 5 or 10 pounds heavier to the back, as is done with a one-dumbbell swing. Lock the legs and buttocks and keep the back straight and firm when pressing. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

(10) Swingbar Seated Curl – 3 sets of 10 reps.

This schedule is intended for three workouts per week, with a day of rest between each exercise day. The technique might be called the “Work up and work down” method. Weight progression: Calculate backwards from a new personal best in the last week. To the starting weights, add 5 pounds to weight of barbell, 2½ to dumbbells each week following the first, except in the case of Exercise 4, where 10 pounds may be added. Continue this schedule for six weeks, then rest one week (complete rest from all weight training), then proceed with Schedule 2.

In undertaking Schedule 2, after this week of rest, we back-cycle somewhat in amount of weight handled in order to get a running start. The technique is changed to that of the “Heavy and Light” method.

Schedule No. 2

(a) Warm Up – Pull-Up-and-Press, or Flip Snatch without moving feet.
(1) Overhead Squat – 10 reps.

(2) Dead Lift (on blocks) – The bar should cross the legs just below the knees. Lean down with very little forward bend, so that lifting is done with mainly legs instead of the back. Start the upward movement easily and add power and speed as you come erect. 3 reps, 5 reps, 3 sets of 5 reps.

(3) Side Bend – 10 reps.
(4) Support – same as exercise 4, schedule 1 – 3 reps, 5 reps, 3 sets of 5 reps.
(5) Leg Raise – 20 reps.
(6) Pull-up to Chin – 3 reps, 5 reps, 3 sets of 5 reps.

(7) Shoulder Shrug (From Hanging Below Shoulder-High Supports or from Below Shoulder Height in Rack) – Well, well, well! Look who’s here! Is that Joe Hise doing all the puffing? Here is a shoulder shrug exercise devised to take the pain out of high rep bodybuilding squats. In this instance we are using it as a wonderful power builder. Take the bar from a rack (or suspension) several inches below shoulder level. A very heavy weight may be employed and progression is very fast. Remember this when planning the starting weights for your 6-week progression. Get your whole body firmly placed, feet apart and in line, legs braced, back strongly erect and lift weight from supports. Now breathe in strongly and attempt to lift the weight up and back by shrugging the trapezius muscles. Breathe out as the weight lowers (IT ONLY RISES AN INCH OR TWO) then breathe in and repeat. As a straight power-building exercise, one breath is sufficient. 3, 5, 3 sets of 5.

(8) Bent Arm Pullover – 3, 5, 3 sets of 5.

(9) Handstand Pushup – If you cannot balance, position yourself about 18 inches from a wall and let your feet rest slightly against it. Later, use two boxes so that the body may be lowered for a full movement. A pair of low parallel bars can be handy for this. 3 sets of as many as possible.

(10) Swingbar Seated Curl – 3, 5, 3 sets of 5 reps.

Same progression as Schedule No. 1. Add 5 pounds to barbell each week, 2½ pounds to swingbell, 10 pounds to barbell in exercises 4 and 7. Train for six weeks, then rest one week.

Schedule 3 typifies another exercise technique, employing the set or series system. Here, too, go back slightly after our rest period in order to gain momentum.

Schedule No. 3

(a) Warm Up – Pull-Up-and-Press, or Flip Snatch without moving feet.

(1) Squat and Press Behind Neck – Place bar behind neck, then as you bend the knees and go into the deep squat position you press the barbell overhead at the same time. As you come erect you lower the bar back to starting position behind neck. This exercise demands perfect muscular coordination. 10 reps.

(2) Press Out – This exercise is designed to promote strength in the back, shoulders and arms. It is, simply, a limited press-out motion, and sheer push and power are necessary. Use a weight slightly higher than your best press poundage, and have the bar suspended (or racked) at about the height of the forehead. Brace yourself firmly under the weight with the shoulders back and the entire body tight and locked (your regular pressing position). Breathe in deeply, then push the weight to the finish position at full arms’ length. Breathe out as you lower, and repeat. 5 sets of 3 reps, all sets with the same weight after warmups.

(3) Leg Raise – 20 reps.
(4) Leg Press, or Front Squat – 5 sets of 5, all sets with the same weight.

(5) Bent Arm Pullover – The bouncing pullover is a fine chest, shoulder, and arm developer. We have found the use of a six-inch box under the upper back a decided advantage. When using the box or padded support, the hips should be flattened firmly to the floor. The movement consists of a half-circle. Starting with the bar resting on the upper thighs, you carry it back over the head until it hits and bounces from the floor behind head. For strength work this should be done with the arms bent.

(6) Clean, without moving feet – 5 sets of 3 reps.
(7) Sit-Ups – 10 reps.
(8) Overhead Squat – 5 sets of 3, all sets with the same weight.
(9) Dumbbell Press (together) – 5 sets of 3 reps, all sets with the same weight after warmups.
(10) Swingbar Curl – 3 sets of 10 reps.

Weight Progression – the same as Schedules 1 and 2. This is also a six-week routine, after which you rest one full week, and then go into Schedule 4, which employs the “Single Repetition” method.

Schedule No. 4.

(a) Warm Up – Pull-Up-and-Press, or Flip Snatch without moving feet.

(1) Bouncing Split – Place a light bar on your shoulders. Grip the bar strongly and pull down to fix it so it will not bounce. Now split forward strongly and speedily with the right leg, going down into the deep split position until the knee of the left leg touches the floor. Now BOUNCE up and immediately reverse the leg action, placing the left foot forward, and go down until the right knee touches. The best performance we know of this novel exercise is Fraysher Ferguson. He is a very good all-round athlete, and very fast in action. He does 20 reps with 150 pounds, completing them in 20 seconds. 10 reps each leg.

(2) Front Squat Supports – This is a heavy movement, with a suspended (or power-racked) bar. The idea is to build explosive energy in the back and thighs to add drive to your heavy jerks. Bar should be positioned so that it must be lifted about 6 to 8 inches. It is best to KEEP THE ELBOWS UP. Get the bar and your body firmly set, breathe in, lower by bending the knees abut 6 or 8 inches ( ¼ squat) and drive strongly up to erect position. 8 to 12 progressively heavier single repetitions.

(3) Side Bend – 10 reps each side.
(4) Squat – 8 to 12 progressively heavier single reps.
(5) Pullover – 15 reps.
(6) Pullup to Chin – 8 to 12 progressively heavier single reps with added weight.
(7) Leg Raise – 20 reps.
(8) Dumbell Press – 8 to 12 single reps.
(9) Barbell Curl – 8 to 12 single reps.

Again, calculate your starting poundages backward from a personal best at week six, and add weight progressively.

During the course of these schedules you may have discovered a few things about your body. Perhaps there were too many exercises, and that you had to cut down on repetitions. Perhaps, too, you found that the method employed in a certain schedule better suited your particular needs, i.e., you may be better geared to the Heavy and Light System than to the Single Rep approach.

As you go into higher and higher poundages you will also find that you may need more rest, and that twice-a-week workouts are preferable. Also, at higher levels, you may need to cut down the number of exercises which you can do with safety.

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