Friday, January 7, 2011

Timesaving Power Training - Jim Murray

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Waldamer Baszanowski

Timesaving Power Training - Simplified
by Jim Murray (1967)

Here is a result-producing routine that can be performed with only a barbell – no other equipment is needed, except for the bench press which is listed as optional.

Not only are power-building exercises useful to increase weight lifting proficiency, they also provide a form of activity that is challenging – and are a good conditioner for just about any sport you can name: baseball, football, swimming, basketball, etc. It is a real aid to general fitness, too. But the typical power-building in time consuming and requires a variety of equipment. In this article, however, I’ll describe a power training routine that can be performed with only a single, solitary barbell – and plenty of plates.

It is not a routine that is designed for building muscular definition or the muscularity of a Mr. Universe – at least not by itself. In conjunction with regular barbell training it can accomplish tremendous muscle building results, to be sure. But it IS a routine for those who enjoy lifting heavy poundages and who thrill to the feeling of sheer power that it pours into every part of their body.

Here is how this routine can benefit you – whether you are a bodybuilder or an athlete:

1.) It increases your power so that you can handle heavier weights in your regular exercises and enables you to use your muscles with greater speed and ease in the particular sport you may be engaged in.

2.) It works the back, shoulder and trapezius muscles in a manner that it not possible with ordinary bodybuilding exercises. It concentrates more on muscular mass rather than shape, giving a bodybuilder a more massive look.

3.) It offers a change of pace from regular workouts – and a change is often as good as a rest, once every few months. A few weeks on power training as outlined in this article will help the bodybuilder and athlete greatly, so that when he goes back to regular training he will feel stronger and have more enthusiasm to really bomb and blitz his muscles into Mr. America shape.

4.) If you have a tendency to be slim and you are interested in increasing your muscular mass as well as developing power, the routine and method outlined in this article can be followed to the letter. It is fundamentally the same method followed by some of the world’s greatest power lifters: Paul Anderson, Gary Gubner, Pat Casey, Gene Roberson, West, Auger and many others who specialize in building power and muscular mass.

Physique champions such as Bill Pear, Dave Draper, Reg Park and others of massive size incorporate some of these exercises and similar principles in their workouts. It would be well for you to do the same.

Now, let’s get on with the power training routine we’ve been talking so much about.

First, as a warmup, you perform a half-dozen complete cleans and presses, lowering the bar to at least the knees each time. Rest two minutes, add 10 pounds, and do as many presses as you can with the increased weight. Keep working up, adding 10 more pounds, with two-minute rest breaks each time – until you can do no more than two presses, or a single.

Now you’ve finished your presses and are ready to tackle the second exercise. First, you add 10 pounds to the weight you’ve just finished pressing with. Then you power clean it for two repetitions, and power jerk the weight overhead after the second clean. The power cleans are to be done without splitting and with only a semi-squat, no more than a quarter of the way down. The power jerk is to be done the same way – just a semi-squat to lower yourself under the bar and fix it overhead. Most well-coordinated athletes will find that they have to shuffle their feet slightly to the sides in doing both power cleans and power jerks – it just comes naturally – and this is all right as long as the shuffle and dip doesn’t become a real squat-style lift. As in the press, you keep working up with doubles in the power clean and single a power jerk, adding 10 pounds per set until you reach the point where you can’t make a second clean.

By this time, you probably need three minutes rest between sets, after which you are ready for the third exercise in the simplified power routine – the high pull. Add 20 pounds to the bar beyond your final power clean, and get set exactly the same as you do for the clean. Now, try to clean the weight. The bar won’t come all the way up, naturally, but you should try to haul it as far above belt height as you can. Then, lower it to knee height and pull a second rep as high as possible.

Repeat several sets of two in this power pull exercise, adding 10 or 20 pounds to the bar after each set, trying always to get the bar above belt height. When you finally reach a weight that you can’t pull belt high, switch to the regular dead lift – adding at least 20 more pounds. Keep working up in the deadlift, doing sets of two repetitions each time, until you reach the point where you know that even another speck of dust on the bar would prevent you from making the second rep.

Now, let’s see what that workout would amount to for a fellow whose best press was 200 pounds and whose best dead lift was around 400. He could start out with six cleans and presses with 135 pounds. Then he would jump to 160 for six presses, 170 for 4, 180 for 3, and 190 for 2.

Continuing to add weight to the bar, he would power clean 200 twice and jerk it once, repeating the same double clean and single jerk with 210, 120, and 230 in succession.

Still adding weight, he would do double reps in the high pull with 250, 260, 270, and 280. Then he would up the weight to 300, 330, 340, and 350, doing two repetitions in the dead lift with each weight.

How long does this workout take? Allowing for from two to three minutes of rest between efforts, the above workout should take no more than one hour. This is not too long, by regular training time standards- yet it provides a good power routine for a weight lifter who is pressed for time – as well as for the athlete and bodybuilder. The main emphasis, of course, is on body and leg power. So if time permits, it would be a good idea to finish off with several sets of bench presses, using enough weight to limit the reps to no more than a half-dozen for the first set. Then work up in 10-pound jumps to a limit weight for two reps. This will keep the upper body in peak muscular condition.

A lifter whose best bench press was 275 pounds might work up as follows: 226x6, 235x4, 245x3, 255x2, and 260x2.

Merely adding the bench press to the initial series of lifts from the floor makes the workout an all-around one, with adequate training to maintain or even increase your upper body power. The bench press should add no more than 20 minutes to the workout. You’ll find it well worth the extra time.

This abbreviated power routine has another advantage besides being a timesaver – it can also be used by the serious and ambitious weight lifter who takes one or two major workouts each week at a gym, but who wants to train at home, too – even though he lacks the space or facilities to go through a more complex routine.

Even an athlete who works out in his basement or garage can follow this routine, though he may have to forego the overhead lifts if the ceiling of his “training room” is low. In this case, it would pay to start off with a series of seated presses with whatever could be lifted for four, three, and a couple of sets of two. Then, the “ceiling zero” barbell man would move on to the power cleans (without jerks, of course), high pulls, and dead lifts.

Before closing, let me say that the little power training routine just outlined is an excellent one for an occasional variety workout by bodybuilders who have gone stale on a steady diet of three-hour multiple set routines.

Article courtesy of Jay Trigg

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