Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get Strong by Not Exercising - Harry B. Paschall

Get Strong by Not Exercising

by Harry B. Paschall (1940)

Gather close, mates; I have a sad story to unfold.

Once upon a time, before the last-war-but-one, I was a young squirt full of ambition and onions, with definite and decided ideas about exercise. I figured that if one hour of training every other day was good, then eight hours per diem ought to do better. So I bought a bar-bell and started in to out-do the Labors of Hercules.

This was back in 1914, and by bar-bell was the first one ever seen in our town. The physical director at the Y shook his head dolefully when I confided naively that I was setting out to become a second Sandow. As I look back now, I can't blame him much, because exercise had practically ruined him. At the ripe old age of 32, he was bald, wrinkled, and over-ripe for a couple of delicate gland transplantations. Being the sole director of all the Y gym classes, he had to wave his arms and legs around in calisthenic drills from 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. I should have taken warning from him and his sad example and thus learned at any early age that exercise does not pay.

At half-past 16 I unlimbered my barbell; tacked the exercise chart up on my bedroom wall and began what was probably the goldurndest body-building schedule anyone has put in practice since the world began. Every evening at exactly 9:00 P.M. was my sacred exercise hour. However, I did maintain some slight semblance of reason, because I only did the bar-bell exercises every other day. On alternate days I did pushups, chins, and other fairly strenuous free-hand exercises.

Now, so far this doesn't sound like a tremendous schedule, but wait, my friend. Pause and listen to my extracurricular labors: Every afternoon at 3:00 o'clock I tore out of the high-school building, ran one mile and a quarter to my home, switched into my football suit and ran back one mile and a quarter to the school practice field, where I proceeded to do scrimmage for two solid hours; then I blithely ran home again, took a quick bath, anointed my bruises, ate a bite of supper and then, much refreshed, walked a mile to the YMCA where I put in a couple of very pleasant hours working on the gym apparatus and playing basketball. I stopped in at the Greek's for a delicious hamburger on my way home; then leaped upstairs three at a time to tear into my bar-bell exercises.

Quite a schedule, hey? And, mind you, this went on for a whole year! When the football season was over, basketball took its place; when basketball was waning, I repeated on baseball, although here I had to also squeeze in a little cross-country running and track!

Some years later an article about me appeared in an old Strength magazine. They were kind enough to say that I had a most peculiar quality of endurance, after witnessing a couple of all-night performances I put on at Sig Klein's Gymnasium. Migawd! I HAD to have endurance or I would have never lasted a week on that schedule.

But let us get back to our knitting. What do you suppose bar-bell exercises did for me, combined with all this extra exertion? You may be surprised, but during this first year I gained 25 pounds, and my strength went from a 50 pound one-arm press in he beginning to a 165 one-arm press at the end of the year! The bar-bells were all that saved me. If I hadn't used them I could never have kept off the flat of my back. I sometimes look back upon those halcyon days and wonder what in the heck would have become of me if I had had sense enough to exercise intelligently. Certainly I should have become Bosco's rival. I really and truly believe that if I had practiced "growing" exercises, instead of practically stunting my growth with overexertion, I would have become a heavyweight by the time I was 18.

So, do you blame me, pal, when I argue that the way to get strong is NOT to exercise? When I see high school lads rearing and tearing all over the landscape today, trying to make themselves into four-letter men, I feel like kicking them swiftly in the seat of the pants and telling them to cut out the non-essentials and go home and do squats three times a week. If they would just heed this advice we would soon have a nation of infant Hercules. Perhaps this explains the phenomenon of young Louis Abele, who is now hoisting such dizzy poundages in national heavyweight lifting competition. Certainly he would never weigh much over 150 pounds, today, if he had let Nature take its course.

If I hadn't discovered bar-bells back in 1914, by this time I would be in worse shape than my old Y physical director, because this year of bar-bell exercise built my body up in the years that followed. From 1915 to 1921 I never touched a bar-bell; in fact I never took ANY exercise. These were the years when my ambition nearly got the best of me. I not only worked at one job, I got three! I worked on average not less than a dozen hours per day for years. At one time I had stuff appearing simultaneously in 20 magazines. Finally I was brought up sharp by an insurance doc who informed me that my heart was so bad that he couldn't recommend me for insurance. He told me to to home and rest, be careful about climbing stairs, never, never, NEVER to take any strenuous exercise. So I go home and write my folks to send on my old bar-bell outfit, and started the next week to take heavy exercise again. Six months later I got the insurance without question.

So much for that. During the next few years I used the bar-bells off and on, just enough to keep me in shape. In 1925 and 1926 I did quite a bit of lifting around New York and Philadelphia, but even at this time I had no sense whatever about the proper way NOT to exercise. Consequently I never gained appreciably in either strength or muscular bodyweight until just a couple of years ago.

From 1926 to 1934 was another hiatus. I rolled the bar-bells back under the bed and never looked at them until the bug again bit me at the Columbus YMCA in the latter year. I organized a weight lifting team, and for several years since we have participated in most of the meets round our section. However, here again, my enthusiasm got the better of my judgment. Instead of working out for a couple of hours, I was apt to put in three or four, and any of the local boys will tell you that when I work out, I WORK.

The idea of bar-bell exercise is that the heavy work breaks down the tissues rapidly, then on the rest day you build up new tissue, and nature, having a demand for more and more muscular cells If a guy doesn't rest, he may be able to multiply these cells, but he won't grow much in size. That, briefly, is why most barbell courses call for a day of rest in between exercise days. And don't kid yourself that you know more than the guy who laid out the courses. You don't . . . or at least I didn't. However, there is a place for daily exercise in an advanced schedule, but of that, more anon.

Now this idea of mine about NOT exercising for greater growth and strength is not exclusive with me by any means. Several prominent instructors have advocated it in the past; but I must point out one or two danger points. I believe that the beginner will find it wise to observe the regular three times a week schedule for at least six months before he tries any fancy shenanigans such as I imply. Further, he will be pretty smart to also observe the rest days implicitly. Where my NO exercise schedule fits in is when you come to that "sticking point" which comes to all earnest exercisers sooner or later.

It was really more or less by accident that I became converted to the armchair system of physical development. Something more than a year ago I was exercising and lifting regularly; so much that I began to feel stale and nervous. Just at that time I was called out of town on a business trip, and for several weeks I never touched a bar-bell. Much to my surprise, upon my return home, I found I was stronger, fresher and several pounds heavier. So, just as I reasoned in the opposite direction when I first took up bar-bell work, I now began to wonder whether a lay-off now and then wasn't to be relished by the best of men.

So, out of this and other experiences, I have evolved the famous (or infamous) Paschall system of regularly busting down the tissues by completely forgetting about exercise at irregular intervals, and it has worked splendidly for me. My system, simply put, is to work out HARD for about a week upon resuming exercise; then to taper to three or four days a week of medium work-outs, and lifting heavy weights perhaps once a week. At least twice a week I do "Breathing Squats" with bodyweight. This system works fine, and I gain on it until some weekend when I get too ambitious and find that my strength is waning. Then I haul off and bust training, just as Ty Cobb used to tell his ball-players to do when they found they were tightening up and could no longer "swing loose as a goose." By breaking off after a particularly strenuous training period, I have broken down the tissues plenty, and my subsequent loosening of all rules and regulations softens me up so that when I return to exercise I can put on some muscle quickly.

This "softening up" is one of my own theories, and perhaps it will not work for everyone. However, it has long been a practice of expert body-builders to try to keep off their feet for a week when they are preparing to build up their refuse-to-grow calves. These muscles are among the most stubborn known to man, and many exercisers fail to get a proportionate development because walking and other exercise has so toughened the muscles that they won't respond to treatment. So! If this sort of treatment works for the most obstinate muscles of the body, why won't a liberal dish of the same work for the whole body?

The only serious danger of the rest cure for perspiring bar-bell fans is that they may get TOO softened up, and finally be disinclined to ever return to exercise. If you can't "take it" it probably would be better for you to keep on with your regular exercise periods; but I really think the experienced exerciser who just MUST have his exercise would profit by occasionally cutting down on his schedule to twice-a-week, and cutting down on the number of exercises. Instead of 12 or 14 exercises for every muscle of the body, drop down to five or six of the "growing" exercises; i.e. squat, dead-lift, pullover, presses on back, curl, and press.

The main thing to do is to get as much REST as possible. Relax; enjoy yourself. You may be surprised to find yourself growing on such a system long after you thought further growth was impossible. I know that I have exercised very irregularly during the past year and my weight has gone up from 165 to 180. Moreover, although I haven't practiced lifting, I am actually stronger, with the kind of strength which isn't forced, but stays with a man.

Now, I make no claim to being Ali Bendo, The Man Who Sees and Knows All, but I am thoroughly convinced after 26 years of bar-bell experience that most young fellows are too durned ambitious. The want to follow the system I mentioned at the beginning; play every game, exercise for hours on end. And just as sure as they do this, they are deliberately delaying worthwhile results. I believe in good, hard, strenuous workouts; but I also believe in resting in between times instead of playing handball, tennis and basketball.

There is also the bird on the other side of the fence, the guy who gives three cheers when he reads the heading on this article and says, "At last! Here's a fellow who has the same idea I have about exercise!" You needn't hide behind the barbell, I know you, you slacker! You're the guy who used to come into my bar-bell class and languidly go through your exercises with about half the weight you should have been using. You're the kind of a guy who never adds either to the weight or to the repetitions. You're the lazy bozo who finally gives up exercise because you can't get results!

Anything worth having in this world you have to work for. That isn't baloney, it's the unadulterated truth. You have to work and sweat to get results in body-building; but Boy! it's worth working for in the end. Especially when you get to my status and can follow the precepts proffered in this article . . . and get strong by NOT exercising!

Has it paid me? Well, at forty-two I can still do nip-ups and handsprings and lift 270 or so overhead. That's worthwhile when you can look around and see your old pals go fat at forty. Last summer I ran across a couple of old friends who used to be around the Y when I started twenty-six years ago. I persuaded both of these chaps to work out with me at that time, and they kept it up for some months and got fine results. However, I left town and they both quit. Whey they saw me a few months later they both exclaimed how well I looked, and moaned about their lost youth and the pains they had in their belly. I know these two men are a good 20 years older than me though we were all born the same year. The difference is, I stayed with the bar-bells (somewhat irregularly, 'tis true), while these friends who had the same chance let themselves slip.

Someday everyone will know enough about exercise to keep himself fit right up to three score years and ten. I believe that 30 minutes a week of the right exercise would suffice to keep me in the pink from this point forward; but, since I have always been (and probably always will be) an extremist, I propose to carry on my system of working like sin for a few weeks, and then easing up . . .

thus letting Mother Nature carry the whole load of making me stronger WITHOUT exercise.

Monday, April 25, 2011

When Rest is Best - Charles Fraser




Layoffs & Cycles: When Rest is Best

by Charles Fraser (1989)

Rhythms, beats. Cycles and syndromes. Life is an ever-evolving continuum of wax and wane. The only thing that remains the same is change. Long after each of us has "shuffled off this mortal coil" the living will go on pulsating through the same rhythms for all eternity.

It's ironic that the most advanced and variable of animals -- the human -- has an ordered intellect that resists change. But our need for rest, exercise, food, diversion, work and play changes from day to day, week to week, month to month. We all have a built-in complexity of ups and downs that should not be ignored.

Other animals don't seem to have to be taught this. They react instinctively to life's varying tempos. They move and play, eat and fast, rest and sleep, court and mate in concert with the crescendos and diminuendos that inevitably assert themselves daily, monthly, yearly.

Many biologists believe that we socialized humans don't have this instinct. Certainly most of us do not "listen" to the rhythms within us. Some of us defy them. But in these efforts we are always doomed to fail. The laws of nature cannot be foiled. We are the animals that became too smart for their own good. We must go back to our rhythms. We must become better listeners to our own bodies.

Nowhere is the rhythm of human physical energy more dramatically illustrated than by the female of the species' monthly cycle. Every 28 days or so her body goes through a buildup of tissue and fluid in preparation for the egg that will be released into it. As she approaches that time of ovulation, her energy and strength are on the ascent. During the two- or three-day period that the egg waits for a friendly sperm to come along, the woman is at the peak of her energy and strength (not to mention the summit of her sexual desire). She wants physical union with the male.

If the tiny egg remains unfertilized, the woman's body proceeds to shed that buildup of tissue and fluid along with the egg. During this five-to-seven-day menstrual period, the woman's strength and energy drop to a low ebb.

The male has a 28-day cycle too -- although the rise and fall of his energy is not marked by a physical event, as the female's. Men and women lifters must obey their monthly rhythms if they want to reach their potentials in the gym. Women are, of necessity, a lot better at this. It is we males who do not take the hint.

One way you can find out more about how your body fluctuates is by keeping a training diary. After you've finished, or during a workout, write down the weights and the reps you performed for every exercise. Indicate how hard or easy certain key sets were to do. A difficulty-rating scale can be helpful. Then rate your session with a letter or number according to how you feel about the workout. You might give yourself an A for an energetic and strong workout, a B for an average workout and a C if you were well below par in strength and energy. The same method can be used to rate sets or exercises.

After a month or two you'll see a pattern develop. Not only will some workouts be better than others, but individual weeks will be superior to others. You'll probably find about one in every four weeks during which you were below average in energy.

Keep your diary for years. Not only will it be a guide to your energy levels, but it will also provide an accurate record of your lifting progress that you can use to set goals and plan your training.

An Olympic lifter I know studied the Russian language for several years and then a few years ago visited the Soviet Union. He is a national caliber 190- and 220-pound lifter, so he was invited to train in several of the gyms in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.

Every athlete there is required to keep a training notebook. Each man lists his bodyweight and resting pulse rate at the beginning of each workout. He then notes every exercise, set and weight done in the workout. When he comes into the gym, he must present his notebook to the trainer, who looks over the lifter's last few workouts. Then he instructs the athlete on how to work out that day, even to the extent of writing out a complete routine -- exercises, weights, reps and sets. It may be quite different from anything the athlete has done recently. The Soviets operate on the principle that the individual is often the least objective judge of what's good for him.

If you're not inclined to keep a training diary, you can still listen to your body and make mental notes of your highs and lows as they occur. It's a good idea to train lighter and easier during one week out of every four until you discover your exact energy pattern.

Several years ago the irrepressible Vince Gironda wrote an article in which he advocated 21 days of training followed by seven days of rest:


He'd found from experience that most bodybuilders become stale after three weeks of hard workouts with a given routine, so he advised his readers to take a full seven days off every fourth week. Vince doubted that most bodybuilders would have the guts to try this system, but he believed they'd make better progress if they did.

Back in the late 1950s and early '60s there was a California bodybuilder named Hossein Shokouh. He was very good. He won some state titles and was featured in the muscle magazines. Hossein claimed that he trained hard and regularly for two months, then took off one whole month! During that month he'd lie around on the beach when he could, rest his aches and pains, soak up the sun and wax philosophical. He believed that the tissues had to be "softened up" in order to grow again. Perhaps his method was extreme, but you had to admire his aristocratic self-confidence. Also, his softening up theory has some precedent in nature.

The bear hibernates all winter. He emerges each spring lighter and flabbier but grows in weight and strength throughout the spring, summer and fall months. Every year until advanced old age the bear becomes bigger and mightier.

Nature, bears, Shokouh, Gironda and women can't all be wrong!

There is an insufferable lack of scientific data on cyclical training, including layoffs, as it pertains to bodybuilders. (Most bodybuilding research seems to be for the purpose of proving the activity's value for gaining weight and strength, information that is put together in order to convince the non-bodybuilding world.) We need more facts about the long-range effects of training with different systems of cycles and layoffs. Since nobody has a large enough group of people in his or her charge for enough years to tabulate and verify such data, we'll have to depend on the experience of our veteran athletes, as well as our own experiences and intelligent analysis.

The Soviets have been very successful in athletics, not only because of massive participation, but also because of what they have learned through scientific analysis. They aren't big on bodybuilding yet, but they are big on weightlifting. They have learned that for optimum success a weightlifter needs to train with a different load, weight and intensity, not only each training day, but each week and month throughout the year. They also consider planned layoffs as part of training.
These layoffs are called "active rest", and during this period the weightlifter does not train at his sport -- although he may engage in volleyball, swimming, track and field or other athletics.

Here are some suggestions for working cycles and layoffs into your training. Develop your own schedule according to your experience.

1) Vary the load (total sets and reps) and increase intensity each workout.

2) Vary the load and intensity from week to week. Make one week in four a light one.

3) Take a one-week layoff every eight, 12 or 13 weeks. Think of these rests as part of your training. You are violating training if you don't take the layoff.

4) During each layoff learn a new sport or physical activity. Take up the archery, golf, tennis, boxing, hiking; learn to do handstands, plant a garden, chop a six month's supply of firewood. You get the idea.

5) Consider one yearly layoff of two or more weeks.

6) Change exercises, reps and weights every three or four weeks. Don't always do the movements the same way. Vary the width of your grip or the placement of your feet. Change angles. Change from barbells to dumbbells. Try exercise machines, kettlebells, trap-style bars, cables, etc., etc.

Even if you're a very advanced bodybuilder, a very dedicated hardcore lifter -- don't be afraid to be eclectic in your choice of training exercises. Draw from the disciplines of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. Bodybuilders have a tendency to isolate their bodyparts and work them separately and intensely, as is needed. But they can benefit greatly by tying the bodyparts together with the coordinated whole-body lifts.

Use your own imagination along with these principles of training cycles and you'll not only improve as a bodybuilder, but you'll gain greater rewards and satisfactions from your lifting. Improve your lifting, bodybuilding and confidence in training by studying the methods and experiments of other sports.

Someone once said that the unexamined life is not worth living.
That principle can also be applied to physical training.

Know thyself.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learning to Prevent Injuries - Richard Winett



Learning to Prevent Injuries

by Richard A. Winett (1991)

For more information, see here


I am not a superstitious person. However, I knew there must be a danger in putting in print, as I did in an earlier article, that I was "injury free" after 33 years of training. (Well, I did say no chronic injuries.) Such pronouncements, in a eerie way, set the scene for an injury. So in making that statement, I became an injury waiting to happen.

A few days after I finished the piece, I suffered a severe strain in my right hip area from squatting. A millisecond before the injury I knew it was going to happen, but it was too late. And not surprisingly, after so many years of training myself to push through workouts, I made a bad situation worse by doing a few more reps to complete the set.

Fortunately, with age there does come a little bit of wisdom. In my younger days I would have finished the workout regardless of the injury. This time I only did movements that would not further hurt my hip. That bit of gained wisdom probably prevented a major injury from occurring.

I was also determined that this time around I would learn something from the injury, instead of just jumping back into training. Moreover, as I started to think somewhat more positively, I realized that my own experiences could help others. While there have been a number of excellent articles on injury prevention and treatment from a biomechanical perspective, less has been said about the behavioral aspects.

Psychological Reactions to Injury

For most athletes an injury precipitates a crisis that can impair their ability to train or compete for a considerable amount of time. They lose confidence in their training approach and their ability to profit from training. In my own case the injury also led to depression, which I attribute partly to my reduced activity level, partly to the fact that my schedule of goals became derailed, and partly to the loss of confidence.

The temptation is to escape the crisis by jumping right back into training and somehow "training around the injury." That's what I have always done, and it's worked out reasonably well in the past. I seem to have inherited a wondrous recovery ability and have always come back very quickly.

So we get past the crisis, but something is missing. We learn nothing from the injury. Specifically, we fail to find out the following crucial information -

What conditions led to the injury?
Were there enough warning signs?
Could we have foreseen and avoided the injury?
What can we do to prevent injuries in the future?

Learn From Injury

As I've suggested, we can learn a great deal from these experiences if we pull ourselves out of a funk, avoid jumping back into training and instead do some reflection and analysis. As we get older, there are also the haunting thoughts that it may now take a long time to recover or that a greater and more serious injury to the same area could end our productive training days altogether.

If we start with the supposition that most injuries are not accidents, then we are in the position to analyze predispositions, warning signs and preventive steps. Let's take my own injury. These were the warning signs:

1) The injury occurred to a spot where I had been having some soreness from walking and from some aerobic sessions. The stress of training just found a weak, slightly injured spot I had ignored.

2) I had changed my squat so that I could go deeper. In a prior workout I noted that this position placed new stresses on my hips, but I
ignored the feedback.

3) Furthermore, I
ignored what I had noted in my training diary: that in order to get in my early-morning workouts I had been going too quickly through my warmups; also that I was letting my concentration drift to the day's activities that lay ahead.

4) I also noted in my training diary that going deeper for squats had not influenced me to correct my basic problem of leaning too far forward, my original reason for trying that technique. I know that it's better to remain straighter than to worry about depth, but I ignored that insight.

5) In my warmup sets for that day I felt that something wasn't quite right. I never stopped, however, I
ignored the feedback and plowed ahead. These points support my major supposition: The vast majority of injuries are not accidents. Any one of those five pieces of information should have led to a change in training, not to mention my avoiding the injury, if I had not ignored the feedback.

Take Positive Preventive Steps

My forced, though brief, layoff and the pain and immobility that came along with the injury brought me face to face with those haunting thoughts I mentioned above. More positively, however, the experience helped clarify my feelings about how very important training is to me and how it is something I want to continue doing for many years. The more positive thinking, along with my analysis of the conditions that led up to the injury, brought me to the following decisions:

1) I will always remain upright when I do squats. If that means using less weight in regular squats or focusing on safety bar squats, that's far better than constantly using heavy weights and asking for another injury.

2) I must pay as much attention to minor injuries and my overall recovery as I do to my training regimen itself.

3) Training is only productive when concentration is highly focused. I have to minimize all distractions -- specifically, I need to sort out the day's activities before I train, not while I'm working out.

4) While in the past I have emphasized just warming up a specific area, I now try for a more complete warmup. It prepares the body for better workouts and decreases the likelihood of injury. I have added a few minutes of easy riding on the Air Dyne as a prelude to a regular, more specific warmup.

5) I will not attempt any leg or lower back exercises until all the pain is gone and my full range of motion has returned -- an approach that as a young man I would have considered procrastination.

6) I also decided to experiment with using more moderate weights and focusing on specific muscle contractions -- a process that as a power-oriented youth I would have considered heresy.

By definition we "ageless athletes" are training for the long haul. While we delight in the day-to-day satisfaction of the process of training and the pursuit of short-term goals, our ultimate objective involves health and fitness through our lifetime. Prudence in preventing injury is one of the keys to long-term productive and fulfilling training.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Definition - Reg Park

Reg Park

Malcolm Brenner is a huge man, standing over 6' 1" tall and weighing 240 pounds. Still, with all his massiveness, he retains the clear cut muscularity of a lightweight, full of strands of definition and perfect form. Malcolm makes a reverse-grip bench press of 375, one hand dead lift of 650 and incline curls with 100 pound dumbbells.

Click pics to ENLARGE

Basic Principles for Gaining Definition
by Reg Park (1951)

Whenever I hear some bodybuilders use the term "definition" I always feel like asking them just what they think it means. It is a loosely used word, with certain authorities in particular throwing it about without any deep thought of what the development of muscular definement entails, or if certain types of lifters actually CAN acquire it. In fact, it is common to hear many novices talk of definition development before they have even built the foundations of a good physique.

I have my own ideas of obtaining the maximum of muscular separation, and while some will claim they are a departure from accepted standards I have found that in every instance of their application by me on the boys that I term guinea pigs, I have never failed to achieve what they previously thought was the impossible -- building muscular definition without any loss of strength or muscular bulk.

One can read of boxers undergoing the tortures of the damned in order to make a certain bodyweight, and it is often this point which misleads so many bodybuilders in their delineation quest -- they confuse REDUCING with training for the quality of definement. By rights, any bodybuilder who undergoes a definition program and LOSES muscular bodyweight has been training along the wrong lines . . . incorrectly . . . for if his schedule of exercises had been properly planned he would have lost no muscle, would have retained his strength, perhaps even gained in power, yet would present a different physical picture thaqn when he first started on the course.

There are certain essentials that make up the definition routine. First -- DIET. Second -- EXERCISE. Third -- arrangement of SETS and REPS. But there is another immensely important factor -- YOU! In other words, your physical type predetermines whether you can build up definition. Some guys might as well try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear and hope for success as attempt to gain definition. The physical makeup they possess says NO to any definition routine. These men have large bones and joints, especially the hips and shoulders. The skin is thick and the subcutaneous layer of fat is impossible to burn off with any amount of exercise or dieting.

On the other hand we have men like George Paine and Elias Rodriguez, who look as if the muscles are about to burst through the skin. These men seem to gain muscular definition without any trouble and are the chosen few of bodybuilding. It is my honest opinion that these men would have their degree of separation no matter how they trained and notwithstanding the frequency. At the extreme end of the scale we have men like the giant Doug Hepburn, who altho blessed with exceedingly pleasing proportions and shape for a man so big, would never get definition.

The vast majority of weight trainers are those who have to work hard for what they have and just as hard to keep it. It is to these men that I address these words. First, the reason for definition training. A program which is designed to produce greater muscular separation is what is commonly known as a "specialization" program. It is NOT for the newcomer to bodybuilding. It IS for the more advanced man, the guy who has a couple of years of solid training under his belt and wants to IMPROVE his appearance. It is a program which produces the ILLUSION OF GREATER SIZE when that doesn't really exist. It is also a program which not only ADDS a finer, sharply chiseled shape, but POWER and a more efficiently functioning body as a whole.

It produces the appearance of greater measurement in one of two men . . . where both bodybuilders have identical measurements, yet one looks so much bigger . . . where one man so stands out that his companion looks mediocre by comparison . . . and yet they both have 17" arms and 48" chests.

Let us first consider the question of diet. Heavy, stodgy foods do not go well with a definition routine. These should be replaced by foods which contain a great deal of vitamins and protein. All types of starchy food are out . . . as well as foods that are highly spiced or salted. In fact, you must go without salt as much as you can, for salt aids the body in retaining its water content. No white bread, or for that matter bread of any description. No rice, bananas, cauliflower, potatoes in any shape or form, and definitely no macaroni or spaghetti. Cut out starchy foods, the carbohydrates . . . substitute fresh fruits and all types of salads and FRESH vegetables.

Overeating must be avoided at all costs.Eat until you feel your hunger allayed, but never eat for the sake of eating. You can perform no finer exercise than pushing yourself away from the table. DON'T OVERDRINK. In fact cut down as much as possible on liquids, confining your liquid intake to juicy fruits and vegetables and SMALL glasses of fruit and vegetable juice. Don't drink during your workouts no matter how thirsty you may feel. Instead, keep a lemon handy and suck it or rub it across the tongue. All types of alcoholic drinks are out AT ALL TIMES. This goes for smoking too. Under normal circumstances a cigarette or two does no harm, but the program required to induce definition is of the endurance type and poor wind lessons the ability to carry such a schedule out efficiently.

It is also important to see that the organs of elimination . . . the skin and the bowels . . . function freely and naturally. The use of purgatives is strictly advised against. Instead, rely on natural means to regulate the bowels. A dish of prunes on rising, a glass of lemon juice and hot water in equal quantities, will do much to promote healthy bowel action. All kinds of citrus fruits, as well as sun-dried fruits are good. During your workouts wear a thick track suit so that you can sweat freely. After your workout is finished take a shower as hot as you can bear it and rub yourself down briskly with a towel as rough as you can obtain.

During the summer months you will find that sunbathing does much to take the excess liquid out of your system. You sweat freely, rid the body of the wastes resulting from your previous workout, and acquire a coat of tan that in itself helps create the impression of greater definition than you possess.

After your workout take a good rubdown with that rough towel and massage the muscles. Massage, like exercise, tends to normalcy. Especially work hard on those areas that show signs of flabbiness and fat. In your actual exercise schedule make certain that not only do you use basic exercises, but others that take care of the little-known and used muscle groups. In other words, not only are the sets and reps important, but the quantity of exercises too . . . VARIETY of muscle movements.

It has previously been the accepted theory that low reps and high poundages produced bulk, while high reps and moderate poundages built definition. Now, there is some truth to this theory as applied to the commonplace program of exercises, those which are composed of basic exercises and employ the three-set system. But modern bodybuilders have discovered that for the utmost in definition . . . the utmost that your physical type will allow you to procude . . . higher sets with moderate reps and MORE TYPES OF EXERCISE are necessary.

Not only must you use such exercises as presses, curls, rowing motions and squats, but you must also specialize on the individual muscle groups. Take the press for example . . . the bench press. This exercise in itself works the triceps, the deltoids and the pectoral muscles. Or the standing press . . . which exercises the triceps, deltoids, serratus magnus and trapezius muscles. So not only must you practice the press, but also movements that EXERCISE EACH AND EVERY MUCLE USED IN THE PRESS, INDIVIDUALLY. The same goes for the other larger groups . . . the thighs and lower back in the deep knee bend. You must also practice leg extensions for the vastus muscles, leg curls for the biceps femoris, leg presses for the large extensors, iron boot exercises for the sartorius muscles . . . stiff legged dead lifts . . . shrugs . . . chins for the lats . . . and every type of movement that works the muscles of the muscles of the back and thighs.

And in addition, the muscles of the front of the torso must receive extra attention. Some bodybuilders even include a set of abdominal exercises between each set of the other exercises. Side bends, sit ups, leg raises and good morning exercises will help to tighten the hips and waist. It would also be wise for you to take stock of yourself. Try and figure out which areas of your physique have previously been neglected. Then, compile a schedule which not only works out the body generally, but also pays extra attention to those negelected areas. In the major muscle movements such as compose the general schedule . . . presses . . . curls . . . rowing motions . . . deep knee bends . . . breathing pullovers . . . dead lifts, confine your sets to 3 and the reps to no more than 15 with the heaviest poundage you can handle. But in ALL THE AUXILIARY MOVEMENTS, use 5 sets and as many reps as you can squeeze out. The higher the better. And . . . here is another very important factor . . . MAKE THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN REEL OFF. Never perform your movements slowly or deliberately . . . but always FAST. And don't use a sloppy form but keep strictly to a good exercising style!

Start off with three training days each week and make sure you get a good rest between each workout. Get plenty of sleep . . . eight hours . . . but not too much for this will cause you to feel sluggish and remove the zest for training. Train for three times a week for three weeks, then add another training day. Work the four days for another three weeks, then add another trainin day so you work out five times weekly. On you non-training days do no exercise with the exception of a few sit ups, legs raises and side bends. Over the weekend, which will normally be your non-training period, get as much rest as you can without dropping the sit ups, side bends and leg raises. Plenty of sleep will be needed when you get to this point.

In addition to plenty of salads and fresh fruits, step up your protein intake. Soft boiled eggs, cheese . . . LEAN BEEF, veal, liver, and all kinds of shellfish are good. Don't use any white sugar but confine your 'candy' consumption to a few spoonfuls of honey each day.

And finally . . . WORK HARD . . . hard and with 100% determination. Keep yourself wrapped up warm while you train and don't be afraid to sweat freely. eat plenty of meat . . . with, again, a sole exception . . . PORK. Use cottage cheese instead of butter and don't eat any fatty or fried foods. The most important points in your definition program are these . . . A TREMENDOUS VARIETY OF EXERCISES . . . CUT DOWN ON ALL STARCHES . . . STEP UP YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE . . .AND . . . ONCE AGAIN, WORK HARD.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bodybuilders and the Press - Charles Fraser

Ron Love

Arnold with Mr. & Mrs. Chet Yorton

Press On
by Charles Fraser

It was 1958, and we were in Detroit, heading toward Chinatown to get some mu shu after watching one of the three USA-USSR weightlifting contests held in Chicago, Detroit and New York. I found myself squeezed into the backseat of the car between two burly gents, both of whom had the most fabulous deltoids I'd ever seen.

On my left was Norbert Schemansky, the greatest and best-built heavyweight lifter this country ever had. Bodybuilders and weightlifters were in awe of him. On my right was big Jim Bradford, the gentle librarian from the Library of Congress. He waqs one of America's best Heavyweights, not to mention the owner of the most enormous and strongest deltoids in the world, with the possible exception of Paul Anderson.

Jim had just competed against Alexei Medvedyev, a top Russian Heavyweight. Schemansky was sitting this one out becasue he was recovering from back surgery. I had attended the contest as an extra backstage interpreter because I could speak Russian.

On my way to the restaurant we passed Tiger Stadium. An exhibition game was being played that night at which Stan Musial, the Cardinal great, would be present. To make conversation I commented about Musial. Norbert, whom I consider to be one of America's greatest athletes of all time, was bitter about the lack of renown for a four-time Olympic medal winner because he competes in a "minor sport" like Olympic lifting. When I brought up Stan Musial, a participant in what Schemansky regarded as an unathletic, silly ballgame, he grunted, "Yeah? So what?"

"Well, uh, he's a great ballplayer," I offered carefully. 'You know, a great athlete."

"Yeah?" Norb replied contempuously. "How much can he press?"

There was a brief moment of silence, and then the whole carload exploded with laughter. Jim Bradford cracked up. You never knew if Schemansky was angry or trying to be funny, because he always kept a straight face, never spoiling his satiric wit. It made his barbs funnier. Good old Norb! He made you proud to be involved in tghe Iron Game because he looked good, he lifted well, and he had an outspoken pride in his chosen sport. And as I said before, what a set of delts!

I've never seen a weightlifter who didn't possess marvelous deltoids. Those half melons capping the shoulders are built by every motion done in Olympic lifting. Snatching and cleaning are a kind of cheating upright row that works the lower range of delt movement. Presses and jerks work the upper portion of the delt movment.

The function of the deltoid is to raise the arm from the side to an overhead position. Pressing was dropped from international competition in 1973 because it was deemed too difficult to judge fairly. Weightlifters were jolting their chests, torsos, hips and even their legs to impart more momentum to their presses. This enabled them to press almost as much as they could jerk. It was a pity that this demonstration of shoulder and triceps strength was abandoned. It was the grit lift of the Olympic three.

Most bodybuilders still practice the overhead press in some form because it is the best single exercise for the rounded triangle of muscle that caps each shoulder. Many, however, do a lot of be nch presses in place of overhead pressing. The problem is, though, that the bench press doesn't develop the shoulders and triceps as well as the overhead press.

Many bodybuilders believe that the regular overhead press works mainly the front portion of the deltoids. This is not true. Even though the elbow may be angled out to the front, the whole deltoid still works hard to raise the arm. Simple observation will prove this true. Whether you bring your arm forward or to the rear, the whole deltoid muscle turns with the arm as one piece. The middle and rear heads will be working even if the arms are pointed straight forward from the body as in the forward deltoid raise.

In most of the articles on deltoids in the various physique magazines bodybuilders are urged to do delt raises to the front for the frontal heads, to the side for the middle heads and to the rear -- with the body bent forward -- for the rear heads. This does put a little more emphasis on each of the individual heads, but not nearly as much as many think. And none of the deltoid raises -- or all three together -- develop the entire muscle as much as the overhead press. This is because the overhead press is a compound movement; that is, it involves two joints moving, the elbow and the shoulder. When you use two joints and their respective sets of muscles in a lift, you can handle much more weight and you work the muscle much more completely. Working a muscle in isolation never develops the all-around mass that working it with a combination movement does.

We need only discuss a couple of basic exercises to verify this psychological fact. No bodybuilder ever built his or her thighs to their full potential by doing leg extensions, which isolate the quadriceps; however, many have built massive thighs by doing only squats and leg presses and no isolation work. Another example is the bench press. Powerlifters and bodybuilders who practice this exercise develop large, and in some cases huge, pectorals. You can do flying motions with dumbbells for years and never develop your pecs to the extent that you could have with the bench press. Of course, using both will help you develop your pecs to their fullest.

Compound exercises are superior for developing greater size and strength. Isolation movements should always be done in addition to combination movements -- never instead of. Compound exercises also have the timesaving advantage of developing at least two sets of muscles instead of one.

In addition to giving you outstanding delt development, pressing -- particularly any kind of standing press -- will work the trapezius and triceps as well as the deltoids. Also, standing rigidly under a weight and pressing it overhead forces you to control and coordinate your entire body as a pressing base. This improves balance, coordination and the ability to concentrate your whole body into a physical effort. It gives you the feeling that you're working your entire body as a unit.

Here are some good pressing exercises you can try:

This is the premier pressing movement. It's also called the clean and press because you must lift the barbell to your upper chest from the floor before you can press it. After you clean the bar to your shoulders, rigidly tighten your thighs, hips and back. You can do this by slightly moving your hips forward and leaning your torso backward. Your body is locked into the shape of an archer's bow. Now press the weight straight overhead with a strong, steady push. Completely lock out your elbows and shoulders at the top. Then lower the weight to your chest and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Keep your body tight and steady throughout the movement and concentrate on your triceps and deltoids. Because the standing press requires the rigid effort of the whole body, it is difficult to do high repetitions. For developing mass and strength, do medium to low reps. A good rep progression is 8,6,4,4,4,8-10.

Clean a pair of dumbbells. Hold them parallel to each other and press them overhead while keeping your body tight. If you're doing this exercise instead of the barbell press, follow the same rep scheme as given above. If you're doing it in addition to the barbell press, do 8,6,5,5. Don't do more than four sets if you are also doing barbell presses.

You can perform dumbbell presses in an alternating fashion for variety. Dumbbell presses will demand greater concentration of your two sides because the dumbbell are not connected. This will even out your strength and development if one side is larger and stronger than the other. With dumbbells you'll only be able to use about 85-90% of what you can lift with a barbell, so keep this in mind when selecting poundages.

This movement concentrates more of the effort on your shoulders and less on your triceps. Mechanically it is a weaker position than pressing in front of your neck. The behind-the-neck press forces your upper arms back and out to your sides, a position that created more backward flexibility of your arms and shoulders and puts a stretch on your pectorals. For this reason you should never do it with fast or jerky movements. You can increase flexibility and achieve a greater range of motion for your deltoids and triceps by using a lighter weight and lowering the barbell to three or four inches down the back of your shoulders.

Clean a light barbell - about 80% of what you could use in the front press -- and then press it, guiding it over your head and placing it on your traps and shoulders. Adjust your grip to a few inches wider on each side than what you use for a front press. Start pressing with a slow, steady movement. Do 10 reps down to six, increasing the weight, for three or four sets. You can do this exercise standing or sitting.

This movement is favored by those who don't like the behind-the-neck press, which demands greater flexibility and can be uncomfortable and in some people cause injury over time. It was used by Olympic lifters who found it improved their regular press by making them stronger at the start. It's a great deltoid developer for bodybuilders -- perhaps the greatest.

You can do this movement standing or sitting. Your grip should be as wide as what you'd use for the behind-the-neck press. The wide grip takes the emphasis off your triceps, particularly at the start. This puts greater stress on your deltoids. Therefore, it's a good deltoid developer, but beware that you do not invite injury by using a fast, jerking start.

For this exercise try to mimic the motion of the previous one but with the following variation. Hold the dumbbells in a horizontal position -- as you would hold a barbell -- instead of parallel. Press them up in a circular motion, moving them out in a lateral arc and spacing them as wide or wider than the grip in the wide-grip barbell press. As the bells pass the midpoint of the arc, bring them closer together until they touch at the top position. It's not necessary to achieve absolute lockout. Lower the dumbbells in the same arcing motion. You must do this exercise fairly slowly and with concentration. It also demands much lighter weights than you'd use for regular dumbbell presses.

This movement is named for Jim Bradford, whom I introduced at the beginning of this article. It may be the best exercise for of all for the shoulders. Bodybuilders will absolutely love it, yet I have never seen one perform it. It is a rotary motion that draws on every part of the deltoid and maintains constant tension on the delts during the set. It is a form that incorporates both front and behind-the-neck pressing without the finish, which is mostly triceps anyway. Once a few bodybuilders start Bradding it up in the gym, this press will spread quickly.

Take a barbell that you would warm up with on regular presses. Use a grip that's wider than you'd use for regular presses but not quite as wide as a behind-the-neck press-grip. Press the bar up to hair level, then cross it over your head and lower it to your traps. Touch lightly, and then without resting press the weight back up over your head again for rep two. Keep repeating this with no rest at either the front or back position. After the first set use as heavy a weight as you can for 4 to 6 reps, each pair of presses counting as one rep. After 2 or 3 sets of this exercise you'll know it's a keeper.

Here are some pressing routines for bodybuilders at various stages of development:

Standing Barbell Press - 2 x 10, 8.

Standing Barbell Press - 2 x 8, 6.
Dumbbell Pres - 2 x 8, 6.

Standing Barbell Press - 3 x 8, 6, 4.
Dumbbell Press - 2 x 8, 6.
Behind the Neck Press - 2 x 10, 8.

Dumbbell Press - 4 x 8, 6, 4, 4.
Wide-Grip DB Press - 3 x 8, 6, 6.
Bradford Press - 2 x 6, 4.

These are merely suggestions. Many prefer to do just two of these movements for a few more sets. If that's your cup of tea, the 8,6,4,4,4,8 layout I recommended at the beginning of this article is excellent for more advanced lifters.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Intellectual Training - Judd Biaisiotto

Ted Arcidi

Intellectual Training
by Judd Biaisiotto and Amy Ferrando (1986)

There is little doubt that in recent years scientific innovations in the field of sport have significantly enhanced athletic performance. Research in the field of psychomotor development has consistently revealed that the more information afforded an athlete about the physiological, psychological, and mechanical demands of the sport in which he engages, the more likely he is to excel.Research has also shown that advances in equipment, pharmacology, nutrition, biomechanics, cybernetics and psychology have significantly elevated athletic performance.

Although we are heirs to the Jude-Christian ethic which states in principle that there is a linear relationship between hard work and success, that concept has all but lost its credibility in the field of sports. No longer can an athlete expect to excel simply by out-working everyone else. Today's athlete must be multidimensional. He must supplement hard work with scientific means if he is to be successful. For this reason, most athletes and coaches are searching for scientific techniques that will enhance performance.

There are several studies which have explored the influence of intellectual training upon athletic efficiency. For example: Biaisiotto, Fernando, and Barr utilizing 100 male college students, found a significant increase in strength scores on the three powerlifts when the subjects were given special intellectual training which dealt with the physiological, psychological and mechanical demands of these lifts. These findings were compared to a control group who received no special attention and were exposed only to the demands of the three powerlifts. At the completion of the eight month study, the experimental group not only exhibited superior strength scores, but also a significantly better attitude toward the task at hand. The results of similar studies are in accord, indicating that the more information extended to an athlete about the demands of his sport, the more likely it is that he will succeed.

For this reason, many Eastern-bloc countries such as Russia, Czechoslovakia and East Germany insist that coaches expose their athletes to the theory and mechanics of the sport. Only recently has the United States incorporated a similar systematic program of intellectual training for their elite athletes. Of course, most American athletes do engage in some form of intellectual training. Such training, however, is seldom systematic or detailed. It generally consists of reading unscientific publications or talking with fellow athletes. Without question, even this type of meta-method is beneficial, however, a more comprehensive program is recommended for the serious athlete.

Intellectual training may take several forms and concern various topics. For instance, when the authors were actively competing in powerlifting, we went about procuring as much information as possible about strength training and powerlifting. We read practically everything we could get our hands on; books about strength training routines, ergogenic aids, nutrition, biomechanics, etc. We searched the literature for experiments that dealt with any of these subject areas. We also called or visited prominent coaches and athletes throughout the country. Through it all, we obtained a prolific amount of information that greatly enhanced our training and/or competitive performances.

According to Vanek and Cratty, in their book Psychology and the Superior Athlete, coaches in the Eastern-bloc countries frequently assign readings to their athletes. At other times, discussions are held and lectures are given by authorities who are invited to discuss the psychological or physiological ramifications of the activities in which the athletes are engaged. Also, athletes are frequently exposed to training films in which their own movements are analyzed and compared to those of more proficient performers around the world. These programs, again, consistently revealed that athletes who were intellectually prepared for the demands of competion performed significantly better than athletes who didn't receive such training.

According to Vanek and Cratty, as further insights are obtained concerning how to provide athletes with knowledge about the functioning of their own bodies, their psychological state, the mechanics of the movements, and of group dynamics, even more superior performances are likely to be achieved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The True Story of Roger Eells - Harry B. Paschall

Roger Eells is shown here at a bodyweight of 135 pounds. This photo was taken after he had trained for three months and increased his weight 14 pounds. His left lung was collapsed by artificial pneumothorax at this time (produced by the injection of air, or a more slowly absorbed gas such as nitrogen, into the pleural space to collapse the lung), and remained collapsed until December, 1934. During the entire period from December 12, 1932 until December 1934, Mr. Eells exercised under these difficulties. It is his opinion that he would not be alive today except for progressive weight training. The left lung was permitted to return to normal activity and has remained so for the past five years. One would never believe, to look at him today, that he was a far, far advanced case of tuberculosis given but three months to live a few years ago.

In the above picture you see Roger Eells as he is today weighing 185 pounds. The contast shown between the two photographs does not tell the entire story, however. The top picture was taken at a bodyweight of 135 pounds, but Rog weighed but 121 when he began exercising. A few months prior to this when he was informed by his physician of his tuberculor condition he weighed 109 pounds, dressed, on the doctor's scales.

The True Story of Roger Eells
by Harry B. Paschall (1940)

To many of our readers this will not be an entirely new story, since many of the facts herein related have appeared in printer's ink before, yet I feel it a privilege and a duty to give new readers a brief word-picture of the editor of this publication (Vim magazine); a picture which will give you a better conception of Roger Eells and the ideals for which he stands.

It is always best to begin your story at the beginning, because otherwise some obscure point may be lost which may be important as the plot develops. Roger was born and brought up in a typical small Midwestern town; his parents were strong and healthy, in fact, rather unusually so, because I have often heard Rog remark about the unusual strength of his father, and the ease with which he handled heavy caskets (both his father and brothers were undertakers). He had two brothers who were also unusual physical specimens; one standing 6"3" and weighing 240 pounds, while the other was just under 6' and weighed 190.

Rog was the youngest of these three brothers, and by all odds the smallest and weakest. Being the baby of the family he was unfortunate enough to be petted and spoiled; he grew up on a diet of candy and cakes, and subsequently became a ready victim to every ordinary ill of childhood. At 14, upon entering high school, he tipped the beam at 93 pounds. Before him were the heroic athletic traditions of two husky football playing brothers, and Rog was determined to carry on. The third night of practice a 180 pound avalanche ran him down and he gave up freshman football with four ribs broken and numerous bruises. Next year he loaded up on pie to the extent of 118 pounds, and this season he made the team at end, but the first game saw three more ribs hors de combat, and he finished out the season only by wearing a ten inch heavy belt and enough tape to wrap up an Egyptian mummy. He continued to take this punishment for two more years, without gaining much in either size or strength. The point is, he should not have been playing a bruising game like football with his frail physique, but the very knowlege of his weakness made him want to prove to others that he really was a tough, two-fisted he-man.

Out of school he picked on another sissy pastime; he raced automobiles on dirt tracks, and for a number of years he held the half-mile dirt track record. Auto racing became too tame, and he took up aviation, operating his own flying sevice. Still playing with fire; this time the moth came too close to the flame. He fell into a whirling propellor, severing the muscles of his right thigh and lost so much blood that in his already weakened condition he dropped 21 pounds in three weeks. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. He slipped into tuberculosis. The doctor's examination showed two cavities in the left lung larger than a silver dollar, and twenty more the size of a dime. The right lung had three large cavities and many smaller ones.

The verdict was terrifying. At the outside, three months to live. How many young men would have caved in and given up at the unequal struggle? Yet Rog, having played with Death for several years,m determined to give the Grim Reaper one last strong struggle, and this time he was determined to either die or come back with a truly strong, healthy body.

For six months he battled the plague with his left lung collapsed at the Mt. Vernon Sanatorium. The rest care effected considerable improvement, and he came home to spend another year and a half continuing the cure.

Each day he struggled to spend less time in bed; to gain a little much-needed strength by light exercise such as walking. Slowly but surely he began to come out of the Valley of the Shadow, and his determination grew to develop a strong and healthy body.

Casting about for a means to this end he became interested in physical culture and bar bell training, and on December 12, 1932 he began progressive bar bell exercise, using one the 15-lb. bar of his outfit. At this time he weighed 121 lbs. at a height of 5' 7¾ ". His chest was concave; every bone in his body was visible. Beginning bar bell exercise under these conditions had never previously been attempted. Doctors counselled REST and no vigorous movement; but after two years of agony and weakness, Rog was determined to either kill or cure, to win or lose by a knockout rather than tossing in the towel.

When he started bar-bell exercise his left lung was still COLLAPSED, and breathing was painful and difficult; for weeks and months it seemed like a losing battle against impregnable odds. Then came a day when he started to gain -- in strength, in weight, in muscle. The bones began to lose their jagged outlines, the chest began to lose its sunken appearance, neck and face began to fill out. A true bar-bell miracle was taking place.

In a year Rog gained 41 pounds, increased his chest 10 inches, widened his shoulder three inches, put a solid six inches on each thigh, and added a full inch to his stature. A far different picture of a man than the one who had weighed but 119 pounds dressed when he hears the doctor's verdict of "Three months to live."

It was at this point that Rog came to Columbus to work and study, and since those days we have been very close. We have trained together, lifted together, talked together. I know of no one who is so enthusiastic about bar-bell training and the sport of lifting, and I am sure that no one deserves to be more enthusiastic than the man who was brought back from the verge of the gtrave by the intelligent application of "iron pills".

During the past four years he has continued to grow in strength and size; he now normally weighs around 185 stripped, and bent-presses 250 (has had 270 to straight arm). And furthermore he bent-presses with his WEAK arm! That's what I call results! I know of no one better fitted to be the editor of a magazine devoted to body culture than Roger Eells, because he has startingly demonstrated the benefits of weight training on his own body. And because of his inquiring mind he has made many notable experiments in breathing and weight gaining exercise which have helped hundreds of others to make similar gains.

Members of the medical profession consider his case miraculous. As a matter of fact, some of them don't believe it! Yet X-Ray photographs show that his lungs are absolutely and completely free from scar tissue, and his physical proportions would convince the most skeptical that here is a husky guy who was never sick in his life!

His story, all to briefly set forth here, holds forth inspiration for all those who are weak and would be strong; for all those who are sick and would be well; and certainly should make those of us who are normally strong determine to reach the physical heights.

Three Ways to Gain - Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Scott, and Bill Pearl

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Larry Scott

Bill Pearl

Three Golden Era Greats on Gaining Mass
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Larry Scott, and Bill Pearl

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I would like to clear up any confusion you may have about anabolic steroids. Every serious bodybuilder should know the truth about steroids. It is my opinion that you can gain all the weight you want without them. Steroids are a very radical departure from physical culture. Far too much emphasis is placed on their value in the quest for an improved physique. Personally, I think the usefulness of steroids is overrated and, needless to day, overdone. Superstars of the past, such as Reg Park, John Grimek, Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross, Jack Delinger and Bill Pearl reached the ultimate in massive muscularity without them. So too can you reach your ultimate with proper training and diet.

Some advanced bodybuilders can train three hours a day and show amazing gains, while others cannot make any kind of improvement if they train much more than one hour or so. When I was trying to get bigger in my early days of training, I followed a routine called the Golden Six. I made tremendous gains on this program and do did many others who trained at my gym in Munich. All agreed that this simple system of training produced excellent gains in muscle size and bodyweight. Here are the Golden Six:

1.) Barbell Squats. This exercise not only develops the lower body, but it strengthens the heart and lungs while improving the general circulation as well. Use a weight that will permit you to perform 4 sets of 10 reps. Always lower yourself until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor, and keep your back flat.

2.) Barbell Bench Presses. This is my favorite upper body exercise, and almost every training program I've ever used includes it. Take a fairly wide grip -- your hands about 32 inches apart. Inhale as you lower the bar to your nipples and exhale as you push it back to arms' length. Don't bounce the weight off your chest. 3 sets of 10 reps.

3.) Chins. If you have limited training experience you may find chins difficult at first. If you have a lat machine, you can perform pulldowns until you've developed sufficient strength to do chins. Use a fairly wide grip and try to bring your chin over the bar. Do as many reps as you can for 3 sets.

4.) Overhead Presses. This exercise reigns supreme for widening and thickening the shoulders. I prefer to do it seated and often press behind the neck. Use a wide grip -- your thumbs about six inches wider than your delts on each side. Lower the weight slowly and don't pause at the bottom. 4 sets of 10 reps.

5.) Barbell Curls. The triceps have already been thoroughly exercised during the bench press and the overhead press. Use a shoulder width grip and a weight you can curl without any body movement. Don't let your elbows move away from the sides of your body, make sure you straighten your arms completely before each rep and do 3 sets of 10 reps.

6.) Bent-Knee Situps. It's only sensible to keep your midsection firm and toned when gaining muscular weight. Situps also improve digestion and elimination as well. Don't pause between reps and continue for 20 or as many reps as you can do without stopping. Do 3 or 4 sets.

I feel sure that if you use these basic exercises for a minimum of three months without missing any workouts, doing them three times a week on alternate days, you can gain many pounds of new muscle. Paul Grant, former Mr. World, used almost this exact same program and gained 65 pounds of muscle in less than a year. All he did was increase the sets on the first five exercises to four after three months, and after six months he went to six sets. Always strive to continually add more weight to each exercise when you can do two or three more reps over the recommended amount.

Larry Scott:

Gaining muscular weight is a problem faced by nearly everyone at one time or another during his or her bodybuilding career. I was no exception, weighing in at only 120 pounds as a beginner. The first few years of my training were primarily devoted to gaining additional muscular weight and size. Through proper training and nutrition I eventually reached a bodyweight of 215 pounds, a total gain of 95 pounds of muscle.

When it comes to gaining solid weight the real secret is diet. Only by supplying your body with the proper nutritional elements that it requires will you be able to build maximum size and strength. It is my opinion that 75% of the battle to build a better body is proper nutrition. Exercise and proper rest and sleep are also of major importance, but diet builds muscle tissue when the exercise stimulates the body to grow.

One of the best mass-training routines that I used was to select one exercise for each major muscle group and do 6 sets of 8 reps on each. The following workout is intended for the intermediate bodybuilder who is not a total beginner and wants to pack on a lot more bodyweight and muscle mass:

Bench presses to neck - 6 sets of 6to 8 reps.
Barbell squats - 6 x 8.
Calf raises - 6 x 15-20.
Behind the neck presses - 6 x 6-8.
Front pulldowns - 6 x 8-10.
Lying barbell triceps extensions - 6 x 8.
Preacher bench curls - 6 x 8.
Bent-leg knee raises - 1 x 100-150.

This is a rugged routine. You might wish to begin with just 3 sets of each exercise and add one additional set every 30 days until you work up to 6 sets. Do this program 3 days a week on alternate days.

Think big and train with all the enthusiasm you're capable of. You can go as far as you want when it comes to gaining solid weight if you train intelligently, eat properly and get enough sleep and rest.

Bill Pearl:

A lot of time has passed since I first began training seriously. At first I employed a basic all-round training program for conditioning. Then I began to work on my weak spots, which at the time included just about everything. I weighed about 165 at 5'11". I wasn't skinny. I just had an average athletic build. When I competed and won the Mr. Universe, however, I weighed 241 pounds in my final competition.

My plan when gaining muscular weight was to eat five meals a day so that the digestive system was not overtaxed. Often when a person is using all-out effort to gain bodyweight, the average individual eats to the point of force-feeding and in doing so stretches the stomach. When you eat smaller meals more often, not only is the food more easily digested and utilized to build muscle and produce energy, it also helps keep the waistline under control. Generally speaking, when trying to reach a desired higher bodyweight I consume mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, baked potatoes, cheese, meat and fish (at least I did before converting to a vegetarian diet in later years). All foods are either baked or broiled for easier digestion.

Here is the mass program that helped me win the Mr. Universe. I trained down to 190 then slowly built up to 240 pounds.


Incline Flyes - 5 sets of 6 reps
Bent-Arm Flat Bench Flyes - 5x6
Decline Flyes - 5x6
Seated Behind the Neck Presses - 5x6
Standing Barbell Press - 5x6
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 5x8
Lying Triceps Extension - 5x8
Triceps Pushdowns - 5x8
Barbell Curls - 5x6
Incline Dumbbell Curls - 5x6
Concentration Curls - 5x6
Situps - 100-200
Alternate Leg Raises - 100-200
Dumbbell Side Bends - 50


Situps - 100-200
Alternate Leg Raises - 100-200
Dumbbell Side Bends - 50
Wide Grip Chins - 5x10
Close Grip Chins - 5x10
Shrugs - 5x10
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts - 5x8
Neck Work
Wrist Curls - 5x20
Reverse Curls - 5x20
Squats - 5x8
Hack Squats - 5x10
Leg Curls - 5x12
Standing Calf Raises - 6x10
Donkey Calf Raises - 6x10

Paul Anderson - Jeff Everson

Paul Anderson
by Jeff Everson (1985)

Moscow, 1955, Gorky Park:
The World Weightlifting Championships

The men in their tweed coats and weather-beaten faces grew restless. "What is this fat man about? Why does this American make a mockery of our Alexander?" The crowd pressed forward. Backstage, the Soviet trainers scurried about. "So, another capitalist ploy from Hoffman. He sends no Davis. He sends no Schemanski. Instead, he sends this fat man to sell his protein powders."

Outside the crowd became disturbed, almost indignant at what was transpiring. Mindless to their thoughts, Paul Anderson asked the loaders for 182.5 kilos his first attempt. 402 lbs. of defiant steel lay at his feet. People craned their necks and stiffened their backs to see. "Who is this interloper who dares ask for this press?"

Alexander Medvedyev, World Champion, peered out behind the curtains. He knew the dangers of lifting in the cool weather. It was raining besides and that made it worse. In the breeze and mist, he had just pressed 321 lbs., some 60 lbs. off the world record, but it was more than enough to win today. Or so he thought.

Anderson laboriously approached the ponderous bar. He addressed the crowd politely, sighing heavily as he did. Bending at his bulbous waistline, Anderson encircled his thickened fingers around the cold knurling. He tightened his 10" wrists.With a grunt and a sudden tug of his 33" thighs, Anderson whipped the bar to his massive chest and arose out of the squat, much like you and I get up off the couch. He set and waited for the signal that would make him a legend.

"Press!" shouted the head judge. Anderson's deltoids and triceps sprang into action and, in about the time it takes a man to turn his head to glance at a beautiful woman, Anderson had the bar overhead. There in the cold Moscovian drizzle, Paul Anderson became the first man to military press 400 lbs.

While it may be true that the Russian hordes couldn't understand the genetic uniqueness of this man's body, one thing they did understand was strength. Immediately the Soviet media pronounced Anderson "The Wonder of Nature". Some referred to Anderson as "Mr. America", oblivious to the fact that the AAU already bestowed that title on Steve Klisanin in 1955. No matter. On that day, in Gorky Park, Paul Anderson became legend.

To hear many experts tell it, Paul Anderson, born in Toccoa, Georgia, in 1932, is the strongest man to ever claim God's Earth as home. While it's undeniable that old strength tales a like wine, getting better with age, in this case the facts do seem to justify most of the claims.

Consider his physical plant. In the early Sixties, when Anderson was at his strength peak, he weighed 370 lbs. at about 5'9". Built on an awesome height-weight scale, Anderson would have weighed roughly 460 lbs. if he was as tall as Bill Kazmaier. Simply stated, the man had great leverage.

He had short arms, good for benching; thick thighs and butt, perfect for squatting, and he had an enormous waistline, also good for squatting. His back was short, which afforded him fairly good leverage in the deadlift, even with his small hands and short arms. It was stated in Muscular Development magazine that no one possessed knee tendons as thick and large as Paul. From top to bottom, fore and aft, to knees, wrists, ankles and breadth of belly, Paul Anderson was well constructed for supporting massive poundages.

By all creditable accounts, Paul was a good athlete with explosiveness ala Jon Cone or Ken Patera. At a bodyweight of over 320 lbs. Anderson standing long-jumped over eight feet, and ran a sub five-second 40 yard dash. Like Kazmaier, he was an outstanding football player, running fullback at Furman while weighing 240 lbs. Talk about your average block of granite!

In fact, when Anderson began training for football, he found out on his first or second attempt at any exercise that he could outlift anyone. Strength fascinated him, just as the piano would if you found your brain possessed the faculty of a Mozart of Beethoven.

In 1951, after about six months of weight lifting, Anderson weighed 275 lbs. He was 19 years old, and had a 20" arm and 32" thigh. During this time he squatted 560 lbs. sans belt or wrap, and the photos indicate he was below parallel. According to the official statistics on such things, this was more than anyone had squatted with, ever.

He continued. In 1953 Anderson was done with football, giving strength and weightlifting his all. A freind convinced him to enter the Tenesse Olympic weightlifting championships, even though he had not practiced the lifts per se. Nonetheless, he did 275, 225, and 325. He also gave a squatting demonstration afterwards, making an unheard of lift of 660 lbs. Then, just eight months after starting the Olympic lifts, he clean & jerked 400 pounds!

In the spring of 1954, Anderson weighed over 300 lbs. At an exhibition with Bob Peoples in South Carolina, Paul squatted 700 lbs. Later in the year he tried 750, but missed, only because the weight rolled over his head. Although his training centered on squats, Paul began working the Olympic lifts in earnest with hopes of making the 1956 Olympic team for the USA. He started to improve rapidly. In the 1955 Senior Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, Paul lifted 390 lbs. in the clean & jerk. Although he still was in the figurative shadow of the great Norb Schemansky, Ski was slowing with injuries.

Paul went on to win the 1955 World Weightlifting Championships in Moscow. In 1956, leading up to the Melbourne Olympic Games, Anderson stepped up his power training. This included heavy bench presses, half and quarter squats,and dumbbell presses. Going into the Games, he hoped to press and jerk around 440 lbs. and snatch 340-350, but just before the Games he got a horrendous flu which caused inner ear problems and severe weight loss. Nonetheless, Anderson held on to win, totaling just over 1100 lbs. He was fittingly announced to be the Word's Strongest Man. It was at these championships that Anderson became aware of his deep Christian faith.

At the tender age of 24, Anderson said goodbye to trophies and turned professional. He was lifting 1200 lbs. in the Olympic three and could squat with over 800. In 1957, Paul, weighing 335 pounds, broke both Louis Cyr's and Jack Walsh's back lift records, a lift which to this day remains unchallenged and listed by the Guiness Book of World Records as the greatest weight lifted by a human. Unless someone beats it, this lift ALONE establishes Anderson as the strongest man that ever lived.

During the years since 1956, until just recently, Anderson traveled about the country giving strength exhibitions and motivational seminars as a professional Christian strongman. In between shows he trained and ran his youth home in Georgia, which he still does today. It was during the early years after the 1956 Games, when Anderson did a short bit of professional wrestling that he lost his amateur status. This was most unfortunate, and a great loss to American sport.

From 1957 up to 1963 Paul pushed his bodyweight up to 370 lbs. and this is the period in which he did his most outstanding lifting. Unfortunately, none of Paul's lifts were ever performed in official powerlifting competition, which didn't really get going until a bit later. That fact doesn't negate his performances, which were observed by many honest, creditable people. Paul couldn't lift in a meet anyway, because powerlifting was under AAU auspices then and in their eyes he was clearly a professional.

Around 1962, Peary Rader and Armand Tanny were among several people who watched Anderson push-press 500 lbs. at Muscle Beach in California. Later, a young Pat Casey watched Anderson do 10 repetitions in the parallel squat with 800 lbs., all of which Pat insists were parallel. Rader noted that later Paul push-pressed 545 lbs. This feat has only been equaled by men like Ken Patera and the top Russian superheavyweight lifters who use speed and technique to get the weight up. Paul's move was considered to be stricter than the way most people pressed in the early Seventies!

In an exhibition in Alabama in 1963, Paul cleaned and pressed 450 lbs., snatched 340, and just failed to clean 460, which he surely would have jerked. During this time period, Paul did 3 sets of 10 in the squat with 600 lbs. as part of his training, resting up to 20-30 minutes between sets. He then increased to 800-850 for sets of 4-6 reps, and finally moved to 1200-1500 for half and quarter squats. His whole workout would take nearly a day to complete. Reliable witnesses saw him deadlift 650 lbs. for 5-7 reps as well.

Over the years various people claim to have seen Big Paul parallel squat with between 900 and 1100 lbs. Such reports are hard to localize and define, although pictures do exist of Anderson squatting 900 to parallel effortlessly. After all, anyone that can carry a full grown steer and lasso a runaway locomotive, as Anderson did in an early Rowan and Martin movie, has to be able to squat that much!!!

It's noteworthy that Anderson did not wear wraps and sometimes not even a belt. Anderson himself claims the following best lifts: Squat - 1100 pounds; Bench Press - 625; Deadlift - 780; Clean & Press - 485; Clean & Jerk - 485; Snatch - 375; Push Press - 545; and a One Arm Dumbell Press with 300 lbs. for 11 reps. As mentioned, all of these lifts were made when Paul was in his prime at 370 lbs. At this stature, Anderson claimed a 62" chest, 24" arm and neck, and 36" thighs. Today, some lifters can exceed some of these lifts, but no one has cared to even try to exceed Anderson's claimed 6,270 lb. back lift.

Powerlifters aren't necessarily skilled in the Olympic lifts, but a man such as Jon Cole or Bill Kazmaier, properly trained, might have lifted what Andy did in the Olympic three and Kazmaier, of course, benched and deadlifted more. I also believe Kazmaier could have push-pressed as much with proper training. Hechter, Moran and Kenady all squat comparably considering the differences in depth, but which lifter could do all of these lifts, without wraps and a belt, twenty years ago, and without steroids. Exactly zero, my friends, and that's what makes Paul Anderson so special.

Based on the best available evidence, I would estimate that Anderson could have officially totaled 2250 in the powerlifts back in 1964, his total consisting of a 900 squat, 600 bench and 780 deadlift. I'm of the opinion that, used over the period of 10 years, anabolic steroids add at least 25% to a person's ultimate total. All things considered, if he had so chosen to lift under the sports pharmacology doctrines of some of today's top lifters, Anderson would have totaled at least 2500-2600 lbs. I see no reason why, if Anderson had chosen to specialize on it, he couldn't have benched 700 lbs. before Williams and Arcidi. He had a better structure for it than anyone else.

I'll agree that this is very subjective becuase the fact of the matter is that Anderson's lifts are mostly unofficial and they'll stay that way forever. What you can't deny is that he did everything without any competition, any steroids, any helpful suits and wraps, and twenty years ago.

Dr. Fred Hatfield, who knows a thing or two about strength, says the following: "It's so hard to measure these things. for all-around strength, especially pressing and squatting, or in slow- speed movements, Anderson was clearly the strongest man, but he would have been hard pressed to win the strongman competitions for example, because of speed and structural limitations. Furthermore, I think, given the depth to which he squatted, Kenady, Hechter and Moran are his equal, discounting any effect of steroids or wraps, but then again that may be discounting an awful lot!"

Anderson, from my understanding, didn't do a lot of benching. It wasn't in vogue back then, so we cannot really say what he could have done. I doubt the 625 bench, only because he didn't practice it that much, although he certainly was well built for the bench. Training science is just so much better today. What would he have done today, under present conditions? A shitload of weight, that what! To me, asking whether he was the strongest man who ever lived is sort of like asking who was the greatest boxer of all time. Was it Dempsey, Louis, Marciano of Ali? We'll never know.

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