Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Month Power/Bodybuilding Layout - Ed Higgens

Ed Higgins (1985)

IT WILL BE HARD WORK, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THAT. It may at times feel to hard to go on; but if you DO go on, and if you follow the instructions properly, you will most definitely gain more strength in three months time. I'd say that was worth some work, wouldn't you?

Our approach will be direct and simple. We are after STRENGTH mainly, and that's how the program will be arranged - to achieve it. This is not a general physique-building routine, though it's more likely that after the three months you'll look better than if you had followed one.


Training Days: 
Four days a week, e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

Monday & Thursday - Chest/Back (a.k.a. horizontal push/pull)
Tuesday & Friday - Shoulders/Legs (a.k.a. vertical push/squat)

Choose your poundages by that day's "feel" rather than by scheduling specific weight increments. But follow the recommended guidelines when selecting heavy, medium, or light intensity poundages.


Warm up. Get your body moving and fluid to the point of a light sweat.

Bench Press - 
1 x 10, light warm up.
1 x 10, add weight but most definitely don't fight for the last rep.
3 sets of 5 reps, heavy, but manageable.
1 set of 3 reps, heavy, near your max triple for that day.
1 set of 1-2 reps, heavy, very close to your max single for that day.

Pullover and Bench Press Combination - 
2 x 8-10, light.

Semi-Stiff-legged Deadlift - 
2 x 10, light.
1 x 8, heavy.
2 x 5 reps, heavy, very close to your best 5 rep set for that day.

Barbell Row - 
2 x 12, light.
2 x 8, medium.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row - 
2 x 8 reps each arm, heaviest possible weight, make sure you have to cheat on the last 2 or 3 reps of each set.

Hanging Knee Ups, etc.



Standing Press Behind Neck - 
2 sets of 8 reps - light.
2 x 5, medium-heavy.

Seated 2-Dumbbell Press - 
2 x 6, as heavy as possible in good form.

Squat - 
1 x 15, very light.
1 x 10, light.
1 x 8, light.
3 sets of 5 reps, heavy.
1 set of 2-3 reps, heavy, grind out the last rep.

Calf Raise - 
3 sets.

Some kind of oblique work such as side bends.


Training Days:
Three days a week, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Train whole body three times a week.

The idea is to work very close to an absolute limit in effort output and exertion for each workout, and try to increase your exercise poundages. If possible, when your energy level permits it, exceed the reps scheduled in each set. 



Standing Press Behind Neck - 
1 x 6, light.
1 x 5, medium-heavy warmup.
3 sets of 5 reps, maximum weight, take about 5 minute rests between sets.
1 set of 2-3 reps, maximum weights, use your willpower and think of this as a lifting feat and not an exercise.

Barbell Curl - 
2 x 6, medium-heavy warmups.
2 x 5, absolute maximum exertion, fight not to cheat, but make it necessary to practically kill yourself to keep good form in the last two reps of each set. You can work extremely hard on a limited number of curl sets and never have to worry about wearing yourself down.

Bench Press - 
1 x 8, warmup.
3 x 5, very heavy.
1 x 3-4, again, think of this set as an upper body strength feat and not a pec exercise.

Barbell Row - 
2 x 8, medium heavy.
2 x 6, heavy but strict, fight for more reps in good form.
2 x 5, pile on the plates and cheat out the last couple of reps of each set.

Squat -
2 sets of 10 reps, light then medium warmup.
2 x 6, medium heavy.
3 x 4-5 reps, heavy! You should fight for these.

Some form of gut work.


Training Days:
Three days a week, e.g., Monday/Wednesday/Friday.

Train whole body Monday and Friday; leg workout only on Wednesday.

Wednesday's workout should be the hardest. The whole body should be trained hard on Monday and Friday, but a true effort to 'wipe oneself out' must be made on the Wednesday leg routine. There are not many exercises in this program (which is essentially a leg and back specialization routine), but hard work is the key to its successful completion.


Warmup, include hyper-extensions in this.

Standing Press Behind Neck - 
1 set of 5 reps, light.
1 x 5 medium.
2 x 5, very heavy, using some leg push on the last rep or two of each set and a few breaths between reps.

Lateral Raise - 
3 x 8, medium.

Bench Press - 
1 x 6, light.
1 x 6, medium.
2 x 5, very heavy, with a bit of cheat on the last rep or two of each set and a pause between reps in the lockout position.

Barbell Row - 
1 x 8, light.
1 x 8, medium.
2 x 5, very heavy, from the floor each rep, with some cheating on the hard ones, and high-pull implied.

Squat - 
1 x 18-20, very, very light.
1 x 12, light.

Semi-Stiff-legged Deadlift - 
3 x 12, with a light to medium weight.

Gut Work.


Warmup with prone hyperextensions for 2 sets of 30 reps.

StepUps - 
Holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand, do step-ups on a solid box or bench, 30 with the left leg then 30 with the right.

Squat -
1 x 15, light.
1 x 10, light.
1 x 8, heavy.
2 x 5, heavy.
2 x 3-4, maximum; should require a long rest between the two sets.

Repeat the StepUps as described above.

Do some light stretching and massage of the legs.

Some easy gut work.

To gain strength you must be willing to keep piling on all the plates you can, never being satisfied with your current level of strength. We get stronger only by lifting heavier loads. There is no other way. Get plenty of rest, eat plenty of food and remember . . . all your body knows is overload and adaptation. It doesn't give one damn about what you read or believe to know. 

Best of Luck!

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