Saturday, May 31, 2014

How Should I Train? - John C. Grimek

Then do what you like."

The question of "How should I train" doesn't seem like much of a problem to those who already have some experience in bodybuilding, but it does present a very trying problem to those who are just beginning to train and want to realize the most from their efforts. However, even experienced barbell men are not always sure how they should train because or the confusing statements issued by titleholders in articles they are supposed to write.

Nevertheless, such training material offers a broader scope of training to those who can comprehend its full value, but what about the reaction these 'approved systems' have upon the mere novice whose knowledge is so limited? Naturally, he has to seek advice or accept the instructions given by those who are, supposedly, 'in the know'. Furthermore, some of the articles that are published are not always sound or practical, especially to the beginner, so it's little wonder then that he is befuddled and confused by the whole idea and keeps asking:


It's possible some of his friends have done some training and, therefore, have their own likes and dislikes for this or that training system, which may only prove more confusing to the novice and make his while outlook as clear as mud. At this stage he doesn't know where to begin or how to start, consequently he is ready to give up before he even starts. Logical reasoning, however, should convince him that most training systems are basically sound and can be employed to advantage by most persons, but for the novice such programs are best omitted until more experience in training has been acquired. Nevertheless, any beginner should achieve reasonably good progress using only a few basic exercises, if he trains systematically and performs each and every movement correctly to achieve the greatest possible contraction in is muscles. Physical changes should, therefore, be observed in a short period of time, usually it takes but several weeks to notice this first improvement. However, two or three weeks is by no means enough to achieve the physical goal he set his sights on, but he should have improved sufficiently to realize he is on the right road to success.

Another problem that might beset the novice is the type of apparatus he should employ to obtain the most benefits for his efforts, but frankly, this decision should depend on his financial status and the available training area he has at his disposal. This decision could also hinge on his preference for a certain type of equipment, but whatever the decision he should select an apparatus that can be adopted for use on all parts of the body and thus develop a strong and shapely physique. A combination of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and possibly pulleys will fit this bill. Additional weights can be gradually added to an outfit whenever you're ready, depending on how fast the size and strength of your muscles increases and makes demands for greater resistance.

Other equipment can also be added later, if you feel you need more in your training, and if you are dextrous along this line you can construct whatever you need yourself, until such a time when you can afford better.

In his enthusiasm, the novice often tries to emulate the training routine of the more experienced man whom he might observe training in his gym, or accept his training methods contained in an article written under his name. The novice doesn't realize that the author may not have considered the novice when he planned the article and certainly it was not the same system employed by him when he first started training. But most authors assume that people who read them know the difference and so, no further explanation is necessary. One has only to go back to the time when he first started and recall the anxiety that enveloped him in those early days of training to understand the confused conditions of many beginners. Furthermore, several stages of progression seem to exist; novice stage, then regular, advanced, extra heavy (lifting), or far advanced, plus definite training schemes for the weight gainer and the reducer. Most enter these phases naturally and are not bothered by the progressive stages, but for best improvement it is wise to reach and progress into the other stages separately.

Beginners who make the mistake of adopting the training programs meant for the more experienced enthusiast may find improvement relatively good at first, but entirely lacking after several weeks have passed, particularly if the beginner is on the slim, nervous side, and continued efforts to follow this type of system recommended for the heavier, more experienced fellow will only debilitate him.

I've had several tell me it's impossible for them to overtrain, that they have often trained five, six and even eight hours some days, and although they are tired at the finish, they feel refreshed and vigorous the next day.

Such training, I know, can prove beneficial for a limited time, and invariably, if continued for weeks, can have exactly the opposite effect; an enervating and depleted condition. I admit, however, not everyone suffers similar reactions because much of this depends on the ability of the person to recuperate, his endurance and strength, and his vocation. But too much training is, by far, one of the prime reasons why so many beginners fail to make the physical progress they seek, and could be the chief cause for their nervousness, inability to sleep sound and their jittery state. Overtraining can be responsible for some or all the conditions mentioned above, and when one or more of  them begins to manifest itself, that's the time to relax - take it easy. Better improvement can be had under relaxed and happier circumstances.

Muscles are not developed under emotional strain or physical stress, although they are exercised under such conditions, but the actual development or reconstruction takes place during resting periods and those relaxed hours you enjoy in sound sleep. During this time the lactic acids created during exercise are eliminated from the tissue, and the blood, carrying the nutrients, repairs and rebuilds the broken down tissue back to its former size and strength - and more. If training or physical stress hasn't been beyond the recuperative ability of the individual, he should experience a pepped up feeling almost immediately after training or after a  brief rest, and this feeling is always a sure sign of how effective your training was. On the other hand, if you continue to feel tired for hours after, even a day or two later, these signs should be important to you and a definite warning to ease up, slow down, relax more often and get more sleep - your system demands it. Heed the warning. It may mean the difference of continued improvement or reaching a stalemate.

In some cases even the overweight man overtrains, not so much regarding his physical condition as his nervous energy, which makes him feel debilitated and could help him to conclude that 'training isn't for him.' The cause is quite simple; this type of person should NEVER train vigorously at the start, but increase it progressively as his system accustoms itself to the movements and his endurance and recuperative ability is increased. Once the body becomes accustomed to the routine, and his physical condition and endurance is improved, he can train much harder and longer, actually thrive on such a program, reaping wonderful benefits.

Many beginners are fortunate inasmuch as they realize their limitations and rarely go beyond their physical limits. As improvement is made, they increase their training and provide the muscles with the increased demand they f eel is necessary and work them until a glowing warmth and slight congestion is felt within the tissues. If the muscle is worked beyond this stage, they congest more and more turgid often to the point where trembling is experienced for hours after. It's harmless to reach this stage once in a while, but if persisted in constantly, some damage could result to the nervous system.

The best way for anyone to train, especially the beginner, is to follow an all-round training program, a variety that includes exercises for all parts of the body. It could be this reason why many beginners actually make very good progress at the start, but the minute they begin making changes in their training schedules, improvement seems harder to achieve. Could it be the fact that some of the important exercises are discontinued and others, less important to his system are included, make this difference? Personally, I've always suspected this, but not enough actual cases have been tested along this line to reach definite conclusions. However, another potent reason is that most novices follow a complete program without 'specializing on this or that muscle' or concentrating on developing one isolated muscle group. As a whole they work all the muscles, fully, systematically and, apparently, get better results. Once specialization is introduced, many find their progress is checked or slowed down to a discouraging pace, and even redoubling of effort fails to jar this obstinate stage.

Once again, not everyone seems to stop improving when specialization begins, although many fail to notice this. Frankly, if you must specialize, and I admit many need this type of training, employ it in this manner -

Include a complete training routine and then, after you've completed that, specialize or devote additional time, energy and exercises to those parts that are below par or require more development. However, in reducing, 'spot specialization' or the exercising of certain areas only is ideal, since greater energy can be devoted to such parts. For example, if your waist is excessively large for your other proportions, include about three training periods for all body parts a week, but at the conclusion include at least three or more extra exercises for the waist. On alternate days only such exercises should  be done that will help reduce your midsection, since it is always a good plan to continue working overweight parts every day until the desired reduction is obtained, but only after your body has been conditioned to allow everyday training.

Increasing muscular and reducing fatty areas are quite different; rarely can one do 'too much' for an overweighted area, if one is conditioned to train quite hard, but 'too much' exercise can be done if one is anxious to gain weight and develop his muscles Therefore, it's never the best plan to train every day if increased size and strength is desired, although some lifters train every day for a while, but then several days of rest follow, allowing sufficient time for the muscles to reconstruct, rebuild, and strengthen.

In conclusion a summary of the foregoing of "How Should I Train" actually depends on the individual, his experience and what he wishes to accomplish with his training. If he's a beginner he should follow the outline given herein, whereas the 'specialist' should also examine his training on the points presented here, if progress hasn't been satisfactory of late. Furthermore, the person bent on combating obesity should benefit from the suggestions given here - to include a complete program and specialize at the conclusion, while devoting alternate days to such movements that react on those parts he favors to reduce. Reducing, however, can include an advanced man, whose years of inactivity caused him to become overweight, as well as the beginner, who has never done any type of exercise. Or, the advanced bodybuilder who has sought bulk and power for a long period of time and now seeks to become lean yet retain his muscle [see upcoming article - From 415 Lbs to 223 Lbs - And The Mr Universe Title - Bruce Randall, by Joe Weider].

All should train according to their ability and demands, but increase the tempo of their training only gradually and when their physical condition has improved sufficiently to permit more intensive training - not before. If these suggestions are put into use, beginners and advanced men should be able to reach their goals more surely and more quickly.     



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