Thursday, November 27, 2014

Glenn's Ladder - Dan Trink

Chapter 1 Ramping Up
Chapter 2 Ultimate Fat Loss
Chapter 3 Getting Stronger
Chapter 4 Targeted Muscle Builders
Chapter 5 Last (Wo)Man Standing
Chapter 6 The Core of the Matter
Chapter 7 Let’s Push! Let’s Pull!
Chapter 8 40 Toughest Workouts

Taken from High-Intensity 300 by Dan Trink.

Glenn's Ladder

This workout includes an exercise called the Pendlay Row (named after Olympic lifting coach Glenn Pendlay), which is a modified version of the bentover barbell row that requires you to bring your torso parallel to the ground and perform each row off the floor. This version eliminates much of the cheating that occurs with standard bentover rows (people tend to stand more and more upright as the weight gets challenging).

Pendlay Row Description:

1) Begin with a loaded barbell on the floor, Bend forward at the hips so that your torso is parallel to the ground, knees slightly bent. Grab the bar slightly wider than you would for a traditional bentover row.

2) Maintaining this posture, explosively row the barbell to your upper abs/lower chest.

3) Return the barbell to the floor and repeat for the required reps.

The Complete Workout:

Perform the following CIRCUIT for as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes. Note that you are increasing the reps by 1 rep per set for the Push Press, 2 reps per set for the Pendlay Row, and 3 reps per set for the Prisoner Squat. Rest as needed, but keep in mind that THE GOAL IS TO GET AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE IN THE 12 MINUTES.

Push Press -
Begin with 1 rep and then increase by 1 rep each set (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)

Pendlay Row -
Begin with 2 reps and then increase by 2 reps each set (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.)

Prisoner Squat -
Begin with 3 reps and then increase by 3 reps each set (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.)

Easy Option: Perform as many reps as possible for 8 minutes.
Step It Up: Perform as many reps as possible for 15 minutes.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cardiovascular Improvement Through Weight Training - John McKean

-- Meet Chad. Chad is a personal trainer, from the Coen Brothers movie Burn After Reading. He is a fictional character, but we recognize him immediately: muscular, handsome, full of energy and positive thinking - and as dumb as a sack of small stones.

In fact, Chad is worse than a bag of small pebbles, because pebbles are supposed to be dense. Chad has made himself this way. How? By living the life of the body. Chad is a professional jock, and his mind is forfeit. ('The hard body as soft brain,' as one New York Times reviewer put it.) 

In this, Chad is a symbol of much that is missing in exercise today. His caricature, the idiot athlete, is such a common part of popular culture that we can forget its meaning. It is not about this footballer or that tennis player, not a bias about buffed celebrities. It is not really about Chad and other personal trainers. It is a basic prejudice about human nature. The Chad stereotype comes from a conflict: between the mind and the body, thinking and doing, spirit and flesh. 

This prejudice is behind the myth that sports stars must be stupid, and philosophers or writers weak and anemic. It is an outlook that sees mental and physical exertion as somehow in conflict. Not because there is too little time or or energy, but because existence itself is seemingly split in two. There are 'body' people and 'mind' people; 'flesh' places and 'spirit' places - and to choose one is to forgo the other. This is what philosophers call dualism and and it can rob exercise of its lasting appeal.

To get a clearer idea of dualism, it helps to step back about 400 years . . . 

-- Good book, if you're interested in that type-a-thing there.   
You, you apelike, simian weightlifter-dude.  

Weight training is, by far, the best possible means of obtaining cardiovascular fitness! 

A pretty strong statement, is it not? After all, haven't the conditioning 'experts' so consistently and steadfastly belittled the value of our favorite exercise tools. 

Well, stand proud iron men; one very astute researcher has demonstrated conclusively through scientific and medical findings, personal example, and thousands of test cases that weights, indeed, are the answer.

Dr. Leonard Schwartz, a 59-year old psychiatrist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the author of Heavyhands, a fascinating text which many feel will totally revolutionize modern fitness training. Not entirely content with current aerobic programs, Dr. Schwartz had the fortitude to go his own way and search for a better means of achieving endurance, muscle strength, and cardiopulmonary health. Through considerable study, thought, experimentation, and imagination he devised a unique system of dumbbell training which has proven capable of producing higher levels of aerobic power than any other activity. Schwartz's fact filled book offers thorough documentation to clearly indicate that his simple, rather odd lifting program will vastly improve any athlete's capabilities.

What exactly is Heavyhands training?
 What does is offer bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other body conscious folks?

Well, to best explain the system, its development, and its physiological effects no better example can serve than Leonard Schwartz's own incredible story.

At 50 years of age a worried Dr. Schwartz took stock of his poor physical condition. Uncomfortably he pondered the accumulated ills of the 25 years of sedentary living which had been forced upon him by a busy professional schedule. Jogging was the aerobic craze at the time and seemed like a safe, easy way to edge back into reasonable shape. After initial success, the doctor took to this activity with a vengeance even beyond that of most over-enthusiastic 'reborn' trainees.

His running proved stimulating and enjoyable for quite a while but eventually reached a plateau where measurable physiological gains came to a standstill. Any attempt at increasing running speed to make the activity progressive and more intensive simply led to injury. So, while dutifully chugging up and down Pittsburgh's steep hills, Schwartz began asking himself, "Could there be a better, more exciting means toward cardiovascular fitness than this? Must I be content with merely maintaining the modest physical level I've achieved? There has to be some form of exercise which could boost my aerobic capabilities even higher."

Reading extensively in the fields of exercise physiology and sports medicine for an answer, Schwartz became quite impressed with cross country skiers. Their pole pushing activities gave them far greater oxygen consumption rates than displayed by most endurance athletes. "Wouldn't it make more sense," he thought, "to involve the arms and upper body in aerobic exercise, as do these skiers, rather than constantly restrict total attention to the legs?"

Fondly recalling the weight training he did as a teenager, Schwartz theorized that various dumbbell movements such as curls and lateral raises would force the arms to work against gravity much the same as legs do in propelling the body. Of course, due to the time required by aerobics (at least 12 continuous minutes), the dumbbells would have to be kept light enough to allow for extremely high reps and sufficiently comfortable to avoid hand cramping during the lengthy exercise. Best of all, though, the little 'bells could be easily pumped without interfering with SIMULTANEOUS LEG MOVEMENTS. By coupling upper with lower body exercise it was felt, upon receiving some support from research literature, that maximum workloads could be imposed on the body and more calories burned within a given time span. Also, unlike other aerobic activities, equal employment of the arms could have a profound effect on the upper body musculature and strength.

At first the good doctor startled his neighbors by jogging over familiar sidewalks while rapidly curling a pair of 3-pound dumbbells. This felt so good that other variations were sought and tested. Later his repertoire of simultaneous exercises expanded to include over 100 movements, each able to develop total body fitness by itself or in combination with any of the others. Calisthenics duos such as front lateral raises while leg kicking, shrugs and squats, jump twists, ski poling with weights in place of poles, shadow boxing maneuvers and a multitude of others kept his experiments lively.

Enthusiasm for the new system skyrocketed when many tests with complex laboratory apparatus indicated that this exercise pioneer's cardio-respiratory and muscular endurance had increased dramatically as had his upper body strength and running speed. At the same time his resting pulse rate (now 35) and bodyfat percentage dropped to astonishingly low levels. Most important, an end to these physiologic miracles was nowhere in sight; unlike activities such as jogging, cycling, or rope skipping, in this exercise the hands could always be made 'heavier' and moved faster to allow for continued physical progress.

The doctor was literally flabbergasted to discover that the tests proved his gains in aerobic power greatly surpassed what preliminary projections had indicated was possible. This was even hard for him to accept until he was jolted by a rather startling personal incident. It seems during his jogging days that he often enjoyed running the steps to his 12th floor office during lunch breaks. Eventually he peaked exactly 60 seconds for this feat, a time which periodic attempts indicated was an absolute limit. But one day, on a whim, Schwartz decided to check what effect his now well trained ARMS would have on this winding, vertical sprint. By pulling himself up the banisters while running, he cut an astounding 12 second off his previous best!

"This is really it!" he beamed. "Now I'm absolutely convinced the arms and legs together can surpass any physical goals determined by either set of limbs individually!"

The doctor's experiments did indeed break new ground, proving conclusively that no single exercise nor even circuit training schemes can work the body as thoroughly as a simultaneous HeavyHands movement, or offer anywhere near the benefits.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Schwartz began teaching his techniques to many men and women of varying ages and athletic abilities. Everyone was surprised by how easy the distributed workload of HeavyHands seemed in comparison to traditional lung busting, leg dominated endurance activities. Practically every student became wildly excited over his progress and the class dropout rate was just about nil. Many others across the country experienced similar results and stimulation after. HeavyHands was published in 1982. Of course, further proof of the book's impact took shape in the form of several imitative systems which quickly popped up.

Discovering HeavyHands to be a terrific aerobic supplement to my powerlifting routine,

and seeing other important applications for weight training in general, I found myself quite intrigued with this new method an the man behind it. Recently I met with Dr. Schwartz and acquired further insight into his training philosophy and rather phenomenal accomplishments.

As we shook hands and exchanged greetings, my eyes were instantly drawn to an amazing set of arms which hung relaxed from the man's short-sleeved shirt. Although I've observed many fine physiques during 23 years in the iron game I can hardly recall anyone who impressed me with such shapely, well defined biceps and triceps. Not too shabby either was the pronounced V-taper leading from thick, wide deltoids down to a tiny 26-inch waist. Could this 5'7", 135 pound package of lithe muscularity belong to an almost 60-year old man?

"Facially I may be an old geezer, but I'm 20 from the neck down!" laughed Dr. Schwartz. "Really, though, looks are not that important to me. It's how well the body FUNCTIONS that is of most concern. I just let the function determine the structure; all body sculpting takes care of itself."

Of course, the function Schwartz delights in most is the performance of his daily HeavyHands workout. These sessions are, to put it mildly, DIFFERENT. When seeing him in action very few people understand his attempts to involve as much muscle mass as possible at one time. Most bodybuilders, for instance, would be awestruck to watch him rapidly swing a pair of dumbbells around for non-stop half-hour periods or longer. The simultaneous jumping, bending and dancing would probably be thought of as odd by any uninformed onlooker. Ad certainly the use of nothing more than 'puny' 10-lb dumbbells (Schwartz often uses 7's, 5's, and even 3's) would be greeted with derivative guffaws from the stronger residents of most gyms.

You see, Dr. Schwartz's entire training goal is to perform as much work as possible within a given time span. His speedy combinations done for thousands of consecutive reps add up to a tremendous amount of total foot-pounds while burning calories at an enormous rate. The quantity of oxygen he consumes during exercise, a standard measure of physiological work, is exceeded by very few world class marathon runners.

By gradually increasing the dumbbell weights, tempo, and range of movement over the past seven years, Schwartz now routinely handles a workload which would wear out a small army. For example, to compare his training load more standard programs, consider the tonnage measurement touted by competitive lifters and a few of the bigger bodybuilders. Some top men, at their very best, claim to handle up to 50 tons per workout. Yet during a recent 'ski poling' routine with "extra heavy" 15-lb 'bells, Schwartz's rep-weight total computed to a mind-boggling 432 tons - over eight times as much!

Even the doc's "easy" HeavyHands days consist of over ONE MILLION foot-pounds of arm work alone. That's roughly comparable to bench pressing 335 pounds for 100 sets of 10 reps! But if such factors as speed of movement, lack of rest intervals, and additional physical demands of simultaneous leg exercise are considered a Schwartz session actually expends far more energy than even this impossible bench routine.

"I've never found anyone, young or old, who can keep pace during my two-hour 'marathon' workouts with the 'big' weights - 12 or 15 pounders," claims the veteran HeavyHander. "In fact, without meaning to brag, there may not be five people in the world who can OUTWORK me."

Every now and then someone will request the doctor to perform some common athletic feat to verify his level of fitness. Once during a magazine interview he was asked how many one-armed pushups he could do. Not too familiar with this particular exercise or his prowess with it, the old boy immediately dropped to the floor and knocked off a quick 60. After a few days' practice a set of 100 reps was fairly easy. He has also done up to 75 consecutive chinups without any specific training and, feeling his oats one day, pumped out 2500 pushups (50 sets of 50) while watching a football game on TV!

Schwarz genuinely enjoys feeling his body move and rarely goes a day with doing some form of HeavyHands or another. He delights in the wide variety of exercises available, never following the same routine twice in one week. Aerobic dance (with weights) might be done on Monday, a Tuesday medley of HeavyHands calisthenics, shadow-boxing with 5-pounders while watching a particularly interesting TV program Wednesday evening, pumping dumbbells along a brisk walk through the park on Thursdays, and so forth. Even when traveling, a pair of his special twist apart 'bells are packed to provide for some vigorous hotel room workouts.

Odd-angled, improbable movements strongly affect smaller muscle groups which are seldom worked by standard exercise. 'Dr. HeavyHands' actively searches out strange new combinations, taking extreme pleasure in the physical sensations provided when trying to master each one. This, he feels, is one of the real motivating challenges inherent to his system. He has studied dance, analyzed boxing and martial arts maneuvers, copied baseball and golf swings, caricatured total body dumbbell exercises like overhead swings and split snatches, and even mimicked such common chores as shoveling in his never-ending quest to employ something new.

Diet is of little concern to a guy who burns energy like a hummingbird. Schwartz really packs the chow away, although he does try to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and control his intake of sodium, sugar, and red meat. Most bodybuilders envious of his low bodyfat level, however, would absolutely cringe at his passion for starches. Pasta, potatoes prepared any way, and Chinese food are particular favorites. Not unknown to the doctors daily menu, either, is a piece of cake, dish of ice cream, or some other high calorie goody, normally taboo such a ripped individual.

"I can easily exercise away the excesses acquired from occasional over-indulgent dining. After all, workload and calorie loss are merely different expressions for the same phenomenon," explains the doctor. "Furthermore, the removal of fat by activity is vastly superior to dieting. And nothing produces greater calorie losses per minute than my combined strength-endurance exercise."

Our long, interesting chat convinced me that this man's dedication to training and physical improvement is exceeded only by his vast knowledge of the subject. A member of The American College of Sports Physicians, he has gone to great lengths to assure that the procedures he teaches are 100% factual and with sound physiological basis.

There's little doubt that Leonard Schwartz has offered perhaps the ultimate aerobic training system. I think you'll agree that his carefully conceived methods have certainly done wonders in reconditioning his own body. His research is an extremely valuable contribution to the iron game and should do much to fill some fitness gaps that exist in standard programs.

With very little expenditure of training time a strength athlete now has the means to easily convert his body into a much more efficient, aerobically powered machine. Just a quick supplementary session added to one's barbell workout will do the trick. And, as such, I expect that the special AMF manufactured HeavyHands dumbbells will soon become important tools in the training arsenals of many enlightened weight men and women. To that end, perhaps I'll write a few more articles detailing specific HeavyHands procedures for quicker gains in power and Olympic lifting, aiding physique people in obtaining better definition, rehabilitating injuries, and giving all greatly improved heart/lung mechanisms.

In the meantime, check your bookseller for a copy of Dr. Schwartz's book.
His ideas are too good to pass up if you truly care about your body.



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The 4 Rep System Routine - Don Ross


This program will continue to shock your muscles into new growth. In it, you benefit from 4 different systems, ranging from low reps/heavy weight to high reps/light weight.

Begin with a light warmup in the 1st exercise of each bodypart, then go immediately to a heavy weight and do 3 sets of 6 reps of that exercise. The 6th rep of each set should be a struggle. Rest no more than a minute between sets, no more than 2 minutes between exercises, and no more than 5 minutes between bodyparts.

The 2nd exercise of the group will consist of 3 sets of 8 reps. In all of these, use a weight that makes the last rep difficult. Use good form in each exercise. The 3rd exercise will be 3 sets of 12 reps. The final exercise of the group will give you the finishing pump of your life! It consists of 2 sets of 20 reps.

This will be a 3-way split routine: chest, shoulders and upper back the 1st day; arms and abs the 2nd day; thighs, calves and lower back the 3rd day.

This is a combination of exercises designed to hit each muscle group from all angles .


1st and 4th Days

Barbell Bench Press - 3 x 6
Incline Flye - 3 x 8
Decline DB Press - 3 x 12
Cross-Pulley Flyes - 2 x 20

Barbell Press Behind Neck - 3 x 6
Standing Lateral Raise - 3 x 8
Upright Row - 3 x 12
Dumbbell Presses - 2 x 20

Behind Neck Chins - 3 x 6
Close Grip Chins - 3 x 8
Bentover BB Row - 3 x 12
Bent Forward Low Pulley Row - 2 x 20
 - Take a medium grip on a floor pulley. Standing several feet away from the machine, bend forward. Stretch your arms forward. Pull the bar to your chest by bringing your elbows back.
 - Variation: One-Arm Pulley Rows - Brace with one arm against the low pulley machine, pull back on the pulley with the other arm.

2nd and 5th Days

BB Curl - 3 x 6
Seated DB Curl - 3 x 8
Floor Pulley Curls - 3 x 12
 - Take a close grip on the bar of a floor pulley. Sit about five feet from the pulley; keep your elbows at your sides, hands level with your waist. Curl the bar to your shoulders.
Preacher Bench Curl - 2 x 20

BB French Press - 3 x 6
Lying DB Triceps Extension - 3 x 8
Triceps Pushdowns, Close Grip - 3 x 12
Triceps Pushdowns, Reverse Grip - 2 x 20

Decline Situp - 3 x 6
Roman Chair Situp - 3 x 8
Hanging Leg Lift - 3 x 12
Modified Roll Up - 2 x 20

3rd and 6th Days

Leg Press - 3 x 6
Hack Squat - 3 x 8
 Leg Extension - 3 x 12
Lean-Back Squat - 2 x 20

Standing Calf Raise - 3 x 6
Seated Calf Raise - 3 x 8
One-Legged Calf Raise - 3 x 12
Leg Press Calf Raise - 2 x 20

Lower Back:
Deadlift - 3 x 6
Barbell Bend-Over - 3 x 8
Stiff-Legged Deadlift - 3 x 12
Hyperextension - 2 x 20


For this routine, use the same exercises as in the previous one. This time, do 4 sets of each exercise. With this program, you will utilize all four rep systems with each exercise: the heavy weights for strength and mass, and the light set at the end for a final pump.

Start with a weight you can do 12 reps with. Add weight and do a set of 8 reps. Up the weight to a poundage where you can only perform 5 or 6 reps. Your final set of the exercise is done with a very light weight. Do a set of 20. Give yourself around a minute for each set, 2 minutes between exercises, and no more than 5 minutes between body parts. 

For example:

Chest - 
Barbell Bench Press, 4 x 12, 8, 6, 20.
Incline Flye - 4 x 12, 8, 6, 20.
Decline DB Press - 4 x 12, 8, 6, 20.
Cross-Pulley Flyes - 4 x 12, 8, 6, 20. 


Monday, November 17, 2014

Multi-Angular Training - Don Ross

Now you will further stimulate muscle growth by training each muscle group with 4 different exercises, each one hitting the muscle from a different angle. This will completely work each muscle group, working many muscle fibers that weren't worked i8n the previous programs.

 You will increase the number of exercises per body part while decreasing the number of sets per exercise. This should allow you plenty of energy to make those constant strength gains which are a sure indication of muscle size increases. The routine will be 6 days a week, working each body part twice a week. Do 3 sets of each exercise. Once again, keep your rest periods between sets to a minimum. Constantly strive to use heavier weights in each exercise while maintaining form.

The 1st day will be upper body day. We will begin with the chest. The exercises for the chest warm up your shoulders, which we will work next. We'll conclude the shoulder work with a rear deltoid exercise, which ties into the upper back structure. We will, therefore, conclude this day's workout with upper back exercises.

Start with a pair of light dumbbells for the incline dumbbell press and do 2 warmup sets of 15 reps. Next move up to the heaviest weight that you can do 8 reps with, palms away. This works your upper chest; the next exercise, the mid-chest. Next work on the shape along the bottom and sides of the pectorals with chest dips. The chest machine will build the cleavage and inner pecs. To build width by enlarging the lateral deltoids, do barbell presses behind the neck with a wide grip. Barbell front raises build the front deltoid and create impressive development of the delt-pec tie-in.

Along with the neck and forearms, the rear deltoids are a frequently neglected muscle. Build these with bentover lateral raises for that finished, round look (the Nautilus 'shoulder girdle row' will do the exact same movement and can be used for this exercise). This will warm up the upper back for the following exercises listed.

The 2nd day we will concentrate on the arms. This body part receives the most attention, so arm development is emphasized in this course. Begin with 2 light warmup sets of standing barbell curls before taking your heaviest weight for 6 reps in the vertical preacher bench curls which pump the inner head of the biceps. The isolated curls work the outer, or long, head. If you haven't been doing reverse-grip barbell curls, they will add instant size to the upper arms. Complete your forearm work with wrist curls.

It is said that the triceps compose 2/3 of the upper arm. This depends largely on how the individual's arms are proportioned. Whatever the case, the triceps make up a lot of the arm's circumference. Enlarging them adds inches of measurement. Begin with close-grip triceps pushdowns on the overhead pulley. This warms up the elbows as well as building muscle. It primes the tendons for the next exercises. Finish this day's workout with neck exercises.

The 3rd day will be lower body day. Begin with abdominal work. This will serve as a warmup for the rest of the routine, and will be a cycle of 4 exercises. Do a set of 10 reps of each exercise, and do one set of each exercise one right after the other without rest. Perform 3 complete cycles. Increase your reps until you reach 20. At this point, perform them harder as you get accustomed to the routine. More reps aren't necessary.

The leg press can be done on a seated or lying type press machine. Begin with a light warmup set, then go heavy for your 3 sets. Conclude the day's workout with lower back work. Alternate hyperextensions with barbell bendovers.     

Multi-Angular Training Routine

1st and 4th Days

Incline DB Press - 2 x 15, 1 x 8.
Flat Bench Flye - 3 x 8.
Chest Dips - 3 x 8.
Chest Machine  - 3 x 12.
Standing Lateral Raise - 3 x 8.
Barbell Wide Grip PBN - 3 x 6.
Barbell Front Raises - 3 x 8.
Bentover Lateral Raises - 3 x 8.
Chin Ups - 3 x 6.
Lat Machine Pulldown - 3 x 8.
Bentover DB Row - 3 x 8.
Pullover Machine - 3 x 12.

2nd and 5th Days

Vertical Close Grip Preacher Curls - 3 x 6.
Wide Grip Isolated Curls - 3 x 8.
Standing DB Curls - 3 x 8.
Reverse Grip Barbell Curls - 3 x 12.
Barbell Wrist Curls - 3 x 10.
Reverse Grip Barbell Wrist Curls - 3 x 10.
Triceps Pushdowns, Close Grip - 3 x 10.
Triceps Pushdowns, Reverse Grip - 3 x 10.
Medium Grip French Press - 3 x 6.
Triceps Kick-Backs - 3 x 8.
Back Neck Resistance - 3 x 12.
Front Neck Resistance - 3 x 12.

3rd and 6th Days

Crunch/Leg Raise/Modified RollUp/V-up - 3 cycles of 10-20.
Leg Press - 3 x 8.
Leg Extension - 3 x 6.
Leg Curl - 3 x 8.
Lean-back Squats - 3 x 12.
Standing Calf Raise - 3 x 20.
Seated Calf Raise - 3 x 15.
Calf Raise on Leg Press - 3 x 12.
Calf Raise on Hack Machine - 3 x 10.
Hyperextension - 3 x 10, superset with
Barbell Bend-Overs - 3 x 8.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rapid Weight Gain - Fred R. Howell

Click Pics to ENLARGE

You Can Gain 25 lbs. in One Month
As Rader, Eells and Hise Did

Wayne Martin gained 25 pounds in one month. Not only had he gained almost a pound a day, but he did it without living a sheltered life. It didn't seem possible at first. When he weighed himself on my scales I thought they must be busted! I shook the scale as hard as I could and then ran downstairs to the gym to get a 50-lb plate to test the scale. First I weighed myself and then I tried the barbell plate. Both my weight and that of the barbell plate registered right on the mark! Wayne stepped back on the scale and it said the same thing. 185 pounds. One month ago, on the same scale, he weighed 160.

It all started when we were in high school. One night around 9:30, I was doing my last exercise when the side door opened and closed. Bounding down the stairs came Wayne and puffing and panting he said, "You just have to help me gain weight. I want to make the wrestling team and besides that, the guys at work pick on me. One guy has a sister that knows my sister, and my big-mouth sister told him I lift weights! Now he makes sure I get all the heavy stuff to do like unloading a truck or moving stuff around in the storeroom."

"And how long do we have to perform this miracle?" I asked. 

"About five weeks."

"You must be nuts! Your biggest gain so far was five pounds in a month. Besides that, you go to school and hold down a part time job. Exactly when do you expect to find the time to train?"

"After I get home from work at quarter past nine at night. I can train out in the back yard in the fresh air. No one can see me because we have a lot of shrubs between us and the neighbors. I have to gain weight! The lighter classes in wrestling will be packed with guys trying to make the team."

"How much time do you have to exercise?"

"I figure about a half an hour. Then I can get to bed by 10 and get eight-and-a-half hours sleep."

"Now hold it just one minute Wayne, old man. You used to make fun of me, for wanting to gain weight. You said I looked like a bloated watermelon."

"I was only kidding you. Now, if I recall, you said you could put weight on a broomstick if you could get it to do just one exercise. So, here's your chance to prove it."

"Let me think about it for a couple of days, Wayne, and maybe I can come up with some kind of routine to put some quick beef on you."

"Don't forget, I can train in my backyard where it's cool."

At first it seemed impossible to find a routine that would work. Wayne was up at 6:30 in the morning and was out to catch the school bus at 7:00. There was a funny sight. He lives on the side of a hill and got the school bus on the main highway at the bottom of the hill. Sleeping late most mornings, he would come hopping down the hill on one foot, trying to put his other shoe on and hollering for the bus driver to wait for him!

Then, at 3:00 he would ride the school bus to his stock-boy job at the Grand Union Supermarket. He was done at 9:00 and with a lucky ride using his thumb would be home a little after that. This, plus homework and working all day Saturday was a rough schedule. Then on Sunday his dad would find something to keep him busy such as mowing the lawn, painting the porch or washing the car.

Friday evening Wayne was back at my house to get his miracle routine.

"First, Wayne, get yourself some lengths of sturdy timber and sink a couple of them in the ground in the backyard to use as a squat rack. Then get a large hunk of plywood so you can use it to do some pullovers on. Now listen carefully.

"Load your barbell to equal your bodyweight, and you're ready to do the bodyweight squats. Be sure to add weight to your bar when you start to gain weight, but never use more than bodyweight on the bar.

"Now do 3 sets of 20 reps. Take three deep breaths between each rep. Rest about two minutes between sets or until your breathing returns to normal.

"Then you get to rest by doing three sets of the two-arm pullover. Get the piece of plywood and put a rug or some type of material on it for comfort. Do 3 sets of 15 reps and use about 30 pounds on your 5-foot bar. No cheating or bouncing the weight. You can bend your elbows just a little to make the exercise more comfortable.

"The bar should be light and easy to use. If you start to add poundage, you will defeat the purpose of the exercise. We want to expand the rib cage, not exercise the surface muscles of the chest."

"What about my arms, Fred? I don't want them to shrink!"

"I wouldn't want your biceps to shrink to the size of your brain, so after a few warmup curls, do one set of barbell curls for 12 reps.

"Then one set of rowing, 12 reps, for your upper back. Last and very important, do one set of abdominal exercise. If time and energy permits, you might want to do a few side bends too. The waistline is like a weed in the garden. It grows fast and is very hard to get rid of after you own it!

"There are experts who claim that abdominal exercise holds back weight gains, but why cause yourself a problem? Any good abdominal exercise will do. Use one you like and you won't skip it because you're tired."

"I like to hang from a tree limb and do leg raises."

"Good. It gave you good results before and will help you keep in shape. Lucky your neighbors can't see you playing in the tree.

"Now, living at home, Wayne, you're a victim of 'mother knows best' but try to get as much protein as possible. Don't stuff yourself with flab makers like cake, pie and bread. Get a balanced diet. Use supplements and drink skim milk instead of soda. Be sure to eat a snack before you go to bed. If you don't pack in the groceries then you won't gain weight. Your body can't make something out of nothing. You can't eat like a girl and expect to grow out of your clothes.

"The first workout do only one set of bodyweight squats. Then, the second and third workouts do two sets, and after that you can do the full three sets at each workout. Break in slowly if you're not used to high reps in the squat.

"Bodyweight squats can fool you. They look so easy! If you take three deep breaths between reps and do the full 20 reps it may make your legs sore. Raised on low reps, much to my sorrow, I decided to try these light, high-rep squats. I did one set and had sore legs for three days.

"Your mental attitude is very important. You must feel this course of action will help you gain weight. Any negative thoughts and worry will slow down the results. You must feel yourself growing. This outlook will give you the ambition and pep never to miss a workout. It will give you a reason to care about what you eat and how long you sleep. Keep your goal to yourself. Others may try to discourage you and say it can't be done. Realize it can be done. Men such as John Grimek, Bob Hoffman, Jim Douglass, Leo Murdock, Joe Hise, Jules Bacon, Arthur Saxon, Steve Stanko and many others weren't born weighing over 200 pounds.

"Sleep is very important. Nine hours at least each night."

Wayne was able to get more sleep by taking cat naps. He would nap during his forty minute ride to school and back each day. He told the other kids he stayed up late at night and they would let him rest. If you didn't have any homework to do he would stick his head behind a book in the library during free periods and rest.

After he got started on the routine you could see Wayne grow week by week. One month later, Wayne had gained 25 pounds and had outgrown all his shirts.

This course can help you to gain weight. Use it for a month or two and then go back to your regular routine. The idea of this routine is to give you just enough exercise to stimulate growth. If you start to add exercises then the routine will not work. About three weeks into the course, Wayne complained that his triceps were getting soft so we broke our own rule and added the dumbbell bench press for 3 sets of 12 reps. He still gained weight, so it wasn't too much for him. Now, let's go over the routine and also tell you what to do while on it.

1) Bodyweight Squat. 3 sets of 20 reps.
Take three deep breaths between each rep, then squat, three deep breaths, squat, until you rep out the 20 reps. The weight may seem light but if you do the exercise correctly you will be more than glad to set down that bar after a full 20 reps. Use parallel squats if you prefer them over full squats.

2) Two-arm Pullover. 3 sets of 15 reps.
Use a light weight. The purpose of the exercise is to expand the rib cage, not work the surface muscles. If you use too much weight you will pay more attention to moving the weight than expanding the rib cage.

3) Two-arm Curl. 1 set of 15 reps.

4) Barbell Row. 1 set of 15 reps.

5) A set of your favorite abdominal exercise for 20 reps.

6) Dumbbell Bench Press. 3 sets of 12 reps.

Since the days of Calvert, Mark Berry and Jowett the word has been out that chest and leg exercise will pack on bodyweight rapidly. Puff out the chest and stimulate the legs and before long the scale that refused to move will show a weight gain. This is very important psychologically. If weeks go by with little weight gain by a beginner or someone with months of experience, they begin to doubt that weight training will work for them. A loss of interest, a few skipped workouts, and eventually they drift way from the endeavor.

Now, let's go over the squat again for it is the most important exercise in the routine. If it is not done correctly then most of the weight gain won't materialize. If you have worn holes in the floor doing heavy squats, then bodyweight squats will fool you with the ease with which they can be done. But don't be fooled, they definitely work for what we want here. Take a weight equal to your bodyweight, squat down, come back up, and take three deep breaths, hold the last one as you squat down, inhale on the ascent, take three more deep breaths and repeat. Be sure to exhale strongly as you come out of the squat, and make each of the three breaths as deep as possible.

As for your diet, be sure to eat healthy foods. Don't make the mistake of stuffing yourself with anything that isn't nailed down. Eat chicken, tuna and other fish, vegetables, whole wheat products, fruits and plenty of liquids. Hold it . . . you don't have to flood yourself, just be sure you get enough liquids in your system. The idea is to gain muscle, not fat. Sure, I know some of you are so desperate you will take any weight gain in any form, but you don't want to have to reduce later. Also, you want to build good health at the same time. You can't do all this eating junk food and all sorts of crap and expect to maintain your health.

Not only is the 'hard gainer' prime for this course, but so is the football player who needs a fast weight gain, the wrestler at the low end  of his weight class who finds himself pushed around. A few guys have used it to gain employment as policemen and firemen after being so skinny they had to hold on to a tree when the wind blew! Use this course for a couple months, then switch off and do your regular routine for a while, then you can return and use it again.

For each exercise warm up with a light weight for 10 reps. Then do the prescribed exercise and reps. If tears run down your cheeks because you are only allowed one set of curls you can add a second set. But if you change the routine any further, then it will soon become just another standard exercise routine and the rapid weight gain will be lost.

It usually takes about a week to get used to the new way of doing the squat. If after the second week of exercise your legs still feel tired the day you exercise, you can cut the sets of squats down to two. But if at all possible try to do the full three sets of squats. Work out three non-consecutive days each week.

This course will only work if you do. If you follow the instructions to the letter and include the three requirements of the right exercise routine, good nutrition, and plenty of rest you will gain weight. If you burn the candle at both ends, add exercises to the routine and don't eat enough good food, don't blame the course when you don't succeed.

This is your basic road map to occasional rapid weight gain. Now follow the directions to success.            

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weight Training/Conditioning Leg Routine

You can fire up the cardio effect of any weight training program by adding a conditioning component between sets (think Jump Squats, Burpees, Steep Incline Treadmill or Elliptical, etc.). In this workout, you will be following each leg superset with some high intensity pant-and-puffing. Why? 

For starters, you'll be getting more bang for your buck by knocking out a cardio workout while simultaneously hitting your legs and glutes from several different angles. You'll also jump-start your metabolism and, if done intensely enough, will keep it revving for hours afterwards. 

The Workout

Move through the supersets, performing rounds of each before moving on to the next superset pairing. Keep moving! Perform 8-12 reps (this can be varied) of each exercise in the superset - without rest (this cannot be varied) - then finish it off with the cardio booster. After that you can take a breather before going back to the top and repeating the whole three movement circuit, but keep it minimal and keep trying to shorten these rest periods and increase your poundages and cardio movement intensity as well. Work up to four rounds of each superset.

Superset A:

Barbell Semi-Stiff-Legged Deadlift - superset with
Dumbbell of Barbell Reverse Lunge - go directly to 
your choice of a cardio boosting movement or machine.

Superset B:

Barbell Squat to Leg Extension to Cardio Boost.

Superset C:

Glute Ham Raise to Dumbbell or Barbell Step-up to Cardio Boost.

Feel free to develop this idea with other supersets, other movements or bodyparts.
It can quite easily be altered to accommodate whatever goals you're after.
The routine can be anywhere from mainly strength-centered, with a slight cardio-conditioning aspect
to cardio/endurance-specific with a goal of hypertrophy from the weight movements.
There's no limit once you lose the fear of thinking for yourself.

Use slow, controlled movements on the first two movements, even though you might get the urge to speed up the rep execution just to get done once your heart starts racing. Keep Control! I mean, who's the boss around here . . . is it you or is it fear?


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Progressive Levels of Training - Steve Davis (1976)

Progressive weight training is not limited to the simple increase of weight in a given exercise to increase muscle mass. Progressive weight training can encompass time and timing -- two complex considerations for the bodybuilder.

To begin, count your most important 'peak' of the year as the ending day of your training plan and backdate 365 days from that point as the start. The theory is to divide the year into seven individual time periods each representing increased training intensity. Frank Zane was one of the originators of this type of training applied to bodybuilding. He applied it to his training with success that is now bodybuilding history.

Using this training method I was able to go from a fourth place finish in the 1975 Mr. Los Angeles to winning the AABA Mr. California and Most Muscular, and taking second place in the AABA Mr. America. This training program will transform your physique like none other because it's really a framework that you will personally design.

Here is a short summary of the progression levels:

Level One

This level is the foundation for your entire year's training. You should try to avoid any injury for the year by insuring that you start with light weights and proper exercise performance. You should plan to work each of the body parts (shoulders, triceps, biceps, forearms, chest, back, legs, and waist) three times per week using one exercise. Do three sets per body part and train the entire body each day. Begin this level after a short layoff following the prior year's major peak. Stay at this level for 5 weeks.

Level Two 

Work each body part twice per week doing five sets. Use a split routine and train the upper body on Monday and Thursday, the lower body on Tuesday and Friday. Again, use only one exercise per body part. Stay at this level for 8-10 weeks.  

Level Three

Work each body part twice per week, however, select two exercises for each body part and do five sets of each exercise. Use the same split routine as Level Two. Stay at this level for 5 weeks.

Level Four

Select three exercises per body part and do five sets per exercise. Again work on the same split routine. Stay at this level for 5 weeks.

Level Five

Select two exercises per body part, split your workouts like this:
Monday/Wednesday/Friday - Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Forearms, Calves.
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday - Chest, Back, Forearms, Legs, Abs.
Stay at this level for 10 weeks.

Level Six

Increase the number of exercises to three per body part and stay on this level for 10 weeks.

Level Seven

This level should take you successfully to your main peak of that year. Increase the number of sets per body part to 20, training each body part three times per week. This is the level at which you are to put the final touches on your physique this year for that look of total preparedness. Much like a chef, the bodybuilder must bring all his body parts to readiness at the same time so that the whole body becomes greater than the sum of its parts. One way to insure readiness is to spend time posing during this period to further bring out that finished look.

A word about the repetition counts. When doing 3 sets of an exercise start with 12 reps; add weight, do 10 reps; add weight and do 8 reps. The basic 5-set approach begins with a light weight for 12 reps; more weight and 10 reps; more weight and 8 reps; more weight and 7 reps; more weight and 6 reps.

Don't rest longer than 15-30 seconds between sets EVER. The shorter the rest periods between sets, the greater the work intensity. I say nothing here about the specific exercises you might use. The reason for this omission is that it is your responsibility to find the exercises that work best for you and use them. Select exercises that are best for your body type, your training style and for your development of symmetry and proportion.

Nutrition is 75% of bodybuilding. Don't get your information by hearsay. Get good books on mega-vitamin therapy and other nutritional practices. Keep an ear open in the  gym, but at the same time keep your eyes on the writings of nutrition experts as they come out, even if they themselves are not bodybuilders. I've often heard bodybuilders brag about how much protein powder or liver tablets they consume daily. This is the tired old quantity theory that assumes if One is good, than One Hundred will be that much better. Nonsense.

Keep your supplement and food thresholds as low as possible. Why not try to get all you need from the least amount. Again, use the 'levels' approach on your personal nutrition. Start with minimum amounts and increase them only as the need arises -- say, from more intense training. Vince Gironda told me that he never takes the same supplements each day. He takes what his body tells him he needs instead. Eating, taking supplements, and training are parts of the process that are different each day. The novice should react to his diet and supplementation as the need arises, even daily, and so should more advance trainers.

Finally, use the parable Know Thyself to its utmost. Know or learn what makes you tick, what your goals are, what exercises work for you, what supplements and foods you need and when, and the right level of physical development to be on. It's a little harder to train instinctively today, because so much is done for us. But I maintain that time will be saved and higher levels of success will be reached once you learn to teach yourself, and learn from yourself and your personal experiences.

That is progression.    


Friday, November 7, 2014

Individual Differences in the Perception of Pain - Jud Biasiotto and Ed Ritter (1981)

The tremendous poundages that are being lifted today by competitive weightlifters are far beyond the comprehension of most men and women who are not associated with strength sports. Even for many lifters, the awesome totals that are being established by elite or world class lifters are mind boggling. To say that some powerlifters are now capable of triple their bodyweight in the bench press and 11 or even 12 times their bodyweight in totals is downright frightening -- especially in light of the fact that as recent as two years ago, a double bodyweight bench press was considered super, and a total equaling 10 times bodyweight was considered nearly physically impossible.

Today, even a mediocre lifter can push more iron than the world class lifters of 10 years ago. Month after month, world, national, and state records are being smashed with predictable regularity. Where will it all end? The fact that Mrs. Maxwell Rogers, a 114 pound housewife, lifted a 3200 pound automobile six inches off the ground in order to free her son who was trapped under the car may very well indicate that we are only in the embryonic stage of tapping the reservoir of strength that we possess.

Although today's lifters are developing physical massiveness and power that is unparalleled in the history of man, they are also experiencing significantly more injuries -- many of which are of a serious nature. Crushed knee caps, ripped quadriceps, torn biceps, broken arms, dislocated shoulders and knees, as well as minor tears, sprains and strains are certainly more commonplace than before. For the competitive lifter, injury is not a remote possibility, rather it is a strong probability as lifters push themselves closer and closer to their physiological limits. Thus, coaches and lifters will have to face the problem of dealing with injury and the resulting pain.

Most of us expect that when we are injured we will experience pain, and furthermore, we expect that the degree of pain will be directly proportional to the degree of injury. Laboratory research as well as clinical observation has clearly shown that this view is an oversimplification. The psychological state of the individual has a great deal to do with the experience of pain. Especially important is what the injury means for the individual in terms of future prospects. For example, clinical studies of soldiers have shown that the so called 'million dollar wound' (one that is serious enough to take one out of action for the duration of the war, but not serious enough to cause a permanent, severe handicap) can be viewed with euphoria and little pain.

A lifter's expectations concerning pain are affected by many factors including cultural conditioning, one's self-concept, and the reaction of others to the injury. Such factors can produce hypochondriacs on the one hand, and stoics on the other.

For instance, some lifters magnify their injuries so much that they lose valuable training time. They constantly complain and pamper their injuries -- even when they are relatively minor. These athletes are usually motivated by sympathy and the attention they receive from others. Generally speaking, these athletes seldom reach their lifting potentials.

At the other extreme are athletes who are very stoic when it comes to their injuries. Rather than complain about their injuries, they tend to ignore them. For example, a few years ago we were working with Yoshi Takai (who was ranked as the number two gymnast in the world at the time), and during the National GFA Championships, Yoshi ripped the palm of his hand wide open while working on the high bar.

Yoshiaki Takei

 Although his hand was seriously damaged, Yoshi went through his entire routine, dismounted, left the auditorium without any of the spectators knowing that he was injured. Once in the locker room, he took a sewing needle and black thread from his gym bag, and then sutured his palm back to his hand. It hurt just to watch! Once he had mended his hand, he returned to the auditorium and completed the meet. Although the injury would have been excruciating to almost anyone, Yoshi never mentioned it nor did his performance indicate that he was injured. After the meet (which he won) he was interviewed on national television. The interviewer noticed that Yoshi's hand was seriously injured, and asked him about it. This would have been a perfect time for Yoshi to be recognized for his courage and dedication; however, Yoshi flat out denied that he was injured. It was as if being injured was a sign of weakness -- a sign that he was like just any other human being.

Like Yoshi, some athletes will participate with pain and injury, but unlike Yoshi, they will let everyone know that they're hurt. From a purely psychological standpoint, this type of behavior significantly decreases the pressure to perform well, because if the athlete fails, he has a legitimate excuse -- his injury. Many times, because of the decrease in pressure and expectations of the audience, the athlete may do better than he expected. However, the reverse can occur with athletes who perform better under pressure.

The severity of the injury, of course, has a lot to do with the athlete's performance. If the injury is crippling, it is doubtful that the athlete will be able to perform, let alone perform well. However, I have observed such a feat. A powerlifter we were working with named Tommy Dopson had been training for months for the Georgia Iron Man Championships which were held near Statesboro, Ga. It was at these championships that Tommy planned to go for his Master's rating. He had worked super hard for the meet, and had sacrificed just bout everything -- including a semester at school. At the meet, Tommy seemed relaxed and confident. Tommy's squats and bench presses went just as planned. In fact, going into the deadlift Tommy looked like a shoe-in to get his Master's. All he had to do was pull a 530 deadlift -- a weight that he had pulled many times before.

However, on his first attempt with the weight, Tommy ripped a muscle in his lower lumbar region. He immediately fell to the platform with a severe back spasm. He was then carried to the dressing room so that he could get medical attention. It was obvious that he was in extreme pain, and just as obvious that his bid to go Master would have to wait, but Tommy refused to give up his goal. Tommy, who was trained in self-hypnosis, was able to hypnotize himself and induce hypnotic analgesia -- thereby removing the sensation of pain from his back. Moments later, against everyone's judgement, he returned to the platform and showed no sign that he was experiencing any pain whatsover.

During the time interval between Tommy's injury and his return to the platform, the bar had been raised to 540 lbs. To be honest, we didn't believe that he could pull the weight. Even though Tommy was successful in blocking out the pain, his body was still injured. To our amazement, and to the amazement of everyone else, Tommy pulled a hard, legitimate lift.

As he said later, "The pain of not trying would have been much greater than the pain from my injury."

Of course, what Tommy did was extremely dangerous, and we certainly do not advocate such measure. By continuing to lift, he could have injured himself further. Pain is a warning that something is wrong. To ignore such a warning can be self-defeating. Still, many lifters continue to lift while injured or experiencing pain. The fear of atrophying, falling behind the competition, losing strength and power that was developed over months of training are just a few of the reasons why some lifters push themselves in spite of pain.

But what causes pain?

The Perception of Pain

 There are four different senses associated with the skin: pressure, warmth, cold, and pain. Specialized receptors in the skin have been identified for each of these senses with the notable exception of pain. That is, when a temperature receptor in the skin is stimulated, impulses travel over nerves to the spinal cord where they ascend to the brain. Then they reach the sensory area or the parietal love, they give rise to a temperature sensation. In fact, electrical stimulation of this area of the brain will produce temperature sensations even though the skin has not been stimulated. But no one has discovered a specialized receptor in the skin for pain, and unlike other senses, there is no area on the cerebral cortex which gives rise to sensations of pain. So how do pain signals get started?

Fast Fibers Versus Slow

Some of the axons of nerves in your skin have a fatty sheath around them (myelinated fibers) and are thus insulated. This insulation affects the speed of the nervous impulse -- making it many times faster than other impulses from fibers which are not insulated. The unmyelinated nerve fibers of your skin are relatively slow to send their impulses to the spinal cord. Interestingly, when the slow fibers are intensely stimulated they produce a sensation of pain, whereas, stimulation of the fast fibers produces a pressure or temperature sensation. (The research procedure involves sticking a micro-electrode into the fiber, stimulating it electrically, and observing what happens.) It is the relative amount of activity of fast and slow fibers that determines whether or not pain messages will get through to the brain.

The Spinal Gate

Physiological psychologist Ronald Melzack and his associate Patrick Wall (foremost researchers in the area of pain) have proposed that there is a kind of neurological gate in the spinal cord which determines whether or not you will experience pain. If the fast fibers are active, then this blocks of closes the gate so that the pain messages arriving via the slow fibers will not get through. Thus, the individual feels no pain. If, on the other hand, there is little fast fiber activity (especially if the fast fibers were destroyed), then even slight slow fiber stimulation will cause pain.

Cortical Control of Pain

According to Melzack and Wall, the spinal gate can be affected by higher centers in the brain. The descending fibers in the spinal cord run from the brain down through the spinal cord. The descending fibers can affect the spinal gate and thereby control the amount of stimulation passing through. 

The perception of pain depends not only on stimulation of pain fibers, but to a great extent on what the rest of the nervous system is doing. For example, we're sure that all of you have experienced painful injuries, but that you sometimes found yourself so involved in doing something that you were unaware of any pain. The key to cognitive control of pain involves this ability to control one's attention, and also control one's interpretation of the sensations which may or may not be interpreted as pain.

Altering one's expectations through hypnosis, suggestion, placebos, and other psychological means can be quite effective in reducing pain. One lifter we know uses mono-idealism to block out pain during the deadlift. He quickly shouts, 'Pull! Pull! Pull! . . . Pull!', and this preoccupation effectively blocks out pain.

Psychological influences often seem mysterious to individuals because they think of mental events as some kind of ethereal force which is somehow separate from the body. But if you destroy the body, you destroy the mind. The mind is in fact brain, and although the physical mechanism which gives rise to consciousness is still a great mystery, no scientist doubts its physical basis. 

When we teach someone something, we are indirectly operating on the brain, changing the structure and/or functioning of neurons in a much more specific and controlled way than is yet possible with direct surgical intervention.        


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