Saturday, February 25, 2017

Don Reinhoudt - From PLUSA May 1978

From This Issue


To overcome the fear of big weights one must lift big weights and get used to the feel of them. The greatest bench presser ever, Jim Williams, used to say this and it's so very true. You must conquer the fear and do it. Jim used to bench 600 pounds five days a week. He conquered the fear of the bench press by doing this. 

I did the same with my squats and deads. I would squat 900+ six to seven weeks for reps and deadlift 800+ six to seven weeks for reps to conquer the fear. My mind and body would always be ready and able to lift max contest lifts if I put it to the test. 

I think it's a breakthrough in one's thinking . . . you must believe in yourself. When I started out competing I wanted so badly to be the best powerlifter in the world. I made up my mind . . . that's what I want to do. I worked hard for 15 years on my goals and dreams. I'm sure I was never the greatest but I reached my dreams and won four World titles and set 24 World Records. 

You must have goals in lifting and lifts. You must pay the price to reach the top. We have all had our ups and downs on the lifting platform or in the gym with injuries or missing lifts and blowing our minds . . . but to be a real champion you must pick yourself up and keep moving ahead . . . setting new goals and dreams for for yourself. 

I reached my goal when I won my first World title in 1973. All my life I wanted to be a World Champion and my dreams came through God . . . but then I thought, well, anyone on a God given day could win one championship, so I wanted another crack at the title. I kept setting new goals every year for myself. I was very lucky . . . without God, my wife Cindy, my Mom and Dad and friends, all these goals never would have come true.


I usually try to plan my power meets at least 3 to 4 months in advance. This way I have plenty of time to make my training schedule work. I usually lift in just three meets a year as I usually like to compete in a meet for a warmup and then the Seniors and Worlds. 

I like 13 to 14 week progressive training cycles. I figure out what I would like to do on each lift, then I figure out what I'd have to rep in training to make that lift. Then I get out my calendar and backtrack. Say I want to squat 800 in a meet. I'll need 750 x 2 pretty easy in order to get it, so what I'll do is this:

Week 1 - 630 x 2
Week 2 - 640 x 2
Week 3 - 650 x 2
Week 4 - 660 x 2
Week 5 - 670 x 2
Week 6 - 680 x 2
Week 7 - 690 x 2
Week 8 - 700 x 2
Week 9 - 710 x 2
Week 10 - 720 x 2
Week 11 - 730 x 2
Week 12 - 750 x 2
Week 13 - I take 5 days off of all the lifts before the meet. 

Doubles seem to work best for me, but I have tried triples and even singles during my last year of lifting as a Super. I trained with a triples routine for my meet in Ohio when I did 2370 very easily (935-585-850), just missing a 905 deadlift at the top. 

For the Seniors I used a doubles routine and had much luck with it, breaking two Sr. National records with an 860 deadlift and 2995 total. After that I was getting worn out on reps so I thought for the Worlds I would use the singles. I did well, buy by far not my best. I did just miss a 904 deadlift at the top of my knees. Whether I'm using singles, doubles, or triples I always use the 12-13 week progressive cycle of adding weight.


My training is still basically the same as when I was a Super except that I'm doing more bodybuilding, because my leverage has changed somewhat by losing the bodyweight. I do more for my deadlifts and benches, but my squatting has stayed the same just by squatting. On the deads I work the trap area a lot more by doing cheat upright rows harder and by doing bent over rows.

I guess one of my biggest problems when I was a SHW is that I would tire so quickly and didn't have the energy to train as much as I do now. I used to spend a lot of time in the whirlpool after training trying to keep my back and groin loose, as I used to get so very tight. I don't have the bodyweight gains to help me gain strength now, so I have to train harder on my other areas than I ever did before.

I work my assistance exercises very hard, as when I make gains on them I will make gains on my powerlifts also. Bodybuilding is the basis for Powerlifting. I do a lot of triceps work and lat work plus much trap work. My arms and traps are close to what they were when I was a SHW and at 90 pounds less bodyweight.

Before I quit lifting at the 1976 Worlds my measurements while weighing 360 were:
Chest, 61
Arms, 22.5
Forearms, 18.5
Neck, 22
Thigh, 33.5
Waist, 51.5
Calf, 19.25

Now, at 281 pounds, I measure:
Chest, 56.25
Arms, 21
Forearms, 16.5
Neck, 18.5
Thigh, 29
Waist, 40
Calf, 18

So by bodybuilding real hard I have made pretty decent gains.


I have always started out my training cycle with weights I can handle with ease. I know my training cycle will be  long one so I want to start easy. Adding weight each week my training weights pick up and will, of course, get much harder for me. By the time the 6th week comes along I will be pushing some good lifts, but I don't go all out.

What I like to do is what I call master the weight with your mind and your body. I don't think I have ever singled out in training during my lifting years. I like to use weights that I have to work on but not peak on. I like to lift knowing that I have more reps left in me while still using good weights.


Monday . . . heavy benches
Tuesday . . . heavy squats
Wednesday . . . off
Thursday . . . off
Friday . . . light benches
Saturday . . . heavy deadlifts and very light squats (just working form)

Here's the routine that I have used in the past:

Bench Press
135 x 10
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 3
505 x 3
550 x 2

135 x 10
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 3
450 x 3
530 x 2

120 x 6
120 x 6
120 x 6

150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8

250 x 6
250 x 6
250 x 6

Triceps Extensions
135 x 10
205 x 3
255 x 3
300 x 3
315 x 3

245 x 6
445 x 3
645 x 3
750 x 2
830 x 2
905 x 2

245 x 6
445 x 2
645 x 2
730 x 2
805 x 2
855 x 2

Cheat Upright Rows
135 x 10
225 x 3
255 x 3
305 x 3
350 x 2

That's the kind of training I used to do weighing 355-365. I have lifted much more but these are what I could do most anytime.


It takes years and years to know oneself in lifting. You must know your body and mind to be a great lifter. The biggest thing you have to do is believe in yourself, be honest with yourself.

Train hard and be willing to put hours and hours into training until you know what works for you. So many guys train wrong and when they get to a meet they can't understand why they couldn't lift will or they bombed out.

Know yourself. Know your limits and conquer your mind. Try to find out what works for you by trying everything when you first start training. Then, with years of experience you can sift through ideas and put them to work for yourself.

I have tried probably every training idea and I finally one that worked for me. Ask questions, read, and study the form of good lifters.

Get to know your body and train it hard.  

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