Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thigh Tri-Bombing (1964)

Tri-Bomb Your Thighs to Massive Size
From Muscle Builder, March 1964

Command decision! That's what it takes to build the big, powerful legs you desire. It can't be done with half-measures or through "when I feel like it" workouts. The thigh muscles are some of the biggest in the human body; they need a lot of work; they thrive on heavy work; and there is no way to supply that work without draining your energy reserves to a great degree. 

The Tri-Bombing technique I am going to describe works on any body part, but can be especially productive for the thighs. 

What is Tri-Bombing? 

In case you missed last year's August issue that featured an article on Triple Range Training, I shall fill you in quickly. It will not only build bigger, stronger legs, but it will also produce better shape because it attacks them at different points of contraction, and it can help you to reach more fibers in a shorter period of time. 

Your Unused Muscles

If you don't make a rugged demand through exercise on ALL your muscle fibers, the unused sections of a bodypart can lag behind. Remember this: No matter how long, how hard or how often you exercise a muscle group, only those fibers which are stimulated will grow larger. 

As an example . . . you may do the standard Two-Arm Barbell Curl for innumerable sets and reps, until your arms feel as though they are dropping off . . . 

 . . . yet this exercise is so circumscribed in its overall effect that many thousands of muscle fibers in your biceps remain unused, untouched, unexercised! 

Why Your Legs Don't Grow

Your legs fail to acquire their fullest development, just as your arms do, when you limit your exercises to the standard movements done in a never-changing manner which works the muscles in a general, overall way. 

Just doing regular Squats will get a lot of the muscle fibers, that is true . . . but a lot more remain unexercised. When these unused fibers are at last attacked with other exercises from unusual angles, which means working them from different points of contraction . . . then, and only then will they grow to their greatest size, power, and shape. 

How Tri-Bombing Works

Let me now show you how the Tri-Bombing method works in terms of the Squat. Under normal usage, following accepted squatting technique, you load a barbell with a weight heavy enough to permit 10 to 12 reps per set with hard work. You place the weight across your shoulders, and squat until your buttocks are well below parallel position. 

Fine . . . you will have activated many hundreds of thousands of muscle fibers. But though you do set after set you will still be exercising only those initial fibers . . . hundreds of thousands more lie in wait. So far you have exercised the frontal thighs. 

Now the remaining fibers wait . . . 

. . . but to their disappointment nothing happens. 

They didn't even get into the act at all, because the next thing you do is lie prone on a leg curling machine and exercise the legs muscles . . . the backs of the thighs. Then you do several sets of leg extensions which again work the frontal thigh muscles. 

You may have done lots of sets, heavy poundage reps, you may have worked until you almost dropped from exhaustion, but still you will only have a partial leg development to show for your efforts! 

Now, it is not only that you used just standard movements done in the usual ways that failed to engage the unused muscle fibers . . . it is the fact that you can handle just so much weight in these movements. There are many factors that prevent your handling heavier poundages, and as long as you continue to exercise in this anachronistic way you will experience the same difficulties and your muscles will grow only through those fibers that you regularly attack.

Angle Squats

If you do Hack Squats in addition to regular Squats, countless thousands of other thigh muscle fibers are worked . . . and your legs improve considerably. Do the Front Squat, with the bar held at the front of the shoulders instead of across the back, and this angle enables you to engage even more thigh muscle fibers. 

But no matter which form or forms of the Squat you do, you soon reach a limit in the amount of exercising poundage you can handle in each variation, and once again you reach a sticking point in thigh muscle development.

Here is where the Triple Range of Tri-Bombing method comes to your aid. It is designed specifically to help you handle more weight in whatever style squat or squats you choose to do (and you should do a variety of different style squats). 

Partial Movements for All-Muscle Development

How can you increase your barbell poundages? One way is by doing PARTIAL movements of the exercises you seek to perform with heavier weights. Now this doesn't mean doing just Half Squats or Quarter Squats with a much heavier weight. It means that, but a lot more. It means doing even shorter-range Squats . . . even Eighth Range and Sixteenth Range Squats, for essentially that is what they are. 

Perhaps you use such a heavy weight that you can only descend two or three inches. But this is excellent, for you engage muscle fibers with such a heavy weight, fibers that you may have never reached before. 

Remember this: you are also getting your muscles "accustomed" to handling these heavier poundages, and also your mind, for there are mental sticking points as well as physical. 

It may seem to you at present that short-range partial movements are but a drop in the bucket, but consider that many drops fill the pail, and it takes the first drop in the pail before the last one can be put in. 

Here Are Some Tri-Bombing, Triple-Range Squat Examples

Tri-Bombed Regular Squat 

 - Use all the weight you can handle for 10 reps of the Regular Squat. Now load the bar with 20 pounds more and descend in the same Squat as far as you can safely go . . . try to go as near parallel-to-floor position as possible. Use spotters or a safety device, and do 5 or 6 reps here, always returning to the fully erect position. 

Now add another 20 pounds and attempt a Regular Squat just half the distance you did in the previous set. Do 5 or 6 reps, and continue adding weight as you decrease the range of the Squat. Jump in 20 pound increments and always go as low as you can in each progressive set, and always keep an erect back. We are working the thighs here, not the lower back. 

Tri-Bombed Seated Squat

Now since you could obviously not squat with a heavier than limit poundage -- that is, you could not squat as low as you did with your limit exercising poundage -- in this squat you make possible the impossible! 

You begin at the Half Squat position with a barbell loaded again at 20 pounds more than your usual limit. But you sit on a sturdy bench or box to start the movement, the weight held across your back as before, and you attempt to rise just a few inches, to as high as you can . . . do 5 or 6 "rises" and load on another 20 pounds . . . try another few rises to as high as you can with this weight . . . and continue like this until you can't rise at all.

The first set of rises should find you ascending just as far as you descended in the Tri-Bombed Regular Squat. So what has happened? Already you have equalized the poundage up and down . . . you have brought thousands of muscle fibers into play . . . you have begun to strengthen the tendons and ligaments to an incredible degree that will eventually permit you to do the full Regular Squat with poundages you never dreamed you could handle. You have also trained your mind to see that this is possible over time. You will also be forcing new growth into your thighs. 

You can practice this technique with any kind of leg exercise. In Front Squats the overloaded partial movements (both standing and seated) will give you strength to use far heavier poundages in COMPLETE movements and you'll develop new muscularity in the muscles just above the knee. You will also increase your ability to confidently hold great poundages in the clean to shoulders racked position. 

Try this in the Hack Squat as well . . . this Squat variation invariably suffers from a lack of increased exercising poundage. Partial movements will help you to do them with 40 or 50 pounds more weight, thus engaging different muscle fibers and stimulating growth. 

Work it in with your Leg Curls and Leg Extensions. You can work them the same way . . . making partial movements until you gain the strength to do full and complete range movements. Always take care when using this technique with Isolation Movements such as these. 

Here is how I recommend doing a Tri-Bomb style Regular Squat within the power rack:

First, load the bar with an exercising poundage that will permit you to do 8 to 10 reps of the Full Squat, or Parallel Squat, or Half Squat, whichever full movement you prefer to do at this particular workout. Perform one set of these.

Now, load the bar (which should be placed on the top hooks of the rack) with 20 to 30 pounds more than your limit exercising poundage. The bottom catchers should be adjusted in height so that you well go no lower than half the distance you would descend in the Squat you have chosen for this workout. Do 6 to 8 reps with this weight, just touching the bottom pins before quickly rising to the erect position again. 

Add still more weight and adjust the pins so that you can descend only 1/4 of the way before touching them and rising to the erect position. Do 6 reps like this.

Add even more weight and set the pins so that you can descend only about 1/8 of the way before touching and rising, for 6 reps.

Now, adjust the pins much lower so that while seated on a box or bench you can rise about half way to the erect position. 6 more reps.

Keep adjusting the pins, lower and lower so that in the final set you can only rise a few inches with the weight. Each time try for 6 reps. Add a smaller amount of weight as the going gets tougher.

You will find that by attacking your thigh muscles at different points of stress and weakness, you will be strengthening your tendons and ligaments to a point where you can do full range movements with a far heavier weight than you have ever handled, and that your thighs will grow as well as become stronger.

Apply this method to all your thigh exercises at different times . . . first doing a set of full reps and full movement . . . then putting extra weight on the bar and doing half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth movements.              

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