Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bulk Routine - Clarence Ross (1952)

The two most sought after improvements in beginning trainees are bigger arms and more bodyweight. As the beginner becomes more advanced, the desire on his part for more bodyweight and bigger arms increases steadily. When he gets his first additional 10 pounds, he wants 10 more and so on until in many cases he is never satisfied, always striving for more and more bodyweight. 

In some respects this is good, for one fundamental principle of bodybuilding is that increased size cannot be obtained without an increase in bodyweight or a transfer of body mass from one part of the body to another. In the case of a thin, or very muscular bodybuilder, every inch he gains on any part of his body must represent some bodyweight gain, provided that all the parts remain at least as large as before. So, it is logical for the bodybuilder to reason that an increase in bodyweight will give him larger measurements, and of course this is basically true.

However, each one of us possesses certain muscular limitations. These are controlled by our age, physical type, bone structure and so on. To reach our maximum development is a goal we should all strive for, but to add bulk beyond the ability of our body to pile on this new weight is a mistake.

Your goal in a bulk gaining program should be to GET MUSCLE . . . not just more bodyweight. You must preserve your hard muscular lines at all times and once you see a slackening off of definition, then this is your tip that you have gone as far in bulk as you should, at least for the time being. 

A bodybuilder's bulk requirements will change from time to time. As he grows older and the bones thicken he will find that he can accommodate more bodyweight and still remain muscular. My own personal experience bears this out. My best bodyweight some years back was about 185 pounds. When I went heavier I looked too beefy. Today, I look best at a bit over 200 pounds, and keep this weight most of the time. No doubt in time a bodyweight of 210 will suit me best. This illustrates how maturity influences the amount of bulk which the body can hold well.




 As far as the average beginner is concerned, he will go through many of these similar stages. As he gains in bodyweight he will hit a point where he will begin to look a bit beefy and appear puffy. At this time he must give up his bulk program and go into another routine designed to bring more definition. Then, six months or so later, once again he will be able to add some bodyweight, and so on until eventually he will hit a peak in measurements which he will do best to hold for years.

From the above it can be seen that I do not recommend gaining too much bulk all at once. Whatever personal goal you have set for yourself, you will do best to work up to this in gradual stages. Spend several months on a bulk routine, then into a different one, preferably which gives more definition and muscularity, then back to a bulk course an so on, always keeping the new bodyweight under control and never losing too much of your visible muscularity. If you follow this plan you will gain tremendously from a bulk course. That is the way I suggest you follow this one.

The principle behind bulk gaining is simple and logical. Emphasis is placed upon mass muscular action. Working the large groups of muscles and restricting the workout energy entirely to them. Increased strength is important too and the workout should be controlled to muscularly stimulate to the extreme, but it must not cause general fatigue. In other words, the bodybuilder must get more out of the workout than he puts into it. Only in this way will a physical reserve be established, which will result in more bodyweight.

This means that while the poundages used in the exercises must be rather high to develop more strength and to fully work the muscles, the repetitions must be low so that there is no drain on the energy reserve. It also means that the number of exercises performed must not be too large, and each one must serve a definite need. All exercises which are not urgently needed for bulk gaining must be eliminated. To make sure that the muscles are worked completely, the number of sets should be a bit higher than usual. This compensates for the lower number of reps being performed and gives a full workout, yet keep depletion of energy at a minimum.

During a bulk gaining course it is also wise to limit your outside physical activities as much as possible. Stay away from all vigorous sports, particularly those sports in which there is almost constant motion such as basketball, long distance running, tennis, handball and others of this sort. A leisurely swim, or if you play a friendly game of softball once a week or so will not hold back progress. The severely competitive sports will.
You should make no attempt to force bodyweight gains through excessive eating or consumption of great quantities of liquids. You should eat well, making each meal including breakfast a substantial one, but don't bog your system down with a lot of devitalized so called "fattening" foods. Eat a well balanced diet. If you are really thin, a glass of milk several times a day between meals will help you to gain, and including more milk with your regular meals will also be an assistance. I do not believe in drinking a lot of water during a work-out as some recommend. This extends the abdominal area, lessens its muscle tone, and while some bodyweight can be gained in this manner it will lodge on the midsection, giving a beefy look. It will also be hard to remove in the future because of the abdominal distention. So don't try to gain weight in this manner. [Pardon me, but did he say beer or water there?]

In fact, while I have not included any abdominal exercises in this course, I suggest that on in-between days you practice some leg raises and situps to preclude the possibility of excess fat forming on the abdomen, as well as loss of muscle tone, which must be avoided. Abdominal exercises do not hold back bodyweight gains as some presume. So don't entirely neglect your abdominal work while on a bulk program.

When training for bulk you should also sleep a little more. You simply cannot increase your muscular bodyweight if the energy is low. You have to work hard on the exercises to get the desired reaction. If you are tired and sleepy you will not be able to extend yourself as you should and will not obtain the gains you seek.

Other than the above hints there is nothing much more to watch besides training regularly, three times a week, no more and no less on this program, only adding some situps and leg raises on off days. Do not include any other exercises, even if they are your favorites. The idea here is for an overall bodyweight gain. You will not get this if you make the workout any longer.

Begin the program with one set of each exercise. The next workout increase this to two sets and the third workout increase to three sets. Stay at three sets for a month and then increase to four sets of each exercise. Never go above four sets on this program. I suggest you stay on this routine for three months and then change to another.

Perform 6 reps of each exercise. When you find that 6 reps are easy increase the weight used. Do not try to follow any set pattern in this. In some exercise you will be able to increase the weight quickly and regularly, in others you may not be able to progress so fast. Individuals will vary with this.

Use a weight that permits 6 repetitions in each set. This means that you may have to drop the weight a bit on the 3rd and 4th sets. Rest at least a minute between exercises. Make sure that you work hard and you can't fail to get good results. Here are the exercises. Follow them in the order listed.

1) Wide Grip Bench Press -
Keep the grip wide and don't be afraid to bounce the bar off the chest or use some body motion provided it permits you to handle heavier weights. In all exercises use just as much weight as you can and still squeeze out the full number of reps.

2) Bent Arm Flye -
Start with the dumbbells held above the chest with arms stiff. Lower off to the sides and while doing so bend the arms slightly.

3) Bentover Row -
Pull all the way up until the bar touches the chest. Lower, but do not touch the floor.

4) Dumbbell Shrug -
Without bending the elbows pull the shoulders up as high as possible. Grip the bells tightly throughout.

5) Repetition Clean to Shoulders in Squat Position -
We now enter the tough part of the workout. This exercise is performed by pulling the weight up from the ground as in a regular clean to shoulders, but you go under the bar in a squat, not a split, position. Replace the bar on the ground every repetition and use all the weight you can while still making your 6 reps each set.

6) Regular Flat Footed Squat -
Use all the weight you can, and take as many breaths between repetitions as needed to complete all 6 reps every set.

7) Barbell Hack Squat (deadlift behind back) -
With the barbell placed behind you, heels resting on a one inch board, squat down and get a strong grip on the bar. Pull it up just as you would in a regular dead lift. Replace the bar on the floor behind you each repetition and take as many breaths as needed to complete all 6 reps in each set with all the weight you can handle.

8) Regular Dead Lift -
Yes. Yes!  YES!

This completes the workout.  


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