Saturday, April 7, 2018

Developing Bulk AND Power - Anthony Ditillo

In what follows we shall endeavor to explain the usability of various exercise routines which will increase your physical strength levels but also increase the development of your muscular bulk. To be sure, proper training with the right choice of exercises, along with the proper performance of these movements will enable the trainee, if he so desires, to add greatly to his overall physical development with an overlapping effect of increased strength levels. 

For the competitive powerlifter, such a situation of gaining greatly in bodyweight and size is not the main consideration, unless the trainee is interested in outgrowing his present weight class. However, the knowledge as to how to go about this physical transformation may be useful in the future for this trainee should he someday wish to experiment as to the effect such weight and muscle gaining would have on his overall power potential. Also, he may be interested in growing into the super-heavyweight category and in such a situation, knowledge as to just how to go about this will be invaluable. 

When attempting to add muscle size of the affected muscle groups used in our training, first and foremost is the necessity of proper exercise style. The more we heave and thrust our poundages, the less we are actually working the very muscle groups we are trying to develop. Just as the bodybuilder must use discretion and self control when using his movements to best training advantage, so too must the power trainee use slow, correct exercise performance when calculating his exercise style and progra. 

The combination of muscular bulk AND power is the result of hard, intense work done correctly over a long period of time. It is not the amount of food intake which is of primary importance, since most lifters will eat a rather adequate diet no matter how they train. Rather, it is the correct application of exercise performance, with slowly increase workloads of HEAVY AND LIGHT WEIGHTS, FOR LOW AND HIGH REPETITIONS, which will in time cause a substantial size increase with the increase being primarily usable, functional muscle

Muscle size is developed through the amount you can perform within a given period of time. When not taking into consideration the aspect of increasing our physical strength along with this muscle size increase, the answer to sheer muscular bulk lies within the system of training presently used by the world's top bodybuilders. Set after set of medium-heavy resistance, done for long periods, with the rep scheme kept fairly high and the sets done quite quickly, will result in adequate muscular hypertrophy. However, for the combination of muscular bulk AND strength a different approach is somewhat necessary.

To combine size and strength training with end result being somewhat guaranteed, I would advise the following types of procedures.

First, we must remember that a muscle does not have a brain within itself to know how much weight it is expected to lift in the chosen movements of any exercise program. What happens is that according to the intensity of the resistance or the volume of the resistance, it will contract as many fibers as necessary to get the job done. If you wish to shorten your workouts, you will have to either perform your sets more quickly, with rather light weights, or gradually increase the amount of weight you will be handling for each set that you do, or finally, you can do both at different workouts for the same body parts during any particular training week. 

For the fellow who wishes to greatly increase his mass and strength, the combination of volume and intensity is the way to go. In this way, he will be doing both hard  work on one day and much work on another day and the end result will be larger muscular size and an increase of his lifting proficiency.

By now you should all understand just why it is important to familiarize yourself with these theories of training volume and training intensity, and I shall now endeavor to bore you with a rehashing of these points. Just remember that the proper combination of both these aids is necessary, particularly when trying for an increase in strength with an additional increase in muscle size.

Since we have already determined that a combination of much work AND hard work is necessary for our particular aims here, it is now time to discuss the groupings of these movements for the best size AND strength results.

Of primary consideration is the usage of muscle group exercises, coupled with lighter shaping movements for an increase of muscle fiber stimulation . . . without the chance of physical exhaustion due to overwork, or incidence of training injuries due to overworking past the point of possible recuperation. By carefully combining these muscle group movements with shaping movements, we are increasing our momentary volume capacity through multiple sets of heavy AND light training days within the scope of the weekly training load.

By coupling heavy medium-grip bench presses, done strictly with a pause at the chest for each and every repetition of each and every set, along with the Decline Flying Motion or Flat Bench Flyes, we can work for BOTH size and strength increases with very little wasted motion or time coming into the picture to decrease our training efficiency.

It would also be possible to concentrate on the heavy strict bench presses on one training day and the various dumbbell movements on another training day, thus getting the benefit of both types of exercise movements without the intensity at the severe level as would be the case with exercise coupling on the same training day. With a bit of thinking and patience, you will be able to find quite a few personalized combinations to use with this training theory for the goals which have already been ascertained. With time and adequate training, reaching realistic goals is more than possible.

When training for size increase without a corresponding strength increase, volume of work is of prime importance, and since the major percentile of this work will be of medium intensity it will be almost impossible to overtrain, within the limits of common sense.

However, with strength also being one of our training aims, we will have to barter these two training methodologies somewhat to come up with a favorable combination conducive to results. To use only muscle group movements will cause undue ligament and joint strain when we try to increase such a workload, due to the strenuousness of the poundages these types of movements necessitate. For best results, combine both types of exercises.             

We should also mention at this point in time the advantage such muscle size increases will expedite within the leverages necessary to hoist maximum poundages in the powerlift movements of today (1971). To be sure, if you increase certain muscle groups, such an increase will develop more favorable results in your lifting ability due to increasing the leverages of such performances. The deeper the chest and the thicker the arms, the more leverage we will have for the bench press, as an example. Also, the thicker and larger the upper thigh and the larger the calves, the greater the squatting proficiency, everything else remaining the same. To be sure, leverage through increasing muscle bulk is a useful training aid.

The debate as to whether sheer bodyweight increases will give you all the leverage advantage you will need as compared to sheer muscle size increases being the cause of leverage preferability is still under scrutiny in the various training circles the lifting world over. Similarly, we can find examples of both these situations within the ranks of our present champions. We can all cite examples of hugely muscular men who are quite adept at registering a high powerlift total and also, we all should know of a few of the lighter men who seem to possess neither the size nor the bulk of the heavier men but who can also lift quite a load in the three competitive powerlift movements.

I believe what we have here are two distinct types of lifters. One who was not born with favorable muscle insertions and ligament attachments, but who overcame these deficiencies with increases in muscular bulk, and the other type of lifter who has very little need for additional bulk due to extremely strong attachment points for muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Both types of lifters have the ability to go to the top, all else being equal. Only the training methodology needs to be varied for each type of man to develop the limits of his particular potential. This is not to say that a slender man who has favorable attachments could not improve even further through training to increase his muscle size, only this size, only this size increase would necessitate a weight gain into another higher weight class. Also, this is not to say that out muscular man could not lift more with partial movements for joint strengthening.

Another common denominator for error in training for muscle size and strength is the problem of exercise frequency. We should remember that past an intermediate stage of development our ability to gain will rest predominantly upon our ability to handle heavy weights for an increased number of sets and repetitions. To be sure, such work will have to be at an intensity which we can determine as rather high, for to do much light work without an equal amount of heavy work will not grant us the results we are looking for in this particular situation.

Common sense will tell us that in the beginning of such training endeavors the harder we work the longer we will have to rest between workouts so as to recuperate adequately enough for another hard training session. However, as time and experience goes by, we should come to the point where such hard training is not so totally fatiguing as it once was. It is at this point in time that we will be able to better embrace the advanced training programs and theories which are used presently to so successful a result by the Western Europeans. To be sure, our present living conditions in the USA will dictate what extent such an embracing can take place, dependent upon isolated conditions of physical limits, training time allotments, living conditions, and the types of work done to make a living. All these factors will make an effect as to our ability to work for so many times during the week and even in some cases how many times we can train each day. 

As I mentioned earlier, the more you are interested in increasing muscular bulk the frequently you ork out with no detrimental effects, due in part to the lessening of training intensity, in preference to training volume or load. 

The more you are interested in squeezing out the utmost strength potential at a given bodyweight without getting heavier, the more you must be concerned not only with how often you work out, but how hard you work out. 

 For combining both of these traits, you will have to gingerly work out a system in which at certain periods the poundages will be quite heavy and at other periods they will be rather light. This will promote size AND strength increases. The possibility of combining these undertakings within the framework of the same training routine, on a daily basis, should not and must not be overlooked when deciding how to train.

the secret to developing incredible lifting strength as well as massive muscular size lies within the trainee's ability to take a very severe workload for a continuous time, year in and year out, for many, many years.

By now I feel it is time to outline a few basic bulk and power routines for those of you interested fellows to adapt and incorporate into your training scheme. These routines are not the only ones to choose from, but I am sure these few routines will be most helpful and interesting for you to follow. With time and experience you will be able to manipulate these routines to suit yourself and your particular aims. 

 First we will outline a three day per week routine for the intermediate power/bulk devotee to follow for a period of two or three months without letup or any meaningful changes. Remember that for adequate strength and bulk gains it will be necessary to do each and every set both slowly and correctly for best results.


Bench Press: 
2 sets of 10 for a warmup, then jump to 5 to 7 sets of 5-7 reps with all the weight possible.

Press Behind Neck:
2 x 10 reps for a warmup, then 5-7 x 5-7 using all the weight possible.

Full Squat:
10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and finally 3 x 8-10 with a lighter weight.

Scott Bench Curl:
6-8 x 6-8.

Triceps Pressdown: 
6-8 x 6-8.

Bentover Barbell Row:
6-8 x 6-8.

Stiff Legged Deadlift: 
4 x 12-15.

Incline Barbell Press:
1 x 10 warmup, then 5-7 x 5-7 using all the weight possible.

5-7 x 5-7.


Bench Press:
5-7 x 5-7.

Flat Bench Flye:
5-7 x 5-7.

Alternate Dumbbell Press:
5-7 x 5-7.

Cheat Barbell Curl:
5-7 x 5-7.

Lying Triceps Extension:
5-7 x 5-7.

The aforementioned routine is more than adequate in the amount of work and in the intensity of work for the intermediate trainee. By training three days per week we have more than enough time for completed muscular recuperation, which at the intermediate level is of utmost importance. With time and patience we should be able to increase this workload even further to a four day per week routine, listed below . . . 

Monday/Thursday - Upper Body Work

Bench Press
Flat Bench Flyes
Bentover Barbell Row
Lat Pulldown
Press Behind Neck
Seated Dumbbell Press.

All of the above movements are to be performed for 1-2 sets of 10 for a warmup, then jumping to 5-7 x 4-6 reps.

Tuesday/Friday - Squats and Arm Work:

Parallel Squat
Still Legged Deadlift
Leg Press
Scott Bench Curl
Triceps Pressdown.

All of the above movements are to be performed for 1 or 2 sets of 10 as a warmup, then jumping to 5-7 x 4-6 reps, except the Stiff Legged Deadlifts which are performed for 4 x 12-15. 

As can be plainly seen, the workload of this particular routine is a bit more voluminous, hence, each bodypart is to be trained only twice per week. This allows more and harder work to be done for each bodypart without any one particular part being overtrained or overworked. If you check out the routine very carefully you will note the thoroughness of the workload and the overall growing and developmental effect of such and amount of work, spread out over the entire body. Remember, these routines can be utilized by both the power trainee and the bodybuilder who also seeks strength, for their completeness and intensity will grow muscle and increase strength. The only thing required is work.

While discussing power and bulk training let us not forget that in certain types of training situations a correctly managed bodybuilding routine can be successfully coupled with a powerlifting routine, and the overall result is a heavier, muscular body which is greatly strengthened and oozing with excess of power. We must bear in mind that such a routine will have to include work for the powerlifts as well as for the bodybuilding movements. This will mean that in most cases, the trainee will be working six days per week for, once the necessary between set rest times are factored in, around two hours per training session.  

You will be working the chest and shoulders twice per week, the legs and arms twice per week, and the back twice per week. Each of the three powerlifts will be performed twice per week, save the deadlift which is only done once weekly. Along with the powerlifts, there will also be enough shaping movements to suit any bodybuilder or bulk fanatic. This, coupled with a nutritious diet will give you the desired end result -- muscular bulk AND power. 

Monday/Thursday: Chest and Shoulders

Bench Press: work up to 3 singles with around 90% maximum on Monday, and work up to triples with around 80% on Thursday.

Press Behind Neck
Seated Dumbbell Press
Flat Bench Flye

On these movements on these two days do 5-7 sets of 6-8.

Tuesday/Friday: Squats and Arm Work -

Squat: On Tuesday use a Power Squat style and work up to 3 doubles with around 90% maximum. On Friday use and Olympic Squat Style and work up to triples and fives with around 80% maximum. 

Cheat Barbell Curl
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Standing Triceps Extension
Lying Triceps Extension.

On Tuesday for this arm work perform 5-7 sets of 8-12 reps. On Friday work with 6-8 x 6-8. 

Wednesday/Saturday: Deadlift and Back Work

Deadlift: On Wednesday use your competition deadlift style and work up to a heavy double or triple. On Saturday use the Stiff Legged Deadlift for set of 10-15.

Bentover Barbell Row
Lat Pulldown
Bentover Lateral Raise.

For these exercise movements work out with 5-7 sets of 5-7 reps with all weight possible.  


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