Friday, April 6, 2018

Successful Methods of Increasing Chest Size, Part Three - Joseph Curtis Hise (1946)

Once more I'd just like to join you in saying 
Thanks to Liam Tweed for being so generous with his treasures.

I think it's important to keep an open mind when looking at methods of the past.

Ideas and methods get forgotten in the wake of fads coming in like tidal waves, until all that's visible is the sand of today at the top of the hourglass. I mean, really . . . it was all built on what came before it, and what was built on yesterday is not necessarily better simply because of its nearness to now. 

Roger Eells

Methods of Increasing Chest Size, Part Three:
"Growing Exercises" 
by Joseph Curtis Hise (1946)

The Strong Man is composed of two muscularly dominant masses. The more powerful (and in your Yankee propaganda the more important) is the hip hinge mass. you will recognize this as the thighs performing one leaf of the hinge and the spine the other leaf, connected by the buttock muscles. The other group is the shoulder mass, which extends from the base of the lungs to the head. This has been considered weaker and dependent solely on the hip hinge group. These dominant masses each possess one dominant muscle. In the hip hinge group it is the Deep Knee Bend set of muscles in the thighs THAT MUST GROW BEFORE IT WILL PERMIT THE REST OF THE HIP HINGE TO GROW. One just wastes his time or enjoys some fine exercise who attempts to budge his hip hinge group without specializing on the muscles involved in the Deep Knee Bend: after this specialization the rest will readily follow suit with appropriate exercises.

In the shoulder mass the dominant muscles are the deltoids. If the deltoids are LARGE all other shoulder mass muscles will easily develop with proper exercises to suit them -- but you will find your Curls and nearly all other exercises are anchored to the strength of the deltoid. You can be a mighty er with a weak curl, but you will never become a mighty presser with weak or small deltoids. The upper spine area reacts to the same exercise as the lower spine (although the back is really divided between the two dominant groups). If you develop your deltoids you can get anything you want in the upper shoulder mass: all non-deltoid upper-trunk muscles will grow on easy exercise. These deltoids cannot be developed in most men with the Two Hands Press: they must use single arm motions such as the Dumb-bell Press (holding a solid brace with the non-lifting hand to give greater effectiveness), Kettle-bell Spins, or the Rebounding Crucifix (on unlocked elbows). 

Note: Hise wrote an article for Peary Rader's Iron Man magazine two years prior to this, on this "Hise Deltoid Exercise". Here

"The Bigger the Boob the Better"

It was my misfortune to have that fellow Eells (the American Barbell instructor) engaged in milking rich and fragile Yankees when I wanted him to run my new schedule through the gym, or we should have had it lined out three or four years ago. You cannot use fragile students to work out the proof of Mighty Theories for Common Men. The little peewees are not pound for pound superior in quality to the lazy heavies but are only relatively stronger in the back: we Mighty Heavies have all the advantages of greater leverages in the torso. If we Heavies had the magic disadvantage of being reduced back to 10 stone bodyweight, what a set of weight-lifting jokes we should be! If it were reversed, Terlazzo would likely be World's Champion Heavyweight, even if his back strength increased not at all, merely because he would then Press in the 60 per cent. class (% of S.L.D.L. on hopper weight)  instead of 47 per cent., and Clean and Jerk in the 70 per cent. class instead of lower 60's. Heavies are Heaven's Favorites, except when strolling in the presence of enemy snipers -- we are the natural marks of both peewees and sharpshooters.

The peewees all want to get in the Heavyweight Heaven where there are only Gentlemen and not a world of competitors like there is down where they are. But this is the vulgar reason for getting a larger chest and weighing more; you be much superior at a heavier and bigger-chested weight. The Apostles of the Lily Lovers here in Yankeeland allege that shape is all and mere mass is nothing at all. I agree that shape is very important for a strong man leaving his youth, say about 75 years old, but the Man Makers assure me their customers are interested only in Mass, that they prefer to put the Lily Class off for their old age. Thus Vulgarity wins over Piety in our Art. This merely goes to prove what I had always observed: the Worshipers of Shape do their exercises in their proletarian minds and not in their vulgar muscles. I always worshiped strength and size, but from reading the Lily Lovers I imagined that I was an exception; this was not true. I was only standard in taste. Shape is something partly born in the skeleton type, while great strength and size are acquired through Intelligent effort. But there is no reason to avoid any of the three in training.

The Importance of Leg Work

The popular magic exercise in Yankeeland is the Flat Footed Squat or Deep Knee Bend, which throws a major effort on the vastus internus muscles located inside and above the knee cap. Men who have normal calf bones and small lower thigh bones like Ronald Walker and John Terry do not have this great fullness as in the normal thigh (e.g., Abele, Grime, and most men). Squat power is another inherent natural leverage and therefore is no sure gauge as to whether you are a strong man or not. For instance, Terry can perform the Deep Knee Bend (when the lower spine is properly exercised) with 70 per cent. of his Straight Legged Dead Lift on hopper; Abele, Grimek and Terlazzo manage 80 per cent., and Arthur Saxon probably 120 per cent. or more. In extended positions in quick lifts there do not appear to be noticeable differences. Seemingly among skilled two arm jerkers (of equal size and identical training with the same large deltoids and the same S.L.D.L. on hopper exercise poundage) the jerking will also be the same regardless of whether they have the best or worst pressing leverage or are 70 per cent. squatters or 120 per cent. squatters. This same rule holds true through all the quick lifts. All, or almost all, slow lifts, such as the Dead Lift, are feats of inherent leverage. Quick lifts on skilled men are the only honest test of absolute strength; adding in the Two Hands Press only distorts the picture. 

The Flat Footed Squat (or Deep Knee Bend) is something that cannot be avoided by one who wishes to be the Mighty Man of Muscle. We have saints who avoid this exercise; they assure us that it is "over-rated" (whatever that means), that many mighty men of the past became strong without it, etc. It happens that Lily Lovers who sneer at it because it takes so much energy will find also no joy in the ways of those who succeeded without it. He who can stand heavy repetitions of two arm jerks can readily become a mighty man without Squats, but very few men start out with this kind of standard energy through life. There are no ways become very strong without majoring in the Flat Footed Squat -- the dominant of the hip hinge mass -- and the special deltoid-growing exercises: those who can stand repetition two hand jerks get both of these at the same time. To cultivate the dominant deltoid is almost as energy-taking as the Flat Footed Squat, and the Two Hands Jerk takes almost as much as both -- hence the extreme scarcity of modern champions who are not "squat specialists."

Are You an "Easy Gainer"? 

Those who have suitable carbon dioxide "governors" in their lungs, or who possess adequate energy, use the Deep Knee Bend to grow great chest size and to increase bodyweight. Every individual has an exact (though varying between individuals) amount of normal carbon dioxide in the air sacs of his lungs. This is an average of around 5.6 per cent. Those who have much less than this are called "easy gainers" because the carbon dioxide "governor" is very sensitive to increase of carbon dioxide in blood; those with the lowest gauge on the "governor" get the most ready reaction to effort expended. Such people, even with small energy, easily react and become bigger and stronger with greater energy -- the "easy gainers" like myself. Others are gauged much above 5.6 per cent. of carbon dioxide -- the same overload of carbon dioxide, so effective in the "easy gainers" has only a small effect on them, so that they must use "ferocious" exercise or change their style of breathing to accelerate the quantity of carbon dioxide immediately thrown from the muscles into the blood. This is done after each squat is performed by pausing when erect and breathing with EXTREME RAPIDITY (known as "puff and pant" style). The joker is that even this pause is a great energy-user, so that those with high carbon lung "governors" and low energy are the "slow gainers" or "can't gainers." If they do not pause to do the excess breathing they cannot gain because they cannot throw enough carbon into the bloodstream to accelerate heart and lungs: if they use the pause and pant style it gobbles so much energy that the expenditure is greater than they can rebuild and regain. Such persons (providing energy is not lost from sleeping in a sagging bed or due to canary-bird food, extremely hard work or unsuitable working hours, as night work) must abandon the Squat and concentrate on the pullover brand of chest exercises until they do have the energy to make the adjustments that permit them to wade in the Sea of Ferocious Exercise that the Strong Man must travel as a competitive lifter. This is an exact resume of why some are "easy gainers" (because their lungs and blood are purer) and some "uneasy gainers." The "easy gainers" can improve on any "mechanically perfect" (for them) squats regardless of the state of their then energy production -- which is decidedly not true for the "uneasy gainers" whose "eat and rest" may not tolerate the kind of squats that must be performed to be productive in chest growth.

Deep Knee Bend Styles

There are many types of squats; some can use all of them, others are restricted by skeleton type to only one or two. There is the round back rise in the flat foot squat, used by all strong men with long thigh bones (which is normal). It is decidedly uncomfortable to those with short thigh bones, who use the flat back rise from the flat foot squat. There is the [Charles] Ramsey Hip Belt Squat in which the weight is suspended from a wide belt around the hips. Ramsey adopted this because among new exercisers are some with weak sacroiliacs (which are not endangered in this style). Using the Hip Belt, Ramsey is able to load the pupil up on the squat without any careful attention on his part.

Then there is an Eells Style Squat with barbell which Roger had to invent for his delicate, but dollared, Yankees, who were prone to have all kinds of backs and sacroiliacs and only exercised to save their lives. He has to use the same on all, as a nice strong man squatter in the gym would send any off to the osteopaths and chiropractors when the patients tried to emulate his style. This method is truly new to me. Eells has no prejudices in exercises as long as they work. Except for sheared tendons in the left thigh from an airplane propeller, Eells would have been the strongest man in the world. Eells' Deep Knee Bend is a flat back squat in which, at the bottom of the knee-bending, the thighs are only about parallel to the floor. To perform this one should take a deep breath through the nose (in all other squats one must use mouth breathing) and puff out the upper thorax; then squat on full breath with flat back until the thighs are just parallel with floor; rise immediately and exhale when erect. This is not the kind of squat to use in a strong man gym, but the only fool-proof kind that Eells has found on a miscellaneous group of cripples, with money. Competition lifters often use very heavy half squats in order to give snap in the Two Hands Jerk, but this is of no special use to an exerciser.

The war rages windily and wordily over squat poundages. Those who pretend to love light ones do not want any squats at all, and those who vote for heavy ones are not always aware of the value of bodyweight [weight of the lifter's body] squats. For those who are satisfied with maintaining condition, two-thirds of their bodyweight is enough, even though they may be almost as strong as the world's champion. Why bodyweight is more important than strength in selecting Deep Knee Bend poundages may be a matter of "balance"; heavier weights may devour more energy than just the excess poundage would justify. Such chaps as Eells and Hise are the trumpeters of bodyweight-poundage squats (with the barbell) and Mark H. Berry and Peary Rader are the advocates of very heavy ones -- very heavy ones being defined as the maximum weight that can be handled 20 times. Eells and I grew together on this bodyweight squat, because our theory (or rather my theory and Eells' work) was to get the maximum "growing effect" on the pupil through forced breathlessness, whereas the weight was nothing at all except enough or it to cause this happy fact. Since then Eells has trained many thousands of pupils and made it work, although I find that on pupils not trained under the eye many grow only on the heavy stuff. Since the advocates of both sides are my friends you are free to do as you wish.                   

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