Sunday, April 1, 2018

Twice a Week Oly Lifting Alan O'Brien (1957)

This Article, from IronMan Lifting News
Courtesy of Liam Tweed

Since this article is about meat and potatoes style training,
how 'bout some Norb Schemansky photos first . . .

Okay then.
Now . . . 

Have received a few letters from fellows wondering how often they should train during a week's time. This is a hard one to answer. Most persons would say it's all up to the individual and his daily habits. There is a lot of truth in this statement, so let's break it down and see what's what. 

I can remember when I first took up weightlifting I was told to always train 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No matter what happens, never miss those 3 workouts per week. So stick to it I did, week in and week out. Yes, I gained up to a certain point. Then the old sticking point was reached and I went looking for advice once more.

I was told I was not working out enough. Try it five times a week and you will get strong twice as quick, came some of the replies. Five times a week, three hours a day at a clip I went at it. Results? Press went down, weight went down, always tired, and sometimes didn't feel like crawling to the table for some nourishment. About this time I decided enough was enough. A layoff was needed before resuming with light training.

Back to training after a six week rest, with emphasis on moderation of exercise. Results? Total increased, gained weight, slept better, felt better, and most of all, food tastes like food. So this seems to be the trouble with others as the letters I have received indicate.

Here are a few suggestions that I tried with good results and would like to pass on to you to kick around a little. Now bear in mind that this is for the Olympic lifter who wishes to increase his total -- not the bodybuilder. The bodybuilder and the weightlifter are traveling down separate lanes altogether. A lot of fellows ask me if these all day workouts that some of he BB boys take, that they read about in the magazines are on the level. To answer that I say, "Yes, some do it, but if you care how you look now AND later, stop and think."

Whether you work real hard all day or not and want to add a few pounds to your Olympic lifts, try this twice a week workout and see what it will do for you.

I go at it Tuesday night and then again Saturday afternoon. Workouts never last more than two hours. I try to catch an hour's rest prior to the workout, or just relax in bed while listening to some music or reading. I eat dinner about 5 p.m. then begin the training at 7 p.m. I start taking honey about noon that same day and consume about 6 or 8 ounces. This gives me a real lift later and I can't explain it and don't care to try. It just gives me an abundance of training energy. Start thinking about what your reps and sets will be and tell yourself that you will make these weights, and get it fixed in your mind and chances are you will succeed.

Warm up well, then press -- no more than 20 heavy presses. I do 4 sets of 5 reps. Don't count the warmup reps. Jump 15 pounds per set. Concentrate heavily and make every rep count and go up. I finish off with a lighter set for as many reps as possible. Its usually the first weight I pressed at the start of my 4 sets. To me the Press is the most important of the three lifts. When your Press increases so will your quick lifts. Clean your weights for the Press. What good is a Press if you can't get the weights to your shoulders. Leg drive is recommended. It gets the weight moving and you will gain quicker than if you just did slow presses. Anytime I feel a hard strain I stop. Lift fast, keep the bar moving. The old saying, "Train, don't strain," is worth its weight in gold. Of course you may set your reps to suit yourself, but from 5 to 8 is what I would try if I were you. Two weeks prior to a meet lower to 3 reps or so.

Weightlifting is push and pull. I don't believe in heavy snatches and clean and jerks every workout. For your Snatch do high pulls or rowing motion. Work on form but with light weights. The power lockout machine will help the Jerk. Speaking of this machine, many people have asked me where it first originated. This I can't honestly answer. It's probably as old as the barbell itself. I do not claim to be the inventor. I simply offered an economical way of building it and then explained its use from my own experiences. I believe a lot of credit for it being popularized is due to Harry Paschall. It was from him that I got the idea to build one, and Harry's articles in Iron Man describing it are really worth reading over again and again.  

Note: If you're a little confused as to what this "Power Lockout Machine" is, John Wood clears it up

After you have gone through a series of presses, turn to the pull and then to the squat. to me this is the daddy of them all. It it's power you want, squat. I do not believe in the full squat to the bottom. Rather the parallel or the bench squat. They are really strength builders if you do them with the lockout machine. Try about 5 sets of 5. One workout use the power machine and then the next go with the bench squat. Here again, when your squat poundage goes up so will your lifts. A lot of pressing power comes from the hips and a man that can do 400 pounds in the squat should press around 240 or 250.

I have talked to many lifters who have squatted with over 500 pounds and 9 out of 10 can press around 300 pounds. So don't forget the squats.

Now, let's sum up a little:

Try working out twice a week. Get plenty of good sleep and food. Warm up well, then press. Do an exercise or two for your pull. Squat with 5 sets of 5. Bench pressing and incline pressing is good for a change. Concentrate heavily and make the weight travel. Train and don't strain. Practice the form before and after each workout -- no more than 2 hours each session. Include other sports activities besides weightlifting -- handball, wrestling, basketball, swimming, long jumping live alligators, what have you. Take layoffs. They're good for you -- once every three months or so or perhaps a month or two during the summer. Most of all, if your gains have stuck on you, try this type of training for a while, and put everything you have into it and see for yourself.

It might work. 

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