Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Power Routine That Works - Edward L. Wallace Jr.

Here's another powerbuilding routine courtesy of Bob Wildes.
Thanks be to Bob!

It provides a very interesting view on training frequency.

Note: There are many roads to power and physical development. The following is one of them. It may be a bit different from what you're commonly used to, but it worked well for the author, and could work well for you.

We commonly think that daily training will cause one to go stale and this has happened with many programs, but since this layout is slightly different in its application, you may find that it is possible to avoid staleness while getting maximum training effectiveness . . .

Several years ago, while enrolled in a graduate course on the physiology or exercise, one of our class assignments was to read a research paper on strength written by Arthur Steinhaus (1897 - 1970). Steinhaus concluded that in order to attain maximum muscular growth and/or strength, several constants should be observed:

1) It is the intensity of the work, not the amount, that causes a muscle to grow.

2) The optimum training effect is attained when a muscle is caused to contract about 65 to 100 percent of maximum once a day every day. 

3) Intensity of work is enhanced by increasing the resistance and/or the rate of work.

4) Each muscular contraction should last about six seconds.

5) More than one 70 to 100 percent contraction per day did not increase the results.

Let us keep in mind that most of the research related to strength is conducted by people who have little or no PRACTICAL background in weight training. Once you learn to interpret scientific jargon you will find much of this research is a duplication of things weight lifters have known for years.

But, on the other hand, some of it contradicts many of the notions we weight trainers hold as sacred.

The following training recommendations are an attempt reconcile scientific research with the myriad information found the the various weight training publications. Close examination reveals that everything written for beginners seems quite consistent and orderly. But confusion abounds for the advanced strength seeker.

Consistency no longer exists. This article's purpose is to provide a rationale for the most frustrated subculture in America -- the advanced lifter. If you are benching in the neighborhood of 400, with other lifts of this caliber, then this article is for you. If you are a beginner, the basic courses will suffice for several years.


The following exercises are to done in this exact order:

Power Clean
Standing Press
Bench Press
Bentover Row
Upright Row
Calf Raise

On this day, each exercise is done for One Rep at 90% or your maximum single.
You will, of course, warm up to that weight, without too much energy expended. 


Power Clean
Close Stance Squat, heels on a block
Bench Press to Neck
Close Grip Bench Press
Bentover Row
Dumbbell Curl
Calf Raise.

Do each exercise above for 1 set of 6-8 with 70% of your max single


Same as Monday.


Same as Tuesday.




This workout is the same as Monday, but use about 95% of max.  One set of 6 reps in the deadlift can be added at the end of the workout if your time or energy permits. 

Once you have established your routine -- based on a certain percentage of your max single -- add 5-10 pounds to each exercise once a week. When you reach a sticking point, return to your original poundages and work up again in 5-10 pound jumps.

Expect to lose a little on your lifts at the beginning of the program. Your body is likely not accustomed to working this heavy on a daily basis. Remember, this is not a split routine. You are working all these lifts five days per week.

After about two weeks your lifts will climb and your power will continue to improve as long as you can psychologically stand working your whole body five times a week. Most people can put up with this for about 12 weeks. At this point, return to a more conventional routine until you can manufacture enough determination to work out this way five days a week again.

You will find that I have deviated a bit from some of my original guidelines, but upon closer examination of the routine, you will notice most workouts will be 30 minutes or less if you keep moving. The amount of work is negligible -- the intensity is always about 60% and often 80-90% of max.

You probably also notice that I advocate using one set of one rep on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and only one set of 6-8 reps with about 70% of max on Tuesday and Thursday.

Another point needs to be made. My gains were at a standstill for years until I embarked on this five day routine out of desperation. I tried literally everything . . . Nautilus methods, descending sets, multipoundage, supports, pyramids, forced reps, etc -- NOTHING HELPED -- until I decided to work the lifts five days a week like this.

This article would not be complete without a brief discussion of the failure principle. Up to this point, I have deliberately avoided mention of the failure concept that has become so popular lately (article published in 1978). My experience has shown me that an all-out maximum workout more than once every fortnight (two weeks) will not work. This does not mean you don't work hard each and every workout -- you will have to in order to add 5-10 pounds every week to all your lifts. If your max single bench press is 400, the first week will see you doing one rep with 360 (90%) on Monday and one rep with around 380 on Saturday. By the fourth week, after adding 5-10 pounds each week, you'll be working much harder and knowing it.  

But, if you perform reps until you are forced to heave up your lunch in the middle of every workout you will not gain. Nobody at our gym has improved consistently by going to these extremes. Further, I am not 100% sure this approach is what Arthur Jones really meant anyway.

One final point. I am not an armchair lifter. My best lifts of 440 bench; 500 squat; 600 deadlift and 315 press will attest to this. The workout procedure I'm advocating has been tried and proven by a 41-year-old athlete -- yours truly. Younger trainees should experience even better gains.

I would like to remind you that neither this routine or its concepts represent the ultimate answer. No routine will. You may find more work -- or less work (if that is possible) may produce even better results. At first, however, follow this routine as given.   

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