Thursday, June 21, 2018

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Basic Mass Training (Gene Mozee)

While almost all newcomers to bodybuilding are faced with the problem of gaining weight and adding muscle size, the majority are able to make satisfactory progress without needing special help. There are, however, a number of slower gainers who find it more difficult to put on a basic foundation of muscle mass.

There are many factors that cause this, and eating habits are at the top of the list. You must supply your body with high-quality foods in sufficient amounts, protein foods for tissue building, as well as energy supplying carbohydrates and fats. Your goal should be to eat a well balanced diet that is both high in protein and high in good calories. Think of increasing your food intake much as you would your training poundages. Gradually increase your intake over time, making sure you never stuff yourself or force-feed to the point of simply wasting food. The human body is only capable of using the quantity of food that it adapts to, which can be increased slowly over time, again, much like it adapts to the amount of work it can recuperate from. Think "adaptation" and not sudden gross exaggeration.

Another factor that frequently interferes with progress is overworking -- too many exercises, too many sets and reps, too many days a week. All too often we try to follow the pre-contest routines of champion bodybuilders and hope to garner the same results. Just as you can't expect a passenger car to keep up with a top fuel dragster, there's just no way a bodybuilder without sufficient experience and a good foundation of muscle mass can keep up with an elite lifter. Excessively long, energy draining workouts in which you train to the point of complete exhaustion won't give you what you're after.

Too much energy expenditure outside of your lifting can also keep you from gaining much, if any muscle mass. Make sure you get plenty of rest and sleep on a regular basis while you are working to build basic muscle mass.

Never underestimate the importance of mental attitude. Mental strain can be a real energy drain on your body, which can adversely affect your workouts and your muscle growth. Always try to maintain a positive attitude toward yourself, keep calm, and stay relaxed around meal times. Just because those around you choose to throw themselves into a self-created living hell of negativity is no reason for you to join them down in the limbo of Dante's First Circle, going nowhere, gritting teeth all day and forgetting, no, refusing to even acknowledge their own power of choice. Let 'em fret and fume. You'll be glad you did once you've been alive long enough to realize that crap doesn't add up to anything in the long run. You may have to change your circle of friends as you become more open to the wonders of life, may even be left on your own at times without a social circle. What circle of Hell is that one, anyhow? Never let the childish fear of being alone determine what you do with your few years here on Earth. Or do. It's all up to you.

Learn to slow down, physically as well as mentally (except when needed). If you have trouble sleeping, check to see that you're in control of your mind. When it comes time to stop thinking and sleep, simply say "Don't Think" to yourself, give yourself the gift of mental silence, and drift off quickly into the land of refreshment and rest.

Now, on to the training methods we'll be using to gain weight and build a basic foundation of muscle mass. The most effective way to do this is to work your MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS with the exercises that involve as many large muscles as possible yet still have you going through various full ranges of motion. Heavy weights on the big movements will bring you results at this point that isolation exercises simply cannot. I gained most of my beginning muscle mass on a program of 10 exercises that I performed three times a week, moving the poundages up as I could over time. After I built a satisfactory foundation of basic muscle I switched to more complex split routines and used many different exercises for each bodypart. Don't get ahead of yourself.

If you still need to put on 20 or more pounds of basic muscle mass, the following programs are for you, whether you've been lifting for one year or ten. The basics are what you need to add basic muscle mass. Is that really so hard to understand? 

These 10 movements are the ones that that helped me the most in my quest for a bigger physical foundation. Although they may already be familiar to you, please read the exercise descriptions for each, just to be certain you're performing them correctly for this purpose. Use these routines on three non-consecutive days, Monday/Wednesday/Friday for example. 

I prefer to add weight on the 2nd and 3rd sets and then stay at my Set 3 weight for the remaining sets. For example, if I can use 135 for 6 reps on the barbell curl, then my progression is as follows: ]

115 x 8
125 x 6
135 x 6
135 x 6
135 x 6.

Here are the exercises: 

1) Squat. 

This not only develops the thighs but it also strengthens the heart and lungs and improves general circulation. You will need to do your squats with the aid of racks so that you can use heavier poundages. Don't even think about wasting your time squatting if you don't have racks or boxes. With the bar across your shoulders on the shelf formed by your traps just below the base of your neck, lower yourself to a full-squat position while keeping your upper body straight and your back flat. Inhale deeply before going down, then exhale forcefully as you return to the starting position. Use the weight progression method shown above, dropping from 8 to 6 reps as you increase the poundage for your third set. You may not get all 6 reps on your last two sets. It's perfectly normal with a challenging weight for the last three sets to be, for example, 6, 5, 3or 4. Don't bloody worry! Just keep working at it until you do get 6 reps in all of the last 3 sets, then add weight to the bar next time and keep going.   

2) Bench Press.

This is my favorite exercise for adding basic muscle mass to my upper body, especially my pectorals. Squats induce heavy breathing when worked hard, so you get additions growth promoting benefits when you follow them with chest work. Use a fairly wide grip, don't arch your back much, lower the bar to just above your nipples, and then ram it back to the top. Inhale deeply before lowering the bar and exhale forcefully on the way up. Do five sets using the same add-weight method above.

3) Incline Press.

You won't find a better exercise for thickening your upper pecs and front delts. You can use either dumbbells or a barbell. Start with the bar at arm's length above your face. Lower it to your upper chest just below your neck, then press the bar forcefully to a position over your eyes at arm's length. Again use the same weight-add progression.

 4) Wide Grip Chin.

This is a great exercise for widening and shaping your upper back. Take a wide grip on a chinning bar and exhale as you pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. Inhale as you lower yourself under control to a full stretch. Do 5 sets of 8-10 reps. If you can get more than 10 reps strap weight around your hips.

5) Bentover Barbell Row.

Grasp a barbell with a grip that's slightly wider than shoulder width and bend forward so that your upper body is parallel to the floor. Keep your back flat so that your lats do the work. Pull the weight up to your lower chest while exhaling and lower under control while inhaling. Use the add-weight system for 5 sets. 

6) Seated Press Behind Neck.

Take a medium-wide grip on a barbell that is behind your neck resting on your shoulders. Press the weight forcefully overhead while exhaling, then lower it under control to the starting position while inhaling. Perform 5 sets with the add-weight system above.

7) Barbell Curl.

Use a medium grip for direct biceps action, although you may wish to vary your grip to whatever feels comfortable for you. Stand with your arms hanging straight down and the bar resting at your upper thighs. Take a breath and exhale as you curl the bar all the way up to full flexion without swinging. Contract your biceps hard at the top and then lower the bar as you inhale. Use the add-weight system for five sets.

8) Lying Triceps Extension.

Lie on your back on a flat bench with a close grip (10 inches between the thumbs) on a bar at arm's above your chest. As you inhale lower the bar down and back, bending your elbows until the bar is behind the top of your head and below the level of your head. Ram the weight back to the starting position. Try not to let your elbows stray outward during this movement. Use the add-weight system for five sets.

9) Heavy Deadlifts.

Far too many bodybuilders neglect this great exercise. Start gradually with this one and do only three sets for the first two weeks. Once your back has become accustomed to the movement, add two sets and do 5 sets of 3-5 reps as you increase the weight on each set. Use and over-and-under grip on the bar, and alternate hand positions with each set. You know . . . right over/left under for set one; left over/right under for set two, etc.

 10) Calf Raises.

Go through the full range of motion for 5 sets of 10-15 reps.

The above program can build tremendous size and power over time, but it can prove too rugged for some beginning lifters. Here's a decent novice introductory routine:

Bent-Knee Situp: 1 x 15-20
Squat: 3 x 10
Bench Press: 3 x 8-10
Bentover Row: 3 x 8-10
Overhead Press: 3 x 8-10
Barbell Curl: 3 x 8-10
Deadlift: 2 x 10
Calf Raise: 3 x 15-20
Bent-Leg Raises: 1 x 15-25

During the first week of training do only one set of each exercise and rest to 2-3 minutes between exercises. Do two sets for the second week and increase to three sets for the third week. If the reps are easy when you hit the top number in the listed range, add weight to the bar, 5-10 pounds is sufficient. Increase your poundages whenever possible but use correct form at all times without intense straining. Beginners can make continuous progress on this program for a good three months.

Note: If you already have several years experience and you're stuck in a rut, parked on a plateau or having trouble coming up with another bland phrase that sounds poesy-like, basic beginner routines can often help you get past that point. Sometimes decreasing the complexity of your routine does the trick. Or not. You'll figure it out, and have an even more lasting, fulfilling takeaway from it all if you do this thing as much as possible on your own, using what you can from articles like this and other sources as well. Just don't throw up your hands in frustration and flail about earthbound like some silly clipped-wing bird who sees the neighbor's cat coming nearer. Think for yourself, be the canary in that coalmine and fight to understand the personal trials and tribulations that, as always, lie in wait for you. But not you, of course, 'cause you're just so damned special and different. Right?

If you are a bodybuilder with limited time to train, works long hours, has a large army of small children etc., try the following mass routine:

Squat: 5 x 8-10
Bench Press: 5 x 6-8
Wide Grip Chin or Pulldown: 5 x 8-10
Press Behind Neck: 5 x 6-8
Barbell Curl: 5 x 6-8
Lying Triceps Extension: 5 x 6-8
Deadlift: 5 x 3-5.

Go Get Em, Tiger.
Before the party's over.

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