Tuesday, December 11, 2018

A Program for Functional Mass - Ken Leistner

I loved to read the articles of the late John McCallum in the journal Strength & Health. Wittily written, they offer the reader simple and at the same time extremely effective training programs. From my experience I can say that most athletes never make the progress which they hope for because of the following reasons: 

1. They do not train with the necessary intensity.
2. They do not believe that the program can be effective if there's little exercise.
3. They do not train with the necessary intensity.
4. They do not believe that they can become big and strong.
5. They do not train with the necessary intensity.

I have used some of the programs proposed by McCallum, or a little cheated them by reducing the number of sets. I did a basic, polyarticular [involving many joints, as opposed to monoarticular, involving a single joint] exercises, as all my "room" in the garage was just out of the boom, the two dumbbell bench for bench press, squat two frames and two tubes with pushups and I was tightened. As a few 50- and 75-lb.  pancakes and several tractor wheels and a bit of pancakes of low weight.  

A Pair of York 50's. Pancakes!   

As McCallum, I found that I was progressing better if I carry on training no more than 3-6 exercises. Because of the meager equipment, I decided that I would do squats, deadlifts and other relatively heavy and basic movements.

I was lucky - there were no local "experts" next to me when I trained. I had to learn by trial and error. I did many things wrong, but I have laid a base not only physical, but also developed a training philosophy, which focuses firmly on one principle: HARD WORK. 

Luck, chance and common sense helped me to find out what works for me and what does not work. At the time when I most wanted to improve athletic performance through developing functional muscle mass, I was able to gain 18.6 kg. in five months. And this was at a time when no one had ever heard much, if anything about such things as protein supplements, extracts of glands, amino acids, and anabolic steroids. Here's a program that worked. It will benefit any athlete if heavy regular training will be limited to a few heavy, basic exercises. 

I have performed this program 2 times a week. At first I thought that I would train 3 times a week, but was always so tired and my muscles ached so much that the third planned workout of the week would not bring me any good. During this program I was running short and long distances 4-5 days a week; however, I gradually did increase my muscle mass.

I have not used any vitamin, mineral, or protein supplements, just like steroids, or unusual foods and diet. I ate 3-4 times a day, regular food and occasionally drink milkshakes consisting of whole milk,  eggs and chocolate syrup. Nowadays I recommend only drinking skim or low-fat milk, using only the egg whites instead of whole eggs, and, OF COURSE, chocolate syrup! It makes the whole mixture taste good, which will help when it comes to getting just plain sick and tired of eating and drinking foul tasting shakes. At a height of 168 cm., I was able to build from 67 kg. to 85 kg. using this program, which many thought was unscientific and "too primitive" to work. But . . . 

this program meets almost all of the conditions of effective training, and as has been stated repeatedly, it is extremely intense exercise that can stimulate the most muscle growth throughout the entire body. 

The Program

1) Squats: 
Warm up with some 10's, and then 1 x 8 (once a month do 1 set of 50 reps). 

2) Straight Leg Deadlift: 
1 x 15-20 (once a month do 1 x 30).

3) Overhead or Bench Press (alternate each workout). 
Warmup followed by 2 x 6-8 (once a month do 1 x 1-3 reps).

4) Barbell Shrug: 
1 x 15-20. 

5) Barbell Curl: 
1-2 x 6-10 (once a month do 1 x 50).

6) Pushups: 
1 x 6-10 (once a month do 1 x50). 



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