Sunday, March 31, 2019

Maximum Effort - Part One - John McCallum

George Handle was a young man who trained rather vigorously in a small downtown commercial gym. George had been training for three years now and, it must be admitted, didn't look too bad. He didn't look too good, either, but he didn't look too bad. Results, however, had been slow of late. Progress was dropping off and George's spirits were dropping with it.

One Monday evening as George came in for his workout, the gym owner called him into the office. 

"Georgie, my boy," he boomed. "So nice to see you again." 

"Again?" George said. "You just saw me on Friday." 

"Did I?" the gym owner said. "Amazing how the time flashes past." He put his hand to his forehead. "Sort of scares you, doesn't it?" 

"Not really," George said. "I mean I never thought about it before." He cleared his throat. "Is there something you wanted?" 

The gym owner pointed to a filing card on his desk. "I've been going over your record, Georgie." He studied the card a moment longer and then looked up. "Did you know you have the same name as a very famous composer?" 

"I know," George said. "George Frederick Handel. The spelling's different."

"Different?" the gym owner said. "How many ways can you spell George?"

"Not George," George said. "Handel. The E and the L are reversed. My parents were wild about Handel's music and that was the best they could do." 

The gym owner thought it over for a moment and then his face brightened. "So they gave you the same handle," he chortled.

George coughed slightly.

"Get it?" the gym owner said. "Handle. They gave you the same handle." 

"Yeah, right," George said. "I thought it was funny as hell the first time I heard it. I was about four at the time." 

The gym owner's face fell. "I see," he said. He studied the filing card again. "Anyway, Georgie, in looking at your card I happened to notice that you're about three months behind in your dues." 

"I know," George said. "Does it matter?" 

"Matter?" the gym owner said. "Not a bit, my boy. Why would it matter? I'll just give up a few incidentals like food and it won't matter at all." 

"I'm sorry about it," George said. "I ain't been working, you know, and I'm a little short on bread." 

"A most interesting tale," the gym owner said. "Most interesting. I'll lay it on the sherriff when he comes to evict me." 

George slumped into a chair. "Look," he said. "I just can't pay you right now. I'm sorry." 

"I'm sorry too, Georgie," the gym owner sighed. "But the wheels of commerce grind exceedingly hard." 

"I gotta have some place to train," George said. "Can't we work something out?" 

The gym owner tilted back in his chair and studied the ceiling. "You know, Georgie, it's strange you should say that." 

George's eyes narrowed. "Is it?" he said. "Why?" 

The gym owner took a pen off the desk and looked carefully at the point of it. "Actually," he said, "I've been looking for someone to work on a little program I have in mind. Someone sufficiently motivated," he added.

George stood up. "And so you went through all the files looking for somebody who was behind on their dues so you could pressure them into being a guinea pig." 

The gym owner leered. "I figure training my way's better'n not training at all." 

"How long would your program take?" George asked him.

"Not long," the gym owner said. "A couple of months." 

"And you'd waive all the back dues?" 

"Waive, hell," the gym owner said. "I'll hold them in abeyance for a while." 

George spun around on his heel. "Goodnight," he said.

The gym owner ran after him. "Hold it," he yelled. "Wait a minute." 

George stopped and looked back.

"It ain't gonna be all one-sided, you know," the gym owner said. "You'll get terrific results from this program." 

George waited.

"You ain't been gaining all that well, lately," the gym owner said. "You could stand something different." 

"I don't need anything different," George said. "I need something good." 

"This is good," the gym owner told him.

"And I'll make gains?" George asked.

"I guarantee it," the gym owner said. "You'll make more progress in the next couple months than you woud've believed possible." He put his hand to his mouth. "If you live through it."

George leaned forward. "Pardon?" 

"I said it's an interesting program and you'll enjoy it," the gym owner said.

"And if I don't do it?" George asked him.

The gym owner sighed. "Then, my boy," he said, "I'm afraid I shall have to invoke clause twelve of the collective agreement." 

"Which means?" 

"Pay up or we boot you out." 

George slumped. "You got me." 

"Good," the gym owner said. "I thought you'd listen to reason." He draped an arm around George's shoulders and steered him to the locker room. "Jump into your sweatsuit, my boy, and we'll put you on the path to a Mr. Universe title." 

"Now," the gym owner said, when George was ready, "you'll be working four days a week on a split routine. Legs, chest, and upper back on Mondays and Thursdays; shoulders, arm, and lower back on Tuesdays and Fridays." 

"What's so special about a split routine?" George asked him. "I've done them before." 

"It isn't the routine that's special," the gym owner told him. "It's the way you'll be doing it." He sat down on a bench. "I've been hearing a few reports about this system and I read a couple of articles about it, and I saw it mentioned in a Strength & Health article about Casey Viator. A guy named Art Jones seems to have perfected it." 

"What is it called?" George asked.

"I don't know what it's called," the gym owner said. "But the idea, as I understand it is to tire out the muscle you want to develop before you start the heavy stuff. You want the muscle weakened relative to the assisting muscles. Then you work on a basic exercise until it's absolutely impossible to budge the weight in any position." 

"That sounds pretty rough," George said.

It does indeed," said the gym owner, and we're truly fortunate to have a young man of sound mind and limb yourself who volunteer his services for this experiment."

The gym owner took a piece of paper out of his pocket. "I took a few notes from the Strength & Health article," he said, "and then I added a few ideas of my own. You're gonna do it like this: 

"You're gonna do it like this:

"You'll work your thighs first," he said. "The basic exercise will be the squat, but you'll tire you'll tire your thighs with leg presses and thigh extensions. You'll do one set of leg presses, a set of thigh extensions, and a set of squats in that order. You'll take no rest at all between exercises. You'll do them in fairly high reps. And, most important of all, you'll do each exercise to the point of compete failure - until you can't budge the weight even a fraction of an inch." 

George stepped back. "You gotta be kidding." 

"Not at all," the gym owner said. "It takes sense to me. You wouldn't mind having legs like Casey Viator, would you?

"You really think that could happen?" George asked.

I have every confident," the gym owner said.

"Now, don't forget, the idea is to tire out your thighs with the presses and extensions so that they're temporarily weaker than your hips and back. The you can work your thighs to death on the squats without your lower back giving out on you. It should by possible to work your legs harder than you've ever worked them before - right into the ground."

The gym owner slapped George on the back. "Now," he said, "get in there. Give it everything you've got and don't worry - I can have an inhalator crew here in five minutes."

George crawled under the platform and started his leg presses. He made 16 reps and then stopped.

"C'mon, c'mon," the gym owner said. "You're not even warmed up yet." 

George shoved the platform up again. He made another rep and another and at 21 he stopped again.

For crisake," the gym owner shouted. "You're nowhere near your limit. Get going!"

George pushed again. The platform moved slowly up. He did three more reps, each one slower than the last, and then the platform collapsed on the stops.

"Push!" the gym owner shouted. "You're not even trying." 

George pushed. The platform moved three inches and then settled back.

"Again!" the gym owner yelled.

George pushed again. The platform jiggled slightly.

"Harder!" the gym owner yelled.

George strained. His legs trembled but the platform didn't move.

"Okay," the gym owner said. "On to the extensions." 

He dragged George out from under the platform, jerked him to his feet and pushed him on to the thigh extension machine.

George's opened and closed but no sound came out.

"C'mon, c'mon, for crisake," the gym owner said. "I ain't got all day, you know." 

George did 22 extensions with his mouth open and his eyes closes and his fingers digging into the padding on the bench and then he strained against the weight until it wouldn't budge.

"Okay," the gym owner said. "Let's not dawdle." He pulled George out of the machine. George's legs buckled and he fell against the side of the bench.

"All right, let's not fool around," the gym owner said. "Other people are waiting to use the equipment, you know." 

He shoved George to the squat rack.

"My legs," George whispered. 

"Never mind your legs," the gym owner said. "Think about your dues." He pushed George's head under the bar. "Get going!" 

George did 14 squats and looked at the gym owner with glazed eyes.

"Keep going!" the gym owner yelled. "Man, when I was your age I used to train harder than that for the sheer sport of it." 

George did another shaky squat and then another.

"Harder!" the gym owner said.

George dropped down, came up a few inches, and then sank down again. He strained until his thighs trembled and then sank lower. The gym owner rushed over and hauled the weight off his back and George rolled over backwards on to the floor.

"There, the gym owner said. "That makes the old blood circulate, doesn't it?" 

George rolled on to his stomach and mumbled. 

The gym owner leaned down. "Pardon?" 

"I'm gonna be sick," George whispered.

"Nonsense, my boy. Nonsense," the gym owner said. "Just take a little rest and we'll get on with the rest of the program . . . 

How I Gained 100 Pounds - Bill Parkinson (1957)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed


The elusive pimpernel. 

Greetings to all potential monsters. 

I have attended and participated in many shows up and down the country and the most asked question to my mind has been, "How the heck did you bulk up so, Bill?" 

Well, as best I can, I shall try to explain and maybe my own  particular story will help to inspire the many thousands of young fellers who are just beginning body-bulking and also those thousands who have trained for years on size increase routines without much success.

After reading this article many body-builders will probably disagree with what has been written, but I intend writing exactly what I think - without pulling my punches.

I shall give you a little of my life story so that you may have a complete knowledge of all my earlier movements as this will also enable me to cover the subject thoroughly.

I started training as a normally built young man whilst in the R.A.F. It was here that I had the good fortune to meet your South of England News Editor, Henry Downs. On January 6th, 1951, Henry and I decided to team up as training partners, at which time I weighed 8 st. 10 lb. (136 pounds).

Fortunately for Henry and I, more by good luck than good judgment, we evolved a training routine, which combined hard training, plenty of good food and an average amount of sleep. It worked wonders for us.

The course consisted of the following exercises, which are written exactly as we did them, but if I was doing the same course today I would rearrange the exercises a little and put them in this order:
1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 4. 16. 18. 17/

However, I am writing these articles to inform you how I almost doubled my body-weight, so I will trace my early training step by step showing it exactly as I did it.

1) Military Press (barbell):
3 sets of 10. Jan 80 pounds, May 155.

2) Bentover Rowing (barbell):
3 x 10. Jan 80 pounds, May 140.

3) Deep Knee Bend:
3 x 15. Jan 140 pounds, May 260.

4) Lying Triceps Extension (under-grip):
3 x 12. Jan 60 pounds, May 103.

5) Bench Press:
3 x 12. Jan 80, May 180.

6) Bentover Lateral Raise (dumbbells):
3 x 12, 2 x 10, 2 x 13.

7) Flat Bench Flye:
3 x 15, Jan 10 pounds, May 26..

8) Dips Between Benches:
3 sets of 20 with bodyweight.

9) Low Incline Bench Press (dumbbells):
3 x 15. Jan 25 pounds, May 66.

10) Barbell Incline Press:
3 x 12. Jan 80 pounds, May 150.

11) Straight Arm Pullover:
3 x 15. Jan 30 pounds, May 50.

12) Dumbbell Military Press:
3 x 10. Jan 20 pounds, May 46.

13) Barbell Front Raise From Shoulder:
1 x 12. Jan 20 pounds, May 40.

14) One Arm Dumbbell Jerk From Chest:
1 x 15. Jan 30, May 46.

15) Side Lateral Raise:
3 x 10. Jan 7.5 pounds, May 13.

16) Triceps Kick Backs:
3 x 15. Jan 60, May 100.

17) Seated Concentration Curl:
3 x 12. Jan 20, May 30.

18) Barbell Curl:
3 x 12. Jan 35, May 55.

This workout took 3 hours, but needless to say we kept our heads down all the time - and we actually enjoyed every minute of it!

When we first started, I was full of many fears - which was only natural. I wondered if I would strain my heart? Would veins stick out all over my body? Would weight training slow me down (I was a keen footballer at the time). With all this skepticism on my mind I started by using very light weights in perfect exercise style; however, Harry was continually pushing the pace and consequently the poundages increased as shown by comparing January and May numbers.

On some lifts the poundage increase may seem fantastic. This is explained by the fact that I was not using absolute maximum poundages to start with and also my bodyweight had increased to over 13 stone (182 pounds) within the first four months.

During this period Henry and I lived, ate and slept bodybuilding. With regard to physical culture reading matter, we bought, borrowed or begged and then studied weight-lifting and weight-training magazine we could lay our hands on, as we wished to get a most thorough knowledge of bodybuilding. The reading matter and the photos gave us tremendous inspiration and knowledge. We even made a point of reading every advertisement!

With regard to workouts we plowed through the schedule shown on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday we performed 100 chins (at first 20 sets of 5 repetitions), then we went to the camp cinema, where we wolfed oatmeal cakes and lashings of chocolate ices and ice cream tubs.

Saturday afternoon witnessed dipping and chinning contests between Henry, myself and another young man by the name of Eddy Blackwell, who at the time was training alongside of us.

We ate as much food as we could lay our hands on and always had at least two pints of milk and two raw eggs per day. As you will notice, the milk, eggs and other foods we were eating had rich protein contents which was most important. Nowadays, would-be bulk men are more fortunate than Henry and I were because they can invest in all sorts of high protein supplements which are now being marketed.

After each workout we strolled over to the N.A.A.F.I. to partake of supper and a bottle of stout. You will probably be thinking, "But all this must have cost quite an amount of money!" It did, but this was our hobby and what a way to invest cash . . . in super health, and anyway, because of our training we didn't go out often, smoke, or drink in excess so we had a little money to spend as we desired on food.

At this point I would like to mention the fact that with regards to the actual exercises every one I performed was done in perfect style, for I believed , and still do, that to fully develop any muscle you must put it through its full range of movement when exercising, then you initially build good foundations. Cheat movements to my mind are for the more advanced man, who has already achieved a certain amount of bulk. Also, if you want to increase your overall size and bodyweight you must concentrate on the larger muscle groups, because, if you have a small muscle in your finger and you develop it to its maximum size it will not give you anywhere the bulk or bodyweight increase that you would obtain from developing your thighs to the maximum.

Work the larger muscle groups approximately in this order of importance: thighs, chest, lower and upper back, triceps, deltoids, and biceps.  

With regard to what repetitions to use, this is always a difficult question, for one man's meat is another man's poison, but I would advise a beginner to start on 3 sets of 15 reps for 4 weeks, then down as follows: 

3 x 12 reps for 3 weeks
3 x 10 for 3 weeks
3 x 8 for 3 weeks
4 x 6 for 3 weeks
5 x 5 for 3 weeks

always using the maximum weight in the best possible style.

Incidentally, whilst I was actually training for bulk, I didn't do any abdominal or calf exercises at all.

To be quite blunt, if you are not a naturally big man and you want to become one YOU MUST DO SOMETHING DRASTIC ABOUT IT, and by drastic I mean work HARD on the weights, eat PLENTY of good food, drink PLENTY of good liquids, rest as often as possible and I repeat . . . when training use the maximum amount of weight in the best possible style. 

Set yourself an ideal and work for it. In other words know where you are going and let nothing stop you in achieving your ambition. 

Before closing I would like to outline a course which I consider a good bulker upper. 

Bench Press
BB Row
One Arm DB Press
Press Behind Neck 
Undergrip Lying Triceps Extension
Triceps Extension Seated
BB Curl

Reps as designated earlier. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sleep: The Neglected Factor - Bill Starr (2002)

The three sides of the strength pyramid are nutrition, training and rest. Most people who are serious about getting stronger pay close attention to the first two factors but frequently ignore the third - and suffer the consequences. 

Sleep isn't a luxury for the human body; it's a genuine necessity. Extended periods of sleep deprivation can lead to amnesia, delusions and hallucinations. Shorter stretches cause forgetfulness, sour moods and irritability. Health authorities believe that people can go without food longer than they can without sleep.

If you're trying to gain strength, sleep becomes even more important because it's synonymous with recovery. If your body doesn't get to fully recuperate from a hard workout, there's no way it will be ready for the next one.

Sleep has been called many things - "the exit from consciousness," "a rendezvous with Morpheus" - but my favorite is "little brother of death." When you sleep, your higher brain centers go into temporary retirement so they can go about the essential business of repairing and recuperating. The downtime lets the muscular system and, more important, the nervous system recharge. It's as if the nerve connections to the cortical centers of the brain have been unplugged. The unconscious self continues working; otherwise the organism would perish. Digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems continue to function, while the unconscious portion of the personality manifests itself in the form of dreams.

Heavy training destroys tissue. In order to the tissue to be repaired, your body needs the proper nutrients and deep sleep. One of the key events that occur during sleep is that the body releases growth hormone, which is critical for making repairs, maintaining tonus in the muscles and keeping fat in the cells. Since the body makes growth hormones only during deep sleep, the question becomes: 

How do you get to the place we call deep sleep?

The process of falling asleep has always fascinated me because I do love to sleep. I list it as one of my hobbies, along with reading fiction and doing pastels It wasn't until I researched the subject for a chapter of The Strongest Shall Survive that I finally learned what went on in my body each night.

Sleep doesn't come in a rush; it dances about in stages. 

When you first lie down, you may drift off for a while, then awaken. The light rest is known as the "threshold of sleep." If you were to awaken completely during this stage, you'd most likely feel as though you hadn't slept at all. 

Now comes the first genuine sleep stage, known as stage 1: Your body becomes very relaxed, your temperature starts to drop, and your heart rate slows. Researchers contend that you think disconnected thoughts in this stage, closer to daydreams than those that come later.

Steadily, you descend into stages 2 and 3. Body temperature continues to drop and heart rate slows further. After approximately an hour and a half you enter the deepest level of sleep, stage 4, the stage from which it's extremely difficult to awaken someone.

What happens next I find intriguing. You might assume, as I did, that after going to all the trouble to reach stage 4, you'd remain there until it was time to wake up. Not so. Instead, you go back through the stages, reentering 3, 2 and, finally, 1; however, this stage 1 is not identical to the stage 1 you passed through earlier, since you're still dreaming. While it's not the restful slumber of stage 4, you're further from the waking world than you've been thus far. 

During this stage your eyes are in constant and rapid motion, a.k.a. REM, for rapid eye movement. Not only the eyes but also the entire body may be in motion. Arms and legs may thrash about, the heart may beat wildly and blood pressure may fluctuate as if you were experiencing a terrifying situation. 
The Complete Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft

It doesn't necessarily signify that you're having a bad dream; frantic body motions like that can occur during pleasant dreams as well. The first REM period lasts about 10 minutes. After that you go through the four stages of sleep once again. At the end of another 90-minute cycle you start dreaming again during the REM period. The actual length of each sleep cycle varies with the individual, but 90 minutes is typical. At the conclusion of the sleeping period, usually seven or eight hours, the body prepares itself to be awake as body temperature and heart rate begin to rise.

Fundamentally, there are two types of sleep: REM and non-REM. During REM sleep the brain is active, but you are not. Cranial activity increases, which results in eye and body movement. Non-REM sleep is a state of unconsciousness, without any dreams. Brain activity deepens into slow delta waves, and increased levels of oxygen flow slowly through the bloodstream. During a night of sleep people move through the four stages an average of six times, spending less and less time in the deep stage and longer periods in REM stages as the night progresses.

Scientists know that sleep is necessary for restoration, but they don't know exactly how that process occurs. They do think that the body does most of its repairing in stages 3 and 4, which are non-REM sleep. During REM sleep the mind is busy processing new information and experiences through the filters of past experiences

Getting enough rest is critical to your overall health. A lack of sleep, even for a single night, can have a huge effect on your immune system. Research has shown that there's a 20 to 30 percent drop in immune system cells that fight cancer and viruses after only one night of sleeplessness. It if continues over several days, the percentage of decrease of immune system cells climbs drastically, but the good news is that you can bring the number of cells back to normal with a solid night's sleep.

So, how much sleep is enough?  

That's an individual matter, and it depends on a great many variables. The notion that eight hours of sleep is proper for everyone can be traced back to England's King Alfred the Great, who informed his subjects that the virtuous should spend eight hours a day working, eight hours playing and eight hours sleeping, with no more than 20 minutes a day reserved for reminding oneself that assholes such as this Alfred fool need to butt out of our lives and piss off already. 

A person who exercises regularly, eats well and doesn't work ridiculously long hours does just fine on seven or eight hours of sleep. Some can get by on much less, while others require more. My needs vary according to my physical activities and whether I'm involved in any project that taps my creativity. When I trained heavy, my sleep requirements went up by two hours a night.

Sleep is the most critical variable affecting my training, much more so than diet. What I eat doesn't affect my workouts nearly as much as how well I slept the night before, and that's true for a great many others.

People today sleep an average of only seven hours a night. They work almost 160 hours more each year than their grandparents did and get 20 percent less sleep. Work-related stress is the main reason so many suffer from sleep deprivation, but there's a large group, especially high school and collegiate athletes, who don't get enough rest because they stay up late at night studying. Or partying. 

Even the most conscientious strength athletes will have one or more nights when they can't get their needed rest. It might be because of a full moon, or the position of their biorhythms or an upcoming job interview. The reason isn't important. What is important is to know what to do about your training when it happens to you. 

Many believe it's best to skip the planned workout after a poor night's sleep. I don't. Skipping a workout for any reason sets a precedent, making it easier and easier to skip another. While I don't believe in missing a session, I do make adjustments . . .

One of the best things you can do is slip in a nap prior to your workout. A short nap can do wonders, and research shows that a short map is really more beneficial than a longer one. You don't want to drop off into the deeper stages of sleep before training because it will make you groggy. 20 to 30 minutes is plenty. I taught my strength athletes that when they stayed up all night preparing for exams. they should take a short nap after the test and then come to the weight room. It works wonderfully.

I know a nap isn't always possible, though, so what else can you do after a night when you needed get your needed rest? Taking some extra B-complex vitamins can make the difference between a crappy session and a productive one. I kept a stock of them in my gym bag and handed them out to droopy athletes. Caffeine is also useful, and a combination of caffeine and B-complex vitamins is even better. 

Learn to make some adjustments in your workouts on sleep-deprived days.  

Let's say it's your heavy day, and you planned on moving all of your numbers up, but you only got a few hours sleep because you were up most of the night with a sick child. Switch to a light-day workout, and then, if you get your needed rest, do your heavy day at the next workout. If you're still dragging, do a medium-day and put the heavy day at the end of your weekly program.

It's been my experience that endurance is affected far more than top-end strength when I don't get enough sleep, so on those days I skip my back-off sets and any beach work I had planned. I do them later in the week so my total load for the week stays the same. I've also found that when I'm tired, it's better to move through my routine quickly. If I dilly-dally, it makes me even more fatigued. On occasion I set up three stations and hurry through a circuit so I'm in and out of the gym in about half the time. 

And I make damn sure I don't compound the problem by going to bed late again that night. Coming up short on sleep requirements doesn't constitute a severe situation, but doing if for several nights in a row will stifle progress in the weight room in addition to bringing on health difficulties. 

I also find it beneficial to load up on all the supplements I know boost my immune system after a poor night's sleep. I double up on vitamins C, E, A and D to keep the odds in my favor. 

It's easy to tell if you didn't get enough sleep when it happens occasionally, but what happens on the other nights? How can you determine if you're getting enough sleep consistently?

By paying attention to how you feel when you climb out of bed in the morning. If you drag out of bed and feel like death warmed over all day, you aren't getting enough. On the other hand, if you're alert in the morning and perky throughout the day, you're on the right trackj.

A Gallup Poll showed that half the population experiences insomnia at some time. For most it's short-term, usually due to some form of stress, but even if it only lasts for three or four days, insomnia can wreck a good training program. So here are some suggestions. They're not new, but you don't want to overlook them.

My personal favorite is to take a couple of calcium-and-magnesium tablets with milk bout 30 minutes before I go to bed. Magnesium is often referred to as "nature's own benzo," er, make that "nature's own tranquilizer." It usually comes combined with calcium, so make sure the cal-mag tablet you use has the minerals in the correct ratio or they won't be nearly as effective. There should be twice as much calcium as magnesium. I also take a gram of Vitamin C because I know it aids in the rebuilding process while I sleep - and it promotes dreaming, which I like. 

While I'm waiting for the cal-mag to take effect, I watch country music videos, as they help me relax and take my mind off what I've been working on. That's my sleep ritual, and the act of following the same routine every night is yet another thing that helps me go to sleep. 

Everyone needs to find a pattern that works and then stick with it. 

Some people read to help them relax. Others take long showers or soak in the tub. Some like to listen to music or a rhythmic sound, such as a fan. Many prefer homeopathic remedies, such as Calms Forte and Quietude. Chamomile tea and sleep-promoting herbs like kava kava, amber, Polygala and ginseng are used by many people. 

A light snack can be useful in promoting a more relaxed state, but it's smart to select foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan, which converts to serotonin in the brain, helping you to feel drowsy. Milk, yogurt, cheese, turkey and fish contain tryptophan. 

Now, here are some things you should not do if you want to have a good night's sleep. Don't overindulge in alcohol. A little is all right, a lot is not. Too much alcohol before bedtime interferes with REM sleep, and that's the refreshing part. The same goes for food. Eating a large meal before bedtime isn't conducive to going to sleep because the food will trigger various systems, including the heart, to work harder. Also, the digestive tract may become upset and disrupt sleep even more.   

Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine. While you're aware there's caffeine in coffee, tea and soft drinks you may not know that it's also in products such as Anacin, Dristan, Empirin, Excedrin and Midol. 

A bit of light exercise, such as a short, leisurely walk, may be just the ticket to help you relax before bedtime, but any form of strenuous exercise or participating in a competitive sport will work against you. Vigorous physical activity stimulates the body, and it takes you some time to calm you down.

Don't take your work to bed. If you make your bedroom an extension of your office, you're sure to carry business problems with you at night. Your bedroom should be a cool, dark, sleep chamber.

You may have to do some experimenting to find out what works for you. But if you're having trouble getting a solid night's rest on a regular basis, make some changes in your lifestyle - quickly. The "magical one-third of your life" is a critical variable in your quest to gain strength.     

 Sleep Dealer (2009)

Sleep Dealer is an unusually thoughtful science fiction film, 
using the speculative energy of the genre to explore some
 troubling and complex contemporary issues.

I sent funds for a copy of this book a while back. 
It still hasn't arrived. 
I can't sleep, lying awake there in bed,
trying not to think about what could have happened,
why it hasn't arrived yet, who would wanna rip me off like that.
Maybe the seller.
Might be the postman. How can I know . . .
what if it got delivered to a neighbor my accident?
Which neighbor could it be. He's likely sleeping peacefully.
What am I gonna do about it, just lie here and let the sonuvabitch get away with that.
I think not!

Well, actually, I think much . . . too . . . much . . . 

Sweet dreams aplenty to all!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Which System Is Right For You? - John Petruzzi (2015)

A related article by John Petruzzi is here:

I always tell people that programs are like prescription medications given to an individual. Would you go into someone's house and start taking their prescribed heart medication just because you "think" you have the same symptoms and issues? I would hope not! 

The title of this article is simple and to the point. Programs are developed and built around a system. A program is a type of periodization an individual created, either for himself or for someone else specifically. One of the most dominating forces in powerlifting right now is Dan Green, who has an extremely high work capacity. The amount of work and volume that he does is incredible. One of the main reasons he continues to break records and PR's is because he is constantly increasing his work capacity (what I like to call ceiling of strength). This factor allows him to become stronger and more powerful. Do you think you could take his exact workout for one month, apply your own numbers, and be as successful? Could you handle all the volume and work that he is completing each day and week?

In this article we are going to look at a very brief overview of some "programs" and what basic system they are derived from, drawing correlations between them all so that you can see what system might be right for you.

Let's start with a basic definition of periodization. Periodization is the organization of training over a PERIOD of time, in most cases, annually. For most systems, periodization is shifting from higher volume (exercises, sets or reps) low intensity (percentage of weight used based off one rep max), to lower volume and higher intensity as the meet gets closer.  The most popular forms of periodization are Undulating/Block, Linear, and Conjugate.

Linear is exactly that . . . very straight line and progressive in that you use one specific exercise in most cases, starting light and progressively getting heavier leading to an event.

My own simple definition of Conjugate is the rotation of maximal effort lifts but allowing your body to stay at or above 90 percent plus of that given rotational exercise during cycles.

Now that we have a very basic understanding and definitions of these periodization systems we can look at some programs that fall under each system.

Keep in mind that the most basic principle is that all programs are linear in the sense that the goal is to see consistent progress going up over a period of time. Undulating, Linear, and Block are similar to each other with slight organizational changes because the change of volume and intensity is linear, gearing the lifter to peak towards something. For my purposes the difference between them is that Undulating and Block are more similar because there are blocks or phases of rotating volume and intensity increased over each phase (mesocycle). Linear, for our definition, is just a very specific exercise that starts very low and increases the intensity over time. There is no rotation of volume and intensity; it is a gradual progressive overload of the lift.

Let's start with Conjugate.

Cunjugate - Popularized by Louie Simmons and Westside Barbell, this involves rotation of max effort lifts that are similar, but not exactly like, the classic lift. For example, max out on a Safety Bar Squat for two weeks, then switch to a low box Manta Ray squat for two weeks, etc. This avoids staleness and works on weak points, known or unknown. In the Westside methods there are mesocycles and blocks of varying intensities and load when close to a meet. In general, the rotation of max lifts in microcycles are the main rotation along with varying accommodating resistances (using bands and chains). The idea is to stay above 90% on each maximal lift. I have various Westside spinoffs and programs t hat keep a lift er with a specific bar and specific bar weight but add more chain or band tension or both over time. This would be a program change, not a system change. For most it is the basic rotation of max effort lifts every week or two.

Linear - Programs that I would consider to be very linear in fashion would be Coan/Phillipi, most recently the Lilliebridge method, and Bill Starr's 5x5. A lot of the old school programs are linear. Usually the program would be anywhere from 8-12 weeks and start with an 8-10 rep range and taper down to a 2-3 rep range going into the meet. These are most commonly known as a "peaking cycle". I would throw Smolov and Smolov Jr. into this category because I look at these programs as plateau breakers for most and something to peak you towards the end of the 8-12 week program to hit a PR. There are no big breaks or phases.

Block/Undulating - Programs would consist of Paul Carter's Base Building, Josh Bryant programs, Cube method, 5/3/1, Mike Israetel's Trinity Powerlifting, JuggerCube, and there are others. These programs have one basic principle: phases or blocks. The first phase is higher volume focusing on muscle hypertrophy and also work capacity and conditioning. Second phase is a strength phase, something built around the 70-85% range of so with reps of 3-5. The third phase is a peak or taper to tie everything together. This consists of higher intensity but much lower volume to keep the training stimulus high but the recovery easier. I would consider Sheiko to be in this group. While each "program" has a very linear volume/intensity lead-up there are different programs you would do throughout the year leading to a meet.

Now the million dollar question (and what will continuously be debated), is:

What system and programs are best?
What should I choose?

It's not that simple. I have tried each system and done conjugate, linear, and block/undulating. They all worked. Early on in my lifting life I was doing conjugate training and Westside. I went from an 1175 total at 172 to a 1625 at 198. I then started to see greater and longer plateaus and switched to Jim Wendler's 5/3/1, which is a more undulating, rotating volume and intensity program involving mesocycles. I went from 1625 at 198 to an 1800 at 215. Now I am using Paul Carter's Base Building template. I have yet to compete while using this system and program; however, it has raised my work capacity a great deal and I feel much stronger and bigger than I ever have before at the same weight. This July I am looking to total well over 1900 at 198. Right now my numbers are close to that with no preparation or peaking cycles. 

I would suggest a little trial and error, along with research. Hopefully this article has given you a brief understanding of the basic system principles and you can further choose a system you think will work for you.

One thing that does not get touched on much is adaptation and progression of the lifter. What I mean by that is it's human physiology to respond, adapt, and change to stress and stimuli. Again using a medication analogy, in most cases when someone is on the same medication, same dose for a year or long a lot of times that medication stops having the same effect it once did. Our body builds a tolerance to it so either the medication dosage has to increase or the doctor switches the patient to a different medication altogether. You have to look at your lifting career in a similar perspective.

What worked last year may not work this year and you will have to switch things up and adapt. That DOES NOT MEAN what you did or are doing DOES NOT WORK completely. It just means your body is used to it, you have adapted and you have progressed. Congrats! You are now a better athlete and a more conditioned athlete in most cases.

The SECRET that every great lifter will tell you is this: with adjustments to their program and what made the difference for them outside of a technical issue is VOLUME AND INCREASED WORK CAPACITY. I see it in every single program over the course of a year. You have to keep upping the ante when it comes to work capacity. I always tell people their work capacity is their ceiling for strength.

You will only get stronger over time if you are increasing your work capacity and what you can handle, not only a workload but also work volume. How much volume is too much? My simple answer is if you have to ask it's not enough!

I heard that from a coach a long time ago. "Hey, coach, is that enough or do you want me to do more? What do you think the coach is going to say? This is where the amazing world of sport psychology comes into play and why the greatest in the world are the greatest in the world. They are there mentally every single day pushing themselves to the limit, holding themselves to a higher standard than anyone else can think of. The one thing I suggest for anyone and everyone if you're looking at your system and program are these three simple words:


Raise your standard that you hold yourself to, raise the standard of how you train, and raise the standard of how you eat. When you do all those things, success and having great things happen is easy. What I have found it that when I'm raising those standards, my goals get met but also my life in general is happier and the joy of lifting is much greater.  

Some Keys to Keep in Mind With Programming

1) Where am I in my training? How far out is the next meet or competition? If you are six months from a meet, doing an 8-week peaking cycle probably isn't going to do much good. 

2) What is my life like outside of powerlifting? How many days to I have to train and optimally be there? Does a 6-day-a-week high frequency program work or does a 3-4 day-per-week program work best for my schedule? 

3) If you have been competing for a  couple of years, drilling sport specific movement is key! Also, a fast rotation of volume/intensity will work very well. The variety and change is very good for beginning lifters. 

4) If you have been competing for 3-5 years I would say that you will start to notice that changes in volume/intensity are hindering your progress. You will need longer periods within certain rep ranges. Again, WORK CAPACITY IS CRUCIAL! 

5) If you've been competing for 6-7 years or more, you should have a good understanding of all the basic principles and you know what you need to be doing. Most importantly, keep looking at the volume and keep pushing the volume envelope. Work capacity is everything at this point, giving you the potential to become stronger. More linear based programming going into meets will work better. I, for example, am doing a block phase based program to build my volume and work capacity, When I start to get closer to a meet I will start to get more dialed in with the sport specific movements and start a gradual linear buildup towards the meet.

6) Increasing work capacity can be done in a few ways. You can increase the number of exercises, increase the number of sets and reps, or both. What I like to do, and find more challenging, is to decrease the time it takes to complete my sets and reps. If it takes 30 minutes to get through a 5x5 workout, set a timer and work towards finishing it in less time. With shorter rest  breaks and greater fatigue, form can become sloppy and this must be monitored.    

Powerlifting Benefits for the Bodybuilder - Jeff Magruder (1988)

When looking at the greatest bodybuilders, those with the most awesome density and thickness to their physiques, those who come immediately to mind for me are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Haney, Lou Ferrigno, Tom Platz, Sergio Oliva and, of course Franco Columbu. All of these great bodies were built on a combination of bodybuilding and powerlifting movements. These great bodybuilders and many like them have spent many thousands of hours over and under a bar of iron.

What is so outstanding about these physiques is their intimidating size and shape. Some forget how Tom Platz achieved such awesome legs. He did not merely wake up with them. Tom must have close to 20 years of training under his belt. When I was reading this magazine in the early '70s and onward, Tom was noted for powerlifting as well as bodybuilding competitions. The Austrian lad who at one time was a European champion in powerlifting, with the greatest pecs, delts and biceps in bodybuilding history, is Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Then, of course, we could never forget the giant killer of his era, one of Arnold's best friends as well as one of his main rivals. This man could outlift Arnold in any of the power movements as well as being able to outlift any man in the game during his powerlifting days - the one and only Franco Columbu. In 1976 at the Mr. America competition in the Scottish Rite Temple in Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to witness a 750-pound deadlift by Franco. He also deadlifted 710 for 3 reps. You  can get an idea how this build was achieved through heavy power movements. In my opinion no one has matched Franco's cobra-like lat spread. 

We cannot overlook the thick physique of one of the greatest in the bodybuilding world, with the Mr. Olympia under his belt and once Arnold's nemesis, he has a chest, arms and deltoids to match anyone's in the world. My understanding of his workouts from years ago included bench pressing 500 pounds for reps. I am talking about the one and only Sergio Oliva.

Many other bodybuilders have achieved that same thick look but it would take too much time to name them all. But we must single out the current Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney. Haney has spoken out more than once in this magazine about training heavy with power movements, especially for his legs. 

Let's get back to the point at hand. All of these bodybuilders have reached the top of their field and are considered the world's finest. All except Haney are also over the age of 30. All of them have trained 15-20 years or better and they have all used powerlifting movements to help achieve their awesome size. Not all of us can be as thick as these great athletes, although we can become thicker than we are through heavy lifting. 

When you see a routine written by a pro, understand that he more than likely started where you may be right now - thinner, younger, and hungry for size. His workouts were more than likely much different and heavier than his movements today. Once you have reached your size, then you can concentrate more on the sculpture and shape of your body, not being as concerned about the weight on the bar as much. 

If you are at a point where you need more size, you might look back at some pictures of these giants when they just started. Then look again at year 10 to see their development, and then again at year 15, and finally today. We all started out much smaller. 

You might consider lifting more like a powerlifter. Don't give up your bodybuilding movements. Just enhance them by lifting heavier with fewer reps, and allowing more time for the muscles to recover by only lifting four days a week instead of five or six. You will be stronger and able to handle more weight in all your exercise movements.

Don't fear your added strength, for if will give not only the size but the desire to compete in competitions you may never have thought of before. This can improve not only the body but the mind. 

My own personal experience started as a bodybuilder, winning some local, state and regional shows. Through me lifting I found my strength as a bench presser became greater and in the off-season of my bodybuilding competition I started competing in bench press contests. It was a great joy and filled a void during the beefing up period prior to dieting before a bodybuilding show. You will find many very hard, lean, muscular physiques in the power game. Many of these men and women could stand on a national platform in bodybuilding across the country and fare quite well.

In conclusion, let us remember that the two sides of the lifting game are not disparate but rather integral parts of a total process. Your goals should not exclude one in favor of the other. The benefits derived from powerlifting can be easily transferred to bodybuilding and vice versa. 

Do not limit yourself by being too narrowly focused. 



Monday, March 25, 2019

Oly Lifting Tips - Arnold Shickman (1959)

Article from Iron Man Lifting News Vol. 5, No. 5

Editor's Note (Peary Rader) -
Excerpts from a letter from Arnold Shickman to Ray Maddock, which describes one of the finest training programs we have ever seen. It can do wonders for you.

Blog Author's Note - There was a Lowell Sun Newspaper article on Arnold Shickman published March 1st, 1961. He worked as a mathematician and geophysicist when he wasn't five times the New England middle- and light-heavyweight weightlifting champ. "Like mathematics, weightlifting requires great precision and concentration."

Now, the article . . .

In the first place the essential thing in making progress is the avoidance of staleness. When a man goes stale it means his nervous energy is depleted. His workouts are taking too much out of him and must be altered. I do not recommend a layoff in such cases. I have gone stale, taken a week off and come back just as stale. The solution is to find a routine which is better suited to your energy.
When your workouts do not deplete you, you make gains.
When you make gains you maintain interest.
When you maintain interest you do not go stale even if you never take a layoff.  

Here are certain principles to follow:

1) Do not make limit attempts on the Olympic lifts a regular practice. No more than once a month should a man try his limit. Training is exercising, filling in your weak points, not testing your strength. It doesn't matter what weights you handle in training so long as you give yourself the proper amount of work. Don't feel badly because you don't press 200 lbs. every workout. Save it for the contests and you'll find you are raring to go and will do 210 or better in the contest.

2) On the same principle, avoid too many contests. For a lifter like myself who relies for his best totals on nervous energy, a 2-month interval between contests is ideal. One season I entered 10 contests in five months. By the 10th contest I had dropped 60 lbs. in my total as was ready to turn in my belt for life. The world champions do not enter many contests during the year. The idea is to store up the nervous energy between contests and then EXPLODE it in the competition. 

3) Avoid lengthy workouts. No workout should last more than 2 hours, allowing 3-5 minutes rest between sets and lifts. Each workout should be clocked, allowing one-half hour for pressing, one-half hour for snatching or cleaning, and 1 hour for power exercises which are the most important of all.

4) This means also to avoid too many lifts and exercises in one workout. It takes a remarkably few fundamental exercises to prove effective in developing strength, and there are dozens of exercises which are a waste of precious energy for a lifter and which even a bodybuilder can do nicely without. A lifter must not be too physique conscious. Bench presses and curls and variations thereof have no place in a lifter's workout, especially before a contest. There are too many more important things a lifter must work on and he can't do everything if he is to avoid staleness. If he is worried about his appearance let him take comfort in the old adage, "train for strength and the physique will follow." Witness the impressive physiques of the world champions. If a man is still afraid he will deteriorate if he neglects curls and bench presses then he should forget lifting as a sport and find himself a room with a bench and a mirror and others of his species and pump up his pectorals and biceps to his ego's content. He will never be an athlete and he will look terrible some day. As a point of interest, I gave up curls and bench presses 2-1//2 years ago and my arms are an inch larger without even giving them a thought. What's more, they are an inch larger ice cold - not pumped up (which I forgot how to do).

5) You should press every workout but do not snatch and clean the same workout. A workout should contain presses plus snatches plus snatch developing exercises, or presses plus cleans plus clean developing exercises.

6) Squats are beneficial and even essential for some lifters but do not overdo them. They are very exhausting. No more than a total of 30 squats should be done per workout in sets of 3-5 reps starting with fairly light weights and working up in 10 or 20 pound jumps to moderately heavy weights. Do not work up to weights you can barely manage. The last set should be somewhat comfortable. You should feel you could have done 10 pounds more. For years, as you know, I was a squat fanatic, doing as many as 50 reps per workout and working up to over 400 lbs. for 5 reps or 360 for 10 reps. I had continuously sore knees, constant back strains and no spring in the legs. Now I cut down on squats both in weight and reps and feel 100% better and my lifts go up better. Squats should only be done 2 times a week, say on Monday and Friday. On Wednesday it is good to alternate with quarter squats or front squats with lighter weights if you are a squat cleaner. Always do squats last.

7) Do not train more often than 3 times per week or every other day. Do no exercise whatsoever on in-between days. Just rest.

8) Learn the mental trick of exploding every lift you do. Lifting today is no longer slow, deliberate pushes or pulls. It is exploding the weights up. It is difficult to really drive this point home without demonstrating it. This is why slow deadlifts or military presses are to be avoided. They develop bad habits of slow actions. When you snatch or clean a weight you don't just pull it off the floor haphazardly. You prepare to explode at the appropriate point! Similarly, you don't just push a weight off the shoulders when pressing. you get set by tensing the whole body, making yourself as rigid as possible and feeling like a coiled spring. At the signal you ram it up as if your life depended on getting it overhead in the shortest length of time. To learn these explosive actions is the purpose of doing the assistance exercises, as well as to get stronger. Bodybuilding exercises do not teach you to think explosively. Learning this technique has brought my total up considerably. It was one of the factors holding back my snatch and clean.

9) Many lifters overlook the fact that not all their strength is in the muscles. Much of it is in the tendons and joints and these must be developed by special movements. This is why bodybuilders do not do well on cleans and jerks in spite of their large muscles. The most popular exercises are muscle movements because they feel good. Most men hate the tendon movements because they feel awkward and they don't feel like lifts. There is no satisfaction in moving heavy weights 2 or 3 inches but it is very important, especially if you want to clean & jerk a lot. In training you should use moderate weights on the lifts themselves and save the heavy poundages for these tendon and joint developers. An example of one for the press which should be included in every workout is to take 25 lbs. more than your best press from the racks and hold it in the press position at the shoulders. Then attempt to press it (it may only go up to the chin), 3 sets of 5 reps. After a few weeks it will feel lighter and so will your presses. You will also have a faster explosive drive off the shoulders. Another one is to take 50-75 lbs. over your best jerk off the racks, hold it in the jerking position at the shoulders and then do jerk dips like front quarter squats, only dipping as low as you would for a jerk, also in sets of 5 reps. Full front squats also have this effect of getting you used to holding extremely heavy weights at the shoulders for long periods of time. After some time at these exercises the entire shoulder area will get thicker and you will have more confidence and more drive in your regular jerks which are much lighter by comparison. Another important movement which develops spring in the legs is the regular quarter squat. Use no more than 150 lbs. over your best clean & jerk and do 3 sets of 15 fast bouncy reps going down about 4 inches lower than you would for a jerk dip. Using too much weight can be dangerous and it slows the movement down, which destroys its effectiveness. The nice part about these partial movements is that they need no warmup. You can take your weight for quarter squats or jerk dips almost cold because the joints and tendons are not stretched to dangerous extents and do not need to be loosened up as they do for a full lift.

I found a very effective routine, especially just before a contest, is to work up in front squats in sets of 5, 3, and 1 ( a total of about 20 reps) and then go on with heavier weights doing the jerk dips. I used to work up in 20 lb. jumps in front squats from 245 x 5 reps up to a single with 345 and then continue with jerk dips with 365, 385 and 400. I had no trouble at all jerking 315 in a contest after that.

10) The source of pulling power is not the arms but the lower back. Not until a lifter learns this will he reach his full potential in the snatch and clean. The pull off the floor is done with the lower back muscles primarily. The arms are not bent until the weight reaches the knees. The faster your pull the higher the weight will go up when you add the pull of the arms and shoulders afterward. One sign of a good cleaner is a deep groove in the lower back between the lumbar muscles. The way to develop this explosive pull and the back muscles is usually with a variation of the deadlift called the high pull, but I prefer to call it the fast pull to distinguish proper performance of the exercise from the improper one. The idea is not to see how high you can pull it. That is not important. In fact it should never go above waist height when doing this exercise. Above waist height it becomes an arm exercise. Here too, it is difficult to describe without a demonstration. A weight of 25 lbs. over your best snatch is to be used if you are emphasizing snatch grip pulls that day, or 25 lbs. over your best clean for clean grip pulls. Get into the position of snatching or cleaning as well as the frame of mind. Think of the lower back muscles while doing it. Then give it that sudden explosive pull off the floor allowing the weight to go no more than waist height and trying to see how fast you can reach this height. Using too much weight will slow you down. 3 sets of 5 per workout is sufficient. After some time you will find the lower back thickening, and snatches and cleans will be done more proficiently.

11) For a poor presser to become a good one it is necessary to do lots of reps. As you know, I used to be a very poor presser. I gained 25 lbs. in the press during the last six months. Don't forget, this is after 12 years of lifting. First, I learned the technique of the fast press. Then, I began to do a total of 41 presses every workout, heavy and light, with various width grips, and going no higher than 85% of my limit, doing sets of 3 reps over the various weights. I break the press routine into two groups, doing the heavier ones at the beginning of the workout and the lighter ones with a wide grip at the end, with other lifts in between. This is better than doing all the presses together because it leaves energy for the other lifts. A naturally good presser who is poor on the quick lifts can do better with just about 15 presses, leaving the rest of the workout to developing his weak points. I found it best to arrange the order of exercises so that a pushing movement alternates with a pulling movement. This keeps one group of muscles from tiring.

In conclusion, and by way of example, let me write down the workout I have been using with only slight variation over the past 6 months, and which has kept my total on the upswing. I have been doing more snatches than cleans because I need more work on the snatch. Therefore I include snatches twice a week and cleans once a week. Someone more in need of cleaning work can clean twice a week or alternate with snatches every other workout. I found the squat clean is more exhausting than the split  and cannot do more than 1 or 2 reps per set. A splitter might benefit by 3 reps, especially with the lighter weights. I have found from 1 to 3 reps per set best for the lifts, with 5 reps for exercises, and I never go over 95% of my limit on the quick lifts. As I said before, you cannot clean well after a snatch session so the two should not be done in one workout, ordinarily. I make an exception to this the week before a contest. At this time I cut out all power exercises and just do the 3 lifts, working up to starting poundages in sets of 2 reps, to singles totaling about 15 presses, 15 snatches, and 6 or 7 cleans and jerks. In the clean & jerk I only go to 10 or 20 lbs. below my starting poundage. At all times, especially the week of the contest, I avoid going up too high, doing just what feels comfortable, and stopping when it starts to get tough. I don't usually do jerks until a few weeks before a contest, at which time I start doing single cleans and jerks working up to 95% of my best. Here is the workout routine with my own poundages, and also the time taken:

1st Day -

135 x 5
175 x 3
200 x 3
215 x 3-5 sets
The 215 is 85% of my limit.
(30 minutes)

135 x 5
185 x 3
195 x 2
205 x 2
215 x 2
225 x 1
Done from hang up to 205
(30 minutes)

Push Off Shoulders (as described)"
275 x 5 x 3 sets
(10 minutes)

Snatch Grip Fast Pull:
275 x 3 x 5 sets
(10 minutes)

Wide Grip Press:
175 x 3 x 5 sets
This is 70% of my limit and the grip is 2-3 inches wider on each side than normal
(15 minutes)

275 x 5
295 x 5
315 x 5
335 x 5
365 x 5
375 x 5
These squats are all done fairly easily and leave me not too tired.
(25 minutes)
Sometimes in stead of regular squats I substitute the following:
Front Squats:
245 x 5
265 x 5
285 x 5
305 x 3
325 x 2
345 x 1
Jerk Dips:
365 x 5
385 x 5
405 x 5.

2nd Day -

Press: same as 1st Day
(30 minutes)

Squat Clean:
warmup with 205 doing a few front squats and cleans, then
225 x 2
245 x 2
255 x 2
265 x 2
275 x 1
285 x 1
295 x 1
305 x 1 if I feel good
(30 minutes)

Push Off Shoulders: same as 1st Day
(10 minutes)

Clean Grip Fast Pull:
345 x 5 x 3 sets
(15 minutes)

Wide Grip Press: same as 1st Day
(15 minutes)

Quarter Squat (as described):
425 x 15
450 x 15
475 x 15
500 x 15 (if I feel energetic)
(15-20 minutes)

3rd Day -

Same as 1st.

If I do jerks I eliminate the heavy pushes from the racks since these would overwork the arms and shoulders after the presses and jerks.


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