Sunday, March 31, 2019

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. 

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