From This Issue (June 1953)
ARTICLE COURTESY OF LIAM TWEED.
Muscular Marvin Eder has told me one of his ambitions is to train with Dave Sheppard in York and be on the same lifting team with him. Consequently, I thought it fitting that his article be devoted to Marvin Eder the weightlifter. So then, let us see how Marvin trains for the Press.
Before I proceed further, let me say that I do not intend to discuss Marvin's style in performing the press, but not because he wishes this kept a dark secret, but because doing so would be pointless. Marvin performs the press in strict style - the York Style - and I'm sure that from reading the many issues of Strength & Health in which this has been described in detail you know what it is. The one thing I might mention in regard to style is that Marvin uses a slightly wider than average grip in the press. Now for Marvin's pressing workout:
Like most lifters, Marvin begins with a warm-up. In this he presses 205 pounds 5 times. After this, he jumps the weight to 255 for 2 reps. Then he presses 290 x 3, and tops off the workout using 300 pounds in 4 to 5 sets of 3 repetitions. Naturally these poundages are not to be regarded as permanent. Even as I am writing this article they may be slightly inaccurate because as Marvin improves his pressing ability he increases the weight used in his workout. To date, Marvin's press has usually increased about 15 pounds every six months. As of February, 1953, his best press, at a bodyweight of 193, was 340 pounds.
Before proceeding to another phase of Marvin's workout for the press, I should like to call attention to a few things. First, you will note that in order to gain power in the press, Marvin favors a great number of sets with low repetitions. In the routine described in the preceding paragraph, the maximum number of reps done in any one set was 5. Second, Marvin rests quite a bit between sets when doing heavy lifting.
Of course, Marvin's workout doesn't consist solely of presses. To help one's pressing ability one must, he believes, do auxiliary exercises. Thus he follows his pressing routine with dips on the parallel bars, doing 8 sets of 10 with 220 pounds tied around his waist.
Next, to get the hip and thigh power so necessary to the weightlifter, Marvin does squats, 8 sets of 3 with 500 pounds.
Finally, Marvin does snatching, here favoring 10 sets of 2-3 reps.
This, then, is his typical workout on days when he seeks to improve his press. I would like to underscore again the fact that the key to gaining power, in Marvin's estimation, lies in employing very heavy weights for a great number of sets with low repetitions.
Marvin follows this workout devoted to the improvement of his press with another of a different type on the very next day. In this, he presses dumbbells together in sets of 5, doing 7 to 10 sets with 120's. He then does bench presses, 5 x 8 with 350 pounds.
Note that he does standing presses and supine presses on different days. He never does them in the same workout. Incidentally, Marvin has done 450 in the bench press.
The remainder of his routine on this day, which we might call rather imprecisely his bodybuilding day, is extremely flexible. Since Marvin does not believe in engaging in intensive bodybuilding while training to improve his press, he has no set routine but merely engages in those exercises he feels inclined to do or believes will be of most immediate benefit to him.
Thus his schedule runs as follows:
Day One - pressing workout
Day Two - bodybuilding routine
Day Three - rest
Day Four - pressing workout
Day Five - bodybuilding routine
Day Six - rest
Etc. . .
Besides doing the exercises mentioned above, Marvin feels that one should do a considerable amount of calf work - at least 5 sets of 40 repetitions. The calves, according to Marvin, are shock absorbers, and in the lifting of heavy weights one needs them to be as strong as possible. I did not include the calf work in either of the two routines outlined above because they can fit in to either. Decide for yourself the appropriate point for the exercising of the calves.
Marvin Eder's pressing style (with 300 pounds) is according to York principles, using a wider than average grip. Dave Sheppard writes that Marvin has pressed 315 for 3 repetitions.
There are still other things to be considered in the development of one's pressing ability. First, according to Marvin, one must concentrate exclusively on the movement one is doing. No one can develop great skill in any sport without paying strictest attention to what he is doing; weightlifting is no exception to this.
Second, inasmuch as the the weightlifter is seeking above all to increase his power, he must pay more attention than ever before to his diet. He must consume adequate quantities of muscle building foods - lean meats, fresh vegetables, eggs, milk and milk products - and avoid those foods which merely add fatty tissue to his body and contribute little or nothing to his strength.
Finally, one must obtain sufficient sleep so the body can rebuild, stronger than before, the tissues torn down during the course of a workout. Marvin gets about eight or nine hours sleep a night when doing heavy training.
By following the routine described in this article, Marvin hopes to continue to improve his press, a lift which comes naturally to him and in which he hopes he will always be strong. In addition, he hopes to increase his poundage in the other Olympic lifts so that he can become the next 198-lb. weightlifting champion and represent the USA in Europe in the world championships.
Supporting Marvin's aspirations are his strength, his youth, and his great devotion to a way of life which will not only preserve but augment that strength. They make him a strong contender for the 198-lb. title.