Monday, September 30, 2019

Advanced Arm Training - George Coates

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed

This routine is to be used by the advanced man only. I read with amusement the length of time some writers consider a man has to train to reach the advanced stage. Some say six months, which is pure bunk as far as I am concerned. Others are a little more "generous" allowing a year to become "advanced." I am going to stick my neck out here and state that I don't consider a man in the advanced category until he has completed at least three years of hard, consistent training with satisfactory results showing. Of course there are always the exceptions to the rules and if you are on of the very fortunate few to be thus endowed, then you are extremely lucky. In matter of fact, I see guys who have been working out ten years or more and as far as muscular development is concerned, they are still far short of being termed advanced. Like I mentioned before, some guys, on the other hand, progress at a fantastic rate and will reach the advanced stage after just two years or so. However, I am willing to wager that if you were to ask the best built guys at your gym how long they have been working out, they will, almost without exception, give you a figure in excess of three years. 

Having thus eliminated some of the readers for a while, I will now proceed to eliminate a few more. 

To get big arms you must have ample bodyweight. Regardless of how long you've worked out you will never get big arms if your bodyweight isn't great enough for your height and relative bone structure. In fact, if you are underweight you will do just the opposite. To go on a specialization program such as this could actually shrink your arms from overwork.

Nothing impresses the layman as much as a well developed pair of arms. I remember working in Seattle about six years ago. It being winter when I arrived, I worked for months in my office wearing long sleeved shirts and a jacket. As the weather began to warm up, one day I went into the office wearing a short sleeved shirt without my jacket. My arms were over 17 inches at the time and the stir they created among the young engineers was amazing. I was actually embarrassed at the attention I was getting. All of a sudden I had become a "muscleman." Instead of being called "that limey engineer," I was now being referred to as "muscles" just because a few inches of cloth had been removed from my arms. They apparently figured that because my arms were quite well developed, then I must be muscular all over. 

The arms, as far as we are concerned right now, consist of the biceps and the triceps. I won't bore you with any technicalities except to say this. The bicep is a two headed muscle which bends the arm and the tricep is a three headed muscle which straightens the arm. Thus, arm work falls into two distinct categories; bending movements which we call curls, and straightening movements which are usually referred to as extensions or presses. One point I wish to stress here and now is that you MUST perform the exercises in strict form. I believe the cheating curl can help the man with 19 inch arms gain a little more if used correctly, but I am assuming that the readers of this article have arms in the 15 to 17 inch category. Therefore, please perform every exercise in super strict style! 

To make things even easier for you, I have mapped out a whole routine to follow for best results. The reason for the rest of the routine being so short is this: This is an arm specialization program and is to be treated as such. You will notice that I have put in a muscle mass exercise for every major body part. In fact, a lot of you guys that have been doing too much will probably get a lot bigger all over if you follow this course to the letter for a minimum of six weeks. I won't describe in detail these muscle mass exercises because if you are an advanced bodybuilder you should know what they are and how to perform them. Just remember to do them all in strict style! 

Here, then, is your arm specialization routine to be followed for a minimum of six weeks. Please do this workout three times a week, NO MORE, NO LESS! 

1) Press Behind Neck, 4 x 6 reps
2) Squat, 4 x 6
3) Bent Arm Pullover, a set after each set of squats, 4 x 12
4) Bench Press, 3 x 8
5) Barbell Row, 4 x 8
6) Triceps Pushdown, 5 x 8-10
7) Triceps Extension (pulley), 5 x 10
8) Dip, 3 x 10-12
9) Barbell (or E.Z) Curl, 5 x 8
10) Incline DB Curl, 5 x 8
11) Concentration Curl, 3 x 8

After you have done the first five exercises your arms should be sufficiently worked so that you already have the beginning of a pump. If not, then one of two things is wrong. Either you are not working strict enough or you are not working heavy enough, or perhaps both. Your press behind neck and bench press will have already prepared the triceps for what is to follow. In the same way the pullovers and rowing should have warmed up those biceps. 

Once again I urge you to do the routine exactly as shown and I'll guarantee your arms will grow; also quite a lot of the rest of you. 

We gave this routine to a fellow at Stern's gym and in just six weeks his arm went from 16.25 to 17.5 inches after he had been standing still for ages. He also came up in bodyweight about 15 pounds and grew all over. 

 While you are on this program please try to ingest large amounts of protein by way of your regular meals plus a good food supplement if your budget will allow it. 

Here in detail is how you should perform the arm exercises to obtain maximum results:
Triceps Pushdown. Start with the hands in line with the pectorals. Keeping your arms held vertically by your sides, press the arms using the elbow as a fulcrum down to full extension. Use a fairly close grip and move only the forearms and hands. Make sure your triceps lock out fully and strongly at the bottom position. In other works, make the extension complete. Keep the body upright throughout and you will find the hands will perform in a gentle arc in moving each way. If the hands travel straight up and down it means you are moving the body and not doing the exercise correctly. Inhale up and exhale down. 

Triceps Extension (pulley). This may be performed single arm or two arm, as you prefer each session. We will assume you will be doing single arm for illustration purposes. In a kneeling position, grasp the pulley handle, palms facing front and triceps to be worked supported on the bench. Now fully extend the lower arms forward and lock out. If you do it right and use enough weight you should feel a sharp pain in the triceps as you lock out. Pause in this contracted position, then slowly return to the starting position, resisting all the way. Inhale at bent arm position and exhale as the arm is extended.  

Parallel Bar Dips. This is a terrific triceps builder. We are putting it at the end of your triceps workout to be used as a pumping exercise. After performing the two previous exercises it will be all you can do to force out the reps without any weight added. However, for you supermen, a small amount of weight can be used, although I would like you to do these 3 sets a bit faster than you did the other exercises. Keep the elbows in as close to the sides as possible, lower all the way down until you reach bottom position, pause, then push yourself back to arms' length, forcing the lockout and contracting the triceps vigorously. Do not allow the body to swing back and forth during this movement as this will take much of the work away from the triceps.

E.Z. Curl or Barbell Curl. If you don't have access to an easy curl bar, an ordinary barbell curl will be just as efficient. Grasp the bar with palms facing up, with the hands about shoulder width apart if using a barbell, and a little narrower to suit the E.Z. curl bar. Feet slightly apart, and brace the whole body. Noting moves in this exercise except the forearms, hands and bar. Start from the full extension and slowly curl the weight up directly under the chin. Pause and try to tense the biceps strongly in this position, then slowly lower the bar back down to full extension. Concentrate as strongly as possible and be sure not to swing the bar, but rather make it a slow, deliberate movement. 

Incline Dumbbell Curl. This was a favorite of Steve Reeves and I believe every big arm man has used this movement extensively in the quest for bigger arms. Lie on the incline board or sit on an incline bench. YOUR HEAD DOES NOT LEAVE THE BENCH OR BOARD THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE EXERCISE. If it does, much of the value will be lost! Let your arms hang STRAIGHT DOWN, palms facing front. Keep your elbows pointing down from start to finish and you will ensure the work will be placed directly on the biceps. Curl the weight completely until the dumbbells are as close to the deltoids as possible. When the biceps are fully contracted, pause, and tense the biceps as you are able. Slowly return to starting position of full extension, resisting all the way.

Concentration Curl. Leo Stern put me onto this one a few years ago and I think if used correctly as a finish to your arm routine it is one of the most effective movements I know. Take a light dumbbell, about 25 or 30 pounds will be enough. Begin in a lean-forward position with the exercising arm hanging down in a straight line with no support whatsoever. Now, concentrating on your biceps, slowly curl the weight up to a contracted position. When you reach this position, tightly "cramp" and flex the arm until you feel a sharp burn in the biceps. It sounds easy, but it isn't, and if you don't feel like crying much at the 8th rep then you are NOT doing this exercise right. Return the weight under constant tension all the way back to full extension and allowing only a brief pause at the bottom proceed with the next rep. 

Keep the exercises in the exact order shown. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT WORK THE ARMS FIRST as so many others tell you to do on an arm specialization program. If you must do abdominal work try to do some at home on your off nights while on this program.



Sunday, September 29, 2019

Hepburns - Bill Starr

This routine is meant for advanced strength athletes. Don't even consider trying it unless you've spent several years in serious strength training. You must establish a solid base before it will bear fruit.

This program came from one of the greatest lifters in the history of the iron game, Doug Hepburn of Vancouver, British Columbia. His story is an inspiration to anyone who thinks he or she has had to overcome some physical problem. Born with a club foot and withered right leg, he certainly wasn't a likely prospect for becoming a weightlifting legend. At 15 he began lifting to build up his not-so-impressive body. At first he lifted on crude equipment in his basement. Then later he moved to an old store that had more space, where he slept on sacks and ate the cheapest food available. Cheap food is also often also nutritious, though, and Hepburn thrived, building himself into a world-class weightlifter. He came up with his own training methods, as many in that era did, and made improvements without the benefit of any coach.

Charles Smith, a highly regarded fitness writer, found out about him, brought him to New York and taught him how to do the three Olympic lifts that were contested at the time: the press, snatch and clean and jerk. Up to that point Doug had been doing what we would now call a powerlifting routine. In a single workout at New York City gym in 1951 he squatted with 500 for reps, push-pressed 400 and bench-pressed 450 . . . unheard-of numbers in those days. In official competition at an Olympic contest he set a world record in the press with 345 1/2. Then in 1953, in Stockholm, he defeated the great John Davis and became the Heavyweight champion of the world at age 26. He'd gone from what most people would consider being handicapped to the pinnacle of strength in less than 10 years. He was the strongest man in the world. He did it with lots of determination and hard work, but he had an advantage over many of his opponents. he was quite intelligent. It allowed him to understand his body better than most and also enabled him to create some unique training methods. In 1969 Bob Bednarski and I were invited to lift in a contest in Vancouver. Naturally, we jumped at the chance, since it was a great opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world, party with the Canadian lifters, particularly Aldo Roy, and also to meet Doug Hepburn. He'd been one of my weightlifting heroes ever since I read about his amazing feats of strength. I admired the way he overcame major obstacles to become what David Webster called the 'King of Strength.' And he did it his way.

Before I left York, Pennsylvania, where I was living, I contacted Hepburn by mail, got his phone number and called him when we arrived in Vancouver. Barski was as excited as I was about meeting the living legend. He came over to our hotel, and we had an enjoyable visit. At 42 he was in marvellous shape and told us he kept busy writing poetry, singing in clubs and inventing. He brought with him the most incredible isometric machine I've ever seen to this day. It was portable, could be set up in 15 minutes, worked on friction and was most functional. Too bad he was far ahead of his time. If that machine were marketed on television now, it would sell like hotcakes.

Note: I worked in a band for a while and the frontman had one of these. You got resistance, real smooth too, on the positive part, but there was none on the negative. No matter, the thing was portable and you could get a hard workout with one on the road. Oddly enough back then there weren’t 50 gyms in every town. 

We talked about mutual acquaintances, Norb Shemansky, Tommy Kono and Dave Sheppard, and discussed training ideas. He was curious about how the York lifters were training, and Barski and I wanted to know how he gained such phenomenal strength with simple equipment, no coaching and no pharmaceutical help.

That's how I came to know about this program, which I call the Hepburn program for obvious reasons. It's simple, but it does take a great deal of time to complete and is extremely taxing on both the muscular and nervous systems. Few trainees are able to use it successfully because it's so demanding. Those who can use it and recover, however, make marvelous progress. In some cases athletes will choose to use the Hepburn routine on only one lift, and that usually works out nicely. It's an excellent way to pull up a lagging lift, and recovery is less of a problem when only one exercise is involved.

This program doesn't apply to the quick lifts, such as cleans, snatches or jerks. Sid Henry's routine, which I presented last month, is much better for those exercises. The reasoning is simple: If you do a series of heavy singles, you're not going to have much zip in the dynamic exercises after that; however, you can do the powerlifts that way. For the sake of simplicity, I will only go over the procedure for the bench press, but the idea applies to deadlifts and squats as well.

Start by doing a series of warmup sets. You don't want to do too many because they'll tap into your reserves, and you're going to need all your reserve strength to complete this workout. Three or four sets are usually enough. Once you're warmed up, select a work weight that's a bit lower than your best single and proceed to do five singles with it. After you finish that, drop back 50 pounds and do five sets of five. You may think that's a lot of sets and reps, and you're right. That's why this program only works for advanced lifters. The routine for one exercise will take about an hour and 15 minutes to complete. You can do your warmup sets and the first couple of singles quickly, but then you have to slow your pace for the final singles and the sets of five. You'll discover that the fives are more demanding than the singles, but they're really the meat of the routine. They help expand your base and push the singles higher. On the squat and deadlift the difference between the singles and the fives should be more than 50 pounds'75 or 100 might be more appropriate. You can determine that by trial and error.

Here's how the Hepburn routine would play out for someone who's benching 335: warmup sets of 135x5, 225x5, 275x3, 295x2, then five singles with 325, followed by five sets of five with 275. It's a very doable program for someone with that level of strength. Why not just go ahead and use 335 for the singles? Because it's too much to expect people to hit their best for five sets and then do five more sets with 50 pounds less.
That's merely a guideline. If you try this for the first time and fail on any of your singles or any of your fives, you need to pull back. The key to making this routine work is to always make all of your reps, and I mean every one of them. Should you fail on any of your sets, you must stay with those same numbers the next time you do the routine. Any hedging, and you won't make the same progress you would if you stuck with the regimen religiously.

Assuming you were successful in using the above numbers, the next time you do Hepburn's routine, your lifts will look like this: warmups of 135x5, 225x5, 275x3, 300x2; five singles with 330; five sets of five with 280. Notice that the numbers on both the singles and fives move up only five pounds. Even if you breezed through that initial workout and are confident that you can handle more weight on the singles and fives, don't get greedy too soon. If you push your numbers up too fast, you'll hit an early sticking point, and all progress will come to a halt. Even worse, you may start to regress.

Obviously, recovery is fundamental to making this work. There's no possible way for you to go through this workout if you're droopy. That means you have to plan ahead. Get some extra rest the night before and stoke the furnace with lots of nutritious foods and supplements. You also want to position the Hepburn at the most opportune time in your weekly program, such as on Monday, when you're the most rested. What if you want to use the program on all three powerlifts? It's possible'if you pay close attention to your nutrition and get plenty of rest. I know that's true, since I've seen lifters do it with great success.

The most notable was George Hechter, who trained with me when he was still in high school and lifted weights to improve his wrestling prowess. Due to his tremendous work ethic, George went on to win the world championship in the sport of powerlifting and can still be seen on reruns of the 'World's Strongest Man' on TV. For a period all he did in his weekly program was Hepburns. He'd bench on Monday, squat on Wednesday and deadlift on Friday. Since he was handling ponderous poundages, all the other trainees at the gym tried their best to work out at a different time because he used up all the big weights. He maintained a slow pace and often took more than two hours to complete all his sets. I can even recall watching him eat his lunch during breaks in his training.

George was a rare individual, and I doubt if there are more than a dozen or so men in the country who could handle such a weekly workload or have the time to train as he did. Most are content to do Hepburns for just one lift for a month, then switch to another lift. More is not always better when it comes to these, and you can't do them for an extended period of time. Five or six weeks is plenty, and in many cases it's too long.

My imaginary lifter from the earlier example was able to stay with the routine, using Hepburns on the bench press once a week for six weeks. By then he had progressed to using 350 for his singles and 300 for his fives. With adequate rest he should be able to translate his new strength to a 365 or more bench.

How long is long enough to stay on the routine? As long as your numbers keep climbing, you can stay with the Hepburns, but if you start feeling flat and stale, pull back and switch to another, less strenuous routine. I've had some athletes who could carry the routine for two straight months, while others faltered after three weeks.

Unless athletes are advanced, I usually start them out with a modified version of the routine. That works well for the intermediate range and isn't nearly as demanding. You use the same format, but instead of five singles and five sets of five, you do three singles and three sets of five. That's well within the capabilities of anyone who's been training seriously for any length of time, and it's a nice change from a basic routine.

The modified Hepburn is useful for anyone who doesn't want to spend more than an hour on one lift or who's short of training time. It also fits well for those who cannot get warmed up properly with just four sets. Some find that they progress better when they do Hepburns only every other week, and others like to do them as a novelty once a month. Whatever works for you.

Never do Hepburns more than once a week for any bodypart. If you do them for your bench on Monday and want to bench again during that week, keep your reps relatively high at the second session; for example, five sets of eight.

The Hepburn routine works because it attacks the tendons and ligaments with the singles, then provides lots of base work for the muscles. The singles make you focus more intently on small form points, and on the final sets of five you learn how to gear up and reach down deep into your reserve strength'all things that make for a stronger athlete.

Sample Chuck Sipes Routines, Part Two



Chin Behind Neck, 6 x 6.
Front Chins, 6 x 6.
Barbell Shrug, 4 x 10.
Upright Barbell Row, shoulder width grip, lower slowly.4 x 12.
Cheat Barbell Curl, 8 x 4 reps. 
Bench Press, 8 x 4.
Straight Arm Barbell Pullover, 6 x 20.
Hanging Leg Raises, use straps, 5 x 10.


Dips, 10 x 8 reps.
Lying Triceps Extension, 8 x 5.
Palms Up Barbell Wrist Curl, 4 x 20.
Quarter Squat, no lockout, 8 x 12.
Standing Calf Raise, 8 x 20.
Regular Deadlift, 4 x 4
DB Seated Lateral Raise, 6 x 8.



Bodyweight Chins Behind Neck, 1 to 10 to 1
1 to 10 to 1 technique: Begin with 1 rep, rest 10 seconds, do 2 reps, rest 10 seconds, 3 reps, rest 10 seconds . . . up to 10 reps, then work back down to 1 rep in reverse fashion. 

Bodyweight Front Chins, 1 to 10 to 1.
Bentover Barbell Row, wide grip, pull high to chest, lower slowly, 6 x 12 reps.
Dips, 1 to 10 to 1.

Barbell Curl, 4 sets of 21's
7 partial reps from start point to midway. 7 from midway to top. 7 full range curls. 
Cheat Barbell Curl, 16 sets of 4 reps
Alternate one set of Barbell Curl 21's to each 4 completed sets of Cheat Curls. 

Quarter Back Squat, no lockout, 5 x 20 reps. 
Standing Calf Raise, 5 x 10 reps
Do 40 partial burns in the top movement after each 10 rep set. 


Bench Press, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.
Bent Arm Pullovers, 4 x 8.
Lying Triceps Extension, 4 sets of 21's
7 partial reps from top to midway. 7 reps from midway to bottom. 7 full range reps.
Regular Lying Triceps Extensions, 16 sets of 4 reps
Alternate one set of the 21's to each 4 sets of regular extensions.  

Palms Down Barbell Wrist Curl, 4 x 20.
Incline Situp, 3 x 25.
Press Behind Neck, 6 x 8.



Squat, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.
Regular Deadlift, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.
Bench Press, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.

Preacher Curl, 4 x 10.
Behind Neck Chins, 4 x 8.
Dips, 5 x 8.
DB Seated Side Laterals, 5 x 8.
Barbell Shrug, 4 x 8.
Incline Situp, 5 x 20.  


Bench Press Supports, 6 x 6 seconds
While lying on a bench support 50-100 pounds over your best bench press at arms length for 6 sets of 6 seconds each. You will feel deep tension throughout the arms and chest. Rest a couple of minutes and repeat. Train with a spotter or in the rack. 

Quarter Back Squat, no lockout, 5 x 8 reps.
Stiff Legged Deadlift, 5 x 4.
Incline DB Flye, 4 x 8.
Incline Barbell Press, 4 x 10.
Barbell Lying Triceps Extensions, 4 x 8.
Bent Arm Pullovers, 4 x 8.
Palms Up Barbell Wrist Curls, 3 x 20. 



Regular Deadlift, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.
Bench Press, 8,8,4,4,2,2,1,1.
Incline DB Curl, 6 x 8.
Seated DB Press, 4 x 6.
Dips, 4 x 8.
Pulldowns, 2 sets behind head, 2 sets front, 4 x 10.
Press Behind Neck, 4 x 8.


Bench Press Supports, 6 x 6 seconds.
Quarter Squat, no lockout, 5 x 10.
Stiff Legged Deadlift, standing on bench or box, 5 x 4 reps.
DB Triceps Extension, 6 x 8.
Barbell Shrug, 4 x 8.
Incline Situp, 6 x 20.
Broomstick Front Bends, 2 x 200
Bent Arm Barbell Pullover, 4 x 8.



Vince Gironda - Training for Maximum Muscularity - Gene Mozee

From a 1996 IronMan article by Gene Mozee. 

There are many individuals who profess to know the secret of getting maximum definition. They usually try to diet down so they lose all visible bodyfat. Their goal is to get that lean and mean, rock-hard look. The problem is, they lose plenty of muscle, as well as their shape and symmetry, when they lose the fat. 

Vince Gironda has demonstrated that he knows the real secrets to getting maximum muscularity while retaining maximum muscle size and contours. The list of bodybuilding champions who have benefited from his training and nutrition advice is without equal: Larry Scott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Howorth, Steve Davis, Don Peters, Mohamed Makkaway, Dominic Juliano, Bob Birdsong and countless others have risen to the pinnacle of bodybuilding success by using his specialized approach.

In this wide-ranging article Vince discusses the importance of the abdominals in achieving a chiselled appearance, provides a routine to result in terrific definition and offers a diet that helps you attain maximum muscularity. 

"What good does it do to bulk up to 230 pounds if you have to lose 40 pounds to get cut up?" he says. "I've seen guys lose several inches off their chest, thighs and arms trying to get real definition. When they're finally satisfied that they've got it, they look like they just escaped from a concentration camp.' 

Training for maximum muscularity should begin with the abdominals. 

Look at the great sculptures from the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. You'll see how much the Greeks emphasized fabulous abdominal development. No physique can look muscular without a totally ripped midsection.

Do not labor under the illusion that ab work will cause you to lose subcutaneous fat. Abdominal work, contrary to popular opinion, won't produce local or spot reducing. Only nutrition produces fat loss. When you do work out, however, you should keep your rests between sets to a minimum because rapid heart rate and lung action is very important in metabolizing fat. My observation in the gym is that very few bodybuilders ever break into a sweat. They sometimes rest as much as five minutes between sets. That type of workout tempo is too slow to produce definition.

Abs, I have found, are the most misunderstood muscles in the entire body. Bodybuilders continue to work them with all kinds of twists and turns and apparently never notice that they aren't getting the results that they want. If they worked as hard with as little result on biceps and triceps movements, they'd ask questions and try new routines -- but not with abdominals.

You need to isolate your abs when you work them, just as you do with any other muscle group. Otherwise you risk overworking them. My experience shows that either performing excessive reps or working abs every day will result in smoothness and a loss of muscle tone.

The function of the rectus abdominis is very simple: It shortens the distance between the sternum and the pelvic basin, to which it attaches. Situps, the most popular ab exercise, don't work the rectus abdominis. The psoas major and minor and the quadratus lumborum perform the work by pulling the body up. The stiff-leg raise, the next most popular ab movement, is primarily a leg exercise and uses the same muscles as the situp. You can work the rectus abdominis by simply sitting in a chair and tightening your stomach muscles by bending forward slightly.

The following exercise is the best I've found for shortening abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your back on a bench with your hands clasped behind your head. Pull your elbows as far forward as possible and roll your shoulders off the bench but keep the small of your back in constant contact with the bench. Draw your knees back until your knees and elbows touch. Let your knees and elbows part about six inches, then draw them together again. Hold the contracted position for a count of two seconds. Exhale as you contract. Use the same number of sets and reps as you use for the rest of your routine. 

When performing any trunk-and-hip-rolling movements that I advocate, remember to keep the small of your back in constant contact with the bench or table you're lying on. 

One last piece of advice: Never, under any circumstances, work your abs every day. This will result in total disaster. 

Vince Gironda's Super-Definition Routine 

Use the following program three times a week, with 8 sets of 8 reps on all movements except those for calves and abs. 

Note: A little info on the 8x8 for definition and muscularity might be necessary here. 

You must move quickly with minimum rest during the entire workout. The speed in which you perform each movement should be quick but not jerky and you must adhere to strict form. Again, rest no longer that 15 seconds between sets

1) Close-Grip Chins. Using a special short triangular handle, chin at medium speed. The close grip handle works not only the the lats but the arms as well. Remember, concentration is important.

2) Wide-Grip Dips. With your knuckles facing your body, go all the way down for a full stretch and then push back up until your arms are straight. This is a fine all-around upper-body developer that works the chest and shoulders in particular.

3) Pulley Triceps Extensions. Use a long pulley for this terrific exercise. The elbows are cradled in a V-shaped bench for greater isolation. Kneel and face away from the pulley. I prefer a short, thick rope, as it lets me get a very close grip. The triceps stimulation is intense. 

4) One-Arm Seated Curls. Place your elbow over your knee to restrict movement, then curl the dumbbell slowly to your deltoid. Use total concentration, which you enhance by looking at the biceps as it moves. After performing eight reps with the right arm, go immediately to the left. Alternate arms without resting after every set until you complete all eight sets for each arm. 

5) Kneeling Deltoid Pulley Raises. Kneeling between two pulleys, grasp the handles with crossed arms. Uncross your arms and raise your hands to your sides at shoulder height. The kneeling position limits body movement and prevents cheating. Your delts will ache and burn with this one.  

6) Sissy Squats. Perform eight reps of half-squats without using any weight. Try to keep your hips forward because this places greater stress on your thighs. Then, without resting, go all the way down and halfway up for another eight reps. Then combine both movements for another eight reps. After resting a couple of minutes, perform another three sets. This is a very tough exercise, but the shape and definition that it develops makes it well worth the effort. 

7) Do six sets of 30 reps with as little rest as possible. Most people have a tendency to turn their heels outward. Pay careful attention to keeping your knees locked and your heels in. It's not easy, but the calf pump is fantastic.  

8) Quarter Situps and Stiff-Legged Raises. Do four sets of each movement in superset fashion. Bend your knees and hook your heels over the end of a situp board or flat bench and place your hands behind your neck. Exhale and pull your stomach in and curl forward to the maximum contracted position. Keep the small of your back in contact with the table at all times. Inhale on the way down. Finish your set and immediately begin the stiff-legged raises. Brace your head and shoulder against the back of the situp board. Place your hands, palms down, under your hips. Start the movement with your knees locked and your toes pointed and 10 inches off the board. Lift your legs and feet up and back and pull your head forward until your toes touch the wall or situp board ladder. Contract forcibly and exhale. 

Specialization Diet

Fasting can be a particularly pernicious [having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way] technique desperate bodybuilders use to lose bodyfat. What exactly is fasting? You withhold food from your body for a period of time as a method of cleansing the body of harmful chemical byproducts, to recover from illness or to reduce bodyfat. 

What actually occurs during a fast is that your tongue becomes heavily coated and your breath foul. This is a result of the body throwing off toxins at an alarming rate. It's accompanied by a bad taste in your mouth; a feeling of feverishness usually follows. This is nature's way of letting you know that your body is trying to burn harmful bacteria. 

You can also experience chills because of lowered blood sugar at this stage. Dizziness and headache are next, along with blood pressure problems, cramps, diarrhea, insomnia, indigestion, gas, vomiting, slow pulse and palpitations of the heart. On top of these numerous discomforts, you could also do serious internal damage. 

Fasting devotees place a great deal of importance on breaking a fast because that first meal can cause great discomfort. Too much food can cause cramps, excess gas, vomiting and shortness of breath.

I don't advocate a total fast. It produces an acid condition along with the uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms listed above. I think it's better to try to achieve an alkaline state by eliminating all acid foods, as well as overcooked animal proteins, fish, fowl, eggs and milk, from the diet. Heat causes proteins to become acid and, in turn, creates putrefaction in the intestines. Of course, if you stay away from commercial foods and eat only fresh natural foods, your body won't need dramatic changes in diet. 

Restricting your diet to alkaline foods is a speedier method of adjusting your chemical balance, and it's certainly a lot less painful than total fasting. You know it's time to change your diet when you lose your normal appetite because of illness or you experience a general lack of interest in food because of an oncoming illness. When your body's balances are restored, you'll know it by the return of your appetitie.

Many people think fasting is the best way to get rid of bodyfat, but contrary to popular opinion, it causes you to lose more muscle tissue than fat. Fasting is not a subcutaneous fat emulsifier; proper diet and cardiovascular exercise are.

I recommend the following diet when you're training hard and trying to increase muscle size without excess bodyfat.

Vince Gironda's Specialization Diet

Breakfast: raw, fertile eggs blended lightly with two ounces of certified raw cream.

Midmorning: 10 liver capsules and four amino acid capsules.

Lunch: Certified raw cottage cheese with raw zucchini, celery, mushrooms, carrots and green peas mixed together and topped with a sour cream dressing. Drink black cherry juice concentrate diluted with 50% water.

Alternate Lunches: Water-packed white albacore tuna mixed with diced cucumbers, minced onions and celery, garlic powder and safflower mayonnaise. 

Sliced cold roast beef, cold green beans mixed with minced onions and olive oil dressing. 

Midafternoon: 10 liver capsules and four amino acid capsules. 

Dinner: Steak tartare or broiled steak and a mxed green salad consisting of spinach leaves, bean sprouts, avocado, beets, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers, with salad dressing made by blending certified raw cream with safflower mayonnaise and seasoning it with garlic or onion powder.

Alternate Dinners: One-half pound chicken breast baked in unsalted butter, accompanied by sliced beefsteak tomatoes and minced onions with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Fish baked in unsalted butter and lemon juice.

Dessert: Knox unflavored gelatin, molded with unsweetened pineapple chunks and served with whipped cream topping. 

For maximum effect take raw eggs in two ounces of half-and-half every three hours. 

I discussed my complete recommendations on supplements in the November 1995 issue of IronMan.       



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