Monday, September 23, 2019

The Single Repetition Principle for Size and Strength - Anthony Ditillo (1971)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed.

I am very excited about finding more of this guy's work.

I am very excited about this article. I am very happy that I am being able to bring to you fellows some great news. By using the information contained in this article, I am sure that most of you "hard gainers" will find both your physical development and your body power soaring to new heights! As for the rest of you; I am sure that just about anyone can and should use the single repetition principle for outstanding gains. 

By now you readers should just about know where I stand when it comes to training poundages. I believe that a bodybuilder should strive to handle as much weight as he can possibly handle for the given number of sets and repetitions which are contained in his training program. I do not believe in training with light weights for endless sets of endless repetitions. This kind of training will not build you up. This kind of training will only tear you down. 

However, if the truth be known, many of today's stars in the physical culture limelight do use light weights. In fact, just a few weeks ago I was in a very popular health club in New York City and I happened to catch one of the recent Mr. Americas training. I saw him actually strain to press overhead 185! But just because this man is able to obtain huge body proportions without using heavy weights (probably by using Dianabol) does not mean that the average guy can gain using the same type of program. Personally, I feel that only easy gainers are able to eventually make it right to the top in any of the three fields of weightlifting. But let it be known here and now: it is a far greater accomplishment for any physical culture writer to aid the average fellow, the one who really needs the help, than to dwell on the training routines of the "champions." 

In order to fully develop yourself to the limit of your particular capabilities, either strength-wise or muscular-wise or both, you simply must, and I repeat, MUST learn to train as heavy and as hard as humanly possible. There is no other way. you may as well face up to it right here and now. In order for the average man to gain as much as he can without the use of anabolic drugs, he is doomed to work very, very long and hard. However, as the gains in bodyweight and muscular size and power start coming your way I am sure you won't mind the stress you have been deliberately placing on yourself. 

The trouble is, most fellows who have a hard time gaining just do not have enough experience, patience, self-confidence, etc., to try and analyze the problems and figure out for themselves just what it is they are doing wrong. Hence there is a great need for publications as honest and as straightforward as IronMan, for here is a magazine especially geared at the "hard gainer" and as I mentioned before, this is the main reason for my writing this particular article. 

Have any of you bodybuilding enthusiasts ever taken a really close look at some of today's top power lifters? Well, if you haven't, you certainly should, because some of these men are carrying enough massiveness gto make them look almost inhuman! Now who, in his right mind would not like to look like Mel Hennessy or Ronnie Ray? And what about Gene Roberson? Have you ever taken a close look at his thighs and calves? He has about the most muscular and massive lower body I have ever seen in my entire life! And what about Mel Hennessy's Chest, shoulders and upper arms? Why, he's carrying enough meat on his upper body to passe for a short gorilla, and I use such terms with the deepest respect and admiration for so fantastically developed a human being. There is no doubt about it; these men have somehow managed to find the right kind of exercise technique to produce such a fantastic rate of growth and promotion of strength throughout their entire bodies. And it is by absorbing the training principles of these men that the average underweight or even overweight (we'll get into that later) trainee will be able to gain like he has never gained before, without endless hours wasting away in the gym, without endless frustrations concerning the training program and without endlessly swallowing amphetamines, workout stimulants or steroids which although helpful to some degree are not necessary in the least for the average trainee.

To further prove my point that the average fellow should take up POWER TRAINING in order to gain muscular massiveness and also strength, I shall now endeavor to give examples of just how such a physical transformation will be possible. 

Tom Dudas is my closest friend. We have known each other since childhood and we have trained together with weights all through high school and beyond. Tom was always a thin, weak and sickly child. When he began to weight train he was 5'5" and he weighed about 125 pounds. At that time both of us were interested in bodybuilding. Tom's basic problem was that of gaining muscular bodyweight and adding strength. I, on the other hand, stood 5'5" and weighed 225 pounds, so as you can plainly see, my major problem was in losing weight. Yet although our particular physical problems were entirely different, we still managed to train together without hampering each other's progress.

The kind of training routine Tom used was a typical bodybuilding routine which can be found in just about every magazine on the market today. He employed the split routine. He trained six days a week, used rather light weights, repetitions ranging from 8 to 12, and he performed 5 sets per exercise and 2 to 3 exercises per bodypart. He was very dedicated in his training. He tried to never miss a workout and he also tried to eat high calorie, well balanced meals. I, overweight and very weak, followed a similar routine, the only difference being that my repetitions were slightly higher and my rest periods between all the various sets were shorter. This, then, was the kind of training we were both engaged in during most of our high school years. We trained hard and regularly and we tried to be as dedicated to our training as possible. By the time we were ready to graduate Tom had gained to almost 175 pounds and I had reduced to 180. So, at first glance it would seem that we were successful in our training endeavors, yet in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, judging by other peoples' opinions, I had reduced down to a more normal bodyweight and at 185 with only a 33 inch waist I must admit I certainly did improve my outer appearance. However, what other people did not see was the hanging layers of loose skin such a reduction in bodyweight brought about, and the comic appearance I gave when wearing only a pair of swim trunks. It was for these reasons chiefly that I was indeed not satisfied with my outward appearance of success. Tom, on the other side of the coin, did look pretty good while wearing swimming attire. He was slightly muscular and he was trim. However, secretly, Tom was also very weak. After almost four years of weight training, his top bench press was around 190 pounds. This lack of strength caused Tom much dissatisfaction, so much so that he quit training altogether just a short while ago and has given up completely. I, however, did not and will not give up. I realized, after much experimenting and many hours spent thinking over the problem, just what the trouble was in both our cases and just what I would have to do to remedy mine. and it was certainly not easy for me to decipher through all the mishmash and hogwash that is written in some of our physical culture magazines today, believe me! 

The first fallacy I saw through was the idea that higher repetitions and light weights could reduce fat and at the same time build muscle. Garbage! It simply is not true. Your diet is the key to whether you are fat or thin. Your diet determines how much definition you have and also how much muscle you carry. I know for a fact that this is true because I have proven it on myself and others. Remember: Diet is the key to gaining or losing weight. 

The second fact I came across for myself was that if you were overweight and you tried to exercise and diet the weight off using light weights and high repetitions, in the long run you will be very disappointed. This is due to the fact that you never allowed your muscle system to increase in size while you were losing all that weight, so in the long run what you wound up with was a smaller but just as flabby body. 

The third "shocking" revelation was that if you were underweight and you tried to build up using light weights, long and frequent workouts and high sets of high repetitions, at the end of it all you would still not be any stronger than the average truck driver or loader, and the amount of weight you would gain would simply not be worth the time, and years required to make such meager gains.

With these thoughts in mind I attempted to reverse the procedure that I originally followed. I tried to gain as much weight as I could while training for power and bulk. My weight swiftly rose from 185 all the way up to 225 pounds and I was never stronger in my life! However, there were one or two drawbacks: I was far too "fleshy" at this bodyweight; not downright fat, mind you, but a bit too "fleshy." Also, I did not do any lower body work during this weight gaining session [Again? Come on, Anthony!], so the largest muscles of my lower body were still relatively weak when compared to the rest of me. 

At that time, I could incline press over 300 and I could squat with only 205! So, once I decided to drop any excess weight and this time I lost over 40 pounds by diet alone. I did not reduce the weight in any of my exercises and I continued to train for power all the while I was trying to lose weight. When I finally reduced down to about 215 I was astounded at the amount of muscle I had acquired throughout my entire upper body. I even appeared harder to the touch than when I weighed 185, a full 30 pounds less! This renewed my training enthusiasm and with great vigor I once more climbed on the weight gaining bandwagon. 

This time, however, I made a few changes in my diet and training routine and I feel that finally I am on the right road! I now eat predominantly high protein foods. I stay away from junk foods. I do however indulge in plenty of skim milk and various fruits and vegetables. My training routine is still geared for bulk and power. My diet is geared for building solid muscle. The result: I now weight 255 pounds and I stand 5/6" in height. I have a 56" chest and 21.5 inch arms; my thighs are over 30 inches. I have never been as strong as i am now and I look forward to gaining even more strength as time goes by. 

I realize that to most normal people I do not look very nice in clothes, and I also realize that it would be unhealthy for me to stay at this high a bodyweight for too long a period of time and I have every intention of training down in the future to my original low bodyweight of 185 pounds. I am sure that when I do, I will look ten times as physically impressive as I did the first time around and also, I'll be one heck of a lot stronger! 

So there you have it; proof that power training is the greatest aid in bodybuilding since the invention of the barbell and by using power training and particularly the single repetition principle, the average underweight or overweight fellow can truly reap vast rewards for his physical toil. It's all a matter of proper exercise and diet. If you are thin and want to gain weight you simply eat a great deal of good food and you train for power and bulk. This system allows you to gain both size and strength and all at the same time! If you are fat, then you merely adjust your diet for high protein intake and you also train for bulk and power. By training all the large muscles of the body with increasingly heavier weights and short consistent workouts, when your high protein diet starts to reduce your weight the heavy work you have been doing for your muscles will enlarge them and enable you to give a healthier appearance than if you didn't work with the heaviest possible poundages and used instead only light weights. 

By now most of you should be convinced in the correctness of my suppositions and therefore I will get right into the meat of this article. I shall now ask and also answer the following question: Why should the single repetition principle be considered the most result producing of all the power training theories? To answer this question we must first and foremost go over the generally accepted power training theories.

First we have the "forced reps" theory by which you receive aid from a training partner in order to use heavy weight for more repetitions than you could perform by yourself. Now this type of routine is very good except for one thing. For the man with the low energy reserve it will be far too strenuous for continued gains. Hence it is unsuitable for most men who must work for a living. However, it certainly does have its proper place in training for bulk and power.

Next we come to the "cheating system" by which the trainee aids himself in propelling the weight to the finished position by using movement of the body to help overcome gravity. The only fault with this system is that the trainee never knows just how much work he is placing on any particular muscle at any given time. I used to "cheat curl" and the only part of my body which seemed to grow from such exercise was my forearms! Do you see what I mean? 

The third most popular type of training or bulk and power is the old standby of "high sets and low repetitions" and an example of this would be 10 sets of 3 reps using all the weight you can handle. The only fault I find with this system is that many trainees are too lazy and do not continue to force out every possible repetition for every set. Hence we run into a situation in which a fellow uses the same weight for each set and uses the same number of repetitions and yet, on the next workout day he does not increase the exercise poundage. 

So finally, my patient (and I hope not too exhausted) friends, we come to the single repetition principle. Just why is it so great? 

Simply because it lets you know exactly where you stand strength-wise; it literally saturates your entire body with a feeling of renewed vigor and increased power and at the same time the heaviness of the weight forces you to do each single repetition slowly and correctly, thereby giving your muscles more than enough work without over-pumping as working with lighter weights would do. It is used by just about every top lifter in the country to great advantage by you. All you have to have is common sense and a willingness to work, and the rest is easy (ha ha); well, almost easy.

When utilizing the single repetition principle it is important to remember certain valuable things. First, be sure that you get enough good food into your system in order for you to grow. This type of training requires a good diet. Working with single repetitions is the heaviest kind of work anyone can ever do. Remember this and eat and rest accordingly. You must also be sure that you are not training too often during each week. I suggest not more than three times per week. I myself experienced the greatest gains in muscular bulk and power while training only twice a week. I feel twice per week is best for most fellows. Bear this in mind. 

You must also remember to pick the correct number of exercise movements so that you will have enough training energy to work hard on each one of them and thereby gain as much muscle as possible within the shortest possible time. I feel three or four movements per workout is best. Try it my way and if this is not enough work then add a few more exercises if you wish. 

Just be sure that you are eating the right foods, getting enough rest between workouts, and finally that you have chosen the right movements and I am sure after a few months of training utilizing the single repetition principle for bulk and power training you will be astounded at the results. 

Here, then, is an example routine: 

Monday and Thursday -- 

(a) Full Squat. One warmup set of 10 reps, then 10 single reps with all the weight possible, resting two minutes between each one.  

(b) Bench Press. One warmup set of 10 reps, then 10 single reps with all the weight possible, resting two minutes between each one. 

(c) Rowing. One warmup set of 10 reps, then 10 single reps with all the weight possible, resting two minutes between each one. 

(d) Curling. One warmup set of 10 reps, then 10 single reps with all the weight possible, resting two minutes between each one. 

This, then, would be an example routine for the average bodybuilder to use for a period of three to six months in which he should acquire the greatest gain in size and strength he has ever experienced. 

As far as performance is concerned, you simply use a light weight for a warmup and then jump to a weight which is about 20 to 30 pounds less than your one repetition limit on each particular lift. You then try to do 10 single sets of 1 repetition using this weight. 

In the squat, for example, you take the weight off the racks and then do your warmup set of 10 repetitions. Then you rest a few minutes. Now you load the bar to 30 pounds less than your heaviest possible squat and you once more step under the racks, take the bar off and perform one squat with this weight. You then place the bar BACK ON THE RACK and rest for two minutes. Then you once more step under the rack and take the bar off and once again do one squat with this weight. You then replace the bar on the rack and rest for two more minutes. You continue on writing in this manner until you run out of paper You continue on in this way until you have done 10 squat with this same weight, resting to two minutes between each and replacing the bar back on the rack between each one. You do this same procedure for all your exercises. Whenever you can do 10 single lifts with any given weight in any exercise movement, the next workout you must add 10 or 20 pounds to the bar. 

The single repetition principle is the heaviest, hardest and most advanced form of bulk and power training there is. It takes guts, willpower and self confidence to achieve your training goals while using this principle of training. it also takes a great deal of hard work. But if bulk and power are what you are after then be sure to try the Single Repetition Principle because what has worked for the power lifting champions should work for you. 

Why not give it a chance? 

Note: That's a rhetorical question you moron.        

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