Sunday, October 13, 2019

Are You Working Hard Enough - Anthony Ditillo (1972)

Thanks to Liam Tweed!

Are You Working Hard Enough for Proper Gains
by Anthony Ditillo (1972)

What do you suppose constitutes the major difference between a power or physique champion and a fellow like you and me? 

Well, I'll tell you: potential and hard work. Yep, that's right, it potential and hard work. 

And that's not all; there's also the problem of working hard on the right exercises. 

If one of these three requirements is not furnished or supplied during the training period, the results are not as great as could be expected under more favorable conditions. 

Now the reason why we do not, and in all probability cannot, emulate the champions which we admire, is because they are "naturals" and we are we. They have all the potential in the world for muscle and power building, while we, normal in every way, have the usual potential found in the average male. 

But let me make one thing clear: 

Even the champions must train HARD and train CORRECTLY in order for them to be able to HARNESS their potential in order to reap such fantastic gains.

Now and then you will run across an article in which the author tries to make you believe that if you eat well balanced meals, train three times per week for an hour each time, you too will one day be a champion. Well, all I can say is that such a man is wrong, in my opinion. Just the idea of myself training three times per week for an hour each time is enough to make me sick with laughter. 

Sure, this is enough time for the AVERAGE fellow to train if he just wants to keep in shape, but it's not enough time to do a really HARD routine justice, and if you have ever seen the shape that some of these EXPERTS are in, who are telling you all this page-filling GARBAGE, well, you'd feel the same way that I do! 

PROPER training is going to take TIME. If you don't have the available hours or the enthusiasm for such training then stop reading this article right now and go turn on the TV because you'll only be wasting your time and my patience if you think you'll ever work up to your maximum potential working out the way I see most of you doing. 

Really, some fellows are quite hilarious, the way they WASTE time and effort at the gym, without the slightest notion of just what it is they are supposed to be doing while they are there! It takes them three quarters of an hour to work their arms, which are already fine in retrospect to the rest of their physique, while their legs, which are terribly under par, receive only one quarter of their due, when it comes to workout time and workout enthusiasm. And it is just these guys who moan and complain when the gains do not register after many months of misguided effort, wasting time on the wrong exercises. 

And what about the amount of effort which is put into every set? How many of you stop your sets before you have even begun to BREATHE heavily? How can you expect to build muscle if you don't WORK AT IT? And I don't care HOW much protein you shove down your gullets; no pain, no gain. 

And that's all there is to it. 

And it's the truth. 

Look, your muscles are just like any of the champions. We've all got the same muscle groups in our bodies, it's just the individual POTENTIAL that's different. But you'll NEVER learn if you have this championship potential inside you if you never WORK AT IT! 

You've got to learn to ECONOMIZE. 

If you want to gain all over in muscle size and strength, then you've got to POWER TRAIN, but not the kind that for lifters . . . you will use the type of this heavy overload training that's designed primarily for bodybuilders. 

Proper training, coupled with intensive effort will revamp your entire physique and will increase your body power like no other training ever will. But you've got to WORK at it and work at it hard and regularly.

Now I can't promise you that even IF you follow my advice you'll ever reach the championship calibre. But I do know for a fact that if you DON'T even give it a try you'll never learn just how FAR you could go. 

Isn't this so? 

First of all, you must decide just what it is you need to do most. Do you need to gain in MUSCULAR BULK and BODYWEIGHT, or do you need to gain in MUSCULAR BULK but without too much of a bodyweight increase. 

Next you must decide just what types of exercises you will need in your particular routine. Try to select your favorite movements from a list of the basic muscle group movement for these are the tried and proven ones and if you can find the particular ones you really ENJOY, well, then you'll be more apt to work hard on them, since you don't mind doing them.

Too many times I have read articles which commanded the trainee to SQUAT, SQUAT, SQUAT. Sure, this movement is just about the BEST when it comes to developing all the necessary fundamentals to a great physique or gfreat power,  but I also know for a fact that the DEADLIFT and also PARTIAL SQUATS, PERFORMED IN A POWER RACK will slowly but surely work just about as well. 

So, I myself would rather tell a trainee to pick ONE of these, the one which he KNOWS he will be able to work hard on and work hard on for a steady and long period of time. At least, in this way, he won't do what I advise him to do for a few weeks, and then, discouraged and beaten, revert back to his old way of doing things, with no appreciable gains to speak of coming his way.

Second in importance is the budgeting of your training time and the scheduling of your particular program.

I would say that a good routine should take about one and a half hours to complete. I have used much longer routines than this, but at that time I was training for just TWO nights per week, so it took me about two and a half hours per night. But on the average, if you're training four times a week, I would say to spend about ninety minutes in the gym on each of these four sessions.

I generally don't recommend three times per week training, working the entire body each time, because I have found that in most cases one of two things happens: Either the trainee does not work HARD ENOUGH of ANY of his movements, trying to save energy for the NEXT movement, etc., or he literally kills himself on a chosen one or two movements and then takes it EASY on the rest. This is because the three times per week training system is not made for building CHAMPIONS, nor is it made to drive a man to reach his UTMOST POTENTIAL. This type of training is alright for the man who is quite busy with work and other interest and it is alright for a fellow to train this way PERIODICALLY during a "SLOW" season, so to speak, right after one of the HARD training session cycles or which I have been speaking; but as a STEADY diet, this type of training is not for go-getters! 

The kind of routines which I am about to outline for you are meant to be HARD. They are not meant to be an easy matter of self adjustment, they are to be conquered through self DISCIPLINE. 

At the end of one of these routines you should be BONE DOWN TIRED! IF YOU'RE NOT, YOU HAVEN'T WORKED! 

This is why I mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, if you're just interested in keeping in shape then these routines are not for you. But if you'd really like to GAIN for a change, if you don't mind the idea of OUTGROWING your present wardrobe, well then, just stick around for a while longer. 

Finally, before I get into actual routines and exercise movements with you, I'd like to get one thing straight. 

Whether you know it or not, it doesn't make one bit of difference how many sets, reps, poundages you use in your training; what matters is how much EFFORT you put into it. If I can use 400 in the squat for 5 sets of 7 limit repetitions and you can only use 300 for the same number of sets and reps, well, we're both working as hard as we caan at the present time, so everything else being equal, we should both gain AS FAST AS OUR NATURAL POTENTIAL ALLOWS US TO. 

So don't become POUNDAGE HAPPY as so many fellows do. It doesn't matter HOW MUCH you use, it's HOW MUCH AND HOW HARD YOU WORK! 

Our first routine is a four day routine. It is a basic routine and is not elaborate of fancy. It is meant to give the trainee a chance to work each muscle group hard, twice weekly, thus allowing more time for proper recuperation. The exercise movements themselves may be substituted if necessary or desirable. However, I would not like you to rearrange the actual scheduling of the movements for there is a reason for such a placement. 

Monday/Thursday - Lower Body 

1) Perform a form of squatting or deadlifting, whichever you prefer. I want you to use all the weight possible for 3 sets of no more than 7 reps. Prior to these 3 hard and heavy sets there should be 2 light sets for warmup. 

2) Now use either a form of heavy pullovers with bent arms or the bentover rowing. Perform 2 light sets for a warmup and then jump to 3 sets of no more than 7 repetitions. 

3) Third on our list comes supporting movements. I want you to choose between the half squat or the rack deadlift from the knees. The sets should be 5 and repetitions should be no more than 3. Work up in 50 lb. jumps to a weight which will make you almost DIE to perfrom 3 reps with! 

4) Our last movement of this day's training will be either the front squat or the leg press. You decide which one suits you best. Perform 5 sets of from 5 to 7 repetitions using all the weight you can possibly handle for each of the 5 sets.

As you can plainly see this is a HARD ROUTINE. If you rest sufficiently between each set it should take you over an hour and remember: it's only the lower body segment (Ha-ha)

Tuesday/Friday - Upper Body

1) Either bench presses with a medium grip or close grip (less cheating this way), or incline press with WIDE GRIP (harder on the incline using this grip). Perform 1 set of 10 reps for a warmup and then jump to 5x5 using all the weight you can.

2) Power cleans or high pulls come next, whichever you prefer. Start with a light weight for 5 reps and work up in 30 lb. jumps to your best for 5, one set.

Note: You may want to consider dropping these. Find out if they overwork your low back after the Mon/Thurs stuff, especially if you choose to do deadlifts and heavy half squats on those two days.

3) Press behind neck or standing dumbbell press for 5 sets of 5 to 7 reps. Be sure to use all the weight you possibly can for each set of 5 repetitions. 

4) Perform one of your favorite forms of curling for 5 sets of 5 to 7 reps using all the weight you can possibly handle for each set. 

5) Perform either the weighted dip of the lying triceps extension for 5 sets of 5 reps using all the weight you possibly can for each set. 

As you can plainly see, this upper body routine is also very HARD. 

Our second routine is suited for the man who is TRULY UNDERWEIGHT. It is very short and to the point. You will be using only three movements in it and you will be training only TWO TIMES PER WEEK. But brother, let me tell you, it's anything but easy! 

The following routine, I repeat, is to be performed twice weekly: 

1) Either the medium grip benchpress or the weighted dip, your choice. Perform 1 set of 10 reps for a warmup. Now jump to all the weight you can POSSIBLY handle for 3 reps. Perform 1 set with this weight. Now begin dropping the poundage down by 10 lbs. per set and from here on in you force out every possible repetition for each set, until you are doing 10 reps per set. 

2) Select either the full squat or the half squat and follow the same procedure as noted above.

3) Perform either the bentover row or the power clean and follow the same procedure as noted above. 

This constitutes the second HARD WORK routine. Seems rather short and simple, doesn't it?

Well, let me tell you, when you're trying to force out every possible repetition for every set it gets pretty rough about halfway through. 

But you've just got to grin and bear it if you want to gain as fast and as much as you can.

As far as diet is concerned, I feel that most of you should know by now just what you should eat and what not to eat. If you're really skinny go heavy on the protein and carbohydrates. If you're not too thin but still not big enough then go heavy on the protein but not too heavy on the carbos. There are many, many fine diets and dietary articles in IronMan from time to time. READ THEM! 

But most of all, remember this: 

Every time you let a set go by without working to the maximum the set is almost practically wasted. Keep this in mind and you'll learn by experimenting just WHAT HARD WORK IS ALL ABOUT. 

And when you learn this, you'll finally begin to gain.  

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