Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How To Increase Your Muscular Bulk & Strength

Note: This bulk and power layout has a definite Hepburn influence, doesn't it! The rep progressions aren't as rigid as Doug's approach, more play-it-by-feel increases than his method, so it might be an idea to err on the tortoise side here, Herr Lifter. Take care with that and this thing should put raw beef on a stick, Man. It's also interesting to note that the author (no idea who, the photos show a guy who looks like he coulda been a relative of John Kuc's! I saw a documentary the other night about plant based diets, and there was a guy on it that looked like Jeffrey Dahmer's vegetarian cousin.), yes, the author talks a little about using the layout to gain strength without adding bodyweight by monitoring food intake. Ditillo has some nice, straightforward, non-anal writings on that as well. You gotta remember that in gaining strength there can be an increase in muscle tissue and a decrease in bodyfat, depending on your diet. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 


This specialization course applies to anyone who wishes to greatly increase their muscular bulk and strength simultaneously. It can also be used to increase strength only, without any increase in bodyweight. 

The routine outlined here can be used by the beginner, the advanced trainee after a layoff, in fact, whenever the basic purpose is to make quick gains in bodyweight and strength. 

By utilizing this routine to its full capacity, you can take the opportunity of making really big gains in both bulk and strength. So set yourself big goals, with the knowledge that if you follow the information EXACTLY then success is assured. 

Most trainees can give this routine their best for about 12 weeks, and then by that time they have made really good gains in both bodyweight and strength and need a less demanding routine for a while, otherwise they are likely to go stale. Then, when necessary they can return to this routine for another 12 week period at a later date. This, of course, is left up to the individual, as the more advanced trainee could probably train on this routine indefinitely if required, using it mainly as a strength routine for powerlifting.

Please follow the instructions carefully. Don't start the routine and then gradually commence to alter it here and there. If you introduce any variants of your own, then you are doing a different course and the results will be of an unknown variety. For example, some trainees like to add a few exercises of their own, arm work or something "just in case" their arms might go down whilst on the course. Because of this diversification of energy, progress is considerably slowed down. So make sure you stick exactly to the routine for the best results. 

Incidentally, neither your arms nor any other bodypart will go down whilst on this routine even though they may not get worked directly. Because of the heavy training and the bulking up, as a result they will get bigger.

If I have managed to persuade you of the importance of following the instructions exactly, then please let me also stress that to substantially increase your bulk the advice on the intake of food must be strictly adhered to as well. Some trainees think that because they are diligently following the instructions regarding the exercises, that this alone will bring about the desired increase in bodyweight. They think that the mere execution of the exercises, simply because they belong to a bulk routine will bring about an increase in bodyweight irrespective of any increase in their diet. 

This is, of course, not correct. In fact, a hard routine such as this, because of the great demand of energy, will actually reduce he bodyweight unless compensation is made in the way of an adequate food intake.

If you are going to train very hard for twelve weeks, then isn't it sensible to do everything correctly and so get the maximum results for your efforts? Therefore, don't deviate from the exercises and pay as much attention to your diet as to the exercise routine. Plan everything out carefully before you commence, so that you can execute the whole operation, including the routine and diet perfectly from the moment you start. 

Firstly, get the new diet planned and under way, so that everything you require is available. 

As for the routine, go over it carefully for a few workouts, until you are familiar with how to correctly perform the exercises and know the correct weight to use for the sets and repetitions. 

As for the the diet, you should know exactly how much weight you wish to gain over the twelve week period. Some will want to gain the maximum amount of bodyweight possible, whilst others will want to gain only a certain amount of extra bodyweight. 

USE YOUR FOOD INTAKE AS THE CONTROLLING FACTOR in the amount of bodyweight you wish to gain. You can alter your diet accordingly during this period, to either increase or slow down the rate of further gains, or to stop the gains in bodyweight, so that at the end of the course you have attained as near as possible the increase in bodyweight you set out to achieve.

In order to do this, keep a regular check on your weight, so that you can take swift action should it deviate from your set goal. If, for example, over a period of a week there has not been the necessary constant increase, then don't just continue in the same way, hoping that the coming weeks will probably rectify the matter. If there has been no increase or not sufficient then not enough food is being consumed. Time won't correct this, the only remedy is to further increase your intake of food. Further checks on the scales will show if the increased food intake is sufficient to maintain the rate of increase you require to achieve the total amount of increase you have planned for the period of the routine. 

If on the other hand you are gaining more weight than you require, then reduce the quantity of food being consumed. The point to remember is to use your food intake as the CONTROLLING factor in the amount of bodyweight you wish to gain. This can be done by taking regular checks on your weight and then adjusting the future intake of food accordingly. 

If you want to add a lot of bodyweight then it is necessary to include many bulk foods in the diet, AS WELL AS your normal meals. The following are some that are recommended: whole milk, oats, soya flour, wheat germ flakes, eggs, cheese, bananas, unsalted peanuts and honey. Also, vitamin mineral supplements, protein powder, various healthy oils and dessicated liver tablets. it is the bulk foods that are needed to increase the weight rapidly. An old phrase often used is, "If it's not nailed down - EAT IT!" Of course, bodybuilders have to be more mindful than powerlifters or strength trainees just wanting to get bigger, because they need more definition, shape and muscle "quality" and so will need to gain weight less rapidly. 

Consuming large amounts of food comes close to what is sometimes called "force feeding" and brings its own problems. 

It becomes necessary to space it out over regular periods of the day rather than just eating at normal times. Apart from the difficulty of eating large amounts at one time, as the body can only digest so much at any one time, it is better to consume such amounts that can be fully digested, rather than too large amounts where only part can be digested. 

So plan out your diet so that the total amount of food to be consumed is spread out over the day at regular intervals, thus ensuring not only that the total amount can be consumed without too much "forced feeding" but that it will be utilized fully by the body.

Although it is necessary to increase the intake of food in order to acquire raped gains in bodyweight, once that gains have been made it is not necessary to continue to the same extent with the greatly increased diet to maintain the extra bodyweight.

The same careful attention given to the diet must be given to the routine. 

The regular increases in bodyweight will greatly increase your capability of progressively handling heavier weights. Check over each week to see that you have forced yourself to make good progress. It is imperative for increases in bulk and strength to use the heaviest weights possible and to use and work the larger muscle groups very hard. Some trainees attempt to gain weight using exercises that work only the smaller muscle groups and therefore, as only small muscle groups are being worked, only comparatively light weights can be used and so a vicious circle is set up defeating its own purpose. 

Working the larger muscle groups allows the heaviest possible weights to be used and makes for the biggest gains in both size and strength. Increasing the size of the chest, upper and lower back, and thighs means big weight gains, whereas increasing only the size of the biceps, triceps and deltoids, etc., won't make much difference.

What is needed is to use the MINIMUM number of exercises to work the LARGE muscle groups. Any OVERUSE of exercises means an unnecessary outlay of energy and a wastage of energy means LESS increase in bodyweight, apart from the likelihood of staleness.

The best exercises for this purpose are:

Bench Press
High Pull-Up (This is a special type of pull, explained later)

Note: Consider alternating the bench press and the overhead press.
Your shoulders will love ya for it. 

Not only do these exercises work the larger muscle groups but they also allow the heaviest weights to be used. Therefore, use ONLY THESE EXERCISES whilst on this course. Don't waste energy on any other exercises. 

Now to the schedule: 

The Bench Press - 

Use a style that permits the heaviest weight to be handled. Go into a supine position on the bench and whilst remembering that the head, shoulders and buttocks should remain on the bench, keep the feet and legs still and force the body down towards the hips, this creating an arch of the lower back so that the rib-box is raised up. The breathing can be utilized to complement the above style. When you have taken the bar off the stands, take in a huge gulp of air through the mouth and at the same time commence to lower the bar. Keep the air in the lungs, as this internal pressure helps to keep the rib-box raised up, and exhale forcibly when the bar has been pressed to arms' length. Take a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. 

The Squat - 

Perform in the normal way. Control the weight on the way down and as soon as the parallel position is reached immediately rise to the upright position. NEVER attempt to bounce when squatting as this could very easily lead to injury. DO NOT do a quarter squat or half squat, but exactly parallel. Use a rubber pad around the bar to make it more comfortable on the shoulders. Keep the head up, as this helps to keep the back straight and will help develop good style. Rounding the back and bending forward from the hips is NOT a good style and should be avoided.

The Deadlift - 

Perform this in the regular way, with a reversed grip. After each repetition replace the bar momentarily on the floor, pause slightly just allowing time to breathe in, then commence the next repetition, so that each repetition is from a dead start. Exhale on the completion of the lift. Use a style that befits the heavy weight you will be using. Position the feet correctly; not too far away from the bar. The arms slightly out from the perpendicular. Squat down keeping the back flat, head up looking straight ahead. When lifting keep the back flat, deviating as little as possible from the form you took prior to commencing the lift. The big error is to drop the head, bend the back forward, slightly straightening the legs and then attempting to lift from that position, with the likely result of injury.

The High Pull-Up - 

This is NOT A BODYBUILDING MOVEMENT, but a specific version that is meant to be a POWER exercise designed so that the maximum weight can be handled. Take the normal grip as for the clean and press, then pull the bar up until it reaches between the waist and the lower chest, at the same time throwing the chest out as far as possible and rising slightly on the toes to keep your balance. The amount of weight used should be heavy enough so that the bar can ONLY be pulled up to the position stated and NO FURTHER. If you can pull it up further than that, then the bar is too light and more weight should be used.

It would be impossible to perform all these exercises in the prescribed manner at any one time and still use the MAXIMUM poundages and effort. So, they are split up into pairs, as follows:

Bench Press and Deadlift
Squat and High Pull

They are done alternately so that the bench and deadlift are performed at one training session, and then the squat and high pull are done at the next session. 

If possible, it is best to train every other day, so that the schedule would be as follows: 

Rest Day
Squat/High Pull
Rest Day

Then repeat as above.

There are eight sets in all, comprising of two warmup sets and six heavy sets. The two warmup sets are used to work up to the maximum poundage used for the six heavy sets. Having already gone over the routine for a few workouts to ascertain exactly what weight can  be handled for the work sets, for your first warmup set take a weight that can be easily managed. Then, for the second warmup set take a weight that is midway between the weight used for the first warmup set and the weight to be used for the six heavy sets. 

So, say 300 pounds was the weight to be used for the six heavy sets. Take around 135 for the first warmup set, and then 225 for the second. 

The work sets should start with 3 repetitions for each set. Then, at your next workout you attempt to increase the number of repetitions. You may manage to increase the repetitions from 3 to 4 for all the sets, depending on the weight you selected for your first workout. If not, do 4 repetitions for as many sets as possible and finish off with 3 reps for the remainder of the sets. 

When you can do 4 repetitions for all the sets you will be able to start increasing to 5 reps for some of the sets, finishing off with 4 reps for the remainder.

Eventually you will be able to do all 5 repetitions for all 6 heavy sets. At your next workout add weight so that you can only do 3 reps again

Keep repeating this process, adding weight when you can do 5 reps for all 6 sets. 

As this routine necessitates that the HEAVIEST weights possible are used for the 6 work sets you will require sufficient rest between each set. Take 5 minutes rest between each work set. It is best to time the rest period, as too little rest will not give enough time to recover well enough to keep adding reps. Too long a rest can result in a physical and mental "cooling off" and result in same. 

If you follow this routine EXACTLY as instructed, together with the information on your diet, then you CANNOT fail to increase your muscular bulk and strength.                    



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