Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Modern Weightlifting Programs [complete] - Carl Miller (1971)



Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed
Thanks BIG! 






Serge Reding, Clean & Press


Part One
May 1971


Whenever one goes on clinics one of the first questions the lifters ask is what routines can you give me. Below are listed three skeletal routines. 

The first, which is very popular in some parts of the U.S. now, is designed to ensure plenty of training time for the building of power and the development of form. The form days are very light.

The second routine, by its splitting up of work loads, is designed to work hard various parts of the body and at the same time offer some time for recuperation of a body part before working it again. For example, the press is performed twice in one workouts as is the pulling motion (clean, and high pull), but the press and pulling movements are intermixed. Vorobiev [potato potahto goes on] of Russia was an advocate of some form of this. 

More on Arkady Vorobyev, here:


The third routine, which is popular in Russia now, has been copied to a great degree with success. It is designed to give equal time to all parts of the three lifts. The lifters sometimes go very light for form and sometimes very heavy for power. 

The following are the three skeletal routines:

Five Day Power-Form Routine 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday are power days. 

Monday - 
Press
Clean
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise

Wednesday - 
Snatch
Press
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise

Friday - 
Clean
Snatch
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise etc.

Tuesday, Thursday are form days.

Tuesday - 
Press
Clean

Thursday - 
Snatch
Press

Tuesday - 
Clean
Snatch etc.


Three Day Split Routine 

Monday - 
Press
Clean
Press
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise

Wednesday - 
Snatch
Press
Pull Exercise
Press
Leg Exercise

Friday - 
Clean
Leg Exercise
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise
Press


Russian Routine

Monday - 
Snatch
Press
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise

Tuesday - 
Clean
Press
Pull Exercise
Leg Exercise

Thursday - 
Press
Snatch
Pull Exercise
Jerk 

Saturday - 
Press
Snatch
Clean
Leg Exercise

NOTE: "Clean" in the above routines stands for CLEAN AND JERK. 

As stated above, these are only skeleton routines. 

What about the meat: repetitions, sets, weights, exercises? 

The following are my ideas on this subject. Every attempt has been made to go on available scientific facts where possible. 

Repetitions and Series (sets)  -
The number of repetitions and series that a lifter does is an individual matter. We should never forget that. Many trainers put all their lifters on the same number of series [from here I'll use the word "sets"] and repetitions, and this is wrong because each lifter differs in body leverage, muscle quality, coordination, recovery rate and fatigue rate. Each of these factors plays a part in determining the answers that will give us the routine that each individual lifter should use.

In view of the above, it would seem difficult to find the right routine for each lifter. This is the case, because we are not advanced far enough in our knowledge of the body to know all the factors needed to choose the right routine for each lifter. But we are making progress and there is a lot that we have found out to eliminate guess work. The things that we don't know we will find out in the future. 

The following are the things we do know to help us in selecting the number of sets and repetitions.

One, the strength of a muscle is directly proportion to the size of the muscle and the density of the muscle. That is to say, a muscle that is big but not dense is not as strong as a muscle that is big and dense. We know from investigations done at various universities that repetitions of 4-10 are best for building size, with the majority of people making best results on 6 repetitions. We also know from investigations that 2 and 3 repetitions produce the most density in a muscle.

Two, in order to obtain form we know that we must practice the correct form a certain amount of times. Psychologists tell us that to learn a muscular response so that it becomes automatic requires reinforcing (practicing) the desired thing at least 6 times daily. Psychologists also tell us that when trying to reinforce the desired thing, if done more than 3 times in succession fatigue sets in or loss of attention results, and the resulting repetitions involve a learning of incorrect movements and not the exact thing that one had originally desired to learn.

Three, physiological examinations indicate that it takes two minutes of constant exercise of a certain body part after a general warmup in order to adequately warm up that bodypart. This would correspond to 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions done slowly and done after a general warmup. The effects of this warmup are: 

 - increase the amount of cartilage cells to maximum at the joints (this helps greatly in preventing joint injuries). 

 - increase the blood flow to maximum to the muscles and joints of the body. 

 - increase the temperature of the muscle to the optimum, making it more elastic and able to contract to the maximum. 

Four, physiological examinations tell us that we need 3 sets of near maximum weight for the desired amount of repetitions in order to increase strength the most. 

Five, similar examinations tell us that a period of cooling down is needed. This involves a reduction in the work load which has the effect of getting rid of waste products produced by the heavy exercise. This ensures a faster recuperation time and less soreness of the muscles the day after training. Investigations done with beginning weight training students indicate  that 2 or possibly 3 sets of decreasing weight are needed to achieve this cooling off process. 

What conclusions can we make as to the number of sets and repetitions in light of the above statements? 

First, we know that in order to gain size we must do the exercises between 4 and 10 times, and to make the muscle dense we must do the exercise between 2 and 3 times (reps). And because we know that we need 2 to 3 sets to warm up, 3 sets of near maximum weight for the desired amount of repetitions to increase strength the most, and 2 to 3 sets to cool down, we know that we will be doing between 7 and 9 sets of an exercise for either 4-10 repetitions or 2-3 repetitions to gain size or density, depending on what we may want. The cooling off sets of one exercise may be eliminated to gain size or density if one is going to immediately work the same part of the body with a different exercise. 

Second, we know that we must practice a movement at least 6 times daily to learn it so that it becomes automatic, and if done more than 3 times in a row we have a loss in what we are trying to accomplish. Since we don't know the maximum number of times we can do an exercise effectively if done in a set of 3 repetitions or less, I would recommend doing exercises for technique in sets of 1, 2, or 3 repetitions, until it is noticed that the lifter is no longer doing the movement right, or is bored and his attention wanders. Since we must warm up 2 sets and we are going to practice the movement at least 6 times in sets of 1, 2, or 3, we well be doing at least 4 sets and possibly 8 sets (to total at least 6 repetitions), and our maximum will depend on the rate of fatigue set in, or the attention span of the lifter. Sets for cooling down are not needed since we will be using light weights, which will be discussed later. If our routine does not include the Olympic lift movements, then we will do these movements at least 6 times daily with no weight.     


Weights Used

Like the number of repetitions and sets, the weight used is an individual matter. In order to eliminate a lot of guess work, we have some information that will help us.

Experimental investigations done on university weightlifting students tell us that trying a maximum weight for 1 repetition more often than once every 14 days if done continually accounts for a reduction in nerve energy. At the same time, similar investigations say trying for a maximum for 1 repetition less than every 28 days does not result in nerve channel development (this means less muscle fibers are being stimulated. Because these are the figures for the majority of the people and not for all of the people, we know that this is an individual matter and that the ideal for trying maximums for 1 repetition lies somewhere between 2 to 4 weeks. 



Chester Teegarden Photos From His Trip to Russia:
Korinsov, Alexeev, Korinsov, Ivanchenko

 Part Two
July 1971

Again, similar investigations tell us that the trying for maximum for more than 1 repetition has less of an effect on nerve energy, and that we can try our maximum for repetitions as often as once every 5-10 days, depending on the individual.


Exercises

Now to discuss exercises. Recent research in physical education gives us information that can be of benefit to us. 

First, it is strongly thought by now by physiological researchers in physical education that for each individual movement there is a neuro-muscular pattern and anything developed in this neuro-muscular pattern is specific to it. This includes, strength, power, coordination, balance, and speed. This means that developing strength through some other movement, even though it is working the muscles we want to improve, is not going to give as much benefit as working the muscles in the movement we want to improve. 

Second, because for each individual movement there is thought to be a neuro-muscular pattern, this explanation is used to explain investigations that show there is more transfer of strength from exercise that incorporates as many muscles as possible that are used in the actual event that we are training for. 

All this puts into second rating exercises that work muscles in a different motion than we want (bench, press, french press, etc.) and exercises that work only a few of the muscles that are used in the actual event. So when Hoffman has always answered the question "what should I do for my press" by the answer "press," he is physiologically in the same line of thought as modern research.

We can follow the above theory by doing some form of the 3 lifts and adding some leg and some pulling motions. The following are what I think are the best exercises concerning various parts of the 3 lifts going by the theory as stated above. 

Pressing Exercises - 

It is assumed that the lifter is using some form of the Russian or Garcy style of press. 

1) Barbell press using the same grip and style as press used in competition. 

2) Modified Bradford press - This is to help the drive in our style of press. Assume start position. Throw the bar to the top of the head and then let it fall to shoulders. There are two choices now. Jerk the bar to just above the head and let it fall to chest or jerk to arms' length and let it fall to chest. The latter is very good practice by teaching to have the bar back.

3) Ike Berger Handstand Press - The best way to do this exercise according to our theory is to put a plate on either side of an Olympic barbell and put the barbell near a wall. How near the wall depends on the lifter's style. The barbell can be sustained in this position by putting a plate in back and front of each plate that is on the barbell. Take the exact press grip and kick feet until they are on the wall. Lower yourself and press up. Try and approximate press style as near as possible.

4) Incline press - Do this exercise with a lot of chest. This is done by lowering the weight to the chest and dropping the chin and hunching the shoulders a bit forward. This is the start of the Russian press [we now call this an Olympic Press] done on an incline. 

5) Rack press from head - Assume position of press after the heave from the chest, which is somewhere around the top of the head. Press weight over head in same form as you would in regular press. 


Pulling Exercises - can use clean or snatch grip - 

1) High pull all from platform. Pull to 2-3 inches above belt for clean and to bottom of neck for snatch. 

2) High pull, first from platform, the rest from knees. Pull 2-3 inches above belt for clean and to bottom of neck for snatch.

3) Second pull with straight back - This is an amazing exercise that was taught to me by Frank Spellman and I later taught it when I became coach.

Frank Spellman, back row third from left, is pictured here 
with the 1948 U.S. Olympic weightlifting team.
The team included some of the best lifters in the nation's history. 
York Barbell owner Bob Hoffman is on the far left. 

As coach, I first used it on lifters that were recovering from bad backs, who found it too painful to lift the bar off the floor for high pulls, but yet wanted to work their pull, and found upright rows and bent over rows of no use. 

Take bar off a bench and, standing straight, pull as fast as possible, throwing head back as far as possible and rising on toes. Length of pull is stated above, depending on whether you want to work the clean or the snatch. 

One fellow who had a bad back did 1/4 squats and this exercise for 4 months and did no high pulls. His best snatch went from 230 to 245 and clean from 280 to 300. At the end of this time his back was well and he could return to high pulls. 

Since then I have used this exercise in combination with heavy squats on people with no back trouble. I feel when one does squats there is an inclination and extension of the back which is very similar to the same movement when one pulls for the clean or snatch. Heavy squats when combined with this exercise have produced some wonderful results. One man, for example, was stuck at 220 in the snatch for 2 years aand after 3 months of this exercise and heavy 1/4 squats, and the exercise mentioned next, did 240.

4) We call this exercise flip pull of 3rd pull if done with clean grip. In doing with snatch grip, hold bar at chest level with elbows naturally bent. Then pull the bar to neck, throwing the head back and rising on toes. I have used this exercise with wonderful results with lifters that have had good 1st and 2nd pull in the snatch, but then die when it is time to flip the bar over. 

In doing it with the clean grip, the bar is at the top of the thighs with the arms bent. Head is then thrown back, rise on toes and pull the bar to 2 inches above the belt. 

In both clean and snatch grip, start with back straight and never lean forward. When bar is returned for repetitions in the snatch, the bar is returned to chest height and in the clean to top of thighs. Arms are still bent in both cases and the BAR DOES NOT TOUCH THE BODY. 
You'll find this pulls tremendously on traps, biceps and delts in the snatch grip, and biceps and traps in clean grip. 

[Bodybuilders might take note. Or not.]



Leg Exercises 

1) Squats - Do either back squats or front squats. Front squats are more similar to actual movement of a squat clean, but back squats serve a good purpose as they work the glutes more, which is many times what a squat cleaner needs to get up from a heavy clean. 

There are two theories as to the depth of the squats. By out discussion we know that going all the way down would come close to the actual movement of the lift. But we have some people who say we needn't go all the way to the bottom because we get a bounce up to about parallel in the clean. Besides, these people say heavy squats spread the lower back and put too much tension on the knees, thus enhancing injury. If full squats are performed these people say they should be done with light weight and just to practice form. 

My opinion is to practice heavy full squats if possible. If a lifter is prone to injuries in the lower back and knees he should do light full squats and heavy parallel squats. 

2) Split squat with bar on front of shoulders or back - Go down as far as possible and keep same position as in split clean.

3) Split squat with bar between legs - Same exercise Baszanowski used as described in Sept. issue of Strength & Health. [That's different!]

4) 1/4 squats - Do either with bar on back or on shoulders.

5) 3/4 squats from rack - Have the bar resting on pins that are in the rack at a height so that the legs are a little below parallel. This is a common position where lifters get stuck in rising from the clean. Do either with bar on back or on shoulders.    

6) I'd like to add one other exercise that is not truly a leg exercise because we don't use enough weight. This exercise we have found indispensable for teaching position in the squat snatch. The exercise is overhead squats as taught by Larry Barnholth. 

More from Mr. Barnholth on this, here:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/12/ffrom-secrets-of-squat-snatch-larry.html 

Go to the paragraph that begins "When you have limbered up enough to pass the 45 inch or less qualification . . ."

You might also find this article by Charles Coster useful, here:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2013/11/use-overhead-squat-to-build-snatch.html 

Larry says when a lifter can do 10 repetitions [overhead squat] with bodyweight going all the way down and all the way up, he is ready for the squat snatch. We have not only found this to be true, but through continual months and years of doing this exercise, lifters with tight shoulders find their shoulders rotating into position and thus become free of having to hold the weight overhead by muscular force. 


Jerk Exercises 

1) Overhead split squat - Go down to parallel and keep the bar back and completely locked. Head should be looking slightly down as this brings shoulders under the bar. Looking up at the bar usually brings shoulders back and not under the bar. 

2) Jerk from rack - This can be done by jerking the weight from the back of the neck for lifters who have trouble getting the bar back.

3) Jerk squat - Take bar off rack and dip as for a regular jerk, and throw the weight as high as possible. Catch the bar by giving in with the legs as the bar comes down. We have experienced gain as much as 20 lbs. in one month in jerk with this exercise. 

4) Push jerk - Dip for jerk and throw bar as high as possible and lock out. No moving of feet. Teaches lifter to push longer and harder. Many lifters push with little force, drop, and expect to catch the weight. 

5) Lock outs - Bar is 2 to 3 inches from top on a rack or chain. Assume split position and lock out. 


This then brings us to the end of this article. As has been stated before, every attempt has been made to combing the teachings of experience with the scientific knowledge we have today. 

In the future there is a great need to delve deeper into the physiological and psychological of body and mind if we want to elevate the art and sport of lifting. 

This article has only been an attempt to organize what we do know.  
 






 




























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