Sunday, June 28, 2020

Super Training - Bradley J. Steiner (1971)

Okay, where were we. 


Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed

Shape . . . Bulk . . . Strength . . . 

Can it actually be done all at once? 


Everything enumerated above CAN be achieved by training on a single type of training schedule. The routine, however, is TOUGH. It's no picnic - and many guys won't have the drive and ambition to push themselves hard enough on it to get the results they want, but for the few exceptions (and YOU just might be one of them) who will push themselves to their limit on this program, the routine will positively result in the acquisition of every desirable physical quality.

This is advanced limit training for maximum gains. It is intended only for fellows who have several years of consistent barbell work under their belts, and who have now decided to go all out for big muscles. Hence the term "limit." 

There's no point in making the explanation of this program more difficult to understand than the exercises will be to work on  . . . so let's sum up - briefly and quickly, the essentials:

1) Training with the heaviest possible weights.
2) Training to your absolute limit on the BIG exercises.
3) Getting sufficient rest.
4) Eating like a horse. 

In briefest essence, that's what you will have to do. Now, let's get down to the particulars, and explain precisely how you must do it. 

The amount of effort that an advanced bodybuilder has got to exert, if he's after really solid, lasting gains in muscular size and strength, is astounding. It really is incredible how much work it takes to make a seasoned barbell man truly work! That is the reason why not many fellows who lack the natural hereditary advantages rise to the top of the their game. Beyond the point of "well built" it takes sweat, blood and guts to get fantastically built. Few are willing to put forth the effort. 

This effort, incidentally, doesn't entail spending hour after hour in the gym, but it does take all you have every moment that you are working out, by putting forth your maximum effort. This is no joke and I am not exaggerating in the least.

There was a great lifter of some years ago by the name of Maurice Jones. Jones was a living Hercules in every sense of the word. Now, remember that Jones was handling these weights in the early 1940's. For example, he worked up to doing 15 reps in the stiff legged deadlift with 425 pounds (standing on a bench with knees locked and going all the way down to round back). In his prime, Jones was one of the greatest physical specimens on earth. He exercised with over 500 pounds in the squat.  

Jones trained on the simple, basic exercises. The same ones that you and I do. But he, and the few Supermen like him today who do train as hard as Jones trained, work those exercises so hard they put the rest of us to shame. Men who train hard - really HARD - can make you tired just watching 'em! 

Reg Park always stressed heavy, heavy training. He spent a solid year doing little else in the way of exercise but getting his squatting poundage up to 600, his bench up to 500, and his PBN to 300. You know what Park looks like. 

And gentlemen, ADVANCED, to the limit training can do wonders for you too. 

There is, of course, no guarantee that you'll ever build up to the point that Reg Park did, and that should be obvious to you by now if you are truly an advanced lifter. But you ARE guaranteed of building yourself into a very, very impressive YOU. 

Diet is of the utmost importance in this kind of training. Let's face it. You hope to build big muscles and great strength by munching on potato chips and eating ice cream.

Milk, steaks, chops, lots of good, fresh fruits and veggies, poultry, eggs, fish, and thick soups - taken in abundance - is what you've got to be stuffing into yourself every day if you want your strength and muscles to grow. Training by itself is not enough. How can your workouts build you up if your body receives little in the way of building materials. 

I know, right? 
"Better lift faster, I'm runnin' outta food." 

It's a mistake to believe that supplements alone are enough to insure you're getting what you need for this task. If you're serious about actually building yourself into something way above the norm, then understand now that you must EAT way above the normal amounts.  

Okay then. Now, rest days between workouts means REST: no training, no sports, no unnecessary activities that can tire you out. This does not mean enforced idleness. This does not mean going on the dole or telling your wife you can't do anything with the kids, you bleedin' bozo. It simply means that aside from your workouts you do not take part in any other physically demanding sports or pastimes. Make up your mind. What do you want? A variety of fun and games, or more muscle and strength. 

The exercises that you are going to employ for maximum gains must the the proper exercises if you are to succeed with this kind of training. The exercises you choose must meet the following requirement: 

They must bring into play the large muscle groups, and they must permit the use of heavy weights. 

For example, concentration curls and triceps kickbacks will never put pounds of muscle on your frame or double your strength. For our purposes here, we will train on the BIG exercises.

Here is your program: 

1) Dips - 3 x 25 reps (warmup)
2) Squat - 5 x 5
3) Front Squat - 5 x 5
4) Bench Press - 5 x 5
5) Power Clean - 5 x 5
6) Bentover Row - 5 x 5
7) Press Behind the Neck . . . wait for it . . . 5 x 5.

Train three times a week on any convenient alternate days. 

The way you employ will determine how much benefit you ultimately derive from your training, so lets spend a little while discussing proper exercise performance for this plan. 

1) Do your dips with no weight added. This is just a warmup. Do them in very strict style, rapidly, and with a full movement. Sink low and rise high. Take very short rest periods between these sets. 

2) Do your first 2 sets of squats as progressively heavier warmup sets. Do FIVE sets in all, of FIVE very good, strict, hard reps per set. Use the same weight - your ABSOLUTE LIMIT - in the final 3 sets. Breathe fully and  deeply when doing this exercise, and keep an absolutely perfect posture and balance throughout. Come up hard and fast from the low position, and go down STEADILY, DO NOT DROP, when you do each rep. You ought to shoot for working up to about 100 pounds over your bodyweight for the three work sets. 

3) Front squats are rough, but it's mainly because of the awkward (for the first little while) way you've got to hold the bar. DON'T try to handle the same weight in this one as you did in the regular squat, but aim for 50 pounds over bodyweight, using the same sets and reps as you did for the squat.

4) Bench presses! Work in perfect style, and add weight to  the bar every time it's possible. GO HEAVY and you'll build a chest, upper arms, and frontal deltoids you'll be proud of. 5 sets of 5 again. Use the first two sets as warmups, but shoot for high numbers for the final three. 

5) Now for some hard back work on two great movements The power clean, a marvelous exercise, builds athletic ability, endurance, and incredible lower back strength, you work hard enough on it. "Hard enough" means getting your poundage up to 30 pounds over bodyweight for your three work sets. If you're really serious about this whole thing, you'll shoot for even more than that. 

6) Bentover rowing. The number one exercise for massive upper back and arm development Work strict. Go for 40 pounds over bodyweight for your three work sets, but work pretty hard on those two warmup sets as well.

7) There is not a finer exercise for powerful, shapely delt development than the press behind neck. Plan to spend time gradually working up to 20 pounds under your bodyweight for those three work sets. Word hard! 

Now, all of this is rough going if you put out properly. You should be wiped out after your workout, which should take between and hour and an hour and a half with proper rests between work sets.  

You've got to keep your psychological determination and at a pitch if you want to succeed here. Do what it takes, find what works for you, but keep your mind in the game for every set. 

Shapely bulk, super strength, and bigger measurements are all waiting for you further down the path if you follow the instructions given. 

So take a long walk, and get what you want. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 


  1. What is the poundage over bodyweigth for bench press for the 3x5

    1. I don't know. Steiner included his version of poundage "standards" in a few articles, but I don't pay any attention to any of those. Only me, but I find it a worthless form of goal. "Oh, look! I have arrived and am validated." Whatever works for ya . . . but that doesn't work for me.

  2. I just find he gives goals to reach and wondered if anyone knew for the bench press i seen 20lbs before ,but these standards are higher than that for squats like double so mabe 40lbs over for bench

    1. Someone who reads this will hopefully have an answer for you. It's a valid question, for sure.


Blog Archive