Umbre. Also known as Shadows. A Romanian blend of The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, only better than you can imagine. I am awful happy-glad to report that the full 3rd Season of this series (with perfect Eng subs) is out now if you know where to look. Crazy good stuff! The plot and character development is top shelf by the time the second ep of the first season is done. Very, very highly recommended!
Soccer fans, eh . . . sound on . . .
The Golden Dozen for Adding Four Inches to Your Chest
by Charles A. Smith (1956)
How should you compile your chest routine? What are the best exercises for fastest results? In this article our famous author tells you exactly what you must do to develop a chest of size and power. By following this program to the letter it should be equally possible for you to increase the size of your chest 4 to 5 inches in six weeks.
Joe Bonomo's "Golden Dozen" little pocket manuals.
It was just a routine High School Biology class and the teacher had her pupils very much interested in the dissection of a frog. First she placed the frog on a table and said, "Jump." And the frog jumped. Then she cut its legs off and told it to jump again but naturally the frog didn't move an inch. Go Charles! Tell it!
The teacher then turned to the favorite pupil, Donald Dimwit.
"Now Donald," she demanded, "What have you learned from this experiment?"
"Teacher," said Dimwit, "I have learned that as soon as you cut off a frog's legs he becomes deaf."
And that, my bodybuilding friends, is an outstanding example of jumping to conclusions, a practice by no means restricted to members of a Biology class. Weight trainers can turn in some pretty startling performances too, especially concerning theories about building up the chest.
Note: I sorely wish I still had a scanner or owned a cell phone (no, I've never had one, no big thing at all, no worries). There's some great illustrations in this article, and if you read this blog regularly you'll know the artist I'm referring to. Also a killer side-chest of Leroy Colbert.
During my years as a Bodybuilding and Weightlifting instructor, I have found that of all the tough problems I've had to solve, the toughest of all was convincing some fellows that the greatest examples of chest development were NOT always the products of the practice of either the bench press with barbell or the dumbbell flye exercise.
Yet there are untold thousands of weight trainers and even some well known authorities who maintain that the ultimate in chest muscularity, size and power CAN be produced through the use of a single movement. But needless to say, this belief is as much divorced from reality as an oft' married movie star is from last year's wife.
The bench press with barbell is a great chest muscle movement, but it isn't the only great exercise for that purpose and it isn't always the one best suited to the individual requirements of a bodybuilder.
The dumbbell flying exercise is a great chest muscle movement, but it isn't the only one and it isn't always the best that can be used. But it is also true that both of these have their place in a chest schedule as we shall see further on in this article.
It cannot be denied that there are innumerable devotees of barbell exercise who think of a massive chest solely in terms of pectoral development. And there are just as many who regard great chest size as the outcome of intensive latissimus specialization.
But take the time to thoroughly examine the physique of any great bodybuilder especially renowned for his chest size and muscularity, and you'll quickly observe that not only are his pectorals and lats fully developed, but that he has a massive rib box too.
And if you question him about his training programs, you'll also discover that he has never made the mistake of supposing that a huge and powerful chest can be built by working one chest muscle group.
While the latissimus muscles are actually arm and back muscles, the tape still has to pass over them when your chest is measured and they make a very big contribution to the measurement recorded. The question of fully developing your lats should therefore never be neglected.
The pectoral muscles are placed right on the front of your rib box and are almost universally regarded as the group belonging to this section of your body, although they are in reality arm muscles. But the tape has to pass over them too as it does over the lats, and they also add their thickness to your chest size. So again, here is another muscle group you must work thoroughly.
But the tape doesn't touch your lungs nor the flexible rib box, yet it is your lung expansion and that of the rib box that makes all the difference between a mediocre chest measurement and a mighty expanded chest taping. So along with building up the lats and the pecs, every effort should be made by you to build as big a chest expansion as you can.
A schedule of exercises for the muscles surrounding the rib box presents little difficulty. You only have to try out the various movements until you find those that give you the best and quickest results. But when it comes to movements for increasing lung capacity and the size of the rib box, many bodybuilders go astray.
Only by working the largest muscles of the body, your thighs and lower back, can you force yourself to take really deep breaths, the kind that increase your lung capacity and encourage your skeletal chest structure to grow and become more flexible. The very best possible exercise for this is the Deep Knee Bend.
To assist the heavy respiration set up by the heavy squatting, one must use special rib box stretching exercises and perform them in a particular manner. One of the best movements for this purpose is the Straight Arm Pullover or the bent arm version, or certain types of supine lateral raises with dumbbells. These exercises must be performed as described, for the best possible results.
Now you may have heard how certain movement are supposed to build a bigger rib box, seen them used and also seen them fail to do just what they are supposed to do, and wonder why. The reason is that the exercises have been used incorrectly.
Remember this . . . the spine and the rib box are to certain degrees flexible . . . the spine because of its articulations and the rib box because of the cartilage between the ribs. The ribs are fixes into the sternum and the spine.
Now try this experiment. Lie flat on the floor with a barbell held at arms' length overhead. Take a deep breath and then lower the barbell down to the floor behind your head, keeping your arms straight and locked at the elbows. As the barbell gets closer to the floor, you will feel a distinct pull on the ribs providing you keep your entire back and buttocks pressed flat against the floor. Now let your lower back arch up off the floor and that pull or rib box stretch diminishes considerably.
If you keep your back and buttocks flat on the exercise bench or floor, when you are performing these breathing-rib box-stretching exercises, then your ribs have a greater range over which to stretch. Raising the buttocks and lower back takes off tension on the rib box and reduces the "stretch."
Next comes the way to breathe during these rib box movements, among which I also include the deep knee bend. Breathing should be forced at all times. When you take a breath, force every possible ounce of air into the lungs. When you breathe out, exhale with every ounce of your power.
Now for the exercises and how they should be performed.
Unit A: For Lungs and Rib Box
Exercise 1 - The Deep Knee Bend
Take a barbell off squat racks in the normal way when you are performing squats. Place your hands well apart along the bar. Place your feet about 16" apart, toes pointed slightly out for better balance, body bent slightly forward at the waist. Take three deep breaths, forcing that breath in and out. On the third deep breath, go down into the squat and at once recover to erect position, take another three deep forced breaths and continue for the required number of repetitions. Don't forget . . . take three deep forced breaths each squat and FORCE THAT BREATHING IN AND OUT.
Exercise 2 - Straight Arm Breathing Pullover
Lie on an exercise bench, a barbell held in your hands at arms' length above your chest. Keep your arms straight and locked at the elbows thought the exercise. Start to take a deep breath and at the same time lower the barbell down behind the head. When your arms are level with our body, return the barbell to commencing position, at the same time forcing out your breath strongly. Repeat the exercise. You should reach your peak of intake as the arms arrive at the parallel position. FORCE THE BREATH IN AND OUT.
Exercise 3 - Incline Bent Arm Lateral Raises
You do not need too steep an incline in this exercise, so just prop the end of your flat exercise bench up on a low box, with a dumbbell held in each had at arm's length above the chest, arms slightly bent at the elbows. Keep them in this position throughout the exercise. Take a deep breath and at the same time lower the dumbbells down and out to the sides. Let them go as low as they can without losing the bent position of the arms. You should reach your peak intake at the lowest point the dumbbells reach. Breathe out and return to commencing position. FORCE YOUR BREATHING.
Exercise 4 - Bent Arm Pullovers
Lie on an exercise bench, a barbell resting on your chest, hands shoulder width apart. Start to take a deep breath and at the same time lower the barbell down to the floor by passing it over your head and then down. Do all you can to keep your upper arms parallel with one another. You should reach your peak intake of breath at the lowest point the barbell reaches. Pull the barbell back to the HIPS at the same time breathing out and from here on make each repetition of the exercise travel from the hips, over the body and head, down to the floor, and return. DON'T FORGET TO FORCE YOUR BREATHING.
In exercises 2, 3, and 4 you must do all you can to keep your entire back flat on the exercise bench. Do not allow your upper back or buttocks to raise themselves from the bench or the best effects of the rib stretching movement will be lost. Pay strict attention to your breathing and exercise style and don't hurry your repetitions. Make each one slow and deliberate.
You should choose one movement from Exercises 2, 3, and 4 and use it with the deep knee bend in this manner: Perform one set of squats first and then as soon as you have completed the set of squats, get right down on the exercise bench and perform one set of breathing-rib-stretching exercise. Continue to alternate the squat and the rib stretching exercise until 3 sets of each have been completed. Use all the weight you can handle in each exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps, working up to 3 sets of 15 before you increase the exercising poundage.
As soon as you feel a change is necessary, change the rib stretching movement for another one, of if you so desire, use a different rib box exercise each training day, but never use more than one in the same workout.
Unit B: Pectoral Exercises
Exercise 5 - Parallel Bar Dips
Pay particular attention to the way this exercise is performed. Lean the body slightly forward to put more stress on the pecs. Hold the body upright and the triceps get most of the work. Start the exercise with the body held at arms' length. Tilt the head and upper body slightly forward and dip down as deeply as you can between the bars. Press up to commencing position and repeat. DON'T RUSH through the exercise but make each repetitions steady.
Exercise 6 - Incline Criss Cross Laterals
Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell held in each hand at arm's length above the head. Take a deep breath and lower the dumbbells down an out to the sides, reaching peak intake at the lowest point the dumbbells reach. Breathe out and at the same time return to the commencing position, criss crossing the arms and squeezing the pecs. Repeat the movement. Keep your arms straight, locked at the elbows during this exercise.
Exercise 7 - Wide Grip Barbell Bench Press
Lie on an exercise bench with a barbell held at arms' length above the chest, collar-to-collar grip. Take a deep breath and lower the barbell down to your throat (don't let it touch) and then press it to arms' length again, exhaling as you do so. Repeat the exercise. Lower the bar very steadily and under control, get a complete stretch, and be very gradual in adding weight to the bar. This is not a power movement and must be treated carefully. Perform this movement slowly and in a very concentrated fashion.
Exercise 8 - Dumbbell Rollouts
This is one of the finest of all movements for the pectoral muscles. First you need to slacken the dumbbell collars so the plates on the bars can move freely around them. Grasp the dumbbells with the palms facing each other and the body in a top-of-pushup position. Now simply lower the body by moving the dumbbell out to the sides. Raise the body by pulling the dumbbell in and back to the commencing position using the strength of the pectorals. Don't let your arms bend at the elbows but keep the locked and straight. Keep complete control over the movement of the dumbbells at all times.
In all the above exercises with the exception of movement 8, handle all the weight you can for 3 sets of 8 reps, working up to 3 sets of 12 reps before increasing resistance. The last exercise, dumbbell rollouts, requires no resistance other than bodyweight. Since it is of a severe nature, begin with 2 or 3 repetitions until you become used to the exercise and then perform 3 sets of as many reps as you can pump out.
Unit C: Latissimus Dorsi Exercises
Exercise 9 - Pulley Pullovers
Lie on the floor in front of a wall pulley, a handle grasped in each hand, knuckles resting against the floor. From this position pull the handles down and to the hips. Return them to commencing position taking in as deep a breath as possible. Repeat the exercise. Keep your hips, back, and buttocks pressed tight against the floor. Don't let them arch up during this exercise.
Exercise 10 - Incline Lat Machine Pulldowns
Lie on the floor in front of a wall pulley machine, a handle grasped in each hand, knuckles resting against the floor. From this position pull the handles straight up and over and down to the ground by your hips. The arms move through a complete semicircle. Return to the commencing position breathing IN as deeply as possible when you do so. Don't let your back or buttocks raise up off the floor.
Exercise 11 - Incline Lat Machine Pulldowns
Place an incline bench with its back towards the lat machine. Lie along the incline, reach up and grasp the bar of the lat machine with a palms up grip. Keeping your arms straight and elbows locked at the elbows throughout the movement, pull the bar down to the hips. Return it to commencing position taking as deep a breath as possible as you do so. Repeat the exercise. Keep your back and buttocks pressed tight against the bench. Don't let the lower back arch up off the incline.
Exercise 12 - Decline Pullovers
Place yourself on a decline on the standing incline bench with a barbell held at arms' length above your chest. Your training partner can hold your feet down firmly at the top of the bench. Lower the barbell down to the floor taking as deep a breath as possible as you do so. Return to commencing position and repeat. Keep your arms locked straight at the elbows during the entire exercise and don't let your let your lower back arch up off the bench.
In the above exercises handle all the weight you can to 3 sets of 8 reps, working up to 3 sets of 12 reps before you increase the exercise resistance. Perform the movements steadily and pay strict attention to the deep breathing.
The best way to pick a schedule from the Golem Dozen is as follows: Base your routine around the deep knee bend. This should always be in the program, performed first, and alternated set-for-set with a rib box stretching exercise.
From the pectoral and latissimus exercises choose one movement, thus making four movements in all, the deep knee bend and rib stretching exercise, one pec exercise, and one lat exercise.
The best rule to follow is to choose the exercises you enjoy doing most and only change them when you feel you need a change, or when the schedule has obviously exhausted its possibilities for the time being.
Change when necessary will ensure that your interest and enthusiasm is kept at peak, thus effectively combating mental and physical staleness. When you do pick new movements, keep the deep knee bend at the head of the list, pick another rib box, pec, and lat movement and, after a rest up of a couple of days, begin your new chest routine.
A schedule picked from the above movements as outlined and performed as advised will bring you many valuable benefits. Your endurance will increase; your chest, as it grows bigger, will also increase the width of your upper torso and shoulders, and your arms will be able to curl and press greater poundages. All you have to lose is a little energy, a little sweat, and a little time, but what you gain from these Golden Dozen exercises will be well worth it.
Enjoy Your Lifting!
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