Thursday, May 6, 2021

Arms, Arms, Arms and the Exercise Bench - Charles A. Smith (1951)


Park, Ross, Eder.

Thank You, L.T.!

Note: This was part of a continuing series of Mr. Smith's on bodybuilding uses of the Exercise Bench. He also focused on the use of Super Sets here as well. The adjustable benches on the market back then were, well, let's just say not like now.

Freddy Ortiz
Albert Beckles


We would like to prove to you, just what we can accomplish with Super Sets. We want to show You just what kind of results can be produced. We make no claims that we can put an inch on your arms in a day. We realize you have jobs, social duties which have to be considered at least as fully as your weight training programs, that you have a set time for school and/or work, and a set time for your workouts. But we do promise you that you'll increase the measurement of your arms in two to three months if you follow our instructions, and we do promise you that what gains you make will be lasting gains.

The desire to make fast progress is just as strong in the man who has been training for years as it is in the beginner. The more he gains in bulk, muscularity and strength, and the faster these advances come, the greater and more prolonged is his training enthusiasm, and the more he is inspired to work even harder than before. These are the physique qualities, apart from health factors, that every bodybuilder demands, and when he doesn't get them he wants to know why . . . what he must do . . . where he has gone wrong . . . how others have made gains when he can't. 
There are, of course, a thousand and one minor reasons why he fails to make progress, but only three or four main reasons. Diet enters into the picture, so do daily habits of Life [if ever a word warranted capitalization, eh], as well as rest and relaxation. 

But it is my personal opinion that the chief cause is LACK OF INTEREST. In other words, sticking to a set routine, which at first may produce some initial results, but rapidly becomes dull and boring. It is well known in industry that the moment a man loses interest in any task, he will work less and less efficiently, and produce material which gradually increases in poor qualities. But any task a man enjoys, he'll work at with enthusiasm and manufacture good quality material. 
The same rule applies in bodybuilding. 
Exercises can provide the necessary interest, and help maintain enthusiasm with the results they bring, but these results depend in the main on the type of training methods employed, and the type of apparatus, apart from the actual weights, which are used. 
Take the training methods used. The Set System [performing multiple sets of a single exercise consecutively, as opposed to doing one set of an exercise and moving on to another single set of another exercise] concentrates the effort, enabling the bodybuilder to work twice as hard and obtain results twice as quickly as with the old system of one exercise for each body part. 
Here's an interesting article by Clarence Ross that explains the predominant non-Set System method used in the past very clearly: 
The Flushing Method steps up results even further, particularly in a specialization routine when each body part, say for instance the triceps, must be thoroughly flushed and pumped up. 
But the Super Set method carries the flushing method a step further. 
As you all know each muscle has another opposing it, called an "antagonist" muscle.  

The Super Set employs the method of working both, thus doubling the effects sought. 

Now, in this program for the arms, you are going to exercise both the the biceps muscle and its opposing muscle, the triceps. By working one after the other with the minimum of rest in between sets, additional blood is brought to the area, supplying more muscle cell building material, resulting in a more pumped up, fuller feeling through a complete and thorough workout of the entire upper arm. Thus not only is the biceps enlarged, but the triceps too, with faster recovery from exercise efforts.
Now we come to another important factor in successful bodybuilding . . . the choice of apparatus. You are well aware that outstanding strength, proportionate development and muscularity can only be built with barbells and dumbbells. But how can these be employed to the best possible advantage? The answer to this is . . . By performing your upper arm movements on the adjustable exercise bench, a bench designed specifically for your purposes. 
Why should you do this? Because you will be eliminating all unnecessary body motion, concentrating every effort in the area you are striving to bring to superbly developed form . . . the upper arms. 
In standing barbell and dumbbell motions, other muscle groups are brought into play through efforts to maintain balance and position; there is a tendency to depart from correct exercise form. While a looser exercise style is good for general gains, specialization demands a localized muscle effect, and this is provided by performing movements on an exercise bench, so that your entire mental concentration and physical effort can be devoted to the task of building larger and stronger arms.
Here is how the Super Set method works. Read through the list of exercises to below. Notice that first a biceps movement is performed, then a triceps exercise; also, these are alternated between flat and incline bench movements. You will have no trouble following the program just as it is laid out for you. Just keep to the exercises listed, the first week performing one set of each movement; the second week two sets, and the third week three sets. But always alternate the exercises, first a biceps movement and then a triceps exercise, then back to the biceps, then the triceps, a short rest and another biceps, then a triceps exercise.  
This means that the first week, along with a normal "three times a week" workout, you will perform eight sets in all, one for each exercise. The second week you will use 16 sets, two for each exercise. The third week, 24 sets, three for each exercise. Place this arm specialization routine FIRST in your workout program, then follow through with the rest of your workout after. Another plan is to devote one day to the arms, and the next day to the rest of your physique.   


Exercise 1 - Bench End Curls. 

Lie on your tummy along the bench so you can place your arms over the end and keep the upper arms tight against it. Hold a Weider Multi-Muscle Bar (EZ) in your hands, fairly narrow grip, and curl the bar up as high as you can; lower it steadily and repeat. Don't move the upper arms.    

Exercise #2 - Supine French Press. 

Immediately after your curls take a brief rest to allow your breathing to return to normal, then lie on your back along the bench with a barbell held at arms' length, fairly narrow grip, above your chest. The same grip must be used as in the curl, so that the palms of your hands are facing your head. Keeping the upper arms still, elbows pointing up during the exercise, lower the barbell down steadily by bending the arms at the elbows, until the bar is an inch or two above the head. Return to commencing position and repeat. Don't move those upper arms.
Exercise 3 - Incline Dumbbell Curls

Set your bench to an incline, then sit on the bench and rest your back against the inclined position (you in the photo, pay attention!) while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep the palms of your hands facing to the front at the start of the exercise. Curl the dumbbells steadily up to the shoulders, lower steadily and repeat. Don't let your body come off the incline and DO keep those palms facing front throughout.     

Exercise 4 - Dumbbell French Press

When your breathing comes back to normal again, take up the same position as in the previous exercise, but with the dumbbells held at arms' length above the head. Note their position and that of the hands, the palms of which are facing IN. From here, lower the bells down by bending the arms at the elbows, until your forearms are in a level position. Return to commencing position and repeat. DON'T move your upper arms. Keep them still with the elbows pointing straight up.
Exercise 5 - Seated Half Curl
Sit on the end of a bench with a barbell held in your hands, regular curl grip, and resting across the upper thighs. Keeping the body upright, curl the bar up to the shoulders, lower steadily to commencing position and repeat. Don't allow the body to sway back. Your training partner can place his knee in your upper back for support. 

Exercise 6 - Seated Press Behind Neck

 Clean a barbell across your neck and sit down across the exercise bench. Again, your partner can keep your steady by placing his knee in your upper back. Using a shoulder width grip, press the bar to arms' length, lower steadily to commencing position and repeat. Apart from a good triceps workout, your deltoids will get plenty of work too.


Exercise 7 - Lat Machine Curls

 Set your bench to an incline and place it in front of a lat machine. Grasp the bar with palms of the hands turned up, then sit down on the bench with back placed against the incline. At this stage the arms are outstretched in front of you, grasping the lat machine bar. Keeping the upper arms still, curl the bar towards you until the knuckles touch the upper chest, then return to commencing position and repeat. Don't forget to keep those upper arms still. 
Exercise 8 - Narrow Grip Press
Sit on the exercise bench, your back against the incline, and get your training partners to hand you a barbell. Using a grip a little less than shoulder width, press the weight to arms' length overhead, lower and repeat. Your elbows should point OUT TO THE SIDES. In this way the triceps will get the major portion of the work. The upper section of the pecs and the lateral deltoids will also be influenced.

This completes your super set, exercise bench arm routine. Use your regular combination of sets and reps. I will not attempt to give you any system of sets and repetitions here. All the top bodybuilders have personal preferences since the question of high or low reps and sets is an individual one. Len Peters keeps to 5 sets of 5 reps. Joe Weider uses 4-5 sets of 9 reps. Barton Horvath prefers 3 x 10 reps, while I like to start off with 3 x 7 and work up to 3 x 12 before increasing the exercise poundage. 
Rep and set combinations aren't so important. It is the exercises and the training principles applied that are. That old saying, "It ain't what you do . . . it's the way that you do it" is particularly applicable here.  



Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Two Hands Anyhow Lift - Tony Rose (1992)

 Originally Published in Hardgainer #18 (May 1992)

Hardgainer 2.0 is out now - 

"One Arm Lifts for Muscularity" here:

 "The One-Hand Deadlift" by Tony Rose:

 Illustration Courtesy of Oldtime Strongman

If the bent press is the "King of Lifts" as many old-time strongmen and physical culturists thought, then how did these experts rate the Two Hands Anyhow? 
Well, to quote one, Tom Inch, at one time Britain's strongest man, world record holder and physical culture expert, "It is the hardest and most gruelling lift you can possibly indulge in." 
Those were his written words to me back in the early 1940s. Tom himself could hoist up over 275 pounds using dumbbells. His world record with barbell and ringweight was 356.5 pounds using dumbbells. At that time his weight was 210 at a height of 5'10". He could, of course, bent press over 300 pounds.

 Inch performing a 276 pound Two Dumbbell Anyhow Lift.
W.A. Pullum referee.
"Thomas Inch on Strength" - here:
Another of Inch's feats was to pull out a 30-strand cable set (expander), holding a 56-pound weight in each little finger, plus a 168-pound man hanging on each arm. Like that other bent press enthusiast, Bob Hoffman, he was much in favor of using cables and did so to a very advanced age.
There are two types of lift known as the Two Hands Anyhow. First, with barbell and ringweight (or dumbbell) and second, with two dumbbells.
Before we start getting into the performance of this lift, let me tell you a little more of what some of the old-timers lifted. Kurt Saxon, of the Saxon Trio, was very good at this lift and recorded a two hands anyhow lift of 387 pounds with barbell and ringweight.
William A. (Bill) Pullum in his early days (1914) was outstanding in the two hands anyhow. At a bodyweight of under 126 pounds, Pullum could lift 258 pounds with barbell and kettlebell. The barbell was four pounds short of 200 pounds and the lighter bell was 62 pounds. He cleaned the barbell with two hands, transferred it to one hand, then bent down and swung in the lighter bell. Bear in mind, however, that this man could one hand swing a weight 6-8 pounds over his bodyweight, so the lighter bell was never a problem. In 1915 he created the world record two hands anyhow of 272 pounds at 122 pounds bodyweight. In the two hands anyhow with dumbbells, Pullum's 1915 record was 244 pounds.
Tom Inch always advised a slow, steady and controlled performance of this lift. In his postal instructions he was very helpful. Even in his later years he always encouraged young lifters keen on the vintage lifts.
Here's some great film footage of Thomas Inch demonstrating a Two Dumbbell Two Hands Anyhow in his later years. It's a wild lift! Check out the knee kick to assist in bringing up the lighter bell
The best way to learn the two hands anyhow is to teach yourself how to change over to one hand a heavy weight you've raised above your head with a two hands clean and jerk. Make sure the center of the bar is marked. It may take a couple of hand moves to do. Never, ever, take your eye off the weight. I recommend a great deal of practice on this exercise.
With the two hands anyhow with barbell and ring weight, I found the easiest way for me was to clean and jerk the barbell, change it over to one hand once it was over my head, then, putting a slight forward hang to the barbell, slide my hand down to my thigh and pick up and press the lighter weight.
Often, if I wished to bent press the bell overhead, I got it to my shoulder by standing the bell on end, having first marked the exact center of the bar with tape. Then, I would half squat with a straight back and grip the bar in the center with my left hand. With my right I would grasp the lower inside collar. Next, I would bend my neck against the bar, just above my left knuckle, and using the neck and right arm I would rock the bell onto my shoulder, thereafter bent pressing. I then picked up the lighter weight with a curl or a swing, steadying that at my shoulder, and then pressing it to complete the lift.
Take a leaf out of Saxon's book and never rush this lift. When the heavier weight is at your shoulder, get your breathing under control and proceed slowly and with great care. Always have catchers to assist you when performing this lift. 
Endurance, balance and NERVE play a part, as well as great strength. Regular practice of this lift will build you enormous strength in the abdominal obliques and erector spinae. Plus, of course, tremendous deltoid power and development. 
This is certainly not a lift for the wasp-waisted, flat-chested lat spreaders, though it's what they need. How do you think Sandow would have looked without those superb obliques and etched abdominals? Those old-time strongmen didn't spend hours and hours doing situps on a Roman chair or twists with a broomstick. They lifted heavier and heavier weights at every opportunity. After all, it was their living. All the time they were being challenged by the strongest men in the towns visited by their shows.
These strongmen I talk of had enormous gripping power. Inch was so strong in the grip department he held the world record on the rectangular fix. This is really a (reverse) half curl to a right angle with an overhand grip, done slowly with no jerking or swaying of the body, then held for two seconds. He lifted 144 pounds and even defeated Arthur Saxon in this lift. 
"Train Your Grip" by Thomas Inch, here:
A little suggestion from the Hardgainer point of view: Measure your waist before indulging in bent pressing and two hands anyhow lifting. Note the fat deposits. Measure again in three months. Your waist will be perhaps an inch and a half bigger, but the fat will have been cut down. You will have a strong muscular corset and lower back, and your bodyweight will have gone up. You will both look and feel amazingly powerful.
Enjoy Your Lifting!    
















Saturday, April 24, 2021

Strength Building Schedules - Harry Paschall


Continued From Here:

We are now arrived at the point where we must lay aside our pens and take up the barbell. This is the point in physical training when pure theory must be replaced by practical advice. And we are now in a better position to sympathize with those former professors of ours who warned us in our schooldays that there was a slight difference between theory and practice

In approaching the problem of a strength-building schedule we must realize that each individual will require individual handling, and it is impossible to lump all trainees into one classification and prescribe a perfect, foolproof course of instruction that will work in exactly the same manner for everyone. You, therefore, will have to make your own adjustments in the schedules we are about to give you.

Let us begin by recapitulating our aims. 
First, our principal object is to build strength.  

Second, realizing that strength and physical fitness must go hand in hand, we are also concerned in giving you a routine that will improve your organic physical condition and promote stamina. 

Third, believing a strong man should look strong, we should like to include in our training sufficient shape building exercises to ensure a well muscled, shapely body.

This leads us to consideration of the various exercises by classification, and perhaps we may clarify our future choice of exercises in our schedules by arranging these various movements under three general headings:
Shaping exercises
Conditioning exercises
Strength-building exercises. 
1) Shaping Exercises
Leg Raises 
Side Bends
2) Conditioning Exercises
Squats (high repetitions)
Bouncing Split
Stiff-legged Deadlift and Shrug
Squat While Pressing Behind Neck
Squat with Weight Held Overhead
3) Strength-Building Exercises
All Supporting Lifts
Shoulder Shrug
Dead Lift
Leg Press
Heavy Squats
Cleans (pull-in to shoulders)
Handstand Pushups
Dumbbell Presses
In concocting our various schedules we have tried to apportion these various exercises so that in each routine we have at least one conditioning exercise, two or three shaping movements and five or six strength-builders.
Having now cautioned you in the official manner that all I am about to say may be used against me, let us blithely leap in where angles fear to tread.
Schedule No. 1
This is arranged to suit a pupil who can do one Press with 125 pounds, one Squat with 200 pounds, and one Dead Lift with 350.
Warmup - 
5 or 6 fast Pull-Up-and-Press, or Flip Snatches, without moving feet. 
1) Stiff-legged Dead Lift and Shrug - 
125 pounds x 10 repetitions. 
2) Squat - 
150x5, 160x4, 170x3, 180x2, 190x1, 180x2, 170x3, 160x4, 150x5.
3) Pullover - 
40 x 15.
4) Support Exercise - Barbell hangs from ceiling suspended on cable (or in rack) at about shoulder height. Get under in split position and raise the weight to full arms' length above head with legs straight, arms should be locked to start.
200x5, 210x4, 220x3, 230x2, 240x1.
5) Side Bend - 
 40 x 10 (each side)
6) Pull-up Cleans, without moving feet - 
120x5, 130x4, 140x3, 150x2, 160x1, 150x2, 140x3, 130x4, 120x5.
7) Leg Raise - 20 reps.
8) Overhead Squat - 
50x5, 60x4, 70x3, 80x2, 90x1, 80x2, 70x3, 60x4, 50x5.
9) Alternate Dumbbell (seesaw) Press - 
Pair of 30's x 5, 35x4, 40x3, 50x1, 45x2, 40x3, 35x4, 30x5.
10) Swingbell Curl, seated - 
3 x 10 reps. 
This schedule is intended for three workouts per week, with a day of rest between each exercise day. The technique might be called the "work up and down" method. 
Weight Progression: Add 5 pounds to weight of barbell, 2.5 pounds to dumbbells each week, except in the case of Exercise 4, where 10 pounds may be added. Continue this schedule for six weeks, then rest one week (complete rest from all weight training), then proceed to Schedule 2.
Schedule No. 2
In undertaking Schedule No. 2, after the week of complete rest from lifting, we go back somewhat in amount of weight handled, in order to get a "running start." The technique, too, is changed to that of the "Heavy and Light" method.
Warmup - Pull-Up-and-Press or Flip Snatch - 
75 pounds x 5-6.

1) Overhead Squat - 
75 x 10.

2) Deadlift on Blocks - 
350x3, 325x5, 300x5 x 3 sets.

3) Side Bend - 

4) Support - 
same as No.4, Schedule 1 - 
250x3, 225x3, 200x5 x 3 sets. 

5) Leg Raise - 
x 20.

6) Pullup (high pull) to Chin - 
100x3, 90x5, 80x5 x 3 sets. 
7) Shoulder Shrug from Supports - 
350x3, 325x5, 300x5 x 3 sets.
8) Bent Arm Pullover - 
80x3, 70x5, 60x5 x 3 sets.

9) Handstand Pushup - 
3 x as many reps as possible.

10) Swingbar Seated Curl - 
70x3, 60x5, 50x5 x 3 sets.

Same progression as in Schedule 1. Add 5 lbs. to barbell each week, 2.5 to swingbell, 10 pounds to barbell in Ex. 4 and 7. Train for six weeks, then rest one week as before. 

Schedule 3 typifies another exercise technique, employing the set or series system. Here, too, we go back slightly after our week of rest from lifting in order to gather momentum.

Schedule No. 3

Warmup - Pull-Up-and-Press or Flip Snatch - 
85 pounds x 5-6.
1) Bouncing Split - 
80 pounds x 10 each leg.
2) Support - Hold bar in front shoulders as for Jerk, and make short, bouncy 1/4 squat movements.
250x1. Repeat with rest interval 8 to 12 times.
3) Side Bend - 
50x10 each side.
4) Squat - Full, heavy single deep knee bend - 
225x1. Repeat with rest interval 8-12 times.
5) Pullover - 
6) High Pull to Chin - 
110x1. Repeat 8-12 times.

7) Leg Raise - 
x 20.

8) Dumbbell Press - 
70's x 1. Repeat 8-12 times.

9) Curl, barbell - 
110 x 1. Repeat 8-12 times.
If you follow thus far, you have been training for 27 weeks, or more than half a year, and you should notice a marked increase in power. You have also found out a few things about your own body. Perhaps you found there were too many exercises, and that you had to cut down on repetitions. Perhaps, too, you found that the method employed in a certain schedule better fitted your particular needs, i.e., you may be better geared to the Heavy and Light system than to the work-up-and-work-down method, or perhaps the series or set system fits you better than the single rep - rest pause method. 
As you go into higher and higher poundages you will also find that you may need more rest between workouts, and that twice a week workouts are preferable. Also, at the higher levels, you will need to cut down the number of exercises, which you can do with safety after you have built up a certain reserve of strength, shape and fitness.

For those who seek great strength, yet are unable to construct supporting equipment for the heavy power-building exercises such as the split support over head, the leg press, etc., we suggest that you use ordinary squat racks, or have the weight handed to you by two fellow trainees, and instead of supporting the weight overhead, hold it either in front or behind the the neck on the shoulders. However, we are convinced that for the ultimate in power some such supporting apparatus as we have indicated is a vital necessity. 
Experiments in Strength Building, by Harry Paschall (1951):

Enjoy Your Lifting!



















Strength Building Exercises - Harry Paschall


 The Author, Harry Paschall

 Harry Paschall at the Lambiek Comiclopedia:
Now then . . .
Dead Lift From Blocks 
The dead lift from blocks is a slight modification of the well known standard back exercise. By using blocks 6 or 8 inches high, with international 18 inch plates on the bar (if your plates are of smaller diameter, increase the height of the blocks), the rather dangerous "stretch" period when the back must be bent is eliminated, and the exercises can use considerably more weight with safety. The bar should cross the legs just below the knees. 

Performance: Place feet 6-10" apart, stand erect, but "loose." Do not approach the bar in a tense position. Lean down with very little forward bend, so that lifting is done with the legs instead of the back. Grip bar with one palm forward and the other back, to facilitate grip. The best dead lifters - pardon? - use a hook with the overgrip, but you may find this rather hard on the thumbs, since they must be pinched inside the fingers. Start the upward movement easily and add power and speed as you come erect. Lean well back at finish. Breathe in deeply just before pulling on the weight, and breath out as you lower it. Repeat not over 5 times for strength building. The strongest men will be capable of 700 to 800 pounds in this exercise. William Boone does it with 900 pounds. Personally, we found 500 pounds is sufficient because of the grip. It will build tremendous finger strength as well as the back. 
Overhead Squat
The squat with bar held overhead in the Snatch position is one of the very finest exercises for the back, legs and waist region, as well as promoting bodily poise and coordination. Pete George, the sensational middleweight lifter, uses this exercise and unquestionably it has had much to do with his power and balance while in the deep squat position. We like this movement because it affects the back muscles from a different direction to the Dead Lift, and because its long range of movement makes it a marvelous conditioning and shaping exercise as well as a strength builder.
Aaron Horschig's Squat University:
Performance: To start, flip barbell of moderate weight up into the snatch position, and then squat all the way down. It helps to wear solid shoes with 2-inch heels, or to place your heels on a block of similar height. As soon as you firmly hit "bottom," rise immediately to the erect position. Breathe in at top, breathe out as you almost reach the top coming up. Take another full breath and repeat. For strength building 5 repetitions are always sufficient, and less when using heavy weights. It is well to have two catchers ready to take the bell from you in case of losing your balance. Several men have reached 300 pounds in this exercise. It is pretty severe, however, and we feel that anyone who can do reps with over 100 pounds is starting to develop power.
Heavy Overhead Supports
Lifting and supporting of a very heavy barbell overhead is one of the very best methods of building bodily power. The bar must be securely lashed to overhead beams, or otherwise supported so there is no danger of falling. Anyone desiring to become a much stronger weightlifter will find this the key to becoming able to handle heavy weights overhead. It strengthens the whole body.
Performance: The bar should be suspended at various heights. Assume the split position under it with arms locked and braced; then arise to erect position, just as if you were completing a heavy jerk. Stand erect for several seconds, holding the weight free from its suspension in the regular Jerk finishing position, feet in line. Lower and repeat. Breathe in just before lifting movement, and breathe out with weight overhead, breathe in shallowly again and lower. Weights as heavy as 800 pounds have been used in this exercise by John Grimek. We were agreeably surprised when we first tried to see how light 300 pounds became. Any strong man will find weight from 300 to 500 pounds possible in this exercise.
Press Out
This is a variation of the supporting exercise previous, and it is designed to promote power in back, shoulders and arms. A considerably higher weight must be used, since this is simply a limited press-out motion, and sheer push and power are necessary.

Performance: Use a weight slightly higher than your best press poundage, and have the weight suspended at about the height of the head. Now brace yourself firmly under the weight with shoulders back, the lower back and buttocks flexed, legs straight (your regular pressing position). Breathe in deeply, then push the weight to the finish position at full arms' length. Breathe out as you lower, and repeat. A 150-pound presser will find 200 pounds possible in this position. Weights from 300 to 400 pounds are possible for the very strong. 
1/4 Front Squat
This is another heavy movement, with a suspended bar, or with one on a squat rack. The idea is to build explosive power and energy in the back and thighs. This, too, is a favorite movement of the York lifters, and has added drive to their heavy jerks.

Performance: Bar should be on rack, or suspended so that it must be lifted about 6 to 8 inches to be pulled in at the shoulders in the regular "clean" position. It is best to hold the weight on the deltoids with elbows up. Get it firmly set, breathe in, lower by bending the knees abut 6 to 8 inches (quarter squat) and drive strongly upward to erect position. Breathe out at the top, take another breath and repeat. You should use a weight considerably higher than your best jerk. The York boys often use 500 pounds and more in this exercise.
Shoulder Shrug
Well, well, well! Is that Joe Hise doing all that puffing? Boys and gals, here is that much discussed (Hise) Shoulder Shrug devised by the Old Maestro to take the pain out of bodybuilding squats. We commend this exercise as a wonderful power builder.
 Fred Howell
Much more on this, here: 
Performance; Take the bar from a rack (or suspension) several inches below shoulder level. A very heavy weight may be employed and progression is fast. Get your whole body firmly placed, feet apart and in line, legs braced, back strongly erect and lift weight from supports. Now breathe in strongly and attempt to lift weight up and back by shrugging the trapezius muscles. Breathe out as the weight lowers (it only rises an inch or two) then breathe in and repeat. As a bodybuilding exercise, some 20 reps are used with 3 to 5 puffing high (costal) breaths between motions. As a straight power builder, one breath is sufficient, and 5 reps with very heavy weights recommended. You will find it possible to go up to 600 or 700 pounds in this exercise, and for the very strong, half a ton is well within the realm of possibility. 
Clean, No Foot Movement
The regular "clean" movement, without moving the feet, is a very popular exercise in the York gym. (Steve) Stanko . . .
. . . became able to do 375 pounds in this way, and that it contributed greatly to his tremendous power is obvious.
Remembering Bob Hoffman - by Terry Todd:
Performance: Use a barbell around your limit press poundage. Stand erect and "loose" with feet firmly placed in your usual cleaning stance. Stoop with back as straight as possible, grip bar and pull strongly in to the shoulders, without moving the feet. Breathe in prior to pulling upon the weight, and breathe out at the top after weight is received at the shoulders. Lower and repeat. 
Heavy Squat
One of the key strength building exercises has been for years the famous Squat or Deep Knee Bend. This very vigorous leg and back exercise has no equal as a bodybuilder or as a strength builder. Everyone should do it. It has been described so often that we need very little elaboration here.
Performance: Take weight from racks (you cannot clean enough weight to tax your leg and back strength), place feet firmly from 8 to 14 inches apart, breathe in deeply (in top of chest) and descend to full squat position on full lungs. When your thigh biceps hits the calf, bounce strongly upward and come erect. Breathe out at top, take another deep breath and repeat. After several squats you may find it necessary to take several panting breaths at the top between lifts and this is recommended for chest building and body growth. For our strength-building purpose one breath and 3 to 5 reps will be sufficient. Body-builders should do 15-20 reps. Any strong man should be able to do this with 300 pounds. The best authentic record we know of a full squat is that of Henry Steinborn 

back in the 1920's who did several reps with 550 pounds. 
Bouncing Split
If you pride yourself on your springy legs and your athletic ability, this "bouncing split" movement should bring out the best that is in you! It is made to order to assist the split lifter to attain needed leg spring and strength for snatches and cleans.
Performance: Place light bar on shoulders, using a pad to protect the back of the neck. Grip the bar strongly and pull down to fix the bar so it will not bounce. Now split forward strongly and speedily with the right leg, going down into the deep split position until the knee of the left leg touches the floor. Now BOUNCE up and immediately reverse the leg action, placing the left foot forward and go down until right knee touches. The best performance we know on this novel exercise is that of Fraysher Ferguson
co-director of the Apollo Health Studio in Columbus, Ohio. He is a very good all-around athlete, and very fast in action. He does 20 reps with 150 pounds, completing them in 20 seconds (10 reps each leg). 
Dumbbell Press
From the famous Austrian Beergarten Weight-lifters we have borrowed this dumbbell power-builder for the shoulders and arms. It builds pushing strength in a way no barbell exercise seems to reach.  

Reg Park Gets Intense with a Pair of Heavies

Performance: Take two dumbbells, pull them in to the shoulders. Now let shoulders back slightly, keep back straight and firm, lock legs and buttocks, and push the bells together overhead. Breathe in as you raise the weights, out as you lower them. This movement may be varied by raising one bell at a time with alternate arms. If you have difficulty in cleaning two dumbbells to shoulders it may help to load the bells 5-10 pounds heavier to the back, as is done in the one arm dumbbell swing. On alternate presses we recommend that the elbows be wide, and pulled back as far as possible. When you can do this movement with a pair of 75 pound bells you are getting strong. A pair of 100's means super strength -- and 125's puts you up with the world champions. 

Handstand Pushups 

Handstand pushups have been employed by many, many champions to improve their press, their arm and shoulder strength and their muscular coordination. If you cannot balance -- stand about 18 inches from a wall, and let your feet rest lightly against the wall. Use two chairs or boxes so that the body may be lowered between them for a full movement. A pair of low parallel bars are handy for this. Do several sets of as many as you can. 
 Ryan Hurst's Handstand Pushup Progression:

Do several sets of as many as you can. If you can do 10 of these you are strong. 20 reps is super-strength. You can make it even tougher by attaching plates to your belt. 

Upright Row
This is one of the best combined arm, deltoid and trapezius exercises. Stand erect, grasping bar with overgrip with hands close together in center of the bar, differing widths used for variation. The arms are at full hang to start. Now pull the bar upward, close to the body, until it touches the chin. Breathe in as the bar is raised, exhale as bar is lowered.


As a gauge to relative strength, anything over 100 pounds in this movement is a better than average performance. 150 pounds means that you are very strong. Over 175 puts you in the superman class. We have seen a couple of of our star strength athletes use 200 pounds.   
Bouncing Pullover
The bouncing (rebound) pullover is a fine chest, shoulder and arm developer -- but its chief purpose is to lift the chest while breathing in rhythm with the movement. Lie on a low bench or on a 6-inch box placed under the upper back. The movement can be done with a swingbell as well as a barbell, and consists of a half-circle. Starting with the bar resting on upper thighs, you carry it back over the head until it hits and bounces from either the floor or boxes behind head; then repeat. 

 It's tough to round up vintage pics of the rebounding style. 
Ya mean them pics online weren't just always there?
Breathe in as the bar goes back; out as you bounce it forward. Another breathing method is to breathe in until the arms reach the over-chest position, and out as it is returned to the thighs. For strength work, this exercise should be done with the arms bent. A better than average performance with straight arms is 75 pounds. A good strong man can handle 100 pounds, and a few supermen can do 125 pounds. With bent arms the sky is the limit. Some of the best men do over 200 pounds. 
Swingbell Curl
This exercise is a great favorite of Steve Stanko and has had a great dealto do in developing his 19-inch biceps. You sit on a box of stool rather lower than an ordinary chair; bend forward at the waist, grasp swingbar with underhand grip with arms fully extended between thighs. Curl the weight up until it reaches the chin, then return bar to full extension of arms between thighs. 
The use of the swingbell is imperative in this case, because it is necessary to have hands close together to get the desired "cramp" effect and also to permit weight to go down between the thighs. The last inch or two of upward rise is very important, for it is in this position that you can feel the complete intense contraction of the biceps. And the lockout of the triceps on the downward motion also permits "cramping" these muscles too, making this exercise one of the very best muscle-moulding exercises for the whole arm. The amount of weight handled in this exercise is not important, except that you will find it best to use one light enough to perform 3 series of at least 10 repetitions.   

Dumbbell Side Bend

The side bend with a dumbbell in one hand develops the external oblique muscles at the side of the waist and also has a good effect upon the back as well. By using a fairly heavy dumbbell, you can build great strength here. Some men have used more than 100 pounds in this exercise. It is a good conditioner as well as a strength-builder.   
Press From Behind Neck While Squatting

One of Bob Hoffman's favorite conditioning exercises, this is a movement we can recommend as being much tougher than you would suppose. Place bar behind neck, then as you bend the knees to go into the deep squat position you press the barbell overhead at the same time. As you come erect you lower bar back to starting position behind neck. The pull on the lower back is vigorous, and the exercise demands perfect muscular coordination. If you can do this 10 times with 100 pounds, you are a pretty good man. If you can do it with 150 you are terrific.
Good Morning
A very vigorous lower back exercise. Taking bar on shoulders you bend forward as far as possible. You may also bend in a twisting movement to each side. This one is rather painful in the neck so a pad is desirable. This is a favorite movement of many top level lifters and some incredible weights have been handled (straight legged, very deep), from 200 to nearly 300 pounds. If you can do it with 100 pounds you are okay in my book.

Leg Press

The leg press is a very good exercise for building strength in thighs and calves, as well as affecting the loins and lower back. A great deal of weight may be handled this way. 

Stiff-Legged Deadlift-Shrug-Lat Lockout

This is one of my favorite conditioning exercise which also possesses wonderful muscle-moulding possibilities for the entire back region, including the trapezius. You bend forward and pick up bar with and pick up bar with overgrip, just as if you were going to perform a stiff-legged deadlift; as you come erect, shrug the trapezius muscles high, then leaning back slightly, you rotate the shoulders and transfer pressure from the shoulders to the latissimus muscles of the back. At this point, by practice, you will be able to achieve a latissimus "lock" -- spreading the shoulder blades and widening the back to its utmost. While keeping these muscles spread, you bend forward to lower bell almost to floor (with stiff legs) while maintaining the "pull" on the back muscles all the way. A weight approximately bodyweight is good in this movement -- but you should start much lighter. Remember, the "feel" is all important in muscle-moulding movements. 

Next: Some Power Building Schedules.

Enjoy Your Lifting!


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