Monday, October 18, 2021

The Military Press - Joseph Horrigan (1992)

 





The military press is one of the best known exercises in resistance training. Many trainees avoid it, however, because of injuries, because they don't understand what the exercise actually does and/or because other movements such as the bench press have become more popular.

Before the bench press gained such overwhelming prominence, the military press was the standard indicator of upper body strength, and it was to this movement that people referred when they asked, "How much can you press?" The military press is also known as the overhead press (here, the definition of the original "military" press could be discovered with a little effort, the foot spacing, judging rules, etc. If you're so inclined. "Bro, how much do you incline?").

It was one of the Olympic lifts, which were performed in the following order: clean & press; snatch; and clean & jerk. The press was dropped in the early 1970s because it was very difficult to judge.

The original performance position for the press was to keep the back straight and still while pressing the bar overhead; hence the name "military" press. Strict. Very strict. As with any rule, however, subjective interpretation [and of course out-and-out favoritism by judges and obvious cheating by lifters] comes into play, and the rules for performing the Olympic press were subjectively bent and twisted so that athletes were bending backward excessively at the waist -- that is, they were hyperextending their spines -- and the movement turned into a standing bench press when viewed from the side.

If you have been around the iron game for a while, you may recall the difference in  body positions for the press between Paul Anderson, who pressed more than 400 pounds with a relatively straight back in the '50s, and later phenomenons Vasily Alexeev and Ken Patera, who pressed more than 500 pounds with hyperextended backs. Even in the lighter classes such athletes as nine-time 198-pound world champion David Rigert pressed in excess of 400 [pounds using the hyperextended style.  


 
The bench press came into prominence in the late '50s and early '60s. The movement of pushing up the bar while lying on your back was similar to that of the press; hence the name "bench press." Likewise the behind the neck presss got its name because of its similarity to the military press movement. 

If you look at photos of bodybuilders from that pre-bench press era before the late '50s, you'll notice that the athletes' chest development was not as thick or complete as that of today's bodybuilders or even as thick as what those earlier athletes achieved on the rest of their physiques.

As suggested above, there is much confusion as to which training category the military press belongs in, what bodypart it develops and when and if ever it should be used. 

My goal here is to clear up some of that confusion to help you determine whether this exercise belongs in your routine. 


Biomechanics: Which Muscles are Involved? 

The military press, or press, is an exercise of shoulder abduction and elbow extension, and the shoulder abduction also causes what is known as upward scapular retraction. In effecting these various movements, the press targets several key muscles of the upper body.

The prime shoulder abductor is the deltoid; however, the smaller rotator cuff muscle known as the supraspinatus also contributes somewhat. The serratus anterior primarily accomplishes the upward scapula rotation, and the triceps brachii is responsible for the elbow extension.

Understand that the action of this exercise is not flexion of the shoulder but abduction. True shoulder flexion would require that the elbows be in front of your body, only one foot apart, as you raise your arms. In the military press, however, the elbows are raised out to the sides.

Also, while it's true that performing the press will strengthen and develop your deltoids, this exercise is erroneously known as a front deltoid developer, that is, one that primarily works the front delt heads. The military press is one of the basic, compound weight training movements. It is a mistake to try to categorize it as a so-called isolation exercise. As I've stated in previous columns, it is questionable whether such a thing even exists. EMG studies have shown that all the heads of the deltoid re recruited during movements that many training "authorities" claim isolate one head or the other.



The serratus anterior is the cornerstone of the shoulder girdle. It originates along the ribs, which gives it its serrated appearance, and inserts along the medial scapula, or shoulder blade, that's closest to the spine.

 

The serratus anterior functions to pull the shoulder outward and upward; that is, the upward rotation of the scapula. This turns the face of the glenoid fossa, or shoulder socket, upward to assist in raising your arm over your head, which is the abduction movement.


Olympic weightlifters have the heaviest serratus anterior development among weight trainees. This is because the bulk of the upper body work that they do involves overhead support. The serratus anterior must be able to hold the scapula in place while the lifter hoists hundreds of pounds overhead. The contraction of the serratus anterior is also what produces the lat spread in bodybuilding competition, as it is this muscle and not the latissimus dorsi that pulls the shoulder blades up and out.

As discussed above, it is the triceps brachii that extends, or straightens the elbow during a press. When you get into the starting position of this movement, it is easy to see how much the elbow is bent, or flexed. Logically, then, the triceps is heavily recruited in this exercise. When you watch someone perform the military press, you can see the triceps contracting. Some powerlifters even categorize the press as a triceps exercise and use it as an accessory to the bench press.

When trainees use the press in a shoulder routine, such workouts are frequently redundant and lead to overtraining. The typical shoulder session includes military presses "for front delts," lateral raises (in all variations) "for side delts," rear laterals "for the rear heads" and then cable lateral "to really isolate the side delts." 

If you are healthy with respect to the injuries discussed in the following section, cut back on the number of exercises -- especially the so-called isolation movements -- and train with a few more basic movement, less frequently. I've dealt with this subject in several previous columns (see "Too Much of a Good Thing," Sept. 1989 Ironman, and "Effective Bodybuilding and Strength Training," Sept. 1990). 


Injuries: Should You Do Presses? 

The military press lends itself to relatively light weights for an upper body exercise, and trainees usually drop it from their routines once they've suffered a shoulder injury. Shoulder injuries are generally complex both in terms of what they involve medically and what the trainees did in the gym to incur them. Typically, other "isolation" or "specialization" exercises contribute their share to the problem. 

The pain associated with shoulder injuries is usually felt in the front of the shoulder or in the so-called rear delt, the posterior aspect of the shoulder, but it can also be felt in the side of the shoulder and moving down to the middle of the upper arm. If you experience this sort of pain, however, don't attempt to diagnose yourself. There are numerous problems the pain could be signaling, and this is best left to your physician.

The typical pattern is that the injured trainee stops doing behind the neck presses and switches to military presses. When that doesn't eliminate the pain, he or she cuts out either incline presses or flat bench presses. The elimination process continues until the trainee is left with a limited and usually ineffective routine consisting of flyes for the chest, laterals for the shoulders and pulldowns for the back. 

A trainee who continues on this course is not using a full range of motion for overhead movements, and his adductors (pectoralis major, teres major, latissimus dorsi and short head of the biceps brachii) may adaptively shorten, since they are receiving more than their share of work and are not lengthening adequately in the training. Eventually this leads to increases loss of the trainee's range of motion and numerous shoulder problems. 

For trainees who get proper medical care, however, the military press can have a very therapeutic effect during rehabilitation from shoulder injuries. Therapeutic use of this movement starts with very light weights -- the bar alone is fine. The purpose is not overt strength training but to achieve normal range of motion by inhibiting the adductors during the abduction motion. In other words, the brain causes the muscles that pull your arm down, the adductors, to not work when the muscles that raise your arm over your head, the abductors, do work.

Performing the press motion with light weight can get some of these muscles to start lengthening and contracting more normally. This can be a slow process, but if you have reached the stage where you can't perform the exercises anymore, then it makes no difference how long it takes. You may never need or want to perform heavy military presses, but there is much to be gained by including a few light sets of them in your routine. 15 reps at most -- no need to get carried away -- will go a long way toward aiding the rehabilitation process. 

Lower back injuries can also prevent you from doing the military press. As you may well know, the lower back is a common site of injury in weight training, and unfortunately, many low back injuries come from improper abdominal training (See "Ab Training and Low Back Pain," June 1989; "Ab Training Myths," May 1990; and "Twisting and the Spine," June 1991). The press can aggravate the lower back because that bodypart helps balance and support the weight during this movement and because that bodypart helps balance and support the weight during this movement and because the press involves a slight arching of the lower back (which the Olympic lifters took advantage of). 

If you have previously injured your lower back, the arched and weight bearing position can strain the site of an old injury. Even if you haven't, the same factors can cause a new injury. In addition, if your abdominal muscles aren't as strong as they should be and you arch your lower back farther than your effective abdominal strength can handle, the imbalance can lead to a variety of problems. Soviet superheavyweight Vasily Alexeev once told a Los Angeles Times reporter that an Olympic weightlifter needs abs "so strong they can stop a bullet, but don't print that. Somebody might try." 

Unfortunately, the complexity of lower back injuries leaves you few alternatives for the military press. You may wish to try a press machine in the seated position, which may alter the stress somewhat. Don't be surprised, however, if you are unable to perform this movement. Most likely, if you have a lower back problem, you will have to drop the movement from your routine altogether. 

Durn It . . . no matter . . . 

Enjoy Your Lifting!        


















Sunday, October 17, 2021

Bulking Diet - Eric Lilliebridge




Things you will need for this diet plan include: 

Protein Powder (whatever you prefer or like)
Peanut Butter (Natural or Regular)
Milk
Bananas
Blender
1-2 boxes of Hamburger Helper Mix (or any kind of pasta)
2 lbs of Ground Beef
1-2 boxes of Mashed Potato Mix
1-2 bags of Chicken Breasts
3-4 dozen Eggs
Peanuts

You will be making a big pot of Hamburger Helper and mashed potatoes that you will keep in your refrigerator for the week. This will make it much easier on you! 

This is almost identical to how I eat on a daily basis. I try to go the cheap and easiest route as far as food goes. This has worked great for me for a while now and I have not changed it up much at all. 

Now remember, some days your appetite might not be as good as others, so you just have to force feed yourself as much as you can on those days to try and keep up. But I usually get in all the meals I need on a daily basis to maintain my strength and weight. 

The key to it is staying consistent with your meals. Try to get a meal every 2-3 hours. Wake up early or stay up later if you have to. It's all a matter of how bad you want it. You will make the sacrifices to do so if you want it bad enough. 


MEAL PLAN

Meal #1

4-6 eggs (however you like them cooked) and any beverage of your choice. I like eating eggs first thing in the day because they have 0 carbs. Eating foods high in carbs first thing during the day can make you feel tired or lethargic, at least that's how it usually affects me. I like feeling awake and energized after I have my first meal. After this it's a couple of hours before I have another "big meal" with carbs and at that point I've been up and going for the day and eating carbs doesn't affect me the same way as eating it first thing in the morning. 

Meal #2

Protein Shake, 16 ounces of milk (any kind of milk) or water, 3 scoops of protein powder, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, blended. 

Meal #3

Snack, I cup of peanuts with 1 banana and beverage of your choice. 

Meal #4

I plate of Hamburger Helper mix (try to eat a full plate, if not, at least a decent sized portion), beverage of your choice.

Meal #5

Snack, 1 cup of peanuts with 1 banana and beverage of your choice.

Meal #6

1 plate of Hamburger Helper mix and beverage of your choice. 

Meal #7

Snack, 1 cup of peanuts with 1 banana and beverage of your choice.

Meal #8

1 plate of mashed potato mix.

Meal #9

Protein Shake, 16 ounces of milk (any kind of milk) or water, 3 scoops of protein powder, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, blended up.

If this is too much for you to handle at first, then gradually build yourself up to this level and try to maintain this food intake on a daily basis. If you get to Meal #9 and feel like you can eat more, then add in an extra meal #10 of either the Hamburger Helper or Mashed Potato Mix. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 
And the taste of peanuts!!!




 

























The Best Form of Bodybuilding, Part Three - Dennis Weis

 




Keys to Effective Organization of a Training Program

Bodybuilding is SIMPLE, but it does require HARD WORK over a number of years to achieve outstanding results. 

1) It is best to follow a SIMPLE routine of "basic exercises" and do them REGULARLY rather than trying to use an advanced training course and soon find yourself lacking the desire to TRAIN.

2) Basic training should always include overall major body development. One should never work any one major particular body part in EXCESS of the others. This condition of excess training would soon cause your overall training routine to be placed in a state of imbalance. Every major muscle group should receive equal developmental work.

3) Any effective routine will always contain at least one PRESSING MOVEMENT which will work the chest or shoulder area; one SQUATTING MOVEMENT which will work the lower torso to MAXIMUM, and one HEAVY BACK BUILDING MOVEMENT. 

4) Always begin your routine with the largest body part and work down to the smallest body part in your schedule. The reason being that the biggest muscles are the cause of the most overall PROGRESS. 

5) NEVER position or sequence two similar types of PRESSING, SQUATTING, CURLING or PULLING movements together in a particular routine. For example, if you begin your upper body training with some chest work, you would more than likely choose one of the variations of the bench press movement to accomplish this end. This could be done either with heavy dumbbells or a barbell and performed on either a flat or incline bench. 

Okay. You have done the bench press with a barbell for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Now, while the bench press in its various forms is a marvelous pectoral developer, you will find it also works the deltoid and triceps muscles to some degree. You must take this into consideration when deciding on the next body part to work in your program. While your performance went very well in the bench press, it would not be wise to begin working the shoulder region because you would probably be doing some type of pressing over the head either in military fashion or behind the neck. You would immediately notice upon commencement of the pressing over the head that your efficiency in these movements is suffering somewhat. This is because you are working the deltoids and triceps immediately after bench presses and they have not had sufficient rest or recovery time. 

I am sure that you can see from this example that if you reversed the above conditions, that while the pressing movements for the shoulder region improved, your efficiency in the bench press would not be up to par. So, in conclusion, when working the various body parts, it would be good to alternate an upper body movement with one for the legs so that there is time for recovery before tackling the next exercise. 

Now I realize that there will only be two leg exercises (calf, thigh, etc.) in most basic programs. In this case it would be good to maybe perform an upper body exercise (pressing), then a leg movement (squats), then a pulling movement such as the deadlift, then another one for the legs (calf raises), then a curling type movement, and now another pressing type exercise. 

The combinations are endless. 

6) Concentrated arm building exercises should be left till near the end of UPPER BODY training. The reason I mention this is because the arms ASSIST in every individual exercise performance to the muscles of the upper body. The strength and endurance conditions of the arms are REFLECTED in your performance of these exercises. If your arms are fatigued, then you will lose MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY in the required pushing, pulling, and gripping of the heavy upper body movements in your program.


MAXIMUM TRAINING EFFORTS 

High Intensity is the repetitive performance of a resistance movement (heavy barbell, etc.) which is carried to the point of momentary failure. MOMENTARY FAILURE is the point at which we can't possibly do another repetition in our selected set of reps. 

For example, if our GOAL for a particular set of barbell curls is 10 repetitions, we should have selected a poundage which will permit this end result and no more and no less. Going to momentary muscular failure is VERY IMPORTANT as you perform your sets of exercises because it is the last TWO REPS in a particular set which cause the muscle area being worked to GROW AND STRENGTHEN. The preceding reps are no more than a preparation to the growth stimulation caused by the last two repetitions when carried to failure. 

WITHOUT GOING TO FAILURE ON AN INDIVIDUAL SET THERE IS NO WAY TO GAUGE THE AMOUNT OF EFFORT PUT FORTH. 

After the initial warmup (1 or 2 sets using 2/3rds of maximum repetition poundage) one should work to FAILURE on the rep scheme suggested for each set. When this form of TRAINING EFFORT or HARD WORK is followed you will find that brief amounts of exercise will cause the most progress. 

Next: The Recovery Ability.

Enjoy Your Lifting! 








     


   



















An Effective Progression System for Beginners - Brooks Kubik

 






Making progress is easy when you're a beginner. Your body has enormous untapped growth potential. Your strength grows in leaps and bounds, and if you train right you can improve your performance in almost every workout.

If you are wise, you will take advantage of this unique opportunity and follow a progression system that:

1) builds a strong foundation for future gains as an intermediate or advanced trainee, and

2) allows you to experience steady progress from workout to workout, which will help teach you the all important Success Habit. For a beginner, learning the Success Habit is just as important as building strength and muscle.

For these reasons, beginners should start off with easy workouts that are light enough to allow them to progress steadily without hitting a plateau. Forcing a beginner to go through an extremely hard, heavy or demanding workout is totally unnecessary and ill-advised. It's much better to start light and easy and allow the new trainee to experience steady progress for as long a period as possible.

Beginners should train three times per week on a total body workout, and follow a basic training program that uses either single progression or double progression.

Single progression means that you add one rep to every upper body exercise and two reps to every lower body exercise in every workout. 

Double progression means that you add one rep to every upper body exercise and two reps to every lower body exercise every second workout. 

Single progression works best for younger beginners and those who are in relatively good condition when they start their training. Older beginners will do better with double progression. So will anyone who is seriously out of shape, underweight, or battling any sort of health problem.

Double progression is a slower and more gradual form of progression, but it has the benefit of helping to develop a solid foundation for future gains once you are past the beginner stage.

Double progression also helps teach you good form in all of your exercises. On the day when you repeat the previous workout without adding any additional reps, you can really focus on strict form and perfect performance of every rep. And remember, performing your reps in better and tighter form is also a form of progression! 

For these reasons, Bob Hoffman encouraged trainees to use the double progression system. It's slower, but in some ways it's actually more effective for long term gains. And remember, two or three years from now, no one will ask you how you training or how fast you progressed when you were a beginner. Instead, they'll be asking YOU for training advice -- because by that time, you're going to be strong, powerful and very well developed regardless of whether you begin with single or double progression.

Also, note that you can begin by using single progression, and switch to double progression later one, after you have used single progression for several cycles. That's actually a very sensible, and very effective way of doing things.

Start with 5 reps on upper body exercises and 10 reps on gut work and lower body exercises. Do one set of each exercise. Do 8 to 10 different exercises.

This will be a very easy workout. It won't take long to complete, and you won't get very stiff or sore. You may think it's too easy, and you may be tempted to add more exercises or do more sets of each exercise. RESIST THAT TEMPTATION! Follow the progression system that I outline, and you'll make steady progress from one workout to another -- and you'll build exactly the foundation you need for more advanced training later on.

Remember, most trainees start out by doing long, hard and demanding workouts. They train like demons -- for a week or two. Then they burn out. They start missing workouts. And before you know it, they're not training anymore.

If you ask them, they'll tell you that they "tried that weight lifting stuff -- but it didn't work." 

Don't let that happen to YOU. I want YOU to be one of the small number of trainees who starts the right way -- with very short, brief and easy workouts -- and STAYS WITH IT! 

So begin your training with an EASY program 
Not a hard one. 
An easy one.

And note that this is ALL you do. You don't do extra cardio work or any other form of training. Just do your strength training -- and do it three times a week. Train Mon/Wed/Fri or Tues/Thurs/Sat. Save your energy for your strength training. You can add cardio training later on.

For example, here's a good workout for beginners: 

1) Standing Barbell Curl, 1 x 5 reps

2) Standing Barbell Press, 1 x 5

3) Barbell Bentover Row, One Arm DB Row, or Pulldowns to the Chest Using a Shoulder Width Grip (preferably with a bar that has parallel handles), 1 x 5

4) Barbell or DB Bench Press or Incline Press with Dumbbells, 1 x 5

5) Barbell of DB Shrug (or Trap Bar), 1 x 10

6) Back Squat, 1 x 10

7) Regular Deadlift with Barbell or Trap Bar, 1 x 10

8) Bent-Legged Situp, 1 x 10

9) Calf Raise on Calf Machine or One Legged Calf Raise While Holding a Dumbbell in your Opposite Hand, 1 x 10 per leg.

On each exercise, use a weight that is fairly easy, and allows you to perform all of the required reps in good form without straining.

Stay with that weight, and gradually add reps -- using either single progression or double progression -- until you have doubled the number of reps you are performing. In other words, you gradually increase from 5 reps to 10 reps on upper body exercises -- and from 10 reps to 20 reps on lower body exercises.

If you train three times per week and use the single progression system you will double your reps on both upper and lower body exercises in 5 workouts, or just under two weeks of training.

If you use double progression, you will double your reps in all exercises in 10 workouts, or just over three weeks of training.

At that point, do this: 

1) Add 5 pounds to the bar for your upper body exercises -- add 10 pounds for your squats, deadlifts and calf raises -- and start holding a five-pound plate on your chest when you do your situps.

2) Drop back to 5 reps for upper body exercises and 10 reps for squats, deadlifts and calf raises.

3) Follow the same single progression or double progression program and gradually work back up to 10 reps for upper body exercises and 20 reps for lower body exercises.

And then repeat the process. 
Add weight, drop reps, and build the reps back up.

The only exception to the standard increases will be your situps. Once you are using a 10-lb plate on situps, work up to 20 reps and from that point forward perform one set of 20 reps in the situp, using 10 pounds. If it gets too easy, hold the plate on your forehead rather than your chest, or use a situp board with an adjustable incline. This is an early in your career example of making your workouts more progressive by performing an exercise in a more difficult fashion.

How many times do you repeat the process? 

it varies from one person to another depending on your initial strength levels and what kind of condition you are in when you begin the program. For some, three cycles will be enough. For others, five or six cycles may be better. But try to continue the program until the weights are heavy enough that you need to really concentrate and focus on each exercise to perform all of your reps in perfect form.

Note how quickly the weights will increase on all of your exercises. If you repeat the progression cycle three times, you will increase your training weights by 15 pounds on all upper body exercises and by 30 pounds on squats and deadlifts. If you repeat the process six times, you'll increase your training weights by 30 pounds on all upper body exercises and 60 pounds on squats and deadlifts -- and it will happen very easily, with no sticking points, no extreme muscle soreness or no driving yourself to the point of exhaustion.

At that point, you can add a second set of each exercise. When you do, continue the single progression or double progression system, and repeat the process of adding reps, and then adding weight, reducing reps and building the reps back up.

Do this for three to six cycles -- and then add a third set of each exercise. Continue the same slow, gradual progression. Add reps, and then add weight and drop the reps -- and build back up.

At some point in the process you may find that on at least some of your exercises, you need to reduce the amount of weight that you add to the bar when you are scheduled for a weight increase. Instead of five pounds for upper body exercises, you may only add 2.5 pounds. Or you may find that you can add five pounds on bench presses and pulldowns, but only 2.5 pounds on military presses and curls. 

Similarly, on lower body exercises you may need to reduce the weight increases from 10 pound to five pounds. That's fine, as long as you continue to follow the progression guidelines and to add a small amount of weight on a regular basis.

After three to six cycles, you'll be ready for a more advanced training program.
A training program for intermediates.

By the way, you'll note that the trainee has followed the same basic program and performed the same basic exercises in every workout. All that changes from one workout to another is the number of reps of each exercise, the weight on the bar, and the number of sets after he begins using additional sets.

Beginners do NOT need to do a variety of different exercises, and will do much better by training on the same exercises. They don't need to "shock" the muscles by training them from different angles, and they don't need to use "muscle confusion" to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. They need to stick to the same exercises long enough to make some truly significant progress. They need to develop high levels of skill in the basic exercises, and to perform them in excellent form over and over until the movement patterns are automatic. They also need to develop the mental attributes of patience, perseverance and tenacity -- which they will never develop if they start changing their exercises or jumping from workout to workout.

There's a time for everything, but the time for adding new exercises is NOT when you are a beginner. Save the new exercises for later in your training. 

Next: Knowing When You Are Ready for an Intermediate Program.

Enjoy Your Lifting!  



















Saturday, October 16, 2021

Anabolic 6/Big 10 System - Dennis Weis

 




In this approach, you use six basic exercises and do them for a 10 set pyramid (increasing the poundage up or down from one set to the next). 

The exercises are the Oly squat, Conventional deadlift, Barbell bentover row, Bench press, Barbell clean & press, and Barbell curl. These 6 exercises have been selected because of their pronounced anabolic effect on the major muscle groups of the body.

The methods to follow are very intensive and power-bodybuilders who use them have found it best to do only 2 or 3 of the six mentioned exercises in any one workout. Here are a couple of examples of hos you might structure these six exercises into any of the three workout methods: 


 To increase the gain factors in muscle mass and strength it is a good idea to schedule one to two days of rest and recovery between workouts. 

METHOD ONE

Begin each exercise with a warmup set with approximately 60% of the maximum poundage that you will be using on the initial two to three "barometer" hard-work sets. Do 8 continuous reps with this relatively light poundage. 

REST 3.5 TO 4 MINUTES. 

Now begin you first barometer set with a poundage that will allow you to do 6 continuous reps and absolutely no more. 

REST ONE MINUTE.

Now do your second set with the same poundage and perform another 6 reps if you can. 

REST ONE MINUTE.

Perform your third set with the same poundage for an all out effort. You may only get 5 reps but that is fine. Your only concern should be when you bottom out at 4 reps or less per set. When this happens (and most generally you will first notice on the 3rd or 4th set) reduce your poundage by 10 pounds for the next set, but only when you bottom out at 4 reps in a particular set.

Continue on in the manner described. Do a set, rest one minute, etc., until you have completed 10 SETS. After giving this program a run through you will probably notice that the 8th, 9th, and 10th sets will be working your muscles to their absolute capacity, so here it would be a good idea to take two or three deep breaths between each rep for little rest pauses. 


METHOD TWO

10 sets are done in the following manner: 

Warm up with 60% of your maximum for the amount of reps you plan to perform. On this, let's assume that you want to acquire some power in your bench press. Use 7 reps for your sets. Let's say your top bench press for 6 reps is 300 pounds. 

Begin your first set after the warmup with 80% of that 300. You are looking at 240 pounds for the first set. Now, while you rest one minute between each set, add 5% to each additional set until you are using 100% of maximum for one and two sets. Then you will begin dropping off 5% each set for the final three sets of the 10-set maximum. 

To give you a better idea of how this works, I will outline in detail how your 10 sets will look using the above percentage/poundage figures. 

Base: 300 pounds, 6 reps. 

Instructions: 10 sets maximum. Rest one minute between sets (including weight change), add 5% each set until 100% is reached. Perform two sets with 100% Drop off 5% for each of the final three sets. 

 

Note: On the 5th and 6th sets, you may not be able to do the recommended 7 reps per set. Do whatever you can and when you finally are performing 7 reps on all sets (and especially the 5th and 6th sets) upgrade your percentage-poundage scale a begin a new 10-set system. 

You will find that a pattern of 6 reps to a maximum of 9 reps will build the most muscle mass and strength. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!  




















 






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