Sunday, January 31, 2021

A New Training Theory - Harry B. Paschall (1946)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed
 . . . but we are interested in this perennial problem of athletic staleness. We believe that bodybuilders and weightlifters can make a great deal of progress by accepting this condition as inevitable, and then doing something about it. We have seen athlete after athlete, in all sorts of competition, deliberately train themselves into this stale condition.
One of the problems of the bodybuilder, like that of an artist making a drawing, is to know when to stop. Too often we continue lifting and exercising long after we should stop. Some years ago I discovered this in my own training, and it helped me to lift more weight after I had passed the age of 40 than ever before. I found that it was not so much a question of how MUCH training, but how LITTLE training was conducive to gaining in strength.

I was very enthusiastic about this theory at the time and wrote a 50,000 word book on the subject, which is now gathering dust in my desk drawer. Perhaps I can give you the gist of it in 500 words instead of 50,000. 

The idea is very simple, a branch of the cyclic theory. We all know that we go through cycles, periods in which we gain very rapidly and periods in which we seem to deteriorate in spite of our best efforts. I have an idea that this may be in some way connected with the remaking of the blood. 

Medicos say that the content of the blood changes approximately every six weeks. In other words, we get new blood about every 40 days. This is a building and rebuilding process, which is important to the bodybuilder. At one stage in this cycle the body is at its weakest ebb. If we persist in training and straining at this time we go stale and become weaker.
I have on several occasions watched boxers train, and noted that if they train hard for more than five weeks they leave their fight in the gymnasium. So why don't we simply train for five weeks and take no chances . . . then rest a week or 10 days and begin training again to take advantage of the upsurge? I have found this solution to staying in good competitive condition. 

But there is one precaution the trainee should observe in order to take full advantage of this law of nature. He should never start again with the same weights he was using when he left off training. Instead, he should drop back to the weight he was using in the 2nd week of the previous 5-week training period, and gradually increase so that at the end of the current training schedule he will be lifting a weight one week in excess of the weight he used at the end of the first 5-week session. 

Thus, with each 5-week training period, the lifter goes one week (or perhaps 5 or 10 pounds) ahead of his previous best. This makes continuous progress possible and avoids the dead end periods of staleness which are unavoidable if one keeps steadily training. 
This will work just as well for the bodybuilder as for the man training for strength. It also eliminates the so-called sticking points, when it seems that the exerciser can neither add weight to the bar nor increase repetitions.
I would be interested to have some of you lads try this "Paschall Pause" and see how it works for you, as I have never made a control study outside of myself. And    

when you start your workouts again after a pause, because this is the key to the success of the whole system. Make sure you go back to the weight and repetitions schedule of the SECOND week, each time. 
Incidentally, this gives you a sort of double-progression system, and I believe that, if you are exercising (bodybuilding) instead of lifting, increasing the number of reps, say from 5 to 10, and then adding weight, is the best system for the beginning bodybuilder to follow. After six months of solid training one may try the "series" system, but 3 sets of each movement should be the absolute limit, and certainly not more than 6 different exercises should be used in this sort of concentrated program.

In a previous article I mentioned the "muscle-spinning" exercises employed by some musclemen to induce big "lumps" in the belly of the muscle. Not much to my surprise, I received several requests from the customers to tell them just what these exercises were. They didn't care HOW they got the "lumps," they just wanted 'em! 
I am very much afraid that the vast majority of bodybuilders are a great deal interested in LOOKING strong rather than BEING strong.  

Enjoy Your Lifting!


Saturday, January 30, 2021

My Favorite Delt Exercises - Don Howorth


Check out Golden Era Bookworm for outstanding lifting literature: 
And have a look at his excellent YouTube channel: 
The excerpt:

I say "favorite" rather than "best" for there is no single best deltoid exercise. If there were, everyone would be using it and everyone would have sensational delts. Obviously they don't.

The delts are slow growing, frustrating to, and often meager in their observable development. You have to bomb them regularly and hard . . . you've got to keep up your muscular attack on a day-in, day-out basis. Keep it up, work hard with the appropriate exercises, and you will certainly develop impressive deltoids. 

Don't neglect them . . . not even for one training day! 

There are just too many bodybuilders who know that in every upper-body exercise the delts get some work, and because of that they tend to do little specific delt work at all. By the time they realize their folly it's too late, and they must spend many months, maybe years of specialized work to catch up. 
You can't just "generally" work the delts. It's got to be an all-out siege! Don't fall into this trap . . . take several of the exercises I shall cite here and really bomb with them! 
Delt exercises fall into two categories, generally: Pressing movements, and lateral-raise-type movements. The pressing ones are recommended for bulking the delts. Here are some of my favorites.
Seated Barbell Press Behind Neck
To effectively build up the lateral (side) head of the deltoids, try this exercise. Do it seated to minimize cheating, and make sure your back remains erect throughout the movement, for only in this way will the full resistance bomb the delts. Take the bar off stands, and start with the weight behind the neck, resting on the shoulders. Press directly to arms' length (until the elbows lock), lower, touch the neck, and repeat for 6-8 reps per set with all the weight you can handle cleanly for the determined number of repetitions. Do at least 4 to 5 sets.
To make this (and all other) deltoid exercises even more effective, force out an extra rep or two at the end of each set. Even if you can't make a complete rep, force the weight up as high as you can and as close to lockout as possible. Workout by workout you will gain increased power from forcing these last complete and/or partial reps out with this technique, and you will find that in a short time even this heavy weight will go up as easily as the earlier reps. Of course, as your power increases, load the bar with more weight, continue to make forced (complete or partial) reps with the newer poundage. Only in this way will any deltoid exercise work to "massify" your delts more. 
Technical Point: Make sure in the Seated PBN that your elbows point directly out at all times . . . in line with each other. This will keep the stress on the lateral (outer) heads of the delts. 
"Military" Press
This is essentially for the frontal deltoid heads, as you can see by the natural position your elbows take, pointing almost forward. Press the weight overhead in a controlled and even-moving tempo by muscle power alone. Don't think of this exercise in terms of its Olympic Games lift significance. You are seeking to build delt mass, not making a record lift. Use maximum weight, of course, that will permit 6-8 complete reps . . . and, once again, force reps at the end of each set . . . even if you only get them partially completed. 
Technical Point: Make a concentrated effort to "think" the stress into the frontal deltoids. Otherwise, the other heads will tend to assist to much. 
Alternate Dumbbell Press
You can do this either seated or standing.But you must really force the delts. Make them work. Touch the dumbbell to your shoulder each rep. Alternate the dumbbells so that as one arm goes up the other arm descends in a rhythmic manner, without "swinging" the weight. Keep your back straight, and your elbows pointed in a specific direction: that is, if you're aiming for frontal delts, keep them to the front; and if your goal is deltoid width, keep them pointed to the sides. 
Technical Point: In any alternated movement there is always the tendency to let body rhythm and momentum do part of the work. Control your body so that while it sways it does not swing the weight upward. 
One Arm Press
eeeFor really isolating the delts this exercise is one of the West Coast favorites. Hold on to a pole or support with one hand, lean your body slightly away from the support slightly, and press in a moderately slow and strict manner with the other hand. 
Technical Point: Take special care to slightly touching the deltoid each rep, and do not get the weight up with a "momentum swing." MAKE the delts do the work

The exercises I have just described are outstanding for building great deltoid size and mass. Yet there are others just as important for sculpting shape, hardness and chiseling detail in these areas. The deltoids, fortunately, have such a tremendous number of striations that - when well developed - they look like a massing of cabled steel. 
The exercises which I shall now describe are called the "lateral raise" type of movements, and each exercise is excellent for producing this much desired "cable" effect. 

(Side) Lateral Raise 
The basic shaper-definer of the lateral (side) head of the deltoid is the Lateral Raise. Take two dumbbells and - keeping the arms slightly unlocked - raise them outward and upward from the sides to shoulder level. Hold for just a second and then s-l-o-w-l-y raise them to the side.
Technical Point: If you raise the dumbbells higher than the shoulders the delts cease their function and the trapezius takes over. Also, do not get into the habit of swinging the weights upwards - control the motion by willing the deltoids to do the work. 
Frontal Raise
To develop the frontal delts into chiseled sculpture, use the exact form described for the Lateral Raise, but lift the dumbbells to the front rather than the sides. In all lateral movements slightly more reps (8-12) will give a greater effect. 
Technical Point: In this variation of the Lateral Raise, there will be a tendency to rock up on your toes. Do not permit the heels to rise. Keep them flat on the floor, or the force of gravity will be placed on the forearms and the frontal deltoids will not feel the effect greatly enough. 
Rear Lateral Raise 
To properly work the rear deltoids, you must bend forward at the waist, otherwise there is not enough scope for the exercise to work. Place the head on a support if you wish, and lift the dumbbells out to the sides until they are parallel with your body. Lower and repeat.  
Technical Point: The best way really is to place a cushion on some stationary object of the correct height (table, incline bench or such) and place the head on this. Be sure, however, to keep the head "glued" to the pad, otherwise you will build a momentum swing that will defeat the effect of the movement. 
Leaning Incline Laterals 
To effectively isolate the outer (side) deltoids, lie on your side while on a standing incline bench, or "sitting-leaning" on a seated incline bench. Then, with a light weight (extreme isolation movements invariably dictate light weights) held in the hand of the arm on the "free" side, bring the dumbbell from your side (or below) up to eye level. Lower and repeat for 8-10 reps.  
Technical Point: Here again the tendency will be to swing the weight upward. DON'T. And be sure to lower the dumbbell just as slowly as you raised it. 
Pulley Laterals
Another excellent isolation exercise for the outer head of the delts is the Pulley Lateral. On the floor pulley, bring the handle across your body and up to shoulder level. Lower slowly (slowly enough that you continually feel the tension), and repeat.

Technical Point: Use a very strict exercising style, concentrate solely on the deltoid action, and use moderate to light weight resistance to ensure proper muscle action. 

Effective Training Techniques for Deltoid Work 
I cite this principle first because I want to advise you to AVOID IT WITH YOUR PRESSING MOVEMENTS, for the muscle action of the deltoid is so precise that cheating in presses will not work it thoroughly. In laterals, however, a slight cheat to get the weight started, and then forcing the delts to take over is permitted. Just make your initial "cheat" almost more mental than physical. Do not ever cheat more than a couple of inches. 
Pumping and "Burns" 
These two training techniques go hand in hand in deltoid development and are basic essentials in building great shoulder development. You must pump the delts to their maximum . . . bomb them into aching "burns" . . . fatigue them totally to gain the greatest development. Due to their small size in relation to the other muscles of the body (and close location to the heart and lungs) they recover first from fatigue . . . and quite easily. 
Therefore, pumping is essential . . . also "burns" at the end of your set (little additional half-reps and quarter-reps that produce that necessary growth "ache" the delts. 


In order to accomplish the pumping and burn's effects just mentioned, the use of super-sets (usually combining one pressing movement and one lateral raise, doing one set of the pressing movement followed without pause by one set of the lateral raise, to form one  super-set), is most effective. The added muscle attack of "no rest" between sets of a super-set will help you bong, er, bomb the delts to the highest degree. 


The real basis of successful deltoid development is the ability to isolate and concentrate on the delts when bombing them. Make a point to check frequently during reps to see if the delts alone are doing most of the work. Only by this vigilant concentration can you determine the ultimate success of the exercise. 
You must concentrate . . . 
You must be deliberate . . . 
You must isolate.  
Enjoy Your Lifting! 




Exercising for E-N-E-R-G-Y - David Martin (1949)


 Harold Cleghorn. 
Not a lot of photos taken of this man mentioned in the "For Size and Strength" article in McCallum's Keys to Progress series, here:
Courtesy of Liam Tweed . . . 
Thanks, Brother!

Probably the greatest difference between the professional physical culture consultant and the physical culture writer is that one claims to have "secrets" and keeps them - and the other claims there are none, and airs his theories. The tailor may awe us with hieroglyphics in chalk, but the TEACHER wants us to understand what his chalk-marks mean.  

My late father endeavored to claim omniscience with the wisecrack: "It's not do as I do, but do AS I TELL YOU." With all the wisdom of a babe and suckling, I later converted this into: "It's not do as I tell you, but DO WHAT YOU BELIEVE TO BE RIGHT." In order to convince you that what I tell you IS correct, I am forced to give my reasons. No secrets, no mumbo-jumbo, but reasons and explanations . . . OKAY? 
In my last article I gave you the bare bones of an energy-building routine. This article, and my next, supply the reason. One article inspirational, one article perspirational, and lastly one article rational . . . OKAY?
You will note that in my last effusion I prescribed no "warm up" exercise. This omission arose from the fact that in our own club all our weights have to be packed away in a cupboard (the room is a school canteen in the daytime) and fetched out and assembled each evening. This fetching out and assembling is our "warmup" and I have a distrust of fast, light movement so often prescribed, for they often lead to sprains and minor sprains, which it is the object of a "warmup" to prevent. 
For those whose weights are lying at hand more or less, I can do more than recommend the "Surya Namaskars" so clearly explained by Mark Lewis in the December issue. 

They are ideal as there are no fast movements to strain cold muscles, and yet, at the same time, they do not exhaust your energy reserve . . . OKAY?
First in order comes the Two Hands Dumbbell Curl, as it functions as a safe warmup. There is more to it, though . . . much more.
Dumbbells catch all the minor muscles of the arm which control lateral movements as well as just the biceps, and require much more control than a barbell. I also stipulate the THE DUMBBELLS MUST BE CURLED SIMULTANEOUSLY, as this obviates swinging and slipshod movements. I am endeavoring to increase your ENERGY. A fair percentage, not all, of energy lack is attributable to sheer laziness and lack of concentration (will power). Curling two dumbbells at once requires and develops both concentration and WILL . . . OKAY?
Next is the Press on Back with Half-bridge. I place this second to give the legs a rest (they are going to WORK later on!). Also, the triceps are being exercised while the blood is still in the arms. That is why it is second . . . but why is it here at all? The act of half-bridging exercises the spine, drawing blood to the base of the spinal cord, the fount of all your nerve-roots AND a vital energy spot. Further, the semi-incline position is most invigorating if indulged in for short periods. All the vital organs - liver, kidneys, etc. - are temporarily relieved of the permanent drag of gravity. Grimek recommends lots of work on an abdominal board for this very reason. As we wish to exercise the spine, however, the half-bridge kills two chickens with the same axe, so to speak. To hold a half-bridge without another exercise would cause the blood to run to the head - hence the press. That is not all, however. With the use of the latissimus dorsi, triceps and pectoral muscles, you can with this elevate COLOSSAL poundages . . . all of which help to increase muscular bulk and thus increase your latent energy (latent in the relative sense and not in the absolute sense). It is quite usual to handle at least 20% over bodyweight for 10 reps in this lift . . . the psychological benefit of this is immense. The wrists too will take a pounding, and the vice-like grip that is thus engendered will increase your confidence. For lack of energy is partly (not entirely) a symptom of inferiority complex, and we have got to eliminate that too . . . OKAY? 
You see . . . no mumbo-jumbo . . . no secrets! 
Back on to your tootsies for No. 3 - The Clean from the Hang. This exercises the trapezius and builds a powerful neck, feeding the spinal cord at the brain end. The grip and legs also benefit. To enable you to use a heavy weight without tiring the wrists too soon, the start of the exercise is with the barbell across the knees in the midway rest position for the Dead Lift, except that both palms are facing downwards. The back should be straight, the shoulders square, the chest inhaling a deep breath. At the full inhalation, the bar should be allowed to drop from the knees towards the ground, but just before it does so the bar is HAULED as high as possible into the air. If your split [or squat here] is normally bad, you should now split or squat, but if on the other hand your pull is normally not high enough you should try to pull high and just sag at the knees to pull the weight to the shoulders. In any case, the weight should be fairly heavy, and in many cases 10 will be too many reps for the exercise. In any case, try 10. If the wrists and lungs protest, perhaps 8 will be best for you. This exercise should improve your style, enabling you to handle more weight . . . and give you a sense of power.
Now for the Parallel Bar Dip. I must  contradict my friends and my opponents on a matter of DEFINITION here. This exercise IS NOT a non-apparatus, non-weight-lifting exercise. Parallel bars are an apparatus. When I kill a man with an axe the tool thus becomes a weapon - a plowshare into a sword. This dip is an apparatus exercise, using the bodyweight and lifting it. Terminological exactitude is the one philosophical point on which I find myself in agreement with Dr. Joad. The Dip is a weight-lifting, apparatus exercise . . . OKAY? 
Now, why the Dip? Primarily because it is the only exercise which permits full contraction and full extension of the triceps with a considerable weight.
A full and heavy triceps muscle gives you a desire to punch things. As Barton Horvath has pointed out, it is a naturally quick-moving muscle. Its development leads to extroverted movements, creating an extroverted mind. Introverts lack energy. That is (partly) why they ARE introverts. The triceps and pectoral muscles toned up by this exercise will square your shoulders, lift your chest and give you that "I look the whole world in the face and owe not any man" (not even my tailor) kind of an outlook. Also, the legs, which had previously been working hard, have been hanging more or less relaxed with the blood coursing through them. When you can do this exercise for more than 10 perfect reps, add weight by either using a belt or loading up a swing bar and hanging it across the backs of the bent knees. 
We now have you squaring your chest, with a gleam in your eye, fists clenched, triceps flickering, lungs filling with energy-producing oxygen . . . OKAY (Sure, you're Okay. A bit skinny perhaps, or a little plump possibly . . . but feeling fitter already and starting to push life around.)

Now, with your triceps tingling, we turn to the One Hand Snatch (I don't mean at mealtimes, but your appetite should be tempting you to do that too). As you are  safely warmed up by now, you can move fast with impunity. This fast movement with a fairly ponderous weight will force you to SMASH the bar overhead energetically with all the JOY that there is in executing skillful, powerful movement with abandon. 
Here's how . . . Stand square to the bar with the feet parallel, about 18 inches (depending on your size), and the instep underneath the bar. You now bend and test your grip for center (make fur of CENTER), the free hand rests on the knee, the shoulders are square and the eye is looking over the lifting deltoid at the disc on that side. 
With a powerful heave, mainly from the back and legs, the bar should sizzle aloft, the center passing in front of your nose and close to it; the lifting elbow should be high and a thrust should be obtained from the hand on the offside knee. Quick as a flash you should squat again, just as the bar reaches the full height of the pull; the free hand should have been transferred to the nearside knee, bringing the shoulder down between the legs. The eye should still be fixed on the same disc, but you will now regard it (with some triumph!) from under the armpit of the lifting arm. In an ideal snatch, but until you are skilled you may have to stagger for balance. You can use a dumbbell at first if you find the balance awkward. [Note: I found that cutting up a few old standard bars into various lengths, "long dumbbell" to "short barbell" lengths, and putting inner and outer collars on them, I could transition from a dumbbell to a long dumbbell to a short barbell to a not-as-short barbell to a full sized bar.] 
Coming erect slowly, you fix the weight and lower it WITH BOTH HANDS to the  ground, and then whirl it aloft again. 5 times with each hand for this exercise please, and make it SNAPPY! This is the one really fast movement in your routine, and you should ENJOY it most of all. I never "pity" any of our boys when they "grunt and sweat" . . . they are enjoying themselves (for the  seven reps anyway!). They don't look for pity; them want encouragement, exertion, inspiration and results . . . and they get them from weight-lifting. A few (not too many) fast movements to get you used to exerting yourself spontaneously. Spontaneous exertion is the hallmark of physical energy . . . OKAY?
Having had a holiday on the One Hand Snatch . . . now to work on that Squat. The vastus externus muscle of the thigh is the triceps of the legs. Exercise on this muscle puts snap in the stride as well as speeding up the metabolism. Squats will also make you sleep soundly, and a sound sleep is a great nerve-soother. Frayed nerves cause you to dissipate energy It is axiomatic that you must WORK before you can appreciate REST. During a restful sleep your energy batteries are recharged . . . OKAY?
Finally, the Pullover, to give the legs a rest after the squats, to restore your stertorious breathing [I hadda look it up . . . "characterized by a harsh snoring or gasping sound"] after the squats, to lift and stretch the rib box, and give those triceps a final stretch. 
You are now fit to go all through that whole lot again, though your repetitions may not make 10 this time, and the THIRD go-around will find the weak spots. 
 - Aim for 10 reps on each exercise. Perform one set of each [you might want a warmup set or three or each or some exercises here], then go back to Exercise One and begin again. Three go-arounds. I DO NOT FIX POUNDAGES. THE POUNDAGE YOU CAN DO CORRECTLY FOR 10 REPETITIONS THAT DAY IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT.
Are you overdoing it?  . . . Shucks, for every would-be bodybuilder who overdoes it there are a hundred who under-do it. Unless you are really deficient in stamina, this program will not send you into a decline. 
When I used to exercise at Harold Laurance's Church Hill Gym at Yardley, Hastings, I used to have to cycle home eight miles to Northampton after the workout. If you feel you could cycle eight miles after getting dressed and bidding the usual fond farewell to club mates . . . then your routine is just right. If not, then ease up a little by all means, but for goodness sake DO BE HONEST with yourself about this . . . Most of our boys feel MORE energetic after the workout than before it, so don't set your limit until halfway through the second go-around of repetitions. You will usually finish all three sets!  
I have one point of agreement with the professional mumbo-jumbo men. That is the point of APPLICATION. Criticize me if you must, but having decided on any course of action, whether it is the body-building course in Vigour, December 1947; my energy-building course; of the strength-building course in the December 1948 issue of Vigour; or even the precious "secrets" of the high priests - you must CONSISTENTLY follow the instructions for at least 12 weeks.
My point of difference is - I don't expect blind faith; I want intelligent enthusiastic cooperation
 . . . OKAY? 
Enjoy Your Lifting! 















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