Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Scientific Diets? Not for Me! - Dave Draper (1989)


Article courtesy of Liam Tweed
As in life and in training, instinct proves to be more reliable than popular opinion or forced reasoning, and it is instinct that has given me a most sound diet philosophy -- one rooted in balance and simplicity. 

Looking at today's bodybuilders, I notice great efforts being expended to maintain strict intake of ratios of carbohydrates to protein to fat. Of course, while the process works for them, I don't feel that such a meticulously scientific approach is the most important aspect of a dietary regimen. I believe that a well-balanced diet and good supplementation can be realized instinctively. For me, it's much more important to FEEL the dietary balance, rather than recognize numbers and quantities in the calculations of protein, carbohydrate, fat and caloric intake.
So, my basic philosophy is actually rather simple: staying in touch with my body's needs and eating good, wholesome food in a certain order. It's not so much a regimen as it is an approach to feeding myself properly and intelligently, placing considerable value on the purpose of a meal -- whether it is to be utilized for energy, muscle building or energy storage.
After arising in the morning, I spend the first hour preparing myself for my workout and the day; then I have breakfast. The biggest mistake a bodybuilder can make is to skip having a good breakfast. It's unwise to start off the day by immediately getting on the road, or getting in gear by gulping down coffee and sugar foods. I'm heavy on breakfast -- a simple one -- one that would consist of a good quality nonfat yogurt and granola with sliced fruit, which provides some protein, carbohydrates and roughage. On top of this I will take supplements containing a full range of B-complex, minerals, vitamin C, and so forth. 
Actually, for breakfast I'd love to have an omelet with whole wheat toast and some nicely prepared potatoes, or perhaps steak and eggs, but such meals aren't always convenient to prepare. Additionally, I found that I'm not as active during my early morning workout when I have such a meal. At that time, I perform best on fruit, yogurt and granola. Also, it bears mentioning that protein drinks don't last long enough for me -- I don't receive enough endurance from them.
Within two hours of breakfast I'm off to the gym. I'll train for an hour and a half, and shortly afterward I'll take care of my protein and carbohydrate needs with a small salad or a few pieces of fruit along with some amino acids or a protein shake.
By the time afternoon comes, heavy foods are okay because my metabolism has been raised, allowing my system to utilize foods more fully. So, I always look forward to a hearty lunch, which would be something like turkey, chicken or tuna salad on whole wheat bread and a small glass of nonfat milk along with supplements, plus a salad.
After this meal, I will wait an hour and a half before heading back to the gym for my afternoon workout.
Prior to this training session, however, I make sure I have some carbohydrate in me, perhaps in the form of fruit or a fruit salad, plus some amino acids or a shake, or a bran muffin and coffee. I want fuel right on the line when I step into the workout.
Throughout the day, I will take in plenty of electrolytes, usually in the form of fruit juices, especially prior to a workout. However, during meals, I drink nonfat milk -- I'm particular about how I drink my liquids.
The evening meal that follows my workout would be something light -- fish, poultry or red meat with a salad, steamed vegetable and supplements. Very rarely do I have desserts. There are so many delicious foods available that there is no need to go for sugar-rich desserts. For me, a dessert would be a bran muffin, or a healthful yogurt or lots of fruit.
Weaknesses? Ice cream is one, but I'll have something like that only once every four weeks, which makes it relatively harmless.
It's a wholesome menu -- nothing extravagant, nothing stringent, easy to follow. If I wish to gain weight, I simply increase the volume of food I'm taking rather than alter the balance significantly. While I would increase quantity, I wouldn't have so much at any one sitting, however, that I'd stress my alimentary system by demanding more of it than it could process efficiently. It's counterproductive to have the digestive system work overtime. Therefore, I eat adequate amounts at proper times, making sure that my uptake of protein and carbohydrate is as it should be, which means avoiding fat and salt.
For bulking up, I tend toward upping milk product intake and increasing my quantity of eggs and red meat, plus my portions of vegetables and salads. I encourage all bodybuilders to eat lots of salads. 
Usually, I'll eat red meat every day. I get noticeably beefy, bulky and strong, and increase the aggressive quality in my training from red meat. Because of red meat's fat content, I tend to smooth out, but I feel heartier, bigger, better and much stronger in the gym. If i feel like I'm getting a little too thick, blocky and sluggish, I'll decrease the amount, or I'll cut meat out completely for two or three days, opting instead for fish and poultry. If I'm getting serious about cutting up, I'll go exclusively to tuna with no mayonnaise. 
I don't follow ratios of carbs to protein to fat; and I don't know how many calories I take in during the course of the day. Moreover, I can only estimate the protein I take in, which probably runs per day from 150 to 200 grams from all sources: red meat, poultry, fish and at least six eggs.
While I don't eat great quantities of any single food, eggs are at the high end of consumption of foods I consider useful because of their protein content. I'm not concerned about cholesterol -- I've had mine checked and it's very low. Low cholesterol levels could be the result of heredity, but I happen to think it's because of the way I train, in the superset fashion with lots of aerobics and plenty of purging. So, in a sense, for myself, it's the more eggs the better. Since I am concerned about the quality of protein, I try to get fertile eggs, and I select chicken that appears to be of a better fed variety.
I've arrived at this approach primarily through personal experience and considerable study and investigation. When I first moved to California 25 years ago, the diet philosophy called for 400 to 500 grams of protein and nearly zero carbohydrates per day. The protein came from tuna, red meat, eggs and milk products, and basically the approach worked for me when I trained for my victories at the 

 Mr. America (1965)

 Mr. Universe (1966)

 Mr. World (1970)
 The thinking of the time was only in terms of great quantities of food; what wasn't understood then were the theories regarding carbohydrate and protein in relation to training and growth.

Now, with the sport's different aesthetic and for my need to be more practical in my eating, considering my age, I notice I require more carbohydrates to maintain energy levels, not to mention it's more conducive to a healthy body. If there is a ration in my eating, it's probably 1:1, carbs to protein.

At the moment, I train twice a day, allocating the morning workout to smaller muscle groups and body parts with exercises that don't require massive strength and intensity; therefore, for this workout, which might be aerobics on the Lifecycle, stretching and ab work, I only need a good full breakfast but not a massive one.

Toward mid-afternoon, I'll go to larger bodyparts. That way I can do my lighter training with gusto in the morning and with whatever energy it requires without a large amount of fuel. 

Morning workouts, though valuable, are somewhat mundane and repetitious. High reps, in both aerobics and abdominal work, are of that nature. However, I'm still solidly into these workouts.

By afternoon, I'm much more aggressive in my training, much more desirous, my goals are higher and my expectations of myself are greater. My body has, by then, gained momentum from assimilating the foods of the day. Remember, momentum is started in the early morning workout and the small but wholesome breakfast that preceded it. 

When I prepare for an appearance, I deal with it as if it were a contest, beginning the preparations about eight weeks out. I cut down on milk products and go toward lots of tuna fish and water. I also begin juggling m carbohydrate intake prior to workouts. I don't snack; i don't have any food late in the evening. At this time I become quite fastidious and meticulous about my intake of protein and carbohydrates, always asking myself how the food is to be used.
The last two weeks before my appearance the issue becomes vital in terms of playing the tricks of protein- and carb-loading and -depletion that are currently popular. But I don't play with them as seriously as if I were on a real precontest diet. However, I will pull back my carb intake and intensify my training. The last week of the phase I'll lighten up on the weight, accepting abbreviated workouts. Then, in the final week, I'll start to hydrate.
The point of this dieting is that I want to be hard and muscular. I want to feel good, and of course, my year-round diet allows me to stay in pretty good shape so the pre=appearance phase isn't taxing.
Under it all, my diet is played very instinctively as my training needs, like intensity, change from day to day. Normally, it's all pretty steady, but if there are any variations required, I'll modify my diet accordingly.
My diet now is not as inordinate as it was 20 years ago, but neither i sit as ascetic as that of most of today's bodybuilders. It is consistent with today's popular training philosophy while borrowing from the past the concept of ample fuel reserve. Most important, my diet is simple, enjoyable, and it conforms to my needs, not vice versa.   

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Just Strong - Bryce Lane (2003)

Ray Mentzer, Casey Viator, Larry Pacifico, Albert Busek, Mike Mentzer
This is about a workout to get strong.  
Simply strong in two or three lifts, nothing fancy, nothing extra.

Strength is often a matter of practice. The better and more fluent you get at a motion, the more force your nervous system allows you to produce. This is a protective mechanism where your brain will try not to allow you to produce more force than it thinks you can competently handle. 

The solution is simply to practice with reasonably heavy weight (but not excessive) as much as you can without wearing yourself out. 

In the workout below what you are doing for that hour is simply practicing the lift. Start with a weight you can do a double with easily and work up as you can. If the last set was too easy, add more weight. If the last set was too hard, especially if you had to break form to get the lift then take weight off till you are doing a perfect two reps again.

The idea is to practice doing perfect lifts for an hour. The idea is not to turn this into a marathon of pain, or a test of any kind. You should feel better when you are done than you felt when you started. If you feel tired or exhausted, you are using too much weight of packing your sets too tightly together. 

For example, walk in, load up 315 pounds. You know your maximum is 405, so good to start low. Do your first set and it's easy, add 20 pounds and do the next set at 335. This is easy too so you add another 20 and when you re ready a few minutes later you do the 355. This one is slower so you add 10 pounds more and right at the sticking point on the second rep it stalls you and you have to break form to get it up. On the next set use less, maybe back to 335 again. Do that for a set or two . . . if that starts feeling easy then take the weight up again. Who knows, you might go up to 385 or more for that day but don't get greedy, just practice doing perfect lifts. 

You want to keep the weights between 60-85% of your max generally for these doubles. If you practice perfection, performance will always be there if you need it. 
The Basic Workout
Monday Morning - Squat practice, one hour, sets of two.
Tuesday Morning - Pull practice, one hour, sets of two.
Tuesday Evening - Bench practice, one hour, sets of two.
Wednesday - Rest.
Thursday Morning - Squat practice, one hour, sets of two.
Friday Morning - Pull practice, one hour, sets of two.
Friday Evening - Bench practice, one hour, sets of two.
Saturday and Sunday - Rest. 
One important part is to vary things a bit, but not too much between weeks. Sometimes if you do things precisely the same way too much over several weeks, you wind up going backwards. Some people are like this, some are not. If you are, then try something like this three week rotation below. If you are not, then just keep working away. 
Variation Example
Week 1 - Regular stance squat, clean grip pull, regular grip bench.
Week 2 - Wide stance squat, snatch grip pull, narrow grip bench.
Week 3 - Narrow stance squat, fast deadlift, wide grip bench.
You will find that your lifts tend to creep up well past your expectations, pretty quickly without burning you out. It's counterintuitive that you can get strong so quick without just busting your butt every time you go into the gym; however, this sort of thing has been around a long time and has a great track record. 
This is also a fine way to put a peak on your strength before a contest if you already have a good base under you. 
There are several ways to arrange this besides the way I wrote. 
You can use the basic idea with Olympic lifting also. 
Feel free to try other ideas as long as you keep to the basic principle of 
"as much practice with heavy weights as possible
with as little fatigue as possible."
Enjoy Your Lifting! 












Thursday, July 22, 2021

Blasting Out of a Rut - Greg Merrit (2004)



If one definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different result each time, then there are a lot of crazy bodybuilders. 

Too many trainers continuously perform the same routines, forever lifting the same amounts, and yet they foolishly expect to grow. 
The first rule of Bodybuilding 101 is progressive resistance: Muscles grow in response to progressively greater stress. This is even more crucial for a hardgainer than for a genetic superior. The bottom line: You must continuously change your training program to continually change your physique. 
Out of the Rut! 
Hardgainers know all about the rut, those extended periods when you're stuck at the same level of development and strength. In fact, sometimes it can seem as if your entire bodybuilding life is one rut. The genetically gifted may grow stronger, and thus larger, while doing the same exercises in the same order, year after year. That's why they're easy-gainers. 
By definition, you, as a hardgainer, need to work harder. That's the bad news. The good news is there are many ways out of a rut. In classic tortoise-and-hare style, it's even possible that you, as a hardworking hardgainer, can grow faster in the long run than a complacent easy-gainer.
Before each workout, you need a clear idea of how that session will stimulate muscle growth. Will you be doing more reps with the same weights you used before? If not, will you be doing the same number of reps with a greater weight. If neither is probable, then you need to find another way to alter the stress on your muscles. This can range from a faster pace (more work done in the same time, or the same work done in less time), to a new rep scheme, to a completely different set of exercises. 
Choose one or more of the methods in the list below of "workout rechargers." Stick with the new methodology for at least three weeks to determine its effectiveness.
Getting to Know You
The key to training variety is knowing when and how to change, and you gain that knowledge only when you're in tune with your body. A cook creating a new dish from scratch will sample it several times, redoing what worked and altering what didn't. Likewise, you learn what works best in your workouts via experimentation and observing feedback, such as fatigue, soreness and, most important, strength and size increases. Most good cooks take careful notes of their ingredients and methods. You, too, can more easily find a recipe for success if you keep a training journal. 
Record exercises, sets, reps, poundages and how you felt during and after each workout. Being able to accurately assess what you did previously will help you change for the better in the future.

Getting in tune with your physique takes time. It typically requires at least one year of training, sometimes much more, and it's a continuous journey. Not only is your body constantly changing, but it's influenced -- sometimes in barely perceptible ways -- by an endless multitude of factors, from what you ate for breakfast to the stress of relationships to the weather. Knowing how to push your muscles for growth in any given workout is perhaps the most difficult thing in all of bodybuilding -- and the most important. 
Organized Chaos
The truth is you're always just guessing at what is the absolute best way to spur growth. When you walk through the gym doors, you can't know if four heavy sets and one drop set will stimulate more muscle fibers than three supersets. All you can know for certain is the best way to stimulate growth: Surprise your muscles and train with intensity. For this reason, make sure you're doing something different than your prior workout every time you train a bodypart. If you're not using more weight or performing more reps for the same exercises, then change one or more of the other variables.
Many successful bodybuilders like to do different exercises each time they hit a bodypart. They never do the same sequence two workouts in a row. While such organized chaos makes it more difficult to ascertain the results of any given workout, it does make certain your muscles never get too comfortable. Furthermore, it keeps your training perpetually interesting, which is beneficial to both your mind and your muscles. Whether or not you change every lift every time, always remember that variety is not just the spice of life: It's the main course of successful bodybuilding training. Make certain every workout stresses your muscles in new ways, great or small.   


1) Ditch the Split -- Change the days you train bodyparts and/ore the pairing of bodyparts. For example, instead of working chest and shoulders together on than the first day of your split, train chest with triceps on the second day.
2) Shuffle the Sequence -- Alter the order of exercises. Try starting with the exercise you usually end with. Don't shy away from doing an isolation lift (like flyes) before a compound lift (like bench presses), as the former will pre-exhaust your chest before the latter.
3) Low Reps -- Instead of moderate reps (8-12), focus on low reps (4-6) and heavy weights for three weeks.
4) High Reps -- Perform all sets in the 15-30-rep range for three weeks.
5) High and Low Reps -- Using the high and low approach, alternate between high reps (15-30) for one exercise and low reps (4-6) for the next. 
6) New Exercises -- Incorporate several new lifts into your program. Use machines that you rarely or never use. One way to facilitate this for a limited time is to sign up for a short-term membership at a different gym. The new environment itself may invigorate your training.
7) Same Exercises, New Techniques -- Old exercises can be turned into new ones by changing your stance or grip or otherwise altering the angle and your relation to the weight. Tweak 'em! 
8) Supersets -- Performing a set of an exercise immediately after a set of a different exercise with little or no rest in between is one of the best ways to intensify your training. 
9) Descending (drop) Sets -- Expand your sets past the typical point of failure by immediately reducing the weight and continuing to pump out reps. Two to four such reductions during a last set for a bodypart can greatly intensify your training. 
10) Increased Pace -- Dramatically reduce the rest periods (to 20 seconds or less) between sets. You will, by necessity, have to lighten your weight, but three weeks of such pump-up, circuit-style training can be a welcome response from heavy lifting. 
11) Decrease Pace - Expand the rest periods between sets to at least 5 minutes. You will find that handling heavier weights can be made possible by resting longer between sets.
12) Nutrient Overload -- For now, suffice it to say that boosting the quality and/or quantity of your pre- and post-workout carbohydrate and protein intake and including creatine and glutamine supplements can dramatically improve the results of your workouts.
13) Time Change -- Changing the time of day you work out can be good or bad in the long run, but in the short term, being in the gym when you're typically resting (and vice versa) can recharge your training. 
Enjoy Your Lifting!   



















Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Light, Medium, Heavy - Brooks Kubik

 John Grimek
At some point after you move from the beginner stage to the intermediate stage of your training, you probably will find that three total body workouts per week are simply too hard and too tiring if you use your heaviest possible weights in each workout. The point where this happens will vary from one trainee to another, but for all trainees, the time will come when you need to make adjustments if you want to continue to train with three total body workouts per week.
A simple and effective adjustment is to use the Light, Medium, Heavy system. In this system, you still perform three total body workouts per week, but you adjust the weight you use in each exercise, and thus, your training intensity, from workout to work8ut. The first workout of the week is a light workout, the second is a medium workout, and the third is a heavy workout. 
The heavy workout is the day where you handle as much weight as possible for the scheduled sets and reps in each exercise.
The medium day, you handle 80% to 90% of the weight you would use on your heavy day.
On your light day, you use 70% to 80% of the weight you would use on your heavy day. 
Note that you do not need to follow exact percentages to make the system work, and you do not need to do all of your work sets at the same percentage. Nor do you need to use exact poundages for your warmup sets. For example, if you can handle 300 pounds for 5 reps in the squat, you can do your first warmup set with 135 pounds just because it's a convenient place to start (because 135 pounds is a 45-pound Olympic bar loaded with a 45 pound plate on each side). For your next set, add 50 pounds to the bar and hit 185 x 5. From there, you might do 225 x 5, 265 x 5, and 300 x 5 on your heavy day.
On your light day, you might hit 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 (75%), and 240 x 5 (80%). 
On your medium day, you might do 135 x 5, 195 x 5, 225 x 5 (70%), 250 x 5 (80%), and 270 x 5 (90%). 
Remember, the critical point is to avoid working with maximum weights in your working sets in all three of your weekly workouts. Save the maximum effort work for your heavy day.
Some trainees like to use higher reps in their light and medium workouts. That's fine, up to a point, but you should not go to failure, or do as many reps as possible, on the light and medium days. If you do, you turn the light and medium days into hard workouts, and you'll have difficulty recovering for the heavy session in the third workout of the week. Personally, I prefer to keep the reps the same, and make the light and medium workouts much less demanding than the heavy workout. it promotes better recovery, and after all, that's the entire purpose of the Light, Medium, Heavy system.
Here's an example of a Light, Medium, Heavy program for a trainee who can do the following in his working sets during his heavy workout. To make it easier to understand the program, I've also listed his 70%, 80% and 90% weights in each exercise. Remember, on the light day he stays within 70% and 80% for his working weights, and on his medium day he stays within 80% to 90% for his working weights.
The Trainee's Weights for Work Sets
1) Squat - 300 pounds x 5 repetitions
70% = 210
80% = 240
90% = 270
2) Press - 180 x 5 reps
70% = 126 pounds
80% = 144
90% = 162
3) Bench Press - 250 x 5
70% = 175
80% = 200
905 = 225
4) Pull-ups - 30 pounds added x 6 reps
We can't use percentages because the trainee is lifting his own bodyweight and additional weight attached. In this case I would use bodyweight on my light day, bodyweight plus 10 or 15 pounds on my medium day, and bodyweight plus 30 pounds on my heavy day.
5) Deadlift - 350 x 5
70% = 245
80% = 280
90% = 315
6) Barbell Curl - 120 x 6
70% = 84
80% = 96
90% = 108
Tuesday (Light Day) 
1) Warmup with some light lifting, flip snatches, quick clean and presses.
2) Barbell Curl - 75 x 6, 85 x 6, 95 x 6
3) Press - 100 x 5, 120 x 5, 140 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5, 190 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 2 x 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 250 x 5, 275 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, and neck work. 
Thursday (Medium Day) 
1) Warmup
2) Barbell Curl - 75 x 6, 85 x 6, 95 x 6, 105 x 6
3) Press - 100 x 5, 120 x 5, 140 x 5, 150 x 5, 160 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 245 x 5, 265 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5, 200 x 5, 220 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 2 x 6, 10-15 lbs. added by 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 250 x 5, 275 x 5, 300 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, [medium hard] and neck work [hard].
Saturday (Heavy Day)
1) Warmup
2) Barbell Curl - 80 x 6, 100 x 6, 120 x 6
3) Press - 140 x 5, 160 x 5, 180 x 5
4) Squat - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5 275 x 5, 300 x 5
5) Bench Press - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x 5, 250 x 5
6) Pullups - Bodyweight x 6, 15 lbs. x 6, 30 lbs. x 6
7) Deadlift - 135 x 5, 185 x 5, 225 x x5, 275 x 5, 325 x 5, 350 x 5
8, 9, 10) 2 light sets each of gut work, grip work, and neck work [hard].
This approach gives our hypothetical trainee one easy workout, one medium hard workout, and one really challenging, difficult workout each week. If you look the program over, and think about how difficult the Saturday workout truly is, you'll start to see why the Light, Medium, Heavy program works so well. Imagine how difficult it would be for a trainee to try to recover from the Saturday (heavy workout) three times a week!  
Enjoy Your Lifting, Sport! 

Monday, July 19, 2021

The Old Standard Methods are Best - Mark H. Berry (1940)

Here is another rare treat, Courtesy of Michael Murphy. 
Thank You, Michael! 
From "Your Physique" Vol. 1. No. 2
 Ken Pendleton

  Walter Podolak

Ronald Walker, Mark Berry

Michael Murphy

There is much evidence to support the contention that the old and well tried methods are best for the purpose of strengthening and developing the musculature of the human body. This applies equally well whether the objective be that of training for great strength, the acquisition of that degree of superb shapeliness which leads to the classification as the possessor of physical excellence, or if one's aims be limited to the mere attainment of an improved condition of health and general physical efficiency. 
In considering the various angles to be met with the discussion of a topic of this nature one must realize that in this day and age, life is most complex, competition is most keen in every sphere, and practically everything is conducted under high business pressure. Business rivalry and the desire to make a living explains much that is fostered upon the public in the way of exercise ideas and health propaganda. Sincerity is often lacking and it becomes most difficult at times for the interested person to discern the truth. I suppose that it would be most fair to follow the suggestion of a well known man of wisdom -- that it hardly "behooves any of us to say ill of the rest of us."  [Edward Wallis Hoch - "There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us."]
Keeping this in mind, we shall refrain from dealing in personalities, or in the ridicule or criticism of any advertised or commercial system of exercising. Instead, our endeavors will be confined to analysis and discussion of certain measures which have proven tried and true for the purpose of bettering the human physique, with particular emphasis on the requirements of the masculine of the species. Even with a desire to confine our discourse within such limited channels there is a tremendous lot that might properly belong within this scope. 
One of the first things the novice must appreciate is the almost unlimited number of exercises that might be practiced for the improvement of the body. No one could attempt to include even a large percentage of them in a training routine. Another fact that must be realized is the vast difference in the requirements of the beginner as compared to the strength athlete who has had years of experience; here is positively no sense in any comparison of the two, and it would be futile, to say the least, for the average beginner to adopt advanced measures in hopes of efficiently developing himself. I shall now endeavor to give the reasons for this conclusion.
Assuming that you are a beginner, and that once you adopt bar bell training you will continue with such form of exercise for some years to come, there would be various periods through which you must pass in the attainment of the limit of your possibilities. The first period embraces the time in which the greatest amount of growth is to be expected; obviously, the length of time involved must vary with different individuals. Then, we might say, comes that period of technicalities, during which time you would do best to concentrate on mastering more advanced exercises, and perhaps feats of strength, and which might include the learning of competitive lifts. I should say that the period of actual specialization, that is, when one finds it necessary to specialize for further results should come rather late in the experience. This last statement may seem contrary to generally accepted ideas and especially so when we know that so many enthusiasts begin specialization almost from the very first.
Very well do I realize that some few persons succeed in spite of everything; and so with the adoption of advanced or specialized measures very early in the scheme of improvement. But, I should say from my experience that for every one of these exceptional cases, wherein results are obtained through the practice of advanced measures almost in the beginning, there are hundreds who fail to achieve satisfactory gains and become discouraged long before they have given their bodies a chance to develop. 

The process of muscular growth and strengthening is actually somewhat of a physiological mystery which cannot be explained to the absolute satisfaction of those who are deep students of the subject. Nevertheless, such improvement does take place, as we have countless examples to offer in the way of proof. However, to stimulate such growth amounts to a science and is something that does not just take place through chance or the practice of haphazard activities. 
Furthermore, there is a distinction to be drawn between growth promotion and means of hardening and toughening the muscles, and a tremendous difference exists between them. Unless these factors can be considered in the arrangement of your training course, a great mistake will be made and time will be wasted. I wonder if the reader has ever thought of the difference in muscular structure of the distance runner as compared to the wrestler or strength athlete. It will be noted that both have hard muscles, but it must be granted that the muscles of the average marathoner are small in relation to the massive development of the wrestler or strong man. The man who earns his living through hard labor will also acquire hard muscles, but such type of work is not an ideal means of enlarging or developing the muscles. One reason is that the efforts are repeated so often that the muscles are not given an opportunity to accumulate added size. They do become harder and acquire a certain amount of strength, as it is a rule of nature that continued usage will develop an ability along the lines to which one has been accustomed. On the other hand, correct exercise measures with a bar bell set will cause the muscles to become equally hard besides promoting maximum growth. And so you will literally "kill two birds with one stone." 

"A fascinating guide to the origins of our language. Wonderful stories reveal the real meaning of Adam's apple, nick of time, stool pigeon, armed to the teeth, raining cats and dogs, at sixes and sevens, dog days of summer, and scores of others."
Bearing in mind that which I have just explained, it should be the aim of the instructor to outline a schedule including movements that have proven of value in the promotion of growth; that is, of course, assuming that your primary objective is that of gaining in size and bodyweight; once a satisfactory bulk has been attained, it will plenty of time to switch over to a routine including the type of exercise that will harden the muscles to the limit; strength promotion of an advanced nature may then be adopted with an assurance of reaching the greatest powers that are naturally within you. 
The sincere instructor is likely to be hesitant in revealing the truth concerning a further factor that must be given consideration: the reason being that misunderstanding is apt to result in the mind of the uninformed, and particularly so if he be very young. This concerns the length of time required in the proper and complete development of the body; all advertising matter to the contrary being disregarded, it is impossible to acquire anything approaching the maximum of development within a few months time. Any man who has "been through the mill" can tell you as much [the book above looks even more interesting], and an investigation into the facts will prove that years instead of months were required in bringing to the peak the development and shapeliness of the outstanding examples whom you see on the published page. While it is extremely difficult to arrive at any exact figure as to the actual time required, and as the same will necessarily vary with different individuals, we can at least assure you that none of the muscular marvels attained any sort of peak within the short space of a year. It is for this reason that I prefer to outline a rather lengthy program for my pupils, and to take them step by step through the several degrees of progression to which I have briefly referred. 
Let there be no misunderstanding as to the principles involved. We have been referring to the development of an ideal degree of shapeliness, maximum size of the muscles, and practically the limit of physical powers. Very well do I realize that a high percentage of my readers will have no particular interest in striving for anything so exceptional; what they will have in mind is merely the betterment of their health, and the acquisition of muscular size and strength somewhat above the general average; many who are underweight will simply entertain the desire to reach a normal standard of bodyweight, while those who are extra stout will want to get down to more slender proportions; these same parties will, to be sure, seek the degree of physical efficiency that will assure them of everyday good health.     
When your aims are similar to those just mentioned, you can be certain of attaining such extent of improvement within a few months time. The fact of the matter here is that when your aims are so limited it will only be necessary that you apply the principle of the first period to which I have alluded in the early part of this discussion; in other words, exercises of a growth promotion type are the only essential that need be applied if your sole interest be that of adding to the bodyweight and toning up the musculature; those who wish to reduce should apply practically the same principles, excepting that some extra work be performed to burn up the excess adiposity. 
With reference to sincerity and exaggerated claims, there need be no misunderstanding if one is careful to distinguish as the aims and ambitions the beginner has in mind. "First class physical condition" may be attained within some "few months" if what you mean is a proportionate development of the body, adequate strength, and general physical efficiency. So far as the average man is concerned, I should be inclined to say there is no exaggeration in claiming that might properly be referred to as "first class." If we are to refer to perfection or the attainment to the extent of physical excellency that will lead to your recognition as the possessor of an ideal type of physique, then you are talking about something altogether different. Personally, I see a tremendous difference between the physical aims of the average man that might be referred to as "first class" and the achievement of an ideal physique.
I am impelled at this time to digress for a moment or so and quote the reflections of a few readers with the thought in mind that the same might be of interest; such testimonials should also serve to emphasize the points which it is my desire to put across. One devotee writes ". . . I was an adept at boxing about that time. Now I'm a judge, but I haven't lost a bit of my inclination for boxing, or my high estimation for bar bell exercise for developing purposes. Another thing, I have quite a few things that will be of interest on the subject of physical training . . . This is a sophisticated world and facts are listened to, while arguments -- I string heartily along with you on your common sense and sensible hints of advice you give on the matter of diet and sexual behavior. There are so many falsehoods written, and so many exaggerations! Like you, I've been through the mill; it's been a desperate struggle -- that of mine -- against sickness, weakness, and the harassing link of human misery and inefficiency that hangs on the wake of poor health and below-par organic force. I think I'm above average now, but this is not enough. A decision won't suffice. I wish to win by a K.O."
Another enthusiast writes: "Boy, you sure did answer the question that's been worrying me for years. I know now that my tumbling, hand balancing, running, swimming, and 'what have you,' have kept my weight down. I have gained five pounds in eight days on a new program." This was from a fellow who has been exercising for years and already has a splendid build, but apparently like a lot of others, he wanted to gain additional size and weight. It looks as though we may have steered him onto the right path. Nothing could please me better. 
Still another tells me: "I have been doing five exercises that I came across in your magazine. The results are really wonderful. I have gained 16  pounds and by brother 22 pounds.  

"During the summer I was lifting with a friend. Both of us would put the same weight above our heads. Since then my friend has been working as a coal passer on a boat. Last night we were lifting again, and I succeeded with 50 pounds more than he in the same overhead lift. That's what I call results."

Although it is perhaps true that we could get along just as well in the preparation of this article without presenting the foregoing communications, I feel that they may lend confidence to those who might doubt the efficacy of the information we offer towards your physical improvement. 

Just what are these standard exercises which we advocate as the best means of improving and developing the body? 
In our estimation there is nothing superior to a routine which included such movement as pressing from the shoulders, from behind the neck, and while lying supine on the floor; curling in both regular and reverse styles; the so-called rowing movement of pulling a barbell to the chest while bent forward; the deep knee bend and straddle lift exercises; the pullover; and special movements for development of the side, abdomen, calf, neck, and forearm. The routine might include the stiff legged deadlift exercise either as an addition or substitute. Granting the possibility of arranging a routine that is equal to the foregoing makeup, we doubt very much that one of superior qualities may be devised. There's no thought in mind that the uninformed reader should attempt to arrange an exercise schedule from the above brief outline of movements; for one thing, there is a definite sequence in which it has proven most productive of results to practice them; moreover, certain explanations and instructions pertain to each and unless one has thorough definitions available serious errors may be made. Technical illustrations should be studied as well if you hope to derive the anticipated benefit of your efforts. Therefore the necessity of having a course laid out to suit your requirements with consultation privileges towards the solution of any problems that may arise. 
To reiterate a previous statement, there are numerous exercises of both a preliminary and advanced nature which you may practice with benefit at the right stage of your progress. 
For example, in specialization on the upper arms you might concentrate on various forms of curling: regular two arm, reverse, single arm, and with a supinating movement of the forearm.
As the greatest bulk of the upper is to be found in the triceps on the rear of the arm, all manner of pressing should be included in the thoroughly specialized program for this purpose, military, behind neck, pushing, lying press, shoulder bridge, single arm side press, and bent presses of both a light and heavy nature. 
In the way of forearm specialization, curling helps, also gripping exercises of a wide variety, dead lifting, winding a weighted cord on a stick, twisting movements while holding bars, discs, and other objects in the hands. 
For the neck, the wrestler bridge is standard but there is the forward bridge, teeth lifting, the shrug, dead lifting, and special resistance exercises against the pull of cables, pulleys, and head locks and manual resistance applied by an assistant.  
For the calves, rising on the toes, walking, hopping, and jumping in like manner.
Thigh and general leg specialization might include a great number of actions of the lower limbs, embracing strenuous exertion as well as leverage: the deep knee bend, straddle, dead lifts, leg presses while lying on the back, stair climbing and stepping up on a stool, single leg squats, jumping, extending the leg at the knee with a weight attached to the foot, leg curls executed while both standing and lying, Roman apparatus work, and actual Olympic lifting. 
Really, there are so many specialized movements one might practice in his exercise program in striving for the utmost development of each part of the body; but, as the serious-minded student will observe, it becomes a human impossibility to include even a fair percentage of them in one routine. 
The ingenious fellow may think up a long array of stunts for the development of his abdomen; the possibilities are almost unlimited. There are all manner of situps, with and without resistance; these may be done while lying on the floor, while bent back over a bench or chair, or on an inclined type of apparatus; these same situps may be executed by finishing with a twist of the body, that is, in leaning alternately well to each side as the sitting position is attained as well as in the orthodox fashion. Then, the procedure may be reversed in doing various forms of leg raises, lying of the floor, on an inclined board, or with the legs extended over the edge of a table; and, as with the situps the leg raises may be performed with a twist and sidewise movement. This type of work may likewise be done while hanging on either a rope or horizontal bar. The Roman apparatus is splendid as an adjunct to the rest of your abdominal training. 
Exercises that may be used for furthering the development of the pectorals on the front of the chest are as numerous as those to to be devised for any other part of the body. If one is to get the best results from the use of a bar bell it will be essential that patience govern your endeavors and that specific movements be employed in advantageous positions. 
The lying press, shoulder bridge, and pullover will all be found to have some value in development of the pectorals, and if the press and pullover be performed while lying on a bench or other raised surface the effect will be more pronounced. The pulley machine is especially valuable in bringing these muscles into full play and I have constantly advocated the use of this type of exercise; various types of dipping will be found of untold value. In spite of the apparent popularity of a pronounced development of the muscles on the front of the chest, I, for one, am not in favor of specialization to the point where these muscles are caused to bulge without commensurate size and bulk of other parts of the body; I feel that prominence of the breasts is more of a feminine attribute and not so desirable for the masculine of the species. Please do not misunderstand me, in relation to the foregoing reference, for I am well enough aware that some very fine specimens of the manly physique have acquired such prominence, and should never go so far as to say that it detracts from the appearance, providing of course that the rest of the body is equally well developed. But, as one grows older there is very likely to be an inclination to accumulate some little extra avoirdupois, and then the extreme pectorals may take on the rounded appearance that is more typical of the feminine of the species; that is nothing more than a side comment we might add, but it is nevertheless true that one can go too far in some respects. Perhaps, during your youth it may seem altogether improbable that any accumulation of fat will ever be tolerated by yourself, but the man of experience knows that business and social cares, plus a lot of other things, can bring about great changes in both the attitude and the manner of living. 
The size of one's chest is effected to a very great extent by the size of the muscles on the broad of the back, with particular reference to the latissimus and associated groups surrounding the shoulder blades. The so-called rowing movements with a bar bell, and a certain manner of doing the stiff-legged deadlift exercise can be relied on to effect such development, but there is no question concerning the efficacy of the bent press for the full development of this part of the body; reference is made particularly to this movement as a repetition exercise, but its use as a lift has unusual developmental value; in fact, all advanced lifting has some value in this connection, with emphasis being placed on the cleaning, snatching, and jerking movements. Here again, we find use for the wall pulley machine, with movements of both a backward and downward nature being implied. Chinning, and dipping, it is to be acknowledged, may be used to decided advantage, providing one has advanced to the proper extent and follows a well-planned scheme of progression; I do not, however, favor any sort of extreme specialization in this form or work, and believe that more satisfactory results may be achieved through the use of other measures; but, on the other hand, there can be a place for this type of training in the well organized program of him who has gained sufficient experience.
The proper shaping of one's chest, let it be understood, may be effected through inclusion of such work as will proportionately improve the tone and pull of the muscles of the broad of the back and spinal column, which included strengthening of and development of the latissimus; this is a principle that must not be overlooked by him who is ambitious to bring about a fully developed and ideal shapeliness of the physique. Herein we find the value of dead lifts (as a form of repetition exercise), the deep knee bend, and the overhead lifts. 
Complete development of the shoulders must result if the principles so far mentioned are given due consideration; the shoulders are, in a sense, the connecting links between the powerful lower body muscle groups, and the efforts of the upper limbs; one may thoroughly employ the arms only when the shoulders cooperate in the movements; use the arms in a wide variety of overhead exertions and the shoulders will benefit. Special lighter resistance leverage work may be adopted, but only as an adjunct or aid to the complete development of these parts, and should not be depended upon solely for this purpose.
It would now seem as though we had omitted particular reference to no part of the body other than the back in general, and supposedly this would imply the lower back more than any other part thereof. Surely, if all the training so far referred to were thoroughly incorporated in one's routine there should be no reason for believing that the lower back were in any sense neglected; the strenuous leg movements take care not only of the lower limbs, but the buttocks nd so-called small of the back; nor can one expect to raise substantial poundages to the shoulders, or overhead, without similar effort. 
Before terminating our discussion, it should suffice to say that as much as we appreciate the value of the many other exercises, and methods, that may be adopted towards a similar objective (and there are at least hundreds of movements that may be performed with the adjustable bar bell set, not to mention the possibilities with other forms of apparatus), the fact remains that the burden of proof is entirely in favor of the particular means of improvement to which we have so far referred. He who seeks gratifying results will do well to adopt the measures that have proven so profitable to the thousands who have preceded him in the realization of physical improvement and to rely on the tried and true OLD STANDARD METHODS. 
Editor's Note: This article is a reprint from "Physical Training Notes" by the kind permission of M. Mark H. Berry, who in future will contribute to us exclusively. 
Enjoy Your Lifting!             


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