Sunday, October 17, 2021

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.


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. 


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! 



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