Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Combining Exercises with Progressive Sets & Reps - Donald V. Clerkin


Weight training is highly adaptable to experimentation. In fact, each exercise done today using barbells and dumbbells exists because someone developed it from little more than an idea and the employment of a form of the scientific method. 

Though there may not be any really new exercises waiting to be discovered, routines can be devised which combine progressions of exercises, sets and repetitions. 

Take for example the various pulling motions for the large muscles of the large muscles of the upper and lower back . . . 

Begin with two sets of "flip" snatches (without a split of squat) for 8 repetitions each [Note: it's not the rep count that causes form deterioration; it's the lifter, the lack of focus and his choice of poundage. Or not.]. Make sure the poundage here is heavy enough to have you work quite hard on the last two reps, but not so heavy that your form breaks down [goes to pieces, shite, hell and other similar common terms used here. And that's it for add-ons in this article.]. Two dots. One on each side of the fence. A Groucho without glasses? Already proved myself a liar by adding that on, damns it.

Okay . . . 8 reps of flip snatches. Increase the weight by 20 or more pounds and perform 2 sets of "power" cleans (with very little split or squat), 8 reps each. Then increase the weight of the bar again so that you can perform as heavy a series of low-rep attempts in the deadlift as you can safely handle. 

Note: I lied about the add-ons. Agains. Here's "progressive pulls" as John McCallum presented thems, and of course so did many others previous to and after him. Sometimes I like to start with snatches before going to the power cleans in his example, and I stick some BB rows in there before the high pulls, for what that's worth . . .
"You start with power cleans. Start light and work up. Do three reps each set and when you can't make three then keep increasing the weight and do high pulls. Keep adding weight and when you can't make three high pulls start doing deadlifts. Do three reps in the deadlift until you can't make three. Add more weight and do a couple of singles."
The Squat can be performed in somewhat the same manner, although but two exercises, the Front squat and the Back squat are used. 

Choose a weight for the front squat for 2 sets which will allow 10 reps. Then do a 3rd set with approximately 20 pounds more for 5-7 reps. Rest a bit . . . 
are you rested yet? 
Great day in the mornin! 
then go to the back squat, increasing the the weight again by 30 pounds or so for 2 HARD sets of 7 to 10 McReps. Serious stuff. Now, a final 2 sets of 4-6 reps with an increase of 20 pounds. As in the pulling regime given above, you may choose to do heavy singles, doubles and triples in the back squat.
Next, combine the incline barbell press with the flat bench press. Here I like 3 sets of inclines, followed by three sets of flat bench presses, taking the same weight for the 3 sets of inclines, and increasing by 20 pounds for the 3 sets on the flat bench. 6-8 reps for the inclines. 4-7 for the flat bench press. Approach your limit on the flats at times
For curling, consider the benefits of combining the reverse, and the regular barbell curl. Do 12-10-8 reps in the reverse curl, increasing the weight with each successive set; for example, 60-70-80 pounds respectfully, er, respectively, um, both actually. Then take the 80 lb. barbell and perform a set of regular curls for 10 reps. Do 8 reps with 90 lbs., then 6 or 7 with 100. Make your own rep and weight choices that conform to your level of strength and endurance.

The overhead presses can be done with the same system of progression. Press off the racks, for you will conserve your strength without first cleaning the weight. First do 3 sets of presses behind the neck, either with a single weight chosen for 8-10 reps, or using the same system of upward pyramiding as described for curling. Then do 3 sets of regular, or "military" presses, again either using a given weight approximately 15-20 lbs. higher than was used in the PBN & Jelly. For real strength work take an even heavier weight off the rack and do a few sets of "pushes," or jerks without the split. Then, if you have some energy left, jerk the weight overhead for a few repetitions.       

As a postscript to the Squat technique mentioned above, the line of weight progression could include on vigorous training days the half, or bench squat; even the quarter squat can be added in the foregoing manner. 
Attention bodybuilders . . . Weightlifters and Powerlifters (hint hint, their methods have much to offer you, or not) have been using such methods as these for many years. Young fellows who go to the gyms these days seldom see real power training performed. But without such periods of training the body will never reach its maximum strength and proportions. 
Keep in mind that this form of training must be done on a limited basis. Two or three training days per week will suffice. And do not attempt limit lifts on each training day. Stagger your limit days on each of the heavy muscle groups. Probably no more than once a week on each of the big groups -- pulling, squatting, and the forms of pressing. Here we speak of singles, doubles, and triples. This way your tendons, ligaments, and muscles will have sufficient time to rest and repair. Great day in the mornin! 
Here the author lays out a way to make yogurt on your own at home. I've done this, did it many years ago. The makers I had were quite small jars, but if you get one with the large sized jars, well, it works very well and you only need the starter, duh, yogurt, once and then you're on your way to a land of limitless free yogurt, oh boy! 
Enjoy Your Rhyming, er, Lifting!  

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