Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Super Strength, Part One -- Doug Hepburn

A partial excerpt of this booklet is already on this blog, under the title "Some Hepburn Things" -- but I would like to present it in its entirety here. The shorter post of this layout also includes the older version of the booklet cover, from the time when Doug was hand printing his courses on his own small print machine over on 2nd Avenue. Sequestered on the cusp of Kitsilano and East Van, a nice spot to be. I saw him curling one time. The first sets, the "easy" ones heading up to over 200, were like he was combing his hair. That easy. I wish I coulda seen him squat. That would've been something to see! Not a psych-up temperament, confident in knowing he could shame a heavy bar any day of the week with minimal prep sets. A Master, you could say.   

This is not the type of layout you'll be using for any great length of time; think "sparingly" and at the appropriate time, but when used at the proper place in your lifting life it can be of great use in developing greater strength. I would recommend using it at a time when you're not working, or when your work isn't very stressful and doesn't take much mental and/or physical energy. This routine works best when, basically, all you're doing is lifting, eating and sleeping, and your other demands are very minimal, and this routine should be used much like many other shorter term, demanding routines. You have to find out what you can handle and how long you can handle it for, and that will change over time, depending on many, MANY factors. There is no Holy Grail when it comes to lifting, and if you think you've found it you're deluded. 

Interestingly enough, one man devotes the better part of his life to the pursuit of strength by finding methods that work for him as well as the majority of members at the gym he runs. And they DID work famously. Not this layout, it's a bit of a top end routine owing to the squat and dead being performed heavy thrice a week. And pressing, bench or overhead, three times a week on top. His member routines were quite different, much lower volume, less frequency and all of that, of course. But for someone with a gift for this thing of ours and the desire to make some rapid strength progress over a few months, this is a good ticket. It's not hard for an experienced person to spot who can handle this kind of lifting work/play and who cannot. Demeanor, temperament, previous training experience, current life situation, money for food, overall level of confidence, general health, vitality and the ability to draw power from thin air when required. That oughta do it! In this lifting thing, genetics don't just mean how well you respond; there's a mental element that's required as well. You has to be able to add 2 to 2 and come up with 4 somehow, eh, especially when it comes to simply not accepting the energy level you believe you are destined by genetics to live underneath the heel of. If you know what I mean. So brush your fucking teeth, get plenty of sleep and forcefully grab the energy that's waiting to be harvested in this Universe. Or not. 

One man devotes the better part of his life to the pursuit of strength by experimenting and finding ways . . . Decades later another man sits on a computer chair and poo-poos, craps, takes a dump on, SHITS on the entirety of his seeking and search in the space of less than a minute with a few clueless words. Ya gotta love the grotesquely smug ugliness of some people in this game, don't ya.

Here is a download of The New Bodybuilder's Cookbook by Ernest Cottrell: 
Once again, feel free to crap on it within the minute if you're so inclined. 
Enjoy! It's a BYOP event, unfortunately, so Bring Your Own Toilet Paper and please do clean up the shite and leave the window open to release the stank when you leave. Thanks! Appreciated. Now, for everyone else . . . 


This training routine has been designed for those who are familiar with the principles of weight training and are willing to devote themselves completely to a concentrated training schedule. 

The Trainee must be prepared to exercise EVERY DAY as there will be no rest days between workout sessions. The training routine is so arranged that a variety of basic power exercises can be performed without encouraging muscular staleness.

By following this routine religiously lasting results can be obtained in less time than when exercising in the normal manner. This in turn will enable the Trainee to realize personal goals in a reduced period of time.

This course will prove invaluable to those preparing for competition when time before the meet is short. 

Yours in strength, 
Doug Hepburn. 


Due to the fact that there are no rest days between training sessions it is imperative that the trainee receives a minimum of at least ten hours sleep each night. Those who can manage to obtain even twelve hours sleep should do so.

A short nap after the evening meal and before each training period is also recommended. In the majority of cases it will require at least three hours after retiring for the body to completely relax. Even when sleeping the body can remain tense and when it is in this state the processes of recuperation and rebuilding are impaired. Consequently a person who has been subjected to daily heavy barbell exercises will require an additional period of sleep.

A hot beverage such as hot chocolate should be taken before retiring to assist the body in relaxing. This practice is especially recommended to those who are inclined to be nervous or high strung. Remember – you just can’t get enough rest when performing the heavy exercises in the course daily – what applies to the normal weight trainer does not apply to the follower of this course.


During the day it is vitally important to conserve as much energy as possible. This does not mean that one must become lazy. Do what is required of you in any and all necessary obligations and do it well. However, do not acquire unnecessary responsibilities if it can be avoided.

During your free time and when not actually training, rest as much as possible. Refrain from unnecessary physical activity as even over-indulgence in social activities such as dancing will sap vital nervous energy causing a retardation of the rebuilding processes of the body. I will leave to the reader’s discretion the extent of social activities to be curtailed. In making your decision keep this in mind. The body contains a limited amount of energy so the bodily processes associated with recuperation and growth cannot function efficiently when the body energy content is depleted.

Learn to direct your energies – both physical and psychological – into the training routine. If the reader sincerely desires to become stronger this must be accomplished.


The correct attitude of mind is just as important as the physical aspect of weight training – perhaps even more so. Keep your training uppermost in your mind at all times – let nothing interfere with this. It is essential that the mind and body function harmoniously in training and in everyday living if maximum progress is expected. Each day say to yourself, “I am going to add a repetition on all exercises today.” In nine cases out of ten you well. To sum it up – you must be willing to live weight training every wakeful hour and if you dream of it so much the better.


Because of the exceptional amount of energy expended while following this routine it is important that the food intake be substantially increased. Foods in a liquid state should form a good part of the diet as they are easily digested. This is an important factor when increasing the intake of food as the digestion system must not be abused through overwork.

A food blender is invaluable when an increase in bodyweight and strength is desired. This device can be used to mix a wide variety of foods in a liquid state. Milk, eggs, bananas, and honey can be easily blended to form a highly nourishing, easily digested and palatable meal.

Milk, especially, should be consumed in large quantities, as much as four quarts daily. It is recommended, however, when consuming copious quantities of milk, to also drink a liberal amount of orange juice to counteract the mucous forming properties of milk.

Consuming food in small quantities throughout the day is a good practice as this will not overload the digestive system. Moreover, a greater amount of food can be consumed in this way.

Do not go overboard regarding diet food charts, etc. This could result in the trainee becoming over-concerned with the diet at the expense of exercising. one can’t go wrong if a good amount of food and a variety of plain foods are consumed each day. You will notice that there are strong men in every country and that the diets of all these men will vary in accordance to the foods obtainable in the particular geographical area where they live. If the trainee is in good physical condition and is performing heavy barbell exercise the body will be capable of extracting more nourishment from inferior foods than would a non-conditioned individual.

If the reader can afford it I advise taking a protein food supplement. A protein supplement is composed of a highly concentrated form of protein. Protein heads the list of muscle building foods. It can be combined with milk or fruit juice.

Honey is a superlative energy food and can be utilized by the body almost immediately after taking. Honey should be taken before and during the training session. Honey can also be used in place of sugar with cereals and hot beverages.

Certain foods can be consumed even while training. Milk, if consumed in small amounts, will cause no ill effects. Dates, figs, raisin and nuts can also be eaten during the exercise period.

A hot food such as a thick soup should be included in the noon and evening meal. Stews composed of various meats and vegetables are highly nutritious and should be consumed in large amounts when increasing the food intake. Canned or fresh fruit and salads composed mainly of green vegetables should be included with meats and starchy type foods. This will assist the digestive and eliminative processes as hyperacidity and constipation will be counteracted.

If possible try and eliminate drinking tea or coffee while following this course. These two beverages have little food value and contain two harmful stimulants, tannin and caffeine, both of which are harmful. Substitute hot chocolate, Ovaltine, or other similar beverages.

If the reader drinks alcoholic beverages or smokes it is advisable to minimize or eliminate this practice when adhering to this course. This decision will be the reader’s. Remember – the less you smoke or drink the greater will be the results.


In cool weather a sweat suit should be worn at all times when exercising. The training suit should afford a freedom of movement during the performance of Squats, Deadlifts, etc. Vital body heat is also maintained so that the occurrence of muscle injury is minimized. 

In warm weather a T-shirt and shorts may be worn. However, the Trainee [note his use of capitalization . . . squats . . . are Squats, and the trainee is the Trainee.]

Okay, that's enough of this one for me today. Will continue later. I must have read this booklet dozens of times over the years. I'll leave you with some sounds that found their way into words that made themselves into three lines I wasted the better part of a night to create and not delete . . . 

With all the urgency of a limbless drummer's beat, I poured myself on the floor and leaked out the door. Sooner than noon and less than a day late, the real became realer as the hallucinations abated. 

The boss was not happy. 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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