Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Super Strength, Part Two -- Doug Hepburn


Deep Knee Bend

Place the bar on the supports and load up the desired poundage. Your poundages will be explained in the Sets and Repetitions section. Place the hands on the bar between the inside collars and to the point where the bar is resting on the stands. I prefer to have my hands in contact with the inside collars when squatting. 

Always FACE the bar when removing it from the stands; this makes it easier to replace as you can SEE what you are doing. This is important when handling a heavy weight if fatigued. 

When the hands have been positioned on the bar bend the legs and position the bar on the shoulders. Make sure the bar is well back on the shoulders and not on the neck. Squatting leverage is enhanced in proportion to the distance the bar is positioned away from the neck on the shoulders. If discomfort is experienced when placing the bar on the shoulders place a towel or piece of sponge rubber between the bar and the shoulders prior to removing from the supporting stands.

When the bar has been correctly positioned on the shoulders extend the legs and step BACKWARDS approximately three to four feet. 

Space the feet approximately fifteen to eighteen inches apart at the heels -- toes pointing outwards to the degree best suited to the Trainee. 

Take a deep breath, filling the lungs to capacity, and then assume the low squat position whilst maintaining the back as erect as possible. When assuming the low squat position allow the weight to force the body downwards as far as possible. Throughout the squatting movement force the head upward and center the line of vision away from the floor surface. 

The breath is to be maintained from the commencement of the squatting movement and until the body is in the process of returning to the original erect position Exhale as soon as the body has risen beyond the difficult phase of the upward movement. In most cases the difficult phase of the upward movement has been passed when the legs are at a 45-degree angle.

When performing consecutive repetitions inhale two or three times when the erect position has been reached, holding the last breath as explained above. 

Always squat flat footed keeping the heels in contact with the floor at all times. The Trainee will possibly have some difficulty managing this at first as the large tendon situated in the back of the heel must acquire sufficient flexibility to allow the heel to remain in full contact with the floor when the extreme low squat position has been assumed. This problem will disappear after several training sessions.  

This 1959 edition of Homer's Iliad, retold with authority and grace by Robert Graves using a combination of prose and poetry, takes a revered classic back to its roots as popular entertainment.  Strongly recommended by the ghosty soul of D.I. Hepburn.

Author Note: When squatting do not place a board under the heels or use shoes with an elevated heel. The above practices hinder squatting leverage and direct unnecessary strain on the lower back. 

Bench Press

In my opinion the greatest single exercise for the upper body is the Two Hands Bench Press. This outstanding exercise effects all the large muscles affects all the large muscles effing affects all the large muscle groups of the chest, shoulders and upper arms. Almost without exception a person who possesses a large and well muscled chest has at one time specialized in bench pressing. 

It is important that the bench press apparatus contains supports or stands so that the barbell can be held in an elevated position over the chest without the assistance of the Trainee. This will prove an invaluable assert when training alone as heavy poundages can be handled without the aid of a training partner. 

Place the bar on the supports and load to the desired poundage. It is always a good idea to attach the outside collars to the bar to prevent the plates from moving during the performance of the bench pressing movement. 

Position the body on the bench so that the shoulders are in contact with the supports -- the back and buttocks in full contact with the bench top. The legs are to be EXTENDED before and during the exercise movements. [You read that right, not-oldtimer]. This is extremely important as the raising of the hips is counteracted during the difficult phase of the pressing movement.

To ascertain the correct handspacing grasp the bar so that the arms, when completely extended, are approximately at a 45 degree angle to the floor surface. 

Immediately prior to removing the bar off the supports inhale deeply and then quickly center the bar over the chest.

Lower the bar in a CONTROLLED manner until it contacts the chest at a point slightly below the nipples. Allow the bar to rebound off the chest surface (read that right too!) and continue its upward progress by pressing to arms' length. 

Do not, under any circumstances, exhale until the bar has been elevated beyond the difficult stage of the pressing movement. In most cases the "sticking point" of the bench press movement will be encountered when the bar has elevated halfway to arms' length.

For consecutive repetitions repeat as explained above. 

Olympic Press From Stands

Place the bar on the squat stands and load to the desired poundage. Position the stands so that there will be ample room for handspacing.

Face the stands and position the bar on the chest just as in the Olympic press and grasp the bar so that the forearms are vertical to the floor surface. Straighten the legs and remove the bar from the stands. Step backwards and away from the stands three or four feet then position the feet fourteen to fifteen inches apart at the heels. At this point make sure that both knees are forced backward and locked. This practice will alleviate strain from the lower back during the pressing movement. 

As soon as the legs and upper body have been correctly positioned, inhale, immediately after which, commence pressing the bar to overhead. When the bar has almost attained the completed press position overhead exhale and finish the pressing movement. 

Lower the bar to the starting position on the shoulders and repeat.

The Two Hands Curl

Place the bar on the floor and load to the desired poundage. Step forward to the center of the bar and then space the feet 12 to 14 inches apart.

Grasp the bar with the "thumbs around grip" with the forearms at approximately right angles to the floor surface and the palms facing upwards. While maintaining the hand grip raise the upper body to the erect position; the arms should be completely at the sides.

Take a deep breath and then commence curling the bar to the shoulders. During the curling movement concentrate on keeping the upper arms and elbows close to the sides throughout the entire movement. At the completion of the curl the elbows should be forced forwards and upwards to allow the bar to contact the upper chest. Exhale when the bar reaches the area of the upper chest. 

NOTE: Be sure that the arms are completely extended before commencing the curling movement.

For repetitions lower the bar from the upper chest and repeat as instructed.

The Two Hands Deadlift

Place the bar on the floor  and load to the desired poundage. Approach to the center of the bar and position the feet approximately 12 inches apart, toes pointing slightly outwards.

Position the hands on the bar using the "Reverse Grip". This method of gripping will substantially strengthen finger leverage thus facilitating the deadlift movement with heavy poundages. The utilization of the "Hook Grip" can be coupled with the reverse position of the hands to further improve gripping leverage and is recommended for those whose fingers are long enough to utilize this method of gripping. 

The correct hand spacing for the Deadlift is approximately shoulder width. The position of the body at the commencement of the Deadlift should be:

The back should not be rounded but as flat as possible. The knees well bent and the head up as much as possible. 

Inhale immediately before commencing to deadlift. Strive to straighten the legs proportionately with the erection of the back so that at the completion of the movement both the back and legs complete the movement simultaneously. One of the most common causes of back injury is the attempting to lift a heavy weight from the floor with the legs straight and using the back only.

The breath is to be held from the start of the deadlift movement and until the bar is in the vicinity of the waist.

Magnesium chalk should be applied liberally on he palms and fingers to improve the handgrip. 

Next: Sets and Repetitions

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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