Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Super Strength, Part Three - Doug Hepburn

 





Your SETS AND REPETITIONS
MONDAY
Exercise No. 1 - Deep Knee Bend

Perform a warm-up with a poundage that FIVE CONSECUTIVE repetitions can be performed with comfort, after which, perform four SINGLE repetitions, increasing the poundage at each single repetition so that on the fourth repetition a near limit poundage is attained. The Trainee is to continue with the final poundage and strive to increase the number of repetitions a maximum of ONE repetition in each succeeding training session until a maximum of THREE single repetitions can be performed. 

NOTE: Do not attempt to perform more than advised as this practice could cause staleness.

When the required amount of repetitions can be performed, increase the warmup and the following four single repetitions, as explained above, by five pounds and again strive for the required three singles. When this can be accomplished repeat as explained. 

NOTE: When performing a lower body exercise a 10-pound increase is permissible.

When the Trainee has completed the above portion of the exercise routine, decrease the poundage so that 5 sets of THREE CONSECUTIVE repetitions can be performed in the Deep Knee Bend and the Deadlift. Strive to increase the number of repetitions by ONE in each exercise and in each training session. 

For example: 

Assuming that the Trainee has performed the five sets of three consecutive repetitions, then in the following training period the Trainee will perform: 

4 consecutive repetitions in the first set and three in the remaining 4 sets. Then, in the following training session: 

4 consecutive repetitions in the first set, four in the second set, and three in the remaining three sets. 

The succeeding training session would require:

4 consecutive repetitions in the first set, 4 in the second set, 4 in the third set, and 3 in the remaining three sets. 

3,3,3,3,3
4,3,3,3,3
4,4,3,3,3
4,4,4,3,3 . . . 

[Note: another progression - 
3,3,3,3,3
4,3,3,3,3
5,3,3,3,3
5,4,3,3,3
5,5,3,3,3

I prefer the first.

With "Hepburn" progressions, it's possible to sync up the singles and the 3-5's. For example, start with one single the first session, along with two sets of 3's. Add a single, and one consecutive rep each session . . . 

First session:
1 (single)
3,3

Next session:
1,1 (two singles)
4,3

1,1,1
4,4

1,1,1,1
5,4

1,1,1,1,1
5,5
and add weight next session to both the single performance and the Three-to-Fives. 

This format would not be used in a layout such as this, the Super Strength routine. You could, of course, but the main goal of this routine is the rapidly progressing upward movement of the single rep poundages, using only three sessions at each weight level, resulting in a poundage increase each week, barring fails and/or staleness. However, nothing is writ in stone with any routine unless you choose to writ it, eh. Remember. No grinding. No training on the nerve, and no psyching up. That would destroy the whole foundation of what this method is build upon. Watch any video of Doug lifting. Cool, calm confident and in charge. The headwork is all done ]  

Continue in the above manner until the required 5 sets of 5 consecutive repetitions can be performed, then increase the poundage and repeat from the beginning as explained. 

NOTE: The instructions as to number of sets and poundage increases applies in all exercises in each daily training routine. 

In the majority of cases the poundage used in the heavy single repetitions and the sets of consecutive repetitions will increase proportionately [in a way that corresponds in size or amount].


IMPORTANT

As training progresses the Trainee will encounter intervals when a failure to succeed with the required addition of single repetitions. This is quite normal and should net be regarded as staleness. 

When a failure to succeed with a single repetition gain in the sets of single repetitions occurs, proceed as instructed with the sets of consecutive repetitions. If the Trainee then experiences a failure to add one repetition to he consecutive reps the Trainee may conclude that a mild staleness is present and therefore it is advised to discontinue training until the following training period. If the stale condition persists in the following exercise sessions a layoff of one week is advised. If this fails to correct the stale condition all training poundages are to be reduced so that the minimum number of repetitions can be performed and proceed from this point as before. [A step back to continue moving forward.]

NOTE: When striving for a repetition gain the Trainee may take a second attempt if desired. This is recommended if a failure is experienced that was almost successful. 


Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Deadlift
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


TUESDAY
UPPER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Bench Press
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine

Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Curl
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


WEDNESDAY
LOWER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Deep Knee Bend
Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Deadlift
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


THURSDAY
UPPER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Press From Stands
Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Curl
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


FRIDAY
LOWER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Deep Knee Bend
Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Deadlift
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


SATURDAY
UPPER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Bench Press
Exercise No. 2 - Two Hands Curl
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


SUNDAY
UPPER BODY ROUTINE
Exercise No. 1 - Press From Stands
Same sets and repetitions as in Deep Knee Bend Routine


TAKE NOTE: The above course is expressly designed for those who are in above average physical condition and are conversant with the basic principles of weight training. 

Those who experience difficulty following the above routine are advised to follow the preparatory exercise routine outlined below for a period of weeks before concentrating on the Super Strength course.

The same principle of poundage increasement [ya gotta love a feller who knows archaic words and their usage] is to be employed in the Preparatory Training Routine, except that the Trainee is to perform 5 sets of 5 consecutive repetitions, increasing, working from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 repetitions in the final set. 

NOTE: The following procedure is to be used in the performance of the sets of consecutive repetitions when the heavy singles are temporarily discontinued due to staleness.

Warm up with 5 consecutive repetitions in the normal manner, then perform 5 sets of 3 consecutive reps, increasing the poundage each set so that a maximum of 2 consecutive repetitions can be performed in the 6th set. 

[Warmup - 5 reps
then
3,3,3,3,2.]

Strive to increase the number of repetitions in the final set by one each training period. When 3 reps can be performed in the 6th or final set increase the poundage in the warmup and the following sets proportionately so that in the 6th set only 2 repetitions can be performed, then repeat as above explained. 


PREPARATORY PROGRAM 

MONDAY

Bench Press
Two Hands Deadlift
Deep Knee Bend
Two Hands Curl


WEDNESDAY

Press From Stands
Two Hands Deadlift
Deep Knee Bend
Two Hands Curl


FRIDAY

Bench Press
Two Hands Deadlift
Deep Knee Bend
Two Hands Curl


Enjoy Your Lifting! 




 
















 


























15 comments:

Unknown said...

I never understood how Hepburn always recommended deadlifts and squats in the same workout, or even worse, bench and shoulder press. When I do heavy benches according to Hepburn's philosophy, the shoulders feel like they are about to fall off, no way can I do the press, even the next day... They must be split up, like you showed in one of the previous articles ("The Hepburn-based Approach That Works for Me")

giveitaname said...

I don't make a habit of giving anyone training advice on this blog, but hey, once in a while might be okay. I'll take a shot at this.

Coming up on 69 real soon and don't take that the rimshot way. The Dim Witt-penned article there is a response to trying to find ways to keep lifting at this age/stage and not get any pains. Dings are for kids!

There's a lot of volume involved in the Hepburn stuff, no question. I've used The Hepburn Method layout for long periods of time in the past, but can no longer handle that much volume. When I was able to, I found that one of the biggest mistakes lifters make with his form of training is using weights that are too heavy right from the get-go, right outta the chute. Start much lighter than you think you should, and be vewy vewy patient with yourself. Get into it, get used to lifting, in this case, at a level that doesn't create stress or need any psyching whatsoever . . . and build slowly from there, as laid out in his progression methods.

This form of training is long haul stuff. Sure, it can be used for short bursts, Starr's "Hepburns" and other ways show how. But the real deal is a long, very slow sort of waltz up to bigger poundages. No stress . . . a very chill way to gain strength and bulk, but you have to be patient with it. And if you start with relatively easy poundages, it's going to take some time to get past your previous bests.

This specific layout, Super Strength, isn't like that, though. It's a quick-burst kind of way to gain some strength over a short period of time. You start at a higher poundage level than his other stuff on this one and you don't keep on this layout for very long at all. Otherwise you'll at best go stale and/or burn out; at worst wind up sore and possibly injured.

Some folks are built like this, some folks are built like that . . . and when it comes to NATURAL lifting our recuperative powers, skeletal structures, ability to assimilate nutrients, etc., etc., vary enormously, and vary individually as time passes and we age. If you feel the slightest indication that some part of your body, such as your shoulder girdle from pressing, is going to go into a real problem . . . STOP DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND RETHINK IT.

But honestly, it sounds to me like you've already done that and answered your own question! The Dim Wit Way is the way to go for you if that's the way that's working.

Dim will be happy when I tell him.

giveitaname said...

http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2019/09/hepburns-bill-starr.html

The Hepburn Method basics are here, within this post:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/02/some-hepburn-things.html

Look at me referencing stuff! Such a thing, eh.

giveitaname said...

The Dim Wit ramifications:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2021/11/the-hepburn-based-approach-that-works.html

Not to be confused those stemming from author Dim Witt:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2010/05/squat-routine-dim-wit.html

Or this idea that may seed . . . and reap . . . rewards:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2017/02/cycled-mass-building-low-volume-version.html

Like he, er, me, um, I mentioned up there . . . I ain't big on giving training advice, and prefer that folks find their own way to what works and when. Quite contrary to the "here is all you need to know" approach, I guess. Hey, it ain't the end result, it's the struggle to get there that has long term meaning, in my view.

Enjoy Your Lifting!

giveitaname said...

Oops. Pretty long response to what wasn't really even a question. I've been going over John Grimek's column in Muscular Development magazine, Your Training Problems Answered. There's one I've found that has him writing in a rare tone, and he straightens out a fellow real nicely. I'll post that today if I can. It's rare, to me anyhow, that kind of writing from him, with that tone.

Unknown said...

Hey thanks for the advice giveitaname, yeah some things you have to figure out for yourself, others, it's nice to get some clarification on. For example, high volume like Deszo Ban used to do simply does not work for me, even while avoiding anything approaching max weight. On the other hand, Hepburn stuff, for the most part works very well, so I've read all your Hepburn stuff, and have bought his book, and downloaded the booklet, also. Did you see his training videos? He changed his mind somewhat when he got older, but still great stuff...

giveitaname said...

You bet! Weren't those videos a treasure! He laid out THREE basic setups, A, B, and C in there. You know, the routines he gave guys at his gym on Hastings in Burnaby were usually pretty slim volume and the sessions weren't frequent. Unless the guy was, you know, gifted with better than normal genetics.

This article by Ray Beck from up here is much different than than the Hepburn layouts, but that was part of his advice too . . . real basic, hard work on a very few moves.

http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2018/02/power-bulk-training-for-you-doug.html

giveitaname said...

Here it is . . . just the basics of it . . .

Monday:
Squat, 8-10 sets of 3-5 reps.

Tuesday:
High Pullups, 8-10 x 3-5 reps.
Same starting position as a deadlift . . . overhand grip, take a deep breath, pull weight up . . . as in a deadlift but pull higher . . . up to the region of the pectoral muscles, throwing the head and shoulders back . . . lower the bar and exhale. Pull the weight up quickly but lower it as slowly as possible, fighting the bar down. Do not turn the hands over as in the clean to shoulders.

Wednesday:
Rest.

Thursday:
Cycle begins again with the Squats.

The repetitions and poundages used should go something like this. First of all, warm up with a light weight for 10 reps, then take a weight you can move easily for 3 or 4 reps. The second set should see you using at least 10 pounds more, and in the third or fourth set you use your maximum poundage for 3 reps. Decrease the weight 5 pounds and complete the remaining 4 to 6 sets (depending on how you feel). Sometimes you will only make 2 reps in the last one or two sets but that's acceptable. When you can do 5 reps in all the last sets increase the weight by five pounds. This doesn't apply to the first two sets.

Rest 5 minutes between sets, and rest at least 20 minutes between exercises.

Drink a quart of milk (or more) during the workout. Use one, or better still, two spotters. This will remove fear of being stuck with the weight. Get your spotters to yell verbal support when you're pushing out the last rep . . . it is better to under-strain than over-strain.

Your workouts should never make you feel nervous or exhausted. You should be able to relax completely one hour after the training session . . . become conscious of the fact that you are on a weight gaining/strength building program. In that I mean you should, whenever possible, live in a manner advantageous to bodyweight/strength gains. This means extra rest and relaxation, extra food, and a good mental attitude.

giveitaname said...

One lift a day. Train two days, rest one.
Dim Wit would agree with this one!
And I believe most trainees would make some nice bulk and power gains with it.

Unknown said...

What you said about what Doug did in his gym rings true. I mean, he had all day to do what he wanted to do, so he could do bench press over a course of an hour or two, then several hours later, he could do clean and press - all while eating as much as is humanly possible. For his trainees, it was different. For us with active work schedule, and limited wish to bulk up, it becomes a different game altogether. I realized there are some super talents who worked 12 hour days and were able to deadlift record numbers (Bob Peoples?), but that's probably not most of us. That's why a modified Hepburn of some kind appeals to me and has worked in the past fairly well.

I also like the idea of one lift per day, unless you go all out crazy, it seems like it's almost impossible to deplete the nervous energy!

giveitaname said...

You got that right! We are not all gym owners or millionaires, and have to work to support families. The whole ball of wax involved in a full life, which is outstanding.

YES! The one lift per day deal is so doable. Not 25 work sets and grinding away. Just one lift, gradually moving along and up in poundage.

I'm slowly working in doing one chosen lift ever day, seven days a week, on top of the one lift a day. In this case I'm doing a standard standing Press, along with the one lift every day. Nothing large in volume on the Press. Just a 5x5 up to a confidently done, not to failure, no psyching top set of 5. Then, on to the . . . the one lift for the day . . . and no, there's no "press day".

It's pretty nice! I figure on staying at each weight with the Press for a week . . . adding a very small amount each week following . . . on Fridays, because, back to the beginning here, that's my one day off a week.

Thanks for commenting . . . and have a good one next session!

Unknown said...

The one thing to remember is there is no magic program. Doug Hepburn used different programs throughout his career. Interestingly, he trained with less volume than described here when he was at his strongest, which was in 1953 during the lead-up to the World Championships, and in 1954 prior to the Empire Games.

On each occasion, he trained with straight sets using moderately heavy weights. There are very nice articles here about Hepburn's heyday routines.

This being said, he always adhered to the same basic principles --- methodical progression with training weights that can be handled effectively, long rest between sets and proper recovery practices.

I once myself used an old "B program" routine for the Deadlift in the lead-up to an amateur strongman competition. This was in April-May 2016 when I turned 44. I had probably started off with weights that were a little bit heavy, so this wasn't really sustainable, but it proved an effective program for peaking.

I started off with 480 lbs for my deadlift singles, followed with six triples, 6 x 3, at 430 lbs. I did this program twice a week for five weeks, and took a deload week just before competing on June 4rd.

By the end, I was doing practice singles with 490 lbs, which felt slightly easier than 480 at first, followed with 5 x 5 & 1 x 4 at 430 lbs. I felt like I could lift a house. During the competition, I did a Car Deadlift event so I couldn't tell my max, but I pulled 535 lbs with relative ease around June 20th that year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Unknown, I'm the original "unknown" from above. Thanks for pitching in. Yeah, I too noticed that this was a bit too much, but Giveitaname pointed out it's for a short-burst of strength.

I noticed a while back, that some stuff written about him from observers differs from official literature. This can be explained by the longevity of his training career, but also may be there is an element of writers misunderstanding or injecting offhand remarks by Hepburn as Gospel. For example, you have Charles Smith observing that Hepburn works one main Olympic lift that he wants to improve on, then a basic body power move (DL or Squat), then Bench or Curl. When progress stops on Squat, he switches to DL, or vice versa. But then you have the booklet which recommends massive amounts of volume (8x2, 6x6 and 1x10)for 6 exercises performed 2 times per week...

In general though, heavy weight, many sets, low reps, lots of rest was his overarching philosophy, like you said...

giveitaname said...

I love it and hope people continue to have a dialogue here about training. I plan to stay out of it and just let lifters engage with each other here.

Good stuff and Thanks BIG for taking part. It's wide open and I won't get in your way . . .

giveitaname said...

I plan to put up the full Strength and Bulk booklet by Doug soon as well. They're great historical documents as well as training stuff.

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