Sunday, May 29, 2022

Heavy Iron Seminar - Fred Hatfield


Let me ask you a question. 

How would you like to boost your strength and power through the roof and gain some slabs of rock hard muscle in the process? Of course you do, and "Dr. Squat" Hatfield is going to show you how. 

Just who is Fred Hatfield? 

To begin with, he is the co-founder and president of International Sports Science Association, a broad-based company that has been offering fitness certifications since 1988. Fred is a former editor and writer for Muscle & Fitness magazine. Also to his credit, he has written over 60 books in the area of bodybuilding, fitness, nutrition and powerlifting, as well as over hundreds of research reports and articles which have been published in academic journals and trade magazines.

Now, here is where it gets really interesting (especially to the hardcore power/bodybuilder. The perpetually popular Hatfield has broken more than 30 world powerlifting records within four different weight classes. His most memorable one was on November 23, 1987, where he squatted an official 1014 pounds at a bodyweight of 245 and at the age of 45 years. 

Hatfield is recognized by his peers as one of the most knowledgeable men in the sport of powerlifting today. When he speaks power/bodybuilders stop to listen.

Now get prepared to climb into the mind of one of powerlifting's best, and begin to absorb a higher knowledge of powerlifting strategies than you have ever experienced before. There will be no secondhand interpretation where certain "intangibles" are lost. The following seminar contains the exact insights from Fred Hatfield, a man who is deeply embedded in the tranches of powerlifting warfare.

- Dennis Weis 

"Where people of strength gather, their conversations always turn to discussing the best training methods, the best methods that give them their greatest return in muscle development, power and strength." 

"There is a new breed of strongman emerging today, those who have learned the secret of training by applying science. The great strongmen of the past trained hard, ever-so-hard. They distinguished themselves by their superhuman efforts. They set themselves far above their peers." 

"The strongmen of today train hard also. But the BEST, the ones who make it, train SMART and the inevitable consequence will be that the records of the great strongmen of yesteryear will be shattered. 

"Before you can understand how to gain great strength and power, you must understand what the sport of powerlifting is about. Strength is not enough, after all our sport is not called strength lifting. It is called powerlifting. And, if it is well named, for it is power that enables truly heavy iron to be moved, NOT more strength." 

"Power is the ability to call as many of your muscle cells as possible into action at once. It is a single explosive effort which fires those muscle cells and keeps them firing throughout the entire lift. It is FAST, QUICK explosive strength which lasts as long as you need it. The more muscle cells you can fire at once, the more weight you can lift. The most explosive force you can muster, the more you can overcome the forces of inertia." 

"You must train for this power both physically and mentally. You must train right, for the ability to reach deep within yourself to move the big weights. You cannpt do it any other wy. I ma not going to teach you how to train wrong, I am going to teach you how to train smart." 

"There is much to learn whether you are a powerlifter, shot putter, football player or any athlete in any sport known to man. You will become more capable of training smart. Now, let's learn the secrets to making good gains beyond those you have ever experienced." 

"The system you will use is the FIVE TEN FIVE method. Like any modern training program, you will train according to a cycle that is 16 weeks long and consists of the following five stages.

Stage No. 1 - 

"This cycle will take you from the beginning of your training all the way up to a final peaking, either for a powerlifting contest or a whole competitive season if you are involved is seasonal power sports. You will use TEN movements (or exercises). These exercises will be the basic ones you will use to build muscle. You will be working with a barbell and dumbbells." 

"And while you are working through the 5 stages of your training cycle, you will use FIVE STEPPING STONES, mental techniques and nutritional secrets to give you the extra edge. With the five stepping stones you create the weapons you need mentally and physically to win." 

"Whether you are starting out or beginning your cycle after a competition or layoff, you MUST return to basics! This is the only way a beginner can hope to become great, to withstand the heavy stress of maximum effort under heavy iron." 

You must build a solid foundation. Would you try to jack a car up in the sand? Would you try to shoot cannon out of a canoe? You must have a base. You must be strong through your entire body, or you will not last through a maximum peaking cycle without injury." 

"Stage One is a period where you concentrate on weaknesses. Is you technique poor because of a weak back? Do you have nagging injuries because of poor flexibility? Do you have a poor bench press because of weak shoulders? This is stage one, where you should eliminate your weaknesses. Don't think about trying to lift the most weight, only think about using the proper technique." 

"You are not only building muscles, you are training your muscle memory to do things correctly. From the beginning, monitor yourself to see that you are using correct technique. Go to a lighter weight if necessary. Good form provides better overload for maximum strength development." 

"Equalize opposing muscle groups. When you do a bench press for example, you must also do an exercise such as bentover barbell rows. If you work you quads, you must also work the hamstrings, and you must STRETCH to keep yourself flexible. Don't neglect this, because lack of flexibility will create an opening for injury and poor form under the heavy iron."  

Stage One
Superset System

Total Body Workout
3 non-consecutive days per week
4 x 8 reps per exercise
Each superset is done nonstop with 2 minutes rest between supersets 
Pick a weight you can do for 8 reps but not 9.

From the very beginning of your FIVE TEN TEN program, you must keep a training diary. Write down the exercises, poundages, degree of difficulty you feel within each set and how long it takes you to complete the workout from warmup to cool down." 

"During the foundation workouts (stage one), remember to have fun playing in sports like racquetball and basketball. Agility and coordination are essential to peak performance and sports can give you those qualities." 


"You've finished up the four week foundation workouts and your body is now ready for some major stress. You will now begin to increase your absolute strength levels. This is the stage where the 'old timers' ended their training. Today, we know how to go light years beyond. [And the drugs! Holy Crap! Yippee! We are geniuses compared to all them guys, right?] Your stages of training from here will overlap and only you will know your body well enough to decide the speed at which to phase in the next stage. Now we go to the: 


1) Barbell Back Squat
2) Bench Press
3) Deadlift, Semi-Stiff Leg

Assistance Exercises 

4) Lat Pulldown
5) Bentover Row
6) One DB Side Bend
7) Partial DB Press Overhead
8) DB Front Raise
9) Triceps Pushdown
10) Crunch

"The ten movements are similar to those used in the Stage One/Superset System. But, now you will begin to build upon the foundation achieved in Stage One, concentrating on building strength in each of the movements. As the weights get heavier you must begin doing specific movements on different days of the week. Here are some effective permutations of these common exercises." 

High Bar Back Squat
 - Bar rests high on the traps. 

 - Back out of the rack slowly.

 - Feet are less than shoulder width apart.

 - Head is up and back is straight.

 - Take a deep breath and begin descending by bending at the hips and knees. 

 - During the descent, thee buttocks stay in line with the body, knees extended over the insteps of the feet. 

 - When you reach the point where the top of the thighs are parallel to the floor, forcefully push back to the erect position breathing out as you do.

 - Don't allow the knees to drift towards each other. 

 - Don't allow the back to bend forward or "cave in." 

Bench Press

 - Lay in a supine position on a flat exercise bench with your feet firmly on the floor on each side of the bench.

 - Head, back and buttocks are in contact with the bench always. 

 - Grasp the loaded bar with a wide enough handspacing where the forearms are perpendicular to the floor in the low position. 

- Take in a deep breath, unrack the bar and position directly over the chest with the arms fully extended. 

 - Slowly lower the bar to the high point on the chest (about nipple level) by bending the elbows and allowing them to descend outward where they're at a 90-degree angle to the chest. 

 - Don't bounce the bar off the chest. 

 - Forcefully push the bar back to the starting position while breathing out.

 - Always use an overhand grip with the thumbs wrapper around under the bar. 

Deadlift, Semi-Stiff Leg

 - Stand on a short wooden platform or on top of two 45 pound Olympic plates. 

 - Bend down and grab the bar with a shoulder width mixed grip (one hand pronated, the other supinated) hand spacing and arms extended. 

 - Knees slightly bent, back as flat as possible and head up and looking straight ahead.

 - Take a deep breath and slowly using the muscles of your lower back and legs begin pulling on the bar in an erect position. 

 - Don't extend the legs prematurely, legs should not be fully extended until back is in a vertical position, breathing out as you do.

 - Lower bar to floor (for erectors), or lower just below knees (glutes/hams).

 - Don't jerk the bar off the floor, pull in one smooth motion. 

Lat Pulldowns

 - Grasp the bar with an overhand (thumbless) grip at approximately 6-12 inches out from shoulder width.

 - Position yourself in the seat so that the legs (tops of thighs0 are securely anchored under the padded T-bar.

- Allow the weight resistance to pull your arms and shoulders up till you feel a full stretch in the lats.

 - Exhale and begin pulling the bar towards your chin. 

 - Squeeze the shoulder blades together, inhale and allow the bar to return slowly to the starting position.

 - Don't swing or lean back to get the weight moving.

 - Don't allow the bar to jerk at the top of the movement or upon completing the last rep.

 - Try not to look up, keep head, neck, legs and feet as relaxed and motionless as possible. 

Bentover Barbell Row

 - Take a wider than shoulder width overhand grip on the barbell. 

 - Bend the knees slightly, arch the back slightly and pull shoulders back.

 - Lean upper torso forward approximately 45 degrees from vertical.

 - With the arms fully extended, begin pulling the bar up to the upper abdominal region with the elbows moving towards the hips. 

 - When the bar touches the abdominals, squeeze and contract the shoulder blades together while pushing the chest towards the floor. 

 - Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

One DB side Bend 

 - Standing upright, hold a dumbbell in your right hand at your side.

 - Place the left hand behind your head (bicep next to ear). 

 - Simple bend directly sideways toward the side holding the dumbbell, return to starting position and repeat. 

 - After completing the reps for one side switch the dumbbell to the other hand. 

 - Keep the back straight and the head up and don't lean forward.

Partial DB Press Overhead

 - Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with the palms of the hands facing each other. 

 - Lock the legs and hips solidly.

 - Take a deep breath and press the right arm straight up over your right shoulder, rotating the hand so that the palm is facing forward.

 - Press the dumbbell only to the top of your head and remember the dumbbell in the LEFT hand will remain at the left shoulder.

 - As you begin lowering the RIGHT hand dumbbell, begin to press the LEFT hand dumbbell straight up over your shoulder to top-of-head height.

 - Don't jerk or throw the weight up.

 - Remember, don't lock out the arm overhead. 

Alternate DB Front Raise

 -Standing erect, hold a dumbbell in each hand at your side with the palms of the hands facing the body.

 - Lean sideways to the right approximately 30 degrees and at the same time raise the RIGHT hand dumbbell at arm's length in front of you to a point just in front of the face.

 - Lower the RIGHT hand dumbbell.

 - Lean sideways to the left 30 degrees and raise the LEFT hand dumbbell in the manner described for the right hand.

 - Don't do the alternate DB front raise from an erect position because it forces the anterior deltoid to pull on an oblique angle to the path of the dumbbell thus making the movement inefficient. 

Triceps Pushdowns

 - Begin by placing your ribcage up and out, prominently forward near the cable and bar attachment. This places the shoulders back and down. 

 - Take a thumbless (false) overhand grip on the bar approximately 8 to 10 inches. 

 - Position your upper arms and elbows tight against the sides of the upper torso.

 - Extend the lower arms (forearms) from a horizontal point to the floor, moving them in a small arc to a near extended position.

 - Hold this position for a second and return to the start position.

 - Don't ever allow the elbows to swing forward.


- Assume a supine position on a firm surface and flex your hips so that your upper thighs are at a 90 degree angle to your upper torso and your lower legs draped over the top of a flat bench. 

 - Cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head, letting the fingers rest slightly behind and below your ears.

 - Your head and eyes should be looking toward the ceiling at all times.

 - Try to keep your tongue positioned on the roof of your moth while breathing through the nose.

 - Lift your upper torso off the floor, rounding the shoulder forward, squeezing the abs and flexing the spine in a semicircle towards the knees while exhaling air out of your lungs.

 - Basically, think of the action as moving the ribcage towards the pelvis.

 - Crunch or curl the torso up, don't swing it up.

 - Hold a plate on your upper chest if this exercise is too easy.

"Now that we have taken care of the ten movements, here is a brief overview of what a typical peaking cycle will look like for the next 12 weeks." 

Click to Enlarge

"With regard to the assistance exercises (4 through 10), do them in the sequence listed and up to approximately three weeks before the meet. The assistance may or may not be directly related to the squat, bench press, and deadlift but are nonetheless essential." 

"About eight weeks out from the contest you will begin overlapping Stage Three. Now, you should be getting into frame of mind where POWER not Strength is paramount. This refocusing of your training energy calls for a highly specialized training. I call it Compensatory Acceleration Training." 

Compensatory Acceleration Training 

"Now, hear me and hear me well. Compensatory Acceleration training is your single most important tool for becoming truly powerful. It is the only method of training that can yield explosive power improvements and at the same time improve your absolute strength levels to your current maximum potential." 

"This form of training can make a difference of up to 29% on each of the powerlifts. At the bottom of the squat, your leverage is very poor because of the angle of the hips, knees and ankles. As you come up out of the bottom position, leverages begin to improve the closer you get to lockout." 

"In order to compensate for the improved leverages, you've got to apply acceleration to the bar. This is truly the only way to get maximal overload through the entire concentric range (positive phase) of the exercise movement. Otherwise, overload is restricted to the bottom portion of the movement during the ascent out of the squat pocket." 

"To put it another way, you must be FASTER AND FASTER throughout the entire concentric phase of the movement until just shy of lockout. You will be doing the same exercises that you did in stage two, however, the only exercises you will use C.A.T. on will be the Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. These are the exercises which most resemble the actual lifting technique you will use in competition." 

"During this period of your cycle, you will be making maximum strength gains, but you must lower the reps on the compensatory acceleration movements. Weeks 9 through 16, where the reps go from 6's to 3's are appropriate for C.A.T. Done any other way and you would suffer the effects of overtraining. OVERTRAINING WILL DELAY continued progress in your cycle." 


"You're through worrying about strength improvement. Now is the time to get powerful. If you're training for powerlifting competition, you are now going to begin to introduce the actual competition style powerlifting techniques into your training cycle (Weeks 13 through 16)." 

"Drop the Olympic high bar squats and safety bar squats in favor of the power style squat (where the bar is placed low on the traps and the feet at least shoulder width apart or more). Drop the wide grip benches (where the elbows are at a 90-degree angle to the torso) in favor of the more efficient contest technique. Drop semi-stiff leg deadlifts in favor of the conventional sumo technique." 

"Doing the three powerlifts competition style will combing all the muscle groups needed to move the most weight possible. Think about what you need in competition. Stronger quads? Strong shoulders? Strong trunk?" 

"The TEN MOVEMENTS have given you a much greater level of absolute strength. Maintain that strength by continuing the ten movements. But, remember that movements 4 though 10 will be secondary to working on your competition technique. Exercise movements 4 through 10 should stop two or three weeks prior to the contest date." 


"Soviet athletes are famous for their strength and power. Their Olympic weightlifters and track and field athletes used to dominate international competitions. Their secret is an important system of training that they developed to increase explosive power." 

"It is only used for a brief period of six weeks in the peaking cycle. As I said earlier, only you will know your body well enough to know where to overlap stages of training. You will want to time this Soviet system to match the period when you want to be at your maximum in every way." 

"Plyometrics, as the system is called, is a group of exercises consisting of leaping, bounding and shock training. It is designed to cause rapid changes in how your nervous system responds to stress. It allows you to make more muscle cells fire instantaneously than you ever could before. And remember, the more muscle cells you get going, the more explosive force you have." 

"Begin plyometric training six to 8 weeks (9 through 16) before competition. Perform them on the two Active Rest Days (Wednesday and Sunday). 


"So far I've discussed the Five Stages of Preparation, the Ten Movements, and now for the final piece to make you complete." 


1) Nutrition

"First, follow a nutritional program which is capable of sustaining maximum stress on joints, muscles and connective tissue. This would include lean proteins, such as organ meats, chicken, fish and fresh natural oils."

"Stay away from sugars: honey, corn syrup and fructose are all sugars. Use your training diary to record what you eat and how strong you feel the next day. You will soon notice certain foods don't work for your best energy and strength output. You have to take notice of this because it is different for each individual."

"Ergogenic aids are state of the art work enhancers. Certain select amino acids increase muscular growth, energy and a number of biomechanical functions. You use weights as a catalyst to make muscles grow. You use nutrients like ergogenic aids to make them grow efficient." 

2) Recuperation

"Improving your power output takes a lot from your body, an awful lot. And the limitation has always been that your body can only take so much of that abusive stress." 

"This is perhaps the most important stepping stone to greatness, teaching your body to recuperate faster and avoiding overtraining. Overtraining is when you put your body under more workout stress before it has recovered completely from the last workout." 

"I will now show you how to restore your body more quickly so you can train harder and more often. 

Hydrotherapy, simple hot water, either in a hot tub or bath can bring blood to the skin surface and help flush out lactic acid produced by overworked muscles. Take a hot shower or a whirlpool for six minutes after you cool down. Hot water will help your muscles rebuild faster after a hard workout." 

"Deep tissue massage, not a gentle rub but an almost painful cross fiber massage of the muscles used in training, helps clear out lactic acid and other metabolic wastes." 

"Anything that increases blood flow, heat and pressure both do this, will bring more oxygen to the muscle and help flush out toxins faster. If you have not recuperated between workouts, if your are overtrained, you will lose muscle instead of building it." 

"It may be a gradual thing where it takes time before you notice your are not making gains. That is lost time from your training cycles, enough perhaps to keep you from being a winner. Be constantly aware of the signs of overtraining. One sign is an elevated pulse in the morning upon arising, three days in a row." 

"Keep a daily record of your pulse, but only after your first ten weeks of training. If you pulse is elevated by more than four beats over normal, look for other signs of overtraining. These include loss of appetite, problems in falling asleep or staying asleep, fatigue and loss of desire to train." 

"If recuperation techniques of the above stepping stones don't eliminate the problem of overtraining, take a day off from training. It is better to lose one day of training than a week off your cycle from overtraining." 

3) Negatives

"How do you handle negatives? Do you excuse a poor workout because of the poor equipment or bad spotters, or lack of a coach? Why are you letting negatives serve as excuses? You won't have it perfect on competition day either. Look at it this way, the absence of a coach won't stop you. The lousy equipment won't stop you. Nothing, nothing is going to stop you. Use that determination to do a better workout." 

4) Visualization

"From the beginning of your cycle, you must use visualization. Do this for about 15 minutes every day. Do it before you sleep when you are in your most receptive state. Go over the lifts you worked on that particular day. Actually feel your muscles responding to the thought process."

"Visualize improvement in your technique. Visualize more weight on each lift. It's important to visualize the entire movement, to see it as a continuous motion, not as a series of still photographs and not as only a part." 

"If you find that you have problems seeing the whole movement in its entirety, you are probably weak in that part of the exercise, lacking in technique. Practice seeing the lifts as a movie in your head." 

"Play it over and over until you can actually see the whole movement done right, done successfully, as you want to do it. The MIND controls the body. It controls the muscles and your glands. This simple technique, VISUALIZATION, can actually help you recuperate faster and help you restore your body in less time." 

5) Monitor Details

"Constantly monitor yourself and your progress. Don't trust entries in your training log or diary to memory. Efficiency in your training diary will carry over to your workouts. Beware of your readiness for competition." 

"For powerlifting, make sure your contest equipment and clothing are in order. Make sure that your powerlifting federation membership is up to date and your dues are paid and valid. Schedule travel so you have plenty of time to recover from jet lag, to get used to the altitude change. A true champion is always prepared, a true champion is always ready." 

"And now, for competition or a workout, it's time to lift HEAVY IRON.  You've been there before. To let your mind flow within itself where trickles of primordial instinct well up to become torrents of unleashed fury. Go to the other place where there is NO PAIN, NO NEGATIVE INFLUENCES, NO FEAR. A state of mind where only POSITIVE FORES dwell. THE IRON IS LIFTED!" 

"The sport of powerlifting is the greatest sport in the world. People find themselves caring for things in their lives that have the capability of inflicting great pain. Powerlifting can do that. It's a sport where danger is ever present. The pain to your body is only fleeting. It's not real pain. Real pain comes from FAILURE, FAILURE TO ACHIEVE, FAILURE TO REALIZE YOUR POTENTIAL." 

"Yet, by definition, sports such as powerlifting can only have one winner. Most of us lose more than we win. The cost of trying is often pain, but the rewards of trying are greater by far." 

"You will know the true value of powerlifting when people stop and stare. You, my friends, are some of the strongest of the strong. You are revered above all men. People have always admired great strength. Throughout history, it has been that way and it still is and it always will be." 

Enjoy Your Lifting!      

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