Tuesday, May 24, 2022

My Secret of Gaining Big Muscles - Quick -- Jack Donovan (1943)

 Courtesy of Michael Murphy
Thank You!

Clevio Massimo

The Author

Are you one of those ambitious fellows interested in packing on big muscles FAST -- but not making the progress you had hoped for? 

That was my trouble. Yes, I learned the hard way, then, luckily I somehow stumbled on to the secret of how huge, massive muscles can be packed on quickly. If you'll profit by my experience I'm sure you can save yourself a lot of needless effort and be better satisfied with each of your training periods.

To give you an idea of how much my "secret" benefitted me let me state it enabled me to make a gain of 20 pounds of husky, rugged muscle in a hurry. I literally jumped from a weight of 165 pounds to 185. And I'm so enthused with my amazing discovery that although I am now only 23, I fully expect to be training when I'm 63. I've been making such unusual gains lately that I hesitate in stating my measurements, because by the time this will appear in print my muscles will have gained quite a bit more than at the present writing. My chest, normal, is 46", biceps 15.5. waist 31.5, thighs 24.5 and my height is 5' 10".

In the lives of practically all outstanding and ambitious personalities there is usually some big event which marks the turning point in their careers. In my case, it was the day I received my order for a 100-lb. bar bell set. What a thrill it was a I opened the box in which my weights arrived! 

This apparatus was to make a REAL MAN out of me. Here was a scientifically designed piece of ingenious equipment to help me pack on massive slabs of muscle to that slender, skinny frame of mine. And although I was no invalid no one would ever get excited over my frail figure! 

I decided, now the barbells had arrived, folks WOULD get excited over my physique. This hasn't been my idle boast, either. The muscular development I've built up by barbell training has won for me favorable comment in various physical culture magazines, weight lifting publications, health periodicals and enabled me to win State and District championships in muscular development and weight lifting. The splendid results I have achieved has been the means of encouraging and inspiring dozens of other fellows to use and train with barbells to improve their bodies. They observed the rapid gains I made and became ashamed of their own puny bodies and decided they, too, wanted a body like mine, and they are getting marvelous results just as I did and still am. I'm proud of my development, and why shouldn't I be? We should glory in manly strength and beauty. 

The barbells seem to give me a new incentive for LIVING. Before they arrived I just frittered away my time. I had no definite ambition, no objective to life, but as I said, when these shiny ebony-black plates and the bar, with the courses arrived they seemed to release something inside and from then on I decided to be a MUSCULAR GIANT, to amount to something, be SOMEBODY, they proved to be the turning point in my life. Now I KNOW where I'm heading; before, I didn't. 

It wasn't all smooth sailing for me after I received these barbells and although I received some setbacks I never lost my zeal, my interest in barbell training. And so before belling you about my secret for making swift muscular progress permit me to mention a few brief facts about my boyhood.

I always had a great love of the outdoors and spent much time camping out in the woods. In this rugged New England environment I became as normally developed physically as the average youngster who participated in the typical games and sports. However, as you've noticed, ordinary games never built up an unusual MUSCULAR development. When I was 16 the gym instructor at school insisted I take at least five periods a week in gym work as a means to increase my general health and strength. But doing this "arm-waving" as given in most school gyms didn't appeal to me and every chance I could I skipped these gym classes. I graduated from high school at 17 and weighed just 108 pounds at a height of 5' 8.5". From this, you'll note I certainly was not over burdened with flesh. 

The summer after my graduation I spend considerable time at a nearby beach to enjoy the water and sunshine, get a tan and have some wholesome fun, playing like a young animal on the sands. While on the beach one of the fellows from the school wrestling team was there; we got talking and he suggested I join him in some training at the YMCA. Here I discovered practically all the others were much bigger and taller than I was and I secured plenty of exercise; and with the summer outdoor life, eating good nourishing foods I put on 30 pounds during that first summer and winter. The following spring I was given an opportunity to assist a dealer in magazines, and I was glad of this chance because I was able to glean a vast amount of instruction and knowledge from all these interesting publications without the expense of buying them. 

With the exercise I'd been having at the Y it was only natural that the "strong man" magazines should attract my attention. The articles and photographs of splendidly built men intrigued me and stirred within my breast the desire to be  a champion too. I only had to read a few of these magazines and interest was at "white heat." I became so enthused over this form of training -- with barbells and dumbbells and cables -- NOTHING could stop me now, and as soon as my earnings had accumulated to the purchase price of a 100 lb. barbell set -- you can depend upon it. I lost no time in ordering the outfit. 

Ah! How excited and pleased I was when it arrived. Now for some REAL muscles! I pictured myself as being a huge 200 pound Hercules in short order. Perhaps I was overenthusiastic and expected too much, too quickly -- and because I wasn't a 200 pound giant two or three weeks later I gave it up in disgust. 

Then I gave the matter some SERIOUS thought and realized I had been too hasty and became convinced in all fairness to the barbells I would have to stick to my training for some time before any astonishing gains could be expected. I started in training again, determining to myself, this time, to master it, and not let it master me. 

In spite of this, my enthusiasm wasn't dampened in the least. I simply took my barbells in the back garden and trained there. Come rain or snow I had my workouts. After a year of this I decided to join a local gymnasium and brought my weights there. I've been training there ever since. Its at this gym I've induced many other fellows to take up bar-bell training.

During this training I made progress although I felt I was not making the FAST gains I believed were possible. I concentrated on the development of the UPPER body -- and now I come to my secret . . . I found out, it is HOW you USE the barbells that makes all the difference. I've noticed that lots of body builders give attention only to their UPPER body and wonder why they fail to secure the phenomenal results they had hoped for. They do not realize that half the muscles of the body are in the hips and thighs and legs. 

Here is my secret. I want you to try it and prove on yourself the extra gains you make. Don't wear yourself out with hard work concentrating on the upper body only. Do this: Pay attention to the lower half of the body. That's all there is to it. At least half your training should consist of exercising with barbells doing plenty of DEEP KNEE BENDS and DEAD LIFTS. In doing this, you are NOT neglecting your shoulders, chest, arms, but all parts of the body get intensive exercise; and with the HEAVIER WEIGHTS you use in these exercises you speed up results and pack on muscle on the big muscle areas of the body. 

You see, if you exercise the upper body only, the lower half is neglected almost entirely. But when you exercise the lower half you automatically have to use the upper body muscles, too, thus you "kill two birds with one stone" and cut your exercising effort almost in half. This simple plan enabled me to pack on 20 pounds of muscle in a hurry. I regard it as a great discovery, a very valuable secret. You try it, persistently, and with an abundance of good nourishing meals, you'll surprise yourself with the splendid gains you'll make. 

Yes, I'm sold 100% on barbell training. At 17 I weighed 108 pounds, today, at 23, I'm 185 pounds. If you're ashamed of your physique get yourself some production-build barbells and then train, giving the LOWER HALF of the body full attention, as I'm doing and you'll soon be more than pleased at your greatly improved muscular development just a few short months from now. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!    

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