Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Power With Partial Movements -- Christopher Baker (1977)


Editor's Note (Peary Rader): Many people frown on partial movements, and this is unfortunate as they can contribute a great deal to a man's strength and overall condition. There has been so much propaganda about the dangers of short range movements that is completely false. Try the short movements and you may be amazed at your gains in strength. Just be careful not to overtrain as they take a lot of energy. 

Note: The progression here is different. Check it out.  

If you've been training with weights for some time now and have achieved a fair amount of success, then chances are you're ready for an advanced power routine. 

Developing great power will put you into a very elite group indeed. Not many men in this modern era can boast of true physical strength. Those who do have it all over the old time strongman, what with Olympic and power totals being upped every year and records changing like the weather. If you're hankering to possess a truly great physique and unbelievable strength, then you're in luck, all the tools are now available. You supply the work and with a little sweat you will reach that pinnacle.

The power system advocated herein has been around for a while but for some obscure reason it's not receiving the publicity it was a decade ago. You can bet your bottom dollar, though, that every top lifter today used similar methods at one time or another during his career. Total body power cannot be built with any simple training system. It will require endurance and muscle building routines as well as power building ones. Assuming your previous and present schedules have given some degree of size and endurance, we'll deal strictly with the aspect of building muscular strength. 

Without a doubt, strength is only built by using super heavy weights and don't let anybody disillusion you about that important point. The question is how can you come to use super heavy weights in your training. There are approaches to achieving this -- the best known ones are: 

1) Low repetition, heavy weight movements. 
2) Partial movements. 
3) Supporting or isometric movements.
4) Retrogravity exercises. 
5) Cheating methods.

All these methods have been used with success by individuals through the years. 

A few years ago some genius developed a device called the "power rack." This routine is based on the use of that apparatus. With it you can employ the use of huge weights and bring into play the power principles mentioned above with every single repetition. 

If you don't have access to a power rack and can't afford to buy one, then build your own. A sturdy power rack can be made by fixing four 4x4 cedar posts to the ceiling and floor, then rest your bar on pins pushed through holes bored about six inches apart. Two dumbbell bars make excellent pins. Note: They made racks narrow at first. 

At this point I feel a short explanation of the mechanics of the exercises is necessary to fully understand the principles involved. 

Load up the bar to above the poundage used for a full single rep, the extra weight will stop the bar short of full lock out. Pushing with all you've got, the bar will hover momentarily as in isometric contraction, then fall back slowly to starting position as your strength ebbs. That constitutes one repetition. 

As this training program is of practical application rather than theory, I don't want to get into nutrition and the actual breakdown and repair of muscle tissue. Suffice to say that diet is of optimum importance to supply energy, to rebuild tissue and thus increase strength. Weight training programs are of very little value at all without proper nutrition. There are plenty of articles and books on this subject available, I urge you to read and heed all you can. 

Now, with all that out of the way, we can move on to the exercises you'll be doing for your power training period. They are designed to cover all the major muscle groups of the body on a three day per week schedule. Mon/Wed/Fri . . . or Tues/Thurs/Sat, or Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday. 

The program should take one to one and a half hours to complete, giving a minute's rest between sets and three to five minutes between exercises. 

Don't add more exercises to the list, although you may work the waist on off days if time and energy permit, but no barbell work. 

Here is your power building program:

Warmup: 1 set chins, I set dips.
Do one set each of as many reps as you can do. Use very strict style with no weight resistance at all.

Exercise 1: Partial Press.
With the bar set at shoulder height, press up as high as you can and resist until the bar is back to starting position. Use very little back bend. This exercise will do more for your pressing power than any other exercise I know of. Use heavy weights and work it hard. 

Exercise 2: Partial Bench Press.
Lying on your back, set bar about 15 inches above your chest. Press the bar to full lockout position and hold. The heavy load will force it back to starting position, and you fight the bar's descent. 

Exercise 3: Cheat Curl.
This is the only exercise not performed on the power rack. Rather, take a heavy barbell and cheat curl it up to top position, using lots of back bend and swing. Now, keeping the back straight resist all the way down with biceps strength.

Exercise 4: Triceps Pushup.
You'll need two bars on the rack, one set at about the height of your nipples and loaded, the other set just below crotch height. Duck under the top bar and rest it across your shoulders. Take a medium grip on the low bar and push the load up with triceps power alone. Keep feet on the floor for balance only.

Exercise 5: Partial Row.
With the bar positioned at a height just above the knees, bend forward and grip the bar with a fairly wide grip. Keep knees bent, back straight, and pull bar up as high as it will come. This and the next exercise will produce pulling power. Heavy weights are required.

Exercise 6: Partial Dead Lift. 
The bar set and loaded at mid-shin height, using a hook grip, stand erect. Use only leg and back strength to make the lift. Very heavy weights can be worked up to. 

Exercise 7: Partial Squat.
Last and most important for full power. Legs and back are already warmed up from the deadlifts. Set the bar 8 to 10 inches below shoulder height and lift to full height. This also is a super heavy exercise; work it hard. 

In all the exercises the bar should move no more than 8 to 10 inches. As for sets and reps, start with only one set each and as many reps as you can (between 3 and 6). Each day add one more set until your are doing three. Then add weight and repeat the whole process. That will give you an increase at the beginning of each week, seven in the two month period. Don't start too heavy the first week, get used to the method first, then go heavy the second week and every week from there.

I recommend that you do this two month schedule during the winter months. Matter of fact, all heavy schedules should be done in the cooler months as this time of year is more conducive to weight and strength gains. 

There you have it; simply but by no means easy. At the end of this schedule you will find gains in strength and size proportional to the work you've put into it. 

Remember, HEAVY WEIGHTS are the key to this routine. Keep pushing up the poundages, work hard, and this routine will work for you.

Enjoy Your Lifting!  


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