Over the years I have watched many of the top muscle men train and I have found that none of these fellows train alike. They are all after the same result but each one goes about obtaining that result in a sligthly different way.
There are those who must handle heavy poundages in order to stimulate muscle growth and there are those who can get the same results with somewhat less weight in their training.
When one observes Larry Scott, particulary when he curls, his method is to actually attack the barbell or dumbbells which he curls on the preacher bench.
The weights are heavy and he fights every rep from the first one onward until he finishes the set with burns. With most bodybuilders the first few reps are performed without too much difficulty and they become progressively difficult as the set continues.
With Larry, the first rep is just as hard to get as the last. He doesn't begin with aa given weight and then increase on each succeeding set. He starts with a heavy weight and stays with that poundage until he's finished witgh that exercise. He has a saying . . .
"Make every rep a set."
Which means that each rep should place the demands on the muscle that a normal set would. This is why at the competion of each preacher rep he rests briefly, allowing the muscle to relax somwhat before the next rep is attempted. This is in fact a rest-pause, allowing the muscle that few seconds in which to recover and be prepared for the next rep. This has certainly worked for him since he has the arms to prove itand that brief rest between reps allows Larry to handle heavy weights throughout his arm training.
Quite the opposite is the training method of Serge Nubret, who seems to thrive on much lighter poundages and still manages to maintain a great physique. Serge wears his wrist watch when he trains and times the segments he allots to various muscles groups, rather than X number of sets for a given bodypart. His success is due to forcing the muscle to work hard against a lighter weight and mentally making the weight appear heavy to the muscles being worked. In this way he derives a similar action and muscle stimulant as the person using a heavy poundage without the added stress to certain joints, which he told me he tries to avoid.
There are also those who follow the Arthur Jones method of very brief but extremely hard training sessions and although there are fewer of these people, the ones who have applied this type of training have been quite successful, and in fact, fellows like the Mentzers and Casey Viator have done very well indeed. However, here again it is a matter of stimulating muscle growth in a manner that works best for you.
We are all individuals and obviously we differ in our muscular makeup and muscle response to exercise. Many of the top bodybuilders have stated that certain areas of the body have been relatively easy for them to develop. There are some who had little difficulty with arms whereas others have to work like demons trying everything possible to get the arms to a presentable size and shape. In other cases calves have been a major problem with some and not such a big problem with others.
As it is in individual problems such as these it is with the overall physique and there will always be those more fortunate whom we term "naturals" and who seem to grow no matter what they do in training, and those not-so-fortunates who have to really fight and struggle for every gain they might make in this or that area of the body.
The fellows in the latter classification are the ones who are looking for any mode of training or special exercise or method of performing an exercise that might further their physical enhancement and these are the fellows, in the main, who might be interested in the system I am about to expound.
Many years ago some researchers and experimenters wrote some articles for Iron Man concerning a method of training which has, in recent years, enjoyed a comeback of sorts. I believe, if memory serves me right, that the man who wrote on this subject was a man named Ross but I can't be sure. At any rate thismaqn had worked on the Rest-Pause and brought it to the attention of bodybuilders many years ago.
The rest-pause was designed in the main to allow a person to handle heavy poundages for very fewreps, actually single reps with a very brief pause in between. This fellow stated that one could work the same muscle groups each day and make small but continuous gains using this method and he actually proved his statements when the California bodybuilders began to use it, in particular Larry Scott, or at least he popularized it. This simply entailed completing a regular set of curls, for example, and then trying for 5 or less, fast, partial curls to engorge the muscle with blood and this would produce a burning sensation in the muscles, plus an added pump.
What I want to suggest to you here is that you combine both of these methods to impose upon your muscles the utmost in intensity, literally forcing the muscle to grow. I have been trying this system recently and, although I can't put the effort into it that the younger fellows could, I am still making some fine progress with it. So if I can, surely you younger fellows could.
To demonstrate, let's take the old standby, the barbell curl . . .
Take a weight that you feel you could get about 6-8 reps with. Stand behind a bench press bench. In fact you can load the bar on the bench racks and then step up to it. Take the bar off the racks and curl it until the last reps is really tough to get. Set the bar on the racks for just a few seconds, no more than three, pick it up, and curl again.
You may only get 2 or 3 reps, then replace the bar on the racks and rest another three seconds, then take it off and curl again. If you can make a t third set after the third rest, so much the better, and by this time you will have a pair of really aching biceps. Place the bar on the racks for another brief rest, then take if off and perform as many "burns" as you can get.
It won't be very many if you have been really working on the rest-pause, because the biceps will be engorged and sore but get as many as you can, then take a rest. You can repeat this exercise as often as you feel it takes to get the full pump you are looking for.
If you really wish to intensify your training, you can take another movement, possibly dumbbells, and follow the first exercise with a second, after a brief rest. This would be a modified superset method of working biceps, only a much more intense method than the regular superset.
I think you will find that if you utilize this system and particularly the superset version you won't need any other biceps exercise at that particular time.
This can also be applied to triceps, and I was thinking in terms of the triceps bench press as the exercise of choice. [Close grip bench]. Many bodybuilders use this movement now because it enables them to use pretty heavy weights without the stress to the elbow joints that one receives from the bench press. This, of course, could also be followed by a second exercise if one wished to increase the intensity.
If you are one of the more fortunate men in the game, you will succed in obtaining your goal with much more ease than the less fortunates -- the hard gainers, so to speak.
Remember, each rest-pause must be very short and each set must be performed with as many reps as possible. The burns must be performed quickly and until the bar will hardly move before you call the set quits.
It takes more concentration, and it's hard work, make no mistake about that, but it gets results and, after all, that's what we're after, isn't it?
Enjoy Your Lifting!