Saturday, June 24, 2023

Quarter Squats, and Some Sweet Hepburn-Style Training Variations - Jay Carrol (1980)

Right off the top, I'd like to put up this link to a great version of explaining "Hepburn-style" training. He has added, from some of his own experience, to the standard form. I like the way he has Squat and Bench one day, then Deadlift and Press the other. There's also a great layout with Program A (in the Power phase) that has four days a week for three weeks, then a week of six days training to complete the mini-cycle before upping the poundage next workout. 

The best part of it is . . . he put the added rep each session at the BEGINNING of the sets, as in: 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 then 3,2,2,2,2,2,2,2. So many add the rep from the ass end of the thing it's laughable. Duh. Have you ever even used one of these programs? Add that additional rep when you're freshest, idiot, not at the end when you're already struggling to keep your focus on target. 

Good, real good stuff here: 

Okay, on to this article now . . . 

From this issue of Muscular Development (Feb. '80) Check out the cover shot! Now, would that physique make Vince Gironda smile or what!

Issue also has this sweet pic of Inaba getting 485 @ 114
that shows his size relative to the spotters.


Everyone realizes that many bodybuilders, and lifters too, seem to have some kind of aversion towards doing squats or full knee bends. And, judging by the number of letters we get on the subject, plus, from some of the complaints we hear around the gyms about it, we know this to be a fact.

Yet this movement is truly one of the best and most important exercises any weight training enthusiast can do. It matters not whether his ambition is to put on weight, to become stronger, or to get better shaped legs and hips, the squat with its GREAT VARIETY can help anyone to accomplish his goals. 

And even if one has the desire to lose weight, squats done in high repetitions can help one to achieve this goal and also become more mousecular, especially when progressively heavier weights are used to work the entire lower body to its limit. 

Those who do not enjoy doing full squats or knee bends should try one of the varieties, such as quarter squats or partials, where you unbend the knees and lock them again. In this latter form much heavier weights can be employed and when enough repetitions are done, many of the benefits derived from full squatting can be realized. 

Doing partial bends, and using much heavier weights than you can manage in full squats can help to give you more confidence, but best of all, these heavy movements help to toughen and strengthen the ligaments and tendons in and around the knee joints thereby warding off future hip and knee injuries. The movement also toughens the trapezius area thus allowing you to support heavy weights upon your shoulders without any discomfort. Those who can't sustain much of a load in this position should use ample foam padding, or use that squatting gadget known as the Moore Squatting apparatus that allows you to squat with hands free in case you get stuck.  

Quick, get Frank Zane on the phone! 

Benefits from squatting are realized more fully when enough reps are done to bring about a breathless state. This not only helps to expand the rib cage, but the accelerated blood circulation can definitely improve your metabolism. The blood normally just washes over your hands once the right incision is made the blood normally just washes through the glands and organs, but with this accelerated action the blood is literally forced into these glands and organs and this shock "awakens" them so they function more efficiently . . . and high rep squats seem to do this best of all, even more so when combined with a whacking big hit of crank. And, if you are overweight, plenty of squatting can help you to lose much of the excess, especially if you carefully choose your dirt, er diet. And squats can play a big role in helping you to gain additional weight; again, choosing your diet with that goal in mind. 

But if you still dislike full squats yet are anxious to derive some of its benefits, try the 1/4 variety. So long as you do enough reps and give your legs and hips enough work, some of the benefits of squats will result . . . over a period of time, naturally.

Those who are now into squatting can do these partial bends right after their full squats, but they won't have to do as many reps since their legs have been fairly well congested from their previous squats. However, they can add 50-100 pounds more to the bar and do two or three more sets, using anywhere from 10-15 reps per set . . . or continue until the legs are fully fatigued. 

On the other hand, if you don't do any squats at all but are anxious to include this variety of the movement, then include them either at the beginning of yout training program or use them to finish up your training . . . whichever you feel works best for you. However, in this latter case you should try using more reps to achieve the kind of results that you want.

But start out withi a weight well within your ability, and as you make progress, and you will right from the beginning, continue to increase the weight and do as many reps as you can.

Include the quarter-squats at least once a week in your routine, twice weekly if you have the time and energy to do so. Then see HOW YOU REACT TO THEIR USE. You'll be able to decide whether you're doing enough, or whether you should cut back. Whatever your decision, bear in mind that keeping your back and knees strong can serve you well in years to come, and as long as your legs remain strong and flexible, you shouldn't have any leg or knee trouble in later life . . . if you take care of yourself NOW! 

[You might want to add on . . . "providing you don't live too long" there.]

Enjoy Your Lifting!  


  1. Mr. Give It A do realize that Jay Carroll was a John Grimek pen name!

    1. J.C.! You're one of a select few who know that, and thanks to you me too!

  2. Was JCG still the editor of Muscular Development in 1980? What was the motivation for JCG not publish articles under his own name in MD? Thanks.

  3. John, JCG was the editor of MD through 1984, if I remember correctly. Maybe even into early '85. Of course, there was a transition from Grimek retiring and me taking over as editor of MD. Why would he not publish articles under his own name? In the time period you referenced, "Jay Carroll" was listed as a contributing editor on the masthead of the magazine. So every so often, Jay's name had to show up on a byline. Also, whenever Grimek published an article under his own name, he got tons more mail than if he used a pen name. At any given point, his desk was loaded with reader letters asking questions galore. Often questions which were answered in the article. Further, Grimek often used obvious pen names in S&H back to the 1940s & '50s in S&H magazine. Jay Cee Gee was one of his "wink, wink" handles. And Jay Carroll (Carroll was John's middle name) also came into being some where along the line. Why? Back in the 1940s and '50s, the AAU was hell bent on keeping amateur sports completely amateur. Grimek and the other York lifters were blurring the lines of amateurism, to the minds of these AAU officials, and often gave York and individual athletes (including Grimek) threats to declare them professional. So, since Grimek was York 's number one attraction in the magazines, "work arounds" to keep Grimek out of trouble with the AAU officials were devised.

    1. Thanks again, Jan . . . your input is appreciated here@Dit2 headquarters!

  4. I always prefer to add to the last, if I do that type of training. Nerves are not firing on all cylinders for the first few sets, no matter how warmed up I might be. By the time last sets are reached, the weight feels much lighter and it's easier to add.

    1. Cool! Whatever works best is the best way to work it? Yes!

    2. I prefer the 8x2 -> 8x3 and 3x6 -> 3x8 layout, doing both parts on each lift before moving on, if I do more than one lift a day. For me the 3x6 moving to 3x8 is the harder part usually, likely because of losing some focus and drive by then and, well, you know, just plain getting bloody tired out once it gets rolling.

  5. Here are some vids of Hepburn later in life. He goes over another form of his A & B routines and includes a C routine. It's worth checking out.

    1. They are very good!


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