Friday, April 21, 2017

To Cheat or Not to Cheat - Charles A. Smith (1988)

Harriet Smith, Charles A. Smith, Bert Goodrich, Earle Liederman, Unidentified Woman

To Cheat or Not to Cheat
The Use and History of the Cheat Training Principle 
by Charles A. Smith (1988)

If you'd been around in the 1950S, you would have had a good chuckle over the fiery feud between York Barbell President Bob Hoffman (self-named "The Father of Modern Weightlifting" and the ever ebullient Joe Weider, who were waging war against each other. 

What they said in their mags about each other was acidulous. What they said in private would have corroded the carvings off Mount Rushmore! The reason for this war of words? Joe's espousal of the "cheat" training principle, which many said he "invented" but which Hoffman said was "worthless, dangerous, futile and useless." So there!

Joe did not invent the "cheat" principle; hell, it's been around as long as there have been barbells. But what Hoffman failed to realize was that the weightlifting and strength movements he advocated in his magazine - the snatch, the clean and jerk, the bent press - were all cheat movements. Bob Hoffman, fond of showing himself in his own magazine and boasting about his own weightlifting feats one time wrote an editorial about the evils of cheating and then in the same magazine exhibited his powers by bent pressing a shiny International barbell, a movement he forgot to mention was the cheatingest movement of the lot, a movement in which everything except the platform you are standing on moves!

Those in the know recognized all the fussing and arguing for what it really was. Joe was treading a little too heavily on York Barbell's turf and too many weight-trainers were turning away from Hoffman's beloved Olympic weightlifting to Weider's cursed bodybuilding. The bottom line was dollars so the war was on.

Strangely enough, the businesses of Joe Weider and Bob Hoffman boomed and the only sufferers were the poor bloody typesetters, proofreaders and yours truly who had to deal with the noxious effluvium, since I was Editor at the time of Joe's ever growing Muscle Builder/Power magazine. 
It must be admitted that while Joe Weider did not "invent" the "cheat" training principle, he did give it great exposure in his mags to get it accepted and into weight-training as a valuable and result-producing way to "pick 'em up and put 'em down." And it must also be said that there are not too many around today who know anything about the "cheat" training principle, its history, what it can do and how to use it. There are even some who think the principle is curling 150 pounds and telling someone you made 200.

First, what is cheat training? Putting it in simple terms, it is using a looser style to perform an exercise for which performance rules have been established. As an example, let's take the two hands military press. Performed correctly, the press should be done with no back bend, no jerk from the shoulders, no bending at the knees and with the proper foot placement. But in training, a slight back bend, a slight dip of the legs and heave from the shoulders is used all the time - especially when the last few reps become tough going.

That's what cheating is all about, allowing you to handle heavier than normal weights, putting a greater overload on your muscles and allowing you to do extended sets.

If for example you could curl 100 pounds 6 times strictly, with some cheating you can perform several extra reps, so there is the possibility of more intensity. It's like performing forced reps by yourself. Thus any "cheat" movement is an easier way to lift a weight that should, according to the rules, be performed strictly. By using this cheating style, one can lift more weight. That much is obvious.

An example? In a one-arm lift, the hardest way to get a weight overhead is the one-arm military press.
Rules, and methods of training for and with the lift can be found here:

In this lift, performed according to the rules, no side bend of the body is allowed and the trunk must remain erect at all times. In contrast to this lift we have the side press (or "Devisse"), in which a side body bend is permitted, although the legs must remains straight.

One Arm Side Press:
The side press progresses to the bent press in which any amount of side bend is allowed and the legs are allowed to bend at the knees.

Secrets to Mastering the Bent Press by Walter J. Dorey (FREE . . . THANK YOU, WALTER!)
This is a great 111 page book on bent pressing. A true contribution to the lifting literature.

Check out Bill Hinbern's Site for two books on bent pressing.
One by Sig Klein and one by Harold Ansorge:
To find more on any given subject here on this blog, just Google your topic with ditillo2 added. 
For example, Barbell Curl:

Back to the article . . .

It is obvious that in these latter two lifts, the one arm side press, and the bent press, much more weight can be lifted than in the one arm military press.

You young people reading this article may say to yourself, "So what? Who does these lifts anymore?" But you should know that, with the possible exception of the bench press, all of our so called "modern" exercises were being used 100 or more years ago (written in 1988). And even the bench press was being used in the very early 1900's.

In England, at one time  42 different lifts were in use for contest purposes and record breaking.
And they still are.

International All-Round Weightlifting Association Lift Rule Book:
And here's a PDF conversion of it I made:

And among the Niagara of weightlifting books that have been written, none is as valuable as Bill Pullum's book, "Weightlifting Made Easy and Interesting."

Published in 1920, it gives each lift then in use a full explanation plus it helps anyone reading it realize just how the "cheat" training principle was evolved.

For example, we used an exercise we called "standing flies". Modern weight trainers perform it with arms bent at the elbows and considerable body movement. In Bill Pullum's day it was known as the "lateral raise standing" and was done with the arms dead straight and locked at the elbows, no body heave, no bend either forward or backward, with trunk held erect throughout the lift. So we can see a cheating movement has evolved out of a lift for which strict rules existed. Today the name has reverted back to the "standing lateral raise" or "side lateral".

Perhaps the two men who have had the greatest influence on the cheat principle are Bert Assirati, strong-man/wrestler:
and Joseph Curtis Hise:
 - Note: J.C. Hise is my all-time favorite lifting author. What a guy and what a mind! 

Bert was, in the late 1920's and early 1930's performing feats of strength that were by the standards of those days impossible. Assirati was cleaning and jerking 365 pounds when that poundage was more than the amateur world's record! He was also capable of ONE LEGGED SQUATS WITH 200 POUNDS FOR REPS! His two hands curl, strict, British contest style, was 200 pounds and his straight-arm pullover of 200 pounds was 60 pounds greater than the British amateur record at that time.

Bert used "cheat" training in most of his workouts. He did cheat curls, for example, before they were ever mentioned in this country. In fact, it was this author (Charles A. Smith) who first mentioned Bert's curl workout in a training advice column in a 1947 edition of The Iron Man magazine ( - that's what it was called back then, and the column Smith wrote was titled "Help With Your Problems", or Solving Your Problems" at times).

Reading Bill Pullum's book, you will see that the two hands curl was performed with no body movement and the upper arms kept tightly against the body, with only the forearms moving to curl the bar to the shoulders. In training for the curl, Bert used a slight body heave and a slight back bend. His training method enabled him to set a curl record of 200 pounds in strict style.

Bert also used the cheat in the two arms pullover.
In this lift, you lie on your back, hands gripping the bar with a shoulder width spacing, arms stretched out fully behind your head. The bar is then pulled up to arms length above the face with no arching of the lower back and arms kept locked and absolutely straight. Bert would start the lift with the bar at arms length above his face as he lay supine. He would then drop the weight onto the floor, bouncing the bar off the mat on which he lay, catching it on the rebound and use momentum to complete the lift.

 By establishing a record that so far as I know remains unbeaten to this day (1988), Bert showed that a loose style did build power and size and caused no harm.

 - There's a lot of 'rebound cheating' movement in these two books, divided over several posts. I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that Smith wrote them both and Weider put his own name on them:
There's seven parts to this one.
There's 11 parts to this one.

Joseph Curtis Hise's contribution to the "cheat" principle came from his deep knee bend style and his "hopper deadlift". Both of these exercises, as Hise performed them, were his "brain children". In the squat, Hise used a cambered bar (a bar with a bend in the middle) which made it easier on the shoulders when using heavy weights and stopped some of the 'rolling' forward on the ascent. Hise would "collapse" under the weight, hit rock bottom and rebound to an upright position. He would take three d-e-e-p breaths between each rep and continue squatting for 15 or 20 reps. Between sets of squats Hise flopped on his back and performed bent-arm breathing pullovers, forcing in a deep breath as he lowered the weight to expand his rib-cage and forcing out his breath as he raised the weight. The results? Fast gains in bodyweight, leg and chest size. By the way, those three deep breaths between each squat are now known as the "rest pause" system. Hise was using the system in 1932.

Typical development of the power training addict
as exemplified by one of the first monsters.
No name provided. 

Perhaps the most result producing contribution to weight-training by Hise was his "hopper" deadlift. Joe took two large pieces of timber, rested his barbell on the so the body was level (parallel) with the ground when it was bent over. Hise started his hopper deadlifts by taking the bar off the timber in normal deadlift manner to the erect position. Then, with legs held straight (no bending at the knees) and kept that way throughout the set, Hise dropped forward, bounced the weight off the timbers to gain momentum and then recovered to an upright position. In other words, a bouncing stiff legged deadlift. The value of this exercise lay in its ability to allow the lifter to move quickly while using a heavy weight and without risking injury to the lower back. There was a drawback however. The "hopper" deadlift raised so much racket the neighbors thought World War II was breaking out ahead of schedule!  

Let's look at another exercise that can be used as a "cheat" training method, the Upright Rowing motion. Used in the so-called "strict" or correct style, you do not bend forward or back but keep the upper body motionless while raising the bar to the chin. But by using a little body heave to start the bar on its way up to the chin, one can handle more weight for more repetitions. The greater the body heave, the more weight can be handled.

By using an ever looser style, the exercise can change, and evolves into "high pulls". For shoulder girdle muscle development, upright rows, "cheat" or "strict" are hard to beat.

How should the cheat principle be used and what are its benefits? Benefits are not only physical but mental as well. Gains in size and power come as a result of using heavier and heavier poundages. Mental benefits come from the mind becoming accustomed to using heavier poundages.

After a period of time using the cheat principle, upon returning to a stricter style of lifting you will find the bar feels lighter. Any weight trainer who uses support exercises knows that after taking three of four hundred pounds off the rack and holding it for 30 seconds your normal press poundage can feel feather light.

If it is possible for you to squeeze 10 reps out of a given poundage in the press, curl or any other movement, then all you have to do is add 10 or 15 pounds to the weight, curl or press as strict as you can for as many reps as you can and then when further reps appear impossible, start to "cheat". Bend forward and use a body heave in the curl. Bend back or use a slight heave from the shoulders in the press, and bend your knees a little to use leg power to help drive the weight up.

The idea is to do as many reps in strict style as you can and then bring in a "cheating" phase for the remaining reps. On some sets (say the last set when you are well warmed up and in the groove on a movement) you can up the poundage you normally use by 20 or 25 pounds and cheat all the way through the set. Or raise the training poundage to a weight that only allows you two or three strict reps and then cheat the rest of the reps.

Much more could be said about the "cheat" principle; what it can do and what its place is in modern weight lifting. The principle isn't new. It is as old as weight training itself, and the history of our sport goes back at least two thousand years!

No man living today can claim the cheat training principle as his invention. Cheating is a natural way to lift a weight and outright beginners do it without even knowing. It's knowing how and when to use it that makes it so valuable to the weight-trainer.

Over a hundred years ago (written in 1988), lifters were bent pressing, side pressing, jerking barbells and dumbbells overhead and one only has to look through Bill Pullum's book to see just how many "cheat" movements were used in 1920. One only has to witness a modern Olympic weightlifting contest to9 see how "cheat" movements are being used today.

So "cheat" and console yourself with the thought that it is the only "cheating" you can do that won't land you in the joint.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Specialization - Dennis Weis (1990)

Much More by Dennis Weis on Specialization Here:

And Here: 

Published in This Issue (December, 1990)

It has been said that, whether they know it or not, all bodybuilders are specialists in one way or another. Be it for bulking up or trimming down, symmetry, or adding more peak to your biceps, specialization is the way to go. 

Bodybuilding specialization is a method by which you work for advanced development of a certain muscle group or sector of a muscle that is lacking in size, shape, symmetry or muscular delineation. Specialization has many uses. You can use it to blast your way through a sticking point, to add variety to training, to renew your enthusiasm and avoid going stale, or simply to gratify the ego by changing the rate of your bodybuilding progress from ordinary to spectacular. It then becomes obvious to every bodybuilder that a sound knowledge of effective and intensive specialization is one of the secrets for adding sensational growth and strength.

Richard Simons, one of IronMan magazine's most prolific writers back in the 1960's, once told me personally all bodybuilders are specialists of one kind or another; they may specialize on a bulking routine, or obtaining definition, symmetry, muscular shape, health, athletic coordination, flexibility, basic strength, or on a particular bodypart. There are as many different kinds of specialization as there are bodybuilders. This is perfectly natural because bodybuilding, as a means of self expression, provides medium of expression for your individuality. 

Theoretically, if you exercise all the muscle groups with equal intensity, over a period of time (months, years, etc.), all of the major and minor muscle groups should develop equally in proportion to their size and strength potential. But, you will soon discover that some muscles groups and their associated sectors are more responsive to training than others. 

Basic multiple joint or compound barbell exercises such as full squats, bench presses, regular deadlifts, overhead presses, bentover rowing, curls, dips, etc., generally impose maximum muscle overload or tension in the midpoint of the exercise. For example, when doing the standard barbell curl it is mostly the belly of the biceps that is exposed to the resistance, while very little muscle tension is felt in the lower segment of the biceps at the beginning of the movement, or in the upper biceps at the contracted or extended position of the curl. It is very obvious then that it takes multiple compound and isolation exercises to develop maximum size and strength in the different sectors of a given muscle. Sometimes this can be accomplished within a regular training schedule and at other times it must be done through the means of priority or specialization training. 

There are a number of ways to incorporate a specialization program into your training schedule. 

1) Put your specialization program at the very beginning or a scheduled workout. Generally, your blood glucose, muscle glycogen and blood testosterone as well as your mental focus toward training are at their optimum levels at this time. As a result you will be able to apply maximum training effort to your specialization program.

2) Another very good way to structure your specialization program (if you have the time) is to perform it in the morning and then come back later in the day and complete the remaining workout for the other muscle groups you planned on working that particular day. This incorporates the double split training method. 

3) Perform your specialization program on the days that are not scheduled for a workout. For example, if you train the total body on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can perform the specialization program on Tuesday and Thursday, or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. 


Unless otherwise advised, specialization or priority training procedures should not be performed more often than every other day. 

To begin seeing positive results from a specialization program you will need a minimum of four weeks focused training and in some cases much longer. This is only a rough general estimate, you will have to see for yourself. 

Frank Zane's Method

If Frank felt that he had a muscle group that was lagging in size and strength and it was not where he wanted it to be, he would work the lagging muscle several days in a row per week for a two to four week period. When he had a lagging muscle group such a the back he would get in a heavy back workout on Monday of maybe 25 intense sets, then on Tuesday he would do another 15 sets but use different exercises to attack the same muscle area. On Wednesday he would perform 10-15 sets for the back again. On Thursday he wouldn't do any back work whatsoever. Then on Friday he would hit the back with another heavy workout. Saturday he would do just a little back work to get a pump, and Sunday would be a complete day off from training. Monday of the next week he would begin thus brutal attack on his back once again, continuing this approach for two for four weeks. 

Arnold's Priority Training

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday barbell wrist curls (with the palms up) were done for 5 sets of 10 and supersetted with a calf exercise. After completing these supersets he would then begin his next forearm exercise which was reverse wrist curls for 5 sets of 10-12 reps supersetted with a triceps exercise such as feet elevated triceps dips on a bench. After these supersets were completed Arnold would then go on to the EZ bar reverse curls on the preacher bench for 5 x 10-12 again supersetted with a triceps exercise. This program was followed for a two week duration at the beginning of each of those three days workouts. Arnold has specialized on a lagging muscle for as much as nine months at a time! 

Specialization training will normally last 6 to 8 weeks before mental burnout (and near overtraining of the muscle group) is experienced. When you become aware of this condition you are advises to take a three week layoff from your specialization training before embarking on another priority program for the same muscle group, or any other muscle group for that matter. This will give you the opportunity to recuperate fully and come back from the near overtraining, and your mental attitude toward your workouts will become more focused for your next phase of specialization.

The remainder of your training program, aside from your specialization techniques, should follow this guideline. If you are an intermediate or above bodybuilder you should decrease the number of sets you are doing for each of the non-specialization muscle groups by one half. For example, an intermediate bodybuilder who is doing 8-10 sets per major muscle group (quads, back, chest) and 5-7 sets per minor muscle group (delts, triceps, biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings, neck, abs) will do only 4-5 sets for the major muscle groups and 2-3 sets for the minor muscle groups. 

Specialization techniques require the intermediate man to do 10-15 sets for a major and 7-10 sets for a minor muscle groups, using 3-4 exercises. Advanced bodybuilders can do more. 

Choose exercises that will be the most result producing for the muscle group needing specialization. Work your weak areas, and don't specialize on your strong points. Be willing to to do work with exercises you may dislike, if they are what you need. Maintain a positive mental attitude and willpower to make the specialization program work for you.

It is always best to do a variety of different exercises from as many different angles as possible to stimulate maximum size and strength gains from a lagging muscle. You can specialize on a target area and use different exercises every two weeks. 

Specialize on only one muscle group at a given time. For example, you should not attempt to do priority training for chest and back at the same time. You can, however, work biceps and triceps or hamstrings and quads together if need be.

Appraise the muscle needing priority training. Does it need more size, better shape, or a combination of these? Once you have answered these questions honestly, it is time to begin planning and implementing your specialization program, but only if you have made a truthful critique of your physique. 

For general development (size, strength, and shape), an intermediate bodybuilder can choose two multiple joint (compound) exercises and two isolation exercises for a major muscle group. For minor muscle groups, go with two compound exercises and only one isolation exercise. Advanced can of course handle more. 

For maximum isolation and sculpting of a muscle group the intermediate bodybuilder might want to go with one compound and three isolation for a major muscle group. One compound and two isolation for a minor muscle group.

Another alternative is to select all isolation exercises if size is not all that lacking in the muscle group. 

Compound exercises can use rep schemes shown in Phases A to D in the Training Guide below. Isolation exercises should use rep schemes from only Phases B to D. 

The Training Guide

Phase A - Power, 4-6 reps
Phase B - Strength, 8-10
Phase C - Size, 12-18
Phase D - Muscular Endurance, 20-40

% of Max: 
Phase A - 84-92%
Phase B - 80-90
Phase C - 70-80
Phase D - 60-70  

Rep Speed: 
Phase A - 5 seconds
Phase B - 4
Phase C - 3-4
Phase D - 3

Rest Between Sets:
Phase A - 4-5 minutes
Phase B - 2-3
Phase C - 1-3
Phase D - 1-2

For a more extensive guide see the book "Mass." [I think I have that lying around somewhere . . . later.]

Methods of Specialization

There are numerous methods of specialization, such as the One Day 24 Hour Blitz. This particular program was researched by Gunnar Sikk and published in the April 1989 issue of MuscleMag International.

One of the most radical, but result producing methods of strength and size specialization I have come across is the 30 Day Fifty/Fifty Continuity Method. This is a little known training idea that can work as a means of forcing rapid gains in muscle separation, size and strength naturally. It is somewhat similar to Zane's and Arnold's method of specialization, with the main difference being that this is a 30-day program. It demands that you train the muscle group needing specialization, be it a major of minor group, six consecutive days per week, using light to moderately heavy poundages, low sets of four to seven (occasionally going to a maximum nine set limit). 

To clarify this in more detail, you will begin the program by doing a total of four sets for the prioritized muscle group on each training day during the first week. During the second week you will do five sets per training day, six sets during the third week, and seven during the fourth week. Advanced men can start at five sets per day and accumulate to eight.

The first 50% of your training for the prioritized muscle group will be for strength and size, and can be performed on alternate days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Select one compound exercise which will work the belly of the chosen muscle. For example, if you wanted to train the biceps you might go with the standing barbell curl. You then go on and select your rep scheme, perhaps Phase A from the training guide above (4-6 reps)    

To avoid crashing it will be very important to vary the training loads and exercises chosen on a rotational basis within the week as well. Monday's schedule has been mentioned (standing barbell curl). On Wednesday you might go with the seated barbell curl and phase B (8-10 reps). Friday you might wish to go with regular grip chin-ups and a Phase C (12-18 reps) selection. Then on Monday of the following week you go again with the standing barbell curl and use Phase B (8-10 reps). Wednesday the seated barbell curl for 12-18 rep sets, and Friday you might use the regular grip chin-ups (weighted) for 4-6 reps. 

Generally speaking, the Phase A, B and C rep schemes should be used for compound exercises. These sets should all be pushed to the max with heavier poundages whenever possible. Remember, you're working to gain size and strength with this method. 

You can go with pyramid reps, triple drop methods, etc. One method that can work very well here is a variation of the Rest Pause Method. For example, begin by warming up with 60% of your current 6-rep max in the standing barbell curl for 8-10 reps. Now jump to a poundage that that will allow you to perform six solid hard-work reps. Perform these and then rest for 60 seconds. Continue on in this manner for the total number of sets required be it for weeks 1, 2, 3, or 4, maintaining the 60-second rest between each set. If at any point during your sets the rep count drops below 6, decrease the poundage only enough to ensure performing the basic 6-rep goal.

Another variation of this method is to find a poundage that you can do 10 reps with. Now add 10% more weight to the bar. You will do 10 reps on each set (still following the set count for each of the four weeks), but the secret to accomplishing this is the length of the rest periods between sets, and taking deep breaths between the later reps. After you have completed your first set take a 30-second rest. Now, on each additional set add 15 seconds to your rest period, all the while taking as many deep breaths between later reps as needed to complete the full 10 rep set count. After the second set you will be resting 45 seconds, 60 seconds after the third set, 75 seconds after the fourth, and after the fifth 90 seconds, and so on. 

The remaining 50% of your training for the prioritized muscle group is structured for the development of separation and hardness. During these exercise sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday you must use only isolation exercises. You must shift your focus on these days to what quality is lacking in the prioritized muscle group. For example, if you are working on biceps peak you will forego the size exercises of the other three days, the barbell curls and chin-ups, instead using spider curls, dumbbell cramping concentration curls and the like. 

On these days during weeks one and two an intermediate bodybuilder could do his sets in the following fashion, for example: during week one do one isolation exercise for 1 set of 10 with 65% of max, a second set of 10 with 75% of max, and finally a third and fourth set with 80% max for 8-10 reps. Pyramid the weight. During the second week of training add a fifth set with 80% for 8-10 reps. 

Beginning with the third week, assuming you want to work on biceps peak during this Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday section for the month, perform spider curls with a barbell (if you use a barbell one workout, use dumbbells the next . . . keep varying things with this method). Do 2 sets of 8-10 reps, resting about 2-3 minutes between each set. Immediately (without any rest) after you have completed the second set of the spider curls, perform one set of dumbbell cramping concentration curls. Rest and repeat the entire process as described. You will have one set left in your schedule and you can finish off with some high rep cable curls, 20 to 40 reps. 

Another option here is to go from one exercise to the next without delay, varying the rep scheme between Phases B, C, and D until you have completed all the required sets, 4 to 7 depending on the week. Or you could use the Up and Down the Rack method on some days. Variety on these three days can make a huge difference in your training. 

Biomechanical changes with regard to the speed of the negative and positive phase of consecutive reps in a set can be important to your progress in specialization training. Perhaps every third workout it is a good idea to do the first half of your reps in a set much slower and more determined than usual, taking five to 10 seconds for the positive phase and the same for the negative. But this shouldn't be done with more than one or two sets of the routine. 

After this 30-Day Fifty/Fifty Continuous Method is completed, stop and go back to a regular training schedule. 



Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Value of Unscientific Training - Greg Sushinsky (1990)

We live in an age of science.

And bodybuilding in our age has felt the impact of this. We have workouts which are claimed to be scientific, routines which are formulated via scientific principles, incorporating the latest scientific data, directly arrived at from the disciplines of physiology, kinesiology, biochemistry, and even medicine.

We have machine training, advanced scientific exercise techniques, and all kinds of information that, it is claimed, is as close to exact formulations as we've ever had for working out, eating, and gaining muscle, for any bodybuilder who will avail himself of this.

We supposedly are so close to absolute certainty in bodybuilding training and nutrition that some would like to regard bodybuilding itself as a science. So, what's the problem with this?

The problem, for many bodybuilders, is that this type of information, however well-intentioned or even theoretically alluring, fails to deliver the kind of results most of us are striving for.

How about one-set training?
How about only heavy weights building muscle?
How about the pump having no training value?
What about the superiority of machine training?
What about the same sets, reps and exercise for everyone?
How about precise, calorie-counted formulaic diets?

Does any of this ring a bell?

Some of these recommendations have been claimed as exact, scientific prescriptions, applicable to all bodybuilders at all times. But, he application of what is regarded as scientific training knowledge has not often served us bodybuilders all that well. While some have been able to successfully incorporate portions of this information into the training, the experience of so many others has been an unproductive one, adding to confusion and frustration and perhaps even preventing them from achieving better results.

And the most disturbing trend along with this is that you are regarded as ignorant - an idiot - if you disagree with any of this "scientific" training information, or if you employ or advocate any training principles and practices which are at odds with its current versions . . . even if the training methods you use work very well for you!

So, what's the solution, if you feel fed up with the glut of scientific training information, and if it hasn't worked out all that well for you?

Why, unscientific training, of course!

Let's look at some examples of the problem of scientific training and some possible concrete practical solutions via "unscientific training" methods, for bodybuilders unsatisfied with their results.

The Problem of the Scientific Workout

There are workouts advocated which are claimed to be, or are regarded by bodybuilders as scientific, and are intended or taken to be exact workout prescriptions. These usually include highly specific instructions on everything from exercises, sets, reps, relative poundages, performance techniques and more. Often, these workouts are regarded as the only correct way to train (ironically there are many of these around). Whether they are discovered or advocated by exercise physiologists, trainers, biochemists, etc., they usually have one thing in common: a standard application. That is, the workouts supposedly will work for everyone, and must be done in the same way by everyone; they must be strictly adhered to. Trouble is, what if you do all this and it just doesn't work?

An Exercise Problem

Within these workouts, there is usually a near-absolute prescription with regard to exercise selection. Certain kinds of exercises are often considered the best (or only) exercises to do. Usually, these recommendations include the large-muscle, compound movements for mass such as squats, bench presses, etc., because these are regarded as the most growth-producing according to scientific information.

There is a lot wrong with this recommendation, even though as a general guideline it can be helpful and has a lot of merit, the thinking behind it also being fairly sound. It is not hard to observe, however, (or experience yourself), that no matter how good this prescription might sound, certain exercises don't work as well (or hardly at all) for some bodybuilders as they do for others.

Take a bodybuilder doing bench presses for chest development. For some, benching does little to develop mass, shape, detail or upper body strength. And some bodybuilders can't use much weight in he exercise - they don't have a great potential for benching strength. No matter how this bodybuilder may work at it, he gets either poor or minimal results. Perhaps his individual structure is not suited to the exercise, or he doesn't have a lot of muscle cells in the chest area. Maybe he can't "feel" the exercise in his pecs or get much of a pump from it. But the exercise is supposed to be the best selection. What can he do?

An Exercise Solution

The solutions for the problem of "scientifically determined exercise selection" is not necessarily simple or foolproof. But if you have already been doing such a workout and aren't getting much in the way of results, then modify or change your exercises.

If the bench press, as in our example, doesn't do much for you after a reasonable amount of trial time, try variations of the exercise. Do incline benches, try benches to the neck, bench with a wider grip, flare your elbows more, try dumbbells and different grips -- anything to get a growth stimulus where you weren't getting it with the regular bench press.

Also, you might find that other chest exercises or certain combinations or other exercises along with the bench press and/or its variations might do the trick for a time. Even dropping bench presses from your routine altogether and simply using dips, for example, might give you better results. The key is to be willing to deviate from the current popular recommendations. This process can be used on any bodypart.

Another solution may be to choose your own exercises in the first place. Building your own workout on the basis of your own planning and past experience, not simply accepting as correct some "scientific" recommendations can be very useful. Then you will be able to determine for yourself what works for you at this time, what might work even better later on when that isn't working anymore, and so on. You can experiment, try different exercises and methods, observe and note results and change things accordingly. This can ultimately be a more productive and definitely more satisfying way to go.

The Sets Problem

Some "scientific" workouts insist you do a specific amount of sets per exercise, not only in conjunction with intensity, all-out workouts, but also for multiple-set, higher volume workouts. Most of us have had some personal experience with this, including the low-set all-out training. It is a case of something sounding good in theory, but seldom measuring up in the real world of training. Multiple set workouts with the insistence on a specific number of sets may cause you to overwork if there are too many sets for you, or could hold back your gains if there's not enough for you.

A Set Solution

Certainly try the low-set, all-out training, at some point, and note your results. And if you find a workout that you want to try that insists that "12 sets per bodypart has been shown scientifically to etc., etc." . . . try this also. Once you note your results, begin refining, changing and improving your set/rep schemes according to what works for you at this time.

If you are training for strength and power you will have to, of course, check those results and see what's working best for you at this time. Remember, results, be they bodybuilding or strength results, are the bottom line here.

If you are following a layout that insists 10 sets per bodypart is ideal, and have found that no matter what you can only handle 7 sets before fatigue sets in seriously, then you should be all means follow your body's findings. On the other hand, if you find that a certain bodypart responds best to 12 sets, then do just that.

Modify the set volume of any given workout, observe and note your results over time, and zero in on what works best. This will likely change over time. Don't just stay locked in to a rigid, precise training habit simply because it has some sort of stamp of approval.

A Reps Problem

Much like the problem of sets, we've heard that "8 reps are best for muscle growth," "high reps are not good for muscle growth," 5 reps are ideal for building strength and size," -- all kinds of "scientific" rules for reps have been touted. So what happens? You try these scientific findings and you don't get good results. You do 8 rep sets for your thighs and little if anything happens. Then you try lower reps. You get stronger but your thighs don't gain much muscle size, and they look like clumps. What do you do?

A Reps Solution

Try and and all combinations you need to, no matter what the "latest scientific literature" says. If you keep moving the reps up in our example, you may find that 15 or 20 or 30 or more reps on squats, leg extensions and hacks works at this time for you. Or a combination of 5 reps squats and 15-20 rep leg extensions works. You will have to try several variations and combinations to find what works best for you.

Bodybuilders have often found "unscientific" (you know that chart) numbers of reps - from singles for mass, to higher reps for strength - work for them. Sometimes you violate the rules and you get better results. Where does this really leave the "scientific" studies? The bodybuilder who is willing to experiment and discover what's working is often rewarded with greater gains than his less inquisitive counterpart.

A Nutrition Problem

While this article mainly concerns training, nutrition is closely allied with it for optimum results. And while scientific nutrition has probably advanced bodybuilding more than scientific training, there are still some problems. While most people accept the general findings (1990) that too much fat in our diet is inimical to optimum health as well as bodybuilding, the diets for bodybuilders that suggest high complex carbohydrate, moderate or low protein, and extremely low fat often fail to take into consideration certain individual differences among people.  

You may follow a 60% carb, 25% protein, 15% fat off-season diet and not make the gains in mass you desire. And a massive bodybuilder may follow an extremely low fat diet to get cut up. Talk to any thin bodybuilder about a muscle gaining diet and you'll probably see their look of despair. And while one man may be leaning out with pasta and rice, it may make you look like a water buffalo.

A Nutrition Solution

We all respond differently to various diets in general and foods in particular. If carb loading by numbers doesn't work for you, don't follow that exact formula, no matter what the experts say. Find out how your body responds to other methods. Practice them. Read, study, experiment on yourself and learn more.

If you respond better to red meat in terms of muscle gains than the next guy, and you're fairly certain you're not jeopardizing your health by doing so, why not go with it? If you can cut up by including red meat and more fats in your diet than someone else (or the recommendations), and don't have any health problems with it (you may find you even feel stronger), then perhaps you've discovered your own "unscientific nutrition" plan.

One Great Solution

Back to training for a moment. Remember the "scientific" advice that a compound movement should be followed by an isolation one for maximum efficiency? Well, as Bob Kennedy originally discovered when it wasn't working for him in his shoulder work, he thought hard about it, and came up with the idea of reversing the order, along with vastly increasing the intensity by eliminating rest time to get a completely different effect. He came up with his pre-exhaust system. 

Here's that early Robert Kennedy article from a Peary Rader "IronMan' magazine:

He analyzed the problem.
Thought out a possible solution, even though it
Violated the "scientific" training of the day.
Tried it out . . . and
Made better gains.

This is a perfect example of the kind of worthwhile approach to training that you should develop.

A New Approach

As you can see, unscientific training is really an approach to training. It can begin by taking the scientific and/or accepted norms of training and then, by using human ingenuity, reasoning, observation, and practical testing to modify and improve or originate entirely different workouts and ways of training.

The solution to the over-reliance on "exact" workouts, where almost everyone is training the same (in spite of the potential lack of lessening of results), is to forge your own training, investigate, inquire, observe, experiment, analyze, all the while.

Bodybuilding, rather than being a pure or exact science, is really a live, flowing art form.

And so is your body itself.

So, here are 10 suggestions for unscientific training:

1) Think for yourself. Be Skeptical of absolute training programs.

2) Be Critical. Examine your routine, see where to improve it.

3) Modify any workout to suit you, with greater gains as the bottom line.

4) Experiment to find out what works for YOU.

5) Always be Open to Investigate the workouts and training ideas of others.

6) Apply. Take what you learn and include it in your workouts.

7) Observe. Note your results and the results of others.

8) Refine and Revise. Make further changes if you need to.

9) Analyze. Try to understand why something works for you or doesn't.

10) Think for yourself. Never stop thinking for yourself. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Reminiscences of Great Strongmen - Tromp Van Diggelen (1952)

Check into Joe Roark's Iron History Forum! 
Megatons of Information Over There.
Note: Your Real Name will be required for access. 

Last year John Grimek wrote me: - "If I ever come out to South Africa one of my chief reasons would be to hear some of those wonderful stories which you can tell." Of course, the one and only John Grimek was referring not only to my stories of the many wonderful "Men of Might" I have known, but to the hair-breadth escapes I have had while elephant hunting, and a few close calls with wounded lions and buffalo. Yes, after John had won the Mr. Universe title in 1948 (I was one of the judges) we got to know each other pretty well, he and I.

George Hackenschmidt and I told each other many a good yarn. To listen to Hackenschmidt talk about his amazing career is something out of this world, for he has defeated all the great wrestlers I knew in my early days, and the way he tells of his victories over such giants of strength as Madrali, etc., is really entrancing. There is a complete absence of conceit; his accounts are just plain statements of fact and never was there a less conceited man than the REALLY great "Russian Lion." Despite my great experience of strongmen over the past fifty years he will always remain, in my opinion, not only the greatest wrestler of all time but also the greatest heavyweight "athlete." He was not as strong as Görner, but his whole appearance and all-round athletic ability and "quality" struck me as beyond belief when I first met him (when I was only a lad of 16), and this impression has never been altered by anything I have sen in the fifty years I have been so intensely interested in "Men of Muscle." My three proteges Josef Steinbach, Max Sick and Hermann Görner were all world-beaters: Görner and Steinbach were both stronger than Hackenschmidt, and Max Sick was more "wonderful" but nevertheless none of the three had that really terrific "class" that made such an unforgettable impression on my mind.

These reminiscences are coming to you, dear Ironmen of the World, because Joe Weider in a recent letter happened to say: - "I know you have much information about the old-timers and I am sure our readers will like to read about your experiences etc." Well, friends, if I bore you don't blame old man Tromp. Just write and tell Joe that you want to throw a brick at me, I'm thousands of miles away from the USA so the brick will have to be a "flying saucer." 

Perhaps it will be a good plan to first tell you something about those three Supermen with whom I was intimately associated. 

  Steinbach, 1906 Olympic Games

 Josef Steinbach and I met each other under rather unusual circumstances. As a matter of fact I was standing on a table in a "Bier-Keller" in Vienna when we first met. I agree it is not often that you are introduced to a man while you are standing on a table. It was way back in 1904; I was reporting a big wrestling tournament for the "Illustrierte Athletik Sportzeitung" of Munich and after the finals we were all drinking nice cool Pilseners when the band of giant athletes around me insisted that I should strip and do my 'Musical Muscle Control" act to the waltz which was being played as only those Vienna Orchestras can "put it across." I had often done this act of mine at the request of wrestlers in various big cities in Europe, for I was probably the first man to really make all his external muscles dance in strict time to music. Without being concerned I must say that I have never seen anyone else do this stunt quite as efficiently as "exactly" as I did it and still do it.

Well, on that night in Vienna I was bowing to my strongman audience in acknowledgement of their appreciation when a mighty big and strong hand smote me on my shoulder and a fine deep voice said: - "Junge, Junge dass war wunderbar so etwas habe ich noch nie gesehen, wenn Strauss noch lebete hätte er sich entweder tod gelacht oder hätte er Dich mit ein Lorbeer Kranz belohnt." (Boy, that was wonderful, I have never seen anything like it before, if Strauss had still lived he would either have laughed himself to death or he would have rewarded you with a laurel wreath.) The compliment was a doubtful one but when Hitzler (the Munich Champion) jumped up and said, "Tromp, let me introduce you to Steinbach," I was enthralled, for the great Vienna strongman was a hero in my youthful eyes and he was certainly the strongest man in the world.   

There and then started a friendship between the young Boer from faraway Africa and the wonderful man who seemed to defy gravity itself when he handled masses of iron. I Josef's company I met all the "greats" of Vienna and believe me I'm not at all sure that those men could be defeated by any team today for sheer strength.

It is, of course, difficult to make comparisons because today we have far better barbells. Discs (plates) were almost unknown then, and we have more scientific training methods as well as a greater understanding of the "science" of the Iron Game. Perhaps it was just because of the lack of "science" that those men were so strong, their barbells and dumbbells were clumsy, the bars lacked "spring" and liveliness, there was no proper "balance" but the terrific "do or die" temperament was there in big measure and the weights HAD to go up even if they were not the magnificent "Olympic" type we use today. In this way those bighearted, big-muscled men became STRONG just because it needed more strength to put 300 pounds above your head then than it does today with our greater understanding and our better apparatus.

Steinbach impressed me so from the very first that I never missed an opportunity to give him a "boost" in the notes I used to write for the "Illustrierte Athletik Sportzeitung" and surely he was a worthy man to write about for his strength was so colossal that I could not imagine there was anyone to measure up to him. There were, even in those days, rumors about the Greek amateur Tofalos (in the photo above - #700), who was reckoned so unbeatable that the Greeks looked upon him as a sort of god. Even today, when I tell them that I once had a protege who actually made the great Tofalos look cheap they just won't believe me until I show them the proofs.

There was another budding strongman coming along then by the name of Karl Swoboda but he had not yet taken the Iron Game seriously. He was then only 22 years old but he looked as if he would be a colossus of might some day. When the very great Karl Witzelberger got Swoboda into real training a couple of years later thing DID happen, but I will tell you more about him later. Anyway, long before he jerked 400 pounds I wrote that he would surpass this figure and he did by a good margin eventually.

Amongst our training pals were Witzelberger who later did a two hand press of 300 pounds and correct military one hand press of 162 pounds. (Who on earth could do that today!), Grafl, who never really had technique but who was to become world's amateur champion in due course because of his sheer brute strength, and his minute and very able little coach-man Emil Kliment who, though weighing less than 130 pounds at that time, often jerked his double bodyweight during our training bouts.

Note: More on the One Arm Military Press (and poundages) in Alan Calvert's book "Super Strength"

around book page number 72 -

Steinbach trained as only a really gifted Man of Iron can train, and when I left for Saxony where I was studying at the Freiberg Mining University, he wrote me of his progress and I wrote him letters of appreciation and encouragement and gave him some of the tips which I seemed always able to give to those who really wished to get the most out of themselves. A year later, towards the end of 1905 I again spent a few weeks amongst the greats of good old Vienna and here are some of the authentic lifts which Steinbach did in my presence (not all on one night, of course) -:

One hand clean and jerk - 234 pounds (world's record then)
Two-hands Continental jerk - 390
Two hands press - 328
Two dumbbell press - 310
Two dumbbell jerk - 340

Are you surprised that I considered him to be a world-beater and that I told him he would easily beat the Greek Tofalos? After all, Steinbach had won the World's Amateur Championship soon after we parted in 1904 and then he beat our gigantic pal Grafl, while before we met again in 1905 he had again won the World's Championship, this time having our very strong friend Witzelberger as runner-up. Görner was only a lad then so we had not dreamt of a stronger man than Josef coming along.

Steinbach was a very strong man even in those days and always weighed over 250 pounds at a height of 5 ft. 10 in.. His waist was big, never being under 40 inches, but then his chest was just over 50 inches. As biceps go nowadays his were not really big for they never reached 18 inches, but he had fine calves, measuring a full 18-1/4 inches and his thighs were 28-1/2.

The most amazing thing about Josef was his terrific ENDURANCE, and if you had seen the clumsy barbells and thick bars he used you would wonder all the more at what that grand Iron Man did. I saw him press 300 pounds quite correctly and without much strain FOUR times before he put the weight down quite gently almost without a bump. He also jerked 374-1/4 pounds five times! I wasn't there that time but the information is correct. I saw him press 260 pounds twice while sitting in a chair; try this if you are in the heavyweight class, it is REALLY good for those triceps.

Steinbach and Tofalos did eventually meet at the Olympic Games held at Athens (see photo above) in 1906 and my pal didn't win.

Note: For a much more in depth and well illustrated book on the lifting at those Games, see:

Thanks to Gherardo for producing this book! He's a member of long standing at Joe Roark's Iron History website (that link up top)  . . . if you dig this stuff you'll get lost over there.  

He (Steinbach) made Tofalos look silly when he got really angry. I think I cannot do better than to use the words of my good friend W.A. Pullum, the marvelous British lifter and historian, to whom I entrusted the welfare of my greatest discovery (the "strongest of them all," Hermann Görner), when I sent him to England.

Here is what this expert says about the meeting of these two terrific specimens of the Iron Game: -

"The single hand contest on April 26th was won by Steinbach with a lift of 168-1/2 pounds on a long-handled dumb-bell. The next day the two hands lift was taken, but before the event was decided an organized demonstration was made by the crowd (this was in Athens, Greece, remember) on the grounds that he was not an amateur (an allegation entirely false). This would probably not have upset him so much as was intended but for the fact that he was already emotionally unstrung through just having received notification of the death of his son. The two things added together, and therefore he obviously didn't enter the lists under the best possible conditions, making only 300 pounds under the circumstances.

Tofalos of Greece, the national hero (winner), did 314, being permitted to lift on his own bar - also in a style to the chest that was very much otherwise than "clean." Steinbach had got a grip on himself, however, by the time Tofalos had been pushed home in this manner and altho' it could make no difference to his own position (2nd) he asked to be permitted to attempt to lift the 314 pounds on Tofalos' bar. This was allowed, whereupon, lifting savagely, Josef pulled the weight in perfectly clean, then JERKED IT OVERHEAD SIX TIMES IN SUCCESSION!

This was the real Josef Steinbach now on show, making everyone realize how lucky had been Tofalos - even with all the favor shown him - to get registered as the winner."

Round about these years Arthur Saxon was filling the music halls with his amazing brothers in a positively terrific Strong Act which was far more genuine and positively amazing than anything that had gone before. Practically every night Arthur would bent 336 pounds (nearly everyone believes that he once did 371 pounds but this is NOT correct).

It was in 1908 when I first wrestled young Hermann Görner at the Atlas Club in Leipzig that I got to know more about Arthur Hennig (Saxon's real name), and I realized that he was NOT the strongest man in the world but that my own protege Josef Steinbach (whom I had encouraged and boosted so much while he was an amateur) would quite easily defeat him in a professional match. 

I went to see Josef and told him I knew and, when I was back in London, he wrote me that as he was now professional I simply must challenge Saxon on his behalf. There was a great deal of newspaper talk, and more than once Saxon published statements that he would accept our challenge, but I knew all the time that the match would never really take place for Saxon knew far too much about the game to imagine that he had a chance against Josef. 

To tempt him we put in four one-handed lifts, but it was all to no purpose, for Arthur evaded the issue by going to the USA. Of course, few of the Public knew that Arthur and his two brothers had more than once practiced together at the famous old Vienna weightlifting club "Turk Wien D'Eisermen" which was founded by the enormously strong Wilhelm Turk and later had its headquarters at Swoboda's restaurant. It has been said that there was not enough money in the match to make it worthwhile for Arthur, but this was not correct, for we challenged him for £1,000 which in those days was real money and even then represented 5,000 dollars. 

Here is our final challenge, read it, and you will agree that we did not fear Saxon's one-hand lifting in any way. This is what appeared in the English Physical Culture Journal "Health and Strength" on the 12th March 1910: 

Challenge to Arthur Saxon

"I, Josef Steinbach, of Vienna, hereby challenge Arthur Saxon (Hennig) to compete with me in lifting weights to decide the Professional Weight-lifting Championship of the World. The lifts to be as follows: 

One hand bent-press
One hand jerk
One hand press (military position without bending the body)
Two-handed press (two dumbbells)
Two-handed press (barbell)
Two-handed jerk (barbell)

p.p. Josef Steinbach
(Tromp van Diggelen)" 

After Hermann Görner, I would still nominate Josef Steinbach to be the strongest man I ever knew. He most certainly looked the part of a really great Strongman and he really was one of the greatest of all times.   
He was born in Horschau near Pilsen in 1879, and when he passed away nearly sixty years later I lost a true friend and the world lost a man whose name will never die as long as our manly sport of Weight-lifting is practiced. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

The High Protein - High Set Program - John McCallum (1967)

Originally Published in This Issue
March, 1967

We're going to depart from the standard this month and venture into something a little more unusual. You'll find this new program a lot different from what we've been doing in the past. You'll also find it tough and very, very demanding. But if gaining size and shape is your aim at the moment, you'll also find it incredibly effective.

If you do it properly, that is. 

You'll note from the title of this article that there are two distinct segments to the program - high protein and high sets. If you push either on and neglect the other you're doomed to failure before you start. Both segments are of equal importance, so don't hang up on just one of them.

Remember - do the thing properly or don't do it at all.

Let's take the high protein part first.

It should be obvious by now to any reader of Strength & Health that protein - lots of it - is the one essential ingredient for building big muscles. There's no way out of it. If you wrap yourself around a daily abundance of good protein you'll build muscle. If you don't, you won't. It's as simple as that.

An abundance of protein, by bodybuilding standards, bears absolutely no resemblance to its parallel in medical circles. The amount of protein recommended by the medical profession for the average man won't build big muscles. It'll keep you in good health but you won't grow 18" arms on it. This article, however, isn't for the average man. I'm not selling anything, so I can be honest with you. If you're just interested in maintaining good health, then quite frankly you've wasted your time reading this far. But if you're interested in bulking up to your maximum size and strength, if you're interested in building a collection of muscle like Reg Park, or Bill Pearl, or John Grimek, then read on. This could save all your bodybuilding problems.

Remember for now - and don't forget it - an abundance of protein is an absolute essential if you want to build muscle. 

There's lots of protein supplements on the market. Most stores are jammed with them. Some of the supplements are better than others. Most of them aren't worth the bags they're packed in and they're too expensive.

You don't need to kick your grandmother out to work just to buy protein supplements. You can get a good, moderately priced protein and mix it with ingredients found in any supermarket to make a muscle building drink more effective than highly-huckstered junk at 10 times the price. 

There's a weight gaining supplement that I like. I call it the "Get Big Drink." A lot of men have used it and they all gained weight. Some gain up to a pound a day on it. The recipe was published in Strength & Health some time ago, but I'll repeat it for those of you that haven't got it: 

Pour two quarts of whole milk into a bowl and add at least a day's supply of Hoffman's Gain Weight. Add more than a day's supply if you want to gain weight faster. 

Now add two cups of skim milk powder and blend it. 

Next add two eggs, four tablespoons of peanut butter, half a brick of chocolate ice cream, one small banana, four tablespoons of malted milk powder, and six tablespoons of corn syrup.

Blend the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a plastic jug and keep it in the fridge. 

That much of the Get Big Drink contains approximately 200 grams of the best protein you can get and about 3,000 calories. There's be about 10 glassfuls in the jug and you drink it all in one day. Don't try to drink it in one sitting and don't drink it in place of your regular meals. Spread it out over the day. You should take a glassful every hour or so.

Mix up a fresh batch every day and drink it seven days a week. Don't cheat on it. You're only cheating yourself. This supplement will make the difference between gaining slowly and along with a crummy build and a fast smooth ride to the thick powerful body you want. 

So much for the high protein. The other part of the program is high sets and we'll deal with that right now. 

By high sets, I mean 15 sets of each exercise. This might seem like a drastic departure from the conventional 3 to 5 set program, but when you combine it with a high protein, high calorie nutritional jolt it produces great results for short periods of time.

A high set workout is pretty tough. You'll have to use a split program or you'll think you've been worked over by the Mafia. Train your arms, chest, and shoulders one day. Legs, neck, and back the next. This means working out six days per week - three days on each section - but it's only for a short time and it's worth it. 

Do it like this: 

1) Situps - 
Do 1 set of 25 reps. This will keep your gut in line while you're getting big and bulky.

2) Press Behind Neck - 
Start with a moderate weight for 6 reps as a sort of warmup. Rest two or three minutes. Add weight and do another set of 6. Take another two or three minute rest and then jump to your best weight for 3 sets of 6 reps with about three minutes rest between sets. 

Force the poundage on these heavy sets. Most of your eventual success will depend on your ability to lift heavy weights. You can't really expect 18" arms if your sister can outlift you.

Now drop the poundage down and start doing sets of 8 reps. You'll do 10 more sets for a grand total of 15. 

Don't worry about the weight for these final 10 sets. Just concentrate on getting the best pump you've ever had in your life. Do each rep moderately slow in very, very strict style. You should be pumped up like a barrage balloon when you finish.

The business of resting is of prime importance here. Take just 30 seconds rest between these sets. No more, Any longer will destroy the maximum pumping effect you're striving for.

You'll find you won't rest up properly in 30 seconds. You'll have to keep dropping the poundage in order to finish the full number of sets. Drop 10 pounds every set if you have to.

Remember - the weight isn't important for the final 10 sets but the pump is.

3) Bench Press - 
Do this the same way as the Press Behind Neck. Work up heavy for the first 5 sets of 6, then drop the poundage way down for the final 10 sets of 8 for maximum pumping effect.

Use a wide grip. The idea in this case is to throw most of the work on the pectorals. Do this properly and you'll draw more attention than a topless waitress. 

4) Curls - 
Do these the same way. 5 sets of 6 very heavy. 10 sets of 8 very light and strict and no more than 30 seconds rest between the light sets. 

5) French Press (standing triceps extension) - 

Same as the others. 5 sets heavy. 10 sets light. 30 seconds rest between light sets. 

That completes the upper body work. Your arms, chest, and shoulders will be tired and thoroughly pumped, but you shouldn't experience any overall exhaustion. You should be back to normal an hour or so after the workout. 

You'll find your strength increasing rapidly as your body weight climbs. Push the poundage hard on the heavy sets. You'll be able to work into impressive weights in a fairly short time.

Remember to maintain rigid style on the light stuff and no more than 30 seconds rest between sets. Think size and shape into your muscles while you're training. 

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, do the following: 

1) Leg Raises - 
1 set of 25 reps.

2) Squats - 
Take a moderate weight for your first set of 6 reps. Increase it for another set and then jump to your best weight for 3 sets of 6. Take about three minutes rest between sets.

Now drop the poundage way down and do 10 sets of 8, dropping 10 pounds a set as you tire. 

Do 10 pullovers with a very light weight after each light set of squats. Go straight from the squats to the pullovers, back to the squats, back to the pullovers, more squats, etc., etc. Take very little rest between sets. Just enough to get your breath back.

Push extremely hard on the heavy squats. You should be convinced of their value by now. Start shooting for 500 pounds as an exercising poundage.

Do the light squats smooth and slow in very strict style.

Squats are still number one for gaining weight. They'll pack enough meat on you to stock the average butcher shop if you do them properly. Give them the special attention they deserve.

3) Calf Raise - 
Do these 15 sets of 10 reps. Take 30 seconds rest between sets. Start heavy and drop the poundage as you tire.

4) Resistance Exercise for Neck - 
Start by pressing your hands against your forehead and levering your head back and forth for 8 reps. Now clasp your hands behind your head and do the same thing for the muscles in the back of your neck. Take 30 seconds rest between sets, and alternate back and forth for 10 sets each.

Few bodybuilders give their neck any attention at all. Bulk up yours and see what it does for your appearance.

5) Rowing - 
Do this in the same style as the squat. Work up heavy for the first 5 sets of 6, and then work light for the final 10 sets of 8.

Take a close grip and pull the bar to your lower abdomen. Pull your head back and arch your back as the weight approaches your abdomen. Lower your head and round your back when the weight goes down. Don't rest the bar on the floor. Get a dead hang pull to stretch your lats.

Work hard on the rowing. You can bulk up your back to billboard size if you want to. 

That completes the routine. Again, you should be extremely pumped when you finish and back to normal energy an hour or so later.

Don't be frightened by the apparent severity of the program. You'll note there's only five major exercises in each section. With so few exercises and the short rest time between sets you'll find you can get through your workout faster than usual despite the high sets.

Again - take the Get Big Drink in the suggested quantities. You simply won't gain without it. 

Consume enough protein and do the workout properly and you can look forward to startling gains in size, shape, and strength. You'll completely revamp your appearance in a very, very short time.

The basic program will suit most men. A few trainees need special attention. If you run into difficulties, write me care of the magazine and we'll work out something individual for you.    

Continuous Compound Sets - Gene Mozee (1994)

All bodybuilders experience periods when they can't seem to make any improvements to their physiques regardless of how hard and how regularly they train. When I began training, I gained more than 30 pounds and tripled my strength in six months. Then I hit a sticking point that lasted several months. I soon became discouraged and stopped training altogether. I just didn't know how to break through the progress barrier. I added exercises, performed more sets and tried to increase my poundages, but nothing seemed to get me going again.

Many months later, when I started working out again, I had the good fortune to train under Mr. America and Mr. World John Farbotnik, who taught me how to blast past sticking points and keep making progress. In less than six months under Farbotnik's guidance I gained three inches on my arms and five on my chest, and I upped my bench press poundage to 350. I also gained 25 pounds of solid bodyweight. 
Not everyone has the opportunity get firsthand training advice from a bodybuilding superstar who's also as great a teacher as Farbotnik, Vince Gironda, Bill Pearl, Clancy Ross, Frank Zane and Arnold Schwarzenegger are. Even so, magazine articles like this one make workout methods available to everyone. The following routine, which has been used by many bodybuilders I've known, is one of the most productive techniques for pushing past plateaus. 
The Simple Solution
For years when bodybuilders hit a plateau and their muscles refused to improve, the recommended cure was usually to take a break from training for a couple of weeks. This wasn't always effective, however, and some people had difficulty getting back into a regular training groove after the layoff. 

A better solution, in my opinion, is to radically change your routine after a few days off, rather than laying off completely, and I can't think of a better way to break the monotony than a technique called Compound Continuation Sets, or CCS.

CCS involves performing two different variations of the same exercise and using two different poundages in the same extended set. During the first part of the set you use a heavy weight for low reps, giving the target muscles the benefit of power and mass training, and for the second part of the set you switch to a variation of the same exercise, using a lighter weight for a higher rep range. 
In my discussions over the years with Larry Scott, Robby Robinson and others, they all agreed that a muscle must be pushed to the limit of its contractile ability, forcing you to work beyond what you thought was your limitation - grinding out those final two or three reps that are the most productive. 
Conventional set/rest/set training allows you to benefit from one or the other part of the compound continuation set, but not both. For example, when using one of the set/rest/set methods, you might do 5 sets of 6 reps of an exercise, resting between sets, and then perform 5 sets of 10 to 12 reps of a variation of that movement with less weight, again resting between sets. 
With CCS you alternate the heavy and light movements, doing one round of each without pausing, for one complete two-movement set. For example, you do heavy standing dumbbell presses for 6 reps and without resting pump out 10-12 seated alternate dumbbell presses. After that you take a one minute rest and then work through another sequence of heavy standing dumbbell presses immediately followed by the seated alternate dumbbell presses, and you repeat this combination for three to five total sets.
The combination of heavy and light enables you to hit the target muscles more thoroughly. The heavy part of the set triggers a greater number of muscle fibers to act and also helps strengthen the ligaments and tendons, which increases your strength and mass. The second part of the combination set increases the flow of blood and nutrients into the capillaries that feed your muscles, which thoroughly pumps them up. You get the best of both worlds with essentially one exercise. 
The CCS Total Body Challenge
Use the routine described here three days a week, taking at least one rest day between workouts. For every bodypart warmup with a few sets of the heavy-reps (first) exercise. As for the work sets, intermediate bodybuilders should stick with the low end of the set range (3), and more advanced trainers can do 5 compound sets. 
Here's a rundown of how to perform the various movements: 
Chest - 
Do a few warmup sets of medium-grip bench presses. After a short rest, take a slightly wider grip and do 6 reps with a heavy poundage followed immediately by a set of close-grip bench presses for 10-12 reps. After a one to two minute rest fire off another round without pausing between the exercises longer than it takes to change the weight. The combination of the two bench press variations works the entire pectoral area.

Thighs - 
Do a few warmup sets of full squats. After a short rest add weight and perform 6 heavy reps, then, stopping no longer than it takes to lower the poundage, do 10-12 nonlock squats with your heels raised on a block. Nonlock squats are squats in which you don't allow let your thighs fully straighten at the top of the movement, stopping instead two inches from lockout. This keeps continuous tension on your quadriceps and gives you a massive pump. Rest for one to two minutes between compound sets. 
Back - 
To widen your upper back and thicken your lats and serratus muscles use two versions of the basic lat pulldown, starting with medium-wide-grip pulldowns for 6 heavy reps and switching immediately to the close-grip variety for 10-12 reps. Hold your rest to no more than 60 seconds. 
Delts - 
To perform standing side raises for this routine, begin with the dumbbells at the outsides of your thighs and raise them all the way overhead. Do 6 reps with as heavy a poundage as you possibly can, grab a lighter pair of dumbbells, sit on a bench and perform 8-10 reps, raising the weights to about ear level. Rest no more than one minute between compound sets on this one. You can use a little body motion to help you handle the heavier standing raises with a bigger weight, but perform the seated version very strictly, tensing your delts forcibly when the dumbbells reach ear level.
Biceps - 
The compound set of incline dumbbell curls will add mass and carve up your biceps. Sit on a 45-degree incline bench, take a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward and curl the weights all the way up to a full contraction. Lower back down until your arms are straight again and repeat. Do 6 reps, then switch as quickly as possible to a lighter pair of dumbbells and perform a set of incline outside curls. Start with the dumbbells at your sides with with your arms straight, your thumbs facing the front and your palms facing each other. Curl the dumbbells out to the sides of your body while turning your palms up, supinating your wrists, until the weights touch your delts. Lower back to the starting position and repeat for 8-10 strict reps.
Triceps - 
Be sure to warm up your elbows and triceps ligaments with some lights sets of lying barbell triceps extensions. After a short rest move on to the heavy part of the compound set. Lie on a flat bench with the barbell pressed above your chest and your hands 10-12 inches apart. Bend your elbows, lowering the bar behind your head to the level of the bench, and then immediately press the bar back to the top until your arms are fully locked out. Do 6 heavy reps and then, taking no rest, grab a lighter barbell and perform lying barbell kickbacks for 10-12 reps. Start with the same grip as you used to the extensions and get into the bottom position of that movement with your arms bent back behind your head. Now push the weight straight back, parallel to the floor, until your arms are fully locked out. Then return to the starting position and repeat.
This is a rugged program but it's highly effective for shocking your muscles out of a slump, and you can complete in about 1.5 hours. It hits every major muscle group thoroughly, and the refreshing change jolts stubborn bodyparts into new growth, enabling you to cruise through a sticking point without wasting time on a forced layoff from training. 
Remember to complete both parts of each compound set before you rest. Gradually cut the rest between compound sets to no more than 45-50 seconds. 
It's also important to go all out during the second movement of each compound set, relentlessly squeezing out those final reps until you can't possibly get any more, for a maximum of 10-12. 
So, the next time you reach a no-progress plateau, push yourself beyond it with compound continuation sets for six to eight weeks and break through to new and faster gains. 
Complete CCS Routine
Warmup - 
Bent-Knee Leg Raises, 1 x 30-50. 
Chest - 
Medium-Wide-Grip Bench Press, 3-5 x 6 reps
Close-Grip Bench Press, 3-5 x 10-12.
Thighs - 
Full Barbell Squats, 3-5 x 6
Nonlock Barbell Squats, heels raised, 3-5 x 10-12.
Back - 
Medium-Wide-Grip Pulldowns, 3-5 x 6
Close-Grip Pulldowns, 3-5 x 10-12.
Delts - 
Standing Dumbbell Side Raises, 3-5 x 6
Seated Dumbbell Side Raises, 3-5 x 8-10.
Biceps - 
Incline Dumbbell Curls, 3-5 x 6
Incline Outside Dumbbell Curls, 3-5 x 8-10.
Triceps - 
Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions, 3-6 x 6
Lying Barbell Kickbacks, 3-5 x 10-12.
Cool Down - 
Bent Knee Leg Raises, 1 x 30-50.
Calf Machine Raises, 3-5 x 15-20.    

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