Originally Published in This Issue
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.