Category: Training

Vince Gironda, ‘Workouts And Body Rhythm’, IronMan Magazine, (November 1983)

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Question: 

You seem to write a great deal about exercise techniques, yet I have noticed that much of it is in fact conflicting advice.

I have been bodybuilding for ten years now, before that I did six years of weightlifting. I still do not know what is the best system to use.

Vince, how do you justify your writing when you even go so far as to contradict your own advice?

Answer:

I once wrote an article entitled, Muscle Confusion, which was not understood by many. Readers actually made fun of it. I will now attempt to explain in more detail the essence of that article. The following is dedicated to those of little faith and to the ones who resist change.

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George F. Jowett, ‘The Standard That Determines the Ideal Shape’, The Key to Muscle and Might (c. 1925)

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There is no doubt in my mind that Eugene Sandow’s rise to fame was due more to the symmetrical shapeliness of his enviable body than to the difficulty of feats of strength he performed. Generally speaking, there are two things which will always impress the mind of the body culturist, shape and strength. With strength, we have already dealt.

Therefore, we will now direct out attention to the value of shapeliness, and the influence it has upon our mind and body. Oh yes, it has a great influence upon the mind. The next time you visit an art gallery notice the quiet reverence that is displayed by the art lovers, as they move from one picture to another. The serene beauty of the pictures permeates the whole atmosphere, leaving the beholders in silent wonder. I have a great friend who is a wonderful artist, and he often makes sketches of the body in varied postures, which he brings to me for scrutiny. On one of his visits he said to me, “I can always tell whether the drawings meet with your approval or not. Not by what you say, as much as how little you say. Your eyes are always drawn to the pictures you like best, and I have noticed that you have sometimes been so enraptured that you did not hear me speak to you.” He was quite right. Pictures of the body beautiful, correctly translated, never weary me. I can feast my eyes upon them for hours at a time. This rather contradicts the statement that, familiarity with the most beautiful objects, breeds contempt. For twenty-five years I have lived in the atmosphere of beautiful bodies, and I am still as enthusiastic as I was when I first commenced my studies.

David Rensin, ’20 Questions with Jack Lalanne’, Playboy Magazine (October, 1984).

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“When the interview began in La Lanne’s living room at 8:30 A.M., he had already been awake for five hours. He’d exercised, had breakfast and donned a red jump suit.”Most people know La Lanne only from his TV show. It’s the least of his achievements. On each birthday, La Lanne performs a muscle-numbing feat. At 45, he did 1000 push-ups and 1000 chin-ups in an hour and 22 minutes. At 60, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf–handcuffed, shackled and towing a 1000-pound boat. At 66, La Lanne swam more than a mile–handcuffed, feet shackled, towing ten boats carrying 77 people. In 48 minutes.”Most of us have trouble just turning on a tape recorder. Happy birthday, Jack.”

Q1 Playboy: What incredible feat are you planning to do to celebrate turning 70?

Jack La Lanne: I’m planning to swim underwater from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. That’s 26 miles. I’ll do it in less than 24 hours. But what I really wanted to do was carry a 350-pound bar bell on my shoulders down Hollywood Boulevard to protest all the male and female prostitution, all the dope and crap. I wanted to show people that there are better things in life, that you can be fit at any age. Can you imagine 350 pounds on your back for half an hour? All your muscles contract simultaneously. That’s plain pain. And I would challenge anyone in the world to do that and give him $10,000 if he did. But I can’t do it now. Some kid hit my new Porsche 924 head on. About $15,000 damage. I had to have surgery on my knee to take cartilage out, and that took care of that. But I got a new Porsche 944 recently. It’s a pistol. I had it up to 130 the other day.

Product Review: Heroic Sport’s Pahlavandle Clubs

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Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my fondness for Indian clubs. I’ve posted on them at several points, published a few academic articles on them and even spent a year in Cambridge doing a thesis on them. Alongside and indeed fuelling this interest, has been my daily use of the Indian clubs.

Every morning without fail, I swing the clubs for 10 to 15 minutes. This has been my morning routine for the past three years and in that time my mornings have become more pleasant, I’ve perked up and perhaps most importantly of all, my previous shoulder problems have become a thing of the past. Like many other lifters, my first forays into the gym resulted in far too much time bench pressing like my life depended on it. The result were very…very beat up shoulders.

Swinging lightweight Indian clubs in a variety of ways has slowly, over time, helped stabilise, solidify and save my creaking joints. I am therefore…. a fan.

You can imagine the childlike giddiness created when Heroic Sport contacted me about reviewing their Pahlavandle Indian clubs. Based in Denmark, this rather clever device allows you to bring your Indian clubs with you wherever you travel. Having trialed the Pahlavandle out for a week, I thought it’d be beneficial to discuss my initial reaction.

Guest Post: A Short history of JAZZercise

People dance when they feel good.

People workout because they want to feel good, to have a good look.

What do these two activities have in common? They both make people feel better about themselves. They both provide a sense of wellness.

From ancient times, when people were physically working every day, fighting, or hunting to survive, people were running, exercising and this would keep them in good shape, having good health. Nowadays people workout because they don’t do any physical activity and they have to lose weight. Sedentary life is not suitable for health as many diseases can occur: gaining weight, back problems, slow metabolism, constant fatigue feeling, and many others.

The History of the Glute Ham Raise

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Owing to the inquisitive nature of a PCS reader, I’ve finally gotten my act together, or at least come close enough to some semblance of normality, to go down the rabbit hole once again. The topic of todays post, is the rather more niche but nevertheless effective Glute Ham Raise (GHR) machine.

Having spent years devotedly using reverse hyperextensions and 45 degree back extensions, my own relationship with the Glute Ham Raise only began in the last twelve months. Since then I’ve made a point of trying as many different alternatives as possible. As is so often the case, I became too engrossed in using the machine that I forgot to look into its history. An email this month asking me about the GHR finally set me straight.

So without further ado we’ll crack into the history of the GHR. What is it? Who invented it and how did it become so damn popular?

Arthur Saxon, ‘Routine of Training’, The Development of Physical Power (London, 1906)

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WITH regard to the routine of training, I again repeat, my idea is not to develop muscle at the expense of either health or strength. It is really impossible for me to prescribe special exercises with fixed time limits for same, and fixed days for each individual who may ready this book, as we are all possessed of different constitutions and staminal power, but roughly speaking it will be found correct in most instances to practice twice per week, and at such practices I advise that on each lift you commence with fairly light weights, and gradually increase the weight of same. Taking the double-handed lift, if your lift is about 200 pounds commence at 100 pounds, and with this light weight press overhead, then add 20 pounds and press again, and so on, until you are compelled to jerk the weight. Proceed until you reach your limit, then try another lift, say the snatch, commencing low and working up to your highest poundage. Surely this method of prac- tice is better than to attempt, as most English and American weight-lifters do, their heaviest bell right off the reel. As usual, they fail, and then get in reality no practice at all, only making their position worse, instead of better. Of course, to practice this way shot-loading bar bells would be a nuisance. The most up-to-date bells on the market for weight-lifting practice, in my opinion, are disc-loading bells. With these disc-loading bells one may have a weight as low as 20 pounds or as high as 400 pounds, and one bell would be sufficient for any number of lifters. The same plates used on the long bar may also be used on short bars for dumb-bells.

Bob Gajda’s Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training

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One point that always fascinates me about training is the sheer diversity one finds when it comes to training systems, exercises and training philosophies. What works for one trainee can prove pointless to another. No matter how good the programme, it often has to be tailored towards the individual, and indeed, we often find that the most successful trainees when it comes to bodybuilding have devised or used workouts advantageous to themselves.

Today’s post is a case in point. Titled ‘Peripheral Heart Action’ or PHA training, this form of exercise has come to be associated with Bob Gajda, the 1966 Mr. America Winner. Counting a host of proponents, including Charles Poliquin, PHA training is a rather interesting combination of circuit, strength and hypertrophy designed with bodybuilding in mind. That being the case, today’s post seeks to answer three simple questions. What is PHA Training and who invented it? Why did it come to be associated with Gajda and finally how can it be used for the modern trainee?

Push-Ups – Their history, Beneficial Effects, Types and Potential Risks

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What Do You Need to Know About Push-Ups Before You Try Them?

Introduction

There is not a man on earth, nor woman for that matter, that has not been introduced to the context of push-ups before. Perhaps you have even tried to do a push-up in your life just to see what it is all about! Well, this amazing exercise has been true to its meaning and it has introduced success into any person’s exercising plan who has been motivated enough to perform this exercise regularly and properly. But the truth is that any exercise, including something as simple as push-up is, brings potential risks to your body if you are not trained properly to do this exercise. So what we what to do today, is introduce you to the context of push-ups and share basic information regarding what a push-up is, who has thought about it first, its potential beneficial effects as well as risks. If you are looking to introduce push-ups as a regular exercise into your exercise routine, then we look forward to informing you more about this great exercise!