Category: Training

Forgotten Exercises: The One Arm Clean and Jerk

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Recently I had the good fortune to stumble across Alan Radley’s excellent History of Physical Culture work. A combination of fun facts, serious scholarship and enough photographs to keep any Ironhead happy, it’s likely that I’ll be dipping in and out of this work for years to come.

In any case, Radley’s scholarship highlighted a number of odd lifts and techniques that although hugely popular during the heyday of physical culture in the early 1900s, have now largely fallen by the wayside.

The focus of today’s short post is one such lift, namely the one arm clean and jerk.

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Guest Post: 5 Fun Ways to Lose Weight This Summer

It’s true that we all make promises to ourselves to be skinny when the summer comes but we also know that these kinds of things rarely go according to plan. However, summer is a great time for losing weight for many reasons. First of all, you’ll probably have more time to devote to it. Besides, there are plenty of outdoor activities you can engage in, burn some calories, and have some fun along the way. So, if you’re not much of a gym lover, here are top five ways to lose weight this summer.

The History of the Reverse Grip Bench Press

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Without doubt one of the odder movements in the gym goers’ repertoire, the reverse grip bench press is a lift you’re unlikely to see on a regular basis. Somewhat circus-like in its execution, the lift is nevertheless an invaluable one to those suffering from issues of shoulder mobility and I’d suggest, boredom.

A fun lift to try, even just once, the Reverse Grip Bench Press (henceforth the RBGP) has a relatively recent and interesting history. A history that stems primarily it seems, from the world of powerlifting and hardcore bodybuilding gyms. A history that will be examined in today’s brief post.

Jackson Bowling, Steroids Good or Bad? (Muscular Developement, September 1968)

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Bodybuilders and athletes alike are hearing more and more about the “new” tissue drugs and anabolic steroids, but down to earth facts and information has been hard to come by.

Just what are these steroids ? Are they harmful ? Do they really work the miracles some claim ? These are but a few of the many questions that more and more weight trainees are asking, and this article hopes to give the answers in plain, every day terms.

From Waffles to Weightlifting: Eleiko Barbell

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In many ways the gold standard of the Iron game, few lifters will go through their careers without using an Eleiko barbell at some point in time. An iconic range in the weightlifting community, the history of this Swedish company is often forgotten. Indeed, so commonplace have Eleiko products become, be they barbells or plates, that we often take their very existence for granted. Having previously examined the history of the barbell, it seems only fitting to examine one of the most iconic barbells around.

When one digs a little deeper however, a bizarre story of waffles, weightlifting and innovation begins to emerge.

Forgotten Training Protocols: 4 x 10 Clusters

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For whatever reason some training systems remain in the public psyche while others fall to the wayside, continued only by a few dedicated and often fixated trainers. Thus while nearly every intermediate and certainly every advanced trainee is familiar with manipulating rep ranges, few seem to stray outside the comfort zone of 5 x 5, 8 x 3 and whatever other bland rep schemes we chose. What about 7 x 4 for a change?

Musing aside, today’s short post details 4 x 10 clusters, a method of volume training first introduced to me several years ago by an older trainee and a fallback I use whenever my training gets a little stale.

Guest Post: 5 Extreme Sports You Need To Check Out

In a modern urban environment, it’s sometimes hard to find new challenges and get your blood pumping with excitement. These experiences are precious – they make us feel invigorated and help us push the limits of our abilities. Extreme sports are the best way to experience such thrills and also meet new people who enjoy similar risk-taking activities.

Participating in these sports takes a lot of preparation. Moreover, following the rules and safety instructions is imperative. The excitement isn’t going to be worth your while if you don’t come back in one piece, so make sure to inform yourself on all the possibilities and necessary precautions.

Mike Mentzer (1995) – Mr. Universe Mike Mentzer’s Training Invention

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In the decades before bodybuilding became fashionable, when young men wanted to workout, they would say, “Hey, lets’ go to the YMCA and lift weights” In fact, during the early part of this century, weightlifting was much more popular than bodybuilding, in part because bodybuilding was regarded as too narcissistic.

Inveterate observers of weight-training history will recall how prevalent “odd lift” contests were back around the time of World War I. Competitions were held and records established for such odd lifts as the “two hands anyhow.” the “bent press” and the “one-hand deadlift.” For various reasons, these eventually fell from grace and were replaced by the three Olympic lifts: the press, snatch, and clean and jerk. These new movements required considerable athletic ability and, thus, were viewed as more respectable by the international sport community. They even were accepted as official events in the Olympics and are still quite popular today.

Eventually, some of the esteem reserved for Olympic lifting was wrested away by powerlifting, which has long had a strong following and gained even more recognition and acceptance after it became an official sport in the 1960s.

Finally, due primarily to the efforts of Joe Weider, bodybuilding assumed its rightful place in the sun in the ’60s and has progressed to its current predominance. It has thoroughly supplanted Olympic lifting and powerlifting in public appeal.

Guest Post: Reaching the Plateau – And Overcoming It

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If you’ve tried basic diet and exercise to shed unwanted pounds, chances are, you are no stranger to the weight loss plateau dilemma. When we first alter our diets by cutting calories and adding a side of exercise, we tend to shed pounds quite rapidly. Yet, once we get down to the nitty gritty of shedding those last ten to 15 pounds to reach our goal weight, we then learn that it’s not nearly as easy as it was in the beginning. That’s because once our body starts to reach a comfortable weight, it becomes more difficult to shed the rest of those pounds.

Bill Pearl On Deltoids (1975 Interview)

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INTERVIEWER:
Your approach to training has always been to use heavy weights for quality lasting muscle. It was in articles about your training as far back as 1953. You always combined pushing movements and lateral movements for total development of all three heads of the deltoid muscle. Will you update us on your deltoid training here, Bill?

BILL:
If you know enough about anatomy, you understand that you have three deltoid heads, all of which are important in bodybuilding.

The posterior delt is just as important as the lateral and front heads. Whenever I make out a delt routine, I always make sure I include exercises for each head. I also do it on triceps, biceps or whatever muscle. I try to get a muscle from every angle. I was always impressed with weightlifters’ deltoids. They convinced me that the only way you are going to get thick deltoids is with overhead presses. I have always been included toward heavy presses behind neck, military and dumbbell presses. The rear deltoid’s seems to get lost because no one gets to see it on themselves. It’s totally lacking on some people because they do nothing to attack that area. I stress bent-over exercises and incline exercises facing into an incline-bench.