Category: Training

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.

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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.

Tom Platz Leg Day

A legend in the Iron Game both for his physique and the intensity brought to his training, Tom Platz or the ‘Golden Eagle’, is synonymous with one of the most impressive quad sweeps in bodybuilding. In a rare bit of training footage, uploaded to Youtube courtesy of  ‘neandertalensis66‘, the below clip details Platz’s understandings of the Squat, Hack Squat, Leg Extension and Leg Curl.

Of interest to us should not be the poundages lifted by Platz but rather the focus he placed on technique and also the variations to these exercises which he believed gave him the edge. Of particular interest to me was Platz’s technique on the Hack Squat machine, which at the bottom position resembled the sissy squats favoured by Gironda. You’ll no doubt find other interesting tidbits…

Frederick C. Hatfield, Dr. Deadlift (Powerlifting USA, Vol 10 No 4. Novemeber/1986)

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It’s a little known fact that the eruption of Mr. St. Helens, and the continuing subterranean growls in the area, are purely mythic.  What really happened up there in the land of perpetual rain and majestic mountains was that Doyle Kenady took a heavier than normal deadlift workout.  It’s not a coincidence that those after-rumblings ceased on a certain day in April of this year.

The (Somewhat Complete) History of the Deadlift!

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Having previously looked at the history of the squat, bench press and even the smith machine, it seemed about time that we did a history of the deadlift. We’ve been putting this one off for quite a while, even looking at the Romanian Deadlift en lieu of the actual thing.

The stumbling block in approaching the history of the deadlift is the amount of smoke and mirrors surrounding one of the most popular exercises in the Iron Game. Someone writes something in a training book or blog and suddenly it becomes part of the popular lore. Actual research is a lot harder to come by. Nevertheless, it’s clear that deadlifts and variations on the deadlift have been around since time began. Man and woman kind has seemingly always displayed an insatiable desire to pick heavy things up from the ground.

For the sake of my sanity and timekeeping however, we’ll begin in with the eighteenth-century when a variation of the deadlift, of heavy lifting, briefly took England by storm.

Bob Hoffman (1943) – How to Build Super Strength, Health and Development with the York Leg Developing Course

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Never afraid to promote his own products in line with good workout advice, Bob Hoffman and York Barbell were once the go to suppliers of knowledge within the Iron Game. A position Hoffman often used to great financial and sporting advantage.

Nevertheless Bob and his team did produce some good pamphlets on training as evidenced by the following course. Aimed primarily at the beginner and intermediate, the programme stressed good form, heavy weight and progressive training as the trifecta needed to build a solid and muscular base. So without further adieu, here is Hoffman’s Leg Developing Course in an abbreviated form.