Category: Training

Forgotten Exercises: Zottman Curls

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Looking for a new arm exercise? Of course you are, who isn’t?

Following our discussion of the see-saw shoulder press last week, we thought it was time to examine another forgotten exercise, the Zottman Curl. Named after 19th century strongman George Zottman, the Zottman curl is a fantastic way of stressing the biceps, brachialis muscles, and forearm supinators.

So what are Zottman Curls and how do I perform one?

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The Lost Art of Swingbell Training

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Looking for something to break the monotony of dumbbell and barbell training? Admit it, every once and a while you like to try something new. Exercises or machines that truly test you. Well today, we’re going to look at the Swingbell, an old school piece of bodybuilding equipment promoted by York during the heyday of the 1950s.

In today’s post we’ll discuss some of the exercises you can do with this retro piece of equipment along with some tips to make your own.

Workout for a Working Man

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This article, first published in Health and Strength Magazine in 1956 is a great reminder that we don’t need to spend hours in the gym to maintain our fitness. In fact, the writers of this programme believed it could be done in half an hour or less. Ideal for those struggling to make time to workout.

So sorry folks, not having an hour to workout is no longer an excuse! Check out the routine below.

Antony Ditillo Training Routines

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Having previously discussed physical culture icon, Peary Rader on this site, it seems only fitting to look at some of Anthony Ditillo’s proven workout routines. Ditillo wrote for Rader’s Ironman magazine for nearly two decades covering everything from diet advice to competition specialisation. Although now deceased, Ditillo’s legacy lives on in the thousands of strength coaches he inspired, including the controversial Charles Poliquin.

Although Ditillo wrote numerous workouts during his career, we have decided to look at some of his more popular works for strength athletes, those looking to bulk up and those just wanting to look better naked. Regardless of your training preference, you’ll be sure to find something to suit you here.

Frank Zane’s Growth Program

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The following extract comes from Frank Zane’s excellent bodybuilding work: The Workouts -Personal Training Diaries, which is available from his website. Zane, a three time Mr. Olympia, is one of the few bodybuilders to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime and is possibly the most aesthetic man to win an Olympia. The polar opposite to the ungainly Bodybuilding’s current mass monsters, Zane’s training approach focuses on progressive overload and pumping the muscles with blood in order to sculpt a defined and proportional physique. What’s more Zane has used variations of this workout throughout his training life, making it one of the most effective programs for both novice and advanced lifters.

Check it out below.

The History of the Foam Roller

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What could be simpler? Just hop on a piece of foam and roll up and down… anyone could do that right? Yes, anyone can but few do. Why? Mainly because it hurts. It’s effective but my god is it sore.

Yes today we are talking about the foam roller, the cost-effective means of massaging aching muscles and forcing you to embrace pain during your rest days. Who invented the foam roller? What was its purpose and how did it end up in gyms across the world?

By the end of the article you’ll have the answers to these questions and perhaps have a new found appreciation for the $20 torture device.

Peary Rader’s Abbreviated Mass Routine

 

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Previously on this site we have looked at the influence of Peary Rader on both bodybuilding and weightlifting. Editor of Ironman magazine for several decades, Rader was influential in the training of thousands of men during the course of his career and more importantly, his focus tended to be on ‘the common man’ as opposed to the bodybuilding giants of his era.

With this in mind, today’s post details several of Rader’s abbreviated routines from the mid 20th century. Abbreviated routines centred around compound exercises aimed at maximising as much muscle growth as possible for busy individuals.

So who would benefit from such programmes?

Who Created the Romanian Deadlift?

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Chances are at some point in your lifting career you’ve done a few sets of Romanian Deadlifts.  From athletes to bodybuilders, thousands of muscle fanatics have used the exercise to bring up their hamstrings and lower backs. Given the popularity of the movement, you may be surprised to learn that this exercise is a relatively recent addition to weight training. Indeed, it was only discovered by the US in 1990.

Having previously covered the history of the squat and the bench press, today we’ll turn our attention to the Romanian Deadlift.