Tag: Beginner Workout

Sig Klein’s Beginner Workout

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Earlier this year I had the great fortune to visit the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports in Texas. Founded by Jan and Terry Todd, the Stark Center is a playground for anoraks like me. Containing the collections of Bernarr MacFadden, Professor Atilla, Bob Hoffman and several other Iron Game legends, Stark holds the history of the Iron Game.

So gushing praise aside, part of time there included a search through Sig Klein’s own personal papers. For those unaware, Klein ran one of the most popular and revered gymnasiums in New York from the 1930s to roughly the 1970s. Famed for his strength and amazing physique, Klein’s best known motto was to train for shape and the strength will come.

Though an advanced lifter in his own right, Klein was always keen to encourage the beginner. With this in mind today’s post details Klein’s beginner workout given to those new to his gymnasium. No tricks, no gimmicks, just simple hard work and consistency were Klein’s twin pillars for success.

Joe Weider’s Weight Gain Contest (1955)

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In December of 1955, Joe Weider published the first issue of Junior Mr. America magazine. Aimed at teenagers and young men between the ages of 12 to 21, Junior Mr. America highlighted the importance of the younger community for bodybuilding entrepreneurs. Packed with training, dating and general life advice, the magazine was viewed by many teenagers as a godsend.

For Weider, the magazine was a chance to market his products to the highly enthusiastic and highly gullible. Something he did with gusto. Pictured above is the magazine’s first cover, featuring Clement Desjardins, the Jr. Mr. Canada of 1955. Aged just 18 years old, Desjardin had only taken up training two years previously at the behest of his friends. Beginning at just 125 lbs., Desjardin weighed 170 by the time he turned 18. Something which Weider attributed to Desjardin’s faithful following of the Weider training principals.

Now as part of the first issue (Dec 1955), Joe wrote an article that kicked off what he called a “Giant Weight Gaining Contest.” This contest would not take place within the confines of an arena but rather within Joe’s new publication.

Bradley J. Steiner’s 1988 Hardgainer Program

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Interesting the term ‘hard gainer’ appears less and less in everyday gym use these days. Whereas previously whole bodybuilding industries were built on the term, the modern gym goer sees it as just one more phrase amongst several.

Nonetheless, the fascination that previous physical culturists had with ‘hard gainers’ provides us with a wealth of training programmes and worthwhile advice. This is especially the case regarding today’s programme from Bradley J. Steiner.

For the unaware, Steiner was one of the foremost training writers of the 1970s and 1980s in America. Detailing everything from bodybuilding to basic maintenance, Steiner was revered for his common sense, sage wisdom and general good demeanour. In a world dominated by ‘mass monsters‘, Steiner stressed overall development from his trainees. Both physical and mental.

The programme given below is dedicated towards the ‘worst-case’ hardgainer. The trainee for whom many routines have come and gone. As simple as it is effective, the routine will certainly be of interest to beginners and advanced trainees alike.

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?