Tag: Dumbbells

Randall M. Taylor, ’18-Min Home Dumbbell Workout’Planet Muscle, 4: 1, (2001)

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…For many years serious athletes and bodybuilders have known that free weights build muscle size, strength and power faster than any other form of resistance training. Today’s smart bodybuilders are also acutely aware that the process does not take as much time as many have erroneously believed and that, by using dumbbells (because they DO require balance), the whole process happens more quickly than with machines or even free-weight barbells. Nearly all serious bodybuilders use free-weight barbells and dumbbells almost exclusively to do their ominous thing.

…Over the last 12 years, ongoing American University Athletic Department and PE Research has verified that a free weight, all- PowerBlock dumbbell program produces high levels of strength and size. These great results were accomplished even with very short (as little as 12-30 minutes duration), high intensity workouts.

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“One thousand dollars to any charity if I cannot conclusively prove that every alleged instructor of physical culture in this country is either a former pupil of mine or using one of the systems I have originated and perfected.”

Professor Attila,  1894

Can you build muscle with just five pound dumbbells? For Professor Attila, the man who kickstarted Eugen Sandow’s career, the answer was an unequivocal yes. Today’s lost read is Professor Attila’s Dumbbell Exercises, a short monograph published in 1913 by the publishing house of Richard K. Fox.

Although many may scoff at the idea of training with five pound dumbbells, it is important to remember that Attila trained in a way very different to modern lifters. For Attila, dumbbells acted merely as grippers to allow maximal tension within the muscle. For example, in doing a bicep curl you would tense every muscle in the arm and slowly execute the movement for reps. This method was hugely similar to the dynamic tension advocated by Charles Atlas and a more intense form of training than the mind-muscle connection advocated by modern bodybuilders.

Aside from describing a new way of training Attila’s work also has some fascinating insights such as the use of one legged squats or back extensions to build muscle, exercises, which truth be told, I thought were more ‘modern’ methods.

So click below, have a read and enjoy!

Professor Attila’s Five Pound Dumbbell Course (1913)