Tag: Training

John Christy, ‘The Art of Concentration, Part Two: The Workout’, Hardgainer Magazine 14: 2 (2002), 14-15

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In the first part of this article I explained how to concentrate before your workout so that you can transition from your everyday responsibilities and challenges, to the necessary mental state needed for your workout. I discussed why I feel it’s absolutely necessary, and how I do it. In the second part of the article I want to continue to emphasize the importance of concentrating on the task at hand, and how I do it during a workout.

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Dr. Ken Leistner, ‘Hip and Thigh Power’, The Steel Tip, Vol. 1, No. 12 (1985).

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Heavy training for the hips and thighs gives the trainee the most return for the effort expended, but is usually not at the top of the list of “Favorite Modes of Training” due to the discomfort one is subjected to if the training is intensive enough to stimulate gains. The earliest lifting advice I received as an aspiring football player was to train the hips and thighs heavy, hard and consistently, even if it meant reducing the work done for the other body areas. Great gains in “overall body strength” come not from bench press specialization programs but from thigh, hip and lower back work. The proviso is that one train in a meaningful and productive manner, truly taking each set of each exercise to the limits of one’s momentary ability.

Are You WW2 Strong?

SoldierThe Second World War re-introduced the Western world back to the importance of health and fitness. The inter-war years were characterised by concerns that Europeans and Americans were no longer as strong as they once were. In the midst of war, Leaders became concerned. Victory in the battlefield could only be achieved through victory in the gymnasium. In 1942, the US Army introduced a formal fitness test to the incoming troops, with this in mind.

For the first time in American history, troops would be put through their places in several exercises to determine their value to Uncle Sam.

The men of 1942 had to do it. How would you have fared?

Vince Gironda’s Beginner Bodybuilding Course

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Well known as one of the greatest trainers of his age, Vince Gironda’s name has become synomous with bodybuilding champions from Larry Scott to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though Gironda made his name producing some of the greatest bodybuilding champions the sport has ever seen, he sent countless hours with beginners and intermediates seeking to sculpt their bodies or build muscle.

Today’s post discusses Vince’s general bodybuilding approach for beginners with the caveat being that Vince was known for changing exercises based on each trainer’s physique. Nevertheless, there is much to learn from his more generic approaches.

The Planet Muscle Growth Squad, ‘Growing Muscle’, Planet Muscle, Volume 4 (2001).

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…Have you ever noticed all the people who come into the gym and do the same training every time? You know who they are. They are the skinny guys in the dingy T-shirts, sans belt and with baggy cargo shorts that come down to their shins.

…These misinformed wannabes always do the same exercises, the same sequence of exercises, the same sets, and the same reps and take the same amount of rest between sets and/or exercises. They move their training weights in the same mindless, drone-like ways, never incorporating new or maturing training principles. They usually are accompanied by a so-called “training partner” who does nothing but chatter endlessly about Monday Night’s football game.

Lee Labrada, ‘Blast Your Chest, To Amazing Mass!’, Planet Muscle (March – April 2003).

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It was one of those rare moments where I thought I was dreaming. In fact, that would be putting it mildly! It was one of those rare moments in my 18 years when I was so blown away by what I was experiencing that I can barely describe it to you. It was 1978, the event, the Southern Cup Bodybuilding Championships in Tampa, Florida.

I had just witnessed top Mr. Olympia contender and poser extraordinaire Ed Corney, along with a young buck called The Golden Eagle, guest pose before the sell-out crowd (of which I was a part). After the winners had been announced, Sirs Ed and Tom Platz, surrounded by a sea of rabid fans, moved gingerly towards the front of the hall. The auditorium was almost clear when suddenly; I spotted the biggest bodybuilder I had ever seen. “Ohmygod! Is that Mike Katz?” I more than mumbled out loud. Mike Katz was one of the stars of M&F and Pumping Iron and there he was! Mike’s mind- blowing 60-inch expanded chest was so immense, he could balance a full glass of water on it without spilling a drop, and now, there he was! Just 2 weeks earlier, I watched Mike in Pumping Iron, and he was in the flesh in front of me, a super-hero, descending from Mount Olympus to walk amongst us mortals.

Fernando Vallejo, ‘Things Happen, and Lessons to Learn’, Hardgainer Magazine, September (2002), 32-33.

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This article may make for uncomfortable reading. It’s been included to illustrate why it’scritical that you’re always sensible and conservative in your training. No matter how experienced one may be, the rules of sensible training still apply. Properly done, weight training is very safe and healthy, but take liberties and it becomes a dangerous activity.

I’ve learned the importance of safety-first training through some painful and frightening experiences many years ago. Through foolishness I’ve been stuck under a heavy bench press bar without a spotter or safety set-up and stuck at the bottom of a heavy squat with no help or safety set-up, I’ve used appalling form to gut out final reps of sets, and I’ve attempted maximal lifting before conditioning myself to it. I’ve paid a heavy price for the foolishness, and so have countless others. Learn from our foolishness! – Stuart McRobert