Chapter 34

 A SIMPLE EXAMPLE

 The attention span of people being what it is, most readers will probably be hopelessly confused by this stage; because, even though the preceding points -- taken one at a time -- are actually quite simple, the number of important points, and the complex interrelationships involved, simply add up to a total of information that cannot be quickly absorbed by most people. And let there be no doubt on this score -- it took me more than thirty years to fully realize the implications of the related factors as outlined in preceding chapters.

 So I think it might be a good idea, at this point in the proceedings, to clearly and simply outline an actual training program that I might recommend for a beginning trainee -- with no attempt to explain "why" the program is outlined as it is.

 Let us assume, for this example, that the trainee is between 18 and 25 years of age, is 5 feet and 8 inches tall, and weights 150 pounds (stripped) and has never engaged in any serious form of physical training -- and, of course, is in normal health.

 Available training equipment will be a barbell, a chinning bar, a set of parallel bars, and a squat rack -- all of which can be purchased and-or built for less than $100.

 At the start, I would suggest the following routine as a "break-in" training program -- to be practiced daily for a period of 5 days in a row. . .

  1 -- 1 set of 20 repetitions, full squat

2 -- 1 set of 20 repetitions, one-leg calf raises (1 set for each leg)

3 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing presses, with a barbell

4 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, regular-grip chins

5 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, parallel dips

6 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing curls, with barbell

7 -- 1 set of 15 repetitions, stiff-leg deadlifts, with barbell

 During the first workout, the selection of weight to be used will necessarily be outright guesswork -- but I would suggest the following as a start . . .

Squats............................................................................................... 100 pounds

Calf raises......................................................................................... None

Standing presses.............................................................................. 80 pounds

Chins................................................................................................ None

Parallel dips...................................................................................... None

Standing curls.................................................................................. 60 pounds

Deadlifts........................................................................................... 100 pounds

 If the trainee is unable to perform the indicated number of repetitions, then the selected weight is either too high or is approximately right -- depending upon how close to the suggested number of repetitions the trainee can come; if 80 per cent or more (8 out of 10, or 16 out of 20, or 12 out of 15) of the suggested number of repetitions can be performed in good style, then the weight is not too high -- but it might be too low.

 If the trainee can perform the full number of suggested repetitions -- or more -- then the weight is too low.

 But in any case, it will require about a week of experimentation to determine the proper resistance for each of the exercises; a properly selected resistance will permit 70 per cent to 90 per cent of the suggested number of repetitions.

 During each of the first five workouts, the trainee should perform as many repetitions as possible -- up to the suggested number; but should not exceed the suggested number of repetitions, even though he may be able to do so. If he can exceed the suggested number of repetitions, then he should increase the resistance during the next workout.

 By the end of the first week of training (during the fifth workout) the trainee should know the proper resistance for each exercise.

 Some muscular soreness can be expected to result from this first week of training -- but by training fairly lightly for five days in a row, most trainees will avoid actually severe muscular soreness. After the first five workouts, a 72 hour rest should be permitted before resuming training on a regular basis; in effect, you might train Monday through Friday during the first week, then skip Saturday and Sunday, and resume training on Monday.

 Starting on Monday the second week, the program should be changed to the following routine . . .

1 -- 1 set of 20 repetitions, full squat

2 -- 1 set of 20 repetitions, one-leg calf raises

3 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing presses

4 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, regular-grip chins

5 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing presses ( a second set)

6 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, regular-grip chins ( a second set)

7 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, parallel dips

8 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing curls

9 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, parallel dips ( a second set)

10 -- 1 set of 10 repetitions, standing curls ( a second set)

11 -- 1 set of 15 repetitions, stiff-leg deadlifts

 During the second week of training -- and thereafter -- the trainee should perform as many repetitions as possible in each set of every exercise, except stiff-leg deadlifts; regardless of the actual number of repetitions that can be performed. Do NOT stop simply because the indicated number of repetitions has been reached -- continue until a point of failure has been reached.

 In the squats, an actual point of failure (for the legs) has been reached when it is impossible to continue without excessive bending of the back; when you find yourself starting to straighten the legs fully while the back is still bent, that is the point to stop. In the deadlifts, continue to a point where the weight starts to feel quite heavy -- but not to a point of actual failure.

 But in all of the other exercises, continue to the point where another repetition in good form is literally impossible -- but do NOT use cheating methods, maintain good form.

 The first three or four repetitions in each set of every exercise should be performed at a speed well below the maximum speed that would be possible at that point -- but starting with the fourth or fifth repetition, the speed of movement should be as fast as possible without jerking or bodyswing; the remainder of the repetitions in each set should be performed at maximum-possible speed -- but the "actual speed" will be quite slow if the weight is as heavy as it should be, and the speed during the last one or two repetitions in each set will be extremely slow.

 The above routine should be followed for at least three weeks -- and perhaps as much as six, or even nine weeks; but in any case, it should be followed until such time as the trainee is obviously gaining rapidly in strength.

 The program should not be changed until the trainee is capable of performing the proper number of repetitions with the following amounts of resistance. . .  

Squats 15 repetitions with 200 pounds

Calf-raises 15 repetitions with 30 pounds

Standing presses 10 repetitions with 120 pounds

Chins 10 repetitions with 25 pounds

Parallel dips 10 repetitions with 50 pounds

Standing curls 10 repetitions with 100 pounds

Deadlifts 15 repetitions with 200 pounds

 Some trainees will reach the above strength levels very quickly -- others will take longer; but heavier training should not be undertaken at strength levels much if any below those listed.

 When the trainee can perform at the above levels -- on the average, although all trainees will obviously not reach exactly similar levels -- then the program should be changed; by the time these strength levels have been reached, the trainee should have increased his bodyweight by at least 10 pounds -- but NOT MORE THAN 15 POUNDS -- and should be more muscular in appearance than he was at the start of training. If weight is gained too rapidly, or out of proportion to strength increases, then this is a clear indication that fatty tissue is being added -- which is NOT DESIRABLE.

 If a "pinch test" of the skin in the area of the waist indicates the addition of fatty tissue -- if the skin is getting thicker in that area -- then the diet is too high in calories, and should be reduced to a point where regular pinch tests indicate a slow loss of fatty tissue.

 Up to the end of the second training program, the time factor is not critical -- but excessive rest periods between sets should not be permitted. The entire workout (during the second program) should be completed within not more than forty-five minutes. Three weekly workouts should be used -- on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

 There will be a natural temptation to do "more" -- to add sets, or new exercises; but fastest growth will result if the program is performed exactly as outlined.

 At no time should the trainee attempt "maximum-possible single-attempt lifts" -- donít worry about what you can press once, or how much you can squat with once.

 When you are capable of reaching the designated number of repetition in squats, chins, parallel dips, and deadlifts, add 25 pounds to the resistance; increase from 100 pounds to 125 pounds, from 125 pounds to 150 pounds, and so on.

 When you can perform the proper number of repetitions in standing presses, curls, and calf-raises, add 5 pounds to the resistance; from 80 pounds increase to 85 pounds -- from 85 to 90, and so on.

 In the chins and parallel dips, the first addition of weight to your bodyweight should be 25 pounds -- a 25 pound barbell plate hung to your waist by a short rope.

 In the one-leg calf-raises, the first addition of weight to your bodyweight should be 20 pounds -- in the form of a 20 pound dumbbell (or two 10 pound barbell plates tied together with a rope) held in one hand.

 With average subjects in anything except an outright "fat" condition at the start of training, no direct training for the abdominal area is required -- nor is it desirable; proper performance of the other exercises will assure enough indirect exercise for this area of the body at first -- and at no time is much in the way of direct abdominal exercise either required or desirable.

 During the first few weeks of training the trainee should concentrate on learning the proper style of performing the exercises -- and should constantly attempt to increase his strength; if increases in strength are being produced at a reasonable rate, and if the addition of fatty tissue is kept under control by watching the amount of food intake, then everything else will take care of itself at this point.

 In the next chapter, I will outline additional -- more advanced -- training programs to follow the above training routines; but I cannot suggest too strongly that the more advanced programs should NOT be undertaken at strength levels much if any below those listed earlier.




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