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  • 2. This page intentionally left blank
  • 3. BEGINNINGBODYBUILDINGREAL MUSCLE/REAL FAST JOHN LITTLE Author of MAX CONTRACTION TRAINING New York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City Milan New Delhi San Juan Seoul Singapore Sydney Toronto
  • 4. Copyright © 2008 by John Little. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States CopyrightAct of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, withoutthe prior written permission of the publisher.0-07-159554-6The material in this eBook also appears in the print version of this title: 0-07-149576-2.All trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Rather than put a trademark symbol after every occurrence of a trademarked name, we use namesin an editorial fashion only, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringement of the trademark. Where such designations appearin this book, they have been printed with initial caps.McGraw-Hill eBooks are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use in corporate training programs. For moreinformation, please contact George Hoare, Special Sales, at george_hoare@mcgraw-hill.com or (212) 904-4069.TERMS OF USEThis is a copyrighted work and The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“McGraw-Hill”) and its licensors reserve all rights in and to the work. Use of this workis subject to these terms. Except as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976 and the right to store and retrieve one copy of the work, you may not decom-pile, disassemble, reverse engineer, reproduce, modify, create derivative works based upon, transmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish or sublicense thework or any part of it without McGraw-Hill’s prior consent. You may use the work for your own noncommercial and personal use; any other use of the workis strictly prohibited. Your right to use the work may be terminated if you fail to comply with these terms.THE WORK IS PROVIDED “AS IS.” McGRAW-HILL AND ITS LICENSORS MAKE NO GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE ACCURA-CY, ADEQUACY OR COMPLETENESS OF OR RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING THE WORK, INCLUDING ANY INFORMATIONTHAT CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE WORK VIA HYPERLINK OR OTHERWISE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTY,EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR APARTICULAR PURPOSE. McGraw-Hill and its licensors do not warrant or guarantee that the functions contained in the work will meet your requirementsor that its operation will be uninterrupted or error free. Neither McGraw-Hill nor its licensors shall be liable to you or anyone else for any inaccuracy, erroror omission, regardless of cause, in the work or for any damages resulting therefrom. McGraw-Hill has no responsibility for the content of any informationaccessed through the work. Under no circumstances shall McGraw-Hill and/or its licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, punitive,consequential or similar damages that result from the use of or inability to use the work, even if any of them has been advised of the possibility of suchdamages. This limitation of liability shall apply to any claim or cause whatsoever whether such claim or cause arises in contract, tort or otherwise.DOI: 10.1036/0071495762
  • 5. Professional Want to learn more? We hope you enjoy this McGraw-Hill eBook! Ifyou’d like more information about this book,its author, or related books and websites,please click here.
  • 6. This book is dedicated to my wife, Terri, and to ourchildren, Riley, Taylor, Brandon, and Benjamin, who provide inspiration and motivation in ways thatchampionship physiques cannot even approximate, and who have added so much love, humor, and enjoyment (and drama) to their parents’ lives.
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  • 8. For more information about this title, click here Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction xiPART 1 Beginning Your Bodybuilding Journey 1 Getting Started 3 2 The Next Stage 19 3 Fewer Sets More Reps More Mass! 27 4 What About Steroids? 39PART 2 Adding More Muscle 5 Fast Mass! The “Motionless” Workout 47 6 Introducing the Split Routine 59 7 Giant Sets 67 8 Training for Size and Power 83PART 3 Specialization and Refinement 9 Setting Up Your Year-Round Training Schedule 91 10 Specialization: Shoulders 101 11 Specialization: Legs 107 12 Specialization: Arms 115 13 Specialization: Back 125 14 Specialization: Chest 135 15 An Incredible Abdominal Routine 143PART 4 Keeping the Muscle Machine Primed 16 Dieting to Build Pure Muscle 151 17 Common Training Mistakes to Avoid 155 18 Questions and Answers 167 Index 183 vii
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  • 10. Acknowledgments T he author wishes to thank several people who, directly and indi- rectly, contributed to the publication of this book. Jason Mathas deserves particular mention for the exceptional photography that graces the pages of this book. Jason has spent many years photographing the top physiques in the world and knows how to capture the perfect image that both inspires and educates the viewer. Chris Lund gave me my start in body- building writing and encouraged me to continue to do research into the cause-and- effect nature of muscle growth. He liked the content and saw fit to publish it in Great Britain throughout the 1980s. This resulted in my developing a following and allowed me to continue to do more research and to refine what I had learned. Mike Mentzer was a close friend and an individual who taught me much about productive bodybuilding exercise. Although he passed away in 2001, the principles he ixCopyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 11. espoused and perfected have remained and embrace the scientific method, whichmy touchstones in bodybuilding science. has resulted in more bodybuilders trainingMike was also the first bodybuilder to harder, training for shorter periods, andactively encourage independent thought training far less frequently.x ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • 12. Introduction B odybuilding is prob- ably the healthiest activity that any indi- vidual can perform. The scientific litera- ture documents that resistance exercise not only serves to induce positive physiological changes but also can help to enhance and maintain our functional ability in later life. While this is all to the good, it remains true that the first reason most people have forBodybuilding is one of the healthiest activities anybody canengage in. working out is to improve their appearance, and in this respect, bodybuilding is without peer in the fitness world. Running, for example, being an activity that is restricted predominantly to the lower body, cannot significantly improve your upper-body strength, nor can it enhance your flexibility. Stretching or yoga can enhance your flexibility, within certain genetically determined limits, but neither can improve your cardiovascular efficiency to any meaningful degree. Proper bodybuilding exercise will make you stronger, enhance your flexibility, and xiCopyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 13. improve your cardiovascular conditioning— will produce the results they so earnestlyin addition to dramatically altering your seek. This book will correct this deficiencylean body mass (muscle) composition. As a and put the newcomer on the path to body-result, your metabolic rate will rise signifi- building success.cantly, which can lead to reduced bodyfat Additionally, some of my readers willlevels, lower blood pressure, lower choles- wonder why I’m advocating within theseterol levels, and an improved sense of well- pages a slightly greater frequency of trainingbeing. All of this adds up to better health (two to three times a week, as opposed toand fitness and a more positive self-image. once a week) than I have recommended inNot a bad return for an activity that requires my other books. It is a good question, andonly minutes a week of your time and that the answer is that from a biological stand-you can continue for the rest of your life. point, the newcomer to bodybuilding is Some of my readers may wonder why, not yet strong enough to make the kind ofas one who has been a staunch advocate of demands on the body’s recovery ability thatthree ultra-intense methods of bodybuilding would necessitate a more intense and lesstraining (Power Factor Training, Static frequent training protocol. As the beginnerContraction Training, and Max Contraction grows stronger, however, the trainingTraining), I am offering in this book a more frequency will have to be reduced to onceconventional protocol. The answer is simple: a week, and perhaps even once every twoAs not everyone has access to either vintage weeks. For the beginning bodybuilder,Nautilus machines, which are getting scarcer though, that time is not yet at hand.by the year, or Max Contraction equipment After having worked out now for a(maxcontraction.com), I felt there was a span of more than thirty years, and withlegitimate need for a valid training guide, all manner of methods and equipment, Ibased on well-settled principles of exercise have learned what exercises work and whatscience, that incorporates more conventional ones do not, as well as which machinesforms of equipment. Since virtually every are effective and which are not. In addi-home gym and all commercial gyms have tion, I’ve learned a great deal about thefree weights and some exercise machines, biology of bodybuilding that seems toand since these pieces of equipment (mainly have eluded most other fitness and body-due to cost) are not going away anytime building authors, particularly in regard tosoon, it makes sense that most people will its effect on human recovery ability anduse this type of equipment in their workouts. workout volume. A disturbing trend withinHowever, it does not follow that most people our industry is to look to our champions toknow how to use this equipment, or that guide us, apparently oblivious to the supe-they know how to do so in a manner that rior genetic disposition these championsxii INTRODUCTION
  • 14. Beginning Bodybuilding is concerned with your getting to your bodybuilding destination—a bigger, more muscular body—without jeopardizing your health. Within the pages of this book I have laid out facts for the beginning bodybuilder that will serve as a road map to navigate him or her away from blind alleys, dead ends, and other detours from the ultimate goal of a healthier, more muscular body. The material in this book is intended for the absolute beginner to bodybuilding and will safely guide him or her to the interme- diate and early advanced stages of devel- opment. For those seeking the “next step” in training, I recommend my books Max Contraction Training (McGraw-Hill, 2003) and, particularly, Advanced Max Contrac-Advanced trainees should emphasize the position of fullmuscular contraction and reduce both the volume and tion Training (McGraw-Hill, 2006), whichfrequency of their workouts. go into far greater detail about the obstacles and barriers that need to be surmounted possess. Also, while the industry is loath in order to make continued progress at this to admit it, the insidious increase in the level of development. use of steroids and other growth drugs has For the beginning bodybuilder, the distorted bodybuilding, creating grotesque book you are holding represents the perfect freaks in place of the finely built human guide to starting down the immensely bodies we observed when drugs were not as enjoyable and personally empowering path proliferative and bodybuilders (such as John to a stronger, healthier you. It is my hope Grimek and Steve Reeves) actually lived to that you enjoy the journey as much as the a ripe old age. destination. INTRODUCTION xiii
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  • 16. PAR T 1 Bodybuilding Journey Beginning YourCopyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
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  • 18. 1 Getting Started I f you are thinking about starting bodybuilding and would like to pack on up to thirty pounds of muscle mass, then you’re on the right page of the right book. The chapters that follow will provide you with all of the latest training and nutritional information needed to make it to the top of the sport, should you choose to climb that high, or—closer to ground level—just improve to the point of being the best-built person on your street. How far you want to go in bodybuilding is ultimately a matter of your desire and disposition. Regardless, at no time are the gains any quicker or more enjoyable than during the first six months of starting a training program. It is at this juncture that bodybuilders, whether young or old, first become truly aware of their bodies and notice profound changes starting to happen. As the bodybuilder becomes more experienced, that detection is less novel, but I suppose that, on the whole, it’s just as enjoyable. 3Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 19. KNOWING WHERE YOU STAND forced reps, and negatives are common usagePHYSICALLY among devotees, but they can leave theIt’s of paramount importance when starting initiate looking for the nearest encyclo-a bodybuilding program that you know pedia! Fortunately, the specialized vocabu-your existing physical condition. In fact, lary is not as intimidating as it may appear,an annual physical examination is recom- and it’s not even necessary for the beginnermended for all people, whether they engage to learn more than a quarter of it, sincein bodybuilding or not. If your physician many terms in the jargon relate to moregives you the OK to initiate your program advanced techniques, those designed to(and that’s likely to happen, unless you’re on add muscle mass to the seasoned physique.your last legs, in which case you’d be better We will concentrate on the handful thatoff tending to your estate than adding an will directly apply in your fi rst few monthsinch to your arms), then—and only then— of training. The following are terms you’llyou can proceed. need to know. The program on which you’re aboutto embark will, if followed to the letter, ■ Rep. The contraction or extension of aimprove your health, strength, and muscle given muscle group against resistance,mass to such a degree that you and those typically performed from a starting posi-who know you will be shocked at the tion of full extension to a finishing positionmetamorphosis. If you’re drastically under- of full contraction, and subsequent returnweight, it is quite possible for you to gain to the starting position. We call a series ofup to thirty pounds of rock-hard muscle such movements, naturally enough, repeti-mass. If you’re overweight with no discern- tions—from which we get the singularible muscle shape, be prepared to become form, rep.fi rm, develop a V taper, lose inches off ■ Set. A collection of repetitions (anywhereyour waist, and mold and expand your from one to one hundred or more).chest, shoulders, legs, and arms! Anyway, Generally, a brief rest of thirty to ninetyenough talking about it. Let’s start making seconds is taken at the end of a set init happen! order to catch one’s breath and provide time for the muscle group involved inTHE JARGON OF BODYBUILDING the set to partially recuperate. A typicalBodybuilders are a genuine subculture of routine calls for one to four sets of a giventhe population. Consequently, they often exercise to be performed.use an idiom that, to outsiders, can sound ■ Press. Any form of pushing the resis-as foreign as Caesar’s Latin. Terms such tance away from the body with either theas reps, bi’s, tri’s, supersets, preexhaustion, arms or the legs.4 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 20. ■ Curl. Any movement that involves our bones wouldn’t move, because our pulling the resistance in toward the body muscles wouldn’t contract. The central with either the arms or the legs. nervous system consists of the spinal■ Clean. No, this doesn’t have anything cord and the brain; it functions in to do with personal hygiene. Rather, it conjunction with the peripheral nervous is the lifting of the barbell or dumbbell system, which comprises the ganglia and from the floor to the chest in one quick nerves that reside outside of the brain motion. and spinal cord. The nervous system■ Poundage. The amount of weight or appears like thousands of little wires that resistance that you will be using in your function as transmitters, receivers, and exercises. interpreters of data from all parts of the■ Limit weight. The heaviest amount body. It is responsible for stimulating the of resistance that you can lift for one muscles of the body to contract, which in repetition. turn make it possible to move. Damage■ Routine. The sum total of reps, sets, to the central nervous system, obviously, and exercises in any given workout or would impair the body’s movement training session. potential. Movement itself is accom- plished when the nervous system stimu-A BRIEF LESSON IN ANATOMY lates the muscles, which then move theAND PHYSIOLOGY bones that support us via the tendinousBefore you can effectively train your muscles, attachments around our joints, which areyou need to know how they function so that connected by ligaments.you can select the exercises that will best ■ Ligaments. Ligaments are fibrous bandsstimulate them to grow. Without making that bind bone to bone. Their compact-this a complicated physiological disserta- ness determines to a large extent the flex-tion, let’s first examine a few of the body’s ibility of our joints. Great caution mustbasic structures and see how they work be taken when you’re training because iftogether—and how this knowledge will lead a ligament is stretched too far, the jointto your becoming a more informed and more that it holds together will become loose,successful bodybuilder. resulting in permanent damage to the tissue. (This is why some football players■ Central nervous system. The central are never able to fully recover from nervous system is of vital importance to serious knee injuries.) A joint that has both the aspiring and competitive body- been thusly injured will often “go out” builder (as it is to the rest of our species without warning, due to the instability of and any other species). Without nerves, its overstretched ligaments. CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 5
  • 21. ■ Tendons. Tendons are the dense, fibrous we’re looking to increase the size and bands at the end of muscles. Their func- strength of our skeletal muscles, it is to tion is to attach muscles to bones. Within this group that we shall devote most of the tendons are found the golgi tendon our attention. There are more than six organs, whose function is to send signals hundred skeletal muscles, which yields to the brain to indicate stress and fatigue. a skeletal-muscle-to-bones ratio of Generally, the ache that you experi- almost three to one and accounts for our ence during strenuous exercise is being highly evolved dexterity and precision in transmitted via the tendon and not the movement. muscle. ■ Bones. The human body contains 206 In summary, nerves stimulate our bones that, collectively, compose the muscles, which in turn move our bones skeleton. Muscles, as we have seen, via the tendinous attachments near joints, are attached to bones by tendons and which are connected by ligaments. When assist us in moving from one position to functioning with its parts in proper unison, another. the body is an intricate and complex piece ■ Muscles. There exist three distinct kinds of machinery. Our objective as body- of muscle tissue within the body: cardiac, builders will be to increase the efficiency of skeletal, and smooth. Cardiac muscle is our “machine” through regulated periods the heart, while smooth muscle assists of stress, or tension, upon the muscles, organs such as the stomach and intes- tendons, and ligaments in order to have the tines in the passage and digestion of central nervous system transmit the signal food. Skeletal muscle, on the other hand, for “overcompensation,” or muscle growth. is responsible for moving our bones. As ANATOMY AND EXERCISE When you’re selecting exercises to perform for specific muscle groups, it’s a definite asset to know the functions of the muscle structures you hope to involve. Table 1.1 is a brief list to assist you in the evaluation and selection process. This list is admit- tedly incomplete, but it should serve your purposes as a beginner because you will be concentrating solely on these muscle groupsThe human body has more than six hundred skeletal muscles,which accounts for our species’ highly evolved dexterity and in order to build muscular mass. Use it asprecision in movement. your base from which you can specialize on 6 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 22. TABLE 1.1 Muscle Structures, Functions, and Exercises Vernacular Muscle Group Locale on Body Function Exercise Extensors Forearm extensors Outer forearm Open hand, extend wrist Reverse wrist curls Flexors Forearm flexors Inner forearm Close hand, flex wrist Wrist curls Tris Triceps Back of upper arm Extend forearm Any presses, dips, or extension movements involving the arms Bis Biceps Front of upper arm Bend arm, supinate wrist Curls Brachy Brachialis Back of upper arm Bend arm with wrist pronated Reverse curls Delts Deltoids Point of shoulder Assist in raising upper arm Lateral raises, elbows out to the sides Pecs Pectorals Upper front of rib Draw upper-arm bones Bench presses, crossovers, flyes, cage toward each other pec deck Traps Trapezius Upper back Shrug shoulder Shrugs Abs Rectus abdominus Muscles of abdomen Flex body at waist Crunches Obliques External & internal Sides of waist Rotate upper torso and Side bends, obliques bends obliques bend torso to side to the sides Lats Latissimus dorsi Back muscles that Pull upper arm down Chins, rows, pull-downs impart V shape and to the rear Quads Quadriceps Front of thigh Straighten leg Squats, leg presses, leg extensions Hams Hamstrings Back of thigh Bend leg Leg curls, stiff-legged dead liftsCHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED7
  • 23. minor bodyparts when you reach a more greatest and most massively developedadvanced muscular state. bodybuilder of all time, utilized a three-day- a-week routine right up until the day he wonTRAINING PRINCIPLES the 1976 Mr. America title.The vast majority of people who take up In short, the three-day-per-week systemexercising with weights want to increase works extremely well for beginners and istheir present degree of muscle size. Unfortu- responsible for putting more muscle on morenately, enthusiasm can be the bodybuilder’s beginners than any other system of trainingworst enemy. Caught up in the throes of in the world. Again, once you hit the inter-weight training, the aspiring trainee trains mediate stage, you will have to back off onevery day, performs as many sets as can be the frequency a bit in order to allow yourtolerated, and then wonders why progress, body ample time to produce the gains thatif it comes at all, does so at an unbelievably your workouts have stimulated. Here areslow pace. While muscle growth is a slow a few simple rules to follow that will helpprocess at the best of times, it doesn’t have ensure your success.to be excessively slow, providing that youtrain properly. In fact, if you train exactly as 1. Do not train more than three days aI’ve outlined in this book, you’ll be amazed week.at the transformation in your physique in 2. Concentrate on each exercise you do;just a matter of weeks. The reason is that try to develop a mind-to-muscle link,weight training is powerful medicine that whereby you are keenly aware of yourforces your body into a virtually instant muscles contracting against the resis-response. tance. Don’t just start a set with the idea The harder you train, the faster your of simply getting the weight to the topbody overcompensates in the form of addi- using any means possible.tional muscle mass, but also, the harder you 3. Don’t “cheat” on an exercise. Don’ttrain, the more rest and recuperation your utilize body swing or momentum tobody requires to bring about the physiolog- complete a contraction, no matterical renovations in your physique. Therefore, how difficult the exercise may become.your initial program will be based upon Cheating increases momentum, which, ina three-day-per-week training schedule, turn, diminishes muscular involvement inwhich also happens to be among the top the exercise and, hence, reduces the exer-result-producing methods of bodybuilding. cise’s productivity. Your goal is to involveThe legendary Steve Reeves utilized this as many muscle fibers as possible.method exclusively in building his incred- 4. Your training days will be Monday,ible physique. Mike Mentzer, perhaps the Wednesday, and Friday. Try not to8 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 24. engage in anything too strenuous on one set of each exercise listed, and no more your “off” days, as this would cut into than two sets should be performed during your recovery ability, which should be month two. And now, on with the routine. utilized only to overcome the exhaustive effects of the weight-training workout. Performing other activities retards prog- T H E B A S I C R O U T I N E ress. If you miss a training day, don’t Here’s the routine in a nutshell: panic and don’t perform two workouts back-to-back thinking you can “make 1. Barbell squats: up” for it. Let it go—the extra recovery 1 set of 15 reps won’t hurt your progress in the least— 2. Pull-overs: and might actually help it along. 1 set of 12 reps5. Perform each movement slowly and under control to ensure that the muscle 3. Bench presses: group you are training is doing all of 1 set of 15 reps the required work and that momentum 4. Standing barbell presses: is not involved. Remember this rule of 1 set of 10 reps thumb regarding velocity: Lift the weight in two seconds, hold it at the top for 5. Bent-over barbell rows: another two seconds, and then lower 1 set of 10 reps it in four seconds back to the starting 6. Standing barbell curls: position. 1 set of 10 reps Because this will be the first time that 7. Stiff-legged dead lifts:you have trained on this program, weight 1 set of 15 repstraining will represent a major shock to your 8. Crunches:physiological system. It is important that 1 set of 20 repsyou understand this concept. It’s the mostintense form of exercise in existence, which NOTE: The squats and pull-overs are to beis precisely why it produces such dramatic performed back to back; as soon as youphysiological results. Given these facts, have finished your set of squats, rush to dodoing more than the amount specified at your set of pull-overs.this stage of your development is not at alldesirable. Remember that this routine is to be For this reason I recommend that, during performed on Mondays, Wednesdays, andyour first month, you perform no more than Fridays. Under no circumstances should CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 9
  • 25. you attempt to get all three of the week’s NOTE: Exercises that are new in eachworkouts in by training three days in a chapter offer detailed explanations androw! The alternate-day schedule is set up pictures that show you how to properlyso for a reason: physiologists have deter- perform them. For performance review ofmined that, unless you are a “natural” in the repeated exercises, cross references arepurest sense of the term (in which case you included so you can easily find the initialwouldn’t need to worry about altering your descriptions.appearance via weight training), your bodyneeds approximately forty-eight hours of rest The Routine Explainedbetween workouts, both to recover from the 1. Barbell squats: Without question, squatstraining session and to allow the muscular are the top-ranked result-producing body-subsystems to overcompensate in the form building exercise. If you want to pack onof increased muscle mass. pounds of solid muscle weight all over your physique, then give your all to squattingNOTE: Think of the formula this way: Train properly. And certainly this is the most effec-hard—rest a day to recover and grow; tive leg building exercise that one can under-train hard—rest a day to recover and grow; take with weights.train hard—rest for two days to recover To perform the squat properly, standand grow. erect with a barbell across your shoulders and take a deep breath. Now, with your The details of how each exercise is to lungs full, bend your knees and lower yourbe performed are crucial. I’ve endeavored body until you are in a full squat position;to make the descriptions as simple and you should be slightly below a ninety-comprehensive as possible because there degree angle to your shins. As soon as youare frequently three or four minor details reach the bottom position, rise immedi-that must be understood and followed. Read ately—but under control—while at the samecarefully every word of how the exercise is time expelling the air from your lungs, soto be performed before attempting it. Your that you will be ready for another intakesuccess depends almost exclusively upon of oxygen at the completion of the move-the proper execution of the exercises in the ment. Breathe in, and down you go forroutine. I’ve suggested moderate weights your second repetition, and so on until theto start with, to ensure that correct form required number of repetitions have beenis employed during the performance of completed.the exercise. Never complete a movement It is important to keep your head up at alltoo rapidly, and make it as it should be—a times, and your chest should be held high.muscular effort. Some bodybuilders accomplish this by fi xing10 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 26. Barbell squat—Start position. Barbell squat—Finish position.their gaze on a spot two to three feet above building circles as a “superset,” and you willeye level until the movement is finished. be using it only for the first two exercises.Also, some trainees prefer to perform Then you can take a sixty- to ninety-secondsquats with a small board under their heels breather.to improve their balance. If you feel yourbalance is off somewhat, which it may be, 2. Pull-overs: There’s a twofold mannerowing to innate variations in bone struc- to developing a massive chest: one wayture, by all means utilize a board. Squats is to develop the pectorals with exercisesstrongly affect the quadriceps, the four- that build those muscles, and the otherheaded muscle that makes up the bulk of the is to expand the rib cage with stretchingfrontal thigh, the main action of which is to exercises. Thus, performing both of thesestraighten the leg and to flex the hip. types of movements enlarges the chest’s As soon as you have completed your set external musculature as well as its internalof squats, you will immediately pick up a underpinnings.barbell and perform your second exercise, Performance of the straight-arm pull-pull-overs. This immediate transfer from over is simple. Lie on a bench with a lightone exercise to another is known in body- barbell (or a centrally loaded dumbbell), CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 11
  • 27. Dumbbell pull-over—Start position. Dumbbell pull-over—Finish position.held at arm’s length over your chest. Main- (triceps, pectorals, deltoids, lats, etc.), thetaining the arm’s-length position, slowly bench press is a great upper-body exer-lower the weight until it almost touches the cise. The main kinesiological function offloor behind you. Make an effort to keep the pectorals is to draw the arms into theyour arms locked throughout the movement, midline of the body—or, more technically,and when you inhale, attempt to draw in as to adduct the arms—so the action of themuch oxygen as you can while lifting the arms during the performance of the benchweight as high as possible. The weight is not press closely parallels the pectorals’ primarya major factor in this exercise, whereas the function. The bench press has its shortcom-degree of stretch most certainly is. A weight ings, as you will learn further on, but for therange of between ten and twenty pounds is beginner in search of overall muscle-massrecommended, dependent on your starting increase, it’s virtually the “perfect” exercise.level of strength. It is a movement of great poundage poten- tial, and this, combined with the fact that it3. Bench presses: Because of the number stimulates a large group of muscles at oneof muscle groups that come into play time (some more than others), makes it,12 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 28. Barbell bench press—Start position. Barbell bench press—Finish position. like the squat, a tremendous weight-gaining tional competition. The standing barbell exercise. press is an excellent deltoid developer. It To perform the exercise properly, lie on also stimulates growth in the trapezius and, a bench with a barbell at arm’s length over during its final stages, the triceps muscles. your chest. Slowly lower the bar to your In order to perform this exercise properly, upper chest. Once the bar has touched your you should clean (remember our definitions chest (I said “touched,” not “bounced”; section earlier in the chapter) the barbell bouncing a weight accomplishes nothing to your upper chest, or to the front of your but injury), slowly press it back up to the shoulders. Then, slowly press the weight top position, and repeat the procedure for upward until your arms are fully extended the required number of repetitions. Put the over your head. Slowly lower the resistance weight down, rest briefly, and then perform back down to your shoulders (the starting your next exercise. position), and repeat the procedure for the required number of repetitions. Rest briefly, 4. Standing barbell presses: Whenever and then move on to your next exercise. the average person asks you, “What can you lift?” chances are the question refers to this NOTE: When you’re performing this exer- exercise. To the uninitiated, the standing cise, there should be no assistance from barbell press is the touchstone of physical the legs or excessive arching of the back. strength, and even experienced trainees Sure, by using these little dodges you can place a lot of stock in evaluating one’s hoist up a few more pounds—but that’s strength by the performance of this exercise. not our objective here. We want the shoul- Its status as an accurate gauge of individual ders to receive the bulk of the stress and, strength is evidenced by its inclusion as one consequently, the bulk of the muscle stimu- of the three Olympic lifts used in interna- lation. Note that the bar should be cleaned CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 13
  • 29. Standing barbell press—Midpoint position. Standing barbell press—Finish position. only once during each set, and that’s at the flat muscle whose Latin root means “broad beginning of the movement. of the back.” Even though the latissimus dorsi, or lat muscles, are situated on the back, 5. Bent-over barbell rows: It’s always they are in effect arm muscles; their action impressive to see well-developed upper-back is to draw the arm back behind the midline muscles that fan out from the waist to the of the body and downward. In action, their shoulders, giving the body that much sought- movement resembles that of rowing a boat or after V shape. One of the best upper-back climbing a rope. exercises for developing that V shape is the To perform the barbell row, bend at the bent-over barbell row. That’s because the waist so that your torso is at a right angle bulk of the stress of the barbell row is applied (ninety degrees) to your legs. Grab hold of to the latissimus dorsi, which is the muscle the bar so that your palms are facing your responsible for the V shape. This is a large, shins. Your hand spacing should be betweenBarbell row—Start position. Barbell row—Finish position. 14 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 30. two and two and a half feet. Slowly pull the to a palms-up position and, in conjunction bar up toward your torso until it touches with the brachialis, flexes the elbow joint. In your lower chest. From this fully contracted essence, this means that these muscles bend position, slowly lower the resistance back to the arm, such as when you bring food to your the starting position (your arms should be mouth or hold a telephone receiver to your fully extended), and repeat for the required ear. number of repetitions. Rest briefly, and then To perform the barbell curl, stand erect perform your next exercise. with a shoulder-width grip on the barbell and Remember that the barbell is to touch the your palms facing front. Your arms should be floor only when the set is completed. This will fully extended so that the barbell is directly in ensure that maximum stimulation is imparted front of your thighs. Now slowly lift, or curl, to the lats throughout the movement. Also the barbell up to shoulder height, solely using remember to maintain the bent-over position the muscles of the upper arm by bending the throughout the set. elbows. From this fully contracted position, slowly lower the resistance back to the fully 6. Standing barbell curls: This exercise extended (or starting) position. Repeat for the involves the biceps and brachialis muscles required number of repetitions, and then rest of the upper arm. The biceps, on the front of briefly before performing your next exercise. the upper arm, lies on top of the brachialis Remember to let only the upper arms do and is responsible for supinating your wrist the work during this movement. Fight theStanding barbell curl—Start position. Standing barbell curl—Midpoint position. Standing barbell curl—Finish position. CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 15
  • 31. tendency to let additional muscle groups so. Keep lifting the resistance until you’recome into play by swinging the body or completely erect and the bar is in front ofshrugging the shoulders to add momentum your thighs. Now slowly lower the resis-to the movement. tance until it is back on the floor, and repeat the movement for the required number of7. Stiff-legged dead lifts: This move- repetitions. Rest briefly, and then move on toment is a tremendous overall muscle devel- your next exercise.oper and is also the single most productive Be sure to draw your shoulders wellexercise for the muscles of the lower back, back at the completion of the movement inreferred to as the erector spinae muscles, order to involve the trapezius muscle, whichwhich, as the name implies, act to keep the slopes down from your neck to your upperspine erect. shoulders. To perform the movement properly, standerect with your feet just under the barbell. 8. Crunches: This exercise strongly acti-Then, by bending your knees, grasp the vates your abdominal muscles, which, whenbarbell, with your hands a little wider apart fully developed, really set off a well-muscledthan shoulder width and your knuckles physique. How your abs appear, or evenfacing front. Now slowly begin to stand if they appear at all, is largely due to yourerect, straightening your legs as you do dietary habits (an area we will concernStiff-legged dead lifts—Start position. Stiff-legged dead lifts—Finish position.16 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 32. ourselves with later). This means that nostomach exercise—repeat: no stomach exer-cise—will “melt” or “burn” or otherwisemetamorphose bodyfat from your physique.Don’t make the mistake of thinking thatif you perform sit-up after sit-up, you willin some way be ridding your abdomen ofsurplus adipose; that’s just not the way ourspecies’ physiology functions. Train hard to Crunch—Finish position.develop your stomach muscles, and then dietto reduce your subcutaneous bodyfat stores,and your abdominal muscles will stand out your abdominals require to be stimulatedin bold relief. into maximum growth. Once you have To perform crunches effectively, lie ascended to a fully contracted position,faceup on the floor—on a mat—with your hold the position for a two-count, and thenhands behind your head. Try to keep your lower yourself slowly back to the startingchin on your chest throughout the move- position. Repeat for the required number ofment. Lift your feet up on top of a bench, repetitions.with your legs slightly apart. From thisstarting position, slowly curl your trunk Concentrate and train hard during your firstupward toward a sitting position. You’ll month on this program. You should noticefind that you can accomplish a third of the a drastic difference at month’s end afterrequired sit-up in this fashion, which is fine, commencing this schedule and should bebecause that is all the range of motion that looking, and feeling, the better for it. CHAPTER 1 GETTING STARTED 17
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  • 34. 2 The Next Stage A fter your first month of training, you should be noticing some substantial changes in both your physique and your health. You will have firmed up considerably; probably put on five to ten pounds, depending on your diet; and, for perhaps the first time in your life, become aware of numerous muscle groups throughout your body that spoke to you on the days after your training sessions with little twitches of pain. Not real pain, mind you, but a constant probing sort of sensa- tion that let you know that some sort of activity—namely muscle stimulation—had occurred there only the day before. This is all to the good, as those twinges signi- fied that you had stimulated some muscle growth, which is the reason you started bodybuilding in the first place. 19Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 35. Last month, on your beginner’s if after training for a while, you noticeprogram, you performed a total of one set that your arms are huge but your legs lookper bodypart, trained three days a week, like a television stand, thus throwing outand used a predominantly straight-set your entire symmetry, you should elect toapproach—that is, you performed one set “specialize” on your legs in order to bringof a given exercise and then rested before your overall appearance back into propermoving on to a different movement. perspective. It’s easy for one bodypart to During your second month of training, overshadow another, and the earlier you canyou will still train three days a week on detect such an imbalance, the easier it willalternate days, with weekends off, but you be for you to correct it.will be performing a total of three sets perbodypart and employing a method known Supersetsas “forced reps.” In this system you will In supersetting, two separate exercises arenever be performing more than five direct performed back to back, with no restingsets for any given bodypart, and even that whatsoever in between. You can rest formaximum will occur only during periods of as long as is necessary after you have“specialization” on a muscle group that is performed your superset cycle.lagging behind the others in development. Forced RepsEXPANDING YOUR VOCABULARY Forced reps occur at the very end of yourAs just cited in the preceding section, the set, when you can no longer complete a fullconcept of specialization as it applies to repetition. When you come to the point inbodybuilding will be new to you if you’re a an exercise (or, more technically, the pointtrue neophyte. It is one of several additional“inside sports” terms that you will learnand employ during your second month oftraining.SpecializationAlthough you are still a few months awayfrom needing this concept, it will help youto learn it ahead of time for the purpose ofdeveloping a keener eye toward the assess-ment of your physique. Specialization simplymeans that your training becomes bodypart Forced reps are a technique that helps to push your muscles to deeper levels of exhaustion.specific for a limited period. For instance,20 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 36. in a set of an exercise) when you can no was taught to me by legendary bodybuilderlonger reach the fully contracted position, Mike Mentzer: The harder you train, theyou have a partner, or “spotter,” assist you in faster you’ll grow! This truism will serve youcompleting several additional repetitions by well your entire training life.lifting some of the resistance for you. You’re As just discussed, a spotter is simply astill attempting to complete the contrac- training partner or friend who assists you.tion yourself; your partner is providing as Whenever someone stands behind you tolittle help as is required for the rep to be make sure that the weight you’re bench-completed. pressing doesn’t pin you to the bench, or Try to overcome the tendency to let assists you in completing your repetitions,your partner lift the weight for you. Even the person is said to be “spotting” you.professional bodybuilders are sometimesinclined to take a “Thank God, you’re here!” A COMMENT ABOUT DIETapproach to forced reps, whereby the instant One of the biggest misconceptions in body-the partner starts to assist them in the building today is the fallacy that you mustmovement, they drop their own involvement ingest a magical combination of vitamins,entirely. Sure, they grimace and groan and minerals, and protein supplements in orderstamp their feet in an effort to hoodwink to build large muscles. While I’ll discussthe partner into believing that they’re really the issue of nutrition as it applies to muscleputting their last ounce of energy into the building and fat loss in Chapter 16, I’d like torep, but the poor training partner suddenly touch on a few dietary facts here and now.gets a hernia from assuming the full brunt First of all, if building muscle were asof raising the resistance at a mechanically easy as taking a supplement, then trainingdisadvantageous position. When you see would be obsolete. The fact that you cannotyour training partner preparing to give you “eat your way to a great physique” shouldsome forced reps, your last thought should be self-evident, but aspiring bodybuildersbe, “Thank God you’re here!” nevertheless spend thousands of dollars on A forced-reps set is brutally hard and supplements that do little else than enrichshould have you wishing your partner were the color of their urine. Blunt, yes, but true!suddenly out of town, or anywhere other Diet in the beginning stages of bodybuildingthan in the gym with you. The fact that is anything but complicated: if you want toforced reps will make your exercises so much get bigger, which is usually the motivationmore intense and, consequently, so much behind initiating a bodybuilding program,more demanding is why the technique is so then you should train hard and eat lots. Pureeffective in stimulating phenomenal muscle and simple, eat anything you want, when-growth. Keep in mind this maxim, which ever you want; just make sure that you are CHAPTER 2 THE NEXT STAGE 21
  • 37. eating a balanced diet. It serves your body- ance of your physique and create a basebuilding program little good if you consume of health and vitality that will be all butfood from a diet that is lopsided in regard impenetrable throughout your life.to any of the macronutrients (for example,fats, proteins, or carbohydrates). Eat the bulkof your foods in a more or less balanced T H E R O U T I N Efashion. In fact, tip the scale, if at all, in favor This month we’re going to alter our routineof carbohydrates, since they provide the fuel marginally by adding in some new exercisesfor all your weight-training sessions as well and subtracting a few from last month.as being the primary energy source of your The reason we will be switching exercisesbrain. Given that carbohydrates also are occasionally is to avoid both mental andencased in foodstuffs that happen to taste physical staleness, the inevitable resultthe best (pasta, bread, sugar, fruits, etc.), of engaging in unaltered activities forit’s usually not a burden to consume ample prolonged periods. Some of the exercises,quantities of them. such as squats, will remain in our program If you’ve undertaken bodybuilding to lose due to their intrinsic value as provenfat, as opposed to weight—there is a major muscle builders.distinction—simply reduce your food intakeslightly. I say “slightly” because drastic 1. Barbell squats:caloric reduction causes the body to actually 3 sets of 15 repsslow down its metabolism in anticipation of Supersetted with . . .a scarcity of food. This, of course, is counter- 2. Pull-overs:productive to what you wish to accomplish. 3 sets of 15 reps The most effective route to fat loss,then, is to train intensely to stimulate 3. Upright barbell rows:muscle growth (the routines I’ll provide are 3 sets of 12 repsdesigned to do just that) and reduce your Supersetted with . . .food intake slightly—say, 500 calories below 4. Bench presses:what would otherwise be necessary to main- 3 sets of 10–15 repstain your present bodyweight. Again, keepyour diet balanced or tipped in favor of the 5. Presses behind the neck:carbohydrate element, and you’ll notice a 3 sets of 12 repsconsistent level of fat loss while at the same 6. Standing dumbbell curls:time increasing your muscle-mass ratio. 1 set of 15 reps, 2 sets of 10 reps The combination of these two factors will Supersetted with . . .create a dramatic difference in the appear-22 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 38. 7. Lying triceps extensions: 3. Upright barbell rows: This is an excellent 1 set of 15 reps, 2 sets of 10 reps exercise for both your trapezius and deltoid (shoulder) muscles. Place your hands about8. Stiff-legged dead lifts: six inches apart on a barbell with an over- 3 sets of 15 reps hand grip (your palms should be facing your thighs). Keeping your body straight andThe Routine Explained stationary, slowly pull the weight up to your1. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell clavicles (collar bone). Keep the barbell inacross your shoulders and take a deep breath. close, and then slowly, in four seconds, lowerNow, with your lungs full, bend your knees it back to the starting position. Rememberand lower yourself slowly, in four seconds, that your development will be acceler-and then ascend in two seconds back to the ated if you work your muscles in both thestarting position for the required number of upward and downward portions of the exer-repetitions. See Chapter 1 for a full descrip- cise. Repeat the movement for three sets oftion of this exercise and its benefits. Superset twelve repetitions. Supersetted with . . .with . . .2. Pull-overs: Lie on a bench with a lightbarbell (or a centrally loaded dumbbell),which should be held at arm’s length overyour chest. Maintaining the arm’s-lengthposition, slowly lower the weight untilit almost touches the floor behind you.Make an effort to keep your arms lockedthroughout the movement, and when youinhale, attempt to draw in as much oxygenas you can while lifting the weight as highas possible. The weight is not a major factorin this exercise, whereas the degree ofstretch most certainly is. A weight range ofbetween ten and twenty pounds is recom-mended, dependent on your starting levelof strength. Remember to slowly lower theweight as far behind you as possible andalso pull it over your chest in a slow anddeliberate fashion. See Chapter 1 for a full Upright barbell row—Finish position.description of this exercise and its benefits. CHAPTER 2 THE NEXT STAGE 23
  • 39. standing barbell press. It’s not necessary to clean the weight here; note the seated starting position in the photo as an alterna- tive technique. Begin with a light poundage in order to warm up your entire shoulder girdle. Take a deep breath before pressing the weight up smoothly to the fully extended position of your arms, and then lower the resistance twice as slowly (four seconds)Bench press—Finish position. Make sure your partner assists back to the starting position. Add weight toyou just enough to make the last few reps possible—not tomake it easier for you. the bar (approximately 20 percent more than your warm-up weight) and perform two more sets. 4. Bench presses: Use the same style as You may notice that you will not be as described in Chapter 1, but don’t be afraid strong in this movement as you were last to really push for those last few reps during month. The reason for this isn’t that you’re your third set. Your partner should assist you becoming weaker, but rather that your last just enough to allow you to complete your four exercises have involved your deltoids repetitions—not to make the exercise easier to a greater extent, and consequently, your for you! Be sure to concentrate fully during shoulder muscles are more fatigued than both the raising (positive) and the lowering they were when you performed this exercise (negative) portions of the movement. last month. Battle through the fatigue to get your prescribed number of repetitions, all 5. Presses behind the neck: Use the same the while maintaining perfect form. form as outlined in Chapter 1 for thePress behind the neck—Start position. Press behind the neck—Finish position. 24 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 40. 6. Standing dumbbell curls: These next twoexercises are to be performed in a superset.First, to perform the standing dumbbellcurls, grab a pair of dumbbells and holdthem at your sides with the palms touchingyour upper thighs. Slowly curl both armsup until the dumbbells are at shoulder level.Pause briefly in this fully contracted posi-tion, and then lower the dumbbells slowly,in four seconds, back to the starting position. Lying triceps extension—Start position.Perform your first set as a slow, controlled,warm-up set (supersetted with the nextexercise), and then increase the resistance by 7. Lying triceps extensions: Lie on an20 percent (give or take a couple of pounds, exercise bench, holding a barbell (or E-Zdepending on your existing strength levels) curl bar) in both hands directly over yourand superset your next two sets for 10 repe- chest. From this position, slowly lower thetitions each. Supersetted with . . . resistance, in four seconds, to a point just behind your head. From this fully extended position, slowly press the resistance back up to the starting position. Just as in the preceding exercise, use your first set as a slow, controlled, warm-up set, and then add approximately 20 percent more to the bar and perform two more sets (supersetted with the previous exercise) of 10 repetitions. 8. Stiff-legged dead lifts: A version of this exercise was described in the previous chapter, and both are among the best total- body exercises. They not only work your lower back but also place considerable stress on your forearms, biceps, lats, shoulders, and trapezius muscles. Using an over-under grip whereby one palm is facing your thighs while the otherStanding dumbbell curl—Finish position. palm is facing away, grab hold of a moder- CHAPTER 2 THE NEXT STAGE 25
  • 41. ately weighted barbell and, with your arms Again, you should train on three alternatestraight, stand upright so that the bar is days per week. The workouts will stimulateresting across the front of your thighs and muscle growth, while your days off allowyour back is straight. From this position, that growth to take place. Muscle growthslowly, in four seconds, lower the resistance is a slow process, contingent solely uponto the floor, making sure to keep your legs the intensity levels that you are willing andlocked straight (as opposed to the previous able to generate in your training sessions.dead lift exercise, in which you began with So, train hard, eat a balanced diet that isbent knees and then straightened). Because modified to suit your objectives, and restof the nature of this exercise, it’s not neces- to recover and grow, and by the end of thissary to use a lot of weight. You don’t want to month you’ll notice a substantial muscle-strain your lower back; you simply want to mass increase—which, of course, you’ll needconcentrate on stimulating the muscles that before proceeding to the workouts outlinedsupport it. Repeat for the required number of in Chapter 3, “Fewer Sets + More Reps =sets and repetitions. More Mass!”26 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 42. 3 Fewer Sets + More Reps = More Mass! B y this time in your training, you should have noticed some spectacular changes in both your health and physique. Your chest should be deeper, your back wider, your shoulders broader, and your arms and legs fuller—that is, if you’ve been following my instructions to the letter. If you haven’t yet realized these results, go back and reread the introductory chap- ters carefully and run through the routines again. Believe me, they will work when applied properly! One of the biggest disappointments shared by many people, regardless of age, who take up the science of bodybuilding is that they never seem to gain “fast enough.” Almost everybody who has ever attended a Mr. Olympia contest wants to look—imme- diately—like the competitors seen on stage. To this end some people even copy the champions’ precontest training routines in a misguided effort to somehow hasten this 27Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 43. much bearing on our attaining his muscle size as would our wearing the same shoes as he does. Remember this point: the fi rst rule of success in bodybuilding is to work within our genetic framework. Without this prin- ciple, most of the other rules have no application. Moreover, given the level of drugs that most of the champion body- builders take, probably very few of theGenetics is the prime determinant of how large an individual’s rules that govern human physiology havemuscles will become. While training can help maximize one’spotential for muscle size, genetics sets the limits on how big much bearing on them. The drugs alterone can ultimately get. human physiology into something foreign to our species. Once these drugs enter the transformational process. After all, it worked equation, and by drugs I specifically refer for the champions, right? Wrong! to steroids here, the act of emulating the I’ve stated this before, but it bears training methods of the bodybuilder you repeating: the champions are the thor- see on stage becomes pointless. The muscles oughbreds of our species; it’s in their of steroid users no longer create the same genes—or, more specifically, it’s in their amount of waste by-products, nor do they muscle bellies—to be big musclemen. fatigue at the same rate; drugs have altered Their physiques are inordinate due to their both processes beyond the confi nes of being genetically predisposed to carry a simple human physiology. Suffice it to say large musculature on their frames, and not that unless you currently are on steroids, because of any “magic” to be found within or are resolved to use them regardless of their training routines (e.g., triple split; the potential consequences, you’ll experi- push/pull; intensity or insanity—I love that ence little, if any, gains in muscle mass by one!; up and down the rack; twenty sets per training like the champions. bodypart) or their secret dietary methods. Natural muscular gains come when you It’s time we, as a group, woke up to the train intelligently, which means observing fact that it’s not in the genetic cards for all and understanding the economics of growth of us to be massively muscled. Nor can we and recovery. alter our reality by simply aping the training routine of a certain champion. In fact, the DECEPTIVE CLAIMS champion’s training routine, particularly Bodybuilding, like most other human his precontest routine, would have about as endeavors, has had and continues to have its 28 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 44. share of bizarre and fantastic claims, gener-ally made by people who are every bit asextraordinary as the claims they advance.As you are now entering your third month,it’s important that you be informed of justwhat deception awaits you on your journeyto physical “perfection” at this point in yourtraining. Armed with this knowledge inadvance, you will be better able to recognizeand avoid fast-talkers who would have youbelieve and support baseless and potentially The fact that an individual has huge arms doesn’t mean thatharmful training, nutritional, and, most it was the training methods that were responsible for building them.important, cognitive practices. The most common error that you’llencounter is the “visualization” or cognitive straight out of The Flim-Flam Man. It won’t“mind over matter” arguments, replete with put another inch on your arms, no mattersimiles that involve biceps like mountains, how Cartesianly clear and distinct yourbacks like manta rays, or similar nonsense. “mystical” mental processes and thoughtsThese are, in effect, mind-over-genetics about the size of your muscles may be. Iarguments, or what the late philosopher- mean, go ahead—envision your biceps thenovelist Ayn Rand would have called the “I size of Mount Everest. Give me a call whenWish versus It Is” polemic. This premise, in they reach 29,028 feet above sea level. It’sessence, instructs you to ignore the fact that exactly the same logic as if I were to claimyou are only five foot two and have brown that I could leap over an apartment complex;eyes, because, by God, if you really want to you’d be justified in thinking me deluded,be six foot six and have eyes of blue, then all regardless of how fi rmly I held to the vivid-you have to do is believe that it’s possible— ness of the fantasy.and it will happen! Likewise, if a bodybuilder of interna- The proponents of such irrational tional repute should tell you that he hasgibberish have their own nomenclature peaks on his biceps because he envisionedthat features constructs such as “mental them as miniature mountains, and notimagery” and, of course, “visualiza- because genetics put an egg on his bicepstion”—and it’s rampant throughout body- the day his DNA took hold, you should bebuilding. Statements such as “Believe and equally suspect about his cognitive faculties.Achieve” adorn the back of many a person- Nevertheless, such claims are madeally inscribed weight belt. This is chicanery almost daily regarding the mystical import CHAPTER 3 FEWER SETS MORE REPS MORE MASS! 29
  • 45. of the “mind” in training. Sure, the mind muscle bellies of an Arnold Schwarzeneggeris important; without it you couldn’t even or Mike Mentzer doesn’t mean that you don’ttie your shoes, let alone engage in barbell have the genetics of an equally impressive youtraining, but it’s not nearly as omnipotent as when developed to the uppermost limits ofsome “authorities” would have you believe. your potential. After all, Steve Reeves, Arnold The mind is important in keeping Schwarzenegger, Mike Mentzer, Lou Ferrigno,you motivated to get into the gym and Bruce Lee, Mike Tyson, and Lee Labradatrain intensely enough to stimulate your didn’t have identical genetics, and yet allmuscles to grow. As I conceded earlier, went on to develop very impressive (and verythis training routine is not an easy one to muscular) physiques.adopt for the long term. In fact, it’s down- If you train properly, you can realize yourright uncomfortable—so much so that own unique physiological potential, whichanyone who feels the inclination to engage may even supersede any of the competitors onin visualization or cognitive gymnastics the Mr. Olympia stage today! What, then, isinvolving mountain-peak biceps, manta-ray “proper” training? Simply put, proper traininglats, or fluffy clouds really isn’t training. involves stimulating muscle growth and thenThe person is simply going through the allowing your body sufficient time to realizemotions and relaxing, because relaxation, that growth once it’s been stimulated.or sleep, is the time we are best able to To accomplish this, your workouts must beengage in such fl ights of fancy. (We just intense, and since intensity and duration existrefer to them as dreams.) in inverse proportion to one another, your And if such people also exhibit impres- workouts must also be brief. The more intensesive physiques, it’s only further testimony the workouts, the greater the muscle stimula-to the supreme role that genetics played in tion, and the briefer the workouts must be.their physical development—as opposed to One other factor that enters into thistheir mystical thought processes and inef- workout equation is recovery. This falls intoficient training methods. the “off” time you have in between your workouts. My staff and I have conductedTRAINING a series of tests and studies regarding thisIf genetics, then, is the be-all and end-all of phenomenon at our Nautilus North fitnessbodybuilding, and you’re not the spitting center and have concluded that once youimage of Conan the Barbarian at the moment, get stronger, it will take you approxi-should you just throw in the towel and write mately three days to recover the energy youit off to a bad deal of the genetic cards? By expended during your workout. It will thenno means! The fact that you don’t have the take you another three to four days to over-30 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 46. compensate, or grow bigger. In other words, 6. Upright barbell rows:as you grow stronger, you will require a full 1 12 repsseven days off between workouts to allow 7. Incline dumbbell curls:the muscle you stimulated in your workout 1 12 repsto grow. As explained in Chapter 1, while you 8. Seated French presses:are still a beginner, you must have at least 1 12 repstwo days of rest between high-intensity 9. Stiff-legged dead lifts:training sessions, and more if you’re excep- 1 20 repstionally strong. With any less than thisamount, you’ll not progress at all, and you 10. Crunches:may even begin to regress. So, fi rst train 1 15 repshard to stimulate growth, which means that 11. Wrist curls:your workouts must be of brief duration (no 1 15 repsmore than thirty to forty-five minutes perworkout), and rest afterward for a minimum 12. Hammer curls:of forty-eight hours. If these precepts are 1 12 repsfollowed, you will grow progressively largermuscles with every visit to the gym. The Routine Explained 1. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell across your shoulders and take a deep breath. T H E R O U T I N E Now, with your lungs full, bend your knees and lower your body until you are in a full1. Barbell squats: squat position; you should be slightly below a 1 20 reps ninety-degree angle to your shins. As soon as you reach the bottom position, rise immedi-2. Chin-ups: ately—but under control—while at the same 1 maximum reps time expelling the air from your lungs, so that3. Seated barbell presses: you will be ready for another intake of oxygen 1 12 reps at the completion of the movement. Breathe in, and down you go for your second repeti-4. Bent-over barbell rows: tion, and so on until the required number of 1 12 reps repetitions have been completed. See Chapter5. Dumbbell flyes: 1 for a full description of this exercise and its 1 12 reps benefits. CHAPTER 3 FEWER SETS MORE REPS MORE MASS! 31
  • 47. 2. Chin-ups: Chin-ups, like squats, alsowork several muscle groups, thereby stimu-lating significant overall muscle growth. Tobegin, grasp the chin-up bar with a palms-up grip. (You may require straps to reinforceyour grip for the required number of repeti-tions.) Slowly begin to contract the musclesin your arms, and try to touch the bar toyour lower chest when you have reached theapex of your ascent. Hold this contractedposition for a two-count, and then loweryourself slowly (four seconds) back to thestarting position, all the while makingsure that the latissimus dorsi muscles areconstantly contracted. Repeat this procedureuntil at least eight repetitions have beencompleted. Chin-up—Finish position. If you can’t perform a chin-up on your own, you may either use an assisted chin- up machine, if your local gym has one, or do a negative-only set. We’ll discuss nega- tives further in the next chapter, but for now, here’s what to do: Stand on a chair facing the chin-up bar, grab the bar, and step off. Under full muscle control, lower yourself to a stretched position as slowly as you can. Repeat to exhaustion. When you can complete ten negatives, you should be able to perform at least three or four regular chin-ups. 3. Seated barbell presses: This exercise is performed in the same manner as theChin-up—Start position. standing barbell presses described in32 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 48. spacing should be between two and two and a half feet. Slowly pull the bar up toward your torso until it touches your lower chest. From this fully contracted position, slowly lower the resistance back to the starting posi- tion (your arms should be fully extended), and repeat for the required number of repetitions. Rest briefly, and then perform your next exercise. See Chapter 1 for a fullSeated barbell press—Finish position. description and the benefits of this exercise. 5. Dumbbell flyes: Grab two fairly heavy Chapter 1. This time you will perform them dumbbells (remember that “heavy” is rela- seated. Some gyms have a special bench tive) and lie faceup on a bench. Slowly lower with supports to take the weight from. If you the dumbbells from an overhead position do not have access to such a bench, simply in an outward arc until they are a bit below clean the barbell to your shoulders and sit chest level. Pause for one or two seconds, down on a flat bench and begin the exercise. and then begin to slowly raise the dumbbells back to the starting overhead position in the 4. Bent-over barbell rows: To perform the same outward arc. (The movement should barbell row, bend at the waist so that your resemble your hugging a barrel.) torso is at a right angle (ninety degrees) to your legs. Grab hold of the bar so that your 6. Upright barbell rows: Place your hands palms are facing your shins. Your hand about six inches apart on a barbell with anBent-over barbell row—Start position. Bent-over barbell row—Finish position. CHAPTER 3 FEWER SETS MORE REPS MORE MASS! 33
  • 49. Dumbbell flye—Start position. Dumbbell flye—Finish position. overhand grip (your palms should be facing your thighs). Keeping your body straight and stationary, slowly pull the weight up to your clavicles (collar bone). Keep the barbell in close, and then slowly, in four seconds, lower it back to the starting position. See Chapter 2 for a full description and the benefits of this exercise. 7. Incline dumbbell curls: Take hold of two dumbbells and sit down on an incline bench (preferably an incline of 45 degrees). With your arms extended and your palms facing each other, slowly curl your arms up until your biceps are fully contracted, making sure to turn both palms up at the top of the curl. Upright barbell row—Finish position. Pause briefly, and then lower both arms back to the start position. Repeat for 12 repetitions. this exercise properly, grab hold of a Triceps Blaster (I know, I hate the name too!) or an 8. Seated French presses: While dips are E-Z curl bar. Press the weight overhead as if arguably the best triceps exercise, your chest you were about to perform the press behind and delts may be too fatigued at this stage the neck. Now, instead of lowering your to allow you to train your triceps adequately. elbows, keep them stationary (beside your Not to worry. The seated French press is a ears) and lower only your forearms, until great triceps-isolation exercise. To perform they are as far down toward the center of 34 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 50. Incline dumbbell curl—Start position. Incline dumbbell curl—Finish position.Seated French press—Start position. Seated French press—Finish position. CHAPTER 3 FEWER SETS MORE REPS MORE MASS! 35
  • 51. your back as they can go. The time structureis the same with this exercise: two secondsup and four seconds down. Repeat for 12repetitions.9. Stiff-legged dead lifts: Using an over-undergrip whereby one palm is facing your thighswhile the other palm is facing away, grabhold of a moderately weighted barbell and,with your arms straight, stand upright so Crunch—Start position.that the bar is resting across the front ofyour thighs and your back is straight. Fromthis position, slowly, in four seconds, lowerthe resistance to the floor, making sure tokeep your legs locked straight. See Chapters1 and 2 for variations on this exercise.10. Crunches: To perform crunches effec-tively, lie faceup on the floor with yourhands behind your head. Try to keep yourchin on your chest throughout the move- Crunch—Finish position.ment. Keep your feet on the floor, withyour knees slightly open. From this startingposition, slowly curl your trunk upward 11. Wrist curls: Take hold of a barbell in bothtoward a sitting position. You’ll fi nd that hands, with your palms facing forwardyou can accomplish a third of the required (as you would if performing a standingsit-up in this fashion, which is fi ne, because barbell curl), and sit on the end of a bench.that is all the range of motion that your Lift the barbell so that your forearms areabdominals require to be stimulated into resting across the tops of your thighs andmaximum growth. Once you have ascended the barbell is over the ends of your knees.to a fully contracted position, hold the posi- Slowly lower your wrists until they are fullytion for a two-count, and then lower your- extended. From this position, slowly curlself slowly back to the starting position. your wrists upward as far as they can go.See Chapter 1 for a full description of this Pause briefly in this fully contracted posi-exercise. tion, and then lower the bar back down until your wrists are fully extended again.36 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 52. Wrist curl—Start position. Wrist curl—Finish position. 12. Hammer curls: While standing, grab a position of full contraction, while the other pair of dumbbells and hold them at your arm is held down at your side. sides. Your palms should be facing in toward your hips. Slowly, making sure to SETS maintain the same palm position, curl one The question of what is the “ideal” number dumbbell up toward your shoulder, while of sets to perform for a bodypart is an the other stays at your side. Pause briefly area of bodybuilding that is a gray fog at in the position of full contraction, and the best of times. Certainly, twenty sets then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the per bodypart, regardless of the bodypart, starting position. As soon as that dumbbell is not only unnecessary but also coun- is back in the starting position, slowly curl terproductive. Reducing that number to the dumbbell in the opposite arm up to a half—ten sets—would seem to be a step inHammer curl—Start position Hammer curl—Finish Hammer curl—Start position Hammer curl—Start position(right arm). position (right arm). (left arm). (left arm). CHAPTER 3 FEWER SETS MORE REPS MORE MASS! 37
  • 53. the right direction. However, an examina- that the stronger you become, the greater thetion of the available literature in the world likelihood of overtraining becomes, unlessof science reveals that maximum strength you taper off the volume of your trainingand muscle-mass increases can be obtained sessions accordingly.from one set of an exercise and that addi- This routine will consist of reducingtional sets yield no appreciable difference. your training volume by approximatelyYou can do additional sets if you like, but two-thirds. Don’t be misled into thinkingdon’t for a minute believe that you’re stimu- that briefer training is easier. Rememberlating greater size and strength gains by the nature of intensity: the harder youdoing so. train, the briefer must be the duration of The proviso with the one-set method your workout. This workout will be hard—is that the set has to be taken to the point brutally so—and you’ll progress as at noof “failure”—the point in a set at which an other time in your training career as a resultadditional rep is impossible despite your of it. The repetition guidelines are the uppergreatest effort. Your training up until now end of the scale; when you can successfullyhas involved two sets during specialization reach these integers, increase the resistanceperiods, and you’ve made progress. That by 5 percent and try to reach these repeti-progress is exactly the reason why you must tions all over again. Also remember to takenow reduce your training volume if you hope each set to muscular failure, and lift theto progress further. weight in perfect form. That is, take two to It’s a well-documented fact that the five seconds to raise the resistance and fouraverage individual has the potential to seconds to lower it.increase his or her starting level of strength Utilize this program on a two-day-per-by at least 300 percent. However, that same week basis (for example, Mondays andindividual’s recovery ability has the potential Thursdays), and use your off days for restto increase by only 50 percent. This means and recovery—and watch yourself grow!38 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 54. 4 What About Steroids? A chapter issuing a note of caution is in order before we move on to Part 2. While the primary focus of this book is training, at this point I want you to clearly understand what role, if any, anabolic steroids play in building muscle and why they pose a health risk, so we can put the topic behind us.Steriods: Drug use has become rampant in bodybuilding. Bear in mind that steroids don’t represent the whole of bodybuilding drugs and are only one class of such substances. However, steroids are so much in the public eye these days that they warrant a preliminary presen- tation devoted to what they are, what they do, what they don’t do, and whether their supposed benefits outweigh their obvious risks. 39Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 55. TWO CLASSES OF BODYBUILDERS and worse for wear than most beginners toIn the course of my career as a bodybuilding the sport. Contrast that camp with cham-journalist, I came to be disabused of a great pions such as Steve Reeves, John Grimek,deal of my naïveté about the sport—or so I Reg Park, and Larry Scott. This is not tothought, until one memorable day. During suggest that none of these four knew whatan interview for an article, I casually asked a testosterone was (although both Reeves andbodybuilder what drugs he took in prepara- Grimek denied ever using steroids to metion for a contest. In response, he picked up personally), but even if they did elect thata pen and proceeded to write out a laundry route at times, the doses were so minusculelist of substances, including Dianabol, Clem- as to be negligible in comparison with whatbuteral, Halotestin, Fastin, and others— is going on today.noting whether each was taken daily, every It’s no secret that anabolic steroidsother day, during the off-season, or right abound in the sport of bodybuilding, notbefore an event. to mention most other professional sports, The roster he provided stunned me. including baseball. Many champions won’tDespite my supposed enlightenment, I train unless they are on “roids,” “the sauce,”still believed that bodybuilding was about “the juice,” or whatever hip label they apply.training intelligently and building the body Some swear that you can’t expect to competethrough scientific dietary practices. Evidently, without them, and some have recently gonethough, there are two classes of body- to jail for peddling them to aspiring body-builders: “real” and “professional.” The real builders just like you!bodybuilders are from the old school and That “juice” has been with us, in greaterdevelop hard, honest muscle through their or lesser amounts, for decades. After theefforts in the gym. Far too many professional 1988 Olympic Games fiasco in Seoul withbodybuilders compose the other class. They Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson’s positiveinject all sorts of bizarre substances into their test following his (rescinded) world-recordbodies, causing their muscles to become 100-meter-run performance, Canada becameswollen or “puffy,” and they are paid big synonymous with steroid use in the eyes ofmoney to risk their lives to look this way. its international peers. Then, after a series Small wonder that most of the body- of drug tests at the Arnold Schwarzeneggerbuilders who are heavy drug users end up Classic in Columbus, Ohio, in 1990, body-looking like hell. The vast majority of the builders from the United States, Lebanon,competitors of the 1970s and ’80s have and West Germany were also indicted forsuffered serious coronary problems and/or steroid use.look as if they never touched a weight in Does this scenario imply that everyonetheir lives. Some look considerably older in the sports of track-and-field and body-40 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 56. building is on anabolic steroids? No, but Several international medical societies andit does mean that athletes will now have sports organizations have also taken strongto seriously calculate the consequences of positions against steroid use, citing whatusing the drugs should they be caught—and they deem to be unsportsmanlike conductwith effective drug tests they probably will and health hazards. This message, however,get caught. (I say “probably” because most is ambiguous on both fronts. First off,athletes know ways to beat the tests.) A competitors in a sport are expected to directmore urgent question is, will the athletes all of their energy toward being successfulwho use anabolic agents cause irreparable in their objective, and the use of steroids isdamage to their bodies or, perhaps, die from viewed by many members of the athletictheir ingestion? This is where the picture community as simply another means towardbecomes very murky indeed. the attainment of this end. Meanwhile, the The issue of whether steroids are as health-hazard threat has not been backeddangerous as some reports allege rests up conclusively, owing to a paucity oflargely upon the individual response and long-term experimentation in a controlleddosage. This leads us to the exploration of environment.just what anabolic steroids are and how this Athletes taking drugs is certainlywhole mess got started. nothing new. In 1879, the famous Six-Day Cycle Races were held for the first time, andTHE ORIGINS OF ANABOLIC STEROIDS even then, the coaches and trainers wereAnabolic steroids are synthetic deriva- known as drug mixers and “medicators” andtives of the male sex hormone testosterone. were mixing some fairly potent potions—There are two components to any male sex primarily derivatives of cocaine and heroin.hormone: androgenic and anabolic. The The term doping first appeared in Englishformer refers to the masculinizing effects, dictionaries around 1889 and referred to asuch as facial hair, deepening of the voice, mixture of opium and other narcotics usedand aggressiveness, while the latter refers for horses. The root word can be traced to aexclusively to the drug’s tissue-building Dutch word dop, which was a beverage givenproperties. to Zulu warriors prior to battle. The word Anabolic steroids have been described was subsequently adopted into the Boeras the “scourge of bodybuilding”—ironi- language, and an e was eventually tackedcally, by a bodybuilder who later developed on, resulting in dope—the slang term forsevere gynecomastia (a condition, resulting drugs that is still in use today.from steroid use, that develops breast tissue Regarding the activities and propertiesin males). (Who ever said that to be a body- of androgens, some connection betweenbuilder, one must first renounce hypocrisy?) the body’s muscle mass and the activity of CHAPTER 4 WHAT ABOUT STEROIDS? 41
  • 57. androgens had at least been suspected by increasing the ratio of testosterone withinthe medical community for many years. The their own bodies, they would achieve alimited muscular development of eunuchs, corresponding increase in their muscle sizefor example, has been known since antiquity. and strength. That would be a definite plus The first real report on the effects of for their athletic endeavors. Ben Johnsonandrogens injected intramuscularly was the is proof that, on the surface, their assump-Borgrows report of 1981, which revealed tions were correct. Bodybuilders in particularthat protein was spared when synthetic exploited this new drug. There are accountshormones were injected. Forty-six years prior of bodybuilders using steroids for theto this, German physicists had discovered purpose of increasing their muscle mass asthat pure crystalline hormone could be both far back as the late 1940s.isolated from testicular material and synthe-sized in a test tube. THE SIDE EFFECTS The research of these and other scien- The bodybuilder who considers usingtists allowed relatively safe steroids to be steroids is immediately faced with an ethicalmarketed to the general public, meaning decision: is the end really going to justifypeople who had a legitimate need for these the means? Does a moment of fame and asubstances. These initial steroids were never medal really compensate for possible liverintended for healthy people! In the Second impairment, heart disorders, and sterility?World War they were used for the treatment The attitude of athletes is already wellof burn victims specifically because of their known: for the most part, they develop atissue-building, or “anabolic,” properties. tunnel vision about victory; they feel theyThey were also employed by the various must win—at any price. What is less knownhospitals in order to treat patients who, for is what price this attitude carries with it inwhatever reason, were unable to manu- terms of the physical and often mental aber-facture their own testosterone and conse- rations that can be engendered by anabolicquently lacked the benefit of the hormone’s ingestion.androgenic properties, the male secondary Since steroids act directly upon thesexual characteristics necessary for normal nervous system, your personality—being aand complete physical development. product of your nervous system—is the first It wasn’t long afterward that athletes, noticeable area of change. The many psycho-hearing of the drugs’ muscle-building logical symptoms noted while people are onproperties, decided that since the male steroid therapy range from fluctuating libidosex hormone testosterone was responsible to headaches, lethargy, and aggression.for the development of sex characteris- Research also reveals that these side effectstics such as increased musculature and are dose related and are reversible on cessa-reduced adipose storage, it followed that by tion of the drug.42 PART 1 BEGINNING YOUR BODYBUILDING JOURNEY
  • 58. The physiological effects are much steroids to make experimenting on yourselfmore dramatic. In the literature published and becoming an anabolic guinea pig worthby ParkeDavis Pharmaceuticals about its the risk.steroid Adroyd, the information pertaining Besides, take a gander at the sort ofto dosage and administration takes up little physique that anabolic steroids produce andmore than one paragraph, whereas the ask yourself if looking bloated and under-information pertaining to “potential side going frequent liver, blood, and serumeffects” runs to ten paragraphs! The reac- testosterone tests (a regular battery istions listed include hepatitis and temporary recommended for steroid users) and footingsterility in males and include hirsutism, a monthly bill of $300 really justifies themenstrual irregularities, and male-pattern final result. (That dollar figure, by the way,baldness in females. Again, the literature is low. I know of a Masters Mr. Olympiapoints out that most of these conditions are competitor who spent upward of $80,000 incontingent on dosage and duration of steroid anabolics while preparing for the contest.)therapy and are usually reversible on cessa- Then look at the physique of Steve Reeves,tion of the drug. with his flawless proportions and bona fide, drug-free, eighteen-and-a-half-inch arms,REALITY which he obtained by training properly.The reality of the situation is that steroids, To my mind, there’s no comparison. (See,like most other things, have the potential you’ve already saved yourself a minimum ofto do the user much harm if they either are $3,600 a year!)abused or are ingested by someone who is All this is not to take anything away fromgenetically susceptible to certain medical our current crop of champions. I just thinkconditions such as liver tumors and heart that they would look much better than theydisease. That detail alone should give one currently do if they dropped the syntheticpause. The central problem is that an accu- chemicals that have altered their appearancerate assessment of how steroids will affect into something other than human and triedyou can be made only in retrospect, and by instead to look the best they can with theirthen it might be too late. Too little is known own natural human physiologies via properof both the effects and the side effects of training. CHAPTER 4 WHAT ABOUT STEROIDS? 43
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  • 60. PAR T 2 Adding More MuscleCopyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
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  • 62. 5 Fast Mass! The “Motionless” Workout I n Part 1, I discussed proper training as the preferred route to optimal muscle develop- ment. Proper training, for our purposes, consists of training hard, getting adequate rest, and eating a well- balanced diet. Toward the end of training hard, I’ve formulated a system of training that I believe is the most effective ever devised. I’ve named it the Max Contrac- tion System—M.C.S. for short. As the name implies, it involves firing as many muscle fibers as possible from a position of maximum contraction. This position is not a mere static hold in which the resis- tance is held randomly at some point in a muscle’s range of motion, nor is it a matter of supporting heavy weights statically. Specifically, this system requires a maximal effort to hold the resistance in a position of full muscular contraction for a minimum of forty-five seconds and a maximum of sixty 47Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 63. seconds. The goal is to utilize exclusively It is imperative that you train hardthe anaerobic pathways and not, as in some enough to trigger this adaptive responsehigh-set routines, the aerobic pathways, from the body if you want to stimulatewhich can work wonders for improving your compensatory growth. This is where tradi-endurance but will do precious little in the tional bodybuilding methods have failed theway of improving your muscle mass. bodybuilder. If you’re performing set after Remember that intensity and duration set of an arbitrary number of repetitions,exist in an inverse ratio to each other: you you’re repeating tasks that are both easycan train hard or you can train long, but you and well within your body’s existing abilitycan’t do both. The unavoidable fact is that to handle them. The result? There’s abso-it takes hard training—scratch that: it takes lutely no reason for your body to alter itsbrutally hard training—to develop massive existing level of muscle mass. No demand,muscles, and this system is the hardest one no supply.in which you will ever engage. Ipso facto, it To stimulate muscle-mass increases, tois the most effective result-producing routine really train with an eye toward noticingyou’ll ever use! progress on an almost per-workout basis, Exercise physiologists have defined inten- you’ll have to take each and every set yousity as “increased work per unit of time.” do for a given body part to the point whereIn order to increase the work per unit of 100 percent (or as near to that number astime, the bodybuilder seeking to grow you can come) of a given muscle’s fibersprogressively larger and stronger muscles have been recruited and stimulated. Inten-must make regular attempts to increase sity of effort is, hands down, the mostthe involvement of muscle fibers in a given important factor in increasing both size andexercise performed within a given period strength. Training to what has been labeled(that being, in most cases, the duration of “the point of failure,” where another seconda typical set). Doing so causes the body to of contraction is impossible despite yourdip into its muscular reserve ability. Since greatest effort, ensures that you’ve passedthe body has only a relatively small amount “the break-over point,” which is the pointof this reserve on which to draw before a in a set below which growth cannot becatabolic, or breaking down, effect occurs, stimulated and above which growth will beit will endeavor to protect itself from future stimulated.assaults on its highly valued reserves by Once you are able to transcend thisenlarging on its existing supply of muscle break-over point, there will be, as indeedmass. This process, stripped of all the there must be, a marked reduction in theacademic and theoretical palaver, is the amount of time you can spend training at“secret” to all successful bodybuilding. such a high level of intensity. Therefore, as48 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 64. you’re able to adapt to higher and higher Indeed, this training system is different,levels of intensity, the shorter your workouts but from the time I created it and publishedmust be. the preliminary results of my research back in 1986 until the present day, it has put moreTOWARD A NEW PERSPECTIVE muscle mass on more trainees than anyAll right, then. We all understand the nature other training system I’ve seen.of adaptation, which is simply a variant ofthe law of cause and effect. We also under- THE THEORYstand the supreme importance of intensity of Most of the material on which the Maxeffort. The greater the intensity supplied, the Contraction System is based is derived fromgreater the muscular-mass stimulated, and, empirically validated data going back morecorrespondingly, the briefer the workout than a hundred years in some instances,must be. What, then, is the method that will and also on common sense, as opposedallow us to generate maximum muscle-fiber to commercial interests. What has workedinvolvement and hence maximum intensity in experiments and physiology labs canand, as a result, maximum muscle growth? be repeated in the gym with equal, if not The answer is a method that focuses greater, success. To make it happen, youon stressing each individual muscle group need to apply yourself diligently to thein the position that involves the maximum task at hand, be open-minded enough toamount of muscle fibers for a time span of be able to throw off the shackles of tradi-forty-five to sixty seconds. When using the tional training “wisdom,” and follow theMax Contraction System, you must throw tenets in this chapter. I guarantee that if youout all preconceived notions of training do, in the space of a month you will makemethodology. You will no longer be using muscular progress that would otherwiserepetitions to gauge your progress. From have taken you years to achieve.now on, you will be counting seconds. It is essential when embarking on aYou will no longer be looking for a variety system such as M.C.S. to understand theof exercises to tax various muscle groups. basic physiological principle of “all orInstead you will use one exercise only per nothing” in regard to muscle-fiber contrac-bodypart that calls into play all of that tion. The principle states, in effect, that whenmuscle group’s existing muscle fibers—and a muscle contracts, a small percentage of itsyou will contract that muscle group maxi- fibers will contract as forcefully as possible,mally for the prescribed time until each fiber and the rest of its fibers do not contracthas been individually spent and you can at all—as opposed to all of the fibersno longer hold the resistance in the fully contracting at once but in a lesser degree.contracted (“max”) position. A muscle fiber will contract maximally or CHAPTER 5 FAST MASS! THE “MOTIONLESS” WORKOUT 49
  • 65. not at all; this is a bipolar condition that is one second after every five. So, out of aimmutable. With this in mind, it stands to possible sixty seconds’ worth of maximumreason that the surest way to involve the muscular involvement and growth stimula-most muscle fibers in a given contraction is tion, the trainee is obtaining only one-tenthto engage the muscle group in the portion of of the stimulation that is capable of beingthe exercise in which all the muscle fibers in generating from the movement. The otherthat muscle group that can be activated will nine-tenths of the time devoted to the exer-be activated. cise is essentially wasted. In a normal set of leg extensions, for Conversely, when a given muscle groupinstance, one starts a given movement from is made to contract fully against resistance,a position of zero resistance, moves into a the most muscle fibers it can activate toposition of slightly greater resistance, and assist with the task will be activated andfinally ascends to a position of maximum subsequently fatigued, until finally, they areresistance. This final position, the one in all utilized and spent. At this point, wherewhich the most stress is placed on a given the resistance can no longer be supportedmuscle group and hence the most muscle- and the contraction must be broken, thefiber involvement and intensity is generated, resistance is returned slowly to the positionis over traditionally almost before it starts. of full extension.For example, the trainee performing a leg As soon as you can no longer holdextension will start the movement using only the contraction, you will have effectivelythe barest number of muscle fibers required exhausted all the fibers involved in thatto do the job; at the halfway point, a few contraction, which would be all (or at leastmore muscle fibers have been activated; most) of them. Remember that with M.C.S.,and then, at the position of full muscular you are initiating the “rep” in a positioncontraction, as many fibers as possible are of full muscular contraction. That’s whatactivated to hold the resistance in this posi- separates this method from other “motion-tion. But then, long before the fibers are less exercise” systems, such as isometrics,stressed maximally, the resistance is lowered in which contraction is initiated when the(often dropped), giving the momentarily fewest number of fibers are activated (i.e., atstressed quadriceps muscles a chance to the beginning of most movements, where adisengage and recover—the opposite effect muscle is weakest and the number of fibersof what we’re trying to accomplish. What it involved is minimal, such as the bottomboils down to is that, in a given ten-rep set, quarter of the press, or arm curls against awhich lasts about sixty seconds, maximum doorknob). With such systems, you nevermuscular involvement takes place for a total progress beyond that minimum level of fiberof only ten seconds—and at that, for only involvement.50 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 66. As soon as you can no longer hold the contraction—in thiscase, with the muscles of the shoulders—you will haveeffectively stimulated the muscle group you are training intogrowth. When you can no longer sustain the contraction, the set is over. The Max Contraction System utilizes complete and absolute muscular contrac- in the form of overcompensation as a result tion (with added resistance). For advanced of the workout. trainees, the method of “strip-offs,” or In most cases, maximum growth will Omega Sets™, can be employed. For be stimulated by the performance of just example, in an exercise such as lat pull- one Max Contraction set. I supervised the downs, when it becomes impossible to hold training of a client recently who trained your elbows at the level of your lower ribs one day a week on a Max Contraction (the position of full muscular contraction program comprising one forty-five- to for the lats), and your elbows start to return sixty-second set of eleven different exer- to the top, weight could be removed, or cises. This approach totals between eight “stripped off.” The benefit is that it enables minutes, fi fty-five seconds and eleven the trainee to resume another maximum minutes per whole-body workout, or contraction for another forty-five to sixty between twenty-five and one-half and seconds, until the Max Contraction is broken thirty-three total minutes of training again—and continuing until even the static time per week. At the end of five weeks, holding of a very light weight becomes the subject’s strength had improved by a impossible. This will effectively stimulate minimum of 100 percent over his starting every available muscle fiber—and drilling levels in all exercises. More important for your reserves this deep could well require up our purposes, his lean body-mass increase to seventy-two hours of rest (perhaps much (i.e., his muscle mass) was a total of sixteen more) to allow for full recovery and growth pounds! Try to recall the last time you CHAPTER 5 FAST MASS! THE “MOTIONLESS” WORKOUT 51
  • 67. gained sixteen pounds of pure muscle allow you to activate the maximum numbertissue over a five-week period, and you’ll of a given muscle’s fibers while in thebegin to appreciate how effective the Max fully contracted position. Certain exer-Contraction System is! cises performed with conventional equip- Similar results have been recorded for ment don’t incorporate the proper physicsmany other subjects over the twenty years to provide resistance in the maximumsince the system’s inception. The lowest contraction position. I’m thinking here ofmuscle-mass increase was eight pounds— movements such as squats, barbell curls (inand that was on a highly advanced body- which the resistance falls off once you passbuilder who was already very close to the the halfway point of the movement), andupper limits of his genetic potential, and most types of pressing movements. It is thiswho hadn’t gained a pound of muscle in lack of direct resistance in the position ofmore than four years of training on his complete muscular contraction that makesprevious system. these exercises inefficient in an M.C.S. Certainly, you can match this achieve- training program.ment, give or take a few pounds, once you For M.C.S. training, you must select exer-embark on the Max Contraction System. Its cises that enable a targeted muscle groupstunning success derives from the funda- to be contracted completely with maximummental principle that anything involving resistance for forty-five to sixty seconds.positive and negative resistance has, The following list is provided as a guide. Itperforce, fluctuating levels of intensity. As matches major bodyparts with the exerciseshas been established, the closer the resis- that have been found to be the best for thetance is to the fully contracted position (i.e., purpose of stimulating maximum muscle-in a movement in which maximal resis- fiber involvement and, thus, maximumtance is truly in a position of full muscular muscle growth:contraction), the more muscle fibers are 1. Quadriceps: Leg extensionsinvolved, or activated, by the stressor. In 2. Hamstrings: Leg curlseach Max Contraction exercise, all of the 3. Calves: Standing calf raisesfibers are under a constant stress, or inten-sity, of the highest order from the moment 4. Lats: Lat machine pull-overs, or lat pull- downs (with special Max straps)the contraction is initiated until its comple-tion forty-five to sixty seconds later. 5. Traps: Shrugs (barbell or dumbbell) 6. Delts : Lateral raises (front, side, or rear)THE EXERCISES 7. Pectorals: Pec decks or cable crossoversTo derive the most benefit from M.C.S. 8. Triceps: Dumbbell kickbacks (or Maxtraining, it is vital to select exercises that straps kickbacks)52 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 68. 9. Biceps: Chin-ups (flexed-arm hang) or steep-angle barbell curls10. Forearms: Barbell wrist curls11. Abs: Weighted crunchesThe Exercises Explained1. Quadriceps: Leg extensions. Sit at a legextension machine and place your feet behindthe roller pads so that your knees are snugagainst the seat. Keeping your head andshoulders straight, slowly straighten bothlegs until you reach the fully contracted posi-tion. Sustain this Max Contraction for 45–60seconds.2. Hamstrings: Leg curls. Lie facedown onthe leg curl machine and place your feetunder the roller pads, with your knees justover the edge of the bench. Slowly curl yourlower legs up until they’re almost touchingyour buttocks. Once in this fully contracted Standing calf raise—Max Contraction position.position, sustain this Max Contraction for45–60 seconds. your arms are fully extended above your3. Calves: Standing calf raises. Step under- head. Slowly contract your lats by pullingneath the shoulder pads of a standing calf the bar down to your chest. Sustain this Maxraise machine so that your heels are on the Contraction for 45–60 seconds.required block and almost touching theground. From this position of full stretch, 5. Traps: Shrugs (barbell or dumbbell). Grabslowly contract your calves until you are a heavy barbell or a set of dumbbells andcompletely up on your toes. Sustain this Max straighten your back so that the weight isContraction for 45–60 seconds. in front of your thighs. Slowly contract your traps so that your shoulders begin to ascend4. Lats: Lat machine pull-overs, or lat pull- toward your ears. When the weight has beendowns (with special Max straps). Grab the lat raised as high as it can go, sustain the Maxpull-down bar with a palms-under grip, so Contraction for 45–60 seconds. CHAPTER 5 FAST MASS! THE “MOTIONLESS” WORKOUT 53
  • 69. Shrug (you can use barbells, dumbbells, or machines)—MaxLat machine pull-over—Max Contraction position. Contraction position. 6. Delts: Lateral raises (forward, side, or bent-over). Forward raises: Grasp the dumbbells and hold them just in front of your thighs, with your arms perfectly straight. Raise the resistance to the fully contracted position. Sustain this Max Contraction for 45–60 seconds. Side lateral raises: Hold the dumbbells at your thighs, with your body perfectly erect and your back straight. Smoothly, with lateral head output only and with your elbows locked, begin to raise the dumbbells Forward raise—Max Contraction position. 54 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 70. Side lateral raise—Max Contraction position. Bent-over lateral raise—Max Contraction position. to a height just above shoulder level. Sustain this Max Contraction for 45–60 sconds. Bent-over laterals: Grasp two dumb- bells, one in each hand, and bend over from the waist. Keeping your arms straight, and remaining in the bent-over position, lift the dumbbells toward the ceiling. When the dumbbells have reached the apex of their ascent, sustain this Max Contraction position for 45–60 seconds. 7. Pectorals: Cable crossovers, Pec decks. Adjust the seat until the shoulders (when elbows are together) are directly under the axis of the overhead cams. Fasten the seat- belt (if your machine has one) and place your forearms behind and firmly against Cable crossover—Max Contraction position. the arm pads. Some machines have handles instead of arm pads, in which case simply reach out and take hold of the handles. 8. Triceps: Dumbbell kickbacks (or Max straps Try to touch your elbows (or the handles) kickbacks). Despite its title, this movement together in front of your chest. Sustain this has nothing to do with paying off people Max Contraction position for 45–60 seconds. who are mentally deficient. It is, rather, an CHAPTER 5 FAST MASS! THE “MOTIONLESS” WORKOUT 55
  • 71. Steep-angle barbell curl—Max Contraction position. Barbell wrist curl—Max Contraction position. exercise that one performs with a dumbbell as opposed to a barbell. To begin, grab hold 10. Forearms: Barbell wrist curls. Take hold of a of a light dumbbell with your right hand and barbell in both hands, with your palms facing bend forward from the waist, supporting forward, and sit on the end of a bench. Lift yourself with your free hand. Slowly contract the barbell so that your forearms are resting the triceps muscle in your right arm, which across the tops of your thighs and the barbell will result in the forearm extending beyond is over the ends of your knees. From this the midline of your body. Hold this fully position, slowly curl your wrists upward as far contracted position for 45–60 seconds. as they can go. Sustain this Max Contraction position for 45–60 seconds. 9. Biceps: Steep-angle barbell curl, chin-ups. Grasp the chin-up bar with a palms-up grip. 11. Abs: Crunches. Lie faceup on the floor Slowly begin to contract the muscles in your with your hands behind your head. Try to arms, and try to touch the bar to your lower keep your chin on your chest throughout chest when you have reached the apex of the movement. Lift your feet up on top your ascent. Hold this contracted position for of a bench, with your legs slightly apart. 45–60 seocnds. From this starting position, slowly curl your 56 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 72. damage any ligaments or muscle tissue, up to the position of full muscular contrac- tion, as you would if you were performing a regular set. Then, instead of lowering the weight, hold this fully contracted position for a minimum of forty-five seconds (shoot for sixty seconds) or until the contraction can no longer be held. If you can hold the resistance for more than sixty seconds, then it’s too light, andCrunch—Max Contraction position. you should heavy it up by 5 percent by the next workout. If you can’t hold the contrac- trunk upward toward a sitting position. tion for a full forty-five seconds, then it’s Sustain this Max Contraction position for too heavy, and you should reduce the resis- 45–60 seconds. Add weights for an added tance by 5 percent until you can contract the workout. muscle for a full forty-five seconds. You may require a spotter (or two) to lift These exercises place a constant stress, or the weight into the fully contracted position tension, on the target muscle groups from for you. Make sure the spotter doesn’t just beginning to end. They therefore are the “drop” the weight off to you, as the sudden most productive exercises possible owing to shock to the joint of articulation could prove their extremely high intensity threshold. traumatic. Every movement must be done Remember that there are no repetitions slowly, particularly the settling into the fully involved in this program. Think only in contracted position. You may notice your terms of seconds on the clock. In a normal target muscle group begin to shake violently set of ten repetitions, the time frame is typi- at about the thirty- to forty-second mark, cally between forty-five and sixty seconds, but that’s fine. It’s an indicator that your but the intensity level varies throughout the muscles are firing up more and more fibers range of motion. In M.C.S., one “set” also to maintain the contraction, and the more takes between forty-five and sixty seconds they use, the greater the growth stimulation! to perform, but the intensity is the highest After an M.C.S. workout, you will feel possible throughout the duration of the set, as if your limbs are made of Jell-O, owing thus allowing for greater growth stimulation to the high volume of activated muscle to actually take place. fibers. To reap maximum growth gains from When commencing any exercise M.C.S. this system, you must now rest completely, style, lift the resistance slowly, so as not to refraining from other forms of strenuous CHAPTER 5 FAST MASS! THE “MOTIONLESS” WORKOUT 57
  • 73. exercise, until your next workout some forty- program. You can do two M.C.S. sets of aneight hours later. Structure your workouts exercise if you feel so inclined, but rememberforty-eight hours apart, such as Monday, the intensity/duration inverse continuumWednesday, and Friday, with Tuesday, and always strive for increased intensityThursday, Saturday, and Sunday off for via additional seconds of full contraction.recovery and growth. Adhere to these guidelines, and you should Eat a proper diet, get adequate rest, and realize the best gains of your bodybuildingtrain as hard as you possibly can on this career!58 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 74. 6 Introducing the Split Routine I f you’ve been following along from the beginning, this will now be your fifth month of training. With that in mind, we’re going to change our procedure in order to prevent the muscles from becoming too accustomed to the rigors of Max Contraction Training. This chapter also introduces new principles that will broaden your bodybuilding terminology and knowledge, not to mention keep you moti- vated psychologically, which is perhaps the most important factor in determining your ultimate success in bodybuilding. As you did last month, you’re going to keep your total sets per workout to between ten and twelve, but unlike with all of your previous training, this month you will be using a split routine. In my column in Ironman magazine, I’ve often stated that a workout that stresses the entire body and is performed only one time to three times per 59Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 75. week is the most productive way to train— All right, how does one incorporate thisand it happens to be true. However, training principle of split-routine training? And if it’son a split routine can be productive if the not as efficacious as a full-body routine, whyroutine is structured properly. am I even bothering to tell you about it? As a rule, a split routine is not as effec- I’ll answer the second question first: I’mtive as a whole-body workout in stimulating introducing you to the principle becausemaximum overall muscle growth. Neverthe- this book has been designed to educate you,less, if you adhere to the major principles of the aspiring bodybuilder, about the myriadproper exercise—intense, brief, and infre- methods of training, both good and bad,quent workouts—then success will follow, that exist within our fanatical subculture.albeit perhaps not as quickly. Some of these methods work great, such as After all, virtually every top body- full-body high-intensity workouts; othersbuilding champion eventually comes to don’t work at all, such as high-set, multipleembrace a split-routine approach to training. split routines conducted over a six- to seven-While other factors enter into the decision day period; and some work fairly well, suchto employ this method, the fact remains as high-intensity split routines conductedthat lots of muscle has been built by this three times per week. As a serious body-approach. Even legendary high-intensity builder, you owe it to yourself to understand,advocate Mike Mentzer advocated training or at least be aware of, all of these methods,on a split routine, and he used it himself in learn their weaknesses and strengths,preparing for his runs at the Mr. Olympia and incorporate the positive elements intotitle. You would be hard pressed to find a your own training. Sometimes a properlybodybuilder who displayed the massive, conducted split routine can provide thedense muscularity of Mentzer when at his necessary change of pace to bring growthpeak. back into complacent muscles and also serve to keep your enthusiasm primed and fresh.THE RIGHT WAY AND THE WRONG WAY Once you’ve passed your plateau, you canThe secret, if you can call it such, lies in always switch back to your full-body routine.not overtraining or adding more sets to As to how to include the split routine inyour program while employing the split- your training program, I’ll start with whatroutine approach. Doing so would only rob not to do. A properly conducted split routinethe principles of their value. Don’t abuse doesn’t mean training upper body one day,it, and you’ll grow; abuse it, and you’ll lower body the next, upper body the next,shrink. (Sounds more like a caveat from a and so on, for an entire week. This would besex therapist than a bodybuilding edict, but overtraining from the start and would leadanyway . . .) to nothing except reduced progress. Instead,60 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 76. a properly conducted split routine consists of eight hours to recover and grow from ano more than three workouts per week, as workout. In fact, 2006 research (Nautilusin the whole-body routines, spread out with North Study 2006; Advanced Max Contrac-a minimum of forty-eight hours elapsing tion Training, McGraw-Hill, 2006) indicatesbetween workouts to allow for both recovery that one week is required for the body toand growth. Remember that muscle growth fully recover and grow. In some cases, whenis a three-phase process. you’ve really been able to drill deep, you may need upward of two weeks to both recoverA TYPICAL ROUTINE and grow from a workout. However, theseFor your split routine, you will train three frequency issues apply more to intermediatebodyparts on Monday, train three alternate and advanced trainees than beginners. Forbody parts on Wednesday, and then repeat now, we’ll stay with the three-days-per-weekMonday’s workout on Friday. For example: workout—only this time employing a split routine.■ Monday: Legs, chest, and biceps Reading this, you may be alarmed to■ Wednesday: Back, shoulders, and triceps realize that on this program some body-■ Friday: Legs, chest, and biceps parts will be trained only once a week and■ Monday of the following week: Back, that, consequently, a period of 168 hours shoulders, and triceps will pass before they are trained again. That time structure takes you beyond what someThis structure will help ensure that all physiologists believe to be the dangerousmuscle groups are thoroughly stimulated “ninety-six-hour” mark; i.e., that a highlybut not overtrained. Your total sets per trained muscle must be trained again withinbodypart will also be low (a maximum of ninety-six hours or else it will reduce sizefour) in order to provide a higher intensity and strength. (This belief has been shown tolevel in your workouts. If too many sets are be in serious error, however, particularly asperformed, you will find yourself fighting a it applies to newcomers to bodybuilding whonatural inclination to “hold back” something are not yet capable of generating the typefor the succeeding set. Every set should be of intensity in their workouts that requirestaken to muscular failure, in which an addi- upward of a week off between workouts,tional repetition is impossible despite your and so the ninety-six-hour mark is a goodgreatest effort. benchmark for the outer limits of training The bodyparts to be trained in each frequency at the beginner’s stage.)workout are structured the way I’ve listed Following the ninety-six-hour-mark rulethem for a reason. Recall that a highly for the time being, a split routine can worktrained muscle needs a minimum of forty- well within these confines provided you CHAPTER 6 INTRODUCING THE SPLIT ROUTINE 61
  • 77. have selected your exercises carefully. Here, I won’t reiterate protocols with which you’rethe exercises in your midweek workout also already familiar.activate, in some capacity, the muscles thatyou work in your sessions that bookend theweek. R O U T I N E O N E For example, on Monday, you will be Legs, Chest, and Bicepstraining legs, chest, and biceps. You knowthat on Wednesday, any form of shoulder 1. Barbell squats:press, chinning motion, or triceps exten- 4 10–15 repssion will involve your chest to some degreeand provide maintenance stimulation that 2. Bench presses:will offset the potential for decompensa- 2 10–12 repstion, or atrophy. Likewise, if you include 3. Dumbbell flyes:an exercise such as stiff-legged dead lifts in 2 10–12 repsyour back routine, your legs will also benefitfrom the performance. This should hold for 4. Barbell curls:all bodyparts that you train, and the effect 2 10–20 repsis somewhat akin to performing a whole- 5. Alternate dumbbell curls:body routine every workout (alas, my preju- 2 10–12 repsdices have crept back in)—the true secret ofsuccessful split-routine training! 6. Crunches: In short, your leg training contains some 1 30 reps (optional)back work, your chest training containssome triceps work, and your biceps training R O U T I N E T W Ocontains some shoulder work; your back Back, Shoulders, and Bicepstraining contains some leg work and bicepswork, and your shoulder routine contains 1. Stiff-legged dead lifts:some chest work, as does your triceps 2 12–15 repstraining. As you can see, while it’s suffi-ciently diverse to justify being called a split 2. Barbell shrugs:routine, an argument can be made on tech- 2 10–12 repsnical grounds for calling it a whole-body 3. Bent-over barbell rows:workout. 2 10–15 reps Speaking of which, let’s get on with thismonth’s routine. Since I’ve covered proper 4. Lat pull-downs:exercise performance in previous chapters, 2 10–12 reps62 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 78. 5. Lying triceps extensions: seconds, and then begin to slowly raise the 2 10–12 reps dumbbells back to the starting overhead position in the same outward arc.6. Standing French presses: 2 10–12 reps 4. Standing barbell curls: Stand erect with aRoutine One Explained: Legs, Chest, shoulder-width grip on the barbell and yourand Biceps palms facing front. Your arms should be1. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell fully extended so that the barbell is directlyacross your shoulders and take a deep breath. in front of your thighs. Slowly curl theWith your lungs full, bend your knees and barbell up to shoulder height, solely usinglower your body until you are in a full squat the muscles of the upper arm by bendingposition; you should be slightly below a the elbows. From this fully contracted posi-ninety-degree angle to your shins. As soon as tion, slowly lower the resistance back toyou reach the bottom position, rise immedi- the fully extended (or starting) position.ately—but under control—while at the same Repeat for the required number of sets andtime expelling the air from your lungs, so that repetitions.you will be ready for another intake of oxygenat the completion of the movement. Breathe 5. Alternate dumbbell curls: Take hold ofin, and go down for a second repetition until two dumbbells and stand up straight withyou have completed your set. It is important dumbbells at your sides and your palmsto keep your head up at all times, and your facing your hips. Slowly curl your right armchest should be held high. up to your right shoulder, making sure to turn your palm upward at the top of the2. Bench presses: Lie on a bench with a movement. As your right arm is startingbarbell at arm’s length over your chest. to come down, start curling your left armSlowly lower the bar to your upper chest. upward, making sure that one arm isOnce the bar has touched your chest, slowly descending while the other is ascending.press it back up to the top position, and Repeat until you have completed 10–12repeat the procedure for the required number repetitions per arm.of sets and repetitions. 6. Crunches: Lie faceup on the floor with3. Dumbbell flyes: Grab two fairly heavy your hands behind your head. Keep yourdumbbells and lie faceup on a bench. Slowly chin on your chest throughout the movement.lower the dumbbells from an overhead Lift your feet up on top of a bench, with yourposition in an outward arc until they are a feet together and your knees facing left andbit below chest level. Pause for one or two right. Slowly curl your trunk upward toward a CHAPTER 6 INTRODUCING THE SPLIT ROUTINE 63
  • 79. sitting position. Once you have ascended to a your shins. Your hand spacing shouldfully contracted position, hold the position for be between two and two and a half feet.a two-count, and then lower yourself slowly Slowly pull the bar up toward your torsoback to the starting position. Repeat for the until it touches your lower chest. Fromrequired number of repetitions. this fully contracted position, slowly lower the resistance back to the starting posi-Routine Two Explained: Back, Shoulders, tion (your arms should be fully extended),and Biceps and repeat for the required number of1. Stiff-legged dead lifts: Stand erect with sets and repetitions. Remember that theyour feet just under the barbell. Then, by barbell is to touch the floor only whenbending your knees, grasp the barbell, with the set is completed. This will ensureyour hands a little wider apart than shoulder that maximum stimulation is imparted towidth and your knuckles facing front. Slowly the lats throughout the movement. Alsobegin to stand erect, straightening your legs remember to maintain the bent-over posi-as you do so. Keep lifting the resistance until tion throughout the set.you’re completely erect and the bar is in frontof your thighs. Now slowly lower the resis- 4. Lat pull-downs: Grab the lat pull-downtance until it is back on the floor, and repeat bar with a palms-under grip, so yourthe movement for the required number of sets arms are fully extended above your head.and repetitions. Rest briefly, and then move Slowly contract your lats by pulling the baron to your next exercise. down to your chest. Hold this position of full muscular contraction for a two-count2. Barbell shrugs: Grab a heavy barbell and before allowing the weight to return in fourstraighten your back so that the weight is seconds back to the starting position.in front of your thighs. Slowly contract yourtraps so that your shoulders begin to ascend 5. Lying triceps extensions: Lie on an exercisetoward your ears. When the weight has been bench, holding a barbell (or E-Z curl bar) inraised as high as it can go, hold the contrac- both hands directly over your chest. Slowlytion for a two-count, and then lower the lower the resistance, in four seconds, to aweight slowly, in four seconds, back to the point just behind your head. From this fullystarting position. extended position, slowly press the resis- tance back up to the starting position. Use3. Bent-over barbell rows: Bend at the your first set as a slow, controlled, warm-upwaist so that your torso is at a right angle set, and then add approximately 20 percent(ninety degrees) to your legs. Grab hold more to the bar and perform another set ofof the bar so that your palms are facing 10–12 repetitions.64 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 80. 6. Standing French presses: Grab an E-Z curl Maintain perfect form while working outbar and press it overhead. Then, instead of under this or any other training system. Alowering your elbows, keep them stationary loosening of form results in less stress beingand just lower your forearms. The bar should placed on the target muscle group andbe lowered to a point just below the back will greatly diminish your results. Lift theof your neck in four seconds, and, with no resistance slowly in two to three seconds;momentum whatsoever, your triceps should hold it for one to two seconds at the top, orslowly power the bar back to the arms- fully contracted position; and then lower itlocked starting position. slowly, in four seconds, back to the starting Always strive to add another repetition to position.your previous best attempt in this exercise. This routine is a highly effective one ifOnce the guide number of repetitions has executed along the guidelines given. Givebeen reached, increase the resistance that it a try, and you should notice a distinctyou have been using by 5 percent, and aim increase in your muscle mass over the nextfor the lower guide number of reps again. four weeks. CHAPTER 6 INTRODUCING THE SPLIT ROUTINE 65
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  • 82. 7 Giant Sets I n Chapter 6 we experimented with a split routine and found, or should have found, that it does yield certain benefits in terms of muscular growth. In order to keep your muscles growing, however, you must continue to provide the necessary stimulus. In other words, you’re going to have to provide your central nervous system with a reason for altering your body’s existing muscular condition. This can be accomplished only by upping the intensity of your workouts—by doing some- thing more demanding than what your body is accustomed to performing during your regular training sessions. In fact, your “regular” training session is going to have to become highly “irregular” in order for this adaptive response to occur. This, in turn, can be accomplished in any of a number of ways: by pushing past the traditional “failure” point in a set via forced reps, negatives, and/or descending sets; 67Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 83. by altering your workload via performing in giant set fashion, you would choose fourmore sets in less time (for example, by biceps exercises, such as preacher (or Scott)using supersets, tri-sets, and giant sets—as curls with a barbell (detailed in Chapterexplained in the following section); by 8), standing barbell curls, incline dumb-specializing on a different bodypart; or by bell curls, and standing dumbbell curls. Youchanging either the exercises or the order in would perform your first set of preacherwhich they’re traditionally performed within curls for, say, twelve reps, and as soon as youyour routine. complete this set, you would immediately Any of these methods will assure you of pick up a preloaded barbell and performperpetually placing an order for muscular your second biceps exercise—standingchange with your central nervous system. barbell curls—again, for twelve reps (toThis is also referred to in the bodybuilding the point of failure), and as soon as youvernacular as “confusing” or “shocking” the finish this exercise, you would immediatelymuscles, although the muscles themselves advance to the next exercise—incline dumb-have no powers of cognition; they simply bell curls—for another set of twelve reps,contract and relax and are impervious to any and from here, you would go to your finalform of befuddlement. biceps exercise—standing dumbbell curls— and knock off a final set of twelve reps toBEYOND SUPERSETS complete your first giant set.This brings us to the introduction of giant “Did you say first?” (I can hear yoursets and tri-sets to both your bodybuilding silent query.) That’s correct. A giant set islexicon and training routine. First off, I can the equivalent of performing one (very)assure you that giant sets involve nothing extended set. Granted, it is highly drainingBrobdingnagian. Giant sets are simply and demanding. In fact, one giant set issupersets with four to six exercises that are often sufficient stimulation for a muscleperformed in rapid-fi re succession (without group. Nevertheless, it is still just your firstany rest in between), one set of each at set. As I’ve mentioned before, when it comesa time, to make for one extended—or to specialization, you’re generally allowed“giant”—set. The same is true of tri-sets a maximum of five sets per bodypartexcept, as the term implies, only three exer- without running the risk of overtraining.cises are involved. (Tradition has revealed Now, I’m not recommending that you dothat any number over three constitutes five giant sets composed of four exercises“giant” in a bodybuilder’s mind.) per bodypart, although champions such as Both methods involve the use of several Robby Robinson have done so effectively.different exercises that all tax the same Without their years of training backgroundbodypart. For example, in training the biceps and their genetic capacity to tolerate such68 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 84. workouts, it would be akin to rolling out of Wednesday, and Friday) so that in anybed, with no training, and heading off to workout you’re not training more than twocompete in your first triathlon! You must bodyparts utilizing giant sets. Doing toobuild up your conditioning to such exercise much of this particular training methodbefore attempting such a dramatic increase will invariably prove too taxing for yourin training volume. central nervous system to produce any If you want to experience muscle growth results whatever. On Monday, you will trainas opposed to a catabolic, or muscle- your legs and shoulders (Workout One);destroying, state, you are well advised to on Wednesday, you will be training yourkeep your total number of giant sets to chest and triceps (Workout Two); and onthe absolute minimum required to get the Friday, you’ll be training your back andjob done. The same advice applies to your biceps (Workout Three). You’ll rest over theoverall number of standard workout sets, for weekend and then start the cycle over againthat matter. It must also be noted that the on the following Monday.majority of top bodybuilders who perform Here is the workout routine:such high-volume workouts successfullyhave more than a passing acquaintance withanabolic steroids, which act as a catalyst in W O R K O U T O N Ethe recovery and anabolic (tissue building) Legs and Shouldersprocesses. A giant set, again, is tantamount to an LEGSextended set. To continue with our biceps 1. Calf raises:example, if you should hit failure on your 20 repsfi rst set of preacher curls at twelve reps, theremaining sets would then become a form 2. Leg curls:of self-generated forced reps, which enable 15 repsyou to keep contracting your biceps muscles 3. Leg extensions:under the stress of an imposed workload 15 repsfor a period beyond what you would beable to manage otherwise. It’s not unlike 4. Squats:receiving thirty-six forced reps after hitting 15 repsfailure on your first set of preacher curls. Butenough similes, let’s get down to the actual Perform four giant sets of the precedingtraining! four movements, rest for two to three This routine is going to have you train, minutes, and then move on to your secondagain, three days per week (Monday, body part—shoulders! CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 69
  • 85. SHOULDERS sudden jerks or thrusts. This isn’t Olympic lifting; this is bodybuilding, which means1. Seated/standing dumbbell laterals: you must make a concerted effort to ensure 12 reps that it’s your muscles, and not momentum,2. Seated dumbbell presses: doing all of the work during this exercise. 12 reps After a short break, it’s time to train your triceps, so get ready, because this is one3. Bent-over laterals: killer routine that will pump your arms up at 12 reps least a solid inch!4. Seated dumbbell shrugs: 12 reps TRICEPS 1. Seated French presses: Again, repeat the four exercises without 12 repsrest until you have completed your first giantset; then rest briefly for one to two minutes 2. Cable push-downs:before hitting it again three more times. 12 reps 3. Lying triceps extensions: 12 reps W O R K O U T T W O Chest and Triceps Perform four tri-sets of the preceding three movements, making sure that you get allCHEST twelve reps. Don’t compromise exercise form in order to make the rep count, and don’t stop1. Incline dumbbell presses: short of the prescribed number of reps; hit the 10 reps full twelve, and then move on to the next set2. Dumbbell flyes: until four tri-sets have been completed. 12 reps3. Bench presses: W O R K O U T T H R E E 12 reps Back and Biceps Perform four tri-sets of these three exer- BACKcises, and your chest should be swollen uplike a zeppelin! Also remember to perform 1. Dumbbell pull-overs:all of your reps slowly and smoothly, with no 12 reps70 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 86. 2. Close-grip pull-downs: couple of days off before hitting that sort of 12 reps routine again. When training with giant sets, always move quickly from exercise to exer-3. Barbell rows: cise until you’ve completed all three or four 12 reps in a row without any rest. At this point, you can rest briefly before repeating the giant You’ll really find yourself breathing set. In all, perform each giant set four timesquickly after your second exercise in this unless otherwise noted.tri-set cycle, but push yourself through onemore set before you take a one- to two- Workout One Explainedminute breather in between tri-sets. Then LEGSrepeat the cycle for three more tri-sets beforemoving on to everybody’s favorite muscle 1. Calf raises: Step underneath the shouldergroup—the biceps! pads of a standing calf raise machine so that your heels are on the required blockBICEPS and almost touching the ground. From this position of full stretch, slowly contract your1. Dumbbell curls: calves until you are completely up on your 12 reps toes. Hold this position for a two-count2. Barbell curls: before lowering yourself in four seconds 12 reps back to the starting position.3. Preacher curls: 2. Leg curls: Lie facedown on the leg curl 12 reps machine and place your feet under the roller4. Reverse-grip preacher curls: pads, with your knees just over the edge of 12 reps the bench. Slowly curl your lower legs up until they’re almost touching your buttocks. Perform three sets of the preceding four Once in this fully contracted position, holdexercises, and your biceps will look and feel the contraction for a two-count, and thenlike fully inflated basketballs! This giant lower the resistance slowly back to theset will hit your biceps like nothing ever starting position.has before—and will you be glad that thenext two days are “rest days”! Anyone who 3. Leg extensions: Sit at a leg extensioncompletes a three-day split routine of tri-sets machine and place your feet behind the rollerand giant sets certainly deserves at least a pads so that your knees are snug against CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 71
  • 87. Calf raise—Start position. Calf raise—Finish position.the seat. Keeping your head and shoulders of breath at the completion of the move-straight, slowly straighten both legs until you ment. Breathe in and go down for a secondreach the fully contracted position. Pause squat and repeat until you have completedbriefly, and then lower under control. the required number of repetitions. See Chapter 1 for a full description of this4. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell exercise.across your shoulders and take a deepbreath. With your lungs full, bend your SHOULDERSknees and lower your body until you are ina full squat position. You should be slightly 1. Seated/standing dumbbell laterals: This isbelow a ninety-degree angle to your shins. a terrific isolation movement for the lateralAs soon as you reach the bottom position, head of the deltoid; in addition, it heavilyrise immediately—but under control—while activates the trapezius muscle during the lastat the same time expelling the air from your quarter of the movement. From a standinglungs so that you will be ready for an intake position, grab two dumbbells and hold them72 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 88. Standing dumbbell lateral—Start position. Standing dumbbell lateral—Finish position.at your sides, with your palms facing each lower the dumbbells back to your shoul-other. Keeping your arms straight and using ders. Repeat for the required number ofonly your shoulder muscles, slowly lift the repetitions.weight up to, and a bit higher than, shoulderlevel. Hold this position of full contraction 3. Bent-over laterals: Grasp light dumb-for a two-count before lowering the dumb- bells, one in each hand, and bend over frombells slowly, in four seconds, back to the the waist. Keeping your arms straight, andstarting position. remaining in the bent-over position, lift the dumbbells toward the ceiling. When the2. Seated dumbbell presses: This exercise dumbbells have reached the apex of theirworks the deltoids, particularly the medial ascent, really tighten up that rear deltoiddeltoid, and the upper trapezius, serratus head and then lower the dumbbells, slowly,anterior, and triceps. Sit down on a bench to the count of four seconds.so that your back is straight. Grasp twodumbbells wtih your palms facing forward 4. Seated dumbbell shrugs: Take hold of aand lift them to your shoulders. Press your pair of dumbbells and sit down on a flatarms up overhead until they are fully locked bench. Keeping your arms extended andout. Pause briefly in this position and then your palms facing toward each other, slowly CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 73
  • 89. Seated dumbbell press—Start position. Seated dumbbell press—Finish position. Bent-over lateral—Finish position.Bent-over lateral—Start position.74 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 90. shrug your shoulders up as lightly as you can. Pause briefly at the top (in a fully contracted position) and then slowly lower your arms back down to where they were. Repeat for 12 repetitions. Workout Two Explained CHEST 1. Incline dumbbell presses: This exercise works the pectorals very strongly, along with the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, and pectoralis minor (the latter two serve to stabilize the scapulae), and the triceps. Lie back on an incline bench with your elbowsSeated dumbbell shrug—Finish position. bent. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing forward. Extend your arms until theyIncline dumbbell press—Start position. Incline dumbbell press—Finish position. CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 75
  • 91. Dumbbell fly—Start position. Dumbbell fly—Finish position are straight above your head. Pause briefly rest briefly, and then perform your next and then lower the dumbbells back to your exercise. shoulders. Repeat for the required number of repetitions. TRICEPS 2. Dumbbell flyes: Grab two fairly heavy 1. Seated French presses: Grab hold of a dumbbells and lie faceup on a bench. Slowly Triceps Blaster or an E-Z curl bar. Press the lower the dumbbells from an overhead weight overhead as if you were about to position in an outward arc until they are a perform the press behind the neck. Keep bit below chest level. Pause for one or two your elbows stationary beside your ears seconds, and then begin to slowly raise the and lower your forearms until they are as dumbbells back to the starting overhead far down toward the center of your back as position in the same outward arc. they can go. The time structure is the same with this exercise: two seconds up and four 3. Bench presses: Lie on a bench with a seconds down. Repeat for at least eight repe- barbell at arm’s length over your chest. titions. A second set is, again, recommended Slowly lower the bar to your upper chest. for beginners and intermediates, but it’s not Once the bar has touched your chest necessary for advanced trainees. (I said “touched,” not “bounced”; bouncing a weight accomplishes nothing but injury), 2. Cable push-downs: Grasp the bar with slowly press it back up to the top position, a palms-over grip. Your elbows should and repeat the procedure for the required be planted firmly on the sides of your rib number of repetitions. Put the weight down, cage. Smoothly extend your arms until 76 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 92. your elbows are completely locked out. It is important to hold this position of full muscular contraction and to be cognizant of how it feels; this is the only point in the exercise when all three heads of the triceps are contracted fully. After holding this posi- tion for a two-count, lower the resistance slowly back to the starting position. 3. Lying triceps extensions: Lie on an exercise bench, holding a barbell (or E-Z curl bar) in both hands directly over your chest. From this position, slowly lower the resistance, in four seconds, to a point just behind your head. From this fully extended position, slowly press the resistance backCable push-down—Start position. up to the starting position. Just as in the preceding exercise, use your fi rst set as a slow, controlled, warm-up set, and then add approximately 20 percent more to the bar and perform two more sets of 10 repetitions. Workout Three Explained BACK 1. Dumbbell pull-overs: Grasp a moderately weighted dumbbell in both hands and lie back on a flat bench crosswise so that only your shoulders are touching the bench. Extend the dumbbell beyond your head so that it is almost touching the floor. From this position of full stretch, and with a slight bend in your arms, slowly, with your latsCable push-down—Finish position. as prime mover, pull the dumbbell over CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 77
  • 93. Close-grip pull-down—Start position. Close-grip pull-down—Finish position.your head to approximately your sternum. 3. Upright barbell rows: Place your handsA deliberate pause in this position should about six inches apart on a barbell with anprecede your lowering the dumbbell back to overhand grip (your palms should be facingthe starting position in four seconds. your thighs). Keeping your body straight and stationary, slowly pull the weight up to2. Close-grip pull-downs: Place your hands your clavicles (collar bone). Keep the barbellabout six inches apart on the bar and pull the in close, and then slowly, in four seconds,bar down to your chest as you sit down. Keep lower it back to the starting position.your elbows pointed out to your sides. Youmay need some counterresistance to be applied BICEPSto your legs to anchor you when the weightsstart getting heavy. Hold the fully contracted 1. Dumbbell curls: Grab a pair of dumb-position for a two-count before returning bells and hold them at your sides with thethe resistance to the starting position in four palms touching your upper thighs. Slowlyseconds. Repeat for your I.S.R., and have your curl both arms up until the dumbbells arepartner force out three more reps. at shoulder level. Pause briefly in this fully78 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 94. Dumbbell curl—Start position. Dumbbell curl—Finish position.contracted position, and then lower thedumbbells slowly, in four seconds, back tothe starting position. Perform your first setas a slow, controlled, warm-up set, and thenincrease the resistance by 20 percent (give ortake a couple of pounds, depending on yourexisting strength levels) and superset yournext two sets for 10 repetitions each.2. Standing barbell curls: Stand erect with ashoulder-width grip on the barbell and yourpalms facing front. Your arms should befully extended so that the barbell is directlyin front of your thighs. Now slowly lift,or curl, the barbell up to shoulder height, Barbell curl—Start position.solely using the muscles of the upper armby bending the elbows. From this fullycontracted position, slowly lower the resis-tance back to the fully extended (or starting) CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 79
  • 95. Preacher curl—Start position.Barbell curl—Finish position.position. Repeat for the required numberof repetitions, and then rest briefly beforeperforming your next exercise.3. Preacher curls: The bench used for thisexercise should have a steep incline, toensure resistance in the position of full Preacher curl—Finish position.muscular contraction. Grasp the bar witha shoulder-width grip. Starting from theposition of full extension, slowly (in twoseconds) raise the bar to throat level, beingsure to hold the completely contracted posi-tion for a two-count before lowering the barin four seconds. Repeat the procedure for atleast eight repetitions.4. Reverse-grip preacher curls: The reverse-grip preacher curls require that your grip bethe opposite from how you perform preacher Reverse-grip preacher curl—Finish position.curls. You grasp the bar using palm-down80 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 96. grip placement with your hands closer than your cardiovascular system, will receiveshoulder width apart to work the brachiais maximum stimulation.muscle of the upper arm. Otherwise, You will fi nd that this is an especiallyperform the exercise in the exact same way effective routine for burning calories andindicated for the preacher curls. developing muscle fast. You defi nitely won’t need to perform any aerobics whileREPETITIONS REVISITED you’re on this program. You’ll be burningAt this junction, I offer some tips on how more calories from your workouts thanto make the foregoing exercises more effec- you would from running or cycling whiletive. They’re minor variations to be sure, but at the same time stimulating far-and-awayimportant enough that if they’re not adhered more muscle growth. These routines work,to, you will not derive the maximum results but only if the principles of high-inten-from the exercises and will severely compro- sity training are followed, such as keepingmise their efficacy. the workouts brief (no more than thirty to First, when you execute your repetitions, forty-five minutes per session) and infre-be focused from full extension to full contrac- quent (each bodypart trained only once ortion. Don’t just throw the weight up and let twice a week).it fall back to the starting position of its own It may appear to be more sets than you’reaccord. Slowly, deliberately, raise the resis- accustomed to doing, and if these weretance by contracting your target muscle group “straight sets,” you would easily becomecompletely; you’ll feel the pain of the lactic overtrained on such a program and notacid setting in. If the weight’s heavy enough, progress at all. However, the nature of giantyou should be almost spent at rep number setting and tri-setting is such that doingeight, but persevere until you’ve muscled out these one-after-the-other exercises for atwelve of them; that way, your muscles will selected bodypart is like performing onebe sure to be thoroughly stimulated. extended set. Therefore, you’re performing If you find that you’re breathing too only three to four total sets per any givenhard, don’t push yourself through the exer- bodypart. This explanation of twelve setscises merely to “beat the clock.” Instead, being four sets is probably coming off a littlerest briefly, no more than fifteen seconds, bit like trying to explain the “oneness” ofuntil your breathing returns to normal, and the Trinity of Christianity, but I think if youthen continue on in your giant set in order reread the explanations on why this is so,to ensure that your muscles, rather than you’ll comprehend my pitch. CHAPTER 7 GIANT SETS 81
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  • 98. 8 Training for Size and Power T he other day I was thumbing through a few of my old muscle magazines and had to laugh out loud at some of the absurd titles of the articles: “I Cried for My Pecs”—Is that how he finally solved his pectoral problem? If so, then I’m off for a very productive weep!; “No-Frills Calf Workout”—Ever heard of a “Frills Calf Workout”?; “Hercules Reincarnated”—I beg your pardon?; “Herculean Back Routine”— Hercules, as you can see, is a popular myth among bodybuilding journalists. Further back I found one entitled “Inside Mohamed Makkaway”—Written by his proctologist perhaps? Then there was “Tim Belknap Says, ’Thanks, Joe!’ ”—This is newsworthy stuff? What’s he going to say next month, “Pass the salt”? One last example: “Bombing for Arm Balance”—Can “Rocket Launching for Symmetry” be far behind? 83Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 99. All of these and other so-called articles deep fatigue, and momentary musclepromised the moon in terms of muscle debilitation. Then the initiate is told bygrowth, but upon closer inspection not one another individual that he can obtainof them explained why or how the touted the same results simply by increasing hismethods would actually deliver on the supplementation or by performing severalpromises. There was plenty of rhetoric and “magical” pumping/flushing, high-volume,advertising boldly proclaiming the “secret” triple-split, up-and-down-the-rack, zip-to muscular massiveness. To any student of zop, blitz-bomb routines that in no waykinesiology or physiology, the claims were tax the central nervous system (whichludicrous; to any layperson wanting to know is why these routines do not work, inci-the best way to train, the claims were down- dentally). In fact, the second chap likensright dangerous. these “magic” routines to the experience of “orgasm.” Don’t laugh: this was a popularACTING ON INSTINCT belief promulgated by no less than ArnoldIt seems at times that bodybuilding has Schwarzenegger back in the mid- to lateforsaken truth for mysticism: if you take 1970s. Now, which do you think any clear-this “magic” supplement or perform this thinking human being would choose? If“magic” exercise, everything will come your you guessed the brutally hard routine, youway. These views no doubt persist due, in are out of your mind!large part, to mankind’s inherent desire to The “pleasure-fi lled” routine is indu-take the easy way out. Given a choice, most bitably the more appealing of the two.people will take the route of least resis- Unfortunately, it contains no basis of truthtance. They do this primarily out of instinct. and can deliver no results. Even the simileAs our ancestors likely discovered, the is incongruous: the last thing in the worldmore energy people could conserve while to which a growth-inducing, heavy set ofstill obtaining the desired results, the more twenty-rep squats is akin is the feeling ofenergy would be left for other important orgasm! Whereas the former is downrightactivities relevant to survival. hard work, the latter is, well, a jolly good Modern man is no different. Let’s say time. The only way such a simile could bea prospective trainee is told by one indi- accurately invoked is if the one who postu-vidual that his objective of increasing lated the comparison were inclined towardhis muscle mass and strength can be masochism.accomplished only through brutally hard Leaving the realm of mysticism, we shalltraining, which, while being of neces- now concern ourselves with reality. Aftersity brief and infrequent, is nevertheless six months of development and experi-capable of inducing feelings of nausea, mentation, you need a baseline workout to84 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 100. which you can return as a beginner, before the central nervous system to supply thatmoving on to the more advanced material demand (provided adequate rest andoutlined in Part 3. You want a routine that nutrition are also supplied).will serve you, as it stands, as an efficient, 4. The greater the intensity of your training:result-producing base from which you can ■ The greater the demand on thedeviate from time to time for the purpose of muscles.specialization. What follows, then, divested ■ The shorter the workout.of nonessentials, is that routine: ■ The greater the need for rest and recovery (forty-eight to ninety-six hours, minimum). T H E R O U T I N E The Routine Explained1. Barbell squats: 1. Barbell squats: No fewer than fifteen 2 sets of 15–20 reps muscle groups are involved whenever you2. Chin-ups: perform squats, which unquestionably rates 2 sets of 8–12 reps this exercise at the pinnacle of the muscle-3. Bench presses: building chart. To perform the squat prop- 2 sets of 8–12 reps erly, stand erect with a barbell across your shoulders and take a deep breath. With full4. Seated presses behind the neck: lungs, bend your knees and lower your body 2 sets of 8–12 reps until you are in a full squat position; you5. Preacher curls: should be slightly below a ninety-degree 1–2 sets of 8–12 reps angle to your shins. As soon as you reach6. Seated French presses: the bottom position, rise immediately—but 1–2 sets of 8–12 reps under control—while at the same time exhaling, so that you will be ready for aThe Four Pillars of Hypertrophy breath at the completion of the movement.If your goal is increased size and strength, Breathe in and go down for a second repeti-then it is important to keep the following tion and so on until you have completedfour points in mind: your set. Remember to keep your head up at1. The best routine is one that produces all times, and hold your chest up high. results (muscle growth and strength).2. Muscle growth and strength are obtained 2. Chin-ups: Grasp the chin-up bar with a through supply and demand. palms-up grip. (You may require straps to3. The greater the demand on the muscles, reinforce your grip for the required number the quicker the adaptive response from of repetitions.) Slowly begin to contract CHAPTER 8 TRAINING FOR SIZE AND POWER 85
  • 101. the muscles in your arms, and try to touchthe bar to your lower chest when you havereached the apex of your ascent. Hold thiscontracted position for a two-count, andthen lower yourself slowly (four seconds)back to the starting position, all the whilemaking sure that the latissimus dorsimuscles are constantly contracted. Repeatthis procedure until at least eight repetitions Seated press behind the neck.have been completed. Rest for one to twominutes, and repeat for another eight-to-twelve repetitions. perform no more than two sets of eight to If you can’t perform a chin-up on your twelve repetitions.own, you may use an assisted chin-upmachine: Stand on a chair facing the chin- 4. Seated presses behind the neck: Beginup bar, grab the bar, and step off. Under full with a light poundage in order to warmmuscle control, lower yourself to a stretched up your entire shoulder girdle. Take aposition as slowly as you can. Repeat to deep breath before pressing the weight upexhaustion. When you can complete ten smoothly to the fully extended position ofnegatives, you should be able to perform at your arms, and then lower the resistanceleast three or four regular chin-ups. twice as slowly (four seconds) back to the starting position. Add weight to the bar3. Bench presses: Every third week or (approximately 20 percent more than yourso, perform this exercise, as described in warm-up weight) and perform one more set.Chapter 1, fi rst in your routine in orderto test your upper-body progress. When 5. Preacher curls: The bench used for thistesting for strength, as opposed to building exercise should have a steep incline, toit, perform your fi rst set for only five repeti- ensure resistance in the position of fulltions, rest briefly, and then perform one muscular contraction. Grasp the bar withrep maximum lifts or “singles” with a one- a shoulder-width grip. Starting from theto two-minute rest in between, until you position of full extension, slowly (in twoeventually hit a weight that you cannot lift seconds) raise the bar to throat level, being(no more than five sets of singles). Obvi- sure to hold the completely contracted posi-ously, a training partner is a necessity tion for a two-count before lowering the barfor maximum single attempts. However, in four seconds. Repeat the procedure for atwhen training for muscle mass and power, least eight repetitions.86 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 102. HINTS FROM HERCULESI mentioned earlier that Hercules is a frequently cited figure among bodybuildingscribes, and I am no exception. It has been promises of pleasant things; I will tell you the truth: nothing that is really good can be got without labor and hardship, for so the godssaid that there is a seed of truth in all mythol- have ordained. If you wish to enjoy the fruitsogies, and with that underlying thought, I’d of this earth, you must plough and sow, andlike to share the following story with you. reap and mow. So, if you wish your body to be One day when Hercules was a young man, strong, you must make your body the servantas he was struggling to decide what direction to your mind, and fear not labor and sweat.to take in life, he saw two women approaching In the same way, if you wish for the love ofhim. One of them ran in front to get to him friends, you must do good to your friends; iffirst. She was tall and beautiful and decked you wish for honor from our city or your nativeout in bright clothing, with her cheeks rather land, you must work for their benefit, and youtoo red to be natural. must defend them from enemies without and tyrants within. If you choose to follow me, I She said to him, “Young man, I see you can make you great and truly happy.”are in doubt about what to do in life and whatpath to follow, so I invite you to follow me. Hercules asked, “And what is your name?”You shall have the easiest and most pleasant She answered, “My name is Virtue.”life in the world, with no hard work and no Then Pleasure piped up: “See, Hercules,dangers. You shall eat, drink, and be merry. what a hard road she puts before you! Not aOthers shall work, but you shall have the scrap of pleasure in it!”enjoyment, and you shall be as happy as the But Virtue said, “Such pleasure as sheday is long.” is offering you leads only to surfeit and Hercules asked, “What is your name?” weariness. He who tries to be happy never The woman answered, “My real name is succeeds, but he who does noble deeds gainsPleasure, but my enemies call me Vice.” happiness without trying.” By this time, the second woman had The legend has it that Hercules resolved tocaught up to them. She was also tall and follow the hard road and to put away from hishandsome but after a different fashion; she mind the craving for pleasure.was stately and dignified and had a noble And so, in your training, as in your life, dolook. Her dress was all white, truth was in her not be duped by those promising pleasure oreyes, and modesty was in her manner. the easy way out. As Virtue said to Hercules, She said, “Young sir, I know your parents “Nothing that is really good can be got withoutand your breeding, and how you have been labor and hardship.” This is especially trueeducated and brought up, which makes in bodybuilding; there is no such thing asme hope that you will be a good workman “magic” in stimulating muscle growth—onlyof noble deeds. I will not deceive you with “labor and sweat.” CHAPTER 8 TRAINING FOR SIZE AND POWER 87
  • 103. 6. Seated French presses: Grab a Triceps directly proportionate to your effort. EveryBlaster or an E-Z curl bar. Press the weight repetition of every set should be raised inoverhead as if you were about to perform two seconds, held in the position of fullthe press behind the neck. Keep your elbows muscular contraction for an additional twostationary beside your ears and lower your seconds, and then lowered slowly backforearms until they are as far down toward to the starting position in four seconds.the center of your back as they can go. The This cadence will ensure that it is thetime structure is the same with this exercise: responsibility of your muscles, rather thantwo seconds up and four seconds down. momentum, to move the weights and willRepeat for at least eight repetitions. greatly enhance your results from training. This routine is to be performed three When the guide number of repetitions cantimes per week, to allow the forty-eight to be reached in good form, increase the resis-ninety-six hours needed for recovery and tance by 5 percent and then try for the guidegrowth of the body’s skeletal muscles. If you number of repetitions again.are not feeling up to working out every other The routine presented in this chapter,day, then chances are you have become coupled with a well-balanced diet, willstronger and consequently are making provide all of the muscle growth you shouldgreater inroads into your recovery ability. In ever want, but it requires hard work andsuch instances, extend your recovery periods dedication to succeed. There is no pleasurebetween workouts to two days, working to be found in this sort of training; the plea-out just once every third day (e.g., Monday, sures lie in the results of having trained:Thursday, Sunday, etc.). This will give you better strength and health. They are resultsthe seventy-two hours between workouts that you alone have attained through thethat your advanced strength necessitates for consistent application of your will andadequate subsystem recovery and muscle- reason. You will learn of the pleasure thatmass increases. attends having forged your body in the fire It is essential to work hard at these of your will—and this is the hallmark of thesix exercises, because your results will be true bodybuilder.88 PART 2 ADDING MORE MUSCLE
  • 104. PAR T 3 Refinement Specialization andCopyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
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  • 106. 9 Setting Up Your Year-Round Training Schedule N ow that you’ve adopted solid fundamentals for your training routine and been introduced to several varieties of techniques, we can look toward the high-intensity training that will produce the most significant results. First, though, to make sure you have the level of dedication required to attain yourIt’s important to take periodic breaks from high-intensity goals, we must address one of the biggesttraining throughout the year in order to fully recharge yourmuscles and your motivation. During these off periods you obstacles to proper training: boredom.may wish to expand your life experience with activities such asmusic or martial arts. Many of us become bored with training. You’re no doubt familiar with the feeling: you know that you should train, and yet, just the thought of training seems to fill you with inertia. This is a normal psychological response to a redundant stimulus. We all know that from boredom does not proceed motivation, and without motivation you cannot train in a high-intensity fashion. If you cannot train in a high-intensity fashion, you will never progress toward your 91Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 107. goals of muscular growth and bodily perfec- to prevent overtraining, and will be suffi-tion. So, how does one stave off the eventu- ciently diverse to prevent you from fallingality of lethargy in one’s training career? into the doldrums of boredom.PREVENTING BOREDOM AND GAINING Tips for Setting Up YourMULTIPLE BENEFITS Year-Round Training ScheduleThe answer is subtle, though dramatic in 1. Never work out more than three timesits impact: simply alter your routine from per week; often, working out twice in amonth to month. Nothing major is required, week will produce better results.just marginal variations on the same high- 2. Train your whole body in each session.intensity theme. How does one perform 3. Never perform more than twelve sets inthese subtle variations? The answer to that any given workout. Intermediates shouldquery is through monthly specialization. perform only ten total sets in any givenSince boredom and overtraining march in workout.lockstep, we prevent one by preventing the 4. When specializing, beginners shouldother—while at the same time stimulating perform only five sets for the bodypartalmost unbelievable growth in select body- being specialized on, with each set beingparts every month. a legitimate “all-out” effort. Intermediates The key to year-round training and, should reduce their sets for the targetedmore important, year-round results is muscle group to a maximum of three.specialization. Select one bodypart to be 5. Work the specialized bodypart fi rst inspecialized on per month, making sure the routine, when your energy levelto include all bodyparts throughout any is highest, and then train your othertwelve-month period. Keep your sets for bodyparts in descending order—from thethe targeted bodypart to a maximum of five largest to the smallest.in order to maintain an adequate degree of 6. Perform negatives on your last workoutintensity for growth inducement. Any more of the week (i.e., on Friday’s workout).sets than this will require you to reduce 7. Take one full week off from weightyour intensity levels in order to complete training every ten weeks.them—a step in the wrong direction if 8. When not specializing, use the basicyour objective is a muscular mass increase. routine described in this chapter forAlso, perform only one set, maximum, impressive, balanced muscular growth.for the remainder of your bodyparts. This 9. When specializing, select a differentwill instill a degree of intensity sufficient bodypart every month. This impartsto induce overall growth of the body’s balanced development and preventsmuscular systems, will be sufficiently brief overtraining of a muscle group.92 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 108. Sample Year-Round Workout Schedule always rear their objective-defeating headsJanuary: General workout (total body) around the ten-week mark.February: Deltoid specialization Once a week, perform all of your exer-March: Leg specialization—quadriceps, cises in a negative-only fashion. Negatives hamstrings, calves; in mid-March take as a method for doing chin-ups were cited in one week off from weight training and Chapter 8. Negatives require you to perform engage in only mild exercise, such as exercises with 40 percent more weight than aerobics you normally would use and have yourApril: Arm specialization training partner (or partners, dependingMay: Back specialization, inclusive of upon your strength level and the amount of trapezius weight you will be using) lift the weight toJune: Chest specialization; take the first the top while you concentrate on lowering week of June off from weight training it, taking at least eight seconds to lower and engage in only mild exercise, such the resistance back to the starting position. as swimming, biking, and running Continue lowering the resistance until youJuly: General workout (total body) can no longer control the descent of theAugust: Deltoid specialization; during the weight, as when it now descends in two third week of August abstain from all seconds as opposed to the initial eight. forms of weight training and perform Also keep in mind that during your only aerobic activities “week off” you should be performing someSeptember: Leg specialization form of aerobic activity in order to burnOctober: Arm specialization calories and prevent the expansion of yourNovember: Back specialization; take the body’s fat cells. Any activity you choose first week of November off from weight should be of very low intensity and some- training and perform whatever form of what enjoyable, such as jogging, distance aerobic exercise you prefer walking, badminton, swimming, dance,December: Chest specialization martial arts, or bicycling. Because of the lower intensity of these activities, you willThis schedule should serve you as a guide in not make major inroads into your body’ssetting up your own training blueprint for recuperative subsystems, thereby leavingthe coming year. It is important to take one them ample time to build up in anticipationfull week off after every ten weeks of high- of the following week’s assaults, and theintensity training. This will help to keep activities will burn up calories that wouldboth your enthusiasm and energy reserves otherwise be stored as adipose. The formulaprimed to a high degree, thus defeating the might appear as follows: ten weeks of all-demons of boredom and overtraining that out training with emphasis on a particular CHAPTER 9 SETTING UP YOUR YEAR-ROUND TRAINING SCHEDULE 93
  • 109. bodypart to build size, and one week of an invalid one, as we shall see; or “You’veendurance or aerobic training to “rip up.” got to do twenty repetitions in the squat to If you couple this program with a make any gains from the movement whatso-balanced, calorie-reduced diet, you will look ever.” These statements and thousands likeand feel better than you ever have before. them have been shown to be absurd in lightWhen you think about it, that is why we of a major physiological discovery revealedstarted bodybuilding, isn’t it? And now, let’s in 1986 by Arthur Jones, of Nautilus Sports/get started with month one. Medical Industries. Use of the then supremely sophisticatedTHE GENERAL (BASELINE) ROUTINE: Nautilus medical machines (later used as theOVERVIEW template for the MedX line of rehabilitationWe can deduce from the foregoing informa- equipment) revealed that, in terms of repeti-tion that our ideal baseline routine should tions, what works for one individual maybe intense (and, ipso facto, brief) enough to not necessarily work for another. Not onlystimulate muscular growth and infrequent does each individual have specific repetitionenough to allow for growth to take place requirements, but each of the individual’sonce it has been stimulated. Ergo, the three- muscle groups might as well. For instance,day-per-week system of training. What one individual may need to perform onlyfollows, then, is a whole-body, year-round five repetitions in the squat to thoroughlyroutine. In the coming months, we will get stimulate the leg muscles into maximuminto specialization on various bodyparts, growth, whereas five repetitions for anothershould you feel so inclined, that will produce individual may do nothing in the way ofstunning gains in muscular body weight. stimulating growth because the repetitions If you crave variety in order to keep moti- were inadequate for making any meaningfulvated, or if certain bodyparts begin to lag, inroad into the muscular reserves.you can rely on the following chapters for The “ideal” inroad for maximum growthadvice on how to overcome these obstacles stimulation was determined by these sameto continuous muscular progress. machines to be 20 percent for all human beings. However, the number of repetitionsRepetition Revelation required to induce this level of inroad intoUntil the mid-1980s nobody knew with any the muscular reserves will vary from persondegree of certainty how many repetitions an to person depending on the person’s neuro-individual should perform in a given exer- muscular efficiency—the number of musclecise to facilitate maximum growth of specific fibers that can be recruited by the brainmuscle groups. “Do five repetitions for during a single skeletal-muscle contrac-bulk” was a common statement, although tion. Some people will be able to hit the 2094 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 110. percent mark with a low number of repeti- 80 percent of that one-rep-max weight.tions; these people will have a high neuro- For example, if your one-rep max on themuscular efficiency. Others will not be able bench press is 200 pounds, 80 percent isto make a 20 percent inroad with anything 160.less than perhaps fifteen to twenty repeti- 2. Multiply the number of repetitions youtions; they will have a low level of neuro- perform by .15, and round off the resultmuscular efficiency. to the nearest whole number. So, if you Therefore, it is obvious that no one get six reps, it’s 6 .15 0.9, or 1.can tell you, as an individual, how many 3. Add the number you have just calculatedrepetitions you should be doing to stimulate to the number of repetitions that youmaximum growth. People can tell you, as I were able to perform. In this case, 1 6have, what the ideal percentage of inroad is, 7 repetitions. That number becomesbut short of determining through individual the high end of the rep range—that is,analysis what your individual specific repeti- the number of reps for which you shouldtions (I.S.R.) range per muscle group is, they shoot before increasing your resistancecan tell you no more. That leads to the ques- by 5 percent.tion of how to determine what one’s “ideal 4. Subtract that same number, 1, from therepetition range” per muscle group is. Fortu- number of repetitions you were ablenately, you don’t have to sell your house in to perform—that is, 6 1 5. That’sorder to afford a series of MedX or Nautilus now the low end of your rep range formedical machines to obtain the answer to this particular muscle group—that is,your muscular queries. The solution lies in the minimum, or starting, number ofthe method born of the technology and not repetitions for which you should shoot toin the technology itself. stimulate a 20 percent inroad into your muscular reserves.How to Calculate Your Individual SpecificRepetitions (I.S.R.) By this simple procedure, you can nowThe following four-step procedure can help determine the ideal repetition range for eachyou arrive at the ideal repetition range for particular muscle group to be trained (e.g.,each muscle group. chest: five to seven repetitions). Repeat this method for all remaining muscle groups to1. Determine what your maximum determine their “ideal” repetition range, and poundage is for a single exercise in then apply the resulting information to the good form, and then, after a brief rest of following routine for maximum results. perhaps five minutes, perform as many repetitions as possible in good form with CHAPTER 9 SETTING UP YOUR YEAR-ROUND TRAINING SCHEDULE 95
  • 111. T H E R O U T I N E1. Barbell squats: 2 sets of I.S.R.2. Lat pull-downs: 2 sets of I.S.R.3. Dumbbell bench presses: 2 sets of I.S.R.4. Shoulder presses: 2 sets of I.S.R.5. Standing barbell curls: 2 sets of I.S.R.6. Parallel bar dips: 2 sets of I.S.R.The Routine ExplainedWarm up: Do one to five minutes of deepknee bends, stretching, mild exercise, or Dumbbell bench press—Finish position.stationary bike—the purpose of which isto reduce viscosity to the joints, the kneein particular, so that there is no resulting second repetition and so on until you havetrauma to the joints when you commence completed your set.with the routine. 2. Lat pull-downs: Grab the lat pull-down1. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell bar with a palms-under grip, so youracross your shoulders and take a deep arms are fully extended above your head.breath. With full lungs, bend your knees Slowly contract your lats by pulling the barand lower your body until you are in a full down to your chest. Hold this position ofsquat position; you should be slightly below full muscular contraction for a two-counta ninety-degree angle to your shins. As before allowing the weight to return in foursoon as you reach the bottom position, rise seconds back to the starting position.immediately—but under control—while atthe same time exhaling, so that you will be 3. Dumbbell bench presses: To perform theready for a breath at the completion of the exercise properly, lie on a bench with twomovement. Breathe in and go down for a dumbbells at arm’s length over your chest.96 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 112. Slowly lower the dumbbells to your upperchest. Once the dumbbells have touchedyour chest, slowly press them back up to thetop position, and repeat the procedure forthe required number of repetitions. Put theweights down, rest briefly, and then performyour next exercise.4. Shoulder presses: This exercise can beperformed with a barbell, dumbbells, or witha machine. In order to perform this exer-cise properly, you should clean (rememberour definitions section in the Chapter 1) thebarbell to your upper chest, or to the front ofyour shoulders. Then, slowly press the weightupward until your arms are fully extendedover your head. Slowly lower the resistanceback down to your shoulders (the startingposition), and repeat the procedure for the Shoulder press—Finish position.required number of repetitions. Rest briefly,and then move on to your next exercise. 6. Parallel bar dips: Stand between two5. Standing barbell curls: Stand erect with a parallel bars. Place your hands on the barsshoulder-width grip on the barbell and your and slowly press yourself upward with yourpalms facing front. Your arms should be arms locked out. Now slowly lower yourselffully extended so that the barbell is directly by bending your arms until you are as lowin front of your thighs. Slowly curl the as you can descend. Repeat for your I.S.R.barbell up to shoulder height, solely usingthe muscles of the upper arm by bending the What is important about this routine iselbows. From this fully contracted position, not so much the exercises themselves butslowly lower the resistance back to the fully how the exercises are performed. As forextended (or starting) position. Repeat for how each exercise is executed, simply followthe required number of repetitions, and then the explanations provided throughoutrest briefly before performing your next exer- the book. Always attempt to add anothercise. Remember to let only the upper arms do repetition to your fi rst set until you havethe work during this movement. reached the upper guide number within CHAPTER 9 SETTING UP YOUR YEAR-ROUND TRAINING SCHEDULE 97
  • 113. Parallel bar dip—Start position. Parallel bar dip—Finish position. your repetition framework. It is not a lot of This high-intensity routine should be work, but the object is not to see how much performed in less than forty-five minutes. exercise your body can stand; that would Every time you are able to reach the upper be endurance training and not strength guide number of repetitions in good form, training. The goal is to see how little exer- increase the weight by 5 percent and aim for cise is required to stimulate maximum that guide number of repetitions once again. muscle growth. Perform all of your exercises slowly. As TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE I have instructed throughout this book, lift That, in its brevity, is the routine. It is the weight in two seconds and lower it in brief, but it is so of necessity. You do not four. Hold the fully contracted position for need more exercise than this to stimulate a two-count before you begin to lower the maximum gains in muscular mass. If you weight. Also make sure that your form is are drastically underweight, this routine immaculate—exaggeratedly so, in fact. This coupled with a high-calorie diet should put will place more tension on the muscles and on up to twenty pounds in one month. If thereby raise the intensity of the exercise, you are an intermediate, you can expect to which is a step in the right direction. increase your muscular bodyweight by a 98 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 114. minimum of eight pounds. Remember that small apartment building, but that doesn’tthe closer you are to a “normal” weight for mean that until you are capable of similaryour height, the slower the acquisition of feats you should continue to work out threemuscular body weight will be. days per week. If you have been following the routines Strength is a purely relative attribute.in this book on a monthly progression from Sure, Arnold could out-bench-press me anythe first chapter, or if you’ve decided to jump day of the week, but then power lifters suchinto the program here and were previously as Ed Coan or Bill Kazmier could out-benchusing a different training system, I advise Arnold any minute of the day. As soon astaking a solid week off from training in you have doubled your strength, it is time fororder to recover. Then resume this program a reduction in workout frequency.three times per week and expect to gain This basic program will serve youmuscular mass at a rate so unprecedented well for the rest of your training life. Itthat you may be floored. will produce significant results and will In time, when you have effectively save you from wasting considerable timedoubled your strength on this program, only as well. I mentioned at the beginning oftwo weekly workouts will be required, and this book that the champions of today arelater, only one weekly workout. The reason champions because of heredity. If you haveis that your ability to generate intensity similar potential, this routine will realizewill become so great that you will require it. If you do not, no routine will make youthose additional days off to merely recover, a champion, but the goal to realize yourand then more time still in order to grow. fullest potential remains the same. In any(Remember the three-phase nature of the event, potential being the expression ofmuscle-growth process.) This isn’t the exclu- possibility, you will never know if you aresive domain of the Arnold Schwarzeneg- capable of developing a physique of Mr.gers of this world. When Arnold doubles his Olympia proportions unless you make thestrength, he may well be capable of lifting a attempt. CHAPTER 9 SETTING UP YOUR YEAR-ROUND TRAINING SCHEDULE 99
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  • 116. 10 Specialization: Shoulders T his is the month in which we begin our specialization process, starting with the deltoids, or shoulder muscles. The shoulders, when well devel- oped, are among the most impressive of the body’s muscles. The deltoids are composed of three heads that, collectively, resemble an inverted triangle. (The name derives from delta, the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, and means “triangle-shaped.”) Each of the three heads has a distinct function: the lateral head, the most impressive in terms of shoulder width, is responsible for abduction, or moving the arm away from the body in a lateral arc; the anterior head raises the arm forward and upward; and the posterior head is engaged whenever you draw your elbows backward behind your shoulders. 101Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 117. WHY SPECIALIZE? function. The exercises that do the best jobIn addition to dissipating the monotony of stressing any particular muscle groupthat inevitably follows whenever you lock are the ones that are best able to isolate theyourself into any activity for a prolonged muscle in question.period, specialization allows you to Our routine, then, will comprise isola-really blast a stubborn bodypart into tion exercises for the targeted bodypartrenewed growth without overtraining. and, for variety, training the remainingNo more than a total of twelve sets will bodyparts with a mixture of isolation andbe performed for the whole body in any compound exercises. There will not beworkout—inclusive of three to five sets more than five total sets performed for yourmaximum for the bodypart that is targeted shoulders. As stated previously, performingfor specialization that month. any more than the listed number of sets Beyond the motivation factor discussed will mean that you are working beneathin Chapter 9, the body quickly becomes your capabilities. Remember, making yourused to a repeated stressor and begins workouts easier (i.e., longer) will result into adapt to it, so that in time, the physi- reduced progress. Having performed yourological response to the routine becomes three to five all-out sets for your shoulders,virtually nonexistent. In the vernacular, you then perform seven to nine additionalthis is known as becoming “stale” from a sets to exercise the rest of your body.routine. Specialization, properly done, will Again, do not add more sets to those listed.rid you almost indefi nitely of the scourge The program as given will produce results,of becoming stale. In the previous chapter whereas adding sets or exercises will onlyI outlined how to set up various special- work against your overall goals.ization routines on a month-to-month I can now hear you protesting, “But mybasis, as well as when to return to the arms [or legs] need more than one crummybasic routine, how many sets and reps to set to stimulate growth in them!” Theyperform, and, equally important, when really do not—if you work like hell duringto schedule extracurricular activities and that one set, utilizing proper form on alllayoffs. exercises and taking each set to at least Now that we understand the need for a point of positive muscular failure, andspecialization or variety in training, let us then, once a week, perform a negative-onlyselect the best exercises for overdeveloping workout for your body, including the special-the shoulders, the target of our fi rst month ization exercises. Besides, when the monthof specialization. Because function dictates for arm or leg specialization arrives, you willselection, we will be examining only exer- have the opportunity to indulge in thosecises that stress the deltoids individual bodyparts. (And what routines they are!)102 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 118. EXERCISE PERFORMANCE IS THE KEY reduce the amount of weight by 10–20This routine, like the baseline routine item- percent and immediately perform aized in Chapter 9, is to be performed three second set.times per week—Monday, Wednesday, and 1. Bent-over laterals:Friday—with a minimum of forty-eight 1 breakdown set of I.S.R.hours elapsing between these workouts.Your performance of the exercises is the 2. Side lateral raises:key to unlocking the door to the results you 1 breakdown set of I.S.R.seek. If your form is sloppy and you use a lot 3. Forward raises:of momentum to lift the weight, instead of 1 set of 1.S.R.muscular contraction, you can expect little inthe way of results. You must become a purist 4. Barbell squats:for perfect exercise performance. All in all, 1 set of I.S.R.one properly performed repetition should 5. Calf raises:take you seven to eight seconds to complete. 1 set of I.S.R.This may require a considerable drop in thepoundage that you are currently using—but 6. Palms-up chin-ups:so what? If your muscles cannot lift the 1 set of I.S.R.weight—as opposed to throwing it—then 7. Dumbbell flyes:you’re not fooling anyone by continuing to 1 set of I.S.R.pretend that your muscles are stronger thanthey really are. 8. Upright rows: The first step toward becoming stronger 1 set of I.S.R.is admitting your weakness. Once you have 9. Seated French presses:done that, all that remains is to overcome it. 1 set of I.S.R.And if deltoids are your weakness, you willnow have the wherewithal to overcome this 10. Standing barbell curls:malady. 1 set of I.S.R. The shoulders are worked first, while T H E R O U T I N E you have the most energy available to apply to them. Normally, of course, youCalculating your own I.S.R. was fully would work the larger muscle groups, suchexplained in Chapter 9. A breakdown set as the legs or back, first in the routine foris when you perform an exercise to the this same reason, but this is specializationpoint of muscular failure, whereupon you month for shoulders, so they get priority- CHAPTER 10 SPECIALIZATION: SHOULDERS 103
  • 119. one treatment. The remaining seven sets foryour other bodyparts will also be growthinducing if you give them (as you should)your absolute all every time.The Routine Explained1. Bent-over laterals: See Chapter 7 for afull description of this exercise. Repeat foryour individual specific number of repeti-tions. When you can no longer completea full repetition in perfect form, put downthe dumbbells and immediately pick up alighter pair, with no rest in between. Repeatthe exercise with the lighter dumbbells foryour I.S.R. Rest just long enough to catchyour breath, and then move on to the next Side lateral raise—Finish position.exercise.2. Side lateral raises: This exercise effectively 3. Forward raises: Ideally, you shouldisolates and stimulates the lateral head of perform this exercise with your shouldersthe deltoid to impart that highly sought-after against a wall or a post and never allowappearance of width. Hold the dumbbells them to leave this surface until your set isat your thighs, with your body perfectly terminated. Once you have positioned your-erect and your back straight. Smoothly, self, grasp the dumbbells and hold themwith lateral head output only and with your just in front of your thighs, with your armselbows locked, begin to raise the dumbbells perfectly straight. Slowly begin to raise theto a height just above shoulder level. Hold resistance, making sure that the anteriorthe resistance there for a distinct pause, and deltoid is the prime mover. Raise the weightthen lower the dumbbells slowly back to the in two seconds, hold the contracted positionstarting position. Repeat for your I.S.R., and for two more seconds, and then lower thethen put the dumbbells down and imme- dumbbells in unison, slowly, to a count ofdiately pick up a lighter pair and, without four seconds. Repeat for your I.S.R. until youresting, perform a second set. Again, rest can no longer perform a full movement.just long enough to catch your breath, andthen pick up yet another set of dumbbells to 4. Barbell squats: Doing squats afterperform the following exercise. having just completed your shoulder work104 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 120. for your shoulders, and for all bodyparts, should be followed for squats: two seconds up and four seconds down. 5. Calf raises: A calf raise machine is a big help for this exercise but is not essential. If you do not have access to a standing calf raise machine, grab a dumbbell and walk to the nearest steps. Stand on the step so that your heels are hanging down over the edge. Take the dumbbell in your left hand and lift your right foot off of the step, thereby trans- ferring all of your body’s weight onto your left foot. Slowly, from this fully stretched position, press the ball of your foot intoForward raise—Finish position. the edge of the step so that your left heel begins to rise. (You should be on the very tip of your toes on that foot when in the is mighty hard to psyche up for—but do it fully contracted position.) When you reach anyway. Squats are a particularly produc- the apex of your heel’s ascent, hold the fully tive exercise for a considerable number of contracted position for a two-count before muscle groups. The reason we all (with lowering the resistance slowly to the count the possible exceptions of Tom Platz and of four. Repeat for your I.S.R., and then Paul Anderson—two athletes with excep- transfer the dumbbell to your other hand tional thigh mass and strength who loved and transfer your weight to your other foot, to squat heavy during their competitive and repeat the exercise for your I.S.R. careers) hate to do them is the very reason they are so productive: they are, to under- 6. Palms-up chin-ups: Grasp the chin-up state things, a little on the difficult side. bar with a palms-up grip. Slowly begin to Nevertheless, the harder you push yourself contract the muscles in your arms and try to on this exercise, the greater will be your touch the bar to your chest when you have bodybuilding progress. Besides, it’s only for reached the top of your ascent. Hold this one set—one brutal set, but still only one contracted position for a two-count and then set just the same. So, suck it up and give it lower yourself slowly (in four seconds) back your absolute all for one perfect set of your down to a fully stretched position. Repeat for I.S.R. The same repetition protocol followed your I.S.R. CHAPTER 10 SPECIALIZATION: SHOULDERS 105
  • 121. 7. Dumbbell flyes: Grab two fairly heavy of the dumbbell with both hands and sit ondumbbells (remember that “heavy” is rela- a bench. Now hoist the dumbbell overhead,tive) and lie faceup on a bench. Slowly lower and position both of your hands beneaththe dumbbells from an overhead position the uppermost plate. With your elbowsin an outward arc until they are a bit below stationary, slowly lower the dumbbell behindchest level. Pause for one or two seconds, your head until your triceps are completelyand then begin to slowly raise the dumbbells stretched. Pause, and then begin to pressback to the starting overhead position in the the weight back up to the starting positionsame outward arc. (The movement should while keeping your elbows motionless andresemble your hugging a barrel.) Repeat for next to your ears. Repeat for your I.S.R. untilyour I.S.R. momentary muscular failure.8. Upright barbell rows: Place your hands 10. Standing barbell curls: Nearly every body-about six inches apart on a barbell with an builder has performed this exercise at oneoverhand grip (your palms should be facing time or another, despite its limitations.your thighs). Keeping your body straight The basic movements should be commonand stationary, slowly pull the weight up to knowledge and were described in the fi rstyour clavicles (collar bone). Keep the barbell chapter. Keep in mind that the curl itselfin close, and then slowly, in four seconds, should take approximately two secondslower it back to the starting position. See to perform. Hold the contraction for twoChapter 2 for a full description and the seconds, and then lower the resistance inbenefits of this exercise. This exercise will four seconds back down to the startingalso stress your depleted deltoid muscles in position. Repeat for your I.S.R.addition to your trapezius, teres major, infra-spinatus, biceps, and forearm muscles. Hold The routine should be completed in lessthe fully contracted position for a two-count, than one hour. Science has shown thatand then slowly lower the resistance back brief, highly intensified workouts are theto the starting position to the count of four. basis to realizing your muscular potential.Repeat for your I.S.R. This routine is both. As a result, it’s physi- ologically guaranteed to stimulate maximum9. Seated French press: Discussed in Chapter increases in both size and strength, which8 with an E-Z bar, this exercise can also be will vary according to each person’s geneticdone with a dumbbell. To do so, take hold potential.106 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 122. 11 Specialization: Legs W hen I was much younger, my father told me, “Legs are the athlete’s second heart.” I had no idea what the hell he was talking about and just nodded my head in apparent agreement because, well, he was my dad; he was older and, so it stood to reason, much wiser than I on such matters (although this very point would be the subject of a good many debates between the two of us!). Afterward, I dismissed this profound declaration as the ramblings of a running fanatic, which my father was, having “almost” made the Canadian Olympic team back in 3 B.C. or some such archaic date. It has only been since I began to study the disciplines of physiology and kinesiology a little more seriously that I have been able to 107Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 123. decipher the considerable wisdom contained kneecap and between both of these muscleswithin my late father’s maxim. You likely is the vastus intermedius, and above that iswill never see a champion athlete in any the rectus femoris, which fans out from thesport with weak legs. Boxers are said to be middle of the thigh and gets wider near its“past their prime” when their legs weaken origin at the hip. All of the tendons attachedor become “rubbery.” The same is true to the quadriceps cross the knee joint. Whenin baseball, soccer, football, hockey, and they’re completely contracted, the shinskiing. Bodybuilding is no different. In fact, extends and the leg straightens. Therefore,unlike with the other sports, weak legs are a leg extension exercise is best for trainingimmediately noticeable in bodybuilding these muscles and is included in this special-and can destroy the symmetry that is the ization routine.hard-fought hallmark of the competitive Five separate muscles compose thebodybuilder. inner thigh area. The largest of these is What awaits you in this chapter is a the adductor magnus, which originates onparticularly effective leg-training routine. If the pubis bone and inserts along the entireyou aren’t afraid to really pile on the weight length of the femur, or thigh bone. Whenor to push yourself (after all, you have to the adductor magnus is contracted, it, alongendure it for only one month), you will reap with the other four medial thigh muscles,some quick and impressive results. Your legs will draw the legs from a spread-out posi-truly are your “second heart,” and if you tion to a position in which they are crossed.train them hard, your longevity in the sport Such a movement from an open position to aof bodybuilding will be underpinned. closed position is called adduction. To my recollection, Nautilus was theBUT FIRST, A LITTLE ANATOMY AND first machine company to provide effectiveKINESIOLOGY resistance for these five muscle groups withExcluding the calves, there are twelve its hip adduction machine, which was intro-muscles that make up the leg and that duced to the general public in January 1980.should be trained if complete leg develop- By now, many other companies have simi-ment is your goal. On the frontal thigh larly designed machines of varying levels ofreside a group of four muscles known as quality that will train this muscle group, andthe quadriceps. The quadriceps comprises you will need to use one, as barbells and legthe vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, extension machines don’t provide effectivevastus medialis, and rectus femoris. The resistance to these muscles.vastus lateralis is located on the outer side Finally, we come to the hamstringof the thigh, while the vastus medialis is muscles, which compose the back of theon the inner, or medial, side. Just above the thigh. This is the area that is probably the108 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 124. most underdeveloped on all bodybuilders, 10. Sustained (Max Contraction) chin-ups:including those in the professional ranks. 1 I.S.R. The hamstrings comprise three separate 11. Crunches:muscles: the semitendinosus, the semi- 1 I.S.R.membranosus, and the biceps femoris. Thetendons of the hamstrings cross over the The Routine Explainedback of the knee capsule and cause the knee 1. Leg extensions: Sit at a leg extensionto bend when contracted. Only one exer- machine and place your feet behind the rollercise will effectively stimulate this extremely pads so that your knees are snug againstimportant muscle group—the leg curl. the seat. Keeping your head and shoulders straight, slowly straighten both legs until you T H E R O U T I N E reach the fully contracted position. Pause briefly, and then lower under control. Repeat for your I.S.R. Immediately reduce resistance1. Leg extensions: 2 I.S.R.2. Adductions: 2 I.S.R.3. Leg curls: 2 I.S.R.4. Standing calf raises: 2 I.S.R.5. Machine pull-overs: 1 I.S.R.6. Dumbbell shrugs: 1 I.S.R.7. Side lateral raises: 1 I.S.R.8. Pec decks: 1 I.S.R.9. Dumbbell kickbacks: Leg extension—Start position. 1 I.S.R. CHAPTER 11 SPECIALIZATION: LEGS 109
  • 125. Leg curl—Start position.Leg extension—Finish position. by 20 percent and perform another I.S.R. set before moving on to your next exercise. 2. Adductions: Sit at the adduction machine (Nautilus or other) and place your knees and ankles on the movement arms in a spread-legged position. Make sure that your inner thighs and knees are firmly against Leg curl—Finish position. the resistance pads, and keep your head and shoulders against the back of the seat. Slowly pull your knees toward each other, the bench. Slowly curl your lower legs up pulling with the thighs and not the lower until they’re almost touching your buttocks. legs, until your knees are as close together Once in this fully contracted position, hold as possible. Once you’ve touched your legs the contraction for a two-count, and then together, hold this fully contracted position lower the resistance slowly back to the briefly, and then lower the resistance slowly starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R., and back to the starting position. Repeat for your then reduce the weight by 20 percent and I.S.R. Immediately reduce the resistance by perform a second I.S.R. set. 20 percent and repeat for another I.S.R. set At this point in the routine, your legs are before moving on to your final leg exercise. bound to feel rather wobbly—and with good reason! Nevertheless, you still have the rest 3. Leg curls: Lie facedown on the leg curl of your physique to deal with, and we’ll train machine and place your feet under the roller it with only one I.S.R. set per bodypart with pads, with your knees just over the edge of the following exercises: 110 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 126. 4. Calves: Standing calf raises. Step under- as they can go, hold the contraction forneath the shoulder pads of a standing calf a two-count, and then lower the weightsraise machine so that your heels are on the slowly, in four seconds, back to the startingrequired block and almost touching the position.ground. From this position of full stretch,slowly contract your calves until you are 7. Delts: Side lateral raises (dumbbells). Withcompletely up on your toes. Hold this posi- your body held erect, grasp two dumbbellstion for a two-count before lowering yourself at your thighs. Smoothly, with lateral headin four seconds back to the starting position. output and your elbows locked, raise the dumbbells to a height just above shoulder5. Lats: Machine pull-overs. Adjust the height level. Hold the resistance for a distinctof the machine so that the shoulder joint is pause, and then lower the dumbbells slowlyin line with the raised portion of the plastic back to the starting position. Repeat for yourin front of the cam. Assume an upright posi- I.S.R., and then put the dumbbells down andtion and fasten the seat belt tightly. Press immediately pick up a lighter pair. Withoutthe foot pedal until your elbows are resting resting, perform a second set with the lighteron the pads at about chin level. Your hands pair of dumbbells. When completed, rest justshould be open (on some machines you long enough to catch your breath. Pick upwill be required to grip handles—don’t grip yet another set of dumbbells to perform thethem too tightly as a tight grip can cause following exercise.your blood pressure to increase unneces-sarily). Remove your legs from the foot 8. Pecs: Pec decks. Adjust the seat until thepedal and take four seconds to slowly rotate shoulders (when elbows are together) areyour upper arms down and as far back directly under the axis of the overhead cams.as possible. Pause for two seconds in this Fasten the seatbelt (if your machine hasfully contracted position and then in four one) and place your forearms behind andseconds return your arms to the stretched firmly against the arm pads. Some machinesposition. Repeat for the required number of have handles instead of arm pads, in whichrepetitions. case simply reach out and take hold of the handles. Slowly, in four seconds, push with6. Traps: Dumbbell shrugs. Grab two heavy your forearms and try to touch your elbowsdumbbells and straighten your back so (or the handles) together in front of yourthat the weights are in front of your thighs. chest. Pause for two seconds in this positionSlowly contract your traps so that your and then slowly, in four seconds, return theshoulders begin to ascend toward your ears. handles to the starting position. Repeat forWhen the weights have been raised as high the required number of repetitions. CHAPTER 11 SPECIALIZATION: LEGS 111
  • 127. 9. Triceps: Dumbbell kickbacks. Grab hold of a light dumbbell with your right hand and bend forward from the waist, supporting yourself with your free hand. Slowly contract the triceps muscle in your right arm, which will result in the forearm extending beyond the midline of your body. Hold this fully contracted position for a two-count, and then lower the dumbbell slowly back to the starting position just in front of your hip. Repeat for your I.S.R.; then immediately reduce the resistance by 10 percent and perform a second set for the same arm. On completion, repeat this two-phase process with your left arm.Pec deck—Start position. 10. Biceps: Sustained (Max Contraction) chin-ups. Grasp the chin-up bar with a palms-up grip. Slowly begin to contract the muscles in your arms, and try to touch the bar to your lower chest when you have reached the apex of your ascent. Hold this contracted position for a two-count, and then lower yourself slowly (four seconds) back to the starting position. Repeat this procedure until at least eight repetitions have been completed. Rest for perhaps one to two minutes, and then repeat for another eight-to-twelve repetitions. 11. Abdominals: Crunches. Lie faceup on the floor with your hands behind your head. Keep your chin on your chest throughout the movement. Lift your feet up on top of a bench, with your feet together andPec deck—Finish position. your knees facing left and right. From this112 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 128. starting position, slowly curl your trunk place in between workouts. As you develop,upward toward a sitting position. Once you you’ll find that the forty-eight hours wehave ascended to a fully contracted posi- discussed earlier won’t be sufficient recovery.tion, hold the position for a two-count, Particularly with leg training, you mightand then lower yourself slowly back to the require anywhere from four days to twostarting position. Repeat for your I.S.R. weeks. Unfortunately, there is no standard All of the exercises listed place a constant prescription for rest. The time needed variesstress, or tension, on the target muscle from person to person and depends upongroups from beginning to end of each indi- the amount of energy output and recoveryvidual set. They are the most productive ability.exercises possible for these muscle groups, If you follow this routine exactly asowing to their extremely high intensity described, you will be amazed at howthreshold. quickly your legs will grow bigger and Your workouts should be structured so stronger. Train hard, get adequate rest, eat aas to allow for adequate recovery to take well-balanced diet, and get ready to grow! CHAPTER 11 SPECIALIZATION: LEGS 113
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  • 130. 12 Specialization: Arms I t’s not surprising that bulging biceps and massive triceps, replete with clearly delineated veins of garden hose dimen- sions, are coveted by both the aspiring and competitive bodybuilder. The arms also are without question the most enjoyable bodypart to train because they have a high pain threshold and are easy to pump up to fantastic proportions, an impor- tant psychological spur in training. As fun as the arms are to train, the old bromide about “too much of a good thing” is particularly apt when one is caught up in the seemingly omnipresent “pump-a-mania” mentality that most gym owners—and not a few bodybuilding magazines—tend to promote. It is easy to overtrain your arms— or any other bodypart—and cause them to actually regress in size and strength. 115Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 131. HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE ARMSBE TRAINED?I once knew a bodybuilder in my old neigh-borhood who had the most amazing arms(in terms of development—they didn’tdo tricks or anything). The reputation ofhis grandiose limbs extended beyond theconfines of the neighborhood to encompassthe city of Toronto. At the time, he was performing the The arm muscles respond quickly to intense, brief, and infrequent training.standard bodybuilding routines of the day:training six days per week for twenty setsper bodypart, with each workout lasting ever!”; “His arms look even more freakishon the order of one to two hours. His arms than they did before!”; “He’s too big!”; “He’sstretched the tape measure a full nineteen training differently.” This last statementinches and then some, and they were the jolted not only me but also all of the aspiringenvy of all the members of his gym and of bodybuilders who used to train in his oldquite a few of the gentry who happened to gym. “Differently”? What did they meanpass him on the street as he walked to or by this? Was he doing even more sets? Hefrom one of his “pump-a-mania” workouts. was in a Nautilus gym: anything over twoWe all hastily concluded that the secret to sets would be viewed as blasphemy! Whatdeveloping big arms must lie in twenty-set the heck could he be doing “differently” thatworkouts performed six days a week for one would account for his sudden improvementto two hours at a crack and, of course, in on his already supreme development?the steroids needed to sustain our recovery As it turned out, he was indeed trainingability and muscular subsystems through differently. In fact, the “difference” in histhose protracted periods of training. It training could be described as revolutionary.appeared self-evident to us: this is exactly It was true that he was no longer trainingwhat this fellow did for his arms, and they with twenty sets per bodypart and one- towere huge—case closed. Another victory for two-hour workouts, but he was not headingmultiple sets. in the direction of more work. Rather, he Superficially, this is how it appeared. was so far down at the opposite end of theHowever, the aforementioned bodybuilder volume scale that the famed high-intensitydropped out of sight for several years, only proponent Ellington Darden would haveto resurface at a local Nautilus club. The kissed him! He was now training a mererumors began anew: “He’s bigger than three days per week and performing a total116 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 132. of six exercises per workout for only one set This total is just within the confines of theper exercise! But wait; it gets better! anaerobic metabolic processes. Are you ready for this? His repetitions What does all this tell us about howwere only two per exercise! To top it off, to train our arms for maximum muscleeach repetition lasted a mere thirty seconds, growth? First of all, it indicates that trainingor a total of one minute per exercise—six more than three days per week is, at best,total minutes of exercise per workout, for unnecessary. Second, it suggests thateighteen total minutes of training time performing a high volume of exercise for anyper week. Talk about a major reevaluation bodypart is unproductive. Such excessiveregarding the requisites for building massive exercise will make more of an inroad intomuscles! He had been on multiple sets and your endurance reserves than into your sizesteroids, but he was now even bigger than he and strength reserves.was before as a result of doing only six total Should you then follow the aforemen-minutes of exercise per training session. tioned bodybuilder’s routine of six total While this phenomenon may seem sets per workout with sixty seconds ofsurprising, it is no bolt from the blue to continuous concentric and eccentric tensionstudents of muscle physiology. In physi- placed upon the targeted muscles? Perhapsology classes students are taught that you would be wise to do so, as it seemsskeletal muscles hypertrophy more readily sound from an exercise science perspec-when they are taxed, or stressed, within tive—and it certainly yields impressivetheir anaerobic pathways, which happen results. As we have seen in past chapters,to fall within the fifteen- to sixty-second the absolute maximum number of setstime frame. Any exercise that is carried on that one should perform for any bodypartbeyond sixty seconds utilizes more aerobic targeted for specialization is five if you’rethan anaerobic pathways. Consequently, the a beginner, perhaps three or four if you’reparticipant’s endurance is increased to the in the intermediate stage of development,cost of the person’s size and strength. and two if you’re an advanced trainee. This “either-or” example of physiological These are maximum figures, remember.bifurcation is known in physiology circles You may require even fewer to actualizeas the “law of specificity.” Retrospectively, your muscular potential, but this can bewe can see that the training program of the objectively determined only by gaugingCanadian Colossus had each set terminate your own muscular progress or relative lackat the sixty-second mark: two concentric and thereof. If you’re progressing in terms oftwo eccentric contractions at fifteen seconds size and strength, then the sets are at theapiece equals thirty seconds per rep, times right number; if you’re not, then reduce yourtwo reps, which equals sixty seconds per set. number of sets. CHAPTER 12 SPECIALIZATION: ARMS 117
  • 133. You will also recall from previous chap- are close-grip chin-ups, concentration curls,ters that the body requires a minimum of cable curls, machine curls, and steep-angleforty-eight hours of rest between workouts Scott, or preacher, curls. For the triceps, thein order to recover and grow. The body must best are dips with the elbows close to thefirst recover from the exhaustive effects of body, cable push-downs, bench dips, andthe workout, and only after this has fully dumbbell kickbacks.occurred will it concern itself with additionalgrowth. When specializing on arms, as we TRAINING PRINCIPLES TO BE UTILIZEDwill this month, our workouts must be brief, This month there will be only two majorintense, and infrequent, as well as focused principles utilized: straight sets carriedon our showpiece muscle, the arms. beyond normal muscular “failure” via the inclusion of forced and negative repeti-A LITTLE MORE ANATOMY tions; and descending sets, in which asThe function of the biceps muscle is twofold. soon as muscular failure is reached, theIts primary function is the supination of the weight is immediately reduced by approxi-wrist—turning the hand until it’s in a palms- mately 10–20 percent and you resumeup position; its secondary function is to lift that exercise for an additional set. Thesethe forearm to the clavicle. The biceps, there- principles, properly applied, will stimulatefore, cannot be worked efficiently until both maximum growth in the arms, whereasof these functions have been fulfilled. There- the remainder of your bodyparts will, asfore, in the interest of efficient and efficacious usual, receive adequate stimulation fromtraining, there will be no use of E-Z curl only one set each (just remember thebars for working the biceps this month. E-Z Canadian Colossus).curl bars serve to pronate the wrist, therebyfailing to fulfill the primary function of supi-nation and negating your chances of training T H E R O U T I N Ethat muscle efficiently or thoroughly. 1. Chin-ups: The function of the triceps muscle is also 1 set of I.S.R. carried beyond positivetwofold. Its primary function is to extend failure with forced and negative repsthe forearm, and its secondary function is to (i.e., two to three of each upon failure ofdraw the arm down and past the sides of the positive reps)body. Knowing these functions, it is relativelyeasy to select the exercises best suited for 2. Concentration curls: 1 descending set of I.S.R. per armstimulating growth in these muscles. For the biceps, the exercises that are in 3. Steep-angle preacher curls:greatest accord with this muscle’s function 2 straight sets of I.S.R. carried beyond118 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 134. positive failure with forced and negative shoulder-width apart and your palms facing reps up. Slowly contract your biceps until your4. Dips: hands touch your shoulders (or as high as 1 straight set of I.S.R. carried beyond you can pull up), hold this contracted posi- positive failure with forced and negative tion for a two-count, and then lower yourself reps in four seconds back to the starting position. Repeat for your individual specific repeti-5. Dumbbell kickbacks: tions. When you can no longer complete a 1 descending set of I.S.R. per arm (forced reps may also be applied here at the full repetition, step onto a chair that should completion of your maximum number of be placed right next to you by the chin-up positive reps) bar and, while still pulling with your arms, use your legs to assist you in getting to the6. Cable push-downs: top of the bar. Do this for 2 more repetitions. 2 straight sets of I.S.R. carried beyond positive failure with forced and negative Then, using your legs, stand on the chair reps until your chin is over the bar and lower yourself down using arm strength alone to7. Front squats on blocks: the bottom fully stretched position. Repeat 1 set of I.S.R. this “negative” rep 3 more times. When you8. Leg curls: can perform the upper number of your I.S.R., 1 set of I.S.R. increase the resistance by attaching weight to9. Calf raises: your torso and attempt to complete the lower 1 set of I.S.R. number of your I.S.R.10. Dumbbell flyes: 2. Concentration curls: Sit on a bench and 1 set of I.S.R. grab hold of a moderately weighted dumb-11. Dumbbell laterals: bell in your right hand. Lean forward 1 set of I.S.R. slightly so that your right elbow is tucked12. Stiff-legged dead lifts: into the crook of your knee. Using just 1 set of I.S.R. the contraction of the biceps muscle (no body English or momentum), slowly curlThe Routine Explained the dumbbell upward until it reaches your1. Chin-ups: It is advisable to get yourself a anterior deltoid, or frontal shoulder muscle.set of wrist straps for this exercise, as you Slowly, in four seconds, lower the dumbbellwill find that your forearms will get quite a back to the starting position. Repeat for yourworkout in addition to your biceps. Grasp the I.S.R.; then reduce the weight by 10 percentchin-up bar with your hands spaced about and immediately perform a second set for CHAPTER 12 SPECIALIZATION: ARMS 119
  • 135. Concentration curl—Start position. Concentration curl—Finish position.your right arm. On completion, repeat the making sure to lower the resistance duringprocess for your left arm. your negatives to the count of six to eight seconds. Your biceps should be consider-3. Steep-angle preacher curls: After a brief ably swollen at this stage, but you still haverest of one to two minutes, prepare yourself one more set to perform of this exercise.for the fi nal exercise in the biceps segment Remember to carry every set that you doof this month’s workout, barbell preacher to the point where you cannot contractcurls. The bench should be steeply angled your biceps even one inch. This increasesto guarantee that resistance is supplied in the severity of the exercise and, conse-the fully contracted position of the move- quently, its productivity. Rest for one to twoment. From a position of full extension, minutes, and then get ready to work yourslowly curl the weight up to your shoulder. triceps.Hold the contraction for a distinct pause,and then lower the resistance slowly, in four 4. Dips: Stand between a pair of parallelseconds, back to the starting position of full dipping bars—or anything resembling a pairextension. Repeat for your I.S.R., and then of parallel dipping bars, such as betweencontinue beyond failure with the inclusion two chairs—with your arms shoulder-widthof two forced reps and two negative reps, apart and your elbows locked. Slowly lower120 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 136. Dumbbell kickback—Start position. Dumbbell kickback—Finish position.yourself until your knuckles are touching 6. Cable push-downs: Grasp the bar withyour armpits. From this ungodly position a palms-over grip. Your elbows shouldof full stretch, or extension, push yourself be planted fi rmly on the sides of your ribslowly back up to the starting position. cage. Smoothly extend your arms untilRepeat for your I.S.R., and then continue your elbows are completely locked out. Itbeyond failure with two forced reps and two is important to hold this position of fullnegative reps. muscular contraction and to be cognizant of how it feels; this is the only point in5. Dumbbell kickbacks: Grab a light dumb- the exercise when all three heads of thebell with your right hand and bend forward triceps are contracted fully. After holdingfrom the waist, supporting yourself with this position for a two-count, lower theyour free hand. Slowly contract the triceps resistance slowly back to the starting posi-muscle in your right arm—the forearm will tion. Repeat for your I.S.R., and continueextend beyond the midline of your body. beyond positive failure with the inclusionHold this position for a two-count, and of two forced and two negative reps. Restthen lower the dumbbell slowly back to the for one minute, and then perform a secondstarting position. Repeat for your I.S.R.; and fi nal set.then immediately reduce the resistance by10 percent and perform a second set for 7. Front squats on blocks: This exercisethe same arm. On completion, repeat this is one of the greatest frontal thigh devel-two-phase process with your left arm. See opers of all time. It was a favorite of Mr.Chapter 5 for a description and the benefits “Hercules” himself, Steve Reeves, and heof this exercise. had a pair of the greatest legs in the game. CHAPTER 12 SPECIALIZATION: ARMS 121
  • 137. Front squat—Start position. Front squat—Finish position. Front squats place the stress exclusively on so that your rear end is almost touching the frontal thigh, or quadriceps, muscles. your heels. Then smoothly raise yourself To begin, place each hand over the barbell back to the starting position. Repeat for and on the opposite shoulder. Now raise your I.S.R. your elbows so that they are at eye level. (Your arms should resemble the posture of a 8. Leg curls: It is important to always work dancer from the Ukraine.) Slide your elbows the antagonistic muscle groups when you under the middle of the barbell, which train. Failure to do so will result in imbal- should ideally be set upon some squat racks anced development, which, if left unchecked, or a power rack. Keep sliding your elbows could lead to serious injury. Leg curls work forward until the barbell is resting on your the biceps femoris, iliotibial tract, and plan- anterior, or frontal, deltoids. Now lift the taris tendons and muscles of the posterior barbell from the racks and step back and thigh. During regular squats or leg presses, away from the racks. Lower yourself slowly, the hamstrings are worked almost as thor- to the count of four, to a full squat position, oughly as the quadriceps. However, because 122 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 138. front squats are being performed this outward arc until they are a bit below chestmonth, a disproportionate amount of stress level. Pause for one or two seconds, andis removed from the hamstrings and trans- then begin to slowly raise the dumbbellsferred to the quadriceps; hence, the need for back to the starting overhead position in thedirect antagonistic muscle stimulation. Lie same outward arc. (The movement shoulddown on the bench of a leg curl machine resemble your hugging a barrel.) Repeat forso that your heels are under the roller pads your I.S.R.and your legs are fully extended. Slowly curlyour lower legs upward until they are at a 11. Dumbbell laterals: From a standing posi-ninety-degree angle to your upper thighs. tion, grab two dumbbells and hold themHold this fully contracted position for a two- at your sides, with your palms facing eachcount before lowering the resistance slowly, other. Keeping your arms straight andin four seconds, back to the starting position. using only your shoulder muscles, slowlyRepeat for your I.S.R. lift the weight up to, and a bit higher than, shoulder level. Hold this position of full9. Calf raises: The following six muscles are contraction for a two-count before loweringinvolved during calf raises: peroneus longus, the dumbbells slowly, in four seconds, backtibialis anterior, exterior digitorum longus, to the starting position. Repeat for yourgastrocnemius, soleus, and triceps surae. I.S.R.Press up as high as you can on your toes andhold the contraction for a two-count before 12. Stiff-legged dead lifts: Stand erect withlowering your heels in four seconds back to your feet just under the barbell. Then, bythe starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R. bending your knees, grasp the barbell, with your hands a little wider apart than10. Dumbbell flyes: The primary function shoulder width and your knuckles facingof the pectoralis major being to draw, or front. Now slowly begin to stand erect,adduct, the arm toward the midline of straightening your legs as you do so. Keepthe body, it stands to reason that the best lifting the resistance until you’re completelypectoral exercise would be the one that erect and the bar is in front of your thighs.most closely parallels that function—which Now slowly lower the resistance until it ismeans dumbbell flyes. back on the floor, and repeat the movement Grab two fairly heavy dumbbells for your I.S.R. Rest briefly, and then move(remember that “heavy” is relative) and on to your next exercise. See Chapters 1lie faceup on a bench. Slowly lower the and 2 for a description and benefits of thisdumbbells from an overhead position in an exercise. CHAPTER 12 SPECIALIZATION: ARMS 123
  • 139. If this routine is followed under the or having trouble recuperating betweenguidelines of the principles given, you will workouts, cut your weekly workouts downnotice a significant increase in your arm to two (e.g., Monday and Thursday);girth. To add size, use this routine plus a this will provide you with the additionalwell-balanced but calorie-increased diet. recovery time that your body in thisShould you fi nd yourself getting weaker, instance will require.124 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 140. 13 Specialization: Back G enerally, when one thinks about the back muscles, one envisions the lats, or latissimus dorsi. These muscles are responsible for the highly prized V shape that bodybuilder Steve Reeves popularized throughout his colorful career. You may not be aware of the existence of several other back muscles, including the trapezius, intraspinatus, rhomboideus, teres minor, teres major, and erector spinae—all of which, when fully developed, impart the aura of total development to the bodybuild- er’s physique. For the back to be worked adequately, all of these muscles must be stressed in some way through progressive resistance exercise. That is what this chap- ter’s routine will accomplish. First, though, we need to be cognizant of the functions of these muscles in order to select the exercises that will best induce growth stimulation. 125Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 141. THE BACK: FUNCTION AND DESIGN vertebra downward until its lowest fibersThe back is composed of many divergent attach to the upper edge of the ilium, or hipmuscle groups. Some, such as the teres bone. This broad, triangular muscle has itsmajor and latissimus dorsi, have func- insertion along the front of the humerus, ortions that are parallel. Therefore, the proper upper-arm bone, close to its head. Whereasperformance of one exercise will affect the deltoid raises the arm and draws itseveral related muscle groups and, thus, save forward, the latissimus dorsi pulls the armus much training time. downward and backward. The trapezius muscle arises from the The infraspinatus and teres minor arebase of the neck and extends outward both activated whenever the upper arm istoward the shoulder blades and down to the abducted or rotated. Any form of wide-gripmiddle of the back. Its function is to elevate pull-down or chin-up will directly stressthe shoulders and to abduct the arm. (By these two muscle groups. Although the Max“abduct,” I do not mean to imply that a theft Contraction torso machine is the only one toof one’s arm takes place; rather, the arm is stress them directly, other exercises will stressmoved out and away from the midline of them efficaciously, such as parallel-grip pull-the body.) It is also activated whenever you downs on the lat machine or any exercise thatdraw your head backward and to either side. keeps your elbows out from the midline ofThe best exercise for this muscle is, without your body, including bent-over rows.doubt, shrugs, which duplicate exactly the The erector spinae muscles are activatedtrapezius’s major function. The rhomboids’ whenever extension of the trunk takesfunction is to draw the scapula up and place, as in hyperextensions, dead lifts, goodinward, and so this function too is perfectly mornings, side bends, Nautilus hip and backparalleled whenever shrugs are performed. machines, Nautilus lower-back machines, The latissimus dorsi, the real “show- and Max Contraction machines.piece” muscle of the upper back, and the So much for anatomy and physiology—teres major are both activated whenever and now on to the routine.you draw your arms downward, backward,or inward. The exercises that best corre-spond to their function, then, are any type T H E R O U T I N Eof rowing motion, such as Nautilus or Maxmachine pull-overs, Max Straps pull-downs, 1. Chin-ups:lat machine pull-downs, bent-over rowing, 1 I.S.R.or T-bar rowing. As its name implies, it is 2. Dumbbell pull-overs:the broadest (latissimus) muscle of the back 1 I.S.R.(dorsi). It extends from the sixth thoracic Superset with:126 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 142. 3. Lat pull-downs: out sets in which the biceps are involved 1 I.S.R. would constitute overtraining. Finally, physi- ologists have recently found that the muscles4. Wide- or parallel-grip pull-downs: 1 I.S.R. that are not worked directly can sometimes, albeit briefly, hypertrophy, due to the extra5. Barbell shrugs: time allotted for growth and recovery. 1 I.S.R. Superset with: Removing the Weak Links6. Upright barbell rows: You will find that whenever the larger 1 I.S.R. muscle groups (such as the legs, lats, or7. Hyperextensions: chest) are trained with compound move- 1 I.S.R. ments, other weaker muscles (such as the lower back, biceps, and triceps) are also8. Hack squats: involved. Consequently, the weaker muscles 1 I.S.R. give out before a true state of muscular9. Leg curls: failure can be reached in the larger muscle 1 I.S.R. groups. This problem can be alleviated10. Seated calf raises: by employing the technique of preex- 1 I.S.R. haustion. It calls for the performance of an isolation exercise before performance11. Wide-grip parallel bar dips: of the compound movement (i.e., one in 1 I.S.R. which more than three muscle groups are12. Standing French presses: involved), moving from the isolation to the 1 I.S.R. compound movement with all speed. This month the weak link will be the While there is no direct biceps work in smaller and, ipso facto, weaker biceps musclethis month’s routine, the biceps are actu- of the upper arms, which will give out beforeally worked thoroughly—and, in most cases, pure muscular failure has occurred withindirectly—from all of the back exercises at the the latissimus dorsi of the upper back.beginning of the workout. This is a positive By performing dumbbell pull-overs first,omission, for several reasons. First, there will however, we will be essentially isolatingbe no motive to “hold off” from performing the lats and thereby saving the strength ofan all-out effort on each of the back exer- the smaller biceps muscles for our next latcises, since they will be the only stimulation exercise, lat pull-downs. This will allow theyour biceps will receive this month. Second, lats to be pushed beyond a state of normalany direct exercise attempted after the all- muscular failure, because in this instance, CHAPTER 13 SPECIALIZATION: BACK 127
  • 143. the biceps will be temporarily stronger thanthe prefatigued lat muscles. Likewise with shrugs and upright rows:the biceps would again be the muscle thatwould otherwise give out first in the perfor-mance of upright rows. By performing theisolation movement of shrugs first in thecycle, we call upon the strength of thebiceps to carry the prefatigued trapeziusbeyond a regular state of muscular failurewith the compound exercise of upright rowsimmediately following the performance ofshrugs. Remember to move quickly from oneexercise to another in a cycle. Ideally, thereshould be no rest at all between exercises.Even as little as three seconds of rest willallow temporary muscle recovery to occur,and the preexhaustion principle would benegated. Chin-up (wide-grip)—Finish position. Although a close grip isThe Routine Explained preferred for all back exercises, a wide grip can be employed1. Chin-ups: To begin this exercise, reach up from time to time for variety with no ill effect.to grasp a wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted, orfree-standing chin-up bar. Your body should ascending to the fully contracted position.be fully extended beneath the bar. Slowly, Rest for one minute, and then begin your nextfrom a position of full extension, begin to back exercise.contract your lats, raising yourself untilyour hands touch your chest. Hold this fully 2. Dumbbell pull-overs: Grasp a moderatelycontracted position for a two-count before weighted dumbbell in both hands and lielowering yourself slowly, in four seconds, back on a flat bench crosswise so that onlyback to the starting position. Repeat for your shoulders are touching the bench.your I.S.R., and when you hit failure in this Extend the dumbbell beyond your head somovement, either have your partner provide that it is almost touching the floor. From thisenough assistance for you to complete four position of full stretch, and with a slight bendmore reps, or give yourself forced reps by in your arms, slowly, with your lats as primestanding on a stool or chair to assist you in mover, pull the dumbbell over your head to128 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 144. 4. Wide- or parallel-grip pull-downs: This exercise will hit the teres minor and infra- spinatus muscles of the upper back, in addition to the latissimus dorsi. If you have a choice between a bar that allows you a parallel grip and one that allows only a wide grip, choose the parallel-grip bar. A parallel grip puts your biceps in a fully supinated position, which is their strongest pulling position; therefore, the biceps are not as much of a weak link to your back training as when you use the pronated grip (which places the biceps in their weakest pulling position) that a wide grip on a regular bar requires.Lat pull-down—Finish position. As in your previous set of pull-downs, grab hold of the bar and sit down. You may approximately your sternum. A deliberate need some counterresistance to be applied pause in this position should precede your to your legs to anchor you when the weights lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position in four seconds. Repeat for your I.S.R., and, if possible, have your partner give you two forced reps, followed by two nega- tive reps. Then release the dumbbell, and immediately move to your next exercise. 3. Lat pull-downs: Grab the lat pull-down bar with a palms-under grip, so your arms are fully extended above your head. Slowly contract your lats by pulling the bar down to your chest. Hold this position of full muscular contraction for a two-count before allowing the weight to return in four seconds back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R. After a two-minute rest it will Parallel-grip pull-down—Finish position. be time for our final lat exercise. CHAPTER 13 SPECIALIZATION: BACK 129
  • 145. start getting heavy. Pull the bar down to 7. Hyperextensions: If you have access to ayour chest, keeping your elbows pointed special hyperextension bench like the oneout to your sides. Hold the fully contracted in the accompanying photos, use it. Other-position for a two-count before returning wise, simply lie crosswise over a bench sothe resistance to the starting position in four that your torso is over the edge. Have yourseconds. Repeat for your I.S.R., and have partner hold or sit on your legs, or in someyour partner force out three more reps. other way place resistance on them to coun- terbalance the weight of your torso. In either5. Barbell shrugs: Grab a heavy barbell, and case, place a light weight behind your neck,straighten your back so that the weight is and bend over at the waist. Slowly raisein front of your thighs. Slowly contract your your torso using your erector spinae musclestraps so that your shoulders begin to ascend until you have ascended as high as possible.toward your ears. When the weight has beenraised as high as it can go, hold the contrac-tion for a two-count, and then lower theweight slowly, in four seconds, back to thestarting position. Repeat for your I.S.R., andthen proceed immediately to the followingcompound movement.6. Upright barbell rows: Select a moderatelyweighted barbell, remembering that yourstrength will be approximately 50 percent Hyperextension—Start position.less than it would be if you were “fresh,” andposition your hands so that they are no morethan six inches apart. Slowly pull the barbellup toward your chin, keeping your elbowspointed outward. Once you have reached theapex of the bar’s ascent, hold the positionof full muscular contraction for a definitepause, and then slowly lower the bar, undercontrol, in four seconds back to the startingposition. Repeat for your I.S R., and thenhave your partner help you force out twomore reps. Rest for one or two minutes, and Hyperextension—Finish position.then begin your next exercise.130 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 146. Hack squat—Start position. Hack squat—Finish position. At this point you will have activated the back to the starting position. Repeat for your greatest percentage of momentarily available I.S.R., trying to maintain a constant cadence muscle fibers, but to ensure that they, and to your reps. not momentum, are responsible for raising your torso, hold this fully contracted position 9. Leg curls: The action of the last exercise for a distinct pause before lowering yourself was entirely frontal thighs, so we shall now slowly, in four seconds, back to the starting concentrate on working our antagonistic position. Repeat for your I.S.R., and then muscles—the biceps femoris, semitendi- drop the resistance and perform four more nosus, and semimembranosus. Working repetitions. these antagonistic muscle groups is impor- tant; failure to do so will eventually lead 8. Hack squats: This is a tremendous frontal to muscle tears, pulls, and other related thigh developer, and it shifts the resis- discomfort due to the disproportionate tance to that too often neglected area of the stress placed on the muscles. Have your thigh—the vastus medialis. To begin, lean partner help you in coaxing four more reps back under the shoulder pads on the hack out of your hamstring muscles after you’ve squat machine. Now slowly push your legs reached your I.S.R. until they have completely locked out. As in any locked-out position, no resistance 10. Seated calf raises: This exercise works is applied to the muscles; do not hold this primarily your soleus and the outer sweep position, but rather begin an immediate of the gastrocnemius. To begin, sit at a descent as soon as your legs have locked seated calf machine and place the resis- out. Lower yourself slowly, in four seconds, tance pads over your knees. Release the CHAPTER 13 SPECIALIZATION: BACK 131
  • 147. Seated calf raise—Finish position. Wide-grip parallel bar dip—Start position. locking mechanism, thereby disengaging the weight, and slowly rise on the balls of your feet until your calves are in a fully contracted position. Pause in this posi- tion for a two-count, and then lower the resistance slowly, in four seconds, back down to the starting position. Make sure to really stretch your calves by trying to touch your heels to the ground whenever you lower the resistance. Repeat for your I.S.R. 11. Wide-grip parallel bar dips: Ideally, you should have a V-shaped dipping bar with a base of at least thirty-six inches. If you do not have access to such a bar, try to get as wide a hand spacing as possible on Wide-grip parallel bar dip—Finish position. whatever bars or chairs you are using for 132 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 148. your dips. Keeping your elbows pointedoutward, slowly lower yourself from anarms-locked position. It should take fourseconds for you to reach the bottom posi-tion, where your knuckles are as close toyour armpits as you can get them (as lowas you can possibly stretch). Hold this posi-tion for a brief pause, and then, with yourelbows still pointed out, push yourself backup to the starting position. Repeat for yourI.S.R.12. Standing French presses: Grab an E-Z curlbar and press it overhead. Then, instead oflowering your elbows, keep them stationaryand just lower your forearms. The bar Standing French press—Start position.should be lowered to a point just below theback of your neck in four seconds, and, withno momentum whatsoever, your tricepsshould slowly power the bar back to thearms-locked starting position. Repeat foryour I.S.R., and then cheat out two more;finally, have your partner give you twonegatives. Always strive to add another repetitionto your previous best attempt in this exer-cise. Once the guide number of repetitionshas been reached (your I.S.R.), increasethe resistance that you have been usingby 5 percent, and aim for the lower guidenumber of reps again. Remember that allexercises should be performed under controlby raising the resistance in two seconds,holding the contracted position for an Standing French press—Finish position.additional two seconds, and then lowering CHAPTER 13 SPECIALIZATION: BACK 133
  • 149. the resistance in four seconds back to the conducted in Canada some years back, onestarting position. participant gained three inches on his chest- This workout hits every back muscle to-waist ratio. So, dig down deep, givingthere is and has been tried and proven it all you’ve got, and you will be rewardedeffective. In fact, in an experiment that I with a well-developed back.134 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 150. 14 Specialization: Chest A well-developed chest, on either sex, is arguably the most universally admired bodypart that members of our species possess. Women are concerned with ways to increase their “busts,” while men are concerned with increasing their “pecs.” This desire is partic- ularly strong among teenage males. Some, in their unbridled desire to develop themselves, so overtrain their chests (among other muscles) that growth, if it comes at all, will proceed at a snail’s pace. Agony and frustra- tion then ensue, and eventually the body- builder gives up in despair. This needn’t be the case if the correct exercises and training principles are employed by the pectorally aspiring trainee. That brings us to two principal ques- tions: what exercises should one choose for the purpose of developing the chest, and how does one properly perform them? This chapter’s routine endeavors to answer both as well as other related questions. 135Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 151. THE CHEST ANATOMY AND The serratus anterior, or serratus magnus,PHYSIOLOGY arises from the outer surfaces and superiorThere are, in effect, three different chest borders of the upper eight or nine ribs andmuscles: the pectoralis major, pectoralis from the intercostals between them. Theminor, and serratus anterior, or serratus action of the serratus is to carry the scapulamagnus. Each of these must be fully stimu- forward and to raise the vertebral border oflated as a result of your workouts if complete the bone, as in pushing. It also assists thechest development is your goal. trapezius in raising the acromion process The pectoralis major arises from the ante- and supporting weights on the shoulder, andrior surface of the sternal half of the clavicle, it assists the deltoid in raising the arm.the anterior surface of the sternum, the carti- Now, after all that, what are the bestlages of the true ribs, and the aponeurosis of exercises for stressing the musculature ofthe external oblique. By “true ribs,” I refer to the chest? Well, given that the action of thethe anterior extremities of each of the first pectoralis major is to draw the arm acrossseven pairs of ribs that are connected with the chest, the exercise that most closelythe sternum in front by means of the costal parallels that function is dumbbell flyescartilages. The fibers of the pectoralis major (cable crossovers or a pec deck can also beconverge and form a thick mass, which is utilized). The primary action of the pectoralisinserted by a flat tendon into the crest of the minor being to lower the upper arm downgreater tubercle of the humerus, or upper- from an overhead position then pulloversarm bone. If the arm has been raised, the and decline bench presses are the best waypectoralis major, acting with the latissimus to activate this muscle’s fibers. The serratusdorsi and the teres major, draws the arm anterior’s function is to carry the scapuladown to the side of the chest. Acting alone, it forward, and consequently, it is best servedadducts and draws the arm across the chest, by performing pull-overs. Ergo, the followingalso rotating the arm inward. three exercises will constitute the core of our The pectoralis minor is underneath and chest specialization training this month:entirely covered by the pectoralis major. Itarises from the upper margins and outer 1. Dumbbell flyessurfaces of the third, fourth, and fifth ribs 2. Decline pressesnear their cartilages and is inserted into 3. Pull-oversthe coracoid process of the scapula (thelittle bump of bone on your shoulder). The TRAINING PRINCIPLESaction of the pectoralis minor is to depress As you will recall from previous chapters,the point of the shoulder and to rotate the the most important factor regarding trainingscapula downward. is intensity of effort. In order to grow, you136 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 152. must first give your body a reason to grow. resistance in eight seconds. The same repeti-Muscle growth cannot be induced by merely tion protocol that you would use in a regularrepeating that which is already easy and workout applies to your negative-onlywell within your body’s current capabilities. training—that is, as many repetitions asMuscle growth beyond normal levels can your I.S.R. calls for.be induced only by maximum effort; every Monday’s workout should includerepetition of every set must be performed in forced reps and negatives, but Wednesday’sperfect style. That is to say, every repetition workout should be taken to positive failuremust be raised in two seconds, held in the only. As has been the rule during all typesposition of full muscular contraction for an of specialization, the specialized bodypartadditional two seconds, and then returned to will be addressed first in the workout withthe starting position in four seconds. a maximum of five sets. The remainder of In all, a properly performed set of eight the bodyparts will then be covered with onerepetitions plus two forced reps should take set each, taken to absolute muscular failurea total of eighty seconds. In our special- (except for Wednesday’s workout).ization this month, we will once again bemaking use of the principle of descendingsets. That is the performance of an isola- T H E R O U T I N Etion exercise first to the point of momentarycontractile inability and then, after reducing 1. Dumbbell flyes:the resistance by approximately 10–20 1 descending set of I.S.R.percent, immediately performing the same 2. Decline bench presses:isolation movement again, to the point of 1 descending set of I.S.R.momentary contractile inability—or to thepoint of positive failure, as it is referred to in 3. Pull-overs:the vernacular. 2 straight sets of I.S.R. In addition, a negative-only set should 4. Leg extensions:be performed during Friday’s workout (this 1 set of I.S.R.being another Monday-Wednesday-Fridayroutine), in which you use approximately 5. Lunges:40 percent more weight than you would 1 set of I.S.R.normally be handling in your exercises. 6. Standing calf raises:Have your training partner (or partners, 1 set of I.S.R.depending upon your strength level) liftthe weight for you while you prepare to 7. Seated cable rowing:concentrate exclusively on lowering the 1 set of I.S.R. CHAPTER 14 SPECIALIZATION: CHEST 137
  • 153. 8. Stiff-legged dead lifts: 1 set of I.S.R.9. Standing (supinating) dumbbell curls: 1 set of I.S.R.10. Bench dips: 1 set of I.S.R.The Routine Explained1. Dumbbell flyes: The semicircular motion ofthe arms during the performance of this exer-cise is said to resemble aerodynamically themotion of the wings of a bird while in flight.With the setup as detailed in Chapter 3, oncethe dumbbells are raised, it should take you Decline bench press—Finish position.all of four seconds to completely lower themto the sides of your chest. Hold this stretchedposition for a two-count before raising the week your workout falls, have your partnerdumbbells back to the starting position. assist by giving you two forced repetitions orRepeat for your individual specific repetitions two negative repetitions. Immediately reduceguideline number until momentary contrac- the resistance by 20 percent, and perform atile inability. Immediately reduce the weight second set of your I.S.R.by 20 percent, and perform a second set topositive failure. 3. Pull-overs: Lie on a bench with a light barbell (or a centrally loaded dumbbell),2. Decline bench presses: You will need a held at arm’s length over your chest. Main-decline bench of some sort to perform this taining the arm’s-length position, slowlyexercise properly. Take the resistance off lower the weight until it almost touches thethe uprights and hold it for a moment at floor behind you. Make an effort to keeparm’s length. Slowly lower the resistance to your arms locked throughout the movement,your collarbone, making a conscious effort and when you inhale, attempt to draw in asto keep your elbows wide. Pause here for a much oxygen as you can while lifting thesecond or two, and then press the resistance weight as high as possible. The weight isback up to the starting position. Repeat for not a major factor in this exercise, whereasyour individual specific number of repeti- the degree of stretch is. After a brief respite,tions and, depending on which day of the perform a second set of I.S.R.138 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 154. 4. Leg extensions: Leg extensions areunparalleled in their ability to thoroughlyisolate the quadriceps muscles of the frontalthighs. Other exercises can work the quads,but none will do so as efficiently. That’sbecause there are no “weak links” in thismovement; it is powered solely by thestrength of your quadriceps. As describedin Chapter 5, hold the position of fullcontraction for a two-count before loweringthe resistance in four seconds back to thestarting position. Repeat for your I.S.R.5. Lunges: Grab a moderately weightedbarbell and place it across your shoulders asif you’re about to squat with it. Instead ofperforming squats, step forward with yourright leg as far as you can, until your left Lunge—Start position.knee touches the ground. Pause briefly inthis position before pushing with your rightleg to return to your initial position. Repeatthe movement right away with your left leg.Continue this movement, alternating legs,for your I.S.R. per leg. Lunges work yourentire leg, but the lower you descend, themore gluteal and biceps femoris fibers areactivated.6. Standing calf raises: Step underneaththe shoulder pads of a standing calf raisemachine so that your heels are on therequired block and almost touching theground. From this position of full stretch,slowly contract your calves until you arecompletely up on your toes. Hold this posi- Lunge—Finish position.tion for a two-count before lowering your- CHAPTER 14 SPECIALIZATION: CHEST 139
  • 155. self in four seconds back to the starting behind you as you possibly can, hold this position. Repeat for your I.S.R. position of full contraction for a two-count before lowering the resistance slowly, in 7. Seated cable rowing: You will need a floor four seconds, back to the starting position. pulley attachment to perform this exercise Repeat for your I.S.R. properly. To begin, take hold of the handle (or handles, on some machines) and lean 8. Stiff-legged dead lifts: Stand erect with forward at the waist, thereby starting the your feet just under the barbell. Then, by movement from a position of full exten- bending your knees, grasp the barbell, sion. Slowly contract your lats, thereby with your hands a little wider apart than drawing your elbows behind your torso. shoulder width and your knuckles facing When you have drawn your elbows as far front. Now slowly begin to stand erect, straightening your legs as you do so. Keep lifting the resistance until you’re completely erect and the bar is in front of your thighs. Again, hold the fully contracted position for a two-count before returning the weight back to the floor in four seconds. Repeat for your I.S.R. 9. Standing (supinating) dumbbell curls: This exercise fulfi lls the primary function of the biceps brachii muscle: supination. To begin,Seated cable rowing—Start position. pick up two moderately weighted dumb- bells and hold them at your sides. Slowly curl one of them up toward your shoulders. When you begin this exercise, your palms should be facing one another, but when the dumbbell you are curling has reached your shoulder, your palm should be facing toward your face (or at least supinated as much as possible). From this position of full contraction, slowly lower the dumbbell in four seconds, under control, back to your side. Repeat the procedure with the oppo-Seated cable rowing—Finish position. site arm. Repeat for your I.S.R. 140 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 156. 10. Bench dips: This is actually an excellent upper-body developer, but the majority of focus is on the triceps of the upper arm. The bench you will be using should be slightly behind your back so that the secondary function of the triceps, to draw the arm down and behind the torso, is fulfilled. Place your feet on the floor in front of you, with your arms in a locked-out position on the bench behind you. From this posi- tion, slowly break the lock in your arms and lower yourself in four seconds to a position of full stretch, where your hands are almost in contact with your armpits. Just being in such close proximity to your armpits should be incentive enough to push yourself backStanding (supinating) dumbbell curl—Finish position. up to the starting position, but if it’s not,Standing (supinating) dumbbell curl—Finish position. Bench dip—Start position. CHAPTER 14 SPECIALIZATION: CHEST 141
  • 157. think of all the muscle growth you will be stimulating with each and every rep that you perform in correct style during this exercise. Repeat for your I.S.R. That concludes this routine. Remember that the stronger you become, the greater the energy outout, and consequently, the easier it is to overtrain. That is why it may be necessary for some beginners to space their workouts out to once every three days while on this program. If your chest development has been something less than impressive up to this point, give this month’s specialization routine a try and watch your under-par pectorals become a problem of the past.Bench dip—Finish position. 142 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 158. 15 An Incredible Abdominal Routine I t is becoming more and more prevalent: everybody wants a “six pack” of abs. I’m not talking about just having a bodyfat level low enough to allow your abs to be visible to the undis- cerning eye. No, what I’m talking about is the fi xation our culture has for very well- developed abdominal muscles. The abs are, after all, skeletal muscles, and they respond to the same stimulus for development as all other skeletal muscles—high-intensity training! In the past, many bodybuilders could get by on muscle mass alone. These days, to really look impressive, a bodybuilder must not only display good muscle mass but also be highly defined. Today’s bodybuilder must combine muscular massiveness with an element of refinement, which means 143Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 159. that every muscle group must be chiseled maintain your existing degree of muscledistinctly separate from its neighboring mass. We are not concerned with main-muscle groups, with the body’s fat stores taining your existing degree of bodyfat, asreduced to the point where the abdominal that is only excess baggage that will one daydevelopment is actually detectable. Someone have to be gotten rid of.whose abs are obscured by fat is not a body- Most of us are sporting too muchbuilder but is just someone who trains with adipose tissue. How, then, can we main-weights. tain our status as bodybuilders without True bodybuilders look the part, which sacrificing our hallowed muscle mass?means their fat stores are at a level low Or, better yet, is there a way to actuallyenough to reveal their abdominal develop- increase our muscle mass while simultane-ment—or lack thereof—at all times. This ously decreasing our bodyfat stores? Well,is not meant to imply that unless your abs fortunately, there is a way, owing to theappear to be as sharp as those of the current fact that muscle cells and fat cells are twoMr. Olympia 365 days a year, you’re deluded entirely different entities and respond to twoin considering yourself a bodybuilder. That entirely different stimuli. To increase youris an unrealistic and, more important, bodyfat stores, all you have to do is live aunnatural level of muscularity that even Mr. rather sedentary existence and eat at everyOlympia cannot maintain for more than a opportunity. Increasing your muscle masscouple of weeks per year. stores is nowhere near as easy. To stimulate Rather, you should always be able to see your muscles to grow larger and stronger,your abs—all three layers (like Steve Reeves you must first expose them to brief, high-or Bruce Lee). Then diet down even more intensity training sessions to encouragestrictly to bring out the deeper cuts when growth, and then allow them adequate timezeroing in for a contest. Allowing fat to to both recover and grow from the exerciseaccumulate on your body is always a nega- session—and then provide adequate nutri-tive factor. As my late friend Mike Mentzer, tion to feed the growth-and-repair processa former Mr. Universe winner, often pointed of your body so that the growth can takeout: “Whenever fat is allowed to accumulate, place. As I said, the process is far removedit is going to have to be eliminated someday from the business of gaining fat, but thethrough undereating and overtraining—a rewards in health and appearance morecombination that leads to the loss of muscle than offset the expenditure of labor requiredas well as fat.” to realize this objective. To maintain a visible abdominal muscu- Gaining muscle and losing fat at thelature, it is important to eat a well-balanced same time is accomplished via brief, infre-diet that contains only enough calories to quent, high-intensity exercise that stimulates144 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 160. growth in the targeted muscle group (in thiscase our abdominals) and marrying thistraining regimen to a well-balanced, calorie-reduced diet. The reduced-calorie diet (five hundred toone thousand calories below your mainte-nance need of calories) will cause a gradualdecrease of your body’s fat stores, while thehigh-intensity exercise stimulates a gradualincrease in your muscle-mass level. Thekey to developing your abdominal muscles,then, is to perform low sets of high-intensityabdominal exercises and consume a low-calorie diet. I’ll provide you with the idealexercise system to develop your abdomen,but I’ll leave it to you to monitor your calorieintake. T H E R O U T I N E Knee-up on chin bar—Finish position.1. Knee-ups on chin bar: 2 I.S.R. a count of two, and then lower your knees2. Crunches: slowly back to the starting position. Repeat 2 I.S.R. for your I.S.R. Rest briefly, and then perform3. Standing oblique crunches: a second set of your I.S.R. 2 I.S.R. 2. Crunches: You were introduced to thisThe Routine Explained exercise in Chapter 1. Lie on the floor with1. Knee-ups on chin bar: Take hold of a your knees over the top of the exercisechin-up bar from a dead-hang position, bench. With your hands clasped behindand slowly draw your knees up into your your neck, slowly draw yourself up untilchest area. Try to make your knees touch your shoulder blades are approximately twoyour chest. Once you have reached the fully inches off the floor. Hold this contractioncontracted position, hold this position for tightly for a pronounced squeeze, and then CHAPTER 15 AN INCREDIBLE ABDOMINAL ROUTINE 145
  • 161. Crunch—Finish position. lower yourself slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for your I.S.R. After a brief pause, perform a second set of your I.S.R. Standing oblique crunch—Start position. 3. Standing oblique crunches: Stand with your left side next to a high pulley machine. Take hold of a high pulley handle with your right hand, which should be just above your left shoulder. Keeping your right arm pinned to your torso, bend to the right using only the strength of your oblique muscles. Using a slow and controlled motion, return to the upright position, and repeat for your I.S.R. Upon completion, switch sides, taking the pulley handle in your left hand, and repeat the entire procedure for the opposite side of your torso. On completion, immediately switch sides again, and do an additional set of your I.S.R. for each side. These exercises performed exactly as listed will set off a well-developed physique and will not—despite misinformed opinion to the contrary—thicken or expand one’s Standing oblique crunch—Finish position. waist. The breadth of your abdominal area is 146 PART 3 SPECIALIZATION AND REFINEMENT
  • 162. dictated largely by the width of your pelvic and separating into six (the old “six pack”bone, which is a genetically inherited charac- mentioned earlier) distinct sections. Whenteristic and therefore not subject to alteration. combined with your reduced calorie intake, Remember to train your abs as you training will create a look that not only willwould any other bodypart—with high- turn heads on a crowded beach but alsointensity training—and they’ll respond by might one day provide you with that “sixstrengthening, improving your posture, pack” that is so popular. CHAPTER 15 AN INCREDIBLE ABDOMINAL ROUTINE 147
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  • 166. 16 Dieting to Build Pure Muscle D iet is probably the most fundamental component of the bodybuilder’s makeup. The food you eat becomes the fuel that allows you to perform heavy sets of muscle-building exer- cise, as well as becoming the primary fuel of your nervous system and brain. All mental functions, from choosing a biceps exercise to abstract philosophical contemplation, are fueled by what you put into your mouth. Because this aspect of bodybuilding is so fundamental, it can be broken down logi- cally into some basic arithmetic. To start off, let’s conduct an elementary caloric analysis of human tissue. It’s a fact that a pound of human muscle tissue will yield about 600 calories when measured with a device known as a calorimeter, while a pound of fat will yield 3,500 calories. We will return to these numbers in a moment. 151Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 167. As a bodybuilder, you must strive to muscle this year. You have to train hardincrease your percentage of organic muscle enough to stimulate ten pounds of growthwhile simultaneously reducing your stores first. Then, if the calories are present in theof bodyfat. The reward for success is a more form of nutritious food, the growth that youfunctional and efficient (not to mention have stimulated will take place.well-chiseled) physique. Unfortunately, the If you take this a little further and divideaverage bodybuilder finds it nearly impos- the 6,000 calories a year by 365, you findsible to gain even ten pounds of solid that you need only 16.4 calories a day abovemuscle tissue in a year’s time, due largely your maintenance need of calories. Forto the person’s falling prey to the hype and instance, let’s say that you currently weighoutright B.S. that is propagated by most 200 pounds and require 3,000 calories a daybodybuilding publications and that lines the just to maintain that weight; that is, at 3,000pockets of more than a few gym owners and calories you don’t gain or lose weight, butpersonal trainers. simply stay at 200 pounds. Then, you train Fortunately, to reach a solution to your with sufficient intensity to stimulate tennutritional problems, you needn’t try to sort pounds of muscle growth, rest adequately tothrough the dubious proclamations of the allow your body the time it requires to buildbodybuilding publishing industry (most those ten pounds of additional muscle, andrepresentatives of which exist solely to sell consume 3,016.4 calories a day. At the endyou their products, but that’s another story of this year you would weigh 210 pounds.entirely). Instead, you need look no further Very simple.than the field of nutritional science. You will Similar calculations can be applied toquickly learn that all that is required in the fat. Since one pound of fat contains 3,500course of a year to allow for ten pounds of calories, when in the course of time you’vemuscle growth would be 600 (the number consumed 3,500 calories over and aboveof calories in a pound of muscle) times 10 what you needed to maintain yourself, you’ll(the number of pounds of muscle growth have added a pound of fatty tissue to yourstimulated in a year), or 6,000 extra calories body. If you require 3,000 calories a day fora year over and above your present energy maintenance, but then you consume 3,500requirements. calories a day, which is 500 more than you need, in the course of a week you wouldEATING ITSELF ISN’T THE ANSWER gain one pound of fat.Now, just eating 6,000 extra calories above The same holds true for losing fat. Whenthe amount you need to maintain your you burn up 3,500 calories by expendingcurrent body mass is no guarantee that more energy than you take in as food calo-you will grow an additional ten pounds of ries, you will lose one pound of fat. This152 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 168. means that in order to grow muscle, you along with additional carbohydrates and fats,need to consume approximately one-sixth of to allow for that growth to take place. So, ifwhat you would need to produce fat. If for you weigh 200 pounds, you will need 100some reason you simply wanted to become grams of protein per day to maintain yourfatter, the answer is simple: eat a lot; but existing mass. If you are one of those above-if you want to grow only muscle, don’t eat average bodybuilders who find it easy totoo much above your maintenance need of gain ten pounds of muscle a year, remembercalories. that you’ll still need only 6,000 extra calories If you’ve been stuffing your face with in a year over what you’ll need for energy.protein products thinking that you’re forcing Broken down to a daily figure as describedyour muscles to use all of the “extra” protein, earlier, that’s only about 16 extra caloriesstop fooling yourself. The body utilizes only a day. Since one gram of protein containsas much protein as it needs to maintain 4 calories, a gram of fat contains 9 calo-itself plus what little extra it might require ries, and a gram of carbohydrate contains 4to assist in producing the growth that you calories, you would actually require only 4stimulated with your training efforts. Any grams of protein a day above your mainte-additional protein consumed beyond this nance needs, which is less than the proteinamount will be excreted at best, or stored contained in one egg.as fat at worst. Moreover, since protein is Most of the champion bodybuildersprimarily a building-and-repair nutrient, I know who are trying to increase theiras opposed to a preferred energy source by size and strength have been consumingthe body, our protein requirements do not anywhere from 250 to 400 grams of proteintend to increase when we perform physical a day. That’s far more than any nutritionalactivity. Instead, engaging in vigorous scientist would recommend for muscle-activity increases the need for carbohy- building purposes.drates, because it is the nutrient most easily Translating it into actual numbersconverted to glucose, which, when converted just proves that you don’t need as manyto the polymer of glycogen, is the primary calories or nearly as much protein as youenergy source of human muscle tissue. might have been led to believe. Just as Protein requirements, on the other hand, most bodybuilders have been seduced bydepend solely on individual body weight. the overly simplistic and erroneous notionAccording to researchers, for every two that if a little training is good, then threepounds of body weight we carry, we require times as much is that much more produc-just one gram of protein to maintain it. If tive, they also seem to have been taken inwe train hard enough and stimulate muscle by this mistaken belief with regard to theirgrowth, we will require a little extra protein, diet. They figure, if 100 grams of protein CHAPTER 16 DIETING TO BUILD PURE MUSCLE 153
  • 169. is required to help the body build muscle, muscular definition already and just want tothen 300 grams “must” build muscle three increase your muscle mass—something fortimes faster. This just isn’t so. In fact, excess which all reasonable bodybuilders shouldprotein above what is needed for repair strive—then eat only a few extra caloriesand possible growth can turn to fat just as above your energy needs. The same withreadily as calories derived from excess quan- protein: eat just a little extra to allow fortities of carbohydrates and fats will. the muscle growth you have stimulated to Whenever you do eat protein, it should take place. All of this is easy to accept if yoube of top quality so that your body’s needs keep in mind that most bodybuilders won’twill be fully realized. If you’re relying solely gain even ten pounds of muscle a year; youon regular foods for your protein needs, you shouldn’t expect to see weight gains everyshould concentrate on animal proteins such time you step on a scale either. Muscleas poultry, eggs, beef, and fish, which yield growth is a relatively slow process, and over-good-quality protein that your body can eating won’t hasten it along.effectively use. Overeating just builds fat—not muscle— something you should make every effort toNUTRITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR avoid.BECOMING LEAN A former bodybuilding champion of myIf you’ve been gorging yourself with protein acquaintance has been quoted as sayingand excess calories, you likely have been that diet is responsible for 75 percent of afinding it difficult to improve or even main- bodybuilder’s success. With all due respecttain your muscular definition. The first thing to the physique champion, I must say thatyou should do is figure out what number of he was spreading it a bit thick with that one.calories you need to maintain your current A bodybuilder can follow the world’s mostweight. (Many health facilities and retailers perfect diet, and if his training is deficient,offer charts that list calorie needs according he will never make the gains he could beto weight.) Then, if you want to lose weight making. The reverse, however, is not true;and increase your muscular definition, eat muscle has been shown to grow even on aless. starvation diet—if the training stimulation Once you’ve burned up 3,500 more is of sufficient intensity. Diet is incrediblycalories than you require to maintain your simple as long as a reasonable effort is madecurrent weight, you’ll lose a pound of fat. to eat well-balanced meals. Be a body-Burn up 7,000 calories and you’ll lose two builder—not a health food or supplementpounds, and so on. If you have adequate fanatic. They’re two separate animals.154 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 170. 17 Common Training Mistakes to Avoid T he world of body- building—and athletic training in general—is rife with ritual, myth, and nonsense. My wife, Terri, and I own a personal training facility, Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre, in which we train individuals on a one-on-one basis. We, along with my brother-in-law and master trainer Cary Howe, have personally supervised in excess of forty-one thousand of these one-on-one workouts. As we review the records of each client’s sessions, patterns emerge with regard to the impact of higher and lower sets, greater and lesser degrees of intensity, and optimal training frequency. In addition, having such close contact with our clients means that we discuss all manner of topics with them, and training and diet are foremost on the list. We have been asked hundreds of questions about the training fad du jour and the latest nutritional supplement. In almost every case, 155Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 171. the revolutionary new training method and involved to build their bodies are less likelythe miraculous nutritional breakthrough are to be frustrated in their efforts in the gym,neither revolutionary nor miraculous. They and they are more motivated to engage intypically represent a quantum leap in the the process required to accomplish theiropposite direction from what the realm of objectives.science and what our own empirical obser- The main problem with appealingvations have reported. to experts is that there are many self- Most people look to us as “experts” and proclaimed “experts” in the field of body-value our opinions by virtue of the fact that building who are misinformed and whowe own a fitness center, or they assume that delight in misleading inexperienced body-my views on exercise, diet, and bodybuilding builders in what they claim is the “right“must” have merit because they have been way” to train. In the hopes of providingpublished. In many cases the clients’ attitude you with some intellectual ammunition tois “You’re the expert; you tell me what to take with you on future visits to the gym, Ido.” They don’t want reasons or evidence, offer the following roundup of some of thebut simply orders. training aberrations that take place daily This is an appalling situation. Being a in most gymnasiums throughout Northspecies that survives by the employment of America.our faculty of reason, we should operate onlyon the principle of having at least one valid IGNORING THE GENETIC FACTORreason for doing whatever it is we are doing. One’s bodybuilding success, as with mostOne’s health, moreover, should be consid- other things in athletics, is largely deter-ered paramount, and to readily hand over mined by one’s genetic endowment. Trainingone’s volition and health to a gym owner or can augment genetics if it is proper training,published author—with no further justifica- but the training by itself will not turn ation for doing so—qualifies as an “appeal to nonathlete into a world champion.authority,” an elemental fallacy in human I happen to reside in Canada, wherecognition. hockey is the national pastime. In the Against this backdrop, we insist on world of hockey, the three biggest names toproviding our clients with reasons for the emerge in the past thirty years are Gordieprescriptions we offer at Nautilus North. Howe, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky.We also provide data in the form of either Essentially all of the hockey players fromindependent studies or our own studies thirty years ago trained the way Gordiethat support our contentions. It has been Howe did, all of the players from twentymy experience that people who understand years ago trained the way Bobby Orr did,the principles and processes of what is and most of the players of the past ten years156 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 172. train as Wayne Gretzky did. If the way these program that was 50 percent less effective inthree stars trained were directly respon- stimulating the muscle fibers of his biceps,sible for the stellar success they enjoyed in he would still have bigger biceps than mine,the sport, then there would currently be even though the size of my biceps musclestens of thousands of athletes enjoying iden- would have grown by 100 percent while histical success and fame. The reality is that grew by only 50 percent.after thirty years, there remain only Howe, This is why asking a genetically giftedOrr, and Gretzky at the top of the hill. The athlete or bodybuilder for advice, or basingreason? Genetics. your workout on such advice, is almost Similarly in bodybuilding, certain indi- always a mistake. These individuals haveviduals are born with superior genetics for a genetic predisposition to be bigger andbuilding larger-than-average muscles. These stronger than the average person long beforegenetic factors include muscle length, as a they ever touch a weight. Given the naturalmuscle’s width will never exceed its length; proclivity of our species to conserve energy,bone size, as bones that are too frail will these gifted athletes typically employ a lessnot support a heavy musculature; myostatin demanding approach to training—featuringlevels—the higher the concentration of this lots of sets and lower intensity—becauseprotein in one’s system, the less muscle they can get away with it, owing to theirone will be able to develop; and, perhaps genetics, and still make some progress. Onmost significant, the degree of muscle fiber their already advanced physiques, that rela-density—that is, the number of muscle fibers tively modest progress will always look morein a given inch of a muscle’s cross-sectional impressive than substantial progress on aarea. physique that does not possess the same For instance, I may have four hundred genetic gifts.thousand muscle fibers in my biceps. ArnoldSchwarzenegger, by contrast, may have eight CHRONIC OVERTRAININGhundred thousand fibers in his biceps. If Overtraining is one of the most significantboth of us were to develop our biceps to be contributors to the decline of musculartwice as strong and thick in size, his arms progress in the average trainee. Leaving thewould still be twice the size of mine—and world of conventional training myths asidethere isn’t anything I can do to improve for a moment, the facts of the training situ-the situation. To compound the irony, if I ation are as follows: A muscle can be fullyfollowed the most scientific training program stimulated to hypertrophy, or grow; this canin the world and were able to effectively be accomplished with as little as one or twodouble the size of all of the existing fibers in sets per bodypart. However, once growthmy biceps, and Arnold followed a training stimulation has been induced, the muscles CHAPTER 17 COMMON TRAINING MISTAKES TO AVOID 157
  • 173. require many hours to recover and grow. should take a mere twenty to forty-fiveDepending on the strength of the individual, minutes per workout once to three timestwo weeks or even more could be required per week. In fact, in a recent experiment afor complete recovery and growth to occur. subject noted dramatic muscular growth If training is resumed before recovery on a program of one two-minute workouthas taken place, a loss of muscular size and repeated every two weeks!strength will follow; if training is resumed Again, the name of the game in termsbefore growth has taken place, no progress of continuing size and strength increases iswill follow; and if too much time is allowed intensity of effort. The harder you engageto elapse between workouts, the muscles will in an activity required to solicit an adap-atrophy, or shrink. Therefore, any program tive response of overcompensation (musclerecommending that you train without suffi- growth), the less time you can engage in thecient time allocated for full recovery and activity. This simple law of physics regardinggrowth between workouts is going to be intensity and duration is not subject tononproductive at best and counterproductive anyone’s suspect opinion—no matter howat worst. big the person’s muscles or pocketbook. People with absolutely zero training If muscular progress can be observedexperience are best advised to train no more with a time investment of a meager forty-than three days per week (e.g., Monday, five minutes per week, how can anyoneWednesday, and Friday), with no more than justify the “don’t have time” argument, shorttwo sets per bodypart. In time, the trainee of a major emotional crisis? If you haveshould be able to reduce the number of fifteen minutes three times a week to readsets to one, and the weekly workouts to a book, talk on the telephone, watch TV, orone as well. Anyone who tells you other- eat more food, then you unquestionably havewise is misinformed about the requisites of enough time to stimulate some muscularmuscular hypertrophy. growth via exercise. If the bitter truth is that you flat-out have no inclination to exercise,LACK OF CONSISTENCY then admit it and be prepared to accept theThe most common excuse for missing consequences of that stance.bodybuilding workouts is the perennial “Idon’t have time.” While this protestation POOR FORMshould certainly be true of someone facing Most trainees have a tendency to want tothe prospect of marathon or six-day-per- impress whoever happens to be within aweek training, it certainly should never hundred yards of them, so they select heavyapply to proper training for muscular mass weights that they think will make peopleand strength increases, which, at the most, take notice, as opposed to weights that will158 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 174. thoroughly stimulate the muscles to get A muscle has three levels of strength:bigger and stronger, which, presumably, is a positive level (the weakest), which isthe reason they originally joined the gym. exhausted whenever you are unable to lift Once a force other than muscular the resistance for a complete repetition; acontraction is made to do the work, how static level (the second strongest), which isis the muscle group in question going to exhausted whenever you are unable to holdreceive any stimulation? Using a weight a weight at any point throughout a giventhat is so heavy that you have to heave it up muscle’s range of motion; and a negativeactually involves only the barest minimum level (the strongest level), which is exhaustedof muscle fibers required to move the resis- whenever you are unable to lower the resis-tance. Your objective as a bodybuilder is to tance from a position of full contraction toinvolve as many fibers as possible to ensure a position of full extension under deliberate,maximum muscle stimulation and thereby conscious control.broaden your chances of muscular hyper- You cannot cause an adaptive responsetrophy. Fast or momentum-based repetitions from your body by the mere performanceshould be avoided due to their inefficiency of that which is already well within theand also their potential for injury. body’s existing capabilities. It can already A properly performed repetition should handle such a demand without the needtake eight seconds: two seconds to raise the of overcompensation in the form of biggerresistance, another two seconds in the posi- and stronger muscles. Muscle growth musttion of full muscular contraction, and then literally be forced; a demand must be placedfour seconds—twice as long as it took you on the body signaling that the existingto raise the weight—to lower the resistance levels of muscular size are inadequate forback to the starting position. All in all, it dealing with the stressors to which they areshould take you exactly sixty-four seconds to being exposed in the form of high-intensitycomplete a properly performed set of eight exercise.repetitions. The greater the intensity of the exer- cise, the greater the corresponding needARBITRARILY TERMINATING A SET for muscular overcompensation. Also, theMany bodybuilders terminate a set simply greater the intensity of exercise, the brieferbecause they start to feel uncomfortable, the body’s needed exposure to it. With theseor else they stop when they hit a precon- facts having now been presented to you, youceived number of repetitions. Both of these can see that any exercise performed thatapproaches are wrong owing to the fact that stops short of (at least) positive failure isin each case the bodybuilder never reaches unproductive and, simply stated, a waste ofpositive failure. time. CHAPTER 17 COMMON TRAINING MISTAKES TO AVOID 159
  • 175. To force growth, your muscles must be the beginning of your workout while youcalled upon to attempt the momentarily are still fresh and your reserves are as yetimpossible, to continue contracting until untapped.no further movement is possible. These last Your other muscle groups require lessseemingly impossible and brutally hard energy to be trained properly, owing to theirrepetitions of a set are solely responsible comparatively smaller size and strength.for stimulating the adaptive response from They should be trained in descending orderthe central nervous system. The antecedent of their amplitude after you have trainedrepetitions merely warm up the stressed your legs.muscle group in preparation for the effort The ideal structuring of a routinerequired to attempt that last repetition. intended to stimulate maximum muscle growth in all major muscle groups would beIMPROPER STRUCTURING as follows:Although more and more bodybuilders arebeginning to train intelligently in that they 1. Legsare training no more than one to three days 2. Backper week, the vast majority of these trainees 3. Chestconstruct routines that employ exercises in 4. Shouldersthe wrong sequence. It is common to see 5. Armsbodybuilders start with their calves or armsand finish up by training their legs. With this sequence, you can be confident Unless specializing, this is incorrect that the muscle groups that require thefrom the physiological standpoint of local- most energy are able to receive it whenized reserves that are used up in proportion their energy reserves are at their fullestto the stressor that taps them. If you train and, consequently, when the most energy isyour arms, chest, back, shoulders, and calves readily available.as hard as is required to stimulate growth,then it is highly unlikely that you will retain HIGH REPS FOR ABSsufficient energy, as well as inclination, Go into a typical gym these days and you’reto train your legs as hard as is required to sure to notice at least two or three indi-stimulate growth in them. Your legs, having viduals grinding out set after set of high-the largest and most powerful muscles in repetition exercises for their abdominalthe body, naturally require the most energy muscles in the mistaken hope that they willwhen trained properly in high-intensity somehow “develop” their abs.style. It also stands to reason that you will The abdominals are composed of skeletalhave more energy to expend on them at muscle, just like the biceps, triceps, chest,160 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 176. train your midsection with weights because it will make your waist bigger. Instead, you should perform endless sets of sit-ups without resistance (and I know of trainees who employ 2,000 repetitions per day in this exercise) to develop your midsection without increasing its size.” I ask you: how can you “develop” any muscle group without increasing its size? If this is a legitimate phenomenon, what then could the word develop possibly denote? If you train to develop your muscles, then something about their existing condition must change for the better—that is, they must get stronger. The stronger a muscle gets, the bigger it gets. This is elementary physiology. There- fore, any attempt to develop a particularYour abdominal muscles are skeletal muscles, and—as withall skeletal muscle—they respond best to intense, brief, and muscle group, if successful, must result ininfrequent training. an increase in that muscle group’s size and strength. It follows that you should train lats, deltoids, quads, and so forth, and they your abs as you would any other skeletal respond best to exercises that involve their muscle group: with weights. contracting against resistance. You wouldn’t expect to develop your biceps by performing BULKING UP endless sets and reps of curls with no weight Although bulking up is not as much in your hands. Likewise, don’t expect to in vogue as it used to be, there are still notice any significant results by training misguided bodybuilders who equate muscle your abs with an infinite variety of sets and size with body weight increases. Conse- reps of sit-ups, leg raises, and the like, sans quently, they overeat in an attempt to resistance. Train your abs as you would any “grow” muscles. If muscles could be made other muscle group, and they will respond to hypertrophy merely by the consumption in like manner via the overcompensation of food, there would be no need to ever go process. Then rely on a reduced-calorie diet to the gym, and Orson Welles would have to provide the definition required. been the most muscular man on earth. Don’t be taken in by the frequently Obviously, it is stimulation via exer- repeated lore that instructs: “You shouldn’t cise that causes a muscle to hypertrophy, CHAPTER 17 COMMON TRAINING MISTAKES TO AVOID 161
  • 177. or increase in size. While nutrition plays arole in the overcompensation process, it isa minor one. Force-feeding yourself exces-sive calories will result only in coveringup whatever muscular development youhave attained under a blanket of adiposity.If you’re a competitive bodybuilder, thatblanket will have to be shed through severedieting. Nine times out of ten, that dietingleads to a loss of muscle mass in additionto the fat stores. Furthermore, it has beenestablished that once you create fat cells byovereating, they will never leave the body,but only reduce in size. Therefore, allowing yourself to acquireadditional bodyfat is never in your bestinterest (save for sumo wrestling). It not onlydetracts from your physique but also willhave to be shed via overtraining and under-eating before a contest. Neither of these Wide-grip pull-down. When you use a wide grip, the attachment point of the latissimus muscle under the arm comes into closeremedies leads to the development of muscle proximity to the other lat attachment lower down on the back, thus reducing the range through which the latissimus musclemass or is conducive to winning physique must move during a repetition.contests. The next time someone tells youto “drink on those muscular gains” from afood supplement or engineered food, recog- picture a muscle as a rubber band stretchednize that the directive is a testament to that between two points, the origin and insertionperson’s ignorance of both nutritional and of the muscle, it stands to reason that thephysiological reality. muscle will be stretched the most and forced to contract over a greater range of motionINCORRECT HAND PLACEMENT when those two attachment points are theAlmost every bodybuilder mistakenly greatest distance apart from each other. Bybelieves that a wide grip gives you more performing wide-grip exercises like chins,stretch than a close grip. In fact, it gives you you can see that the attachment of the latless stretch, in terms of range of motion. under the arm comes into close proximity to This phenomenon was best explained the other lat attachment lower down on theby Mike Mentzer, who said, “If you can back. Therefore, the actual stretch has been162 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 178. activates many muscle fibers that would have remained unstressed had you opted to use a wide grip. Ergo, a close grip should be employed whenever a choice exists in the performance of an exercise. You will stimu- late more muscle fibers and increase your range of motion and, hence, the productivity of the exercise. HIGH REPS FOR DEFINITION Bodybuilders who still believe in the myths of previous generations unquestioningly accept as true the contention that the more sets and reps you do, the more definition you get. The implication here is that body- building, per se, utilizes fat cells as fuel, and so, the more you perform a particular activity, the leaner you will become. Unfor- tunately, even with highly repetitive tasks such as running, the reality is that youClose-grip pull-down. When the arms are closer together in this would have to engage in the activity for upexercise, the latissimus muscle is stretched the most and thusmade to contract over a greater range of motion. to eleven hours straight in order to burn off one pound of bodyfat. Moreover, in order to perform a high volume of any activity, it reduced. On the other hand, when the hand would have to be of such a low intensity that spacing is close together directly overhead, it would do nothing to increase your lean you can see that the two points of attach- body mass. ment are farther apart and thus there is a After all, if your muscles become accus- much greater stretch involved.” tomed to doing low-intensity work, there This is true of most of the exercises would be no biological reason for your involving the larger muscles of the torso— body to build (or even preserve) a muscle including chins, incline and supine bench mass that was developed to handle heavy presses, and lat machine pull-downs. You weights in a high-intensity fashion. As a will obtain superior results from these exer- consequence, the body will reduce its level cises when you perform them properly— of muscle mass in proportion to the effort over a full range of motion. This approach those muscles are made to exert on a routine CHAPTER 17 COMMON TRAINING MISTAKES TO AVOID 163
  • 179. basis. And as far as “burning bodyfat” goes, work for their fat-burning interests. Thatbodybuilding burns carbohydrates, which it course is far superior to engaging in low-has converted to glycogen, or blood sugar— intensity activity that not only doesn’t burnnot fats—as its preferred fuel for intense much in the way of calories (you wouldmuscular contractions. have to run for thirty-five miles to burn one Since high intensity and long duration pound of fat) but also can actually reduceare on opposite ends of the spectrum in the size of the muscles owing to the lowerterms of their metabolic costs, increasing muscular output required to perform them.your sets and/or reps means that you are The key, then, is to continue to builddecreasing your training intensity. Further, muscle up, while simultaneously reducingsince intensity must be maintained in order your calorie intake below your maintenancefor your body to either build muscle mass level to use up the body’s fat stores for fuelor hold on to its existing levels, all that the and rid your physique of the bête noire oflowering of intensity will yield is a loss of adiposity. Remember that muscle is whatmuscle tissue. gives members of either sex their distinctive While it’s true that the repetitive perfor- and appealing shape. Fat itself is formless.mance of any activity will result in theutilization of calories for energy, it does not EXCESSIVE SETSfollow that the performance of any activity Performing excessive sets is a mistake foris the most efficacious way to shed bodyfat. two reasons: it can cause you to fail at aGranted, activities such as walking, jogging, point of cardiovascular fatigue, as opposedcycling, and swimming will burn calories to muscular failure; and it withholds youthat can contribute to one’s fat-loss program. from going to true positive failure in any ofHowever, one will burn more calories by the exercises in anticipation of the exercisebuilding more muscle tissue, because bigger to follow. By the time you get to your sixth,muscles burn more calories 24-7, as opposed seventh, eighth, or ninth exercise (dependingto burning calories only during the time you on how many repetitions you performedare working out. Think of it this way: just during your prior sets), you likely will beas it requires more energy to heat a bigger breathing like a racehorse, and your oxygenroom than a smaller room, it takes more debt will be such that you’re forced to useenergy (calories) to sustain a bigger muscle very light weights, which do little to stimu-than it does to sustain a smaller one. late an adaptive response from the body. Thus, it behooves trainees looking to Unless the goal of the training is special-become leaner to build as much muscle as ization or purely to obtain some cardio-they can hold and then let the higher meta- vascular benefit, there is no reason for anybolic rate that comes with bigger muscles trainee to perform more than one or two164 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 180. sets for any bodypart. The central principle committing any of them, you no longer havewhen training is to work each muscle group any excuse for continuing down the wrongto a state of legitimate muscular failure. path. If in the future some ignorant gym rat tries to mislead you or some innocentThis is only a sample of the errors that are newcomer to bodybuilding regarding any ofbeing made in bodybuilding gymnasiums these facts, you now have the wherewithal toaround the world. If you have been guilty of set the record straight. CHAPTER 17 COMMON TRAINING MISTAKES TO AVOID 165
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  • 182. 18 Questions and Answers A s a new trainee, you’re bound to have questions. What follows are common questions I have received through seminars I have conducted at my training facility, followed by my responses. IMMEDIATE GAINS QUESTION: I have been training for just under one year, and I must say that I am very disappointed with my lack of results. The reason I undertook weight training was to get bigger, and yet in the past months I haven’t added a single pound. My ques- tion to you is which exercises do you think I should be performing in order to best build muscle mass, and to build it quickly? Answer: As a rule, it is best to concentrate on the exercises that involve the largest muscle masses of the body, such as thighs, back, 167Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 183. and chest. For specific growth stimulation desire—providing that you have assessed of these bodyparts, I recommend isola- your genetic potential correctly. tion movements such as leg extensions, pull-overs, and dumbbell flies. If, however, EATING BREAD your goal is to build overall muscle mass, QUESTION: You mentioned that it’s all right then I recommend compound movements, for a person to eat anything he wants, which tax many more muscle groups, stim- and as long as his total calorie intake ulate many more muscle fibers overall, is reduced, he will lose bodyfat. I was and produce greater accumulative muscle wondering if this holds true for bread as growth, although they will not stimulate well? certain muscle groups nearly as thor- oughly as will the isolation movements. Answer: Examples of such compound movements Yes. Inasmuch as bread is a “thing,” you are squats, bent-over rows or chin-ups, can still eat any thing, inclusive of bread, standing presses, bench presses, and that you want, and as long as your total parallel bar dips. calorie intake is reduced, you will lose Even more important than the exercises bodyfat. There is nothing fattening about you select is the manner in which you bread, per se; a slice of enriched white perform them. If you give each exercise bread contains only seventy calories. everything you’ve got while maintaining Likewise, don’t be deterred by the proper form and using what for you is a maxim that warns, “It’s not the bread heavy weight, then you will grow. That said, that is fattening; it’s what you put on it.” don’t let blind ambition override metaphys- It is, rather, the total number of calories ical reality: don’t expect to gain a pound consumed above your personal mainte- of muscle a day or even a pound of pure nance need in the course of a day—or muscle tissue a week. That degree of prog- accumulatively throughout a week, month, ress is beyond the physiological scope and or year—that results in the acquisition metabolic pathways of nine-tenths of the and/or expansion of adipose tissue. people on this planet. Bread, jams, peanut butter, margarine, Proper diet is integral as well, in that and the like are not of themselves going it provides the nutrients necessary for to cause you to become fat. Now, if you growth, once you’ve stimulated the muscle were to consume your maintenance need with hard training. A well-balanced diet of calories and then have bread and/or with a slight emphasis on increasing your spread, the calories in that added snack carbohydrate and calorie intake should aid could prove to be the proverbial straw that you in reaching the muscle size that you broke the camel’s back and cause you to168 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 184. gain some bodyfat. Even then, though, you presses, dead lifts, squats, and barbell would have to eat approximately twenty- (and particularly T-bar) rowing put major five slices of bread and peanut butter over pressure not only on your erector spinae and above your daily maintenance need of muscles but also on your spine. While a calories to gain one pound of fat. belt does not prevent pressure from being So, bread itself is safe to consume directed toward your lower back, it does while dieting. In his book The Nautilus aid in the dissipation and distribution of Nutrition Book (Contemporary Books, the pressure. That benefit will definitely 1981), Ellington Darden, Ph.D., recounted prolong your training life and help stave off how Michigan State University conducted the possibility of injury. a nutritional study in which college Technically, belts are required only for students who were allowed to eat what- free-weight movements. Machines such ever they wanted—provided they ate as Max Contraction, Nautilus, Universal, twelve slices of high-fiber bread each and Kaiser are kinesthetically designed day—lost weight. The bread was filling, so and manufactured to eliminate the it curbed their desire for additional food, mechanical drawbacks of free weights. and it was comparatively low in calories, Even so, your observation that some body- which would account for the weight loss, builders wear belts, while others don’t, providing their total calorie intake was is an accurate description of the general below their maintenance need of calories. state of affairs. Some wear them for legiti- Bon appétit. mate reasons, such as for performing heavy power lifts, in which they need allTHE NEED FOR A WEIGHT BELT the support and protection they can get. Others, I suspect, are more “poseur” thanQUESTION: Do I need a weight belt or not? I serious bodybuilder. They wear lifting just recently started training and noticed belts usually along with conspicuously that while some bodybuilders wear them, torn T-shirts, lifting gloves (OOH!—now, others never do. Are they a necessity, or there’s a real necessity) and, of course, simply a custom? the obligatory leather straps—for “support Answer: purposes”! Then, all decked out in this The answer depends solely upon your gear and resembling a cross between choice of exercises. If you routinely engage Marlon Brando in The Wild One and a in exercises that, from a kinesiology stand- knight from the Middle Ages, they walk point, are potentially or actually stressful to over to a moderately weighted barbell, your vertebrae, then yes, you should wear draw and expel several loud breaths, and a lifting belt. Exercises such as standing proceed to throw the weight up and down CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 169
  • 185. in a remote attempt to perform a set of because heavy weights can be employed, barbell curls, all the while screaming like and they are “the greatest mass builder a banshee. This is palpable nonsense for the biceps.” However, whenever to those who know anything about the I perform them, I don’t really feel the requisites of productive exercise, and it is movement to be that much more effec- needlessly off-putting to newcomers to the tive than any other curling movement science. that I have done for my biceps. Should In summary, if you are going to seriously I stick with them regardless, due to his perform a heavy set of standing presses, having more experience than I in such barbell or T-bar rows, dead lifts, or squats, matters, or should I change the exercise or if you are experiencing back problems, for another biceps movement? then a belt would be a useful item to have among your training paraphernalia. Answer: If, however, you’re thinking of purchasing Thank you for exposing perhaps the a belt because other people are wearing biggest fraud in bodybuilding today: the them, then stop now before you digress to myth that heavy barbell curls are somehow the point where you’ve become one of the superior to any other type of curling attention-seeking masters of interruption exercise for strengthening and overdevel- just described. oping the biceps. Barbell curls—though Look for valid reasons why you should a good exercise—are not “the greatest or should not obtain or pursue something; mass builder for the biceps.” They work don’t look to convention. In the quest for the biceps predominantly in the muscles’ training truth, there can be no sacred weakest range of motion; there is no cows. Tradition, convention, imitation, resistance in the starting position of the and custom have no place in the training movement, nor is there any resistance at concepts of the modern bodybuilder. the top—or finish—of the movement, the Only facts should anchor your premises, most important part. So, of the three areas your conclusions, and, in the end, your throughout the range of the movement actions—not only in your training but also in which the muscle fibers of the biceps in all other aspects of your life. could be stimulated—the bottom, the middle, and the top—the biceps receiveHEAVY BARBELL CURLS—THE thorough stimulation in only one portion,GREATEST MASS BUILDER? the middle.QUESTION: My bodybuilding instructor at the Any exercise that stimulates fibers gym tells me that in order to build my primarily in the weakest range of a muscle arms, I must perform barbell curls, can hardly be said to be the best. To claim170 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 186. that it is “the greatest” exercise for the MUSCLE STRETCHINGbiceps in terms of productivity is ludicrous. QUESTION: Is it possible, as some body- To activate more muscle fibers, which, builders and massage therapists contend,in turn, stimulates more growth, an exer- to actually stretch or lengthen a musclecise should contain resistance in the by performing exercises that excessivelyfully contracted position. Ergo, the biceps stretch it? I have a girlfriend who takesmuscles will be best stimulated by exer- Pilates and claims that she is length-cises that meet this strongest-range crite- ening her muscles with the resistancerion. That list includes concentration curls, exercises her instructor prescribes. More-steep-angle Scott or preacher bench curls, over, an instructor at my gym says thatany form of cable curls, chin-ups, and Max it is possible to extend a short biceps byContraction machine, Nautilus machine, performing Scott curls and that a smallor Hammer Strength machine curls. All of calf muscle can be made into a full one bythese exercises provide resistance to the the performance of standing calf raises. Ifbiceps in their strongest range of motion so, how is this process accomplished?and consequently stimulate many more ofthe fibers of the biceps muscle than does Answer:the inefficient old standard, the barbell curl. To my knowledge, it is not possible to The fact that heavier weights can be lengthen muscles to any appreciableemployed in movements such as the degree by stretching them. Our musclesbarbell curl isn’t really germane, owing to are attached to our bones via tendons, sothe fact that other muscle groups assist the only way they could be “lengthened”in the lift (e.g., the lower back, rectus would be to have the tendons surgicallyabdominus, serratus, anterior deltoid, legs, cut and then reattached further down theforearms, and trapezius). The effect is that bone. Such a procedure is neither pleasur-even the little stimulation that the biceps able nor practical. Full-range Scott curls,receive during the movement is compro- or preacher curls, do serve to stretch themised and dissipated through the involve- biceps muscle but do little or nothing toment of the assisting muscle groups. alter the length of this muscle group. Returning to your question, then: go For example, witness the biceps ofahead and substitute another biceps exer- former Mr. Olympia winners Chris Dick-cise for barbell curls. The only additional erson and Franco Columbu. These are men“mass” that barbell curls contribute to who performed preacher curls frequentlybuilding is the massive wedge of ignorance and extensively over the course of theirthat separates bodybuilders from objective competitive bodybuilding careers, yet theyphysiological fact. never acquired the long, full biceps of the CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 171
  • 187. exercise’s namesake, Larry Scott. Their from developing stabilizer muscles that biceps remained short, though impressive help control movement. What’s a stabi- in their own right. lizer muscle? Muscle length is a genetic trait and, Answer: as such, is not subject to alteration, shy of surgery. Don’t worry about the fact Many people seem to believe that there is that your biceps are not as full as Mike a classification of muscles known as “stabi- Mentzer’s or as highly peaked as Robby lizer muscles.” No anatomy book supports Robinson’s, because these traits are that assumption. That’s because there are genetically predetermined. Just as we can’t only three classifications of muscles in all be over six feet tall and have the face human beings: smooth, cardiac, and skel- of Brad Pitt, neither can we all be geneti- etal. Skeletal muscles, when strengthened, cally gifted in the physique department like not only are able to contract more force- Arnold Schwarzenegger. fully but also can stabilize various body- Simply train hard and develop yourself parts when called upon to do so. to the best of your genetic potential. You If you ask a “stabilizer muscle” propo- cannot accurately compare yourself or your nent what stabilizer muscles are, the achievements against the accomplishments likely reply is that they simply “exist” of anybody but yourself. Similarly, owing on either side of joints, but this doesn’t to innate physiological differences, other mean there are little bands of “stabilizer” people, including bodybuilding champions, muscles that come into play whenever cannot accurately compare themselves you’re lifting free weights but that remain with you. You’re unique, and it is always dormant if you use an exercise machine. infinitely more desirable to cultivate your During the performance of a free-weight specific individuality to its fullest potential bench press, for instance, the barbell isn’t rather than to copy someone who has pressed in a zigzag or elliptical fashion; done likewise. Who knows? Your genetic instead, a certain “groove” is found—a potential, once realized through intelligent straight up-and-down motion—and the training and dietary principles, may far trainee proceeds to perform the exercise exceed that of the champions—but you’ll in this fashion. Performing it in any other never realize that potential unless you try. fashion would be dangerous. This exercise requires the involvement of many muscle groups—all of which can be located in“STABILIZER” MUSCLES an anatomy book—such as the ante-QUESTION: I’ve heard that using machines rior deltoid, the triceps, the pectorals, rather than free weights will prevent me the lats, the abdominals, and even the172 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 188. legs to some degree. Remember that all machine and a set on a Nautilus or MedXskeletal muscles contract by shortening, lower back machine will strengthen theseproducing movement. In exercises such important muscles. Among other functions,as the bench press, that action results in they provide stability to the trunk duringthe arms moving in a linear fashion—not exercise.from side to side. There would be noeffective stability if this were reversed. BODYBUILDING AND CARDIO The argument in favor of “stabilizer” QUESTION: I have a question regardingmuscles came about due to the influence cardiovascular fitness and bodybuilding’sof manufacturers of free weights who ability to provide it. Having just finishedsaw their market threatened by the influx rereading Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s fineof training machines such as Nautilus in book, Aerobics (Bantam, 1968), I’m ratherthe early 1980s. It was at this point that doubtful about weight training’s abilityone first heard of the need for “stabilizer” to provide for cardiovascular fitness. Inmuscle development and the contention fact, in the second chapter he states thatthat only free weights afforded the trainee “a body beautiful, and not much more”that opportunity. is about all you can expect to get from The truth is that a stronger muscle is strength training. He then goes on tobetter able to stabilize, or secure, the joint imply that strength training is no replace-it surrounds. For example, the quadriceps ment for conventional cardio activitiesand hamstring muscles help stabilize the such as cycling, swimming, and running.knee joint; the stronger the muscle, the What are your thoughts on this matter?stronger the tendons and the more stable Can strength training be utilized forthe joint. A leg extension machine and leg cardio exercise by people like me, who,curl machine will strengthen these muscles though respecting what men such as Dr.and their tendons just as effectively as any Cooper say, nevertheless are not overlyfree-weight exercise, if not more effectively. fond of running? And how would theSo, the leg extension and leg curl exercise program differ from your conventionalare indeed effective in developing stability strength-training program, if at all?in the knee area. And so on with everyother muscle group. Answer: The primary muscles involved in stability Thank you for giving me the opportu-directly affect the trunk: namely, the rectus nity to correct some serious flaws in theabdominus and the erector spinae muscles reasoning of Dr. Kenneth Cooper, which I’llof the lower back. Here again, performing attempt to address at some length in mya set of crunches on an abdominal reply. Bodybuilding, or “strength training,” CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 173
  • 189. has been ignorantly maligned over the only through endurance exercises such years, and one of the prime reasons for as running, bicycling, and swimming.” this ignorance is the bias of purported According to Baum, a family physician at fitness “experts” like Dr. Cooper. Philipps University, in Marburg, Germany, Not only is strength training capable of “This opens up new possibilities for cardio- providing the cardiovascular fitness about pulmonary-oriented exercise besides the which you are justly concerned (heart traditional stamina sports.” New exercise disease being a leading cause of death options are desirable because some in North America and Europe), but prop- patients just don’t care for endurance exer- erly conducted, can also improve other cise, which doesn’t do much to improve aspects of conditioning, which, all together, muscular strength and stabilization. comprise total fitness. Baum reported on thirty-one healthy Many individuals are of the impres- but physically unfit subjects aged twenty sion that strength training is something to forty-five, including eight women, who divorced from the heart and lungs. It was completed a Nautilus weight-training never scratched in stone that human program involving two or three thirty- to beings can get a cardiovascular training forty-minute sessions per week for six effect only from treadmills, ellipticals, months. Their aerobic capacity, assessed Reebok step classes, and dance aerobics. on a graded treadmill exercise test, In fact, it has been proven time and again improved by 33 percent over the course of scientifically that high-intensity strength- six months. Meanwhile, mean body weight training exercise will stimulate the body to declined from 171.51 pounds to 149.25 produce substantial and profound cardio- pounds. Resting heart rate dropped from vascular adaptation—and many more a baseline of 68.5 beats per minute to fitness benefits besides that conventional 65.6. Heart rate measured three minutes low-intensity aerobic exercise cannot. after cessation of a maximal exercise Of particular note is a study reported in test declined from a baseline of 108.7 Orlando, Florida, in 2004, at the confer- beats per minute to 103.1, with a larger ence of the World Organization of Family decrease in women than men. This study Doctors. The presenter, Erika Baum, M.D., clearly established that high-intensity stated that pure weight training can mark- strength training, performed properly, chal- edly improve aerobic fitness. She cited a lenges the cardiovascular system more six-month structured Nautilus strength- than enough to keep it healthy. training program that “resulted in improve- Another study conducted in 1985 by ments in cardio-circulatory fitness to a Dr. Stephen Messier and Mary Dill, of degree traditionally considered obtainable Wake Forest University, and published in174 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 190. the science journal Research Quarterly subjects’ aerobic endurance levels afterfor Exercise and Sport (56: 345–51), is two weeks.” The lead researcher, Professorequally noteworthy. Researchers measured Martin Gibala, stated, “We thought thethe aerobic conditioning benefits on thirty- findings were startling because it suggestssix male college students who employed the overall volume of exercise people needone of three training approaches: (1) to do is lower than what’s recommended.”strength training in high-intensity style on Indeed, instead of working out for twentyNautilus equipment, (2) lifting free weights minutes, three times a week (minimum)—in the traditional style, and (3) a running the protocol that most personal trainersprogram. All subjects trained three times and exercise specialists have been recom-per week for ten weeks. The findings mending for decades—this study showedshowed that the Nautilus group, who that as few as four total sets lasting notrained in a high-intensity fashion, exhib- more than thirty seconds each sufficed notited the same aerobic adaptations that merely to improve human cardiovascularthe runners did. The real kicker here is function, but to double it!that the running group trained 50 percent Future testing of this procedure mightlonger than the Nautilus group—thirty well conclude that one such session perminutes per session, compared with week, and perhaps even one or two thirty-twenty minutes per session—establishing second intervals, will produce similar orempirically that running was less efficient better results. Given that your heart andat stimulating cardiovascular benefits lungs can’t tell whether you are workingthan strength training performed in circuit at maximum intensity on a stationary bike,sequence. Performing “aerobic” training as in the study, or at a leg press (or a lat50 percent more did not result in 50 pull-down or a shoulder press, for thatpercent more cardiovascular benefit—or matter), such results would, by extension,even 10 percent more; it resulted in “0” be obtainable by doing a high-intensityadditional benefit. strength training set, resting for up to four More recently, scientists working at minutes, and performing another set—asMcMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, outlined in this book—until four such setsdiscovered that a two-minute workout had been completed.(consisting of stationary cycling for four In fact, it is my opinion that thethirty-second intervals at high intensity, cardiovascular training effect that canwith a four-minute break between intervals) be obtained using resistance training isperformed on alternate days three times superior to that of any other type of exer-a week, for a total weekly exercise time of cise. There is also a growing amount ofsix minutes, resulted in “a doubling of the medical opinion to the effect that all of the CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 175
  • 191. supposed cardiovascular benefit to be had Oregon Health Sciences Services, Port- from exercise is a result of the muscles’ land, Oregon, published in the Journal of becoming stronger, so that the heart Applied Science Research vol. 2, no. 3 doesn’t have to work as hard, resulting in [1988]: 42–45): a lower pulse rate during more strenuous activity. Traditional, non-circuit weight training According to cardiologist Henry Solomon, for both the athlete and the general M.D., from his book The Exercise Myth: population can be viewed as a method of reducing myocardial oxygen demand Most of the improvement in functional during usual daily activities. This capacity due to exercise is not even cardio-protective benefit allows the directly related to the heart. It is due individual to perform isometric exertion to an effect on the peripheral muscle combined with dynamic work with lower cells whereby they more efficiently cardiac oxygen requirements, and, extract oxygen from the blood. thus, improvement in cardiovascular efficiency. Although standard methods Bruce Charash, M.D., current head of of weight training and strength acquisi- cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New tion may not improve running, cardio- York City, agrees. From his book Heart vascular benefits do occur. Myths: Doug McGuff, M.D., in his excellent When patients participate in exercise online article “Health Related Issues” (ulti- programs, they often assume that mate-exercise.com), states: their heart becomes stronger. This is not the case. Physical training results Equally important in cardiovascular in a sense of well-being because of health are peripheral adaptations. other effects. It improves the effi- These are adaptations that actually ciency of the muscles. It improves the occur within the working muscles that hormonal tone of the body. It improves have indirect benefit for the cardio- the control of sugar in people with vascular system. The reason a frail diabetes. However, exercise will not 80-year-old gets more winded climbing make the heart beat more strongly. a flight of stairs is not necessarily because their cardiovascular system According to a study by Goldberg, Elliot, is weak; it may be more due to the and Kuehl, at the Human Performance fact that their muscles are weak. A Laboratory (Division of General Medicine, muscle is divided into segments called176 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 192. motor units. A motor unit is a group do more work with less stress to theof muscle fibers all supplied by one cardiovascular support system.motor nerve. If a motor nerve sendsa signal to a motor unit, all the fibers McGuff elaborates on this point inin a motor unit will contract with 100 another essay, entitled “Paradigm Shift forpercent effort. Let us say that it takes Exercise” (ultimate-exercise.com):a hundred units of work to climb aflight of stairs. If our 80-year-old’s Despite its profound effects on themotor units all contain one unit of cardiovascular system, resistancestrength, it will take 100 motor units training still has its major impactsto provide 100 units of strength to through peripheral adaptations,get up the stairs. The 80-year-old’s mainly in terms of increased muscleheart will have to pump hard enough strength. We have all told our patientsto support the working of 100 motor that just performing activities of dailyunits. If, however, my motor units each life (walking, taking the stairs, yardhave two units of strength, it will only work) can preserve our cardiovas-take me 50 motor units to provide cular health. Unfortunately, the age-100 units of strength. My heart will related loss of muscle (sarcopenia)have to pump hard enough to support can undermine our ability to carry outthe working of 50 motor units. If, those activities. Resistance trainingthrough proper strength training, I can prevent and even reverse sarco-double my strength, then each motor penia. [Rogers M. A., and W. J. Evans.unit will have four units of strength. At “Changes in skeletal muscle withthis level, I will only have to recruit 25 aging: effects of exercise training.”motor units. At this level of strength, Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviewsmy perceived effort is much lower. 21 (1993): 65–102.] Furthermore, asNow, there are other factors involved a muscle becomes stronger, fewerthat make this example imperfect. motor units will have to be recruitedIncreasing muscle size means more to perform a given task, thus reducingweight may have to be carried, or the demand on the cardiovascularthe body’s cooling efficiency will be system. Clearly, the best kind ofslightly less. However, the general exercise is the kind that will tax theidea still holds true. Proper exercise musculature the most; this will createnot only stimulates central cardiovas- a powerful cardiovascular stimulus,cular changes, it stimulates peripheral while producing hemodynamic changesmuscular changes, which allows you to that minimize the risk of cardiac CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 177
  • 193. ischemia and also produce the most cardiovascular condition; they are, profound peripheral changes in the instead, by far the best way to form of muscle strengthening. improve cardiovascular condition. . . . you move almost immediately from This would explain why a scientific study the end of the first exercise to the conducted at West Point Military Academy start of the second exercise, with in 1975 revealed that a high-intensity almost no rest between the two exer- strength-training program performed on cises, then you will increase both Nautilus machines stimulated the body strength and cardiovascular condi- to produce outstanding cardiovascular tion; in fact, that style of training, benefits (measured by more than sixty properly performed, will lead to a different tests to determine aerobic fitness) level of cardiovascular condition that from workouts lasting as little as eighteen is far higher than you could ever minutes. In other words, high-intensity produce by any amount of jogging or strength training has your aerobic bases any other cardiovascular exercise. covered. Such a style of exercise simultane- It’s now been documented that, to ously provides anaerobic exercise for produce the most profound changes in strength building and aerobic exercise cardiovascular endurance, exercise has to for improving cardiovascular condi- be intense and brief (as in the McMaster tion. . . . Once you reach the target study). The question that logically arises is: rate of exercise you will find that your how frequently should one train to allow pulse rate remains at a very high rate such adaptive responses to take place throughout the workout, far higher in the cardiovascular system? The revo- than you could ever maintain with lutionary study conducted at West Point any sort of aerobic exercise; yet your may be taken as a guiding example of the muscles are being worked anaero- benefits of once-a-week training. Arthur bically, as they must for strength- Jones, the creator of Nautilus machines building purposes. . . . We used and the man who trained many of the this style of training during research cadets in the West Point study, addresses conducted at the United States Mili- this subject in his essay entitled “Maxi- tary Academy, West Point, twenty-two mizing Aerobic Potential”: years ago, and the results were so outstanding that Dr. Kenneth Cooper Properly performed, which they refused to believe them, refused even seldom are, strength building exer- though his own people performed all cises are not a “good” way to improve of the pre and post testing. Average178 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 194. strength for the test group increased ding enough adipose (or, as it is more by 60 percent in six weeks, while commonly known, fat) from under the their cardiovascular condition reached skin in order to reveal the muscle in bold a level so high that Cooper refused to relief. believe it, a level he could not reach Because definition is exclusively a in six years of aerobic exercise . . . matter of losing fat, it is solely achieved producing the best possible results through a combination of diet—taking requires such a style of training no in fewer calories than you expend—and more than once a week. During the activity levels. The bad news is that, even research at West Point, we trained the by fasting, you would be hard pressed cadet subjects three times each week to lose more than five or six ounces of but used this “no rest” style of training fat per day, and while you will lose fat only once each week. more quickly by markedly increasing your activity levels, the difference is I hope this explanation will put to not all that significant. The good news rest some of the baseless “anti-strength is that, while there is no such thing as training” bias against bodybuilding exercise a definition exercise, certain exercises and its effect on our cardiovascular system require more energy than others, thus that has posed as gospel truth within the burning more calories, the excess of bodybuilding and fitness industry. which is responsible for fat storage. Thus, they help in developing a more defined“DEFINITION” EXERCISES appearance. Several self-styled authorities claimQUESTION: I have been bodybuilding for that leg extensions will specifically lead to several years now and have made consid- the creation of thigh definition. Their logic erable gains in size and strength. It has eludes me. I don’t comprehend how leg struck me that perhaps, at this stage of extensions are capable of “creating” thigh my training, it would be wise for me to definition more quickly than, say, leg presses become ripped—but I still want to hold or squats. As a matter of fact, squats would on to my existing size. What are the probably be the best for creating “definition,” best definition exercises for the different in that they demand the greatest energy bodyparts, in your opinion? (i.e., calorie) expenditure. Answer: The secret, then, to obtaining a more First, let’s be clear that there is no such defined, or “ripped,” appearance is to thing as a “definition exercise.” Defini- follow a calorie-reduced diet and select tion, per se, is strictly a matter of shed- exercises that demand the most energy, CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 179
  • 195. such as squats or leg presses. In this way, nitrogen-based constituents of protein and not only are more calories burned, but consequently are equally as ineffective also you will continue to stimulate muscle in “building” muscle as their soy, milk, growth via the exercises themselves, egg, and whey predecessors. Of course, provided you perform them with high inten- the supplement makers changed not sity; larger muscles require and expend only their labels but also their marketing more calories at rest than does fat tissue. strategies: they began to promote a “new” Your double dividend of training, when product called “amino acids.” In fact, married to a reduced-calorie diet, gives their advertisements contained banner you an unsurpassed three-pronged attack headlines proclaiming that they were against the definition-obscuring demon of actually safe, effective, and even superior adiposity. replacements to anabolic steroids, which is tantamount to telling a man who isAMINO ACIDS testosterone deficient that all he needs is a protein shake in order to rectify hisQUESTION: How many amino acids should hormonal imbalance. one take for the purpose of building a Amino acid supplements are not a requi- muscularly massive physique? site for building big muscles. To build a Answer: larger-than-normal amount of muscle mass, Your question implies that you accept the you must first stimulate muscle growth at notion that amino acids are somehow the cellular level via high-intensity training a primary requisite in the development and then allow sufficient time to elapse of “massive” muscles. They’re not. This between workouts for your muscular issue can be traced back a decade or reserves to recover and for the growth so, when protein supplements became that you have stimulated to manifest. Only temporarily unpopular within the Food then does nutrition become a factor in the and Drug Administration, owing to the growth process. bogus claims made by overzealous Adequate nutrition—including all manufacturers. nutrients and not just protein—must be In an attempt to recapture the tremen- provided in order for you to maintain dously lucrative protein market, protein your existing level of muscle mass. If you manufacturers reissued their protein stimulated growth by training intensely supplements with a new name: “amino enough, a little bit extra (approximately acids.” It is a prime example of old wine sixteen calories) must be consumed to, in new skins. Amino acids are simply the again, allow that growth to manifest.180 PART 4 KEEPING THE MUSCLE MACHINE PRIMED
  • 196. A well-balanced diet comprising two ormore (depending on body weight) portionsof the four basic food groups (i.e., cerealsand grains, fruits and vegetables, dairyproducts, and meats) consumed eachday will provide you with sufficient nutri-tion to both maintain your health and, ifyou’ve stimulated it, allow for the growthof massive muscles. However, there is noway that amino acid supplements can of To build bigger and stronger muscles, you must first stimulatethemselves either stimulate or enhance muscle growth at the cellular level via high-intensity training and then allow sufficient time to elapse between workouts forthe muscle growth process. Caveat your muscles to recover and grow.emptor! CHAPTER 18 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 181
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  • 198. Index Abdominals, 143–47 Barbell curls definition and refinement, 143–45 giant sets, 79–80 and diet, 144–45 heavy weights for, 170–71 number of reps for, 160–61 M.C.S. routine, 56 specialized routine, 145–47 month 1 routine, 15–16 Adaptive response, 48, 49, 159 shoulder specialization routine, 106 Adductions, 108, 110 split routine, 63 Adductor magnus, 108 year-round baseline routine, 97 Adroyd, 43 Barbell presses Aerobic fitness. See Cardiovascular fitness month 1 routine, 13–14 Aerobics (Kenneth Cooper), 173 month 3 routine, 32–33 Alternate dumbbell curls, 63 Barbell rows Amino acid supplements, 180–81 back specialization routine, 130 Anabolic steroids, 41. See also Steroids giant sets, 78 Anatomy and physiology, 5–6 month 1 routine, 14–15 arms, 117, 118 month 2 routine, 23 back, 126 month 3 routine, 33–34 chest, 136 shoulder specialization routine, 106 and exercise, 6–8 split routine, 64 legs, 108–9 Barbell shrugs shoulders, 101 back specialization routine, 130 Anderson, Paul, 105 split routine, 64 Androgens, 41–42 Barbell squats Arms, 115–24. See also specific muscles 6-month baseline routine, 85 anatomy and physiology, 117, 118 giant sets, 72 frequency of training, 116–18 month 1 routine, 10–11 specialized routine, 118–24 month 2 routine, 23 training principles, 118 month 3 routine, 31 Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic (1990), 40 shoulder specialization routine, 104–5 split routine, 63 Back, 125–34 year-round baseline routine, 96 function and design, 126 Barbell wrist curls, 56 giant sets, 70–71, 77–81 Baseline routines muscles in, 125 after 6 months, 85–86, 88 specialized routine, 126–34 year-round, 96–98 split routine, 62–65 Baum, Erika, 173 183Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.
  • 199. Bench dips, 141–42 Carbohydrates, 22, 153Bench presses Cardiac muscle, 6 6-month baseline routine, 86 Cardiovascular fitness, ix, x, 173–79 chest specialization routine, 138 Central nervous system, 5, 67, 68 giant sets, 76 Champions month 1 routine, 12–13 drug use by, 40 month 2 routine, 24 genetic predisposition of, x, xi, 28–30 split routine, 63 precontest training of, 27–28 year-round baseline routine, 96–97 protein consumed by, 153Bent-over barbell rows Charash, Bruce, 176 month 1 routine, 14–15 “Cheating” on exercises, 8 month 3 routine, 33 Chest, 135–42 split routine, 64 anatomy and physiology, 136Bent-over lateral raises giant sets, 70, 75–77 giant sets, 73, 74 specialized routine, 137–42 M.C.S. routine, 54–55 split routine, 62–64 shoulder specialization routine, 104 training principles, 136–37Biceps, 118 Chin-ups back specialization routine, 127–28 6-month baseline routine, 85–86 giant sets, 70–71, 77–81 arms specialization routine, 119 heavy barbell curls, 170–71 back specialization routine, 128 legs specialization routine, 112 legs specialization routine, 112 M.C.S. routine, 56 M.C.S. routine, 56 split routine, 62–65 month 3 routine, 32Biceps femoris, 109 shoulder specialization routine, 105Body fat. See Fat Claims for bodybuilding, deceptive, 28–30Bodybuilders. See also Champions Clean, 5 fat stores of, 44 Close-grip pull-downs, 78 “real” vs. “professional,” 40–41 Coan, Ed, 99Bodybuilding, benefits of, ix–x, 173–79 Columbu, Franco, 171–72Bones, 6 Concentration curls, 119–20Boredom, 91–92 “Confusing” the muscles, 68Borgrows report (1981), 42 Consistency of training, 158Bread, 168–69 Cooper, Kenneth, 173, 178–79Break-over point, 48 CrunchesBulking up, 161–62 abdominals, 145–46 legs specialization routine, 112–13Cable push-downs M.C.S. routine, 56–57 arms specialization routine, 121 month 1 routine, 16–17 giant sets, 76–77 month 3 routine, 36Cable rowing, 140 split routine, 63–64Calf raises Curls, 5 arms specialization routine, 123 6-month baseline routine, 86, 88 back specialization routine, 131–32 arms specialization routine, 119–20, 122–23 chest specialization routine, 139, 140 back specialization routine, 131 giant sets, 71, 72 chest specialization routine, 140–41 legs specialization routine, 111 giant sets, 71–73, 79–81 M.C.S. routine, 53 with heavy weights, 170–71 shoulder specialization routine, 105 legs specialization routine, 110Calories, 151, 152 M.C.S. routine, 53, 56 burning, 164 month 1 routine, 15–16 force-feeding, 162 month 2 routine, 25 reducing, 22, 154 month 3 routine, 34–37184 INDEX
  • 200. shoulder specialization routine, 106 Dumbbell curls split routine, 63 chest specialization routine, 140–41 year-round baseline routine, 97 giant sets, 72–73, 78–79 month 2 routine, 25Darden, Ellington, 116, 169 month 3 routine, 34, 35Dead lifts split routine, 63 arms specialization routine, 123 Dumbbell flyes chest specialization routine, 140 arms specialization routine, 123 month 1 routine, 16 chest specialization routine, 138 month 2 routine, 25–26 giant sets, 76 month 3 routine, 36 month 3 routine, 33 split routine, 64 shoulder specialization routine, 106Deceptive claims, 28–30 split routine, 63Decline bench presses, 138 Dumbbell kickbacksDefi nition arms specialization routine, 121 of abdominals, 143–45 legs specialization routine, 112 of arms, 124 M.C.S. routine, 55–56 and body fat, 144, 163–64 Dumbbell laterals, 123 exercises for, 179–80 Dumbbell presses high reps for, 163–64 giant sets, 73–76Deltoids (delts), 101. See also Shoulders year-round baseline routine, 96–97 legs specialization routine, 111 Dumbbell pull-overs M.C.S. routine, 54–55 back specialization routine, 128, 129Dickerson, Chris, 171–72 giant sets, 77–78Diet, 21–22, 180–81 Dumbbell shrugs for abdominal definition, 144–45 giant sets, 73, 75 amino acids, 180–81 legs specialization routine, 111 for arm definition, 124 Duration for becoming lean, 154 at break-over point, 48–49 bread in, 168–69 intensity vs., 48 to build pure muscle, 151–54 of M.C.S. exercises, 57 calorie needs analysis, 151–53 carbohydrates, 22, 153 Equipment for workouts for fat loss vs. weight loss, 22 access to, x for muscle growth, 168 weight belts, 169–70 protein requirements, 153–54 Erector spinae, 125, 126 to reduce subcutaneous body fat, 17 Exercise(s). See also specific routines for ten pounds of muscle growth per year, anatomy and, 6, 8 152 “cheating” on, 8Dill, Mary, 174–75 concentrating on, 8Dips for definition, 179–80 arms specialization routine, 120, 121 performance of, 9, 103 back specialization routine, 132–33 resistance, ix chest specialization routine, 141–42 for specific muscle groups, 7 year-round baseline routine, 97, 98 types of, ixDoping, 41 The Exercise Myth (Henry Solomon), 176Drugs Extensions. See Leg extensions; Triceps appearance and health changes from use of, 40, extensions 41 consequences of using, 41 Failure point, 38, 48, 67–68 steroids, xi, 28, 39–43 Fat, 17 taken by champion bodybuilders, 28 and bulking up, 162Dumbbell bench presses, 96–97 diet for losing, 152–53 INDEX 185
  • 201. losing weight vs. losing, 22 Hack squats, 131 and muscle definition, 144, 163–64 Hammer curls, 37Ferrigno, Lou, 30 Hamstring muscles, 53, 108–9Flexibility, ix Hand placement, 162–63Flyes “Health Related Issues” (Doug McGuff), 176–77 arms specialization routine, 123 Heart Myths (Bruce Charash), 176 chest specialization routine, 138 Hercules, 87 giant sets, 76 Howe, Cary, 155 month 3 routine, 33 Howe, Gordie, 156, 157 shoulder specialization routine, 106 Human Performance Laboratory, 176 split routine, 63 Hyperextensions, 130, 131Forced reps, 20–21 Hypertrophy, 85, 117, 158–62. See also MuscleForearms, in M.C.S. routine, 56 growthForm, 65, 158–59Forward lateral raises, 54–55 Incline dumbbell curls, 34, 35Forward raises Incline dumbbell presses, 75–76 M.C.S. routine, 54–55 Individual specific repetitions (I.S.R.), 94, 95 shoulder specialization routine, 104 Infraspinatus, 125, 126French presses Instinct, 84–85 6-month baseline routine, 88 Intensity back specialization routine, 133 for chest specialization, 136–37 giant sets, 76 defined, 48 month 3 routine, 34–36 for definition, 164 shoulder specialization routine, 106 duration vs., 48 split routine, 65 with giant sets, 67Frequency of training, x maximum, generating, 49 (See also Max for arms, 116, 117, 124 Contraction System) for cardiovascular fitness, 175 and muscular overcompensation, 159 for chest, 137 Isometrics, 50 for giant sets, 69 I.S.R. See Individual specific repetitions (I.S.R.) for initial program, 8 with Max Contraction System, 58 Jargon, 4–5, 20–21 for month 3, 38 Johnson, Ben, 40, 42 for shoulders, 103 Jones, Arthur, 94, 178 with split routine, 61 in year-round schedule, 92, 99 Kazmier, Bill, 99Front squats on blocks, 121–22 Kickbacks arms specialization routine, 121Genetic predisposition, x–xi, 28–30, 156–57, 172 legs specialization routine, 112Giant sets, 67–81 M.C.S. routine, 55–56 for back and biceps, 70–71, 77–81 Kinesiology, of legs, 108–9 for chest and triceps, 70, 75–77 Knee-ups on chin bar, 145 explained, 68 for legs and shoulders, 69–75 Labrada, Lee, 30 number of, 69 Lat machine pull-overs repetitions, 81 legs specialization routine, 111Gibala, Martin, 175 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54Golgi tendon organs, 6 Lat pull-downsGretzky, Wayne, 156, 157 back specialization routine, 129Grimek, John, xi, 40 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54Grip, 162–63 split routine, 64Growth drugs, xi year-round baseline routine, 96186 INDEX
  • 202. Lateral raises Mistakes in training, 155–65 arms specialization routine, 123 arbitrarily terminating a set, 159–60 giant sets, 72–74 bulking up, 161–62 legs specialization routine, 111 chronic overtraining, 157–58 M.C.S. routine, 54–55 excessive sets, 164–65 shoulder specialization routine, 104 high reps for abs, 160–61Latissimus dorsi (lats), 125, 126 high reps for definition, 163–64 legs specialization routine, 111 ignoring genetic factor, 156–57 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54 improper structuring, 160Lee, Bruce, 30, 144 incorrect hand placement, 162–63Leg curls lack of consistency, 158 arms specialization routine, 122–23 poor form, 158–59 back specialization routine, 131 Motionless exercise systems, 50. See also Max giant sets, 71 Contraction System legs specialization routine, 110 Motivation, 91–92 M.C.S. routine, 53 Motor units, 176–77Leg extensions Muscle fibers chest specialization routine, 139 contraction of, 49–51 giant sets, 71–72 individuals’ number of, 157 legs specialization routine, 109–10 Muscle growth. See also Hypertrophy M.C.S. routine, 53 diet for, 151–54Legs, 107–13 exercise factors for, 167–68 anatomy and kinesiology, 108–9 genetic predisposition for, x–xi, 28–30 giant sets for, 69–75 individual specific repetitions for, 94–95 specialized routine, 109–13 intensity vs. duration of workout for, 48 split routine, 62–64 with Max Contraction System, 51–52Ligaments, 5 and “ninety-six-hour” mark, 61Limit weight, 5 number of sets for, 69Little, Terri, 155 physiology of, 6Lunges, 139 with split routine, 60Lying triceps extensions stimulating, 144 giant sets, 77 training principles for, 8–9 month 2 routine, 25 Muscles, 6. See also specific muscles split routine, 64 ”confusing” or “shocking,” 68 effect of steroids on, 28Max Contraction System (M.C.S.), x, 47–58 exercises for, 6–7 exercises in, 52–57 functions of, 7 muscle growth with, 51–52 lengthening, 171–72 position of contraction in, 47–48 levels of strength in, 159 seconds vs. reps in, 57 nervous system stimulation of, 5, 6 “strip-offs” with, 51 “stabilizer,” 172–73 theory behind, 49–52”Maximizing Aerobic Potential” (Arthur Jones), Nautilus, 108, 173, 175, 178 178–79 Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre,McGuff, Doug, 176–78 155–56McMaster University, 175 The Nautilus Nutrition Book (Ellington Darden),Mental imagery, 29–30 169Mentzer, Mike, 8, 21, 30, 60, 144, 162 Negative level of strength, 159Messier, Stephen, 174–75 Negatives, 93, 137Metabolic rate, x Nervous system, 5, 42Mind over matter, 29–30 “Ninety-six-hour” mark, 61Mind-to-muscle link, 8 Nutrition. See Diet INDEX 187
  • 203. Oblique crunches, standing, 146 Pull-downsOlympic Games (1988), 40 back specialization routine, 129–30Omega Sets, 51 giant sets, 78Orr, Bobby, 156, 157 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54Overcompensation, 6, 8. See also Muscle growth split routine, 64Overeating, 161 year-round baseline routine, 96Overtraining, 38 Pull-overs of chest, 135 back specialization routine, 128, 129 chronic, 157–58 chest specialization routine, 138 with split routine, 60 giant sets, 77–78 legs specialization routine, 111Pain, 19 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54Palms-up chin-ups, 105 month 1 routine, 9, 11–12“Paradigm Shift for Exercise” (Doug McGuff), month 2 routine, 23 177–78 Push-downsParallel bar dips arms specialization routine, 121 back specialization routine, 132–33 giant sets, 77 year-round baseline routine, 97, 98Parallel-grip pull-downs, 129–30 Quadriceps, 53, 108Park, Reg, 40ParkeDavis Pharmaceuticals, 43 Rand, Ayn, 29Partners, 21 Recovery (rest and recuperation), 30, 61. See alsoPec decks Frequency of training legs specialization routine, 111–12 alternate-day schedule for, 10 M.C.S. routine, 55 to avoid overtraining, 38Pectoralis major, 136 if you miss a day, 9Pectoralis minor, 136 with Max Contraction System, 51, 57–58Peripheral nervous system, 5 muscle growth and need for, 8Physical condition, pre-program assessment of, 4 with split routine, 61Platz, Tom, 105 time required for, 30–31Positive level of strength, 159 in year-round training schedule, 93Poundage, 5 Rectus femoris, 108Preacher curls Reeves, Steve, xi, 8, 30, 40, 43, 125, 144 6-month baseline routine, 86 Refi nement, 143–44 arms specialization routine, 120 Repetitions (reps), 4 giant sets, 80–81 for abs, 160–61Preexhaustion, 127 for chest, 137Presses, 4 for definition, 163–64 6-month baseline routine, 86, 88 forced, 20–21 back specialization routine, 133 for giant sets, 81 chest specialization routine, 138 ideal number of, 94–95 giant sets, 73–76 individual specific repetitions, 94, 95 month 1 routine, 12–14 and Max Contraction System, 57 month 2 routine, 24 time required for, 159 month 3 routine, 32–36 Resistance exercise, ix shoulder specialization routine, 106 Rest and recuperation. See Recovery split routine, 63, 65 Reverse-grip preacher curls, 80–81 year-round baseline routine, 96–97 Rhomboideus, 125, 126Presses behind the neck Robinson, Robby, 68 6-month baseline routine, 86 Routine month 2 routine, 24 defined, 5Protein, 153–54, 180 structuring of, 160188 INDEX
  • 204. Routine (abdominals), 145–47 pull-overs, 138 crunches, 145–46 seated cable rowing, 140 knee-ups on chin bar, 145 standing calf raises, 139, 140 standing oblique crunches, 146 standing (supinating) dumbbell curls, 140–41Routine (arms specialization), 118–24 stiff-legged dead lifts, 140 cable push-downs, 121 Routine (giant sets) calf raises, 123 for back and biceps, 70–71, 77–81 chin-ups, 119 barbell squats, 72 concentration curls, 119–20 bench presses, 76 dips, 120, 121 bent-over laterals, 73, 74 dumbbell flyes, 123 cable push-downs, 76–77 dumbbell kickbacks, 121 calf raises, 71, 72 dumbbell laterals, 123 for chest and triceps, 70, 75–77 front squats on blocks, 121–22 close-grip pull-downs, 78 leg curls, 122–23 dumbbell curls, 78–79 steep-angle preacher curls, 120 dumbbell flyes, 76 stiff-legged dead lifts, 123 dumbbell pull-overs, 77–78Routine (back specialization), 126–34 incline dumbbell presses, 75–76 barbell shrugs, 130 leg curls, 71 and biceps work, 127–28 leg extensions, 71–72 chin-ups, 128 for legs and shoulders, 69–75 dumbbell pull-overs, 128, 129 lying triceps extensions, 77 hack squats, 131 preacher curls, 80–81 hyperextensions, 130, 131 seated and standing dumbbell laterals, 72–73 lat pull-downs, 129 seated dumbbell presses, 73, 74 leg curls, 131 seated dumbbell shrugs, 73, 75 seated calf raises, 131–32 seated French presses, 76 standing French presses, 133 standing barbell curls, 79–80 upright barbell rows, 130 upright barbell rows, 78 wide- or parallel-grip pull-downs, 129–30 Routine (legs specialization), 109–13 wide-grip parallel bar dips, 132–33 abdominals: crunches, 112–13Routine (baseline, after 6 months), 85–86, 88 adductions, 110 barbell squats, 85 biceps: sustained chin-ups, 112 bench presses, 86 calves: standing calf raises, 111 chin-ups, 85–86 delts: side lateral raises (dumbbells), 111 preacher curls, 86, 88 lats: machine pull-overs, 111 seated French presses, 88 leg curls, 110 seated presses behind the neck, 86 leg extensions, 109–10Routine (baseline, in year-round schedule), pecs: pec decks, 111–12 96–98 traps: dumbbell shrugs, 111 barbell squats, 96 triceps: dumbbell kickbacks, 112 dumbbell bench presses, 96–97 Routine (Max Contraction System) lat pull-downs, 96 abs: crunches, 56–57 parallel bar dips, 97, 98 biceps: chin-ups, 56 shoulder presses, 97 calves: standing calf raises, 53 standing barbell curls, 97 delts: forward, side, and bent-over lateral raises,Routine (chest specialization), 137–42 54–55 bench dips, 141–42 forearms: barbell wrist curls, 56 decline bench presses, 138 hamstrings: leg curls, 53 dumbbell flyes, 138 lats: lat machine pull-overs or lat pull-downs, leg extensions, 139 53, 54 lunges, 139 pectorals: pec decks, 55 INDEX 189
  • 205. quadriceps: leg extensions, 53 dumbbell flyes, 63 traps: shrugs, 53, 54 lat pull-downs, 64 triceps: dumbbell kickbacks, 55–56 legs, chest, and biceps, 62–64Routine (month 1), 9–17 lying triceps extensions, 64 barbell squats, 10–11 standing barbell curls, 63 bench presses, 12–13 standing French presses, 65 bent-over barbell rows, 14–15 stuff-legged dead lifts, 64 crunches, 16–17 Rows/rowing pull-overs, 11–12 back specialization routine, 130 standing barbell curls, 15–16 chest specialization routine, 140 standing barbell presses, 13–14 giant sets, 78 stiff-legged dead lifts, 16 month 1 routine, 14–15Routine (month 2), 22–26 month 2 routine, 23 barbell squats, 23 month 3 routine, 33–34 bench presses, 24 shoulder specialization routine, 106 lying triceps extensions, 25 split routine, 64 presses behind the neck, 24 Running, ix pull-overs, 23 standing dumbbell curls, 25 Schedule of training stiff-legged dead lifts, 25–26 in first month, 9–10 upright barbell rows, 23 for split routine, 61–62Routine (month 3), 31–37 year-round, 91–94 barbell squats, 31 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 30, 84, 99, 157 bent-over barbell rows, 33 Scott, Larry, 40, 172 chin-ups, 32 Seated barbell presses, 32–33 crunches, 36 Seated cable rowing, 140 dumbbell flyes, 33 Seated calf raises, 131–32 hammer curls, 37 Seated dumbbell laterals, 72–73 incline dumbbell curls, 34, 35 Seated dumbbell presses, 73, 74 seated barbell presses, 32–33 Seated dumbbell shrugs, 73, 75 seated French presses, 34–36 Seated French presses stiff-legged dead lifts, 36 6-month baseline routine, 88 upright barbell rows, 33–34 giant sets, 76 wrist curls, 36–37 3 routine, 34–36Routine (shoulder specialization), 103–6 shoulder specialization routine, 106 barbell squats, 104–5 Seated presses behind the neck, 86 bent-over laterals, 104 Semimembranous, 109 calf raises, 105 Semitendinosus, 109 dumbbell flyes, 106 Serratus anterior (magnus), 136 forward raises, 104 Sets, 4 palms-up chin-ups, 105 for abdominal specialization, 145 seated French press, 106 arbitrary termination of, 159–60 side lateral raises, 104 for arm specialization, 117 standing barbell curls, 106 best number of, 37–38, 69 upright barbell rows, 106 for cardiovascular fitness, 175Routine (split) for chest development, 137 alternate dumbbell curls, 63 excessive, 164–65 back, shoulders, and biceps, 62–65 in first and second months, 9, 20 barbell shrugs, 64 giant. See Giant sets barbell squats, 63 for shoulder specialization, 102 bench presses, 63 for specialization routines, 92 bent-over barbell rows, 64 for split routine, 59–61 crunches, 63–64 supersets, 11190 INDEX
  • 206. ”Shocking“ the muscles, 68 Standing barbell curlsShoulder presses, 97 giant sets, 79–80Shoulders, 101–6. See also Deltoids month 1 routine, 15–16giant sets for, 69–75 shoulder specialization routine, 106performance of exercises for, 103 split routine, 63 specialized routine, 103–6 year-round baseline routine, 97 split routine, 62–65 Standing barbell presses, 13–14Shrugs Standing calf raises back specialization routine, 130 chest specialization routine, 139, 140 giant sets, 73, 75 legs specialization routine, 111 legs specialization routine, 111 M.C.S. routine, 53 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54 Standing (supinating) dumbbell curls split routine, 64 chest specialization routine, 140–41Side lateral raises giant sets, 72–73 legs specialization routine, 111 month 2 routine, 25 M.C.S. routine, 54–55 Standing French presses shoulder specialization routine, 104 back specialization routine, 133Six-Day Cycle Races, 41 split routine, 65Skeletal muscle, 6 Standing oblique crunches, 146Smooth muscle, 6 Static level of strength, 159Solomon, Henry, 176 Steep-angle preacher curls, 120Specialization Steroids, xi, 39–43 abdominals, 143–47 cost of, 43 arms, 115–24 dangers of, 41, 43 to avoid boredom, 92 muscle changes from, 28 back, 125–34 origins of, 41–42 chest, 135–42 physique produced by, 43 explained, 20 side effects of, 42–43 isolation exercises for, 102 taken by champion bodybuilders, 28 legs, 107–13 and two classes of bodybuilders, 40–41 sets for, 68 Stiff-legged dead lifts shoulders, 101–6 arms specialization routine, 123 in year-round training schedule, 93 chest specialization routine, 140Split routine, 59–65 month 1 routine, 16 back, shoulders, and biceps, 62–65 month 2 routine, 25–26 legs, chest, and biceps, 62–64 month 3 routine, 36 right vs. wrong approach to, 60–61 split routine, 64 typical schedule for, 61–62 StrengthSpotters, 21, 57 levels of, 159Squats potential increase in, 38 6-month baseline routine, 85 as relative attribute, 99 arms specialization routine, 121–22 Strength training, cardiovascular benefits of, back specialization routine, 131 173–79 giant sets, 72 Stretching, ix month 1 routine, 9–11 exercises for muscle lengthening, 171–72 month 2 routine, 23 overstretched ligaments, 5 month 3 routine, 31 Strip-offs, 51 shoulder specialization routine, Supersets, 11, 20. See also Giant sets 104–5 Supplements, 21, 180 split routine, 63 Sustained chin-ups, 112 year-round baseline routine, 96”Stabilizer” muscles, 172–73 Tendons, 6Staleness, 102 Teres major, 125, 126 INDEX 191
  • 207. Teres minor, 125, 126 Tri-sets, 68Testosterone, 41. See also Steroids Tyson, Mike, 30Training, 30–31. See also Overtraining; specific routines Upright barbell rows by champions, 27–28 back specialization routine, 130 duration of, 38 giant sets, 78 frequency of, x month 2 routine, 23 mistakes to avoid in, 155–65 month 3 routine, 33–34 “proper,” 30 shoulder specialization routine, 106 recovery in, 30–31 for size and power, 83–88 Vastus intermedius, 108 year-round schedule for, 91–94 Vastus lateralis, 108Training principles, 8–9 Vastus medialis, 108 for abs, 144, 145 Visualization, 29–30 for arms, 118 Vocabulary of bodybuilding, 4–5 for back, 125–27 for chest, 136–37 Weight, losing fat vs. losing, 22 for legs, 113 Weight belts, 169–70 of Max Contraction System, 49–52 Weighted crunches, 56–57 for shoulders, 102, 103 West Point Military Academy, 178–79Trapezius (traps), 125, 126 Wide- or parallel-grip pull-downs, 129–30 legs specialization routine, 111 Wide-grip parallel bar dips, 132–33 M.C.S. routine, 53, 54 Wrist curlsTriceps, 118 M.C.S. routine, 56 giant sets for, 70, 75–77 month 3 routine, 36–37 legs specialization routine, 112 M.C.S. routine, 55–56 Year-round trainingTriceps extensions baseline routine for, 96–98 giant sets, 77 body weight increase with, 98–99 month 2 routine, 25 schedule for, 91–94 split routine, 64 Yoga, ix192 INDEX
  • 208. About the Author F or more than twenty years, John Little has worked alongside the sport’s greatest champions and innovators—from Steve “Hercules” Reeves, Lou Ferrigno, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates and high-intensity- training pioneer Mike Mentzer. Little and his wife, Terri, are the owners of Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre (nautilusnorth. com), which Ironman magazine heralded as “one of the leading fitness research centers in North America.” Little is a regular columnist for Ironman and the innovator of three revolutionary training proto- cols: Max Contraction Training, Static Contraction Training, and Power Factor Training. He is the author of more than thirty books ranging from bodybuilding and martial arts guides to scholarly tomes on history and philosophy. Little’s methods have been called “revolutionary” by the bodybuilding community, and his articles on bodybuilding have been featured in every major health and fitness publication in North America, Europe, and Asia, while his training methods have been employed by more than 150,000 bodybuilders and strength athletes around the world.Copyright © 2008 by John Little. Click here for terms of use.