Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Muscle Jock of the Day

Buddies Out Fishing

Rain, Rain...

Lift Shirt

Gas Up


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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Louis Abele - Chester Teegarden

Louis Abele
by Chester Teegarden


These training programs of Louis Abele have been compiled, organized and now published so that you, the reader, may study them. This publication is the culmination of my original idea. When I first became acquainted with Louis Abele I was impressed that his methods of training procedure should not be lost to humanity in general or to the muscle culture fan in particular. Before becoming personally acquainted with Louis at the Junior National Weightlifting Championships at St. Louis in 1939, and consequently receiving correspondence from him, I had, as a quick-lifting enthusiast and competitor in the AAU, been interested in the training programs of Charles Rigoulot of France. Also of Nosier and Touni of Egypt, Walker of England and Novak of the USSR. Rigoulot has been for more than a score of years the world record holder in the two hands clean & jerk at 402.5 pounds. But, have Rigoulot’s training schedules been recorded and published, making them available and useful to the general public?

Objective data, unrecorded, is soon lost. Stanko and Davis have totaled more than 1,000 pounds on the three Olympic lifts but have their training programs and schedules (which they actually did perform) become objective recorded data? Only RECORDED OBJECTIVE DATA are valuable to a literate people.

These programs of Louis Abele are of value to the average enthusiast because they acquaint him with a field of operation beyond his probably attainable horizon. But it shows you this thing has been done, therefore, broadening your horizon in Muscle Culture. It is easier to follow a path than to blaze a trail. Few of us attain more than 10% of our intellectual potential, so, most of us live well within our capacity even when the energy is present and the facilities are at hand. We lack know-how.

Abele’s training can be useful to you if you adopt his system of progression in poundages and repetitions according to the ease or difficulty of performance. My advice – Study and discuss – Abele.

Chester O. Teegarden, Proprietor Strong Barbell Co., Associate Editor of Iron Man Magazine.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12 February, 1940.

Dear Chester,

You have my permission to use the idea which I wrote to you some time ago. If you want to write it up please refrain from writing up the Press. I have been experimenting and will have some data in the future regarding the extent of improvement that can be expected. You can mention that I will try to have completed research on the “white mice” (the boys Louis trains) in about two months.

I am expecting to get some photos taken in New York soon. I well send some for publication in the Iron Man.

I broke the World Heavyweight two hands snatch record in the contest at our club (the Lighthouse Boys’ Club, Philadelphia) on the tenth of February. The former record was held by Ronald Walker of England at 292½. I did 296. My total was 941 (280, 296, 365).

Yours truly,
Louis Abele

Quick Lifting Training Schedule

Dear Chester,

I was pleased to receive a letter from you so soon after the Junior Nationals. I had not expected one for some time. It seems as though you are in earnest in regard to your lifting and your desire to improve. I can not specifically advise you what to do, but I can give you my opinion regarding some of your problems. You wrote, in part, that you had been training for some years, three times a week. Why don’t you try training six times a week? Training six times a week may make you snap out of your present slump. I have observed numerous instances of young men who have approximately the same problems as you, and they have benefitted from training more often. One fellow in particular made tremendous improvement by training eight or nine times a week; once or twice in the afternoon, then every evening in the week. The extras were only partial workouts. The times between workouts enable greater effort to be utilized in each individual attempt. If I remember correctly his total jumped from 565 to 675 in four months time as a lightheavyweight. He did not work or engage in any other activity. He also slept the greater part of the day.

I tried training every day in the week and improved considerably. but as I think I told you in St. Louis, my deltoids gave out. That is, they pained me so in lifting that I had to discontinue my training. I have not come up to the lifts that I made in any contest I have entered since. I had pressed 265, snatched 275, clean & jerked 340 for a total of 880.

In training every day do only presses one day and snatches or cleans the next day, and press again the third day. Do the following repetitions. I will list what I did.

Press –

Snatch – all from dead hang

This is not as difficult as it looks, since you do only one lift in a workout period. Do nothing else. That means squats, dead lifts, etc. Strange as it may seem, you will more than likely improve in your squats due to the lifts. I had not squatted for about 1½ years; and when I went back to try myself I did 15 repetitions with 400 pounds so easily that I think I could do about 20 or 22 reps in a couple of weeks.

It may interest you to know that Constantine Kosiras, the Greek fellow at our club, made a remarkable improvement. He had been doing nothing but squats for some months and then tried himself on the lifts one day. His press came up from 170 to 190, his snatch from 195 to 220, and his clean & jerk from 235 to 260. His bodyweight had also increased from 172 to 185, due to the squats, and previous to this new improvement in lifting.

I hope that anything I may have written will give you some helpful suggestions to incorporate in your training, and, hoping I will hear from you in the near future, I remain,

Louis Abele

A Biographical Sketch

29 February, 1940

This is an answer to your letter asking for a short biography of myself. I was born in the Province of W├╝rttemberg, Germany, on November 7, 1919. My ancestors were farmers, foresters and quarry workers. I lived in the hilly country.

We came to the United States when I was five years of age and in the following years I engaged in the ordinary activities of boyhood. I noticed early in life that I could outrun and outjump my companions with ease. I was interested in gymnastics before lifting became my greatest interest, and often remained in the gymnasium for hours. Swimming was also one of my favorite pastimes.

My first attempt to lift a bar bell resulted in my pressing 100 pounds. I started training on progressive weight training and body building at the age of 15 after watching older fellows practicing lifting at the Lighthouse Boys’ Club. At that time I was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 130 pounds. I had an inborn desire to be stronger than the next fellow and the environment also had a great bit to do with my urge for strength. My father often spoke of our powerful ancestors and he, himself, was considered the most powerful man in the surrounding district.

I had many teachers during my initial period of training due to the leader plan in the Lighthouse Boys’ Club. When a fellow reaches 21 at the club and is particularly suited to teach younger fellows, he is asked to stay on and become an unpaid member of the staff. His only reward is the continued use of the facilities of the club and the pleasure of watching the progress and development of the younger members. (There are also some junior members who, because of their unusual ability in their particular activity, either sport or social, become ideal teachers.) At present I am a junior leader. The club has about 80 leaders.

I think I have been my own best teacher due to experiments. The peculiar thing is that none of my experiments have ever failed to produce desirable results and I have, therefore, never been compelled to seek outside information. I have also learned very much from discussion with fellow lifters. We have always been receptive to any reasonable idea put forward by training companions even if they were much inferior in muscularity and strength. In fact, anyone who comes to our training quarters will find a heated discussion in full swing in regard to some training problem. Usually it is Kosiras and myself who are in the midst of a heated discussion.

My goal, as perhaps you are aware, is to surpass the records of Charles Rigoulot in the two hand quick lifts and Josef Manger in the two hands press. Another objective is to weight 225 in hard muscular condition at the height of 5 feet, 9 inches. I also want to explode the theory of the dependency of muscular size on bone size. I have already done this mentioned thing but wish really to explode it to my own satisfaction. According to the experts my 7½ inch wrist would not support any more than a 16¾ inch arm and at present my arm measures 18 inches. I hope to get it up to 19 inches.

I have always hammered away at back and leg work until I started seriously to improve my lifting, but I will make that the subject of a future letter since the multitudinous amount of leg work I have done could fill a volume.

The Two Arm Press

18 January, 1940

Friend Chester,

Please keep this information about the Press quiet, it has not been thoroughly tested yet. do not have any of the details made public. It has had such beneficial results on my “white mice” that I am not telling everyone.

Since you are intending to work out three times per week you should really be able to polish off some worthwhile results. Work the press as follows:

Start with a poundage about 35 pounds below your limit. Do 1 repetition. Wait 5 minutes and do another single repetition. And so on until you have done 20 or more single repetitions. Do this 3 nights per week. The second week add 2½ pounds, and son on the third and every week. When the going gets tough and you cannot finish in your specified time of about 1½ hours, cut down on your single repetitions to 15 or so and rest 7 or 8 minutes between each press, and finally allow yourself 10 or 12 minutes rest between each repetition when the poundage approaches your limit. Now reduce the weight 25 pounds below your limit at this time and work up again using the same procedure. When you get stuck this time take two or three weeks rest and then start over again. REMEMBER, do nothing else in the line of exercises even though you get fat or if your muscles shrink a little.

More About The Press

15 May, 1940

Friend Chester,

I believe I have some definite information now regarding the press. As I told you, practice the press every other day doing one repetition and then resting for a specified time. I explained also how I increased the weight and lengthened the time between presses. This information has been followed by several of my acquaintances, both personal and those with whom I correspond. There have been definite increases in every case over a period of several weeks. The increases as I noted in almost every instance amounted to 15 or 20 pounds. This is strange indeed if it happens to be a coincidence that all those who tried it improved to the same extent but I would be unwilling to commit myself and say that every one will definitely improve to a similar extent. You can add this information to the other letter I wrote if you wish.

Yours very truly,
Louis Abele

Some Back Work

14 October, 1940

I am now specializing on back work, and have worked up to 235 x 10 consecutive dead hang snatches. I will attempt to give you my leg schedule as soon as possible.

Abele’s Leg Program

8 March, 1941

Friend Chester,

I was glad to hear from you again. I did not answer sooner because I have been in Cuba several weeks. Davis, Terlazzo and I gave exhibitions in Havana. I surprised myself by totaling 980: press 310, snatch 300 and clean & jerk 370.

Regarding the leg program I have followed, I wish to make it clear that I did not reach the peak of development my legs possess at present through following a specialized leg program for two months. I did the following leg program with minor variations at three separate periods of my training each consisting of two months intensive work.

I ask you, Chester, did you ever during your career of lifting, see anyone whose thighs showed extreme muscular development due to such work as the proponents of the “take it easy and grow” school advise? I think I can answer for you: No!

You know as well as I the products of such system develop a “muscularity” that is entirely devoid of contour and woefully lacking in separation. They develop fat men’s thighs and nothing more. Then when they reduce in order to bring about the transformation of smooth thighs to muscular thighs they find to their amazement that they are practically back where they started and their gains of many inches fade away.

Do not these (take it easy and grow) gents realize it takes toils and sweat and more toil and sweat to build strength and muscle! To approach anything approximating muscular phenomenon requires work of the most intense sort. You must literally sweat blood to get up there, and let none forget it for an instant.

This tirade certainly would not do for manufacturers of exercise equipment to advocate as it would scare away all their prospects; but it, nevertheless, stands as the unvarnished truth.

Let me give you an example of what I mean by intense muscle building work as followed by someone other than myself; namely, John Davis, World Heavyweight Champion. Davis, realizing his legs could stand improvement, tackled the problem and followed a squatting routine of from 60 to 80 squats in sets of over 15 with weights above 400 pounds. The improvement in the contour and separation of his thighs has been amazing. His thighs have grown from 25 to about 27 inches.

Now let me tell you of the program I followed to improve my thighs and which caused muscular tissue to grow – not fat. I started at about 20% below my limit. WHEN DOING THESE LEG EXERCISE I NEVER STOPPED BETWEEN REPETITIONS TO REST as most leg exercisers do. I gradually increased the poundage and stayed at the maximum repetitions. The exercises are as follows:

1.) Deep Knee Bend, or Squat, 20 repetitions.
2.) Leg Press, 20 repetitions.
3.) Calf Exercise, 25 repetitions. One foot at a time with toes raised on a block.
4.) Step-up on a box, 20 repetitions with each leg.
5.) One Leg Squat, 15 repetitions. In split position going down on forward foot to maximum squat depth and balancing with the rear foot.
6.) Leg Curl, 15 repetitions.
7.) Calf exercise, 20 repetitions.
8.) Front Squat, 10 repetitions. Squat with barbell in Jerking position.

Questions by Teegarden and Abele’s answers:

How often did you work out?
Three times a week.
Any upper body work during this period?
No upper body work.

Don’t think that I advise everyone to go at it this severely; also keep in mind that to build strength and make muscles grow you must really work at it. An acquaintance of mine and incidentally one of the most muscular specimens who ever lived (not Grimek) used to exercise so hard his joints creaked and groaned so much it was audible to a bystander. This information may be a jolt to some exercise fans, but it is, nevertheless, the truth.

Many of our best lifters work to the point of nausea time and time again when they are working near their maximums. I have worked so hard on various occasions I had to vomit. You simple do not become exceptional unless you put forth the effort. Function makes structure, by heck, and don’t try fooling Nature with roundabout methods.

Cordially yours,
Louis Abele

Abele’s Back Program

As I explained while you visited me last (May 1942) I am a great proponent of specialization. When I first awakened to the possibilities of specialization I had been reading Mark Berry’s writings in which he outlined some suggestions of previous specializers.

From my early experience it was possible for me to outline a program which I believe is as good as any ever evolved. I had, by this time, been steeped in the benefits of heavy leg and back work and this idea, therefore, became a basis of my program.

As is well known after a gain in bodyweight, the smaller muscle groups respond more easily to exercise than if one’s bodyweight remained stable. Therefore, reason prompts me to work on the large muscle groups first, then on the smaller groups. What would be the sense of straining and striving for bigger arms and shoulders first, when the leg work that causes the gain in weight and the proportion of arms to the other parts of the body produces the desired results more efficiently? It always seemed reasonable to me to bring up the legs and hips first, back and chest next, and with the consequent enlarging of the rib box and shoulder girdle, the arms, when finally called upon, will grow very easily.

Naturally, one specializes when further growth thru other methods becomes too slow. When the muscles become accustomed to a definite degree of exertion they will fail to increase in size unless they are caused to exert themselves further. This becomes impossible after one has reached a peak in his training. If one kept increasing the work of all the muscles at one time it would not be long before rigor mortis set in. This leaves us with only one alternative, and that is the specialization in one specific section of the body at one time.

As I have explained to you previously, I had done my leg program first, which lasted over a period between two and three months. I also believe I explained to you that I estimated poundages that were within my reach and therefore would start at a poundage that would enable me to make a gradual increase throughout the entire program. Anyone with some measure of experience can judge how long he will continue to improve steadily and can therefore set his poundages with a fair degree of accuracy.

This is the back specialization program which I followed:

1.) 8 bent presses. Consecutive from the shoulder to overhead.
2.) Straight leg dead lift. 12 to 15 repetitions. On a box to arches of feet.
3.) Chin the bar. 10 to 12 repetitions with weight attached, usually by a rope or strap around the neck. Three variations were used: regular and undergrip pull to chest; overgrip to chin; and behind neck.
4.) Stationary rowing exercise. 12 repetitions.
5.) One arm rowing with a kettle bell. 15 repetitions.
6.) Two arm snatch. 10 consecutive times, no pause, from dead hang.
7.) Two hands clean in the same manner as the snatch but eliminated because it was too tough.
8.) Regular dead lift. 10 to 12 repetitions.

When I used to do snatches and cleans I had to pry my fingers off the bar and would often tear calluses off. It also caused such violent breathing my teeth ached.

During a specialized program on any part of the body the unused parts of the anatomy will naturally lose some shape and tone. But do not loose sight of your principle aim. After these periods of specialization are over the unused parts will quickly snap back to their original size and strength within two weeks time.

These are some of my best lifts which you requested:

Press 315; Snatch 310; Clean 375 (no jerk); Jerk 375 (no clean); Bent Press 225 at 185 lbs. bodyweight; Best Deep Knee Bends 400x18, 450x10, 475x7.

28 September, 1947

During the World Weightlifting Championships Abele told Rader and me that he can still press 300 and tried himself on Dead Hang Snatches having done 285x3. Louis weights about 225 and looks better than at any previous time I had seen him.

Louis works with his father, who is a cement contractor, every day. It is quite probable that in competition he could do no better than second to Davis. If Davis were not in competition Abele would quite probably be Heavyweight Champion of the World; but oh, that inevitable IF!

Copyright, 1948 by Strong Barbell Co.

Washboard Abs



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Working Man

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Powerlifting, Part One - Bradley J. Steiner

Harold Poole

Russ Knipp

Powerlifting, Part One
by Bradley J. Steiner


What I have termed the “Key Segments” (legs, back, shoulders and chest) are the foundation stones of a powerful body. It is more important to stress that these areas require full development, instead of emphasizing total concentration on the three powerlifts, because there are many exercises other than these three lifts that contribute to complete development of these areas. What is to be gained by unnecessarily limiting oneself?

This is mainly intended as a bodybuilder’s book. A sensible bodybuilder’s book, I’d add, since the stress is on the development of a physique that gives the appearance of great power because it is, truly powerful. I always turn away from the methods advocating pump, show, and artificially inflated, bloated tissue. Believe me, such methods are only for the foolish. If you want to get the most from this field and derive the fullest measure of physical culture benefits, then you want real, solid, healthy and functional muscle. I stress functional muscle always, since muscles that cannot do anything are similar to toy guns that look real but cannot shoot. What can their value possibly be?

Let us assume then that you seek the limit in power and your finest possible physique, coupled with the rugged health associated with the image of the true strongman. If we are agreed on this as our common goal then we are certainly ready to begin. The path is clear and the possibility of obtaining the goal sought is open to you, provided you are willing to put in the necessary hard work.



For the lifter interested in developing the limit in strength, along with the finest possible muscularity, powerlifting is a must. Super-strength is the result of developing to the limit the body’s muscular capacity for handling tremendous workloads. The most sensible way for a lifter to handle these workloads is through the inclusion of powerlifting in his regular course of physical culture training.

Power has always been admired and greatly respected through the ages. Every culture has had respect for the man of power.

This is a real “how-to-do-it” book. The aim and purpose is to discuss methods, outline courses, and detail training techniques that lead to the development of great strength. There is no easy way to build the power you desire, and there is no shortcut. However, there most assuredly is a right way to train. It is along the lines of the ways described herein. If you follow this plan you will attain your goal of great power.

Your first objective should be understanding. Therefore, give yourself time to read through, comprehend and fully absorb everything contained in this book. Read it through, carefully and with patience. Make sure the concepts sink in. Make sure you grasp the principles. Be certain that you basic questions have been answered before you actually begin training. If you read this book in the careful way suggested you will have no problem in understanding its contents. Everything has been designed to read simply, and every idea has been explained fully.

You will note one thing about my approach that may not be found in other power-training courses and books; that is, I concentrate enormously on the MENTAL ASPECTS of physical training, and that I stress the intensive development of the key segments for the best overall development and performance (as opposed to complete devotion to the three currently accepted powerlifts).

There is simply no way to emphasize fully the importance of the mind in physical training. It is at least 80% of the whole picture. Therefore, unless it is stressed heavily, the student will be bound to fall far short of his full possibilities.

Chapter One: Some Basic Considerations.

The human body can be divided into four basic power segments when considering training for strength. If you make a careful study of the human anatomy you will find that HERE lie the roots of human muscular development potential:

In the leg muscles.
In the back muscles.
In the shoulder girdle.
In the chest area.

Those four areas are the muscle mass areas. That is, the body’s heaviest strongest concentration of thick and power-oriented fibers are located in those four areas. If those four segments are fully developed and coordinated, it naturally follows that the physique will take on great strength and a full development. Formerly, it was urged that leg and back work be the primary mode of training for the lifter with aspirations toward great strength. Yet, this idea must be expanded so that the shoulder girdle and chest area are recognized as the repositories of tremendous additional strength and size potential – which they surely are.

Think for a while about every strong physique man you have seen. Think not only of bodybuilders, but of wrestlers, Olympic weightlifters and so on, men who epitomize full development and great strength. Where do they truly “shine” development-wise? If they are the best in their field they heavy, broad shoulders. They have dynamic power throughout their entire shoulder girdle segment. They have thick, heavy backs. They have mighty legs, and, their chests are deep with great muscularity. Whatever else they may have, they have those four noteworthy areas of development.

The important thing for the lifter to bear in mind is that the four major segments, if they are fully developed, bring about full development in the lesser body areas. This is what always happens when the training method stresses compound exercise as opposed to isolation movements. I am here speaking not necessarily of development with regard to pure bulk. Rather, I am speaking for the development of full, powerful muscularity.

The argument that too much work on the basic, heavy exercises fails to produce a shapely body is utterly false. Heredity, diet, posture, etc. have the final say regarding how “shapely” you eventually look. Your choice of exercise movements, per se, has little to do with this matter of muscle shape. Remember, your muscles don’t “know” what exercise is being used when you train them. Doing heavy military presses works the shoulder girdle. Doing lateral raises also works this area, however, with the basic press you can strive for much greater poundage increments and a more complete and natural muscle involvement, and, as a result you will build much greater strength. The effect on the muscle’s appearance of shapeliness is little affected by the particular exercise you do. In fact, providing your inherent characteristics make you prone towards the “right” appearance when flexed, and provided your diet is right, there is every reason to believe that the heavier and more basic exercises will produce superior “shapeliness.”

This point, again, must be carefully and clearly understood: the type of exercises you do with weights will have an effect on the development of a muscle’s size and usefulness, and a muscle’s power and strength. But, the effect upon its appearance of shapeliness is negligible. Diet and heredity mean everything here, and since diet is the only factor under your control, I suggest you begin to appreciate its importance.

Think of exercise as a basically simple but brutally hard aspect of your program to develop strength and size. Don’t ever make the mistake of believing in some strange, “secret” programs or any other such nonsense. And above all, do not think that the training is everything! It is vitally important, power and strength won’t be built without it and the physique cannot be built unless workouts are done seriously, yet: when all is told the exercise program is the simplest part of the overall course of action. It must be blended harmoniously with other items. The coming chapters will explain each item and teach you how to coordinate their employment for your maximum benefit.

Back to those Key Segments again.

Legs, Back, Shoulders and Chest. Remember them and impress their importance upon your mind. Then consider the following . . .

The fundamental method of working the legs is by having them do a “Push Away” type of movement. That is, when, for example, you squat, you are pushing, basically, with the legs. This effort of pushing is made more difficult by increasing the weight on the bar. The harder you push, the greater the developmental effort. The shoulders and chest function as “Push Away” groups, too. Presses (overhead and bench) are basically push movements. Lying laterals require a push or forward-thrusting type motion, etc. The back “Pulls”. Rowing is a “Pull To” movement. So is deadlifting. So is cleaning. So is snatching. Chest, shoulders and legs PUSH. Back PULLS. Remember that.

From that basic working principle of the muscles derives the basic developmental principle. The greatest exercises are the ones that cause the greatest basic effort.

The core powerlifts – deadlift, squat and bench press – are, naturally, extremely valuable, and I’d say even essential to an effective all-round strength-building program. Yet, there are many other exercises and exercise variations that need to be understood and applied in training. You will learn many, and you’ll be taught how to apply them. Standing presses, for example, while not considered “powerlifts” are a 100% necessity for overall shoulder girdle development. That’s just one example. There are many more.

It is not enough merely to concentrate upon the key segments of the body to effectively assure the attainment of our goal. It is necessary to work those segments to their utter limit. This does not mean that every workout should be a maximum effort, but it does mean that from time to time the limit attempt must be made. Otherwise, there will be no progress. Training, in other words, FLUCTUATES. It does not continue on an ever-increasing, steadily upward, straight-line climb. It begins, builds up, hits a maximum effort-output, then drops back so that you can recuperate. And then it starts that upward climb again, towards a new maximum.

It is crucially important that you, as a student of physical training, understand this clearly. Otherwise, you will expect progress to continue indefinitely, which it of course cannot do. This leads to great disappointment, as I have found with many students. Better to accept the fact that Nature has her own way of permitting you to progress towards your objectives, and let it go at that. Don’t try to impose some idea you might have, in all your wisdom, about “the right way to progress” upon your body. Adjust to Nature’s way. She won’t adjust to your way. Instead, learn all you can about the ways of nature recuperating and regenerating and work within the sanity of this framework.

Your plan of training, then, will center about the maximum development of the key segments of your musculature. It will proceed by working up towards new limits of effort output, and it will stress concentration of effort on the basic exercises. There may be some other work devoted to the balancing and strengthening of the other muscle groups via lighter and lesser assistance movements, but for the most part you will train simply, heavily and sensibly. You will find, when you do, that so long as your diet is right the “lesser” muscle groups will almost “fall” into place, development-wise, with only relatively little attention. Unquestionably, this carryover benefit of the bigger exercises for the lesser muscle attachments is one of the greatest virtues of such a mode of approach in training.

The squat, as a basic body exercise, serves as a truly perfect example of just what a basic movement, properly worked, can accomplish for you . . .

The squat might normally be considered a leg exercise, and a superlative leg exercise it undeniably is. There is no other movement you can do that even approaches the squat in leg-building value (except, of course, front squats, which are, after all, SQUATS!). Okay, so the squat is great for the legs. Why is its carryover value so great?

The squat, when employed as I shall teach you to employ it in this book, achieves the following:

1.) Tremendous development of the entire leg structure.
2.) Tremendous development of the hip (gluteus) muscles.
3.) Fantastic gains in bodily endurance, cardiovascular efficiency and all-round “inner strength.”
4.) Great expansion in the chest – superior by far to what even a program of specialization on pullovers could achieve.
5.) Expansion in the shoulder girdle, thus increasing enormously the potential for upper body gains.
6.) Increase in one’s SENSE of power, in one’s overall, basic FEELING of physical prowess.
7.) Increase in one’s psychological willpower.
8.) Development to a significant degree of the lower (lumbar) back muscles.

I’ve always been a squat nut so I naturally had to pick the squat as a good example. But what about, say, deadlifting? This particular movement will:

1.) Build grip and forearm strength (as well as size) to an extent that will surprise you, if you work hard on the movement.
2.) Develop low back muscles AND upper back muscles that are literally rock hard and as strong as spring steel.
3.) Develop the hips and legs by the partial squat action entailed by the performance of a deadlift movement.
4.) Build endurance.
5.) Stimulate general strength gains throughout the entire body.

Are you beginning to see the treasure house of benefits awaiting you when you adopt a schedule of training along the lines I am advocating?

The basic bench press develops triceps infinitely better (and safer) than any triceps “specialization” exercise you may have seen or read about. It builds great frontal deltoid strength and power, helps to increase the wrist and grip strength, and enormously affects the hefty pectoral muscles, as well as expansion of the chest cavity.

That accounts for only the BASIC THREE power lifts. But we’re concerned with TOTAL physique development – the UTMOST – possible. There are other basics we’ll be working with.

The type of training we are concerned with in this book is the type that produces every desirable physical quality. You seek not only a powerlifter’s strength but a bodybuilder’s shapeliness, and an athlete’s coordination. Therefore your plan must be rounded. BASIC, to be sure, but rounded, to achieve the goals desired.

Remember that the key segments must be worked in two fundamental ways to produce the sort of physique we are trying to build. First, each segment must be fully developed by specific concentration upon IT. Then, the basic segments must “learn” to work together, fighting gravity and poundages, so that all-out limit attempts involving coordination can be made.

If the purpose of this book were merely to make a powerlifter out of you, then we might deal solely with the basic three lifts. But you need, and will get, more.

When the body is worked in this well-rounded way you end up, after putting in the necessary sweat and toil, with the enviable status of having a body without any weak links. You will more than likely find that one of the powerlifts becomes your favorite, and that there are one or two other basic training movements that your particular structure favors – but because nothing is essentially neglected, you’ll not end up like some unfortunate men who follow too-limited methods and have, as a result, fantastic development in one area, but next to none in some other areas.

So, before going on to our next chapter, in which you will come to understand some more important factors in strength development, let me urge you to always think in terms of total, rounded, balanced and complete development. Even if you only think, right now, that one body area or one physical quality is your true goal, concentrate on full development of the body-machine that you have possession of at this time. This will give you lasting, lifetime power, a fine physique, and the athletic capacity to do anything you wish and everything you must.

Study this book carefully. Each section was designed to provide a clear lesson in itself, and each will contribute tremendously to the course of your progress. I therefore suggest that you be certain of your understanding of this first chapter before passing on to the next. Remember, our key points here are . . .

UNDERSTAND the key segments for power-bodybuilding and how they basically function as either PUSH or PULL groups.

UNDERSTAND the need for a basic and essentially HARD form of training that FLUCTUATES, for best results.

UNDERSTAND the need for BALANCED, total training and development.

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