Thursday, March 31, 2016

From: Confessions of a Fitness Model by Madelyn Moon (2015)

Foreword by Matt Stone:

Resolve. Fitness. Health. Beauty. Sexiness. Discipline. Drive.

That's but a short list of qualities and characteristics needed for someone to become a successful fitness competitor. It reads like a list of English words with the most positive connotation. It's no wonder that those who become successful fitness competitors and models are indeed held so high up on a pedestal for the rest of us mortals to worship.

But should we worship them? Are fitness models really elite specimens who represent the best of humankind?

And are the extreme feats of discipline with bland, unsatisfying food and multiple grueling workouts per day something to be marveled at and glorified. Or is this really just a greater manifestation of a society that is sick -- mentally, emotionally, and physically? 

I'll let you come to your own conclusions on that, but I will say I find it quite odd -- kind of scary, really -- that it has become so fashionable of late to glorify self-denial. From Gandhi to the latest ultramarathon winner, it seems we can't give enough praise to those who suffer voluntarily.

And while vanity and the finest physical specimens of any species, humans included, have always been celebrated, we've become fixated on it recently beyond the threshold of normalcy. Or maybe I just spend too much time on the internet. Don't we all, though.

We've also reached new heights of fixation on food and fitness in recent times. Who would have thought a few decades ago that some of the most popular television shows on earth would be about people losing weight? Or that one of the most popular male comedians (Jim Gaffigan) and one of the most popular female comedians (Amy Schumer) would be building their acts around their physical appearance and food? Gaffigan has a bestselling book and comedy tour called Dad is Fat. Just recently Amy Schumer's interview on Ellen is being hailed as "the best ever." She talked mostly about her slightly fat arms and how she engulfs popcorn.

I'm telling you. We, as a society, are becoming downright obsessed with food, fitness, and physique. I've been as caught up in it as just about anyone on earth, and it started when I was only six years old. In fact, when I asked at my kindergarten graduation what I wanted to be when I grew up, I proudly belted out my wish to become a "black boxer." It wasn't that the sport was so entertaining to me. I greatly preferred to watch other sports. It was all about getting "bumps in my stomach." To look like one of those sweaty, glistening, ripped black guys under the lights in the ring -- that's what I wanted more than anything in the world as just a kid!

I don't profess to have the cure to this problem either. The first step in fixing it is developing some sense of awareness that we are all nuts. I'll happily confess to this characteristic when it comes to food, fitness, and physique. I've tried every crazy diet on earth, am a human encyclopedia of useless nutritional information, and I still can't break the addiction of watching shirtless YouTubers talking about what they eat and how they train.

This insanity has taken quite a toll on my body and mind over the years. But you think I have it bad? Fitness competitors and models are the ones truly caught in this obsession's crosshairs, and what they put themselves through comes at a much higher expense than the public realizes.  

I'll never forget the first time I met a fitness competitor. She showed me pictures of herself on stage, but at the time, she had rolls of fat with stretch marks hanging over the waistline of her pants, and her hair had thinned out enough to see the top of her scalp. She couldn't have been more than 32-33 years old tops. And she spoke repetitively like a crazy person about how she needed to really get back into shape. To get back on her supplements. To follow the diet that her trainer had put her on back in the day. Yikes. 

It surprised me quite a bit to later learn that problems with weight gain, falling hair, and obsessive preoccupation with body image was not rarer, but par for the course among many fitness competitors and wannabes. It really shouldn't have surprised me. I did reach the point of having those "bumps in my stomach" once, only to become obsessive about food, spend over an hour per day in the gym checking and looking at myself in the mirror, lose my libido among other problems, balloon back up in just a couple of weeks after getting down to 5% bodyfat, and start waking up to a pillow covered in my own lost hair.

You'll be surprised, too, as you read this very personal, in-depth revelation of the fitness underbelly by Maddy Moon.  This is very courageous of her to write. In fact, I was the one that originally encouraged her to write this book with this very title, but she didn't want to. It's not easy to revisit past traumatic experiences. 

But she quickly realized that this story needs to be told, all in one place, and told vividly and personally. That's what you're about to get as you jump into her work, which is her finest yet. We all owe her a debt of gratitude -- aspiring fitness models, fitness voyeurs like myself, and armchair observers -- for having written it so passionately and purposefully.

No matter who you are, the life of a fitness model -- what it's really like -- is an interesting world to be taken into. Thank goodness Maddy can take us all there without us having to go through the tightly scheduled diet with fewer foods in it than most of us have in a single meal! But the diet is only one part of this book.

Thank you so much, Maddy, for candidly sharing your story. Many will be entertained. Many will be informed. Many will be prevented from doing great harm to themselves. Many will begin to unravel the tightly knit scarf of body and food obsession they currently have wrapped around their throats. We all thank you for what you've done and what you continue to do, which is help lead the world, one person at a time, towards the more meaningful and healthy existence that lies beyond the world of physique obsession. 

A small excerpt from Chapter 11:

Type fitness into Google and you get an image over and over.

Not a physical measurement of capabilities, strength, and power, but an image of a body shape.

As if fitness is a look.
Not a life.

While there are good things about "strong is the new skinny," these images completely defeat the point, and even reverse it to some extent.

The photos that normally linger behind all those fitness quotes have absolutely nothing to do with strength. These people may not be skinny, but would you believe me if I told you that they're not usually strong, either?

What if I told you that for those photo shoots, those men and women were most likely at their absolute weakest?

You most likely already know that much of advertising is a lie. Advertisers are paid millions of dollars for a reason -- you have to be good at your craft to be able to convince someone to believe whatever you want them to.

When weight lifting and body acceptance for women started to gain momentum, the media decided to use this shift to their advantage. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

"Okay, so maybe skinny is old news. Let's make strength appeal to the public (because let's be honest, that won't be too tough) . . . but let's dress it up with the same supermodel body we used for our other ads."

We'll get women with a little more muscle, but they'll be just as lean. We'll call it . . . strength. And fitness! Yeah, that sounds good."

Same body, different marketing. 

Hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

You may absolutely love lifting weights, doing yoga. running, or rock climbing but your neighbor may really enjoy knitting, volunteering at soup kitchens and studying for her PhD. Does she deserve to feel any less worthy than those who work on their bodies in the gym? 
Is one body superior to another just because it spends its time differently?
It's no secret that hurting your body day after day with rituals, diets, and obsessive weight loss goals all in the name of "fitness" isn't really fitness . . . 
It's not health.
It's not body acceptance.
It's more of the same thing we're trying to avoid . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Build Health to Build Muscle - John McCallum (Oct. 1970)

I was explaining my organic garden to Ollie when Marvin drove up on his motorcycle. He's got a big red chopper with blue stars painted on it that cost about two thousand skins which is a lot of bread for Marvin. He bought it the day he saw Easy Rider.

"You see, Ollie," I said, "humus is the key to organic gardening. After all, vegetables can only be as nutritious as the soil they're grown in." 

Marvin wheeled into the driveway and gunned his motor. Pigeons flew off roofs a block away. 

"Chemical fertilizers," I said, "destroy the necessary fungi-root relationship, and prevent the mineral content . . ." 

Ollie leaned forward.


I raised my voice. "The minerals," I said. "The minerals in the soil. They've got to . . ."

Marvin gunned his bike again.

"They've got to be present in the soil," I yelled. "Cause if they're . . ."

"Speak up!" Ollie shouted.

I spun around. "Shut that darn thing off," Marvin flipped the switch and the motor died, "and leave it off!" I screamed.

Marvin blinked and stepped back.

"Like don't shout, man," he said. "I ain't deaf, you know." 

"Beat it, Marvin," I said. "Mo isn't here and she won't be back all afternoon."

Marvin got off his bike and walked over. He's going broke trying to look like Peter Fonda. He had leather flares on, with cowboy boots, spurs, and wraparound shades.

"Man," he said, "I'm here to see you, not your daughter."

"Well, that's real nice," I said. "What do you want?"

"A little help," he said. "With my training."

"What's the matter with your training?" I asked him.

"Like, I ain't gaining," he said. "That's what's the matter." 

"Marvin," I said, "You're too impatient. You can't add muscle every day. Can't you just train for the fun of it?"

He cocked an eyebrow at me. "Fun?" he said. "Man, that's unreal. Lifting those big ugly weights and getting all sweaty and sticky ain't really my idea of a fun thing, you know." 

"Don't you like lifting weights?" I asked him.

"No," he said. "As a matter of fact, I don't. And if I don't make some progress real soon I'm gonna find something else to do."

"Well," I said. "I wouldn't want to see you quit training. It's the only sensible thing you do. Are you still on the same program?" 

"Right," he said.

"And you're working hard at it?" 

"Like a slave." 

"And handling all the weight you can?" 

"Dad," he said. "You've seen me. O come on like a roomful of Russian heavies."

"Not really," I said. "But there's nothing wrong with your program. It's the best one you could use at your stage. It's gotta be something else."

"Man," he said. "That's like real thinking. If it ain't one thing, it's something else. I mean, how can I lose?" 

"Don't be smart," I said. "It's the logical process of elimination. You aren't training wrong, because the program is a good one. You aren't wasting energy, because you're the laziest son of a gun I know. It's gotta be your diet."

"My diet's okay," he said. 

"Are you taking all the supplements?" 

"All of them," he said. "Man, I've got so many tablets in me I rattle when I walk." 

"What about your regular meals?" I asked him.

"What about them?" 

"Do you still eat packaged cereals?"

"Just at breakfast," he said.

"And pie?" 

"Just at dessert." 

"And sugar?"

"A little."

"And hot dogs?" I said. "And French fries, and soft drinks, and ice cream and white bread and jam?"

Marvin grinned. "I'm a growing boy." 

"No, you're not," I said. "That's the trouble. You're not growing, and you won't as long as you eat that kind of garbage." 

"It ain't really garbage," Marvin said.

"It sure as heck is," I said. "It's garbage pure and simple. You're stupid to eat like that when you're training. You'll never gain properly."

"Not even with supplements?" Marvin asked.

"No," I said. "Not even with supplements. Supplements are supposed to be used in addition to good, wholesome food, not in place of it. Nothing can replace natural, health-building food. You won't gain properly without it, and you might as well accept the fact. "You see," I said, "it takes a lot of groceries to build muscle, but you can only stuff so much into your stomach. Unless you've got a gut like an elephant, your food intake has limit. If you load up with a lot of junk, you're just wasting stomach space that could be used to further your muscle building progress. Every time you step up to a plateful of white flour biscuits and greasy fries you're stepping away from your bodybuilding goal." 

"Like one giant step for mankind," Marvin murmured. 

"In the final analysis," I said, "the real secret to bodybuilding success is to become very, very health conscious. You've got to understand and consider the nutritional value of everything you eat. You've got to think about the results you're going to from everything you put in your mouth." 

Marvin screwed up his face. "I dunno," he said. "Like, I don't want to be a health fanatic."

"Fanatic, schmanatic," I said. "Is understanding and applying the principles of contemporary nutritional concepts in a determined effort to achieve a predetermined goal being fanatic?"

Marvin cleared his throat. "Pardon?"

"Never mind," I said. "Look. The plan to follow is easy. Just eat to build health. It's as simple as that. Select and prepare all your food so that every mouthful produces perfect, brimming, radiant health." 

"What about the muscles?" Marvin asked.

"That's what the supplements are for," I said. "They supply the extra oomph that builds muscles and strength, but even the best supplements can't do it if the foundation is crummy. You've got to have a base of perfect health for the supplements to work on. Don't forget that principle. Take all the supplements. Take loads of them. But don't waste them. Eat for perfect health so the supplements can be used to build muscle. If the nourishment in the supplements has to be used to correct a deficiency that you've brought on by improper eating habits, then you're not getting the value from the supplements that you planned on. Build your health, and then the supplements can build muscle."

"Okay," Marvin said. "What magic goody do I eat to build all that health?"

"You don't eat any magic goody," I told him. "There isn't any one item that will build health by itself. Perfect health comes from a generous supply of all the nutritional requirements. If you miss any one of them you'll decrease your health and your bodybuilding progress accordingly. You've got to plan every day so that you eat a sufficient amount of all the essentials. Also, you've got to cut out all the junk food. There's no place for that crap in a health program.Wipe it out completely. You don't need it and you'll gain that much better without it." 

"Okay," Marvin said. "I'm like convinced. Tell me all."

"The first thing you should do," I said, "is to cut sugar right out of your diet. I don't mean cut down on it, I mean cut it out completely. It's about the worst garbage you could put into your gut. Everybody gets uptight about cyclamates, and there's plenty of reason for it, but sugar has probably done more damage to the public health than everything else put together, including cyclamates. "Sugar," I said, "and I'm referring to refined sugar, is an absolute nothing food. It's got no protein, no vitamins, no minerals, no anyway. It can't contribute to your health in any way, shape, or form. Furthermore, refined sugar is deadly to your teeth. Sugar breaks down into lactic and pyruvic acid in your mouth. The acid combines with the calcium in your teeth and they'll fade away quicker than a politician's promises. Teeth shouldn't really decay. If you get any cavities at all it's a sign that something's wrong and the trouble is almost certain to be refined sugar. The public today is absolutely swamped with sugar. Even if you don't use it directly you get it in a hundred hidden ways. Jam, cake, cookies, ice cream, soft drinks, breakfast foods, canned fruit, canned juice, condiments, salad dressing and on and on -- they're almost pure sugar. If you want to build muscle you've got to avoid that junk like it was poison. Come to think of it, it is." 

"So, like no more refined sugar? Marvin said.

"Right," I said. "None at all. You're out to build health, and sugar's got no place in the program. You don't need it and in not time you won't even miss it."

"True," Marvin said. "I'm actually pretty sweet, anyway."

We're running out of space again. Start your health program by eliminating sugar from your diet. Scrub it out completely. It'll be the first step on your way to a degree of health and you wouldn't think it possible. 

In next month's article, The Essential Ingredients, we'll discuss what you should be eating for a Mr. America body.


Every-Day Delts - Michael Berg (2016)

More Michael Berg Articles:

Every-Day Delts
by Michael Berg (2016)

Melvin Wells

Well, not every day, but this high volume approach could be just the short term fix you need to reignite your slumping shoulder growth.

"Having stimulated the growth mechanism by going to failure on the first set, it is neither necessary nor desirable to do a second set; it's not just a waste of time, but counterproductive." That was legendary bodybuilder Mike Mentzer, who through his "Heavy Duty" training method espoused the idea of drastically cutting your workload when dealing with a lagging muscle group.

Mentzer -- God rest his soul -- would absolutely hate what we're about to tell you. Because we're advocating doing shoulder work in every single workout you do this week.

Truth be told, he would have a point if you took this idea out of context and used it interminably. But in short spurts of a month or less, this technique, which in this case is aimed at delts that have proved unresponsive to more traditional training methods, could provide just the right short-term spark needed.

"There are hundreds of ways to develop mass in the shoulders; once in a while you just need to give them a shock," says Michelle Brown, NASM-certified personal trainer and IFBB Figure pro based in Los Gatos, California. "While time under tension is always a debated subject, I have seen good results with it. I'm not talking your average time under tension regimen, but rather taking it to the limits."

In this program you'll train at least a part of your shoulders on five separate days a week, including one comprehensive workout. "Those other four days aren't a full-out delt session, but one exercise or a superset aimed at a particular area of the delts, whether the rear, middle or front head or the traps," Brown explains. "On those days you'll work shoulders with another bodypart, either before or after as you see fit."

On the first day you'll do legs and front delt superset; the next day is chest and a shoulder press; on the third day you'll do the synergistic pairing of back and rear delts. After a rest day you'll do a shoulders-only session, followed by another rest day before finishing out the week with an arms and traps routine.

"Only follow this for four weeks max," Brown cautions. "Then take a break and go back to your previous routine or a general layout of your choosing. Give that at least two to four weeks, then you can return for one more shoulder blast with this program. This pattern will not allow your delts to adapt and then stop responding to the stimulus. Remember to always warm up before your workout and stretch after to help prevent injuries."

Before You Begin

Each time you train shoulders precede the workout with a warmup for the rotator cuff muscles. "There are a variety of tools you can use, from bands to Indian clubs to dumbbells," Brown says. "Use very light tension and work the entire shoulder capsule." Here's her sample warmup program. Run through the circuit twice, doing 15 reps each.

Front Raise
Lateral Raise
External Rotation
Internal Rotation
Overhead Press
Reverse Flye

The Every-Day Delt Program

Use your regular workouts for the other bodyparts listed while adding the shoulder movements before or after. On Day 5 you'll do a full deltoid workout that hits the bodypart from every angle.  

Day 1:
Front Delts - 
One-Arm Dumbbell Front Raise, 3 x 12-15 per side, medium weight
superset with
Barbell Front Raise, 3 x 20, lighter weight.

Day 2:
Side Delts - 
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press, 4 x 12-15, to failure.

Day 3:
Rear Delts - 
Bentover Lateral Raise, 3 x 12-15, heavy
superset with
Machine Reverse Flye, 3 x 15-20, lighter.

Day 4:

Day 5:
Shoulders - 
Standing Cable Reverse Flye, 3 x 8-10, heavy.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise, 4 x 10, heavy
superset with
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise, thumbs down, 4 x 10, heavy.
Incline Bench Dumbbell Front Raise, 4 x 10-12, heavy.
Seated Overhead Press, 4 x 8-10, to failure.
Barbell Wide Grip Upright Row, 3 x 12-15, medium.
One Arm Bentover Lateral Raise, 3 x 10-12 per side, medium. 

Day 6:

Day 7:
Traps - 
Dumbbell Shrug, 4 x 10-12, heavy
superset with
Face Pull (elbows at 30 degrees), 4 x 10-12 medium.





Gary Gubner on Weightlifting (1968)

Gary Gubner's career as a weightlifter has been one of ups and downs. From a time when he primarily used weights as an adjunct to his shot putting, he now is solely a lifter. As a teenage lifter Gubner pressed over 400 lbs. and totaled in the mid 1100's. By the 1964 Olympics his total was over 1200 and he was second in the world.

Gary Gubner's Press Style:

But then Gubner didn't equal this total again until spring of 1967, and since that time, instead of going up, in his two most recent contest he washed out on all his presses and then lost to George Pickett.

His form hasn't improved much over the past few years, yet his press has shot up regularly. But Gary hasn't been training steadily all that long -- a total of six years off and on -- and his shot putting has regularly interrupted his weightlifting.

Therefore, steady training, something Gubner hasn't had, can make him number one in the world. And so will form work, as will handling more weight in his workouts. For all his immense power, Gary Gubner doesn't handle too much in his workouts; a contrast to Bob Bednarski, say, who handles record poundages regularly.

What does Gary have to say? In his usual quiet but articulate way, he sees steady training giving him the improvement he needs to finally get that international title.

Despite his immense power and size, 6'2", 287 pounds, Gary has a number of problems to deal with. One of these is drive. "I've been extending too much in contests lately, entering too many," says Gary. As a competitive athlete, Gubner is used to psyching up for shows, not simply working on power, and this is part of the explanation for his erratic performances. Gubner handles much more in contests than in training; if he's really up for a show then he'll do well, and if he's not then a low total is the result.

Motivation is a problem for anyone who trains alone, who has a busy insurance practice that takes up time, who has a young family, who unfortunately doesn't get encouragement from the "powers that be," powers that want to see their own man a winner. Gubner is in all these classes. Seeing him in a contest, Gary doesn't impress you as being particularly full of energy or psyched up; rather, Gubner does get himself into the proper mood by deep, slow concentration. In fact, he seems to take interminably long getting up to the bar. Perhaps a bit more speed would help, perhaps not.

Another problem Gubner doesn't talk about is the fact that, due to his many years of shot putting his right wrist, elbow, entire arm and right leg are all bigger and stiffer than his left side. It will take some years of lifting and not throwing to make this up, if at all. One of the results is that lack of wrist flexibility causes him to lose cleans. Furthermore, his last fling at throwing the shot a couple of years ago resulted in such bad elbow problems that Gubner has his right arm in a brace.

To combat this right-side problem and build better form, along with pushing himself in workouts a little more than in the past, Gubner is now doing higher reps in his workouts, 3 to 5 instead of his usual 1 to 3 reps.

"I like reps for flexibility and positioning," says Gary. "When you get to the 3rd, 4th and 5th reps, then you have to be in a good position in cleans and the like, or you can't hold the weight." As if to make this point, we watched Gary make four perfect cleans with 325, then get dumped on the fifth rep by a bad position. Later, after missing 400, he ripped up a perfect power clean of it right afterward.

Gubner's routine at this time is what he called his "summer routine" -- a combination of form and power. It consists of just four exercises, done in the following sequence:

1) Cleans.
Warmups with 135, 225.
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 315.
Up to 400 for singles.
(Despite Gary's 440 clean and jerk in competition, 400 is just about as much as he'd done in training.)

2) Power Snatches.
Warmups with 135.
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps with 225, 245, 260.
Singles with 275.
He alternates weekly, next week doing power cleans and regular snatches.

3) Bench Press.
Same formula, same warmups, then
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps, and
Singles up to 425.

4) Squat.
Same formula
Singles up to 425.

Gubner uses wrist straps to insure proper grip on the bar, and takes 1.5 to 2 hours a workout. His views on other aspects of training are interesting.

On Contest Training:
"I cut down on Squats, keep the weights high, cut the exercises down. I usually build up to 25-50 pounds under my best, depending on the lift."

On Power:
"Pulls are the best single power exercise, not deadlifts. You can't clean heavy weights without momentum, and you can't get that without pulls. Deadlifts are basically slow."

On Gaining on a Lift:
"Take a layoff on that lift. I usually can come back and hit my best right away, which gives me more drive to improve."



Thursday, March 24, 2016

Intensity Training for Better Gains - Anthony Ditillo (1977)

Check This Out!

"Strength training is a topic which has an interesting past, a past which is swiftly disappearing because much of the artifacts, books, courses, magazines, articles and the like just aren't to be found any more. The Iron League is an organization where we are preserving the muscle building secrets of the past. 

Some have called it "The Iron Game Library of Congress" which is a very good way to put it, and it is our goal to create our own "place" ...where everyone speaks a common language... and can 'talk shop' on what works and what doesn't in the world of serious training. You'll find material from the Golden Age of Bodybuilding, Olympic Weight Lifting, Powerlifting, Gymnastics, Boxing, Wrestling, Conditioning workouts and just about any other training topic you can think of."

 Table of Contents

How Your Mind Controls Your Body

Mental Training Tactics and Techniques
Achieve the Strength and Body You Desire with
Well-Formed Outcomes
Easy to Use Methods You Can Put Into Practice Today for Hypnotizing Yourself and Others
Making Your Mental Movies So Powerful They Deliver
Instant Real Life Results (Most People Visualize Incorrectly—If They Do It At All!)
Psyched Up, Focused or Relaxed at the Snap of the
Fingers with Anchors

Peak Performance Drills for Strength, Muscle, Fat Loss and Performance
Mental Training Drills for Strength
Mental Training Drills for Fat Loss
Mental Training Drills for Muscle Building
Mental Training Drills for Gaining Skills
Entering the Flow State

Word for Word Transcripts of Mental Training Drills with Clients including the Results They



IronMan Editor Peary Rader's Note: Intensity training may be defined differently by various lifters but all agree that it is an advanced system which can and does produce increased results. Without intensity of application of both the mind and the muscles, advanced development is very unlikely. Too many men fail because they will not discipline themselves in the application of intensity training. In IronMan we continually emphasize the need for intensity of application.  

This first of a series of articles will  deal mainly with correcting the mistakes most of you fellows have been making in your workout schedules. What I am going to try to outline for you is the PROPER way to use your training time so such time is not wasted but instead utilized for your utmost physical benefit.

I'll begin by asking you a simple question.

Why are you exercising with weights?

Is it not to gain in physical size and strength? Are you not trying to make your muscle size increase and your strength along with it? And if the answer is "yes" to both these questions then why do you waste so much time during your routines? Do you think you can "wish" your muscles to respond without any effort on your part? 

Well, if you do, you're greatly mistaken. Sometimes you have to grab your muscles by the neck and force them to grow. And how do you do this? For one thing, you DON'T train six days weekly for three hours each day using light pumping movements. You can accomplish just as much by training no more than twice per week around two hours each workout. And I am NOT speaking about Nautilus style training here. I KNOW these machines are MUCH too expensive for you to afford (myself included), and not too many gyms currently carry them. 

No. the kind of workouts I intend to outline for you require simple, basic equipment and either a store bought or homemade POWER RACK. And even the rack is not ABSOLUTELY necessary. But it does afford you the safety of doing heavy partial repetitions without spotters. Power rack training is the most severe training I know of and I intend in the near future to dedicate an article or two to such training procedures. 

[Here are some of them. You may find more on this blog.]

Proper training for muscle size and strength improvement requires no more than two workouts per week. No matter what you may have been told to the contrary, you only need two workouts a week for steady improvement. The difference between two workouts a week and six lies within the intensity and severity of each workout. There should be no "wasted sets" and "saving energy on this set for the next one." Each set must be worked into the ground.

Also, the weights used must be heavy enough so "pumping" cannot come into play. Muscle shaping movements may be employed but they are NOT necessary. 

Rest between sets must be kept at a bare minimum because the secret of continuous muscle growth lies within the amount of work you can perform, using the heaviest weight, within the shortest time. 

There is no need to perform "cooling off" sets, since these waste your time, deplete your energy and do not increase your development or strength. To properly warm up a muscle does NOT mean to waste twenty minutes on light sets which will only tire you out. It does mean, however, that you should perform perhaps two sets of medium reps with a medium to heavy weight to get yourself prepared physically and emotionally for the work to come. Too many of you, myself included, are following outmoded training methods which are doing next to nothing as far as increasing our development or strength. And to try to make my point I'll use an example for you.

We all know how result-producing 20-rep squats can be. I mean, all the champs and trainers of yesteryear have written about them at one time or another. The real secret to 20-rep squatting is the intensity and severity that one puts into that ONE SET. Such squatting is not accomplished by using a light weight and merely pumping out 20 quick reps. Here is the way you squat for gaining the most in the shortest possible time: 

Take one warmup set with a fairly light weight and squat 20 times with one or two breaths between each repetition. Begin the first few reps squatting only halfway down and as the repetitions progress squat lower and lower until you are hitting rock bottom (as low as comfortable given your current flexibility). If balance and forward lean is a problem use weightlifting shoes with a heel or a thin block of wood under the heels. 

After this warmup set rest for between two and five minutes.

NOW, load your bar with a weight you can PARALLEL squat with for five repetitions. You should perform as many parallel squats as you possibly can. When you feel like the next rep will be your last, stand there with the bar on your back and catch your breath and concentrate! If you can't go all the way down cut the rep a little short, just enough so you can get back up. Keep breathing between reps, concentrating, and forcing yourself until you fall to the bottom after you bend your knees trying to descend. This "collapse" would terminate the set (although if you're a glutton for punishment you could include at this point a few attempts at rising out of the bottom). Then and only then should your spotters remove the weight from your shoulders, or if you train alone in the rack, at that point you should allow the pins to take the strain of the weight and slip out from underneath it. 

As you can plainly see by the above description, such training will not require much time. And more than three times a week on such training would definitely be overworking for the vast majority of trainers. When you work each set in a routine to the maximum, you can't use and do not need to use many sets or many exercise movements. 

This type of intensive workout is a boon to the beginner and the underweight. Also, the busy working man, who does not have many available nights or hours to train, will definitely continue to progress on such a routine. So, as you can see, both the underweight and the working men can progress on only two training days a week and depending on their level of available training energy, the workout should last between 1.5 to 2 hours.

I mention "level of available training energy" because it IS possible for some men to overtrain mentally on such a short but extremely severe routine. And while these fellows are for the most part in the minority, I still feel I should also help them in improving their training routines and conserving nervous energy. For you men who either cannot or will not as of yet work each set into the ground, here is the present routine and training theory I am presently on.


Place the bar for bench pressing in the power rack and set it so that when you squeeze under it, it is just barely grazing your chest when in the same position you would assume had you lowered the bar from the top. Slide under the bar and perform 2 sets of bench presses from the bottom position using medium weight for 5 to 7 reps. This is the warmup. Now jump the weight so that you CANNOT POSSIBLY perform more than 5 repetitions with such weight and force out as many reps as you can. Now, on the last possible rep, as you are lowering the bar back down to your chest, HOLD and support it momentarily in midair until it literally FALLS down onto the pins of the power rack at chest height. Finally, before ending the set, try now to do PARTIAL repetitions until it is impossible for the bar to be moved at all. THIS WOULD CONSTITUTE ONE SET!

How many of these sets do I perform? 

Two, sometimes three. And when I can go through three such sets, I KNOW it is time to increase the weight. I do TWO such workouts per week using ONE movement per bodypart, sometimes two. I definitely cannot recuperate for a third weekly workout.

I feel only your mind and your previous mental conditioning can hold you back from "the ultimate routine" and I have much work ahead of me undoing all the mistakes I have picked up from so-called experts in all my past years of training.

In future articles, I will deal with the problems I know you men will be facing in trying to formulate the proper routines for yourselves.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Good Barbell System of Training - Courses Three and Four - Harry L. Good (1937)

Courses Three and Four  (Part 1)
Harry L. Good (1937)

[Note: I'll be posting all four of the Good Barbell booklets in two installments.)
One and Two will follow Three and Four.
The last two shall be first and the first two shall be last.
Try using a single dumbbell with these one arm lifts as well.]

Click Pics to ENLARGE

Table of Contents

1) Weightlifting Training
2) Weightlifting Training for Best Results
3) Training for a Contest
4) The Five International Lifts
5) One Arm Snatch
6) One Arm Clean and Jerk
7) Cleaning the Weight to Chest
8) Two Arm Olympic Press
9) Two Arm Snatch
10) Two Arm Clean and Jerk
11) Course Four 
12) Weightlifting Training Improvement Exercises
13) One Arm Snatch Improvement Exercises
14) One Arm Clean and Jerk Improvement Exercises
15) Two Arm Olympic Press Improvement Exercises
16) Two Arm Snatch Improvement Exercises
17) Two Arm Clean and Jerk Improvement Exercises
18) For Lifting Improvement

Good Barbell Course No. 3

Weightlifting Training

Included in this course are only the five international lifts which are the most commonly practiced lifts today because international lifting contests, world and Olympic championships, in the amateur ranks, are usually decided on the three two-hand lifts and occasionally the two one-hand lifts are included. Professional weightlifting has not reached a very advanced stage in any country, especially from the financial standpoint, and for that reason most all those practicing weightlifting are amateurs. All amateurs should devote most of their time practicing the lifts mentioned in this course if they wish to win championship and international honors. Other lifts are not given much recognition in the present day publications on lifting, not because they are not recognized feats of strength, but specialization is necessary on the five lifts if to succeed. 

Great all-round strength is necessary to be a champion on the five lifts, more so than on the three two-hand lifts, but usually the championships are decided on the three lifts because a great amount of time is required to do all of the lifts in a contest, making it monotonous for lifter and spectator alike. 

Great skill and speed are also required to raise heavy poundages in these lifts and men that are naturally slow will have to devote much time practicing the various exercises in Course Four to develop the qualities necessary to succeed on the five lifts. These two courses will develop excellent physical qualities and no other sport will develop greater strength, muscular development, nervous energy, will power and other athletic qualities necessary to success in most athletic endeavors or sports. Weightlifting is a national sport in some countries and is practiced to some extent in all the countries in the world.

In the 1936 Olympic games more countries were represented than in any previous games and lifting had improved greatly over any previous games, due mostly to the increased competition and popularity of the sport which builds the strongest men. Some countries recognize as many as 40 or more lifts on their record lists. Some of these lifts are pure feats of strength requiring little speed or skill, while others are very scientific lifts. We are sorry to see some of these lifts practiced very little because of the all-round strength derived. Some men will never be very successful in contests when only the three two-hand lifts are used because of bodily construction or other handicaps. If a lifter is not a good two-arm presser his chances of winning a contest are very limited, especially in countries where the three two-hand Olympic lifts are most practiced. Greatest all-round strength is only developed by practicing the most lifts and exercises but specialization is necessary at times to get the best out of the different lifts.

The three or five international lifts will never alone decide who is the strongest man; it takes a number of lifts to prove who is the stronger. Lifts for the various parts of the body and mostly lifts that require all-round bodily strength should be included in such a contest. The lifts should consist of an equal number of quick and slow lifts which is only fair to either the man who is naturally slow or the man who is better on quick lifts. Strength is a combination of muscles, ligaments, bone leverage, will power and energy supplied by the healthy internal organs of the body, assisted by the speed and skill developed by the individual. 

If you wish to be a real strong man practice these weightlifting courses, alternating with the exercising courses for the best results. 

Weightlifting Training for the Best Results 

It is best to practice body-building for some time before taking up weightlifting training because greater development is necessary to succeed more rapidly in the lifts because a man with greater muscular proportions usually develops greater strength for lifting after starting to specialize on lifting and devoting less time to body-building exercises. [Note: this is dealt with in greater detail in the first two courses which will be posted later.] When practicing for lifting ability, include the various exercises that help to improve the lifts. The following methods of training should be used for lifting and strength improvement on alternate days.

For example, on Monday practice all the lifts in the following manner:

 - Warm up for lifting using a light barbell, using the two arm snatch from the hang, or any similar exercise. At least 5 repetitions.

 - Load the barbell with sufficient weight that only 4 or 5 repetitions can be performed without too great effort.

 - Then, lower the barbell to the floor and take a rest of several minutes before increasing the weight 10 or more pounds or heavy enough that only 2 or 3 repetitions can be performed in the same lift.

Use this same procedure when cleaning a barbell to the chest or shoulder, such as the One or Two Arm Clean and Jerk. This however is not necessary when the lifter can clean more weight to the chest than is possible to jerk overhead. The total number of repetitions performed for each lift is 7 or 8 and this is what may be called a LIGHT TRAINING PERIOD.

On Wednesday, the next training period, use the following procedure:

 - Warm up.

 - Start the actual lifting practice with a barbell that is loaded to between 80 and 90% of your best and do 3 repetitions with the weight. For example, if your best Press is 150 pounds, start with around 125 and perform the repetitions with that weight.

 - Then, lower the barbell and increase the weight 10 pounds (to 135) and do 2 repetitions.

 - Lower again and increase to 140 pounds, performing 1 or 2 repetitions.

 This makes a total of 7 or 8 repetitions for each lift and should be sufficient.

To complete the training period after practicing the lifts, several exercises of Course 4 can be included to help improve the strength for lifting. This also depends a great deal on whether the three or five lifts are practiced. Never attempt the limit on any of the lifts on this day. This is the moderately heavy (MEDIUM) TRAINING DAY.

If Saturday is the next training day, this will be the "limit" or HEAVY TRAINING DAY. This is the day to see what progress has been made during the week or over a period of time.

 - Warm up.

 - Whatever lift is used, load the barbell to 80 or 90% of your limit for the first attempt. Taking the Two Arm Clean and Jerk for example; if your best in the lift is 250 pounds, start with a barbell loaded to around 220. Clean it to the chest and do 2 repetition jerks with the weight.

 - Lower the barbell and increase the weight to 230 or 235 pounds, clean it and jerk this weight overhead once.

 - Lower the barbell again and increase to about 5 pounds shy of your limit and make one Clean and Jerk with this weight.

 - Follow this with the limit and do it once, or perhaps an attempt could be made at a new record.

This makes a total of 5 or 6 attempts for each lift, perhaps making new records in some of the lifts. If the five lifts are practiced it is best not to use "limit" poundages in all of the lifts on the same day; one should not overwork because it may take a while to recuperate. If only the three two-hand lifts are performed, a few special exercises can be included before completing the training session. Never use "limit" poundages more than once a week. Less often may be better for some lifters who do not recuperate quickly. However, do not let laziness prevent one from acquiring best results.

Training on the lifts three times a week using the above training schedules will bring about improvement rapidly.

If improvement is desired more rapidly on a certain lift, take a moderate weight on rest days and do several repetitions at different intervals throughout the day. [Note: And here we were, thinking that was something of an original idea not so long ago. Well, just goes to show that there's very little in the world of weight training methods that is actually little new, aside from the hype or the new name.]

Training for a Contest

Lifters usually train hard over a period of a month or more for a contest on the lifts to be contested. If the five lifts are to be used it is possible to practice heavy on the two one-hand lifts one training period and include the three two-hand lifts but they should not be practiced heavy. At the following training period, practice heavy on the three two-hand lifts. Use maximum poundages once a week on all the lifts and train moderately heavy on the other days. Three training periods are sufficient every week.

When training for a contest on the three two-hand lifts, do not include the one-hand lifts in the training program. Have one heavy training period each week with attempts to break one's own records. The other two training periods should be moderately heavy, following the schedules outlined previously. After completing the lifts, several exercises such as the rapid dead lift with moderately heavy weights and the flat foot deep knee bend, especially for squatters.

Our advice is never to use very heavy weights in the dead weight lift exercise or the deep knee bend for several weeks before a contest. Lifting exercises such as the snatch or clean from from hang can be included occasionally. Most lifters have their "limit" or heavy training period one week before a contest and then follow up with a light and a moderately heavy training period. Follow up with three days rest before the contest. During those three days of rest some lifters do light "warming up" exercises to keep tuned up and in condition. Get all the sleep and rest necessary for at least one week before the contest and eat good wholesome food.

If it is necessary to reduce in bodyweight, avoid all heavy foods several days before the contest. This depends on how much bodyweight must be lost. Use no unnatural ways of reducing at any time. Traveling long distances for a contest will many times reduce bodyweight. To reduce, eat food that is easily and quickly digested, and at the same time builds strength, such as pure meat broths, pineapple, grape, and tomato juices, carrots, raw if preferred also other raw and green cooked vegetables. Natural sweets and honey are energy building and are used by lifters several hours before or during a contest. Some lifters worry off bodyweight to some extent for a day or more before a contest. However, do not worry about your lifts but keep the mind clear until time for the contest, then if thinking about the contest will do any good to work up nervous energy to be capable of bringing out the best, do so.

Some lifters will benefit by staying away from the crowds and the other lifters while waiting until their turn to lift arrives. If your bodyweight is down to withing bout a pound of the class limit several hours before the contest, it is possible to reduce that weight without special efforts other than natural methods of reducing.

Those not reducing in bodyweight should eat as usual and can eat the foods mentioned above and include meats and heavy gravies. We advise everyone to avoid eating white flour products as much as possible and eat whole wheat products instead. Whole wheat and rye bread have far more health and strength building elements than the white flour bread.

The Five International Lifts

1) One Arm Snatch

This lift is one of the most scientific of all the lifts to be mastered and constant practice is necessary before the lift can be performed in the most skillful manner and in the way that is best suited to the lifter. A very scientific and strong lifter will succeed in lifting his bodyweight or slightly more to arm's length overhead. This is almost impossible, however, for men who weigh over 200 pounds, although there are exceptions. When the five international lifts are used in a contest, this lift is used as the starting lift.

 - Gripping the Bar

Before starting the lift, it is necessary to explain the various ways of gripping the bar. The best means of gripping is using the "hook" grip; this is done by grasping the bar with the knuckles to the front and the thumb towards the body. Grasp the bar firmly and place the thumb in a position so that the fingers encircle or pass over the thumb; this will make the grip secure and will make it possible to pull a heavy weight without loosening the grip for the quick "pull" that is necessary to lift the weight overhead. When the ordinary grip of not encircling the thumb with the fingers is used and the lifter's grip is not sufficiently strong, it will be impossible to give as hard a pull.

 - Starting the Lift

There are two ways of starting the lift, one is shown in Figure 1, Course 3. Stand in a position as shown and place the feet about 20 inches apart with the bar just over the instep. The distance the feet are placed apart depends somewhat on the height of the lifter; you will notice that the back is kept quite flat and the non-lifting hand is placed on the thigh above the knee. The position shown is known as the "get set" style and is most commonly used by lifters because it is possible to get the "hook" grip secure to start the initial pull. When starting the upward pull, do not look at the bar, but forward as shown. Keep the lifting arm straight when starting the lift. Another method of starting the lift is to stand erect and "dive" for the bar. Perform this "diving" movement neither too fast nor too slow so that it will be possible to grasp the bar securely in the center, using either the hook grip or the ordinary grip. When using the ordinary grip an immediate upward pull can be made; when the hook grip is used, a short pause may be necessary to secure the hold. Practice will make perfect.

 - Different Styles of Lifting

a) Squat Style: This style is most commonly used by lifters and is done in the following manner:

Start the upward pull of the lift by straightening the legs forcibly and at the same time pulling with the upper body and arm. Assist the pull by pushing with the opposite hand on the thigh and pull the bell as high as possible until it reaches the position shown in Figure 2, Course 3. Notice that the lifting arm is bent at this stage of the lift. Having pulled the bell as high as possible, quickly lower the body into the position shown in Figure 3, Course 3. This places the barbell at arm's length overhead. The upper body is bent to the side away from the lifting arm and the feet have been shifted into a position about a quarter circle around. The non-lifting arm can be placed as shown or a different support may be necessary for some lifters, only practice will tell which is best. Other lifters find it best not to shift the feet while going into he squat but just bending over to the side. Come to the standing position to complete the lift.

b) Half Squat Style: This style is used mostly by those learning to get into the full squat position. The movements are performed in the same manner except that the lifter does not lower his body as far as in the full squat.

c) Split Style: Start the lift and pull the barbell to the position shown in Figure 2, Course 3, then instead of squatting to toss the bell to arm's length overhead, split one foot forward and the other backward to lower the body under the bell, bringing it to arm's length as shown in Figure 4, Course 3. This style is easier to perform than the squat, but the majority of the lifters would be unable to snatch as heavy a weight because the weight must be pulled higher to get it to arm's length overhead because it is impossible to lower the body as far in the low position when using this method.

 - Completing the Lift

To complete the lift, stand erect, holding the barbell at arm's length, placing the feet in line and not more than 16 inches apart. Official rules require the lifter to hold the barbell overhead two seconds while standing stationary. Perform this lift with either arm for best results.

2) One Arm Clean and Jerk

In this lift more weight can be lifted overhead than is possible in the one arm snatch. Usually a tall man can clean more weight to the chest than is possible for him to jerk overhead; short men usually can jerk more weight overhead than is possible to clean to the chest.

The starting position of the one arm clean to the chest is the same as in the one arm snatch except that the hand gripping the bar is just reversed by placing the palm away from the body. The "hook" grip is more important in this lift because heavier weights are used. If the grip is sufficiently strong, ordinary grip can be used and this will develop a more powerful grip.

 - Cleaning the Weight to the Chest

a) Split Clean Style: There are different styles used in bringing the weight to the chest, one of them is known as the split clean which is done in the following manner:

Start the pull to the chest by straightening the legs, assisting the pull with the non-lifting arm, which is supported on the thigh, and at the same time straighten the upper body, pulling the weight as high as possible toward the chest. When starting the clean the lifting arm is kept straight. When the bell reaches a point above the waistline, split the legs sideways and dip slightly, bending the lifting arm and "whipping" the elbow out and under, bring the bar to the chest as shown in Figure 5, Course 3. Straighten the body and come to the erect position as shown in Figure 7, Course 3.

b) Half Squat Clean Style: Start pulling the weight to the chest the same as above but instead of splitting to complete the clean to the chest, squat down into the position as shown in Figure 6, Course 3. Notice that the back is straight and the body is slightly turned around and in a half squat with the elbow supported on the hip. Come to the standing position as shown in Figure 7, Course 3.

c) Full Squat Clean: This style is very seldom used and mostly by lifters who find it hard to clean weights to the chest. it is a more advanced part of the half squat clean and is done in about the same manner except that the body is lowered into the full squat. When lowering the body do not let the elbow support itself on the leg. When cleaning the weight to the chest, always remember that the bar must not strike the chest on the opposite side to the lifting arm because a lifter is disqualified in a contest when this happens.

 - Supporting Barbell to Start Overhead Jerk

There are different ways of supporting the weight, the best way and the one employed by most lifters is to support the weight with the elbow against the side of the body at the hip and standing in the position as shown in Figure 7, Course 3. In this position the weight is supported firmly and it is possible to give a better upward "heave" of the barbell. Some lifters do not support the weight on the hip but lay the upper arm against the side of the body slightly above the hips to start the "heave," but in this manner there is no firm support. Before starting the upward "heave," be sure that the handle of the barbell does not lie on the shoulder because this act disqualifies a lifter in a contest. When starting the jerk, the non-lifting arm is free and away from the body to assist in keeping the balance.

 - Jerking the Barbell Overhead

a) Split Jerk: Stand in the position shown in Figure 7, Course 3, with the weight firmly supported then start the overhead jerk by bending the legs quickly. Suddenly straighten them an at the same time push with the lifting arm as hard as possible, throwing the bell upwards to a position about the height of the head. Now split the legs as shown in Figure 8, Course 3, to enable the lifter to straighten the arm under the ball. Stand erect holding the bar slightly off center so that the front end of the barbell is slightly higher than the rear end.

b) Split and Side Bend Jerk

This is a very good style of getting under the barbell and is easy to master. Jerk the bell until it reaches a position about the height of the head then instead of splitting the feet, bend to the side away from the lifting arm and into the position shown in Figure 9, Course 3. Some lifters will not move the feet at all to get into this position while others will move them slightly to get under the bell making the lift easier. This depends somewhat on how the lifter is constructed. The non-lifting hand can be supported on the leg as shown, or in a slightly different manner. Some lifters may keep the arm free from the body but there will be no substantial support to balance the weight.

c) Squat Jerk: This style of jerking the weight overhead is used less than the above two mentioned styles but some few lifters may find it very successful to use this style although strong legs are required to succeed with heavy weights. Start the jerk same as mentioned above but when the bell reaches a position about the height of the head, squat straight down under the bell tossing it to arm's length. To raise the heaviest weights do a quick squat. This style requires a more sensitive balance than any of the above styles. Perform the lift with either arm.

Official rules for contest do not allow the bar to strike the chest on the side away from the lifting arm or below the nipples on either side. To complete the lift it is necessary to stand erect and stationary with the barbell overhead for two seconds.

3) Two Arm Olympic Press

This lift is the first on the program when the three Olympic lifts are used in a contest. Sometime it is called a military press, but the lift is not performed exactly like a military press because most lifters bend slightly one way or the other or give the barbell more of a "heave" than a military press allows. Some lifters, however, perform this lift in a very strict manner and it should be practiced as such.

Pull the weight to the chest in any manner desired then stand erect placing the feet in line but never more than 16 inches apart. Looking straight forward, keeping the trunk erect with the handle of the barbell touching the body at the lower part of the neck or the high point of the chest, start the press with a steady push by pressing as hard and fast as possible, letting the bar pass close to the face in the upward movement. When it reaches the height of the head move the body and head slightly forward, placing the bell toward the rear as shown in Figure 10, Course 3. Complete the lift by pushing the barbell to arms' length overhead. The lifter must know which position of the hands will give him the best pressing power. Some lifters place their hands very wide apart, others take a very close grip; this depends on how the lifter is constructed and only practice will tell how pressing can be performed to the best advantage. Some lifters will encircle the bar with thumb on the one side and fingers on the other, as shown in Figure 10, Course 3, while others use the "thumbless" grip with the thumb under the bar.

When starting the press from the chest, it is possible for some lifters to throw the elbows forward and up giving the bell a rather fast start, especially if assisted by vigorous shoulder action. If too quick a start is given the lifter will be disqualified in a contest. This is also true if the body is arched too much.

When cleaning the bar to the chest, official rules always require that the bell be held on the chest for several seconds or until the referee claps his hands, signaling the lifter to start the press. The bar must be held at arms' length with the body erect for several seconds before the lift is complete.

A lifter will also be disqualified when raising off the toes or heels while doing the pressing. The bar must also be pressed evenly instead of pressing one arm ahead of the other.

4) Two Arm Snatch

The majority of lifters can raise overhead in the two arm snatch more weight than is possible for them to lift in the two arm press. This is a more skillful and scientific lift than the press, and to raise the heaviest weights, the lifter must be supple and athletic in many ways. There are many styles used to perform this lift but the only styles used successfully are the split, half squat, and full squat.

 - Gripping the Bar

The manner in which the bar is gripped depends to a great extent on the lifter and the manner in which the lift is performed. Some lifters grasp the bar with either hand near the inside of the collars on an official lifting set which is approximately four feet apart. This is an especially wide grip but it is successfully practiced by some lifters, with very long arms, making it a shorter distance to pull the weight to arms' length overhead. The great majority of lifters grip the bar about the distance apart as shown in Figure 11, Course 3. This is suitable to most all lifters and will be more effective in giving a hard, straight pull to lift the weight overhead. Some grip the bar slightly more than shoulder width apart but usually these lifters are short in stature. English lifters used this style until Bill Good, America's strongest man, contested with Ronald Walker, British heavyweight champion, and the English were surprised to see the wide grip used by Bill when snatching. After that, some of the English lifters adopted a similar style very successfully.

Practicing all of the different styles of gripping the bar will be necessary before the lifter can select the style best suited for him.

The position shown in Figure 11, Course 3, is known as the "get set" style to use in starting the lift. This style is used very successfully by some lifters and especially those who use the full squat snatch; this style is also employed successfully when the "hook" grip is used, enabling the lifter to place the thumbs securely under the fingers. The style of "diving" for the weight is employed by most of our champions because a stronger pull is acquired. If the hook is used in the diving style it is not possible to grasp the bar as quickly as when the ordinary grip is used. Always start the lift with the arms straight.

 - Split Snatch

This method of getting under the weight is employed by the great majority of the world's best lifters, although many of the world's records are made doing either the half or full squat. A lifter very seldom loses control of the weight when the split style is employed because a more perfect balance can be attained. The style is used in the following manner:

Having grasped the bar either in the diving style or as shown in Figure 11, Course 3, start the upward pull by straightening the legs with dynamic force, pulling strongly with the back and arms, bringing the weight to about the height of the head before the bar has a chance to drop, split under it by moving one foot forward and one backward, fixing the barbell at arms' length overhead as shown in Figure 12, Course 3, then stand erect.

The lower the split the easier it is to get under the weight. When splitting under the weight some lifters throw their heads forward and down, while others look slightly upward; some lifters do not move the front foot but only slide the other foot back. Before splitting under the weight, try to give a "second pull" with the arms and back. This is used very successfully by some while others get the "pull" from the start.

 - Half Squat Snatch

The half squat snatch is used by many lifters and is employed by Bill Good who held both the Lightheavy and Heavyweight records in this lift. A comparatively wide grip is nearly always employed by lifters using the half squat snatch, for the reason that the shoulders are more securely locked and the wide grip enables them to place the bar in a better overhead position. Pull the weight as high as possible in the manner described above in the split snatch, then quickly lower the body under the bar into the position shown in Figure 13, Course 3. When lowering the body, split the feet to the sides, throwing the bar backwards and the head forward as shown. Now come to the erect position, completing the lift.

 - Full Squat Snatch

The full squat snatch is employed successfully by only a few lifters who are especially built to get into the low position. A grip slightly more than shoulder width is usually employed by those using the full squat style. These lifters usually use the "get set" to start the lift. Most lifters, after having grasped the bar, sit in the deep knee bend position, then straighten the legs several times before starting the upward pull to give a better "rebound." This method of "rebounding" can also be employed by others not using the full squat style. The weight is pulled as high as possible or until it is in line with the head, then the lifter suddenly squats low under the weight, shifting the feet very little in doing so.

When squatting under the weight, throw the head forward to some extent as shown in Figure 14, Course 3. This is the full squat position. Come to the erect position to complete the lift.

When starting the upward pull in the snatch keep the arms straight. Most lifters using this full squat style snatch find it necessary to balance on the toes when the weight reaches the overhead position before standing erect. Official rules require the weight to be thrown to arms' length overhead without pushing out with the arms, however, a fast push is allowed when not too noticeable. The knees are not allowed to touch the floor while performing the lift. A lifter must always place his feet in line and not more than 16 inches apart, and hold the bar overhead for two seconds to complete the lift.

5) Two Arm Clean and Jerk

The starting position in the two arm clean and jerk is the same as shown in Figure 11, Course 3, if the "get set" style is used, although the hands are placed only slightly more than shoulder width apart. Some use a grip only shoulder width apart. The style of "diving" for the weight is most generally used by lifters; some use the hook grip while others use the ordinary grip. The hook grip is used most successfully in cases where the lifter has trouble with the bar rolling out of the hands. There are two methods of cleaning a barbell to the chest in the clean style: the split style and the squat style.

 - Split Clean

The split style is used by most all lifters and is most successfully employed because of the perfect balance attained. Start the clean to the shoulders by grasping the bar in the "get set" style or the "dive," whichever is preferred. Now straighten the legs forcibly, pulling with the back and arms as hard as possible until the bar reaches a position in front of the lower chest, then quickly split one leg forward and the other back, snapping the elbows forward until the bar is in the position shown in Figure 15, Course 3. Some lifters in cleaning the weight do not move the front foot but move the other backward. Split as low as possible if you wish to clean heavier weights and pull as hard as possible when cleaning the weight to the chest. A strong second pull is employed by some lifters.

 - Squat Clean

When the squat clean is used, the lifter usually uses the "get set" style to clean the weight to the chest. After having grasped the bar, some lifters will straighten the legs several times to give them a "rebound" before starting the initial pull of bringing the weight to about the height of the chest and then quickly squatting low under it, snapping the elbows forward as shown in Figure 16, Course 3. Quickly come to the erect position to start the jerk.

Very strong legs are required to succeed with this heavy poundages in the full squat style. Some lifters employ the half squat but this style is not found to be very successful because of having trouble in fixing the weight at the chest without losing the balance while coming to the erect position.

 - Jerking the Barbell

There is only one way of jerking the weight overhead and that is the split style. When starting the jerk, place the feet in line and apart as best suited to the lifter. Stand erect, throwing the chest and elbows forward with the bar resting on the high point of the chest. Some lifters place one foot slightly forward to start the jerk but we advise all lifters to adopt the style of placing the feet in line.

The lifter places the hands in the position desired then commences the jerk by bending the legs slightly and quickly straightening them, pushing with the arms and throwing the bar upwards as high as possible. Quickly lower under the weight by splitting one leg forward and one backward, still pushing the bar until it reaches a position at arms' length overhead as shown in Figure 17, Course 3, then come to the erect position, feet in line to complete the lift. Some lifters do not split straight front and back but slightly to either side when jerking; in some cases the back foot is moved very little and the front foot is moved forward; this makes it possible to get directly under the weight.

Official rules require that the barbell be cleaned to the chest with the bar in line or above the nipples. If the bar strikes the chest below this line, the lifter is disqualified. To complete the lift, stand erect and stationary with the feet in line and hold the weight overhead for two seconds.

Really strong men can jerk more weight overhead than is possible to clean to the chest in one movement, and in such instances a belt is used around the waist and the weight is brought to the buckle from where it is cleaned to the chest. This is known as the continental style of cleaning but is not allowed in the clean and jerk style.

Good Barbell Course No. 4

Weightlifting Training Improvement (Accessory) Exercises

The following exercises will develop the muscles, speed, skill and strength so essential in helping improve the lifts in the shortest possible time. The Weightlifting Training Improvement Exercises should be practiced one exercise period and the Lifting Course the following exercise period before specializing on the lifts alone. 

Do not include all of the exercises in Course 4 in one training period, just select about 12 exercises that are best suited for your improvement on the lifts. Some of the exercises are for squat lifters, some for split lifters, and other exercises are for lifters performing all styles of lifting. These exercises are also f the best for bodybuilding purposes and when included on alternate days with Exercising Courses 1 and 2 will make the program more interesting. 

Here is an example of how the Good Barbell Courses can be practiced by alternating:

Monday - Exercise Course 1.
Wednesday - Weightlifting Training Improvement Course 4.
Friday - Exercise Course 2.
Monday - Five International Lifts, Course 3.
Wednesday - Start with Exercise Course 1 again.

The first three courses can be practiced omitting the lifts, or Exercise Courses 1 and 2 can be omitted, just practicing Courses 3 and 4. 

One Arm Snatch Improvement Exercises

1) Snatch From Hang

Grasp the barbell in the right hand and hold it in the position shown in Figure 1, Course 4, with the left hand placed on the thigh directly above the knee. Notice the position of the body. Now straighten the legs quickly and by pushing with the arm on the thigh, assist with the upper body. Pull the weight as high as possible, then quickly lower the body under the bar the same as in the regular one arm snatch. Repeat the exercise with a weight that can be done at least 5 times in succession, always lowering the weight to the position shown in Figure 1, Course 4. Increase the weight slightly at times for improvement. Perform this exercise with either hand.

2) Straight-Legged Snatch

Grasp the barbell as shown in Figure 2, Course 4. With the legs straight and the upper body bent forward, start the upward pull, bringing the weight as high as possible, then dip under the weight the same as when performing the regular one arm snatch. The movement must be performed quickly. Lower the bar to the floor and repeat at least 5 times. Increase the weight slightly at times for improvement. Perform with either hand.

One Arm Clean and Jerk Improvement Exercises 

1) One Arm Clean From Hang

To improve the one arm clean to the chest, perform repetitions from the hang position, holding the barbell slightly below the knees and then from that position clean the bar to the chest by straightening the legs and back, then quickly dipping under the weight.

2) One Arm Jerk From Shoulder Without Pause

Clean the barbell to the chest then jerk it overhead, hold for a second then lower to the shoulder without assisting with the other hand and immediately jerk it overhead on the rebound without pausing at the shoulder. When lowering the barbell to the shoulder, the legs are bent and the weight is jerked with the straightening of the legs. Perform this exercise 5 times in succession, gradually increasing the weight of the barbell. Perform this exercise with either hand.

3) One Arm Push With Barbell or Dumbbell

Clean the weight to the chest with one hand and stand in the position shown in Figure 3, Course 4. Now start to push the weight overhead by bending to the opposite side and at the same time push as hard as possible with the lifting arm. When the bell reaches a position about the height of the head, dip under the weight the same as in the one arm jerk. Lower the bell to the shoulder and repeat the exercise 5 times before increasing the weight slightly. Perform this exercise with either arm. This is a wonderful developer of the triceps. It is different than the dumbbell exercises in Course 1 because the legs are bent and the lifter splits or squats under the weight.   

Two Arm Olympic Press Improvement Exercises

1) Press With Wide Grip

This exercise is performed in the same manner as the two arm Olympic press except that the bar is gripped very wide using various grips. This makes the pressing harder with a lighter weight and helps to improve the pressing ability of a lifter. Perform the exercise at least 5 times in succession before increasing the weight.

2) Two Arm Push

Clean the barbell to the chest in the regular manner with the ordinary grip generally used by the lifter. Now stand erect, holding the barbell on the chest. Keeping the legs straight, start to push the barbell to arms' length overhead and at the same time lean far backwards as shown in Figure 4, Course 4, without bending the legs. Lower the barbell to the chest and immediately repeat the exercise. Perform this exercise at least 5 times in succession before increasing the weight of the barbell. It is possible to push more weight if the legs are bent. Always remember to inhale when pushing weights overhead.

3) Super Triceps Exercise

Grasp the barbell, placing the hands about 12 inches apart with the palms toward the body. Now clean the weight and push the barbell overhead, then lower it behind the neck into the position shown in Figure 5, Course 4. Notice the position of the elbows. The bar is held loosely in the palms of the hands. From this position, press the barbell to arms' length overhead, lower slowly to the position shown and repeat the exercise. Inhale when pushing the weight overhead and exhale when lowering. Perform this exercise from 5 to 10 times. When the maximum number of repetitions has been reached, increase the weight by 5 pounds and start over at the lower rep range again. When practiced regularly over time, great improvement of the triceps, shoulders and forearm muscles will be noticed.

4) Press Behind The Neck

This exercise is explained in Barbell Exercising Course 2 and is a very good exercise to help improve the two arm Olympic press. It should be included occasionally if barbell courses 1 and 2 are not included in weightlifting training. 

Two Arm Snatch Improvement Exercises

1) Two Arm Snatch From Hang

Grasp the barbell with both hands slightly more than shoulder width apart and stand in the position shown in Figure 6, Course 4. Now straighten the legs assisting with the back and arms and pull the bar as high as possible before lowering the body under the weight in the split or squat tossing the weight to arms' length overhead. Come to the erect position, then lower the bar to the position shown and repeat the exercise 5 times in succession. Increase the weight of the bar occasionally for improvement.

2) Snatch From Hips

Grasp the barbell with both hands with a moderately wide grip and stand erect with the weight hanging in front of the body. Standing with the legs straight, lower the upper body slightly forward as shown in Figure 7, Course 4, then quickly pull upwards with the arms and back until the bar reaches a position in front of the face. Quickly lower under the weight by splitting or squatting, tossing it to arms' length overhead. Repeat, performing 5 repetitions occasionally increasing the weight of the barbell. In this exercise a very light barbell is used compared to the snatch from the hang and the regular two arm snatch because of the difficulty of pulling the weight high enough to get under it. This exercise will develop speed to get under the weight in the regular two arm snatch and should be practiced occasionally.

3) Straight-Legged Snatch

Grasp the barbell in both hands instead of one hand as shown in Figure 2, Course 4, of the One Arm Snatch. Keeping the legs straight, start the pull with the back and arms and pull the bell as high as possible, then quickly lower the body under it by splitting or squatting. Come to the erect position and start over. Perform this exercise 5 times. Gradually increase the weight slightly. Always use weights that can be handled quite easily because most of the pulling effects the small of the back. Include this exercise occasionally in your lifting program.

4) Squat With Barbell Overhead

This exercise is especially helpful to those using the squat style in the two arm snatch and is easily performed. Clean and jerk or snatch a barbell overhead then hold overhead and squat into the low position as shown in Figure 14, Course 3. Come to the erect position and repeat the exercise. Perform this exercise at least 5 times before making increases in weight. Inhale when coming to the erect position, exhale when standing erect.

5) Light Bar Exercises to Loosen Up the Shoulders

Grasp a bar with the hands spaced very wide apart and hold against the front of the body. Now keep the arms straight and bring them overhead and down in back of the body as shown in Figure 8, Course 4. Return to the overhead position and down in front of the body and repeat the exercise. Remember to keep the arms straight throughout the entire exercise and place the hands sufficiently apart so that it is possible to do the exercise correctly. Perform the exercise from 5 to 10 repetitions. This exercise will loosen up the shoulders, which is so essential in two arm snatching, especially the squat snatch where the barbell is occasionally far to the rear of the head.

Two Arm Clean and Jerk Improvement Exercises

1) Clean From Hang

Grasp the barbell with the grip used when cleaning and jerking a weight overhead. Now stand erect with the bar hanging in front of the body. From this position, quickly lower the body to the position shown in Figure 6, Course 4, then suddenly straighten the legs and upper body and clean the barbell to the chest. Lower to arms' length in front of the body and then to the position shown, and repeat. Perform the exercise 5 times in succession. In this exercise heavy weights can be used to improve cleaning to the chest for the regular two arm clean.

2) Clean From Hips

A more difficult method of cleaning is performed from the position shown in Figure 7, Course 4. The weight is cleaned from the hips by lowering only slightly. This teaches the lifter to quickly lower under the bar and also develops a second pull in the arms and upper body. Perform this exercise 5 times. Gradually increase the weight of the barbell.

3) Rapid Dead Lift Pull

Grasp the barbell the same as in the regular dead lift with the knuckles to the front. Now quickly come to the erect position and pull the weight as high as possible up along the front of the body almost to the chest. Lower to the floor and repeat. perform this exercise at least 5 times in succession. Gradually increase the weight of the bell but never use too heavy weights.

4) One Legged Dead Lift

Stand erect with the barbell held in front of the body. Now balance on one foot and lower the barbell to the floor by bending the leg and the upper body into the position shown in Figure 9, Course 4. Come to the erect position and repeat. Inhale when lowering the body, exhale when lowered, inhale when coming to the erect position and exhale when erect. This exercise is beneficial to leg development and also the small of the back, assisting greatly in lifting heavy weights overhead. Be sure to perform the exercise with only the one leg, assisting only to balance with the other at times. Perform the exercise with either leg 5 times. Gradually increase the weight of the bell.

5) Straight-Legged Clean

Place a barbell in front of the body over the insteps. Now dive for the bar in the same manner as in the two arm clean except that the legs are kept straight while pulling the weight toward the chest. Then quickly dip under the bar by splitting or squatting. The pull toward the chest is to be done mostly with the strength of the small of the back to develop it for pulling and cleaning heavy weights in the regular clean. Perform this exercise 5 times. Gradually increase the weight of the bar.

6) Repetition Jerk - No Pause At Chest

The only difference between this and the regular repetition jerk from the chest is that in lowering the barbell to the chest from the overhead position, it is immediately jerked with the straightening of the legs caused after lowering and catching the bar at the chest, same as the one arm jerk without a pause. It is possible to use moderately heavy weights in this exercise after becoming familiar with it. This exercise develops jerking ability and confidence. Perform this exercise about 5 times, gradually increasing the weight on the bar.

7) Two Arm Push and Jerk for Speed

Stand in the two arm jerk position with the bar on the chest. Now start to push the barbell the same as in the regular press, but instead of pressing it all the way, split or squat under the bar as in the two arm jerk. This exercise develops the ability of a lifter to get under the weight in the two arm jerk. Use weights within your pressing power and perform it 5 times, gradually increasing the weight of the bar. Some practice may be necessary to get the correct movements in performing this exercise. 

8) Flat Foot Deep Knee Bend

Perform this exercise as the regular deep knee bend but lower faster than in the regular exercise and come to the erect position as fast as possible on the muscle rebound. This exercise develops flexibility and is especially good for all squat clean and snatch lifters. Perform this exercise at least 5 times in succession. Gradually increase the weight of the bar. Always inhale when coming to the erect position. 

In this course there is little mentioned about increases and the number of repetitions to be performed compared to the first two courses. After having practiced the first two courses for some time the lifter will understand sufficiently how to go about doing these exercises. Most of these exercises should be performed according to the repetitions mentioned.

For Lifting Improvement 

When snatching and cleaning from the hang, the first attempt can be made from the floor instead of from the hang as mentioned in the exercises, then lower the bell to the hang and repeat from the hang. These hang cleans to the chest and snatches overhead are very important to improve rapidly on the lifts and that is why they are mentioned in the first Weightlifting Training Improvement Exercises. They are about as important for improvement on the lifts as the cleans and snatches from the floor when done in repetition form. 

Start with weights well within your limit and work up, doing at least several repetitions with each weight selected. This progression will increase the strength of the legs and small of the back, from which the pulling power for the snatches and cleans is derived. When making the last repetition of the on the hang cleans to the chest with the various weights, jerk the weight overhead one or two times in succession. This includes the one and two hand cleans and jerks.

For improvement in the overhead parts of the one and two arm jerks from the shoulders, we recommend the "Jerk Without Pause at Shoulders." This form of jerking will develop what is necessary to improve on the overhead parts of the jerk when done in repetition form starting with weights well within the limit and working up, doing at least several repetitions with each weight. This form of practicing is for those who wish to excel on the five lifts and make improvements in the shortest possible time known to any beings in the cosmos.   

End of Course Three and Four.
Next: Course One and Two. 



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