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Thread: Training History: Pros & Cons of Various Bodybuilding Training Systems - New Article!

  1. #1
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Training History: Pros & Cons of Various Bodybuilding Training Systems - New Article!

    After our rookie year in the gym, most of us are so sure that we have discovered IT (the training and nutrition “system” that is perfect for us) that we no longer really investigate other options.

    But taking an open-minded look into the past, at how athletes trained in earlier periods and examining the benefits and drawbacks of those systems, provides you with a depth of knowledge that will set you above the chuckleheads with the Xeroxed routines from Fitness for Men or the teenagers doing curls that look like a mixture of reverse cleans and an epileptic seizure.

    READ HERE

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say this is my favourate article this year!

    Please discuss the article and let us know what you thought here!
    Last edited by Joe Black; 04-12-2010 at 05:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Also, please, please share this articles with your friends - whether it be Facebook, Twitter, email or simply telling them offline it makes a tremendous difference to us and we REALLY appreciate any effort by you in spreading the word!
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  3. #3
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    A very good summary of the major training styles. Of course my favorite is the pre-steroid era 20 rep squat programs written by Hise, McCallum, Rader, and more recently by Strossen, Liestner, and McRoberts. I am tickled that he included it as they are usually tossed aside as outdated. It was a nice read and a balanced article.
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  4. #4
    Working it out, working it bamazav's Avatar
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    Thought this was a great article. A great over view of older, yet still very relevant styles of training. Should be a mandatory noob read.
    Working on getting stronger in body, mind and soul.



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    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    A reader (Dave M.) pointed out a regretable error I made in my article. I listed Stuart McRobert as the author of the book "Super Squats," rather than its publisher Randall Strossen. Both are authors of note in our industry and certainly neither would find being confused for the other an insult.

    Stuart McRobert's book "Brawn" and Randall Strossen's "Super Squats" should be considered must reading by those that want a full education on training. Thanks, Dave!

  6. #6
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    I fixed the error by the way
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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I was going to mention that...but I let it slide That's why I mentioned Strossen in my original reply.
    Last edited by Off Road; 04-12-2010 at 01:56 PM.
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    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
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    Probably the best article I've read here. One of the most compelling I've read anywhere
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Cool article Steve! It takes me back...


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    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Yeah great article, good read!
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  11. #11
    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Apart from just being a really enjoyable and elightening read, the wrap up is the key take home I think.

    I was obviously familiar with the training systems outlined in the article and have dabbled with them in the past, but this article has sparked a desire for me to give them a try again - if nothing just to spark a bit of a change in my training. I want to do that crazy Arnold routine lol - killer volume. I don't think I could do that for much more than a week without burning out but it would be a hell of a week!

    And I love peoples face for the first time when you try and explain the breathing 20 rep squat concept to them. You get a confused look followed by 'let me get this right - you pick a weight you can do for 10 reps....and then do 20 reps on it?' Ha ha.



    but this was a reminder for me to give them
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Hey, can someone exactly line out to me what the benefits of those breathing 20 rep squats are?
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  13. #13
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemz View Post
    Hey, can someone exactly line out to me what the benefits of those breathing 20 rep squats are?
    To start with, there are two ways of doing 20 rep breathing squats.

    There is the rest/pause method as described in the article. You'd kick out about 5 reps, then you'd pause for a couple of breaths between each rep for reps 6 through 10, then you'd pause and take several breaths between reps for reps 11 through 15, and finally for reps 15 through 20 you'd be standing with the weight on your shoulders and breathing like a freight train between reps.

    For the traditional "breathing squat" you would take three lung filling breaths between each and every rep without fail. This is by far the tougher method to use because the pauses between reps are regulated and can't be done faster or slower.

    The biggest advantage of this type of squatting comes from the fact that your body will just want to quit but you won't allow it to. In traditional lifting you will cease a set when you can no longer continue to move the weight or you become so exhausted your mind tells you to quit. With 20 rep squats you train past that point by allowing just enough rest to squeeze out another rep. Your body will tell you it's time to quit, but your mind has to over-ride that and keep going. Shoot, just the act of holding the weight for that long is going to trigger a growth response, but add in the brutal squatting movement and it will trigger that "grow or die" response. Your hunger level will shoot through the roof and you will be forced to eat large quantities of food to feel better.

    There really is no way to describe it until you've done it progressively for a few months, constantly adding 10 lbs to the bar every time you go to the gym. Squatting is tough enough, but adding the intensity of rest/pause will send it into another level.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    To start with, there are two ways of doing 20 rep breathing squats.

    There is the rest/pause method as described in the article. You'd kick out about 5 reps, then you'd pause for a couple of breaths between each rep for reps 6 through 10, then you'd pause and take several breaths between reps for reps 11 through 15, and finally for reps 15 through 20 you'd be standing with the weight on your shoulders and breathing like a freight train between reps.

    For the traditional "breathing squat" you would take three lung filling breaths between each and every rep without fail. This is by far the tougher method to use because the pauses between reps are regulated and can't be done faster or slower.

    The biggest advantage of this type of squatting comes from the fact that your body will just want to quit but you won't allow it to. In traditional lifting you will cease a set when you can no longer continue to move the weight or you become so exhausted your mind tells you to quit. With 20 rep squats you train past that point by allowing just enough rest to squeeze out another rep. Your body will tell you it's time to quit, but your mind has to over-ride that and keep going. Shoot, just the act of holding the weight for that long is going to trigger a growth response, but add in the brutal squatting movement and it will trigger that "grow or die" response. Your hunger level will shoot through the roof and you will be forced to eat large quantities of food to feel better.

    There really is no way to describe it until you've done it progressively for a few months, constantly adding 10 lbs to the bar every time you go to the gym. Squatting is tough enough, but adding the intensity of rest/pause will send it into another level.
    Thanks alot man. I love the brutality of the squat, definatly going to give this a try!
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    It's funny because I recently started to stall a bit on my regular Squats doing 4 sets of 6-8. And then I started reading around these forums and found out that 20 rep Squats are really good and thought, "Hey, I should try that!". Then suddenly a bunch of information is coming out for the 20 rep Squats! I guess it was good timing .

  16. #16
    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    20reppers

    Thanks for all the kind words. I appreciate the retroactive edit, Daniel.

    Off Road did a nice job explaining 20-rep Squats. While I am not sure that I would technically call them a GPP builder, I would definitely say that there are few things that build mental toughness better than the Twenty-Rep Squat Protocol. (The closest thing might be Prowler Sprints).

    I am a huge fan of powerlifting but, while really heavy triples take some courage, there is not as much pain involved as when you do high-rep, relatively heavy weight leg work. The protocol really tends to make men from boys and bumps the genetic ceiling up a bit in people that have a "low overhang."

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    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Clough View Post
    if nothing just to spark a bit of a change in my training. I want to do that crazy Arnold routine lol - killer volume. I don't think I could do that for much more than a week without burning out but it would be a hell of a week!
    Why not pick a weak part and do a high volume 10x10 on it for six to eight workouts in a row and see how it adapts? Volume is great for hypertrophy but has to be done within the limits of your GPP. If pecs were a weak point and you did low incline presses (BB or DBs) for ten of ten and reduced your training volume for the rest of your bodyparts by 20%, that would be a good experiment. You really learn to abandon the concept of "needing 3-5 exercises to his all aspects of a muscle." I promise your upper, lower, inner, outer and mid pecs will ALL be sore after 10x10.

  18. #18
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    Volume is great for hypertrophy but has to be done within the limits of your GPP..
    This is a concept that really intrigues me and something I was missing from my tool box for so long.
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    Soon to be lean... Joe Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    Why not pick a weak part and do a high volume 10x10 on it for six to eight workouts in a row and see how it adapts? Volume is great for hypertrophy but has to be done within the limits of your GPP. If pecs were a weak point and you did low incline presses (BB or DBs) for ten of ten and reduced your training volume for the rest of your bodyparts by 20%, that would be a good experiment. You really learn to abandon the concept of "needing 3-5 exercises to his all aspects of a muscle." I promise your upper, lower, inner, outer and mid pecs will ALL be sore after 10x10.
    I'll definately do that!

    Right now I am fighting to get to 10% bodyfat so low calories and lots of cardio, but the minute I reach that goal and feel good about gaining again, I will give that a shot for sure!
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  20. #20
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Personally, I completely agree with Steve. Volume for me has done wonders for growth

    In my pre-powerlifting days, I did a program quite similar to the Arnold routine and it actually helped me with both the fat loss as well as putting on some great mass.

    Keeping your heart rate up like that for an extended training session is really great for helping with fat loss.

    Only thing I would recommend is that people start light. Some try and use the same weight they've used in the past for say one set of 10 or one set of 15. You have to drop it back a little, otherwise you'll be toast by the end of the session.


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    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    This is a concept that really intrigues me and something I was missing from my tool box for so long.
    Agreed! When I realized that work capacity was a component that can (and should) be increased, mostly thanks to Louie Simmons' writing, I felt like it was a real "A-haaa!" moment.

    Rather than consider your tolerance to exercise as a limiting factor, it should be considered something you should strive to increase. I also think there is something to be said for gradually increasing workout volume over time and then abruptly reducing it for a fast growth and strength surge.

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    Guerrilla Journalist Steve Colescott's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Travis Bell;2321844]Personally, I completely agree with Steve. Volume for me has done wonders for growthQUOTE]

    As you no doubt know, many of the Westside guys make huge gains in size (~25 pounds in the first year), which is amazing in an elite level lifter. Much of this is do to all the repeat effort assistance work.

  23. #23
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    Agreed! When I realized that work capacity was a component that can (and should) be increased, mostly thanks to Louie Simmons' writing, I felt like it was a real "A-haaa!" moment.

    Rather than consider your tolerance to exercise as a limiting factor, it should be considered something you should strive to increase. I also think there is something to be said for gradually increasing workout volume over time and then abruptly reducing it for a fast growth and strength surge.
    Excellent! I could have used you about a year ago (haha). But, the guys here got me squared away pretty well. Thanks for the article, it was a fun read.
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    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Colescott View Post
    Why not pick a weak part and do a high volume 10x10 on it for six to eight workouts in a row and see how it adapts? Volume is great for hypertrophy but has to be done within the limits of your GPP. If pecs were a weak point and you did low incline presses (BB or DBs) for ten of ten and reduced your training volume for the rest of your bodyparts by 20%, that would be a good experiment. You really learn to abandon the concept of "needing 3-5 exercises to his all aspects of a muscle." I promise your upper, lower, inner, outer and mid pecs will ALL be sore after 10x10.
    I read this two days ago and i kept pondering about it..Let's say my shoulders and my arms are somewhat of a "weak" point to me. Would then 10x10 be beneficial for these muscles as well or are they too small to take on such a beating?

    And if you can do 10x10 for those muscles, would you limit yourself to only one exercise or more? Since your shoulder for example consist out of different muscles?

    Right now i am on PRRS training, so basicly i have one week where i train with around 90% of my max with low reps, second week i suppose is more around 75% higher reps and third week is just superset superset dropset with only 'cardiovascular' rest periods. So for shoulders, should i keep the 'heavy' week the same and for the other two weeks incorporate the 10x10 or?

    I hope you can kinda get what i mean, i feel that my arms (biceps) and shoulders are somewhat 'stalling' although my chest, back, legs, .. keep making great gains, i just feel that i have to switch it up a bit for those two bodyparts.
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    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

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