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Thread: John McCallum - High Protein High Set Workout

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    John McCallum - High Protein High Set Workout

    Things have gone very quiet again around here. Here's another John McCallum article. It's one of the more unusual articles he wrote but I find the idea quite interesting. It's basically a standard routine coupled with a form of volume training for maximum pump. If calorie intake is very high he claims it will lead to incredible gains. He also gives the recipe for his infamous Get Big Drink.

    Have a read, make some comments.
    Last edited by J.C.; 10-25-2011 at 10:16 AM.

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    The High Protein High Set Program

    We're going to depart from the standard this month and venture into something a little more unusual. You'll find this new program a lot different from what you've been doing in the past. You'll also find it tough and very, very demanding. But if gaining size and shape is your aim at the moment, you'll also find it incredibly effective. If you do it properly, that is.

    You'll note from the title of this article that there are two distinct segments to the program - high protein and high sets. If you push either one and neglect the other you're doomed to failure before you start. Both segments are of equal importance, so don't hang up on just one of them.
    Remember—do the thing properly or don't do it at all.

    Let's take the high protein part first. It should be obvious by now to any reader of Strength and Health that protein, lots of it, is the one essential ingredient for building big muscles. There's no way out of it. If you wrap yourself mound a daily abundance of good protein you'll build muscle. If you don't, you won't. It's as simple as that. An abundance of protein by bodybuilding standards bears absolutely no resemblance to its parallel in medical circles. The amount of protein recommended by the medical profession for the average man won't build big muscles. It'll keep you in good health but you won't grow 19" arms on it.

    This article however, isn't for the average man. I'm not selling anything, so I can be honest with you. If you’re just interested in maintaining good health, then quite frankly you've wasted your time reading this far. But if you're interested in bulking up to your maximum size and strength, if you're interested in building, a collection of muscle like Reg Park, or Bill Pearl, or John Grimek, then read on. This could solve all your bodybuilding problems. Remember for now – and don't forget it – an abundance of protein is an absolute essential if you want to build muscle.

    There's lots of protein supplements on the market. Most stores are jammed with them. Some of the supplements are better than others. Most of them aren't worth the bags they're packed in and they’re all too expensive. You don't need to kick your grandmother out to work just to buy protein supplements. You can get a good, moderately priced protein from York and mix it with ingredients found in any super¬market to make a muscle building drink more effective than highly huckstered junk at ten times the price. There's a weight gaining supplement that I like. I call it the "Get Big Drink." A lot of men have used it and they all gained weight. Some gain up to a pound a day on it. The recipe was published in Strength and Health some time ago, but I'll repeat it for those of you that haven't got it.

    Get Big Drink.
    Pour two quarts of whole milk into a bowl and add at least a day’s supply of Hoffman’s Gain Weight. Add more than a day's supply if you want to gain faster. Now add two cups of skim milk powder and blend it. Next add two eggs, four tablespoons of peanut butter, half a brick of chocolate ice-cream, one small banana, four tablespoons of malted milk powder and six tablespoons of corn syrup.
    Blend the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a plastic jug and keep it in the fridge.

    That much of the "Get Big Drink" contains approximately 200 grams of the best protein you can get and about 3,000 calories. There'll be about ten glassfuls in the jug and you drink it all in one day. Don't try to drink it all at one sitting and don't drink it in place of your regular meals. Spread it out over the day. You should take a glassful every hour or so.
    Mix up a fresh batch every day and drink it seven days a week. Don't cheat on it, You're only cheating yourself. This supplement will make the difference between grinding slowly along with a crummy build and a fast smooth ride to the thick, powerful body you want.

    So much for the high protein. The other part of the program is high sets and we'll deal with that right now. By high sets, I mean fifteen sets of each exercise. This might seem like a drastic departure limn the conventional three to five set program, but when you combine it with a high protein, high calorie nutritional jolt it produces great results for short periods of time.
    A high set workout is pretty tough. You'll have to use a split program or you'll think you've been worked over by the Mafia. Train your arms, chest, and shoulders one day. Legs, neck, and back the next. This means working out six days per week three days on each section— but it's only for a short time and it's worth it.

    Do it like this:
    #1 Sit-ups. Do I set of 25.This will keep your gut in line while you’re getting big and bulky.
    #2 Press Behind Neck. Start with a moderate weight for six reps as a sort of warm-up. Rest two or three minutes. Add weight and do another set of six reps. 'fake another two or three minute rest and then jump to your best weight for three sets of six reps with about three minutes rest between sets.
    Force the poundage on these heavy sets. Most of your eventual success will depend on your ability to lift heavy weights. You can't really expect 19" arms if your sister can outlift you.
    Nosy drop the poundage down and start doing sets of eight reps. You'll do ten more sets for a wand total of fifteen.
    Don't worry about the weight for these final ten sets. Just concentrate on getting the best
    pump you're ever had in your life. Ito each rep moderately slow in very, very strict style. You should be pumped up like a barrage balloon when you finish.
    The business of resting is of prime importance here. Take just thirty seconds rest between sets. No inure. Any longer will destroy the maximum pumping effect you're striving for.
    You'll find you won't rest up properly in thirty seconds. You'll have to keep dropping the poundage in order to finish the full number of sets. Drop ten pounds every set if you have to. Remember--the weight isn't important for the final ten sets but the pump is.
    #3 Bench Press. Do this the same way as exercise #2. Work up heavy for the first five sets of six, then drop the poundage way down for the final ten sets of eight for maximum pumping effect.
    Use a wide grip. The idea in this case is to throw most of the work on the pectorals. Do this properly and you'll draw more attention than a topless waitress.
    #4 Curls. Do these the same way. Five sets of six very heavy. Ten sets of eight very light and strict and no more than thirty seconds rest between sets.
    #5 French Press. Same as the others. Five sets heavy. Ten sets light. Thirty seconds rest between sets.

    That completes the upper body work, Your arms, chest, and shoulders will be tired and thoroughly pumped, but you shouldn't experience any overall exhaustion. You should be back to normal an hour or so after the workout.
    You'll find your strength increasing rapidly as your body weight climbs. Push the poundage hard on the heavy sets. You'll be able to work into impressive weights in a fairly short time.
    Remember to maintain rigid style on the light stuff and no more than thirty seconds rest between sets. Think size and shape into your muscles while you’re training.

    On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, do the following:
    #1 Leg Raises. 1 set of 25 reps.
    #2 Squats. Take a moderate weight for your first set of six. Increase it for another set, and then jump your best weight for three sets of six. Take about three minutes rest between sets.
    Now drop the poundage way down and do ten sets of eight, dropping ten pounds a set as you
    Tire. Do ten pullovers with a very light weight after each light set of squats. Go straight from the squats to the pullovers, back to the squats, back to the pullovers, more squats, etc., etc. Take very little rest between sets. Just enough to get your breath back
    Push extremely hard on the heavy squats. You should be convinced of their value by now. Start shooting for 500 pounds as an exercising poundage.
    Do the light squats smooth and slow and in very strict style.
    Squats are still number one for gaining weight. They'll pack enough meat on you to stock the average butcher store if you do them properly. Give them the special attention they deserve.
    #3 Calf Raise. Do these fifteen sets of ten reps. Take thirty seconds rest between sets. Start heavy and drop the poundage as you tire.
    #4 Resistance Exercise for Neck. Start by pressing your hands against your forehead and levering your head back and forth for eight reps. Now clasp your hands behind your head and do the same thing for the muscles in the back of your neck. Take thirty second rest between sets, and alternate back and forth for ten sets each.
    Few bodybuilders give their neck any attention at all. Bulk up yours and see what it does for your appearance.
    #5 Rowing. Do this in the same style as the squat. Work up heavy for the first five sets of six, and then work light for the final ten sets of eight.
    Take a close grip and pull the bar to your lower abdomen. Pull your head back and arch your hack as the weight approaches your abdomen. Lower your head and round your back when the weight goes down. Don't rest the bar on the floor. Get a dead hang pull to stretch your lats.
    Work hard on the rowing. You can hulk up your hack to billboard size if you want to. That completes the routine. Again, you should he extremely pumped when you finish and hack to normal energy and hour or so later.

    Don't be frightened by the apparent severity of the program. You'll note there's only five major exercises in each section. With so few exercises and the short rest time between sets you'll find you can get through your workout faster than usual despite the high sets.
    Again—take the "Get Big Drink" in the suggested quantities. You simply won't gain without it.
    Consume enough protein and do the workout properly and you can look forward to startling, gains in size, shape, and strength. You'll completely revamp your appearance in a very, very short time.
    The basic program will suit most men. A few trainees need special attention. If you run into difficulties, write me and we'll work out something individual for you.
    Last edited by J.C.; 10-25-2011 at 01:57 PM.

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    Anyone done this before? I can't imagine myself lasting too long on a routine like that!

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    OVERCOME krazylarry's Avatar
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    3000 cals in shakes on top of normal food, of course you are going to gain weight. Plus I would need 4 hours a day to lift like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    The High Protein High Set Program

    (1). There's a weight gaining supplement that I like. I call it the "Get Big Drink." A lot of men have used it and they all gained weight. Some gain up to a pound a day on it.




    (2). Pour two quarts of whole milk into a bowl and add at least a day’s supply of Hoffman’s Gain Weight. Add more than a day's supply if you want to gain faster.





    (3) #1 Sit-ups. Do I set of 25.This will keep your gut in line while you’re getting big and bulky.

    #2 Press Behind Neck. Start with a moderate weight for six reps as a sort of warm-up. Rest two or three minutes. Add weight and do another set of six reps. 'fake another two or three minute rest and then jump to your best weight for three sets of six reps with about three minutes rest between sets.



    (4) Use a wide grip. The idea in this case is to throw most of the work on the pectorals.




    (5) Think size and shape into your muscles while you’re training.






    (6) Again—take the "Get Big Drink" in the suggested quantities. You simply won't gain without it.
    .

    Generally I like JMC...but that is a rather bad article he has written IMHO. I edited the article to just leave in the points which I disagree with him on and added numbers in brackets for easier reference.



    (1) They may have gained up to a pound per day on it...but that wasn't all muscle. Muscle simply does not grow that fast.


    (2) Why does it have to be Hoffman's Gain Weight? Just curious why he mentioned a specific brand.


    (3) 1 set of 25 sets will not "keep your gut in line". Nor will 2 or 3 or whatever. Keeping one's gut in line is about diet. And the press behind the neck can be hazardous for many trainers' shoulders...if you are fairly flexible then fair enough...I just don't think that's an exercise that should be promoted blindly.



    (4) Again a wide grip can be harsh on the shoulders. Both Bill Starr and Fred Hatfield have commented on this. Plus it's rather vague advice...the kind of advice I've seen more than one young trainer hurt by. How wide is "wide"? Index fingers on rings? Pinky fingers on rings? OTC?



    (5) What is this supposed to do? I understand the psychological sentiment behind it but size and shape are genetic. You are simply not going to get say Boyer Coe's bicep split or Arnold's peak if your genetics dictate otherwise.



    (6) Already touched on this. You can gain without it.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 10-26-2011 at 01:31 AM.

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    I'd agree with most of those comments and would say that as with most "old-school" articles you have to bear in mind how things have changed and what is now considered unsuitable.

    I think Hoffman owned Strength and Health - the magazine he wrote for - so it's just like authors here recommending Nitrean and Results, I wouldn't worry about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazylarry View Post
    I would need 4 hours a day to lift like that.
    I dunno, 30 second sets, 30 second rest, 10 sets, you're looking at about 10 minutes for the volume bit and about ten minutes for the first 3-5 sets. 4 main exercises, it could be done in under an hour and a half. And once you get used to it, you'll probably get through the light stuff even quicker.

    The thing I find interesting about this routine is that he still recommends 3-5 sets of heavy 6 rep sets before the high volume bit. In GVT or Vince Gironda routines you normally jump straight into 8x8 or 10x10 light stuff. I've always thought that kind of thing was bullshit, except for genetically disposed bodybuilders looking to add some temporary mass before a contest. I wonder if this way might work better, or if it would just be horrible over-training.

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    It is a short term volume specialization routine. Kind of an early version of German Volume Training. Note the trainee has been putting in a lot of time building up the basics before this article came out.

    The interesting part for me is that you see the early roots of some of the modern principals; supplementation, mind-muscle connection, targeting the intended muscles, block training, volume training, etc. Sure, some of it's a bit dated, but the basic principals are still valid.

    Good article from the early days, thanks for posting it J.C.
    Last edited by Off Road; 10-26-2011 at 06:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    The interesting part for me is that you see the early roots of some of the modern principals; supplementation, mind-muscle connection, targeting the intended muscles, block training, volume training, etc. Sure, some of it's a bit dated, but the basic principals are still valid.
    That was my thinking. German volume training must have seemed quite a revolutionary idea and the widespread availability of protein supplements was probably quite new, so you can see people starting to get carried away with it.

    If anyone feels like giving this a shot and reporting back to us, we'd all be interested. In a later article McCallum gives a case study of a guy who did this and went from 190 to 222 pounds over 8 weeks and increased his lifts about 20% if I remember correctly. Even if some of that is fat and water-weight it's still fairly impressive.

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    @ JC:

    Right, and that is why we refer to Men's and Women's Health and Westside Barbell who recommend our products. We can't afford to advertise with MH and trust me when I say Louie could get just about any supplement company to send him products. Perhaps they recommend us because we make good fucking products?


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    As for the program, it sounds like a good way to be an overtrained fatty...


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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Oh, and thanks for posting it. It IS an interesting read.


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    Just train westside and eat heaps...
    Squat briefs only 625 @ 210
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    @ JC:

    Right, and that is why we refer to Men's and Women's Health and Westside Barbell who recommend our products. We can't afford to advertise with MH and trust me when I say Louie could get just about any supplement company to send him products. Perhaps they recommend us because we make good fucking products?
    Chris, I think you misinterpreted my comment. We all know what good products you make. The Men's Health and the WSB endorsements prove that. Song merely asked why JMC recommended a particular brand and I offered an explanation. Maybe it was also a great product?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    As for the program, it sounds like a good way to be an overtrained fatty...
    But isn't it good to over-reach and force feed every once in a while?
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    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    But isn't it good to over-reach and force feed every once in a while?
    It can be, yes. That is a bit of tricky business and not really something for most who would read that article in my opinion.


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    I've heard that it is good to overeat/overtrain once in while...but the recommendations are usually for 1-3 days. This advice is actually a moderate variant of the Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler who actually advocates cycling overeating days with undereating days for weeks on end. The thinking here is that it will actually create an anabolic state as the low-calorie/protein days will trigger a response in the body to improve protein synthesis and greater absorption during the higher calorie/protein days. Not quite sure if this works...Hofmekler sounds a bit extreme to me.



    On the other hand JCM states that you should be drinking this 3000 caloric drink "seven days a week." And on top of your regular meals.

    True he does say this program should be for a short length of time...though he doesn't specify. But based on the advice above it would seem that he's advocating it for some length of time measured in weeks if not months.

    Given that most dedicated hard training male bodybuilders probably eat at least around 3000 calories a day (many eat much more) doubling or nearly doubling your caloric intake every day for a few weeks sounds like it would result in a lot of extra bodyfat. If you are gaining from your regular diet (or holding steady) an additional 3000 calories every day is definitely overkill.
    Last edited by Songsangnim; 10-27-2011 at 10:30 PM.

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