Paul Anderson’s Progressive Movement Lifting

Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 by John Wood
“…Some of the above history will certainly seem strange to some of our younger readers, with all the wonderful instruction they have at their fingertips, but living in a small mountain town and not having a subscription to any physical fitness magazines, I had to work many things out for myself. Today I can see this was not a handicap but an advantage, because it made me think and work out new routines. One new routine that I developed is today called Isotonic. I do not claim to be the discovered of this method but I did work out the forthcoming procedure on my own.

I appropriately called this procedure “progressive movement” lifting. In the squat, I progressed as follows: by putting a 55-gallon oil drum on each side of an eight-foot barbell and loading the drums with weights up to a poundage of about 200 pounds better than my best squat, I made my basic apparatus. This makeshift weight was placed over a hole in which I stood being at a height where I could lift the weights in a quarter-squat position. In this first position, I would perform about 20 repetitions; then every week, I would add about two inches of dirt to the hole, making my lifting movement longer and cutting down on my repetitions. By following this procedure, I was soon lifting the weight from a full squat position for a single repetition.

Let me point out two very important things about the “progressive movement” routine. The first thing to remember is to never get impatient and try to progress too fast. The second is to always start out with a weight you can handle for many repetitions and it will only be natural that you drop the number of reps as you lengthen the movement…”

– Paul Anderson

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