The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
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We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

More on the 5 x 5 System

Posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2016 by John Wood
More on the 5 x 5 System
Hi John,

I’ve been using the 5×5 system as my ‘base workout’ for a number of years now.
Whenever things slowed down a bit, I did one (or more) of the following variations.

1.) Reduce the frequency of the workouts. i.e. from 3 times a week to 2, or even
2 workouts one week and just 1 the following week. This was usually enough to spark
continuing progress.


2.) Keep the weight the same on the final working 5th set, but focus on adding reps.
When able to add 2 or 3 more reps with that weight, return to 5×5 and continue
with advancing the weight on that last 5th set.


3.) Take a week off and begin a 5,4,3,2,1 rep scheme with the higher weights this
would allow. Start with 3 workouts per week. When progress slows, I would apply
one (or both) of the above strategies, or return to a straight 5×5 program and
go on from there as before.

These very simple adjustments have kept my progress steadily chugging
along. Using this method I accomplished two main goals that I had set a year ago
in hopes of achieving them by my 65th birthday. One of them was to get my working
set on deadlifts to double bodyweight (360), and my squats over 300 on my 5th set.
I managed to achieve both ahead of schedule by 6 weeks.


I know these poundages don’t mean much compared to younger
and bigger men, but having reachable goals that can be measured from
workout to workout keeps me encouraged and reaping the related benefits.
What I find especially interesting is continuing to make improvements in
performance at an age where I’m also collecting my old age pension.
Geez, whoda thought?


All the Best,


Michael Dumas

Really excellent stuff, Michael. One of the keys to successful training is to always have plenty of options. In this case, when one program goes stale, just switch to the next and keep moving forward, but clearly you are already doing that. Keep it up!

Train hard,
John Wood

P.S. The 5×5 system is the “go to” for a number of strength champions through the years.
Reg Park, for example, used it to win the Mr. Universe title multiple times. You can read more about Reg’s training in his great course Strength and Bulk Training. You’ll also find the 5×5 program discussed in greater detail in several of Brooks Kubik’s books, including “Gray Hair and Black Iron” and “Strength, Muscle and Power.”

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Reg Park Muscle Builder

Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 by John Wood

The Reg Park Muscle Builder! You got a 10-strand cable outfit … a wall pulley attachment … a headstrap … foot stirrups … two hand grips … a mighty chest exercises … a rowing machine … and some free courses which gave instructions on how to uses it all. All in all, a pretty sweet deal. Who knows how many youngsters got started on the road to health and strength with this setup? Quite a few, I bet.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

The Reg Park Muscle Builder Ad

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by John Wood

You used to be able to find ads for ‘The Reg Park Muscle Builder Set’ on the back of Reg’s magazine “The Reg Park Journal.” If you saved up your allowance for one of these sets, you got quite a haul: a 10-strand cable exerciser, a wall pulley attachment, a head strap, foot stirrups, two hand grips (for a mighty, he-man grip) a cable exercise and rowing machine and, of course, several free courses to show you how to use it all.

Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters & Body Builders by Reg Park

Posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at an original circa 1960 copy of Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters & Body Builders by Reg Park. You’d have better luck winning the lottery AND getting struck by lightning on the same day than getting your hands on an original copy like this one. Thanks to Bill Hinbern, you CAN get a modern reprint copy though and Reg’s training advice is worth every penny.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.