The Reg Park Journal

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Champion bodybuilder… Movie Star… Gym Owner… You can also add magazine editor and publisher to the long list of Reg Park’s accomplishments. From 1954 through 1958, Reg published “The Reg Park Journal” on a monthly basis and, as you might expect, its pages were filled with great training information.

Here’s the cover of the September 1954 issue featuring Reg and the very glamorous Shirley Eaton. If you don’t immediately recognize the name, she was the gal famously painted gold from head to toe in the James Bond movie Goldfinger.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

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

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017 by John Wood
TRAIN LIKE MR. UNIVERSE!
Reg Park Shows You How!

When you’re talking about the greatest bodybuilders who
ever lived, Reg Park is right at the top of everyone’s list.

Reg won the Mr. Universe contest three times (nearly a
4th) but his muscles weren’t just for show – with a
behind-the-neck press of 300 pounds and a squat of
over 600 pounds, Reg was not just one of the strongest
bodybuilders of all time but one of the strongest men
of all time too!

You would think that Reg would have
some “top secret” training methods
that helped him build such
incredible size and strength…

Actually: Reg built his
strength with nothing
more than a handful of
basic exercises and a
lot of hard work.

Still, it’s always
a good thing to
have a look at
how a Champion
actually trains…

What exercises does
he like to use?

…or not use?

…how many sets?

…how often does he train?

…what about the “mental” side of training?

Fortunately for us, Reg Park has, in fact, answered all these questions (and many more) in writing… Now you can learn directly from the man himself through a training course which Reg wrote way back in 1960 and which is now available in high-quality modern reprint format:

Reg Park won the Mr. Universe title three times (1951, ’58 and ”65), and nearly a fourth! ~ (finishing 2nd in 1970 and ’73 and 3rd in 1971)
You know you’ve made it as a physique star when you are instantly recognizable even from the back — Reg presses a few dumbbells at Muscle Beach
Reg shows his championship form — Reg would be the first to tell you that his training consisted of basic exercises and a lot of hard work.
Strength & Bulk Training for
Weight Lifters & Body Builders
Reg Park Course

Table of Contents:

Preface
Introduction
Classification of Body Types
Conflicting principles of Training
The Basic Principles of Weight-Training
The Principles and Degrees of Strength
and Bulk Training
Strength Training for Body Bulk and
Muscle Size
Increased Strength
Strength and Bulk Training Exercises
Increase Strength Essential for Learning Advanced Techniques
Varying Strength and Bulk Training Routines

(1.) First Strength and Bulk Course

(a.) Stabilizing
(b.) Developing a Positive Attitude
(c.) Poundage Increase
(d.) Overloading

(2.) Second Strength and Bulk Course for Weight Lifters, Second Strength and Bulk Course for Body Builders

(3.) Third Strength and Bulk Course for Weight Lifters, Third Strength and Bulk Course for Body Builders

Recording Training Sessions … Rest … Food … Sticking Points … Regularity of Training … Limit Poundages … Single Attempts … Mental Horizons … Boredom … Injuries and Stress … Layoffs…

A List of Strength Trainers
Strength Training for Athletes
Conclusion
Exercise Illustrations

This basic, no-nonsense training guide cuts through all the fluff and gives you only the essentials for getting results. Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters and Body Builders was originally published in 1960. The modern reprint edition is faithful to the original, is 8-1/2″ x 11″ in size, 24 pages long and contains some pictures.

Order now!Strength & Bulk Training for Weight Lifters & Body Builders by Reg Park
___________$15.99 plus s/h
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik

Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by John Wood
~ Lost Secrets of Strength and Development ~
A man who lifted weights for his entire life once took a good look at the world of strength training around him…
…and he didn’t like what he saw … so he did something incredible…

Here’s what happened next:

A gym used to be a serious place for serious people, interested in building serious strength, but in modern times its safe to say that gyms have become glorified juice bars — with no shortage of chrome, ferns, and pencil-neck pseudo experts who wave around plastic dumbbells while making sure their designer headbands matched their suede lifting belts.

This guy… Brooks Kubik. As he trains in his basement gym with a bunch of rusty old weights and oldschool techniques — no chrome or ferns to be found!

Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Weight training was slowly but surely being taken over by the druggers … the toners … the bros … the poseurs … the pretty boys … the pencil necks … the whiners … the pump artists …the arm-chair experts …and the mirror athletes. (no doubt you’ve seen them all, and this makes you just as sick.)

This man had enough – Enough! His name was Brooks Kubik, and what happened next started a revolution throughout the entire world of strength.

And so it Began

…So Brooks began to write. While Brooks had authored articles in several different publications over the years

(including Milo, Hard Gainer, Iron Master and Iron Man) the words that were now issuing forth on his type writer were somehow different than ever before.

He wrote about the training that had worked for him, how he trained in high school, how he trained in college, how he trained to win multiple National Championships in Bench Press Powerlifting meets, and how his favorite oldtime strongmen used to train…

Brooks had originally planned to type out a fifty or so page manuscript and possibly sell (though more likely give it away) to the few people out in the world he thought might be interested in it. Brooks reached fifty pages after only a few short days of writing, and there was still more material he wanted to cover — a lot more.

Fifty pages turned into a hundred, a hundred pages turned into two hundred. and it didn’t stop there. With the encouragement of several the top people in the strength world, the finished product was titled Dinosaur Training since it was covered training techniques that were almost (but not quite!) extinct.

Dinosaur Training covered the methods that the strongest men who had ever lived had utilized — sure, with traditional weights such as barbells and, but also highly unusual implements such as sandbags, kegs, rocks, anvils, sledge hammers and more. Brooks Kubik went ahead and published Dinosaur Training, releasing it on an unsuspecting world…

And Then Everything Changed
Arthur Saxon — also known as “The Iron Master” — put more weight overhead with one arm than anyone in history, nearly 400 lbs.!
John Davis, multiple-time Olympic weightlifting champion and world record holder, could have just as easily been a champion bodybuilder
Doug Hepburn, the great Canadian champion, was easily one of the strongest men of all time. His workouts are covered in details in ‘Dinosaur Training’.

It was as if the ghosts of Iron Game’s past were suddenly brought back to life… men like Arthur Saxon, John Davis, Reg Park George Hackenschmidt and Steve Stanko became household names again

All of a sudden people started attacked their training with a ferocity that hadn’t been seen for many years. Calloused hands started lifting odd objects again – sand bags, kegs, rocks, anvils, anchors. Training methods such as thick handled weights, heavy partial movements and power rack work all experienced a resurgence in popularity. Suddenly it became OK to lift heavy chunks of iron and steel once again.

Dont’s just train…
Revolution or Evolution?

Less than eighteen months after it appeared, the entire first printing of Dinosaur Training sold out completely … College and NFL strength coaches began reading it and incorporating Old School training techniques into their programs … Everyone started setting up personal gyms in their basements and garages, stocking them with plenty of “old fashioned” equipment that worked better than anything else available.

This wasn’t just a local thing either; orders started flooding in from all over the globe. The strength world had come full circle… once again, people were training like they did in years past — AND building strength like they did in years past.

When it came time for the second printing, Dinosaur Training became even bigger …literally – Brooks added two additional chapters of intense training material. Today, over twenty years after its initial release, Dinosaur Training still stands as one of the all-time great strength books. You would be hard pressed to find a weight training book which has helped more people get the fire back in their belly (or get it going in the first place) when it comes to serious training.

With the treasure trove of solid training information that it contains, it is no wonder that Dinosaur Training and the Dino-Attitude has reached such great heights of popularity. Now you can read and learn from one of the best training books ever published …the book that started a Revolution.

Take a look at all the valuable training information what you will learn within its pages:

The tremendous value of basic exercises …the exercises that MUST be in your program …and which exercises to avoid at all costs (since they are nothing but a waste of your time)

The biggest reason why most of what you read about modern training is unproductive, and THREE simple things you can do turn the ship around if that’s the direction you were headed

What is the Dinosaur challenge? …are you up to it?

7 ways to “Be A Dinosaur” and how to crank the intensity of your workout up a notch or three

The ONE characteristic that all Dinosaurs have in common – find out what it is

3 steps that will make your training more productive – instantly

The #1 reason why most people give up and how you can avoid that like the plague

Think you know the “Best” program?… you’ll be surprised at Brooks’ answer to this one

Brooks Kubik’s favorite strength writers and training tips from the last 100+ years

What an outline of productive training looks like and how to put together your workouts so it’s guaranteed to work

How to train with a water filled barrel or keg, and how that training style nearly put Brooks down for the count

Why hard work is necessary, and how to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout

The 5 reasons people fail according to Dr. Ken Leistner… – probably the most valuable lesson strength training can teach you

What hard work is and is not

2 types of abbreviated training styles that you can use for big gains

The real meaning behind hard work vs. “bunny” training

What the name of the game is… and it’s not what you think

2 approaches to poundage progression, and how to make sure the gains keep coming for a long time

Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced workout routines, laid out step-by-step

Want to know the “secret” of advanced gains? – You’ll be surprised at how simple it really is

How to make progress with multiple sets of low reps

What the 5 x 5 system is, and how Reg Park, Champion strength athlete and bodybuilder, used it to build super strength fifty years ago

How to use “singles” in the most effective manner in your training

Why thick-bars “work” and how to implement them into your workout

How you can make fear work for you instead of against you

10 grip exercises and a dynamite beginners program for future grip masters

6 advanced grip exercises for monster crushing power

How to build real strength with logs, barrels and heavy bags

The many benefits of proper power-rack training

5 hard core power-rack routines

8 fads, fallacies and pitfalls of modern training and how to avoid them all

Much more!!

As you can see, Dinosaur Training covers a lot of ground. Of particular note are three big chapters on grip training which helps anyone lay a solid foundation.

A Crash Course in How to gain Super Strength with
One of the World’s Greatest Teachers

Do you remember the first time you tried to learn something for the first time? Starting out, nothing made sense and you felt like giving up. That’s how it is for a lot of people who want to start lifting weights – they get confused and don’t know what to do – and so they do the only thing they could do, they give up.

Now imagine how confident you felt when someone took the time to explain some things to you. What used to be frustrating, now makes perfect sense and now that you know exactly what to do, it’s off to the races.

That’s exactly how it is when you have Brooks as your teacher. As you turn the pages of Dinosaur Training, all of a sudden all the confusing things about strength training will make sense – you’ll know how many sets to do, you’ll know which exercises to do, you’ll know how much weight to use… and you will begin to build the strength you have always dreamed about.

Get your copy of Dinosaur Training and join the Revolution!

Order now!Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik
_________ $19.99 plus s/h

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
“…Whenever a new issue of Strength and Health Arrived in The Mailbox, They Always RIPPED open the envelope and turned to John McCallum’s article first!”
Back when Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were playing concerts, John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” series helped pack more muscle on more people than all other articles combined… and now, five decades later, McCallum’s workouts will help you pack on muscle too!
Before there was this thing called “The Internet,” anyone who was serious about building size and strength got their training information from magazines… and the very best magazine to get solid training info from was Strength and Health, directly from The York Barbell Company in York, PA.

Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.

It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)

McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)

Now you too can read all of John McCallum’s
“Keys to Progress” articles in one place

If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.

Lucky for us though, every single one of of McCallum’s classic training articles have recently been combined into one volume and reprinted for a new generation to read and enjoy.

You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one strength book to read ‘THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS’ should be it!

Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:

Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…

Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?

You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.

The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.

McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:

You Won’t Find This Training
Information Anywhere Else!
How long should your workouts last? …It’s an age-old question that you’ll finally get the answer to on page 2… You’ll also find a good, basic weight gaining program for beginners and intermediates later on in the article

McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)

How do you put on good, solid strength and size quickly? — Sure, lifting is a part of it, but so is getting in enough calories… You’ll receive the recipe and instructions for the “Get Big Drink” on page 15
What did a typical workout look like for three-time Mr. Universe contest winner Reg Park? McCallum was there and saw one with his own eyes… and it probably isn’t what you think… Read all about it in the “Training for Gaining” article starting on page 16

On Page 22, McCallum devotes an entire article to addressing one of the most important training secrets — one that just about everyone downplays or ignores

Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar

If there’s one area of training that just about every program is lacking in, it’s grip work… but the fact of the matter is that if you want to lift big weights, you’ve gotta have strong hands… Starting on page 49, you’ll find two articles devoted to increasing grip and forearm strength, along with an enlightening visit to Mac Batchelor’s pub!

Having trouble bulking up? You’ll want to try the “High-Protein, High-Set” Routine found on page 60… and don’t miss the “results” follow up article
What if you can’t squat? …there ARE other options… in fact, there’s an exercise that can do for the upper body what squats can do with the whole body and you can read all about how to work it into your program on page 68
Just because you lift weights does not mean you shouldn’t be in shape as well… A decade before before the”jogging boom” McCallum was urging strength athletes to hit the track to get their waistline in check. Find out his thoughts and recommendations on page 85
One of the most unique training programs that McCallum discussed in his articles was “P.H.A.” which was developed by 1966 Mr. American Bob Gajda… this routine is especially effective if you need more definition…you’ll read everything you need to know about PHA training starting on page 99
Looking to widen out? Try the “Back Work for Bulk” program on page 127… You’ll be in good company with this routine, these exercises were used with great success by Maurice Jones, Bill Pearl and Reg Park (among others)
If you want to build a big chest, you’ve got to enlarge your rib box…McCallum’s 4-part “For a Big Chest” series, which begins on page 131, outlines the specific exercises for making it happen
Not many people know about Hip Belt Squats but you can read all about them on pages 156-160… that includes details on setup, how to incorporate them and the other exercises that should be performed with them
Forget the store-bought stuff, if you need some more nutrients in your diet, you’ll want to read McCallum’s articles on baking muscle muffins and Vitamins… you’ll find more info starting on page 191
Training not going so great? There are some pretty predictable reasons why this may be and McCallum examines them in detail on pages 216-228
“The Case for the Breathing Squat” — one of the ALL-TIME greatest training articles — starts on page 259… the entire price of the book is worth it for this article alone

These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.

One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.

If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!

Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!

Order now!The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
___________$19.99 plus s/h

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 © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Reg Park in a Suit…

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by John Wood
Three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park in a suit… still looking as big as life. Reg easily had one of the most muscular physiques of all time yet he never went out of his way to show it off which actually probably made him look even more impressive. He clearly had the “look” of power.
Tags:
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Hard Work On Basic Exercises by Bradley J. Steiner

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood
Hard Work On
Basic Exercises
by Bradley J. Steiner

Reg Park
3-time Mr. Universe Reg Park

I happen to believe that Reg Park is the best example and single representative of what proper training with weights can do for a man. He’s got everything: huge, almost superhuman muscles, the strength of the most powerful competitive lifter, and the perfect, well-balanced physique that one sees on Greek statues in museums.

Whether or not you agree that Park is the Greatest — if you’ve seen him, then you’ve GOT to admit that he’s good, to say the very least. OK. so who cares about my opinion anyway, and what in heck does this have to do with how you can get the Herculean build you’re after?

The best physiques (and Park’s is one of ’em),

were all built by hard work on the basic, heavy duty exercises. There are NO exceptions to this statement. Even easy-gainers who (like Park) build up very easily, never get to the Hercules stage without the ultimate in effort. Park worked up to squats with 600 pounds, behind the neck presses with 300 pounds, and bench presses with 500 pounds!

Hereditary advantages or not, Park sweated blood to earn the massive excellent physique that he has. And so did every other human Superman whose muscles aren’t merely bloated, pumped-up tissue. The problem of WHAT these basic exercises are, and HOW HARD one must work on them for satisfactory, or even startling results, is one that every bodybuilder, at one time or another during his career, is confronted with. This month we’re going to solve the problem…

To begin, let’s sift through the thousands of possible exercises, and variations of exercises that confront every barbell man, and set down a principle by which the trainee can determine the BEST among them; those upon which he should be concentrating his best efforts. Here’s the principle: An exercise is worthwhile if it allows you to use very heavy weights — brings into play the BIG muscle groups — and causes lots of puffing and panting.

From the simple formula stated above, it is quite easy to see that fully eighty or ninety percent of the exercises followed by most barbell trainees do not come up to the standards required for maximum physical development. Concentration curls, Hack squats, lateral raises, thigh extensions, triceps “kickback” movements, etc., all followed slavishly by thousands of misinformed bodybuilders, are a waste of time.

My very bitter apologies to the high-pressure ad-men, and the authors of all the super Space-age courses, but their stuff is strictly form hunger. If you’ve been sucked into following any such routines, drop ’em! In all honesty, fellows, that garbage won’t do a thing for you, aside from bringing discouragement and disillusionment.

Save your time and money, and put your effort into THESE exercises:

  • The Squat – Regular, parallel, breathing style, or front style
  • The Press – Seated or standing, barbell or heavy dumbbells
  • Rowing – Bent over, barbell or dumbbells, one or two arm
  • Power cleans and High pulls
  • Bench pressing – barbell or heavy dumbbells, Incline or flat bench style
  • Stiff-legged dead lifting and heavy barbell good mornings
  • In essence, those are the exercises that you ought to be killing yourself on. We’re concerned with the development of SIZE, POWER and SHAPELY BULK, so we’ve eliminated all supplementary abdominal and calf work. This you can do at your leisure, or you can omit it entirely, with no consequences to your overall development. The stuff we’ve enumerated above is what you need in order to turn yourself into a Human Hercules. And, lest you believe that this writer has a vested interest in this, let me say that he HAS.

    I derive personal, private, selfish satisfaction pushing the truth about sensible barbell training, and seeing those guys who are willing to work for their goals, achieving the builds they desire. The muscle heads, the “muscle-spinners,” the drug-takers, etc, are no concern of mine. They can go their own way; I’m concerned about the rest of you.

    Honest muscles, like honest men, are rare. But they can be attained, and the only way to do it is through HARD, HARD work, and an honest approach to training programs. So if you’re willing, you can get the physique you’re after; if you train as I have discussed on the Basic Movements.

    There are reasons why these basic exercises are best. Let’s talk about them.

    It isn’t generally understood, but the easiest way to build the small muscle groups is by exercise on the big ones! For example, it’s impossible to build a broad, powerful back, and thick pectorals, along with terrific shoulders via the heavy cleaning, pressing, rowing and bench work that I advocate, without building enormous arm size and strength. You couldn’t do it if you wanted to! Yet, aside from weight-gaining, building big arms is a giant headache for most barbell men. How simple a matter it would become if only they would forget about the ridiculous pumping, cramping and spinning-type isolation exercises, and just train hard on the basics! The big arms would come naturally.

    John Grimek once had arms that taped close to 19 inches. They were so big and powerful that they didn’t look real! Grimek at the time was an Olympic weight-lifting contender, and he had trained for a long period without doing a single curl or triceps “pumper.”

    His big arms got the way they did from the Heavy Lifting Training. You can do the same by working hard and heavy. And you don’t have to enter Olympic
    competition!

    The trapezius and neck muscles are impressive and too often neglected by many weight-trainees. But your traps will grow like crazy if you push your cleans hard, and if you get your presses up to really impressive standards


    John Grimek

    Ditto for your neck muscles. The huffing, puffing, and muscular work and exertion caused by ALL heavy work will make your neck muscles grow. Forearms – “stubborn forearms” will respond like obedient, trained seals to heavy rowing, cleaning and pressing. And just try to keep your grip on a super heavy barbell while doing a set of stiff-leg deadlifts, without forcing the forearm muscles to ache and grow beyond belief!

    Heavy squatting will build heavier calves. Sounds impossible? Well, just try working your squats like you’re supposed to, and you’ll see your calves begin to grow no matter how they’ve refused to respond to toe raises.

    Power cleans are fine for the calf muscles too. Incredible as this statement may sound, it’s absolutely true. The coordinated effort of leg and back movement in heavy cleaning DOES work the calves! Try it for a few months and find out for yourself.

    Nobody wants to be fat around the middle. Yet, unless you’re drastically overweight, you don’t need more than one set of one abdominal exercise (done in high reps, with resistance) to keep a rock-hard, muscular mid-section. The hard work on squatting, cleaning, and ALL heavy exercises will inevitably keep you trim and hard. And make no mistake about this: you are far, far better off with a thick, powerful waist than you are with a “wasp-waist pretty body.”

    A man should be BIG. He should be strong and powerful. And he can’t be if he tries to blow his biceps up to 20″ and keep his waist down to 30″. Use your head! If there are any real supermen around who have waistlines below 33″ or 34″, then they’ve got ’em only because they’re SHORT, and, the small waist is proportionate tot he rest of their husky muscles.

    Training on the big exercises builds HEALTH and LASTING muscle size. These two factors are very important. Today, men like John Grimek, Reg Park, Bill Pearl, and another lesser-known Hercules, Maurice Jones of Canada, all possess builds and physical power comparable to that which they had during their prime. The reason? They built REAL MUSCLE, Sig Klein must be around seventy, yet he’s got the build of a twenty-five year old athlete. The reason? He built REAL MUSCLE. The same holds for scores of others in the weight game who got their physical development by hard, hard work with heavy weights on the best exercises.

    If you’re a young man now, then you’re probably more interested in what you can look like on a posing platform, and in how fast you can get piles of muscle – but don’t, no matter how great the temptation for an “easy way out” via pumping routines or muscle drugs, follow any system of training except the good, heavy, teeth-gritting type routines that build pure, strong, big muscles.

    I say this as a sincere warning against charlatans who would rob you of your money and your health – and do it gladly – to sell you on their own private “miracle systems’ or methods’. Keep clear of them, and remember, please, that you’ve got a long life ahead of you after any physique competitions you might enter or win within the next few years. You want health, well-being AND big muscles that will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will only get them if you train HARD and HEAVY!

    Here’s a sample program that you can follow. It will give you every desirable physical quality. IF you work to your limit on it.

    Warm up with one set of twenty prone hyperextensions. Do two progressively heavier warm up sets in the squat, using five reps in each set. Then load on weight until the bar bends, and do three sets of five reps each with this limit poundage. Push! Fight! Drive! The SQUAT is THE builder of SUPERMEN!

    Go to your flat bench and do two warm up sets, as you did for your squats, of five reps each in the bench press. Then do a final 3 sets with all the weight you can properly handle. In this, and in every other exercise in the program, REST WELL BETWEEN SETS!

    Now do power cleans, stiff–legged dead lifts, or barbell good mornings. Same sets., same reps and the same forced poundage attempts as in the preceding exercises. Your lower back is a vital body area. Turn it into a SUPER POWER ZONE by intensive back work!

    Do heavy, bent-over barbell rowing. Two warm up sets – then three limit sets – five reps in each set you do. Reg Park (I always seem to come back to mentioning him, don’t I!) used this exercise along with the power clean in order to build the unbelievable back that he possesses.

    He considers this bent-over rowing exercise the best single upper back movement a man can do.

    It was Bradley J. Steiner’s training articles (just like this one) which taught a young Brooks Kubik to focus on basic, result-producing exercises… A few decades later, Brooks Kubik’s Dinosaur Training has become a modern classic, and the book that many people refer to as their strength “Bible.”

    More info

    Do some form of HEAVY pressing, If you read my stuff then you already know that I practically sneer at any shoulder exercise but the press behind the neck! But of course you can old military barbell presses, dumbbell presses, or any form of heavy seated pressing with excellent results sure to follow – IF YOU WORK HARD.

    Same set-rep scheme for your pressing as for the other exercises, and a tip: Many guys have complained to me that I don’t understand (a-hem!) their difficulties when it comes to heavy pressing behind the neck. It seems that the effort of cleaning the bar up and behind their necks before each set tires their
    poor little bodies out.

    What to do?

    Do your presses right off the squat racks! Load the bar up. Get set comfortably under it. Get a good, solid grip on the bar and set your feet firmly.

    Now go to it.

    Press the weight right off the racks. Then, after each set, return the bar to the squat racks. Simple? you’ll get wonderful results this way – since you’ll be saving your energy and concentration exclusively for the pressing action, and all of the work will be thrown directly on your
    deltoids…so, better and bigger muscles!

    End your workout with an abdominal exercise. Do any one that you happen to like. I prefer leg raises off the end of a flat bench, with iron boots on my feet, but it’s really only a personal preference, and you can work your midsection with any “ab” exercise that you happen to like. Just do one set, and run the reps at around twenty or
    thirty. Here’s the routine written out:

  • Warm-up – 1 x 20
  • Squat – 5 x 5
  • Bench press – 5 x 5
  • Stiff-leg dead lift – 5 x 5
  • Bent-over rowing – 5 x 5
  • Press behind neck – 5 x 5
  • Leg raises 1 x 25
  • Do that routine – or a similar one – as described in this article, and your muscles will bulge through your clothing after a year or so of training!

    The watchwords are BASIC EXERCISES and HARD WORK. Remember them when you walk into the gym next time. You’ll be grateful for the rest of your life that you did.

    All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

    Reg Park and The Swing Bell

    Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 by John Wood

    Here’s a very determined looking Reg Park training with a swingbell. You don’t see swingbell training much these days but it is a shame because it is both simple and effective… in other words, swingbell training offers a different way to hit the same muscle groups which is always useful. We’ve covered swingbell training in several prior blog posts.
    All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.