Are You Working Hard Enough?
How much intensity is required for big gains? – 1972.
by Anthony Ditillo– 1972
What do you suppose constitutes the major difference between a power or physique champion and fellows like you and me? Well, I’ll tell you: potential and hard work. Yep, that’s right; it’s potential and hard work. And that’s not all; there’s also the problem of working hard on the right exercises. If one of these three requirements is not furnished or supplied during the training period, the results are not as great as could be expected under more favorable conditions.
Now the reason why we do not and in all probability cannot emulate the champions which we admire is because they are “naturals” and we are we. They have all the potential in the world for muscle and power building, while we are normal in everyway, have the usual potential found in the average male. But let me make one thing clear: even the champions must train HARD and train CORRECTLY in order for them to be able to HARNESS their potential in order to reap such fantastic gains.
Now and then you will run across an article in which the author tries to make you believe that if you eat well balanced meals, train three times per week for an hour each time, you too, will one day be champion. Well, all I can say is that such a man is wrong, in my opinion. Just the idea of training three times per week for an hour each time is enough to make me sick with laughter. Sure, this is enough time for the AVERAGE fellow to train if he just wants to keep in shape, but it’s not enough time to do a really HARD routine justice, and if you have ever seen the shape that some of these EXPERTS are in, who are telling you all this page filling GARBAGE, well, you’d feel the same way that I do!
PROPER training is going to take TIME. If you don’t have the available hours or the enthusiasm for such training then stop reading this article right now and go and turn on the T. V. because you’ll only be wasting your time and my patience if you think you’ll ever work up to your maximum potential working out the way I see most of you doing.
Really, some fellows are quite hilarious, the way they WASTE time and effort at the gym, without the slightest notion of just what it is they are supposed to be doing, while they are there! It takes them three quarters of an hour to work their arms, which are already fine in retrospect to the rest of their physique, while their legs, which are terribly under par, receive only one quarter to their due, when it comes to workout time and workout enthusiasm. And it is just these guys who moan and complain when the gains do not register after many months of misguided effort, wasting time on the wrong exercises.
And what about the amount of effort which is put into every set? How many of you stop your sets before you have even begun to BREATHE heavily? How can you expect to build muscle if you don’t WORK AT IT? And I don’t care HOW much Protein you shove down your gullets; no pain, no gain. And that’s all there is to it. And it’s the truth.
Look, your muscles are just like any of the champions. We’ve all got the same muscle groups in our bodies; it’s just the individual POTENTIAL that’s just the individual POTENTIAL that’s different. But you’ll NEVER LEARN if you have this championship potential inside you if you never WORK AT IT! You’ve got to learn to ECONOMIZE if you want to gain all over in muscle size and strength, then you’ve got to POWER TRAIN, but not the kind that’s for lifters, you will use the type of this heavy overload training that’s designed primarily for bodybuilders.
Proper training, coupled with intensive effort will revamp your entire physique and will increase your body power like no other training ever will. But you’ve got to WORK at it and work at it hard and regularly. Now I can’t promise you that even IF you follow my advice you’ll ever each the championship caliber. But I do know for a fact, that if you DON’T even give it a try, you’ll never learn just how FAR you could go. Isn’t this so? First of all, you must decide just what it you need to do most. Do you need to gain in MUSCULAR BULK and BODYWEIGHT, or do you need to gain in MUSCULAR BULK but without too much of a bodyweight increase.
Next, you must decide just what types of exercises you will need in your particular routine. Try to select your favorite movements from a list of the basic muscle group movements for these are the tried and proven ones and if you can find the particular ones you really ENJOY, well, then you’ll be more apt to work hard on them, since you don’t mind doing them. Too many times I have read articles which commanded the trainee to SQUAT, SQUAT, SQUAT. Sure, this movement is just about the BEST when it comes to developing all the necessary fundamentals to a great physique or great power, but I also know for a fact, that the DEADLIFT and also PARTIAL SQUATS, PERFORMED IN A POWER RACK will slowly but surely, work just about as well.
So, I would rather tell a trainee to pick ONE of these, the one which he KNOWS he will be able to work hard on and work hard on for a steady and long period of time. At least, in this way, he won’t do what I advise him to do for a few weeks, and discouraged and beaten, revert back to this of way of doing things, with no appreciable gains to speak of coming his way.
Second in importance is the budgeting of your training time and the scheduling of your particular program. I would say that a good routine should take about one and a half hours to complete.
I have used much longer routines than this, but at that time I was training for just TWO nights per week, so it took me about and a half hours per night. But on the average, if you’re training four times per week, I would say to spend about ninety minutes in the gym on each of the four sessions, I generally don’t recommend three times per week training, working the entire body each time, because I have found that in most cases one of two things happens, either the trainee does not work HARD ENOUGH on ANY of his movements, trying to save energy for the NEXT movement., or he literally kills himself on a chosen one or two movements and then takes it very EASY on the rest.
This is because the three times per week training system is not made for building CHAMPIONS, nor is it made to drive a man to reach his UTMOST POTENTIAL. This type of training is alright for the man who is quite busy with work and other interests and it is alright or a fellow to train their way PERIODICALLY during a ‘SLOW’ season, so to speak, right after one of the HARD training sessions, of which I have been speaking: but as a STEADY diet, this type of training is not for go-getters!
The kind of routines which I am about to outline for you are meant to be HARD. They are not meant to be an easy matter of self-adjustment, they are to be conquered through self DISCIPLINE. At he end of one of these routines you should be BONE DOWN TIRED! IF YOU’RE NOT, YOU HAVENT WORKED! This is why I mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, if you’re just interested in keeping in shape, then these routines are not for you. But if you’d really like to GAIN for a change, if you don’t mind the idea of OUTGROWING your present suits, well then, just stick around for a while longer.
Finally, before I get into actual routines and exercise movements with you, I’d like to get one thing straight. Whether you know it or not, it doesn’t make one bit of difference how many sets, reps, poundages you use in your training: what matters is how much EFFORT you put into it. If I can use four hundred in the squat for five sets of seven limit repetitions and if you can only use three hundred for the same number of sets and reps, well, we’re both working as hard as we can take the present time, so everything else being equal, we should both gain AS FAST AS OUR NATURAL POTENTIAL ALLOWS US TO.
So don’t become POUNDAGE HAPPY as so many fellows do. It doesn’t matter HOW MUCH you use, it’s HOW MUCH AND HOW HARD YOU WORK!
Our first is a four day routine. It is a basic routine and is not elaborate or fancy. It is meant to give the trainee a chance to work each muscle group hard, twice weekly, thus allowing more time for proper recuperation. The exercise movements themselves may be substituted if necessary or desirable. However, I would not like you to rearrange the actual scheduling of the movements for there is a reason for such a placement.
Monday & Thursday – (this will be the lower body days)
1. Perform a form of squatting or dead lifting, whichever you prefer. I want you to use all the weight possible for three sets of no more than seven reps. Prior to these three hard and heavy sets, there should be two light sets for warm-up.
2. Now use either a form of HEAVY PULLOVERS WIT BENT ARMS OR THE BENTOVER ROWING. Perform two light sets for a warm-up and then jump to three sets of no more than seven repetitions.
3. Third on our list comes supporting movements. I want you to choose between the half squat or the deadlift from the knees. The sets should be no more than three; Work up in fifty lb. jumps to a weight which will make you almost DIE to perform three reps with it!
4. Our last movement of this day is training will either be the FRONT SQUAT or the LEG PRESS. You decide which one suits you best. Perform five sets of from five to seven repetitions using all the weight you can possible handle for each of the five sets.
As can be plainly seen, this is a HARD ROUTINE. If you rest sufficiently between each set, it should take you over an hour and remember it’s only the lower body segment! Ha-ha!
Tuesday and Friday — (for the upper body)
1. Either bench presses with a medium grip or close grip (less cheating this way or incline press with a WIDE GRIP (harder on the incline using this grip) Perform on e set of 10 reps for a warm-up and then jump to 5×5 using all the weight you can.
2. Power cleans or high pulls come next, whichever you prefer. Start with a light weight for five reps and work up in 30 lb. jumps to your best for five, one set.
3. Press behind neck or standing dumbbell press for five sets of five to seven reps. Be sure to use all the weight you possibly can for each set of five repetitions.
4. Perform one of your favorite forms of curling for five sets of five to seven reps using all the weight you possibly can for each set
5. Perform either the weighted parallel dip or the lying triceps extension for five sets of five reps using all the weight you possibly can for each set.
As you can plainly see, this upper body routine is also very HARD!
Our second routine is suited for the man who is truly UNDERWEIGHT. It is very short and to the point. You will be using only three movements in it and you will be training only two times per week. But brother, let me tell you it’s anything but EASY!
The following routine is to be performed twice weekly:
Tuesday and Friday –
1. Either the medium grip bench press or the weighted parallel bar dip, your choice. Perform one set of 10 reps for a warm-up. Now jump to all the weight you can POSSIBLY handle for 3 reps. Perform one set with this weight. Now begin dropping the poundage down by 10 lbs. per set and from here on in you force out every possible repetition for each set, until you are doing 10 reps per set.
2. Select either the FULL SQUAT or the HALF SQUAT or the HALF SQUAT and follow the same procedure as noted about.
3. Perform either the BENT-OVER ROW or the POWER CLEAN and follow the same procedure as noted above.
This constitutes the second HARD WORK routine. Seems rather short and simple doesn’t it? Well, let me tell you, when you’re trying to force out every possible repetition for each set, it gets pretty rough, about half way through. But you’ve just got to grin and bear it, if you want to gain as fast and as much as you can.
As far as a diet is concerned, I feel that most of you should know by now just what you should eat and what not to eat! If you’re really skinny go heavy on the protein and carbohydrates, if you’re not thin but still not big enough, then go heavy on the protein but not too heavy on the carbohydrates.
Most of all, remember this. Every time you let a set go by without working to the maximum, the set is almost practically wasted. Keep this in mind and you’ll learn by experimenting just what hard work is all about. And when you learn this, you’ll finally begin to gain.