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Old 10-23-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
Bearded Beast of Duloc
Max Brawn
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Default Iron Addicts Training Manual

Iron Addicts Training Manual

Thanks to Iron Addict for these. Yes, they're long, but if you want the real ins and outs and advice of training, print these out and read them

Training Manual (unfinished)

Here is a portion of a training manual I am working on. It is unfinished and the nutrition and gear sections are not attached but it is pretty good reading anyway and a way to burn some time. Some of the sections do not 100% reflect my current views as they were written years ago, but its still pretty close.

The Voice of Reason

How did we get so lost?

Note: This information is geared towards genetically typical trainees not using steroids. It also works extremely well for gear users off cycle, and the VAST MAJORITY of people while on, although most people can increase the volume and frequency somewhat while on cycle. It is a given that anabolic steroid use increases the threshold point at which overtraining occurs and gear users can USUALLY tolerate more training without overtraining. Even while on gear the single biggest reason people do not grow is due to the fact they overtrain. What follows is excerpts and a compilation of articles I have written for Hardgainer magazine. Most of this information was also on a web site I produced geared toward hardgaining trainees. The web site is now closed but I am sharing this info for the board readerís benefit. Donít dismiss this information because you use steroids. It could have more impact than anything you have read if you take its advice to heart.

Iron Addict

Weight training is a truly unique pastime, in that for an activity as popular as it is, there is an EXTREME OVERABUNDANCE of information that is ENTIRELY UNSUITABLE FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE THAT PARTICIPATE. It would be almost acceptable if the information given in the popular books and periodicals clearly stated that the information contained within them was only appropriate for those that are genetically gifted at building muscle tissue and in many cases also using massive amounts of steroids. This fact is never (or rarely) mentioned. It would also make the situation better if there were popular publications catering to alternative techniques suitable for the masses. Unfortunately this is not the case. The publishers go with what sells, and since the public is mistakenly under the assumption that those with the biggest muscles must know the most about how to build an awesome physique the problem propagates itself. The training information in the popular books and magazines works spectacularly well FOR THE GENETIC WONDERS (usually using steroids also) that garner all the publicity. What these methods don't do is deliver the results for the masses (yes, you and me).
For the VAST majority of trainees that make little or no progress it is their training methods that are responsible for the lack of progress. What you say? You train just like everyone else in the gym, even the huge guys that out-lift three of the typical trainees. The fact of the matter is that the popular training methods that have created most of the world class physiques DO NOT WORK FOR THE AVERAGE TRAINEE. Look around you in the gym and you see countless members slaving away week after week, year after year and for all their effort barely look like they workout at all. And often those that do look like they train are usually stuck at the same weight, lifting the same poundageís, for months, sometimes years on end. I once read a pretty good definition of insanity, "doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result". If your training is not working for you now, how is supposed to "magically" start working one day?
Before you just go to the routine section and look at the suggested routines and decide that they can't possibly work, wait until you have read everything before making your decision as to whether this style of training will work. Let me give you an example of why it's important to get all the facts before making a decision. If I promised you $5 million dollars to jump out of an airplane without a parachute, would you do it? If you quickly answered "no" you lost an easy $5 million. You see, the plane I was asking you to jump from was parked on the ground.
Don't lose again by "jumping" to conclusion about the concepts you are about to read. Please read everything before making any judgments.

A letter out of time

This letter was written in 1992 to the Editor and Publisher of Hardgainer, Stuart McRobert. For those of you that have never had the pleasure of being exposed to his writings or having read his wonderful bi-monthly publication "Hardgainer", Stuart is the person I credit with showing myself and countless others the real-deal on productive weight training. He has had over 300 articles published in almost every major weight training magazine and has had ongoing columns in IronMan and MuscleMedia 2000. Never heard of him, or saw his articles and skipped over them because a major title winner didnít write them? Well you did yourself a huge disservice. I too had skipped over his articles for a long time before I was exposed to the basic training techniques that fill the pages of Hardgainer. What is a Hardgainer? A simple yet fairly precise definition would be the vast majority of the weight training populace. Do you go to the gym and experience great gains on almost any type of training program you try? Do you watch those around you in the gym make huge gains (drug free) on a consistent basis. Well, welcome to reality land. While you canít change your genetic make-up, you can apply a training methodology that will allow you to reach your genetic potential.
Below is part of my story:


I am not a very experienced writer but I'm experienced in what does, and does not work for me. And pretty well versed in training principles that work for the average person, thanks to Hardgainer, Super Squats, and Brawn. I have trained off and on since age 14, I'm 31 now and most of the time I gained next to nothing. The only time before 1991 that I made meaningful progress was a period of about a year and a half when I was in the Army and trained very inconsistently. I was trying to do a full-body workout three days a week. Due to my inconsistency I ended up training once every 5-10 days, at best I trained twice a week. This was just what I needed! I made some great gains and did what most do, I got excited and started training more often, and increased my work-load. Of course this killed my progress. With no progress I lost desire.
Every couple of years I would repeat this process. I would become interested in training, make gains when first starting, increase the load, and sure as night turns to day, all progress would cease as would my desire to train. I was like many people are, a virtual warehouse of knowledge about every aspect of training except that which would work for me. It wasn't until 1990 that I decided I would begin training again and would find methods that would work for me. This time I had decided I would continue no matter what. I was starting to feel as though my youth was slipping away (well of course it was, but now it was really starting to feel like it). I had learned a lot about persistence through other areas of my life and I realized I finally had the maturity to persist, no matter what. I started training again. I was once again wasting my time, but not for long.
I received a free copy of Super Squats with a subscription to IronMan. I did a shortened version of the routine twice a week and life has never been the same! It was during this time period that I started to notice the Hardgainer department in IronMan. Things really started to click for me. After only 1 issue I sent for my copy of "Brawn" and between the three, a whole new training world had opened up for me. At last, training methods that plainly stated they were for the average person that had problems making gains. This was a real revelation for me as everything I had read in the past basically said, do this, and this, and the result would be that. Of course they all said you had to make sure you gave all body-parts equal attention or soon some body-parts would grow out of proportion and wreak your symmetry. Give me a break, I'd have killed to have some big out of proportioned muscles. Even one would have been great! Needless to say, almost every bit of so called training information I had read since 1977 was worthless.
By the way it wasn't the six day a week 20 sets a body-part, or even the four day a week twelve sets a body-part routine that was responsible for my failure to make gains all those years. For the most part I used a three-day a week total body routine. I had from the beginning sought out information on training so I could train effectively and not waste my time. What a joke! I at least knew I was a beginner (a look in the mirror could confirm this any time) and should train like one. Almost all the glossy magazines had a beginnerís column in them and they all wanted you to train three days a week until you put on some size. And if you read the articles by the champs they often stated beginners should do a three-day a week routine before working their way up to the type of routine they were doing. In fact I still have my copy of Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold. Once again the beginnerís section said three days a week, and after all Arnold should know.
I guess you probably know what I think about three day a week full body routines after all these years. What a terrible shame this kind of program has been so universally promoted. It's almost as bad as the high volume train every day of the week garbage. No average person has a chance on this type of routine. Train your whole body hard then, one days rest then do it again? Come on!
I also tried a few other routines throughout the years, I think everybody from this time period gave Mike Mentzerís theories a try. I know I did, at least I didn't lose too much time with this as even I knew something was wrong when I dreaded the next training session, started getting injured, and worst of all started losing weight fast. I could hardly afford to lose any weight being 6"1 155lbs at age 19 when Mentzer was at the height of his popularity.
Like you and so many others, I lost what could have been my most productive training years because of a lack of proper information. For some reason in my area (northern California) I had never seen a copy of Peary Raders IronMan or any other magazine or book that had a message of reason. All I had to go by were the glossy magazine/catalogues full of useless B.S. and a few books written by big names that didn't have anything to do with reality, or at least the reality of training a Hardgainer.
Since finding my way I have made more progress than I would have thought possible. I have come to realize that most people fall somewhere between hardgainer and extreme hardgainer not further up the scale.
I believe anyone that has to limit their training to two-three times a week, can only train body-parts/lifts once a week, has to do a very limited amount of movements for one or two sets at most, and has to watch their nutrition/rest habits very carefully to make gains would be classified as a Hardgainer. Well, the above statement describes me perfectly. In spite of all these limitations my progress has been great. I owe this to finding the right training information and applying it correctly.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Please read on. The answer to your training problems lay ahead. Since the proceeding was written in 1992 I have learned a lot more about effective training and have trained many who had genetics ranging anywhere from excellent to those you looked at and thought, "have you really lifted weights before". During this time I have NEVER had Hardgainer style training fail. Transform yourself from a "before, to an after".

The Genetic Factor

While the big names may know a whole lot about what is required to build their physiques to EXTREME levels they more often than not know ALMOST NOTHING about the requirements of those less genetically inclined to add muscle tissue. What is almost never mentioned is that in addition to having been blessed with out of this world genetics they also use massive amounts of steroids and other growth enhancing drugs. That this type of training is the type responsible for the top name physiques is of little relevance for the typical trainee trying to add bodyweight and strength. In fact, it is about as opposed as day and night for those that have difficulty getting big, here is why:

More is not better

The average competitive bodybuilder does anywhere from 9 sets on the low end to 20-25 sets per body-part. Why so many? And if 20 sets are good why not do 40 sets and double the results? The reason is many, if not most have tried this approach and found out it led to over training. It wasnít because growth wasnít stimulated during the course of the workout, it was, but because so much of the bodyís resources are being used to merely recover from the workout nothing is left for additional growth. In fact, in MOST cases the trainee will actually become progressively smaller and weaker on such a schedule. If the sheer volume of training were the factor responsible for weight training success the workouts would need to become progressively longer until the only factor that would limit ones growth would be the availability of gym time. This is clearly not the case as the top names are usually paid to train and have no other responsibilities, yet they do their two or three hour routines and get out of the gym.


It goes to reason that if doing too high a volume of training leads to over training, that training to frequently will also hamper growth. If training four days a week produces good gains why not train twice a day 7 days a week? Once again, this has been tried by many and positive results were not achieved. Once you come to grips with the fact that OVER TRAINING IS THE BIGGEST POSSIBLE MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE, AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE BODYBUILDING FAILURES THAN ALL OTHER FACTORS COMBINED, you are on your way to becoming "all you can be", to quote the popular Army slogan. Once you adjust your training volume and frequency to the correct levels you will have done more to increase your ability to gain than any thing else short of taking growth-enhancing drugs and I assume you are not taking that route.

The Growth Factor

So we know that sheer volume of training is not the factor responsible for growth, what is? Simple, increase your strength significantly and muscle size will go up accordingly. This simple concept is left out on most articles in the glossy magazines. Why? It should be included in bold print capitols in every article printed. There should be a statement such as; IF YOU ARE NOT USING PROGRESSIVELY HEAVIER POUNDAGE'S IN ALL YOUR LIFTS ON A CONSISTENT BASIS EVERY OTHER DETAIL IS IRRELEVANT. SEEK TO GET STRONGER AND SIZE WILL FOLLOW!

How to unlock your potential

The key to getting stronger on a consistent basis is finding the correct volume and frequency of training YOUR BODY can handle and then always training well within these confines. This is so simple it is almost laughable, yet so few ever really consistently apply it, even after being exposed to proper training techniques. The most common reasons for not staying the course are always finding a reason (excuse) to add exercises, and being swayed too easily by others. Going into a commercial gym and watching others train, and often times even being told by others that; "you canít possibly gain on a routine like that", and "thatís not the way so and so trains" more often than not leads the trainee to add exercises and training days to the routine to the extent that the growth process is short circuited. Donít be another failure that gives up on lifting because it doesn't work!

The REAL Requirements

From reading the above, the uninitiated trainee is probably beginning to get the picture that Hardgainer style training consists of training less frequently, and doing less sets per body-part to ovoid what they now understand to be the reason for their lack of progressóover training. The uninitiated are probably thinking something like great, Iíll cut back to three days a week instead of four and only do eight sets per body-part instead of sixteen. Then WHAMóinstant buff! This volume and frequency will still lead to frustration and stagnation.
What few are willing to grasp is just how severe heavy lifting is to the body. Not only must localized (in the muscle trained) recovery occur before growth will take place, but systemic recovery (the body as a whole) must occur also. Once recovery has occurred guess what? You are still no stronger than before the workout took placeóadaptation (growth) only occurs after your body has fully recovered. Only after both of these events have occurred has the muscle grown bigger.
Most people short circuit the growth process by training before full recovery and adaptation has occurred. Thatís why they find themselves doing the same weight workout after workout. Here is what happens: they do so many sets the body is in a state of constant depletion, then before their poor beat-up body has even had a chance to recuperate from the last work out the body is hammered again. True, different body-parts are worked, but the systemic depletion is only made worse. Your body is chronically over-trained and growth does not occur.
The solution to the problem of over training is shocking to most trainees who have only been exposed to the training techniques of the "champions". Be that as may, your only hope of developing a good physique is to ensure you ALWAYS train within your bodyís ability to recuperate between workouts. How will you know if you are recuperating adequately? Simple, you will be able to add weight or reps workout to workout. There may be days when you are feeling down and the energy level is just not there, but days like this should be the RARE exception not the rule. How much weight should be added? One-half to two pounds on the smaller movements such as military presses or curls and one to five pounds for the big movements like squats and deadlifts. Not enough you say? Assuming the trainee bench presses one day a week and is able to add but one pound to the bar each workout. Also assuming a couple of weeks were missed due to illness or other commitments, this still amasses a 50 pound increase in bench press ability. Do even this small increase over two consecutive years and the trainee that was previously "stuck" at 185 x 6 is now doing 285 x 6 and has a better bench than almost all the other members in the gym. Of course not all progress will be linear and there will be times when the trainee will have to cut back the poundage's for a time in order to let the body fully recuperate. But there will also be times when the increases are much higher than the suggested increments. In fact, if you are new to hardgainer style training 5 pounds a week for small movements and 5-10 pounds a week for the big movements may be attainableóand body-weight may skyrocket also. Most trainees (if truly training within their limits) will add from 10 to 30 pounds during the first three months. Please keep in mind that the 30-pound figure is not the norm, but 10-20 pound body-weight increases are.

Small Gains are Sustainable

Once you are past the beginner stage, or the beginning three or four months of training correctly, itís time to start looking at training for the long haul. By that I mean structuring your routine inside and outside the gym to ensure that all the requirements of growth are being met. One of the key ingredients of the growth recipe is ensuring that you do not try to add weight to the bar faster than your body is actually building strength. Adding weight to the bar by loosening your form and speeding up your rep speed does nothing but stoke your ego, and set you up for injury.

Your Potential

Sorry to say this, but for the vast majority of you reading this you are not going to be the next Arnold, Dorian Yates, or Ronnie Coleman. The chances are, if you are reading this you are reading out of the desperation of trying everything and getting little or no results. I canít and wonít promise that hardgainer style training will make you the next Mr. anything, or even make you the biggest guy in your gym. What I will promise you is that these techniques, applied with passion and persistence will deliver results that will astound you.
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Destroy That Which Destroys You

"Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado."

Last edited by BendtheBar; 10-23-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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