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Old 11-26-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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Max Brawn

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Default The MAB, Classic Physique Challenge.

latest program notes update 01/19/2011

Added link for Reeves Intermediate routine
Update to Eder program for BB or DB rows

Added notes for progresive set scheme, and dumbell use.

Here is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new challenge session.

Starting date January 1 2011.

Ending date April 1 2011.

This will run for 3 months, during which time you will use a Golden era fullbody program 3 days a week. At the end of that time this thread will remain for others to use as a reference source to try fullbody work.

I would like to run this same challenge as a group effort at least once a year.
There is alot that can be accomplished by doing this. I'll be continuing to write new programs to supplement those that we currently have. I'll be researching other classic bodybuilders, looking for good candidates to draw from.

This is not an official sponsered event, this is a fun challenge for everybody to learn from. This is open to everybody, so bring your friends in as well.

To sign up simply reply in this thread.

Here is an excellant interview by Steve Shaw of casey Butt. I highly encourage people to read this 3 part interview.

How the programs were developed.

================================================== ================================================== ================

The Steve Reeves inspired routine.

Reeves classic physique

DB/BB row........3x8-12....DL 3x5* see note
BB/DB Press......3x8-12....*See note.
BB/DB Bench.....3x8-12
BB/DB curl........3x8-12
dips................5x10@BW Try for sets of 10, but do what you can.
BB calf raise.....3x15-20

Perform M-W-F

**On Friday drop BB row and do 3x5 deadlifts** Deadlifts are to be done Reg park style. 2 warmup/ 1 heavy work set.

Pressing move is a shoulder press. Originally I had this written as a behind the neck press, but people have asked about using DB's here or doing a front press. A front press hits your front delts pretty hard, as does the bench. The pressing move should be either a DB press or BHNP to hit the medial delt moreso than the front delt.

This is a pretty straight forward program and is the closest to being taken directly from one of Reeves own programs.

Performing the program.

Do a good general warmup to loosen up and get the blood flowing. Do some BW moves that simulate the weighted movements, or whatever you generally do to get a total body warmup.

Perform the program in the order listed.

Utilizing dumbells in the program

Dumbells can be used in place of barbells if that is your preference.

Determining how much weight to use, and getting into the program

Use a weight that is about 50% of your estimated max the first week. You should not have any trouble performing the whole program. Don't work too hard to start. just get a feel for completing the whole thing.

Start at the low end of the rep range, and the next session increase by a rep or two, still using a light weight. For the third session try do the full rep range of all the movements.

Do not do more work than this the first week.

Over the weekend judge how you feel. Try to make an educated guess as to how much weight you should increase for the 2nd week. Do not let your ego have you reset back to your normal work set weights. You will fail.

A good guess would be to use about 60% the 2nd week, and drop back down to the low end of the rep range. Continue the 2nd week as you did the first and try to get the middle range of reps done. Then on Friday try the top range. How do you feel, at the end of this week? You are probably feeling a lot more worked this week than last, if your new to fullbody work.

Where you able to complete the whole program week 2 at this increased weight, and at the top rep range? If the answer is no, then don't increase your workset weight. Begin the 3rd week where you started week 2, and try to add a rep or two each workout. Adding 1 rep per workout to a move is all that you really need to try and accomplish.

When you have established a workset weight for a move, and have worked you way to the top of the rep range, then add weight, and start back at 8 reps. You then try to add a rep or two each session until you are again back to the top of the rep range, and repeat the process.

Straight sets or progressive sets?

You can work any of the moves utilzing either a straight set or progressive set scheme. Use what your comfortable with. Rank beginners usually find straight sets to be fine, while those with some experience and greater strength find progressive sets to work better.

How much weight do I use

a reasonable weight to work at for straight sets, is one that lets you complete 2 sets at full reps, and has you stuggling to complete the third. If this is the case then work from that point, and try to increase reps each session till your getting all three sets at top rep range.

For a progressive set weight scheme you can build reps a little differently.
Here is an example of how you could work a progressive scheme.

Woud look like:

1x8x205, subsequent sessions:
1x9x205, 1x10x205, 1x11x205, 1x12x205

1x12x135 no change
1x8x170 added weight dropped reps
1x8x210 added weight dropped reps

1x12x135 no change
1x9x170 reps climbing
1x8x210 hold steady

1x12x135 no change
1x10x170 reps climbing
1x8x210 hold steady

1x12x135 no change
1x11x170 reps climbing
1x8x210 hold steady

1x12x135 no change
1x12x170 top of rep range reached!
1x8x210 reps start to build next session
1x9x210, 1x10x210, 1x11x210, 1x12x210

2nd and 3rd sets add weight, and drop reps when 3rd set reaches 12 reps.

Using this progressive scheme I would build the sets till the weights looked liked this.

1x12x185 hold at this weight for 2nd set when reached.
1x12x225 when this is completed all sets reset.


The process of building back up starts all over. This deload of work is important. Don't jump up to fast in your reps. I only increased by 5lbs in the example. For squats you may find that you can go up 10lbs for a weight increase.

The amount of weight to go up in your progressive sets is up to you. I generally split the differance between my starting set, and final set, for my middle set. My squat worksets have a far greater weight jump per set than my pressing or bench numbers.

At some of the lower weights, you may find that you can actually increase both the 2nd and 3rd set reps by one rep each session. Thats fine if you can, but you will reach a point where getting that one rep is really going to be work. When you have reached that point you know you are pushing hard at the right intensity. One rep each session equates to a lot of addtional work for the whole week.

How much weight to increase when it is time to add weight

I would add about 10lbs for squats/deadlifts when increasing weight.
I would add about 5lbs for upperbody work.

Your in new territory with this program. Don't be surprised if you have to readjust almost all of your weights. Don't let your ego get the better of you. As you continue to work the program, changes will happen. Keep notes on your weights used and reps performed. adjust as needed to find the right mix of weights to get it all done. You should be ready to really do some serious work the beginning of week three, but don't overdo it.

It is the weeks total work, and not just one session that your working to complete. This why you need to judge how you feel on the weekends.

If you can handle more weight then add some but don't take too big a jump at once. Use your head, and be smart about what your doing.

During the Golden Age, beginners were told to do a program like this and to only do 1 set 3 times a week for an entire month. Then they were told to add a 2nd set. The third month they could add a 3rd set to the program. We are taking a faster course than that, as most of you are not brand new to lifting.

This is the simplest program of the three.

Reeves intermediate routine. Not for beginners!

The Reg Park inspired routine

Park power classic

squat 5x5
bb row 5x5
bhnp 5x5
bench 5x5
calf raise 3x15-20


squat 5x5.....alternate scheme of 3x5
BB row 5x5...alternate scheme of 3x5
bhnp 5x5.....alternate scheme of 3x5 see note in instructions
cgbp 5x5
bb/db curl 3x6-8
dips 5x bw


squat 5x5
Dl 3x5
bhnp 5x5
bench 5x5
wide grip chin 5x bw


On Wednesdays session it is ok to pull the, Squats/BB rows/ BHNP to a 3x5 set rep scheme.

Pay attention to how your feeling and adjust your midweek to allow enough recovery to hit Friday full strength.

Pulling back a little midweek is normal unless your an advanced lifter. Especially with a 5x5 type of power program. Use your judgement as to how you feel. If you read the Casey Butt interviews that I linked you will read about programming for different intensities based on your own muscle maturity.

This program was originally an A/B split. I really like the A/B split setup, and I have a hard time deciding which I like more, full body Reeves style, or an A/B split. I choose to to make it a 3x week program to keep some commonality between all three programs.

Read this article about perfoming Reg Park style 5x5. Deadlifts are done 2 warmup, and 1 heavy workset. See the note about rest between sets below.

The Real Arnold Schwarzenegger Beginner Programs Muscle and Brawn Bodybuilding and Powerlifting.

Follow basic programming notes from the Reeves program about finding your work set weights. Try to keep your rest between sets to about 1 minute. This is much shorter than the rest specified in the article, but it will keep your workout moving. Also, your not Reg park, and are not pushing the kind of weight that he was. However, take the rest you need to complete the workout.

The Marvin Eder inspired routine

Eder hybrid program

cleans 5x3 w ohp or push press
squats 5x5-8
BB/DB rows 5x5-8
BHNP 2x8-10
bench 5x5-8
BB calf raise 3x15-20

squat 5x5-8
DL 3x5
BHNP 5x5-8
Wide grip pullups 5x10 BW no less than 20
Chest Dips 5x10 BW no less than 20
BB curl 3x8


Cleans 5x3 w ohp or push press
BB/DB rows 5x5-8
bhnp 2x8-10
dips 5xBW no less than 20

General instructions and notes

Marvin Eder combined both Olympic and Bodybuilding lifting in his workouts.
At one time it is fair to say that, he was one of the strongest men alive on the planet. He is the only other person I can think of who resembles John Grimek in his overall makeup.

This program is not that far removed from the Park program, but still offers a slightly different experience during the week. You should not be bored with this routine.

The cleans

If there is one aspect of this program that will bury you, it is the cleans.
They are hard work, but are well worth doing. Use a very light weight to start
and just work on getting a decent, (not perfect) form.

It takes years to get real good technical form. Just work on getting the movement done. I have written the program with a 5x3 scheme. Don't be fooled by only doing 15 reps. In fact as you work into the program you may want to only do 3x3 for a few weeks to see how your recovering.

BB rows/ DB rows

The BB rows can be substitued for DB rows. This is a fairly heavy program and involves a whole new level of stress that most of us are probably not used to. Performing DB rows can ease a lot of of lower back stress.

Chest work / dips / chins

Your only going to bench once a week with this program. That does not mean that your being shortchanged on chest work. See my notes on performing dips, and work hard at them. Eder loved doing dips, as well as bench work, but I decided to go lighter on the benching since the program is heavier in other aspects.

Make a serious effort to try and get 50 dips/chins done on the days they are called for. Do them as singles if you need to. If you get to the point that your only able to do singles and have not reached 50, stop somewhere between 5-10 singles. Use your own judgement. I want you to work hard, but not kill yourself.

If you can't get at least 20 for the first few weeks don't worry. Just keep working at them, and you will soon be doing 2x10 for a minimum of 20. Have fun with this.

Here is an interview with Marvin Eder talking about his life and training.

It is on page 8 of this thread.

Watch this video!!

This is Dan John talking about basic positions for performing the olympic lifts.

The Video FitCast- Episode 6

================================================== ======================

A word about performing squats.

Your squats should be full, ATG, squats!!

This may mean that you need to lower your weights if you have only been doing half squats, or what we call parallel squats. Get your butt down, and put your ego away.

Your going to notice better glute work as you go lower into the squat. Don't fear the hole!! In the hole is where the muscle your working to build is brought up from the depths. Relish the hole.

A word about your bench numbers

Your bench numbers are going to go down for your worksets.
Don't be confused by this it is normal.

Before the bench became the king ego lift of the upper body, overhead pressing was the king.

A word about performing dips

When your doing dips you should strive to lean forward into the bars and put stress on your pecs, and triceps. This is not easy, and will require that you really concentrate on doing this. Work as hard as you can at doing this, but at least finish off your dip sets in any way that you can. Pulling your legs up into your abs can help you with this forward lean position.

As you get stronger at this you will notice a big difference in your triceps, and your chest. Marvin Eder was renowed for his dip strength. He was able to perform dips with two full grown men hanging off his legs.

He once did 1000 dips in under 20 minutes.

A word about the programs from start to finish

You will be feeling more drained as you progress through the programs. You start with the largest muscles first and work your way down the line. Delts take priority over chest.

You may think that your not working certain groups hard enough, or that you are not using enough weight and are being shortchanged. YOUR NOT!

A question was asked about the Reeves program and why you do dips everyday.

Pressing comes before bench, so you have already worked your delts some. This also serves as a good warmup for benching. While the medial head gets the most impact from pressing it still affects your bench strength. Benching hits your anterior delt heavily, and you will still have some actual pec strength left, but your delts are done.

Performing dips as a finishing move finishes off your chest, and triceps. Your hitting the muscles hard that will give you big bench numbers. Want a big bench, get strong triceps, and delts. It will take some time, but your bench numbers will come back in a big way. Give the program time to work.

================================================== ================================================== ================

Use your own routine, following these guidelines

Since this is a classic challenge we want to keep what equipment is used within a set list of what would have been used.

Barbells and Dumbells.
Racks for holding said bars, and benches.
Chin and Dip bars.

No modern machines like Smiths or Hammer type equipment.

Writing your program.
Your program must include as a minimimum a movement for each:

Legs * see note

These can be compound movements but each session should as a minimum hit these areas and, in addition you must have at least one movement per week for:

direct bicep
direct calves

You can do no more than 5 sets per movement per day. Reps are open.
You should have no more than 8 movements in any session.

You will perform the program 3X a week Mon Wed Fri.

If you have questons about a movement just post your question, and a determination will be made.

*deadlift will not count as a leg movement

Last edited by BendtheBar; 11-08-2013 at 08:47 PM. Reason: update to program notes
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