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Old 12-09-2010, 03:10 PM   #1
davidl351
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Default Powerbuilding: The Muscle and Brawn Way

First off, greetings everyone. This is my first post and I'm going to try to make it strong and non-idiotic.

For the past few days, I've been researching Doug Hepburn and old time strongmen. I firmly believe in strength training and want to try some of their routines. While researching, I came across "Powerbuilding: The Muscle and Brawn Way".

I'm curious if anyone has done this routine before? Are there any strength requisites? I'm a pretty small guy, but my focus is to get stronger. Even though I'm not too keen on bodybuilding type splits, I like the rep scheme and the layout of this routine -- it eliminates most of the guesswork. The reason I'm interested in this is because of my training experience, middle-ground intermediate.

My most recent training program was the basic Westside Barbell training template with some modifications for my weak links. However, I discovered that this type of training is way too advanced for me. Before that, I did 5/3/1. I believe this type of training will be a breath of fresh air before I move onto another cycle of 5/3/1.

Any feedback will be appreciated. I look forward to my stay here!
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by davidl351 View Post
First off, greetings everyone. This is my first post and I'm going to try to make it strong and non-idiotic.

For the past few days, I've been researching Doug Hepburn and old time strongmen. I firmly believe in strength training and want to try some of their routines. While researching, I came across "Powerbuilding: The Muscle and Brawn Way".

I'm curious if anyone has done this routine before? Are there any strength requisites? I'm a pretty small guy, but my focus is to get stronger. Even though I'm not too keen on bodybuilding type splits, I like the rep scheme and the layout of this routine -- it eliminates most of the guesswork. The reason I'm interested in this is because of my training experience, middle-ground intermediate.

My most recent training program was the basic Westside Barbell training template with some modifications for my weak links. However, I discovered that this type of training is way too advanced for me. Before that, I did 5/3/1. I believe this type of training will be a breath of fresh air before I move onto another cycle of 5/3/1.

Any feedback will be appreciated. I look forward to my stay here!
Welcome to the forum David.

Here's the link for anyone curious:

Powerbuilding, the Muscle and Brawn Way Muscle and Brawn Bodybuilding and Powerlifting.

I actually used this in 2007 and early 2008 when I first started to explore training approaches that were non-conventional, meaning they weren't found in bodybuilding magazines. I put it together because I wanted to focus more frequently on squats and deadlifts, and exercises that assisted with them - like fronts squats, good mornings, RDLs and heavy ab work. (These were all new to me at the time)

I also am not much of a volume guy, so while this is more frequent training, it's not volume overkill. It allowed my old bones to stimulate strength without beating my joints too hard. The reduction of bodybuilding-style bicep overkill also helped me with my tendinitis, and my arms still grew!

As far as strength prerequisites...I would say generally no. If you know how to deadlift and deep squat, and understand how box squats and powerlifting-style good mornings work, then I think you are fairly safe. In fact, I think you will make great progress on it if you are an experienced beginner or intermediate.

I wouldn't recommend this program for a rank beginner who has quite a bit of stabilizer muscle instability.

This was sort of my dumbed down Westside, so to speak. Westside was beyond me at the time, so this allowed me to improve, get stronger and get bigger.

I started to deadlift seriously for the first time around the time I used this program. Personally it helped me move to a 400 squat and a 400+ deadlift.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum and enjoy your stay! I say go for the routine, it looks fun!
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Thank you. I will definitely give it a shot. This program looks like a very good lead-in for a program that includes oly lifts, which in the near future I want to dabble my hands in. I know the article says not to tinker with it, but after exhausting the program as-is, do you think the program would still be effective if I kept the rep scheme, but consolidated it into a 2-day split instead of 4? For example,

Day 1 - heavy squat/light press
Day 2 - rest
Day 3 - heavy bench press/power movements (snatch, clean, jerk)
Day 4 - rest
Day 5 - light squat/heavy press
Day 6 - light bench press/heavy deadlift

I've learned that my shoulders do not respond well to getting worked frequently in a week, and think using the above split with your routine's parameters would do well for strength levels. What do you think?

I am also looking to improve my squat and deadlift numbers, and would absolutely LOVE for my OHP to go up. Honestly, I can give two sh*ts about my bench press. In my previous life, I used to bench press non-stop with atrocious form and let my ego take over. Needless to say, I'm suffering for it now.

And Steve, would you ever go back to this program at your current level?
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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On second thought, perhaps I'm not giving myself enough time to rest between days 3 and 5 and days 6 and 1.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by davidl351 View Post
I will definitely give it a shot.

Definately work the program, but don't fool with it. Often, changing an aspect of a program can seem like a small point, but in fact has an exponential effect on how the programming is affected.


This program looks like a very good lead-in for a program that includes oly lifts, which in the near future I want to dabble my hands in.

Have you done any Oly lifting? I think the answer is no based on what you have proposed with your modification.

I know the article says not to tinker with it.
Then don't!!! When all else fails follow the directions.


After exhausting the program as-is.

Work hard at this program and let me know when you have exhausted it. Chances are you probably have not exhausted it yet, and just need some help.




do you think the program would still be effective if I kept the rep scheme, but consolidated it into a 2-day split instead of 4? For example,

Day 1 - heavy squat/light press
Day 2 - rest
Day 3 - heavy bench press/power movements (snatch, clean, jerk)
Day 4 - rest
Day 5 - light squat/heavy press
Day 6 - light bench press/heavy deadlift

I don't like how this is written out. If you want to seriously work all aspects of Oly lifting there are better programs already written. If you just want to do some power cleans, well then that can be done, but still using the program as written is not what I would do.

I've learned that my shoulders do not respond well to getting worked frequently in a week, and think using the above split with your routine's parameters would do well for strength levels. What do you think?

Under what protocals have you learned that your shoulders don't respond well too frequent training. How many sets a week is too much for you. Does it really matter if you do 10 sets once a week or 5 sets twice a week?

I am also looking to improve my squat and deadlift numbers, and would absolutely LOVE for my OHP to go up. Honestly, I can give two sh*ts about my bench press. In my previous life, I used to bench press non-stop with atrocious form and let my ego take over. Needless to say, I'm suffering for it now.

And Steve, would you ever go back to this program at your current level?

You have raised my curiousity as to what you really are looking to do. I'm interested to talk some more with you.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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Thank you gl,

You know, I'm just going to shut up and do the program. I don't want to make myself look more stupid.

I do some oly lifting variations -- power snatches/power cleans -- but I'm not nearly proficient enough to do the classics. But eventually I would love to become somewhat proficient at them and further improve my OHP. It's just the aspect of moving a heavy load fast that has gotten me interested in oly lifting.

As for my shoulders, I should have clarified. When I was on the Westside basic template, it called for two days of benching -- one max effort, one dynamic effort. My shoulders were still sore 72 hours after the ME day. It could just boil down to my form and my chaotic schedule. Even in the near future, my schedule isn't going to get any better with school and work coming up. They will definitely interfere with recovery, but it won't be much of an issue when it comes to getting training time in as I'll be working at a gym.

glwanabe, I'm sorry if that doused your curiosity, haha. I tried to be interesting!

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Old 12-09-2010, 06:57 PM   #8
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DO IT!! AHHH! hehe Good Luck buddy.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #9
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DO IT!! AHHH! hehe Good Luck buddy.
Thanks Gaspers. I scoped your training log and you're a monster!
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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Thanks for checking it out. Im no expert but if you have a question I will be glad to help in any way that I can.
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