Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Change Your Exercising - Earle Liederman

Harold Zinkin, John Grimek






Change Your Exercising
by Earle Liederman (1945)


Note: Even the average body-builder fails to grasp the true significance of alternating exercise routines in order to help him build and strengthen his body as rapidly as he could. In this article, the author thoroughly explains the facts and shows how through variation of movements not only will the muscle size increase but power will be added as well.


Nearly all are victims of habit. We do the same things day after day without thinking. For example, we forever put on a shoe on the same foot first when dressing, or we usually walk in the same footsteps on the same side of the street when we go out. It becomes subconscious action. And the same thing applies to our weight lifting. We follow the same routine every time we train unless we catch ourselves and realize that we need a change in regime. And if no one calls our attention to this, we may go on and on retarding our progress as the motions become mechanical. So now I am telling you.

To continue the performing of an exercise, day after day, or three times a week, whatever the case may be with your training routine, and without making a change in the movements, the muscles will not increase in size or in strength as rapidly as you could make them by doing the exercises in a different manner. Let me make an example of the ordinary biceps exercise. This usually consists of a curl with a dumbell or barbell, or you may do a lot of chinning. Anyway, the motion consists of getting the fist to the shoulder no matter if you stand, sit, or hang from a bar. That is the action of the biceps – by its contraction, to bring the hand to the shoulder. The more resistance worked against, the more strain is placed on the biceps. So let us say that you curl a barbell. That’s fine! You curl this as you stand erect, possibly adding a little more weight to the bell as become capable of it and your biceps enlarge gratifyingly and become stronger as well. You may keep up this exercise for many months and develop good looking biceps, but one day you may do some different kind of work for these muscles – different from the curling motion, and then, the next day your biceps are lame. They didn’t get sore from your usual training routine, but they DID receive overwork merely from a change of movement. Thus it will convince you that the development you secure from performing one movement and adhering to that same movement in every workout will not furnish you with biceps suitable for any kind of work, but just for the work you have been doing. The lameness from changing the movement proves the biceps’ incompatibility of being suitable for a foreign motion. To make it clearer – Suppose you have been curling a weight for a few months and on one of your training days you decided to do some chinning instead. Now you may have done a total of 15 to 50 curls with the bell, and to equalize that so as to give the biceps sufficient work, you decide to do 50 chins. These may be divided into several sections, 15 and rest, 15 more and rest, etc. until you have done 50. Man alive! You will have some mighty lame biceps the next day, and yet, you have just worked the biceps in coordination with a few other major muscles, just as you do when curling a bell which does not cause muscle soreness even with added poundage. you could perform both chinning and curling, one during a certain day’s training, and the other during another day’s workout, and then on the third session change again and perform some new biceps motion, and once again experience muscle lameness. Perhaps by now you are getting my point. In order to supply those biceps with all-round work, you should vary the training every week, or at least every other week, so as to give the biceps and all the other muscles involved with biceps movements their maximum of flexibility, or you will train and develop biceps muscles suitable only to one certain kind of work.

Through variation of movement you also attain strength more quickly. To continue with one certain form of motion, one repetitive movement, can cause the muscles to get into a rut and become stale, overworked, and less responsive.

What I have mentioned about the biceps also concerns every part of your body, in fact, your body as a whole. For another example: You may be exercising your deltoids in the endeavor to broaden and add strength to your shoulders, and you may be following a certain exercise right along without thinking that there are numerous other movements which would work those shoulders. And these other movements not only will supply the same resistance against which the deltoids need be placed, but they will increase the strength and size of the muscles in question, as well as decrease the chance of staleness and lacking interest if you will but make the change. However, still another change must be made after the first change, or you will get into another anatomical rut just as you were before. Each time you change around your regime you will experience lameness, that is, if you have remained long enough at one given exercise without varying the movement. To avoid such muscle-soreness the changes should be made continuously – not necessarily with every drill, but most certainly once a week; in fact, if you train four days a week it might be well to change your motions every third period. You can always return to the original biceps motion first mentioned in this discussion, or to the raising of dumbells sideways and upwards as you may be doing for the deltoids.

The question may arise in your mind, why not perform a considerable variation of movements during one exercise period, thereby, squelching all these suggestions. Well, the answer to that is, you can’t do everything and do a perfect job of each. You won’t have the energy in the first place, if you were to give each part of your body a great many changes in motions at one time; and should you feel that you could do just this, by lessening the counts or repetitions or intensity, I still feel that you would either overwork or not get sufficient work with each muscle. This may seem paradoxical, but as you know, the muscle must be tired or receive sufficient work so that the final count is of great effort before discontinuing the exercise. To stop a movement before the muscle receives sufficient work, will not “feed” it with the proper blood supply, nor offer the needed strain on the muscle, tendon and ligament fibers utilized. On the other hand, if you by chance possess an abundance of energy and actually are able to perform five or six variations of exercises for each part of your body, I still insist that you would be overworking and eventually reach the point of feeling stale from the consumption of vitality. Your muscles in such case would not get their chance to grow and strengthen.

It would do no harm to go through a different routine every time you exercise. This may not be all to your liking, depending upon your aims, and you might find greater effort expanded, and not even feel satisfied with the exertion of certain muscle groups after finishing the workout. Nevertheless, you would be receiving an all-round workout which would fit your muscles for any required flexibility without the unfavorable reaction of soreness. But do not attempt ALL the movements you can think of for all your muscles during one exercise period.

It would be too length to delve into every exercise for all parts of your body, so allow me to merely mention one more example. Let it be the chest. You may be doing floor pushups, 25, 50 or 100 total at a time for your pectorals and if so, you surely are thickening and strengthening them. Suppose you have been doing these pushups right along, and then, one day, do the pushups, or dips, on parallel bars. What happens? You’ll find lameness in your pectorals the next day and the day after that, even though you merely did those pushups by dipping between the bars. You worked the same muscles, but in a slightly different manner, that’s all. Then, after you have become accustomed to parallel bar dipping, you decide to lie on a bench and use dumbells, which you hold extended with arms straight, and then, while lying on your back on the bench, you lower these bells downward to your chest and then press them back to arms’ length. And once again, you get muscle soreness the following day though you still exercised those same muscles. So you see, those chest muscles have been worked and worked in the manner by which they respond in developing, yet those little changes cause you muscle soreness. And so, you must realize the value of varying the exercises in order to secure the best development and avoid going stale on any one particular exercise. But you can’t and don’t need to do everything at one time. I repeat that to impress you and possibly prevent you from running away with ambition.

Try changing your routine every time you have a workout, but if you don’t like this regime, then change it every other time you workout, and then, if it does not please you, change it every third time. It is not so all important that a change MUST be made, but once you see the way this can be beneficial to your progress and aid you in avoiding staleness on an exercise, you will likely be pleasantly surprised. Your training must be enjoyably enthusiastic, otherwise it will become drudgery, and anything half-hearted retards progress and invites even more laziness. If you stick to one motion, you’ll get fine development and strength, yes, but mainly in that one particular motion.

I’m in California now, but years ago I lived in New York, and there was snow. I thought I owned a strong back until one day, with enthusiasm, I pitched in shoveling snow from the sidewalk. Well, when I got through I walked as if the top of my vest was buttoned to my pants, until a few days rest straightened me out. So you see, I was convinced of doing variation of movement back in those days, and I still adhere to my opinion.

If no change of movement is done and you continue on and on with the same routine, you’ll find the work easier because your muscles become so accustomed to the motions. They, you yourself may unconsciously make the exercising still easier by fooling yourself with incomplete or swinging and heaving movements, and this continual method of exercising is like playing solitaire with a marked deck of cards.

Unless you desire to specialize in one certain lift, don’t keep at the same thing over and over again. Become an all-round lifter and own developed muscles which not only look good and strong but ARE good and strong.

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