Wednesday, December 7, 2011

John McCallum Routines, Part Two

Routine 5 - Bulking the Upper Body (1966)

You're now ready for the next advancement in your training. And you'll like this one. It's designed for pure and simple upper body bulk.

Let's stop at this point and discuss briefly the bulk and power I keep referring to in these articles. What I mean by bulk, and what this series is designed to produce, is your maximum MUSCULAR size. Not fat! At this stage we're not worried about maximum definition either, but enough separation should be maintained so that you can lean out with a short period of specialization afterwards.

Regarding power - you're not training to be an Olympic lifter, but you should have about the same degree of all round strength. It's a sad fact, but some bodybuilders have built their physiques without ever getting very much stronger than the average man. The goal here is to be every bit as strong as you look, and then some.

If you've followed this series as written, you should have some of your foundation by now. You should have enough power and size in your legs and back to warrant a short session of straight upper body bulking. The degree of foundation you've built will determine the results you get from this program. But remember - this program is based on the assumption that you've followed the series to date. Don't try this program if you haven't. You'll be wasting time that could be better spent on squats and back work. If you're just starting, start at the beginning. Build the foundation needed, then you'll make the gains you want in your upper body.

You'll be working out four days a week. Don't work out any oftener. It isn't necessarily true that six hours of exercise are six times as productive as one hour. There's a happy limit. Don't exceed it.

And now we come to the program itself. Do the exercises as follows:

Prone Hyperextensions. Don't worry too much about the poundage on these for this program. Increase the weight very, very gradually. Work at developing style. Concentrate on a flawless performance with complete extensions and contractions. You should be able to isolate the action almost completely to your lower back. Do 3 sets of 10.

Breathing Squats. You be doing 2 sets of 15 on these. Do the first set as heavy as you can. Put out to your absolute limit. Drop the weight a full 100 pounds for the second set and step up the effort on breathing. 3 to 5 big breaths between each rep. The weight won't be heavy so concentrate on your lungs. Make each breath as big as you can. Lift your chest and shrug your shoulders a couple of inches. Keep your head up, your back flat, and your chest high. Work at making your chest ache from the heavy breathing.

Pullovers. Do 20 pullovers with 20 or 30 pounds after each set of squats. Keep your lower back on the bench during the pullovers. Don't just arch up. You're supposed to be expanding your chest, not practicing the wrestler's bridge. You can take five now and get ready for the upper body work.

You'll be doing these exercises in pairs. Supersets. We'll call each half of the pair A and B for now. Alternate back and forth between A and B with 30 to 60 seconds rest between them for the required number of sets. Start your upper body work with chest and shoulders.

Bench Press
alternated with
Alternate Dumbbell Forward Raise. Do a set of bench presses first. Take 30-60 seconds rest and do the alternate forward raises. Keep this up for 5 sets of 10 reps each.

Flat Bench Flyes
alternated with
Side Lateral Raise. Five sets of 10 reps each. Same layout as above.

You can take a rest now. Sit down and put your feet up for five or ten minutes.

Bentover Rowing
alternated with
Bentover Lateral Raises. 5 sets of 10 reps each.

Lat Pulldowns
alternated with
Press Behind Neck. 5 setts of 10.

Now take another five or ten minute rest and we'll wind it up with arm work.

Barbell Curl
alternated with
Dips. 5 x 10.

Incline Dumbbell Curl
alternated with
Triceps Pressdowns. 5 x 10.

Don't go poundage crazy on this program. Work for a nice smooth performance on each exercise. Use all the weight you can but perform the exercises in a steady, even manner. Pick a weight that will allow you to get 10 reps out of the first 2 sets of each exercise. You should only be able to make 8 or 9 reps on the fourth and fifth sets.

Do the above program on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Saturday do the following:

Upright Row. 1 set of 10 reps.
Curl. 1 x 10.
Dip. 1 x 10.

Take a one minute rest and repeat the above three exercises in the same order. Take about 30 seconds rest between sets. Use very light weights. From half to two-thirds of what you normally use in those exercises is plenty. You don't want to tire the muscles with this workout, just put a mild pump in them. If you can, do the three-exercise series three times on Saturday. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the early evening.

Don't forget - this routine is designed for people who have a fair degree of bulk and power in the legs and back. Don't waste time on it if you haven't been working properly on the power exercises. Go back and build a solid foundation first.


Routine 6 - Leg & Back Specialization (1966)

On Mondays and Thursdays you'll be doing the leg work:

Squats. Do them for 5 sets of 5 reps. Use a light weight for the first set to warm up. Add weight for the second set. Jump to your top weight for third set and stay at that weight for the fourth and fifth sets. Add to the poundage when you can get 5 reps on all 3 sets for two consecutive workouts.

Barbell Hack Squats. Don't confuse these with hip lifts. Do 4 sets of 12. Put a board under your heels and go all the way down. Start light until you get used to the movement, then increase the poundage rapidly. Your last rep should find you stuck at the bottom.

Front Squats. Take the weight off the rack, keep your back flat, your head up and your elbows HIGH. Use all the weight you can handle for 5 sets of 10.

Do a light set of 20 pullovers after each set of the squats, front squats, power cleans and deadlifts.

Thigh Curls. Do Glute Ham Raises. This ain't 1966.

Donkey Calf Raises. 5 x 20. You can rig up a way to do these on your own if you train at home. One legged so the weight doesn't mess up your lower back.

Standing Calf Raises. All the way down and all the way up. 5 sets of 20 and don't just bounce about dreaming of beer, cars, women, work, bills, kids, alimony, rent and remembered melodies.
Work your calves just as hard as you work the rest of your body.

That completes the leg workout. Put out as much as you can. Give it all you've got and get what you want.

On Tuesday and Friday do the back work:

Prone Hyperextensions. 4 sets of 10 with all the weight you can handle. Push the poundage.

Power Cleans. 5 sets of 5. Put a real effort into the second pull.

Deadlift. Start light and do 3 reps. Add weight and do 3 more. Keep adding weight until can't make 3 reps. Plan around about 8 sets.

Rowing. Take a close grip and pull the bar up the the lower abdomen - about to where the legs join the trunk. Arch your back when the bar touches your body. Do 5 sets of 12.

Chins. Use a palms-front grip, slightly wider than shoulders. Pull up all the way to the top and stay tight in the dead hang at the bottom. 5 x 10 and add weight as soon as you can.

Pullups. Use a palms-facing-you narrow grip. Pull up until your chin extends over the bar. 5 sets of 10. Don't make this an acrobatic event complete with lower leg kicks and swinging hip thrusts. Build up the reps to he required number as quickly as you can, then add weight.

Determine that every workout is going to be better than the one before it. Use all the available energy you have that day. Determine that you're going to completely revamp your entire conception of what hard work is. If you don't do it for yourself, who will?

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