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Bradley J. Steiner

Powerlifting and

Development Herculean


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Keep a comfortably-distant handspacing on the bar. Remember there are many more muscles groups

involved in a successful bench attempt than just pecs. Floppers, hangers, hairholders. Nipshelves.

if you want to try for a limit bench press,

bend your knees and prop them up on the end of the bench. Establish a solid base with your feet and

legs as they are a necessary part of the drive needed to succeed with a lift.

There are two ways to grip the bar. The first is to fully encircle the bar with the hand, thumb on one

side and fingers on the other. Another style is the thumb and fingers both on one side of the bar.

atch some of the most

effective bench pressers alive and note the slow, coiled-spring descent. Consider the fact that they

school football linemen did. Study the greats.


Avoiding Injury

There is really no ab

pulls and strains will have to be accepted over the course of your powerlifting training, just as they

are in struggles involving other physical arts. The best way to be reasonably sure that your injuries

down on a bench and belly-bump a bar. Study. As in all endeavors except binge-drinking, good

judgment and common sense are necessary to succeed.

One thing is certain: when an injury does occur, DISCONTINUE TRAINING. See a physician just to set

your mind at ease. Serious injuries can be avoided 100% of the time simply by being careful and

thinking before you act. Weight training is one of the all-round safest sports in the world, and there

are more than likely a higher percent of injuries in numerous other more popular sports.

Overtraining, as I have mentioned numerous times, should be avoided. Not only in bodybuilding but

especially in lifting. There is a simple, practical reason for this, and that is because too much training

will be certain to keep your strength down. If sheer power is your goal you are better off doing too

little training than too much. many famous lifters and strongmen have gone for long periods of time

on one or two workouts a week and they gained beautifully.

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A Good Bench Press Schedule

Always start out by warming up on the bench. A warmup set can go as high as 20 reps for some men

warmup has been done, drop the reps back drastically if you did more than 6. The trick in hitting

good maximum lifts is to carefully channel available energy and avoid depletion during initial, build-

up sets. Go right into the heavy stuff after your warmup.

Your first work set should go very heavy, and 5 reps is plenty. 4 is enough, but it should be with a

weight that really makes you fight.

Rest a few minutes and get your strength back. Now do a set of 3 or 4 reps with the same poundage

you used in the previous set.


Add weight to the bar. Do a fourth set of 3 reps in good form. The weight should require very, very

hard fighting.

Rest as long as necessary to get your oomph back, and add still more weight to the bar and see if you

can do one or two final near-limit reps.

Properly done, that schedule will serve the purpose of building muscular power and helping you

increase your ultimate limit single lift.

is a careful check against overwork in the set/rep/poundage arrangement. This is all to the good.

Perhaps a more lengthy schedule will be suitable as you mature with experience, but the one given is


When going for an all-out single attempt (which ought never be attempted more than once every

three or four weeks) you can use a schedule like this . . .

1x12 warmup.




1x1 attempt at limit single.

You can see that no excessive amount of work precedes the limit attempt, yet a thorough warmup is

done. This is necessary to avoid energy depletion and to insure that the body is fully ready to make

that all-out attempt. After working on the lift for some time the basic principles will fall naturally into

gaining in a manner that may surprise you,

considering the simplicity of the program suggested.

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"That's a tough one to answer," I said, "But common sense should tell you that if you wake up feeling

like a sack of dirty laundry, you're not well rested. On the other hand, if you get up feeling refreshed

and ready-to-go, then you've had enough sleep. And another very important point: if you find that

you're looking forward to your workouts and you feel ready to train on your scheduled exercise days,

this is a fine indication that you're getting the proper amount of rest."

'But how many hours of sleep should I get a night?"

"Well, since you're still growing, and since you're coupling your training with a heavy schedule at

school, I'd strongly advise you to get a minimum of nine hours of sleep a night. Ten is even better. If

you can't fall asleep, just lie there and think about how your muscles are growing."

"And you think this will make a difference in my training progress?"

"George, your head is thicker than a fifty-pound barbell plate. YES I think that it will make a

difference - a BIG DIFFERENCE - O. K.? I'll guarantee it. I promise you."

George smiled, "O. K." he said. He took the advice. He began to make sure that he got enough sleep

every night, and he started to grow. He found that the increased rest made his strength and ambition

shoot up rapidly. He packed on eleven pounds of pure muscle in five weeks. The only change that he

made was in the amount to sleep that he got. His training schedule remained the same. Rest made

the difference; and if you're not gaining like you feel you should be, it might very well make the

difference with you.

A heavy workout results in an enormous breakdown of muscle fibers. It is during the rest periods

between workouts that your body recuperates, if you give it the chance, and it is then that the blood

carries tissue-building nutrients throughout your system to replenish the worn-out muscle tissue.

The more sleep and relaxation that you get, without going to the imbecilic extreme of enforced

idleness, the greater will be the tissue build-up and repair. The greater and faster will be your

muscular growth, both is size and in strength.

If you're over twenty years of age you probably need a good eight hours of sleep a night. That's an

average figure and it's applicable to most people. Anyone desiring to bulk up or gain weight quickly

would do better to get ten hours of sleep a night ...REGARDLESS of his age, until the desired gains are

made. In addition to sleep, rest and relaxation are important between heavy training sessions. You

need not and should not become a loafing bum, but if you're a beginner you should not engage in

any other physical activities besides your barbell training. This rule goes for the first four to six

months of bodybuilding unless you happen to be a spectacularly easy gainer.

If you train hard, which is the only way to train for results, then accept the fact that without sufficient

sleep you're defeating your own purpose. If you expect to combine a heavy training schedule with a

full-time hob, or school work, or both, then you must see to it that your body receives the rest that it

requires to carry you through your activities, and to leave you with plenty of "steam" so you can

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profit form your workouts.

Start keeping sensible hours, and you'll find that you will really be able to go full blast in your

workouts. And fellows, THAT is what will give you the build that you're after.

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