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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PHYSICAL POWER - (Circa 1906) - Chapter 7 - Routine of Training - By Arthur Saxon

With regard to the routine of training, I again repeat, my idea is not to develop muscle at the expense of either health or strength. It is really impossible for me to prescribe special exercises with fixed time limits for same, and fixed days for each individual who may read this book, as we are all possessed of different constitutions and staminal power, but roughly speaking it will be found correct in most instances to practice twice per week, and at such practices I advise that on each lift you commence with fairly light weights, and gradually increase the weight of same.

Taking the double-handed lift, if your lift is about 200 lbs., commence at 100 lbs, and with this light weight press overhead, then add 20 lbs., and press again, and so on, until you are compelled to jerk the weight. Proceed until you reach you limit then try another lift, say the snatch, commencing low and working up to your highest poundage. Surely this method of practice is better than to attempt, as most English weight-lifters do, their heaviest bell right off the reel, as possibly they fail, and then get in reality no practice at all, only making their position worse, instead of better. Of course, to practice this way, shot-loading bar-bells would be a nuisance. The most up-to-date bells on the market, in my opinion, are those supplied by Mr. T. Inch, of Broadway, Fulham, London, S. W. I understand a catalogue with full particulars will be sent on application. With the disc-loading bells one may have a weight as low as 20 lbs., or as high as 400 lbs. And one bell would be sufficient for any number of lifters. The same plates used on the long bar may also be used on short bars for dumb-bells.

Do not make the mistake of limiting your practices to any one set of lifts, such as the four know as the Amatuer Championship lifts. Practice everything - single and double-handed press in dumb-bells and bar-bells, snatching and swinging, jerking and pressing, lying down with weights, supporting weights, lifting weights whilst laid on the back, ring weights, human weights, and if possible, double-handed lifts to the knee, and harness lifts, also holding the bell aloft and bringing a weight after with the disengaged hand, and raising bells aloft by what is known as the Continental style of lifting, described in this book. Also anything else that may suggest itself to your mind, such as heavy weights at arm's length, raising bells overhead stood on end on the hand, juggling with weights by throwing them from hand to hand overhead, catching in the hollow of the arms, etc. A method of practice such as the above would not only bring into play every band and strap of muscle you possess, but give you a far better knowledge of all-round weight-lifting, and you could possibly obtain if you practiced three or four lifts only to the exclusion of all others. Also do not forget to use your left hand as well as your right.

On the days when you do not practice with heavy weights you might try a few movements with a heavy pair of dumb-bells from 10 to 30lbs. In weight, according to your strength and development. Add to this your favourite sports, such as cycling, wrestling, swimming, or what not, and the weight-lifting practices, and you should be doing quite sufficient work to not only keep you fit but to bring you to the op the tree if it so be that your naturally possessed of the right constitution and physique to enable you to carry out your ideas on these lines.

As explained elsewhere, in my opinion, if a man feels that he is not strong enough to go in for weight-lifting without previous training, he may first of all practice on a lighter scale, especially if he be very young, or having just undergone an illness, but when weight-lifting proper is commenced, then I contend it will be better to reserve all your strength and energy for your lifting, as to practice innumerable movements daily besides weight-lifting is to place a great strain on your vital and staminal powers, and if there be a collapse weight-lifting will be blamed instead of the more trying and wearing light exercises, which drain the system.

The advanced lifter would make his two practices per week suffice, he need not do even the heavy dumb-bell exercises I have referred to. I have not the facilities for handling correspondence, nor the time to instruct by post, therefore, to those who feel they would be safer in having individual instruction in matters pertaining to development and lifting, I would strongly advise a letter to Mr. Inch, for his book, "A Quick Route to Strength," with particulars as to terms. After long acquaintance with Mr. Inch, I will personally guarantee every satisfaction to all aspiring strong men who place themselves in his hands. He is quite correct in saying that such well-known lifters as Maspole, Bonnes, Deriaz, Wilhelm Turk, Sandow, and Hackenschmidt have all trained on lines he is now teaching ad adapting to the physique and stamina of each pupil who enrolls.

I do not suppose I need to lay emphasis upon the advantage of training in the open air rather than indoors, nor on the beneficial and cleansing effects of a cold sponge down, followed by a good rub, immediately after exercise.

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