Friday, October 27, 2017

The Reality of the Fitness World - By Sutinder Mann

I came across an article in which a drug user outlined their experience of training with and without drugs. It got me thinking about the difference between physical culture and the fitness world and I wanted to communicate that to the widest audience and not just those of us who labour under heavy iron. I wanted my prose to get through to those who have not lifted and appreciate our situation. So below is my humble attempt:

A Tale of Two Neighbours.

Joe and Bob live on the ground floor of a High rise apartment building. Both decide to get into shape and come to the conclusion that the most convenient way would be to use the stairs in the building.

Joe would leave his apartment in the morning before work and start climbing the stairs rather quickly, holding the hand rail and once he had a few flights done, puffing and panting, he would take the lift back down to the bottom floor. Having caught his breath he’d return none the worse for wear to his apartment room to take a shower.

Bob would also leave his apartment before work and hit the stairs, but he did not hold the handrail, instead he worked to keep balanced and moved a lot slower to avoid falling. When Bob got as far as he could (which was fewer flights than Joe) he would turn back puffing and panting, and painfully walk again unsupported down the flights to his apartment, for a shower.

Both enjoyed the exercise and did more steps each session. Joe was able to follow his program of stair climbing almost every day but Bob often had to have a few days off to recover from his stair climbing sessions. In time Bob was climbing to a considerable height, however still far behind Joe.

There was a young woman called Jessica who lived on the mid-level apartment floor who also decided to start climbing stairs a few weeks after her ground floor neighbours. One morning as she started on her climb, she met Bob huffing and panting on the way up and they had an exchange.

Jessica: Nice to meet another stair climber. Hi, I’m Jessica.

Bob: Hello….erh…nice to meet you…..mine’s Bob.

Jessica: You near this floor?

Bob: Phew!....No, ground floor.

Jessica: Arhh just like Joe!

Bob: Yeah.

Jessica: Isn’t Joe incredible? I’ve been seeing him on his way up.

Bob: Yeah….I guess….Well I’ve got to go down now.

Jessica: What already?

Bob: Yeah….Bye.

Bob made his painful steps back downstairs. As he reached the ground floor he hears the ping of the lift doors opening and he sees a smiling Joe strolling out.

Joe: Oh hey, Bob.

Bob: Hello Joe. What’s got you so happy?

Joe: I’ve got a date tonight with Jessica upstairs.

Bob: Cute blonde?

Joe: Yeah, have you met her?

Bob: Yeah briefly.

Joe: Bob you look shattered. You know you can use the lift down, it’s much easier.

Bob: No shortcuts for me. I want to do it under my own steam.

Joe: Have it your way.

As they walked back to their rooms Bob shrugged and thought to himself “My way’s the right way”.

Rather left field I guess but let me explain, as I mentioned earlier my inspiration was based upon an article I came across in which a drug user outlined the main difference between natural training and steroid use. The main gist was he could train an intense squat session and feel fine the next day, as if he had not squatted at all, whereas the same session done without drugs destroyed him totally for a few days. Also the drugs gave him an artificial mental focus and drive in the gym. From reading that I virtually lost all respect for steroid users.

Drug users do not suffer for their growth as we do. When we experience the exhilaration of hard training we know the next day or so we will wake up suffering somewhat, being sore and tired but we know that is the price we are willing to pay for physically bettering ourselves. We do not fool ourselves thinking that you can get something for nothing. We do not fear this suffering but embrace it as part of the physical culture lifestyle. We train and suffer like the Bodybuilders of the pre drug era. Their achievements in muscle and strength astonish and inspire us to this day because we know they truly earned it.

As the Bobs of this world we are climbing to achieve more muscle and strength; unlike the Joes we won’t hold the stair rail or take the easy ride to recovery. We are realising our God given potential naturally, and it is truly “the right way”.

Editor's Note: Great article Stind! My ending of this story would continue with Joe catching an STD and quitting training completely in his thirties. Bob continued to train and improve for the rest of his long healthy and happy life.
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Friday, October 20, 2017

A Beginning Powerlifting Program - By Jim Duggan

The title of this article would imply that the routine that follows would only be of use to aspiring Powerlifters. The reality is that just about anyone can benefit from a basic Powerlifting program. Whether you are an aspiring lifter, or an experienced lifter coming back from an extended layoff, or someone who seeks to build size and strength, a program built around the three powerlifts will produce the results you are looking for.

If you plan on entering Powerlifting competitions, you will need to build a solid foundation in order to prepare your body for the physical demands of competitive lifting. The beginning phase is the time to strengthen and develop your muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues, so that they will be better able to cope with the heavy workload that a Powerlifting routine requires. It is also the time to learn how to perform the three lifts- Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift- properly. Correct form is something that must be learned and repeated constantly. Whether you're a beginner, or an advanced lifter, you should continuously use proper form all the time. And it is much easier to correct flaws in your form in the early phases of your lifting career, while habits are being formed. Sometimes this requires a training partner to watch and critique you while you lift. You do not want to fall into the habit of not squatting deep enough, or not pausing your bench presses. Needless to say, I think it would be foolish to practice sloppy form in training in the misguided hope that you will be able to correct yourself at a contest. Always train the way you compete and you can avoid the embarrassment of bombing out.

The first point to consider when beginning a Powerlifting program is the number of days per week to train. I think a good rule of thumb should be two or three days per week. Some people might be better off doing only two workouts per week, while others can handle a heavier workload. If you handle three workouts per week, and you can adequately recover between workouts, then by all means train three days per week. Nobody knows you better than yourself. But be honest. And, if course, your work/school/family commitments will influence how much time you can devote to your training.

When it comes to poundage selection, as a beginner, you want to use a weight that will allow you to complete each movement in good form. That means no cheating. You may heed a coupkenof workouts before you're able to determine the correct poundages to use. Again, be honest with yourself. If you find yourself cheating to complete the required number of reps, then lower the weight. Once you're using the correct poundages, your next goal will be to train progressively. Pondage progression. The two magic words for any strength athlete. However, before you add weight, you should strive to add repetitions. Adding one or two reps to your training poundages each workout will allow you to add weight during subsequent workouts. For example, if your program calls for you to do 3 sets of 6 reps in the Deadlift, you should try to do 3 sets of 7 reps in the following workout, then 3 sets of 8 reps in the workout after that. Once you can complete 3 sets of 8 in good form, then it is time to add weight, lower the reps and start over again.

One point to remember is to not try to do too much. Too many exercises, for too many sets, without allowing your body time to recover, will lead to staleness, burn out, or injury. None which is desirable.

The routine is as follows:

1) Squats 3x8

2) Bench Press 3x8

3) Deadlift 3x6

4) Military Press 3x8

5) Bent-over Barbell Row 3x8

6) Dips 3x8

7) Barbell Curl 3x8

At the end of the workout, you can do one or two sets of Sit-ups. You're not looking for washboard abs, but rather, you want to strengthen your abdominals which will aid in your Squat and Deadlift.

Another point to remember is to try not to get into the habit of depending on wearing a lifting belt. Anyone who trains in a commercial gym will attest to the fact that just about everybody wears a lifting belt for just about anything and everything. My advice would be to not wear one. It might take a while to become comfortable going "beltless," but you will develop greater strength in your midsection, as well as your lower back, which will translate into increased poundages in your Squat and Deadlift. And then when you use it in a contest, you will get an additional "boost," which will only help your total.

Some additional points:

When Deadlifting, try to use the conventional stance. I realize that many people use the "Sumo" style, but I've always felt that the conventional Deadlift is the truest form of Deadlifting. Call me a purist, but it's just something that I've always believed. And while it may take a while to get comfortable in your grip and stance, just be patient. Don't try to rush things.

When Bench Pressing, try to do all your reps with a pause. At a contest, you will be required to pause the bar at the chest. It makes absolutely no sense to not train the same way. Even if it means having to use less weight.

I would like to say a few words about spotters. When you are Squatting, or Bench Pressing, it is a good idea to utilize spotters. If there are no spotters available, then you should lift in a Power Rack with the pins set so that they will catch the bar in the event you can't complete a rep. In lifting, as in life, it is better to be safe than sorry. Always practice safe lifting habits!

Dips are an exercise that I've always liked doing. They are far superior to pushdowns, triceps extensions, French presses and the like. However you can substitute close grip Bench Presses if you prefer, and see which works best for you.

You can use this routine for as long as you want, but if you plan on competing, you will need to do more assistance exercises for each lift. This means that you'll have to be more judicious in how you set up your training schedule. As Drug-free athletes, we have to be more conscious of our ability to recuperate. Sometimes it boils down to training smarter not harder.   
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Looking for an old York Giant Krusher and a York Horse-shoe Exerciser

Hey Bob how are you doing? It’s Jeff Gretz. I'm looking for an old York Krusher and a York Iron Horse-Shoe exerciser both with springs. I am looking to pay top price for any of the spring type exercisers. Please let me know if you know anyone that wants to sell or trade.


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