Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Is Your Training Program Properly Balanced? - A Review of Brad Steiner’s Article from Iron Man 1981 - By David Sedunary.

A quite common mistake that trainees make when planning and following their personal exercise routines is a failure to correctly balance their training programs or schedules of training. That is they neglect to plan workouts that thoroughly exercise the entire body, inside and out for the sake of, say pursuing super intensive concentration on bench pressing , and arm  work etc. Ultimately, such a style of training must lead to failure.

Now, I am not attacking specialization in training. This has its place in one’s training career at times; but failure to properly  balance a good  all round routine when one is not specializing, hardly has anything to do with the matter of specialization. Every good workout program should include a sufficient variety of basic exercises for each major body part . This exercise need not be done in any excessive number of sets, and they need not all require a maximum energy effort output all the time. But unquestionably, there should be enough work included in one’s routine to adequately tire and train ones whole body.

But suppose your main interest in training is a deep chest and big arms?  Is it necessary then to train your whole body? Sure, it is. And I will tell you a secret said Brad. You will make better, faster and more permanent gains in any  body areas , where you more especially want them. If you continue to maintain a good basic routine for all your body.

Remember the following facts:

1.Weight training is one of the most intensive and highly concentrated forms of physical exercise on earth. Even if you are only seriously interested in say big arms , there is only so much work the relative small arm muscles can take at any given time, and during any one given workout. This will be most frustrating and irritating and may even force you to give up weight training all together.

2. Muscles grow almost as much from indirect effort, as they do from direct effort. By this I mean the bent over dumb bell rowing exercise is about as an effective arm builder as curling. I built my arms once to 16 ½ inches by doing dumb bell rows, dips and trap bar deadlifts all for one set to failure. When I operated my own Gym In Broken Hill Australia I took a hard gaining beginner off all curls and watched his arms start to bulk up, from using only the dumb bell row, dips and trap bar deadlifts. Why because the row permits the arms to work in unison with the upper back, which is powerful enough to permit the handling of really heavy and productive weights. The principle of growth via indirect training applies in other instances as well.

3. One of the most important reasons for training even if you don’t now realize it is health and conditioning. To attain both these objectives the entire body must be worked properly and sufficient sweating and puffing and panting must be induced. Training for severe pump in any one area will not produce any degree of health benefits or conditioning. Even if you don’t care less about the fact you have leg muscles, do squats, leg presses or trap bar deadlifts. I say this fully knowing that many who read this article will be concerned only with gains or improvement on their upper body. I want to stress to these people the absolute need for balance in training. 

Work those body parts you are anxious about but never neglect to train the rest of your body.

There are two major ways in which one can assure , that one is training in a correct well rounded manner.

  1. Include a sufficient variety of good exercises for the entire body and for overall fitness.

  2. One can train on a limited schedule of exercises that because they work major muscles groups together, provide a good all -round routine. For example, Dumb bell clean and press, Squat and Chinning. Brad said his personal preference was a workout composed of between eight and twelve basic exercises worked hard in sets. Brad finished his workout with rope skipping usually  2 sets of 220 reps using ankle weights( very light ) to give extra benefit to the exercise.

Always do squatting in some form was Brad’s instruction for whole body growth. Always do abdominal work, some variant of standing overhead presses, and some basic back exercise. Work in sets of 2 or 3. Always do the major movements if for some reason you haven’t got the energy or time to complete your workout never neglect or cut back on the basic  movements, you need to ensure all round muscle growth, health and fitness.

Abbreviated type workouts are extremely valuable, though they are not all popular today. This is too bad.  I can think of many instances where an otherwise impossible case of hard gaining was corrected by the use of  a good abbreviated schedule. These schedules are what Peary Rader suggested for hard gainers to use to trigger gains by working muscles masses hard but never to excess, apparently what all hard gainers need.

For the advanced trainee, or the person in superb condition abbreviated routines maybe used from time to time for the sake of variety, or when one hasn’t the time to get in your full routine.

Here are some of Brad Steiners abbreviated workouts:

Workout 1#

  1. Stiff legged deadlift 3x12

  2. Squats 1x18 light, 1x 10 medium, 1x6 heavy

  3. Chinning 3x12 no weight

Workout 2#

  1. Chinning 3x10 weight tied to waist.

  2. Squats 3x12 medium to heavy weights

  3. Dips 3x10

Workout 3#

1 Deadlift 3x12

2. Dips 3x6 weight tied to waist

3. Dumb bell row 3x6 heavy

4. Waist work

Brad Steiner has given you more programs than you are likely to need, so that you may select the program best suited to your needs. What matters is you follow a good schedule, which consists of a compound movement squat, deadlift. And/ or a vertical push, vertical pull, horizontal push, horizontal pull, and tinkering work as Bob Whelan suggests. Add a barbell curl if you want. Tinkering work would be abdominal work, neck work , calve work, and grip work. That will round out a properly balanced program.

Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com

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