Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
January 28, 2023
Weight Lifting Workout Questions & Answers
From MuscleMag columnist Dennis B. Weis "The Yukon Hercules"

Weight Lifting Truth in Print

weight lifting workouts in the mags Q. Have you ever thought about the confused state bodybuilding presents to the readers of the various muscle magazines. This relates mainly to the physique stars who endorse different exercise equipment, supplements, and exercise principles, etc., each month.

In the majority of cases these physique stars will endorse different products in all the different magazines at the same time.

How in the world can the average iron head reader judge all their endorsements as to their merits and values? Another thing which fools the readers is the lack of truth in the stories of the top men in bodybuilding. They're just dramatic for publication. I think the real story is kept a secret because their training is simple and assisted by chemical enhancement.

A. From reading your question it looks like you ate a "Big Bowl of Stupid" before writing your question if you can't figure out the obvious answer. Any way many of the bodybuilding publications in the iron game are not amateur-oriented. Therefore many of the claims made by pro bodybuilders are of course guided by a margin of profit.

Stories of pro bodybuilders are usually dramatic, not for publication but because the effort a pro bodybuilder must put forth to increase his natural ability to one of championship caliber is one of the most dramatic undertakings there is.

Bodybuilding magazines like, 99.9% of all magazines, accept advertising as a means to make additional income. The truth is that most magazines would be unable to stay in business without the income from advertising. A full-page ad rate in some of the most recognized mainstream bodybuilding magazines can range from $6,000 to $22,000, depending if it is a black and white or four-color ad. However, the cost of the print run of a monthly magazine such as Muscle & Fitness is in the high six figures and beyond.

The products advertised in such magazines can range from exceptionally good to awful, and this isn't unique to just bodybuilding magazines. The bottom line is that bodybuilding magazines, the publishers and editorial staff don't have the time, monetary funds, or research modalities to screen individually each and every product and/or advertiser for its credibility or lack thereof.

When a writer sends MuscleMag International an article on a pro bodybuilder one of the things Kennedy does is to always make the writer gets the exact routine because he want to get the truth out to the readers.

Critical Bench Editor Note: MuscleMag may not analyze all the ads in the magazine, but Dennis points out a lot of rip offs in his ebook below:

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Mind Power Doctrine

Q. Man I've been doing really heavy bench presses like 300 pounds. For example I walked into the gym on Monday and did it, no sweat. Then on Wednesday, lo and behold I didn't get the 300 pounds that I easily got on Monday, because I guess I was still tired from my last bench routine. Then I came back in the gym again on Friday and I blew my benches again. I pretty much have been gearing my whole workout to that 300 pound bench press. After I walked out of the gym I remember telling myself that 'I had a lousy workout because I missed my bench presses.' My attitude pretty much "SUCKS!" Do you have any suggestions?

weight lifting bench press workout A. Your muscle doesn't have a brain. Your head controls the muscle. The muscle doesn't control the brain. So you've got to say, 'O.K., I'm going to work my bench and my poundage is going to go up.' I say, change your mental attitude about your training, because if you don't you can't take anything negative that you are doing in the sport of bodybuilding and turn it into positive results, it won't work. Everything you do in the gym has to be done on a positive note. You must condition your subconscious mind to think that you are getting stronger and training with more intensity, and your body will have to respond accordingly."

Here is something you might try next time you go to the gym, being a muscle head I doubt your try it. I call it Mental Imagery-Rehearsal.

Mental imagery-rehearsal is conducted approximately 10-15 seconds prior to each set of an exercise. While standing or sitting, however you feel most comfortable, close your eyes and take in and exhale short breaths of air as you mentally prepare (with selective focus) for the moment at hand.

You must go to that place in your consciousness where there is no pain, no negative influences, no fear, a state of mind where only positive forces dwell.

Your mind must be time-locked (cohesive) with the muscles in order to do battle with the heavy iron. Begin by picturing in your mind's eye the bench, the bar, the plates. Imagine this so intensely that you can smell the sweat, feel the knurling on the bar, hear the plates rattle, and so forth.

Since you are going to be performing the flat bench press, for example, recreate all of the exercise mastery techniques that are necessary for the successful completion of each gut-wrenching rep of the set.

The more organized and detailed you can make this ritual of mentally focusing in one-set intervals, the better chance you will have for training to the outer limits of muscular size and strength. Here's another way to explain it. Think of how organized and detailed the ritual of mental imagery-rehearsal would be if it related to making love to a beautiful woman. The details are never slippery or vague. They're always clear and vivid.

As the magnitude of mental imagery-rehearsal for the upcoming set becomes more and more vivid, you will begin to feel torrents of unleashed fury and your heart will beat in a manner that reflects your ability to dominate and prevail in the moment. Open your eyes. You are now 100% mentally focused and psyched. Go for it! It's time to lift the HEAVY IRON!

Tip: During your workout, play your own favorite high-energy music to trigger strong energy responses.

Leg Press "Mad Sets"

Q. A few years ago I was training at a Powerhouse Gym in Fullerton, California. There was this really, really huge dude walking around with some large formidable quads. Someone said his name was Melvin Anthony, a USA bodybuilding champion so I was sort of scared to walk up and ask him how he got his thigh mass. On my way out the door I heard someone say that Melvin did Leg Press "Mad Sets." What in the world are those anyway?

Melvin Anthony Weight Lifting Workout A. "Marvelous" Melvin uses a basic and brutal approach of 3 exercises when working his quads and the torturous Leg Press "Mad Sets" is one of them. Melvin begins and ends his quad workout with Leg Extensions. To begin with Melvin will warm-up with four light sets of 12-15 reps. Next Melvin does four sets of 8-10 reps in the Front Squats, using an ascending weight progression of say135,225, 315 and 415.

Next up is Leg Press "Mad Sets". Melvin does just two master "sets" (consisting of nine sub-sets each) to 1-2 times a week to build his quads. On paper this may look easy but it is one of the most adrenaline depleting exercises in existence. Melvin uses a poundage that is 75% of his best 10 rep maximum poundage (say he could do ten reps with a 1000 pounds he would only use 750 pounds). He begins his first master "set" of nine sub-sets performing them with just 6 seconds rest between them, using a decreasing rep scheme of 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5,4, 3 and two. The weight is held at full contraction and is never locked out during the six second rest periods. This completes a total of 65 reps. Rest a minute or so and do a second master set. Melvin says he calls them "Mad Sets" because they will drive you insane.

To end his quad workout Melvin uses two or three times the poundage on Leg Extensions than he used on the warm-up sets again for four sets of 12-15 reps. One unusual thing he does on these is a body shift by moving his butt and back away from the seatback support of the Leg Extension unit. This changes the emphasis of the exercise to high hip flexors and mid quads.

Slam Training

weight lifting workout Q. Bodybuilding is an important part of my lifestyle. For one reason or another, I am finding myself cramped for gym time that makes my previous full-length workouts impossible. Do you have any ideas of some hardcore workouts that can be done in say 20 to 30 minutes?

A. When a lack of the customary training time in the gym becomes evident, it should never become an excuse for procrastinating or missing workouts completely. Don't be an idiot and become one of the statistics. Do what I call Slam Training (brief and brutal workouts which take no more than 20-30 minutes).

Here is a slam training routine for behemoth muscle bulk and power that will maintain your existing level of development, until you can once again return to your previous optimum workouts.

Within the structure of this workout, I suggest that you use four basic exercises - "Feet off the Floor" Supine barbell bench press, Barbell bent over rows, Barbell back squats and 45º (machine) Leg presses. It seems the best sequential order of doing the exercises is to begin with the Bench press, next do the Squat, follow it with the Rowing and finish up with the Leg press. Performed in this manner, you are able to partially rest the upper torso while working the legs and then let the legs grab some needed rest as you do the upper body exercise(s). You don't have time for long rests between sets and exercises; neither can you afford as high reps as you might like. So work with five or six reps each set with no rest or as little as possible.

Begin the series or exercises by doing 5-6 reps in the "Feet off The Floor" Supine barbell bench press with about one-half of your usual exercise poundage; without a pause, do 5-6 reps in the Barbell back squat with approximately two-thirds of the usual exercise poundage. Squat down only as far as knee and lower back integrity and flexibility will allow. Move on to the Barbell bent over rows, again for 5-6 reps with one-half of the usual exercise poundage. Use a narrow hand spacing of no more than 6 inches. Still with no rest, blast out 5-6 reps in the 45º Leg presses (on a machine) with two-thirds of you regular exercise poundage. This completes the first series!

There are five more series to go and so you may take a breather, but it must be only long enough to change weights for each proceeding series. Series two: Increase poundage ten to twenty percent on each exercise, doing another 5-6 reps of each. Series three: The weight jump factor follows that of the above series (2). Series four: On this series, increase the poundage so that the absolute most weight can be used in each of the four exercises for 5-6 maximum repetitions. Series five: Decrease the poundage used in the above series by ten percent and do 5-6 continuous reps. Series six: Again reduce the poundage used in series five and do as many "burn-out" repetitions as you possibly can, to complete failure.

Going through a single series of the four exercises, and preparing the weight jumps when either moving up or down will take about two and a half minutes. On your limit sets (series four), it may take a bit longer, but you can still finish the six series in 20 minutes. Always rest the total body one or two days between workouts!!!


weight lifting workout for mixed martial arts Q. I have a bodybuilder friend that wants to get into Mixed Martial Arts Competitions. He's 6'1" And about 230-240lbs. He's a pretty strong dude and thinks that he should be able to hang with any of the heavyweights out there. He can Bench Press 400 plus. I and the boys think that he should be a real hard puncher due to his benching strength. From a weight lifting point of view what should he do to get ready? Thanks!

A. Well let me tell ya there is a lot more to Fighting than being able to bench press a lot of weight. In fact, you tell your friend that Bench pressing has virtually nothing to do with Punching! And on top of that, you tell your friend that punching is a very small part of mixed martial arts. Maybe you and your friend should go check out a good Jujitsu school and quit bothering me with these asinine questions! Or better yet Just keep lifting weights and stay out of the ring. Guys like Ken Shamrock and Mirco Crocop mangle guys like your friend for fun!

I sure hope this helps ya!

Piston Action Quads

Q. I've heard that you are an expert at leg training. My question is this: I'm in a Muay Thai kickboxing Class and it just seems like my legs are weaker than they should be. I'm a good student and have good kicking technique but I just feel weak when it comes to my legs. Do you have any Ideas?

weight lifting workout for stronger legs A. Well there could be several factors contributing to your weak legs. The number one factor I'm sure is that your not the Yukon Hercules of His son the Ghost! But yeah I have a few ideas for turning those Pipe cleaner legs into Pistons of Power. This first idea will seem very extreme but if you stick with it, I promise you that your legs (and every thing else) will be stronger. Take your bodyweight in pounds and put it on a squat bar, and squat it 20 times. Yes, that would be just one set. You will need to stretch and do a few light warm up sets first of course. Do this once a week. Eventually you will want to work up to 3 sets of 20 with your body weight. The ensuing benefits are numerous! Increased leg strength, Increased Leg endurance, and increased Cardio! What more could you want? You can read more about the "How's" of doing 20 rep squats on the homepage of my website (www.dennisbweis.com).

The Second Idea is more for explosiveness. Put one wheel (45 lb plate) on each side on a 45 degree leg press machine. Do 15 to 20 rapid reps. When I say rapid I mean don't bounce at the bottom and don't lock out at the top. Do go as close to locking out as you can though. If this is too light up the weight, if it's too much lower the weight. Remember to stretch in-between sets. Do 4 to 6 sets of this once a week and after about a month you will notice a significant increase in your explosiveness!

This may seem extreme for a weak person, but do you want pipe cleaners or PISTONS of POWER? And be sure that you don't neglect your Kickboxing Training, for your weight training, it all goes hand in hand!

Suffer to Gain!

Q. I am envious of some of the bodybuilding champions who seem to get huge results by training moderately, using seemingly light weights and enjoying easy workouts. I've tried training this way, taking workouts without straining much and working the total body in four sessions a week. I've gained 9 pounds in a couple of years doing this but I am not satisfied.

I've been to your website and seen your photo and story on the homepage. You don't seem like you were much either but you are still better than me. So what did you do make any sort of bodybuilding gains?

weight lifting workouts aren't suppossed to be easy. A. Hey worm food you shouldn't be disrespecting me by telling me that my bodybuilding gains weren't much if you expect an answer. I will answer your question only because Bob Kennedy is paying me to.

I am not so proud as to admit that I was not blessed with an abundance of bodybuilding genetics. Proof of that is displayed in my before photo at age 16 (go to my website and check it out). Luckily though, when I was 20 I trained at Donne Hale's gym in Hialeah, Florida. Donne made me realize gaining muscle came in a direct ratio to how much I suffered in the gym!

Some guys may do 8 to 10 sets per muscle group - but Donne had me wading through 20 or more, of 8 to 12 reps each. Light poundage was not for me, either; I wrestled with the heaviest I could put to use. Resting was only a word . . . each movement was as fast as I could make it, sets going together in combination, and I was only allowed to take a one minute rest at any one time. Instead of 6 to 8 exercises, my workouts covered 15 or more. Four to five training sessions each week was the rule.

Every workout, each exercise, every movement, in fact, was a challenge, a strain, a fight! The exercise police of today would say it was insane training. Maybe, but it was perfect, at the time, for me as Donne felt I was a 'freak' of endurance. The unusually hard work paid off as I gained over 20 pounds of muscle in less than a year. Best of all I never went stale and my desire to train harder and harder grew steadily, never declining. Obviously this type of training approach wouldn't be for every one, yourself included. But back then I simply had to suffer to gain.

Explain Giant Cycles?

weight lifting workouts at hardcore gyms Q. A short time ago me and my training partner were working out in one of the hardcore gyms in southern California and I heard one of the pro bodybuilders mention something about doing Giant Cycles. Naturally we agreed that what the guy was talking about was just another way of doing Giant Sets where you do anywhere from 4 to 6 exercises (isolation and compound exercises in no particular order) in sequence, one right after the other without any rest. We are naturally curious as to whether this is correct or not?

A. Your description of a Giant Set is basically correct but it is not the same as doing a standard Giant Cycle and here is why. Giant Cycle is a term to describe the performance of a series of exercises for a muscle group. The exercises will consist of an isolation (single joint) movement and a compound (multiple joint) movement. So far so good, as the two techniques seem to mirror each other.

Here is where the standard Giant Cycle begins to differ. The exercises are normally set up as follows: Isolation Move > Isolation Move > Compound Move > Isolation Move. The idea here is to select a required goal of say ten (10) repetitions for all four movements. Here is an example of a standard Giant Cycle for the hamstrings.

Machine Leg Curls x 10 reps------------(w/ 80 lbs)
*reduce the weight by 25%
Machine Leg Curls x 10 reps-----------(w/ 60 lbs)
*reduce the weight by another 25%-but go to a compound movement
Stiff Leg Dead Lift x 10 reps------------(w/135 lbs)
*Back to Machine Leg Curls, previously decreased by 25%
Machine Leg Curls x 10 reps------------(w/ 40 lbs)

Upon completion of the Giant Cycle rest two (2) minutes or as long as it takes your training partner to complete his/her Giant Cycle. Perform one (1) or two (2) more Giant Cycles. Obviously this brutally intense hyper-stimula program can be implemented into all other muscle groups (i.e. Back, Quads, Chest and Delts, etc.).

Secret Overhead Pressing Routine

Q. I was reading somewhere that Dennis Tinerino, a former AAU Mr. America said that he couldn't have won that title unless he had full five points for athletic ability in the 3 Olympic lifts. He totaled about a 1000 pounds, I guess, in these lifts. He got some really huge shoulders from being able to press 310 pounds over his head. Man I'd give my left nut to have shoulders and power like he had.

Dennis Tinerino A. Dennis Tinerino did win the 1967 AAU Mr. America title and later in his competitive bodybuilding career went on to be an IFBB Mr. Olympia contestant. One of the marks of a real bodybuilding champion is massive, powerful and impressive SHOULDERS and Dennis had them for sure. I doubt you'll have the nuts (i.e. balls), oh that's right you only have one nut, but here is a secret overhead pressing routine.

Load a barbell to within 60 percent of your current unfatigued maximum single effort in the Barbell press overhead. Take an overhand grip on the bar which is 12-inches wider than you normally use.

Begin by cleaning the barbell to your shoulders and then perform 5 presses overhead. The barbell is lowered only to the front deltoids/clavicular pecs each rep and not to the floor. Upon lowering the bar to the (shoulder/clavicle area) on the 5th rep "rock" the bar in such a way that you can shift each hand inward to your normal hand-spacing and perform another 5 reps. At the conclusion of these five reps (which will be your 10th consecutive rep), again shift your hand position inward until your thumbs are only 9-inches apart. Perform five more presses. This completes one series. Perform two more series, resting 1.5-2 minutes between each series.

Upon completion of the three series (45 reps), REDUCE the original starting poundage an additional 15-20 percent and after a suitable rest perform an additional three series as described above. This routine should put some power and muscle on your pathetic ping pong deltoids.

Three (3) Minute Aerobics

weight lifting workout for cardio Q. Hey "Denny" I've been reading a lot about the long ass cardio routines that many of the bodybuilders use to get sliced and diced for a really big show. Some of these Hon yaks spend a couple of hours a day doing some really insane cardio but I am not going to be one of them. What then is the shortest cardio routine you know of that will do basically do the same thing as those one and two hour sessions?

A. Do you think you know me? I said "Do you think you know me?" What with you calling me "Denny" you'd think we were old friends and we are not! The only people that I let call me "Denny" are close family members, old friends and a 1983 Miss Minnesota winner that I used to train. I'll tell you what fool, if you were here right now I'd rip off both of your ears and jam 'em up your ass so you could hear me while I was kicking it. Actually for being an ass clown your question is worth replying too.

There is a system of Aerobics which has proven to be as effective as any of the 30+ minutes everyone is busting their ass doing. It's called the "Aerobic "20-10 x 6 System" and is an excellent choice as a "Fat Buster". Here's how it works. Using a treadmill or stationary bike, etc., simple work at a sprint pace for 20 seconds (80-90% of your target heart rate) and then without pause coast for 10 seconds (at about 60-65% of target heart rate).

Repeat this (sprint-run system) 20-10 sequence nonstop for a total of 6 series, two to three nonconsecutive days a week. Don't use this high-low intensity method of aerobic conditioning if you are over 40 years of age, sedentary, and have not had an active cardiac stress test.

*As with any aerobic training session always begin with a 5 minute warm-up and conclude the "20-10 x 6 System" with a 5 minute cool-down.

Perfect Weight Lifting Workout?

Q. I have read much of muscle pumping techniques you write about in your books and reports. I have been bodybuilding for 15 years now and before that I did six years of powerlifting. I'll cut to the chase and say that after 21 years of training I still do not know the best system to use. I remember reading where you said that you have had over 40 years of experience in bodybuilding. What is the perfect routine you have found?

A. After 40 years of pumping the dog crap out of my muscles I have learned that my body does not respond to the same workout every training session. It is understood that changing different exercises, tempo's, combinations of exercises and the seemingly illogical use (or lack thereof) of sets and reps serve to stimulate muscle growth.

Realize that even the contest entering and winning pro bodybuilders don't even know what the "perfect training program" is. These individuals, regardless of what they eat or how they train, will develop outstanding physiques and win the top bodybuilding contests. Suffice it to say that the training and eating methods of these champions cannot possible be followed by the average bodybuilder with the same results.

Bodybuilding is a very individual discipline and one should not be misled by the methods of these chemically assisted "genetic superiors." The fact is the body evolves through many physiological changes during a lifetime. As a result you will discover that with any training program, "They all work, some better than others, but not all the time."

Innovative Workout Techniques

Q. Just a quick question. What are some of the most productive "little tricks" or training techniques that you have learned about over the years?

A. Here is a quick list of the most productive training techniques and routines I have learned about over many years.

1. Muscle Rounds (6 sets of 4 reps with 10 second rest between sets)

2. Cul-Reps (explained in my e-report titled: Echoes from the Power Storm That Was…Chuck Sipes)

3. The 1/6 Principle

4. 5/20 Technique

5. Zero Effort Principle

6. 1-Rep Blast System

7. Reverse Giant Cycles

8. Syntension Technique

9. The Goliath Principle

10. Jump Sets

11. Ultra-Sets

12. Tightrope Training

13. Body Contract Workout

14. Muscle Augmentation System

15. Hollywood Fitness Muscle Building

16. Larry Scott's 9 Minute Workout

17. Staggered Volume Training

18. German Volume Training

19. 10 Speed Pumping

20. Riot Bombing "The 12 Step Approach"

21. Four-Component Set

22. 50 Rep Blitz

23. Flat Bottom Power-Bodybuilding

24. Fraction Rep Technique

These then are some of the most innovative "tricks" (techniques and routines) that I know of which will absolutely shock the body into a new growth pattern. Many of these I plan to write about in explicitly calculated upcoming e-report and others I will comment on in future Q & A segments.

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$1000 Vitamin C Secret

Q. Man dude I did something really, really stupid the other day. I train at a gym over here in Australia. The other day there was this stun power babe doing 45 degree leg presses. I told her she was like a speeding ticket, in that she had fine all over her! Yeah!!! Anyway right next to her was a calf machine so I naturally started doing calf raises. And she was doing her legs and then she would rest and I'd try to chat with her but it didn't seem like she was interested in talking with me. And then she'd do another set. And here's me I haven't done any calf raises in a year. I think I did about 20 sets. Of course the next day I jumped out of bed and could not walk. I think that (soreness) lasted a week. Do you have any good tips for getting rid of muscle soreness so that doesn't happen to me again?

A. My first tip would be to say "Quite trying to zoom the babes you pervert!" You did all those pathetic heel raises just to impress and I'll bet you still didn't score. No wonder with your lame ass one liners. Socially you're not a 'babe magnet' slick, and should spend more time reading John Egan's MuscleMag column "Sex Matters." I'd be willing to bet your legs still look like a pair of pliers in Boxer shorts even after all those heel raises.

Here's what you could have done if you were smart to keep from getting sore. A great remedy for decreasing post-workout soreness is to take in 500 milligrams of Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids) just prior to the workout and another 400 milligrams upon completion of the workout.

The $1000 Vitamin C Secret though is to take 500 milligrams of C each hour prior to a scheduled workout and then repeat the mega dosage for 3 hours after completion of the workout. Some bodybuilders go to even more extremes and take 1-2 grams of Vitamin C along with 250-500 milligrams of aspirin (but not if you have a peptic ulcer) immediately following a workout.

Riot Bombing!

Q. Somewhere I read something by you and you mentioned the term "Riot Bombing." I have been on the bodybuilding scene for 10 years and have never heard anyone, not even Joe Weider, mention it. Patience is not one of my blasted virtues so what the hell is Riot Bombing anyway and is it any good?

A. The first and only published mention of Riot Bombing that I am aware of appeared ironically in one of the mainstream Weider magazines back in the mid 1960's. Some of the Muscle Beach bodybuilders were using it with tremendous results. It basically consists of a mega volume number of sets and rotating rep scheme. Here is how a person would employ it in an antagonistic super-set fashion for the chest and back.

The 12-Step Approach To Riot Bombing

Riot Bombing Weight Lifting Workout 1. Do 20 sets for each muscle group; for example, 20 sets for the Barbell incline bench press and 20 sets for the Barbell bent-over rowing .

2. Complete all 20 sets for one muscle group before going on to the next exercise. This could make the routine rather long and drawn out, so do the sets in superset fashion.

3. Start with a poundage that you can handle with ease for 10 reps in a general or compound exercise or 14 reps in an isolating or specific exercise.

4. After the second set, add poundage and do 8 reps (general exercise) or 12 reps (isolating exercise).

5. Starting with the 8th set, add poundage and do sets of 6 reps (general exercise) or 10 reps (isolating exercise).

6. Begin the 14th set with another poundage increase that will accommodate a rep scheme of 4 reps (general exercise) or 8 reps (isolating exercise).

7. Beginning with the 16th set, reduce the poundage so that you can complete a rep pattern as in step 5.

8. On the 18th set, reduce the poundage so that you can initiate step 4 reps again.

9. On the 20th set, reduce the poundage so that you can complete 15 reps regardless of whether the exercise is a general or isolating type.

10. The intensity level in riot bombing is extremely high due to the limited rest intervals between the supersets. Rest for 30-45 seconds between supersets, for the utmost in muscle mass and for only 15 seconds if you are aiming for rugged muscularity.

11. Perform riot bombing only twice a week for an individual exercise option (riot bombing is generally recommended for the advanced bodybuilder). One of my favourite Riot Bombing super-sets is to alternate barbell spider curls (these curls are done on the 90-degree angle of a preacher bench for biceps peak) and parallel bar dips or, as an option, triceps bench dips.

12. Mix or match your exercises. You can do general exercises for both muscle groups, or isolation exercises for both, or a general movement for one muscle group and an isolation exercise for the other.

10 Speed Pump

Q. For some weeks now I have been working on the two hands barbell curl in the hopes of increasing the size of my biceps. My training efforts have had no effect on increasing the size of my biceps. I have a seven inch wrist but my arms only measure 15 & ¾ inches. Can you help me shoot for another ½ inch or so?

A. Oh Boy I am the lucky one to receive yet another freakin letter where I am suppose to be psychic and figure out all the missing information. You know the drill, things like your height, body weight and years of training would have been helpful. There is no doubt in my mind that when the Lord was passing out brains you thought he said rain and ran for cover.

I have to assume right off that having a weenie wrist measurement of only seven inches you are between 5' 8" to 6'0" and of a light to medium skeletal structure. I don't have a clue as to what type of biceps program you are using and don't really give two pieces of monkey crap since it is producing zilch results anyway.

Listen up now as I reveal a maximum biceps activator for putting some muscle on those buggy whip arms of yours. The concept I am going to talk about is called the '10 Speed Pump' and was developed years ago by DENIE Walter a former prolific sports magazine editor, photojournalist and the IFBB Medical and Press Liaison.

Here's how the '10 Speed Pump' works for a set of 10 repetitions using 10 individual modes of specific performance in the standing biceps curl.

Reps . . . (each rep explained)

(1) One full standard complete full range contraction.

(2) One full rep taking 5 seconds in positive and 5 seconds in the negative.

(3) Do ¼ rep up-holding at the quarter point for 3 seconds. Lower arms to full extension.

(4) Do ½ rep up-holding at the half point for 3 seconds. Lower arms to full extension.

(5) Do a ¾ rep up-holding at the three quarter point for 3 seconds. Lower arms to full extension.

From this point (without pause) the action is reversed on the following 5 reps-rather than the positive, a bastardized negative form takes place, the negative or eccentric return to full stretch action is worked using that 5 rep control points program.

To make that action clearer, using the curl again as an example: Rather than curling the weight up, (starting from the contracted point) the lowering motion with the five actions is employed.

Reps . . . (each rep explained)

(6) Do one full standard complete exercise range of contraction.

(7) Do one full rep taking 5 seconds in the positive phase and 5 seconds in the negative phase.

(8) Curl the bar up through the complete positive phase of the movement then lower it ¼ of the way down and hold for 3 seconds. Curl the bar all the way back up.

(9) Lower the bar ½ of the way down and hold for 3 seconds. Curl the bar all the way back up.

(10) Lower the bar ¾'s of the way down and hold for 3 seconds. Now lower arms to full extension.

Note: Do 2-3 sets of the 10 Speed Pump with your favorite biceps exercise

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Muscle Mass Negatives

Q. I was on the internet the other day and came across a bodybuilding message board where the term of Muscle Mass Negatives was mentioned. I am not exactly new to bodybuilding but I really don't have a clue as to the meaning of this term and am hopeful that you can quickly explain it. Thanks!

A. OK! Muscle Mass Negatives are where you do 4 continuously executed repetitions to positive failure with the most poundage involved, let's say with 200 pounds in the flat barbell bench press. Quickly add 20 percent more to the bar (200 x .20 = 280 pounds) and with the help of a competent spotter do 2-3 negatives. Each negative should take no less than 5 seconds. Upon completion of the negatives rest a minute or so and repeat for 2 to 3 more cycles as described. To avoid overtraining Muscle Mass Negatives are best performed once every 10 days.

Get Shredded Diet

Boyer Coe Weight Lifting Workout Routine Q. Recently I purchased some 1970's bodybuilding competition video's from over in Australia. When I was watching the video and it came time for Boyer Coe to pose I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how ultra-shredded he was. Even by today's 21st century contest standards he would be the bench mark of ultra-shredded. I know you wrote some articles on him in Iron Man magazine back in the '70's. Did he reveal any special contest diets to you that no body knows about?

A. Boyer always stressed the importance of the right supplements in trying to reach the top in bodybuilding. When Boyer won both the Prof. Mr. World and Pro. Mr. Universe in September, 1973, he was questioned endlessly about his training methods and above all, the diet he used to maintain maximum size combined with razor sharp definition or that ultra-shredded look. He was constantly experimenting and was always glad to share what he had found to work.

The following is the exact diet he followed from July 1,1973 right up until the time he left for London to compete in the Universe which was held in late September of that year..

7:00 A.M. 8 Fertile eggs: scrambled, poached, fried - in butter

SUPPLEMENTS: 25 Desiccated Liver & Yeast tablets
3 - 200 IU capsules of Vitamin E
4 - 500 MG tablets of Rosehips Vitamin (C)
3 - 19 Grain capsules of Lecithin
2 - 325 MG tablets of Pancreatin enzyme

8:30 A.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

9:30 A.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

10:30 A.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

11:30 A.M. SUPPLEMENTS: 25 Desiccated Liver & Yeast tablets
2 - 200 IU capsules of Vitamin E
4 - 500 MG tablets of Rosehips Vitamin C
3 - 19 Grain capsules of Lecithin
1 - Ounce of PRO-BLEND

2:00 P.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

3:00 P.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

4:00 P.M. 1 ounce of PRO-BLEND

6:00 P.M. SUPPLEMENTS: 25 Desiccated Liver & Yeast tablets
2 - 200 IU capsules of Vitamin E
4 - 500 MG tablets of Rosehips Vitamin C

7:00 P.M. 2 lbs of lean beef, broiled very rare or chicken, fish or other types of seafood, and 2 ounces of various cheese, his favorite being Blue cheese, 2 - 325 MG tablets of Pancreatin

9:00 P.M. SUPPLEMENTS: 25 Desiccated Liver & Yeast tablets
3 - 200 IU capsules of Vitamin E
4 - 500 MG tablets of Rosehips Vitamin C
3 - 19 Grain capsules of Lecithin

The only thing he drank plenty of was water, and he puts 5 drops of dietary Iodine in each glass.

Since he trained each morning at 5 A.M., he always trained on an empty stomach, which he felt was best.

Super Circuit Leg Shaper

Q. I've been on a diet for a few weeks now but the thing is that I've realized that I don't need to lose weight around my stomach but that strangely I feel I put weight on my thighs. Can you please give me some exercise tips for slimming/toning/firming and my thighs?

A. Here is a Super Circuit Leg Shaper that six-time Mr. Olympia revealed to the viewers on her ESPN Body Shaping TV show, many years ago. It will rid you of your miserable thunder thighs once and for all. Now all you have to do is stay away from the Big Mac's you sweat hog. The following eight progressive-resistance exercises are performed in the order of their listing in a non-stop circuit for 20 full exercise range of motion repetitions each. Rest-pauses of one to two minutes are taken only after a circuit is completed. Do three circuits.

Leg Weight Lifting Workout

Alternate Front Leg Lunges 20 reps

Cory's Dynamic Leg Lunge 20 reps

Bodyweight Only Single Leg Heel Raise 20 reps

Barbell Frog Squats 20 reps

Machine Leg Extensions 20 reps

Machine Leg Curls 20 reps

Barbell Back Squats 20 reps

Step-Ups 20 reps

Step-ups are performed on a sturdy exercise bench or wooden box. The vertical measurement of these items should be in corresponding ration to your physical height. If you are:

Under 5-foot (Use a box 12-inches in height)

5'1"-5'3" (Use a box 14-inches in height)

5'4"-5'9" (Use a box 16-inches in height)

5'10"-6' (Use a box 18-inches in height)

Over 6-foot (Use a box 20-inches in height)

The amount of progressive resistance used on each exercise will vary depending on individual differences. Don't be deceived by the simplicity of this program. It is very demanding. This is an excellent program for men and women alike who are interested in shape-training the total leg, without acquiring additional muscle bulk and power.

Oh yeah I almost forgot. Here's how to do the Cory's Dynamic Leg Lung. Cory does an unusual version of the front leg lunge in which she reverses the procedure by stepping backward with the rear leg first. In other words, to lead with the left leg she first steps backward with the right, keeping it as straight as possible while still allowing the front left thigh to become parallel to the floor. Bye, bye lard ass!!!

Muscle Memory Recall

Q. Recently I was reading an article/interview on Steve Reeves in Iron Man magazine and he said that during the second and third week of his training for the Mr. Universe in 1950 he packed on a solid 19 pounds. I find this really hard to believe when I have had trouble adding that much bodyweight in all the years that I have been bodybuilding. I doubt that any of the crunch heads in pro bodybuilding can do that. Explain please!

Steve Reeves Workout A. You the skeptic might think that a gain of 19 Pounds in two to three weeks is a case of "Sounds Too Good to Be True." However I might point out that as far back as the 1930s, there were bodybuilders making mega-gains of 25-30 pounds in a month or less, the two most famous names being Joseph Curtis Hise and Buck Reed.

Enter into the 1950s and one had to marvel at ability of the late "Monarch of Musceldom" John C. Grimek, at a height of 5' 8", could vary his weight 30 pounds or so in a couple of weeks, either up or down and at one time went up to 240 pounds.

There is always the controversial and mysterious concept of Muscle Memory Recall. Here is a good example of what I am talking about. When Arnold Schwarzenegger finished the movie "Pumping Iron" in 1975, he weighted 210 pounds. But yet he quickly gained 25 pounds and won the IFBB Mr. Olympia that same year. Arnold didn't have a problem to gain 25 pounds. He only had the problem of regaining it. He had these 25 pounds once already so it was just a matter of his muscles remembering this.

As a matter of record I had the pleasure of hosting John C. Grimek here in town back in 1986 and one of the questions I asked him was…"Did Steve Reeves really make the gains he claimed when he was training for the Mr. Universe?" John said that Steve trained for the Mr. Universe while living in York, Pennsylvania so he (John C. Grimek) was able to personally witness Steve's sensational bodybuilding gains.

Without sounding too self serving I recently wrote an e-report titled: Massive Muscle Pumping "Gain 25 Pounds In A 21-Day Mass Up Cycle". You can learn more about this e-report by visiting my section on the Critical Bench Web site.

Muscle Mass & 80% Nutrition?

Q. A lot of the top bodybuilders over the years have said in their seminars and articles that putting on muscle mass is at least 80% nutrition. That would only put a 20 percent value on all the hard training. How can this be?

A. Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, was probable the first pro bodybuilder quoted as saying that. Think about it this way. If nutrition was really 80% of equation for putting on muscle mass, then why not just forget about training altogether and just chug down a ton of creatine drinks everyday. I have no doubt that there are some dumb ass rookie bodybuilders out there who are actually going to take my advice and do it.

Actually, when Larry said 80%, he just picked that figure out of the air to emphasize upon the mindset of bodybuilders just how important the nutrition factor is when combined with training. He and others are in no way devaluing the importance of hard training.

Flashpoint Benching

Q. I work as hard as any of the other guys in the gym but I feel so inferior, especially when one of them asks, "So how much can you bench?" I embarrassingly mumble "My max is 205 pounds." I weigh 225 pounds, and I swear I can hear people chuckling throughout the gym. I am getting sick and tired of justifying my weakness in the bench press and being the laughing stock of the gym.

I know that you sell a bench press e-report or two on your website but I don't have the money so I am wondering if you could come up with something that will increase my best bench in 8 weeks or less! Thanks man.

A. So you SUCK BIG TIME when it comes to benches eh, sissy boy? Well don't feel like you are alone as I can relate to you with regard to a having a weak bench press. I could do full barbell back squats with 405 pounds for 20+ reps without a warm-up easier than I could bench press 225 pounds for ten reps. Years ago I used to do powerlift meets and I would always be 75-100 pounds behind everyone else in the bench. The only thing that saved my ass, at more than one power meet, was that I had a very strong squat and deadlift. My weak bench pressing was not any type of genetic carry over as my 33 year old son at 195 pounds can easily do a strict 405 for a triple and 440 pounds for a max, natural and without the aid of a bench shirt, And he doesn't even train for powerlift meets. Go figure!!!

If there is a positive to my bench press weakness it is that I have researched every bench press routine known to mankind. So I know what works and what is monkey crap when it comes to bench press routines. Here is a 6 week bench press routine, which will give you the most amount of gain factor in the least amount of training time. I call it 'Flashpoint Bench Pressing'. This training technique uses a fixed poundage percentage of a maximum un-fatigued single-effort. The percentages of maximum and corresponding poundage increases only once every seven days, over the next six weeks.

bench press weight lifting workout

Here is an outline of the six progression training levels that many bodybuilders in both the amateur and pro ranks will use in their quest for upping bench press power.

Monday and Friday or...Tuesday and Saturday

Level One (Week #1)
After a couple of light specific warm-up sets perform 5 sets of ten maxi-pump reps with 65% of current un-fatigued maximum single effort (MSE).

Level Two (Week #2)
5 sets x 8 maxi-pump reps with 72% MSE

Level Three (Week #3)
5 sets x 6 power reps with 79% MSE

Level Four (Week #4)
5 sets x 4 power reps with 86% MSE

Level Five (Week #5)
4 sets x 3 power reps with 93% MSE

Level Six (Week #6)
1 set x 2 power reps with 100% MSE

Always be sure to do a couple of light specific warm-up sets at each level of training. This should do it and I strongly suggest that when you get some extra dough really think about ordering the Ted Arcidi "Boss of the Bench Press" E-Report.

Alpha Zone Training

Q. I just won bid on eBay for some really old issues of Muscle Mag. They only cost me $15.00 each so I am smiling. Anyway I am looking here at the October 1987 issue and I am intrigued by one of the letters published in Vince Gironda's The Wild Physique column.

A person wrote and said that he could normally do a 10 rep maximum in the barbell squat with 250 pounds but in a recent workout he did 18 reps. He went on to say that he was able to only do it for one workout and then he was back to the same old 250 pounds for 10 reps.

He was curious as to why his squats were so exceptional for one workout only. Gironda answered and said it had something to do with going into an Alpha Zone, where the mental and physical powers merged to optimize normal strength levels once in a lifetime. Can you explain in more detail exactly what Gironda was talking about?

A. The Alpha Zone theory that Vince mentioned represents to me a number of conclusive factors. First, the muscles involved in the squatting process are fully recovered from say a previous workout. Second, the motor nerve pathways to the muscles are heightened or very well established through a tremendous mind to muscle link. You are not merely the muscle, you have become the muscle. And third, there is a very strong psychological motivation to perform (perhaps you are functioning in an environment where friends you want to impress are around that normally aren't) and as a result you are either "enjoying the pain" or have "turned it off" as you go far beyond your previous best maximum repetition set ever.

It's the culmination of these three factors that gives a power-bodybuilder that supreme effect when hoisting the heavy iron. Suffice it to say I don't have a firm understanding of Alpha Zone training yet and I doubt many others do either.

25-15-10 Calf Blast

Q. People laugh whenever I roll up my pant legs. Ah, let me explain. Like everybody else in bodybuilding I have been neglecting my calves and they are really undersized so I am thinking that I really need to give them the attention they deserve. I don't want to spend a ton of time on them so can you come up with a short and sweet calf routine for me?

A. So you want a short and sweet calf routine! OK Stick Boy how about this. It is called the 25-15-10 extended set technique. While doing the Standing calf machine heel raise do 25 full exercise range of motion reps (from the bottom stretch to the top peak contraction) doing each one in a slow and deliberate manner, stretching at the bottom and squeezing and contracting at the top.

Upon completion of the 25th rep and without any rest what-so-ever begin doing 15 Super Fast-Speed Reps in the high one-quarter to one-third range of the movement. These partial reps will appear almost bouncy in nature. Once you have completed the 15 reps and again without rest finish off with a final 15 full exercise range of motion reps in super-slow fashion. This completes one cycle. Do 3 cycles. On the 25 and 15 rep phase of the cycle stretch the calves at the bottom of every 5th rep for approximately 10-15 seconds. The 3 cycles of this calf blast should be performed 3 non consecutive training days per week.

Blender Magic

Q. I need to pound down some extra calories each day and up to now I have been buying those convenient ready-to-drink shakes at the gym but they can get really expensive especially when I need four or more of them a day. I don't have a clue about making my own protein/gain weight shakes home so I'd like to know what you recommend.

A. The BONZAI GORILLA BIG BULK BOMBER WEIGHT GAIN DRINK FORMULA will give you some extra calories and compared to the ready-to-drink shakes it isn't that expensive.

2 cups non-fat milk 2 tbsp. peanut butter

2 raw eggs 2 scoops ice cream

½ cup heavy whipping cream 2 tbsp. 100% egg protein

8 tbsp. powdered milk 1 banana

Mix ingredients in a blender at high speed for 20 seconds and drink entire amount twice daily or more in addition to regular meals.

Dennis B. Weis is a Ketchikan, Alaska based power-bodybuilder. He is the co-author of 3 critically acclaimed books; Mass! Raw Muscle, Anabolic Muscle Mass and the exclusive author of 19 Master Data E-Reports (read about them here).

He is also a frequent hard-hitting uncompromising freelance consultant to many of the mainstream bodybuilding magazines published worldwide.

Visit Dennis' Powerbuilding Portal at Critical Bench


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