PDA

View Full Version : Back to Basics



Littlefry
12-14-09, 1:42 pm
Here is a short article I wrote for another site but I never ended up sending it in, and its been sitting on my hard-drive for a while now and I figured I'd post it on the forvm for all the animals out there. It hasnt been edited yet, but I beleive with all the talk of bulking and choosing a new routine this might help some people on the forvm out.

Back to Basics – Part One

Training can be quite confusing nowadays, with so many different routines, exercises, and equipment at your disposal it’s hard to decide what to do. Whether you’re reading Flex Magazine, or simply searching for a new routine on the internet, it can be a tough task to decide. With numerous routine’s out there focusing on hypertrophy, strength, and size training its can be a tough task to decipher what works and what doesn’t. However to pack on slabs of muscle and produce hundreds of pounds of strength you must go Back-to-Basic training.

When you look back to classic bodybuilders like Reg Park, Franco Columbo, and Bill Starr what do they all have in common besides great physics? They all trained using the basic tried and true compound movements. They didn’t worry about all the little isolation exercises, they knew what worked and that was heavy compound movement. They all stayed with the basic exercises -- bench presses, chin-ups, squats, rowing, barbell curls, and deadlifts. These were the movements that worked directly on all the body parts. These basics exercise where used to create a rugged and solid foundation, a core of muscle which later could be chiseled into a show winning physique. The basic exercises will appear throughout the entire training program. There are no alternatives to these exercises. For example, every bodybuilder has to do squats from the time he starts until he finishes. You can't build your legs without the squat. -Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder.

The routines back then where fairly simple, which involved the basics exercises with high poundage’s. The routines where all full-body routines, that were done 3x a week. Many individuals train today using the more is better approach. These guys are in the gym up to 6x a week, training for periods of two hours, using every little isolation movement they know of. Unless you are an IFBB pro, training like this is likely to get you nowhere. You should be in the gym for 45min to 1hr, training 3x a week if you want to achieve steady strength and size gains. Training for two or more hours can be harmful to your body and put you into a catabolic state – breaking down your muscles. As stated before IFBB Pro bodybuilders are the exception. Not only is bodybuilder their life, it’s their job. They also may be using performance enhancing substances allowing them to perform at a higher level than the average person.

The best physiques were all built by hard work on the basic compound exercises. There are no exceptions to this statement. To begin, let's sift through the thousands of possible exercises, and variations of exercises. Let’s set down a principle by which the trainee can determine the best among them; those upon which require the most effort and are taxing on the whole body. An exercise is valuable if it allows you to use very heavy weights -- brings into play the big muscle groups. Many of the compound movements bring in more than one major muscle group at a time, which is why they are the most effective during training.

From the statements above one can clearly see that most of the exercises followed by most individuals are not practical for maximum physical development. This includes most isolation exercises such as tricep kickbacks, wrist curls, lateral raises, lat pulldowns etc…all of which have their place but are essentially useless for overall physical development. The guts of any solid routine should involve these basic exercises:

Squat - Regular, Parallel, Front
Press – Military, Seated, Standing, Barbell
Rowing - Bent over, Barbell
Bench Pressing - Barbell, Incline or Flat, Close Grip
Deadlifts – Regular Grip, Straight or Stiff-leg

These are the main exercise’s you should be concentrating on, and have in your routine. There are reasons why these basic exercises work. They focus on the whole body, and recruit more muscles than any isolation exercise out there. Stick with these basic compound movements and you will be on your way to a physique that will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but have the strength behind it.

By Littlefry

fenix237
12-14-09, 2:00 pm
good read Littlefry! i always liked "back to basics" training- time tested routines that worked for lots of people

i have had good success in the past with full body routines done 3x/wk- these types of routines seem to come under a lot of criticism, and many say you can't bench/squat more than once a week- they freak out when i say i squat 3x/wk LOL!!!

i know times have changes and splits are more and more specialized, but it's a mistake to ignore what has done well for others in the past

wish i knew this many years ago

Littlefry
12-14-09, 2:27 pm
good read Littlefry! i always liked "back to basics" training- time tested routines that worked for lots of people

i have had good success in the past with full body routines done 3x/wk- these types of routines seem to come under a lot of criticism, and many say you can't bench/squat more than once a week- they freak out when i say i squat 3x/wk LOL!!!

i know times have changes and splits are more and more specialized, but it's a mistake to ignore what has done well for others in the past

wish i knew this many years ago

Yea many friends ask me how I can squat 3x a week and bench and row heavy 2x a week. Once you get over the inital 2 weeks you get into a grove and the growth jsut strats coming week to week.

MrMonday
12-14-09, 2:29 pm
Although I am a big believer in basic training, I think exercises like barbell/DB curls, lateral raises, calf raises, and leg curls need to be included in any bodybuilding program (I have never seen any good reason not to).

"Basic" shouldn't mean neglectful.

Also, I think people often lose sight of the fact that just because Reg Park or Steve Reeves did fullbody routines (they also used simple splits), that this somehow means it is the blue-collar way to train.

When in reality, knowledge and experience was very limited back then, and the few guys that did succeed and look anywhere near impressive in the sport 60 years ago were true freaks of their time... and we all know how foolish it can be to train to train like the genetically elite.

In general I think most people should simply do as much as they are able to do.

Littlefry
12-14-09, 3:37 pm
They should do as much as there able to do, but many people tend to follow this or that pro's type of training that they see online or in a magazine. They have to realize that most of these pro's built their bases from the basic compound exercise and later adding in more isolation movements as they progresses. Im not saying to limit isloations cause nothing stimulates the biceps like some heavy ass barbell curls.

MrMonday
12-14-09, 4:01 pm
They should do as much as there able to do, but many people tend to follow this or that pro's type of training that they see online or in a magazine. They have to realize that most of these pro's built their bases from the basic compound exercise and later adding in more isolation movements as they progresses. Im not saying to limit isloations cause nothing stimulates the biceps like some heavy ass barbell curls.

I personally think it's a mistake to make such a concrete distinction between "compound" and "isolation" movements.

There are countless exercises that are technically "compound" movements that are completely worthless, and likewise there are "isolation" exercises that are crucial (eg: barbell curls as we've said).

I think the "compound vs isolation" philosophy leads more people astray than it actually helps because people start assigning value based on category.

Bench press, squat, deadlift, chinup, barbell row, military press, lateral raise, leg curl, calf raise, skullcrushers, and barbell curls.

These are the bare naked basics. If someone were a rank beginner I'd tell them to do all these exercises, split them up however they want, but do each of them twice a week. Do more reps or more weight every time.

It's a lot easier than some newb reading "focus on your compound movements!" and then coming back 6 months later wanting to know how to bring up his lagging arms, calves, and shoulders because he never gave those groups the attention they need to grow as fast as everything else.

Littlefry
12-14-09, 4:19 pm
I do agree, But I only do barbell curls once a week for 3x8 and they grow just fine in my offseason. They grow because they are getting indirectly stimulated from rowing and all the pressing Im doing 2x-3x a week. Its my mistake that I forgot to add some calve exercises on the list because they are a muscle that needs to be isolated in alot of indviduals unless you are a "freak" and your calves are huge to begin with.

Im not argueing against your point. Im just stating that many people dont know where to start and overtrain there arms or anybody part for that reason cause they see it works for this or that pro.

fenix237
12-14-09, 4:46 pm
it is important that we don't forget what the goals are of the individual lifter- lots of gym rats i know just want to get bigger and stronger in which case isolation exercises need not be a priority

for many of us, i'll say if you follow a full body routine 3x/wk & eat accordingly, you will not be disappointed in your results. my experience has been that it builds a strong balanced physique- what you do after that is your choice

Littlefry
12-14-09, 5:26 pm
it is important that we don't forget what the goals are of the individual lifter- lots of gym rats i know just want to get bigger and stronger in which case isolation exercises need not be a priority

for many of us, i'll say if you follow a full body routine 3x/wk & eat accordingly, you will not be disappointed in your results. my experience has been that it builds a strong balanced physique- what you do after that is your choice

I agree, depends on your overall goals.

BionicMasterPiece
12-21-09, 4:34 pm
Here is a short article I wrote for another site but I never ended up sending it in, and its been sitting on my hard-drive for a while now and I figured I'd post it on the forvm for all the animals out there. It hasnt been edited yet, but I beleive with all the talk of bulking and choosing a new routine this might help some people on the forvm out.

Back to Basics – Part One

Training can be quite confusing nowadays, with so many different routines, exercises, and equipment at your disposal it’s hard to decide what to do. Whether you’re reading Flex Magazine, or simply searching for a new routine on the internet, it can be a tough task to decide. With numerous routine’s out there focusing on hypertrophy, strength, and size training its can be a tough task to decipher what works and what doesn’t. However to pack on slabs of muscle and produce hundreds of pounds of strength you must go Back-to-Basic training.

When you look back to classic bodybuilders like Reg Park, Franco Columbo, and Bill Starr what do they all have in common besides great physics? They all trained using the basic tried and true compound movements. They didn’t worry about all the little isolation exercises, they knew what worked and that was heavy compound movement. They all stayed with the basic exercises -- bench presses, chin-ups, squats, rowing, barbell curls, and deadlifts. These were the movements that worked directly on all the body parts. These basics exercise where used to create a rugged and solid foundation, a core of muscle which later could be chiseled into a show winning physique. The basic exercises will appear throughout the entire training program. There are no alternatives to these exercises. For example, every bodybuilder has to do squats from the time he starts until he finishes. You can't build your legs without the squat. -Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder.

The routines back then where fairly simple, which involved the basics exercises with high poundage’s. The routines where all full-body routines, that were done 3x a week. Many individuals train today using the more is better approach. These guys are in the gym up to 6x a week, training for periods of two hours, using every little isolation movement they know of. Unless you are an IFBB pro, training like this is likely to get you nowhere. You should be in the gym for 45min to 1hr, training 3x a week if you want to achieve steady strength and size gains. Training for two or more hours can be harmful to your body and put you into a catabolic state – breaking down your muscles. As stated before IFBB Pro bodybuilders are the exception. Not only is bodybuilder their life, it’s their job. They also may be using performance enhancing substances allowing them to perform at a higher level than the average person.

The best physiques were all built by hard work on the basic compound exercises. There are no exceptions to this statement. To begin, let's sift through the thousands of possible exercises, and variations of exercises. Let’s set down a principle by which the trainee can determine the best among them; those upon which require the most effort and are taxing on the whole body. An exercise is valuable if it allows you to use very heavy weights -- brings into play the big muscle groups. Many of the compound movements bring in more than one major muscle group at a time, which is why they are the most effective during training.

From the statements above one can clearly see that most of the exercises followed by most individuals are not practical for maximum physical development. This includes most isolation exercises such as tricep kickbacks, wrist curls, lateral raises, lat pulldowns etc…all of which have their place but are essentially useless for overall physical development. The guts of any solid routine should involve these basic exercises:

Squat - Regular, Parallel, Front
Press – Military, Seated, Standing, Barbell
Rowing - Bent over, Barbell
Bench Pressing - Barbell, Incline or Flat, Close Grip
Deadlifts – Regular Grip, Straight or Stiff-leg

These are the main exercise’s you should be concentrating on, and have in your routine. There are reasons why these basic exercises work. They focus on the whole body, and recruit more muscles than any isolation exercise out there. Stick with these basic compound movements and you will be on your way to a physique that will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but have the strength behind it.

By Littlefry

I wish everyone could read that....man I just hate seeing people use machines over free-weights....it pisses me off.....or how bout that excuse..."I feel it more when I use machines"....oh bull shit it aint about stimulation....you need that hormone response from free weights

dyskee
12-22-09, 4:01 am
nice article bro, but something to remember lat pull downs is a compound movemement, u work ur lats, midback, biceps and forearms.

Littlefry
12-22-09, 12:01 pm
I wish everyone could read that....man I just hate seeing people use machines over free-weights....it pisses me off.....or how bout that excuse..."I feel it more when I use machines"....oh bull shit it aint about stimulation....you need that hormone response from free weights

Yea, I hate that to. Squats are known to be the best exercise for stimulating HGH and free Test. That is directly the reason why I perfrom them at the beginning of my 5x5 workouts while bulking. This way I Already have the hormones flowing through my body and the rest of my workout always seems to flow better and be overall more productive.


nice article bro, but something to remember lat pull downs is a compound movemement, u work ur lats, midback, biceps and forearms.

That is true but usually when if I where to do something along the lines of lat pull downs in a program as an assistance exercise I would exchange them with weighted wide-grip pull-ups because I feel like you get a better range of motion with pull-up and they closely resemble lat pull-downs. However, that being said I usually alternate between the two exercises as my assistance exercises for that particular day.

theharjmann
12-23-09, 9:32 am
nice

there are just far to many exotic exercises out there these days that dont do shit.

Littlefry
12-23-09, 12:40 pm
Especially when bulking I think the majority of exercises being implemented should be compounds, with some assistance work such as barbell curls and skullcrushers.

MrMonday
12-23-09, 1:48 pm
Especially when bulking I think the majority of exercises being implemented should be compounds, with some assistance work such as barbell curls and skullcrushers.

Maybe for powerlifting direct arm work could be considered "assistance work", but in bodybuilding your biceps and triceps are just as important as your chest, back, and shoulders.

If you aren't going hard on your curls and extensions, don't expect to have the best arm development you can.

Zooman
12-25-09, 12:37 am
Love the basics...my favorite is the deadlift...followed by the clean and press, squat, and bench...I've been incorporating Olympic lifts into my routine lately...LOVING it....

Littlefry
12-25-09, 1:06 am
Love the basics...my favorite is the deadlift...followed by the clean and press, squat, and bench...I've been incorporating Olympic lifts into my routine lately...LOVING it....

Couldnt agree more. However my favorite lift is squats! Unlike most gymrats who look forward to blasting their arms or hitting the flat bench heavy to me there is nothing like getting a bar on you back and squatting till your hams and quads cant take anymore. I love squatting so much that I incorperate it 3x a week in with my 5x5 program.

Zooman
12-25-09, 6:55 pm
Couldnt agree more. However my favorite lift is squats! Unlike most gymrats who look forward to blasting their arms or hitting the flat bench heavy to me there is nothing like getting a bar on you back and squatting till your hams and quads cant take anymore. I love squatting so much that I incorperate it 3x a week in with my 5x5 program.

True, squats are the shiz, I actually couldn't do back squats for a little while because I got some weird left shoulder pain from gripping the bar? Anyway today I tried them and I guess it went away so I'm pretty stoked....and yea I'm not as big of a bench fan as most...but it has its place obv

Hack squats too are great

Littlefry
12-26-09, 11:22 pm
True, squats are the shiz, I actually couldn't do back squats for a little while because I got some weird left shoulder pain from gripping the bar? Anyway today I tried them and I guess it went away so I'm pretty stoked....and yea I'm not as big of a bench fan as most...but it has its place obv

Hack squats too are great

If I wasnt able to do back squats, that would be like not having torrent pwo I just couldnt do it!

NaturalTrainee
01-03-10, 7:18 am
Deads are my personal favourite. Can't imagine my training without some.

The_Legacy
01-03-10, 4:19 pm
Basics should always be covered in your routine. But there is also a place for curls etc. But that article is right people do overcomplicate training all the time.

Littlefry
01-04-10, 10:12 pm
Basics should always be covered in your routine. But there is also a place for curls etc. But that article is right people do overcomplicate training all the time.

Yes, they look to much into what this or that pro is doing rather than focusing on the basics. I do agree though curls and other exercises such as close-grip bench or skullcrushers can also be incorperated.