Old school bodybuilders were strong, powerfully built, and athletic. They performed feats of strength that few people in gyms today can match. Despite the fact that modern bodybuilding enthusiasts have every advantage in their training, nutrition and supplementation; they still fail to achieve the same results that the old time strongmen and bodybuilders received from their training. How did the pioneers of bodybuilding and strength training achieve tremendous results without the benefit of Hammer Strength machines, Nitric Oxide, micronized creatine, and muscle synthesizing protein?
They trained heavy, hard and often, with full body routines and an emphasis on strength. The following program will seem unconventional to most trainees; however it is based on the training methods of George Hackenschmidt. George Hackenschmidt was a world renowned wrestler, strongman, author, and fitness enthusiast in the early 20th century. Ever hear of a “hack” squat? Hackenschmidt was a pioneer in strength training and the “hack” squat was one of the exercises he helped make popular. Hackenschmidt’s training programs were highly popular with strength training enthusiasts and he was recognized around the world as an expert in strength training, health, and fitness. His programs are just as effective today, as they were in 1908.
Training the same muscle several days in a row is crazy right? Not training to absolute muscle failure is another huge mistake, right? Training one or two body parts a day is the best way to get huge, right? Then, why did George Hackenschmidt, and others advocates of daily training, achieve such outstanding size and strength gains?
This program advocates the use of full body routines performed on a daily basis. Using full body routines daily requires patience and discipline. You must plan your workouts and then follow through with your planning. If you are too aggressive, then you will not achieve the results that you are looking for, but, if you follow the plan you will experience tremendous gains in strength and size. Each week you will be able to directly measure your progress and workload. You will get stronger at with every week. Keep a training journal or log book that tracks your weight for each exercise.
For the next twelve weeks you will be training in a highly unconventional manner; however, you will be stronger and leaner than ever before, and your results will speak for themselves. You will be performing resistance training five days per week. It really doesn’t matter which days you train, as long as you do not skip workouts. On week one, you will select a weight for each exercise that allows you to perform that exercise for ten repetitions. That means you cannot perform another repetition beyond ten in good form. Perform one set of the following exercises Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of each week:
Exercise Sets Repetitions
Barbell Squat 1 x 5-10
Barbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 1 x 5-10
Barbell Bench Press 1 x 5-10
Dumbbell Row 1 x 5-10
Dumbbell Military Press 1 x 5-10
Barbell Curls 1 x 5-10
Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension 1 x 5-10
Weighted Swiss Ball Crunch 1 x 5-10
***rest 90 seconds between sets
1, 7 5
2, 8 6
3, 9 7
4, 10 8
5, 11 9
6, 12 10
As stated before, you must select a weight that you can lift for ten repetitions, but you will only perform five repetitions. Each week you will add one repetition to every exercise. So during week two you will perform one set of six repetitions. Initially the workouts may seem short and easy, but trust the process and stick with the plan. After six weeks you should be performing one set of ten repetitions. The weight will feel much lighter than it did on week one. At this stage you will add 10 – 15 pounds on each exercise and begin again, with one set of five reps for another six weeks. After 12 weeks on this program test your new 10 repetition maximum and you will be amazed at your strength gains.
The key to using this program successfully is not to be greedy, and add sets, repetitions, or exercises. Have patience, follow the plan, and master each exercise. You will actually become more efficient at performing each exercise as your body adapts to the daily training. This will also help to increase your strength on the various lifts. Daily training is highly enjoyable, and you will not experience extreme muscle soreness. After completing twelve weeks of this program, you will be much stronger and leaner from the daily strength training. If you are interested in learning more about George Hackenschmidt check out his book “The Way to Live” published in 1908.