T Nation

Larry Scott FAQ


Little bit of knowledge from a past Mr.O that everybody seems like around here. Some good stuff.

From his website....

Larry Scott):

"If your goal is to build biceps the straight bar is much better than the EZ curl bar if done the conventional way.
In fact, you may have noticed how the EZ curl bar feels real comfortable but it just doesn't seem to produce size increase like the Straight bar does.
Perhaps this is the reason... The bicep performs two jobs. One, is to curl the arm but the other is to supinate the palm. So, in order to work the bicep completely, you wan to make it do both jobs at once. That just makes sense doesn't it? That's why you make your best progress when you do curls with the palm supinated. The straight bar doesn't supinate the palm but it at least it keeps the palm straight. The EZ curl bar doesn't even do that. It allows the palm to turn half way to the side. Yet we can actually do more weight with an Ez curl bar than with a straight bar. Why is that anyway. It's simple. The more you turn the wrist so the palm is facing down the more you activate the brachio radialus. This is good for building the top of the forearm but it's not so good for the bicep because now it doesn't have to do all the work.
If your goal is to build huge biceps here's a little trick you can use with the EZ curl bar that makes it even better than the straight bar...
Grab the EZ curl bar so the palms are pronated but supinated. It's really awkward but man does it place stress right down on the lower bicep. (that beautiful part) I almost hesitate giving that secret away but then again I came to me free so I'm giving it to you free".

What (in Larry Scott's opinion) are the best exercises for each body part?
(Larry Scott):

Okay, here it go's....

Standing dumbbell press, standing side lateral raise, bent over lateral raise. These are by far the best. Nothing even come close if they are done with the correct from. However, of all exercises the shoulders are the most difficult to get down pat. You'll need to see a video and watch it over and over before you get it. But once you do man... you'll play some sweet music on deltoid day.

Smith machine press to neck alternated with feet up, 15 degree dumbbell flys. Or Reverse Grip, elbows forward dips alternated with the same kind of dumbbell flys. These are the best I have ever found. But again the form is critical.

Chins, seated scapula mid range pulldowns and Hanging scapula rotations. Each must be done while at the same time performing a total scapular isolation. Otherwise back work is mainly biceps. Again the form makes all the difference in the world.

Without a doubt the Ring Of Fire is far and away the champion.

Lower Bicep; Scott Bench alternate all three 1st dumbbell curls, next straight bar strict curls last EZ Bar reverse grip curls. This is a killer and magnificent for building simple humungous biceps.

Peak Biceps:
Vertical side of (Scott Bench) or (Spider Bench) curls all kinds.

Long head: Max Size... No question: Kneeling tricep extension with twin pedestal. It's the king.

External Head: any kind of behind back extension. Like one are dumbbell extension. Standing tricep pressdown is good also.

Lower tricep: next to the elbow The supine dumbbell tricep extension. This is simply wonderful but it has to be done with the correct from.

Flexors, palms up barbell wrist curl. You must have a small properly designed (forearm bench). In order to get your hips lower than your forearms, etc...

Standing one leg calf raises or donkeys with a (special calf block).

Quads Smith Squats and Hack squats.

Ham Stings: Sit up bench with V pad bent over quad roaster exercise. What can I say you've got to see how it's done.

These exercises are the best for me anyway. But If I didn't know how to do them I wonder how good they would be but once you learn... I love to see the light go on in the eyes of a serious trainer that thinks he knows everything until he learns these movements.

By the way, almost all these exercises can be learned just by going to the past newsletters section on our web site.

What is the BEST training schedule?
(Larry Scott):

I really don't believe there is one best training schedule. No matter how much you think you've designed the best system, your body will prove you wrong. It always figures it out and then you start to go stale so you have to change. However, the system I have used the longest and seem to get the most results from is... to split the body into 39 muscle groups then work 20 each day for 3 days to get through the entire body. How come the numbers don't add up? Because I like to work all 9 abdominal muscles and one aerobic exercise each day.

How long does all this take to work so many muscle groups?
(Larry Scott):

Only about 12 to 15 minutes. How is this possible?... Long and interesting story.

I suggest changing exercises every day if you want to stay fresh and motivated. If you are training for strength you will have to stick to the same exercises longer to develop technique and tendon strength. But watch out for stales and injuries.

How important is nutrition in training?
(Larry Scott):

It depends on your goals...

If your goal is losing bodyfat, nutrition is about 90%
If your goal is strength and size, nutrition is about 60%
If your goal is to get huge, nutrition is about 70%
if you're taking Hyper Growth Formula.

What is the difference between bodybuilding, weightlifting and powerlifting?
(Larry Scott):

Trying to get as big and cut as is humanly possible.

It's a generic term - could mean anything that involves lifting weights.

The goals are not size but power. To see how much you can bench, deadlift, and squat.

What is your (Larry Scott's) philosophy on Steroids?
(Larry Scott):

The Universe is not designed to enable you to get something for nothing. You may get quick size but you will have to pay for it some time and some how.

How do you (Larry Scott) keep staying motivated?
Change your program every day, not just the sets and reps but even the philosophy. That's why our (Bio Phase) personal training is so good.

Your program constantly changes. It's the secret to continued progress and staying motivated. Nothing motivates you like seeing your body improve. If you keep making progess you'll stay motivated.

How do you train with an injury?
(Larry Scott):

You can't make an injury better by ignoring the pain. It just gets worse. Also, if you lay off, the pain just "sits there." The method that seems to works best is... to get circulation into the injured area without causing extra pain. I mean any pain.


If you grit your teeth and put up with even a little bit of pain, the injury doesn't go away. It just gets worse. The exercise has to be totally pain free.

That's why "Slow Rep Speed" is perfect for detecting exactly where and when the pain is coming. As the exercise is done very slowly you can detect exactly when the pain occurs and can then move the elbow, the wrist, or change the body position whatever it takes to get rid of the pain. In this way, you can still do the exercise and rehabilitate the injured joint at the same time.

Once you've got the "pain free" track nailed down, you're on your way to rapid healing.

"What If The Pain Still Won't Go Away?"

Sometimes the pain is persistent and won't go away even with this "Slow Movement" type of exercise therapy. If the pain persists, follow these rules and your recovery should be much faster.

Rule #1
Once you get injured... everything changes. Forget about your current rate of progress. Your new goal is to heal the injury. Focus all your attention on getting better.

Rule #2
Don't lay off... It doesn't help. The pain just stays with you... It doesn't seem to matter how long you lay off. You must actually work the injury out of the joint. Which leads to the next rule...

Rule #3
Find exercises that cause no pain. This is important! When I say no pain, I mean no pain. Not pain that is tolerable or less than it was. I mean no pain. Simply put... pain sets up a histamine reaction which causes swelling and blocks circulation just like your nose plugs up with allergies...That's why you take anti-histamines to reduce the swelling. Using pain-free exercises gets circulation into the injured area.

Note: the exercise has to be pain free even before you warm up the joint. Not after.

Rule #4
Don't be fooled by Endorphin release. It will mask the pain. Even if you can't feel it... the injury is still taking place. You must find exercises that don't cause pain without any warm-up. This will accelerate the healing tremendously.

Rule #5
After you have found pain-free exercises, continue to work the area using the very slow rep speed method. It will stimulate circulation and sweep out all the accumulated toxins.

Rule #6
Ice the injured area each night until it goes numb. Your body will sense the cold and send more nutrient rich blood to the injured area. Be careful you don't overdo it and get frostbite.

Rule #7
Take aspirin about every three hours. It is a mild anti-inflammatory and allegedly thins the blood to aid in penetrating the swollen tissues. Don't take it before workouts as it will mask pain. You need pain to tell you when you are re-injuring yourself.

Rule #8
Don't ignore the first signs of pain. Be alert on every exercise. If you feel a little tinge of pain, either make adjustments in your exercise form or stop the exercise and go to something else. Most of the damage can be avoided if you're alert to the very first signs of pain. (Joint pain, not the lactic acid pain associated with muscles working.)


HA! What do I keep telling people...


Btw, his "new" training methodology is kind of out there... Ultra-slow reps and what have you.. Oh well.


A pic for all those that don't recognize the name straightaway.

Very cool, thanks for this JB.


Although i don't agree with some of the stuff, I think its cool to see what the original Mr. O has to say.




Wise words on injuries!


How does one accomplish 'total scapular isolation', exactly?


On the Larry Scott Smith machine bench press to the neck: Yeeowch.

I tried this for a while. It really aggravated my shoulder problems.

Which is not to say it may not suit someone else.

I think I've tried just about all of Larry's tips. (Not his Hyper Growth Formula or Ring of Fire though.) The only one I personally found reason to stick with is his prone cable triceps extensions using the bar he sells. A most excellent exercise.

I also like his bar for regular triceps pressdowns.


I don't have any real shoulder problems, but it hurt anyway.. So I'm with you there.
Thing is, I've always been amazed at how other people can apparently do cruzifix-benches without any discomfort. And bringing the bar down even higher/flaring the elbows even more... Whoa.

WHAT! You missed the best stuff man... I spat shake all over the place upon reading his shameless plug in that quote above :slight_smile:

Indeed. Some of his other tricep exercises and bicep exercises with the EZ bar are absolutely awful... I.e. uber-supinating the hands in order to be able to apply the grip and such... Tendonitis here I come.

Never tried that one, thanks for the tip...


I see a lot of isolation movements listed under his "best exercise" list.

While i don't think they need to be exiled completely, I think they should be secondary to more compound movement where you can focus on move a lot more weight.

Now im wondering if he thinks this way because he is obviously much older now is a bit wary of the risk of injury that can come with squatting,dead lifting,pressing hundreds of pounds or if he truly thinks they are better.

But he has clearly accomplished a lot more then myself in this game, so im willing to at least take the things he says into consideration.


I suppose im in the minorty where a very wide bench press, to the high chest/neck is the most comfortable and completely pain free.

On both incline and regular grip benching, and ive gotten north of 300 benching like that.

Also explains why i get little to no growth on my triceps from benching.


Wait, do you actually flare your elbows the hell out or... I can bench super-wide (or do Smith high-incline front presses with Rühl's grip) just fine, I just can't do it with shoulder-blades out and elbows out like a lot of people do...


CC, I sure do.

I got away from it for a few months on bench because i got all HammerStrength happy when i got to my new gym, but i've added bb pressing back in as of late.


I noticed that Flex wheeler recommended and says that he goes to his neck on all his chest movements instead of his chest to reduce tricep involvement, sounds really awkward. Saw a vid of him doing and it and it looked completely normal, I may have to try them.


WTF is that exercise he describes in the first paragraphs with the EZ bar where he describes haing your hands pronated AND supinated. Isn't that impossible? I can't imagine what he's trying to describe, kind of a mindfuck for me.


I suppose he means mostly but not purely pronated, angled somewhat towards supination. The reverse of how one ordinarily uses the bar.

I haven't tried that one.


In trying to picture this, i'm thinking it's how one would do a reverse grip curl for their brachioradialis?

One normally holds the EZ bar with their palms making a "V," thumbs pointing outwards. If you reversed that, wouldn't you be holding the bar with your hands making an upside down V with your thumbs pointing in? I do that for reverse grips. I don't see how that could stimulate the biceps more.

I think i'm missing something?


No, thumbs would point away from each other as if you were doing the normal V, undergrip but:
Basically you just over-supinate your hands (upside-down V, thumbs point out). Very uncomfortable, I guess his individual structure allowed him to do this without busting his wrists/elbows...
Like some people can use the flat-bar with a normal-width grip with no discomfort and some just can't.

He has also talked about this kind of thing being done on EZ extensions.
You'd normally make an upside-down V with thumbs pointing in and grip the bar with an overhand grip for extensions. (like on a reverse-curl)
Now, he wants you do apply the grip so that you make a normal V, still an overhand grip though (thumbs pointing in).
Again, awkward as hell.


I really got into reading up o0n Larry Scott back in the mid 90's when I was ingrad school. His suggestions for training with injuries were always helpful, and are what initially prompted me to find what else he had written about (the was pre-internet! -lol).

The bench to the neck was actually admovated by Vince Gironda as well, with the explanation that it is amuch better way to truly hit your upper chest than using an incline bench (which was created sometime later). If you can do it (or even just benching a little higher than you're used to), you will get a great upper chest pump.

I did try his HyperGrowth formula, and I should point out that although he says it's based on the amazing products created by Rheo Blair, it's really nothing special. The best advice that came with it was to mix it with cream instead of water of milk. I assume the extra cals from the fat helped me to put on some weight, as everyone seemed ill informed back then, and we were all eating fat-free foods with no concern over carbs or insulin levels.

I always loved Scott's physique though. He obviously has a good handle on his own training (learned from Gironda!), still, don't forget that he admitedly lived on D-Bols at the height of his career.



....can't we just lift some heavy ass weight?!?!