T Nation

Old Dawg School

Back in 1967, when I was 11 years old, my mother’s boyfriend at the time got into a serious motorcycle accident. He broke several bones and was bedridden for six months. When he, Chuck, got out of the hospital he weighed 150 lbs at 6’-2". He started his recovery off at Vic Tanny’s gym and after months of no progress switched to a “prison biker gang” program on a home made gym in our back yard. Over the course of a year I watched add 70 lbs of muscle. Chuck sold weed for a living and smoked quite a bit of the the profits. His biker friends were at our house 24/7. Chuck’s diet was pretty simple. At the time calves liver was $0.49 lb and chuck steak was $0.69 lb. His main workout buddy/coach had spent 16 years in San Quentin and was the biggest freak we had ever seen. The diet was a pound of liver and a couple pounds of steak a day. A half gallon of milk, a quart of butter milk, half a large box of cheerios, a Baby Ruth, shit-loads of pinto beans, salad, fruit, bags of roasted peanuts and beer. Over training did not seem to be a problem. Training went on all day. Sometimes late into the night. Running every morning dragging a cement filled tire. Calisthenics. Pushups. Hundreds of pushups. Different kids of pushups. Pushups with three kids on their back. Fingertip pushups. One arm pushups. Slap pushups. Same with sit-ups. No crunches, just sit-ups. Chin-ups, pull-ups and what they called sissy-ups. (Seated dips on the edge of the bench. Usually with a kid on the shoulders.) They would pound a body part every other day with weights. These guys got huge. No roids, just food. The only time they didn’t work out was an hour after meals and when the slept. The other guys were already big, but Chuck looked like a skinny old lady when he got out of the hospital. Why did that fucker gain good weight like that? His diet was loaded with fat, yet he didn’t get fat. A few other guys made huge gains but nothing like Chuck. Was it the previous wasting? The food? He wore 32" X 36" Shrink-to-fit Levi’s and couldn’t wear an XL t-shirt without cutting the sleeves. With all the diet advice, supplements, volume this and T-Dawg that, I’ve never seen gains like these guys made. With or without steroids. What’s up?

Do you really think your mothers boyfriend would confess to his girlfriends 11-year old son that he uses steroids?

Well he and my mom would smoke dope with us, showed us how to roll joints. Took us to parties, protests, love-ins, be-ins, concerts and communes. I saw people shoot dope at the kitchen table. I don’t think they gave a fuck what we saw. Were steroids around much in the sixties?

The point was two weeks on that type of diet and I gain 10 lbs of fat. We’re told that every other day is over training, that is until this week’s “Mr. Hypertrophy” article. By the way, prisons are filled with guys like that.

One of the reasons was the mindset of the guy. the bikers I have known were guys that didn’t give a shit. In some ways they have a stress free life, sort of. These men value freedom and don’t care what others think. He trained with purpose, ate enough, and din’t stress over every little training detail. sometimes I think people novercomplicate facts and info on training and really don’t understand committment and desire. actually training hard, not just talking about it.
A month ot two ago, I talked to Dave Tate and we both agreed there’s a lot of yapping instead of sticking to a consistent training program.

They gained all that weight because they trained hard all the time and ate all the time. They were obviously a very lazy bunch that had nothing better to do. This is why normal people can’t quite do the same thing, we can’t eat all day and train hard all the time. I think it would be wonderful to train and eat all day, but then I’d be a lazy, useless dirt bag like the guys you are talking about. And as far as why they didn’t gain fat, it might have something to do with their constant training, maybe coupled with fast metabolism.

Hey, Mick: I think you answered it…these guys basically ATE, SLEPT and WORKED OUT, almost “full time”! (The same tends to occur with the guys in prison).

That’s a very anabolic combination. I agree with the focus and consistency comments also, but their ability to do what they did, day in and day out, was probably the biggest factor in these guys growth.

IronDoc: “A month ot two ago, I talked to Dave Tate and we both agreed there’s a lot of yapping instead of sticking to a consistent training program.”

I am glad you brought that up. The biggest people I know have no earthly idea how the hell they got that way aside form the fact that they simply lifted weights. They didn’t do it using specialized programs and analyzing everything to its finest molecule. They did it by lifting a shit load of heavy weight and eating enough to support it. Yes, you may be able to gain some weight while never letting your body fat percentage creep past 8%, however, I guarantee it wouldn’t be as much mass as you would gain if you spent some real time with “mass” as the only goal, simply eating enough to gain weight, and putting focus on full body exercises like squats and deadlifts with really heavy weight. When I am working on size, that is all I work on. Bringing my abs out is something I am doing now, but that is after training for years with size as my primary goal. Yes, there are people out there with good genetics who are not on steroids and are bigger than many people who are using them. To assume otherwise is pretty arrogant and closed minded. My roommate in college could regularly knock out five hamburgers from the cafeteria and hit Pizza Hut later that night and still maintain an extremely lean 235lbs with minimal effort. He never took anything as far as drugs and wasn’t even that interested in bodybuilding or weight training aside from what we did for football practice. I have always wondered how much overall progress people who choose to put every detail under a microscope are making long term. With some of the things I see, I am surprised that many are over 200lbs. It takes a lot of work and heavy weight to build mass along with enough food to gain. That isn’t magic and isn’t beyond the realm of what many can accomplish. You don’t need a PhD to be big. What you do need is a desire to push harder than those around you.

unfortunately you cant make a rule to an exception.

Y’know, I keep coming back to this thread because it just flat-out interests the hell out of me. I remember, being still fairly young now, but even younger at the time, when I once complained to my dad how skinny I was. I knew he could relate, because he was once very skinny, too. He told me a story of a friend he once knew in high school who would always get picked on and beat up by the bigger kids. So, one summer, this kid got a job doing outdoor work shoveling/forking hay into truckbeds (this is Texas). He would strap some form of weights - sandbags, I think - to his wrists, knees, ankles and elbows, and go all day through his work, gradually increasing the amount of weights on his limbs. He ate like mad, my dad said, and when he returned to school the following year, he was massive. Anyway, the point is that I think a lot of people just flat-out don’t like to hear of regular “untrained” and “uneducated” people getting incredible results with their individual programs. I, personally, have just started to get serious about putting wieght on, reading that and trying this, studying and listening, but, to be honest with you all, while I think that a lot of the “programs” out there that carry the seal of approval can be very advantageous to the one using them, would it be crude of me to say that I see more limitations in their structure than benifits? Would not the best route to take be the one of purely instinctive and wholly personalized training, whose one purpose resides on the law of reaching and determining one’s own limits, and working only to push and grow outward, expanding upon those limits? I’m not sure where I heard it first; maybe it was the Golden Boy himself who said it best, who instilled in me a greater sense of freedom and optimism with a mere seven words than any other “program” or “routine” ever had or possibly ever will: whoever said it, it was, “The secret is, there is no secret.” And this has stuck with me; I can hear it every time I read through a stamped and accepted program that swears under the oath of science that it will be the saving grace of all your gaining troubles. But, of course, everyone needs a program, a structure to keep them going and a foundation on which to fall back on and derive support from. So I think I’ve lost what it was I was getting at. Anyway, this wasn’t meant to offend anyone or deride the work the community has shared for so long; I just needed to respond in some way or form. Thanks for baring with me.

Dark Renegade Legion. That is what these guys had. A support group to push them and help them remain consistant. They stuck with the basics and enjoyed it for what it was.

These are the type of stories that cause people to deviate from a successful weightlifting program to one that is unsuccessful.

Wow !.. very interesting thread ! probably the most interesting that I’ve read in awhile. I like to think of myself as a very open-minded person, to a point that it’s a fault. Has anyone else noticed that there’s more than one right way to gain muscle ?? actually probably more than a 100 ???.. those (biker) guys just got big for the fuck of it !!.. they didn’t want to look good for a show, or to look good for the ladies, or trained for any type of sport. They trained and ate because they loved it, loved to be huge !!! they didn’t have the stress of worrying about counting maronutreints, keeping up with the latest on dieting/training… etc…etc…etc… I know a lot of us get to the verge of obsession on bodybuilding, which in itself, is stress, and we might as well buy a bottle of cortisol with our mag-10… I workout the way I want to workout… I try different things/techniques that I hear about too… I keep the doing the things I love, and finding new ways of accomplishing muscle growth that I love to do too… I know there’s a ton of ways to train, like GVT, 5x5, etc. but I can’t get into someone’s else’s method of training. If I were to do something lined out by someone else,it will be like a job for me. (I work enough as it i)s… I love to squat, bench, curl, dumbbells, etc. etc.etc. my body and accomplishments are a mear side-effect for doing something I’ve enjoyed and done for more than half my life. Doing what I want to do and dieting the way that’s right and enjoyable for me (which I’ve learned a lot form this forum) has kept my enthusiasm and passion for working out for all these years… if these “bikers” got huge with their “unconventional diet and training regiems” and seemed to be genuinely happy, well God bless them all !!

A 36 inch waist sucks! These biker dudes were fat asses.


actually my dad was a biker he was also pretty damn big but he told me he lifted weights and hit the heavy/speed bag so he wouldnt have ne trouble in bar fights and things.

Greenman, 32" x 36" is 36 inch length, not waist. If they were shrink to fit levi’s that’s more like a 31 waist, pretty damn good in my book.

You see, I would be willing to listen to what you have to say if you were provide some sort of explanation… Could you, perhaps?

I agree with BurritoJimmy. All these stories do is encourage random training and eventual overtraining.
This is because this method appears to make ‘common sense’. A newbie might think,“Well of course the biker got huge lifting and eating all day. His muscles are put in a situation where they have to adapt and the biker is giving his muscles the nutrients to do so.” To tell you the truth if I didnt know any better I would agree with that statement. The only problem is that I now have a better understanding of the destructive nature your body can do onto itself when faced with too much stress. In short your CNS gets fried and cortisol levels sky rocket. No amount of food, no matter how large is going to mask these problems.
On the other hand I do agree 100% with prof-X when he says people overcomplicate training. Aim for a sound middle ground and avoid extremes.

To Dan, I seriously doubt there is a good explanation for what was said. I don’t train according to a Brand Name training strategy nor do I feel the need to carry a calculator with me at every lunch break just so I can figure the number of carbon atoms in my chicken breasts. I have yet to actually count calories and I have been making steady progress since I began doing this more seriously about 7 years ago. I think some people feel more secure in analyzing every detail to the point of anal retentiveness but it is by no means necessary to make great gains in muscle size.

My waist is 35. am i almost a fat ass. Skin fold test say i am 8%. bone structure plays a part in waist size. saying someone with a 36 inch waist is a fatass is kinda presumptious.

You know, I’ve been following this thread from the initial posting, and it keeps telling me what I’ve known all along. John Parrillo still preaches this shit today. Eat big, train big, and rest. I don’t give two shits about this program and that program. Any snot-nosed punk that wants it bad enough, can get the muscle they want. The first year I trained, I gained 40 pounds of pure muscle. I think Bill Phillips started it all with his own personal physique transformation. (if you can call it that) It was about as legit as the one Lee Priest just pulled off. The point is, today’s bodybuilders are so afraid of “getting fat” that they simply are starving themselves out of some serious gains in strength and muscle mass. The next thing they do is look to the latest, greatest miracle pill or powder to do the work for them. The best growth fuel you will ever buy comes from the local grocery store. Eggs, whole milk, cheese, beef, tuna, and the list goes on. Arnold himself said, “you can’t sculpt a pebble. You have to build yourself up into a big boulder, and then sculpt.” I would give my left nut to look like Arnold in Pumping Iron, so when he talks, I listen, and all the newbies out there should too.