T Nation

William Boone's Training

Agreed. We should try to maintain this in the top 10.

I also agree,
I wish I would’ve read this article before I started weight training way back in grade nine. Eventually I did stumble upon the old school workouts and they really made me into the person I am today. Had I not read that old Doug Hepburn weight training program then, I might have given up on lifting all together. I can’t say enough about these great programs and pioneer strongmen.
ATTENTION BEGINNERS READ THIS ARTICLE!!! It might change your life, like it did me.

What do you think about the push/pull knee/hip dominant programs. I am currently using a modified type of this program and love it. I still stick to the basic movements, and haven’t done any exercises that could be labeled “isolation” since I started the program. The way I am cycling it is weird, so I won’t know about any concrete number gains in strength for a little, but I deffinetly notice a difference in strength. Example: I can almost dunk now, while being a previous net grabber. So basically, I was just wondering what thoughts are on this type of spilt. Although, it is a split, I don’t know if a total body plan would work better in the long run.

Please list some of your favorite full-body/old-school workouts…I think it will be interesting to see the variations members of the T-Nation have put on these classic workouts.

“In my humble opinion, there is really only one type split routine that might be worth discussing – beyond the lift-splitting example offered in the opening paragraph of this treatise, of course. If you insist on using a split routine, I implore you to consider the upper body/lower body split. This type split was favored by none other than the gargantuan powerhouse Paul Anderson.”

So his splits are good if they are the Westside style of splits.

And the article is based on overall strength where as Louie Simmons and the Westside Crew although they are stronger than hell they are a specialized group.

Thanks for this article.

It just reinforces my whole training mentality.

I’m not happy doing a split routine and I love high intensity work whether it’s high reps or super heavy weight (well heavy for my weak ass anyway.)

My favorite routines were the old Doug Hepburn programs. The program that gave me the greatest gains in strength was:
Monday-Bench Press, Squat, Bent Row

Friday-Jerk Press, Deadlift, High Pull

set rep was as follows: 5x5 until the weight was missed 3 workouts in a row, then the format would change to 5x3, agian until the weight was missed 3 straight workouts, then the format would change to 3x3. And finally when you reach your maximum for this format you’d be ready for competition. And this 3x3 weight would be your opener. Huge strength gains on this very simple routine.

Zeb: “Is this not what you want? Are you not entertained??!!!”

Gladiator style cheering

Zeb! Zeb! Zeb! Zeb! Zeb! Zeb!

I experienced the greatest hypertrophy after performing this classic Doug Hepburn routine.
Upper body/Lower body split

Bench Press/Bent Over Rows
Front Squat/RDL’s
Push Press/Chin-ups
High Pulls/Deadlift

The format for each workout was as follows, after a proper warm-up, do eight sets: 3,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 with the same weight, then the weight is dropped and seven more sets are performed with this new weight: 6,5,4,4,4,3,10. That’s a wopping 15 total sets per exercise! Ouch! Instead of increasing the weight used, every week one more rep was added to the first eight set segment. For example week two would look like this, eight sets: 3,3,2,2,2,2,2,2 and week three would look like this: 3,3,3,2,2,2,2,2.

This was an eight week program that made me grow huge! In fact, I think I’ve just convinced myself to do it again.

Zeb et al, do you have any links to upper/lower body programs that incorporate most of the money movements?

There are many who will herald the science of today. “How many studies do you have to back that up Zeb?”

The old timers had one study and it was incredible what they knew! That study was called “trial and error.” Trial and error was all they had but it was all that they needed.

When steroids began to change to face of strength training at a professional level in the 1960’s the Pros began writing and promoting programs that they indeed believed in. Unfortunately these programs were not (and are not) suitable for the non-steroid trainee!

If you are new to muscle building, or been at it a while, and you don’t seem to be getting good to great results try a full body program. Train on the big lifts three times per week. It makes perfect sense!

Here is the one thing that we all want:

  1. We want to gain muscular size.

If this is true what better way to gain that muscular size than training hard on the big lifts three times per week and resting (no weight training) the other four days per week?

What makes more sense than training lifts such as the Deadlift, Squat, Pull-ups, Overhead Press, Cleans, Dips, Rows, etc. These (and others) work the large muscles, or multiple muscles of the body. They take no longer to perform that various isolation movements and they work so very much better!

It’s time to forget about Push-downs, kick backs, preacher curls, lateral raises and a host of other movements that will only work the tiny muscles of the body. These are the movements (and others) that have been promoted by the professionals who are on steroids and, of course genetically gifted.

I had the following question and answer saved, can’t remember where I got it, but I saved it because of it?s basic truth.

Q- What’s the best description of how the old-timers really trained?

A-The only real absolute about the oldtimers is that they trained naturally, hard and progressively. They may have had crude equipment and limited information, but they made the most of what they had. If you take a close look at old Iron Game literature, you’ll find a common theme: health, strength, vigor and longevity.

Cosmetic results, although mentioned, were clearly secondary. The cosmetic results were believed to be the end result of “doing the right thing,” and were a reward for effort, discipline and a lifestyle commitment. The titles of the popular books and magazines reflected these values. There were STRENGTH AND HEALTH, HEALTH AND STRENGTH, PHYSICAL CULTURE, STRENGTH, THE STRONG MAN, and numerous other titles.

Compare these titles to the best-selling training books and magazines of today-the difference is astounding. The pioneers of Physical Culture were not just body beautiful posers. They were strong! Eugene Sandow and others competed in various feats of strength. They had to make do with crude training facilities and equipment, but they made the most of what they had. They had to endure the wrath of society, as attaining health and strength was not a trendy thing to do in those days.

This is how the term health nut got started (they were definitely not called buff!) Even though they had far less information available, they swore by the information they did have. How many of us truly can say we’re using the information we have? Jack LaLanne was so dedicated that he trained his mind to visualize disgusting images at the very thought of junk food. Cosmetic results were seen as the reward for correct living and hard training.

Many of our Physical Culture forefathers went beyond physical health and were concerned with mental and spiritual health as well. Peary Rader frequently wrote articles about spiritual health; and Bob Hoffman and Bernarr MacFadden, in addition to writing about training, wrote about practically everything dealing with health and happiness, including moral issues.

We now have much better overall equipment, gyms, and nutritional and health knowledge. But we also have the horrendous mess of drug abuse. Public acceptance/involvement of training is much higher now. But most of the training principles have been around a long time.

More to come!


Doug Hepburn bio and some training examples

Check out the Bob Hoffman program (and others).


Bob’s basic course:

Side Bend
Barbell Curl

Barbell Press
Barbell Row

Std. Calf raise
Straddle Lift
Squat (deep knee bend)

Gotta keep this thread on top

BEGINNERS, or others who have hit a low point in their training…read this article!

There’s nothing new in this thread…a common thread in T-Nation training articles would show modern variations within this same philosohy.

[quote]rockky wrote:
There’s nothing new in this thread…a common thread in T-Nation training articles would show modern variations within this same philosohy.[/quote]

True, while there are many modern variations on this great site, this article explains the purpose of such a program and delves into the history behind it and those who trained before us.

I think, that there is right time for whole body training , and split training. Most of as aren’t so talented, that can get huge gains year after year of one type of training (even with variantions). Split routines have got some advantage against WB of strenght gains. If you worked with whole body, maybe 3 times per week, and do heavy compound movements, and switch splitted, lets say, powerlifting routine, you can consentrate of increasing some weights of certain power movements (like squat, dl, bp, snatch, cleans, pull-ups…). I found, that whole body, or under/upper body split 2 times or more per week gives best muscle gains, and good overall strenght gains. But when plateau coming (it always coming:(), Splitted more powerlifting style few weeks, makes good

(and sometimes "Flex mags 2002 chest/arms/back/shoulders works well, with lot of forced reps to failurfe, and 20 sets of arms;)


Although your political viewpoints and opinions are generally too conservative for my liking, this is one topic where you hit the nail on the head (IMO of course).

One of the best posts on this site - but sadly, most young “hard-gainers” won’t even notice it (they’ll be too busy digging through posts on the newest hot supplement protocols and high-tech muscle-building supersets).

Well done.

[quote]rockky wrote:
There’s nothing new in this thread…a common thread in T-Nation training articles would show modern variations within this same philosohy.[/quote]


I guess that’s the point isn’t it? There is nothing new to building muscle! We know exactly how to do it, as these articles, and many fine T-Nation articles point out. The old timers had it right and the more “science” that we get the more it is proven that they had right many, many years ago!

Falling for the latest hype put out by the latest guru on the latest web site, is sort of foolish huh?

We, here at T-Nation know exactly how to build muscle rockky… :slight_smile:

[quote]Jeff K wrote:

Although your political viewpoints and opinions are generally too conservative for my liking, this is one topic where you hit the nail on the head (IMO of course).

One of the best posts on this site - but sadly, most young “hard-gainers” won’t even notice it (they’ll be too busy digging through posts on the newest hot supplement protocols and high-tech muscle-building supersets).

Well done.[/quote]


It’s true that the kids of today are unmercifully hyped with worthless “muscle building” products. That’s why we have to constantly remind them that what they really need first and foremost is the proper training regime!

Yet, one more reason why T-Nation shines above all the other so called “muscle sites.” They have given us programs that work, most based around full body movements. They have also given us quality products that actually do help the body build muscle.

There is no better web site for building muscle. And there is no more free a web site to espouse whatever view that you might hold, be it fitness, or even political.

Glad we can agree on the muscle building end at least :slight_smile: