The program this month is a program I started in 1994, each year I changed it a little, but kept its baseline intact.
Through 1997 I successfully combined HIT (High Intensity Training) with Thick Bar and Power Rack work, heavily influenced by Brooks Kubik.
I can remember at the time reading works by Mike Mentzer – Heavy Duty published in 93 and Heavy Duty-2 published in 96. Also Dinosaur Training (in my opinion the best training book I have ever read) by Brooks Kubik, also published in 96.
Heavily influenced and motivated to train as hard as possible and be as strong as hell, I developed a program that welded those two training worlds together.
My Journal For 1997
Looking through the pages I am struck by how good this routine was back then. If I’m honest the gains made were incredible. But because that year I came 2nd in the British to Wayne Thicket, and also 5th behind Wayne’s 4th at the Worlds (it took me till 2007 to win the World’s); that year for me was not registered in the memory banks as being ‘the year that’, like 95, and 2007 and 2009 ‘stand out years’ for me. So over time when I have looked back to move forward this was a journal that I skimmed over and pushed to the rear of the pile; forgotten and neglected.
Obviously I had that year down as unsuccessful, when in fact as far as gaining muscle and strength, along with condition, it was actually completely the opposite, now that I have years of perspective and good old hindsight.
In fact it was one of the most result producing programs I ever did.
After winning the British in 95 my goal was to take a year off and come back in 97 for a crack at the overall. Off-season of 96 went real well and as soon as the Christmas trimmings where down I was in comp mode, the plan bigger – leaner – stronger – and train harder than ever in 97 – and I was and did!
So it was highly successful.
Here is the program
Old School Heavy Duty
Chest and Back
Rest two Days
Shoulders and Arms
Rest Two Days
Rest Two Days
Chest and Back
Flat Flyes 1 set to Fail- using Thick Dumbbells
Hammer Chest Press 1 Set to fail then a Static Hold held in the contraction position for as long as I could stand, followed by a Slow Negative
30 seconds rest
Rack Bench Press Thick Bar 1 set to fail – pressing from a dead stop on the Pins
Thick Handled Dumbbells
Pull Over Machine (it was a power cam one not Nautilus but still very good)
1 set to fail plus Static Hold at the contraction point
Chins 1 set to fail weight added
Bent Over Row or Dead Lifts (these alternated from one session to next)
1 set to fail
Shrugs holding the top for a count of count of 10- 1 set to fail
Sit Ups 3 sets weighted
Early Morning In My Gym Future Bodies
Shoulders and Arms
Normal warm ups
Lat Raise Machine – 1 set to fail plus a Static Hold in the contraction point
Rack Thick Bar Shoulder Press off the pins bench upright 80 degree
This was rest paused – reps to fail – rest 10 seconds go again – fail – rest 10 seconds go again till I could not move the bar no rest
Bent Over Lat Raise 1 set to fail
Triceps Extension Thick Bar on a slight decline 1 set to fail
Push Downs 1 set to fail plus Static Hold at contraction
Slight rest 30 seconds or so
Dips 1 set to fail
Thick Bar Curls 1 set to fail
Biceps Machine JUST STATIC HOLD IN CONTRATION POINT TO FAIL
Slight Rest 30 Seconds Or So
Concentration Curl 1 set to fail each Arm
The Thick Bar
Looking in my journal there is a line
Oh my god had butterflies for two days – pushed so hard on this last time -and I need to do even better-(I underlined this) Train Hard Win Easy
Normal Warm Up
Bang Bang Bang 1 round to fail
Hack Squat 1 set to fail
Hack Squats With The Lads
Leg Curl 1 set to fail
Calf Raise 1 set to fail
At odd times I would include a Static Hold on the Leg Extension or a Drop Set
I kept progression simple – when ever I got near or past 12 on any movement the weight was increased the next session.
I concentrated on gaining strength and working as hard as possible.
I kept the rotation simple 1 day on 2 days off.
I did only walking on days off as a recovery aid.
I only used one supplement MetRX meal replacement 2 – 3 a day along with my normal good food
The strength I gained was phenomenal.
At the start of the program
In the leg tri set squats 2 plates a side
By the end of the year even while comp ready 3 plates same reps
Hacks 2.5 plates aside at the start in the tri set
By the year end 4 plates aside
Everything just went up – by similar amounts
Dead Lifts went from 3 plates to 4.5 aside
Bench Press Thick Bar from 1 plate aside on the 100 pound bar to 1.5 plates aside – even with pre ex work with the flyes and so forth thats around 250 pounds in old money/weight.
My two partners Chris and Rob made awesome gains also –Rob for instance won some powerlifting meets and then came 3rd in the ANB British Novice that year looking awesome
All in all it was an awesome program and a good time in life x
Enjoy the journey guys – always enjoy and absorb x
Love to ya all Ian x