April 2014 7
Are you using deadlifts in your bodybuilding routine?
You should be because as you’ll hear top amateur bodybuilder and former training partner of Lee Priest mention in the video below, that deadlifts (or “EDlifts”) are one of the best exercises besides squats for putting size on your back, traps, and hamstrings. Ed has been using a special deadlift routine that only requires a total of 40 reps spread out over 6 sets – including the warm up sets. Ed is capable of deadlifting well over 600lbs and in the video below you’ll see him pull 600lbs for 1 rep.
It shouldn’t be surprising that bodybuilders train with heavy weights. John Grimek, Franco Columbu, and Chuck Sipes were all top bodybuilders and threw around impressive poundages regularly. Franco competed in the Worlds Strongest Man competition in 1977 and was Amateur Boxing Champion of Italy. Grimek was a top weightlifter who had amazing athletic ability.
In Ed’s deadlift routine, after a thorough warm up, he does 6 sets.
- Set 1 consists of 10 reps with 135lbs. The idea is to explode the weight up, pulling in a fast, controlled manner. Ed refers to it as a hybrid lifting or power building.
- Set 2 consists of 8 reps with 225lbs. Rest around 90 seconds or so in between sets.
- Set 3 consists of 6 reps with 315lbs.
- Set 4 is the first working set and is performed for 1 rep. With 600lbs.
- Set 5 is 5 reps of 545lbs.
- Set 6 is 10 reps of 495lbs.
Chalk is used on set 3 in order to get a better grip on the bar. Wrist straps are used on Sets 5 & 6 in order to FEEL the muscles working as opposed to just lifting the weight. As Ed points out in the video below, Dorian Yates, 5 x Mr Olympia, used wrist straps for back movements and he had some of the biggest forearms of all bodybuilding. Straps are just a tool to help you feel the muscle working – not a tool for cheating.
You can do this deadlift routine once a week for about 4-6 weeks before implementing a deload week or two before continuing on. Keep your protein high, eat 5-7 smaller meals a day for optimal digestion and macronutrient utilization. All of the heavy, hard training in the world won’t put on the size that you’re looking for without a high quality diet. Sleep 7-9 hours a night. And if you’re struggling to bulk up:
- Don’t run when you can walk
- Don’t walk when you can sit
- Don’t sit when you can lie down
Conserve your body energy as much as possible in order that you don’t burn too many calories outside of your workouts. In future articles, Ed will be sharing his current nutrition plan as he counts down to the Mr. Universe competition in 13 weeks. We’ll also take a look at his Front Squat technique. Front squats are all but forgotten in most gyms unfortunately.
To put on muscle, you must become stronger for reps. You must be able to perform quality reps in the deadlift, the barbell squat (back and front) and you must become a stronger presser. This along with a top notch nutritional program and quality rest will have you building the muscle that you’re after in the shortest time possible.
Arnold did them. And so does Ed.
Who’s Ed, you may ask? Ed Brown, Jr. was one of Pro Bodybuilding legend Lee Priests training partners. You may not know who Ed is but I’m pretty sure you know who Lee Priest is if you call yourself a bodybuilder. I introduced Ed to Lee around 2007 when Lee was in need of a strong, durable, reliable training partner as Lee began his preparation for the pro shows in the fall.
I met up with Ed this past weekend, to catch up, check out the awesome gym that he trains at and to film him in action. I was amazed at how much size Ed has put on since he was Lee’s training partner back in 2007. Ed will be the first to tell you that he owes his size gains to Lee Priest – who taught Ed everything he needs to know to take his physique to the Mr Universe contest in 13 weeks. Training with Lee is like winning the bodybuilding instruction lottery. Ed was able to travel with Lee to New York in 2007 when Lee entered and won Wayne Demilia’s PDI Night of Champions.
We captured tons of footage of Ed and Lee training together in Season 2 of BodyBuilders Reality (the dvds).
As Ed and I sat down in the gym and chatted, he mentioned that he recently had the opportunity to meet the one and only Dorian Yates. Dorian was in town to make an appearance at a bodybuilding contest as well as a casual seminar at a local gym Ed was at the gym and was able to pick Dorian’s brain about all things bodybuilding. Dorian was paid $3000 USD by the gym owner for the seminar.
I saw a few other acquaintances at the gym – bodybuilders, powerlifters – said my “Hello’s” and then it was time to bring the video camera out. In this video, we filmed Ed doing a superset of Weighted Bar Dips for Chest and Weighted Pull Ups for Lats. Most bodybuilders spend too much time doing barbell bench presses, dumbbell bench presses and machine presses. Not only will this limit your growth and cause boredom over time, it can cause “pattern overload”. This simply means that you spend too much time pressing. Think of sprinters and how they train. They don’t just sprint, they do dynamic drills such as plyometrics, lateral movements, high knees, carioca or grapevine, shuffling, agility drills, bounding, hopping, skipping and more. All of this activity makes for a more well developed and well rounded sprinter. As a bodybuilder, we should take cues from our fellow athletes and use the same philosophy with our physiques.
Try different techniques more often.
Techniques such as supersets, drop sets, flushing sets, 21’s,PHAT, 100’s, giant sets will work wonders at stimulating new growth and will help keep you mentally engaged and excited about your workouts. Sure you should do your regular routine but every 3-4 weeks, mix it up.
The idea of working chest and back together in a superset is not new. As mentioned, Arnold liked this technique and used it regularly. It’s a great way to flush blood into a body part, rest that body part, while flushing blood into an opposing body part. Opposing muscles such as:
You can use this system to stimulate new growth and you can add resistance in the form of bands, chains, plates, dumbbells, and more to kick your intensity into overdrive. In this video Ed Brown, Jr offers up his advice on how to properly use this bodybuilding mass exploder for ultimate gains!
Stay tuned for much more with Ed or “Special Ed” as Lee would sometimes call him. Lovingly of course.
P.S. Lee gave Ed his Superman ring for being such a great training partner. True story.
‘Good genetics’ is a layman’s term often used to describe someone who trained their ass off and watched their diet meticulously for years…
A lot of today’s young bodybuilders who are wanting to make progress as quickly as possible tend to over analyze training routines including reps, sets, rest, contraction, warm up, 1RM and more. They over analyze their diets, their sleep habits and generally waste time and energy when all the time, the answer is right in front of them.
In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, Education Of A Bodybuilder, he writes:
“One advantage I had going for me is that I did not overintellectualize my workouts. Oh, I thought about what I was doing – thought a lot about it. But I used my mind to understand how my training was affecting my body and what specific results I was getting by using particular exercises and routines. I never got caught up in abstract training ideas or became distracted by bodybuilding principles which I didn’t have the experience to properly interpret. I didn’t agonize over ideas like “pre-exhaustion”; I went to the gym and exhausted myself by really hard training. As a result, I created a fundamentally sound muscle structure, the kind of mass that I could later sculpt into a world-champion level physique.”
And one of the most popular pro bodybuilders in the world, Lee Priest has said: “You can’t inject genetics or heart or the power of the mind: the strongest muscle of all.”
Look at some of the training footage from the movie, “Pumping Iron”. Pay particular attention to those scenes in which Arnold is doing squats. You can feel the effort, the discipline, the concentration…
In one of the BodyBuildersReality episodes, Lee and his training partner, Richard are working legs. After leg press, leg extensions, and hamstrings, they do walking lunges with a barbell on their back. They work up to 135 pounds and walk about 20 yards. At the end of the 20 yards, they do 10+ reps of squats with the barbell. This gets repeated 3+ times.
Performing squats for 10 sets of 10 reps is one of the most intense leg workouts that you can do – as long as you use a heavy enough weight. In my workouts, the weight is 275 -315lbs. Once you choose your weight, you’re stuck with it. You MUST finish all 10 sets with the chosen weight. This is where your mind comes into play. Will you take the tougher route or will you find excuses to go lighter? Your answer is what you should pay attention to – NOT what’s the best workout routine, how many grams of this or that should I eat or how long before bed should I take my casein protein drink before bed?
Back in the 70’s, the physiques were awesome – some of the greatest ever. How many of you reading this would be satisfied to have a physique like it? They didn’t sweat over the best workout routine or have all of the different supplements that we have access to now. They did, however, have the work ethic, the determination and the mindset. And the best part of all of this is that these tools are free.
Good luck to client, Jonathan Kelly in today’s Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, Jan 22nd, at Dallas… instagram.com/p/BeQaH6CFzR5/
Keegan wins the December challenge and a $20 gift card to Freebirds in Cedar Park. To qualify… instagram.com/p/BeOJ9kWljG9/