‘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.
I’m a glutton for punishment.
I especially love training legs. No, I’m not talking about running, walking, skipping or jumping. I’m talking about getting underneath heavy iron in the gym. Heavy enough so that it makes me a little scared. Bodybuilders and powerlifters will know what I mean. So I was reviewing my workout logs from years gone by looking for a special leg workout that I could do.
And I found this:
This workout is from 1992. 20 years ago. It’s taken me about that long to recuperate. I remember doing this workout with former Mr USA, Mr Texas Kelly Hitchcock and another guy. Kelly was the ring leader and we just followed his direction. I used to drive across Dallas, Texas to train with Kelly even in the rain. On my motorcycle. I wanted to get big and Kelly was one of the best in Dallas at that time. I would have driven to Australia to train with Lee Priest if I had had the opportunity.
That’s one set.
Do three more like that.
But we did it.
I remember after the leg press superset, the other kid excused himself to the restroom. After ten minutes or so, we began to wonder where he went. Kelly found him in the showers, sitting on the floor with water pouring down on him. He was fully clothed. Now this part is still hard to believe but you know Kelly well enough by now to know that he “made” this guy come back out and finish the workout. Once we finished, we fell to the floor, fighting for the closest spot to that big old creaking floor fan during scorching hot Texas Summer day in 1992.
It took me a while to get up, to get out and to get on my bike and ride home. We didn’t know anything about post workout nutrition, we ate when we felt better. And we got stronger each week, month, year. Those were good times.
Kelly moved to Tyler, Texas and terrorized unsuspecting gym goers who wanted to get in shape. He opened his own gym and became something of a local celebrity last time I checked. How you nearly kill people in the gym AND become a popular celebrity, I don’t know. But Kelly was made for this. I learned a lot from him and grew a lot. The mental toughness that I observed, absorbed, and draw on to this day was invaluable. You won’t earn that from less strenuous types of exercise. You can read the rest of the workout by clicking on the image – I can’t bear to think about it anymore right now. I know that 2 of us “ralphed” afterwards. But you know what? Looking back, it was one of the best workouts of my life. And I’ll be at the gym later today doing, you guessed it, legs.
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