View Full Version : OT: Weight Training

September 11, 2000, 01:55 PM
Hello all,

In my field of work it is very beneficial to have large throbbing muskels (plus, women like it, a nice bonus), and to that end I have always worked out using free weights in my basement. My exercise routine was sort of a cobbled together mishmash of common sense, stuff I heard other people do and so-forth.
Thats all been well and good, but recently I seem to have plateaued...I keep working out but I make no appreciable gains- and I'm quite certain I'm not at my max genetic potential ;)

Question is: does anyone know a good web resource for weight training routines? I'm sure theres a TON of info out there and I'm betting I need to fine tune what I'm doing...work smarter, not harder and all that. ;)


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

September 11, 2000, 02:30 PM
Perhaps your diet needs to change? If you came "this far" with what you've been doing, perhaps your routine is good. As far as a web site goes.. hmm.. http://www.yahoo.com :D

God, Guns and Guts made this country a great country!

oberkommando sez:
"We lost the first and third and now they are after the Second!(no pun intended)"

September 11, 2000, 03:39 PM
**boot to da head**

;) :D

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

September 11, 2000, 03:40 PM
Whenever you stop growing it's because you need a change. I know: "duh." Change the exercises that you're doing. If you're doing dumbell flyes for chest, do the bench press, incline press, or dumbbell press. Even though an exercise works the same basic muscle group, it can work it in different ways. Changing your routing from 3 sets to 5, or even working in a single superset once a week can make a difference.

You may also want to consider that you need to rest those muscles. Overworked muscles won't grow. Switch to a lighter load to maintain what you have an do more aerobic for a month and start again.

Diet can help too. Simply eating 10% more can stimulate a growth spurt. Your body interprets an increase in consumption as a signal to build mass. Be sure that what you're eating is good protein with low fat (yum, more chicken and rice :) Don't keep this up for more than 3 weeks because your body simply gets used to it.

Basically, your body is either tired or has adapted itself to your routine. Try changing a few things for a couple of weeks and see if it works. If not, try something else. It's difficult to give reliable advice in this area because everyone's body responds differently. You need to discover what your body responds to... why do I feel that I suddenly am writing an addition to "Our Bodies, Ourselves?" Oh boy.

September 11, 2000, 03:44 PM
I don't have any Net sources for routines. I usually change mine up all of the time. When I reach a plateau, I usually take a week off and then come back with either different exercises or up the intensity.

September 11, 2000, 03:47 PM

Maybe you should try working out with a partner who can push you a little more as well. That is, if you can handle your wife benching more than you :D

September 11, 2000, 03:52 PM
Your body interprets an increase in consumption as a signal to build mass.

It does? Then why, after my favorite meal of combination lo mein, steamed dumplings, egg drop soup, and Shiner, don't I look like Ahhnold in the "Pumping Iron" video? :D

September 11, 2000, 03:55 PM
She's well behind me, thankyouverymuch...but she's gaining and I'm not. Hence the hysteria (not).

I figure diet might well play a role (I eat crap far too often), and my routine HAS been unvaried for some time now. Hey, Tom, more knuckle-pushups in class? Whaddayathink? ;)

Thanks for the replies, guys.


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

Don Gwinn
September 11, 2000, 05:05 PM

If you haven't used HIT yet, try it. You will be amazed. If you're using HIT now, you may just need a different way of utilizing it. Without knowing what you're doing specifically now, I can't recommend much else. People who make good gains on volume and then plateau usually find HIT to be pretty cool.

Ever tried 20-rep squats? You don't want to try it without a good spot or a cage, but if you were squatting without those, shame on you anyway! Just load a bit lighter than usual and then do 20 full, deep squats. Rack the weight and add the smallest increment you can the next week. 5 lbs is actually at the high end of the increase you want to make here. Good luck. It's about time I kicked my own ass back into high gear too. Maybe you and I should do a little informal competition, although I'm so undertrained right now I'll probably gain fast for at least a few weeks.

September 11, 2000, 05:44 PM
Listen to Mikul, he hit nearly every point. Another thing is that you may need to increase the weight on your exercises. Simple idea. If you lift a 50 pound weight over and over, it gets easier, but your muscles will only get to a certain size. You must add weight to add bulk.

September 11, 2000, 06:11 PM
As a guide I use "Hardcore Bodybuilding & a Scientific Approach"..by Fredrich C. Hatfield, PH.D. ISBN 0-80923728-8 ,,,,,also put issa (Internationl Sports Sciences Association) in your search engine and it will take you to a good ol site....

That old adage about you are what you eat is right, but there is more to it than that, ---Muscle fibers are composed of 3 fiber type's
Type 2b (fast-twitch, low oxidative capacity)
type 1 (slow-twitch, High oxidative capacity)
type 2a(fast-twitch, High oxidative capacity)

There is a Dr. Connely who has theorized (it might have been proven by now,Im out of date), that what bodybuilders use to call plateauing might in fact be explained by muscle fiber recruitment. In a nut shell, if your doing the same exercises the same way, with little to no variation you have most likely recruited changes from one type of muscle fiber to another. the fibers adapt to what you need....If you want to train for explosivenss with power, your work out has to duplicate that need.
Instead of just a hodgepodge of training excercises you might want to look into "intergrated variable split training" its commonly referred to as ABC type of training---but be careful here because they usually at most gyms will not go into the aspects of that training were you will get the most gains....using 4 mesocycyles with in a macrocycle with your daily workouts being microcycles....the abc's are like this:
A-muscle-specific training(low intensity)
b-targeted sets training (medium to low intensity)
c-Holistic sets training (ultra-high intensity)
----thats just scratching the surface a bare frame work and the book will help you fill in the weight, movement, intensitiy, rest, food, supplements and much more....
do your self a favor and get that book, its been a great help to me, It will take some reading to get through because it covers so much. luck to ya..fubsy.

September 11, 2000, 06:30 PM
I second Don Gwinn's suggestion of cyberpump.com. It's just plain old no-nonsense stuff.

September 11, 2000, 07:06 PM
What field of work are you in ? I'm guessing bouncer ? Do you do a martial art ?

Dude, don't powerlift, that routine gets old and is purely "loud bark but no bite". When I started kickboxing I could bench 450 lbs and hit like a freight train. Problem was, I had no gas or agility. If I didn't knock someone out in the first round, I stood a good chance of losing. Now that I freed up some of that weight, my bench has gone down considerably (450-335lbs) but I can run around that ring like a lightweight. If your in a position where you have to control a large group of people, I strongly suggest an excercise routine that not only emphasises strength, but also muscular endurance. ?Gotta find that middle ground between a 6 shot .44 magnum and a high cap 9mm right ? ;)

Anyhow, to answer your question, whoever said this You may also want to consider that you need to rest those muscles. Overworked muscles won't grow. Switch to a lighter load to maintain what you have an do more aerobic for a month and start again. hit it on the nose. Unless your fat, your diet is probably fine. focus less on Bulking up on protein and more on quality protein (white meat, fish as opposed to Red meat).

Good luck.

September 11, 2000, 09:36 PM
My profession is law enforcement: a lot of muscle is always good to have if you get stuck in a fair fight...of course, the entire point is not to fight fair. ;)

I'm not looking to bulk up to Ahnold proportions...which is good, since I'm nowhere close. Yes, I do martial arts...but ironically I've been able to attend less and less now that I'm a LEO. I am trying to make up for that by hitting the heavy bag at home and putting more of an emphasis on being aerobically (not a problem) and muscularly (more of an issue) fit. I'm 5'10" and weigh in at a whopping 165...very little of that is fat but with those proportions there ain't that much to start with. ;)

Like most routines mine earned me fairly good initial gains but progress has since flattened out. I LIKE the gymamerica webpage (thanks Tom), and I'll check out Cyberpump next...though I'm betting thats for the more muskelbound among us than myself...at least so far. :D


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

Don Gwinn
September 11, 2000, 09:51 PM
Actually, Mike, you sound like the ideal HIT candidate. HIT emphasizes:

--Intensity--your lifting should be as intense as you can make it. If you can do this by slowing your movements, OK, but be INTENSE to the point that you can think of nothing else when you're training.

--Short duration--A good HIT routine takes from 15 minutes to an hour. I usually spend close to an hour, but I'm slow.

--Infrequent sessions--Many people say if you're working at the right intensity, you'll only be able to work once a week and still gain. Myself, I always handled two, but I'm a somewhat easy gainer and I suspect I didn't get to the real pinnacle of intensity. The point is, you work less often, you have more time for other stuff, and unless you're a great natural gainer, you probably make more progress this way anyway.

--Limited reps--If you're doing a typical routine, you may be doing, for example, as many as 60 sets specifically for your chest (5x3 bench, 5x3 flies, for example, twice a week.) On a hit program, you'd do one or two sets per major muscle group, twice a week. A typical workout would be deadlift, bench, pullups on Monday and Squat and overhead press on Thursday. Throw in stuff like grip, calves, etc as you need it, but it mostly gets worked as you go along with the major muscle groups. Do one set, maybe two, for each group. You will feel like you're slacking if you've never HIT before. If you stay with it, though, you will develop the proper intensity. Once you are properly intense for ten reps of deadlifts, you will NOT want to do a second set.

You can run, box or whatever on off days. It only takes about two hours per week to lift this way and you get a ton of recovery. No offense, but at your size, you're probably a borderline hard gainer and you will benefit from the long recovery.

[This message has been edited by Don Gwinn (edited September 11, 2000).]

September 11, 2000, 11:18 PM
Athletic performance is an art not a science IMHO.

Keep a log or journal of your workouts and results...also track your sleep and stress levels, diet.

Over training is often a problem for motivated people. Have often found when illness or something keeps me from working out for 5 to 10 days I actually make bigger gains [deeper recovery I imagine].

September 12, 2000, 02:15 AM
Ahh I see ! Well then, first find out if your police department will pay for a gym membership (No seriously, some departments do this) and then try to work through this with a qualified trainer. Sorry if I mistook you for being at Ahnold's proportions, but from what it sounds you are nowhere near your plateau and shouldn't be frustrated in the least. Unfortunately, unless you have Arnold's bank account and forte for fitness, a home gym can't give you the desired results. A trainer can custom tailor a workout and a nutrition schedule to help you reach your goals much faster than you would on your own. This doesn't mean the home gym is a waste, it's a good supplement and helps with time restraints, but seriously consider a quality gym (avoid Ballys or others that require you to sign long term contracts) and look into a police discount through your department or the gym.

September 12, 2000, 02:59 AM

MTAA Is right you probably need a larger selction of equipment and maybe trainer.

Yeah the riverside sheriffs office out here pay for gym fees.

If you plateaued then the advise on here is right Don,Mike,MTAA. Your diet can play a large part though. Generally you can adjust two ways by increasing weight and or decreasing rest periods, because some parts only have a few exercises to begin with there are only so many variations for building say quad mass, Squats, press, and extensions there really arn't that many new things you can do. As was said earlier you can superset,run rack,triset, use priority principle etcetra.
As to calf and ab training you can basically do that 6 days a week, esp calf they are the hardest muscles to grow and like a lot of weight, most people didle dally with their calf and ab work.
Probably not much help, maybe you should list your workouts here, how many times week and which body parts you are doing along with reps and sets with rest periods included.
If you can also figure your lean mass ratio and check how much protein you are consuming.

For good diet change, my brother tried that Anabolic burst cycling diet and made gains very fast and he is a hard gainer. But you need a lot of discipline to follow this plan as it specifies protein, fat, and carb ratios precisely. You can find it at muslcemedia at http://www.musclemedia.com/training/abcde/v58_abc1.asp

Soon as I loose the rest of my excess weight I will get on this diet, based on what happended to my brother it looks like it worked great. BTW one of the local roid monsters at my gym asked if he was on the juice because he was so tight.
This diet was hard for him because he had to just about double his caloric intake for two weeks and then drop it to around 1600 for the next two while doing cardio for around 5 days a week on the last two weeks. That complets one cycle and they say the second is even better. But if you dont like extreme stretching and/or cardio you might not like it, it depends on how much you want it.

[This message has been edited by oberkommando (edited September 12, 2000).]

Steve Smith
September 12, 2000, 09:56 AM
It's trus! Coinneach DOESN'T look like Arnold! It's a good thing Coronach is here to pump (clap) us up! Otherwise, we would all be slithering around like the girly-men we know we are...not even strong enough to hold our feeble little heads up out of the primordeal slime.

September 12, 2000, 11:20 AM
Heh! I have NO DOUBT that I'm a hard-gainer. I amazed the people in my police academy by making only moderate gains in muscular strength even though I was *obviously* training just as hard (or harder) as everyone else (I mean...PT is supervised. Duh. And if you slacked you got called on it big time. I never slacked. Better to die a thousand deaths than drop out). And yeah, I'm sure I'm nowhere near a normal plateau level. Thus my search for a tweaked routine.

I just read the HIT FAQ and it does sound interesting. It is more of a philosophy than a routine, and elements of it are present in my current routine (work to volitional failure, etc) but some of it is new.

As to gym membership: I'm a phenominal tightwad about some things, this being one of them. ;) Our department, alas, does not give free memberships, and I'd much rather make an investment in stuff and do it at home as opposed to tossing money out every month for a membership. Naturally, this means I have to do my homework and make sure I am doing the right thing and have the right gear. Again, hence my questions.

Thanks again for all the replies.


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein

Long Path
September 12, 2000, 12:23 PM
Moving to AF/CQC: Alternative Force/Close-Quarters-Combat Forum. That's the only forum on TFL that approximately fits this topic. :)

Locked in General Disc. Forum.

September 12, 2000, 12:49 PM
A decent home gym can be had relatively inexpensively.

A bench is a must and can be found quite cheaply in the classified section of your local paper. I've seen them for $50 in ads, and once for $25 at a garage sale.

Dumbbell and barbells are also a must and are pretty cheap even new. They're also common at flea markets. The weights can also be found a flea markets or you can find a good fitness store (not one of the goofy up-market ones with $8,000 stairmasters) and wait until they have a sale on weights (usually pretty frequently).

Any kind of machine which will allow you to do pulldowns, butterflyes, and alternative exercises is a plus. They're ALWAYS expensive when they're new (at least $2K), but good deals can be found in the classifieds. While they are rubber-band based, a good Soloflex can be had for around $200. They do work if you don't mind the bands (there is a free weight adapter for the bar).

Cheap stationary bikes STINK. Instead, I puchased a trainer for my road bike. It attaches to the rear axle and applies user controllable pressure to the rear wheel for variable resistance. They're over $100, but good stationary bikes are over $600.

September 12, 2000, 01:43 PM
If you remind me, I'll let you borrow my book
"Combat Conditioning" by Matt Furey. Furey is a tank, strong as an ox, and doesn't lift weights. It might add a little variety to your workout. I've been doing the workouts for about a week, and they will kick your butt.

September 12, 2000, 02:24 PM
As some of you know, I am a serious student of various martial arts. As such, I consider conditioning to be very important.

I have found that, based on current scientific understanding, I need to work on both "strength" and "strength-speed" (aka "endurance") routines.

So, for four weeks (16 workouts), I work on strength using Pavel Tsatsouline's "Power to the People" (look for it on Amazon.com) routine (low reps and high tension, using free weights, mainly barbells, and do side press and deadlift, correctly, which is very important). I must say that Pavel's routines have brought amazing gains. His book also summarizes in very easy layman's terms the results of various researches into strength physiology. I was amazed at how ignorant I used to be (just showing up at a gym and lifting some weights, doing some benches and increasing them a bit each week - so unscientific and unstructured and ultimately futile as I reached a plateau).

Next four weeks, I do strength-speed routines similar to Matt Furey's workouts such as Hindu push-ups, pistols (one-legged squats) and pull-ups, in which I use my bodyweight and go for maximum reptitions. I also throw in some sprints. I also grab one side of a big rubber band in my fist (the other side is tied) and simulate punches with rubber tension resistance.

Note that Pavel's routines will NOT increase your weight as the increased strength will largely come from neurological conditioning, rather than sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (the blown-up look that bodybuilders, as opposed to serious strength trainers, get because of formation of jello-like material in your muscles). It is functional strength that Pavel preaches, not the hollow (or lack of) strength with the beach muscle look.

BTW, the alternating strength and strength-speed routines seem to be norm with most professional sports team training nowadays.

Hope that helps...


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 12, 2000, 03:26 PM
Power to the People! : Russian Strength
Training Secrets for Every American
by Pavel Tsatsouline http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0938045199/qid=968789572/sr=1-21/102-0089002 -2773777 (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0938045199/qid=968789572/sr=1-21/102-0089002-2773777)

[This message has been edited by LOBO (edited September 12, 2000).]

September 12, 2000, 08:49 PM
Skorzeny, maybe you should take on someone like Franco Columbu in his prime in a back strenght event. Anyone who can dead lift 800 lbs isnt full of jello. And or maybe (Greg Kovacks?) incline pressing 675lbs. Check out the espn strong man and see that most guys look pretty pumped up (must be high protien jello) and have a lot of strenght. If someone like Dorian can do 405 revese grip bent rows and he isnt even trying to work on strenth that tells me there is more that just jello in there.I agree that powerlifting is a different breed of animal and they also look different because they have a lot more fat than body builders, but to say all the bodybuilders are weak is a little much. Those russians better be strong they,ve done more roids then anyone else on earth, except for maybe the chinese swimmers of a few years ago.

Coronach you think you had it bad at academy by not gaining much my brother is there now and he is getting weaker. Too bad the police know very little about physical conditioning.
There is more to it than running and doing a million push ups.

[This message has been edited by oberkommando (edited September 12, 2000).]

Matt VDW
September 13, 2000, 02:28 PM
Skorzeny, what are "Hindu push-ups"?

September 14, 2000, 05:44 PM
Combat Conditioning
by Matt Furey http://www.dragondoor.com/yangsheng/books/d84.html

September 16, 2000, 12:40 AM

You either misunderstood me or did NOT get the point of "functional" strength.

The point of functional strength is not being able to lift a lot once, regardless of one's weight. Crudely speaking, functional strength means ability to do work per your body weight (or per your muscle weight) ESPECIALLY over time.

I was NOT suggesting that bodybuilders lack strength. I was suggesting that bodybuilders lack strength considering the size of their muscles BECAUSE much their muscle mass is from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This is a part of the reason why most bodybuilders do poorly in athletic contests (other than those "staged" events). Their bodies burn energy inefficiently (because of high muscle weight, low efficiency) and they usually "gas" or "tank" in a few minutes of continuous exertion. In a fight, it does not matter if you can do 800lb. of deadlifting if you weight 350lb. and become easily exhausted in 3 minutes of continuous boxing or grappling.

The most efficient form of functional strength does not come from increasing your muscle size - it comes from neurological conditioning. High strength from neurological condtioning means that you can keep your body/muscle weight low (meaning energy consumption low as well) at the same time, so that you can, for example, move more effortlessly and perform strenuous activites (like kicking, punching or grappling) with less fatigue over time.

Bodybuilding and weight training for combat sports (or fighting for that matter) are two entirely different things.

Anyway, if you get a chance, check out Pavel's book.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 16, 2000, 06:14 AM
Skorzeny, didnt mean that you should fight franco just was talking about one rep strenght as I thought was what your book was about. And he was IIRC 210-220 with that 800lbs dead.

Yes I understand about strenth to weight ratio, for the body builder they have all the muscles built up so when one group is isolated they have to move the rest of them with that one group. Say doing sit ups for instance they have to move those arms shoulders chest and back that have a lot of mass on them. If you were to take joe blow and give him a few plates on the chest the builder would easily win in a test, as would he in a strength/endurance test that employed all the major/minor muscle groups.
Also most BB types loath cardio vascular training as it tends to be catabloic. So if you cant supply the O2 you will tank. You are right about that, most tank.
But then again most others cant lift two cylindeers weighing around 300lbs each let alone race to a finish line with them. They are too weak in the first place.
Talking more about the strongmen then B Builders here, with some being both powerlifters/and/or former bodybuilders. Once the weight becomes so extreme it doesnt matter how good your conditioning is you will tank eventually, because it is on the edge of human ability.

Just as a sprinter will beat all normal people even though they have huge quads, its the fact that they dont have a large upper body, same with bicyclist big quads and calves but little upper body mass, and those quads have great indurance. Depends on what you want to do.

Ken shamrock seems to be an exception yes? Lots of endurance and lots of mass. If grappling at least.

Also guy like magnussen and taylor seem to have high strenth to weight ratios and weigh quite a bit. But maybe not compared to olymipic lifters in their "specialized" moves, but I think the olympians would crumble in lifting awkward things like cement balls and such.

As to fighting, at least in boxing the bigger fighter, if of the same skill will ususally beat the smaller fighter. Kinda like a heavy weight v a lightweight, no contest in boxing.
Sorta like a tractor trailer and a geo metro, the metro is way more efficeient but the diesel can do a great deal of damage in a short period of time.
In the natural world the prey species are usually more efficient than the predators, but a lion will shredd a wildebeest if it lays paws on one.
And I think the goal of fighting is to end it as quickly as possible, as bruce lee found out when he took on a sensai from another kung fu dojo that didnt want him teaching "round eyes" After that exhausting battle he changed his technique to his own so he could end a fight quickly.
So I think you ideal maybe someone like him, very light, very strong, and very fast.Heard of him holding a 135lb barbell straight out with arms locked.Pretty dang impressive!

I will try to get the book, as I could use more stength IMO. More mass wouldnt hurt either as I like the fact that it takes a lot of calories to maintain.

BTW isnt neurological of/or relating to "mental conditioning"?

Thanks for posting the book, see you around.

[This message has been edited by oberkommando (edited September 16, 2000).]

September 16, 2000, 04:49 PM

We should NOT (as you did) compare an "average" person training in Pavel's methods with a serious bodybuilder. Even with the latter's inefficiency, if he has more training, he may exceed the "average" person with very little volume of training (obviously).

As you know, that wouldn't be a fair comparison. We should compare two average human beings spending similar amount of time training in Pavel's methods and "bodybuilding" methods and see who comes out "better," especially in regards to "combat conditioning." In that case, it will be pretty clear who the winner would be.

And, yes, given all the other variable constant (including the same level of skills), GENERALLY a stronger (not necessarily heavier) fighter will beat a weaker partner. However, the other variable will not always be constant when there is an absolute strength disparity. There will also be disparities in weight, cardio-vascular conditioning and such (not to mention SKILL).

In other words, "bigger is better" only applies to a certain extent. A 200 pounder may indeed pound a 120 pounder in boxing. But will a 500 pounder slob beat a well-conditioned 225 pounder? Probably not. Weight IS a factor, but one among several.

BTW, Bruce Lee is NOT my ideal. What my ideal is whatever allows me to approach the theoretical peak efficiency for fighting skills given my circumstances and in-born factors (including my genetic pre-dispositions).

I will say this. There is, in this country (USA), a certain love affair with the looks of an Arnold Schwartzenegger as the "ultimate fighter" body type. The reality is actually much different. In UFC and similar NHB contests, the fighters with "bodybuilder" body types have not done well in general.

Ken Shamrock is an interesting case. But, he made an extensive use of steroids. If you want to see a superbly conditioned fighting athelete look to his adopted brother Frank Shamrock or Egan Inoue (Enson Inoue's brother). They didn't takeup "bodybudiling" routine, let me tell you.

Sometimes, what I find really amusing is that some of the bodybuilding types around the gym I used to belong to would hulk around acting like tough guys. Some of these guys weighed about 225-275lb. (with huge muscles) and acted like they could crush little me (170-175lb. with moderate size muscles) Any of them who bothered to show up on the mat to wrestle with me ("that Jujitsu **** won't work on me") alway squealed like little girls when I submitted them (usually with an ankle lock or an arm lock). And I don't even use a full repertoire of my fighting techniques or weapons (like knives) on the mat.

Some of my immature friends still make remarks like "Wow, look at that big guy. I don't care what you study. You won't beat that guy in a fight." I always reply, "Maybe or maybe not, but whether I win or lose is NOT going to depend on how muscular he looks. It's going to depend on his level of "combat" traninig, his mentality, his conditioning and, yes, his strength. There are other variable as well."


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 16, 2000, 05:05 PM
Oh, one more thing...

Neurological conditioning is NOT the same as mental conditioning.

The idea is that the human body is actually much more capable of bearing extreme tension (weight) than is normally seen or understood.

What prevents us from lifting huge amount of weight is NOT usually from lack of muscle size. It is from a "safety margin" that our neurological conditioning built into us. What goes on internally (again, neurologically) is that when you lift some heavy weight you are not used to, the body automatically shuts down and "fails" to lift to "protect" you from the "unknown" tension/weight.

Neurological conditioning involves progressively subjecting one's body to higher and higher tension to condition the body's automatic mechanism to reduce that "safety margin" and to allow the body to not shut down when tested to a certain amount of tension.

Anyhoo, check out the book. Pavel does a much, much better job of explaining much of the science behind it.

BTW, flexibility works in a similar fashion. Most people pull muscles when they are subjected to a sudden stretch. It's from something called "stretch reflex." What the body is doing is that when a sudden force is applied to a part of the body, the body (the neurological conditioning) automatically tries to protect the vulnerable bones and joints by contracting rapidly (almost violently). That of course "pulls" the muscles involved (it's a sacrifice - hurt the easily healed muscle to protect the really vulnerable bones and joints).

For most people (not used to sudden force), this automatic safety margin is excessive, thus limiting their "flexibility." The body just won't let the muscles to "stretch" without violent contracting back.

This is NOT improved by "stretching" the muscle (which may indeed increase the range of motion, but will weaken the muscle the same way over-stretched rubber band is now longer, but weaker-tensioned).

It is improved by PNF (Priprioceptive Pneumomuscular Facilitation), in which antagonistic muscle tension (as in, if you tense one muscle group, the antagonistic muscle group cannot be tense at the same time and must be relaxed automatically by the body), combined with proper breathing control, is used to condition the body neurologically to allow the body parts to "go farther" and reduce that safety margin. Of course, it helps to improve mobility in your joints (not just muscles) by practicing what are called mobility drills.

It's all really about "re-wiring" the neurological setup at a different level.

Check out Pavel's "Beyond Stretching" or Kurz' "Stretching Scientifically."


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 16, 2000, 05:33 PM
Try this place for some fun body weight workouts. http://www.webfects.com/hea/routine.htm#
Also, look into olymic lifts for some serious speed strength development. I second Dr. Squat as a great place to go.
Home equipment - get a weightlifting cage that is tall enough for you to do pullups, and ( with dumbells and weight) you have just about all you really need.
good luck, stay safe out there

From the Committee to Use Proffesional Politicians as Lab Animals
She doesn't have bad dreams because she's made of plastic...
bad Kiki! No karaoke in the house!
Larry Flynt is right. You guys stink!!!
Peter McWilliams - Murdered by the DEA

September 17, 2000, 06:06 AM
ah yes....Dr. squat, of course his muscles are jello..lol....but joking aside, there is a liablility with mass over perfomance, the odds that you will lift to that point are probably not likely.
The information that Dr. Hatfield (aka Dr. Squat) makes available allows each individual to taylor his workouts to the specific needs of the individual. He gives the sientific/medically proven reasons or he will debunks beliefs, for the gains and what you can do to help your self.
Dr. Hatfield was the weight strength guide for Holyfield(sp) in his come back after he suffered medical problems.
His work will allow you to integrate different strategy's (type of workouts, flexibility, strength, endurance), inside the same frame work.
"WE"(royal "we" here..lol) come on the net and dissect the perfect pistol, the perfect martial art, the perfect knife, the perfect whatever...lol....and I think we've found there is nothing perfect. Everybody has a reason for why "theirs" is the best....and it has to be for someone...lol...what ever you do dont stop evaluating. later.....fubsy.

Matt VDW
September 18, 2000, 09:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Heard of him holding a 135lb barbell straight out with arms locked.Pretty dang impressive!

Unless he [Bruce Lee] was wearing skis or a 200 pound backpack, I don't see how he could do that without falling forwards. Think about where the center of mass of the Lee/barbell system would be in relation to the tips of Lee's toes.

Danger Dave
September 20, 2000, 07:36 AM
I take it you like "Power to the People". While I'm generally skeptical of "breakthrough" research (like we all haven't seen or bought into some snake oil), but I have to say, his "Beyond Stretching" is the cat's meow. As a relatively inflexible TKD stylist who has only recently recovered from a recurring adductor muscle injury, his credibility is way up there with me. My leg went from hurting all the time and being inflexible to being pain-free and more flexible & stronger than it was before I injured it in about 2 months. I have to add, though, that Thomas Kurz's "Stretching Scientifically" follows many of the same principals, and has some flexibility workout plans specifically geared for different sports, something Pavel doesn't cover in his text. I recommend them both, for sure. Check Amazon.com for both.

My questions for you -
1) What equipment do you need for the PTP workout?
2) Have you done any STI stretching?
3) Have you tried Furey's Combat Conditioning?

I think I'll invest in PTP soon. I'm still fine tuning my flexibility routine right now.

[This message has been edited by Danger Dave (edited September 20, 2000).]

September 20, 2000, 02:15 PM
Danger Dave:

"Beyond Stretching" was the first of Pavel's books that I bought. It is the book that really convinced me of Pavel's ideas.

Well, actually, they are not quite "Pavel's" ideas. Pavel was a PT trainer for the Soviet Spetznaz, a Soviet national kettlebell lifting champion (a big, folk strength contest in the former Soviet Union) AND is a Master of Sports in the former Soviet Union. His ideas are not "breakthrough" or "revolutionary." They may SEEM so in this country (the USA), because we have been sold the "buy-new-equipment-it-will-make-you-look-like-this" fitness snake oil since the 60s.

For example, I still see some (not all, not even most, but some) American Olympic athletes doing slow and static stretches. Most countries with any modicum of serious fitness research have moved to dynamic stretches and plyometrics for "warm-ups."

Pavel merely summarizes the relevant scientific research regarding flexibility and strength and drew the necessary conclusions and came up with some practical routines.

I have an associate who is a strength coach for a national-caliber football team and he verified most of "Pavel's" ideas as being sound and in line with current research.

As for needing equipment for "Power to the People," the only thing you need is an Olympic weight set ($139 at your local sports store). Or you can get a barbell and some weights. That's it.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu

September 20, 2000, 02:20 PM
Oh, sorry, forgot respond to the following:

2. STI: No, I do not do STI's. As Pavel points out, you don't really need extreme flexibility unless your athletic endeavours require it. PNF is more than enough for me.

3. Matt Furey's routines: I cycle speed-strength routines with PtP routines every 2-4 weeks. My speed-strength routines are similar to Furey's, but not quite the same. I do Hindu push-ups, Pistols (one-legged squats), pull-ups and some punches and kicks with rubber bands and some sprints here and there.


For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu