Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Back when I was a kid, there were
two different kinds of exercises.
First, you had the bulk and power
Also referred to as strength and
Today, we call them the basic
exercises -- or basic compound
Squats, benches, deadlifts, rowing,
pull-ups, pull-downs, military presses,
press behind neck, close grip benches
Standing barbell curls, shoulder shrugs,
and calf raises were also on the list,
mainly because they were basic movements.
For those who knew how to do them, the
list also included power cleans, power
snatches, and high pulls (clean grip
or snatch grip).
Then there were all the little exercises.
Lateral raises, concentration curls, one
dumbbell triceps extensions, triceps
kickbacks, leg extensions, leg curls,
hack squats, etc.
We call them isolation exercises today.
Back then, we called them DEFINITION
The idea was this -- you would train on
the BIG exercises to build strength and
mass, and then, after you were big as a
house, you'd use the definition exercises
to carve some inter-galactic mega-muscle
super cuts and definition bombs.
And then you'd go to the beach and all
the girls would swoon -- or you'd win
the Mr. America and get a big contract
to endorse protein drinks (or maybe get
a movie contract, like Steve Reeves) --
or -- well, something spectacular.
We weren't really sure why this definition
thing was so important, but we knew we had
to have it.
Of course, the definition thing was the
result of diet (and, in many cases, the
drugs they didn't talk about). Those
little exercises had nothing to do with
it. They were just fun to do, and we
could pretend that we were training
with the champions when we did them.
So we were kind of naive and silly about
it all -- and so were the magazines we
read -- but consider this:
1. We knew that the BIG exercises built
strength and muscle mass.
2. We knew that the little exercises
Today, nearly half a century later, even
with the interwebs and all the training
information that's available, many trainees
still don't understand those two simple rules.
They try to build strength and muscle mass
with -- you guessed it -- the stuff we used
to call "definition exercises."
Which is one reason why so many modern trainees
get absolutely zippo in the way of results.
They're using the wrong exercises.
And it's like bringing a knife to a gun
fight -- it doesn't work very well.
No thanks. I'll stick the the BIG exercises.
Yours in strength,
P.S. When it comes to building strength and
muscle mass, you can't do better than these
a. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength
b. Strength, Muscle and Power
c. Chalk and Sweat
P.S. 2. My other books and courses are right
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Basic and heavy. Make
it your mantra." -- Brooks Kubik