Workout for a Working Man (1956)


How many reps? How many exercises? Eccentric or Concentric? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves when we are building our monthly routines or entering the Iron Church for one of our sporadic sessions. Here is an example of a workout performed several years back that can still prove useful today.

The first exercise is the Continuous Clean & Press. You clean the weight, press it to arms’ length, lower it to the shoulders, then to the floor again. Immediately clean the bar again and press it overhead. You should try to get at least 8 clean & presses. When you can do 12 with a weight, increase the poundage next workout.

Second exercise is the Deep Knee Bend or Squat. Breathe in deep on this one – consciously. Squat on full lungs, and blow out all the air through your mouth as you rise to the full erect position. Take in another big breath and squat again. After 10 reps you should be puffing, and at this point it is wise to pause at the top and take two or three deep breaths before each squat. Do no less than 15 reps and increase the poundage when you can do 20-25 reps with a weight. After doing the squats, it’s a good idea to lie down on a bench and do a set of 15-20 light straight-arm breathing pullovers. This will not only return your breathing and heart action to normal faster than plain resting, but it will serve to stretch out your rib cage. This is not counted as an exercise in the program, just think of it as part of your squats.

Exercise three is the high-pull to chin, a very good arm, shoulder and trapezius movement, and one that builds lifting power. Stand erect, heels together, pull the barbell from a position in front of the thighs slowly and steadily until it touches the chin. Lower and repeat. Do at least 8 reps, and when you can do 12, add weight to the bar.

Exercise four is the standard bentover barbell row. Bend to right-angle position and pull the bar up to touch just below the chest. Do 8 reps, and when you can do 12, add weight to the bar.

Exercises five and six are dumbell exercises designed to give strength and size to the arms and shoulders. Do the alternate (see-saw) dumbell press first – repeat for 8-12 reps – now bi’s!

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