by Arthur Jones
From IronMan September 1970, Volume 29 Number 6, visit www.ironmanmagazine.com
For best possible results from physical training, several
requirements are absolutely essential: (1) totality of
effort, (2) omni-directional resistance, and (3) direct resistance.
Lacking one or more of the above three factors, any form or amount
of exercise will not provide results even closely approaching
Barbell exercises do not -- repeat, DO NOT -- meet any of these
requirements: and as a con. sequence of this lack, at least 97% of
the effort expended in conventional training with barbells is
wasted. The results that are produced by conventional methods of
weight training come from only about 3% of the efforts devoted to
The above listed three requirements are basics -- factors that must
be present for best possible results -- but they are
not the only factors required; additionally, a perfect form of
exercise must provide (4) variable, balanced resistance,
and (5) full range resistance.
Again, barbell training does not meet either of these requirements.
So, as recently as a year ago, the perfect form of exercise did not
exist -- but now it does; and it is now possible to
improve the results of weight training by at least 1,000% and
probably by as much as 3,000%. According to most published
scientific opinion, maximum possible sustained strength gains are
supposed to be limited to about 2% per week, but we have been
producing sustained strength increase rates of over 30% per week,
week after week after week.
For absolute clarity, I feel it is necessary to clearly define the
previously listed five requirements for a perfect form
(1) Totality of effort: the involvement of 100% of the muscle
fibers contained in the muscles being exercised.
(2) Omni-directional resistance; a form of resistance that applies
force from every possible direction -- as opposed to the single
direction of resistance provided by conventional forms of exercise.
(3) Direct resistance; while related to the second requirement,
directness of resistance is not necessarily a result
of omni-directional resistance -- in effect, omni-directional
resistance is required for direct resistance, but does not
produce direct resistance.
Direct resistance is a form of resistance that opposes -- directly
opposes -- the movement of involved body parts; when the hands, for
example, are moving vertically upwards, the resistance must be
applied in a vertical direction downwards. If the hands are moving
towards your torso then the resistance must be applied in a
directly opposite direction.
In effect, regardless of the direction of movement of involved body
parts, the resistance must always be applied in
the opposite direction.
Second: direct resistance requires a form of exercise that permits
working the involved muscles in such a way that their potential is
not limited by other, weaker muscles.
For example: in all forms of conventional exercises, it is
literally impossible to work the major torso muscles
without involving the strength of the arms, and as a result, the
ability to develop the strength or size of the torso muscles is
limited by the strength of the arms.
In order to properly exercise the major torso muscles, the lats,
pecs, deltoids and trapezius, they must be heavily worked without
involving the arm muscles at all.
A bit confused? Read on; it will all be perfectly clear in the
(4) Variable, balanced resistance; in this instance, "variable"
resistance does not refer to your ability to increase or decrease
the resistance being employed -- as you can do by adding or
removing barbell plates. Instead, it means that the actual
resistance must change during the exercise movements; you might,
for example, start a curl with 80 pounds and finish the movement
with 150 pounds. Or you might start up from the low position of a
squat with 300 pounds and come fully erect with 1200 pounds.
Within a given range, the resistance must be infinitely variable
and it must be constantly changing as the movement progresses.
Why? Because changing the position of the involved body parts
changes the strength of the muscles that move those body parts.
Thus, in conventional forms of exercise, you encounter so-called
"sticking points," places in the movement where the weight
seems much heavier than it does in other positions, and you also
encounter points of little or no resistance.
But if the resistance varies throughout the movement, then
these sticking points and points of light resistance are avoided;
the weight will always "feel" exactly the same at all points
throughout the movement, although, in fact, it is constantly
In order to attain that perfect "feel," the resistance must be
balanced in relation to the changes taking place in the
strength level of the muscles in various positions; the resistance
must vary in perfect harmony with changes in strength produced by
changes in position of involved body parts.
(5) Full range resistance; resistance must be provided over the
entire possible range of movement of involved muscles. Muscles
must be worked from a position of full extension to one of full
If not, then only part of the muscle is receiving worthwhile
exercise; in all conventional forms of curling, for example, and
this includes all forms of curling -- bench or curling
machine work -- the worthwhile range of movement is never more
than, and usually less than, 90 degrees of movement, out of a
possible range of movement of the biceps muscles of nearly
360 degrees (approximately 155 degrees of contractile movement, and
190 degrees of supinational movement).
As a result, no conventional form of exercise for the biceps does
much of anything for these muscles in their strongest positions --
in the positions where they are strongest, and thus require the
greatest amount of resistance, they are provided with absolutely no
resistance in most exercises and with nothing approaching
worthwhile resistance in any exercise.
Although he possesses outstandingly impressive arms, Boyer Coe
found, upon trying one of our new curling machines, that he had
practically no strength in the fully flexed position; in spite
of eight years of steady, heavy training with barbells and
conventional pulley exercises, the potentially strongest
part of his arms had never been given enough work to develop any
real strength in the strongest position.
When resistance is provided over the entire range of possible
movement, then the muscles will respond in all areas -- instead of
only in some areas.
The result? Muscular size and strength never even dreamed of
before -- produced within a matter of a few months
instead of over a period of several years, and produced by brief,
Thus a simply enormous degree of improvement has been produced by
this revolutionary new form of exercise, improvement in at least
four separate areas . . .
(a) Elapsed training time has been greatly reduced, results can now
be produced in months that were previously possible only from
years of training.
(b) The requirement for the frequency of workouts has been reduced
from five or six weekly workouts to only two or three
(c) The length of workouts has been reduced to as little as thirty
minutes, with a maximum workout time (for best results) of
not more than one hour and twenty minutes. A maximum weekly
training time of not more than four hours (three workouts of
one hour and twenty minutes each).
(d) Potential results have been greatly increased; previously
unheard of size and strength will be produced by many
trainees following this system of training, and any trainee
following this system will attain greater strength and muscular
size than would have been possible otherwise.
Thus, in effect, it is now possible to attain greater size and
strength in a shorter period of time with fewer and shorter
But if this is so -- many people will ask - then why isn't it
possible to obtain even better results by using these methods more
frequently, or by employing longer workouts?
Because, for the first time in the history of exercise, you are
working all of the involved muscles; working them directly,
working them over their full range of possible movement, and
working them to a point of total exhaustion; thus, more frequent
or longer workouts would exhaust your muscles beyond their ability
to recover between workouts.
Once a muscle has been exercised properly, then no additional work
is required, or even desirable; best results will always be
produced when muscles are worked to the point of total failure --
BRIEFLY and INFREQUENTLY. Any additional exercise beyond that will
merely reduce the ability of the body to respond
properly -- results will be slower instead of faster.
A muscle must be warmed up properly, worked to the point of
momentary failure - and then given a chance to recover.
Up to this point, I have mentioned only possible results, but I
have said absolutely nothing about "ease of results;" do not make
the mistake of assuming that these new methods are easy -- they are
not. On the contrary, this method of training is by far the
hardest form of work known to man; enormously result-producing it
is, very fast it is, also, but it isn't easy. And it wasn't
intended to be.
We looked for, and we found, the hardest possible form of exercise,
unbelievably hard exercise, brutally hard exercise; as it
had to be in order to produce the kind of results that it does. So
if you are looking for something "easy", then look elsewhere,
because this isn't it; but if you want unbelievably fast results,
then this form of exercise will produce them, at least ten times as
fast as any other method of exercise -- and in many cases at least
thirty times as fast.
But you won't get such results by doing eight or ten sets on one of
the new machines -- eight or ten sets on one of our new lat
machines would probably kill you; if you lasted long enough to get
through that many sets. Most people don't make it much if
any beyond two sets at first, at which point they are stretched out
on the floor in a dead faint, green in the face, violently sick,
unable to move.
That wouldn't happen to you? Well, be my guest, but don't say you
weren't warned. I don't care what kind of shape you are in
at the start, until you have tried this system of training you
literally do not know what hard training is. Heavy squats? High
repetition squats? Fast squats? Fast, heavy, high repetition
squats? Well -- some of our trainees do over twenty repetitions of
full, fast squats with over 300 pounds as a "warm-up" for their lat
machine work; such a warm-up is required in order to get the
breathing and circulation up to a point where the body can properly
meet the requirements imposed by the heavy lat machine
The degree of "pump" produced by such exercise? Not any, or
at the very most, very little DURING THE EXERCISE, but almost
immediately afterward, the muscles are pumped to a far greater
degree than they have ever been as a result of any other form of
Why? Because, when all of the fibers of a muscle are working, it
is impossible to produce much if anything in the way of a
"pump," the individual muscle fibers are flexed -- all of them are
flexed -- and blood simply cannot get in WHILE THE
MUSCLES ARE WORKING.
But immediately afterwards, once a set is completed and the muscles
are relaxed, the blood flows in at an enormous rate, and in
a matter of a few seconds, the muscles are pumped as hard as a
One or two sets of such exercise, repeated not more than three
times weekly, are all that are required for producing simply
unbelievable training progress, increases in both strength and
muscular size; more than that number of sets, or more frequent
workouts, would tear the muscles down faster than your system could
rebuild them. Thus, with this system of training, short,
infrequent workouts are not just a possibility, they are an
And at the start of such training a certain degree of caution is
well advised -- two or three weeks of careful break-in training are
An absolute requirement as well; up to this point nobody using this
system has actually kidded himself by attempting to overtrain,
but dozens of trainees have worked themselves to the point of
violent sickness within a matter of a few minutes. And they have
done so in spite of firm warnings regarding the need for caution at