Arthur Jones Full Body Workout
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Is It Worth The Price?
by Arthur Jones
From IRONMAN September 1971, Volume 30 Number 6, visit www.ironmanmagazine.com
Believing something doesn't make it true; for thousand, years, millions of people sincerely believed that the
earth was flat and some people still do. And as of the moment, many people -- perhaps most people --
sincerely believe that bodybuilders, as a group, are a bunch of fruits and nuts; but in this case, far from
being a myth, such widespread belief is founded on an uncomfortable amount of truth -- while the fruits are
far less common than most people think, the nuts seem to occur in bunches like grapes. As I have said
many times before, I am no longer at all surprised to find an actually very insecure little boy lurking
underneath a set of muscles that would do credit to an adult gorilla.
And just what makes me think I am so superior? Well, to begin with, I don't consider myself superior to
anybody -- but I would have to be an outright fool to overlook the plain fact that I am certainly "different"
from quite a number of people that I have met; and while Will Rogers often stated that "...he never met a
man be didn't like," I do think he was spreading it a bit thick in that instance. Either that, or he just didn't
meet some of the people I have known.
And what does this have to do with weight-training? Unfortunately, quite a lot -- too much, in fact. While
it is perfectly true that progressive resistance exercise is capable of producing worthwhile results that are
literally unobtainable in any other manner, it is equally true that most people (even most medical doctors)
look upon the whole field as an utter fraud. Which widespread opinion prevents most people from ever
learning the truth -- casts the whole subject in such a bad light that most reasonable people avoid weight
training like the plague.
And while I am certainly no longer naive enough to think that I can change the world, or even do much in
the way of redirecting fools -- I do think that the concentrated efforts of a few reasonable people can do
quite a lot in the way of halting the spread of insanity; if we can't heal the sick, perhaps we can at least
inoculate the upcoming generation of young bodybuilder, with the needle of truth -- and if the present
unhealthy trend can be reversed, perhaps weight training will someday be accorded the reasonable
consideration it truly deserves-
As a first step in that direction, a totally new type of physique competition will be held in Los Angeles on a
date to be announced in the future. Open to anybody with reasonable qualifications for major physique
competition, this contest will offer a total of $50,000.00 in cash prizes, as follows: a cash prize of $25,000
for 1st place; $7,000 for 2nd place; $5,000 for 3rd place; $2,000 for 4th place, and $1,000 for 5th place --
plus $2,000 for each best body-part winner: best arms, best chest, best back, best legs, and best abdominals.
Prior to the physique competition, a week will be devoted to a series of careful tests to be conducted by a
group of doctors from a number of universities and research foundations; among other things, tests will be
made to determine accurate bodypart measurements, drug usage, performance ability, and related
physiological factors -- all entrants will be required to sign a release permitting free and unrestricted
publication of the data thus determined. But none of this information will be made known to the panel of
judges until after the contest has been concluded and prizes have been awarded; in short, the judging will be
based strictly on appearance - but afterwards, the actual facts will be published.
Let it be clearly understood in advance that there is no intention to "hurt somebody" -- on the contrary, we
are simply making a sincere attempt to determine and publish the truth; in an effort to clear the air -- in
order that millions of young bodybuilders of the future will not be led into attempting to duplicate
impossible (and false) measurements and performances.
Secondly, we can think of no other possible manner to bring together a large group of outstanding physical
specimens for the purpose of conducting accurate tests for scientific purposes; the results of which let,
should prove of enormous value to everybody interested in the field of physical training.
Thirdly, it is at least hoped that a contest conducted in this manner ill attract enough attention outside the
actually very narrow field of weight-training to "change the image" of bodybuilding in the overall public
mind; in this direction, a ,one-hour, color film on the subject of exercise in general, and weight training in
particular -- with the contest and physiological testing being the highlight of the film -- will be made for
television. And it is at least possible that major -- and "serious" -- coverage of the contest will be afforded
in national publications outside the field of weight training.
Additional details will be published in later issues of Iron Man and other magazines -- but in the meantime,
if you consider yourself a potential world-class physique, start training hard, the contest WILL BE HELD;
and with a chance at a $25,000 cash prize, you can be reasonably sure that "everybody" will be there.
Now - as promised in previous articles -- I will point out a few things that can be applied to training with
any type of equipment; well-proven but largely unknown or misunderstood -- points that can be the
difference between outstanding success and outright failure.
Full Body Workout
- Regardless of what kind of equipment you have available, restrict your workouts to not more than three
weekly - "the so-called split system" of training is ALWAYS A MISTAKE.
- In almost all cases, two sets of any one exercise will produce better results than any other number of sets --
and more than three sets of an exercise should never be performed; and -- before increasing your number
of sets from two to three -- try doing only one set of each exercise in each workout.
- For best results, a workout should never exceed a total length of an hour and a half -- and most people
will gain most rapidly on a schedule of three weekly workouts of approximately one hour and twenty
minutes each, or shorter.
- Drugs will NOT help you progress -- regardless of widespread opinion to the contrary.
- The number of repetitions in any one set should never be less than six -- nor more than twenty; and best
results will usually be produced by sets of eight to twelve repetitions -- but every set of every exercise
should be carried to a point of utter failure, where no additional movement is momentarily possible. It is
almost literally impossible for most people to work too "hard" -- but it is easily possible for anybody to
work too "much."
This last point, the required "intensity of effort," is one which cannot be overstressed -- but it does seem to
be a point which can easily be misunderstood; personally, I have about reached the conclusion that it is
simply impossible to make most people understand what you mean when you mention "working to the point
of failure." So long as reasonably good form is being maintained, then it is impossible to work too hard --
but even that isn't enough; after it becomes literally impossible to produce ANY AMOUNT OF
ADDITIONAL MOVEMENT -- when you are exerting maximum possible force and NOTHING IS
HAPPENING, then at least two more repetitions should be performed by "cheating" -- but such cheating
should NOT involve sudden jerking, and it should be limited to the minimum amount required to make the
movement possible. Do not cheat to make the movement EASY - cheat only enough to make the
movement POSSIBLE; make the movement as hard as you can -- the harder, the better properly performed,
two such cheating repetitions performed immediately after the maximum number of repetitions done in a
strict manner should leave you feeling like you just climbed a tall building with your car tied to your back --
You should be breathing rapid, you should be sweating freely, and you should find it necessary to sit down
for a moment after the set is finished; if you merely "feel like" sitting down, then the set wasn't hard enough --
you should have to sit down to avoid failing down.
All of which above outline of the required "style of training" is easy enough to put into words - but putting
it into words and getting people to understand those words seem to be two entirely different matters; and
even when people do understand what is being said, they usually refuse to practice such a training -- making
all sorts of excuses and attempting to rationalize a much "easier" style of training.
Most bodybuilders seem to he perfectly willing to perform almost any "amount" of training -- but avoid
anything even approaching rosily "hard" training. Then they wonder why it takes them ten years to produce
the results that should have been produced in six months. They seldom if ever train hard enough to produce
any growth stimulation - and they train so much that growth would be impossible even if growth stimulation
was being produced.
6. In spite of widespread opinion to the contrary, it is NOT necessary to devote your entire life to training
in order to produce good results; in fact, all of the weight of very clear evidence supports the contention that
a normal life is actually a requirement for producing best-possible results -- many of the greatest
bodybuilders of all time produced their best results at a time when they were working full time at a hard job.
Bodybuilders who attempt to explain their own failures by offering the excuse that they have to work are
either lazy or misinformed, or both -- or simply unwilling to admit that their individual potential will never
permit them to reach championship class.
And remember, a championship class physique is just that -- an outstanding example, one out of thousands
(or even millions); we can't all be champions, no matter how we train.
But even if you do happen to be one of those actually very rare men, a man with the potential to be a
champion, would such an accomplishment be worth the price of devoting your entire existence to efforts
intended to produce the ultimate physique; is it ever worth that kind of a price? Personally, I think not --
but that, of course, is merely my own opinion; however, it is not an ?opinion? that such an accomplishment
does NOT require such a price.
Now -- in full awareness that the following statements will bring screams of outrage from several directions,
from people that will possibly be affected by these remarks -- I intend to point out a couple of very simple
steps that almost anybody can take in the direction of improving the results produced by their training. One --
if you have been using a so-called "easy curl" bar, and if you can use a normal, straight bar for curls, then
use the straight bar; if you do use a straight bar instead of the bent bar, your results will be better -- because
the hand position provided by bent bars literally makes it impossible for your biceps to twist into the fully
contracted position. Two -- if you have been using a so-called "Scott curling bench," chuck it out the
nearest window; you will get FAR BETTER RESULTS with old-fashioned two-handed standing barbell
curls -- because the angle of these curling benches is totally wrong when they are being used with either
barbells or dumbbells, rather than improving results, such benches actually REDUCE RESULTS.
And -- before a few hundred people hasten to mention that the angle of the bench in a Nautilus Curling
Machine is much like that in a Scott curling bench -- I will point out the fact that Nautilus Curling Machines
have omni-directional resistance, so it makes no slightest difference what the angle of the bench is, the
bench surface could be flat, or vertical, or anything in between and it would not affect the exercise in any
slightest way. But with a barbell or with dumbbells you DO NOT have omni-directional resistance -- so the
angle of the bench is very important, and Scott curling benches are angled in the wrong direction.
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