Bodybuilding Training Article from

Weight Lifting and Weight Training - Chapter 1
How to use weights to improve your health, strength and physique

by George W. Kirkley -- 1973

Home Gym Equipment

Individual Stations

Folding Bench Press

Adjustable Combo Bench

Flat Bench

Heavy Flat Bench

Adjustable Spotter Bench

Bench Press Spotter

Basic Bench Press

Self Spotter Rack

Power Cage

Hip Sled

Dumbbell Bench

Smith Machine Bench

Jones Machine

Back & Arm Machine

Cable Crossover Machine

Squat Rack

Preacher Curl Bench

Roman Chair

Hyperextension Bench

Seated Calf Machine

Vertical Knee Raise

Hack Squat Machine

Power Rack

Power Rack Bench Combo

Power Rack Lat Attachment

Leg Extension Curl

Ab Crunch Board

Dumbbell Rack

Flat Incline Decline Bench

Utility Bench

Smith Machine

Smith Lat Attachment

Plate Loaded Gym

150 lb. Weight Stack

Selectorized Home Gym

Preacher Curl Attachment

Bench Squat Combo

Lat Machines

Phys-X Free-Standing Lat Tower

Olympic Weight Tree

Standard Weight Tree

Ab Crunch Machine


Home Gyms

Home Gyms

Performance Trainer

Biangular Gym

Two Stack Gym

4-in-1 Free Weight Gym

All-in-1 Free Weight Gym

Smith Gym


Cardio Equipment

8k Treadmill

10k Treadmill

Elliptical Trainer


Miscellaneous Items

Body Solid Miscellaneous

Bodybuilding Accessories

Gravity Inversion Boots

Ab Blaster Slings

Olympic Adapter Sleeves

Rubber Floor Protector

Olympic Shrug Bar

Push-Up Bars



Chapter One

Principles of weight training

Most men cherish a desire to have a well-developed body, even if very few of them take the trouble to do anything about it, but those who do train for the purpose of improved health, strength and development are wise. Wise because one of the most important things in life is good health. Good health is not necessarily combined with large muscles, of course; one can be very healthy indeed with only slight musculature, but good heath plus good development is something even better. So why not seek that as well?

Muscular development can be had without using weights for the purpose. One can practice wrestling, gymnastics and many other forms of physical activity and, in addition to the enjoyment of the sport, can often make noticeable muscular gains, but for those who want the maximum development weight training is the best method. It can be scientifically planned - unlike the playing of games or the participation in sports, when the acquirement of skills and enjoyment of the game are the primary objectives and the muscle benefits merely incidental.

Weight lifting can also be made progressive, by the gradual increasing of resistance as the muscles grow in size and strength. Indeed the principle of progressive resistance is a major factor in weight training. The right exercises and other factors are essentials, but unless the work is progressive -- which means that it must lead to constant handling of heavier and heavier poundages -- the realization of one's potential will not come.

The use of a muscle against resistance causes an increase in size. This growth is due in part of improved circulation of blood and also to chemical conditions arising out contraction. Activity causes some destruction of the constituents of the muscle but when nature replaces the lost materials she overcompensates.

Almost without exception the world's best developed men have used progressive resistance exercises to build their physique and they have used heavier and heavier weights as the got bigger and stronger. The variety of exercises is very wide and dozens of different movements can be performed to build the physique in a harmonious and effective manner. Moreover, in this process the general health is improved and the vital organs function with greater efficiency.

Amount of Exercise
Generally, a training session should consist of a sufficient number of exercises to build all-round development, with at least one exercise for every major body part -- particularly for a beginner, who usually lacks all-over development. Later, graduation can be made to exercises that are essential for the building up of those parts of the body that are below the overall standard.

A training session should last, on an average, anything from an hour to an hour and a half. This is sufficient time to get through enough work for your purpose. The number of exercises will average from eight to fifteen, depending on one's immediate object. At certain times, one may use only five or six movements for a special purpose. At others, double that number.

Frequency of Training
Since resistance exercise breaks down muscular tissue, which nature replaces and the process begins immediately after exercising, a rest period is essential to allow nature to do her work. Generally, it is not wise to exercise with weights every day and for most people a rest period of two days has been found to be the best. This means training sessions every other day, which is a good general principle. So aim at three or four sessions weekly, depending on such factors as your own personal recuperative powers and the time you have available for training.

Many people, too, find it beneficial to train hard and consistently for a period of say, six months, then have a lay-off for about two weeks, before continuing again for another six-month period.

After the beginner's stage, when a standard body-building course has been followed, perhaps for several months, you will know a lot more about your own particular physical and recuperative powers and will be able to plan your own future schedules and methods of training, bearing in mind that the essential basic principles must be maintained.

Any variation from these principles of progression, frequency of training, rest periods, number of repetitions, etc., depends entirely on the individual -- his own powers, ambitions, intelligence, enthusiasm and adaptability.

You must not be afraid to experiment or to depart from the accepted path if by doing so, better results come.

The number of repetitions for any exercise can vary quite considerably, depending on the individual, his physical type, the nature of the exercise and the object objective in view. Later chapters will give more detailed aspects of this important factor of weight training. Generally, the number of repetitions will range from as little as three to as many as thirty, although the average for most exercises will be around eight to ten.

For general physique building where one is not concerned with increased strength so much as increased muscle size, the repetitions should be fairly high -- generally form eight to twelve for most movements. The high repetitions allow a longer period for the muscles to be flushed with blood and tend to increase the size of the muscle as opposed to increasing its strength. Lower repetitions, while still in part achieving the object of increasing muscle size, tend to have more effect on increasing strength. This why weight-lifters rarely perform high repetitions in their training, but instead, use heavier weights and fewer repetitions.

The importance of physical type must be considered, too -- more so in bodybuilding than in weight lifting -- particularly as in weightlifting a good proportion of the participants are those of a physical type that is most favorable for the sport. The next chapter deals in greater detail with this subject.

More chapters from this book below...
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 |

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