The Awesomeness of Powerbuilding, Part 3
Believe it or not, there used to be at least a half dozen dudes in World Gym Tucson just in the evening crew who could Behind The Neck Press 315lbs.
Walking into a gym used to be a humbling experience. Benny Podda-esque behavior was commonplace- you might not see a half naked wild man covered in blood rip a water fountain out of the wall and toss it across the room, but there was enough wild-eyed screaming and ECA-fueled rampages throughout the gym that as a newcomer, you trod lightly. But as you became inculcated in that community, you became more savage, more feral, more muscular, and far stronger. There was no other option- kill or be kill, eat or be eaten. If you were a tourist, you were treated as such, shunned and reviled by the locals as beneath contempt.
I kid you not- I googled Barbarian Brothers and this came up. This is the modern Fitspo era.
Those times are long past. In the PC, pink bitch, weak-sauce modern era of lifting, everything is antiseptic, everyone’s wearing “outfits,” and people are too busy muttering ridiculous jibberish like “cucklord” and taking selfies while feigning injuries to justify their crappy lifts to actually lift something heavy. And if they actually do manage to lift some paltry weights, they’re following some $100 cookie-cutter program designed for the lowest common denominator human, stressing deloads and rates of perceived exertion and a bunch of other jargon that serves as nothing but a screen for lazily slumping your way through workout after workout… but they certainly won’t shy from posting videos of their ministrations on the internet in hopes of some half-hearted encouragement and pity from faceless strangers.
Newsflash: if my Facebook and Instagram feeds are any indication, that crap does not work. What does work is breaking your ass inside out every day, with the goal of getting bigger and stronger, followed by massive meals and tons of protein. Screw choosing a specific diet, screw choosing a specific program, screw all of this new jack nonsense- you don’t need that kind of “help.” What you need is to follow in the footsteps of giants so you can trace their path to brutality. Along the way, you’ll adopt the old school mindset, and all of this nicey-nice, happy-go-lucky, no fap, no honor, no integrity, no balls, bitch-made crap can get tossed in the dustbin of history along with every other horrible fad that has befallen the human race and retarded the evolution of humanity into true godhood.
Can you tell which one is on gear? I sure as hell can’t. Now shut up and lift.
And before any scrawny, Smiegel-looking, basement-dwelling pussies come swooping out of the rafters screeching about PEDS, bear in mind the Barbarian Brothers trained together doing the same program day in and day out, and only one of them was gassed up. Stop making excuses. Don’t be a bitch. It’s time to start chokeslamming these excuse-making idiots in the parking lot outside the gym for even mentioning gear- if you use it, fine, if you don’t, fine. Either way, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT ABOUT IT.
Now, onto more programs that have made people brutally strong and jacked.
Danny “The Giant Killer” Padilla
At his heaviest, the 5’2″ Giant Killer was 190lbs. Although I realize a shredded 190 lb near-midget will still bring about screams of “Manlet” from Cheetos-dust-filled basements around the country, Padilla outlifted just about everyone you know. He trained six days a week with massive volume and extremely short rests and has been caught on video squatting 405 for sets of twelve weighing under 190, and benched 450 when he was closer to 180 lbs.
“I’ve got your manlet right here, bitch.” – Danny Padilla
Padilla didn’t give a crap about programming or overtraining- he just bombed into the gym like a miniature Godzilla and wrecked everything in sight. Most of the year, Padilla would train 4 to 6 days a week, but he didn’t get too panicky about missing training days. If he missed one, he’d just pick up where he left off and continue forward like Marshawn Lynch on the goal line. His split really never changed- he’d train chest and back on day one, shoulders and arms on day two, and legs on day three, then repeat. He didn’t wave load, use periodization, check the position of the stars, phone a friend, ask Facebook, or do any other stupid crap to tell him when to add weight to the bar, either. Knowing that such things are more retarded than the guy with the giant dent in his head that stocks the soup at the local supermarket, Padilla would just add ten pounds to the bar whenever his five sets of twelve got too easy, and then would use that weight as his working weight for successive workouts, Keeping his rest periods to 60 seconds or less, Padilla was a Tazmanian Devil in the gym, finishing a workout of two to three exercises with five sets of twelve in just over an hour (in the spirit of other training luminaries like Vince Gironda). His offseason program looked thusly:
Chest and Back
Bench Press- 5×12 (with 2-3 warmup sets, rather than the umpteen warmup sets currently in vogue these days)
Incline Bench- 5×12
Dumbell Pullovers- 5×12
Bent Barbell Rows- 5×12
Cable Pulldowns- 5×12
(once a week) Deadlifts- 5×12
Shoulders and Arms
Seated Military Press-5×12 (supersetted with cable laterals)
Cable Laterals- 5×12
Rear Laterals; 5×12
Front Raises or Upright Rows- 5×12
Dumbbell Curls- 5×12
Barbell Curls- 5×12
Concentration Curls or Preacher Curls- 5×8
Lying Triceps Extensions- 5×12
Seated Overhead EZ Bar Extensions- 5×12
Pushdowns / One Arm Dumbbell Overhead Extensions- 5×12
Legs and Abs
Leg Extensions- 5×12
Leg Presses- 5×12
Lying Leg Curls- 5×12
Standing Leg Curls- 5×12
Standing Calf Raises- 5×12
Donkey Calf Raises- 5×15
Seated Calf Raises- 5×15
Crunches or Leg Raises- 5×20
No calculations, no spreadsheets, no coach, and no nonsense. Using nothing more than a simple exercise, set and rep scheme, Padilla was able get strong enough to make just about anybody look like a punk bitch lifting next to him, with a physique that probably got him more ass than Wilt Chamberlain. Food for thought.
Few bodybuilders seem to arouse the weird, impotent enmity of messageboard warriors like Rich Gaspari, the Dragon Slayer. At the age of 50, Gaspari could bench 225 for 25 reps and could rock front raises with the 100s (much to the bizarre chagrin of the weaksauce and bitch-made messageboard warriors who profess to train), but in his prime Gaspari was squatting just under 700 lbs and deadlifting 495 for 12 at a bodyweight of around 215lbs. Not too shabby for a guy who was known for being ultra-shredded rather than a monster in the weight room… though he’d trash just about anybody you could put him up against at his bodyweight in the gym today.
Not a fan of the ultra-high rep stuff that was in vogue when Gaspari competed, he preferred to train like a goddamned maniac with ultra heavy weights, low reps (even precontest), twice a day, 6 days a week. His approach was simple- lift weights until his eyes bled with less craps given than John Wayne Gacy at a children’s birthday party, low calorie diet and everyone else be damned. The man tore through weights like the Killdozer through a Palestinian tenement, and his physique reflected that. Grainier than a block of granite and harder than a diamond in an ice storm, Gaspari was a beast. Here’s how he did it. [SPOILER ALERT: He didn’t have a coach, a team, a program, conjugate periodization, prehab, Rumble Rollers, or any of the other unnecessary crap everyone seems to think is indispensable these days, because all of that stuff is extraneous nonsense that only slack-jawed wusses need, and their reliance on such things is a virtual guarantee they will never achieve greatness.]
Donkey Calf Raises- 5×15 (with two people on his back and a dip belt. He’d do a drop set where he’d have one guy jump off, then the second, then drop the dip belt)
Seated Calf Raise- 5×15 (last set was a triple drop set)
Chest (last sets all done to failure)
Incline Dumbbell Press- 5×8-12
Incline Flyes- 4×8-12
Barbell Bench Press- 4×6-10 (drop set on the last set)
Dumbbell Flyes / Pec Deck- 4×10-12
Weighted Dips- 3×10
Cable Crossovers — 3 10-12
Lying Crunches- 4×50
Hanging Leg Raises- 4×50
Twisting Cable Crunches 3×50
Cardio (followed by posing practice)
Arms (Superset Triceps and Biceps)
Pushdowns supersetted with Incline Dumbbell Curls- 4×10-12
Skullcrushers supersetted with Seated EZ Preacher Curls- 4×10-12
Seated French Curls supersetted with Rope Pushdowns- 4×10-12
Kickbacks supersetted with Dumbbell Concentration Curls- 3×10-12
One hour of posing
Back (from his ’88 season, with his training weights)
Front Pulldowns- 3×10-12 reps, 250 lbs max weight
Reverse-Grip Pulldowns- 3×10-12 reps, 220 lbs max weight
Seated Cable Rows- 3×10-12 reps, 300 lbs max weight
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows- 3×10-12 reps, 200 lbs max weight
Barbell Rows- 4×10-12 reps, 365 lbs max weight
Deadlifts- 3×10-12 reps, 495 lbs max weight
Back Extensions- 3×12-15 reps, 45 lbs max weight
Abdominals– Same as day one
Note the utter lack of training journals, percentage tables, or other useless accoutrements of the modern trainee.
Arnold Presses- 5×6-10 (drop set on last set)
Seated or Standing Side Laterals- 5×10-12 (drop set on last set)
Standing Upright Rows supersetted with Two-Arm Cable Side Laterals- 3×12
Standing Front Dumbbell Laterals- 3×10
Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals- 4×10-12
Behind the Neck Shrugs- 5×10-12
One hour of posing
Leg Extensions- 5×12-15 (have partner push down to make the negative phase more difficult)
45-Degree Leg Press- 5×15
Hack Squats supersetted with Sissy Squats- 5×15
Walking Lunges / Reverse Lunges on a Smith Machine- 5×15
Lying Leg Curls — 5×12-15
Stiff-Legged Deadlifts — 4-5×15
No cardio or posing after leg training
Calf Training same as Day One
Abdominal Training same as Day One
So there you have it- a veritable roadmap for getting strong and, and it likely in no way resembles the techniques of the modern trainee. As I know that there is an oncoming rush of whining out Redditors about gatekeeping, cuckolds, betas, and whatever other nonsensical and bizarrely misunderstood terms are in vogue to spew online these days, consider the following from an interview with the incredibly, strong, jacked, and mentally unstable 1980s bodybuilder Mike Quinn:
“To sum it up, bodybuilding in the eighties was awesome and the [modern era was] a huge disappointment. In the eighties, your training was the most important thing, then came diet, and the drugs were a distant third. That hierarchy seems to have reversed itself since then. Now kids will come up to me and their first question is usually how much I bench. Right after that they want to know what steroids I use. It’s so pathetic.”
Clearly, it’s not just me who thinks that the modern trainee is bitch-made. Ditch your program. Dump your coach. Forget about whatever Pubmed crap is in vogue these days. If you want to know what works, you simply have to look at the pre-internet era, when people relied on their balls and their brains to get jacked as hell, rather than nameless online idiots with less knowledge about training than your average housewife, but a hell of a lot of opinions about it. What matters is your mentality- the execution will follow.
Just get out there and make it happen.
Danny Padilla Workout. Musclenet. Web. 23 Dec 2017. http://www.musclenet.com/danny-padilla-workout.html
Mielke, Myron. Rich Gaspari The Dragon Slayer. I’m A Bodybuilder.
Web. 22 Feb 2015. http://www.imabodybuilder.com/gaspari.html
Merritt, Gerg. Hardcore Contender – Rich Gaspari. Flex Online. Web.
22 Feb 2015.
Merritt, Greg. Rated hardcore. Flex Online. Web. 22 Feb 2015. http://www.flexonline.com/training/rated-hardcore
T Nation. The black sheep of bodybuilding: an interview with Mike Quinn. T Nation. 26 Mar 2004. Web. 23 Dec 2017. https://www.t-nation.com/pharma/black-sheep-of-bodybuilding