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Why these 50 year old workouts are the most profitable choices you can make today

The intelligence of Peary Rader lives on.

Long before 9 hour office desk jobs before a computer screen became the norm in every working economy, Peary, an erstwhile skinny dude from Nebraska in the early 1930s who went on to add 80 pounds in just an year with intelligent exercise founded the coveted Iron Man Magazine, along with wife Mabel Rader.

If you haven't yet read an Iron Man magazine issue, you're reading the wrong blog you are up for a surprise in enlightenment in how ahead of the times, 40s and 50s could be.

Inside the issues of Iron Man, readers from across the globe started discovering the simplicity of weight-training methods for adding slabs of muscles to their body and sporting the strength to match it. What was even more delightful was that these methods did not require a lot more than a conventional barbell set and could be stationed inside any regular household.

Things went really 'Hall-of-Fame' though when Peary came out with his formula for success in the form of 'The Rader Master Bodybuilding and Weight Gaining System' in 1946 and refined it in 1956.

Guys trying to get muscular and add weight really went Gun-Ho all over knowing the 'secrets' listed in this book.

Anyway, what was interesting, if you look deeper into this publication, was how Peary always relied upon the power of minimalism.

The most notable section that I found from this book is his representation of the abbreviated routines for the busy and working guy. Something that applies the most to the readers of this blog.

Peary also notably mentions how these quicker training sessions were beneficial for the time-challenged office goers who were low on energy.

What you see below are excerpts taken from this publication showing five ultra abbreviated routines worth giving a try if you are someone who is on a quest to get bad-ass on a really busy lifestyle.

1. The Bench Press - Row - Squat Program

The Name says it. All you gotta do is:

Bench Press: 1 set of 12
Two Arm Bent Row: 1 Set of 12
Barbell Back Squat: 1 Set of 20 Repetitions

Workout 2 to 3 times a week.

Breathe DEEP through each and every rep of each and every exercise.

Breath in deep before performing the descent and press on the bench press.

Perform the Bent row with the weight parked on the floor on all reps and end each rep with the weight back on the floor. Breathe deep through each rep of the row as well.

Finally, it goes without saying that none of the squat reps should be done on empty lungs.

Keep adding 'sets' whenever you are able to perform the named reps easily. Target a total of 4 to 6 sets with each exercise. For the squats, a right multi set approach with this program would be to perform the first set of 20, then add weigh to perform another set of 10. Then go a bit lighter for a 15. Then a bit heavier for a fourth set of 10. be Experimentative but never go less than 10.

Estimated time to completion: Close to 60 minutes, factoring the rest periods involved. A home gym works even faster.

2. The Press - Chin - Squat Program

The program consists of just three exercises which accoring to Rader "are so well chosen that they cover most of the major muscles in the body."

Here's your menu:

1. The barbell overhead press - 1 set of 10 to 12 reps
2. The Chin Up - 1 set of 10 to 15 reps
3. The barbell back squat - 1 set of 20 to 25 reps

Do the workout 2 to 3 times a week. You can also follow the squats with a light set of 20 pullovers done with a dumbbell or a barbell.

The pullovers can be done with a barbell

Or a dumbbell like shown below.

The progression schemes remain intact as in the previous program. So does the emphasis on deep breathing.

Per Rader, as you progress with weights here, you can split your target reps into smaller clusters and perform them in rest pause fashion till you reach the target reps in a single set.

Estimated Time to Completion: 45 to 60 Minutes

3. The Clean and Press Squat Program

This one is a fantastic overall developer. Your program looks like this:

1. The Barbell clean and press: 1 set of 15 reps
2. The two arm barbell bent rows: 1 set of 10 to 15 reps
3. The barbell back squats: 1 set of 20 to 25 reps

End your workout with a light set of barbell or dumbbell pullovers doing 20 repetitions.

Train 2 to 3 days a week.

Once again, follow the same instructions for technique and progression as listed previously.

Estimated time to Completion: 35 to 50 minutes.

4. The Clean and Jerk Squat Program

I'll let Peary himself do the honors of explaining this potent atom-bomb of a program:

In his words: "This exercise is the same as the one above except that you use the clean and jerk instead of the clean and press. It is more advanced in that you use more weight and clean with as much leg action as necessary, then start the press with a drive of the legs by bending and then
straightening them quickly, then finish by pressing to straight arms length. Do this exercise
first then your squats as usual. This program will give you rugged power as well as unusual
development and is a favorite program of Doug Hepburn."

You can do clean and jerks, the squat style like this:

Or in a split style like this.

Since the barbell clean and jerk can be an intimidating exercise to learn for many trainees who are uninitiated to Olympic lifting, it is best to learn this lift as a part of a different program first, and under an able supervision of a trained coach.

The same rep schemes as program no 4 here.

Estimated Time To Completion: 30 to 45 minutes

5. Specialized Squat Program

A lot of trainees require nothing more than raw, rugged bodyweight gains. This one's for them.

You perform nothing but the Squats and the pullovers here. One set of 20.

If you are in the mood to do more, add another set of 10 to 15 reps on the squat and another set on the pullovers.

With time, you may be able to do several such sets in a single program.

Trainees who have actually given this deceptively simple looking plan a chance for some time have reported phenomenal gains in bodyweight and muscle gain.

Sit back and let the simplicity of this program sink in for a moment.

Estimated Time To Completion: 30 to 45 minutes

Where are my Bicep Curls?

I can see a lot of you scratching your heads because of the significant amount of training-dogma of today that these programs break.

When time is a cherished luxury for you, the first thing that goes out of the window are the peripheral movements such as bicep curls, calf raises and forearm exercises.

You can however add an effective ab movement such as ab wheel rollouts, hanging leg raises etc at the end. But let your time and recovery be the judge here and not the conventional wisdom of program design that you see being screwed around and lauded about in your gym.

Why Did I decide to write about these seemingly over-simplified programs?

I'll answer this in one sentence. They work like a charm for me. I have been on one of these abbreviated program and it has been months since I have switched to another, simply since I am not seeing the weights on my lifts stopping from increasing. And I thought, why not let everyone make use of this re-discovery?

Would they work equally well for you? Why not give them a shot and find out. If tonnes of evidence of trainees having enjoyed gains in strength and health of them over the decades are to be believed, you have a lot of reason to trust them and start off on your journey with them. And save hours and hours of training time every week and spend it on more meaningful pursuits such as the family, kids, cooking food, shopping and traveling.

What more can you ask for?

Muscle building programs don't get any simpler. Take advantage of more than half a century old wisdom of the Iron pioneers and see how much time you can actually save while getting more results than your current program, every week.