Bodybuilding: Background Training

A Composite Bodybuilding Training Program!!

Bodybuilding: Background Training
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Improving your physical condition…

While we have all tried to improve our physical condition I have experimented with many methods and applied different theories and principles in that quest. Such disparate methods as fasting, calorie increases (MORE EVERYTHING), heavy training, light training, vegetarianism, predominantly meat diets, dietary cut backs, dietary increase (MORE FOOD), supplementation and so on. When heavy training ceased to produce results — as it invariably did after a while — I resorted to light training, and when all direct training of the muscular system failed to take effect I applied no-weight training. I even departed from bodybuilding exercises altogether, although bodybuilding was my primary concern, to apply what are generally regarded as conditioning or even slimming type of training. I devoted several weeks to long distance walking proceeding to long distance running and jogging. This was long before the current ultra fitness craze. I did all of these things because I was a hard gainer and my physiological condition was always subject to backsliding.

Bill Pearl

Out of this seemingly complex and contradictory plethora of methods and approaches I finally managed to evolve a meaningful pattern. In the physical sciences a unifying principle has long been sought. In the sphere of physical training and bodybuilding I derived the periodic principle which enabled integrated arrangements of different exercise and training approaches to be obtained. In one period we apply a certain approach; in another period we apply a different approach. But all periods are conjoined to comprise an overall program of training.

It is a physiological fact that the body does not respond best when subjected to the same conditions all the time; it is also a fact that different objectives are to be discerned in training the body to maximum capability. At first sight this may not appear to be the case. The bodybuilder surely knows what he wants—big muscles( aka SIZE). But is this not too simplistic a view? The problem is able to be broken down into several aspects. There is the bulk aspect and there is the definition aspect and no matter what some of the so called authorities may say there definitely exists a contradiction between the two. The training which imparts maximum bulk and size is not the training which imparts maximum definition. MUSCULARITY IS A COMBINATION OF THE TWO. Bulk and definition equal muscularity.

It is also necessary for us to be able to define what we mean by bulk or mass in the bodybuilding context. We certainly do not mean masses of fatty tissue. We mean good solid bulk In the areas of maximum muscular mass. Therefore, even a bulk - gaining program needs to be controlled. The best monitor for this purpose is the waist line. While slight increases here may be tolerated temporarily while pursuing overall bulk increase, corrective measures must immediately be applied if pads of fat tissue tend to become evident. It should be realized at the outset that one cannot train for very defined abdominals at the same time as one trains for significant size increases. Therefore, the emphasis should be upon control.

To reiterate: We should train for bulk In one period (bulk being subject to the qualification stated). We should then direct a period of training to “cutting up,” “carving out” or whatever appelation you prefer.

This is but one illustration of how training complexity may be simplified by application of the periodic principle. There are other training aspects — for example fitness, stamina, health. We cannot train arduously for maximum muscularity if our fitness or basic health deteriorates. From time to time we may then require conditioning -fitness training at same time or another. Remember that no man can maintain top condition permanently. One must persistently return to the problem in order to maintain optimum progress in bodybuilding. We have found it a not infrequent occurrence for bodybuilders to develop bouts of “flu” and stomach afflictions. Such occurrences clearly indicate the need to desist from heavy training of the muscular system—but only for a period—until the health condition has been built up.

But would it not be possible to combine at least some of the different training aspects which are non-contradictory in one COMPOSITE PROGRAM? Yes, it would, and this is where Background Training comes in.

It is, in fact, possible to combine several different training aspects into one schedule. A health and conditioning may serve as the background training to a heavy bulk-power routine. Furthermore , an exercise program designed to stimulate the metabolism positively — I call this an anabolic program — will contribute to the overall gains.

Example: 2 days conditioning-metabolism training , 2-3 days basic health training, 2-3 days heavy weight training.

This is but one suggestion of how a composite program may be arranged. There are others. One could train for conditioning - metabolic stimulus on two to three days per week, applying non weight training (anabolic) exercises on one to two days with heavy weight training on two to three days per week. Such a planning of training has produced fantastic gains in cases where previous training along standard lines has failed or did very little. Such a case was W. Morrison, an ordinary trainee, not a competing bodybuilder, who gained six inches on chest measurement, 3½” on the arms, 42 lbs. in bodyweight, finishing up with a differential of 21” between waist and chest over a 9 month period. He has now attained 52½” chest with 18½” arms and still gaining. We hope to have an article on training the metabolism shortly in which we will indicate that such gains are by no means restricted to the elite of bodybuilding.

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