Olympic Muscle

Charles Poliquin

Page 1

Q: Are the Olympic lifts of significant value to bodybuilders?

A: The snatch and the clean and jerk are contested in the Olympic Games for the sport of weightlifting. They have little positive influence on furthering a bodybuilderís goals; however, some of the assistance exercises that Olympic lifters routinely use for improving their results on Olympic lifts can help bodybuilders way more than snatches and clean and jerks. Iím talking about the various forms of the power snatch and power cleans, as well as the various forms of the Olympic pulls (snatch pulls and clean pulls)óroughly 70 exercises. One favorite exercise of Olympic lifters, which is unfortunately not used by bodybuilders, is the front squat.

Assistance Olympic lifts will benefit you most if you do them for multiple sets of six reps or fewer. Assistance Olympic lifts have to be done for low reps for two reasons. First, they make very high demands on your coordination. Second, theyíre done explosively. Because the time under tension per lift is minimal, you need a high number of sets to reach minimal training volume.

Here are two lower-body routines using Olympic-lifting assistance exercises that should help you build your lower body. Itís the sort of work that Olympic lifters do to move up a weight class or when theyíre in a general preparatory phase. (Tempo notes: 3/1/1/0 means three seconds for the eccentric lowering, a one second pause at the bottom, one second for the concentric contraction and no pause at the top; X means an explosive concentric contraction.)

Routine A
Power snatches (from midthigh) 5 x 4-6
use a 1/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets
Clean pulls on podium 5 x 4-6
use a 2/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets
Front squats 3 x 3, 3 x 6
use a 4/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets
Routine B
Power cleans from the blocks 5 x 4-6
use a 1/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets
Snatch pulls (from hang position) 5 x 4-6
use a 2/0/X/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets
Back squats 6 x 5
use a 3/1/1/0 tempo, rest three minutes between sets

Alternate†the two routines for four workouts of each, and you can be sure youíll pack some serious mass on your traps, spinal erectors, glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Q: Does acupuncture play a role in getting someone stronger and more muscular? Can regular visits to the acupuncturist help me get stronger and leaner?

A: Acupuncture has been used by Chinese martial artists for centuries to help them recover from their training sessions or bouts. Acupuncture in the Western world is sought mainly by people who have failed to get healthy from the standard medical approach to long-term ailments, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure and fibromyalgia; however, bodybuilders and power athletes can get incredible performance benefits from acupuncture.

We use acupuncture at the Poliquin Performance Centers to promote the following :

Enhanced motor units recruitment. Each muscle in the human body is linked to a muscle acupuncture point (MAP). Stimulating that point for 10 to 15 seconds will temporarily increase the strength of a muscle by about 2 to 7 percent. Thatís similar to a hefty dose of ephedra, without the side effects. You can stimulate those points prior to a maximum lift and set new personal records. Stimulating MAPs radically reduces healing times in rehab programs. My IRON MAN colleague Peter Siegel, on one of his visits to the Phoenix Center, witnessed firsthand one of our athletes increasing his scapulae retractor strength by 25 percent after four successive stimulations of MAPs over a two-minute period.

Enhanced recovery. Nearly two-thirds of the American people complain of some sleep disorder. Athletes are no exception. Acupuncture can readily solve sleep issues that are often the limiting factor in achieving optimal growth in strength and size. Acupuncture also assists recovery by normalizing hormone levels and promoting adrenal health. The healthier the adrenals, the better the athlete will do.


Let the NO Flow

Jerry Brainum

Let the NO Flow

L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning that itís essential in the human diet under certain conditionsóamong them periods of rapid growth, pregnancy and after injuries. The liver synthesizes arginine during the urea cycle, which is involved in the excretion of protein-metabolism waste products. The arginine the process produces, however, isnít available to the rest of the body. Instead, an arginine metabolite amino acid called L-citrulline circulates in the blood to the kidneys, where itís converted back into L-arginine.

Deltoid Void

Steve Holman

Deltoid Void

Q: My delts are just not rounding out. I know youíre a hardgainer, as I am, and the drive to develop full, round delts probably pushes your shoulder workouts as it does mine. In my case my medial delts seem to be coming along, but my front delts arenít. When I raise my arm for a double-biceps pose, my front delt is just a thin strand of muscle, and thereís hardly any separation between the front-delt head and the biceps. I know you say to focus almost all attention on the medial head, but I need help with the front. Also, my outer-biceps heads donít have much pop to them. When my arms are down close to my sides and flexed, as yours are in some photos Iíve seen, the short inner heads and tendons stand out, but the long heads are nowhere to be seen. What did you do to help fill in your outer biceps heads?

Cumulative Consequences

Randall Strossen

Cumulative Consequences

Maybe you remember the fable about the ant and grasshopper. While the ant toiled steadily, the grasshopper played. Days, weeks and months went by, and when winter came, there was a huge difference in how each was prepared to face the coming months. Consider how processes like that work in the gymóas well as out of itóand consider whether youíre running your life in a way that will help you reach your goals.

Muscle-Training Program 72

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Muscle-Training Program 72

To force a muscle to grow, you must change something in your workout for that bodypart. Growth is an adaption to new stress. It used to be so easy in the beginning, remember? All you had to do was keep adding weight to the baróand you could do that at almost every workout. But after years of training, poundage increases are few and far between. Just ask Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman.

Lee Labrada

Rod Labbe

Lee Labrada

A strange phenomenon occurs as we move slowly through lifeómemories drift into nostalgic set pieces, neatly summarized by songs, events, catch phrases, movies and television shows. Certain images become clear, crystallized by time, while others fall away, buried in our pop-culture subconscious.