STRONG Life Insider: The Development of Muscular Bulk & Power


From Anthony Ditillo's Book, The Development of Muscular Bulk and Power

There is something about bulk and power training that invades your very soul.

It is extremely hard to put into words.

The exercise movements themselves are quite simple to perform. The routines one must utilize in order to gain rapidly that much sought after strength are not especially interesting or dynamic in appearance. All in all, powerlifting and bulk training is a rather mechanical robot like procedure, which is performed methodically, yet undoubtedly with great zest and enthusiasm running rampant in the minds of its devotees.

There are many men who will do absolutely anything in their quest for greater muscular bulk and power, and when I say anything, I mean anything. Specialty foods, special diets, special routines, 'the championship way to train', the cheating principle, the power overload principle, these are a few of the many varied thoughts which run through the average power trainee's mind. They are part of his 'bag', so to speak. They make him what he is, that no one can deny.

Below, a sample workout / page from 1 of Anthony Ditillo's Books.

As I always say, you can NOT deny the basics.

I took a page from Anthony's info and implemented a 3 week mini cycle of Squats from the bottom position. These are called pin squats or suspended squats (Westside Barbell uses chains to start Squats or Good Mornings from this bottom position).

From Westside Barbell: Concentric Movement; With the bar suspended by chains or by using power rack pins, simply crawl under the bar and raise it concentrically. Going from a relaxed condition to overcoming a stable load with light and medium loads of 50% to 80% will develop a rapid rate of force development. When loads of 90% and above are used, this causes maximal force rather than appearing explosive. It may appear somewhat slow due to the massive external resistance. The second method with 90-100% or more to be used on max effort day.

My friend Evan Marcus, NFL Strength Coach told me how he uses this with his players, starting the squat from the bottom. It IS tough! I used a safety squat bar during my session and last month did this from the Zercher position for Zercher Squats.


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510x1. Bar is 37 inches from the ground. @serafenastrainingsystems

A post shared by Kyle Snyder (@snyderman45) on

Above, Kyle Snyder doing some Pin Squats from the bottom in a basement gym with his Coach. As always, Nothing Fancy needed.

Unfortunately, the basics don't garner you more social media likes and shares, but that's GOOD. When you're following the majority, you are likely WRONG!

Now, like anything, you'll need to rotate this method of training. Some of us can get excited with one way of training and exhaust the method. I prefer 3 week mini cycles and sometimes even 2 week mini cycles on a basic lift.

At Westside Barbell, the advanced lifters rotate their main lift EVERY WEEK. On the other hand, my friend Marty Gallagher is a minimalist. And, rightly so. He has helped train some of the strongest humans to ever walk the planet!

Men who trained on nothing but the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. Some of them added a few extras like curls, overhead presses, bent over rows and maybe some dips.

Seeing what I see recently at commercial gyms, I'd say the keys to progress are Basics + Hard Work + Consistency. If you're touching your phone more than you touch a barbell, you will NOT get strong. If you're a phone addict, you're likely not reading this article anyway. I can say with certainty that those phone type people are watching YouTube on how to build your side delts rather than how to get built like a Brick S--t House!

It's almost 20 years now when I began my garage gym training journey. I saw the downfall decades ago, unfortunately. Gyms that treated you like the enemy for lifting heavy, using chalk and being intense. They kept the music low. The sounds of unnecessary chatter in the gym was louder than the sound of weights clanging together.

Until the next time, train hard!

Live The Code 365,


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