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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

Born in the 1940s:
The WHY of My Deeds


My oldest daughter, who is 21, recently e-mailed me a document that described some of the characteristics of individuals born in the 1940s. Since my birth year was 1943, most of them are meaningful to me — especially since my wife and I have two children less than 5 years of age. Here are the traits:

  • Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright-colored, lead-based paints.
  • We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets.
  • We played in attics amongst the asbestos and rubbed mercury on our dimes and quarters.
  • Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
  • We ate cupcakes, white bread, bologna, real butter, and drank Kool-Aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing.
  • No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay.
  • We did not have Playstations and Xboxes — no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVDs, no surround-sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms. We had friends and we went down the street and found them.
  • We were given bows and arrows on our 8th birthdays and BB guns for our 10th birthdays. We shot them at birds, frogs, and even each other. Although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
  • We played tackle football without facemasks — and many times in our backyards, without helmets and pads. There were no referees. Differences were settled on the spot, in what we called friendly fights.
  • We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility — and we learned how to deal with it all.

After experiencing most of the above situations, I became interested in strength training in 1958. Looking back, I understand now why I responded well to basic exercises and simple routines.


BASIC EXERCISES, BASIC ROUTINES

For the first six months, my routines consisted of the following exercises, all of which were performed three times a week with a barbell:

I worked up to doing three sets of each exercise with various repetition schemes: 1-3, 4-7, and 8-12. My results were gradual and steady. I gained about 15 pounds of body weight.

I then added other exercises to supplement the basic ones, including those performed with dumbbells. In three years, when I graduated from high school, I weighed 200 pounds — which was sort of my goal, when I began four years earlier at a body weight of 135 pounds.

In 1962 I went to college at Baylor University for five years, and then to Florida State University for four years. During that time, I tried all the available training methods and techniques. My best results, however, occurred when I returned to the basic routines.


JONES'S PHILOSOPHY

When I met Arthur Jones in 1970, he reinforced that indeed the basics were beneficial. But Jones had taken the basics and clarified them in ways I had not thought much about. He defined intensity, form, and progression — and discussed how important they were. Then, he said that without a clear understanding of duration and frequency, you couldn't appreciate fully the first three.

Intensity, form, and progression, Jones believed, stimulated your muscles to grow. Keeping your routine brief in duration and frequency permitted muscular growth to occur unimpeded by inadequate recovery ability.

Instead of taking four years to achieve a body weight of 200 pounds, Jones said I should have done so, at most, in half that time. The key, he said, was to train harder, but briefer.

Jones philosophy made sense to me. After working closely with him for more than 30 years, it still does.


UNDERSTANDING WHY

Have you ever thought about . . . WHY you tend to do what you do, repeatedly?

A friend, who is an authority in the Myers-Briggs Personality Typing, recently gave me the written version of this well-known system. I had taken the same test a dozen years earlier and was able to compare the evaluations now, with what they were then. My responses were generally the same, so little had changed.

I'm classified as a "Logical Assimilator," someone who communicates in a straightforward, practical, and efficient manner. I focus on facts, details, and results. I'm achievement motivated.

It appears that many logical assimilators emerged from the similarity of childhood experiences during the 1940s and 1950s. A number of my childhood buddies fall into the same category. We are typed as honest, reliable, determined, persistent, and loyal — sometimes to a fault.

Those traits allowed me to work productively with Arthur Jones. As an outcome, I fostered an allegiance to Jones, Nautilus, and HIT that goes beyond normal comprehension.


BACK TO NOW

I long for the uncomplicated days of the 1950s through the 1970s — the basic training routines and the solid results of hard work and perseverance — without all the modern amenities.

I think I'll Google a few of my first workout partners, scan some of my vintage photos, and e-mail them . . . so we can reminisce!

 

Discuss this article | Text Version

Belly

Great article as always. The thing that struck me was as a kid growing up in England in the 70's my experiences and the outlook of my childhood were remarkably similar.
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Ellington Darden

Belly,

I've heard that many sections of England are 20 years behind the US -- which is a meaningful situation, from the perspective of this article.

Ellington
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marcrph

Spain

Can you imagine what would have happened if a cell phone went off while Arthur Jones was training someone back in the 70's!
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JimBryan

Florida, USA

Well said Ell. I took the same test. Had similar results.
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tc16

I can really relate to this as well, as belly, I grew up in the 70's in the UK and I used to stay out until it was dark on my bike with some friends from the 'neighbourhood' (I had a striker and my brother had a chopper) before I got a BMX, unheard of today which is a shame.
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QmAn

What a great article!

Ellington, you have so much to say and teach those who are willing to listen and sound like a great guy.

"I've heard that many sections of England are 20 years behind the US -- which is a meaningful situation, from the perspective of this article.

Ellington"

Possibly we used to be up to 40 years behind the USA, because I was 5-15yrs old in the 1980s and grew up in a very simular way to you.

I think it was the battle of idealogy in the UK(socialism Vs Free market economics) that held the country back so long. Progressive politics could'nt happen until the right(free market government .e.g. Conservatives)had won the battle of ideas, which they did by the mid-late 1980s, so the UK upto then was in a timewarp.

In reality although the 1960s changed some very important things, much in the UK stayed the same until 1985-87.

The rise in political correctness is probably responsible for the lack of personal responsibility, which leads to the blame someone else culture, which makes society start to experience problems that either did'nt exist before or not to the same scale.

In the UK there has been a change in the behaviour of people, they seem to have less respect for other people and their property, what is responsible for this I'm not entirely sure, but I think the teaching of those very important so called OLD FASHIONED values, or rather the lack of, is partly responsible.

Some responses:


We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets.

RE: Yep, certainly cycle helmets were not around when I was a kid.

Our fathers labored through the Great Depression and fought in World War II. As a result, they respected money and the cost of freedom; and they passed on those values to us.

RE:father served in military and credit cards were not available.

We played in attics amongst the asbestos and rubbed mercury on our dimes and quarters.

RE: A popular game at school for one week was "toss the asbestos blanket". It consisted of waiting to the teacher left the room, then removing the banket from it's case and........you guessed it, throwing it at the nearest unfortunate sod.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, bologna, real butter, and drank Kool-Aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing.

RE: Oh yeah, we were energetic kids, football(ahem soccer), badminton, cycling, running, climbing, wrestling.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay.

RE: Now kids of 10 have mobile phones! crazy, hell I still refuse to use a mobile, email yes, mobile no way!

On some Saturdays, we'd spend four hours at the downtown picture show. We admired strength, athletic ability, and self-confidence. Our heroes were Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Johnny Weissmuller, and Audie Murphy.

RE: WOW, the thing I used to look forward to most as a kid was going to the cinema and the 1980s had some great films for a kid, with some great cinematic heros:-

Indiana Jones
Superman 2/3
Star Wars sequels
Back to the future
He Man
Gremlins
Labyrinth
Rambo/Rocky
Ghostbusters
Bladerunner
Excaliber

and most importantly...... JAMES BOND, every boy in the UK wanted to be Mr BOND, me the Roger Moore one(heck I still do)and the original Jaws/Superman we used to watch with friends when they were on TV, lights turned down low popcorn and monkey nuts followed by a schwish of coke loaded with sugar, yum.


One thing I must admit was different though.........I never ate worms!


Quentin
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QmAn

Check out this article, especially the list of generations on the right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/...ki/Baby_Boomers

Ellington, it would seem that you are either:

A.Baby boomer
B.Silent Generation

or maybe a silent baby boomer!(chuckle), though probably a cusper, which would give you insight into both generations.
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Charles Coulter

New York, USA

"Intensity, form, and progression, Jones believed, stimulated your muscles to grow. Keeping your routine brief in duration and frequency permitted muscular growth to occur unimpeded by inadequate recovery ability."

Dr. Darden, I'm curious of what your opinion is of those that don't seem to respond to the basics? It's as if the requirements for productive training stopped working for a generation of trainees. Thanks in advance.

-Charles
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Ellington Darden

Charles Coulter wrote:
"Intensity, form, and progression, Jones believed, stimulated your muscles to grow. Keeping your routine brief in duration and frequency permitted muscular growth to occur unimpeded by inadequate recovery ability."

Dr. Darden, I'm curious of what your opinion is of those that don't seem to respond to the basics? It's as if the requirements for productive training stopped working for a generation of trainees. Thanks in advance.

-Charles


Charles,

I guess those who do not respond to the basics are simply WIRED differently. They would have to experiment and establish their personal guidelines.

Ellington

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Tougher

Alberta, CAN

Great article, perhaps if some of the values brought out from life 60 years ago were brought back, then society wouldn't be in the shape it's in, and neither would the bodybuilding culture.

Ben
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humrepair

Florida, USA

Thanks.I enjoyed that article.I get so disgusted seeing commercials on t.v. telling people that it's not their fault that they're fat or that they lost in business, etc.They deserve more money, etc.The propagation of these ideas is poisonous to our society.People end up deluding themselves and ignore the simple fact that the world owes each of us absolutely nothing.

While it is undeniably true that people learn best from making their own mistakes, I have always felt that the best lesson you can teach your children is that you must learn to take responsibility for your own actions.This will make you stronger than the next guy and is a key to your own self respect.Too many parents fail their kids in this regard.
Neil
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bm2669

Great article Dr. Darden.
Although I wasn't born during the forties I can certainly relate to a number of the points from the list. Its funny the first thing I thought about after I finished reading the article was how it was a very rare treat to eat out when I was growing up. Not only that but I can remember my mother packing carrot and celery sticks for me and my brother to eat when we went to a place like Mcdonalds. Now it seems like people eat out at least once a day if not more. Thanks again for the great article.
Bryan
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SCN550

I'm on a basic plan making tremendous gains. It's extremely exciting being able to increase either the weight/repetitions each and every workout.

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Great stuff, Doc. I'd have to say that things changed later than that though. I was born about the time you went off to college, but everything was about the same with few exceptions.

We played pee-wee football with facemasks, but the yard and playground games were totally w/o protection.

Of course, we didn't have pick-up trucks up in Chicago, though I suspect they're there now. I will say that no car seats were used, but you sat your rear DOWN, because Dad said so. Climbing all over the car like monkeys was not tolerated, though I still see it plenty today, even with the child seat laws.

Most vividly, I remember Mattel's Thing Maker and other toys that got up to about 300 degrees, GI Joe cannons that shot sharp projectiles, etc. Sure I got burned, poked, whatever --- but the pain was suffered quietly and was preferable to letting Mom know and having my good, clean, slightly dangerous fun taken away from me!

Scott
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kurtvf

In 1970 I was 7 years old and my little leage baseball team got beat 57-7. I remember after the first inning the score was 18-0. I think that score is probably a record in the halls of little leage history. I can't remember how many innings we played but the game was called due to darkness. I hear this stuff isn't allowed to happen anymore.
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QmAn

Charles Coulter wrote:

Dr. Darden, I'm curious of what your opinion is of those that don't seem to respond to the basics?

-Charles


In my opinion EVERBODY will respond to some degree to the basics, if performed correctly.

A cyanide capsule will kill you if swallowed, it doesn't matter who you are, no human being is immune, neither is any human being immune to the effect basic hard muscular work has on human physiology.
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Charles Coulter

New York, USA

QmAn wrote:
Charles Coulter wrote:

Dr. Darden, I'm curious of what your opinion is of those that don't seem to respond to the basics?

-Charles

In my opinion EVERBODY will respond to some degree to the basics, if performed correctly.

A cyanide capsule will kill you if swallowed, it doesn't matter who you are, no human being is immune, neither is any human being immune to the effect basic hard muscular work has on human physiology.


Yes, I agree. My point being if the basics work, then why are there so many "special" programs pushed. Guys complain that they "keep getting stronger" but don't get bigger? Maybe they need to figure out "why" they aren't getting the results they seek from the basics before going to the next "best" routine?
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gp

Great article! To the outstanding list of movie heroes, though, I would have to add Humphrey Bogart, arguably the top male movie star of the 1942 - 1954 period.
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Ellington Darden

gp wrote:
Great article! To the outstanding list of movie heroes, though, I would have to add Humphrey Bogart, arguably the top male movie star of the 1942 - 1954 period.


You're right about Bogart. I can still see his weather-beaten face in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," which was my favorite movie of his.

Ellington

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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Ellington Darden wrote:
gp wrote:
Great article! To the outstanding list of movie heroes, though, I would have to add Humphrey Bogart, arguably the top male movie star of the 1942 - 1954 period.

You're right about Bogart. I can still see his weather-beaten face in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," which was my favorite movie of his.

Ellington




Clint Walker in Cheyenne was one of my heros. I'll bet his shoulders were way more than 24'' across by a bunch. I had a .22 at 10 and used to go squirrel hunting after school everyday in the fall.

Bill
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JONKILCOYNE

Florida, USA

Dr. Darden,

In several of your books you mention upon taking Arthurs advice before the Collegiate Mr. America- you switched to a program of 2 sets of 8 exercises. Do you remember the routine you used at that time once you reduced it? Have you kept any of your training records from that time, or your diet and calories etc prior to the contest?

Also everyone has seen that famous routine Arthur had Casey on prior to the America win Leg Press Leg extension Squat, etc, but what were some of the other routines Arthur had him on during that time-period. Im sure its nothing secret, as in its in the HOW and not the WHAT, but im just curious to see if you remember. Thank you
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Ellington Darden

The routine, 2 sets of 8 exercises, I used looked something like this:

Squat with barbell
Pullover with dumbbell
Calf raise with barbell
Lateral raise with dumbbells
Overhead press with barbell
Bent-arm fly with dumbbells
Bench press with barbell
Biceps curl with barbell or triceps extension with one dumbbell

I don't know any of the specifics of AJ's routines with Casey, other than the one immediately before Mr. A. That was the only one I watched. Perhaps Kim Wood can add some details?

Ellington
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JONKILCOYNE

Florida, USA

Thanks for your response Dr. "D"! Interesting routine I like it-it seems basic simple routines focusing on increasing strength in the major muscle groups compose most if not all championship training programs.

In Bulletin Two, Arthur Jones in the chapter on Moment Arm Factor mentions that when training Casey he assigned a "strong football player" to push him, and then he(Arthur)pushed them both, etc..is Kim Wood this man Arthur mentions? I like his no-nonsense approach im reading on several posts.

Also to Kim Wood if he reads this, did Arthur ever meet Paul Brown? I bet that meeting would have really been something if it ever occured...Two great men, wonder if they would have butted heads or not...
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john51

New York, USA

Dr Darden, you might remember me as Fiftyfit from the bigger arm challenge last year. I need some advice... I have trained HIT-style most of my life, but am currently having trouble with back problems that have plagued me off and on for more than thirty years. I believe in the efficiency and result-producing ability of one-set training, but I feel I may need to add minimal warmup sets for safety's sake. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I regret being unable to get my photos in last year, I was very proud of my results. Thanks, Fiftyfit
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