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In an article in Your Physique magazine (Sept 1950 issue), Alan talks about the general rules for a beginner to follow in putting together a muscle building program. He said:

"All you need to do is follow the right exercises, eat plenty of nourishing food and get as much rest and relaxation on your non training days as you possibly can." 

"Let's deal with the right exercises first. If you build a schedule around either the deep knee bend (squats) or the dead lift and take it from there, you are on the right track." 

"The fundamental movements such as the supine press (bench press) or any of its variants - bench presses of incline presses - , curls, rowing motions, squats, or dead lifts or leg presses combined with sets of bent arm pullovers, are the best." 

For the beginner - do 1 set of each exercise for the 1st month, 2 sets the second month, 3 sets the third month. Workout twice a week (e.g., Tue and Sat, or Mon and Fri). For the 1st workout, use light weights just to get used to the exercises. For the second workout, try to determine for each exercise the amount of weight you can handle to complete 8 reps (with good form) and no more. Then, at each successive workout, try to increase your reps by 1 or 2, until you reach the top of the rep range. At that point, add a little weight to the bar. Continue in this fashion for the course. Keep your focus on this process of increasing reps, then increasing poundage. This is how you use the principle of "progressive resistance." It is this process of gradually increasing your strength and poundage that will result in larger muscles!

Routine that Alan provides:

1. Bench Press 8-12 reps

2. Barbell Curls 8-12 reps

3. Breathing Squats 20 reps (1st set), 10 reps (remaining sets)

4. Bent Arm Pullovers 20 reps (superset with each set of breathing squats)

5. Bent Over Rows 8-12 reps

Rest between sets: 2-3 minutes

When doing breathing squats: use proper squat form, take one breath between each of the first 5 reps, then after that take 2-3 deep breaths in between repetitions until you reach 20 reps. By the end of the set, you should be panting! In month 2, your second set of breathing squats should only be 10 reps. The same for month 3 (only the first set is ever done for 20 reps). Each set is to be immediately followed (supersetted) with light barbell pullovers. Use no more than 20 lbs total (including the bar weight). The point is to stretch the rib cage (not to use maximum weights to exercise the muscles). Bend the arms slightly and try to really stretch your rib cage.

Alan's advice on diet: "Don't forget to drink lots of milk and eat plenty of good food such as fresh vegetables and meat, eggs [whole], cheese, and butter. Fruits and salads are also good."

Alan's advice on rest: "An important factor in a weight gaining program is to rest all you can on non-training days. Whatever you do, don't play other games [sports] and expect to make progress. You must rest completely between workouts and get a good night's rest each and every night of the week."

Alan's final advice: "Work hard on your schedule [routine], be persistent and determined and you are going to have little or no trouble in gaining bulk!

Alan Stephan winning a contest

Alan Stephan on magazine cover



Your Physique magazine (Sept 1950 issue)