1 2 3


Below is the 1st of three courses from his book: Building Bulk And Power. The book is more detailed and a recomended buy for any fan of Bill Pearl. He sells it on his website


Sergio Oliva and Bill Pearl 1971 Mr. Universe contest


Course Number One


Follow this course of exercises for a six weeks period:


1.) Dumbbell Swing 1 set of 10

2.) Leg Raises on Floor or Bench 1 set of 30

3.) Bendovers 1 set of 10

4.) Breathing Squats 2 sets of 15

alternated with

5.) Bent Arm Laterals 2 sets of 12

6.) Calf Raises 3 sets of 20

7.) Shoulder Shrugs 2 sets of 8

8.) Bench Press 2 sets of 8

9.) Rowing Motion 2 sets of 8

10.) Press Behind Neck 2 sets of 8

11.) Two Hands Barbell Curl 2 sets of 8

12.) Bent Leg Dead Lifts 3 sets of 5


Do three workouts per week 


Exercise No. 1

Dumbbell Swing

This is the best exercise for limbering up and starting the blood to circulate. Use a light dumbbell, keep the feet flat, back straight, head up ad the arms straight. Start from a squatting position. Swing the dumbbell overhead. Come to a standing position. You should inhale as the dumbbell is swung overhead and exhale as you return to the starting or squat position. Do not remain tense while squatting and swinging the dumbbell. Because this is a warmup, keep the poundage light.


Exercise No. 2

Leg Raises on Floor or Bench

Place your hands under hips, palms flat and facing downward. Keep the legs straight and the toes pointed. Keeping the toes pointed helps maintain the straight leg position and places the work on the abdominals. Inhale as you lower your legs and exhale as you raise them. Do the exercise slowly and with a smooth rhythm. Do not swing the legs; raise them with the abdominal muscles. This is the purpose of the exercise. Do not relax the abdominal muscles whole doing the exercise. You can keep them tense by not allowing the feet to rest and keeping them suspended throughout the exercise.


Exercise No. 3


This is a warmup exercise for the lower back. Use a light barbell. Place it on the shoulders, spread feet a distance a little wider than shoulder width, with toes pointed outward. Start the movement with the stomach drawn in and the chest out. Keep the knees locked, lean forward and maintain a straight back throughout. By looking up and holding the head back slightly, you will prevent the barbell from moving from the shoulder position. Arch your back and contract the muscles of the lower back when you stand erect.This will give proper extension and contraction to the muscles.


Exercise No. 4

Breathing Squats

Start with a barbell on the shoulders. Do not bounce up and down, but make a regular momentary pause at the bottom. There should be a definite pause at the low position. Special attention should be given to the breathing on this exercise. This is the key to the exercise, so read the instructions carefully. Use only a weight that allows you to keep the chest high and inhale properly. Inpidual bone structure is a leverage factor and some people prefer a raised heel to maintain balance and keep the back straight throughout the execution of the exercise. Use the sequence recommended. On the first five repetitions, take two full breaths before each squat, holding the second breath until you come back to the standing position. Repeat, taking two breaths. On the second set of five repetitions, take three breaths on each repetition. On the third grouping of five, take four breaths each repetition. Attempt to take large, full breaths through the mouth and keep your chest high. Squat as you hold the last breath an exhale as you return to the standing position. do not remove the barbell from your shoulders until you have completed the required 15 repetitions. A total of 45 breaths will be taken during a set of 15 repetitions.


Exercise No. 5

Bent Arm Laterals

This exercise is strictly a breathing exercise. The purpose is to expand and enlarge the rib cage. Therefore, use the exercise right after completing each set of Breathing Squats. Use a light set of dumbbells so that you can breathe deeply and stretch. Do not place too much emphasis on the muscle effort. Lie on a flat bench, feet to the side and flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbells at arms' length over the chest. The palms should face in. This grip allows you to bring the dumbbells closer together and work the inside portion of the pectoral. Bend the elbows and loser the dumbbells, down and out. This style of bent laterals will allow you to raise or elevate the chest. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells and exhale as you bring them back together at arms' length overhead. Be sure to lock the elbows at the top.


Exercise No. 6

Calf Raises

Start with the barbell on your shoulders. Step up on a thick board or raised platform. Place your feet on the raised object to help balance yourself and also get full extension and contraction. Place heels down, push up on toes. Both the top flexed part of the exercise and the bottom extension are important, so do the exercise slowly and completely. Inhale as you raise your toes, exhale as you lower your heels. To work the inside part of the calves, turn the heels in toward each other and point toes outward. In working the outside of the calves, reverse the foot position and turn toes inward and heels outward. Do not bend the knees. do not bounce up and down. A slow deliberate action on the upward and downward motion will produce better results.


Exercise No. 7

Shoulder Shrugs

Assume a comfortable stance. Grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width with palms facing downward. Keep the legs locked and stand straight. Raise the shoulders as though trying to touch them to your ears. Try to keep the arms straight during the entire exercise. Next, lower the shoulder to a downward position (a little lower than normal). This will give a little extension to the trapezius muscle. Inhale as you raise your shoulders and exhale as you lower them to the down position. Do the exercise slowly and attempt to hold at the top position to contract the muscle.


Exercise No. 8

Bench Press

Lie on a flat bench, feet to the side and flat on the floor. Bring barbell to arms' length and use a grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Lower barbell to nipple area of chest. Inhale as the bar is lowered to the chest and exhale as the barbell is pressed back to arms' length. Keep the elbows under and slightly in toward the sides when in the down position. do not relax and drop the weight to your chest, but lower it and make a definite pause at the chest before pressing it back to the starting position. Keep your head on the bench. Do not arch the back too sharply, as this will raise your hips off the bench.


Exercise No. 9

Bent Rowing Motion

Use a wide grip on the barbell and a wide foot spacing. You can bend the knees or deep the legs straight. The important thing is to bend forward at the waist, maintain a straight back and attempt to remain close to parallel to the floor. Start with the arms straight, pull the barbell up to the chest and make a definite pause. Lower the barbell back to arms' length. Be sure to work the muscle both ways when pulling up and letting the weight down. Do your repetitions slowly and smoothly. Do not drop the shoulders or round the back. Inhale on the upward pull to the chest. By keeping the waist drawn in and the chest out, it will be easier to touch your chest with the bar and maintain a flat back position. Exhale when lowering the bar back to arms' length.


Exercise No. 10

Press Behind Neck

Stand with feet spaced a comfortable distance apart. Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip on the bar. Keep the elbows directly under the bar. Press the barbell over head, inhaling as you press and exhaling as you lower the bar to your shoulders. Maintain a solid foundation by keeping the legs straight and the hips flexed. Pause at the shoulder before pressing the barbell overhead. Make a full movement of the exercise by touching the barbell to the shoulders each time it is lowered and locking elbows each time it is pressed overhead.


Exercise No. 11

Two Hands Barbell Curl

Begin with arms straight, palms facing up. Curl the weight to your shoulders, inhaling as you curl and exhale as you lower back to arms' length. You must keep the elbows fixed at your sides, but still not have them pressed tight to the sides of your body. It is necessary to raise the elbows slightly when the barbell comes to the contraction position at the shoulders. do not swing the weight, but curl it with your biceps. Do the exercise smoothly and you will get far better results. Try to keep the body stationary throughout the exercise. Use only your arms.


Exercise No. 12

Bent Leg Deadlift

First, place the feet under the bar. The feet should be close together to get a proper grip on the bar. Use a palms facing downward grip. In the set position the head is up and the back is straight. Keep the head back slightly and look directly ahead. This will aid you in keeping the correct posture. Keep the arms straight, do not bend the elbows. Press your feet into the floor and pull up on the bar when you stand up with the weight. The work is to be done with the legs and lower back. When you are standing up completely, lean back very slightly and contract the muscles of the lower back. Bend forward when lowering the barbell back to the starting position. This will enable the barbell to clear the knees when squatting down. Inhale as you stand up and exhale as you lower the barbell to the starting position.