1 2 3


Below is the 3rd 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.

Bill Pearl on cover of magazine

Course Number Three


Follow this course of exercises for a six week period.


1.) Sit Ups 1 set of 25

2.) Leg Raises 1 set of 25

3.) Bench Press 5 sets of 5

4.) Press Behind Neck 5 sets of 5

5.) Barbell Row 5 sets of 6

6.) Bent Arm Pullover 3 sets of 8

7.) Barbell Curls 4 sets of 6

8.) French Press 4 sets of 6

9.) Box Squats 4 sets of 5



Exercise No. 1

Sit Ups

This is the same exercise as used in Course Two.


Exercise No. 2

Leg Raises

This is the same exercise as used in Course Two.


Exercise No. 3

Bench Press

As this is the final program, we emphasize heavy poundage on all exercises. After a light warmup, work the weight up on the barbell where you are forced to work hard. As is normal with heavy work, more rest must be taken between sets. This is to allow the muscles to recuperate before doing the next set. A rest of 3-5 minutes is normal. Inhale before lowering the weight to the chest. Exhale as the barbell returns to the chest.


Exercise No. 4

Barbell Rowing Motion

Use the same style as in Course Number One. Although you are using a heavy weight, try to do the exercise with the latissimus and arms. Do not jerk the weight up with your back.


Exercise No. 5

Press Behind Neck

Use the same form as in Course Number One. Start with a light poundage to warm up the shoulders and arms, then move to heavier weight. Take a deep breath before pressing the weight. Do not exhale until it is back on your shoulders. This exercise will be difficult because just prior to it you have heavily worked the triceps and shoulder muscles.


Exercise No. 6

Bent Arm Pullovers

This was used as a breathing exercise in Course Number Two. We now want you to handle a heavy weight and strive to work your latissimus and get a good stretch. It may be necessary to shorten the depth used in lowering the bar in order to handle a heavier weight. Keep the elbows in. Use a bench at least 16 inches to 17 inches high. Using an Olympic set and 45 pound plates, you will be able to touch the floor, but if using a barbell with smaller diameter plates, do not force yourself to go the full depth. A pair of blocks can easily be constructed to bring the bar up to the desired height.


Exercise No. 7

Barbell Curls'

This is the standard curl, but we use a heavier poundage and lower repetitions. Do them strictly. It is correct to let the barbell hang at arms' length and take a few breaths before doing the next repetition.


Exercise No. 8

Barbell French Press

This is done with a fairly close grip. Begin with the arms fully extended over the head. Slowly lower the bell to a position behind your head. Try to keep the elbows pointing upward and held in as much as possible. When using heavy poundage, you might have to give a little jerk to start the weight upward. Try to do the majority of the work with triceps. If you do not feel it in the triceps you will know you are jerking the weight or cheating too much. Inhale and exhale at the top position.


Exercise No. 9

Box Squats

A great deal of weight can be handled in this squat. It is done exactly like a regular squat, but we use a box which is high enough that contact with the buttocks is made at a height a few inches above parallel. Your height will, of course, determine the height of the box used. When squatting, take a deep breath and hold it until you are back to an erect position. Keep the chest high, head up and weight on your heels. Care should be taken that you do not sit down too hard. Lower your body to the box, do not simply drop and bounce. Make a momentary pause before returning to the standing position. Take a deep breath before squatting. Exhale as you return to the starting position.




Correct breathing is a very important factor when training for power and bulk. Forced breathing stimulates the system and improves you ability to put more effort into training. When performing breathing squats, the execution of the breathing sequence is more important than poundage use. Special effort must be made to keep the chest high at all times. If the weight is too heavy, you will forced to lean forward, which, in turn, restricts your lung capacity. At first, there will be a tendency to become dizzy. Do not become alarmed, as this will cease when your system becomes used to deep breathing.





It is very difficult to recommend a diet for everyone using this manual. Several things have to be considered. First, inpidual taste in foods; second, economic conditions; third, locale and availability of items suggested. Some persons are allergic to certain foods and cannot eat them under any circumstances. From a medical standpoint, one's doctor would obviously not recommend such a diet. Therefore, you can only become enlightened about what foods are suitable and produce results. You must choose the diet best suited to your needs, which will change over time. It is always a good idea to check with your family physician before making major dietary changes, and to implement such changes gradually.


A person's environment and the attitude of those he lives with about eating something entirely foreign to their normally prepared meals also has to be taken into consideration.

We do not live in a vacuum.

We do not wish to recommend that a person follow a specific diet and cause conflict with the rest of the family. We feel it is best to recommend certain things and if they fit into your own particular situation, use them.


Starting your day with a good breakfast is very important. You will fortify your body with the fuel it needs to get the body operating efficiently. Protein is very important. Your body is largely composed of protein. The muscles and internal organs require a supply of protein. Eat the foods that will give you the proper amount of protein. If possible at breakfast, 50-75 grams, plus some fats and carbohydrates for balance.


Your lunch and dinner should be eaten at regular times, if possible. Eat a comfortable amount. If you find this is not enough to afford you the required amount of calories to gain, start eating four to five times a day. You may also make outstanding gains by drinking a quart of milk during your workouts and trying this for a length of time will be the only way to know if it will work for you. If you do this, do not drink the milk cold. It is best to hold the cold liquid in your mouth until it is near body temperature before swallowing. When the stomach is over-heated through vigorous exercise, cramps will result when something cold is consumed.


According to reports, the average man consumes 2400 to 2800 calories a day. Bear in mind that this is average. It is not recommended that a person working out on a program such as we have outlined would be able to increase bodyweight and size on this amount. It is best to raise the caloric intake to about 5,000 a day, depending on the inpidual's assimilation and his age and size. Some persons require more calories than do others. You will have to judge for yourself. This can best be determined by your progress after a short period of training.


Young Bill Pearl double biceps pose


Work In Relation To Training


Many men who work in a physical capacity each day become discouraged when working with weights. Their feeling is that at the end of a hard day's labor, their energy is depleted, and they are incapable of a thorough workout with weights. Many "white collar" workers are taxed with mental fatigue, which, actually creates real physical fatigue.


Whichever category you fall within, be realistic and work within your capabilities. Proper diet is essential when working (be it physical or mental) and training. You must consume enough food to handle your normal duties and training, plus a little to build a reserve. If you are not making the normal gains, you must adjust your training program and find which is the right amount of work to produce the best results. To make gains in training, one has to train hard, but be aware of the danger of over-training.


In case of an injury, it is wise to substitute an exercise that will not irritate the injury, or eliminate the exercise altogether until you have fully recovered. If you should have a bad back, give special attention to warming up. Never, under any circumstances, round your back when squatting or executing the dead lifts and bent over rows. Remember that your body gives warning. Do not push yourself beyond your limitations.


Strength In Relation To Size


Many people argue that one becomes stronger if he increases his bodyweight. In most cases this is not true. Usually, a person gains only fat, and this is more detrimental than valuable.


You should strive to gain the right kind of bodyweight. This can be accomplished by correct training, heavy weights, proper foods, and plenty of rest and relaxation. Remember, consistency in your training and good daily habits are of prime importance.


Training Hints


Several important rules should be taken into consideration when embarking on a bulk and power program. Be regular in your eating and sleeping habits; follow a well-planned program, have the proper mental attitude towards training and everyday living. If any of these rules are broken, the end results may not be as rewarding as desired.


It is out hope to get you started properly in these important areas in order to save you hundreds of wasted hours of trial and error to obtain the same principles we have discovered in our years of training champions in all fields of athletics, lifting, and bodybuilding.


A diet of good wholesome food, properly prepared and taken at the same time each day will produce results than irregular eating habits and haphazard planning of meals. Sleep and relaxation are also important and should not be overlooked. Because everyone has a different physical make-up, one cannot say that an exact amount of sleep per night will be proper for all persons. However, we feel that eight hours sleep per night should be sufficient. Ten hours sleep a night should be considered maximum. Going to bed at the same time every night is very effective and helps the system to regulate itself and produce a faster increase in bodyweight. The ability to relax is a great asset to anyone seeking added bodyweight and or strength.


A proper mental attitude plays a large role in your efforts. When thinking positive thoughts, one has a happy outlook on life. You should think positively about all your daily activities, physical, mental and moral. I will aid you in your training in the gym, as well as your personal life. A healthy, positive attitude will improve your body and make you a better person. 


Bill Pearl, Reg Park and Sergio Oliva

1971 Mr. Universe which Bill Pearl won.