Reproduction of this course courtesy of MR. GORDON J. ANDERSON


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Earl E. Liederman

America's Leading Director of Physical Education

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Fifth Week

This week I want you to devote most attention to your arms. This is part of your body that you cannot make too strong, nor can you get them too large, for the better developed and thicker your arms look, the more evenly balanced your development will appear. There are many athletes with finely developed bodies and legs, but whose arms are sadly lacking, so I am going to do my best to give you arms that you will be proud of.

You may do both of the following exercises, (if you have not the time or energy to add them to your drill), in place of the bicep exercise with the exerciser, if you wish. (Exercise #10 illustrated by photo #2). The work this week uses practically the same muscles as in that exercise, and I suggest you drop exercise #10 for the following work, if as I said, you have not the time to do everything. Then next week take up exercise #10 again and drop these for one week, etc. I believe in varying work like this, for in changing the movements once in a while you make quicker progress.

EXERCISE #21 - Grasp right wrist with left hand, while holding right arm straight in front of you, and then bring the right hand up towards your shoulder, and resist strongly with left arm. This is illustrated by photo #6. The harder you resist, the quicker you will tire your upper arm. By having the palm of the hand facing the floor, you will give your forearm more work and also lengthen your bicep. Do this until your bicep becomes tired and then repeat with other arm. This exercise is similar to the one I gave you in your first lesson, but is harder on account of having the palm of the hand downward. Try and do at least 10 counts each arm.

EXERCISE #22 - Hold right arm outstretched at height of shoulder, and place the left hand upon the right wrist. Then bring the right fist towards the shoulder and resist strongly with the left hand and arm as shown in photo #16. When arm is flexed, relax absolutely for a second, and then straighten the arm again. This exercise will knot your biceps up and give more height to this muscle. When I say "knot" don’t think I mean to bind it up, for this is not the case. It will simply give you a higher muscle when contracted. 10 times.

There is one thing that I have not as yet told you concerning exercising. My reason for not telling, you about this before was not that I had forgotten it, but I preferred to wait until you were more up in the physical culture work, and I think you will appreciate this advice better now than if I had given it to you before.

In performing contraction movement, the force or accent, so to speak, should be concentrated in the natural manner, That is, the muscle that is being contracted should force the resistance and not have the resistance force the muscle. To make this clear for you, when you bend your arm for example, and are performing the simple curling exercise (for example, Exercise Nos. 21 and 22 which I have given you for this week, or Exercise #10 illustrated by photo #2 in your second week’s work), you should put the effort into the curl or the contraction, and when your fist reaches, your shoulder, relax and allow the resistance to pull your arm downward or straighten it without any great effort. It does you more good to work a muscle in this manner than any other way.

An example of this can be gotten from the chinning exercise on a bar. If you will lean all the weight to one side, so that your right arm practically supports your body after you have performed the chin or pulled yourself up, you will find it quite a simple matter to lower yourself until your arm is straightened. On the other hand, you will find it quite an effort, in fact quite a stunt, to pull yourself up with one hand. This shows the two differences in working the muscle. The fact that it is harder to pull yourself up with one arm to chin than to lower yourself with one arm shows that the muscle gets harder work when you make the resistance contract your muscle, which in this case is the weight of your body, than to have the resistance straighten your muscle or pull it out.

This same experience can be proven with the triceps. It is much harder for the triceps to push a weight overhead, than it is for the triceps to lower the weight slowly. If you will try this with your exerciser, by placing as many cables as you can possibly use and perform the exercise, which I gave you some time ago with the exerciser behind the back, as in photo #7, you will find it easier to allow the handles to come toward each other than to push the handles away from each other. Therefore in this week’s work be sure to put the effort in bringing your fist towards your’ shoulder and not push it away. Let it go back or straighten your arm without effort. If I have not made myself clear in this matter, I will be pleased to help you further.

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