Notice the remarkable "glow" that Scott Wilson's body seems to have.
That's a trait of a Chris Lund photograph and some of his outstanding
shots are used in The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results.
In the 1980s, Lund developed his own film and hand-printed
each selected negative. Today, those techniques would
be considered old school — which, in my
mind, means superior.
by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
Chris Lund has been a primary photographer for Joe Weider's muscle magazines for more than two decades. Plus, he's also the editor of the British version of Flex magazine.
In the 1980s, Lund worked with me on many of my bodybuilding books — such as The Nautilus Advanced Bodybuilding Book, High-Intensity Bodybuilding, and Massive Muscles in 10 Weeks. His creative photography was one of the reasons that each of the above became a bestseller.
Chris grew up in Sunderland, England, during the 1950s and 1960s and remembers being fascinated by size and strength. "I started weight training at our local YMCA in 1962," Chris noted, "with a bunch of hardcore guys, led by a Reg Park look-a-like named Steve. Steve weighed 300 pounds, which was unheard of then, and advocated drinking 6 to 8 pints of milk mixed with raw eggs — every day.
"On Saturday night, the training gang would all go to a working man's pub and, under Steve's instruction, each of us would down 8 pints of Guinness — in preparation for Monday's workout.
"Besides eating big, Steve also pushed big-muscle exercises, three-times-per-week training, and whole-body routines. As you can probably imagine, we all added significant mass to our frames.
"A couple of years later, I was employed at the police department, where I was an investigation officer. Part of the job involved photography and the department taught me how to take precise, well-lit pictures related to crime-scene evidence.
"Soon thereafter, I took my first bodybuilding photo and sent it to a muscle magazine. The shot was of Tony Emmott, who had placed high in the Mr. Britain contest. Tony went through his posing routine at the local pub one night and I was down front with a borrowed 35mm camera. When the photo was published, I received a check for $12.
"I thought to myself: This will probably be easier than crime-scene investigations. Little did I know what I was getting myself into!
"It wasn't long, however, before I was hooked on bodybuilding photography. After forty years, I still am."
Recently, Chris and I discussed my latest book.
Ell, your new book was a pleasure for me to read. It brought back a ton of memories. It's been out for about 6 months now — has it met your expectations in the sales department?
The book has done well — but I want it to sell even better. It's still relatively early in the book's life. None of the magazine reviews — such as IronMan, Flex, and MuscleMag — have been published yet. They will appear in the summer of 2007 — so that exposure should help.
Most of the copies to date have been marketed through two Internet Web sites: DrDarden.com and T-Nation.com.
I imagine your Web site has sold a lot more books than T-Nation — right?
That's a fascinating question. T-Nation has at least ten times the readership, as does DrDarden. Knowing that, I started writing bodybuilding articles for T-Nation in early 2006 — in hopes that when my book was finally published, many of the T-Nation members would be motivated to purchase it.
A couple of weeks before the book was officially released (October 30, 2006), I told Tim Paterson, the executive editor of T-Nation, that I thought I'd sell two or three times as many books on T-Nation as I did on DrDarden. Tim, who produces both Web sites, was more cautious. He thought the T-Nation crowd would be a tough bunch to influence.
What actually happened?
My Web site initially sold five times as many copies as T-Nation and that ratio continued for two months. Then, T-Nation picked up and DrDarden decreased. Today, both sell about the same number each week. After six months, the overall tally is that DrDarden has sold twice as many copies as T-Nation.
I'm disappointed I haven't sold more books to T-Nation members. But I'm very pleased that the DrDarden readers have responded as they have to the book.
Tim Patterson was right. The T-Nation group has been a real challenge — but I'm determined to chip away at them.
I've visited the T-Nation Web site a number of times. They certainly have a lot going on, with numerous training philosophies and almost-anything-goes forums. And T-Nation promotes other bodybuilding books, too.
Right. You could compare it to some of the most popular muscle magazines from the past. T-Nation posts articles on powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman events, martial arts, as well as bodybuilding and supplements — and now there's even a women's section.
There's a tremendous amount of competition at T-Nation. Actually, I guess you could say my eight articles, posted on T-Nation over the last 12 months, have held up fairly well. The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, as I was noting earlier, sells approximately the same number of copies per week now, as does my Web site. Thus, the sales at T-Nation are gradually increasing.
But your book, Ell, has so much going for it — the layout, photography, routines, and stories — that I can't imagine any of the other books T-Nation offers being anywhere near the same appeal as yours.
Thanks Chris. You're probably right, but the problem is getting a potential buyer to recognize that — without being able to pick up the various books, thumb though them, and notice the differences. The hand-eye appearance and feel of a book is very important. A browser can recognize that in a bookstore, but that's hard to accomplish on the Internet.
Concerning your book, what specifically do you mean by the new bodybuilding? Is it really NEW?
The nitty-gritty of "the new bodybuilding," which I use in the title, is fairly simple:
In the 1970s, Arthur Jones started a significant fire in the bodybuilding community, and then for whatever reasons, he let the flame almost DIE. What would HIT be like if Arthur had fed and fanned that fire into a raging inferno . . . that just kept spreading?
In other words, if Arthur had continued to evolve HIT — with science, experience, and his incredible logical mind — what would it resemble in 2007 and beyond?
That's what I want the new bodybuilding to be a part of. I want to deliver TODAY, what Arthur claimed HIT could do more than three decades ago. And I believe I can, by making certain subtractions and additions to Jones's original guidelines. By applying my revised and updated concepts, I'm convinced that the original old-school results would be even better.
If you carefully examine Jones's Bulletin No. 1, there are 12 major points that he hammers multiple times throughout the manual. These are his basic principles.
In The New BodybuildingI expand on Arthur's basics and end up with 24 primary principles. Then I combine the primary 24 with 29 secondary ones. In total, I discuss 53 salient guidelines that cover all phases of bodybuilding: beginning, intermediate, and advanced.
As examples at the advanced level, I present two calf routines in chapter 27 that involve very high repetitions for accentuating "accumulated byproducts of fatigue," a progressive stimulus for stubborn calves. Wait till you try that concept on your lagging lower legs? In chapter 3, I dig up an unvarnished arm cycle that was a favorite of Boyer Coe. Who wouldn't like to have Coe's biceps and triceps? If you want bolder, broader shoulders, I share a deltoid routine in chapter 29 that was mainstay at Muscle Beach and Vic Tanny's Gym and was championed by Steve Reeves, Ben Sorenson, and Chuck Ahrens.
All in all, with The New Bodybuilding, you'll not only be combining the old with the new, but you'll train smarter, not longer. Jones would have said harder,not longer — but sometimes harder is not the answer, smarter is. I've found that a slight reduction of intensity (not-to-failure training) can often lead to renewed muscular growth. Of course, you've got to know when and how to use such a technique.
Chris Lund's photo of Ed Kawak, 1982 NABBA Mr. Universe,
makes a terrific opener for the book.
Over the last 30 years, I've remained confident and loyalto HIT. Why? Because I saw, tried, and learned from the best teacher of all: Arthur Jones. The real Arthur Jones (and he played many roles) was foremost in my mind an inspiring educator. I've unlearned — and then learned — a great deal from being around Jones.
Furthermore, I've trained thousands of people successfully using the HIT techniques. Along the way, I've reviewed tons of library research and I've experimented with every new exercise method you can name — always trying to find a better, more productive guidelines to apply.
Most of the time, I've failed. That new research, or that new method, proved no better than the old way — and many times it was actually worse. But occasionally, something did prove to be better, faster, and more conducive to growth. And when combined with a slight twist on an old technique, then watch out, now we're on to something of value.
That's sort of been the way I spent a part of my time each week over the last three decades . . . month after month, year after year. Some people might say I'm unique or weird — but the way I see it, anyone with a thinking mind should've ended up with my HIT conclusions, which are:
HIT worked well in the 1970s. Today, with progressive revisions, HIT works even better.
You know, Ell, I find myself thinking about Arthur Jones and his early writings almost every week. I hear he's in poor health. How's the old man doing?
Chris, he's not well. I visited him on April 24, 2007, and he weighs only 120 pounds. His normal body weight was 170, so he's lost 50 pounds. He's almost deaf and wheezes on every fourth or fifth breath. He can walk slowly around his home on most days and he was reasonably lucid during my visit.
I arrived at 11:00 AM and stayed for about 90 minutes. His housekeeper arrived about noon and Arthur instructed her that he wanted no lunch — none. He said his appetite is almost at a zero level. He did, however drink about two ounces of an Ensure nutrition drink.
He asked me about several of our mutual friends and he talked a bit about the Virginia Tech killer. Arthur said the student was some kind of kook to able to shoot that many people with accuracy, repeatedly, and be only 23 years old.
Arthur noted that he had known many extreme, crazy types in his life — but none who was that warped at such an early age. Then, in contrast, he said the best man he ever knew was his father, Edgar Jones; and, by far, the best woman was Inge, his last wife, who died in 2004.
I told him that my first assignment, when I started work for Nautilus in 1973, was to drive with Inge to Alliance, Nebraska — and study the printing and publishing business with Peary and Mabel Rader of IronMan magazine. Inge and I spent a meaningful six weeks learning as much as we could about the details. After we returned to Florida, Arthur purchased a number of printing presses and Nautilus jumped headfirst into in-house publishing. Inge was a big part of that and continued to work behind the scenes on just about every thing that Nautilus did over the next 14 years.
As Arthur began to tire, I asked him if he would sign the back cover of The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, which displays the best picture I've ever seen of him. Under . . .
More Infrequent . . .
he wrote, in a strong hand:
That back cover, appropriately framed, will occupy an important place on the wall of my new home gym.
I left Arthur the way I arrived — APPRECIATIVELY — that I had spent so many years of my life working with, and learning from, a truly great, one-of-a-kind man.
I can't picture Arthur weighing 120 pounds and creeping around his home. He was always such a go-getter, who seemed to have a dozen different projects transpiring at the same time. In 1984, I flew with him to Mexico and photographed one of his ongoing medical projects. I never saw him even sit down the entire four days. He was constantly on the move.
You're right, Chris. Nobody could keep up with Arthur in the 1980s. But that's changed now.
I hope Arthur lives for many more years. But my gut tells me that he won't last much longer.
After listening to you . . . and studying The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, the book itself is sort of your testament to Arthur and what he means to you — am I right?
That's a very astute observation, Chris. I didn't start out to do that, but as Arthur's health, over the last two years took a downturn, more and more of those feelings emerged.
Overall, I wanted the authentic Arthur Jones — the Arthur Jones that I knew on a day-to-day basis for more than 20 years — to shine through. Arthur was a very complex man who had many sides. The book presents and illustrates the way I remember him and the influence he had on me — as well as the influence he had on many other people, such as Jim Flanagan, Kim Wood, and Werner Kieser.
I took these shots of Arthur Jones in early 1983 during a
one-on-one training session with Boyer Coe. There
was a heightened intensity to being trained by
Jones that demanded extreme focus.
I'm a big proponent of that calf routine in chapter 27, which was in IronMan in 1971. I know I put a good half-inch on my calves from doing it for two weeks.
In fact, your book has quenched a thirst I've had for 20 years. I knew HIT wasn't fully developed.
I'm actually disappointed that it's taken this long to get things back on track. There's a lot of ground to make up. Like Arthur would say to a young, aspiring bodybuilder, "If you can spend the next 20 years unlearning everything you were taught about exercise, by the time you're 40, you might have a chance to actually learnsomething of value." Boy oh boy, there's a lot of unlearning to do.
Ell, you've referred to "old school" a number of times. I think I know what you mean, but being from England — we're more likeancient school — why don't you explain it? Exactly what do you mean by old school, as it relates to bodybuilding?
Chris, I'll define old-school bodybuilding by supplying an Arthur Jones-type answer; I'll tell first what it is NOT:
- Haphazard exercise
- Partial-range sets
- Loud music
- Trash talk
- More-is-better training
And, now, what it IS:
- The basics, plus the important exceptions
- Outright hard work
- Mostly whole-body training
- Better results
Most of the champion or master bodybuilders from the 1940s through the 1970s were well versed in applying the second group of traits. The masters spent a lot of time mentoringthe beginners, and, as a result, the loyalty and confidence of the younger guys were kept at a high level. Remember, this confidence and loyalty were borne out of results-producing instruction. It's motivating to see a high-rate of progress.
Ell, you're right about a lack of productive mentoring — and, consequently, there's very little confidence and loyalty among bodybuilders, and especially where coaches and gyms are concerned.
Who are these bodybuilding masters that you refer to?
For example, there's Vic Tanny, Ben Sorenson, Steve Reeves, George Eiferman, and of course, Arthur Jones. In the book, I interview a number of my colleagues from the 1970s — men such as Kim Wood, Jim Flanagan, Roger Schwab, Joe Mullen, Casey Viator, Boyer Coe, Dan Riley, Werner Kieser, Wes Brown, and Joe Cirulli — who excelled and contributed greatly to strength training and bodybuilding. I consider all of them masters as well as mentors.
Let's be honest. Most trainees today don't want that bloated, drug-induced look of a modern pro bodybuilder. They'd much rather have that chiseled, hard, athletic look that Steve Reeves made famous in his bodybuilding competitions, as well as his Hercules movies. Or how about the physiques that Boyer Coe and Casey Viator projected in the 1970s? You know — lean, muscular, athletic bodies with 32-inch waists — not 42-inch, protruding bellies?
In my opinion, the Golden-Age Mr. Americas had the types of muscular development that the majority of trainees want. Heck, most guys would be thrilled today with anything even close to the physiques of Coe and Viator.
I've interviewed the masters and talked to them about what worked best then, as well as now, and what they'd do different if they could change something.
Furthermore, I have a lot of pictures that I shot of Casey Viator in 1978, when Jim Flanagan and I were training him for the NABBA Mr. Universe contest. Casey was in great shape, with his full muscle bellies and impressive definition. One of the best shots is on the front cover of the book.
Yes, Casey was quite a character. I photographed him a number of times in 1980. He kept me laughing half the time with all his antics and memories of the early days at Nautilus.
In the 1960s, the photos of those Golden-Age Mr. Americas kept me inspired back in the YMCA gym in England. I can still close my eyes and see those sunny, outdoor magazine covers of Jim Haislop, Frank Zane, and Boyer Coe.
Even today, when I photograph the professional champions — such as Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Gunter Schlierkamp, and Markus Ruhl — I marvel at their huge body parts, but I also wonder how they'd look (and act) with less mass, 32-inch waists, and with something we used to call SYMMETRY?
I've often thought the same things you have. I'm glad I grew up when I did and had a chance to see, know, and appreciate the Golden-Age bodybuilders.
Ell, can you share a few more insider sentiments about The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results?
First, I wanted to do something different. Every bodybuilding book I've seen is always printed in a vertical format. It's either 6 by 9 inches in size, or 8 by 11 inches. Bookstores like that format because the headline is at the top and they can usually pack more books into a given area and still see the titles. Horizontal-format styles often get lost in a crowd of vertical books.
But since I wasn't going to sell the book in bookstores, the format was up to me. Thus, I went with a horizontal style, which is a format of 11 inches across the top and bottom and 8 inches up the spine.
Such a format gave me a chance to run the text in four short columns, much as USA Today does in their newspaper — which means I could get more words per page. This was important because the book is the longest one I've ever written. It's 112,000 words, which divide into 7 parts, 34 chapters, and 312 pages.
The horizontal style lended itself to doing some very interesting two-page photo spreads — which added a hardcore feel to the text. In some pictures, due to the intensity of the exercise and your expert lighting, a reader can actually see the sweat emerging through the skin. There are 248 hand-selected pictures in the book and each one is cropped for maximum impact.
And equally important, the text and photos are printed on quality-coated paper, which seems to be a forgotten trait of the past, especially in trade paperback books. With high-quality paper the pictures are more vivid and appear to leap of the pages, which is what I wanted.
Those full-page horizontal photos are really great. Naturally, I like what you've done with some of those shots of mine, especially the inside front and back covers, plus some of the magic close-ups of Boyer Coe and Scott Wilson.
Boyer and Scott — what great guys they were to work with. Chris, your photography of them certainly captured their physiques in an inspiring way. Their muscles seem to jump right off the page.
Chris Lund arranged this backlit photo of Boyer Coe as he performed
a torso-arm pulldown on an outdoor loading dock. The distant
background was actually an out-of-focus parking lot and
the side of a metal building. In the foreground
was a Nautilus double chest machine.
I'm a fan of the varied routines in your bodybuilding books. You've already touched on several workouts, but how many different routines are in The New Bodybuilding?
In Part V and Part VI, there are 32 tried-and-proven routines, including the "Best of the Best." All the workouts adapt easily to free weights and/or machines.
These 32 routines pull together and update all my previous bodybuilding books. I'm very pleased with the end result.
Below are some of the training routines that are featured:
- Classic 1975 Nautilus Circuit
- Nautilus Negative-Only Cycle
- HIT A-B Foundational
- HIT Midsection Emphasis
- HIT Change of Pace
- HIT Back-Chest Emphasis
- HIT Core
- HIT Abbreviated
- HIT A-B-C Arm Specialization
- HIT A-B Basic
- Famous Get BIG Now!
- 3-Day Split
- 4-Day Contra-Lateral Split
- 2 Negative Chinup Schedules
- 6-Ways-to-60 Cadence
- Metabolic Conditioning for Football
- Texan Leg Sequence
- Neck/Trap Plan
- Double-50 Calf
- Two-Week Calf Blast
- Classic Rib-Cage Expansion
- Real-Man Deltoids
- Unvarnished Biceps/Triceps Cycle
- Iron-Vice Grip Training
- Exercise Stacks for Ripped Abdominals
Sounds bloody stimulating. I plan to do what I can to promote the book in Great Britain.
Thanks Chris. And thanks for your insights . . . and, of course, your extra-ordinary training photography.
This old-school gym of Kim Wood contains a collection of antique
barbells and dumbbells that would make Chris Lund and his English
training partners — including Eugene Sandow — envious.
As the author of The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, I want to speak directly to you, from the heart. If you're a fan of Arthur Jones, the Golden Age, and tough routines that really work — this book is everything you've hoped for, and more.
Ever think there were key elements missing from your training, the absence of which was holding you back?
Well, let me assure you there are. For the last 15 years, I've been challenged repeatedly to give the world of high-intensity training some straight talk, and to inform the masses how far off track they really are. Finally, with this book, I've done just that.
The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results contains some important missing keys to maximizing your progress — the kind of progress that the Arthur Jones legend was built upon . . . the kind of progress that's been all but lost, and the kind of progress that produces the results you've always dreamed of.
It's time to . . . Go Old School, The New Way.
Don't waste another moment on unproductive training. Get inspired. Be confident. Stay motivated.