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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Dr. Darden: Old Routine
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Nwlifter

I was reading through some older books you wrote last night, one in particular, Super High Intensity Training from 1986, in the first part, you speak about how you were training 6 days a week, not making gains, you met Arthur, etc. later you mention how you reduced to your training to full body, 12 exercises, 2 sets each and started making gains again. AJ said to later reduce to 10 exercises, then 8. Then you say it worked well enough that you won the Mr. Collegiate title and was in the best shape of your life. That got me thinking, you've written about so many bodybuilders and average people, their training, their workouts... but we never get to read about yours. Love to know what your actual routine's were like in those days, the workouts, the sets, the reps, the weights... do you still have your old records or remember? Could you share your workouts from the old days? Your a title winner too, and even more representative of what people 'can' accomplish over some of the super genetic wonders we read about.

Thanks for considering,
Ron

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DownUnderLifter

I would be really interested to hear about Dr Darden's old routines too.

DUL
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Nwlifter

bummer, I don't think he wants to share :( (hint hint... :) )
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Lioncourt

I would love to hear more about this too. Especially how you trained for your last contest. Was it the Mr Collegiate America? I think you?ve said you had gone lower in protein by then. What did a day?s eating look like too?
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

==Scott==
I?d also be curious as to what his real workout was compared to what was said in the magazines. If a guy appeared in a Weider magazine I?m sure his workout would look completely different than if it came out in a Hoffman magazine. Some printed workouts looked ridiculous but I?m sure the Hoffman magazine ones were closer to reality.
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Nwlifter

Yes good points!

I know, I agree, Dr. Darden had some great muscle size and symmetry too, love to know those actual routines from those days!
Now I'm (re, re re..) re-enjoying 'The New High Intensity Training' book, great read again!
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sgb2112

Found an online interview of Dr.Darden that should answer some of the questions..

"Ellington Darden: I was born in 1943 in Conroe, Texas, which is 40 miles north of Houston. As a youngster, I was active in the traditional sports: football, baseball, and basketball. When I was in the 8th grade, in 1958, I lifted my first barbell. I was on the skinny side, at 5?10? tall and a body weight of 130 pounds ? so naturally I wanted to be bigger and stronger. I also remember, a couple of years earlier, reading the comic book ads for Charles Atlas?s dynamic-tension muscle-building courses.

None of the coaches at the schools in Conroe knew much about weight training, so I had to do it on my own. I saved my money and eventually bought a 110-pound barbell set from the local sporting-goods store. It was made by Healthway and I still have the orange-colored booklet and printed courses that were packaged with the set.

That was the summer of 1959 and I began training seriously with the Healthway courses as my guide. The courses taught me the basic exercises: squat, pullover, dead-lift, overhead press, curl, bench press, shoulder shrug, neck bridge, side bend, and sit-up. I did most of those exercises three times a week for one set of 8 to 12 repetitions.

At the end of that summer, I had added 15 pounds of muscle ? and all the coaches in high school began to take notice. Interestingly, that was sort of the pattern that I followed throughout high school. Each summer I added about 15 pounds of muscle. In other words, in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, my body weight progressively grew from 150 to 165 to 180 to 195 pounds.

By my senior year in high school, I was the biggest, strongest athlete on our football team. Wait a minute? We had a huge, fat guy who was our center ? and I played quarterback. I suppose I should qualify that statement by saying I was the most muscular and strongest player."
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Ellington Darden

Guys,

My old routines from 1968 until I met Jones were similar to what other bodybuilders were doing then. I used a split routine, lower body one day and upper body the next. I did 10 to 12 exercises for three sets.

Jones convenced me to do less. I reduced the exercises down to 8 and decreased the sets from 3 to 2.

After 6 months of that I went to a whole body routine of 12-15 exercises for 1 set. I trained three times a week with barbells and dumbbells.

Eventually, I started using Nautilus machines and my exercises were reduced down to 10.

Ellington
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

Ellington Darden wrote:
Guys,

My old routines from 1968 until I met Jones were similar to what other bodybuilders were doing then. I used a split routine, lower body one day and upper body the next. I did 10 to 12 exercises for three sets.

Jones convenced me to do less. I reduced the exercises down to 8 and decreased the sets from 3 to 2.

After 6 months of that I went to a whole body routine of 12-15 exercises for 1 set. I trained three times a week with barbells and dumbbells.

Eventually, I started using Nautilus machines and my exercises were reduced down to 10.

Ellington


==Scott==
I've still got a bunch of Strength and health magazines with your workouts in them but it would take a while to find them. It seemed you did pretty dang good using the old ways so the question is did eventually turning to Jones ways really make much difference? I'm guessing the big difference was not so much muscle gains as just spending less time in the gym?
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Nwlifter

Ellington Darden wrote:
Guys,

My old routines from 1968 until I met Jones were similar to what other bodybuilders were doing then. I used a split routine, lower body one day and upper body the next. I did 10 to 12 exercises for three sets.

Jones convenced me to do less. I reduced the exercises down to 8 and decreased the sets from 3 to 2.

After 6 months of that I went to a whole body routine of 12-15 exercises for 1 set. I trained three times a week with barbells and dumbbells.

Eventually, I started using Nautilus machines and my exercises were reduced down to 10.

Ellington


thanks for posting that!

I'm just s curious 'what' your 8 exercise routine looked like, the exercises, the order... I'm 'guessing' it was similar to some of the routines in your books. I know in super high intensity bodybuilding though, the routine is 16 exercises, for 1 set each, MM in 10 weeks you had Eddie to 12 exercises, but you used just 8. Love to know what that routine looked like, your a huge part of HIT history and we never have seen YOUR hit routine. :)
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Nwlifter

entsminger wrote:
Ellington Darden wrote:
Guys,

My old routines from 1968 until I met Jones were similar to what other bodybuilders were doing then. I used a split routine, lower body one day and upper body the next. I did 10 to 12 exercises for three sets.

Jones convenced me to do less. I reduced the exercises down to 8 and decreased the sets from 3 to 2.

After 6 months of that I went to a whole body routine of 12-15 exercises for 1 set. I trained three times a week with barbells and dumbbells.

Eventually, I started using Nautilus machines and my exercises were reduced down to 10.

Ellington

==Scott==
I've still got a bunch of Strength and health magazines with your workouts in them but it would take a while to find them. It seemed you did pretty dang good using the old ways so the question is did eventually turning to Jones ways really make much difference? I'm guessing the big difference was not so much muscle gains as just spending less time in the gym?


In High Intensity Bodybuilding though, he says after cutting down, he started 'gaining again', and 'got in the best shape' of his life and won the Mr. Collegiate, so it must have broke a muscle gain plateau and caused more gains?
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Resultsbased

I am with you guys in wanting to know how these people including Dr. Darden REALLY trained. I still think that Darden had the most impressive chest development - unreal.

I have watched videos of Casey Viator, Mike and Ray Mentzer, Boyer Coe and not a single one of these followed the advice of slow reps, relax face muscles, don't grunt, avoid cheating etc. so why have we been told to train this way?
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

Resultsbased wrote:
I am with you guys in wanting to know how these people including Dr. Darden REALLY trained. I still think that Darden had the most impressive chest development - unreal.

I have watched videos of Casey Viator, Mike and Ray Mentzer, Boyer Coe and not a single one of these followed the advice of slow reps, relax face muscles, don't grunt, avoid cheating etc. so why have we been told to train this way?


==Scott==
Aside from the chest expanding stuff he did I think he must have had a propensity for a huge rib cage.
As for how these guys like Viator really trained. When I saw hum train at Deland Nautilus he trained by the Nautilus book but god knows how he trained when no one was looking. I'm sure it was quite different.When I was young and fixated on doing things the Nautilus way I remember being in gyms with tons of big fellows and I was the only one following Jones guidelines. 99% of the other guys were throwing weights, cheating and every other thing you could think of. It was embarrassing at times because I'd be using strict form and moving minuscule weights while the others we cheating up big loads. They did get stronger but I got bigger muscles.
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Ellington Darden

Here's the Nautilus machine routine I remember doing during my first year of working at Nautilus.

1. Leg Curl or Hip & Back
2. Leg Extension
3. Leg Press
4. Pullover
5. Pulldown
6. Decline Chest
7. Biceps Curl
8. Triceps Extension
9. Lateral Raise or Calf Raise on Multi-Exercise
10. Overhead Press or Wrist Curl on Multi-Exercise

One set of 8-12 reps, repeated three times per week.

Ellington
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Nwlifter

Ellington Darden wrote:
Here's the Nautilus machine routine I remember doing during my first year of working at Nautilus.

1. Leg Curl or Hip & Back
2. Leg Extension
3. Leg Press
4. Pullover
5. Pulldown
6. Decline Chest
7. Biceps Curl
8. Triceps Extension
9. Lateral Raise or Calf Raise on Multi-Exercise
10. Overhead Press or Wrist Curl on Multi-Exercise

One set of 8-12 reps, repeated three times per week.

Ellington


Cool, thanks for posting that! This is cool to see. I know over-all, any similar routine would work well, but seeing what you did is just very cool, since 'you' did that.

thanks again Dr. Darden for posting that!
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Nwlifter

entsminger wrote:
They did get stronger but I got bigger muscles.


see that little sentence there is very interesting....
many implications.....
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Bastion

Ellington Darden wrote:
Here's the Nautilus machine routine I remember doing during my first year of working at Nautilus.

1. Leg Curl or Hip & Back
2. Leg Extension
3. Leg Press
4. Pullover
5. Pulldown
6. Decline Chest
7. Biceps Curl
8. Triceps Extension
9. Lateral Raise or Calf Raise on Multi-Exercise
10. Overhead Press or Wrist Curl on Multi-Exercise

One set of 8-12 reps, repeated three times per week.

Ellington


This is a fantastic looking routine. One that I would like to try. In the near 30 years I've been playing around with this stuff, I've never done full body workouts. The main reason being, I cannot wrap my head around not doing warm up/ acclimation sets. Unless of course you are doing high rep sets. How can you know you are at your 8-12 rep max without a set or 2?. I have all the machines listed in the routine, so it will be fun to try something different in the near future. Thanks for sharing!.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

Ellington Darden wrote:
Here's the Nautilus machine routine I remember doing during my first year of working at Nautilus.

1. Leg Curl or Hip & Back
2. Leg Extension
3. Leg Press
4. Pullover
5. Pulldown
6. Decline Chest
7. Biceps Curl
8. Triceps Extension
9. Lateral Raise or Calf Raise on Multi-Exercise
10. Overhead Press or Wrist Curl on Multi-Exercise

One set of 8-12 reps, repeated three times per week.

Ellington


i like that routine and think i will try it myself....however my question is what kind of weights were you using, were you very strong and using enormous weights, if so, did you do warmups
did you rest any between the exercises or were they performed in a circuit style
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Nwlifter

Bastion wrote:

This is a fantastic looking routine. One that I would like to try. In the near 30 years I've been playing around with this stuff, I've never done full body workouts. The main reason being, I cannot wrap my head around not doing warm up/ acclimation sets. Unless of course you are doing high rep sets. How can you know you are at your 8-12 rep max without a set or 2?. I have all the machines listed in the routine, so it will be fun to try something different in the near future. Thanks for sharing!.


oh wow, never done full body in 30 years????!!!!
Man ya gotta try it, I've done many variations of full body, it's great. You might see a growth spurt happen.

It's easy to know your at your max, just go by the previous workout. And warm ups are easy too.

I'd for example, do a lighter set of benches (that warmed up tris, delts and pecs)
Then I could just jump to
Bench to failure
Laterals to failure
Triceps to failure
Then a light warm up for back
Rows to failure
Shrugs to failure
curls to failure

You do a set to failure, lets say you get 14 reps, next time just use a bit more weight, then you'll end up in the 8-12 range.

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hit4me

Florida, USA

Dr. Darden,

thru-out the years, have you ever deviated from a full body routine?
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CD51

I will not answer for Dr Darden but this was my experience on similar programs. The weights and reps were tracked for every workout. Your training partner or coach had a printout with the loads and machine settings you should be using. If you hit your rep target the load went up from last time.

As for the warmup question, if you look at the order of movements warmups are built in. You do two leg isolation moves before leg press. You do pullovers to warmup the lats, chest and shoulders. At that point you?re ready for pulldowns and pressing.

For programs with multiple movements for body parts you can do this. For abbreviated programs the need for warmups is very different IMO.
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Ellington Darden

hit4me wrote:
Dr. Darden,

thru-out the years, have you ever deviated from a full body routine?


Jones convinced me in 1973 that warm-up sets were not necessary. I have not done a warm-up set since then. Warm ups are mostly for the mind. Jones showed me how just walking into a gym elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.

If you "think" you need a warm-up set or two, you better take them. On the other hand, if you think they are unnecessary, then your body adapts. At least mine did.

Most of my workouts now (I'm 75) amount to fewer than 6 exercises. Today, for example, I did one set of leg curls, leg presses, and calf raises. Tomorrow, I'll probably do pullovers, negative-only chins, chest presses, and lateral raises with dumbbells.

Ellington


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Nwlifter

Ellington Darden wrote:
hit4me wrote:
Dr. Darden,

thru-out the years, have you ever deviated from a full body routine?

Jones convinced me in 1973 that warm-up sets were not necessary. I have not done a warm-up set since then. Warm ups are mostly for the mind. Jones showed me how just walking into a gym elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.

If you "think" you need a warm-up set or two, you better take them. On the other hand, if you think they are unnecessary, then your body adapts. At least mine did.

Most of my workouts now (I'm 75) amount to fewer than 6 exercises. Today, for example, I did one set of leg curls, leg presses, and calf raises. Tomorrow, I'll probably do pullovers, negative-only chins, chest presses, and lateral raises with dumbbells.

Ellington




Interesting and cool advice.

Can I ask 3 questions on your current training?

1) do you still train to failure?

2) looks like you did lower body today, then will do upper tomorrow, when will you do lower again? (like how often do you train each muscle per week now a days)

3)Would you recommend your current setup for others, or is this just for 'you' now a days?
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Ellington Darden

Nwlifter wrote:
Ellington Darden wrote:
hit4me wrote:
Dr. Darden,

thru-out the years, have you ever deviated from a full body routine?

Jones convinced me in 1973 that warm-up sets were not necessary. I have not done a warm-up set since then. Warm ups are mostly for the mind. Jones showed me how just walking into a gym elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.

If you "think" you need a warm-up set or two, you better take them. On the other hand, if you think they are unnecessary, then your body adapts. At least mine did.

Most of my workouts now (I'm 75) amount to fewer than 6 exercises. Today, for example, I did one set of leg curls, leg presses, and calf raises. Tomorrow, I'll probably do pullovers, negative-only chins, chest presses, and lateral raises with dumbbells.

Ellington




Interesting and cool advice.

Can I ask 3 questions on your current training?

1) do you still train to failure?

2) looks like you did lower body today, then will do upper tomorrow, when will you do lower again? (like how often do you train each muscle per week now a days)

3)Would you recommend your current setup for others, or is this just for 'you' now a days?



1. Sometimes, but not often.
2. I do lower-body training once a week.
3. It's just for me.

Ellington
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Nwlifter

Ellington Darden wrote:
Nwlifter wrote:
Ellington Darden wrote:
hit4me wrote:
Dr. Darden,

thru-out the years, have you ever deviated from a full body routine?

Jones convinced me in 1973 that warm-up sets were not necessary. I have not done a warm-up set since then. Warm ups are mostly for the mind. Jones showed me how just walking into a gym elevates the heart rate and blood pressure.

If you "think" you need a warm-up set or two, you better take them. On the other hand, if you think they are unnecessary, then your body adapts. At least mine did.

Most of my workouts now (I'm 75) amount to fewer than 6 exercises. Today, for example, I did one set of leg curls, leg presses, and calf raises. Tomorrow, I'll probably do pullovers, negative-only chins, chest presses, and lateral raises with dumbbells.

Ellington




Interesting and cool advice.

Can I ask 3 questions on your current training?

1) do you still train to failure?

2) looks like you did lower body today, then will do upper tomorrow, when will you do lower again? (like how often do you train each muscle per week now a days)

3)Would you recommend your current setup for others, or is this just for 'you' now a days?



1. Sometimes, but not often.
2. I do lower-body training once a week.
3. It's just for me.

Ellington


thanks for answering, always an honor to be able to talk with you, still amazes me we can do this now a days, 30 years ago when I got my first book you authored, never thought I'd actually get to 'talk' with you.
thanks again!
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