Why The Westside Barbell Method Is For Fat Idiots Natties have no business messing with this Frankenstein

| March 3, 2019 by Truth Seeker |

via: facebook.com

The legends of Westside barbell have been circulating for a long time. The sweet stories keep many dreamers awake at night listening to podcasts of men with goatees who allegedly hold the key to manliness as indicated by their tone full of pretentious superiority.

To be honest, I never really understood what the method was. I don’t think anyone ever did. Whenever someone says that he is doing Westside, the spectators start screaming: “But that is not the real Westside.” The program apparently has shape-shifting capabilities. You can never do it right unless of course you are invited to train with Louie Simmons – the creator.

Louie Simmons is supposed to be a mad genius, but he isn’t. Judging by his words in various online videos, he does not know what a parallel squat really is. All of the monolift squats that I’ve seen in those clips are high from the front.  Even a noob with less than a year of training knows that if a squat is high from the front, it’s even higher from the side. The judges in those monolift feds choose to close their eyes.


So, if Louie Simmons is such a mastermind why can’t he instruct his athletes to squat to the required depth? The reason is simple. He does not want to. It’s all intentional and done to lift more weight.

Another sacrifice in the name of weight would be the incredibly pointless powerlifting equipment common for the glory days of Westside. All those ridiculous numbers that Simmons presents as records are done in armor suits preventing his mammoths from walking properly.

How much would those men squat if:

1. The monolift is removed. (The monolift is the piece of equipment that allows the lifter to assume an ultra-wide stance.)

2. Proper depth is reached.

3. The suits are removed.

4. The drugs are cut too.

The numbers will drop extremely low if the conditions above are met. So, low that most of you will be shocked and may even quit lifting.

Another important pillar boosting the perceived effectiveness of the Westside method is the selective breeding that it shines on. You cannot go to their gym and train there unless you are invited. You have to be special to share a room with Louie and his pupils. Guess who they choose?

Just like women on Tinder, they select only the high value males. Except that in this case the “love” is not based on facial aesthetics and bucks but on physical capabilities. Only men with elite genetics and a “killer” mindset are chosen. You have to be built to lift and ready to die on the platform for the old man.

What does this tell you?

It’s really simple.

A lot of the success in that mad barbell house is due to the lifters’ genes rather than the mythical power of the actual programming, which quite honestly is a Frankenstein mix of Eastern lifting tactics.

Naturals have no business messing with this nonsense. It sucks for unnaturals too. It’s unnecessarily overcomplicated, overfed with exercises and before all controlled by too much ego preventing the ideas from growing or evolving into something more consumable and streamlined.

Louie Simmons may pretend that he has the answer to every sports related problem but he doesn’t. Bands and chains will not fix Olympic weightlifting nor any other sport.

Rippetoe and Simmons share many similarities. Their fame and the perceived success of their students cloud their judgment of their own wisdom. They know far less than they think and should lose weight instead of trying to save the world with barbell voodoo.

Where are the spectators in all of this? Once again they are too afraid to criticize the muscle scholars. The kids are scared to admit the obvious and prefer to live in some made-up world. That’s hardly a surprise to me. Nothing has changed and nothing will.

I have a question for you – would you like to train at Westside? For real, bro. Do you?

I would only go there if they pay me.

  • brb getting extra fat to enjoy five seconds of dopamine on the platform and hate yourself for the rest of the day. That fella AJ Roberts got it right. Losing those 400lbs was a great move.
  • brb doing 50 000 exercises for the sake of it;
  • brb non-stop competing with dudes over barbell lifts to gain an imaginary prize;
  • brb pretending that Simmons is a deity;
  • brb pretending that belly benches and high squats are legit;
  • brb lifting in the company of mutated women;

The list goes on.

Westside Sucks For Natural Raw Lifting

The only powerlifting that makes any sense is the raw version. All else is simply a mental illness that has been allowed to go on for a little too long. Squatting in suits, putting on bench shirts and wrapping your knees with 50 meters of thick canvas is extremely stupid, especially when you account for the fact that powerlifting does not pay money directly.

You can make coins if you create a business around it and sell merchandise, slingshots, powders, powerlifting bras and other products, but you can’t live on the basis of your medals…if you even get any.  For most people, there is no reward other than the released adrenaline and the ego orgasm that one experiences upon setting a PR. This is enough when you are young and stupid, but as you get older, the sacrifices will increase, the joints will start to complain and hopefully, your brain will activate itself.

Westside sucks for raw lifting because it lacks specificity and focuses on muscles that are dominant only in geared lifting (e.g., triceps for bench instead of pecs).

Maxing out on new exercises every week is pointless when your goal is to improve the big three. Raw lifters do not need the extra complexity and variety. If you want to increase your squat, you do squats. You don’t sit on a box with a barbell on your back and expect to excel in a totally different movement.

The greatest powerlifters in the world never bothered with this nonsense. John Kuc, for example, described Westside as nonsense when a fan showed him a magazine with Louie’s principals.

No one from the golden American era of powerlifting trained in the Westside fashion.

To my knowledge, no raw lifter with any success is following the pure Westside template.

One of the popular modern powerlifters, Dan Green, basically demolished Westside’s principles for raw and semi-raw lifting in an article entitled West of Westside.

So, what is Westside good for? Arguably, it’s useful for geared insanity, but even that is debatable.

A positive side of Westside barbell is its rehabilitation power. Louie and his pupils broke themselves many times and came up with great exercises to glue yourself back in one place. E.g., The reverse hyper. I have never done it, but the whole world says it’s a great exercise. It wouldn’t have seen the light of day if Louie didn’t brutalize his back as much.

Bye.

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48 comments

  1. Grinch

    Great article! Age can be cruel, but those are awful tattoos. There is nothing wrong with good tattoos, but those… well I like pitbulls too, so that one is ok.

  2. Jeff Engerel

    You could’ve stopped after you admitted you don’t know the program. I guess you disagree with Verkhoshansky as well then?

  3. Rob

    thanks again for the sanity check!

    I’d love to see a review of the Barbell Medicine crew and their methods.

    1. Chachki's

      It’s hard to figure out BBM’s methods cause they change them every other day. They are high on themselves. Mainly Dr. Feigenbaum

  4. drew237

    Excellent article everything you write is true. I have in the past very briefly fallen into Ripp’s trap -i admit it, may the Lord forgive me – but not Westside. You dont need badass imagery (the tats, the pitbull, the chains and all that bs) if you’re genuinely badass. Westside is for insecure dudes who buy a tshirt from them to say “look at me I follow Westside therefore I’m not the loser you think I am” or something like that, anyway you get the point. If you’re natty just do bodyweight and be free.

  5. Valier

    Louie Simmons has been on anabolics non-stop for 30+ years. He said it himself that without them, he wouldn’t be able to train the way he does.

  6. mattsk1

    The only program I respect is Greyskull LP. It is well though out, simple and flexible. Volume is not crazy high, and you get enough frequency with 2-3 times to train a week. You always start with a push then do what ever you want to do or nothing in the second movement and in the third exercise then do squats or dead lifts for the third exercise. The coach does not go ape shit with what squat or deadlift or bench style you do, just as long as you do it. The guidelines laid out for form as in just chest out, butt out, knees out and have air in the gut when the bar is moving has really helped my injury of lower back and knees from returning. I would like to see Truth Seekers thoughts on that program.

    1. humancrane

      everything sucks for truthseeker and so will greyskulls. He is a profesional hater after all, dont remember?

    2. John Southern

      Greyskull looks good as a starting point, the big difference is you don’t squat as much.

      Too soon to tell whether that will be a problem, there is very limited hamstring work already in these SS style templates.

      What might be better is working in some box squats on deadlift days at 80% of the regular squat weight to develop the posterior chain a little more. I’m probably going to add them at some point.

      The 1×5 deadlifts are not going to provide much posterior chain hypertrophy alone, some of that is taken care of by the 3x per week squats using that hip dominant squat Rip recommends.

      So if you switch to squatting with a more upright style only 1.5 times per week, you cut out a lot of posterior chain volume.

      Which means you are theoretically more likely to have lagging hamstrings and a stalling deadlift.

  7. Edward

    Make a video about all these retards believing in The Law of Attraction! They believe they will become rich and muscular by just believing and visualizing! I know visualizing doesn’t work but hey gotta convince the idiots!

  8. John Southern

    Simmons designed his program after the Eastern European lifters who were on a lot of drugs so its no surprise that it’s not for natural lifters, let alone novice lifters.

    Most gym goers can’t rep 225 on the bench and I’m pretty sure you don’t need to consider a program like that until you’re repping 315 on the bench.

    It’s certainly not for some impatient non powerlifters to fix their self esteem.

    Work capacity can be built over time with consistent training, most people who only lift are not really pushing themselves very much and have no cardio, which really limits recovery.

    The MMA world really opened my eyes, training hard 4 hours a day is taking it easy, but you don’t go in your first day and do that or you’ll spend the next week in bed without improvement.

    When I went back to just lifting weights for a while with my new found work capacity, it felt like resting. I could train a lot more and recover from that training.

    Increase work capacity gradually, the literature says that it generally takes two months for the body to adapt to any additional workload. Of course, at some point years later, you will hit a genetically determined wall and that is generally where you stop growing.

    Increasing volume and tension over time is the secret of natural muscle growth, once those two vectors are exhausted, you either accept that that’s it or start taking steroids.

    1. joe santus

      “….Of course, at some point years later, you will hit a genetically determined wall and that is generally where you stop growing.
      “Increasing volume and tension over time is the secret of natural muscle growth, once those two vectors are exhausted, you either accept that that’s it or start taking steroids.”

      Yep.

      After over forty-six years of bodybuilding (I began in 1972 at age 16, am still doing it today at age 63), I’ll simplify the process for drug-free, average-gened.guys who want some hypertrophy even further, with this:

      Choose one or two exercises per muscle group, do them twice a week using no more than four work-sets of 5 to 10 reps per muscle group, and seek to gradually get stronger on them.

      Do that as consistently as possible for at least three consecutive years; by the end of the fourth consecutive year you’ll have definitely hit your genetic hypertrophy ceilings, with most of that growth occurring in the first and second year. During that three or four year period, increased strength will accompany increased muscle size (but with rapidly diminishing gains after the first year gains).

      A program can be as basic as four compound movements — squats or leg presses, overhead presses, bent-over rows or pull-ups, and straight-legged deadlifts or back extensions. Add a set of push-ups for chest if ambitious. The key is to progressively become stronger doing whatever movements chosen, until hitting the genetic ceiling .

  9. joe santus

    >>>getting extra fat to enjoy five seconds of dopamine on the platform and hate yourself for the rest of the day. That fella AJ Roberts got it right. Losing those 400lbs was a great move.”

    Reminds me of an article by Harry Paschall from about 1950 written in one of the popular magazines of that time (probably Strength&Health).

    “Back in the early 1930s a friend of ours named Mark Berry was editor of Strength magazine…Mark drew a picture of such a rack and printed it in Strength, along with some advice about an abbreviated program of exercise designed to make the subject gain weight. Several eager and possibly lazy pupils gave the shortened program a try, and in a few months some wild tales began to come in from the hinterlands from guys like Joseph Curtis Hise, Jacobson, Bullock, Boone and others. Reports of gains of 20 pounds in bodyweight in a month were not uncommon, and I believe it was Jacobson who gained one hundred pounds in a year! Mark himself gained from 130 to 180 pounds;…His advice to all and sundry was to eat five or six times a day and as much as you could hold….it was no wonder he started to grow, particularly in the region about six inches below his chest….Mark had promulgated a great discovery – how a skinny guy could get fat….We remember Mark Berry telling us back about 1934 of a visit he had sustained from one of his squat-and-slop devotees. This 280-pounder arrived just as Mark was finishing breakfast, and naturally Mark invited him to bread and salt, although he didn’t happen to have a largely stoked larder at the moment. A makeshift simple meal was provided however with one dozen eggs, a full loaf of bread and a big pot of coffee plus a quart of milk….The squat program in the early days was a case of oversimplification if there ever was one….As their waistlines grew they began to complain a little of the severity of going all the way down in the squat. It is no fun to have your stomach bumping against your knees. So they shortened the piston stroke and stepped up the easier part of the program, the breathing. Some of them began to take 10 to 20 breaths between each squat, and soon they were only making only half squats. They continued to grow, as who wouldn’t after they had shaken the body metabolism loose and begun to extract more and more flesh from their inordinate food intake….This is the ultimate of something or other, brother. As Arthur Godfrey sings, “I don’t want ’em, they’re too FAT for me!”

    Th’ moral of this story being that, even back in 1950, it was recognized by a sane few that GOMAD and Westside-style strength training (both of which, with possibly slight variations, are merely new names given to questionable methods invented over eighty years ago) are not productive for the average person wanting to gain some muscle, unless that perons’ goal is being FAT.

    1. TheFinisher

      4 sets per muscle twice per week? and you expected to gain a lot of muscle? High volume training is where natural’s would benefit more. ‘Do less for more results’ sounds great and sells magazines, Reminds me of the conman Mentzer. Everyone trained high volume in the 70’s and 80’s, they were all growing. ‘Overtraining’ was what scared people away from getting results, yeah low volume may give you some results but for MAXIMUM results you need high volume training.

      1. joe santus

        I was age 22 in 1978, had begun bodybuilding at age 16 in 1972, so I’m familiar with the high volume vs low volume arguments. I recall the point when Mike Mentzer first introduced his “Heavy Duty” variation of Art Jones’s original HIT (which may not have been so original anyway, as Jones himself later discovered).

        The Weider magazines, especially, were a primary source of bodybuilding information during the pre-internet 70s and 80s. Weider did promote high volume, by describing the routines being used by national and world-class competitors. However — those were genetic elites using AAS, not average-gened , drug-free guys.
        Imitating what we read in those magazines, many of us average (and below-average)-gened, drug-free guys in the 70s used those high volume programs
        but gained little and/or found them unsustainable, not even when we used it with plenty of food and good nutrition and proper recuperation. Not until we switched to what were essentially pre-steroid era routines did many of us begin to gain. (Bradley Steiner was one of the few back then advocating less sets per muscle group per week, for the average, non-PED guy, long before Mentzer arrived).

        So, nope…the elite-on-AAS of the 70s may have flourished on high volume (although even many of them didn’t use high-volume year-round)…but not “everybody” then was using high volume nor was “everybody” who used it growing on it.

        1. TheFinisher

          Steroids, genetics….Zzzz. As a natural you need to do MORE than a steroid user to get maximum results. Pre steroid era guys were doing Full Body training that was 15 sets per bodypart , they would train for hours a day. Now people use abbreviated full body training and wonder why it sucks – not enough volume. So pre steroid era guys were training harder and longer. If you want the most results you have to bust your ass, 20 sets for back twice per week i blitz through, 15 sets for biceps and 15 for triceps twice per week etc never had a problem with recovery, neither did anyone else back in the 70’s. Using the steroid excuse to do less is exactly what it is, an excuse.

          1. Glove

            TheFinisher, do you think that 15 intense sets for biceps or triceps bring extra benefit for muscle growth? Do you believe that someone can make 20 heavy sets for legs? I´am not talking about one training session. I´am talking about regular training. Of cause I tried this kind of training. I think every ambitious BBler tried to train supersuper- hard to get super good results. If you never came in the status over overtraining you never tested your limits. It´s trial and error.
            Of cause I saw athletes who did these endless programs. On longer term their intensity was less than those of athletes with shorter programs. Logically. In the beginning it doesn´t matter very much. The beginner grows.
            After years of training most if not all athletes realize that they have to safe their energy level and their recovery abilities are limited.
            High volume training might be the optimum for some athletes. For some reasons it could be possible.
            On the other hand I agree that doing a moderate number of sets is not automatically the key to success if the other parameters for muscles growth are not o.k.
            What do you mean with “excuse”? Excuse towards whom?

          2. joe santus

            “Steroids, genetics….Zzzz. As a natural you need to do MORE than a steroid user to get maximum results. Pre steroid era guys were doing Full Body training that was 15 sets per bodypart , they would train for hours a day.”

            I guess Steve Reeves missed that memo about “Pre-steroid era guys doing full-body, FIFTEEN sets per bodypart” while training to win the 1947 AAU Mr America and the 1950 NABBA Mr Universe?

            Even pre-contest, Reeves did full body routines that never totalled more than about thirty sets, including the sets for calves and abs. His sets per bodypart during those full-body workouts ranged from four to six, occasionally up to nine, for upper back.

            And, Reeves was genetically gifted for building muscle, as he himself recognized and admitted.

            Please name at least one national and/or world-class physique competitor, before 1960 (pre-steroid would have been “before 1950”, but 1960 works for sake of this discussion) who was doing fifteen sets per bodypart, especially fifteen sets for triceps and fifteen for biceps, during his full body workouts.

          3. TheFinisher

            Steve reeves wasn’t exactly the biggest now was he. Reg park 12-15 sets 1958. Marvin Edar “Well at one time i would train 6 or 7 hours a day and the number of sets sometimes went up to 15 per body part” his words 1952. Leroy colbert would train 15-20 per body part, first man to build 21 inch arms ‘naturally’ 1948-1952. Roy hilligan would do 4 HOURS of squats and another 4 hours of leg presses and became 1951 Mr America. Zabo koszewski would work out 3 hours per day, 7 sets per exercise (example 28 sets for chest) and 1000 situps per day 1936. If after all these years you’re not/were as muscular as Steve reeves then my point has been proven.

          4. joe santus

            FINISHER…I’d posted, “Please name at least one national and/or world-class physique competitor, before 1960 (pre-steroid would have been “before 1950”, but 1960 works for sake of this discussion) who was doing fifteen sets per bodypart, especially fifteen sets for triceps and fifteen for biceps, during his full body workouts.”

            To which you replied:

            March 15, 2019 at 7:47 pm
            Steve reeves wasn’t exactly the biggest now was he. Reg park 12-15 sets 1958. Marvin Edar “Well at one time i would train 6 or 7 hours a day and the number of sets sometimes went up to 15 per body part” his words 1952. Leroy colbert would train 15-20 per body part, first man to build 21 inch arms ‘naturally’ 1948-1952. Roy hilligan would do 4 HOURS of squats and another 4 hours of leg presses and became 1951 Mr America. Zabo koszewski would work out 3 hours per day, 7 sets per exercise (example 28 sets for chest) and 1000 situps per day 1936. If after all these years you’re not/were as muscular as Steve reeves then my point has been proven.”

            I’m sorry I didn’t reply to you until this much later date, but, anyway…I may need to distribute my reply over multiple posts, so, please bear with that inconvenience.

            1)”Steve reeves wasn’t exactly the biggest now was he”
            Among his contemporaries, including Park, and compared to even Eder, Colbert, Hilligen, or Zabo, Reeves WASN’T? Well…lol…sure, if you say so!…

            2)”Reg park 12-15 sets 1958.”
            Park’s words:
            “Basic Principles for Gaining Definition by Reg Park (1951): “First, the reason for definition training. A program which is designed to produce greater muscular separation is what is commonly known as a “specialization” program. It is NOT for the newcomer to bodybuilding. It IS for the more advanced man, the guy who has a couple of years of solid training under his belt and wants to IMPROVE his appearance. It is a program which produces the ILLUSION OF GREATER SIZE when that doesn’t really exist. …It has previously been the accepted theory that low reps and high poundages produced bulk, while high reps and moderate poundages built definition. Now, there is some truth to this theory as applied to the commonplace program of exercises, those which are composed of basic exercises and employ the three-set system. But modern bodybuilders have discovered that for the utmost in definition . . . the utmost that your physical type will allow you to produce . . . higher sets with moderate reps and MORE TYPES OF EXERCISE are necessary.”

            Meaning, Park only used and only promoted high-volume training for purposes of getting DEFINITION.

            In another article Park wrote two months after winning the 1958 Mr Universe, he described that same style of high volume training for pre-contest prep, not for building mass: a split routine which he followed for TWO WEEKS, and which he states was in contrast to his normal style of training, the same style he taught in his courses.
            Even for advanced bodybuilders, those whom Park said already had done, a couple of years of training, in 1954 Park listed a full body workout in which sets per bodypart varied among 1 (abdominals), 3 (lower back, forearms), 4 (upper legs, upper back, rib cage), 5 (calves), 7 (shoulders, tricpes, biceps), and 8 (pecs) — nowhere near fifteen per bodypart.

            Park also taught 5X5 programs. In 1960, he published a variation of 5X5, for ADVANCED (not beginner nor intermediate) bodybuilders:
            All meaning Park never did full-body workouts of 15 sets per bodypart…rather, he used split routines and high volume training only for definition during pre-contest, never for adding mass. Nor did he advise high volume for mass even for advanced bodybuilders.

            [End of Post #1]
            [CONTINUED IN POST #2]

          5. joe santus

            POST #2…to FINISHER
            2) “Marvin Edar “Well at one time i would train 6 or 7 hours a day and the number of sets sometimes went up to 15 per body part” his words 1952. ”

            Eder’s own words in a 2007 interview with Dave Robson:

            [ Q ] Did you do any aerobic training in the 40s and 50s?
            No I didn’t. I was just interested in the weights at the time. Very often weight training was done at a rapid pace with very little rest between sets. And this depended on the type of training I was doing. So we might have considered it aerobic when I did it that way. It depended on what particular phase I was in at the time.
            [ Q ] And how many times per week did you weight train?
            At the beginning I trained every other day. Then as I advanced I would do split training: upper body one day, legs and mid section the next day. Then as I advanced beyond that I started to do Olympic lifting along with the training and at that time it went to four times a week where I would work out Monday and Tuesday, rest Wednesday, workout Thursday and Friday and rest the weekends because the training was exceptionally heavy. That was the last type of training that I did.
            Q ] How long would you train for on a typical day?
            Marvin Edar “Well at one time i would train 6 or 7 hours a day and the number of sets sometimes went up to 15 per body part” his words 1952. [ Q ] Where did you do most of your training?
            For most of my training a group of us fellows got together and went to a place called the Eastside Barbell Club. And that’s where I worked out for many years. And afterwards I worked out in Abe Goldberg’s Health Studio and worked for him for a while as a trainer and then that petered out. Then I continued to train there until I quit the whole thing.
            [ Q ] You say you “quit” the weightlifting and bodybuilding game, but did you continue training at any level?
            No, for many years I didn’t do any training at all.
            [ Q ] For how many years did you stop training and at what age did your hiatus begin?
            I don’t believe I did anything for at least ten years. I would say between the ages of 22 and 32 I did no training at all.”

            Meaning that, Eder (who quit training at age 22) used SPLIT routines, not full body routines, as he’d progressed.

            So, no full-body routines of 15 sets per bodypart.

            Charles Smith was a friend of Eder’s and observed and trained with him. Smith adds this important detail to how Eder trained 6 or 7 hours:

            “Take one of the greatest bench pressers I’ve ever seen, known or trained with— Marvin Eder. In my opinion, and I may be wrong, Marvin improved his benches by practicing parallel bar dips and presses from behind neck. But few people have the time or the energy to train as Marvin did. Let no one tell you High Intensity Training is a thing of the present. It isn’t. It was being used in the 1930s and Marvin was using it in the 50s. He started parallel bar dips in the morning with 300 pounds tied around his waist, do a set of 10 reps, rest a few minutes and do another set and continue thus ALL BLOODY DAY….”
            “Marvin Eder was beyond any doubt, at least, the most powerful man, pound for pound, I have ever met, and you name ‘em, I’ve known ‘em – from Goerner and Hackenschmidt down through Inch, Wood, Pullum, Walker, Hoburn, Davis and Nausieum.I can recall at the YMCA Nationals at the McBurney YMCAs in NYC, May 15th, 1953,Marvin weighing in at 196, PRESSING (standing Olympic press) 350! Jim Bradford,who outweighed Marvin by over 60 pounds, pressing only 330.Eder was using genters. No one liked him before or since. His capacity for working out was mind boggling. ALL DAY LONG he’d do nothing but parallel bar dips. He’d start at 9 AM, dip, rest up for 20 minutes, dip again and continue this ALL DAY, and with 300 POUND around his waist. His single dip with 465 is, so far as I can determine, unequalled before or since.”

            Note that Eder would take 20 minutes between sets of dips. Meaning, if he did three sets per hour, 15 sets would require 5 hours.
            Meaning, even when Eder did do 15 sets of an exercise on one of his split routine programs, he took HOURS to do those sets. He trained 6 or 7 hours, yes, but with lengthy, sometimes 20-minute, rests between sets.

            Gene Mozee wrote,
            “Eder told me that his secret to building record-breaking power and incredible muscularity was power-mass training. The following routine is one he used, and it is the one he recommended to me….
            1) Squats….
            2) Bench Presses….
            3) Heavy Bentover Barbell Rows….
            4) Standing Barbell Presses….
            5) Lat Machine Pulldowns….. You can also substitute some form of chins for this exercise, or alternate each workout.
            6) Heavy Dumbbell Curls ….
            7) 100 legs raises or other light ab work.
            Train three times a week on alternate days.
            Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 8 reps the first two weeks.
            After two weeks increase to 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
            Take a light week.
            Increase to 5 sets of 5 to 7 reps on each exercise for a month.
            Take a light week.
            Increase to 3 sets of 3 to 5 reps, and 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps on each exercise for a month.
            Relax and rest between each set until you have fully recuperated enough to go on. Schedule your workout so that you will have enough time to go through it without rushing. Don’t add any other exercises….”

            No record exists of Marvin Eder ever doing nor recommending full-body workouts of fifteen sets for each bodypart.

            [CONTINUED IN POST #3]

          6. joe santus

            POST #3…to FINISHER

            4)”Leroy colbert would train 15-20 per body part, first man to build 21 inch arms ‘naturally’ 1948-1952.”

            (Note — Colbert did not build his arms to his claimed 21″ until AFTER recovering from his devastating 1955 motorcycle accident.)

            Colbert’s own words:
            ” As I mentioned previously, to the beginner, one set is plenty, then he must increase to two and three and five. But what after that is there a constant upsurge of sets until you reach 50 sets each exercise? No, there isn’t, but you will find that five sets workout after workout will fail to pump up the muscles and give it that ache as before. You can increase the weight which will help to shock the muscle into growing again, but you will still find the muscle a lot tougher than it was in the beginning days. It will take so much more exercise to stimulate your muscles than it did before…..Now to properly blitz them, you must select one, no more than two exercises for each body part and increase you sets from to a minimum of 10 to 15 sets.
            ….I know it sounds like a lot of work and it is, but you will only have to train like this for 2 to 4 weeks….Now after this month of the blitz routine, you take a week rest and resume training at your normal pace. …After a few months of conventional training, you may resume the blitz routine and start the cycle over again..
            ….the champions… develop the strength, energy and perseverance to sometimes do as many as 15 sets of each exercise bench presses, curls dips and chins in one workout…..
            Bill Grant sometimes works all day on one body part such as his shoulders or calves….I’m not suggesting that you necessarily train as hard. These were only given as examples of how our champions employed the blitz to shape their physiques. One must use this method according to your own individual situation. Some of you because of time and purpose may not be able to utilize the method exactly as I have outlined but you can use it with moderate improvising, increasing your sets as much as possible and varying the intensity of you workout.
            The beginner must not under any circumstances attempt to blitz his muscles until he has trained with weights at least one year.
            The blitz routine is very severe and only well conditioned muscles with plenty of reserve energy could take the pace. Keep in mind, the blitz routine is…a planned scientific way of intensified training for a short period of time….
            For those of you who prefer to follow the routine of some of the champions here is an example:
            1. Barbell bench press ……..10 Sets 8 Reps
            2. Bent arm lateral ………..10 ” 8 ”
            3. Lat machine pull down ……10 ” 8 ”
            4. Chin behind neck ………..10 ” 8 ”
            5. Sitting press behind neck ..10 ” 8 ”
            6. Standing lateral raise …..10 ” 8 ”
            7. Alternate curl ………….10 ” 8 ”
            8. Sitting barbell curl …….10 ” 8 ”
            9. Bent arm pullover ……….10 ” 8 ”
            10. Barbell squats ………….6 ” 12 ”

            Colbert stated that, 1) even for advanced trainees, 5 sets per bodypart was normal for full-body routines.
            2) to stimulate new growth, “You can increase the weight which will help to shock the muscle into growing again” — in otherwords, that progressive overload with lower volume definitely worked. He then offered as an alternative to that, the high volume system he termed “blitzing”. But notice: Colbert says, “train like this for 2 to 4 weeks….Now after this month of the blitz routine, you take a week rest and resume training at your normal pace. …After a few months of conventional training, you may resume the blitz routine and start the cycle over again….the blitz routine is…a planned scientific way of intensified training for a short period of time….”

            It’s not intended to be usual training, and it’s only for brief periods.

            And that full-body routine he lists? It’s NOT fifteen sets per bodypart. Quads get 6 sets. Lower back gets no direct work — no deadlifts, no straight-legged deadlifts, no good mornings, not even back extensions. Hamstrings get no direct work. Calves get no direct work. Abs get no direct work. The routine is primarily an upper-body routine.

            That routine fits with what Colbert called “Saturation principle”:
            “”….utilize the saturation principal and jolt the muscles into growing and growing again. After we reach the so – called sticking point, a jolt and not a lay-off will make you grow again. Intermittent use of the saturation principal will supply the jolt necessary for uninterrupted growth. I believe Marvin Eder was the first man to popularize the saturation principal for rapid muscular gains. Marvin’s routine consisted of his regular workout but he would pick one muscle and saturate that muscle to exhaustion. But he would do at least 15 to 20 sets of that exercise. For instance, for the chest you may find Marvin doing 20 sets of bench presses in one workout. These presses would constitute his chest routine. He would not train that hard for the rest of body at that session.”

            The key word Colbert uses is “intermittent”. And Colbert confirms that even Eder, who Charles Smith (admiringly) says took hours when Eder did 15 and 20 sets for an exercise, did NOT train the rest of his body that hard in a full-body workout.

            [CONTINUED IN POST #4]

          7. joe santus

            POST #4…to FINISHER

            5) “)”Roy hilligan would do 4 HOURS of squats and another 4 hours of leg presses and became 1951 Mr America. ”

            First, a correction…Kennedy states that Hilligen would do 4 hours of squats and then 4 hours of PRESSES, not “LEG presses” (see “Beef IT!” by Bob Kennedy, c.1983, p.145, second column).

            “IHilligenn won his first 1st place title in a novice weightlifting meet in 1943. He was in 148-pound weight class and performed a 160 press, 160 snatch, and 240 clean and jerk. He went on to win the Mr. South Africa title in 1943, 1944, 1946 …In 1951 Hilligenn began training for the Mr. America competition under Ed Yarick in Oakland, who had worked with former Mr. Americas (including Steve Reeves in 1947 and Jack Delinger in 1949The Yarick gym included both bodybuilding training and weight lifting and Hilligenn spent two months training with Yarick as well as living in Yarick’s home with him and his wife, Alice. During the months before the Mr. America competition, Hilligenn was training six days a week,[3] with three days dedicated to bodybuilding and three days dedicated Olympic lifts and often including two training sessions a day. ”

            As indicated, Hilligen “OFTEN” did twice a day training…meaning, it’s not necessarily that he did eight hours of consecutive hours of squats then presses; he might have taken a couple hours’ break between those.

            A detailed article lists Hilligen’s training for the 1951 Mr America and Olympic competition as follows:

            “For example, a leg training session included squats with 325 x 12,350 x 12,375 x 10, and 400 x 8: front squats with 320 to 40.5, three reps per set; partial squats with live hundred to seven hundred, four sets of fifteen reps: leg curls with 130, four sets of fifteen reps; and calf raises with 250, five sets of about thirty reps (Not really counting carefully, but going for a “burn”). He also did other leg exercises, such as extensions and leg presses (450,525, and 575 for fifteen reps with each weight). In his upper body training, Roy did a lot of presses, both with barbell and dumbells. For example, he would press 150 pounds twelve reps behind neck, then move up to twelve with 160 and ten with 170. He would perform several sets of alternate presses with a pair of eighty and eightyfive pound dumbells, twelve reps with each arm, then ten with nineties and sometimes six to eight reps with hundreds. For variation he would press the dumbells together and at best could handle a pair of 135 pounders. (At Yarick’s he cleaned a pair of 142-pound dumbells, but did not press them). He followed presses with lateral raises in his workouts. Other upper body exercises were pretty standard: pulls on the lat machine, one arm dumbell rowing, and a variety of curls and triceps extensions. One difference between Hilligenn’s training in the 1950s and today’s bodybuilding was that he put little emphasis on the bench press. He bench pressed 250 for twelve, 265 for twelve, and 280 for ten. His incline pressing with dumbbells was more demanding: twelve with a pair of 90s twelve with 105s, and ten with 115s”

            A discrepancy arises when harmonizing what Kennedy claims and how this detailed article claims Hillligen squatted– if he did that squat routine, how could it take four hours to do what seems to add to no more than 12 sets of back, front, and partial squats?
            Same with pressing; the details of his pressing total perhaps 12 sets of presses, which could hardly require 4 hours.

            That article continues:

            “Olympic lift training, done on alternate days from the bodybuilding, would go like this: A series of presses with 135, 155, 175, 205, 215, and 225, three repetitions with each weight. He would finish by pressing 235 and 240 for singles. Next a series of snatches, using the same weights and reps. In the clean he did triples with 225, 255, and 275; a double with 300; and singles with 310, 320, 325, and 330. Taking the weight from squat stands, he would jerk 225, 255, 275, and 300 three reps each: then 310, 320, and 330 for doubles; and singles with 340 and 350. After the actual Olympic lift training, he did a series of chest-high pulls, using a snatch grip, with from 300 to 400 pounds, and then—using a clean grip—more chest-high pulls with 350 to 500 pounds. Obviously, the heavier pulls didn’t get as high as the lighter ones, but he was trying to accustom himself to pulling as high as possible with weights too heavy to snatch or clean.”

            Hilligen certainly handled phenomenal poundages and relatively high volumes…but, based on the training details, the claim of him doing four hours of squatting or four hours of pressing, seems questionable. Olympic lifters did sometimes take amazingly long rests between their very-low-rep training sets , so perhaps that accounts for the sense that Hilligen trained four hours at a stretch?

            And, NOWHERE is it ever recorded that Hilligen at anytime did full-body workouts of fifteen sets for each bodypart.

            [CONTINUED IN POST #6]

          8. joe santus

            POST #6 (although it should be #5)…to FINISHER

            6)””Zabo koszewski would work out 3 hours per day, 7 sets per exercise (example 28 sets for chest) and 1000 situps per day 1936.”

            Zabo’s words:
            “”I knew that it would be wise for me to “make haste slowly” so my first ab routine consisted of just two exercises: Situps and Leg Raises. Although I could only manage a few reps that first training day, I soon had worked up to the point where 500 Situps and 500 Leg Raises were just warmups for my more advanced training routines every day.”

            “Strength & Health, Page 20, August 1967 THE FABULOUS ZABO KOSZEWSKI
            by Bob Hise
            Zabo manages Joe Gold’s gym and though he works out six days a week from 2½ to 3½ hours per workout, I imagine if a close tab was kept on our hero he would be rattling the weights intermittently throughout the day. Heavy workout days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday and again to quote Zabo, “Saturday is an off day-Hooray -No workout!”
            MONDAY – WEDNESDAY – FRIDAY
            APPROXIMATE TIME-3½ hours
            LEGS & BACK
            Squats 8 x 10 Alternating
            Leg Curls 8 x 10
            Hack Squats 2 x 20 Alternating
            Leg Curls 2 x 20
            Stiff Leg Dead Lift 4 x 10
            Power Cleans 4 x 10
            CHEST
            Decline Dumbell Press 10 reps
            Criss-cross on overhead pulleys 10 reps
            Parallel Dips 10 reps
            Push-Ups 25 reps
            These exercises are done for 1 set in above sequence, 7 times around.
            “LATS”
            Chins 7 x 10
            Rows on Pulley 7 x 10
            Pull Downs Behind Neck on Pulley 7 x 10
            One Arm Reverse Laterals on Pulley 7 x 10 each arm
            TUESDAY-THURSDAY
            APPROXIMATE TIME-2½ hours
            “DELTS”
            Seated Dumbell Presses Alternating 7 x 10
            Flys with Dumbells
            Seated Press Behind Neck 7 x 10
            Upright Rows 7 x 10
            “ARMS”
            Incline Curls Alternate Alternate 20 x 10
            Tricep Press Downs on Pulley

            All 5 day schedule of workouts are preceded by:
            Situps 500 reps No stopping Leg Raise 500 reps No stopping
            SUNDAY-He does what he feels like doing in his training.He calls this his “Goof off Day.” His training is done in the early afternoon at Gold’s gym and needless to say he trains very fast.”.

            So, Zabo used split routines, not full-body. And, even each split were probably being done in sections, throughout the day, not as one consecutive workout.

            “Jack and I had met Zabo previously and talked briefly although now, I cannot recall where or when, possibly at the original Gold’s (and then it really was “original”). Remember that Jack and I were living on Blair’s Protein, hamburger, eggs, and salad and when I spoke with Zabo at the contest, he told me very specifically that he remained cut-up 365 days per year because unlike us, he avoided all dairy products. The diet was very much like a meat-oriented pre-contest diet from our day although he ate fruit and his drink of choice was apple juice.
            A quote I recall clearly even to today (and note the reference to the bartender’s measure) was “If I put as little as a jigger of cream or milk into my coffee I can notice a difference and I get smoother.”
            That was his big key to staying hard, no doubt burning a ton of calories with six or seven days a week of exercise, including 1000 reps or more per day of ab work, and no bread or “bread type of products” as per the usual bodybuilding diets, and no dairy.”

            Meaning, Zabo’s high-volume routines weren’t intended to add mass — they were his means to stay defined year round.

            So, nope — Zabo is nowhere recorded using full-body routines of 15 sets per bodypart, and certainly not for gaining mass.

            So…NO. Not park, not Eder, not Colbert, not Hilligen, nor Koszewski used full-body workout of fifteen sets per bodypart as a regular, normal means to gain mass. When they did use high volume of fifteen sets and more, they used it for specialized purposes other than for adding mass, and/or used it in split routines, and or used it only briefly.

            Meaning, even national and world-class genetic elites before 1960 did not use fifteen-set-per-bodypart full-body routines as their basic, year-round programs.

        2. Glove

          Hello Joe, 100 % agreement. In the competitive Bodybuilding circles in the 70ties athletes laughed about 25 set biceps programs published in the Weider magazines.
          I met an Ägyptean BBler, a Mr. Universe contestant who made 5, 6 sets for biceps. Not more.
          A was witness of training sessions of a number of Mr. Germany contestants. Only a few of them made more than 8-10 sets per bodypart.

          Critical voices said: Weider offers these superlong training sessions to his readers to bring them in the overtraining status. As a “help” he sell them his expensive and useless protein powder.

          1. TheFinisher

            Yawn, a competitive bodybuilder on huge amounts of drugs can get away with 6 sets (the 90’s), hence your Mentzers and Dorian Yates of the world. 8-10 sets per bodypart? was this 90’s? no one in the 70’s was doing that bullshit, you can’t build a complete back or chest with 10 sets, everyone who trained with Arnold did high volume. Ric Drasin who trained with Arnold has spoke about this on youtube. ‘Overtraining’ was a word no one heard of in the Golden era. Regular gym rats LAUGHED AT 12 SETS and called it low volume. Lazy people on here.

          2. TheFinisher

            Yawn, a competitive bodybuilder on huge amounts of drugs can get away with 6 sets (the 90’s), hence your Mentzers and Dorian Yates of the world. 8-10 sets per bodypart? was this 90’s? no one in the 70’s was doing that bullshit, you can’t build a complete back or chest with 10 sets, everyone who trained with Arnold did high volume. Ric Drasin who trained with Arnold has spoke about this on youtube. ‘Overtraining’ was a word no one heard of in the Golden era. Regular gym rats LAUGHED AT 12 SETS and called it low volume. Lazy people on here.

          3. TheFinisher

            Yes, More volume per session will give you more growth BUT there is a limit, but no where near the crap i read on here. Heavy? Intense? this is the problem – people try high volume, get tired and realise that volume training in general will reduce the weights they previously used, so they give up and cry OVERTRAINING! moderate weights, for higher reps with short rest times builds size. Heavy weights and/or training to failure kills naturals. Intensity is not the key to size, volume is. The excuse part is towards yourself, high volume done properly hurts, it’s hard work, it’s takes time to adapt to. 6 heavy sets is not hard work no matter how ‘intense’ it is, it just burns you out. I will never ever go back to that shit was of training.

          4. Glove

            TheFinisher, what´s your age? How long do you train? Did you start BB in the 70ties? Do you know some athletes from the Golden Era personally?
            Where is your knowledge from? BB magazines? Interviews with Ric Drasin?
            Regular gym rats laughed about 12 sets. Yeah! Maybe true. Lot´s of them looked like…. regular gym rats.
            Overtraining people didn´t hear before? Maybe. But they FELT it. They started to think about it when they found out that high volume training didn´t work for them!

          5. TheFinisher

            They were muscular and lean, we’re talking regular college guys training high volume and growing. No they were not overtraining, they were not pussies who were scared of HARD WORK. They probably looked better than you, now back to 6 sets of constipated intensity and keep your arms small at 16 inches. I’m off to train my 18.5 inch arms, Keep being lazy and making excuses.

        3. TheFinisher

          Hey Joe, I appreciate the extensive reply. I acknowledge that extremely high volumes were used before competitions and we can argue back and forth about mass building, which i stand by high volume. I just cannot ignore anecdote and seeing the progression from full body to split routines of the golden era where more volume was used and bigger physiques came of it. Everyone wants to scream steroids but it works great for naturals. We can argue and disagree and that is pointless because we have our own views and they will not change. All the best

  10. Kit magnusson

    Im sorry but i dont think you know what your talking about i respect your views but i believe that louie Simmons could take a normal man who could bench say 70kg and have him benching 120 in a few weeks again no disrespect

    1. joe santus

      I’m curious…

      Do you know of any average-gened, drug-free trainees whose bench Louie increased from 150 lbs to 260 lbs in “a few” weeks?

      If you do know of any, were they beginners? If not, how long had they already been training?
      How many “few” weeks did it actually take for Louie to increase their bench? Four? Five? How many was “a few”?
      And, what did they weigh while benching 150 lbs,…and, what did they weigh later when they benched 260 lbs?

        1. Glove

          Kit magnusson, with all due respect I doubt that the numbers you are giving us are realistic.
          I myself personally met a number of top powerlifter, bodybuilder, strongmen, olympic lifters, shot putters a.s.o. Next week I´am sixty and I think I know a little bit about this matter. Besides of these very successful athletes you can imangine that I met hundreds if not thousands of men and women with “normal” genes. Many gave up lifting after their first initial gains or continued with chemical help. Some of them reached their natural limits. Very few of them kept on training regularly over the decades.
          O.k.. Supposed their is a normal man benching 70 kg. Without touching iron before this is not bad. It´s very good. Only under this aspect he´s is remarkable better as “normal” men. I have seen only a few newbys who could. Relatively heavy sportive men.
          None of these men needed a very sophisticated program to make further gains. They made it NOT because an experienced powerlifting trainer taught them any secrets which never existed in the real world of BB or powerlifting. They NOT made better or quicker gains because a super coach took these men by their hand. No. Their genes and the neccessary intensity of their training limited their progress. And NO coach in the world can speed up this process.
          From 70 up to 120kg benching within a “few weeks”? For a “normal” man?
          NATURAL??? What would a man with superb genes naturally lift after “a few weeks”? 150kg? 180kg? Please tell us! What would these normal men as Naturals lift after are year? Or 3 years? 200kg? 250kg?
          If you find individuals who make excessive gains within WEEKS you can be sure that they take steroids!

          1. joe santus

            Hiya again, GLOVE!
            Agreed, with all you posted.

            I’ll be age 63 in this June, and have been bodybuilding for over forty-six years since beginning at age sixteen in 1972.

            You and I each have a perspective of over forty years of experiencing, observing, and studying “Th’ Iron Game”. Neither of us think we know all there is to know about it, but, we do know a few things about it.

            One of the things we do know is that, if we each had 100 grams more muscle and 10 grams less fat for every person who’s claimed, “I’ve discovered the BEST way to gain strength faster and add more mass quicker than anybody else has ever discovered!”, each of us would weigh 125 kg (275 lbs) at 8% bodyfat with 76 cm (30″) waists, LOL

            For the average-gened, drug-free guy, the “best” methods for gaining strength and mass are the same methods there were when I began in 1972, and the same as they were decades before either of us began. Science MAY know a little more about “why” those methods work, but the methods haven’t changed.

            By the way…I did progress from a 29 kg (65 lb) bench to a 122.5 kg bench (270 lb), but it took me four consecutive YEARS of consistent, dedicated drug-free training, not a “few weeks”, lol

            I weighed 65 kg (145 lbs) when I began as the proverbial 97-pound-weakling at age 16…I could bench that “whole” 29 kg for one rep AFTER my first full month of training, lol I weighed 80 kg (176 lbs) four years later when I did my genetic maximum bench of 122.5 (270 lbs) kg.

  11. Glove

    @Joe Santus
    Joe, you should write a book about BB history!
    Marvin Eder 350lbs in strict front press? I saw one of the best contemporary Russian Olympic lifter doing this weight. It´s a lot.
    Four hours squatting? Even with extreme long pauses it´s a lot.
    I read that Serge Nubret made 30 sets of bench press only in his chest routine.
    All these numbers… I have my doubts.

    Yes. in the 70ties the top athletes made a lot of reps and sets shortly before their competitions. Off season they used heavy weights to bulk up. 1,2 sets with lighter weights to flush the muscles was their routine.
    But these monster programs the normal elite BBler didn´t do.

    1. TheFinisher

      You are wrong about the Golden Era, They INCREASED their high volume mass gaining to even more volume. FOR THE LAST TIME, Most guys trained 20 sets per bodypart twice per week for MASS. Youtube Ric Drasin who trained with Arnold and the guys back then. Serge Nubret trained up to 50 sets per body part come competition, which you are correct in saying they did more sets instead of cardio – I use his intermediate program which he himself posted on the bodybuilding and getbig forums – It is up to 30 sets per body part for MASS. 1-2 sets is a joke and won’t build a physique. Good luck building full shoulders or a complete chest and back with barely any training.

  12. Glove

    I’ am wrong about the Golden Era???
    I’ am 60 years old. I started BB in 1974. I know a number of Mr. Universe contestants personally. Trained with some of them. One of my best friends had a famous gym where some of these trained over years. I met Arnolds German promoter a number of times. I met the publishers of the magazines. I was in the scene.
    What are you trying to tell me about Golden era BB? You have seen a Youtube Video? Fantastic. I like this kind of second or third hand knowledge.
    Go out and ask somebody who knows only a little bit about BB whether 30 sets are neccessary to build muscles mass.
    Sorry. But what you are telling us is ridicolous.

    1. TheFinisher

      If you had done/experienced all you said then you’d know how they trained. I have asked many people in their 50’s how they trained, people who showed me things that i was told was ‘wrong’ by the internet ‘overtrainers’ like – You CAN improve a bicep peak with concentration curls, You CAN build wider lats with very wide grip pulldowns etc. Oh and they were doing SET AFTER SET OF THESE EXERCISES. you are spouting nonsense. You are basically saying they all trained with low volume which is a complete lie. You are saying Arnold, Lou Ferrignou, Danny Padilla, Serge Nubret, Ric Drasin – WHO HAS PROVEN IT ON YOUTUBE that they were lying. So ‘sorry’ but you don’t know what you’re talking about, And i’m sure you never had a big, lean, muscular physique to back up your nonsense. GO BACK TO READING ‘HARDGAINER’ BY STUART MCROBERT.

    2. TheFinisher

      If you had done/experienced all you said then you’d know how they trained. I have asked many people in their 50’s how they trained, people who showed me things that i was told was ‘wrong’ by the internet ‘overtrainers’ like – You CAN improve a bicep peak with concentration curls, You CAN build wider lats with very wide grip pulldowns etc. Oh and they were doing SET AFTER SET OF THESE EXERCISES. you are spouting nonsense. You are basically saying they all trained with low volume which is a complete lie. You are saying Arnold, Lou Ferrignou, Danny Padilla, Serge Nubret, Ric Drasin – WHO HAS PROVEN IT ON YOUTUBE that they were lying. So ‘sorry’ but you don’t know what you’re talking about, And i’m sure you never had a big, lean, muscular physique to back up your nonsense. GO BACK TO READING ‘HARDGAINER’ BY STUART MCROBERT.

  13. Glove

    ROFL that’s my favourite!
    you CAN improve a biceps peak by concentration curls.
    ABSOLUTELY!!! You only have to concentrate enough.
    Wonderful! You made my day!
    Go out and spread the news in BB forums. People will be HAPPY!!!

    1. TheFinisher

      And that is all you can say because you know you have no answer to the truth. If you think you cant improve a peak with concentration curls you have NOT been training with real bodybuilders. You clearly know fuck all about bodybuilding. 60 years old and you don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re talking about, 60 LOL. STOP giving out advice, unless you have built 18 plus inch arms and have physique to back it up. IF YOUR LOW VOLUME TRAINING WORKED YOU’D BE BIG AND YOU’RE NOT. WOMEN DO MORE VOLUME THAN YOU LOL. AGAIN BACK TO READING ‘HARDGAINER’ BY STUART MCROBERT

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