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Have you lifted today? No? Go find something heavy. Pick it up. Now put it back down. Good. Do that a dozen more times.

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Having just finished finished a book on the old 5 pound dumbbell system, and beginning to read some of the old literature such as Strength, and How to Obtain It and Muscle Control, I am inspired to create a thread on the old timers. These guys were amazing and made their achievements without steroids or modern supplements.
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The book:
>David Bolton - The Lost Secret to a Great Body_ Building Muscles in 20 Minutes a Day with Stupidly Light Weights-David Bolton (2012).epub

I'm thinking of giving the workout detailed in the book a shot. I'd have to order some 5 pound dumbbells, but they're pretty cheap at that weight. I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts on it if anyone decides to give the book a read, or if the workout has been tried.
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Another Sandow pic, probably my favourite, Arthur Saxon, who still holds the official record for the "bent press" today, Otto Arco who is another muscle control expert like Maxick,  Alfred Moss is simply well developed, and Adolf Nordquest is notable for being another student of Professor Attila, and therefore further representing the potentialities of the light dumbbell system.
Some old books for those interested.
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Some more physiques. Hackenschmidt may be familiar as the originator of the "hack squat", the man was impressive and filled out a suit better than just about anyone. Sigmund Klein married Professor Attila's daughter and took over his gym, Lionel Strongfort was yet another Attila student.
Also Sandow's first book. He beat Attila to the punch by publishing Attila's own exercises first.
>>870 (OP) 
I got injured during a time my strength gains were rising at their fastest rate yet. Outside my youth even but I was lifting heavy almost exclusively. Eventually, a back injury occurred in the middle of a squat set. I was able to finish the rep I was on despite it but the back pain that followed for the following couple of months was so intense I'd get out of bed to get some water to drink, walk back to bed, and literally would feel tired from all the pain felt.

I haven't read anything here but recently I started, for the first time ever I might add, a light weight workout routine. Where I do sets slow and steady, for max reps, or to even do movements that would break me with heavier weights. Doing this for three weeks I went back to some heavy weights. Not only did it feel easier to pump out 10 on heavier dumb bells, but it also felt less painful, for a lack of better words. Like my muscle was more full. I don't know how to explain it. Anyways, I found out it takes about 40 days before newly acquired maxes start going down for me but with how the light weights have been changing me, I feel like it's making my body more prepared for the strength gains I acquire. You know how some dudes cycle test? I'm thinking the trick to natty weight lifting is to cycle heavy weights. Idk, maybe just doing 100 rep sets of 5lb dumbells and then jumping up to something heavier to do only 10 times just seems to make it easier to do those ten despite being much heavier.
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That's pretty interesting. A lot of these old time strongmen used to only lift heavy during their shows apparently, their performances were their training. Something similar to your situation happened with the author of "the lost secret" posted earlier, he broke his elbow I believe and didn't want to put too much stress on it right after it healed, so he thought he'd experiment with this old system. He doesn't claim to fully understand how the system works but has a couple theories. I posted the book through catbox because it's an epub, which I don't think will upload here, but I recommend it. There is a bit more to it than meets the eye.
Replies: >>1282
This is an interesting topic.  Has OP or anyone else tried it out in the last few months?

That's very intriguing.  I want to try doing that myself.
Replies: >>1075
>Has OP or anyone else tried it out in the last few months?
I haven't, I just did 3 days of it last month. I tend to jump around too much with my training, changing my programming all the time. I'm trying to be more consistent.
I plan on dedicating 3 months to the dumbbell system after I complete some courses that I bought , which will take me until mid April to complete. So I will certainly check in again at that point.
Out of shape fat ass here. The last couple of months I have being losing weight through diet and cardio, and making decent progress with that (already down 20 pounds). I stumbled upon this thread a couple of days ago, and it seems like an easy enough way to do something muscular development related, so I bought some dumbbells and started doing the routine.  

I will update you homo's in three months. I don't have any crazy expectations but considering my muscular base is literally 0, if I see any muscular growth whatsoever we'll at least know this does something.
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Glad someone else is trying it. Have you read the whole book? Careful not to underestimate the complexity or intensity of the program. One of the reasons I'm not following it right now is that I felt it was too much for me, so I'm currently on a bodyweight based, 3 day a week program. That said I have an extremely physically demanding job which leaves me tired and sore by the end of the week even if I don't work out, so your mileage may vary.
I am certainly going to give a go again next year though, as I mentioned earlier.
Replies: >>1086
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Some interesting reading:
Yeah that's definitely one draw back about this whole thing -it's not a mindless workout. I'm trying my best to contract the appropriate muscles, keep a tight grip on the dumbbell, etc. Even despite my best efforts I can definitely feel that I'm not doing it very well on some exercises. 
But I perused some of the old books, and even they consistently say that's it pretty difficult in the beginning but you get better control over your muscles as you keep practising -so I'll just continue doing my best. 
I'm definitely going to (near) failure on the exercises (the 'ache' all the books talk about) and my arms at the very least are pretty pumped after my workout (as much as they can be, at my level of development at least), so I think I'm at least somewhat heading in the right direction.
Replies: >>1087
Sounds like you're on the right track anon. Good luck.
It's come to my attention that I'm easily sold whenever a book presents something I find ideal or aspiring. Just the concept itself is enough to make me want to believe it's not bullshit and I lose all sight of objectivity in terms of the details and it always seems to happen with just books.
Since I can't actually go to the gym for another year or so I'll probably try this out since I have some light dumbbells lying around. I hope it's not bullshit.
I tried my first workout of this. I've been in bedrest for a few months and finally got medically cleared to do some physical exercise so I figured why not.
>While I'm not 100% sure on the precise muscular controls and motion I can definitely feel this "point of muscular ache" mentioned in the book. Although not for all the exercises, I'm not too sure on the toe raises or the pectoral fly, and a lot of the "hold dumbbells at 45 degrees" I felt my failure came from my shoulders being tired rather than the back muscles I'm meant to engage.
>Also felt really good after the workout, felt like a halfway point between the satisfaction of relief and 'pump' after an intense workout but I also wasn't walking around with jelly limbs and barely being able to stand up
>Likewise I've always had trouble with abdominal exercises(Hanging I can do but I barely felt much progress in the abdominal muscles) lying flat situps I just never manged to do sit ups without cheating and having something pin my legs down or 'explosively pushing off' the ground with my lower back or rocking forward while trying my best to pin my legs from leaving the ground. I get the 'peeling off the floor with your back' part, but I have no concept of what to engage in order to sit up and I have no idea if I just have weak muscles there or am not flexible or if there's something obvious I'm missing.
I doubt I'll have it in me to go to a gym for another few months(and who knows what with lockdowns) so I'll keep on this routine, at the least it will be interesting seeing how far I can develop to the point of doing shit like touching the ground behind my head when doing the lying flat leg raises, or doing more one legged squats(the couple I could manage really put the hurt on, I think I did them improperly).
Again I really hope the routine is not bullshit but at the same time it's kind of tough knowing what you're doing right and wrong with just text and a couple of stills.
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Oh yeah I'm also a bit worried with the heel raise exercise, it feels like I'm really locking my knee joints.
I sub out the pistol squat for cossack squats or lunges, pistols are far too advanced to start out with, and the author should have recommended as much in my opinion.
With the sit ups, try to feel as though you're pulling inwards with your lower abdomen as you sit up and you should get it.
Replies: >>1121
Turns out exercising somewhat heavily after nearly five months of bedrest is a bad idea, it took me a week just to be able to extend my arms again. Gave the workout another shot, I'm not sure I'm doing those punching motions correctly. This would be so much easier with a video, I get the book telling me which muscles to try and target but with that one in particular I'm completely lost.
I really do like how pumped I'm feeling after every workout, but then again it might be because I spent almost half a year in bed not being able to do anything so yeah.
That's the thing though I seemingly can't get that lower abdomen to pull in. Which is weird, what the hell am I pulling when I do leg raises then and why do I find it much easier to do that a situp?
I really want to do a situp now, just to prove to myself I can. I get to the point where I peel my verteberate off the ground, I just don't know(or don't have the strength yet) to pull whatever it is I need to pull in in order to complete the situp and I don't want to cheat and 'rock forward' through it.
Replies: >>1122 >>1129
>punching movement
It's a lat exercise. When you tense your lat while moving your body forward it should result in a "punch" because it connects your arm to the waist by locking the shoulder joint in. It's literally just a traditional martial arts punch. Basically just pull the shoulders down while taking a step with the proper form. Do not let your elbows fully extend and lock out though. Some people have trouble activating the lats, so it might take patience.
>sit up
Sounds like you might be unconsciously trying to use the iliopsoas and other muscles of the hip that are more properly involved with raising the leg. Try tensing the abdomen prior to and during the the sit up, as though you could get hit in the gut,  that might help to learn the correct muscle activation. Sit ups should be a little bit easier than leg raises if you are doing both correctly in my opinion. 
It's tricky stuff to be honest. Don't feel discouraged about not getting certain things, the author is a martial arts instructor and it took him years of trial and error to fully figure out what he was doing, according to some of his forum posts.
It's really more like a western form of hard qigong than weightlifting in some respects.
Replies: >>1123
I manage to consistently do it when I try and go through the motion fast, it's just that when I try and take it slow, in the sense of robbing myself of any momentum or explosive motion I just can't seem to do it. I think I'll let momentum carry me for a few days until I hopefully get stronger ab muscles and then do it slowly.
Replies: >>1124
Do what you got to do, but using momentum (for any exercise in this routine, but especially this one) is wrong.
It's not a strength issue, it's a using the wrong muscles issue.
Replies: >>1125
Okay here's what I'll try doing, I'll try doing it in reverse. Slowly going from a sitting position to a lying down position and trying to figure out which muscles I'm engaging in that movement, and then doing the reverse of it.
I'd just like to make sure, my heels should never leave the ground, not even a tiny bit, and I should not be exerting force in trying to keep them pinned to the ground either?
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Oh and merry christmas.
Merry Christmas to you as well Anon.
>Slowly going from a sitting position to a lying down position
Yeah, isolating the negative portion is a good idea. 
If you are doing it properly your heels will not have any tendency to rise from the floor whatsoever. What they will have a tendency to do is slide along the floor. As you sit up, your heels will travel "away" from you, and "towards" you in the reverse. I'm not sure what you are doing with your hands, but consider keeping them folded over your chest until you really get the hang of the exercise. You can go back to having them extended as in the book afterwards.
I went through the same process you are right now. I had quit doing sit ups a long time ago (in favour of crunches and leg raises) because I though it was a shitty exercise. When I read this book I realised that I'd being doing them wrong all along. I now consider sit ups to be the king of core exercises.
I think I did it, I managed to pump out 8 situps before I gave out and couldn't do anymore(at least without the feeling of pushing myself further would probably have lead to injury). Starting with my 5th my heel started to involuntarily leave the floor but I'd say it was at most an inch or two off and I could feel more my heels "sliding away" from me like you've described.
Also I've noticed I may be doing the bicep exercises kind of incorrectly, my mind isn't yet accustomed to gripping the dumbells as tight as I should and when I notice it and correct it I do start feeling the ache in my muscles more pronounced.
I think I'll try and push harder tomorrow to keep them gripped as tightly as I can and go for the point where my body can't do it anymore instead of the point of 'this ache is getting pretty strong, better stop now'.
Replies: >>1130
>lower abdomen
i can't get you with this denomination of lower abdomen and upper abdomen. the abdomen works together as a whole piece in the exercise.
>leg raises
have you noticed if you raise your back as you raise your legs? if you do, that would explain why it's much easier.
and as both you and I are skimming through the book dump earlier this month, try to check out "convict conditioning". it explains many exercises that help prelude full leg squats and leg raises.
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Nice, it's just a matter of practise.
>the abdomen works together as a whole piece
Technically you're right, but it's not really that simple. It's not that the upper part of the abdominal muscles are not activating, they are, it's that form tends to change with a different area of mental focus. You can try this for yourself, just do sit ups while concentrating on the uppermost part of the abdomen, then on the lowermost. 
Also, with practice you can actually isolate parts of the abdomen as you can see by pic related, a disciple of Maxick.
Replies: >>1131 >>1155
I find the whole muscle control part of the book amazing, especially that image of a guy spreading his back muscles like they're flesh wings.
It's more the part starting a finger or so below my navel, I can't seem to figure out how to contract or engage that part of my body at all. probably had something to do with the fact that when I was ill I spent a couple of months nearly losing control of my bowels a dozen times a day so I'm still not a hundred percent in control of my body there since it's still recovering.
>raising my back
Not really no, I can raise my legs to a 90+ degrees and then I stablize with my arms and lift my back and the rest of my body up to try and get a bigger range of motion, I'd like to eventually be flexible enough to have my legs touch the ground behind my body.
Replies: >>1132
>raising my back
i wasn't referring to raising your back, my bad, but to constantly keeping your entire torso on the ground.
i did the leg raises using my midsection (abs and waist) and i felt a very strong burn i have never felt before
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wait is this real after all?
I saw some many "debunkings" online of the light dumbell system ive been focusing on HWLR
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this man literally looks like that hercules statue with the lion skin
did he "just" use light dumbells?
Replies: >>1149
The light dumbbell system is so obscure I've never seen any specific debunking of it. There are plenty of low information dismissals (not debunking) of Eugen Sandow's system in particular, which are addressed by David Bolton. 
Nobody claimed Triat exclusively used light dumbbells. He also trained bodyweight with ropes and gymnastics type equivalent, and used light barbells.
I can't really tell you considering how I've spent a week working out before my health went up the shitter again and I landed my ass back in bed again, but the week I worked out gives me hope there's truth to it.
For one I feel just contracting and relaxing my biceps even just sitting here in bed is different somehow, like I'm more in control of it or as if I can contract it better.
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calcutta light dumbell disciples from the 1930s.
their diet was probably milk with veggies and they had a pair of dumbells..but they look peak human
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>peak human
<poo looks like something bit a chunk out of his chest
<second guy looks like a senior that just got out of a hot tub
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that's what you get for using too much internet
you isolate otherwise ordinary things and make mounts out of anthills
404 or am I just retarded?

Somehow these demonstrations of abdominal muscle control are less grotesque than the roidlet freakshow modern bodybuilding has been.
sirs... I kneel...
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After a month of training regularly with barbell, stretching and callisthenics 2 to 3 days a week, I am going to give the Light Dumbbell System another go. I didn't feel up to the task of daily training before, but I may be able now, though I am experiencing some bizarre issues with excessive muscle soreness and fatigue. I still feel strong, but it's like my muscular endurance went to shit for no reason. 
Anyway, I am going to try to stick to daily training as outlined in the book for 90 days. I'll probably have to take off a day now and then, but I'll track my progress in the /djt/ thread.
I have added a reverse dumbbell fly to improve rear delt activation, and neck exercises to the routine in the hope of adding 2 inches to my neck, and I am substituting cossack squats for the pistols since I can't seem to manage to not fall over with those yet (I will try to practice them occasionally though). Otherwise the routine is the same as the default recommendations in the book.
I made a guide for myself so I wouldn't forget anything and don't have to mess around with my e-reader while training. The numbers split by a slash signify reps per side (or per angle in the case of calf and toe raises) to keep with the old-fashioned way of representing reps Bolton used.
Replies: >>1282
Neat little summary. I read Sandow's book as well as the ones posted ITT. It's more of the same exercises, but he recommends progressively adding reps until reaching counts similar to Attila's, and restarting with slightly heavier weights.

The "Lost Secret" guy's physique isn't as bulked as most of the strongmen posted ITT, but it is respectable for a man in his 40s. His legs in particular looked underdeveloped compared to Sandow. I suspect training for their shows gave the strongmen the extra push that he was lacking.
Replies: >>1283
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>sandow's regimen
The routine Sandow promoted in his books was specifically intended by him to be used by the British military, which is important to remember. I believe he cut back on lower body exercises because trainees are expected to run every day. Generally I think Sandow's version is inferior to Attilla's.
>bolton's physique
If I remember correctly I think he said he began practising the system in his book at 41 or so, and with only 3 pound weights. He's also a natural ectomorph, doesn't take any supplements and I think it's pretty clear that he under-eats protein if you read between the lines, since he said he didn't adjust his diet at all after beginning the dumbbell routine. I think he'd be 53 now, it would be neat if he did a follow up book, maybe focusing more on Mercurialis since the translation is supposed to be coming along, but maybe the first one didn't do that well.
>wait is this real after all?
Anon there is literally no way why it shouldn't work. You can gain great muscles from body weight training, so why shouldn't you be able to gain great muscles doing similar exercises with additional light dumbbells? 

Your muscles simply react to the stimulus and adapt. Sure you can do that by raising the weights, but you can also do it by simply making the exercise more difficult and thus increase the force that stimulate the muscles.
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After I finish the 100 pushups challenge I'm gonna start this routine. Anyone have recommendation for light dumbbells with rounded grips? All the neoprene coated ones have straight bars which I don't think is as good for gripping, and the rubber ones smell bad. I really don't want to pay more than $25 for a pair of light weights.
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maybe you can be the first to actually give an update on how well this really works.
Every time someone wants to test it out you never hear from them again
Replies: >>1529
They've ascended beyond the realm of mortals and are exercising with Hercules on the slopes of Olympus. I promise I will update the journal thread.
Buy 2nd-hand ones
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I'm taking the Zasspill lads, wish me luck.
Replies: >>1743
Wtf bros, this shit actually works, I actually became stronger.  I just did 4 clean dead hang chin ups. At the beginning of the year, I tried getting into bodyweight stuff but all I could do was 1 shitty kipped chin up, and I didn't want to do negatives because they were really rough on my joints and tendons, so I didn't pursue it any further. 
I'll continue tugging on my chain, but I might start throwing in some chin ups into my workouts as well, now that I can actually do them.
Replies: >>1744
Good to hear you found something that works for you, keep on lifting
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