Training Tips From Bill Pearl

Article was written by Leo Stern (Bill's Coach) published in S&H 1967 June. - Mr. Berg

"Broad shoulders add about as much to a person's physical appearance as any other part of the anatomy. Regardless of how a person is dressed, broad shoulders are hard to hide and will automatically make an impression on any person who is interested in physical development.

The width of a person's shoulders is generally governed by the length of the clavicle bones. If you are fortunate enough to have exceptionally long clavicles, your shoulders will be broader than normal and your efforts in gaining outstanding shoulders will be reduced in time and energy.

But even though one does not have long clavicle bones, he can still increase the width of his shoulders through proper weight training. I have selected two very basic exercises that are as effective as any in developing broad, muscular shoulders, but in most cases are done incorrectly.

bill pearl shoulder training oldschool

UPRIGHT ROW: Take a close hand spacing and assume the starting position shown in Photo #1. Keep the body erect and stationary and pull the weight to the finish position as shown in Photo #2, keeping the bar close to the body. Pause momentarily at the top position and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Lower and raise the weight to shoulder height and exhale as you lower the weight to the starting position.

SEATED PRESS: Take a slightly wider than shoulder grip, clean the barbell to the shoulders, sit down, and place the feet as shown in Photo #1. Keep the chest high and back straight and press the barbell to arms' length as shown in Photo #2. Do the press slowly and steadily, keeping tension on the muscles all the times. Inhale prior to pressing the weight overhead and exhale as you lower the weight to the starting position.

Concentration while you are doing an exercise is extremely important and will speed the process of the muscle's growth. The first three weeks, do 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Use a light weight the first set, a medium weight the second set, and a heavy weight the third set.

After three weeks, increase the number of sets to four. Use a light weight the first set, a medium weight the second set, and a heavy weight on the last two sets. Always train within your limits. Get the required number of repetitions and do not increase the number of sets just because you feel that if 4 sets is recommended, 6 or 8 sets will speed things up. It just doesn't work that way. Also, be sure that you don't get in the habit of handling too much weight as to do the exercises improperly. Check yourself on these two exercises when you do them and correct your mistakes and try to do them strict and with a steady rhythm."

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