Skip Robinson transformed from powerlifting to bodybuilding with great success. He was a good lifter, having done 600lb squat, 380lb bench and 595lb deadlift. He weighed 198lb at the time. Here's Skip Robinson's training philosophy - Mr. Berg
Skip Robinson is a teacher and also very dedicated to his training; he even trains occasionally with his father. As Skip is around 26, this makes it quite a respectable effort on his father's part - one that other pops should look at.
Skip got some free time and saved some loot to come out West for some training advice. Skip was big, but couldn't bring up his weak points and his overall definition. He landed at Golds and trained with Arnold and some of the guys, which training was invaluable, but he had limited time and could only stay around Golds for couple of days.
Having Arnold just around training is not only inspirational, but highly informative.
Skip is one of those guys who has worked for years regularly and very hard, and needed some finishing touches. His arms and upper back were huge, and you could tell he had some powerful thighs under those Levis.
This man could be another Frank Zane. Skip is aware of diet as he takes liver for growth and keeping the blood sugar levels up to par. Germ oils round out his energy and endurance program and he uses Kelp and Lipotrophics to muscularize a la Vince Girnda. Amino acids and protein diets feed the growth and he is aware of the value of minerals for all life processes and the preventation of injuries.
The background of power work has enabled Skip to use substantial poundages in his workouts. Power work is great for size and strength, but if you want to bring up weak points you have to compromise yourself until they come up to par. You can't isolate and get into the proper rhythm if the weight is too heavy; you will cheat and sway while working spporting muscle groups.
Skip uses the "Heavy-light" principle. This method worked well for Skip and he thrived. The heavy set gets down deep and ties the stronger fibres so that the lighter set will completely dominate the muscle throughout an entire range of action.
Here is a list of his achievement:
1972 Junior Mr America - AAU, 24th, 1974J unior Mr America - IFBB, Medium, 1st, Mr World - IFBB, Medium, 2nd, 1976 Mr Eastern America - IFBB, Medium, 2nd, Western Hemisphere - IFBB, Medium, 1st, 1980 Mr Atlantic States - AAU, Short, 2nd, 1981 Junior Mr America - AAU, MiddleWeight, 4th, 1985 Junior Mr America - AAU, Medium, 2nd, Junior Mr USA - AAU, Short, 1st, 1986Mr World - AAU, Medium, 1st
Not to mention the numerous powerlifting awards! He even did a documentary film with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Couple these wins with teaching obligations, training, running a weightlifting club at his school and promoting weight training and you have a very active, involved person with numerous abilities and intense mental control.
Sometimes Skip was used to blast his abdominals very heavily: 700 reps per day or more if he split his routine. This, combined with his diet turned the tide of his metabolism, but thenhe started the wrong move.
Feeling it necessary to continue these unbelievably high rep abdo workouts, Skip started to smooth back out.
Just as Vince Gironda indicates will happen if the abdominals were over trained too long. Secondly, Skip found it hard to make additional size gains. He then readjusted his diet and supplementation EVEN MORE to make up for the creeping smoothies, however he was still plagued with the lack of the new growth. That's a lot of work just for maintenance.
Skip's thighs underwent a smiliar trip in that he overtrained them, which caused over-tonus and they actually smoothed out.
Below is the routine he used around 1974. Being a teacher himself adds to the inquistiveness he shows for detail and well-laid plans he approaches his training with. Here is one of the routines used by a champion - Skip Robinson:
Monday - Wednesyday - Friday
Super Set Bench Press with Front Chins 5 sets
Super Set Incline Dumbbell Press and Chins to back of Neck 5 sets
Often times he then goes to the pullovers (similar to Nautilus) and super sets this with press on a chest pressing machine. Skip then finishes up with some cable work so that he can bring out the most in striations and muscularity.
Next on the agenda comes a little Bent over Rowing and then intro Press Behind Neck 5 sets Super Setted with Dumbbell Presses for the shoulders also for 5 sets.
Then come various lateral and dumbbell exercises for the deltoid shape and muscularity. He hits front and rear delt the most here, and starts heavy and works down the rack. This completes Chest, Back and Delts.
Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday
Squats Supered with Front Thigh Extensions for 5 sets. He often works up to 6 sets of the squats and 12 sets of the extensions on a 2 to 1 ratio. Now comes the hack Machine with Lunges using a light weight for 5 sets each. Finishing off the thighs he does Leg Biceps work with Sissy Squats on a Super Set basics, but again, this routine was good in the beginning to shock growth and cuts into the thigh, but now less is needed.
In regards to arms - Skip learned quite a few tricks with the wrists from 'ol Mackey, and how the positioning of the wrist dictates how much stimulation the biceps get over the forearm as well as what facet of the bicep is going to get developed the most.
Skip varies his exercises on arms to fake them out and keep them growing.
Skip indicates that he rests little between sets and tries to use maximum poundages in this manner. In many of his exercises Mr. Robinson uses very heavy weights, yet in his own words, "Right now I am not powerlifting because the physique (aspect) means more."
note: text and photos by Bob Green