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  1. #1
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    Question herschel walker style workout

    this is primarily concerning training athletes, not so much bodybuilders but obviously all are welcome and encouraged to read.....

    okay so story goes that college football legend and pro running back hersechel walker never lifted weights (small town, too poor, etc.) anyway he has stated in several interviews and in his book that he instead does a routine of some 2500 situps, 1500 pushups and pullups every day. he says that the key to this consistency. ever day since high school and now well into his thirties, he says he has never missed a workout.

    now im not an md or professional but i would assume the logic behind this is similar to the logic behind distance running. you do a little every day, not working the muscles to absolute failure and work up to a large quantity as your body learns to adapt. for athletics, you are building functional strength, not just weighroom strength (i swear some people can bench 250 pounds, but ask them to do 20 slow, deliberate pushups with perfect form, all the way down, and they can't). obviously youre not gonna get bulging pecs and arms overnight but i think that this might work IF you stick to it religiously. i would assume the first couple of weeks you would be very sore and see little results but then the body will begin to adapt.

    now i know everyone's body is different and reacts differently to different things but does anyone think such a routine could be used to benfit athletes today? i think maybe with todays ever-increasing knowledge on training and the body's response, we can reach a happy medium of weights and bodyweight exercises. obviously if you're a hardcore bodybuilder, you probably havent even bothered to read on this far, but as an athlete and fitness fanatic, i was thinking of giving this a try for a number of reasons. if i do try it however, i WILL be deadlifting. this exercise is just so incredible, even herschel would benefit from it.

    1. im 17, relativley new to weights and ive been growing like mad (heightwise, not necessarily musclewise...) freshman yr of HS i was 5'8''. as a senior, im 6'2'' and have put on 50 pounds along the way (used to be a runner, rediculously skinny) anyway ive been lifting for a solid 4 months and filled out quite nicely actually, focusing on the main lifts and the rippetoe program. well as of recently, i have really hurt my left rotator cuff for a 2nd time and my ankles have been tendinitis-riddled for the past 3 months. doctor says cause im going thru an awkward growing stage and my ligaments and muscles havent caught up with my growing bones and skeletal system. anyway im considering going "herschel walker style" and sticking stricktly to basic bodyweight exercises because they will be easier on my connective tissue and ligaments.

    2. from the standpoint of athletics (i am a competitive athlete), there was recently an article in ESPN the mag about the fullback on the new orleans saints. he goes thru the article describing how he loved lifting and lifted avidly while at arizona state U. he goes on to describe how he plateued for years in his bench press until one summer when he decided to train EXCLUSIVELY with med balls and bodyweight exercises.......later that preseason after a hard practice, he loaded a weight that he could only bench previously for 5 reps to test his progress after an ironless summer. he put up the weight 23 times.........thats pretty hard to ignore
    the article goes on to describe the benefits of bodyweight exercises and the like, that the whole body is engaged and the strength is more functional and directly translates into athletic activities blah blah blah.....

    well if you've stuck with me this long thanks. to summarize, there is some substantial evidence that basics such as the pushup and pullup can be just as or even more effective than iron for athletes and body development (google images herschel walker, no doubt he could have been a bodybuilder). well i just want some feedback and soon ill post my routine and will see if this yields results.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Nerrg's Avatar
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    good luck, should be interesting
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  3. #3
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    thanks man i ll be postin up stats and a routine within the days to come. hopefully i can post weekly updates etc.
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  4. #4
    Sergeant of Marines Khronos's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bltully View Post
    this is primarily concerning training athletes, not so much bodybuilders but obviously all are welcome and encouraged to read.....

    okay so story goes that college football legend and pro running back hersechel walker never lifted weights (small town, too poor, etc.) anyway he has stated in several interviews and in his book that he instead does a routine of some 2500 situps, 1500 pushups and pullups every day. he says that the key to this consistency. ever day since high school and now well into his thirties, he says he has never missed a workout.

    now im not an md or professional but i would assume the logic behind this is similar to the logic behind distance running. you do a little every day, not working the muscles to absolute failure and work up to a large quantity as your body learns to adapt. for athletics, you are building functional strength, not just weighroom strength (i swear some people can bench 250 pounds, but ask them to do 20 slow, deliberate pushups with perfect form, all the way down, and they can't). obviously youre not gonna get bulging pecs and arms overnight but i think that this might work IF you stick to it religiously. i would assume the first couple of weeks you would be very sore and see little results but then the body will begin to adapt.

    now i know everyone's body is different and reacts differently to different things but does anyone think such a routine could be used to benfit athletes today? i think maybe with todays ever-increasing knowledge on training and the body's response, we can reach a happy medium of weights and bodyweight exercises. obviously if you're a hardcore bodybuilder, you probably havent even bothered to read on this far, but as an athlete and fitness fanatic, i was thinking of giving this a try for a number of reasons. if i do try it however, i WILL be deadlifting. this exercise is just so incredible, even herschel would benefit from it.

    1. im 17, relativley new to weights and ive been growing like mad (heightwise, not necessarily musclewise...) freshman yr of HS i was 5'8''. as a senior, im 6'2'' and have put on 50 pounds along the way (used to be a runner, rediculously skinny) anyway ive been lifting for a solid 4 months and filled out quite nicely actually, focusing on the main lifts and the rippetoe program. well as of recently, i have really hurt my left rotator cuff for a 2nd time and my ankles have been tendinitis-riddled for the past 3 months. doctor says cause im going thru an awkward growing stage and my ligaments and muscles havent caught up with my growing bones and skeletal system. anyway im considering going "herschel walker style" and sticking stricktly to basic bodyweight exercises because they will be easier on my connective tissue and ligaments.

    2. from the standpoint of athletics (i am a competitive athlete), there was recently an article in ESPN the mag about the fullback on the new orleans saints. he goes thru the article describing how he loved lifting and lifted avidly while at arizona state U. he goes on to describe how he plateued for years in his bench press until one summer when he decided to train EXCLUSIVELY with med balls and bodyweight exercises.......later that preseason after a hard practice, he loaded a weight that he could only bench previously for 5 reps to test his progress after an ironless summer. he put up the weight 23 times.........thats pretty hard to ignore
    the article goes on to describe the benefits of bodyweight exercises and the like, that the whole body is engaged and the strength is more functional and directly translates into athletic activities blah blah blah.....

    well if you've stuck with me this long thanks. to summarize, there is some substantial evidence that basics such as the pushup and pullup can be just as or even more effective than iron for athletes and body development (google images herschel walker, no doubt he could have been a bodybuilder). well i just want some feedback and soon ill post my routine and will see if this yields results.
    In the past 6 months or so I've incorporated pushups and pullups as part of my Marine Corps PT on top of my 4x a week split. All of my upper body plateaus pretty much disappeared immediately, my lats exploded. It's completely against traditional bodybuilding wisdom, but I think frequent training of core BW exercises such as pullups and pushups is one of the best plateau breakers out there.

    However, although I am not a Doctor, I would advise against doing hundreds of pullups and pushups if you are worried about your joints at your stage. At one point I was doing pullups 6x a week and muscle soreness was rarely if ever the problem. It was normally stiff shoulder joints.
    "Why in the Hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can; they are all the same kind of men, why can't they be like Marines?"
    In a letter to HQMC, dated 12 Feb. 1918, concerning a inspection of Marines by Gen John J. Black Jack Pershing, CinC, AEF

    Khronos' Workout Journal
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=110704291
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  5. #5
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    When I was younger I used to read comic books and in the Batman series the character of Azrael got in shape to take on the Dark Knights role (after Batman was crippled) by doing 1,000 push ups every day. One summer while in High School, I went overseas and couldn't really get to a gym so I tried it out (I was doing 400-500 a day never got to 1,000). After 2 months I got back to the states and hit the weights. I was STRONGER than I was before I left.
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  6. #6
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    okay starting 2moro, im gonna post pics on my bodyspace and post my workout and give a little feedback
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by bltully View Post
    he has stated in several interviews and in his book that he instead does a routine of some 2500 situps, 1500 pushups and pullups every day. he says that the key to this consistency. ever day since high school and now well into his thirties, he says he has never missed a workout.
    Light weights and high volume = bodybuilding
    "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret."

    Training regularly but no progress?
    You need one or more of these: more food, more weight, more reps or more rest.

    Check out: www.muscleandbrawn.com
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  8. #8
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    ok well the past month has been hectic....
    around thanksgiving i aggravated my rotator cuff during a heavy bench
    semester exams and projects basically controlled my life
    and the holidays, spending time with family
    all of this has basically kept me from doing almost any working out.

    as promised i am about to embark on a herschel walker workout. i will follow this program religiously, as i can now focus all my efforts on this. no matter how much this workout hurts (pending serious injury) or just doesn't work, i will stick with it for (30) workouts. i am going to start out slow with relatively low reps. i will post every day my workout until i work up to a set program that i can stick to. 2moro i will post up "before" pics on bodyspace. at the end of 30 workouts, i will post new pics. i'll try not to go more than 3 days without some kind of update post to let you guys know how its goin. today is an initiation/guaging kind of day. i havent done anything in a while so today im gonna "get my feet wet". ill post the mini workout later, and stay tuned because there is lots to come
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  9. #9
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    ok so i got the "iron gym" for christmas. i was planning on using it for what it is, a portable pull up bar. anyway, you can also use it for really deep pushups and since ill be doing a ton of those in the weeks to come, i decided to give it a try.

    im not one to fall for or buy workout gimmicks or anything of the sort but this iron gym pull up/pushup bar is actually really good. the pushups are definitly tougher than a standard because you can go so deep and grip laterally. anyway i was only able to pump out 50 today. now i know thats basically nothing to most, but considering how little ive worked out latley because of all the schoolwork ive been consumed with the past month, i guess its a decent starting point. also the deep pushups are about twice as hard as a traditional pushup. ive done 100 pushups before, and trust me, 50 of these felt like the equivalent.

    lets see.... i have whey, muscle milk, glutamine powder, creatine, waxy maize, and bcaa's. i want to encorporate some of this into my schedule to maximize benefits. but im not sure which to use and which not to use. advice and opinions are WELCOMED!

    anyway as i said, 2moro, ill get pics, post up my first workout and tell what supps im gonna use.
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  10. #10
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    first workout in the books
    60 deep pushups using regular grip on pushup bar
    and 3x5 deadlifts

    from now on i will do an additional 10 pushups per day until i build to 100
    then i will rest one day and resume
    saturday will include 3x5 deadlifts, like today
    once i feel comfortable with 100 pushups, ill add in pullups and slowly build from there. eventually i might also include dips. as far as ab work, im gonna do leg raises one day, and situps the next, and just keep that rotation going.

    tomorow's workout- 70 pushups, 70 situps
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by bltully View Post
    ...
    ever day since high school and now well into his thirties, he says he has never missed a workout.
    He's so well into his 30's that he's actually ~47.

    Consider that Walker is a genetic freak, which allowed him to play football. Perhaps any type of workout would 'work' for him, considering those genetics.

    Interesting nonetheless!
    http://www.statisticool.com/weightedexercise.htm
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  12. #12
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    im on my 3rd workout, i just did 80 pushups.
    gonna increase by 10 until i get to 100
    then 1 day rest, and incorporate pullups
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  13. #13
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    i'd take whey throughout the day, "oats n whey, 3 times a day" as the old saying goes.
    glutamine is up to you, if it works, use it, many says it doesn't
    Muscle milk is great before bed in my experience.
    the bcaa's are supposed to be during your workout, this sounds like you don't have many, if any breaks at all. so i'd drink some before, between pushups and pull ups, and then between pull ups and abs, and some afterward.
    waxy maize, i'm not sure on, i think it's a carb, which would be really good immediately post work out to optimize insulin use with a 3:1 ratio to protein (whey is fine)
    that's my advice, take it at face value, some know more than me, i know enough to get you in trouble
    Cliche motivational phrase

    Tell a man there is 100 billion stars in the galaxy and he'll believe you. Tell a man there's wet paint on a bench, and he'll have to touch it
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  14. #14
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    yesterday i was supposed to do 90 but i only got to 80 again. my arms were just very dead after 5 straight days. even after 10 minutes of rest i couldnt manage anymore. on top of this my right shoulder is killing me after playing QB for the past two days. anyway takin wednesday off, probably resuming new years day. gonna take some fish oil and glucosamine. peace
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  15. #15
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    push ups, added some crunches, gettin there....
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  16. #16
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    gettin into a groove, possibly some progress pics within a week or so
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    work in progress IGF-WON's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jdmalm123 View Post
    Light weights and high volume = bodybuilding
    this

    and genetics... pullups didnt make him fast
    Dude your sig is so cool. - xl achilles lx

    Journal:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=118731061
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  18. #18
    Registered User cornbread112's Avatar
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    i have my before pics, just have to post them up. workin hard.......yea

    he ran maaaad sprints
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  19. #19
    Chicks and Camaros Nick1971's Avatar
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    I read Walker's book many years ago and the bottom line is that he was a modestly-tall fat kid when he was younger and bodyweight exercises helped transform him into someone fit enough to play football. He may have exaggerated what he did when younger, or he may not, but he's still pretty much an inspirational figure.
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    Registered User hwrestler5's Avatar
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    push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups will not make you good at football. speed kills so run, ALOT. Get as fast as you can in every direction sprinting straight, backward, and also shuffling as fast as you can does wonders for your agility. and when you run, run fast. you don't always have to sprint but jogging for 20-40 minutes is a waste of your time unless you have fat to burn. stairs and hills are great for power and acceleration.
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    Chicks and Camaros Nick1971's Avatar
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    Yeah IIRC Walker did a crapload of running, too.
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    Originally Posted by cornbread112 View Post
    i have my before pics, just have to post them up. workin hard.......yea

    he ran maaaad sprints
    My guess is that this didnt work or you didnt do it judging by your profile pic.
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    Originally Posted by matt_2036 View Post
    My guess is that this didnt work or you didnt do it judging by your profile pic.
    LOL! Ahhhhhh, sorry but I was thinking the exact same thing. Old thread, but I found this searching for "Herschel Walker" in the titles. I'm just amazed someone could have that much muscle mass doing nothing but pullups, situps and pushups. You have to choose if you believe him. I do. What motivation does he have to lie about his workouts? I wonder how much of it is genetics?? I just think if I did this, I'd wind up looking like Eric Foreman from "That 70's show".

    I will say this, the best "mass building" I've ever achieved in my life was NOT from weights. After college I moved to California and got a job and an apartment near the ocean. For 6 months I surfed almost every single day. And I put on 15 POUNDS and developed visible shoulders and chest muscles. I was skinny-little-sh*t, 140 as a high school senior and all through college. Even though I was lifting religiously that whole time, I could never put on any weight, but when I gave up the gym and surfed a lot, suddenly I added 15 pounds.

    It was high rep upper body training if you think about it. Every time I paddled back out, it's about 30 "reps". Probably 15-25 "sets" of those 30 reps depending on how long I was out. The resistance was my body plus a 9 foot surfboard pulled through the water. There was no PROGRESSIVE resistance, it was that same weight every time (except for the 15 pounds of bodyweight I eventually added). Which makes sense. I got stronger and grew muscles to handle the stress, but no more. I added those 15 pounds really fast, like the first month, and then that was it, I just stayed at 155 from then on.

    It really makes you think about things you've been told about building muscle. Things like don't ever train the same muscle 2 days in a row. I trained the same muscles every single day and added 15 pounds. ?? So who knows.
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    That's weird because if you watch the ESPN documentary about him they talk about how he benched around 400 in high school and how great of a lifter he was.

    That being said op makes a great point about using perfect form. Just read about how important it is in Dorian Yates style training or DC training that has built countless bodybuilders.
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  25. #25
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    When I was in the Corps boot-camp consisted of push ups, push ups, and more push ups....than pull ups, pull ups, and more pull ups, that situps until we **** our pants...wipe wipe....than more sit ups....All I can say is that everyone is truly different....I could run 3 miles under 18:00 min....do pull ups and push ups for days...but not only i was the skinniest ive ever been in my like since a Freshman in HS....I was also the weakest...I remember when i went to the gym i could barely rep 185lbs after 3 months of all body work outs....I am now 6ft1 214lbs and can do pushups, pull ups, and dips for days...i can easily crank out 30 strict dips after a full 5 sets of bench/incline...weirdddd.......That said....Herschle is truly special...hell lucky if you ask me lol....Only thing I can say sucked was the diet they gave us during Recruit Training...But idk man Herschle walkers diet consists of NO PROTEIN some days..and little as 400 Calories some days...everyone's truly different, find what best fits you...but he has a strong will (Got picked on his whole grade school/middle school years) And yeah probably great Genes
    "Only God Can Kill Me"
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