Doug Young: Powerbuilding
Everything is bigger in Texas!
Whether it is the fabled 72-ounce steak in Amarillo, eight-time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman, or the 56 plus inch chest sported by the 260-pound, late, Doug Young.
Anyone in the Lone Star State that was around the iron game in the 1970s remembers a tan cowboy dressed in tight Wranglers, a short-sleeved shirt and cowboy boots while sporting a 22-inch neck. To add to the mystique, the cowboy had narrow hips, a tapered waist and wide shoulders that terrorized the most jaded tailor and took out door jambs.
That was Doug Young, alright!
To this day, his lifting and almost super-natural presence is discussed at powerlifting meets, gyms and even at local Taverns over Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music.
Doug Young won multiple world championships in powerlifting and played a role as a personal trainer before that was an established profession, serving as mass-building consultant to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On January 26, 1973, at a bodyweight of 178 pounds, Doug Young bench pressed 305 pounds. Over the next eight months, Doug embarked on probably the most anabolicstrength-gaining journey of all-time.
On October 1, 1973, Doug weighed in at 260 pounds and worked up in the bench press to a max of 540 pounds. That’s not a typo – 540 pounds – a gain of 235 pounds in eight months.
Legendary Iron Game Historian and former powerlifting champion, Terry Todd, described Doug in the following way:
“Some men are broad, some are thick, but very few are both. Big Doug is one of the few.”
Eventually, Doug went on to become the first man under 300 pounds to bench press over 600 pounds, setting a world record 611 pounds in the 275-pound weight class—which stood for years.
Young was no one-trick pony.
He was also a great squatter and deadlifter; his total allowed him to defeat legends like Jon Cole along the way.
The following routine is what Doug Young used to increase his bench press 235 pounds over an eight-month period.
warm-up, 425×1, 465×1, 485×1, 500×1, 515×1, 530×1, 540×1, 540×1, 490×9, 300×14
Front Deltoid Raise:
50 pounds for 3 sets of 15.
175 pounds for 6 sets of 6.
Stiff-Arm Pulldowns on Lat Machine:
100 pounds for 6 sets of 6.
Flys with Cables:
50 pounds for 6 sets of 6.
One-Arm Concentration Curls:
55 pounds for 6 sets of 6.
One-Arm Rowing Motion:
110 pounds for 6 sets of 6.
This was 43 work sets! Doug did this workout thrice weekly. Because of the high volume, outside of this workout, Doug squatted every 10th day for 5-7 singles and deadlifted every 15th day for 5-7 singles.
Essentially, this upper body specialization scheme built an upper body the world had not seen yet.
Doug Young was not afraid to work!
Under Doug’s tutelage, his brother, Bob, who was considered done in his mid-30s by pundits as NFL lineman, went on to, at the age of 37, win NFL lineman of the year.
Arnold clearly did well under Doug’s consultation.
If you are at a plateau, give this routine a shot for 4-6 weeks; do it three times weekly and back off the other days, leg work should be on low volume maintenance mode.
Doug used this routine to bench press 540 pounds. Find your own max and divide by 540 to figure out a starting point for how much weight to use. If you bench press 270, your max is 50 percent of Doug’s, multiply the numbers he used on the bench press by .5. For the accessory work, go as heavy as possible without sacrificing technique.
In world of shake weights and eight-minute abs, this old school, blood and guts powerbuilding routine might seem cruel and outright scary.
Even if you never attempt one of these routines, it is important to honor our forefathers and learn the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Time to hit the pig iron!!
Programs in this book are innovative and tied in with old-school, proven basics. Get the Size & Strength Blueprint HERE.
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