Reg Park’s Beginner Routine

Reg-Park-and-Steve-Reeves

In modern bodybuilding, in my opinion the finest natural example of the perfect balance between aesthetic physique and phenomenal strength is the late Reg Park. Without Park, there would likely have been no Arnold Schwarzenegger. Reg Park was the inspiration for Arnold to pick up his first set of weights. Park won Mr. Britain in 1949 and although there were bodybuilders before him, his level of size and development raised the bar and would not be surpassed until Arnold himself appeared on the competitive scene in the late 1960s. he was 6′1″ and weighed over 250 pounds – standards which were enourmous for the time. Comparing the physique of Park to his predecessors would be like us comparing Ronnie Colman today to the bodybuilders of the 70s.

Reg Park’s Beginner’s routine below was the exact one used by Arnold in his late teens to get huge! Like Park, he trained at this routine 3 times a week and it comprised mainly of heavy compound movements done with the “5×5″ protocol. But unlike the more popular 5×5 we see in Bill Starr’s routine, Park (like Mark Rippetoe today!) advocated that sets 1 and 2 are to be warmups for sets 3,4 and 5. In other words once you hit your max weight for five reps after two warmups, then crank out 3 sets of 5. For example, say your bench press is a max of 225lbs for 5 reps (which is about 90% of 1RM), the first set would be at 60% – 135 lbs, then the next warmup set could be 80% – 185lbs.

 

Reg Park’s Beginner’s Routine

Workout A:
Back Squats 5×5
Chin-Ups or Pull-Ups 5×5
Dips or Bench Press 5×5
Barbell Curls 2×10
Wrist Work 2×10
Calves 2×15-20

 

Workout B:
Front Squats 5×5
Rows 5×5
Standing Press 5×5
Deadlifts 3×5 (2 warm-up sets and 1 “stabilizer set”)
Wrist Work 2×10
Calves 2×15-20

 

Training Schedule:
Week 1: A, B, A
Week 2: B, A, B
Week 3: A, B, A and so forth.

 

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