Irvin Johnson had just asked Larry Scott about his training programs and exercise schedules. Larry had already talked at length about his background and brought us up to date on his progress in training over the past 9 years. Contrary to what many would have you believe, Larry has never performed any miracles of progress. Every pound, every inch he has gained has been through hard work and good nutrition.
If you are looking for secrets of overnight success you will be disappointed, but if you are willing to work as hard as Larry has and if you’re willing to deny yourself other pleasures and activities as Larry has over a period of 9 or more years, then you can expect progress of a satisfactory nature. You may not become the best built man in the world for you may not have inherited the correct muscle shape, bone structure, skin texture and you may not have come from sturdy ancestors, but you can make great improvement and develop a good physique for your own type.
You must recognize the direction in which your talents lay and then work in this direction for perfection. There has been much speculation that Scott has a magic and secret formula of exercise. Such is not so. The following interview tells you essentially how Larry trains.
IRVIN JOHNSON: Larry, we would like to know how you trained over the years and how you train now. Have you varied your training or have you trained the same over the years?
LARRY SCOTT: Well, Irvin, the type of exercise I and the other fellows use varies a great deal from time to time. We generally use an exercise until we cease to progress on it and then change to another. This generally lasts a couple of months. Thus the workout program is in a constant state of flux. You reach stale periods after a certain length of time in which you experience no growth. Then you change your exercise or exercises or your routine. So over the period of 9 years I have been training, I have used many different routines and exercises. I experienced results from all of them but there is no one perfect or permanent exercise nor no best or permanent routine. My routines in the past have probably been the same as those used by other top bodybuilders.
IRVIN: Can you tell us something about your present routines, exercises, repetitions, sets, frequency of training etc. ?
LARRY: At present I’m on what you might call a Split-Routine system–not in the commonly accepted term but one I have worked out which seems to suit me best. It might not be the best for anyone else but it works very well for me.
First, I train 6 days per week on this type of routine. Here is how I work. This is important. I work approximately 2 or 3 muscles or muscle groups per day. I do 3 to 4 exercises for each muscle or muscle group 2 or 21/2 times per week.
Keeping in mind the above routine, I do 8 to 10 repetitions for each set and from 6 to 8 and sometimes even 10 sets. This holds true of all muscle areas but the calves and forearms. Because of the nature of their muscle fibers I use higher rep’s (up to 20 repetitions).
I finish many of my sets with the “burns” (rapid, short movements to give an intense, aching, burning feeling).
Considering the above you will find that I do about 20 to 30 sets per body part, muscle or muscle group.
Let me use the biceps as an illustration. I would probably use about 4 different exercises for the biceps and 5 to 6 sets for each exercise of 8 to 10 repetitions. This would make a total of 24 sets for the biceps. If I were working the Biceps, Triceps, and Deltoids today. I would have 4 exercises for each and say 5 sets of each exercise or a total of 60 sets for my workout today. This type of workout takes me about 2 hours. I do not rest too much between exercises or between sets but try to keep moving along pretty well.
Tomorrow I would work another body part or group of muscle, perhaps two or three groups or single muscles as the case might be. So each day I change body parts, groups of muscles or individual muscles. I get back to these muscles about twice per week. Each workout takes me about 2 hours each night or 12 hours work per week.
I try to do the next set of exercise as soon as I can after the previous set in order to keep as much blood as possible in the muscle and maintain the pump and achieve a “burn”.
This system might not be good for everyone but it works well for me.
IRVIN: Could you tell us whether you try to use heavy weights in all your exercises or do you prefer medium or light poundages?
LARRY: I never have used extremely heavy weights for my exercises. In the curl for instance it is pretty rare if I ever go over 150 lbs.
Probably much of the reason for my not using heavier weights is the type of gym I work out in. I do all my workouts in Vince’s (Vince Gironda) gym and this gym is not oriented towards heavy weights. It is aimed more at training for shape and definition I guess this is because Vince himself has this type of physique.
Much of the exercise done is of the isolation nature–that is certain muscles are exercised alone rather than in groups and in this type of exercise you do not and can not use as heavy a poundage.
Vince’s gym has many pieces of specialized equipment for doing isolated muscle movements. There are several pieces of equipment just for doing specialized biceps and triceps movements. We do not do exercises like cheating curls, cheating presses etc.
IRVIN: Thank you Larry for telling us the details of your training. Now would you care to tell us something about your diet. I understand that you feel most bodybuilders fail to achieve their goals because of poor nutrition than for any other reason. I believe you once told me that you felt nutrition was more important than exercise.
LARRY: Basically I eat a lot of meat, cheese, and eggs. I like cottage cheese and meat–mostly beef in various forms. I eat almost no carbohydrates and very few vegetables. I supplement my diet with Johnson’s Protein. That is about it. It’s a rather bland diet but it seems to work best for me at the present time anyhow.
IRVIN: I understand that during your big gains-that is from approximately 170 or 175 to your top 210, you used large amounts of protein supplement. Would you care to tell us how much you did use and how you used it?
LARRY: I was using from 11/2 to 2 cups of Johnson’s Protein (Rheo H. Blair’s Protein) per day. I would mix it with cream and milk. I used about 2/3 of a quart of cream a day in mixing this along with the milk to make it the desired consistency. I took this protein-cream mix three times per day. I would eat 6 to 8 times per day. I would have breakfast, then a snack at 10 A. M. and then lunch at noon, then another snack at 2:30 P.M., then dinner plus the Protein-Cream drink. My evening meal is eaten after I work out.
COMMENTS BY JOHNSON: Larry Scott is not a big eater — that is he does not like to eat big meals, therefore he has to eat more often and he needs the concentrate food such as protein supplements etc. Larry has also taken other supplements just before contests to help in his improvement, even tho it is too expensive for him to take regularly. He takes B complex and a special Liver Formula. He also takes special Hydrochloric acid tablets. These assist in the digestion of protein. Larry has told me that he feels that proper nutrition is 85% of the battle of bodybuilding.
Larry is the hardest worker I have seen in all my years of association with bodybuilding. He is a slow and hard gainer and so he has to work hard. He should be an inspiration to others who also find it hard to gain, illustrating that success will come from persistence, hard work, and good nutrition.