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Progressing With The Atlas Methods
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14,261
11-06-2019, 05:28 PM
Hello Everyone,

I received another e-mail from an Atlas 'purist' that thinks that my endorsement of weight vest training is a betrayal of the Atlas methods I learned as a kid.

My Response: BULL ROAR!!!

Here's the deal. You can perform the Atlas exercises in 'High Volume' and achieve fantastic results. I know I certainly did when I was a kid and also throughout my life. The only thing I was missing was Power Belt Isometrics.

The Atlas exercises will make you extremely strong, flexible, and enduring from virtually ALL angles especially as relates to one's strength to bodyweight ratio.

However, if your goal is to gain a great deal of added strength for wrestling or other sports from performing Atlas's exercises exclusively then adding a weight vest and performing your Atlas Exercises while your body is making adaptation to the additional weight would be one way to dramatically increase full-body strength.

Let's say that you are currently doing sets of 50 or more on your Atlas Push-Ups & Squats (That is certainly considered high volume). By using a weight vest you might start out with 15 or 20 pounds for sets of 15 to 25 reps then as soon as you hit 25 reps you add another 5 to 10 pounds and start at 15 to 20 reps and work up to sets of 25. From there you can start doing high volume sets of 40 or more if you really want to and believe me, by the time you're doing sets of 40 or more with 30 or more pounds in the weight vest you will have built a great deal of added strength and lung capacity far beyond what the Atlas exercises alone performed at the same volume would have yielded. This is not rocket science but it is common sense. Is it necessary to add that much strength? Probably not for everyday life. BUT if you're a rock climber, a wrestler, mixed martial artist, kayaker or adventurer it could give you a great deal of added strength. One type of exercise with a weight vest that could give extraordinary levels of functional strength for outdoor sports would be the Animal movements that BennyB is so fond of doing.

---John Peterson

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