Weight Training Advice from Brian Mahoney

  • Olympic Bar and Squat Rack
    Olympic Bar and Squat Rack 

Brian Mahoney was my first weight training coach. I came to him in 1996 as a, pizza faced, 16 year old wanting to bodybuild. He was in his ?70s?, had a patch over one eye, a cane, and was in the early stages of dementia. The gym was in the basement of a gymnastic studio, dusty, rusty, filled with barbells, dumbbells, olympic bumper plates, and scruffy looking chaps wearing ripped and threadbare clothes. There was even a big bowl of chalk. Brian had a background as an Olympic Lifting coach and took a dim view of bodybuilding. Yet he gave me a simple routine and gave me a love of lifting. Below are some of the best things I learnt from him:-

  • Serious lifters squat and pick stuff up off the floor and put it above their head
  • Take three breathes before squatting, and three after. This will strengthen the muscles that expand the ribcage, making the chest appear bigger - even at rest, they also build the trapezius muscles.
  • Carry a notebook. Write down what I do in the gym. Use that to remember what i did last workout, and beat it, and see what i did in previous years and work out what works for me.

My first routine was 3 set of 10:-

  1. Back of the Neck Press
  2. Power cleans
  3. Squats
  4. Bench press
  5. Barbell rows
  6. Bicep curls
  7. Tricep extensions (with dumbbell)
  8. Leg Curls
  9. Leg Extensions
  10. Back 'hyper' extensions
  11. Calf raises


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