Top 10 articles: Anthony Ditillo

Anthony Ditillo is the man at the centre of the great website, The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban, and he’s referred to in hushed tones by many in the strength and power building community.  I’ve even seen him name-checked as a key influencer by no less an authority than Charles Poliquin himself. 

While Anthony has had many articles published on The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban, the site mostly showcases other writers.  So here is a selection of his articles, across a number of sites.

  1. Ego Training - in this article, Anthony explains his recommended approach for trainees for whom lifting weights does not come naturally.  Firstly, he cautions against taking advanced lifters’ programmes and adopting them without due regard for one’s own goals and stage of development.  Moreover, he notes that many of these advanced lifters are “easy-gainers” and can gain on any routine.  This is deceiving for harder-gainers, who think that they can achieve the same results with these programmes.  Secondly, Anthony notes that the reason that the advanced lifters’ programmes do not work is that they do not work the trainee hard enough.  The correct level of hard work can only be achieved by going to failure, either by (1) ramping sets up in weight, (2) doing drop sets, or (3) doing forced or assisted reps.  It’s an interesting article and I wonder whether I will ever be persuaded by it enough to give it a try…
  2. Training proficiency - in this article, Anthony now turns to more proficient lifters to assess why they are not improving.  His conclusion is that they are generally not performing lifts with good enough form, with enough range of motion, with enough control, and with enough concentration on the eccentric portion of the lift.  He concludes with a paragraph that is so quotable, I had to reproduce it here in full: “train as long as you can and as often as you can, keeping recuperation in mind.  Pick a repetition scheme that your mental attitude and body can tolerate. Perform each and every movement with proper form, with no exaggeration in the performance and let the training poundages take care of themselves, and they WILL increase in time, providing you do not bounce, or cheat, or heave… you have nothing to lose but your mediocrity.”
  3. Are you working hard enough?in this article, Anthony is back on the hard work bandwagon, with a discussion of how long workout routines should be in order to be effective.  He’s not a big fan of short and sweet training but favours longer sessions, four times a week.
  4. My experience with weight gain - Anthony breaks it down again for the hard-gainer and this time it’s about serious eating.  Anthony shares some tips and tricks for getting those extra calories in.  He particularly likes thick, nutritious soups and gives a couple of suggested recipes.
  5. Training down - and to balance out the bulking article, here’s an article about cutting weight.   Anthony explains his experiences with different types of diet when losing weight.  He found that a calorie-counting diet was unacceptable as it did not supply enough protein.  A low-carb diet, on the other hand, did not give him enough energy to perform his workouts and he lost strength.  Finally, he found the panacea of weight-loss diets by means of a fat and protein diet, based on the cream and protein diets of the early bodybuilders.  This diet enabled him to keep his limit poundages the same while dropping siginficant amounts of fat. 
  6. Increase your bench pressing power - Anthony explains how a routine based around behind-the-neck presses and bent-over rows was able to bust through a lifter’s plateau and add significantly to his overall muscle mass.
  7. Leg and back bulking routine - Anthony gives a leg and back specialisation routine, based around a 4-day upper and lower split routine.  His main point of difference to the routines used by other, similarly-minded powerbuilders is the extensive use of partial movements from the beginning.  Anthony builds in both partial squats and rack pulls as integral to his programme. 
  8. Building shoulder and trapezius mass - Anthony explains that, to train the shoulder girdle, you generally need to use heavy loads with low and medium reps.  Again, he points towards using a power rack for partial movements to utilise this kind of training to the fullest extent.
  9. Power rack training - at various points in his articles, Anthony references power rack training positively, pointing out how beneficial it is.  In this article, he goes into detail about how you can use the rack to squat from the bottom position, thereby taking the rebound effect out of the equation and moving the weight from a dead stop.  He also explains how you can use the rack to make variations out of the competition lifts and therefore turn the main lifts into assistance exercises.
  10. Anthony Ditillo Routines - and just in case you hadn’t picked up enough actual routines on the way through, here is a collection of several all in one place, unfortunately without much by way of commentary.

If you haven’t already found Anthony Ditillo or The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban, I hope that these articles make it clearer why so many people rate him so highly.

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