Jan 24, 2022

John Little Workout

"A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change." - Katharine Butler Hathaway

A Workout as Written by John Little

The John Little workout I got most out of and actually shaped my training since, was a routine published in the UK mag Bodybuilding Monthly. I think it was his first article in a UK mag and probably triggered his career into the Weider world of fiction.

The article, printed some time mid ‘80s, was called something like, “The only routine you’ll ever need. It was a simple session and I tried it whilst doubting it’s validity. At that time I had been following a powerlifting routine, which was the big three plus partials for assistance.

Little’s workout went:

  • 2 sets of 20 rep squats 
  • 2 sets of shoulder press
  • 2 sets of chins
  • 2 sets of bench
  • 2 sets of curls
  • 2 sets of dips

Each rep count was the Jones style and set two had an increase in weight. Having tried this for a few weeks, I found that decreasing the weight on the second set really worked, mainly because the first set hurt, especially the squats.

A month later I had dropped one set each of the arm exercises and then cut out the second set of squats. The routine then was great – and still hard work.

Over the next six months Little published a body part specialization routine, where you put a body part first for five sets of various exercises, but then abbreviated the rest of the body. When that ended I went back onto the original and made some good gains in poundages, especially squats.

Since then and for the next 35 years, everything I have done has been a version of that first workout.

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