Len Sell Mr. Universe Workout

Len Sell (born 3 February 1935) is an English professional bodybuilder who was prominent in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He won the Mr. Britain title in 1958 and two Mr. Universe titles – amateur in 1959, and professional in 1962.

Len was no “muscle head”.. but a well-rounded personality with dozens of interesting hobbies. He liked all good music from Bach to bop..he was an expert dancer and even did Flamenco dancing on occasion.

Len was a very unusual bodybuilder in the sense that he had regular periods in which he alternated bulks up and train down. This is the real secret of his astounding success as a physique star.

He bulked up just just a few pounds more than normal, then trained like crazy for extreme definition. When he bulked up, naturally he went in for foods that are a bit on the fat side..rich soups…extra butter on his bread…ice cream or custard for dessert. But when he began his trainingdown routine he cutted out all fats and sweets and makes his diet an almost allprotein one, supplementing each meal with protein concentrates.

His workouts were completely different for bulking-up and training-down. His weight gaining routine consisted of several very heavy exercises, done in two groups…one group on one day, the other group the next in Split Routine fashion.

Bulking-up Routine – Group 1
Monday, Wednesday, Friday Rep Set
Standing Press (two 100lb-115lb dumbbells) 3 10
Bench Press (two 125lb dumbbels) 8 6
Incline Press 8 6
Heavy Standing Cleans barbell 8 6
Bulking-Up Routine – Group 2
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Rep Set
Heavy Barbell Curls (up to 200lb) 6 4
Heavy Seated Dumbbell Curls (two 100lb) 8 10
Heavy Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions 8 10

Note: When Len went on his training down (or as he calls it his “sharpeningup”) routine he used 18 exercises, done half one day the remaining half the next…again in Split-Routine fashion.

Training Down Routine – Group 1
Monday, Wednesday, Friday Rep Set
Roman Chair Twisting Situps 20 4
Hanging Leg Raises 20 4
Fast Twisting Side-Bends 300 1
Alternate Seated Dumbbell Press (two 75lb dumbbells) 16 4
Seated Lateral Raise (two 25lb dumbbells) 8 6
Fast Chins-behind-neck 12 3
One-arm Dumbbell Row, 100lb dumbbell 10 3
Seated Press Behind Neck, 120lb 10 4
Fast Parallel-bar Dips 25 4


Training Down Routine – Group 2
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Rep Set
Incline Press (two 100lb dumbbells) 8 5
Flat Bench Flyes (two 56lb dumbbells) 8 4
Roman Ring Flyes (60lb suspended around his waist) 20 4
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 12 6
Single-arm Triceps Extension 12 6
Strict Barbell Curl 150lb 6 6
Seated Dumbbell Curl (two 65lb dumbbells) 8 6
Narrow-grip Barbell Curl, 70lb 8 5
Concentration Curl, 25lb dumbbell 8 5

Note: Len’s leg work is done in the evening about 6:00 p.m. which has given his body a good eight hours to recuperate from the morning upper-body workout. Here he also decreased the poundages handled and did his Squats with about two-thirds of his regular bulking-up poundages, and increased the reps from 10 to 20. He did not need to work his calves because they regular leg exercises such as Squats are naturally muscular.  

Leave a comment

Consent Management Platform by Real Cookie Banner