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Chuck Sipes

Chuck Sipes

Chuck Sipes

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    Before Franco Columbu demonstrated his strength act on stage Charles "Chuck" Sipes was one of the best strength acts to watch. Breaking chains, bending bars, bursting hot water bottles and ripping license plates apart were just one side of Chuck's tremendous physical abilities.

    Chuck was equally renowned for great strength and incredible stamina - for example at a bodyweight of 220lb in 1968 he reached a 570 lb benchpress in training and could do 6 reps with 520 lb! Barbell curls went well over 200lb and he squatted 650lb. But perhaps his most amazing attribute was his endurance. In his earlier days he would work 12 hour days as a lumberjack (swinging an axe to chop trees down) and still had no problem training 2 or 3 hours up to 6 days a week! In 1968 he fitted in 3 workouts A DAY 6 days a week for a whole year to prepare for and win the Mr World title.

    Each workout hit one bodypart and included very heavy low-rep sets and very high-rep pump sets, but no matter how hard he worked he never burned out and never needed to cycle his training unlike us mere mortals! Chuck enjoyed benchpressing as his favourite exercise and each chest workout was done 3 times a week with an incredible workload, building up to maximum singles every session followed by power rack partials, superheavy supports then lighter flyes and dips before pumping out with cumulative-rep dips ( 1 rep rest 2 seconds, 2 reps rest 2 seconds, 3 reps etc all the way to 25 reps on the last set, a total of more than 300 reps!)And that was just his morning workout, in the afternoon he trained shoulders and in the evening Triceps - the man was a machine!

    Chuck was also a great guy who helped out many youngsters who wrote to him for advice, among them such names as Don Ross and Dennis Weis "the Yukon Hercules."And of course Chuck worked for years with delinquent youths helping to rescue many of these kids from a dead end life.

    And even with all of the above he still found time to be a great husband and father. Yep, Chuck was an all-round inspiration but somewhere along the way as he got older he lost his zest for life and it ended in tragedy as he took his own life. Why did he do it? What happened inside this superman? Or was it simply that he was not super anymore and could not live as an ordinary man?

    To me Chuck is still an inspirational man but is also a cautionary tale of what can happen if we get too wrapped up inside our own problems and fears.

    Excellent info. Thanks Magnus.
    Jun 11 2011 06:27 PM
    As a teen in the 60s, Chuck Sipe was my hero in bodybuilding. Tks for the great article.