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The Strength of Bill Kazmaier - Strength Legend

Strength Oldschool

 Bill Kazmaier



 The following info was provided by Magnus…

The most impressive thing about Kaz’s lifts was the power he demonstrated, ripping the weights up very fast. Also bear in mind Kaz could not hold the bar far enough back on his shoulders for maximum leverage because his upper back was too tight – he needed more space between the collars to spread his arms further. Kaz estimated with a longer bar to allow correct positioning he could have squatted 10 percent more (his contest best was 925lb so he would have made 1,000lb-plus).

His benchpress was weak at this contest because of injury – at the 1981 World’s Strongest Man he tore a pectoral while bending iron bars.

1981 Worlds Strongest Man Contest - Bill Kazmaier

Coming up to this contest in 1983 Kaz trained cautiously on the bench and got back up to 573lb for 3 reps less than a month before the contest, but it was too much for his injured pec which blew out again – you can see the attempts Kaz took were easy but he struggled to lock out the injured side so only made 512 lbs.

Bill Kazmaier Heavy Bench Pressing

When Kaz dropped the bar after his second successful deadlift the 2 side judges red-lighted him – funny thing was Kaz glared at the head judge who had passed the lift!
Thinking he was being picked on by the judges Kaz put down his last lift very slowly and looked at the judges as if to dare them to turn down the lift. The audience did not like Kaz’s attitude but he was the winner.

At this time the IPF had introduced drug testing but most national federations had not, so guys like Kaz qualified for the world championships by lifting at their national championships using drugs, then at the worlds lifted without using drugs. This is why nearly all lifters at the world champs totalled 10 or 15% less than at their national championships. So not being sure of what they could lift drug-free many lifters went too cautiously and could have lifted more (like Kaz), and quite a few bombed out because they underestimated how much weaker they would be.

Photo (Below): Lamar Gant

Powerlifter Lamar Gant

If I remember correctly Lamar Gant the great american 132lb lifter (5 times bodyweight deadlift!) was still able to lift his best at the world champs, thus proving his claims that he was a 100% drug-free lifter.

One last thing: compare the depth of Kaz’s squat to the lifts that are passed in some of today’s federations – with armoured suits, very wide stances, monolifts etc. I have watched dozens of “world records” where the lifter has squatted maybe 6 inches and been well above parallel on their depth but these lifts are all passed! So don’t compare them with Kaz and say “today’s guys are stronger” because they are not, it’s a totally different style of lift and outfit that makes the difference. Don’t get me wrong, todays record-holders are very strong but if they had to do a deep raw squat or even an olympic lifter style of squat you would see hundreds of pounds vanish off their max lift.” ~ Magnus

The following comments were made by Ray Nobile in response to Magnus…

“Great comments Magnus. I would love to see a return to one association and no suits allowed. It won't happen as the manufacturers of the equipment pay big bucks to the power federations. No doubt about it, if Kaz lifted in today's gear then he would still blow everyone away. His powerlifting career was far too short, He never reached his full potential.”

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