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Strongman Paul Anderson Push Pressing 625 Pounds (1955) By John Grimek Edited by: Strength Oldschool This article refers to Paul Anderson Push Pressing 625 lbs from shoulder to chin level – incredibly strong! Before the USA team left for Munich they worked here in York. Clyde Emrich and Jim George, however, arrived almost a week before and have been training regularly with Chuck Vinci, the bantam. Jim George is the younger brother of Pete, who lifts almost identically in the same style as Pete. Many of you will remember that Pete was a poor presser as compared to his other lifts, but by persistent practice and conscientious effort he succeeded in reaching the point where he can press 260 to 270 lbs in excellent form. His brother Jim is about the same; good on the quick lifts but still lagging in the press, which he is working on to improve. Being only twenty years of age and a good competitor, he should improve considerably. No one expects him to win but outside of the Russians we doubt if anyone will beat him, so he should win a place in the championships. In training here last Friday, the lifter who continues to amaze everyone is the massive Anderson, and massive he is! He looks as if he gained another 100 lbs in the past year. Most of us agree that he might tip the scales at 400 lbs before too long, although he weighs around 345 lbs (24 stone 9 lb !) now. While the fellows continued to warm up and make lifts, Anderson calmly sat on one of the benches sipping honey and gulping some milk, and then decided to warm up himself. He began loading the barbell until the chap who was helping him asked, "How much weight do you want? " "235 lbs " was the casual answer! It's been a long time since we saw that much weight used for warming up. He brought the weight to his chest easily and then, much easier than we anticipated, he pressed it several repetitions, just as any lifter who could press 300 takes 200 and makes a few warm up Presses. Back again he sat on his bench. Another sip of honey, another gulp or two of milk. After five or ten minutes they loaded the bar to 395 lbs. This was his second attempt with a weight that was near his world record. We heard some rumours that he was pressing around 440 lbs, but when we asked him this question, he said it was just rumours. He brought the 395 lbs to his chest by employing a fairly low clean squat, but came up as if he were doing a squat without any weight at all, so easily it appeared. He then pressed it overhead easier than I've seen other heavyweights press 300, not once but three times! He might reach 450 lbs ! Everyone who witnessed this lifting had to yell with laughter at the ease which Anderson pressed this weight. More resting, more honey and milk and then he was back again asking for 415 lbs. This poundage represented more weight than his accepted world's record, but no one will deny that he did not press this weight overhead with ease. Everyone agreed this was more weight than any, who were present, ever saw pressed, and it seemed evident that Anderson would press at least 425 lbs at the world championships and possibly the 440 lbs he was rumoured to have pressed previously. He did say, however, that if his clean was easy he could press easier. We're looking forward to him making 450 lbs before long, possibly at the next Olympics, if all goes well with him. As the lifters warmed up for the Snatch, Anderson sat by watching, still taking a sip of honey and drinking his milk. When the lifters had progressed to a heavier weight, Anderson took 270 lbs for his warm up, making it easily. Back to his resting place... by this time, he was working on his second quart of milk and called for 305 lbs for his second attempt. The weight flew up nicely and this concluded his lifting workout. When asked why he didn't practice more snatching and cleaning, he replied that he doesn't train too much on actual lifting but practices more of the power exercises, and his favourite is the one I have always recommended to those who wanted to improve their Presses and Jerks - by supporting a heavy weight on the chest in such a way as if you're going to press it. No one but Anderson! Anderson amazed everyone by loading the bar to 625 lbs and sent the weight almost to the top of his head several times! I've held that much weight on my chest years ago, but I have never been able to move it, much less get it that high! And I doubt if anyone ever did outside of Anderson. Later he performed several squats with this weight... just to keep his thighs limber, or so he says! Everyone seemed to enjoy their last workout before they left the next day. Bradford, however, didn't show up till later and took his workout that evening. Pete George was flown over earlier by the army. His brother Jim informed us he was in the armed service. Members of the team included Chuck Vinci, Tommy Kono, Jim George, Clyde Emmrich, Jim Bradford and Anderson. Hoffman was coach, Terpak trainer and Johnson manager. Alan Hool our Mexican representative, went along on the trip as a spectator. Norbert Schemansky (photo above) and Sheppard didn't make the trip because each was confined to his job and unable to get off. I hinted at Sheppard giving up lifting last month, but then I wasn't positive and felt sure that he might get back into training. However, he doesn't seem to be interested at the moment and may never be again, but there is still some chance that the lure of the coming Olympics may stir within his chest and find him getting into shape for this event. But only time can bear out this statement. Schemansky is so busy learning the finer points of police work that he is attending a special school for the police, so could not get the time off to compete in the world championships. He planned entering the midheavyweight class. With he and Sheppard holding that position, it's doubtful if the Russians could score against them, but the sad part of this is that both these men, who were potential winners, didn't even make the trip. The American team has little chance of winning. They have some hope of getting three, possibly four championships, but actually, the only sure title which can be preconcluded is in the heavyweight class. The others who have some chance and might come through are: Chuck Vinci, Pete George and Tommy Kono (photo below). * The Saturday Evening Post - Aug 23 - 1919. The Saturday Evening Post (photo above is not the actual issue), the October 8 issue, features a rather lengthy article on Paul Anderson, pointing out reasons why he is the world's strongest man. The article is interesting and should bring about many additional converts to the lifting game. Ever since the Americans visited Russia, lifting has had an added boost, and placed Anderson in the limelight. The governor of Georgia already proclaimed a "Paul Anderson Day" but now the Jr Chamber of Commerce in Toccoa, Georgia, have plans to erect a statue of Anderson at the cross-roads! Goodness only knows what other proclamations will come to pass before the fame of Anderson dies down! * A recent photo of the Paul Anderson Statue. One thing I will lay my money on, is that Paul Anderson, providing he wins and makes a record or two, will receive even more outstanding publicity than he did up to now. I predict that after these championships, every man, woman and child will hear or know about Anderson. * Strongman Paul Anderson did actually go on to win the 1956 Olympic Weightlifting Championships. John Grimek NOTE by Strength Oldschool: The above article comes from the attached photos below...
Bulk Training By Jack Delinger (1955) If you’re having difficulty gaining weight, don’t for one minute imagine you’re the only one with troubles. 80% of all bodybuilders go through the same trials and tribulations as you. Out of this vast number, a mere half-dozen will solve their problems through sheer luck. They’ll hit on the right combination of sets, reps, exercise and rest through the process of trial and error, and after many months of effort have gone by will eventually begin to put on the pounds. The rest will waste just as much time floundering around trying this or that routine without the remotest signs of success and will at last give up in despair and disgust. I’m going to show you a sure way to gain bulk and power and I’m also going to show you how the “hit-or-miss” trainer and the “bulk-gaining failure” could have succeeded. All they had to do was try and completely understand their individual gaining problems, for the simple reason that when every side of a problem is understood, a man almost automatically knows what to do to overcome it. Plenty of people will tell you that your physical type has an influence on the degree of bulk you can obtain, and this is mainly true. Obviously no man with the framework of a Tony Sansone can hope to build the bulk of a Doug Hepburn. But such an individual CAN get rid of his skinny appearance, and gain the right amount of muscular massiveness and proportionate appearance that his frame is able to carry. As for age preventing you from gaining bulk . . . I can’t go along with this theory either. Modern weight training has made it possible for anyone from 16 to 60 to gain weight. So long as a man enjoys good general health, no matter what his age or physical type, his body MUST and WILL respond. Failure to gain can be caused by many things, and it is always advisable for a lifter to examine his own case objectively. Is he getting proper food and enough of it? Has he any focal points of infection? Does he smoke heavily? Is he getting sufficient rest? Does he find himself constantly worrying over trifles that have yet to even occur? Any one of these factors can mean the difference between success and failure to gain. If you have bad teeth or tonsils, have them examined and treated. If you are a night owl, prone to missing sleep, start keeping regular hours. If you smoke heavily, cut down the number of cigarettes daily, or quit altogether. Perhaps the best thing a bodybuilder can do if he wants to gain bulk is to see that his meals are big and hearty. A nourishing diet is the only way to add weight to your frame. There is no escaping this fact, so determine now that you will fuel your efforts with the proper quantity of healthful food. You MUST eat three big meals daily and you MUST drink plenty of liquids . . . milk with your meals and milk or fruit and vegetable juices between meals. Your diet should be high in protein. All types of meat should be eaten, starch intake should be stepped up, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten in abundance. In addition to the above changes in your diet, you should make use of weight-gaining and protein drinks prepared in a blender. Close companion of the adequate diet is the exercise routine. It is useless for you to perform exercises which affect only local muscle groups. Increases in body weight come from OVERALL increases. Obviously you stand to gain more weight if EVERY muscle group in the body is worked than if you exercise say, only your back or your arms. Yet at the same time, such a weight gaining schedule must be planned with an eye to energy conservation. In other words the schedule must use as FEW exercises as possible yet affect as MANY muscle groups as possible. This is where cheating versions of compound exercises can be used. There’s one other factor to take into consideration that some may disagree with. Contrary to popular opinion that low reps build bulk, it is my personal experience that a system of working up to 15 repetitions is best for bulk building. This will create an appreciable appetite for food, and affect changes in metabolism that will lead directly to weight increases . . . through the more efficient utilization of the food eaten. Take my experience as an example. At the time I made my biggest bulk gains I did six sets of every movement using 15-20 reps. I gained 33 pounds in a 2½ month period. It seemed like each time I stepped on the scales I’d gained a couple of pounds! And let me again emphasize the high reps, which I used with all the weight I could handle in the various movements . . . AND I kept myself supplied with plenty of nutrient-rich foods. The very best time any man can begin a bulk training routine is right at the start of his lifting career. After he has gained all the bulk he wants he can then begin to specialize for proportion and muscularity. But bear in mind that a bulk program does not imply that you pile on mere flesh. Hard MUSCULAR BULK is what you MUST strive for. Don’t overdo the eating and think it will miraculously turn to muscle. Beyond a certain caloric level all you will gain is fat that will have to be lost at a later date. I have chosen some of the finest movements for building bulk and which form the basis of any bulk training program. In all five of these movements, start off with a poundage you can handle for 9 repetitions and work to 15, 3 sets each exercise. As soon as you can manage the 3 x 15 increase the weight and drop back to 3 sets of 9. 1/ Heavy Bench Press: Lie on an exercise bench with a barbell held at arms’ length above your chest, hand spacing about an inch from the collars. Lower the weight down with a slight bounce off the chest press it back to arms’ length. As the reps become increasingly tough, bridge up off the bench to press the bar to full lockout. FORCE out each and every repetition. Cheat all you have to and don’t be afraid to take several breaths between reps. Start off with the reps performed in fairly strict style and then bounce and bridge the barbell up to force out the repetitions. * Bench Press photo shows Pat Casey 2/ Heavy Cheat Barbell Curl: (What your best single curl performed in strict style? ) Well . . . take that weight to use as your EXERCISE poundage in cheat curls. Standing, use your normal curl grip, bend forward at the waist, then return swiftly to an upright position, starting your curl at the same time and bending back a little to complete the curl. The motion of the body should assist the curl to the shoulders. Lower the weight back to starting position as steadily as you can and repeat the exercise. This movement, especially the lowering, forces the biceps into growth. 3/ Cheat Bent-over Row: Grasp a barbell in your hands as you stand erect . . . your hand spacing should be a few inches wider than shoulder-width. Now bend forward at the waist until your body is level with the floor, forming right angles with your legs. Drop your body down a bit then pull swiftly up to just above parallel position, at the same time pulling the barbell up to the chest. The movement of the trunk and the pull up of the bar should be made together, so that body movement imparts motion to the barbell. Lower the weight steadily down from the chest and repeat the exercise. This is an all-round movement for the back. * Photo shows Doug Hepburn performing Cheat Bent Over Rows 4/ Squat: This movement has always been a mainstay of a weight gaining program since it works the largest muscle groups of the body. Take the weight off the squat racks, and spread your hands along the bar wide so the largest shoulder area supports the bar. Take three deep breaths, forcing the air in and forcing it out. On the third breath drop down into a deep squat and as soon as you hit rock bottom, bounce back up to the erect position, breathing out as you do so. Take another three deep breaths and repeat the exercise. Don’t forget to force that air into your lungs and force it out. * Doug Hepburn: 1950's at Ed Yaricks Gym in Oakland California 5/ Cheat Upright Row: Stand erect with a barbell held in your hands, fairly narrow grip, at full downward stretch of the arms. Lean the body forward a little at the waist and return it with a snap to upright position, at the same time pulling the bar up to the throat. The movement of your body and rowing motion should be made at the same time, so body motion helps with the pull up. Lower the bar down to commencing position steadily and repeat.