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  1. The following footage was recorded back in 1997 when Doug Hepburn was 71 years old. He challenged the world to duplicate the lifts he performed in the video. Incredible strength in all lifts which were performed raw with no warm-ups and plenty left in the tank to lift more! To read about Doug Hepburn's recommended "Drug Free" Ultimate Strength Building System click here.
  2. Senior Strongman Doug Hepburn back in 1997 at the age of 71 performing a World Record Strict Curl of 170 lbs (77kg) in his age group. Doug Hepburn actually holds the record for the Strongest Ever Strict Barbell Curl of 116 kg (255 lbs) performed way back in 1959. For more info on this and to voice your own opinion on who should claim the title of owning the Strongest Arms of All Time, click here.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  3. * The following training system and information is from the book "Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story" by Tom Thurston. Edited by: Strength Oldschool This chapter contains all the information that you will need to make yourself as strong as you wish to become. The product of over sixty years of study, experimentation and training, it is easy to understand and employ, works equally well for either sex and produces regular and continuous gains that are precise enough to last months, possibly years, into the future. Since there are no tricks or drugs involved, the strength that results is real and will last well into later life. The first step is to decide how many times a week you will be able to train. For best results, the minimum is two times and the maximum is six times per week. Less than twice will not allow the body enough exertion to realize its potential in either size or power; more than six will not give the body enough time fully to recuperate between workouts - especially if the workouts are rigorous. The second step is to choose the exercises that you feel will most efficiently work the muscle groups that you wish to strengthen, and to organize these routines into a weekly schedule that never exceeds more than three exercises per workout, never work the same muscle group more than three times per week, and if you are working out more than three times a week, never include upper and lower body exercises in the same workout. Failure to follow these rules can over-tax the body within a few months, or even weeks, into your training. If you desire a total body workout but can train only two or three times a week, you should choose the three exercises that will most effectively work the three largest muscle groups. My experience has shown these exercises to be the full squat for the legs, the bench press for the chest and the deadlift for the back. For example: TRAINING 2 TIMES A WEEK (Tuesday + Thursday) Bench Press Squat Deadlift TRAINING 3 TIMES A WEEK (Monday + Friday) Bench Press Squat Deadlift (Wednesday) Olympic Press Squat High Pulls If you desire a total body workout and can train four to six times a week, you should choose six exercises. Three are those mentioned above. The other three should target muscle groups that complement the first three. For best results, I would suggest arm biceps curls (pictured below) for the front of the arm, since the bench press thoroughly strengthens the back of the arm; leg biceps curls for the back of the leg; high pulls for the upper back, since deadlifts thoroughly strengthen the lower back. TRAINING 4 TIMES A WEEK (Monday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Tuesday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Thursday) Bench Press High Pulls Arm Biceps Curls (Friday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises TRAINING 6 TIMES A WEEK (Monday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Tuesday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Wednesday) Olympic Press High Pulls Arm Biceps Curls (Thursday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises (Friday) Bench Press Deadlift Arm Biceps Curls (Saturday) Squat Leg Biceps Curls Calf Raises With the 3, 4 and 6 times a week schedules, you will notice that on some training days the bench press and the deadlift have been replaced with the Olympic press and high pulls (pictured below). This is because they work more or less the same muscles as the bench press and the deadlift, but are not quite as taxing. If you prefer to employ the more strenuous bench press and the deadlift in place of the Olympic press and high pulls (respectively) this will be fine. Just be aware that in doing so, because you are working each muscle group three times a week, you increase your chances of encountering muscle stagnation. Conversely, if you adhere strictly to the aforementioned training rule of never exerting your maximum lifting ability during training, muscle stagnation should not become a problem. If you want to strengthen a specific muscle or muscle group rather than the body as a whole, feel free to employ any exercises that fulfill the requirement. Take care, however, that you give equal attention to opposing muscle groups. Failure to do so can throw the body out of muscular balance and, as a consequence, make it more susceptible to injury. Two common failures are doing bench presses without doing opposing rowing or high pulls; doing arm biceps curls without opposing arm triceps extensions. Once you have organised your exercises into a workable schedule, your final step is to choose an appropriate training program for each exercise. While scheduling establishes what you want to do, programming outlines how you will do it, by giving precise starting poundages, poundage increases and repetition increases for each exercise. For the purpose of developing maximum size and power in the shortest time possible, my "A" and "B" programs have yet to be beaten. DOUG HEPBURN'S "A" TRAINING PROGRAM FOR SIZE & POWER The "A" program, although the less rigorous of the two, has been designed to increase the lifting capacity of any large muscle group (pectoral or thigh, for example) 120 pounds per year and any small muscle group (biceps or triceps, for example) 60 pounds per year. It is composed of two routines: a POWER routine for developing maximum strength in the muscles, tendons and ligaments, and a PUMP routine for developing maximum muscle size and endurance. The power routine is always completed first. To begin the "A" power routine, pick a poundage/weight that you can lift eight times in a row without resting (eight continuous repetitions) but not nine. For your first workout, perform eight sets of two repetitions with this weight, which is written in weightlifting shorthand as: 8 x 2. A set is one group of continuous repetitions (in this case, one group of two) and you always take a two to three minute rest after each set. For your second workout, add one repetition to what you did in your first workout to get seven sets of two repetitions plus one set of three repetitions, or 7 x 2 and 1 x 3. For your third workout do 6 x 2 and 2 x 3 and keep increasing repetitions in this manner until you can do eight sets of three repetitions, or 8 x 3. At this point, increase your training poundage no more than ten pounds for large muscle groups and five pounds for small muscle groups and return to the 8 x 2 formula. So your workouts should look like this... First Workout: 8 sets of 2 reps Second Workout: 7 sets of 2 reps and 1 set of 3 reps Third Workout: 6 sets of 2 reps and 2 sets of 3 reps Fourth Workout: 5 sets of 2 reps and 3 sets of 3 reps Fifth Workout: 4 sets of 2 reps and 4 sets of 3 reps Sixth Workout: 3 sets of 2 reps and 5 sets of 3 reps Seventh Workout: 2 sets of 2 reps and 6 sets of 3 reps Eighth Workout: 1 set of 2 reps and 7 sets of 3 reps Ninth Workout: 8 sets of 3 reps Once the above-noted power routine has been completed, take a five minute rest and begin your "A" Pump routine. Reduce your training poundages by about twenty percent and, for your first workout, do three sets of six repetitions, or 3 x 6. For your second workout, do 2 x 6 and 1 x 7 and keep adding repetitions in this manner until you can do 3 x 8. At this point, increase your exercising poundage five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and return to the 3 x 6 format. So your workouts should look like this... First Workout: 3 sets of 6 reps Second Workout: 2 sets of 6 reps and 1 set of 7 reps Third Workout: 1 set of 6 reps and 2 sets of 7 reps Fourth Workout: 3 sets of 7 reps Fifth Workout: 2 sets of 7 reps and 1 set of 8 reps Sixth Workout: 1 set of 7 reps and 2 sets of 8 reps Seventh Workout: 3 sets of 8 reps DOUG HEPBURN'S "B" TRAINING PROGRAM FOR ULTIMATE SIZE & POWER Once you have employed the above-noted "A" program for at least one full year and wish to embark on a more rigorous training schedule, the "B" program is the ultimate for developing both power and size. Like the "A" program, it is composed of both a power routine and a pump routine - with the power always performed first. It differs from the "A" program in that it incorporates "heavy singles," where the athlete lifts a weight only once before resting. The advantage of this procedure is that it allows you to employ the heaviest poundages possible during your workout, thereby allowing you the fastest strength gains. Be aware, however, that because the poundages used are considerably heavier than those in the "A" routine, there is more danger of injury or overtaxing. To begin the "B" Power routine, choose a warm-up poundage that you can easily lift once. Take a three to five minute rest and increase the poundage to a weight that you can comfortably lift once. After a three to five minute rest, increase your poundage to a weight that you can do for three continuous repetitions but not four, and this will be your training poundage. For your first workout, do five sets of one repetition, or 5 x 1, making sure to take a three to five minute rest after each heavy single. For your second workout, do 6 x 1 and keep adding one repetition per workout until you can do 8 x 1. At this point, increase your training poundage by five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and return to the 5 x 1 format. So your 'Power' routine should look like this... First Workout: 5 sets of 1 rep Second Workout: 6 sets of 1 rep Third Workout: 7 sets of 1 rep Fourth Workout: 8 sets of 1 rep After completing the power routine, take a ten to fifteen minute rest and do the "B" Pump routine. Decreasing your training poundage to a weight that you can comfortably lift for eight but not nine consecutive repetitions, perform six sets of three repetitions, or 6 x 3. For your second workout, do 5 x 3 and 1 x 4 and keep adding repetitions in this manner until you can do 6 x 5. At this point, increase your training poundage by five to ten pounds (less if you feel the need) and go back to 6 x 3. So your 'Pump' routine should look like this... First Workout: 6 sets of 3 reps Second Workout: 5 sets of 3 reps and 1 set of 4 reps Third Workout: 4 sets of 3 reps and 2 sets of 4 reps Fourth Workout: 3 sets of 3 reps and 3 sets of 4 reps Fifth Workout: 2 sets of 3 reps and 4 sets of 4 reps Sixth Workout: 1 set of 3 reps and 5 sets of 4 reps Seventh Workout: 6 sets of 4 reps Eighth Workout: 5 sets of 4 reps and 1 set of 5 reps Ninth Workout: 4 sets of 4 reps and 2 sets of 5 reps Tenth Workout: 3 sets of 4 reps and 3 sets of 5 reps Eleventh Workout: 2 sets of 4 reps and 4 sets of 5 reps Twelfth Workout: 1 set of 4 reps and 5 sets of 5 reps Thirteenth Workout: 6 sets of 5 reps Since the number of workout days in the 'Power' routines are different from the number of days in the 'Pump' routines ( 9 workout days in the "A" power routine compared to 7 workout days in the "A" pump routine; 4 workout days in the "B" power routine compared with 13 workout days in the "B" pump routine. It is extremely important that, when you reach the end of either a power or pump routine in either program and are directed by that routine to return to its beginning sets and repetitions, you do not automatically return to the beginning of its corresponding routine at the same time. Each routine must be completed as written, or you will overtax your body by increasing your repetitions and training poundages too quickly. Follow the directions of each routine separately and the programs will take care of themselves. To obtain maximum benefit from these two programs, adhere to the following rules: always keep as relaxed and at peace with yourself as you can; always follow a power routine with its indicated pump routine; never miss a workout, repetition increase or poundage increase; never attempt to accelerate your progress by taking drugs or altering the program. Above all, never "over-train". In other words, never push your body faster than it can physically withstand. This is probably the main reason why lifters fail (notice that I said lifters and not programs) and most lifters are guilty of it at least once in their lives. Sadly, many lifters over-train on a regular basis, but remain unaware that they are doing it. Look at it this way: when a lifter arbitrarily decides to increase his or her training weight ten pounds a week, he or she is really saying 520 pounds a year or 1,040 pounds in two years - a completely unrealistic and unattainable goal. Unable to keep up with such a rigorous schedule, the body will quickly "stagnate" - a weightlifting term that means become unable to lift past a certain poundage due to muscle fatigue. Although all programs will probably result in stagnation if followed long enough, it has been my experience that faithfully following the two rules about repetition and poundage given above will produce constant and predictable gains for at least one year - quite probably two to three. What's more, you will never feel that you're struggling. As friend, protege and twice Canadian weightlifting champion Paul Bjarnason explains it: Should muscle stagnation occur, there is a simple cure. Eliminate the "Power Routine" for two to three weeks and continue the "Pump Routine". If the problem persists, drop the power routine for another two weeks. If the problem is still present and you are adhering to the "no more than one repetition increase per workout " rule, then your training poundage needs to be reduced. You have either started with too heavy a weight or are adding weight too quickly. For best results, a good rule is "never expend your full lifting capability while working out." Occasionally, you can load up your barbell or dumbbell for a maximum lift to gauge your progress. But do this no more than twice a month - and only after your regular workout, followed by a fifteen to twenty minute rest. If a five to ten pound resistance increase becomes too much for your body to handle during any of the aforementioned programs or routines, feel free to reduce the amount of your increases to whatever you feel comfortable with. Since every person gains strength at a slightly different rate - depending on a variety of hereditary factors - it is just a matter of finding what works best for you. Also, be aware that when a person begins a strength program, he or she will usually gain fairly quickly because the muscles will be relatively fresh and quick to respond to the stimulation. As the program continues, however, progress will usually slow as the body begins to feel the effects of the extra work you are putting on it, and you might need to reduce slightly your rate of increase to compensate. Listen to your body as you exercise and you will know exactly when and how much. As long as you regularly increase your training poundages to some degree, your strength will increase in direct proportion. In this case, "slowly but surely" is the only rule to follow. Another common reason why athletes fail in their strength aspirations is because they embark on a program that they do not have the time to maintain. Outside obligations and distractions invariably get in the way until the athlete either skips workouts (thereby destroying the program's long term effectiveness) or quits altogether. It is imperative, therefore, that you examine thoroughly your social obligations before you schedule your training. Better a moderately rigorous schedule that you can stick to, than a super-rigorous schedule that you can't. This is particularly relevant if you plan to compete, because every pound that you are unable to lift due to irregular training is one more opportunity that you give your opponents to beat you. Once you have a specific goal firmly fixed in your mind, whether it is a future meet that you wish to win or a certain amount of weight that you wish to lift by a certain date, spend time meditating on it while you perform your workouts. The more you can visualize yourself succeeding at your goals, the more likely you will be to succeed for real when the opportunity arises. Seven-time World Weightlifting Champion John Davis of the United States (pictured above) once confided to me that he never attempted a lift - either in training or in competition - that he wasn't absolutely certain that he could complete. Former World and Olympic Champions, Paul Anderson, of the United States, Yuri Vlasov of the Soviet Union and Vasili Alexeyev of the Soviet Union also adhered to this philosophy. Visualizing yourself succeeding during your non-training hours also enhances your lifting ability. Many times, while I was preparing either to enter a contest or to attempt a maximum lift, I would spend the entire day before the event not just "watching" myself complete the lift but actually "experiencing" myself completing it - over and over until it felt as though I had performed it hundreds of times. When the time to perform came, I was so "hyped up" I literally exploded with power and confidence. Another mandatory and too often overlooked requirement for maximum size and strength gains is the maintenance of a proper diet. If you wish to gain a lot, you must eat a lot. In preceding chapters, I have referred to the massive amount of food that I consumed during my training (over 10,000 calories a day). If your goal is to compete on a world-class level, you must do the same. If your goal is to get strong for the sake of getting strong, then listen to your body and feed it well every time it asks for food. Just as some athletes find it impossible to realize that the body needs time to recuperate after a heavy workout, so others seem unable to comprehend that it also needs to be adequately fueled after hard exertion. On numerous occasions I have watched enthusiastic athletes undergo a lengthy training session only to sit down to a meal that wouldn't sustain a field mouse. They then wonder why they failed to gain more strength or size. When forcing your body to handle ever-increasing poundages, your food intake must be ever-increasing as well. Your diet must never be random. For maximum strength gains, it must be balanced and high in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates and complete amino acid-based protein. Dietary information has increased dramatically since the '50s, so do some research. Read books and talk to professionals for a program that is compatible with your goals. Once you begin training, weigh yourself daily (in the nude for accuracy) and keep a lifting journal. If you don't experience substantial increases in both strength and body weight, re-evaluate your lifting program and food intake. Also emphasize liquid calories and nutrients. Shakes made from milk, juices, eggs, protein powder and honey are digested more easily than solid foods. Liquids also let the body assimilate more foods in less time, accelerating progress. I also recommend milk, juices, shakes and other liquids during the actual training session. I have, on many occasions, consumed as many as three quarts of milk during a single session, with no ill effects. As a result, I have actually gained weight during my workouts. The only solid foods that can be consumed during a workout are easily digestible high-energy foods such as dates, figs, raisins and honey. But they should be taken in small doses only. This rule also applies to all cold liquids, including water. One of the best ways to obtain quick energy during a lifting session is to drink a mixture of coffee and honey. Since coffee contains caffeine, however, it is recommended that you follow this practice only when you are competing, demonstrating or attempting a maximum lift. Once you have established an effective diet and training program, it is crucial that you receive regular sleep and relaxation to offset your physical exertions. As previously noted, heavy barbell exercise temporarily depletes the body's energy reserves and the only time that the body can replace this energy is when it is at rest away from the gym. At least one hour of extra sleep a day is recommended if you are following the "A" program, and two hours if you are following the more rigorous "B" program. Perhaps even more important than getting enough physical sleep every twenty-four hours is getting enough mental relaxation. Regular meditation will allow the mind, which is constantly racing to keep up with the hectic pace of the world around it, to slow down and relax. Tensions will melt away and you will soon be better able to distinguish those aspects of your daily life that deserve concerned attention and those that do not. During important competitions or public demonstrations, I made it a habit never to stand when I could sit, and never to sit when I could lie on my back with my eyes closed. A lot of athletes and spectators perceived this to be laziness, but it was a simple technique that many world class lifters of the time employed. The great American lifter John Davis, had so conditioned himself in this method that he was able to sleep immediately prior to competing and had to be awakened when it was his turn to lift. As important as it is, at times, to be able to blot out everything around you except lifting and thoughts of lifting, it is equally important to be able to blot out all thoughts of competing and training. Life is more than just exercise; in order to be truly happy, you have to know how to give equal time and attention to such endeavours as family, career, hobbies and relaxation. As philosopher Paul Brunton once said: Be aware, also, that by faithfully following the above-noted programs, you will discover more of yourself. What you accomplish, you accomplish on your own because you have the faith, honesty, courage and determination to delve into yourself and discern your exact capabilities. While dishonest lifters struggle to create an illusion, you tear illusion away and, as a consequence, build a strength of spirit that no dishonest lifter can come close to, and no amount of aging can destroy. Before my conception and implementation of these training principles, the general state of weightlifting was at a standstill. No one in the world, for example, had been able to bench press 500 pounds (which is why it was referred to as the "500 pound barrier"), and most world strength authorities considered it impossible. Not only was I the first man on the planet to do so (completely drug free) (1953, June 30 - Western Sports Centre, Vancouver), I added another 85 pounds to my world record within a few months. My methods were emulated following my gold medal win at Stockholm. The Russian and Bulgarian lifting teams began studying and adopting my principles and training procedures - to the point of following me from competition to competition. This is because they were able to realize early that the total poundage that an athlete lifts over a long and controlled time period is infinitely more beneficial than a series of maximum or near maximum lifts performed over a shorter, more sporadic time period. What you must understand if you are to get the most from your training, is that these principles will work as well fifty years from now as they did fifty years ago because the timing of the routines has been synchronized, as far as possible, with the body's inherent rate of response to training with heavy weight. Athletes and other so-called experts in the field have resorted to drug use because they have been unable to accelerate the effectiveness of these programs and routines in any other way. In conclusion, let me re-affirm the promise that I made at the beginning: this information is all that you will need to become as strong as you wish to become on all three levels of your existence. The rest is up to you. Good luck and good training. Doug Hepburn
  4. This lift was done with no straps, no belt and using a double overhand grip making the lift much tougher. Paul Anderson was one of the strongest lifters of all time. RIP Paul Anderson (1932 - 1994). When I made the video I honestly thought Anderson was lifting 825 lbs on the last pull. However...Due to an eye-witness at the above event, it was probably 735 lbs to be precise. Keith Greenan has stated the following: From Brad Reid... From DaveConleyPortfolio... * The book may be the following: "Inside Powerlifting" (1978) by Terry Todd. From Brad Reid... Doug Hepburn 370 lbs Clean & Press Paul Anderson Pressing Style (in comparison to Doug Hepburn) * Interesting reading: Strongman Paul Anderson Push Pressing 625 lbs back in 1955! The following info is from Jerry Byfield... From Terry Bader... I believe Anderson claimed a 1000 lbs Deadlift using straps but I'm not 100% sure that's correct or if Anderson really did claim that. Anyone have any facts / stories to share on Strongman Paul Anderson? Please add your comments below.
  5. In the old days, most men who lifted weights in a serious fashion practiced the standing press – and most of them were reasonably good at the lift. Let’s work together to bring that aspect of training back to the Iron Game. Make it a belated New Year’s resolution: “This year, I WILL get serious about my standing press numbers.” Having said that, let’s discuss some basic points about getting started on the standing press and increasing your poundage in the lift. Here are twelve tips for lifters who are starting to re-discover the standing press: 1.) Practice Makes Perfect There is a very precise pressing groove. You learn “the groove” through practice. To become a better presser, you need to press way more often than once a week or once every 10-14 days of heavy pressing. In the old days, Olympic lifters trained the exercise three, four or even five times a week. Personally, I think that four or five times a week would be excessive. But there’s nothing at all wrong with doing standing presses two or three times per week. In fact, many will find that it’s the best way to improve the lift. 2.) Train Heavy If you do high or medium rep sets in the standing press, you probably are not going to develop exactly the right groove for heavy presses. With light and medium reps, you use light weights, and with light weights, you can easily push “close” to the right groove, but not “in” the groove. Close only counts in horseshoes, folks. In lifting, your goal should be to make an absolutely perfect lift on every rep you do. As noted above, the standing press requires you to develop a very precise pressing groove. In this sense, it is both a “skill” lift and a “strength” lift. You MUST train the lift with heavy weights and low reps in order to learn how to do it properly. Think about how lifters train cleans and snatches. Do they do high reps? No. They do singles, doubles and triples. If you do higher reps in a “skill” lift your form breaks down and you actually teach yourself the WRONG groove. 3.) Select the Proper Rep Scheme To use heavy weights, you MUST use relatively low reps. Anything over five reps is too many. Doubles, triples and singles are great. The 5/4/3/2/1 system is excellent. And remember, you don’t need to do 50 presses in every workout. a total of 7 to 15 presses is fine. (5/4/3/2/1 equals a total of 15 reps, which Bob Hoffman considered to be ideal.) 4.) Train the Lower Back Always remember, the standing press builds, works, trains and conditions the lower back. That’s one of the most important aspects of the exercise – indeed, it may be the MOST important aspect of the exercise. But the other side of the coin is this: if you have not been doing serious work for your lower back, you are NOT ready to train hard and heavy on standing presses. Unless your lower back is strong and well conditioned, the FIRST thing to do is to go on a specialization program for the low back. After six to ten weeks of concentrated lower back work, you will be ready for standing presses. This is especially important for anyone who has been avoiding squats and training his legs with leg presses, hack machine squats, dumbbell squats, wall squats or any other exercise that takes the lower back and hips out of the picture. Ditto for anyone who does trap bar deadlifts as his exclusive lower back exercise. The trap bar deadlift is not as effective a low back builder as are deadlifts performed with a regular bar. It’s more of a hip and thigh exercise. Many lifters injured themselves by using trap bar deadlifts as their exclusive low back exercise, not realizing that it really does not work the low back as effectively as other movements. Then they hurt the low back doing squats, rows or curls, and wonder what happened. Anyone who has been training with bench and incline presses (or dips), back supported overhead presses (or machine presses), leg presses and trap bar deads — a schedule I mention because it is highly popular and similar to that used by many modern lifters – should devote serious attention to training his lower back before he tackles standing presses. Such a lifter may have fairly strong shoulders and triceps, and may THINK that he can go out and start doing standing presses with BIG weights. He can’t. His lower back will not be anywhere strong enough and well conditioned for serious work on the standing press. Let me also note that one of the very best exercises for building STABILITY throughout the lower back and the middle of the body is the wrestler’s bridge. Try 3 sets of 30 seconds per set (with no weight) and work up slowly and steadily until you can do 3 sets of 3 minutes each. You won’t believe how much stronger and more stable you are when doing your barbell exercises. In this regard, don’t forget that I started to do bridging in the Spring of 2000, and by the Fall I had worked up to 12 reps with 202 lbs. in the “supine press in wrestler’s bridge position.” At about the same time, I hit a personal best of 270 in the standing press. Coincidence? I don’t think so. If you ask someone to list a few good “assistance exercises” for the press, they’ll usually say, “dumbell presses, side presses, incline presses, push presses, jerks, upright rowing, etc.” – in other words they’ll think of “shoulder exercises” and different types of pushing movements. That’s lazy thinking. The shoulder, triceps, traps and “pressing muscles” get plenty or work from pressing. The most beneficial “assistance exercises” for the press are those that strengthen the middle of the body. 5.) Do not neglect training your core All of the foregoing points apply to training the waist and sides. Unless you already have been doing this, work hard on these areas for six to ten weeks BEFORE starting to specialize on the standing press. With regard to the waist and sides, the big problem is the crunch. The exercise gurus who have promoted the crunch for so many years have done nothing but develop a generation of lifters who lack any reasonable degree of strength and stability in the middle of their bodies. Scrap the crunches. Replace them with bent-legged situps (with weight, 3×8-12), lying or hanging leg raises, heavy sidebends and the overhead squat. The overhead squat? Kubik, have you lost your mind? No, not at all. The overhead squat builds tremendous strength and stability all through the middle of the body. It hits the inner abdominal muscles that lie BENEATH the “abs.” When it comes to strength and stability, these are the muscles that count. And while we’re talking about core strength, let’s talk about the power wheel. Paul Anderson used a simple cart type of this apparatus, described in an earlier press article in IronMan. 6.) Start Your Day With Presses Many lifters train their presses after doing heavy squats or heavy back work. That doesn’t work very well, because your lower back is tired and you are less stable. Do the presses first. That’s the way Olympic lifters did their training in the old days, and remember, those guys were all specialists in the standing press. 7.) Be Aggressive Every single one of you can develop the ability to do a standing press in perfect form with bodyweight. I mean that. Dead serious. Every single one of you . . . bodyweight . . . in perfect form. That should be your long-term goal. For the younger guys, and for the stronger, more experienced lifters, bodyweight is just the beginning. Once you hit bodyweight, set your sights on 110% of bodyweight. When you can do that, shoot for 120% . . . Anyone who can handle bodyweight in the standing press is STRONG! Anyone who gets up to 130% is handling weights equal to some of the very best Olympic lifters in the world back in the pre-steroid days. Norb Schemansky, in the 198-lb. class, handled 281 pounds. If you do the math you’ll see that Schemansky was pressing 142% of his bodyweight. These numbers show what a strong, determined man can achieve with years of proper, hard training. 8.) Try Cleaning for your Presses Many lifters find they can press more if they clean the weight than if they take it off racks or squat stands, because the bar is better positioned for a heavy press. So learn how to clean, and try cleaning the bar before pressing it. You might find it adds a little more zip to your pressing. 9.) Dumbell Pressing From Saxon to Grimek, from the beer halls of Austria to Davis, Hepburn and Anderson, many, many old-timers specialized in heavy dumbbell pressing. And guess what? The best dumbbell pressers usually turned out to be the best barbell pressers! You see, heavy dumbbells are very hard to balance. To improve your overhead pressing, you need to do plenty of overhead pressing. Heavy dumbbell exercises, however, are a tremendous assistance exercise for the standing press. Keep them in mind, and when your progress slows down, work them into your schedule. Harry Paschall used to swear by them; heavy dumbbell pressing is one of the “secrets” in his 1951 classic, “Development of Strength”. 10.) Handstand Pressing Another excellent assistance exercise for the standing press is the handstand press. Grimek used to do plenty of handstand presses and gymnastics work, and he became one of the best overhead pressers of his generation. Sig Klein used to specialize in handstand presses and tiger bends, and he managed an amazing record in the military press – a heels together, letter perfect military with 150% bodyweight. Paschall, who was good buddies with both Grimek and Klein, swore by the movement. Give them a try! 11.) Keep the Back, Abs and Hips Tight For proper pressing, you need to “lock” your low back, abs and hips. Most lifters will do best if they also tense the thighs. The entire body must be tight and solid. Pretend you are doing a standing incline press without the incline bench. Your body must support the pressing muscles and the weight of the bar exactly the same as would an incline bench. (This is NOT to say that you lean back and try to press from a 60 degree angle or any similar foolishness. I don’t want you to lean back as if you were ON an incline bench, I want you to understand that your back, hips and abs have to give you that same level of support that a solid bench would provide.) 12.) Specialize for a While The standing press is an exercise that responds very well to specialization programs. Try a schedule devoted to very little other than heavy back work, squats or front squats and standing presses. Remember, the great Olympic lifters of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s devoted almost all of their time to cleans, snatches, presses, squats and jerks, with a significant amount of their training being devoted to the press. They built enormous pressing power and tremendous all-round strength and power. You cannot do better than follow their example. The foregoing tips will help anyone become not just a good, but an EXCELLENT presser. And remember one more thing – pressing is LIFTING. The standing barbell press is one of the most basic tests of strength ever devised. It has been a standard measure of a man’s physical power since the invention of the barbell. When you become a good presser, you can rightfully claim your place among the lifters of the past and present. Do it! Brooks Kubik
  6. STRONGEST ARMS IN HISTORY ** HEAVIEST EVER CHEAT BARBELL CURL (1 REP MAX) LEADERBOARD ** * Regardless of lifters weight classes or type of barbell used. Heaviest Weight lifted WINS! 1. Denis Cyplenkov - 170 kg (375 lbs) - Ez Bar - (?) - Done for 2 reps! 2. Bill Kazmaier - 143 kg (315 lbs) - Straight Barbell ? - (1985) - Done for 12 or 15 reps! 3. Levan Saginashvili - 142 kg (312 lbs) - Ez Bar - (?) - Done for 3 reps! 4. Magnus Samuelsson - 140 kg (308 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (?) - Done for 4 reps! 5. Chuck Loesch - 140 kg (310 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (?) 6. Doug Hepburn - 136 kg (300 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1959) 7. Kirill Sarychev - 132.5 kg (292 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2015) - Done for 6 reps! 8. Kyriakos Grizzly - 120 kg (264 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2021) - Done for 14 reps! 9. Leonidas Arkona - 120 kg (264 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2019) 10. __________________________________________ Let's use this forum to document the heaviest weights lifted on a barbell cheat curl and also include some stories regarding those strength legends with "Out Of This World" claims! Let's begin with... Bill Kazmaier It is an Internet rumour that three time World's Strongest Man winner, champion powerlifter and general all round strength legend, has cheat curled 200 kg (440 lbs) back in 1985. He has also reportedly cheat curled 143 kg (315 lbs) for 12 or 15 reps. However, with no photos or video footage or witnesses, those so called records will need to remain a rumour. Kaz was known to be very strong in the arm department but without evidence, who really knows what he would have been capable of. As far as I'm aware, Kaz has never confirmed the 200 kg curl strength feat? Moving on to Strongman... Manfred Hoeberl Manfred built the World's Biggest Arms back in the 90's with a pumped measurement of 26" by Iron Historian Joe Roark. In 1994, Manfred wrote a book entitled "10 Minutes to Massive Arms" detailing at the time, how he trained his arms to get them so big. Within his book, he must have claimed that he could curl 200 kg (440 lbs) because a bodybuilding writer by the name of Steve Neece (RIP) challenged Manfred's claim and offered to pay Manfred $5,000 to prove it. Some sources claim it was really $10,000!! In an Interview back in 2012 (Jan 18) with Viking Strength, Manfred was asked how strong his arms were back in the 1990's when he possessed 25 Inch arms! Manfred's reply was... I'm not sure what year Neece challenged Manfred to prove he was able of curling 200 kg but If Manfred did accept Neece's challenge, he may not have followed through with it due to tearing his bicep in 1997. If you're a Manfred Hoeberl fan check this video out... Let's move on to Strongman... Magnus Samuelsson 1998 World's Strongest Man winner is known to have one of the strongest arms in the world including GRIP having officially closed a number 4 Captains of Crush Gripper. From his training DVD entitled "The World's Strongest Arms", Magnus cheat curled 140 kg (308 lbs) for 4 fairly strict reps. In an Interview with Ironmind back in 2010, Samuelsson stated... To make the reps more challenging and work his grip more during barbell curls he would let the bar roll as far down toward his fingertips as possible during reps, before bringing it back into his hand, curling his wrists, and then continuing the movement. In case anyone ever wonders if Magnus ever tore his biceps...The answer is yes and both of them!
  7. STRONGEST ARMS IN HISTORY ** HEAVIEST EVER STRICT BARBELL CURL (1 REP MAX) LEADERBOARD ** * Regardless of lifters weight classes or type of barbell used. Heaviest Weight lifted WINS! 1. Doug Hepburn (photo above) - 116 kg (255 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1959) 2. Denis Cyplenkov - 113 kg (249 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2015) 3. Luther Rogers - 107 kg (235 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1960) 4. Larry Wheels - 105 kg (231 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2020) 5. Bruce Randall - 103.6 kg (228 lbs) - Straight Barbell - (1954) 6. CT Fletcher - 102 kg (225 lbs) - Ez-Bar - (?) 7. Hermann Goerner - 100.2 kg (220.5 lbs) - Straight Barbell (1932) 8. Hafthor Bjornsson - 83 kg (183 lbs) - Ez Bar - (2020) 9. The Gorilla Corey West - 82 kg (180 lbs) - Ez-Bar - (2019) 10. Maurice Jones - 80 kg (176 lbs) - Straight Barbell (?) ** STRICT CURL RULES ** * Old School Rules regarding Strict Curling: Click here. ** Current Strict Curl "online" Rules ** Upper back and butt must stay in contact with wall during full curl motion. During lift, lifter can take a close or wide foot stance. Heels must be 12" / 30 cm from wall during lift. Head, upper arms, wrists and elbows can move as much as you want as long as back and butt remain against wall. Strongman Doug Hepburn (1926 - 2000) who was the 1953 World Weightlifting Super Heavyweight Champion, strictly curled a MASSIVE 255 lbs (116 kg) back in 1959! He used a straight barbell. Quote Source: Ironman article: "Developing Curling Power" - March, 1961 (see below). The current World Record holder hasn't actually improved on the strict curl. Instead, the record has been lowered! As to the reason why...Who knows? That official record today is owned by Denis Cyplenkov with a strict curl (using an Ez-Bar) of 249 lbs (113 kg). Photo below shows Denis setting his first Strict Curl World Record with 108 kg (238 lbs). Keeping track of records throughout history is very challenging as rules keep changing. Doug Hepburn's record on the strict curl should still stand today as it was done standing freely while using a straight barbell. Cyplenkov's curl is a slightly different lift, his back and shoulders are braced against a wall and he's using an Ez-Curl barbell which does make the lift easier, especially on the wrists. More strict curl stats will be added soon so keep checking the leaderboard! If YOU come across any documentation (photographs or videos) that details any lifters performing "Strict Barbell Curl" strength feats, then post them below. In the mean time I'll leave you with an impressive photo of Cyplenkov's arms...The man is a BEAST!!
  8. 1954 Interview with Strongman Doug Hepburn By Ray Beck On the 24th of April, 1954, I interviewed my friend Doug Hepburn and asked him some of the most frequently asked questions concerning himself and his training. Some of the opinions Doug voiced may surprise and even shock the gentle reader, so please bear in mind that these are the opinions of Doug Hepburn and not necessarily those of the writer or this magazine. I am using the Q & A format, quoting Doug directly. Q: How about a few vital statistics, Doug? A: I’m 27 years old, weigh 296 lbs., chest 57½ normal, thigh 32½, arm 22 (on anybody’s tape), forearm 15¾ held straight and I span 26 inches across the shoulders. * Here is a man who actually does turn sideways when he goes through a doorway. Q: What is your present diet? A: I adhere to no set schedule . . . I eat when I feel like it. In the case of a man competing with heavyweight lifters in an area where they weigh up to 300 lbs. and over, he must force-feed himself to get and maintain this needed bodyweight. Forced food intake is not a healthy thing, but there is no moderation for a competing man. Extra weight around the midsection acts as a support in pressing by giving better leverage and acts also as a cushion in squatting . . . A strongman should be 5’10” tall and have a “squat-like” build like Paul Anderson. * Doug went on to say that he eats large quantities of protein supplement to retain his heavy bodyweight because “it’s easier assimilated than other foods". Q: Who is the best lifter? A: Pound for pound Tommy Kono is the best lifter. A: A number of Russian lifters in the lighter divisions are very outstanding. The most efficient lifter, I think, is Norbert Schemansky. I have great respect for men lifting such enormous poundages at such a bodyweight. A: Marvin Eder is a very strong young man, especially in the pressing department, and should do well in the three lifts if he can get amateur standing. Q: Can you give some hints to would-be strongmen? (This question led to several other topics and his principal comments are quoted here). A: I must see a man try . . . train for six months before I would help him . . . he must have the drive. It is harder to be a lifter than a bodybuilder . . . lifting is purely masculine whereas bodybuilding entails feminine traits. Bodybuilders remind me of a woman getting ready to go somewhere. Can you tell me that greasing your body up and posing in front of a mirror is masculine? A bodybuilder puts strength secondary to his physique, whereas the lifter puts strength foremost because it is more masculine to do so. The reason bodybuilding is on the upward trend is that the opposite sex have more and more influence over the males. Women do not like the large waistline necessary for the weightlifter . . . No! You don’t have to first become a bodybuilder to become a weightlifter. A: Three reps in the various exercises are all you need to build size and strength. Low reps give a maximum improvement in strength and size of muscle and a minimum of fatigue. You don’t need a “pumped up” feeling to get big muscles. I tried high reps for my arms when I wanted to make them larger and I found they did nothing for my arm size. In any exercise I like doing 3 reps and no more than 5 reps. Sometimes I do one rep for good results. Exercises should be devoted to increasing the strength in regard to certain muscles used in lifting and that does not include the calves, pecs or biceps. A: I work out when I feel like it and do as many sets as my energy will allow. * My personal observation of Doug is that he does only one or two exercises a day when training for strength, and these exercises are: the full squat, supine press, and military press. He is now working really hard on the dead hang pull-ups in reps of two. This has brought his clean up to 400 lbs., which he did while training. * Doug then went on to say, “I believe the king of all exercises is the bench press (see photo below showing Doug Bench Pressing). However, I did get most of my power from handstand presses at which I did 15 reps at a bodyweight of 245 lbs." * Doug doesn’t do these handstand presses anymore, nor does he do the deadlift very often, except when training for a record in this lift, although he thinks they are important strength-giving exercises. Q: What hours do you sleep? A: I average ten hours sleep a day. Weightlifting is very hard on the nervous system, so therefore sleep and rest is needed for the muscles and the nerves to recover. * Doug’s regular sleeping hours are from 2 a.m. to 1 p.m. He keeps late hours. Q: Doug, what do you do in your spare time? A: I rest . . . lay around in the sun . . . conserve my energy. Among my recreational interests are playing snooker, going to the cinema, reading my encyclopedia, discussing philosophy, memorizing poetry. * He then gave a wonderful 10-minute recitation of Kellogg’s Spartacus to the Gladiators at Capua. * Memorizing lengthy bits of poetry is only a small part of Doug’s literary activities. He is well read on many subjects pertaining to human behavior and is at present studying Yogic teachings and mysticism as interpreted by Paul Brunton. * Doug is constantly enlarging his knowledge and understanding of life and its many forms. To Doug Hepburn, weightlifting is hard work. His right calf deficiency will not permit the full movement necessary for heavy cleans. This is a barrier, one that he is fighting in order to please public demand that he continue in the Olympic lifts. He is a weightlifter by public pressure and not by personal choice. He is and will be by his own choice a strongman, in the true sense of the word. He enjoys doing feats which require a minimum of skill and a maximum of strength. He can’t picture Louis Cyr doing the Olympic lifts. He wants to be known, for years after his death, as the strongest man that ever lived. It is quite common to hear Doug say something like this: What's your thoughts after reading this Interview with Doug? To share your comments or stories on the legend Doug Hepburn, post your comments below.
  9. Small Hands can be Powerful (1957) By Jack Delinger (1926 - 1992) Some of the strongest men have small hands; many thin men have large hands. When you shake hands with a fellow you often become conscious of his grip or the size of his hand. Some will give you that “death-grip” which I, myself, have many times experienced; whereas others merely hand you their limp fingers which feel like a cold mackerel. And yet, there are a few fellows who are so self-conscious of their strength that they want to impress everyone with their tremendous grip whenever they greet you. The late Ernest Edwin Coffin (1898 - 1954), who was a powerful and deliberate hand-squeezer, caused many temporary disfigurations on the top of my own right hand so that it engendered reluctance to offer a handshake to him at greeting. He always delighted in giving me the pressure comparable to a vice. But this, this was a cultivated pseudo exuberance because he used not to be that way. It seems that it all came about during one of our conversations regarding the great Eugen Sandow (1867 - 1925). Ernest was always an ardent Sandow admirer who eventually proclaimed himself to the “the world’s foremost authority” on this oldtime strongman. Mind you, prior to our particular conversation, Ernst Coffin was a gentle soul whose handshake was also gentle. On this special occasion, however, I chanced to reveal the power that Sandow had with his hands, and so, from that day hence Coffin’s whole world changed and he began to feel as though he was a reincarnation of Eugen Sandow (pictured below). He then proceeded to take out his complex on me via that previously mentioned “death grip.” Coffin had very strong thick hands, yet they were not large in size. One time during World War II (1939 - 1945), I chanced to visit a home where I met a lad who was about to go overseas. I particularly noticed his extra large hands. This fellow was about my own height, five feet ten inches, and he appeared to weigh around 175 pounds. He was not what you would term “athletic in appearance,” but he did have a pair of hands that reminded me of the hind paws of a huge grizzly bear. The palms of his hands seemed to be at least five inches across and their thick square width extended from the fingers to the wrist. This, of course, was evidently hereditary. I mention this case as a contrast to another – Paul Anderson (1932 - 1994) (Photo below). When Paul Anderson was in Hollywood not so long ago, he and his brother-in-law Julius Johnson and myself dined together. I then particularly observed the smallness of Paul’s hands. They were thick, yes, but much smaller than one would expect when considering his huge size of body and mentally uniting with his colossal power. One would immediately imagine that the world’s champion heavyweight Olympic lifter would possess large and extremely bulky hands, yet he doesn’t. Paul’s hands are actually below average size for one his height, but they are mighty thick. Anyway, it adds much mystery concerning gripping power! I once had a strange experience with mighty Mac Batchelor (1910 - 1986) (Photo above). Mac, at his 325-lb. bodyweight, and his hands, supplied me with what I thought was a great idea. I planned to have his hands photographed, for Mac was then the world’s champion wrist wrestler besides being a lifter of tremendous poundages. Consequently, I induced big Mac to go with me to a studio. I schemed to have Mac’s hands photographed beside my own hands so that I could publish the comparison between their sizes. I surely thought that Mac’s hands would dwarf my own in the picture. The photos were taken and I awaited their processing with keen anticipation, but I met with a horrible disappointment. My own hands, which are of normal size as I would consider them, appeared in the picture to be a little larger than did Mac’s hands. Hence I have never released this photograph. In fact, I think I destroyed it, together with the idea I had at the time. And, when analyzing hands such as one might expect to be attached to mighty Mac Batchelor’s body, there would be visionary hugeness. Of course, Mac’s hands (Photo below) are very dense in the palms and his fingers are also of proportionate thickness, yet his hands are very deceptive to the eyes that look for initial power. On numerous occasions I have shaken the hand of Eugen Sandow (Photo above) during the bygone years when I associated with him in London, England. His hands were very thick but not large. When I grasped his right hand in greeting I felt conscious of holding bulk and density but without a feeling of size. Sandow, as you may remember, could chin with any finger of either hand, and he also used to amuse friends in restaurants by rolling spoons. He would start at the end of the handle and then roll it so that when it reached the concave section the rolled part fit right in the bowl of the spoon itself. Too, he lifted enormous weights, juggled with 56-lb. kettlebells, turned somersaults with a pair of 50-lb. dumbbells, as well as tore small sections from packs of playing cards with finger strength alone. I mention these few items as they link with his small thick hands. Sandow’s hands were about the same in size as the hands of George Jowett (1891 - 1969) (Photo below). Jowett really has unusually thick hands, yet not large ones. But when you grasp one in a handshake you really feel beef. You immediately notice the large contraction of muscle that lumps out between his little finger and wrist, as this thick muscular section causes you to wrap your fingers around it with unconscious admiration. And Jowett’s fingers are short, but what a grip he has, even today. Years ago he used to bend horseshoes and handle extra heavy weights of all shapes and sizes. One time I saw him lift a blacksmith’s anvil that weighed 137 lbs. He did this by tensely grasping the “neck” of the anvil and then swinging it to his shoulder, then pressed it (in a balance) to overhead position. That feat surely took hand power as well as strength of many other muscles. Around that time there was another professional strongman whose grip was outstanding and who could perform some incredible feats. This was Warren Lincoln Travis (1876 - 1941) (Pictured below). I used to associate a lot with Travis. In fact both of us once worked in the same show. He then had a dumbbell that weighed only 110-lbs. but which had a handle about eight or ten inches long and about four to five inches in diameter. Travis always had a $1,000 bill which he would take from a small pocket of his leotard and flaunt it to his audiences with the offer to give it to anyone who could lift his 110-lb. dumbbell with one hand to overhead position as he did. He would then bend forward, grasp the bell, sweep it to his shoulder and press it aloft. Now, I was quite strong in those days but I could never get the damn bell off the floor. Some mighty powerful fellows tried it at times, only to fail. It seemed that the circumference of this dumbbell was too much for any hand to obtain a grip on and, therefore, it simply slipped away from any other attempt save Travis’s own. Trick? I suppose so, for Travis was a master showman, but who am I to reveal a suspected secret? Anyway, Travis had very small hands that were smooth, yet very thick, with stubby fingers. It adds more mystery to the question: whence comes hand power? NOTE: Travis is credited with a one-finger lift of 667 pounds. My old friend Kenneth Terrell (1904 - 1966) (Photo above), who has been actively playing in motion pictures for the past twenty years or so, at one time possessed one of the finest physiques in America. He was quite a good lifter, too! He could clean & jerk 285 pounds, which was not so bad for his 185-pound bodyweight. He used to do a hand-to-hand balancing act in vaudeville with a fairly heavy partner. So much for highlights of his background. Terrell’s fingers are very long and somewhat bony, yet he used to have power-plus in them, but he does not own a muscular looking hand. Thus it proves that strength remains a hidden thing which cannot be discovered by appearances of one particular body section. The largest hand I ever shook belongs to Primo Carnera (1906 - 1967) (Pictured above), the former heavyweight boxing champ and now a wrestler. Carnera, as you know, stands 6 ft. 5 in. and tips the scales around 265 lbs. When I first shook hands with him I immediately felt as though I had hold of a ham, or else was lost somewhere amid a fearsome invisible power, although Primo gave me a courteous grasp and one without any pressure, as a gentleman would shake hands. But never in my life have I ever grasped such a huge mitt! It's thickness was most unusual and seemed to be at least three inches through the middle. His whole hand, including the fingers, encircled my own as would both hands of Joe Weider (1919 - 2013) put together, and the hands of Uncle Joe are a trifle large. Anyway, when considering Carnera’s extra large hands, they seem to correspond with his size and also his natural power, for he is strong even though not a weightlifter. His hands become unforgettable and smother the smaller sizes of our best lifters’ hands. Doug Hepburn (1926 - 2000) (Photo below) is another man who does not possess large hands. His are slightly bigger than Anderson’s, Jowett’s or Sandow’s, yet far smaller than one might expect before feeling his encircling digits in greeting. I must confess that I have not been as observant as I might have been during my handshakes with bodybuilders whom I greet at physique contests, but after writing this perhaps I shall give their hands more attention. The only drawback to this is that I am afraid that one or two of them might feel inwardly strong and proceed to give me that bone-crusher grip and supply further bruise marks atop my hand. Perhaps I shall hand them that dead fish handshake and play safe. Anyway, it must remain conclusive that hand size is not a criterion of power, unless one or two chance to be exceptions in a crowd and possess extra large hands through inheritance. It is anatomically impossible to enlarge the actual hand size. You can increase its thickness by continuously gripping heavy and/or awkward objects but you cannot lengthen the fingers nor enlarge the palm except in density. A small palm can possess as much strength in it as would a large palm, and long, thin fingers can also have as goodly power as short, stubby digits. It all depends upon the kind of work you give your hands. Strength will always remain unseen, uncalculated and unknown until it is displayed. NOTE: Check out the hand size of Arm Wrestler Jeff Dabe.
  10. 1997 Interview with Maurice Jones From Keys To Progress By Randall Strossen (Editor of "The Complete Keys To Progress" book and owner of Milo Magazine) * If you haven't already read an article from 1941 about Maurice Jones, click here. This book contains John McCallum's (photo of John McCallum pictured above) original articles which first appeared in "Strength & Health" magazine, which ran from June 1965 through to November 1972. Some of these articles referred to the mysterious muscle character, Maurice Jones. From the book... Chapter: The Time Factor Page: 2 Quote from book: From the book... Chapter: Power Training Page: 30 Quote from book: First of...Who was John McCallum (1912 - 1993)? John lived in New Westminster, B.C. and worked for the Fire Department. * The following article is from 1997 when Maurice Jones was 85 years old * Any self-respecting student of John McCallum emerged with a number of basic principles, which ranged from squatting until your eyes bulged to achieving an overall balance in your life. The true ‘McCallumite’ knew that he certainly better not be a mirror athlete, nor should he limit himself to just being strong, flexible and having loads of endurance coupled with brimming good health. No, he should recognize that he had a brain, and he should put it to use, cultivating additional interest and activities. So the great paradox was that the McCallumite was out to chase and capture pounds and inches with unparalleled zeal and success, but this was only the beginning – he would also end up becoming a well-rounded person in more than the literal sense. Maurice Jones (pictured below - 1945) was one of the principal characters in McCallum’s articles, and it’s no accident that he stands as a model of this whole-man concept. Since Maurice Jones never sought the spotlight, articles on him were few, and largely confined to rare issues of older muscle magazines. In fact, were it not for John McCallum’s writing the larger world might never have had a chance to benefit from Maurice Jones’s example. Being a rabid McCallum fan back in the 1960's, and never reluctant to seek out someone of interest, I managed to reach Maurice Jones on the telephone, and he patiently answered all the questions a teenaged lifting nut could think to present. I’d also had the advantage then of buying a handful of photos of Maurice Jones from the venerable collector Angelo Luspa. Recently, nearly 30 years later, I had the great fortune and privilege to once again talk at length with Maurice Jones. Maurice Jones started lifting weights when he was about 17 years old. “As a kid I was sickly. I can remember the awful colds I used to have. I wasn’t that healthy, so that’s what made me embark on some kind of training regimen, and one thing led to another.” What it led to was the emergence of a true Hercules – a massively muscled man who was unquestionably among the strongest in the world, and whose muscular and cardio-vascular endurance could sustain labors of heroic proportions. If we turn back the clock to the 1930's, we see a 5’9” 150-pound Maurice Jones beginning to lift weights. Although his eventual success might not have been predicted by any, his tenacity should have signaled that good things, amazing things, were to follow: If you want to understand what it means to train consistently, just remember that in his first 5 ½ years of training, Maurice Jones never missed a single workout. In the intervening decades, this dedication has never wavered. “I wasn’t away from them (the weights) for very lengthy periods. I valued it greatly. I always felt so much better when I would have a good workout. I stayed with it,” explains Jones. “I held a certain amount of self-pride, I was going to stick with it till the end. You know, that attitude, and I’m still doing that. I do lots of situps and press-ups between two chairs at times when weights aren’t available.” As we go to press (1997), Maurice is about to turn 85, and he reports, “I’m training. I’m very active physically.” And while he laughs at the weights he uses, consider this: He still does presses and curls with 50-lb. dumbells! “That’s nothing compared to what I once handled,” he says apologetically, but if those weights don’t speak to his fortitude, consider that Maurice Jones also continues with his “outdoor activities – cycling and trail hiking.” Mountains have long been his passion so it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there have been some accidents along the way, which have led to a string of surgeries on his back, neck, and both knees. “I’m an avid alpinist, and that’s when most of the injuries occurred,” explains Jones. “I can’t blame it on the weights,” he says with a laugh. Currently weighing “a stable 185,” Jones says the most he ever weighed was 225, although he generally weighed 200. “I didn’t stay up at that heavy weight for a great length of time. I was quite comfortable at 200 pounds.” Once when I was talking to Doug Hepburn, I told him that when people asked me about Maurice Jones, I’d say, “Well, picture a cross between Doug Hepburn and John Grimek.” Doug thought about that for a minute and then said, “That’s not a bad description.” Considering that he emerged as such a formidable physical specimen, Maurice Jones’ training program should be of great interest. “I’d work out for sometimes two hours – that was when I was younger, up until probably 40 or 45 or something. That would be three times [per week], two hours,” said Jones, and when asked for an authentic workout, here’s what Jones said: “I’d do a bit of a warmup at the beginning, before I’d start: calisthenics, bending, arm waving, that sort of thing. I’d always start with situps on the steep board. Then I’d do my presses: Press, curl, press, curl. Rest a minute and then do another press and another curl. Three sets altogether. That was the military press. I didn’t do those leaning back presses. They called them military presses at that time. Then I’d do three sets of rowing motions; I’d do my bench presses in between (row, bench press, row, bench press, row, bench press). Three sets of bench presses." “Now the squat. One set of heavy squats up around 400 pounds – about a dozen repetitions. At that time I was still doing hiking on weekends so I got plenty of legwork there, and I’d have 30 or 40 pounds on my back in my rucksack. 400 pounds sometimes and if I’d drop the weight, I’d increase the reps." “In between sets, I’d rest a minute – I wouldn’t sit down. I know some fellows who used to train a gym I worked at a couple of times would sit down and read a magazine in between exercises,” Jones said with a smile. A cardinal principle in Maurice Jones training was strict style: “I always tried to adhere to good form. I couldn’t stand these guys that would come in and be curling and it would be a back exercise as well. That didn’t go over well with me at all. I wanted to see a straight body, and the arms working as they should.” Considering his immaculate form, it was remarkable that Maurice Jones used to do presses behind the neck with 200 pounds for 12 reps and dumbell curls 70 lbs. x 12 well before World War II (1939 - 1945) – figure what that’s worth in today’s terms, and your jaw should hit the floor. Asked about his squatting, Maurice Jones said “I got up into the very heavy stuff – it used to frighten me before the act. How it all came about was with Milo Steinborn: I read that he had created a world record in the deep knee bend, which I was bound and determined to break, but nobody knew anything about it. And I did get up there over 500. My memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to, but it was around 525 pounds.” Not one to brag, Maury doesn’t bother to mention that this lift put him among the foremost squatters of the day. Perhaps even more prodigious were his performances in the stiff legged deadlift, where he did 425 for 15 repetitions in ultra-strict style: standing on a bench, lowering each rep to the tops of his feet. If the 425 x 15 isn’t already impressive enough, consider that Jones allows that “it [the poundage] may have wandered a little higher from time to time.” While running was not as central to his training program as was weight training, it wasn’t uncommon for him to include running a couple of times a week.” Maurice attributes his high level of muscular and cardiovascular endurance to a combination of his weight training, running and his mountain hiking. Asked if the stories of him putting rocks in his rucksack before taking off up a mountain were true, he said they were. “I used to be crazy,” he laughed. “I still do that, as a matter of fact. I put in at least 30 pounds, just to get a little additional benefit.” It’s tempting to think that this dedication to training means that somehow training hard came easy to Maurice Jones, but that’s not the case. “I’ve put up with a lot of pain over the years, years I suffered, but I never avoided my training. You can’t do it for the best part of your life and just forget it. The way I’m built, I have to continue, obviously not as strenuously as before, but I never forget it. I guess there are a lot of weight trainers and people who have done over a period of years and are still doing it.” Asked about his diet, Maurice said it “was just very plain. I’m afraid that I just qualify as a meat and potatoes man.” It has been reported that Maury disliked Olympic-style weightlifting, but he said that isn’t true. “I never went in for weightlifting myself because I didn’t have the time, mainly.” Nonetheless, the first time he tried a clean and jerk it was with 300 pounds on an exercise bar, and Jones says, “It was easy for me. I couldn’t believe it, you know, once I got those legs in action. That was when they did a split, not a squat. One chap came up from California, and that was the first time I saw a squat clean, and the snatch the same way. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t fall over when he did a snatch!” Although Maurice worked as a graphic artist and retired as a director of the YMCA, earlier in his life he wrestled professionally in England and on the Continent. Even though this was quite a while ago, some things never change because when asked about it, Jones said, with distaste, it was “as phony as anything could be.” Pro-wrestling seems out of character for Jones, but he explained, “It was a means to an end for me. I wanted to continue with my schooling, and my father was very ill at the time. I had to keep the household going.” Asked what he’d say if a young kid came up to him and said, “Mr. Jones, do you think I should take drugs to get bigger muscles or to get stronger?”: “I would say, don’t become a fanatic, although I must have appeared that way to a lot of people. If you get fanatical about something, it spoils it. You have to recognize the line – that’s the trouble.” To read more stories about Maurice Jones, Reg Park, Basic Training, etc get the book "The Complete Keys To progress" by John McCallum.
  11. Train for Power - Part 2 (1954) By Reg Park Since writing Part One a number of incidents have arisen which I feel will be of interest to our readers. They are as follows: 1/ I received a letter from Al Murray advising me that he had prepared an article, "Body-builders Can Be Strong," which was prompted by the trend in the London area amongst the body-builders. 2/ I hit an extremely good spell -- making the following lifts (1954): 550 squat 2 reps 510 squat 5 reps 500 bench press 270 press 3 reps 270 press behind neck 2 reps 220 strict curl When Chas Coster (see photo above - left to right - Dave Sheppard - Pete George - Charles Coster - Tommy Kono ) learnt of this he was extremely pleased because it would emphasize the importance of POWER TRAINING, of which he has long been a great advocate. Many authorities are inclined to stress too much importance on technique rather than on power. 3/ An old copy of S & H magazine showed up at the office showing Eder (photo above) as he was at 17-1/2 and giving a list of measurements along with his best lifts at the time. At a height of 5'7" and a bodyweight of 181 pounds - 340 bench x 2 250 press 370 squat x 10 That was exactly five years ago (1949) and for your interest his measurements now are: 5'7" 198 pounds 18" arms And his best on those three lifts are: 480 bench 350 press 500 squat x 5 sets of 2 Marvin's interest has always been on building a powerful physique and during our workouts together in 1951 (photo above) we used 350 pounds on bent-over rowing, also 120 pound dumbbells on the seated DB press -- the other lifts and poundages escape my memory. Interesting facts about both Eder and Hepburn -- whilst both train on the press and bench press, they do not practice these two lifts on the same day, and when utilizing the bench press to improve their pressing ability as I understand Davis also does, they use the same width of grip as they would when performing standing presses and start the press from the chest. Issy Bloomberg (photo above) who I had the pleasure of training with during my recent tour of South Africa, and who pressed over 300 pounds as an amateur is another lifter who appreciates the importance of power of body-building exercises such as the full and quarter squat, bench press, bent-over rowing, etc., in order to build up his body power and so benefit his Olympic lifting. Although I may be stepping on someone's corns, it has long been my contention that some of the British lifters who wondered why their performances do not compare with those of the Russians, American and Egyptians (taking the advantages of these countries' lifters into consideration such as time and standard of living) do not stress sufficient importance to such exercises as heavy squats, bench presses from the chest, rowing motions, deadlifts, etc. A comparison which comes to my mind is training for the "long jump." Whilst the actual jump is of importance, and needs to be practiced, it is a fact that sprinting plays an important part and most long jumpers are excellent sprinters. The same thing applies with the three Olympic lifts, whilst it is essential to practice the correct style, technique and performance of these lifts, it is true that such exercises as the full squat build up terrific power and coupled with actually performing the Olympic lifts assists improvement on the latter. Anderson is an example of this for he trained purely on the squat and built up his body power so much that when he went on to the Olympics his performances amazed even the most ardent physical culturists. In order not to confuse you, my interpretation of body power means performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses from the chest and bouncing, which permit you to handle more weight and so build greater ligament and tendon power than can be derived from the practice of the press, snatch, and clean & jerk ONLY. Schedule Two You should now feel refreshed to start Schedule Two after training on Schedule One for a month and then having a full week off to rest up. Schedule Two involves training three times per week i.e. MON, WED, FRI, for a month. Please note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. Exercise 1: Squat With Bar At Sternum (Front Squat) Those of you who have never practiced this lift may experience difficulty in balance and also a strain on the wrists, but if you allow the bar to rest on the deltoids instead of trying to hold it at the chest you will find it much easier. This exercise is also very beneficial to lifters who employ the squat style technique. Perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions. Exercise 2: The Clean and Press For poundages and repetitions I would suggest that if your best Press is 250 pounds, warm up with 200 x 2 reps, then 220 x 2, and finally 5 sets of 2 with 230. If you are still strong, perform 2 sets of jerk presses with 240-250, doing 3 reps a set. When you are able to perform this schedule increase your poundages by 5 pounds throughout. Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Exercise 3: Upright Row This exercise has quite recently been accepted by the A.A.U. as one of their strength lifts. Using the same grip as when performing cleans, lift the bar from the floor until it rests across the thighs and then with a hard fast pull lift the bar up until it touches the neck with the elbows held up high, and then lower the bar to the thighs and repeat from there. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 4: Parallel Bar Dip This is a particular favorite of Eder, and I well remember his brother telling me that he considered this exercise had done more for Marvin than any other. Perform 5 sets of 8 and use added weight. Exercise 5: Dumbbell Curl Numerous men, such as Grimek, have handled 100 pound bells on this exercise. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 6: Deadlift When following both schedules only do deadlifts once a week, on an off day and on their own. Work up in singles to the highest poundage you can lift.
  12. Train for Power - Part 1 (1954) By Reg Park Today physical culture has more followers than ever before, and in consequence the progress of the past few years has been amazing. Weight-lifting (read "strength" here) records are constantly being broken and the standard of physique has also improved. Unfortunately, however, bodybuilding and weight-lifting are for the most part regarded as two distinct sports, and it is rare indeed that you find a bodybuilder with REAL POWER or a weight-lifter with a PRIZE WINNING PHYSIQUE. By power I do not necessarily mean that one should become an Olympic lifter and specialize on the press, snatch, and clean & jerk. (Or a powerlifter, if written today). My interpretation of a powerful man is one who can put up a good performance on a variety of lifts, and one who instantly comes to my mind when I think of a strong man is Marvin Eder (see photo below), whom I consider to be The World's Strongest Man when bodyweight is taken into consideration. Marvin has successfully combined training for Power and Physique. His bench press of 480 pounds and his reported overhead press of 350 are the heaviest weights ever lifted by a man under 200 pounds bodyweight. John Grimek also comes into the above category -- having been an American weightlifting champion and winning every physique honor possible. Here in England we have two fine examples in Buster McShane and Bill Parkinson. But the fact remains that there are many top bodybuilders who cannot lift weights in accordance with their physique and at the same time there are strength trainers whose physiques leave much to be desired. When Stan Stanczyk (photo above) was the world light-heavyweight weightlifting champion, it was reported that some youngster who saw him on the beach did not believe that Stan was the world champion because the kid said, "I know fellows with bigger muscles than you." Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is a fact that Stan did devote a lot of time to bodybuilding. I have listed a number of exercises which I consider to be real Power Builders and can be used by bodybuilders and strength men alike. I have split them up into TWO SCHEDULES and would suggest that you train three non-consecutive days i.e. MON, WED, FRI, per week on Schedule One for a period of one month followed by a week's full layoff, and then train on Schedule Two three times per week for a month and note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. SCHEDULE ONE Exercise 1: Squat This is a great power builder and has been put to good use by such men as Anderson (photo below ) and Hepburn in their own training, but it is a lift which many weight-lifters omit completely; while bodybuilders tend to rely too much on squats to a bench. Like my good friend Leo Stern, I have always favored the parallel squat and prefer to wear heels on my lifting boots rather than placing the heels on a wooden block. The heeled boots give me a firmer base as well as greater confidence. You may have noticed that Kono lifts in shoes and Sheppard has a built up heel on his lifting boot. I also believe a belt should be worn when performing this lift. The squat should be performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions -- increasing the poundage with each set. For example, I do 3 sets of 5 on the squat working up to the heaviest weight I can handle then I increase the weight by 100 pounds and do 1 set of 5 half squats, and then increase by another 100 pounds with which I perform 1 set of 5 quarter squats. It has been reported that Anderson can handle 1,500 pounds for the last method and Pete Farrar and myself used to perform 10 reps with 1,000 pounds. Exercise 2: Bench Press This lift has created a great deal of controversy overt the past few years but nevertheless both the B.A.W.L.A. and the A.A.U. now use it as a strength lift in championships. There are several pros and cons but if the lift is performed correctly (pressing each repetition from the chest) and not bounced off the chest, it is a great power builder both for deltoids and triceps as well as giving speedy development to the pectorals. The strict style does in fact cramp the pectorals more than the cheat style. This lift has done wonders for me (Photo of Park above) as I know it has done for Eder, Hepburn and Parkinson. A variety of grips can be used but I favor the same width as taken when performing Military pressing. 5 sets of 5 reps are ideal. Exercise 3: Two Hands Clean The technique of this lift has been fully covered in Al Murray's article on the Clean and Jerk so I will not dwell on it, other than to say 8 sets of 2 repetitions should be employed, working up to as heavy a weight as possible. This exercise can then be followed by taking a weight in excess of your best Clean off the squat stands and holding it at the shoulders for a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. Exercise 4: Press Behind Neck Like most bodybuilders I have favored this exercise for shoulder development -- and in order to illustrate the power this lift can build I include here the best lifts of several prominent men: Doug Hepburn does repetitions with 300 pounds; Eder 300; Eiferman 280; Wells 280. The bar can either be cleaned or taken off the squat stand, whichever you prefer. The weight should then be pressed and not jerked to arms length and lowered until it touches the back of the neck. Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with the maximum weight possible. Exercise 5: Barbell Curl Perform this for 3 sets of 5 in strict style increasing the poundage if possible with each set, then increase the weight by 20 to 30 pounds and do 2 sets of 5 adapting the cheat or swing style. Exercise 6: Deadlift This lift should be practiced only once a week working up in singles until you have reached your maximum. It is better to attempt this lift on a rest day and not when performing exercises 1 to 5. There are of course other important factors which must be taken into consideration when training for power and in order of importance they are as follows: 1/ To overcome the fear of heavy weights by having a complete positive mental attitude when training. 2/ As much good food as possible especially meat, milk, fruit, starches, etc. 3/ 8-10 hours sleep each night. To read PART 2 click here!
  13. Doug pressing 370 lbs in the early 1950's, which was above the world record at this time. Photo by Ray Beck. Watch this great video on Hepburn....LEGEND!

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  14. I don't recall ever seeing a photo of Doug Hepburn as a child but I discovered a little gem from this site. This comparison photo I created shows Doug as a young child age 4 wearing a sailor suit back in 1930. The comparison displays Doug in his prime, in the 1950's, standing outside Ed Yarick's Gym. If you haven't read "Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story", you're missing out.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  15. Doug Hepburn training squats back in the 1950's at Ed Yarick's Gym in Oakland California. I love how everyone in the gym is staring in amazement. Doug Hepburn worked hard on writing his life story with writer Tom Thurston and released "Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story". Great read if you're a fan of the man.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

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