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About Me

Found 13 results

  1. This is all the bodybuilding, weightlifting and autobiography books I've collected over the last 20+ years. I also have a billion bodybuilding magazines stored away in one of my rooms. My favourite magazines were the classic mags from the pre-1970s, for example, Reg Park, Casey Viator, Arnold and Sergio Oliva. My top book which I own is "The Complete Keys to Progress" by John McCallum - outstanding book, which I highly recommend and which you can still buy for cheap on Amazon. Which weight training books do you own?
  2. By Keith Wassung The overhead press has always been the premiere shoulder exercise for strength and development. Few exercises are as satisfying as the overhead press. I believe that if you could find a remote, primitive island in the world and left a loaded barbell on the beach in the middle of the night, within a week, the men of the island would be trying to lift it over their heads. The heaviest recorded weight that has been pressed in an overhead manner was 535 lbs by Ken Patera, in the early 1970’s. Patera (photo below), who became famous as a professional wrestler, may have been the strongest man ever to compete in Olympic lifting, but he lacked the technical proficiency of his competitors. Pressing big weights is a real kick and it is rare to see in most gyms. Many years ago, I visited the original Golds Gym in Santa Monica with some friends. We were dressed in street clothes and were wandering around, watching all of the bodybuilders train. We came to a seated press unit and my friends coaxed me to do some overhead presses. I did not want to do this knowing that I was amongst people who routinely pressed 300 lbs for 8-10 reps, or at least that is what I was led to believe by reading the various magazines. I started warming up and as I added weight, I began drawing on-lookers. By the time I had 315 lbs on the bar, about three-fourths of the gym members had gathered around to watch (talk about pressure). I did 4 hard reps with the crowd enthusiastically cheering me on. I believe that if you can bench press 225 lbs, then you have the capacity to perform an overhead press with 300 lbs. This may take you a year or it may take five years, but the effort will be worth it. One of the most common questions that I am asked is what is the best combination of sets and reps to do in order to achieve increased strength and development. My answer has always been that it really does not matter as long as you are training in a progressive manner. Progression and overload are two very important principles that must be followed, yet are often overlooked in many people’s training program. Strength and development is as much of an art, as it is a science. You have to experiment, keep track of your numbers in a training log and make adjustments as necessary. I have always believed that the best way to make consistent, long-term progress is to do a wide range of repetitions in your training, In order to increase your standing overhead press, you have to develop near perfect technique, strengthen your weak points and get your body physically and mentally prepared to lift heavy weights over your head. Technique The body has to work in harmony with itself as a unit. Each muscle or set of contracting muscles has an opposite set of muscles, which are referred to as the antagonistic muscles. For example, the triceps are antagonistic to the biceps when doing barbell curls. To maximize your training, the antagonistic muscles need to be set or balanced against the contractor muscles. When standing in the traditional upright stance, there is little balance and once the lifting begins, the antagonistic muscles actually begin draining the contractor (the ones used in the exercise) muscles of strength and energy. To place yourself in the strongest standing position, you should place one foot approximately 3-4 inches in front of the other in a staggered stance. This will place you in a much stronger stance permitting more work to be performed. Boxers, martial artists, baseball players and track and field athletes also use the staggered stance. If you ever see pictures of past Olympic lifters such as Vasily Alexeev or Paul Anderson (photos below), you will notice that their feet are staggered when elevating weights overhead. Practice with a somewhat narrower grip-many people use the same grip on their overheads that they do on the bench press but bringing your grip in just a bit will give you a stronger and faster press. Take the barbell from the uprights and get set into your stance, maintaining tightness in the mid-section and lower back. When you begin pressing the bar, you want to be looking at a very slight up angle. This will take your head slightly back and will allow the bar to pass in front of your face without having to change the trajectory of the bar. As the bar clears the top of your head, you will want to push the bar up and slightly back in a straight line so that you end up with the bar directly over the center of your head. You would be surprised how many people perform this movement incorrectly. Instead of pressing so that the weight ends up overhead, it ends up actually in front of the head. The leverage that your shoulders have to work against when you’re in this adverse position can really put undue and unnecessary stress on your shoulders-the joints, not the muscles, and will inhibit you from pressing the maximum amount of weight in this exercise. Lock the bar out, lower back to your shoulders and repeat for the desired number of reps. It is important to start each press from a stopped position. It is easy to develop a habit of lowering the weight and then rebounding off the shoulders to start the next rep. By starting each rep from a “dead” position, you might initially have to reduce the weight you are lifting, but you will be much stronger in the end, especially when performing maximum singles. Strengthening Weak Points One of the limiting factors in the overhead press is the strength and flexibility of the lower back and mid-section. Train your mid-section as hard as you train anything else. Mid-section weakness is very common among lifters. It is not that the mid-section is weak, but it is weak in comparison to other parts of the body that are worked in a progressive manner. If your goal is strength and power, then traditional abdominal isolation exercises, such as crunches and leg raises will only take you so far in your quest for optimal strength and development. The purpose of the mid-section is primarily for stabilization and therefore this area needs to be worked in a static manner. Do as much of your mid-section training as you can while standing on your feet. Perform overhead lockouts, overhead shrugs and learn to do overhead squats (Use a search engine and type in overhead squats, Dan John to learn this valuable exercise from the master himself ). I like to elevate objects such as dumbbells or a keg over my head and then go for a walk around the neighborhood or up and down the stairs. I walk until I cannot keep the weight overhead, then I place it on the ground, rest for 20 seconds and then keep moving again. These types of exercises will build your mid-section and have a tremendous impact on your overall strength and physical preparedness. If you have been working hard on basic exercises such as squats, dead lifts or rows, you have no doubt experienced either a stiff back or overworked lumbar muscles to the point where you cannot relax or tighten them completely. Your back can become as “stiff as a board” with the lumbar muscles so hard to the touch or so fatigued that they are like a steel spring that has been overstretched. It is essential to have the back properly stretched and warmed up prior to performing any type of overhead presses. Hanging from a chinning bar for a minute or two each day will decompress the lumbar spine and increase flexibility. I also like to do some hyper-extensions and some very light bent leg dead lifts in order to prepare the lumbar spine for overhead presses. Overload & Adjunct Exercises Marathon runners traditionally trained by running in excess of one hundred miles each week always at or near marathon pace and speed. The legendary running coach, Arthur Lydiard of New Zealand was one of the first coaches who realized that long distance runners could improve their race times by performing sprint training in their workouts. He used to have his marathon runners compete in the sprint events at the club level. All of his runners hated sprinting but they all loved setting records and winning world and Olympic championships. Coach Lydiard improved his runner’s performance by employing a form of overload. The first principle of weight training is overload. Overload refers to placing greater than usual demands on the muscle group being worked. In essence, to increase muscular performance, a muscle group must be worked harder than it usually works to complete everyday activities. As muscle strength and/or endurance increase, the amount of resistance or repetitions necessary for overload must increase as well. The Overload Principle is a concept based on “overloading” the muscles by lifting more than it is use to doing. The primary method of overload for the overhead press is the seated overhead press. This exercise will allow you to work the pressing muscles of the upper body, while minimizing the stress on the lower back. I have found that by alternating the standing press with the seated press, I can use heavier weight and train with a much greater frequency that if I were to only perform standing presses. When performing the seated, MAKE SURE that you do this with the back braced-do not do this movement sitting on the end of a flat bench or on a stool as this places a great deal of stress on the lumbar spine, which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place. The design of the seated press machine if very important. You don’t want the back of the unit to come up in higher than your shoulders-if it does, you can’t get your head out of the way of the bar. You also want to be sure that you can brace your feet against something in order to drive the low back solidly against the backboard of the unit. If you do not have the ideal apparatus as your gym, then might have to mix and match some equipment pieces in order to achieve the desired effect. This is why you should always keep a roll of duct tape in your gym bag! I also suggest doing the seated presses starting from the bottom position and not where someone hands it to you from the overhead position, and then you bring it down and back up-you want to mimic the mechanics of the standing overhead press as much as possible. For some variety, you can do a seated 80-degree incline press as a core exercise. This also takes the lower back out of it and really allows you to get used to lifting heavy weights overhead. I believe that if I had never done the seated presses and the 80-degree presses, I would have never exceeded 300 lbs in the standing overhead press. The next movement is a heavy push press done in the power rack. Use a weight that is roughly equivalent to your best single rep in the standing overhead press. You put the pins 4-5 inches below the starting position. squat down and get set with the bar, explode up elevate the bar to just over the top of your head, and then slowly count to 4 on the way down, set it on the pins, explode and repeat for 6 total reps-this is the most brutal thing I have ever done for the upper body-you will likely need a spotter (just to yell at you, rather than for safety reasons) and if you feel like or want to do a second set, then you did not use enough weight on your first set. This will do as much to improve your overhead strength capacity as anything I know. If you need to improve the strength of your triceps then consider doing some overhead presses while using a narrow grip. I use the same grip that I would for a narrow grip bench press with the index fingers being on the smooth part of the bar and the middle finger on the knurling. You will find that your arms may prevent you from lowering the bar all the way down to the upper chest/shoulder region. Use whatever range of motion works for you. As an added twist, you can use this same grip to do overhead lockouts. Place the pins in the power rack so that the bar is even with the top of the head and then press the weight to lockout. Barbell bent over rows are an excellent adjunct movement for the overhead press. It is safe to say that barbell rows are an excellent adjunct movement for just about every lift. Work this movement hard and don’t be surprised if you see increases in all of your lifts as well an increases in muscular development. One of the great aspects of the bent-over row is that there is a wide variety of techniques and variations to chose from which means that just about anyone can find a method of performing this movement regardless of their body structure. The important thing is to ensure that your technique is consistent so that increased poundage is the result of strength gains, not in favorable advantages in the biomechanics of the lift. FINAL THOUGHTS The frequency in which you train the overhead press is entirely an individual decision. If you are focused on improving the bench press, then consider adding in the overhead press about once a week. If you want to specialize on the overhead press, then you can do it as much as twice per week. I personally always did best training the overhead press about three times every two weeks. I would suggest doing nothing but standing overhead presses during one workout, then the seated presses and the adjunct work on the second workout. Make sure you are keeping your shoulders healthy with proper warm-ups and rotator cuff training. Best of luck on your quest to 300 and beyond. Keith Wassung kwassung@yahoo.com
  3. Photo from 1955 of Weightlifter and Strongman Paul Anderson. I believe Bob Hoffman appears in the background.

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  4. * 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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...
  8. The Gigantic Arms of Bill Pettis By Joe Weider The greatest bodybuilders in the world pass through the portals of Weider’s Woodland Hills establishment. The lavish appointment of this modern installation is reflected in the great human products that complement it. Massive muscle in repose lends a scenic treat matched only by the magnificent Santa Susana Mountains facing the broad, glass front. Attempts at conservative tailoring fail as muscle spills over. Shirt sleeves are carefully split to accommodate burgeoning biceps. You gape in awe at the likes of Arnold, Waller, Gable or a Paul Grant. You never saw such muscle. Never, that is, until the advent of Bill Pettis. Nothing causes as much commotion as the gigantic arms of Bill Pettis. You have to look twice to make sure they are arms and not two other people with him. Not many people can stifle their curiosity about such ponderous muscle and the most sophisticated observer finds himself asking the usual question: “What do your arms measure, Bill? ” Would you believe 23 1/4 inches? That’s how big he had them four years ago, weighing 230 pounds. That was pumped, after he had done 100 sets of arm work. In those days he worked his arms all day long. They would stay big like that for two or three days. Bill has gotten conservative now and keeps his arm at 21 1/2 cold. It pumps to 22 1/2. He no longer spends all day on arm work, having to cut it down to 1 1/2 hours three times a week. That alone, causes the layman bodybuilder to gulp, realizing his whole workout is that long. Compounding the incredulity of it all are the amounts of weight Bill uses on arm work. Generally noncommittal, when he starts to talk about it, you hear the poundages coming across in a soft voice that has all the innocence of a falling barometer on a balmy night. You’re not sure you heard it straight when he says he does standing triceps curls with 315 pounds on the bar. How can triceps handle that much weight like that? His do, and that’s a fact. It always comes as a shock when you hear how some guys go far astray of the orthodox methods of development, the venerable tried and proven principles, to develop incredible muscle and strength. The great Paul Anderson (1932 - 1994) was one of those backyard strongmen. He dug a trench (see photo below) so he could get under his ponderous, immovable squat bar. Often great feats are accomplished in silence. When applause tore the air over 21-inch biceps on the world’s posing platforms, here’s an unknown man silently carving out a biceps over two inches bigger than any of them anywhere. They are muscular biceps also. The credit is misapplied in referring to them as biceps, however. Despite the immense ball of the biceps muscle itself on Bill’s arm, the greater portion of the mass lies in the triceps. Where his biceps peaks like a 30-foot wave, his triceps curves downward like the underbelly of a giant shark. The arm under flexion seems to loom. It negates comprehension. The forearms are equally massive with cables of muscle extending from the elbow to wrist. Straight out they measure 15 3/4, in a “goose-neck”, 16 1/2. The average bodybuilder fights hard to get his flexed upper arm that big. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of humble origin, he grew to be resourceful. He got into weight training by making bells out of 25-pound cinder blocks. He worked out with them for a better part of a year back in 1960. He wanted to build his strength for other sports. He became a devastating high school athlete. In football he made All City and All League as a guard. In baseball he pitched. When he was on, he could strike out 12 men in a game. A moment’s reflection makes you wonder where he went astray. YOU see those massive arms, the tremendous potential, and you imagine him as a big league pitcher. He obviously had speed and control, looking at his high school strikeout record. With his easy, quiet manner, and geared-down movements you suspect it’s deliberate, an attempt not to startle with all that overpowering size. But, he’s got a primitive speed. He ran the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds. He landed in a small college, but economics and a family that needed his support at home forced him to quit. What has been professional baseball or football’s loss has been bodybuilding’s gain. Like many other great potential athletes he got hooked on the private challenge of bodybuilding. Only someone who has tried it can understand the powerful attraction. The bodybuilding ranks are full of former great athletes. Guys like Ken Waller and Roger Callard left careers in football to take up muscle building. Now 28 years old, Bill recalls 20 years ago when he cold flexed a pretty good little biceps. That he possessed natural muscle potential leaves no question. Only a natural could curl 220 pounds six reps. That’s what he does today – and a whole lot more. Listen to this arm workout: Barbell Cheat Curl: 5 sets; 6 reps, 220 lbs. Scott Bench Curl: 5 sets; 6 reps, 160 lbs. Barbell Curl: Strict: 5 sets; 6 reps, 180 lbs. Triceps Pushdown: 5 sets; 6 reps, 150 lbs. Standing Triceps Press: 7 sets of 225 lbs for 6 reps; 275 lbs for 3 sets of 6 reps; 315 lbs for 3 sets of 4 reps. Parallel Bar Dips: 4 sets, 25 reps. Reverse Triceps Push-ups: 6 to 8 sets, 50 reps, No weight. A look at the program makes it evident that the triceps gets the major share of the work. The greater part of the muscle volume of the upper arm lies in the triceps. Bill recognized that fact and trained hard on triceps. As a result his arm shows perfect balance, both biceps and triceps developed to the fullest. The biceps in recent years has gotten favored treatment because it’s a showcase muscle. As a result the arms of some superstars show lagging development in the triceps. Bill uses a medium grip with all the barbell movements. He follows the Weider “Quality” training technique and rests only a minute between sets, slightly long, perhaps, but that’s because he works heavy with low forced reps. The Scott Bench curl (photo above) gives him the low, wide biceps. He uses the straight bar on the Triceps Pushdown (photo below), keeping the elbows tight against the sides, raises the bar to the chin, and pushes down until the elbows lock. He does no partial movements in any exercises. The Standing Triceps Press is his forte. The bulk of his upper arm muscle comes from it. He takes the weight off the squat rack and jerks it overhead to start the exercise. He lowers the bar to the shoulders and immediately drives it to arms length overhead with triceps alone. He can work up to a single rep with 340. He follows that with weightless push-ups, doing several sets that total up to hundreds of reps. In this way he can literally flush gallons of blood through the great muscle mass and get an extreme pump. He has done as many as 3000 push-ups in a workout, which took him something like five hours. He doesn’t get into these drawn out affairs these days. He doesn’t need to. Though he works his upper arms three days a week, he works his forearms every day. He does 10 sets of wrist curls over a bench, five sets regular, five sets reverse. Forearms, like calves, must be worked every day for growth, a fact many bodybuilders aren’t totally aware of. His main advice to the beginning bodybuilder who wants total arm development is the necessity of working the triceps to the fullest. This means at least twice as much as the biceps. If it is neglected in the beginning, it never seems to catch up fully. It will be worth the development when one gets into competition. With recent emphasis on five or six meals a day, Bill gets along on only two. His food intake is not excessive, amounting to three or four eggs a day with bacon, steak, fish, fowl, fruits and vegetables. Earlier in the game when he was striving for size he would eat 25 pancakes at a sitting, but he stopped doing that. He supplements his diet with protein, yeast and liver tablets. Bill’s development is heartening to those who refuse to take steroids. He has never taken any synthetic anabolics. Aside from the cost, he has preferred to be cautious, and has proved you can get ultimate muscle mass and cuts without it. In fact, he aims to compete with and beat those bodybuilders who happen to be heavy into muscle building drugs. No one would question the validity of his aim. With no great effort to develop other lifts, Bill does a commendable bench press with 475 lbs and a squat with 620 lbs. One could easily foresee records falling if he cared to convert his great potential for muscle building into powerlifting. He trains with his friend Bill Grant at Gold’s Gym. The powerful, iron-clan look of Chuck Sipes offer Bill the style and ideal he prefers. He intends to make it work for him. He wouldn’t mind winning Mr. America. Bill’s mighty arms excites the professional wrist-wrestlers, but he will have no part of it. He likes his bodybuilding. If he were to injure an elbow by some remote chance, his bodybuilding hopes would disappear. He’s happy the way he is. He’s due to find his niche in the world of muscle. He’s got the look of a legend. It’s a timeless quality. After all, how many guys got arms that big? This ad appeared in the November 82 Ironman… NOTE from Strength Oldschool: I hope you have enjoyed reading this classic bodybuilding article on Bill Pettis. Because this is a Joe Weider Article, I wouldn't fully believe the claims of Bill Pettis's Arm Measurements or Strength Stats. I'm sure he did have impressive arms as can be seen from the photos, but I highly doubt they were even close to 23 inches! As for his strength levels in the gym, who knows? Unfortunately Bill (1946 - 2016) has now passed away and the following footage may shock some fans. If anyone has stories on Bill, please share them below. Thank you. RIP Bill Pettis Farewells from fans.... Royal's mom wrote: The Spy wrote: unknownbillionaire wrote: Dilraj Shergill wrote: Jack Horgan wrote: Antoine King wrote: Betty Boop wrote: Peters World wrote: Gustavo wrote: Betty Boop wrote in response to Gustavo: NeftyN3f wrote: Betty Boop wrote in response to NeftyN3f: If anyone would like to share stories on Bill Pettis and provide facts regarding his life, eating habits and training, please do so by responding to this article. Great article on Bill.
  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. The Amazing Transformation of Bruce Randall (1931 - 2010) By Randy Roach Reprinted from Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors (edited by Strength Oldschool) In 1966, an 18-year-old Terry Strand responded enthusiastically to a Chicago Sun Times advertisement announcing the appearance of a former Mr. Universe at a downtown Montgomery Ward department store. Strand recalled very few people showing up to see and listen to the physique star promote Billard Barbells, a company the muscleman represented. What impressed the young Strand was not just the amazing physique of the 1959 Mr. Universe, Bruce Randall, but the very demeanour and sincere nature of the athlete. Strand reflected: (Below) Newspaper Advert - Nov 28 - 1965 The (bulked up) photo of Bruce Randall above was taken in the summer of 1955, when he weighed 387 pounds at a height of 6'2" and his chest was measured at 61". Later that summer he reached his top weight, 401 pounds, at which time he radically changed both his exercise routine and his diet. Thirty two weeks later he had lost 218 pounds. A year later, Strand met up again with Randall at a Chicago Teenage Youth event where both were participating. Strand was fulfilling a commitment to the YMCA, which awarded him a scholarship for being one of the top five outstanding teenage athletes in the region. Bruce Randall was still as impressive in character as Strand remembered him from the year before: What was so special about this [future] 1959 bodybuilding champion that even Peary Rader would dedicate both his editorial and a feature article to him in the May 1957 issue of Iron Man? Rader set the tone in his editorial titled, "A Lesson from Bruce Randall's Story": Randall (above ), weighing about 350 pounds, was very strong, particularly in the deadlift. He claimed to have done 770 pounds, well ahead of the best dead lift done up until that time. As can be seen in the photo, he also had unusually well-shaped thighs and calves, which were two of the reasons he was successful as a bodybuilder several years later. Rader's lesson in this story was firmly on faith and determination in one's God-given abilities to do what he or she sets their mind to. Randall not only willed himself to bring his bodyweight up methodically to over 400 lbs (181.8 kg) for strength purposes, but to then make such a dramatic transformation that he was able to capture the 1959 Mr. Universe crown. In the same May 1957 issue of Iron Man, Rader shared the "Amazing Story of Bruce Randall." Randall believed his appreciation for the value of proper diet was obtained during a summer job on a merchant vessel. It was during his stint at sea that he attributed the fresh air, hard work, and good eating for taking his bodyweight from 164 lbs (74.55 kg) to 192 lbs (87.27 kg) in 58 days. Back to school and playing football and putting the shot, his weight dropped back to 185 lbs (84.09 kg), where it remained until he graduated. After entering the Marine Corps and finishing boot camp, he was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base. It was at this point where Randall stated he was six months past his 21st year in January of 1953 when he was introduced to the finest weight training facility in the Navy, run by Chief Petty Officer Walter Metzler. Randall was still playing around with his shot put and weighed 203 lbs (92.27 kg) but he wanted to get up to 225 lbs (102.3 kg) in order to play football for the base. Randall stated his initiating strategy for getting bigger and stronger: Bulked Up photo of Randall weighing over 400 lbs! The (athletic and muscular) photo above is from the Todd-Mclean Collection, and was given to Ottley Coulter by Randall in the late 1950's, when he weighed approximately 225 pounds. It demonstrates the body Randall had when he won the coveted NABBA Mr. Universe title in 1959. The remarkable physical transformation he was able to make in just a few years, before the arrival of anabolic steroids, is unprecedented in the annals of physical culture. Even today-with anabolic steroids, human Growth Hormone, food supplements, and an improved understanding of nutrition and training techniques-no one has come close to doing what Randall did. Randall shot from 203 lbs (92.27 kg) up to 225 lbs (102.3 kg) in six weeks. By spring, he was up to 265 lbs (120.5 kg). At that point, Metzler convinced him to drop football and focus on the weight training. Peary Rader liked and respected Randall's attitude and disposition, but was a bit perplexed over his choice of training routines. It was well known that Rader and others were adamant about heavy leg work anchoring a big eating / strength program, but strangely enough, Randall chose to work nothing but arms for those first initial months of training. However, Randall was quite diplomatic about his approach: Bruce Randall did make some alterations to his program, but nothing elaborate and still no squats. He added some chest work and the "good morning" exercise to his routine. On the latter movement, he would build up to an unbelievable weight of 685 lbs (311.4 kg). Most people were afraid of doing the good morning exercise with an empty barbell or even a broomstick, let alone dare think of a weight of that enormity. It was truly a Herculean feat of strength. TRAINING PHOTOS OF BRUCE RANDALL... Heavy Decline Dumbbell Bench Presses Standing Shoulder Presses with a pair of 120 lbs Dumbbells. Loading up a heavy barbell to perform Good Mornings... Heavy Cambered Bar Good Mornings... Bruce Randall - Favourite Exercise - Heavy Good Mornings Incline Barbell Bench Press... Randall originally shied away from the squat because of a serious injury three years previously in which he broke his leg in seven places. He would periodically test his strength in this movement and attributed the hard work in the good morning exercise for allowing him to squat 680 lbs (309.1 kg). Not bad for an occasional attempt. He actually once took a shot at a 750 lbs (340.9 kg) good morning, but had to drop the bar because the weights shifted on him. The only thing rivaling Randall's incredible feats of strength was the quantity of food he consumed. It was his belief that in order to increase his strength, he would have to increase his size, and this meant a significant increase in food. He structured his diet around four meals starting at 6:30 a.m., 11 :30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and finally 9:30 p.m. The only food he would allow between meals was milk. On average, he consumed eight to ten quarts (7.26 to 9.08 L) a day along with 12 to 18 eggs. As mentioned, this was average! He stated it was not uncommon for him to drink two quarts (1.82 L) of milk for breakfast, along with 28 fried eggs and a loaf and a half of bread. He once consumed 19 quarts (17.25 L) of milk in one day, and 171 eggs in total over seven consecutive breakfasts! That's almost five gallons, or close to 15,000 calories and over 600 grams of protein in milk alone. He was known to virtually fill an entire cafeteria tray with rice and pork and consume it all at a single sitting. [Editors note: On one occasion, this resulted in a trip to the hospital. What happened is that by the time Randall got to the mess hall most of the food that he liked was gone - except for rice. So he ate a cafeteria tray full of rice which, not having been thoroughly cooked, swelled so much once Randall had eaten it that he had to have his stomach pumped.] In the photo above, Randall weighs 187 pounds, which is almost as low as he went before upping his food intake and altering his weight-loss training program. He added almost 40 pounds before he won the Mr. Universe contest. The training programs and the diet he used to trim down were at least as radical as the techniques he used to gain from 203 pounds to 342 pounds in just over 14 months. For example, during his weight-loss period he once trained for 81 hours in one week, and in the first 15 days of 1956 he did at least 5,000 sit-ups everyday. He realized that these procedures were potentially dangerous, and did not recommend them. Randall was discharged from the Marines on March 11, 1954 and tipped the scales at 342 lbs (155.5 kg). This was a gain of 139 lbs (63.18 kg) in just over 14 months. He continued to bring his weight up to 380 lbs (172.7 kg), when he made the following lifts: Press: 365 lbs (165.9 kg) for 2 reps 375 lbs (170.5 kg) for 1 rep Squat: 680 lbs (309.1 kg) Good Morning exercise: (Legs bent, back parallel to floor) 685 lbs (311.4 kg) Deadlift: 730 lbs (331.8 kg) for 2 reps 770 lbs (350 kg) for 1 rep Curl: 228 lbs (103.6 kg) Dumbell Bench Press: Pair of 220 lbs (100 kg) dumbells for 2 reps Supine Press: 482 lbs (219.1 kg) after 3 seconds pause at chest Decline Dumbell Press: Pair of 220 lbs (100 kg) dumbells for 1 rep 45 Degree Incline Clean and Press: 380 lbs (172.7 kg) for 2 reps 410 lbs (186.4 kg) for 1 rep [Ed. Note: This was probably a continental clean of some kind and not a power clean] Support weight at chest for 1/4 squats: 1320 lbs (600 kg) 1/4 squats: With weight well in excess of 2100 lbs (909.55 kg) These lifts were rivaling those of the phenomenal 1956 Olympic heavyweight weightlifting gold medalist, Paul Anderson (photo above). Randall stated that he brought his weight up to a final 401 lbs (182.3 kg), but was finding it difficult to focus strictly on his training. [Ed. Note: Not to mention the expense of his diet.] To this giant athlete, his quest for strength through sheer size was driven by the power of a willful mind resembling that of The Mighty Atom: What Goes Up Must Come Down! His "never say never " attitude was about to be put to the test. It was August of 1955 when he hit 401 lbs (182.3 kg) and decided he wanted to "look at life from the other side of the weight picture." Upon his decision to reduce his weight dramatically, he was met by some negative feedback, including some from authorities in the industry. Undaunted, Randall viewed the challenge methodically as he stated: Randall's strategy was basically to reverse all engines. Just as he gradually increased his calories by incrementally adding food to each meal, he did the opposite by slowly reducing the size of each meal until he settled into the following regimen: Breakfast 2 soft boiled eggs Plain pint (0.45 L) of skim milk Glass of orange juice Apple Lunch Salad, dates, nuts Supper Round steak Two vegetables Quart (0.91 L) skim milk with additional powdered milk Gelatine Coffee occasionally He adopted a system formatted similarly to one Vince Gironda used the next year, but Randall would be much more radical in his exercise regimen. He eliminated the starch and much of the fat from his diet and went very light on the lunch. His eating plan was primarily lean protein and some fruits and vegetables. Once again, Randall matched the dramatic reduction in calories with an equally phenomenal increase in his training. Repetitions jumped from three to five up to 12 to 15. His sets went from three to five and his repertoire of exercises went from six to 20. He claimed his sessions lasted from six to seven hours. He stated that he once trained 27 hours in two days, and 81 hours in one week. In his New Year's resolution for 1956, he vowed to do 5,000 sit-ups daily for 15 days straight. He feels the 75,000 sit-ups helped him reduce his waist to 33 inches (83.82 cm). Randall also incorporated a lot of running into his routine and by March 20, 1956, he weighed in at 183 lbs (83.18 kg). This was an amazing drop of 218 lbs (99.09 kg) in 32 weeks. Below are Bruce Randall's measurements at his various weights. He stated the measurements listed at 401 lbs (182.3 kg) were actually taken at a lower weight. Randall went on to compete in the Mr. America that year and placed thirteenth. His weight had gone from 183 lbs (83.18 kg) to 219 lbs (99.55 kg) for that event. What was amazing is that it was noted in Iron Man that after all the weight manipulations, there were no stretch marks or loose skin visible on his body at the Mr. America show. At six feet two inches tall (187.96 cm), 183 lbs (83.18 kg) was not an appropriate weight for him and most likely represented a very emaciated chronically over-trained state. He probably had little difficulty bringing his competition weight up to 219 lbs (99.55 kg). According to the November, 1957 issue of Muscle Power, he placed sixth a year later at 195 lbs (88.64 kg), 24 lbs (10.9 kg) lighter than the year before. Randall's off-season weight seemed to have settled between 230 lbs (104.5 kg) and 240 lbs (109.1 kg). He competed and won the 1959 NABBA Mr. Universe title at a body weight of 222 lbs (100.9 kg). Randall said it was unlikely that he'd bring his weight to such a size again, but would not totally rule the possibility out. His food bill was often over $100 a week and that wasn't cheap back in the mid-1950's. He did state, however, that if he did choose to do so, he felt he could reach 500 lbs (227.3 kg) in 18 months. Bruce Randall finished his revelations to Peary Rader in that May 1957 article with the following advice: It may have been the muscles of Bruce Randall that first drew the young Chicago native, Terry Strand, to go with such enthusiasm to see the 1950's physique star. However, it was Randall's nature that left so powerful an impression on Strand that 40 years later, Strand had exhausted all Iron Game avenues in order to ascertain the remaining legacy of the idol of his youth. Surely, many would be curious as to just what else the amazing drive of Bruce Randall brought him through the subsequent decades of his life. EXTRA INFO / PHOTOS / NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ABOUT BRUCE RANDALL Little story connecting bodybuilding legend Harold Poole (1943 - 2014) with Bruce Randall... Bruce Randalls's book: "The Barbell Way to Physical Fitness" (1970) There's a great quote from the book about succeeding with your exercise program: "TRIUMPH is just a little "TRY" with a little "UMPH" The following is an excerpt from the book about Bruce Randall: About Bruce Randall Bruce Randall is known as one of the World's most uniquely experienced experts in the field of physique development and weight reduction. As a youngster he dreamed the dream of many young boys of how wonderful it would be to become the strongest man in the world. The basic difference between Bruce and the average young boy is that he set out to try and do it! Summers during High School were spent at various types of hard physical work including jobs in lumber camps in Vermont, coal mines in Pennsylvania and shipping out to sea on a Merchant Marine freighter. Bruce's quest for a strong body took many different avenues, however, it was not until he entered the United States Marine Corps that he became aware of the wonders that weight training can accomplish. It became very apparent that the World's strongest men train with barbells, and in weight lifting as in boxing and wrestling there are various bodyweight divisions from 123 pounds to the heavyweight class. He began training at a bodyweight of 203 lbs. and that combined with the proper diet which was high in protein foods enabled him to build his bodyweight to 401 pounds in 21 months. He competed in weight lifting meets when in the Marine Corps and won the first meet he entered. Upon discharge Bruce found that in civilian life his food bill was often in excess of $100.00 per week. He frequently drank as many as 12 or more quarts of milk a day and once ate 28 eggs for breakfast. Although at 401 lbs. he was very strong indeed, he found it totally impractical to carry this kind of weight and decided to make a bodyweight reduction. With a different program of weight training and diet he made a bodyweight reduction of 218 lbs. in 32 weeks and weighed in at 183 lbs. Bruce decided to continue on in the physical development field and trained for the Mr. Universe Contest. He won this coveted title in London, England at a bodyweight of 222 lbs. The above has not been emphasized to demonstrate what Bruce Randall has accomplished in the BARBELL WAY TO PHYSICAL FITNESS but rather to exemplify what weight training can do for YOU!! On the pages of this book his "How to do it" programs are spelled out for you. This method is the true method of the champions. There are no secret formulas, no gimmicks and no short-cuts- only the common sense application of exercise and diet principals which, when followed, will work for you too! Newspaper Article from the 1970s which details Randall's book above... Mr Universe Contest (left to right): Reub Martin - Pierre Vandervondelen - Bruce Randall - Reg Park SOME MORE PHOTOS / NEWS ARTICLES... Billard Golden Triumph Barbells Bruce Randall - 1970 Newspaper Clipping - 28 Oct - 1967 Newspaper Ad - 27 Nov - 1969 Newspaper Ad - April 7 - 1976 Bruce Randall - Newspaper Article - Ex Tubby - Eyes Mr Universe Repeat Newspaper Article - 21 Feb - 1971 Newspaper Article - 31 March - 1968 Newspaper Article from 1971 on Bruce Randall * If anyone has any stories on Bruce Randall, please share them by commenting below.
  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. How Sergio Oliva and Victor Richards Built Their Physiques Article by Jeff Everson (RIP) written in 1985. Edited by: Strength Oldschool (adding Photos only) I suppose it all started the day Richard Gaspari was declared National Light-Heavyweight Champion. Yes, I remember the eventful day back in New Orleans in 1984, when the young dragon slayer, ripped to the proverbial eyeballs, took home the gold, ushering in the new era of physique definition. Agreed, before Gaspari we had our striation kings. We had bodybuilders who worked as models for Gray’s Anatomy charts back in the ’60s and ’70s. We used to call them the most muscular men in physique contests. In those days definition was synonymous with most muscular. Physique judges then preferred a fuller (less defined) physique than is the rule today. The lean and hungry look of the yon Cassiuses of those days never won physique titles. If you examine older physique pictures, those of Reg Park, Steve Reeves, Leroy Colbert, Dave Draper and even Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilders were massive with outstanding shape, but certainly not ripped as they are today. But, so it goes. Progress is progress even if it does take a lot of the fun out of bodybuilding training. Indeed, in those days hard training and eating a lot of good food and being strong were what it was all about. Not so today. Now it’s succinates, metabolic optimizers, medium-chained triglycerides, branched chain amino acids, carnitine, thryoid, almost-zero-fat diets, carefully balanced protein diets, calorimetry- measured energy expenditure to equalize energy input with output, cyclic training routines and bodybuilding lifestyle day in and day out. Oh, to be sure, all of the above has pushed the standard of bodybuilding ever onward. Today’s champions have taken muscularity to dizzy heights. Bodybuilders are TOTALLY refined and developed today. Funny thing, though, most kids, most beginning bodybuilders, don’t really care about that. That look, the ultra-refined Gaspari-type muscularity, is best left for the competitive, singly focused bodybuilder who has little time, thought or energy to do anything else with his life except train, eat and sleep bodybuilding. Not that its bad. I make no judgments on people’s lives. To each his own. What is ironic is that most young, beginning bodybuilders long for something other than the look it takes to win. That something is what I call ANIMALIA – pure, animal-type muscle mass. Size. Power. Thickness. Hugeness. It’s what made Ferrigno, Park, Schwarzenegger, Oliva and now, the human house, Vic Richards, veritable legends in anyone’s time. Muscle mass. That’s what basic bodybuilding is all about. That’s why Bertil Fox remains the bodybuilder’s bodybuilder today. You even see this at physique contests, where bodybuilding connoisseurs come presumably to appreciate the more refined, more ripped look, rather than ogling the bulk masters. However, it’s the mass boys who garner the most applause, if not the paid airfares and qualifications to enter the Nationals or the pros. To a lesser and somewhat more unfortunate extent, the same thing applies to women’s bodybuilding. So be it. Bodybuilders still crave bigness and hard muscle mass more than anything else. Back in the mid ’60s, Sergio Oliva was regarded as the biggest bodybuilder around. The most massive man who ever lived. Sergio won the Mr. Olympia in ‘67, ‘68 and ‘69. In ‘69 he beat Arnold to win the title. Even though Oliva took a hiatus from the mid ’70s until 1984, he remained foremost in everyone’s mind as the most massive bodybuilder of all time, even more so than the great Austrian Oak. Today, however, a man lurking around Southern California, when you see him in the flesh, in the gym working out (pictures don’t do him justice at all), is probably more massive than even Sergio at his peak. That man is Victor Richards. What’s the secret to this huge muscle mass? It can’t be steroids. If it’s a given that 90% of your most massive bodybuilders have used steroids, if steroids-were the cause, they’d all be as big as Vic and Sergio – but they aren’t. The secret must lie elsewhere. I know most of you smaller guys out there, especially those of you who think you’ve tried everything to get big and haven’t, will attribute Vic’s and Sergio’s mass to genetic proclivity. Well, having been around powerlifting, football, weightlifting, arm-wrestling, shot- putting and bodybuilding for nearly 25 years, I believe this to be too simplistic. Granted, to rise to the top of any sport, you must have genetic advantages, but human physiology doesn’t vary much, and people can compensate for many genetic disadvantages. Gaining muscle size is not governed much by genetic factors as we understand them in other sports. Leverage is not a concern. Muscle fiber type is not much of a concern (it really doesn’t matter much since across the population there isn’t much variability), speed and quickness aren’t factors. Most people have testosterone levels within the same range. The fact of the matter is, I believe you could take nine out of 10 high school freshmen and train them to be massive bodybuilders – provided they had the desire and wanted to stick to the program long enough! Now maybe the nine you randomly picked wouldn’t get as big as Sergio or Victor, but I guarantee that doing the right things, they could indeed get massive beyond their expectations. Yes, Sergio and Victor both speak fondly about how their brothers could have been bigger than them, but it’s impossible to know how big anyone can be unless he actually tries to get big. I’m sure most of you have read that the only thing important for mass is using heavy weights all the time. If this were true, wouldn’t weightlifters who ONLY lift heavy weights be incredibly massive? Surprise – they aren’t. So, it’s obvious that the number of repetitions plays a part in overall size, in addition to poundage. So does the number of sets. If you do one set per exercise forget about getting MAXIMUM mass. This is not even a remote possibility! In effect, mass is produced by the type and frequency of your training and the types and amount of food or drink you consume. Bodybuilding’s most massive men do far more sets than average sized guys. Examination of Arnold’s, Sergio’s and Victor’s training routines reveals that all three preferred a high-set approach when training their individual body parts. Over the years, Chicago-based writer Norman Zale has on several occasions cataloged and described Sergio’s training routines. I myself studied Sergio’s methods in 1969 while he was pumping away in the old Duncan YMCA in Chicago. Sergio trained once a day following a full day of manual labor (before Sergio was one of Rogers Park’s finest, he worked long hours as a butcher and loading and unloading trucks, sometimes working double shifts). His workouts were long, intense, but steady-state in nature. Sergio literally flowed from movement to movement (and still does today), getting a thorough congestion in whatever body part he was training. The biggest animals seem to do nothing fancy either – they just whale away on basic movements, doing a lot of heavy sets with repetitions falling in the 10-12 range. A lot of times, they do half movements and partials. Indeed, this is a major reason Tom Platz was able to get his thighs so huge (that and an undeniable mental-physical capacity to push back discomfort barriers). SERGIO OLIVA TRAINING STYLE / ROUTINE / DIET I remember watching Sergio train his chest in 1969. At the time, Zale had taped the 5′9′ ‘235-pound Oliva at 56 inches for chest, 29 for waist and 21 for arms. Sergio supersetted bench presses with dips, doing 8-10 supersets with 225-275 pounds in the bench press and bodyweight in the dips. Curiously, he would do four three-quarter benches followed by a complete lockout rep and then another four partial movements followed by a full rep and so on for about 15-20 movements per set. In the dips he’d do the same, a series of partial reps followed by a full rep and so on for at least 20 reps. By the end of his supersets, Sergio’s chest was like a zeppelin. The point being, Sergio got massive doing a lot of sets, partials, higher reps and concentration on thorough muscle congestion. I’m sure a lot of you have heard the stories about Sergio’s prodigious eating over the years. Some of his staples included banana pancakes, chocolate shakes, colas and platefuls of eggs. Sergio was fond of drinking copious quantities of protein-milk mixes toward the end of his workout and right afterward. Sergio was a big eater of steak, eggs, pancakes and more. Too many youngsters who want to get big don’t get enough calories and don’t take in enough fat in their food. They also don’t consume enough mixtures of carbohydrates, from simple sugars to intermediates to long-chained sugars. Definition is different from mass. You can’t have it both ways. You can eat year round as if you were preparing for a contest and gain size very slowly (if at all). Or you can do what most big bodybuilders have done to get big – eat a lot of all foods and train hard and heavy. Contest diets, the ones you read about in the magazine, are for ADVANCED bodybuilders. VICTOR RICHARDS TRAINING STYLE / ROUTINE / DIET Victor Richards could write volumes on big eating and mass training. Vic’s legs are bigger and thicker right now than his upper body is, but he’s bringing his upper body up fast. When Vic began training, he started working on basic mass-building exercises, the kinds of movements that utilize a lot of muscle groups In multiple joint movements. Exercises like bench presses, squats and leg presses. Vic didn’t even do leg extensions or curls, two exercises that are universally considered separators, not mass-builders. Vic didn’t do flyes or concentration curls. Instead he did heavy dumbbell bench presses and heavy curls. He trained long and hard like a barbarian – in fact, he trained with the Barbarians, Peter and David Paul. Like Sergio, Victor worked on the basics. During his first organized, steady seven months of training, Vic’s weight went from 215 to 260 pounds and he used to spend two hours on leg training – just on squats alone. (Paul Anderson used to do the same thing and, with 37-inch thighs, he’s about the only guy who had legs bigger than Vic’s). Vic differs slightly from Sergio in that Vic likes to train heavier with lower reps. But then again, it should be pointed out that early in Sergio’s career (before he met Bob Gujda in Chicago), Sergio had been a weightlifter and consequently did lower reps in his training. While he was a weightlifter, though, Sergio secretly practiced bodybuilding reps and sets, which is why he looked the way he did, in comparison to other weightlifters. I guess both Vic and Sergio break conventional rules in the way they train for mass. Both use reasonably heavy weights, but neither seems to follow the conventional rest and recovery system or do the standard three sets of 6-8 reps for mass. Sergio should never have recovered from his long, arduous workouts on top of his manual labor but he did, the reason being that he replenished so well through his high-carbohydrate diet. Both men now seem to prefer higher reps and multiple sets. In fact, Victor states: Observing Sergio and Vic, we can establish that getting massive takes a lot of sets with reasonably heavy weights in the 8-15 rep range. But what about all of you who say you’ve tried this but dont get any bigger, you just overtrain? I say look to your diets! The more energy stored through your food, the less likely that you will overtrain on your mass program of basics because you can expand that stored energy to meet your demands and thus build muscle. Secondly, don’t try to use too much weight or always try to increase your training weights. Use reasonably heavy weights on basic exercises but do enough reps so you obtain a quality pump! Big eaters, if they also work out hard, get massive muscles. Victor, like Sergio, is a regular Diamond Jim Brady at the dinner table. Here’s what Vic says about eating for mass: It’s obvious that both Sergio and Victor consume thousands of calories per day and convert that caloric juice into muscle through long, heavy, hard workouts with emphasis on a quality pump. To get really MASSIVE, here are the basic requirements: 1. A lot of good food. Many big men get their extra protein and extra calories through protein drinks. Chicken and egg whites are staples. You also have to eat enough carbs and fats for energy and excess calories. 2. Basic workouts consisting of major exercises (as opposed to isolation exercises) such as bench presses, dumbbell bench presses, dips, behind-the-neck presses, inclines, rows, squats, leg presses and curls. 3. Do between 5-10 sets of your basic exercises and vary the repetitions from 8-15, or perhaps a couple more with leg training. Work at a good pace for a thorough congestion of the muscles. 4. Listen to your body. While Sergio grew large training every day and Vic did much the same, neither man repeated muscle groups without significant rest in between them. Vic has proved you don’t need to be a slave to any set system. You can come to the gym and just work the leg press or just work the dumbbell press, but make sure you do A LOT of sets while varying your reps. Make training challenging and fun, not the same old boring thing all the time. 5. There’s no doubt that anabolic steroids will make you gain mass faster. However, mass that’s earned the right way, naturally, through gobs of food and years of hard training, lasts and has better quality. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about any possible health-damaging steroid side effects. You can take all the steroids in the world and if you don’t work out hard and right and eat ample food, you won’t get anywhere! Vic and Sergio are bigger with more animalia than the rest of us because they’ve done things the right way – for mass! This article was written by the late Jeff Everson (1950 - 2019) who passed away in 2019 at the age of 68. His family said that he was complaining of leg and foot pain prior to his death, but he suspected the pain was caused from his previous hardcore powerlifting days and so passed it off as nothing serious. Jeff was married to Corinna "Cory" Everson (4 January, 1958 to present) who was a famous American female bodybuilding champion and actress. Cory won the Ms. Olympia contest six years in a row from 1984 to 1989 and is considered one of the best female bodybuilders ever. I hope Strength Oldschool fans have enjoyed reading this article. Here's a few great videos for you to watch based on Sergio Oliva and Big Vic Richards! Which bodybuilder is your favourite between Vic Richards and Sergio Oliva? And why? If anyone has any stories to share on either of these mass, genetic, bodybuilding giants, then please comment below. Thank you.
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