Friday, November 26, 2010

Bruno Sammartino - Fred Deluca

A youthful Bruno bench pressing 565.

Jon Cole gets set with a 430 press.

Bruno Sammartino
by Fred Deluca (1972)

I was born October 6, 1936 in Pizzoferrato, Italy. At birth I weighed 10 pounds. From the period of my birth until seven years of age, I was of average build but fairly large-boned. When World War II hit our town in 1943, we were driven to the mountains. Because of this, we spent 1½ years of hiding and surviving in the mountain snows. Most of that time we had no shelter. One time a German officer was trying to climb the mountain to our hiding spot. His horse slipped and fell, killing the officer and the horse. By the time we found the horse it was worm-infested. At this point it didn’t matter to us so we indulged. That was the first time we had had meat in a long time. When one of my sisters became ill from malnutrition, unable to reach a doctor or obtain medicine, she died.

In the Spring we lived on dandelions and any other greens we could find. When the war ended in 1945 we came back from the mountains. I had very little schooling at this point other than what my family could teach me because most of the schools and homes were bombed. Near-starvation continued for a couple of years until we were able to work the fields for food. For this reason, at age 15 I weighed only 80 pounds.

In 1951 we came to America. Through the advice of a doctor I took up weightlifting. The next year I started in competition. I competed in the 123 lb. class. By the end of the following year I competed in classes such as the 132, 148, 165 lb. and heavyweight. I did most of my training at the YM and WHA’s. At the ages of 19 and 20 I trained with weights three times a week and wrestled amateur twice a week. By this time my bodyweight was 225 pounds in 1957.

I traveled to York, Pa. with a friend of mine to the annual Strength & Health picnic. We left the night before the contest and had no money for a hotel room, so we slept on a park bench in Brookside Park. I competed the next day in the bench press and made 475 with a two-second pause. This was one of the greatest thrills of my early lifting career.

As a heavyweight, I won all the powerlifting meets I entered. I also won Olympic meets such as State, City, Tri-State and Senior weightlifting championships. I competed in physique contests and won Mr. Allegheny. I also competed in Pennsylvania and The Great Lakes. In 1960 I set a record for bench pressing in San Francisco. My best lifts as a heavyweight were 565 bench, 625 squat, and 675 deadlift. In Olympic lifting my best lifts were 365 press, 275 snatch, and 380 clean & jerk. These were done before my 22nd birthday. At this time I was working as an apprentice carpenter.

I was almost killed one time while working on an elevator shaft. I fell two stories. A piece of 4x8 plywood broke the fall. Otherwise I would have fallen 20 stories. Nothing serious happened except for bruises and black and blue marks.

At a 22 I turned professional in wrestling. The first year was not an easy one for I was unknown and couldn’t get the big money bouts. Then I got a break and wrestled for the Canadian Heavyweight Championship, which I won. Then I was on my way. I owned the title two years and gave it up when I became World Champ in 1963, defeating Buddy Rogers. I held this title for eight years, 1963-71. During those years, I not only wrestled in the U.S.A. and Canada, but places such as South America, Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Guinea, Tasmania, Europe and China.

One of the biggest thrills of my life was when I wrestled Haystack Calhoun when he weighed 605 pounds, and lifted him above my head and body-slammed him to the mat. Paul Anderson also tried to lift Haystack but failed. This gave me much confidence in my strength and ability.

Some of the records I have set are as follows:
I had 133 consecutive sell-outs in Madison Square Garden.
75 consecutive main bouts in Boston Gardens.
I hold the record for 21 straight sell-outs in Australia, and
the largest crowd (90,000 people) in Japan.
I set the all-time record of 125,000 in India.
I was the only pro wrestler to sell out the Bull Fight Arena in Caracas (50,000).
I also hold the record for total gates around the world.

In September, 1971, this same friend who came to York with me in 1957 again traveled with me to attend Bob Hoffman’s picnic. This time I did not compete in any event, but attended this affair as a spectator. We did not have to sleep on a park bench because my life has changed very much since my early days. I was able to drive up in my Rolls Royce and stay at the best hotel. I mention this not to be a braggart but to help illustrate the great changes that have taken place in my life.

Although I have always loved wrestling and have trained since age 15, I have to credit most of my success to weightlifting. It gave me size, strength and confidence. I’ve always trained with weights while wrestling. Not as hard now as before due to the many injuries I have received while wrestling. Now that I’ve cut my wrestling schedule I have more time to train. I’m presently training six days a week at our Spartan Health Centers, Inc. This is my new endeavor in life. It consists of a fully staffed medical center and health spa for men and women.

I hope to continue my own personal training, and also to help as many people as I can to attain better health.

The ABC’s of Weightlifting, Part One by Tommy Kono

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The ABC’s of Weightlifting, Part One
by Tommy Kono (1969)

For more detailed information, and several useful weightlifting products, see here -
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In reading instructional materials, most readers wish to apply the ideas they read to their training immediately. If the material covered in the article cannot be used in training right away then it is usually shelved until such time as it can be used. In many instances the subject covered is forgotten until it is reread later on.

Keeping this in mind, I have come up with some practical material that can be used in training right now. Some of it may seem very basic, yet they are the most common mistakes made in both training and competition and can be corrected quite easily.

In this short article I shall explain two of the most common errors made in lifting and how to correct them by using the proper approach in practice. Both errors are related to each other in some respect because both are made when the weight is overhead and the wrong action is made in either pushing the bar overhead or in supporting the weight overhead.

How often have you seen a lift that is almost complete fail in the last two to four inches of arm extension because the weight seemed to be just a little out front? How many times have you witnessed a lifter actually have the barbell at arms’ length only to see it fall back immediately to the sternum?

Study the drawings accompanying this article. Note all the differences between drawings “A” and drawings “B”, before reading the text that goes with the drawings. Try to analyze the mistakes and how they were corrected. After you have studied the four drawings thoroughly, refer to the analysis adjoining the sketches and compare your ideas with the points listed in the analysis box. Read the detailed explanations that follow so you have a complete knowledge of the actions that take place.

Detailed Explanation of the Correct and Incorrect Methods

In figures “A” the lifter has attempted to lean away from the bar in order to extend the arms. In so doing the bar, elbows, shoulders and hips have deviated from a straight line, (viewing the lifter from the side). More effort to lock the arms would push the bar out front and to compensate this action the shoulders would move further backwards or away from the gravitational line of the bar. The bar will follow the least line of resistance, which in this case would be out to the front, making the lift impossible to finish.

Correct Method for the Press:
For the Press, the strongest body position to fight the weight when the bar reaches the sticking point is when the shoulders and head are directly under the bar. This position is attained by keeping the various arm and shoulder joints in one straight line (again viewing from the side) and by attempting to “wedge” the body into the lift. One of the most important points to remember is to try to keep your balance on the balls of your feet until the lift is almost completed. Another important point to remember is to get your elbows out to the sides as quickly as possible. When you attain the “B” position in the Press and the bar refuses to go higher because of its heaviness, you can then sink lower under the weight by bowing your body more, causing the arms to go beyond the “sticking point”.

Correct Method for the Jerk:
Here again the various joints of the arms and shoulders should be in one straight line with the head directly under the bar as well as the hip joint. Since the legs are much stronger than the arms it stands to reason that the lower appendages should take on the greater load. If, in kicking the weight up for the Jerk, you do not get sufficient height to lock your arms out, then your legs should “give” while in the split position so you can lower your body until the arms do lock out. Supporting a weight at locked arms and with the spine in a straight line with the arms, the “kick down” of the bar or the shock is then absorbed by flexion of the knees.

Series made possible with the help of
Regis Becker and Reuben Weaver.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Chest Shaping Squat, Part One - J.C. Hise and Thomas Bruno

The Chest Shaping Squat, Part One
by J.C. Hise and Thomas Bruno (1946)

When Thomas Bruno and J.C. Hise first spoke of their new find in breathing methods, we asked them to write it up for Iron Man. When the manuscript arrived we found it to be very similar to a method we had been using for some time. In fact we had a similar method written up in our new course. We know that this method will give great results. We are glad to be able to present it to our readers that they might make the progress they are entitled to. Most of you are acquainted with Mr. Hise. Mr. Bruno is one of the instructors at the Eells Health Studio. He has done and is doing much experimenting and research in body building. He will share the results of this work with readers in future issues.

The present period is once again most fruitful in production of new and better and more successful methods of exercising. This is likely because many of the best artists are in the studio business and some of them are very observing of new things. This Chest Shaping Squat is not entirely new, for like all good exercises it has been used here and there, but not properly recognized and identified, and therefore singled out for public consumption. It has been adequately recognized and identified by Roger G. Eells for over five years and ENFORCED on all of his studio pupils. It is just impossible for Eells to waste any of his life writing about it and there is no chance that he will be less busy in the future. It has failed to become widely disseminated for the exercising classes most gullible for it were distracted from it by the Selective Boards for Foreign Beachheads. I will not deal any further with its past history and usage. It is just too humiliating for practically every expert artist in the country. I’m thinking of my honor, not theirs!!!

Thomas Bruno comes from Dalzell, Illinois, and like many discriminating men, prefers Rogue River Valley, Oregon, where he lived for many years, and most likely will again. When Bruno contacted me, he was working 12 hours a night plus nice long auto rides dodging traffic to and from work. He was enjoying 30 to 40 exercises on exercise days, a fine brisk run every day plus his happy session of ping-pong. He often had three or four hours a day to waste sleeping. Since I was merely falling over desert cliffs and considered such much too hard – I hope you can imagine how ill this made me. Tom believed I might know of some way to take up his spare time. I understood that occasional experts find patients like this are very common – but like other experts my observation has been mostly among the inferior types of men.

I wrote him the shortest notice I ever wrote – pointing out rudely that he was my candidate for “one most likely to fail in exercise”. It is no joke to paragraph train a human buzz saw. As a rule they react readily to the same medicine handed out for the more delicate. Bruno had previously wrenched his back on the job and those of you who know, can imagine what a mess it is to levy squats by mail on some male who needs the straight-legged deadlift exercise on the hopper, which he no have, or might need absolute rest from a damaged sacroiliac. One advantage a studio artist- not one of those worthless and diligent shekel shakers – has over paragraphers is that he can read a student at once while watching him exercise. He does not have to write a complete encyclopedia to every exerciser, who, as always, picks out the type he wants, instead of the one that fits. Such an artist can adjust the exercise to fit the customer in the gym. A good artist can tell at once when his man is overloaded, but he cannot do it by remote slow control. I levied on Tom six or eight exercises – which I was sure he would refuse to reduce to – assuring him that I knew he would never give up his “pleasures” for this negligible stuff. I promptly forgot him – but in a few days I received a letter from the alarmed Bruno who wondered if he had been injured at work or if he had an attack of rheumatism, for his collarbones were aching on both ends, his ribs ached where they joined in the sternum and where they attached to the spine and his chest felt like it was going to burst through his ribs with aching. There was no place he could have read this – ye experts have often talked of this – but none of us had ever printed such a complete description of “The Maximum Growing Feeling Effects”, described by one praised as most likely to fail in exercise. Thomas then rated the “Encyclopedia of the Art”.

Bruno is 5 feet 5½ inches tall, and then weighed 130 pounds. Some years before he had gained from 120 pounds to 130 from Mark Berry, but had had a long vacation from the neighborhood of weights. With his bad back he soon gained towards 170 pounds. Victory effort ended and he was unaware of whether to retire to the Oregon Forest or further sample The Art. I pointed out my most conservative opinion of Roger G. Eells (which is identical with my most radical, public and private opinion of the same) and he went to Columbus. After some weeks of reshaping his chest on the Eells style mouth breathing costal squat, he commenced to instruct in the studio. He halted his chest at 44 inches and weight of around 160 pounds. Everyone not living among the blanket warhoops knows why.

Bruno is one of those chaps who can do as much exercise as anyone else, but as soon as it goes over a certain very limited amount – it no longer is useful exercise. All artists are very suspicious of those who dish out multiple magic motions as tho performance of the same is a figure of merit like scooping so many tons of coal is to the Payroll Pilferers. When Bruno hit the ripe “surges” during his exercise periods (oneseldom makes rich gains over more than four weeks at a stretch) and expanded his exercise program – a common disease to all of us – it never went over 17 to 20 exercises – varying from one to four sets of squats of 20 reps. No one that I know who knows exercise is likely to do more but possibly Paschall, who always did more than anyone else he knew of. At this time Bruno would read his exercise feelings perfectly and knew exactly when exercise ended and work began. To those who advocate more, think on it!

Therefore anyone who goes over six or eight exercises on a bodybuilding program is either unfolding into his growing surge, or he is innocent of the right program, or he is too inexperienced, regardless of the millions of exercises he has done or will do, to know what the exercise score is.

Whey you read of multiple-multitudinous-muscular exercises – even all good ones that work readily on other artists if they take two weeks to two months to perform them – that are ordered to be performed in a short time on one exercise day, remember, some men can do all that “work”, but very few will find that it is exercise for them in promoting growth. How much less is this true for persons who may be lacking in both toughness and ability to grow readily. A few men are culturally incompetent to instruct in gyms because they have money in their hearts instead of blood in their veins. Ambitious artists in the studios never suffer from pauperism.

Bruno kicked me out to perform for our dear public. He pointed out as a fact of life that one 240-pounder is always acknowledged as knowing several times as much as a 160-pounder, while this is not necessarily true. It is an over-acknowledged fact and I had to bow to it. When I dived back into the squat, I found that I had moved up into the Eells energy class, if the grub held out. His explanation of the Eells mouth costal breathing squat was as good as in Vim (we can now all laugh at this joke – I will interpret it so that WE all understand it). I invented a combination breathing style costally which I will not explain, for it is inferior to the orthodox Eells, but it reshaped my chest almost instantly. Eells style would have been even more rapid. Bruno properly squawked at my being unable to understand plain anatomy (no one else did either) and then (gulp) I remembered seeing it in occasional places. I used the Chest Shaping Squat under ideal conditions. I was overworked, underfed, overpacked, staggering over cliffs and through snowdrifts. On my combination costal, my chest reshaped at once, the arch rising high and full, during which short time I had bronchitis from carbon monoxide poisoning, 10 frostbit toes and two frostbit heels, a mild attack of pneumonia because of my being too delicate to do say 32 good exercises in two hours.

Everything was ideal. Something new had been added to the squat. I had to sample it.

Eells proof of discovery, Vim, Feb. 1941, “The Correct Way to Breathe” –

“Abdominal breathing will not give results excepting in bodyweight gains. Chest gains will be no more than that which can be expected from ordinary squats. The bodyweight increase will be greater in abdominal breathing squats than in with the regular squat and for that reason is the better method, but why look for a zircon when a diamond lays before you? When practicing the breathing squat, do it in the manner that assures you of all its benefits. That is, breathe costally and not abdominally. When you breathe do it in such a manner that your chest will rise and fall, not your abdomen. This stretching, concussion effect on the ribs loosens the cartilage attachments of the sternum and results in greater flexibility of the entire region. It gives you a greater expansion as it were. Your job then is to carry yourself erect. In addition, incorporate the pullover.”

This my brethren, is the exact anatomical explanation of the Mouth Breathing Costal Style for Mighty Squatters and Innocents Abroad. If anyone ever converted this precise outline into exercise, he is absolutely unknown. Everyone, just like me, considered mouth breathing costally as painting the ceiling by substituting levitation as more efficient than ladders and springboards. Eells departed into the studio where he taught it to thousands, by pantomime and not, those ethical words that he left to you and me.

to be continued in part two . . .

Article courtesy of Jeff Schanz.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strength and Endurance - Jack Lalanne

Strength and Endurance
by Jack Lalanne (1949)

The question of strength versus endurance is a question asked of me hundreds of times. Some fellows will train for just strength, others train strictly for endurance. It is impossible to develop maximum strength AND endurance. If you are trained for strength alone, your endurance will suffer. If your objective is weight lifting alone, your interest in developing a lot of endurance may be negligible, but on the other hand, if you are interested in attaining close to a perfect body developed for efficiency’s sake, you will be surely be interested in strength PLUS endurance.

Our bodies are called upon to perform numerous tasks and duties. Some require strength, some endurance. Therefore, the sensible thing for the average trainer to do is to hit upon a happy medium and strive to develop both.

You might say, “Why develop all this endurance, I’m not a distance runner or swimmer?” No, you might not be, but do you realize the tremendous amount of energy it takes to work eight hours on your job, then train several nights a week? If you haven’t the proper endurance, your job and your training will be very unpleasant tasks. For example, we’ll say your job requires 100 units of energy and you have 150 units of energy in your body. At the end of the day you haven’t much reserve left for your workouts or even the ordinary pursuit of life. The greatest complaint of Americans is, “I’m always tired.” Sure they’re tired. They have no reserve to fall back on. If you have only 150 units of energy in your body, why not build the 150 units to 300, 400 or even 500 by the correct exercise and diet? If you develop this endurance your job will be much easier than before, and at the day’s end instead of feeling depleted you will have an adequate reserve from which to draw when you are training or enjoying yourself in other ways. The whole idea may be summer up thusly: If you have a heavy load to haul that requires 75 horsepower to move, and your truck has only 80 horsepower your motor hasn’t much reserve and the strain on it would be enormous. Wouldn’t it be better to get a 150 horsepower motor with which to pull the load? There would be far less strain on the engine and it would work more efficiently and last longer. That body of yours is exactly like the truck engine. If you put too much stress on your body it will wear out quicker and function less efficiently. It would be wise to develop this strength and endurance to the utmost so the things we like and want to do will place no great strain on us. Then we can finish a full day’s work and still have a reservoir of energy stored away ready to use.

Strength and endurance can be developed. Anyone beginner can double the strength and endurance he possesses. The only thing it takes is proper guidance and persistence.

Another thing I would like to dwell on for a moment is the effect age has on one’s endurance. It has been my observation that, among my own students, the older fellows develop more endurance than do the younger ones. By older fellows I mean men in their 40’s or early 50’s. This holds especially true in the fields of marathon running and swimming. The winner of the Boston A.A.U. 26-mile marathon this year was a man in his forties, and the greatest distance swimmer in the world today is Frenchman in his 50’s.

The reason more of the older fellows haven’t strength and endurance is due to the fact that they never make use of them. Inactivity plays no part in the development of either. The more you use the body properly, the better it becomes. If you put demands on your body what happens? All the internal organs are stimulated, the heart is called on to pump more blood through the body, the lungs are called on to rid the body of waste products and to furnish it with plenty of fresh oxygen to work with, all the other organs and glands are called upon to do their part in the functions of the body, the elimination is sped up to take care of the increased manufacture of poisons and waste, your assimilation becomes more efficient, in fact you become so efficient that all of the nourishment in your food is utilized to a fuller extent. The harder you work the stronger you get and the more endurance you develop.

Remember this: It is extremely hard for a healthy, well-trained person can overwork his body! The ability to handle more work than you ever imagined was possible can be attained.

Now you want to know how to develop all of this strength and endurance. First, you have to lay out a program for yourself. Developing strength and endurance together takes a lot of self-discipline. When you think you are tired you can always do more. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how much you are capable of doing after you think you have reached your limit. To start a program for yourself, though, you have to start out quite gradually.

Keep doing your regular training, but instead of resting say, 3 minutes between sets, rest only 2½ minutes. Do this for a couple of workouts, then, for a couple more rest only 2 minutes between sets. Reduce the rest periods by 15 seconds each week until you are doing 1 set every minute including rest. In other words, you will be doing 10 sets in 10 minutes.

You may have to drop some of your poundages slightly at first, but the whole idea behind this is to be able to use heavy weights and not rest much. You will no doubt say, “I can’t lift decent weights unless I rest more.” We are strictly creatures of habit and adaptation. Why not get into the habit of shorter rests during workouts? You will be amazed to see, with hard work and persistence, how fast you can work and how much weight you can handle after a couple of months of training this way. Some of the numerous advantages of this approach are listed below:

1.) Keeping the blood in strong circulation.
2.) Building up nerve force.
3.) Accomplishing more work less time.
4.) If you are planning to, or already do participate in a sport, your condition will improve immensely.
5.) The quality of strength and musculature will be much better.
6.) The stimulation you get from a fast workout is far greater than from a prolonged one.

After you have mastered doing a hard set a minute, try doing a set, resting 10 seconds, then doing the next set. A program this intense should not be followed for more than three consecutive weeks. After the three weeks train for a week with lighter weights, longer rests and fewer total sets. Then return to the more intense work for another three weeks.

Everything we do is judged to be difficult or easy by comparison with some other movement or exercise we perform. For example, if you are lifting 100 pounds, but you are capable of lifting 200 pounds in the same exercise, the 100 pound weight will never seem really seem easy until you have lifted the 200 pound one. If, after lifting the 200 pound weight, you again try the 100 pounder, it will seem ridiculously easy. This applies to everything we do, including the length of time we choose to rest between sets. Always make new and harder demands on the body and the results will be most gratifying.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Camel System of Training - El Sayed Mohammed Nosseir

El Sayed Nosseir, Khadr El Touni, Ibrahim Shams, El Fayad, El Mahgoub

El Geissa, the Egyptian heavyweight champion, seen here being instructed by Nosseir on how to use the Camel style of splitting.

Attia Mohammed, here seen using the Camel style of splitting.

Nosseir, Ragab, Shams, Geissa

The Camel System of Training
by El Sayed Mohammed Nosseir (1948)

It is a great honor to be associated with readers of this magazine and anyone who is a weight-lifting enthusiast; it will be a pleasure to express myself through these pages and I will do my best to offer some valuable information about the Iron Game, and also (since I have been told it would be interesting) some information about myself. My system and ideas of training are not the result of snap-judgment, they are based on experience and observation over a period of 20 years. During this period of continuous effort I competed in several International and Olympic championships and gained various titles. I gained World’s records which I held until my nephew, Geissa, who trained according to my system, succeeded in beating my records. Geissa competed in Paris, in October of 1946, in the World’s Championships, and took third place in the heavyweight class with a total of 870¾ pounds.

Now I want to tell you about the Camel System. In October, 1931, I visited London and gave a display of weight-lifting t the Sporting Club. I lifted Two Hands Clean & Jerk, 352 pounds. They were astonished and asked me to explain my style and system of training.

We consider the camel, in Eastern countries, as the strongest animal. A camel can rise with a weight of 3300 pounds and the movements of this animal set me to thinking, and eventually influenced my ideas. My style of lifting before 1925 was what is known as the squat style. I did not move my legs either to the side or forward. I was very enthusiastic about lifting and it was my custom to spend my school holiday in our village, where I studied the camel and his movements when rising with a burden. First, he stands on his rear legs, swings his head up and down with his long neck, extends one leg in front as much as possible and leans on it to complete his standing position.

Since that time I changed my style of lifting and began to imitate the movement of the camel. I perfected these ideas which I learned from the camel and I owe very much of what I advise to this animal. Let us compare the movements of the camel with the movements of the Two Hands Clean, as shown by Attia:

1.) get set and grasp the bar with the hook grip if your normal overhand grip is not strong.
2.) pull the bar quickly using the thigh muscles as much as possible until the bar reaches the dead-point.
3.) drop under the bar by stepping forward with one foot (either right or left); the other foot must go backwards; swing the head backwards and turn the wrists with the bar on the chest. These three movements must be done simultaneously and quickly in order to succeed in the Two Hands Clean with maximum weights.

Notice that the front leg must form a right angle with the foot and must go forward – by 20 or 25 inches, depending on the height of the lifter. The upper body and head must lean to the back – this distributes the weight of the bar on both legs and on the lower part of the back, thereby enabling the lifter to stand erect with ease.

If we compare the Two Hands Clean, as explained in number 3, and the second movement of the camel, we find that it is the same.

Some of my friends in America criticize this style, saying that the front leg travels too far forward and thus places so much weight on the rear leg that there is danger of a strain. They claim that this is what gradually put Touni, the great world’s champion, out of commission. That is just not so. In 1938, Touni was in Vienna to compete in the World Championships. At this time he received an injury to his left leg, on the inside muscle of the thigh. He had a hot vapor bath and without doing any training after this for a few days attempted a Two Hands Clean of 330 pounds. His rear leg split too far and he fell. That is actually what happened to Touni. On the other hand, the French lifters are accustomed to step back – pulling back as they lift the weight. This movement places much of the weight on the rear leg and is potentially dangerous for injuries to the muscle on the inner side of the thigh.

I noticed in Paris that the style of Stanczyk is nearly like that of the Egyptians. He seems to have the bodyweight best suited to his height and structure, and if he remains at this weight I am sure he will be the holder of many world’s records.

I have condensed the story of the Camel system which we Egyptian weightlifters use. I hope that lifting enthusiasts of all nations see the logic of this, my idea, founded on the observation of one of nature’s strongest beings – the Camel.

"Nossier also described to me a new method of weightlifting he developed which he called the “Camel Method.” He explained that a camel, when seated, is usually on its knees. In this position, the heaviest loads could be placed on him and once loaded, the camel would stand by using a certain body position. First, the camel’s back legs would straighten up and when its back was completely up, it would then straighten out its front legs, thereby allowing a heavy load to be lifted and carried. By observing the camel, El Saeed Nossier got the idea that to “snatch” or “clean” a weight to the shoulder, the best way to do it was to bend down completely to the lowest level, like the camel, then as he lifts the weight upward, he lunges forward with one foot and thereby continues the movement of lifting the weight up and overhead in one complete uninterrupted motion. He would then stand up, again, like the camel, and control the weight in place over his head. Nossier found so much success using this system that he also applied it to cleaning the weight to the shoulders for the military press with equally good results."

Ben Weider

The Jerk - Bob Hoffman

Dave Sheppard jerking 363 lbs. at the Melbourne Olympics. Note the bar well back, the solid arm lock and the forward step to get solidly under the weight.

The Jerk
by Bob Hoffman (1957)

In our last article we discussed the clean portion of the Olympic lift known as the clean & jerk. So now we will that assume you have the weight securely at the chest or shoulders and are ready for the overhead portion of the lift.

It is axiomatic in the weightlifting world that you should be able to jerk overhead and hold for the necessary two-second count any weight you have cleaned to the shoulders. The clean should be the most difficult part of the lift. Jerking should be much easier, but there are times when the clean has been so difficult that even a good jerker fails to properly hold his jerk.

Stand with the feet on a line – about 16 inches apart. Sharply bend the knees only a moderate amount; bending them too far causes the body to lean forward and will frequently result in a failure to hold the jerk. Keep the body perfectly erect, the head raised slightly; sharply straighten the legs, sending the bell as high as possible overhead. As the bell reaches its highest point overhead, split under it, stepping well forward with the front foot, slightly back with the rear foot, push strongly throughout and hold the bar at arms’ length. If the bell is jerked straight up, the front foot advanced well forward, it should be easy enough to lock the arms overhead. The feet are brought back on a line, and after holding the bar overhead for two seconds, the lift is complete, the weight is lowered to the platform.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It is simple, yet a great many lifters have lost important championships because they failed to jerk weights overhead that they had cleaned.

Most lifters can stand with the bar resting on the deltoids across the shoulders, the elbows raised and extended to the front. I for one could not use this style, the comparatively short upper arms which made me a poor presser made me keep the arms down, elbows at sides. The weight must travel farther, but if the weight is held firmly, the jerk will be easy enough.

The important thing in jerking is to jerk straight overhead. As we said in the instructions, jerking the weight front comes about because of too deep a dip, a bend of the back and then the weight is thrust slightly forward.

Tommy Kono is a good jerker, and established a middleweight record of 371¾ at Stockholm in 1953 which still stands, and has established records from 380 to 386 in the 181-pound class. I believe Dave Sheppard jerks easier than any of our top-level lifters. Weighing barely 180 in Cairo, Egypt, he easily jerked 408 after it was lifted to his shoulders, and our team was far from well at the time with the strange food and water. Dave had weighed 198 in Moscow and Leningrad, but he had been pretty sick before he made this lift.

Paul Anderson does a push-press with his weights and does not split under the weight. He has become so strong that he has reached 525 pounds in this style. But this method is suited to few. You should jerk the weight straight up and split under it.

The Clean - Bob Hoffman

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The Clean
by Bob Hoffman (1957)

Olympic weightlifting begins with the clean. You must first get the barbell moving before you can do a press, a snatch or a jerk. The clean has handicapped many otherwise strong lifters. Some big fellows, such as Doug Hepburn, can actually press more weight than they can clean to the shoulders. In today’s topflight competition a man must be good on all three lifts in order to win, and the clean simply must be mastered if you intend to call yourself a weightlifter.

There are several styles used in executing the pull-in to the shoulders, broadly divided into two techniques – the split and the squat. Yet there are also many slight variations in both styles, and each individual lifter must practice until he finds the exact method suited to his build and temperament. I have always enjoyed the split style myself, and am inclined to favor it over the squat style because it seems somewhat safer, but many of the best lifters use the squat technique, and no discussion would be complete without considering both methods.

Actually the important part of the clean is the pull, and this is the same in both cases. The amount of weight you can clean is determined by pulling power. Basically a clean is nothing more than a high deadlift.

Let us describe the correct procedure. Approach the bar, place your feet well under it, so you get as close to the bell as possible. Foot spacing is important, for if your feet are too far apart you cannot pull as high. Our old rule is to stand in the same foot position in which you can best do a standing broad jump. Next, make sure of a firm grip on the bar. This can best be done by hooking, wrapping the finger ends around the thumb to prevent slipping. At first this seems strange and even painful to the beginner, but the resultant confidence in your grip makes learning this method worthwhile.

Now lower the body by bending the legs, keeping the back flat and as near perpendicular as possible. In the lowest position this should approximate a 45 degree angle. Grip the bar securely, a bit over shoulder width apart. The arms at this stage must be considered as simply appendages to attach you to the bar – they must not be flexed – rather they should seem to be like ropes with hooks on the ends. You do NOT pull with the arms.

Take a deep breath, get set, tilt the head back a bit, and start the pull easily but firmly – lifting exactly as though you were going to do a dead lift. Pull it to knee height, then turn on the power. Remember to keep the bar as close to the legs as possible – do not let it wander out in a so-called S curve. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The S curve boys make a terrible mistake – they go out around the knees when the knees are already out of the way, and then they pull with such a backward drag that the bell may hit the chest hard enough to throw the lifter off balance. They make this same mistake in snatching and lose the weight behind them. Do not swing a clean or snatch – this is doing things the hard way.

Only AFTER the bar has passed the knees do you pull with the arms. You keep the bell close to the body all the way, and timing at this point is important. You are now at the top of your pull, with the whole body erect, leaning even a bit backward with the force of your last pull, and you are high on your toes – pulling with everything you have!

As the bell reaches its highest point, the lifter makes his dip. If a squatter, he jumps straight down and a little forward, spreading his feet to the side as he does so, in order to lower himself as close to the floor as possible. He actually “jumps” down beneath the bell, whips his elbows forward and upward and catches the bar on the deltoids. He is now set to rise.

A split lifter lowers himself by splitting the legs fore and aft, stepping well forward with one foot and back with the other. You arch the chest, keep back straight, and drive the elbows under and up beneath the weight as it turns in to the shoulders. The position you should be in at the bottom of the split clean is that of a one-legged squat on the forward foot, with the back leg for balance. Most splitters do not do this. An easy way to learn to go low is to try the squat position in front of a mirror. In the full squat, thrust one leg back. Learn to drop into this position automatically and your split clean will improve.

Norb Schemansky is one of the finest clean lifters in the world. He has clean & jerked 425 pounds. Notice his positions in the sequence pictures above. Clyde Emrich is unmatched among the heavier squat lifters. The action pictures show just how he does his clean with 415 pounds. The third set of pictures shows Ike Berger with 315 pounds. Berger has about the best position available, and we could find no better model anywhere for demonstrating the squat technique. Dave Ashman, in the fourth series, cleans exactly like Paul Anderson, with feet spread wide, arms inside the knees. This is a position that possibly may be better suited to some of the much bigger men than with hands outside. You need a very powerful back to clean in this position. This style was first seen back in 1936 when Anwar Ahmed, the Egyptian lightweight, used it, thus proving there is nothing new under the sun.

As we have said, the most important part of the clean is the pull. At York, all our lifters over the years have practiced to improve their pulling power with heavy high pulls and with power cleans. But they also practiced day after day to improve their lifting form. Correct style combined with strength will set the highest records. You can go lift just so much with correct style, and just so much with terrific strength. It takes a complete combination of the two to meet the challenge of heavier and heavier weights.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Assistance for the Press - Bob Hoffman

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Tommy Kono

Norbert Schemansky

Dave Sheppard

Assistance Movements for the Press
by Bob Hoffman (1968)

Fast Pressing. Tense your hips and knees and stand in the usual pressing position. Explode with speed as you press the weight overhead.

Overweight Presses. Practice with a great deal more weight than you can press the entire way up. Push it as high as you can, which may only be as high as the eyes. Or get a heavy weight overhead and press it out after lowering it three to six inches. If you come down too far you will have to jerk it up again, but see how far down you can lower this heavy poundage and still press it back up.

Push Presses. Hold the weight at the shoulders in the usual pressing position. Bend the knees as if you were going to jerk the weight, but as it is not so heavy you give it a slower, smoother start, then perform most of the movement with the arms and shoulders. In lowering the weight, lower slowly and you will receive almost as much benefit as in pressing it. Practicing this movement will not only help your press but it will help you jerk. You will get in the habit of pushing or pressing the weight straight up instead of forward as some do when they lose their jerks.

Slow Pressing. Start light with a very wide grip and as the weights get heavier come in a bit with each succeeding set of presses. 5 reps with a very wide grip; five with a slightly narrower grip; then four reps, three, two, and one, slightly narrower each time as the weights are increased.

Of course, PRESSING is the best training for improvement in the press. Our York lifters use the heavy, medium and light approach in their training. Once a week they will handle the heaviest poundage possible in their pressing. Another day they will come within 90% of their limit, and on the light day within 70-80% of their limit.

Incline Board Presses. These are done with the board set at an angle of 60 to 70 degrees. The press is done with an arch and is not too much different from the standing press when the chest is raised high. With this position, which has little back bend, the chin is drawn in so it is out of the way when pressing, and the weight is pushed straight up. When it reaches the sticking point there is a sort of a shift. Not back bending, but a slight lowering of the shoulders to get past the sticking point. (Note what the traps are doing when there is a lowering of the shoulders in this position.) I have seen a number of lifters who were able to place a barbell on their chest, stand straight, and it would remain there without being held by the hands as the chest was held so high and rounded. Ivanov of Russia could lay any weight he could press in this position upon his chest and hold it there without the use of his hands. Garrido of Cuba brought a framework to practice incline pressing on with him at the Pan American games in Argentina in 1951. He sat between 2x4’s which he had bolted together, had a sloping seat much like a canoe seat, would pull the weight toward him into the pressing position and would press and press and press. I thought that he would lean back in the competition but he maintained this chest-high position with no backbend throughout his press. Although he weighed only 170 in the 181-lb. class, he pressed 275 cleanly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.


And men, they too are wounded.
They too are sifted from their loss
and are without hope. The core
softens. The pure flesh softens
and melts. There are thorns, there
are the dark seeds, and they end.


These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movements, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night

The Art of the Press - Bob Hoffman

Jim Bradford's pressing style - A

Bradford - B

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The Personal Record:
It never gets old.

The Art of Weightlifting – The Press
by Bob Hoffman (1958)

Many lifters are performing bench press exercises to improve their pressing ability for weightlifting. Although I do believe that any form of pressing is helpful, the bench press position is so much different from that of the standing press that it has little advantage, especially for the smaller lifter whose bodyweight is at the limit of his class. The bench press is a fine pectoral developer but the pectorals are used very little in overhead lifting. If a man is huge, like Anderson or Hepburn, and weight doesn’t matter, it is another good exercise which will build the pressing muscles from a different angle. But if a man is small like Charles Vinci, bench pressing will develop muscles which will not help much in overhead lifting and will increase the bodyweight so that it becomes more difficult for the lifter to make weight. I often said to Vinci, who won the first Gold Medal at Melbourne, “Chuck, if you had two pounds less pectorals, you could add two pounds somewhere else on your body which would make you an even greater lifter.” Chuck totaled 755 at Melbourne.

If you insist on doing the bench press to improve your overheads, be sure that you do not practice with the very wide grip. With this style of pressing men like George Eiferman, who have very large pectorals, only have a few inches to press. This exercise does little to aid in improving the overhead press. Instead, press with the hands about the same distance apart as in overhead pressing, forcing the elbows toward each other as the weight goes up. You will get a good range of movement using this style and it will have some beneficial effect in building your pressing ability.

It’s too bad that Jim Bradford of Washington, D.C. is not sufficiently interested to go all out in his training. I have believed for a long time that he could score well over 1100 total and could have given Paul Anderson some stiff competition. The last time I saw Jim in training I formed the opinion that no one in the world has deltoids as large as his. Less than a year ago Bradford weighed 280 and his deltoids looked like large coconuts. At that bodyweight he had no appreciable waistline, yet he had a tremendously powerful body. At the world championships in Milan (1951), Jim won second place. He was second at the Olympic Games in Helsinki in 1952. In Vienna (1954), when John Davis had an injured leg, we sent for Jim and he came over just a few hours before the lifting and totaled 1045 for a second place medal. Schemansky won that year with 1074. The following year Jim went to Munich with the U.S. team and finished second to Paul Anderson. Then came Olympic year and though Jim was in top form, he did not try out for a berth on the team.

A good share of his time is spent practicing a form of push-pressing that has brought him good results in pressing and has helped all other members of the 12th St. Y team which is known as the Bradford Weightlifting Club. Jim and his training mates press “without sin”. They hold their positions erectly, press smoothly and seldom are disqualified. There are comparatively few pressers in this country who press in the same strict style as do members of the Bradford Club.

How to do this Bradford specialty exercise? A weight of about 90% of your regular press is brought to the shoulders. With very little help from the legs it is pushed up to the top of the head and slowly lowered to the shoulders behind the neck. Then with very little help from the legs it is pushed to the top of the head, brought front and lowered to the upper chest. The movement is continuous and is practiced from 5 to 7 repetitions. This exercise is a terrific deltoid developer and since this muscle is more important than any other in overhead pressing, the ambitious lifter will be wise to spend part of his training time on the Bradford Press.

From the inception of Jim’s lifting career, iron game enthusiasts all over the world have been impressed with his superlative pressing power. His slow, wide grip, power pressing, while maintaining perfect body position, brings oohs and ahs and much worthy applause from lifting fans everywhere. Jim doesn’t follow the norms when it comes to pressing style, yet he still lifts incredible poundages. If the jovial Goliath had the time and desire to train seriously he could become the world’s heavyweight champion.

Now, concerning repetitions in training the press. The greatest pressers use varying methods. Stan Stanczyk has used the old method of 5-4-3-2-1. Tommy Kono, who is the best formula presser ever, performs 3 reps per set. During the years of ’54 and ’55, Tommy was pressing up to 275x3 on his heavy days. He could do 7 or 8 sets with this poundage! At Melbourne in Pre-Olympic training Tommy made 3 reps with 285 several times.

John Davis, winner of eight world titles, developed the practice in his later competitive years of doing presses with heavy weights in sets of 2 reps. He would press 300 one day for 10 sets, then gradually move up doing doubles with as much weight as 340. He reached this height in Copenhagen before the 1954 World Championships in Vienna.

Back in 1942, Davis lifting as a heavyweight for the first time, WEIGHING ONLY 200, officially pressed 322(!) in winning the National title at the Arena in Philadelphia. This lift would give John a formula rating of 218.63, the world’s highest at that time. So what Davis did and does in pressing is important to all lifters seeking to improve their press. Training in York before the championships of 1940, he did a great deal of forward raising with barbell and dumbbells. at that distant date he would practice this exercise with up to 165 on the bar. I have always thought that this exercise helped not only his press but also gave him added snatching power. In 1941 he snatched 317 and ten years later 330.

The sitting press has played an important part in the pressing performance of many successful lifters. It’s not possible to use he legs or lean back in proper sitting pressing. This exercise is practiced in the regular pressing position and also in pressing behind neck.

Chuck Vinci and Isaac Berger are phenomenal pressers. By practicing only single attempts in the press Berger got higher numbers than any lifter I had ever known in his bodyweight class. He reached 240 in January of 1956. On the other hand, Vinci practiced many repetition push-presses. Chuck’s presses always worried me. He would back-bend with even a moderate weight, mostly because his presses were too far front. Reason being his pectorals were too large. After several months of refraining from pectoral developing exercises his pressing straightened out wonderfully.

Steve Stanko pressed much as Tommy Kono presses, using a fairly narrow grip for a big fellow. He and John Grimek have always used heavy dumbbells in their press training. This has contributed greatly to their superlative pressing ability.

During the time Grimek and I made a trip around the country in 19490, he would continental press 330 pounds nearly every day. Although he practiced pressing with a barbell earlier, most of his training now is done with heavy dumbbells. He did a great deal of forward raising with these heavy dumbbells, both alternately and together. He also performed many side raises.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Psychology of Weightlifting, Part Two - Pete George

Pete George, victorious at the 1955 World Championships.

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The Psychology of Weightlifting, Part Two
by Pete George (1961)

Mental Preparation for the Contest

Whether your aim is a district, national, world you have only one day in the year to win your goal. It makes not one bit of difference how good you are the day before or the day after. Obviously if you are at all serious about competition you must plan to be at your peak on the big day. In this article we will discuss what you can do to condition yourself mentally to do your best when it counts the most.

You must start planning for your next contest as soon as your last one is over. This is the time to decide how much you will want to do. Your contest goal must be determined on the basis of a number of things including your long-range goal, your recent rate of progress, the results of your last contest, and your expected competition. You must consider all of these points so you can convince yourself that your aim is realistic. Some men say aim high and you will end up high. This is good strategy only if you can truly make yourself believe you can do it. To shoot for a goal that you would like to reach but don’t really think you can will only frustrate you and cause you to lose confidence in your ability.

Once you have selected the poundages you intend to do, write them down so you may check on them from time to time. Then mentally do these lifts as you will on the day of the contest. You should visualize the bar loaded to the correct weight. Then see yourself going through every detail of the successful lift to the point where the referee signals down and your spirit is elevated up. Do this once or twice a day. But let me warn you, you will probably not find this mental lifting easy. It takes patience and practice but the rewards are well worth it.

Before a big championship I usually took two days rest. If the contest fell on a Sunday I would try to arrange training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. Most of the men on the United States team followed a similar schedule. My Tuesday workout would be a fairly heavy one. That is, I would work up on each lift as high as I could go on singles without missing an attempt. Then I would drop down and do a few moderately heavy reps. I always felt it very important not to practice failures during this last week. Bob Hoffman would constantly tell us, “You must accustom your muscles to success.” This is especially good advice near a contest for both your form and your mental attitude.

During my Thursday session I would only work up to my intended starting poundages in the contest. I would never attempt more even if the last weight felt very light. It is always better to go out of your final workout feeling that you could have done more rather than to risk failing on a heavy weight. This also helps protect you from injuries at this late date.

Speaking of injuries, never enter a contest with an alibi. Don’t make a public announcement that you have a sore back, have had a cold, were to busy to train, or could not sleep last night. An advance excuse reduces your desire to win. I don’t mean to say that these conditions could not happen to you. If you feel that by competing you may cause yourself harm, than withdraw from the contest, of check with a doctor or your coach who will keep your condition a secret. Once you have definitely decided to enter tell anyone who asks that you are in top shape. Excuses will not help you, but they will give your competitors a boost in morale. After I decided to follow this policy I was amazed to find the way many of my aches and pains left me.

As you approach the contest it is normal for the tension to mount. This is not particularly harmful unless it upsets your stomach or robs you of sleep. On the last day or two do not discuss lifting during meals. Before going to bed try to make yourself busy with something interesting enough to keep your mind off the competition. Many athletes like to go to a movie the night before a contest. Also keep yourself occupied the next morning – there is no value in speeding up your adrenalin at this point. Try to forget about the weights until you start your warmup.

How much weight should you use for your warmup? I never used more than 135 even when I would start with over 350 on the clean & jerk. I would spend enough time with this poundage to make certain that all my muscles were warm and flexible, but would not take a heavier weight until I was on the platform. This was because of my reaction to competition and the spectators. Weights would always feel lighter on the platform than in the warmup room. Attempting a heavy weight backstage would tend to discourage me. This is not true with all lifters. There are some who do as well in the gym as they do in the contest. I would suggest that these men warm up to within 10 pounds of their starting weight. This would greatly increase the confidence of such lifters. Base your warmup poundage on your contest reactions. You may find that a weight between the two extremes is your best bet.

Proper selection of poundages is one of the most important considerations in lifting competition. I have many times seen stronger lifters lose contests due to unwise selection of attempts. During a contest ignore all your competitors while you do your presses, snatches, and your first clean & jerk. If you are trailing after the press don’t get rattled and call for “all or nothing” attempts on the snatch. It’s a sorry lifter who finds he has nothing after realizing he could have had a fighting chance going into the clean & jerk had he only snatched what he had originally intended. Don’t let your competitors determine your first seven attempts. The last two clean & jerks are reserved for them.

There are times when you might decide to change your starting weights from your original goal. This can occur when you find the judging much stricter than you had anticipated. Or when the lifting conditions are poor – such as an unstable platform or a badly bent bar. This can be somewhat unnerving, especially after you have been concentrating on definite poundages. You must assume that this is not a disadvantage as far as the competition is concerned since your opponents will have to lift under the same handicaps. Also you will likely win with lighter weights than you had planned.

I have often been asked what I think about as I chalk up just before a lift during an important contest. The details of these little sessions were different each time, but the purpose was always the same. I would try to increase my desire to do the weight. This I would do by thinking of things like how important this lift was in the contest or the impression my success would make on my friends, teammates, coaches or myself. Then I would try to convince myself that I could do the weight. I would usually do this by recalling a previous successful lift with a heavy weight. Then just before making the attempt I would imagine myself succeeding with the weight. The temperament of the lifter determines how effective this type of preparation will be. The lifter who is greatly inspired by the crowd and competition benefits most. One who can only repeat in the contest what he has done in training won’t get too much out of this sort of thing. I firmly believe the lift is either made or lost before the bar is touched. You must approach the bar with a positive attitude, and how you do this should be based on your particular temperament.

After you have squeezed as much out of your presses and snatches as you can without regard to your competitors and gotten in your first clean & jerk the contest really begins. Now the tension grows as the crisis approaches – that awful moment when the entire championship hangs in the balance. No matter how long you have been lifting, if winning is important to you, you will experience some agony during these moments. When this feeling is no longer with you, it is time to start thinking of retirement. You will eye your competitor to see how he is taking the strain. It’s a little unnerving when you see him exuding an air of self-confidence. Don’t let this upset you. Those who give these airs are usually most disturbed, and they put on their act to keep it from showing. Remember if your opponent has a strong desire to win the pressure is just as rough on him as it is on you.

I used to have a reputation of being a worrier before a championship. My Egyptian foe, Kader el Touni, always strutted around with a cocky self-assurance. In 1951 in my dressing room as I was getting into my lifting outfit I was nervous and began to sing. I did this to keep my mind off the contest. But the impression I gave was that for the first time before a big match I was loaded with confidence. Touni, who up to this point was a picture of complete self-assurance, walked by my door and heard me. The effect nearly buckled his knees. He could no longer put on his act and on the platform he made poor attempts with weights he had done easily in training.

Remember the next time you see one of your opponents acting cocky to picture him as a little boy whistling in the dark.

While waiting for your opponent to attempt a weight don’t feel guilty about hoping he misses it – it’s only natural during the heat of competition and nearly everyone does. But for your own sake always consider that he will make it, and start thinking about the weight you will have to do after he does it. It is always easier to adjust your thinking downward than up.

Your reactions after the last lift is over to a large extent determine your future success or failure. Never apologize for winning. If you closest competitor missed all his snatches, accept your victory graciously. it does not matter that he dad none more in another contest. You are the champion because you had better control of the situation. Act like one, and consider this win another step toward your ultimate goal. Start thinking of the next title you will conquer. This does not mean you must act arrogant or become a braggart. At all times be a gentleman, but use this win to boost your mental attitude.

There is probably not a champion alive who takes a loss lightly. Losing is a bitter pill but when it is thrust upon you use it to your advantage. There are at least four ways to take a loss:

1.) you can laugh it off and forget it;
2.) you can make alibis;
3.) you can worry and become upset;
4.) you can plan your revenge.

Good sportsmanship is to be admired, but you entered the competition to win. If you ever expect to become a champion you will not take your losses lightly. Again this does not mean you should conduct yourself other than as a gentleman. Congratulate the winner regardless of how he won or why you lost. You will want him to do that for you after the next time you meet.

Don’t waste your time trying to dig up excuses and alibis. The better they are the tougher they make it for you to win the next time. Likewise do not permit yourself to become depressed – nothing can put a bigger damper on your total.

Losing stirs up the emotions os a champion or potential champion. These emotions should be directed to your benefit. Releasing them in one of the first three ways will do you no good and may harm you. The fourth way will let you come back a champion. When I say you should plan your revenge I don’t mean that you should maintain a grudge against the man who beat you. I do mean you should plan to beat him soundly next time you meet. Your only chance to get back at him is on the platform of the next contest. Start planning for it now while you can convert the emotions of losing into the enthusiasm for winning. Figure out a realistic plan on how you can do it. You have just received a wonderful opportunity to stage a comeback.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

Tonight when we turn back our clocks it might be a good time to remember something. Something of great importance that affects the way we perform any and all of the countless exercise movements and lifts that will make up the totality of our Iron Game endeavors, from day one to that final session before moving on. What I speak of here is the enormous debt we all owe those who preceded us.

Without their experience, persistent experimentation and willingness to freely and openly share what was learned we wouldn't have much more than a clue. When reading these articles and gaining info, do try to remember the knowledge within them didn't come cheap, but was a reward for labors that ultimately resulted (after countless failures you can be certain) in what have now come to be accepted as successful ways to achieve increased power and strength.

I would like to take this moment to personally thank the long and interconnected line of originators living and dead who have been gracious enough to pass on what they learned.

Dale Credico.
Feel free to write me at any time on the subject of lifting, and if you have requests or recommendations for training info pertinent to this blog please don't hesitate to mention it. All fitting magazines and books sent will gladly be transcribed, entered and returned.

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