Sunday, May 28, 2017

Make 4X the Gains - Chad Waterbury (2017)

Originally Published in This Issue (June 2017) 

More Articles by Chad Waterbury: 

A More In Depth Look at High Frequency Training Here:

by Chad Waterbury (2017)

 - Take a break from body-part splits and add size by hitting every muscle four times per week -

As is true in almost any skill, the more you lift, the better you get at it (and the bigger you get as a result). The more frequently you train a muscle, the faster it's going to respond by growing. So if you've ever trained only one or two body parts in a session - totaling only one or two sessions for that area a week - prepare to switch to a full-body, high-frequency routine that will gains at mind-blowing speed. 

The problem with high-volume body-part splits is that they beat your muscles into the ground. For instance, if your chest day contains five or six different exercises for the pecs, they'll need several days to recover before they can be worked again. It's great to train a muscle from all the angles and improve its work capacity, but going so long between workouts robs it of a chance to be exposed to the training stimulus again sooner, and that's blowing an opportunity for growth.

To train a muscle more often, you have to reduce the work you give it in a single session, but that's okay. Instead of working your chest with 12 sets in one session, you might do 12 total sets over the course of a whole week, with each session building on the gains of the previous one. 

While muscles respond well to being worked often, the joints can resent it big time. Doing heavy bench presses one day followed by shoulder presses and dips on other days will be hell on your shoulder joints and set you up for injury. To train often and safely, you need to pick mainly joint-friendly exercises and keep recovery foremost in your mind, and that's why you'll see various chest-supported rowing movements and bodyweight exercises in our program. 

Training the whole body in each session will ensure you make balanced gains and work the same muscles four different times in a single week. Think about it: If you were hitting your arms once a week, that's 52 arm workouts a year. If you start hitting them four times a week, that's a whopping 208 arm workouts per year. 


You'll train four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) on a rotating schedule. So you'll do Workouts A through C Monday through Thursday, and then you'll repeat the cycle with Workout A again on Saturday. You'll pick up next Monday with Workout B. 

Each workout consists of exercises that are paired and alternated, so you'll do one set of the first exercise in the pair, rest, then do a set of the second exercise, rest again, and repeat until all sets for that pair are complete. 

Workout A (Monday . . . Saturday . . . Thursday etc.) 

Chest-supported Dumbbell Row, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Cable Bench Press, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Bulgarian Split Squat, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Lateral Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Workout B (Tuesday . . . Monday . . . Saturday etc.)    

Pullup (or Lat Pulldown), 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Feet-elevated Pushup, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Barbell Hip Thrust, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Chest-supported Rear Delt Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Workout C (Thursday . . . Tuesday . . . Monday etc.) 

Chest-supported Row, Palms Up, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternated with
Decline Bench Press, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

Goblet Squat, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
alternate with
Neutral-Grip Front Raise, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest.

The Details 
In Weeks 1 and 2, begin every set of every exercise with a five-second static hold. That means you'll hold a certain point in the range of motion for that lift. (See the exercise descriptions to follow). Immediately afterward, perform five full range of motion reps. Rest 10 seconds and perform a four-second static hold, followed by four full range of motion reps. Rest 10 more seconds, do a three-second hold, then three full range reps. All of the above equals one set.

In Weeks 3 and 4, do a six-second static hold and then immediately do six full range of motion reps. Work down to a four-second hold and four full reps. 

In Weeks 5 and 6, do a seven-second hold and seven reps. Work down to a five-second hold and five full reps.  

The Exercises

Chest-supported Dumbbell Row:
Set the bench to a 45-degree angle. With your palms facing each other, draw your shoulder blades back and together as you row the weights to your sides. Begin each set by holding the finished (rowed) position.

Cable Bench Press: 
The top position is the static hold position. 

Bulgarian Split Squat:
The front leg bent (lowered) position is the static hold position.

Lateral Raise: 
The arms raised to ear level position is the static hold position.

Pullup (or Lat Pulldown):
Pull yourself up (or the bar down) until your chin is over it and the bar nearly touches your collarbones. This is the hold position.

Feet Elevated Pushup:
Rest your feet on a bench or other elevated surface that allows you to perform all the given reps. Begin in the top position and try to pull your hands together. They won't move, but actively trying to slide them together in front of your chest will activate more pec fibers. This is the position of the hold. 

Barbell Hip Thrust:
The hips raised position is the static hold position.

Chest-supported Rear Delt Raise: 
Set the bench to a 45-degree angle and lie with your chest against it. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and raise the weights up until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hold that position.

Chest-supported Row, Palms Up:
Set the bench to a 70-degree angle. The static hold position is the top position.

Decline Bench Press: 
Set the bench to a 15- to 20-degree decline and perform a bench press with hands set shoulder width apart. Lower the bar to your sternum. Hold the up (pressed) position.

Goblet Squat:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly out. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands under your chin. Push your hips back and lower your body into a deep squat. Hold this bottom position.  

Neutral-Grip Front Raise:
Hold dumbbells with your palms facing each other and raise up to eye level at a slight angle to your torso. Alternate arms. The top position is the hold position. 

Arm and Calf Specialization

If you want to target your arms and/or calves over the six-week plan, place this circuit at the end of any two of the workouts. For example, you could tack it onto the end of Monday's and Thursday's sessions.

Perform one set* of each exercise in sequence and repeat for three total rounds. Rest 60 seconds between the exercises.

*Note that these exercises are done the same way as all the others, alternating isometric holds with full reps.

Chest-supported Incline Curl:
Set bench to a 70-degree incline and lie against it with a dumbbell in each eye, er, hand, palms facing each other. Curl the weights up, supinating the wrists so your palms face up at the top. Hold the top (curled) position for the isometric.

Triceps Pushdown:
Perform pushdowns with a rope handle. Hold the extended (contracted) position.

Single-leg Standing Calf Raise:
Hole the top (contracted) position.   

Priming the Pull - Liam Tweed (2017)

Priming the Pull
by Liam Tweed (2017)

So you think you are a well-rounded strength athlete, do you? 

You squat and you press for all you're worth, and once in a while you even grind out those back-busting, butt-ripping deadlifts.

In short, you are a bad hombre . . . nobody should mess with you, right? 

Hmm, depends . . . do you PULL? 
I mean really PULL! 

I'm talking about explosive lifting, ripping weights with controlled acceleration from the ground to specific height targets from hip to above your head.

Firstly, a well-rounded athlete needs to do a LOT or the basic movements; the definition of these varies depending on the guru, but in my view you need to: 

1) Squat
2) Press
3) Pull

Many years ago I was told by a respected iron gamer that that was all I ever needed to do. I believed him then and I still believe him now. But . . . 

What do we mean by a "pull" . . . in my mind lat work doesn't qualify. Chins are great but they aren't pulling. Pulling for an athlete means a dynamic explosive movement that moves a weight from ground to wherever it's destined to end up. 

Have you ever seen the spinal erectors on a high ranked weightlifter? 

Those weren't built on the Bosu Ball! 

Explosive pull exercises have gone the way of the dodo, even sadly in some weightlifting circles where it's pretty much been boiled down to Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Squat. In my mind that's a damn shame, as we seem to have thrown "the baby out with the bathwater." The explosive pull has a lot to offer if your aim is to pack functional (there's that dreaded word again) muscle onto your legs, lower back and traps.

"Legs" you say?  

Yes! But don't take my word for it. Give a few sets of Clean Pulls for 3's a go and get back to me on that! 

Back in the '60s lifters used to work HARD and they did it or the love of lifting, not for fame, money and glory. Here in South Africa it was no different. Lifters ground out their presses, pulls and squats, day after back breaking day, just to gain a few pounds on their totals. And all this was done on top of a full time job.

Excuse me for glorifying these Iron Warriors, but I'm an undying fan of the true amateur athlete, because I can relate. It's us that battle away year after year, decade after decade with no thought of the hope or glory or recognition that are the true hero's.

That's right! I'm talking about YOU out there reading this . . . step up and take a bow!

Now, let me tell you a story about an unknown Springbok (SA national) lifter from the '60's by the name of Jannie Van Rensburg. He was known for being hard on himself and the lifters he trained. He once wrote a  nine month pulling specialization course in the South African weightlifting magazine, and I'm presenting it here for shock value and hopefully to illustrate why we should respect and admire those that came before us.


First 3 Months

Monday / Wednesday / Friday

1) Clean Pulls - 5-4-3-3-3, jumping 20 lbs. each set, start with 80% of Clean. 
2) Snatch Pulls - as above.
3) Power Snatch From Blocks (midway between pelvis and knees) - 4 x 3 reps.
4) Power Snatch From Blocks (pelvis height) - 4 x 3.
5) Power Clean (same height as 3) - 4 x 2.
6) Power Clean (same height as 4) - 4 x 2.

76 Reps of Pulling!

He said in his article that after his first workout on this course, " I crawled from the garage gym into bed." One of his trainees increased his Power Clean from 200 to 255 lbs. over the 3-month period.
But there's also the other three days of the week!

Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday

Light Lifts for Form . . . and
Pressing - lots of emphasis on Pressing Strength.
25-Yard Sprints.
Standing Broad Jumps.
Jumping Over Hurdles.

Second 3 Months

 Monday / Wednesday / Friday

1) Power Snatch 5-4-3-2-1 (jump 10 lbs.).
2) Power Clean 5-4-3-2-1 (jump 10 lbs.).
3) Snatch High Pulls 5 x 3 reps (jump 20 lbs., start 80% of Snatch).
4) Clean Pulls - 5 x 3 ( as above).
5) Overhead Squat of Split Overhead Squat - 5 x 5.
6) Jerks From Racks - 5 x 2.
Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday
Same as the First 3 Months Layout.

Third Three Months

Monday / Wednesday / Friday 

1) Power Snatch - 5 x 2 reps.
2) Snatch - 8 singles (jumping 10 lbs.).
3) Power Clean - 5 x 2.
4) Clean and Jerk - 8 singles (jumping 10 lbs.).
5) Straddle Hop - 3 sets until tired (jumping "fore and aft and sideways").
6) Overhead Squat - 5 x 5.
Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday
Same as the First 3 Months Layout.

Okay. That's the way they used to train when they wanted to improve their pulling power, and considering that there had to be a lot of focus on pressing strength you can imagine how HARD they trained. 

Any guesses as to whether they were strong, athletic and conditioned? 


Don't neglect your explosive pulling if you want to build and maintain your athletic abilities. 

Train hard and "do not go gently into the night, rage, rage against the dying of the light." 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dips - John McCallum (1967)

Originally Published in This Issue (June 1967)

Parallel Bar Dips
by John McCallum (1967)

Sam Bartlot is a young man who, until two years ago, zipped around is a souped-up car with blind optimism and a supreme disregard for municipal traffic regulations. "Speed," he often said, "ain't got nothing to do with accidents. It's them crumbs crawling around in second gear."

Sam's outlook was as bright as his grammar was dull. He kept a color photo of his girlfriend's legs pasted on the rear view mirror, and a large plastic replica of the Virgin Mary on top of the dashboard. The statuette contributed a certain amount of theological comfort to Sam's occasional passenger, but blocked, unfortunately, most of the view through the windshield. Residents, it is rumored, called their dogs in off the street when Sam was thought to be in the vicinity, and four policemen knew the number on Sam's driver's license from memory. 

Sam was driving home one rainy night at a comfortable seventy-five when his right front tire blew a hole the size of a teacup. The car smeared a concrete bridge abutment and most of Sam went through the windshield. An ambulance crew scraped up the parts of Sam that were lying on the road, and the next day a garage mechanic cleaned out the rest of him with a high pressure steam hose before the insurance company wrote off the car.

They packed Sam into the hospital with most of him leaking onto the floor and called for the head doctor. The doctor was playing bridge at home he arrived grumbling. When he saw Sam he stopped grumbling. A team of surgeons worked all night, and the next morning Sam was still alive with some parts missing and enough thread in him to sew up a circus tent. A very long time after he hobbled home on two canes and a shiny aluminum leg. 

Sam's nerves were bad for a long time. His health was even worse. His doctor was a progressive man and he suggested Sam take up exercise for his health. Sam started on weights.

His nerves got better and his health improved, and then one day, about a year later, the inevitable happened - the bug bit and Sam wanted to look like John Grimek. He came to see me about it.

"Johnny," he said. "You wouldn't really say I got a good build, would you?"

I thought he was kidding. I put down my book and looked at him.

"Would you?" he said.


"I'd like to know." 

"Well then, frankly, Sam," I said, "no, I wouldn't." 

He looked embarrassed. He slid up the sleeve of his sweat shirt and showed me his arm. "You wouldn't actually call that heavily muscled, would you?" 

"Sam," I said. "Let's face it. You got pretty near as much muscle on that tin leg of yours." 

He thought about it for a moment and then wandered back into the gym and I picked up my book again. I'd been trying to finish Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath for over a month. I read a page and then Sam came back in. "You busy, Johnny?" he said. "Sorry to bother you." 

Sanora Babb's "Whose Names Are Unknown" has enjoyed an underground reputation for many years among those scholars who have known of its existence. Babb is a skillful artist who identified wholeheartedly with the ordeal of the dispossessed during the 1930s. The recovery of her novel is a miraculous gift that will play an important part in future reconsiderations of mid-century U.S. literature.

I put the book down. "I'm not busy, Sam. What do you want?" 

He still looked embarrassed. "Johnny," he said. "What's the most important thing for a good build?" 

"Muscles," I said.

"I know. But apart from that?" 

"Bulk. Well shaped bulk." 

He picked up the book and riffled the pages. "Weight training builds bulk, don't it?" 

"Proper training does." 

"The how come I ain't bulky?" 

"Cause you're not training properly to get bulky." 

He looked surprised. 'I'm not?" 


"How come?" 

I took the book from him before he tore it. "Because," I said, "you never told me you wanted to. When you started here you said you just wanted to calm your nerves and improve your health." I looked closely at him. "You're doing that, aren't you? Your nerves are okay. Your health's improving." 

"It is," he said. I can't complain." 

"Training should be directed towards a definite goal, you know." 

"I suppose so." 

He left and I opened the book. 

 - Sanora Babb wrote Whose Names are Unknown in the 1930s while working with refugee farmers in the Farm Security Administration (FSA) camps of California. Originally from the Oklahoma Panhandle herself, Babb, who had first come to Los Angeles in 1929 as a journalist, joined FSA camp administrator Tom Collins in 1938 to help the uprooted farmers. As Lawrence R. Rodgers notes in his foreword, Babb submitted the manuscript for this book to Random House for consideration in 1939. Editor Bennett Cerf planned to publish this “exceptionally fine” novel but when John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath swept the nation, Cerf explained that the market could not support two books on the subject. The book was eventually published in 2004. 

I'd hardly found by place when he walked in again.

"Johnny," he said. "What's the best exercise for bulk?"


"What's a good substitute for them?" 

"There isn't any substitute for them." 

He frowned. "You know I can't do squats." 

'I know. You didn't ask me that." 

He looked dejected. "Sit down," I said. He slumped on a chair. I opened the desk drawer and tossed Steinbeck in. "Sam," I said. "Let's be honest with each other. Do I gather from all this pussyfooting around you're doing that you'd like to build up a showy physique?" 

He winced. "There's nothing wrong with that, is there?" 

"No. Not a thing." 

"Could I do it?" 

"I think so." 

"What about squats? I can't do them." 

"I know. That makes it tougher, all right."

"Is there anything I can do instead?" 

"Not really." I thought about it for a while. "You see, Sam, squats are the number one exercise in any gaining program. Nothing can really take their place. Squats are responsible for more pounds gained than all the other exercises put together. They'll literally transform you if you work hard enough on them." 

He looked worried so I hurried on. "But in your case, there's no use worrying about all that. You can't do heavy squats so you've got to work hard on some other exercise - something that'll do almost as much for your upper body as squats will do for your entire body." 

"Like what?" 

"Parallel bar dips."

"They'll take the place of squats?" 

"No," I said. "Nothing'll take the place of squats. But parallel bar dips will help a lot." 


"Well," I said, "normally they should be done in conjunction with squats. The combination of the two - heavy squats to stimulate overall bulk and power and parallel bar dips to localize the action and pack the chest and arms - makes a fantastically effective routine. I've know lots of men who built up real herculean size this way."

"Yeah," he said, "But . . ."

"But you can't do heavy squats. I know. So we've got to forget them and concentrate exclusively on the dips. It won't be as good that way, but you can still accomplish a lot if you work hard enough." 

"I don't mind hard work," he said.

"You might mind it as hard as I'm talking about. Not many people appreciate what hard work really means in the sense that I mean it." I thought for a moment. "Have you ever seen one of the real big boys work out? Reg Park, for example?" 

"No," he said. "I never did." 

"You should. It'd knock your eyes out. Park puts out a concentrated effort that's inspiring to watch. He jams more work into one workout than the average trainee does in a month. That's the reason he makes other guys look like old ladies with rickets." 

"I'll work hard," he said.

"Okay. And don't forget that I'm talking about doing parallel bar dips, I mean doing them properly. You gotta use every ounce of will and vigor you can muster. Do them properly or don't do them at all, okay?" 

"Okay," he said.

"Good." I swiveled around and got comfortable. "Now. Parallel bar dips are one of the oldest exercises of them all. "They're an offshoot of the common pushup, only a heck of a lot more result producing. They're a perfectly natural movement, they need a minimum of equipment, and it's almost impossible to hurt yourself doing them.

"Parallel bar dips," I continued, "give a terrific workout to the three most impressive upper body muscle groups - the pectorals, the triceps, and the anterior deltoids. They'll bulk up those groups in short time if you work hard enough." 

"You don't hear much about dips," Sam said.

"No," I said. "You don't hear much about dips," Sam said.

"No," I said. "You don't." And here's why. Parallel bar dips used to be practiced years ago before the days of protein supplements, multiple sets, and so on. Nobody got much in the way of results from dips, but they didn't get much from the other exercises either. They were doing them all in a very old fashioned way.

"Now," I said. "At about the time the new discoveries were being made in training techniques - multiple sets and so on - the bench press somehow enjoyed a wave of popularity. Everybody started bench pressing and applying the new training techniques to it. The records went up, the guys got results, everybody was happy. But parallel bar dips fell into limbo and the new techniques weren't applied to them except in a few isolated cases.

"Incidentally," I added, "those isolated cases got results. Maurice Jones used dips twenty-five years ago and built a 52-inch chest and 19-inch arms. Park does a lot of dips and you know what he looks like." 

"How about me?" Sam said. "What do you recommend?" 

"Well," I said. "Dips are ideal for the 'High Protein/High Set system. Figure on doing 15 sets of dips."

"That's a lot of sets." 

"Sure," I said. "And you'll get a lot of results." 


"You gotta work hard, though, and you gotta use heavy weights. Tie them around your waist. You gotta work up to well over 100 pounds, and you should be trying for 200."

Sam looked doubtful.

"You can do it," I said, "if you want to badly enough. Do them like this: 

"Start out with a moderate weight for 5 reps. Then add weight and do 5 more reps. Then jump to your best weight for 3 sets of 5. Keep forcing the poundage. Add some weight every workout. You've got to grit your teeth and make it the most important thing in your life.

"Now," I said. "Drop the poundage way down and start doing sets of 8 reps. Do 10 more sets with about 30 seconds rest between sets. Drop the weight slightly as you tire, but don't add to the rest period. These fast sets will give you the kind of pump you gotta have to really grow.

"Don't forget the high protein part," I said. "Make your meals primarily protein. Eat three meals a day, take a snack between each meal and at bed time, drink at least two quarts of the 'Get Big Drink' and eat all the supplements you can afford.

"Think you can manage all that?" I said.

"I think so." 


"He left and I took my book out of the drawer. I'd just found my place when he came back in. I closed the book. 

"What's that?" he said.

I showed him the cover.

"Nice story" he said. "You oughta read it some time."  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

One-Arm Lifts for Muscularity (1970)

Check into Joe Roark's Iron History Forum! 
Megatons of Information Over There.
Note: Your Real Name will be required for registration. 

Bodybuilding is not only one of the most popular and exciting pastimes, it's also progressive. Every day is a "breakthrough day" . . . every day a new trail is blazed under the weights . . . every day some lifter takes a giant step forward on his own, and almost overnight every other iron man learns about it and profits by the experiment. Let's take a moment to see how this works in practice.

Until just a few years ago bodybuilders who trained exclusively on bodybuilding movements, using the standard schedules, developed strong and muscular bodies . . . to a  degree. Then they latched on to the special techniques of the power lifters, which enabled them to handle consistently heavier weights, thus bulking up the chest area . . . widening the shoulders . . . bringing out that spectacular tie-in between pectorals and deltoids . . . and building more massive arms in the process. Heavy bench presses done in power-lifting fashion of many sets of lower reps were largely responsible for this startling improvement.

At the same time they began to alter their former leg training programs with a view toward building more massive leg size. This was accomplished by changes in Squat technique: doing more sets of fewer reps, but using heavier weights . . . and by the inclusion of Deadlifts which strongly affect the rear thighs, as well as building more massively-muscled lower backs. It is this obeisance to power lifting that has done so much to restructure the incomparable physiques of Bill Pearl, Chuck Sipes, Dave Draper, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many others. 

And so we of the bodybuilding world have taken technical tips from the power lifters and have notably changed the image of bodybuilding. Another significant step forward can be made possible as well . . . this time through a backward look! 

How? By looking back to the time when one-arm lifts were equally as important as two-arm lifts in World championships and the Olympic games. Yes, in the earlier days the One-Hand Snatch and One-Hand Clean and Jerk were counted in the lifter's total. 

Moreover, the One-Hand Bent Press and Side Press were for many years dear to the hearts of the famous old-time strongmen lifters. Side Presses of over 225 pounds were not uncommon, and the great Arthur Saxon at one time Bent Pressed over 370 pounds while weighing slightly over 200! 

Other great champions such as Charles Rigoulot did a One-Arm Snatch with more than 260 pounds at a bodyweight of 230. George Lurich, the great Russian strongman, made a One-Arm Clean and Jerk with over 300 lbs. while weighing 196.

George Lurich and Friends

As for the Bent Press and Side Press, strongmen/bodybuilders of more recent times have kept interest in them alive. Bert Elliot has succeeded with a 300 lb. Bent Press at a relatively light weight. Marvin Eder (known as "The World's Strongest Youth") made a Side Press of 240 while weighing about 196 . . . and this, mind you, was done with less than two weeks' training!

But Why One-Arm Lifts?

Bodybuilders, you might say, are interested only in muscle-building results. How can they possibly be interested in strength "stunts" such as these one-arm lifts seem to be?

Because so many have found that one-arm lifts build fantastic forearms . . . a more powerful grip . . . shoulders of more rugged breadth and mass, and which are far more cut-up . . . and backs with densely muscled spinal erectors, those two big rope-like columns of muscle on either side of the spine which are the true mark of the really strong man.

To put it another way: The one-arm lifts build a totality of symmetry and muscularity that does not appear in the physiques of bodybuilders who have never taken the time to practice them.

If you doubt this, let me urge you to study photographs of today's two-arm-lift Olympic champions and compare their physiques with the greats of old who practiced both two-arm and one-arm lifts . . . men like Sandow and Saxon. Both men had magnificently developed abdominals as well . . . and the most chiseled serratus magnus.

Thus, when power-lifting for mass, and one-arm lifting for the classical muscular look are incorporated into a modern training program, the most sublime muscular perfection is achieved. 
The wonder of one-arm lift training is that every muscle of the body is affected. Once you begin to practice these lifts you'll find an exciting new massiveness and shape forming in the trapezius and deltoids . . . and from every viewable angle. Far deeper, thicker, and more chiseled than just overhead Presses and Lateral Raises can produce.

How One-Arm Lifts Improve the Two-Arm Variety

Although this article is channeled to bodybuilding interests, it is of considerable value to Olympic weightlifters to note that one-arm lifting is beneficial to the standard two-arm Olympic lifts. For although human energy is concentrated into three double-handed Olympic lifts today (ah, the good ole days), experts know that single-handed lifting produces special strengths, energies and skills that can be transmitted to the double-handed lifts to boost them to tremendous new totals and personal records. Why? Because single-handed lifting requires (and produces):

(a) hair-trigger timing
(b) lightning-like speed
(c) an extra-sensory balance
(d) greater nervous energy
(e) a more daring, courageous frame of mind

You've got to think big . . . think heroically . . . you must have the pioneer spirit . . . you must be a trailblazer, and you must train yourself almost imperceptible muscular reflex action! One-arm lifting works in all these desirable directions.

Another great bonus provided by one-arm lifting is a better lockout because of greater lockout power, because the single-handed lifts train the right and left arms to act independently of each other. Any lifter with a faulty arm-lock frequently suffers failure and disqualification because his Snatches are 'pressed out' at the crux of the lift, or his Jerks come tumbling down because his elbows function inefficiently as he rams the weight overhead and tries to hold it for the count.

How to Perform One-Arm Lifts
When I have described the various techniques of the one-arm lifts I shall close with some general suggestions. These will have to do with basic factors common to all the one-arm lifts, and it will help you if you study them as much as you do the actual lifting techniques.

The One-Hand Snatch

[Note: I'll include some links to more info on this blog about each of these lifts, following the article technique descriptions.]

This is the simplest of all one-arm lifts, and it's the flashiest. The technique is simply to pull the weight swiftly from the floor to overhead in a single motion, with a dip at the knees and a swinging of the body under the weight as it ascends. In 'slow motion' it works this way:

(a) Start with the weight in front of the body as though to begin a two-arm lift from the floor.

(b) The legs should be bent so as to crouch over the barbell, keeping the back flat and hips lower than shoulders.

(c) The non-lifting hand should be placed on its corresponding knee for balance, and to help assure evenness of follow-through.

(d) Reach down for the weight and grasp the barbell exactly in its center. In one swift, explosive follow-through motion, pull (snatch) the weight upward to overhead elbow-locked position.

(e) This technique mandates dipping the body under the weight as it ascends so that you actually end in a half-crouch (semi-squat), your body bent to the opposite side of the exercising arm. You should be looking at the weight all the time - as you snatch it upward . . . as it clears the body . . . and as it reaches elbow-locked position overhead. As your balance improves you can even get into a full squat under the weight, but at the beginning concentrate on pull - to get the weight up . . . on balance - to keep the bar up . . . and on solid position under the weight - to insure the use of the heaviest poundages.

More here:

The One-Arm Clean and Jerk

(a) Bend forward, flexing both legs, as though to clean the barbell with two hands, keeping the back flat and the hips lower than the shoulders. The non-exercising hand rests on the knee of the same side.

(b) Keep the back flat . . . the head up . . . and the eyes fixed on some object about 45 degrees overhead.

(c) Grasp the weight in about the center of the bar (mark the center beforehand) . . . raise it just slightly off the floor to make sure you have it evenly balanced . . . and then in a sort of 'fast Curl' clean the weight swiftly to the shoulder. Actually this follows the same pattern of the Two-Arm Clean, except that, of course, you do it with one arm and start with your palm out, as in the Curl.

(d) As the weight comes into the shoulder, squat to meet the weight . . . drop smartly under it and catch it on the shoulders below the neck.

(e) Stand up with the weight, making sure the elbow of the exercising hand is fixed into the side of the waist or upper hip. The body should form a solid support for the lifting arm.

(f) Lean slightly into the lifting side with the hip, and make sure the leg on the side of the lifting arm is stiff.

(g) With feet about 18 inches apart - and with arm still fixed into the side of the waist or upper hip - jerk the weight overhead by bending the knees slightly and quickly, and then straightening them, and at the same time bend your body slightly to the opposite side to get the weight going.

(h) Drop under the weight in either semi-Squat, full-Squat, or split fashion.

(i) After locking the arm, stand up under the weight.

(j) All one-arm lifts must be done with both right and left arms.

(k) Handle about 75% of your record weight in the exercises. It is well to do the One-Arm Clean and Jerk in series of 3 reps . . . in complete movements.

More here:

The One-Arm Side Press and Push

(a) Get the weight to the shoulder in the same manner as you did in the One-Arm Clean and Jerk.

(b) Place your feet about 18 inches apart, with the leg on the side of the lifting arm stiff, and the other leg pointing slightly forward.

(c) Bend sideways and push the weight overhead. You should always bend sideways as much as possible when pushing the weight overhead.

(d) The non-exercising arm should be out level with the shoulder to provide perfect balance and to provide a momentum in bending sideways. Your eyes should follow the weight as it proceeds to the completed Press position.

(e) You may push the weight overhead quickly as you bend sideways, or you may do it more slowly. Slower with 6 reps per set for muscular shape and size . . . of faster, with heavier weights (as in a Forced Reps technique) to build massiveness and power. (This principle applies to all One-Arm lifts).

(f) Always warm up with lighter weight and gradually work up to heavier and maximum poundages. 

More here:

One-Arm Bent Press

(The starting position is the same as that for the One-Arm Clean, except that you can use the hand of the non-lifting arm to overlap the lifting hand, thus using both hands to help bring the weight to the shoulders.)

The purpose of the lift is to get the weight up in the easiest manner, because what counts here is pressing the heaviest weight possible overhead. You can handle heavier weights in the One-Arm Bent Press than in either the Side press and Push, or the One-Arm Jerk.

(a) With the weight ready on the shoulder in the exact position of the One-Arm Jerk, you should test to discover the exact position which will give you the strongest foundation for the lift. You may do this by spreading your legs a bit more widely by moving the foot on the side of the one-exercising arm a bit further from the body.

(b) Lean slightly forward and bend the knee on the side of the non-exercising arm.

(c) Always look at the weight. You should have so firmly determined the best-balanced position that you no longer need to think about body balance, but only on looking at the weight and concentrating on getting it up.

(d) Bend slowly . . . not fast, or you will cause the bar to become unbalanced.

(e) Lower your body (lean it) to the opposite side as much as possible. The tricep of the lifting arm should rest on your lat, to give support to the lifting arm as you bend sideways.

(f) At this point start bending the leg on the non-lifting side, and at the same time place the non-exercising arm on the bending knee for more support as you complete the Bent Press.

(g) When the Press is completed you half-turn your body around from the starting position . . . the arm will be overhead and you will be in a very low-Squat position.

(h) Slowly come back to the starting position and do the lift with the opposite arm. You can repeat this 6 times with each arm. You should be able to handle at least 20% more weight with the first attempt of the Bent Press than you can with the Side Press and Push.

(i) Be sure to warm up with a light weight before going to heavier ones, so that you loosen the sides and shoulder and neck muscles. Don't hit the heavy weights right away. 

More here:

And here is an absolutely fantastic full length book by Walter Dorey on The Bent Press:

Two Arms Anyhow

While in the bent-forward position prior to coming erect with the barbell, you pick up the dumbbell . . . swing curl it to the shoulder . . . then come erect and finish the lift by pressing the dumbbell overhead until both arms are straight. This is what is called the Two Hands Anyhow, even though both arms do separate and individual things in the same lift.

This is one of the very best muscle and power-building lifts. After you have spent some time practicing this lift, just think of the fact that Arthur Saxon, weighing slightly over 200 pounds, was able to lift 448 in this lift. It will give you a small idea of the fantastic power of this rugged man, and of the old time strongmen.

Incorporate one-arm lifting in your workouts . . . when you have some extra energy. It is a good idea to combine a few power-lifts and a few one-arm lifts at a special time each week . . . such as on a Saturday, after you have done your regular workouts for the week. They will give you a density of muscle . . . a muscle quality that will enhance your physique so very much, and take you into the realm of the great champions.

But, as I mentioned earlier . . . follow these suggestions:

(a) Always warm up thoroughly for any and all one-hand lifts.

(b) Warm up with far lighter weights, not only for the stimulation of the muscles, but for loosening them . . . getting the kinks out . . . preparing them for the onslaught of heavy work later on in the one-arm workout.

(c) Also practice with light weight to get the feel of the bar in orbit . . . of balancing the bar, as well as balancing the body. Use light-poundage-practice to determine foot spacing. Thus the exercise technique will become almost automatic, and you can thenceforth concentrate on hoisting the heaviest weight . . . thus making every workout a day of competition with your previous records of the preceding workouts.

When I was a teenager I would work out four times weekly, doing my regular bodybuilding routines. Then on Saturdays I would take a rest from every exercise I had done during the week and have a fun session with the gang at the gym, just practicing powerlifts . . . bench pressing in a competition with each other, and squatting too. Sometimes I practiced deadlifting instead of squatting, along with the One-Arm Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and Bent Press.

All this added fun and excitement to my workouts . . . it was a wonderful change of pace . . . it helped develop agility and staying power . . . and when I returned to my regular bodybuilding workouts the next week I could do fantastic things! Also, this change-of-pace Saturday fun session was largely responsible for helping me build the power to win weightlifting contests.

To give you an idea of the weights you can handle and shoot for: When I was 17 and weighed 175 pounds, with about a year of off-and-on training on the one-arm lifts, I was able to one-arm snatch 160 pounds . . . one-arm clean and jerk 190 . . . one-arm side press 170 . . . and bent press 205 . . . and do the two arms anyhow with about 265.

You can see now that anyone who spends some time training them can lift more than his bodyweight in each lift. So give the one-arm lifts a special niche in your week of workouts . . . you'll be amazed at how they make everything in bodybuilder come just that much more easily and productively in building larger, shapelier, and more 'cut-up' muscles.

Article Author: Joe Weider


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some New Ideas on Deadlift Training - George Frenn (1970)

Originally Published in This Issue (January, 1970)

When Gary Young came on the scene and made his record lifts - feats I thought out of my reach before then - his victories inspired me so greatly that I began to reexamine my concepts of training. I held the National record for the Deadlift at 713.5 pounds when I lost to Gary, and at that time my training on the lift was about once every two or three weeks. These workouts rarely consisted of full movements, although I occasionally did 3 reps with 680.

Mostly they were half, or partial Deadlifts, and
from the knee I did 760
from just below the knee I made 775, and 
from just above the knee I succeeded with 840.

My grip was never a problem as I have supported 1000 pounds in my hands without losing it. This was my usual routine and it never changed except just before the York Nationals. In talking to Gary after he defeated me I learned that he did many Deadlifts Off a Box, and that the bar rested on his toes when he did the exercise.

[Note: There's a few photos of Peanuts West in the start position of a deficit deadlift with this article. His feet just fit under the bar with 45's on it, a low deficit position. From the side, his chest is just about touching his thighs.]

Reportedly, Young had made 685 while standing on the low box.

I figured it was a good challenge, so I started to train in this way. I started out by making 500 for 1 rep, bar resting on the toes. After training this way for several months I tried 550 for 10 reps. This I made, but my regular Deadlift was not up any higher. After talking to Bill West I was advised to try singles for a while. I got up to 675 for 1, but strangely enough my regular Deadlift go no better. I kept on the heavy-rep box deadlift program, and with Bill's help I stayed on the singles program for 3 months.

I had almost given up hope that I would ever approach the 720- to 750-pound category when I decided that I would try the Heavy Higher Reps program. This time I set myself a goal of 600 for 10 reps. I figured that if I made this weight I should be able to lift about 765 to 800 pounds for the regular Deadlift.

I started to train very hard. I got back to the 500 pounds for 10 reps. After about six weeks I made 575 for 10 reps at Joe Gold's gym. They said it was very impressive.

On several occasions I tried to make the 600 for 10 reps but I failed. I can honestly say that I have made 600 for 6 reps . . . 625 for 3 . . . and 645 for 2 reps. I believe that on the day I did the 675 for one I could have done two with it. So in the final analysis this was the best lifting that I had done. Still, my Deadlift had not moved above 700 pounds in training, so I decided to lay off. After about 10 days I decided to try again. I went to the following routine:

One Tuesdays I worked up to no more than 425 pounds for 3 sets of 10. That was the entire workout for that night. I then would come in on Saturday and do a warmup in the Deadlift but I never did more than 3 reps with any given weight. After the bar got above 500 pounds I did only singles in 70-lb. jumps.

At first this program was not too successful, but after 3 weeks I got up to doing a full Deadlift with 725 pounds. 2 weeks after that I made 740 and then every week after that I got to be consistent with 750 to 800 pounds. This I did with many witnesses present. I made this lift in late November of 1968.

I also squatted 800 pounds in the same workout. All this at a bodyweight of under 240. At the present time, I can lift over 750 in the regular Deadlift and I'm looking forward to the L.A. City Championships to try and get the record back.

I am maintaining the power by laying off for a week every 3 weeks so that I can give my back a chance to rest. I later discovered that the reason my Deadlift was not moving the way I wanted it to was because, even though I felt rested, my back was still tired.

I firmly believe that the Deadlift can be improved without continuous heavy training. One day during the week should be devoted to the maintaining of tendon strength by the use of high reps with a medium weight. This conditions the muscles without making them tired. Then one day during the week can be devoted to heavy singles.

On the heavy day, I found that as I was beginning to increase my strength I would shoot for a certain poundage for a certain number of singles. So as I was first trying this new program, I tried to make 700 for 3 singles. But maybe on some other heavy day when fully rested I would try for 700 for 3 reps and then I would be finished for the day.

Continually switching your main sets around is a good idea because you continually have new goals to shoot for. One day your main set might be for a maximum single record, or it might be for a maximum rep record. I never do more than 5 reps with any very heavy Deadlift. My bests to date are:

675 x 6
700 x 3
725 x 2.

I hope these ideas help you if you are having the troubles that I was. I really believe these methods work, and that with a little patience and a lot of hard work they will work for you.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Jon Cole, Part Four - Herb Glossbrenner (1994)

Part One is Here:
Part Two:
Part Three:

 "To Compete and Achieve is Satisfying. 
Helping Others Succeed is More So."
- Jon Cole

Herb Glossbrenner (HG): Jon, thank you for the privilege of this interview, and telling your complete legacy. You have been reluctant to grant a lengthy interview in the past.

Jon Cole (JC): It had to be the right time and the right person. I appreciated the time and energy you have put into telling my story. I thank you for the recognition you are giving the forgotten Iron Men of this world.

HG: I look at myself as merely the vault-keeper to the archives of strength. To accumulate material without dispensation would be a human tragedy. Without our pioneers who inspired us modern day powerlifting would not exist. We owe our heritage to trailblazers like you.

JC: You flatter me. Thank you.

HG: No, Jon, thank you. How did you persevere in your lifetime ambitions despite so many obstacles preventing the realization of your dreams? Was it fate or destiny?

JC: Fate? There is no fate. Between the thought and success, God is the only agent. (Quoting Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton).

HG: What of destiny?

JC: Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

HG: Who inspired that pearl of wisdom?

JC: William Jennings Bryan, one of my favorite philosophers.

HG: What is the most rewarding part of your career - lifting or coaching?

JC: To compete and achieve is satisfying. Helping others succeed is more so. It is like a projection of yourself through them. They succeed, and it gives your own self-esteem a kick in the pants. Food for the Spirit. The Bible teaches us it is more blessed to give than to receive.

HG: Yes indeed. Who among athletes have been benefactors of your expertise?

JC: I have 19 pages of names in my ledger. Here are just a few:

Football -
Mark Gastineau, NY Jets
Dan White, Dallas Cowboys
Len Dickie, Green Bay Packers
Mike Hayes, New England Patriots
Wide Receiver John Jefferson

Baseball -
Pitcher Floyd Bannister
Rick Monday, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ernie Banks, Chicago Cubs
Reggie Jackson, California Angels

Athletics -
Mark Murro and Frank Cavelli, Javelin
Ron Semkiw, junior World record holder, shot put and weightlifting

Golf -
Jan Stephenson
Heather Farr

Tennis -
Chris Evert

Boxing -
Thomas Hearns.

There are a lot more.

HG: A most impressive list. What about your competitions in the World's Strongest Man competition?

JC: A lot of crazy stuff, not tuned to athletic strength, but most conductive to injury.

HG: Like Columbu's carrying the refrigerator?

JC: Yes, and I was the next man after him. I wasn't anxious at all. Almost everybody got injured, myself included. The public eats it up.

HG? It finished Kaz's powerlifting career. His pec was never the same after the iron bar bend.

JC: Many of the events favored the biggest men, like the Semi or Tram pull. It was a timed event, so I was at a great disadvantage. Once I got it moving it wasn't so bad. Getting it started was quite a strain for me. I'm an explosive athlete and couldn't explode in those events.

HG: Wilhelm won in 1977 and Reinhoudt in 1978. Any comments about them?

JC: Wilhelm was a highly gifted athlete. He excelled in the shot and Olympic lifting. If it weren't for his knee problems he would have been an exceptional powerlifter, too. Reinhoudt was incredibly strong and exceptionally nice. He, along with Bruce, is another great credit to the Iron Game.

HG: You respect your peers.

JC: I do most indubitably.

HG: Who else among your colleagues do you have great respect for?

JC: Among the closest of ones I knew well - Frenn and Patera. We had some great times together. Inspiration from other greats helped me stoke my furnace.

HG: What were among your best training lifts? Did you do better in competition?

JC: I squatted 865 x 3 but never tried to a max single. I did do a perfect bench press paused with 610 in training before witnesses. I also did 855 x 4 in the deadlift.

HG: was your 882 deadlift your lifetime best?

JC: No, at Paramount Studios weighing 258 for the Circus of the Stars TV show, I did 905 on an Olympic bar. We went to a nearby gym, got the weights, and weighed them beforehand. I learned by that time to keep my hips down and the finish went easy. They didn't film it to their satisfaction, so I did it again within three minutes.

HC: What about throwing events?

JC: My best in the shot was 69'11.5". I threw the discus 222' in practice and 221' in the javelin, though I never practiced it. I never tried the hammer, nor did I want to. I felt it was dangerous. Frenn was the master of that implement. I always practiced my throwing for good, consistent technique.

HG: What about the Olympic lifts?

JC: I loved them. I felt they helped my throwing immensely. Tight ankles and shoulders prevented me using the squat style. I wish a had a good coach and learned good technique. I didn't do them in training, but did assistance exercises, pulling, pressing, and lunges. Like . . . high pulls or upright rows for that explosiveness, 405 x 2 x 4. I pressed 505 x 2 from the stands and more on a steep incline bench.

HG: I will never forget your perfect, almost-military press with 435 at the 1972 Seniors, while others gave it the heave-ho.

JC: I liked the Press and never learned the proper Olympic-style technique. It wouldn't have mattered unless I could have improved my cleaning ability.

HG: How did you feel about being called by some "The World's Strongest Man?"

JC: I always considered myself an athlete first and a strongman second. There are too many variables to measure strength. I'm sure there must be somebody out there maybe in the hills of Kentucky who on a daily basis lifts a 440 lb. Ford engine in and out of a car without a hoist and thinks nothing about it. There are probably big lumberjacks who could lift heavier logs than Don or Bill. To give a title to one man for excelling in his specialty is not a true picture.

HG: Now it's time to ask the biggest question. I always save the best for last.

JC: I'm ready.

HG: What inspired you to the ultimate challenge to Paul Anderson?

JC: At the apex of my career when I had just set the world record total in powerlifting. I wanted to set myself apart from the others and gain more notoriety for my business. I once saw Paul lift a whole bunch of people sitting on a big table so I thought I could break his backlift record of 6,270 I'd heard about.

More on Paul Anderson's Claimed Lifts:

HG: Did you pursue it?

JC: I found out that sort of stunt was out of my league or anyone else as far as that goes; it was a farce.   

HG: So?

JC: So I decided the best possible challenge would be a test of the combined total of the Olympic and powerlifts. So the challenge was issued.

Note: Steeve Neece commented on this in the article linked above:

"Let it also be noted that back in 1972 Jon Cole publicly challenged Anderson’s claim as the world’s strongest man. Claiming business pressures, Anderson proposed an alternative where during the course of a year he would periodically visit the York gym and do one or two lifts at a time before supposedly impartial witnesses, his best marks during the course of the year being added up against what Cole did in official contests. It never came off – and was unacceptable anyway."

HG: It never took place. What happened? 

JC: Well, Paul was way ahead of everyone else. I thought a great deal of him. I thought it would be my greatest challenge. Call it a confident arrogance. I thought I had a fighting chance. No one had dared challenge him before so I thought I would. My promoters were the Civalier brothers - Bill, Jerry, and Mike. 

HG: I recall that Terry Todd was Paul's advocate.

JC: Yes, both sides mismanaged it badly, which caused dissension. There was backbiting from both camps. I was unaware of Paul's rigorous schedule and speaking engagements. It was his livelihood to keep his Youth Home in the black. When Paul said he didn't have time, I misinterpreted it as a brushoff. So I was even more persistent. He finally agreed to test himself in the lifts, an impromptu negotiation. I wasn't satisfied and wanted it in a one-on-one encounter before AAU officials adhering to the rules. Todd came out saying that Paul would beat me by over 300 pounds in MUSCULAR DEVELOPMENT magazine, and that upset me.

HG: Do you realize that it might have been the greatest thing that ever happened for the Iron Game if it had transpired? The commercial possibilities of bringing in revenues could have kept Paul's home going for 20-30 years. If handled properly all could have benefited tremendously.

JC: I realize that now. I only wish that I had a chance to tell Paul how much I respected him not only as an athlete, but for all the great he has done to benefit others. He could have gained many more honors and titles had he remained an amateur. There was no malice toward him by me.

HG: He knew. I told him that years ago.

JC: How did you know that I felt that way?

HG: Because we've tuned in on the same wavelength. Here's what Paul said to me: "I'd read about Jon and knew of his great lifting. I had obligations that I couldn't postpone. They were my top priority. Jon was the only one who ever issued a challenge to me that had the firepower to back it up. I wish we could have given it a go. I guess the Lord willed it that way. His strength is greater than either of us could ever hope for."

JC: Paul now dwells in his Father's mansion. His reward is eternity. God rest his soul. Herb, thank you for this interview, it means a lot to me.

HG: Coach, believe me, the pleasure is all mine.

And what of Jon Cole today (1994)? He has not remarried. The prominent lady of his life is his grown daughter residing with him. Jon expresses his gratitude to Brick Darrow for his loyal support during his competition days. He considers the Lord to be his best friend.

His favorite companion is "Bear", his huge canine - an original German Shepherd/Timber wolf mix. Jon rescued him from euthanasia years ago and has never regretted it.

Now his livelihood is buying old wrecked cars, restoring them into vintage automobiles, and reselling them. He also does some one-on-one coaching. He has thoughts of opening a health food store to include computerized programming for clientele workouts. Jon believes there would be a great Arizona market for a health club which caters to those over 55. Restoration of health and vitality during those "golden" years would be most meaningful for Jon.

Every once in a while Jon Cole has the yearning to dig out the old metallic disc and just for old times sake sail it upwards toward the heavens. In closing let us hear what the greatest powerlifter today has to say about Jon:

"We owe Jon a great deal of gratitude for his contributions to the Iron Game. His grandiose super-excellence in the arena of strength helped redefine our concepts of human limitations. Powerlifting originals like Jon paved the way for those such as Bridges and myself"
 - Ed Coan.

Yes, Jon, we all thank you. May your legacy live on Ad Infinitum.

Gratitude is one of the things that cannot be bought; it must be born with men or else all the obligations of the world will not create it. - Lord Halifax. 

Jon Frederick Cole
April 1st, 1943 - January 10th, 2013. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jon Cole, Part Three - Herb Glossbrenner (1994)

Part One is Here:
Part Two:

"A wife is a gift bestowed upon man to reconcile him to the loss of paradise." 
 - Goethe

Jon had just returned from Europe in 1969. It was at Del Webb's Townhouse, a high class Phoenix nightclub, that good friend Jack Griffin introduced him to the lead singer. She was the vivacious Linda Carter who went on to be best known in the TV series "Wonder Woman." She in turn introduced him to her sister Pamela. The chemistry was just right. After a whirlwind courtship they were married in 1970.

Their marriage lasted for 12 years, until they were divorced in 1982. She bore him two children. His son Shawn Kelly, now 25 (as of 1994) was the first. He is a laid back, easygoing fellow. At 5'9" and 200 pounds, he bench pressed 360 while still in high school, but did not become a powerlifter. To fill his father's shoes would have been an overwhelming task. His daughter Kristen Lynn, now 21, is small and petite like Pamela. She is 5'1" and 100 pounds. She did not pursue athletics, but Jon is quick to point out that she inherited the family genes and could have excelled.

Later on, Jon met the second woman in his life. They went separate ways a few years ago. Jon Cole misses the women in his life. The loneliness and yearning surfaces occasionally as he recalls the good times and the bad.

Between 1972 and 1977 Jon trained intermittently while he pursued his goals. He became a millionaire with his patented courses.

Jon Cole Systems was only part of his ventures. He built the largest muscular rehab center in the world. It began with a 4600 square foot health studio in Phoenix and expanded until it covered 22,000 square feet. At one point Jon had 22 professional employees working for him. At this time he remained a strength consultant for ASU and also devoted his time to the Phoenix Roadrunners, the Scottsdale Community College, and established a viable strength program for the Phoenix Suns Pro Basketball team. Under Coach Cole's guidance athletes made significant gains in endurance and strength. So-so seasons took an about face and winning became commonplace. The rigors of such a busy schedule saw his 280 lb. frame drop significantly. Working 16 hours a day was only the beginning, but he was soon back up to 235-240. 

His empire flourished. His successful clientele were so numerous that he kept them all in his ledger, some 19 pages worth. Some of his most famous we'll list later. 

About this time Arthur Jones spearheaded his miracle training machines - Nautilus. I underestimated the general public's acceptance of new inventions. A Nautilus Club opened right across the street from Jon's. They offered $99 lifetime memberships. Cole's clientele swarmed over there like sewer rats to a garbage dump [my sentiments exactly]. Jon tried to convince them that resistance contraptions could not produce the same strength results and conditioning as free weights. His logic fell on deaf ears. The lure of plush carpets and chromed everything was too enticing. His business dwindled and almost ceased. No longer able to pay the salaries of his numerous employees, bankruptcy loomed on the horizon. 

Entering the picture then was renowned sports announcer Joe Garagiola. With his financial resources and smooth tongue, he offered his assistance to bail Jon out of his predicament. To abbreviate a long story, Garagiola's interest eventually was to take the big man right out of the picture. A betrayal of confidence did not set well with Jon. Vindication can be sweet revenge, but Jon, being of high character, chalked it up as another stumbling block in his life to overcome. "If another person injures you, you may forget it. But if you injure him you will always remember it." To compound his problems the ill winds of change and politics released him from ASU coaching obligations.

While Jon was still in graduate school he worked as a bouncer at a place called Jay-Dees in Tempe. Jon admits he never lost a fight. His strategy was the element of surprise. He would strike silent and fast like a cobra before a potentially serious problem could escalate. It would be merciful and would leave a hapless agitator to sleep it off in na-na land and awaken the next morning wondering why he felt like he'd been run over by a Mack truck.

Jon can vividly recall a host of enlightening moments in his illustrious career. It is strangely coincidental that when Jon was flinging the discus a rash of numerous, unexplained UFO sightings were being reported in the Arizona sky. Jon was most adept at throwing things . . . 

One story goes that once while trying to lift the stubborn barbell he tried a heavy lift in the Clean. He missed numerous times. Finally, frustrated and enraged, he tossed the heavy apparatus with a tremendous outburst of power into an adjacent wall. 

Jon had a special gift for throwing a baseball. He once threw 430 feet. Consider that the length of a football field is 360 feet, and you can imagine how far that is. Once he and javelin thrower Mark Murro went to the ASU field around dusk. Murro with a mighty grunt sailed the ball out around the 400 foot mark. Cole noticed a student in the far distance walking on campus between classes. Jon let loose with a mighty toss and remembers wondering how close to him it would come. Well, too close is the answer. It thunked him right in the head, knocking the poor fellow unconscious. His books and papers flew everywhere. The whole affair, though unintentional, made them beat a hasty retreat. Jon was slightly relieved when after searching the next morning newspaper obituaries that nothing was there concerning the incident.

Once for a group of children Jon volunteered to hoist the rear end of a Volkswagen. A crowd had gathered at a mall parking lot. They showed up with a station wagon instead. Not wanting to disappoint anyone he gave it a go. His face turned red from the exertion and his trademark - those monstrous neck veins - bulged like rope cords. Just as it cleared the ground Jon's hamstring tore. He bellowed in pain as the crowd gave him a loud ovation. Unconcerned, the guy promoting the event came over to Jon as he was roaring in pain, revealed that another group of children were coming and . . . "Could you please do it again?" Cole, in total control, trembled in pain and rage and fought off an overpowering urge to wring his neck like a chicken.

Jon conveyed an overwhelming impression to all who saw him lift. He always demonstrated a no-nonsense approach to the task at hand. Ho theatrics or wild rages. His calm and cool demeanor gave no indication of the raging inferno within. He channeled his enormous strength into the main objective - his overwhelming conquest of the helpless barbell.

Jon grew a beard in 1971 and had kept it ever since. It accentuates his Herculean physique and gives him a stately character. Jon liked it because it squared off his jaw, and one was able to distinguish the point where his 21.5" neck with that famous network of bulging, thick veins ended and his face began. For those of you who ogle large body proportions, Jon possessed some impressive measurements at 280 lbs. The notability of his underpinnings (thighs 32", calves 20") took second billing to his upper body development - forearms 16, chest 55, waist 34, and upper arms measured a sleeve-busting 23.5".

His shoulder breadth and massive deltoid development made him one of the top physical specimens in Iron Game annals. His neat, well-dressed appearance and platform demeanor always exemplified powerlifting by presenting a good image to the public.

Jon decided to end his hiatus and enter the arena of competition again in 1977. Between 1972 and 1978 as his business flourished then dried up he and Pamela became involved in the Pentecostal Church. His first significant spiritual encounter came at a Billy Graham (the evangelist, not the wrestler) crusade. At the part where they play "Just As I am' and invite you to come down, Jon experienced an overwhelming feeling. He describes it as having warm syrup pored over him. As the Spirit of the Lord descended upon him - Jon describes that feeling as though a great weight was lifted from his chest - his devils were cast away and it changed his life.

The church welcomed Jon and dubbed him a modern day Samson. They encouraged Jon's plans of a comeback that year at the Senior Nationals in Santa Monica. Jon's newly discovered ideology left him with the misconception that his strength was a God given gift and all he had to do was show up and compete.

Six weeks out his ecclesiastical patronage asked Jon how his training was going. Jon awakened to reality and realized that the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain, but if you don't prepare for it the mountain might feel awfully heavy. A six week vigilant regime reactivated dormant strength. It was too little too late. Jon entered at 242 and managed 705-463 before he injured himself and withdrew. Doug Young, the eventual winner, totaled 2017.

Undaunted, he continued pertinaciously. Not too long thereafter his old strong self returned. He posted 785-505-775-2060 at a meet in Arlington, Texas.

Jon decided to prepare properly for the 1978 Nationals. Once again, fate intervened (if you believe in such things). Right before the competition, sprinting with the ASU football team, he stepped in a gopher hole, spraining his ankle and back and tearing his thigh. Jon showed up at the meet limping, but started the competition impressively. He squatted with his trademark explosiveness - 804! He smoked the 518 bench press but lost control with 534. Crunch time came in the deadlift. His injured quadriceps wouldn't permit his leg to function. Twice he ripped up 733, and in desperation 744. Each time his leg stiffened and he jerked spasmodically unable to straighten up. It was the last time he stepped on a lifting platform.

Can there be a greater fulfillment in life than to realize all goals and ambitions? Jon thinks so. There are many facets to the intricacy of his personality. Coach Cole is philosophical, considerate, aristocratic, analytical, focused, trusting, polite, charismatic, influential, tenacious, and most of all indelible.

I spent nearly eight hours on the phone interviewing Jon. I feel as if I understand his complexities, quests, yearnings, and all the struggles with the barbell and himself. He has a mystique that evokes admiration and inspires to bring out the best in us all. Jon's greatest achievement was not his conquests in the strength kingdom but those who - through his teachings and knowledge in athletic achievement - have helped others to be the best that they can be.

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