Bill West Spotting Merjanian at Muscle Beach
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- ARTICLE COURTESY OF LIAM TWEED -
Meet "Powerhouse" Steve Merjanian
by Vern Weaver (1965)
In this modern era of strength athletes there are very few men who can equal or surpass the great feats of Steve Merjanian. He is truly a man of super strength.
Steve began his athletic career as a high school football player. He attended Manual Arts School in Los Angels and was chosen all city lineman in 1952 and '53. Steve also participated as a wrestler during this same period.
When Steve began weight training twelve years ago he was interested in becoming a bodybuilder. However, somewhere along the line he must have been extremely impressed by great feats of strength, because his present training routine consists of mostly POWER exercises. Everything he does is a great feat of strength. He employs stupendous poundages.
Steve is capable of performing the following feats:
Seated Incline Press (60 degrees) - 470 lbs.
Bench Press - 500
Press Behind Neck - 335
Dumbbell Press - 190's for 2 reps
Front Lateral Raise - 165 lb. dumbbell.
As all great athletes, he has set for himself very definite goals. He intends to do an incline press with 500 pounds; also press a pair of 250-lb. dumbbells. I have no doubt that he will succeed in these feats. In fact I think he will surpass both goals. No telling when or where he will stop.
Steve has an overabundance of drive and energy. Here in California we refer to him as a "swinger." Needless to say, he trains every day.
He is periodically employed as a movie extra. In fact, he had a very energetic role in "Muscle Beach Party." Big Steve is also the proud owner of a jewelry shop in downtown Los Angeles. (How about a nice watch? Only $29.95, guaranteed for 30 months.). When he isn't doing any of the above mentioned occupations he can be found at any one of the major film studios employed as an electrician foreman.
Steve's diet consists mostly of juices, meat, and eggs. He made no references to milk or supplements. I did not pursue the subject further, although I do assume that he never leaves the table in a state of starvation.
I have never seen a man as big as Steve with such an amazing symmetry. He maintains relatively small hips, thighs and waist. Of course this is no accident. Obviously he has planned his training schedule well.
As I mentioned earlier, Steve trains seven days a week. WOW! He mentioned that he is very much in favor of running. He runs at least twice a week. That's a real athlete. Steve is one heavyweight who doesn't fit into the lazy category. It's a pleasing change.
Steve's routine is as follows:
Dumbbell Press, 5x7 reps
Dumbbell Laterals, 5x7
Front Dumbbell Raises, 5x7
Pulley Rowing Motion, 5x7
Dumbbell Curl, 5x7
Lying Triceps Extension, 5x7
60 Degree Incline Press, 10x7 reps, 7x1 with max minus 20 lbs.
Bench Press, 5x7.
Calf Raise, 10 to 15sets x10 reps
Pulley Forearm Curl, 10-15x10
Pulls on Pulley Machine (for posterior deltoids), 10-15x10
Standing Triceps Extension, 10-15x10
Running, approximately one mile.
As you can see, his training days are somewhat flexible.
As in the the case of most athletes, Steve has a source of inspiration. In his case it just happens to be the "Mystery Man of the Iron Game" - Chuck Ahrens. They are both members of the Bruce Conner gym in Westwood, California. I can assure you that there is a lot of iron being hoisted around there when these two men are training!
In case you're interested in Steve's measurements, they are as follow:
Arms, 20.25 inches
at 280 pounds bodyweight.
In closing I'd like to mention that Steve is now in the process of writing a book on building greater body power. But between his training, movie work, and jewelry store his time is very limited, but he hopes to finish it one of these days and reveal the his methods and those of others.