Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Every Greenhorn Should Know, Part 3 -Joseph Curtis Hise

Marvin Eder

Bob McCune

What Every Greenhorn Should Know, Part 3
by J.C. Hise

For example, three boys I know (now about old enough to vote) tote chests in the four foot class. Their greatest chest gains were about 1½ inches in a month using what we chest specialists call “correct exercise”. These boys are “slow gainers” and so experienced they can change their exercise repetitions every time it is necessary . . . something successes must learn. One boy was 16 years old with a 46 inch chest. He had “three years” exercise – one month at 14, two months at 15, and two months at 16. He exercised every time he was due for a new suit of clothes, hence the reason for his “small gains”. His height was average for a 16 year old boy, and can be classified as a “fast gainer”. John Grimek exercised from 18 to 21 with scarcely a miss . . . gained very slowly and persistently. After he is 21 he grows with the greatest of ease. He is our “faster grower” and “faster loser” that we know of. He can almost change his size by power of will from 180 to 225 pounds. He is an example of the exerciser changing his type.

What should the beginner eat? If you are fed an omnivorous diet you need not change. I know of only one great strong man and exerciser, John Henry Miller, who is a vegetarian. It is a matter of taste on his part and he is not proud of it because he is such an outstanding exception to the rule. Many men when exercising are almost 100 percent meat eaters . . . when not training they slip back into normal omnivorism. Jim Evans, who has probably the largest chest of the lightweights, tells me that when in vigorous training he lives almost entirely on pork . . . when he eases up he retreats back to beef. He can stand but very little pork when not training hard. He never wasted any time on debating why, but observation taught him which was best for him. The alleged reason for this is that lard is high in linoleic and linolenic acids . . . VERY ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH, and are very rare in most foods. Farm made sausage or home made sausage is pork ground up with fat and makes very appetizing large quantities of lard than your taste could otherwise endure. Hence, it’s extremely popular with the “never fail gainers”. If you can’t gain on huge quantities of genuine sausage, such failure can not be in the type of food but unbalanced exercise or nervous strain or lack of sufficient leisure for recuperation.

There is nothing that melts away national stupidity so rapidly as strong healthiness among the populace. Large quantities of omnivorous food is necessary to erase stupidity and improve the health and power of the people. I know mountaineers of every race who, though stronger than the average plain dwellers, may still be stiff between the ears because of either poor quality food or insufficient supply. While they are invariably strong on personal liberty and devil their neighbors they still may lack good sense of the degree approved by well fed philosophers.

I believe in the wide spread application of weight training on the populace because of the mental and character benefits that they will fit themselves for. Such things as massive physiques, great strength and more favorable opportunity for long life and economic rating are just some of the delightful flavorings that makes one’s life one long joy ride to the lazy . . . though wise . . . healthy philosopher.

The ancient Greek dramatists knew well the diet peculiarities of strong men. Hercules when on the stage could spot a pantry as far as a bird dog can an ostrich. A strong man with a 38 inch waist has an appetite . . . one with a 26 inch waist has at least four big appetites. Those wasp waisted champions 15 minutes after a meal look like a python that has swallowed a Percheron horse. An hour later they look as thin as before. Many of the thinnest waisted ones have to live with one hand in the pantry and when they go out on public excursions have to have a couple of admirers carry a pair of gunny sacks loaded down with two or three hours’ food supply. One of these champions (on chow and weights) is annoyed with handshaking . . . because accompanied by his gunnysack toting flunkies he usually has a sandwich or so in each hand and reaching for another and time out handshaking is very hard on his food intake. Of the peewee champs I believe that Terlazzo has the “smallest” appetite and the only present heavy-weight that I know who has an even break . . . or can defeat the peewees “on the table” is Weldon Bullock. The gold medal winners and appetite champs unanimously endorse the superiority of Bullock. Hercules and Bullock should be the heavyweight fans’ saints because only those two have the certainty of proving that the BEST big eaters can win against the BIGGEST little eaters.

Beginners usually worry over their exercise periods per week. The first three years Grimek every other day with hardly a miss. After he developed into a “grow when I please” type he lost all such punctualness. Punctuality is a very fine servant but a very poor master. Most of the best instructors recommend three exercise periods a week and extend the advice to not worry if duties push it down to two or even one period some weeks. Many of the biggest chested men think that twice a week is best. Walter Podolak in his amateur days showed decided preference for about once a week after he became of good size. Three times in two weeks fits me almost as good as five times in two weeks. The latter seems best for a combination of rapid gains in strength and size in my case. A much rarer number differ altogether in the way they exercise but no beginner has any business knowing how such and such have to perform their exercise. Every beginner that we know of has made the most absolute failure on other exercise customs wherein it is advocated to exercise oftener than every other day.

How long does strength last? Will I lose it? Does one have to be born strong? Everyone has a born strength potential that he cannot go beyond. So far no one has ever developed near his biological potential. I believe that we will get some accurate ideas of the limitation of man’s biological potential in the next hundred years. Many of us feel sure that the present records are within the potentialities of the most ordinary humans. Those who are born “better” than the others, even though they may be the slowest of slow gainers, lose perhaps not over two percent of their strength when they quit training. Some claim to lose none and are truthful at the same time. John Henry Miller claims there is no change in him. I would also believe this is so of such “better men” as Jack Kent, Bob Mitchell and John Terry. I believe that the worst types of manflesh lose close to 25 percent. I lose close to 15 percent under the same conditions that bring no change to John Henry Miller. Grimek loses around 10 percent I think. He is “better” than me and yet was not born the “best”. A poor specimen may retain it all by exercising about once a month. We have every reason to believe that such a strong man will be in the mid-sixties before his strength begins slowly to ebb and the day he dies he is always stronger and superior in every way to his average competitor. He has been alive every day since he became a weight exerciser. His wide awake life may stretch from sixty to ninety years since his weight training began . . . yet his companion in age may have never been awake a single year of his life and very seldom as much as twenty or thirty years of “real perceptive life”. So it is entirely possible that the strong man may be really three or four times the age in useful experience of his twin in chronological years.




Thursday, February 17, 2011

The ABC's of Weightlifting, Part 14 - Tommy Kono

The ABC's of Weightlifting, Part 14
by Tommy Kono (1972)

For more detailed information
and some useful weightlifting products
see -> <-

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Pulling Technique Fundamentals, Part One

With the 2oth Olympiad in Munich just a couple of months away as this is being written and the FHI quadri-annual Congress meeting scheduled, it is with all probability that the controversial Press lift will be voted out of future competition. Should this take place all future competitions will be based on your ability on the other two lifts. This would mean that your pulling power combined with your leg strength will become all-important. However, even having the combined strength of the legs and back won't necessarily spell success unless they are employed with good technique.

During the past six weeks I've witnessed close to 400 lifters in competition having observed the Northern German, German Nationals, European Championships, and the U.S. Senior Nationals. The most common and obvious mistakes I've seen made by relatively poor lifters and even by many of the better lifters are on two distinct points pertaining specifically to the Snatch lift. Although these two points also apply to the Cleans they are more pronounced in the Snatch where the weight handled is lighter (in relation to the Clean) and the distance of the pull is longer.

The two most serious points of error made in pulling for the quick lifts are:

1.) The start of the pull from the platform is too fast.
2.) The bar is too far away from the body once the bar is in motion during the pull.

Too many of us tgend to rip the weight off the floor. This is especially true when the weight is close to our personal record. The inexperienced lifters always try yanking the bar off the floor with the idea of imparting a terrific momentary turn at the beginning of the pull to carry it through to the required height. All this always leads to some part of the body "giving in" instead of the weight leaving the platform quicker. The back either bows, the hips rise too fast, and the head and/or body "jarring", or the grip gives, or any combination of these things result which throws the body out of the correct position to continue the pull strongly.

Without going into many technical details I think it is essential for a lifter to go back to some of the basic mechanics involved in lifting to have a clear idea of what he is trying to achieve with his body to get the maximum efficiency for weightlifting.

Sometimes being too close to a problem we can't find a solution or see clearly unless it is pointed out in some other unrelated way and we see the problem with a detached view. Thus, let me explain what I see in boxing and shot-putting that can be applied to weightlifting.

The Boxers & Shot-Putters

Ever see a boxer throw jabs and then follow with a devastating punch with the opposite hand? Of have you sat in the stands in a stadium with your eyes glued on a shot-putter going through his motion across the circle? Or, even a baseball pitcher wind-up and unleash a sizzling fastball?

Now, I'm not an expert on these sports but I have some interest in all sports and I do enjoy watching boxing and all types of individual athletic events. I've also noted that there are certain basic "laws" the athletes must follow if they intend to develop maximum power in their delivery or throw as the case may be and this law also applies to weightlifting.

A boxer cannot deliver a hard or knockout punch if he is just jabbing with the power of his arm (unless the opponent steps right into the punch), but if the boxer throws his shoulder (body) into it he can certainly deliver a stronger punch.

The arms are built for fast delivery but the POWER COMES FROM THE BODY. The power generated from the body is transmitted through the coordinated movement of the arms to deliver the power in the punch.

The shot-putting movement is a very good movement to analyze for a weightlifter. Without going into many details, the basic idea behind this event is to have the longest contact with the shot in the shortest possible time while staying in the prescribed circle. Breaking the movement down the first thing the shot-putter does is to go into a crouch on one end of the circle, facing directly opposite of the direction he is going to throw the shot. He travels his HIPS from the back of the circle toward the front. After he does this smoothly he continues the forward movement of the shot by pivoting his hips to continue the momentum generated toward the front, coming out from the low crouch position, shifting his bodyweight from one leg to the other momentarily. His shoulder twists into action and he extends his body, right leg and right arm and finally the iron ball leaves the finger tips.

Now, let's get down to the essence of this article.

The Law

The boxer nor the shot-putter never started to throw a punch or the shot with the arm. The throw was INITIATED FROM THE BODY or more accurately from the center of the body (or from the hips). The other body parts followed through to transmit the power to the hand. The arms added quickness to the movement at the VERY END of the throw. This is the basic law that governs action in every sport where strength is involved in throwing, striking or pulling with the arms. Yet, why do so many weightlifters attempt to use only the power of their arms and shoulders to start the pull?

Big arms are no indication of pulling power or the ability to Snatch of Clean heavy weights. Our national record holders in the quick lifts like Rick Holbrook and Rawluck, just to name a few, certainly do not possess large arms nor do Baszanowski, Rigert and Pervushin who hold world records in the Snatch. I might even go on record to state that large and/or strong arms are actually a hindrance for record Snatches and Cleans simply because the possessor will almost automatically rely on the RELATIVELY stronger muscle group of his body (in this case, the arms) to lift (pull) when the weights become heavy in training and consequently in competition.

I've stated previously that the seat of power, figuratively and literally speaking, comes from the powerful hips and buttock muscles. From here the power radiates outward and the muscle groups become weaker in proportion to the distance away from the center of the body.

In the accompanying drawing (see Figure 1) you'll note the outstretched figure with the arms raised overhead has concentric circles radiating outwards from the hips. This is more or less how the strength in our body diminishes with the greatest concentration of strength in the hips and buttocks area.

The Scottish National Coach, David Webster, explained it beautifully in another way during one of the weightlifting clinics that we conducted together. Like a pebble dropped in a pond, the waves created are strongest at the beginning but as the waves (rings) drift farther away from this point, they diminish in height and strength until completely dissipated.

Let us state a few simple facts before tying things together:

1.) The bigger the muscle group, the stronger it is.
2.) Generally speaking, the hips, buttocks, thighs, and lower back muscles are the thickest and strongest muscle groups in the body.
3.) The hips, thighs, and lower back are not made for speed of movement but rather for strength.
4.) The arm muscles are comparatively weak in relation to other body parts.
5.) The arms and fingers (hands) are made for more delicate (refined) and accurate, quick movements.

Applying the Law to Lifting

The start of the pull from the platform should be a deliberate, controlled pull because we are acting on an inert mass and we must get the bar moving. The strong buttocks, hips, and thigh muscles must initiate the movement without any attempt to flex the arms. This means that when the lift commences the ANGLE OF THE BACK in relation to the floor REMAINS FIXED until the bar reaches at least knee height. Study Figure 2 to see how the legs have ALMOST straightened out from the flexed position of the start while the angle of the back in relation to the floor has still remained unchanged.

Sometimes the experienced lifters who have either learned or fallen into the habit of using the arms to start the pull will find it extremely difficult to start the pull in the correct manner. To relearn something is extremely difficult because of the pattern we had set from numerous repetitions performed in the incorrect way. In this case it is better to channel our concentration in another way, in a method we had never thought before, so that we have no chance of falling back into the old pattern.

Push the Floor Down

When we start our pull, whether we think about it or not, the idea behind it is to create distance between the bar and the floor (or platform). This can be accomplished by either thinking of lifting the bar away from the floor (which is the way we ordinarily think) of just the opposite - THINK OF PUSHING THE FLOOR DOWN AND AWAY FROM THE BAR. Now, we all know that it is physically impossible to push the floor of the platform downward or punch holes in the floor with our feet by exerting pressure downwards; but, we can imagine it while holding tightly to the bar.

If you can get your body into the proper starting stance (i.e., arms straight, back flat or arched in and hips relatively low) and hold this fixed position and think in terms of pushing the floor directly downward you'll have no problem getting the right start for your pulls.

A point I want to interject here is that I am explaining the proper starting position for the Olympic lifts and not for Powerlifting movements. The powerlifters in performing the Deadlift will have altogether another position of the body for their goal is not that of accelerating the bar but to get the body in the strongest position to keep the bar moving.

Keep The Bar "In"

Once the bar reaches knee height in the Snatch most lifters have a tendency of swinging the bar away from the body rather than making an effort to keep the bar traveling close to the body. Perhaps I should state this a little differently so that you have a clearer idea of what you should attempt to do once the bar reaches knee height. Keep the BAR AND THE BODY as close as possible in relation to each other while the bar is traveling upwards. The moment the body separates from the bar or the bar from the body the less leverage you will have at the time of the finish of the pull.

I've included four photos to help illustrate this point. First study the photo of East German heavyweight Grutzner in the pull of 363 lbs. in the Snatch which he made at the world championships in Lima, Peru. Notice that the bar is so close to his body that it is actually digging into his thighs. How much closer can you get to the bar? The next photo of Grutzner is with 352 lbs. and he is in the process of going under the bar for the Snatch. The bar travels slightly farther back and the shoulders and head move under and to the front of the bar at the same time to make this a good lift. Many lifters fail to make the lift because at this stage either the bar is too far in front (as a result of swinging it out and trying to bring it back in line) or the head, shoulders and hips are too far behind the bar to counteract the swinging effect of the bar from the body.

In the 3rd photo is Russia's midheavy Kolotov in the act of snatching 319 lbs. Note how close the bar is to the body as it passes the hip-waist region. From here the bar travels close to the chest so that there would be very little forward movement of the bar which would cause the bar to get away from the body. This also means that the arms cannot be straight at this phase but there should be a "break" in the elbows outwards to the SIDES so the result would be that the bar is close to the chest.

The 4th photo that of Russia's second best heavyweight Batishev performing Wide Grip High Pulls (Snatch grip) off of boxes with 330 lbs. Note how the elbows are well out to the side which keeps the bar in close to the body. He attempts to keep the bar close to the body and LIFTS HIS ELBOWS UP HIGH.

Incidentally, nearly all good technicians on the Snatch do not wear lifting belts when performing the lift as they have a tendency to get in the path of the bar because it is pulled so close to the body.

In your next training session when you perform the Snatch, Cleans or any type of pulls (other than the Power Snatch and Power Cleans) start the pull by pushing the platform down then follow through by keeping the bar close to your body and see how much more efficiently you will pull it.

If you concentrate enough on these two points you may forget what weight is loaded on the bar and it won't make any difference whether it is 135 lbs. or 255 lbs. for you'll acquire a good feel for the pull and you'll be using good technique.

Series made possible with the help of
Reuben Weaver and Jeff Schanz

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bill West, Pioneer of Powerlifting - Peter Vuono

Bill West, Pioneer of Powerlifting
by Peter Vuono (1983)

The readers of Powerlifting USA who have used lifting aids such as knee wraps, wrist wraps, elbow wraps, or a wide lifting belt owe a great deal of thanks to the man who popularized these training aids – Bill “Peanuts” West. So too, if any of the readers have employed in their programs such aids as the bench or box squat, the cheating bench press, extended deadlifts, deadlifts off blocks or the touch method on any of the three lifts, then they also owe a great deal of thanks to the man who popularized these techniques – BILL WEST.

It was Bill West who, through a plethora of articles on the abovementioned techniques, his army of successful gym partners, and his famed Westside Barbell Club, made these techniques popular and basic necessities of power routines and part of almost every modern-day powerlifter’s program. Bill can truly be called the Godfather of Powerlifting.

Bill became interested in gaining size and strength in 1952 when he was 15½ years old. He became associated with Gene Wells who was then current Mr. Pennsylvania and lived near the young West. At the time Bill weighed only 87 pounds. He started training with Wells at John Fritshe’s Gym. Bill and Gene both dreamed about the famous Muscle Beach and Joy’s Muscle House by the Sea in Santa Monica, California.

So strong was this urge to migrate that Bill, with his friend, left for Santa Monica. West arrived in Los Angeles with $1.65 to his name. He purchases a bag of peanuts and a bus ticket for Santa Monica. Upon arriving he was given lodging by Fleurette Crettaz, also known as ‘Joy’ who ran a famous boarding house Called the Muscle House by the Sea. It was here that such greats as Steve Reeves, Jack Delinger and others stayed from time to time.

Bill’s training resumed as did his consumption of peanuts. He ate one pound of raw peanuts, ½ cup of peanut butter and six spoonfuls of peanut oil every day. His bodyweight rose from 87 to 102 pounds. In 60 more days his weight was up to 132; and at the end of the first year his weight had risen to 155. It was during this period that Joy stamped the name “Peanuts” onto Bill’s locker, giving him the nickname which he has carried to this day.

After his third year of weightlifting, Bill had risen to a bodyweight of 180. It the year 1955 and Bill started to compete in various lifting meets. He eventually posted Olympic lifts of a 260 press, 230 snatch and 315 clean & jerk; however, Bill felt that he didn’t have the proper physique nor the skills required for Olympic lifting and on the advice of Isaac Berger, he increased his bodyweight to 198 and pursued the three powerlifts.

Early in his powerlifting career Bill achieved a 355 incline press, a double dumbbell clean & press with 127 pounders, and seven reps with 130 pound dumbbells on the incline dumbbell press. He could also strict curl 175 pounds. Bill later rented a garage to be used as a training headquarters for himself and his friends. This garage had no electricity and was illuminated via candlelight. One evening when an auto accident drove all the members to the street, the Pacific sea breeze toppled over a candle and the garage was utterly consumed in the fire. It was then that Bill converted the garage behind his house at 4227 Neisho St. in Culver City, California to the legendary Westside Barbell Club.

Strong men from all over came to receive Bill’s expert knowledge and training advice. Among them were Pat Casey, the first man to bench press 600; Bill Thurber, American record holder in the bench press and total in the 148 lb. class; Leonard Ingro, the first middleweight to squat 500; hammer thrower Harold Connolly; shot-putter Dallas Long; and the immortal George Frenn, the first man to total 2100.

Under Bill West’s tutelage these strength stars made startling progress. Bill Thurber held American records in the squat, bench press and total in two weight classes; Leonard Ingro broke American records in the squat and total. George Frenn won the 1967 Senior Nationals and later broke myriads of records. Dallas Long won the 1960 Olympics in the shot put. Pat Casey went on to become the first man to squat 800 and total 2000. Another frequent visitor, Steve Merjanian, incline presses 500 lbs. on a 60-degree incline. The list goes on and on and the techniques used by the Westside Barbell Club did well for the master himself, Bill West. At about the same time of the great success of his gym mates, Bill was on a record breaking rampage himself.

On July 4, 1964, Bill bench pressed 430, squatted 555 and deadlifted 615 for a 1600 total. This total was 85 pounds heavier than the winning total at the 1965 Senior Nationals of the following year in the 198 lb. class. One year later Bill entered Leo Stern’s Los Angeles Invitational and squatted a record 585½ in the 198 class. That same year he won the Senior Nationals with a total of 15555 which included a record 587½ squat.

In 1968 Bill squatted 600 in the Senior National championships for another record and became the first middle-heavyweight to squat 600. In 1970 Bill made his best official total ever with a 430 bench press, 6365 squat, and 615 deadlift for 1680. This total still ranks in the top 40 lifetime totals according to Powerlifting USA magazine. In personal correspondence with this author, Bill stated that he made unofficial totals at exhibitions of between 1775 and 1825 on various occasions. This total would rank 8th according to Powerlifting USA’s lifetime totals of the Feb. 1979 issue, and 13th of the top 100 of the more recent April 1981 issue.

The tremendous success of Bill and his friends and their revolutionary techniques did not go unnoticed. The famous bodybuilding entrepreneur, Joe Weider, realized Bill’s genius and from 1965 to approximately 1971, Bill wrote a series of articles in Joe’s magazine outlining the techniques that he popularized and that would later be used by virtually every powerlifter from then until the present day. Here is the impressive list of articles which revolutionized powerlifting:

1.) Dec. 1965 – Muscle Builder magazine – “The Touch System”
Bill told of how the touching of the hands on the lifter in all three powerlifts helps him psychologically and physically get used to heavier weights.

In 1966 Bill wrote the following articles in Muscle Builder Magazine:
2.) “The Bench Squat”
How to make attempts feel lighter by squatting on a high bench or box.

3.) “Triceps Power Cheats”
How to cheat on the triceps extension to produce higher poundages.

4.) “Powerlifting Aids”
This was the first written account on wrist wraps, elbow wraps, knee wraps, flat shoes for the squat an deadlift, wide part of the belt in front for the squat and sponge rubber pads on the chest for benching.

5.) “Incline Power Rack Presses”
How to properly use the power rack and incline press to isolate middle sticking points in the bench press.

6.) “The Extended Deadlift”
How to provide a greater range of motion in the deadlift by placing blocks under the feet.

7.) “The Touch System in Bench Pressing”
How to place the hands on the bench press bar which one’s partner is using to assist in a sticking point. This is now called forced reps.

8.) “Using the Touch System in the Deadlift”
How to make one’s deadlift feel lighter by using a physical assist from one’s partner.

9.) “Lockout Prones for Power”
How to increase one’s bench press using the power rack.

10.) “Build Power With These Rack Deadlifts”
How to increase one’s deadlifting using the rack.

11.) “775-lb. Deadlift: How I Did It”
The deadlift training philosophy of Bill West and George Frenn.

This author defies any powerlifter to say he has never used at least one of these techniques at one time during his career. Practically all powerlifters today use a routine of power aid that was popularized by the great Bill West, the Godfather of Powerlifting. Bill’s genuine and unselfish interest in helping others has created a science that has lasted and prevailed even unto the present day, and a lengthy list of records by male and female lifters who have used his techniques. On behalf of every powerlifter who has ever broken a record, personal or otherwise, using techniques whose origins were unknown until now, t his author would like to extend thanks to Bill “Peanuts” West.

Friday, February 11, 2011

14-Week Deadlift Cycle - Vince Anello

14-Week Deadlift Cycle
by Vince Anello (1983)

My workouts are based on singles which I cycle accordingly. Everyone responds in their own way to different types of rep and set systems. I happen to thrive on singles; many other weight trainers do as well; some do not. I do feel, however, that this routine will benefit a great many powerlifters and increase their deadlift. As you will see, the method of performing singles is a little unique.

I am not going into a squat routine as I am not a Fred Hatfield, but I do feel that PARTIAL SQUATS benefit my deadlift. After regular squats, I set the pins on the power rack so that when I touch the pins the angle of my leg bend is approximately the same as the start of my deadlift. The same foot stance should also be used as in the deadlift. For, that is close! Lower the weight slowly to the pin, touching the pin but not resting on it, and perform three reps in the same manner. I recommend 3 sets of 3. The weight used is relative to the structure of the individual. I do this exercise after my squats and add from 30 to 50 pounds more than my top squat for the day. This may have to be modified to suit the individual’s strength, weaknesses, and structure. I would recommend this only be done once a per week. Because of the taxing effect on the back, I would recommend the squat and deadlift not be performed on the same day early in the cycle. I would also drop this movement about three weeks prior to the meet and squat and deadlift on the same day to simulate contest conditions.

I have drawn up a 14-week routine for the deadlift. If a lifter’s previous best was 600, I feel 650 would be a realistic goal. The deadlift will be performed once a week, and we will start week 1 with a single of 510 and increase 20 pounds every other week. THE PROGRAM ON THE ALTERNATE WEEKS IS THE UNIQUE PART OF THE ROUTINE, AND THE PART WHICH BRINGS THE RESULTS!

Week 1:
Deadlift – 255x10, 305x5, 405x2, 455x1, 510x1.
Partial Deadlift (from knee) – 455x5, 510x3, 560x2.

Week 2.
Deadlift – 255x10, 305x5, 355x3, 405x2, 455x1x5. The final group of five singles is performed with only one minute of rest between sets. Time this and be honest with yourself.

Week 3.
Deadlift – 275x10, 325x5, 375x3, 425x2, 475x1, 530x1.
Partials From Knee – 475x5, 530x3, 580x2.

Week 4.
275x10, 324x5, 375x3, 425x2, 475x1x5. Again, one minute timed rest between these five singles.

Week 5.
295x10, 345x5, 395x3, 445x2, 495x1, 550x1.
Partials From Knee – 495x5.

Week 6.
295x10, 345x5, 395x3, 445x2, 495x1x5. One minute rest between singles.

Week 7.
315x10, 365x5, 415x3, 465x2, 570x1.
Partials From Knee – 515x5, 570x3, 620x2.

Week 8.
315x10, 365x5, 415x3, 465x2, 515x1x5. One minute rest between singles.

Week 9.
335x10, 385x5, 435x3, 485x2, 535x1, 590x1.
Partials From Knee – 535x5, 590x3, 640x2.

Week 10.
335x10, 385x5, 435x3, 485x2, 535x1x5. One minute rest between singles.

Week 11.
335x10, 405x5, 455x3, 505x2, 555x1, 610x1.
Partials From Knee – 555x1, 610x1, 660x1.

Week 12.
Perform Squat and Deadlift on the same day, dropping the partial squats.
Deadlift – 335x10, 405x5, 455x3, 505x2, 555x1x5. One minute rest between singles.

Week 13.
355x10, 405x5, 455x1, 515x1, 555x1, 590x1.

Week 14.
Meet day. Warmup – 355x10, 405x5, 515x1, 555x1.
Opener – 590.
Second Attempt – 630.
Third Attempt – 650.

As I mentioned before, the program can be modified to suit the individual. Partials are discontinued on the 12th week. I would also combine the deadlift day with the heavy squat day in the 12th and 13th weeks.

The two bodybuilding exercises I perform for the deadlift are the lat pulldown and bentover row. I also work the Nautilus machines and perform one set to failure for all my bodybuilding.

I would recommend that lat work be done after the deadlift workout and on one other day, a total of two days per week. I have found the lats to be a very important muscle group in the deadlift. I would also recommend the principle of one set to failure for each exercise (two second contraction, hold at peak contraction for 2 seconds, four second negative each rep).

I would also recommend one set to failure of shrugs for the finish of the deadlift. I use a Nautilus machine but one can use a barbell. Perform this exercise along with your lat work. One should be able to get from 8 to 12 reps before one cannot perform another strict repetition. When 12 reps can be performed, raise the weight 10 pounds.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lee Moran's 1003-lb. Squat - Fred Hatfield

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Lee Moran's 1003-lb. Squat
by Dr. Fred Hatfield ((1984)

Let me tell you how he did it. It was at the 1984 Senior National Powerlifting Championships in Dayton, where the squatting duel of the century was to take place. Lee Moran, going head to head with Dave Waddington, the first man ever to squat 1,000 pounds. Dave made his historic lift back in June of 1981 at a local meet in Zanesville, Ohio. None of the officials were qualified to judge a world's record, so the Wadd's staggering feat never hit the record books.

Lee, it was rumored, was loaded for bear and hungry for the official title, the Sultan of Squat. The Wadd always hangs tough, though, and it promised to be a spectacle the likes of which the sports world had never witnessed before.

Waddington opened with an immense 942 pounds and missed it on depth. In fact he missed all his attempts on depth, even a third at 953, leaving the door wide open for Moran, if he was an enough to pass through the portal.

Moran backed out of the racks with the same weight Waddington had finished with, 953 pounds. The ponderous weight began to whip up and down, buckling Moran's body. The weight hit the floor with Lee not far behind, however, it decided to take a very ornery path to its resting place, over the top of Lee's skull, nearly ripping the skin off his head in the process.

Undaunted, and some thought outright deranged, the mighty Moran stepped back onstage to give it another try. Bar shaking, body buckling, crowd roaring, the bar was hoisted. Three white lights.

Time for the Big One, 1003 pounds! The bar now bent to its tolerance point across Lee's immense shoulders. He stood waiting for the referee's signal to "squat". Then it happened! All of the sudden plates were sailing through the air. Some from one side of the bar, then the other, causing spotters and officials to scatter for their very lives! With one side of the bar emptied, and the other now far heavier, the lopsided load snapped the bar about its axis over Lee's back like a hickory whip.

Was he dead? No, but witnesses will tell you that it's a miracle he survived intact, to say nothing of the folk standing in the immediate radius!

Of course, this was not Lee's fault. One of the collars had popped loose from the strain of over 1000 pounds. the officials gave Lee the opportunity to try the lift again. By this time the crowd, nearly 4000 strong, was screaming, sweating, and fairly out of their minds while encouraging Lee Moran to write his name in the record book for some time to come.

Maybe they wanted to see blood. It's a fair bet, knowing their disposition. More probably, they wanted to see history being made. They wanted to experience the moment of Lee's vicariously. feeling the crippling weight mashing their vertebral discs together so hard that a lesser man's would turn to bone meal.

Once again, Lee bent the inch-thick bar across his shoulders and set up for the referee's signal. He got the clap. The noise was deafening in the huge Municipal Convention Center as the crowd roared for Lee. Down he went, resting his prodigious trunk against his beer-keg thighs. Then he exploded, bar vibrating, muscles straining, blood gushing from his nostrils in a torrent. The Mighty Moran pushed himself into immortality. The thousand pound barrier was officially shattered forever.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Goal Setting - Tommy Kono

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Goal Setting
by Tommy Kono

You know that a ship without a rudder will flounder around in the ocean. It can wander aimlessly forever. A commercial airplane would never leave an airport without a flight plan. It requires a destination; a time of departure and the time of arrival.

Our reason for training should be the same for we need a specific purpose and goals if we really want to show improvement. It is not enough to appear at the gym, all suited up to work up a sweat - unless you are there just to be physically active and to socialize.

Your training can be more meaningful and productive if you have a definite idea what you want to accomplish with your time at the gym. All this requires much thought before you even set foot in the gym. Having a definite objective in your training is critical if you want the time spent to be truly productive.

Let us say you want to break the Clean & Jerk record. Don't just say you want to break the C&J record. Be more specific and state the actual record weight that needs to be lifted. Where are you now in relation to that record lift you want to make? What kind of progression must you make to achieve this goal?

If your goal is to C&J 400 pounds and you are now lifting only 300, you have to find ways and means of improving 100 pounds in this one lift. You know you require good leg strength to accomplish a 400-pound Clean. If you can perform a minimum of 3 reps in the Front Squat with a weight above 400 pounds you have the possibility of succeeding in making the lift. If you can perform only 3 reps with 350, common sense will tell you that you cannot expect a 400-lb. lift. So here is where practicality comes in. You have to boost your Front Squatting ability if you want to C&J more so a t raining plan must be created that will work your legs to make them stronger.

If your best Clean is 300 pounds, you have to develop pulling power that will equate to a 400-lb. pull. It cannot be a dead lift and a shrug but a smooth, accelerating pull that can be high enough for a Clean of 400 lb.

These squatting and pulling powers will not increase overnight so this is where developing a logical training plan comes in - to gradually improve these core exercises.

If you have a definite goal in mind, by logical thinking you can break it down into sub-goals that you will eventually attain; and this will lead to the fulfillment of your wish to succeed with your grand goal of a 400-lb. Clean & Jerk.

It will take great desire, determination, dedication, plus discipline of the mind; and the body must be adapting to these heavier loads. Sacrifices will be required as well as patience for the progress. It means quality effort and time must be spent to achieve the goal. To succeed, you must have faith in your ability to carry your training and training plan to success. Progress will come in increments so you must keep hammering away with your goal always in sight. Your focus on your goal should be so great that you even dream it in your sleep. Only when you come to the point of believing in your ability to accomplish it will this goal be met.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Power Rack Box Squats - Armand Tanny

Bill West

Power Rack Box Squats
by Armand Tanny

The chrome steel bar drooping threateningly across the squat rack in Bill "Peanuts" West's Westside Barbell Club was loaded to 900 pounds. Bill himself had always subscribed to the belief that in order to lift heavy weights you had to get used to the feel of heavy weights. 900 pounds at the time was about 400 over his best official squat. All he wanted to do was take it off the rack and do a few partial movements. He was alone. But taking the bar off the rack on his shoulders and moving forward a few inches had never been difficult for him. As he stepped forward this time, his balance was off slightly and a wobble went through him which he easily corrected. Okay. But only okay for a brief moment before a strange thing happened. Another wave of imbalance went through him, coming from nowhere, stronger this time, and he fought it hard. Then the third one engulfed him, like giant ocean waves, made him stagger, and he went down, out of control, as iron plates cascaded all over the place.

It was an embarrassing day for Bill as they hoisted him into the glittering ambulance, rigid as a stick, his back out of whack, conscious mainly of what they were thinking, the neighbors (heh, heh). They had always expected this. He knew they were right. That's what made living in suburbia so much fun. The bizarre tragedies. Not the simple ones like alcoholism, infidelity, or embezzlement.

But the insurmountable Bill had developed a lot of toughness from his years of lifting and he came out of it with nothing more than a badly strained back. That was four years ago. Since then he has created not only a new National Squat Record of 582 in the 198-pound class but also a safe and convenient method of doing partial squats with a heavy weight through the use of his privately designed power rack.

From this mishap he learned one everlasting lesson, and that was never to take any more steps than necessary with a really heavy weight on the shoulders. A squat is simply what it means: feet flat on the floor, lowering to a position slightly below parallel, coming erect, then off with the weight. The body has too many moving parts to tolerate walking with a heavy weight. Bill recalled the way Paul Anderson trained. The big safes on each end of a two-and-a-half inch thick bar, the trench he stood in, the slight knee bends at first, later progressing to full squats, but never, never walking around with the big weight on his shoulders. If mighty Anderson could be careful, why couldn't he.

The body is like a big tuning fork when standing there with 900 pounds on the shoulders. The slightest tap will start it to vibrating, slow of course, like waves, and once that starts no amount of struggle can stop it. Down you go.

The weeks that Bill lay on his back recuperating, all kinds of iron bars cart-wheeled through his brain. He thought of the power rack used in training for the Olympic lifts, but it was incorrect for the heavy partial squats he wanted to do. The uprights were too close together, correct for weightlifters who pulled in a more straight up and down line. The bar didn't need much clearance. But the way Bill pictured it in his mind he wanted to do a box squat with the help of the power rack. The box squat required a lot of horizontal movement so he decided to widen the fore-and-aft distance between the two crossbars to 16 inches and lengthen by several inches the three-quarter inch steel bars that served as elevation pins. In this way he could take the bar from a sitting position on the bench and come erect with plenty of clearance. With this in mind Bill built the power rack you see in the accompanying photos. The holes in the uprights are spaced 1¼ inches between the circumferences. The uprights stand eight feet high.

His box is a milk crate beefed up with two-by-fours making it perfectly rigid and still fairly light. It is virtually indestructible. It stands 18-and-a-half inches high which puts Bill himself (5'8") in a sitting position about 1½ to 2 inches above a parallel squat. This position seemed reasonable for a good bench squat. HIe could use a lot of weight now, much more than his limit squat. There is a great difference between this position and a position below parallel. Any point lower too nearly approaches the regular squat with a drastic weight reduction.

How could he do a bench squat without the crosspins interfering after the first rep? If he took it out of the rack by himself on the first rep, he had to start with the crosspins about seated shoulder height. On the second rep the bar would clang the pins before he had fully settled in the sitting position. The pins had to be placed below seated shoulder height. In this hunched starting position it was impossible to get started with an effective poundage. A spotter was necessary. Just one. Since his 900-pound fiasco Bill has taken 800 off the squat rack, walked backwards four feet, and made a partial squat on an 18-inch bench. He warily had three spotters standing by. But that was a waste of manpower. Using the power rack he needed only one man to assist since assistants are a necessary part of power training. Thus he developed what he calls the Assistant Box Squat Movement. From the sitting position the squatter hunches under the bar. An assistant standing behind bearhugs him under the arms and lifts him to an erect sitting position or even to a full standing position to get him started. The lifter is now on his own. He can assume a full sitting position without the bar touching the crosspins. When he completes the exercise, the spotter can help him lower the bar to the pins.

The whole point of the exercise is to start the lift from a full sitting position. Let the buttocks roll back, and in a continuous movement start forward and up again. You lose the effect if you don't settle into it all the way. If you only sit on the leg biceps, you get too much rebound from the muscle when it contracts. The spotter, as an added advantage, can help the lifter do forced reps by just touching the bar. Even where only a regular squat rack is available an assistant can help the lifter get started on box squats, but extremely heavy weights would not be recommended.

A lifting belt and a towel offers additional support. Tuck the towel under the belt for a more even support through the lower back and around the abdominals.

George Frenn, one of the nation's top hammer throwers and part of the group that trains at the Westside Barbell club, managed to do 5 forced reps on the box squat with 770 pounds with Bill West spotting. Bill said it was pure psychology, that he barely touched the bar. The feeling of security was there, and Frenn gave it everything he had.

Bill has observed that shrug squats, barely dipping with enormous weights, have little to do with developing a good full squat. He notes that Anderson, in one of his experiments, did half-squats for two months with high poundages and did not improve his full squat. In fact, by not doing full squats he lost not only the position but also the power. Partial squats will never replace full squats. They act as a supplement only. Anderson was doing 3,000 pound lockouts with his huge bar and the mattress across his shoulders. Surely he gained something from it, but not necessarily squatting technique and power.

Hiw own box squat as Bill sees it is a three-quarter squat in proportion to the range of the accepted official full squat. This gives the advantage of being a secondary squat workout, actually the alternate squat workout in his two squat workouts per week. He has come to believe that two full-squat workouts in a weekly program of training can be excessive. Too often one of the workouts was not up to par. Bench squats offer relief from this and enable the lifter to use top poundages both days.

In his weekly training program Bill will box squat on Tuesday and full squat on Saturday. He is consistent in this. Despite the greater poundages he considers the box squat his lighter day. This gives him four full days of rest before his full-squat program. If he advanced the box squat a day, giving him only three days rest before the full-squat, he might be short of power on his main day.

Box Squat Schedule in Power Rack

5 warmup sets - 2 sets x 7 reps, 2x5, 1x3.
Now Heavy - 7 singles.
Drop 100 pounds - 10 reps.
Drop 100 more - 10 reps.

That completes the workout for the day. This two times weekly full-squat/box squat program can be used by a semi-advanced squatter, one who does 400 or better. Perhaps twice a month, on Saturdays, limit attempts may be made on all three power lifts, squat, deadlift, and bench press. Calf work may also be done on the bench squat day. Though not wholly relevant to power lifting, a powerful calf does assist in the final lockout phase, and its meatiness gives the thighs support in the low position.

The box squat, ideal for the bodybuilder, fully develops the quadriceps. The muscle will take shape according to its normal inclination. Because it is lessens knee strain, the man desiring size only can do it three times a week as the main part of his thigh work.

At one point in his training Bill felt he should add leg extensions to his box squat program. The additional effort resulted in overtraining quickly. His muscles ached, and he did not recuperate. Intelligent training is a matter of restraint as well as hard work. Peak condition can be deceptive. You want to do more. But soon you learn there is no shortcut. Rest in necessary, but to a man in peak condition rest becomes almost a necessary evil.

Bill's big pleasure is developing new power lifters. Leonard Ingro, 161, at the recent Los Angeles Power Lift meet made a 475 squat. Many of Bill's pupils are beginning to surpass him, a secret satisfaction to him since he identifies with all of them.

The force of these big lifts is transferred to the feet, of course. Support of the feet becomes important. Bill finds simple sneakers the best. They give, are flexible and permit circulation. Heavy leather boots tire the feet after a couple of hours of training on power lifts. Lee Philips, a mighty power lifter, himself weighing in excess of 300 pounds, uses soft deerskin shoes and puts straps around the main stress points. Many Russian weightlifters use sneakers also.

The squat now exceeds the deadlift. It used to be the other way around. Modern training has perfected squatting techniques and repetition systems. Many power lifters now squat with more than they deadlift. Take Paul Anderson as the criterion. His best dead lift is 770; he squats with 1250, three reps.

Although the uprights on his own power rack is round stock, Bill suggest half-inch channel iron be used by anyone wishing to build his own. There are less holes to drill. two holes opposing each other in the U-shaped channel iron are easier to line up than the four holes in the round stock.

The power rack was built for safety, to support the great poundages used for partial movements. Take a lesson from Bill West and the members of the Westside Barbell Club in Culver City, whose deep respect for heavy weight has become their sure way of conquering it.

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