Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed.
Originally Published in This Issue (October 1956)
How 'bout that strict Press form!
Tommy Kono was born twenty-five years ago (June 27, 1930) in Sacramento, California, but he now lives in Honolulu, where he manages a physical culture equipment and health store. In Honolulu he lives with Dr. Richard You, that very famous dietician, who supervises Tommy's diet. Dr. You has just been appointed one of the two physicians for the U.S.A. Olympic team to Melbourne, and as regular readers will know, two of his articles have only recently appeared in the pages of this journal.
Kono started his weightlifting career in 1948 and in those days he lifted in the 148 lb. class, but by 1952 he had graduated into the 165 lb class in which division he captured the Olympic title in Helsinki, Finland. In 1953 he again lifted in the 165 lb. class and won the world title. In 1954 and '55 he lifted in the world championships in the 181 lb. class and annexed both titles.
In the 165 lb. class he holds the world's records for the press, 295.5 lbs.; the clean & jerk, 371.25 lbs.; and holds the accepted total record of 903 lbs., although he has totaled 935.5 in the class unofficially. The only other two men ever to total over 900 lb. in the 165 lb. class are Bogdanovsky and Duganov of Russia, who have done 914.5 and 909 respectively.
In the 181 lb. class he pressed 317.5 lb. on March 9th this year in Honolulu to break the longstanding world record of 315.25 set on July 26th, 1949, by Gregory Novak of Russia. He has also snatched 290 lb., as compared to the world's record of 299.75 held by Vorobyev of Russia; and his best clean & jerk is 380 lb. compared to the world record of 381.25 by Lomakin of Russia. He holds the total record in this class at 958.75 but he has totaled the almost incredible 977.5 lb. via press 317.5, snatch 290 and 370 clean & jerk, but since this was not made in competition with two other countries it cannot be accepted as a world record total. He also totaled 964 lb. in the Pan American Game held in Mexico City in 1955. Although Tommy lifts in the 181 lb. class his heaviest recorded weight is 175, which needless to say is a considerable disadvantage when lifting against men five pounds heavier.
Kono's normal weekly training schedule is currently as follows:
Monday: power clean, clean, squat
Tuesday: press, bench press
Wednesday: power clean, snatch
Friday: power clean, clean, squat
Saturday: press, bench press.
His sets and reps are as follows:
Power clean: 4-6 sets of 3 reps
Clean: 4-8 singles
Squat: 3-4 x 3 reps
Press: 7-8 x 3 reps
Bench press: 3 x 3.
Aside from those already listed his best lifts are:
Press: 300 at 165 in Hawaii
Bench press: 380
Front squat: 420 x 2
He has also standing pressed a pair of 115 lb. dumbbells.