Sunday, October 20, 2019

Pat Casey: King of the Bench Press - Bill Pearl (1963)

Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed

Pat Casey, Bill Pearl.
Both men tape 20.5 inches cold around the biceps. Casey is 23 years old, scales 270 pounds. Not satisfied with his 520-pound world record in the bench press, he expects to eventually increase it to 600. He does his training at Bill Pearl's Gym on Manchester Boulevard in Los Angeles. See article for Pat's training routine and the unusual diet he follows. 

In the past ten years I have written several articles on training advice and on some of the outstanding people I have trained with. None of the  articles was as easy to do as this of Pat Casey, not because of his help, but because I have watched him progress over the years and he has been a real inspiration to me. 

The first meeting with Pat was in 1957, in San Francisco, when he was competing in the Teenage Mr. America contest. I was one of the judges who was asked to interview the contestants. When Pat entered the room, I couldn't believe anyone as big as he was could possibly be 17 years old. He weighed 215 pounds and carried the weight wonderfully well.

We asked him numerous questions in regard to the sports he participated in at high school and he mentioned he had lettered in football, wrestling, and track. I had previously heard he was very strong, so asked him what he could bench press. He said he could bench press 420 pounds with a 2-second pause. 

This about bowled me over because I had never seen ANYONE bench press this much weight. I said, "Can you do it rignt now?" His answer was, "I'll be happy to show you." That was enough proof for me! I didn't carry it any further. I gave him all the points for athletic ability I could possibly give. I think all the other judges followed suit. He left the room with all of us shaking our heads. 

I continued hearing about Pat Casey's feats of strength via the grapevine as time went on. Some of them sounded so impossible I started writing to him asking for some advice on how I could get my poundages up in certain lifts. This started a correspondence that continued until I purchased the gym in Los Angeles where he trains. Any advice he ever gave me was based on his own experiences and he did everything possible to encourage me to do better. I later found out he was giving the same service to numerous people.

Pat is now 23 years old and has continued to climb the ladder of strength with the years. He now holds the world's record for the bench press with 530 pounds, with a 2-second pause on his chest, and any other lift he has spent any time on has gone completely sky high as well. He weighs 270 pounds and has the following cold measurements: 

Neck: 19.75 inches
Biceps: 20.5
Chest (normal): 55
Waist: 39
Calf 18.5
Forearms (hanging): 15.5

Pat's best lifts are: 

Bench Press: 535 pounds, in training, 2 second pause; 530, in competition, for World's Record.

Squat: 585 pounds
Barbell Curl: 205 (seldom ever curls a barbell) 
Seated Press Behind Neck: 325

Incline Press: Two 210 pound dumbbell - 5 sets of 4 reps. 

Dip: 340 pounds x 3 reps

Lying Triceps Extension: 270 x 3

Pat's goals in some of these lifts are: 

Bench Press: 600 pounds, 2-second pause at chest
Full Squat: 700 
Seated Press Behind Neck: 400
Strict Curl: 260
Dip: 400

The following diet that Pat adheres to is exactly what he eats and he never varies from it. He has been following this particular diet for approximately four years. 

He drinks four to six quarts of milk a day, has three eggs for breakfast, eats meat once a week and has a salad twice a week. His knowledge of nutrition is tremendous and he studies in continuously and has a wonderful home library on the subject. 

His Training Schedule 

Pat trains three or four times a week and his training periods last from three to four hours each. He never misses a workout and keeps an account of every training session in a notebook with a summary at the end on how it went. He has done this for years and can tell you exactly what he did on any day as far back as 1955. He feels this has been a great help to him in his progress and acts as an excellent reference when planning his training programs.


Bench Press - Warm up and then do 5 single reps with 500 to 510 with a 2-second pause. He does a total of 15 sets all together.

Squat - 5 x 5, 300 to 500 pounds.

Power Clean - 3 x 3 up to 320.

 Wide Grip Chins - 10 sets of 8 reps

Wrestler's Bridge Pullover and Press - 5 x 4 reps up to 305.


Incline Press - 2-210 pound dumbbells, 4 x 4.

Squat - Works up to 5 heavy singles with limit weight and then does half squats from a bench for total of 15 sets. 

Dip - 10 x 3 reps, 300 pounds. 

Barbell Row - 3 x 5 reps working up to 350.

Lateral Raise on Incline - 3 x 20 reps, fairly light weight for pump.


Bench Press - Same as Monday.

Squat - Same as Wednesday.

Triceps Extension on Bench with Barbell - 10 x 4 reps working up to 270.

Power Clean - Same as Monday.

Wrestler's Bridge Pullover and Press - Same as Monday. 

Pat's inspirations have been Marvin Eder and Norbert Schemansky. He personally feels that Eder was possibly the strongest man, pound for pound, of all time.

He is presently working as a shipping clerk for a book company, putting in eight to ten hours, five days a week. He has considered going in to professional wrestling after his goals have been reached in bodybuilding. 

Regardless of what he does, he will end up as much a credit to it as he has at bodybuilding and have supporters all over the world pulling for him.

Pat Casey is strong . . . Strong . . . STRONG! 

More on Pat Casey and his training here:

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