Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed's Collection
Louis Riecke started training at the New Orleans Athletic Club in 1946 and still represents this club. He is 5'8" tall and weighs 181 pounds. Like many competitive lifters, he doesn't know or care what his measurements are. At present he is the only American lifter to hold a world's record - quite an honor and well deserved by this great athlete.
The future looks bright for veteran Lou Riecke, but not with challenges. He faces stiff competition from young Gary Cleveland and Tommy Kono at the Senior Nationals and again at the Olympic tryouts. Once he makes the Olympic team, he will be facing such international stars as Veres, Plukfelder, and Toth. Although the future is on the bright side for Lou, the past has had setbacks and disappointing moments.
In the 1961 and 1963 National Championships, he lost by the narrowest margin to Tommy Kono. In 1963 he had hopes of placing high in the World's Championships, but disappointment struck again and he was unable to lift due to a back injury sustained while in Stockholm prior to the Championships. He is a true athlete, and as such, each setback and disappointment has served to increase rather than destroy his determination.
Lou is currently in the best shape of his life and we asked him about his training.
He replied, "I work mostly with weights now, but if I don't get in some kind of weight training on a workout day, I do an isometric routine in my garage doing one repetition in each of six to eight positions. I think this really helps.
I train five days a week with Friday and Sunday being my rest days. Tuesday and Saturday and very short, half hour workouts. On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday my workouts usually last 1-1/2 hours.
I make it a point to train fairly fast.
"I do presses twice a week, snatches once a week, and clean and jerks once a week. Snatches and cleans are not done on the same day.
"As to assistance exercises, I am currently doing press lockouts, high pulls with both a clean and snatch grip, and full squats.
"The press lockout is performed from my press sticking point which is about the top of my forehead. I do this exercise two or three times a week, mostly heavy singles up to 350.
"I do high pulls using straps and pull as high and as hard as I can in sets of 3 repetitions. I do 2 reps from the floor the and 3rd from the hang. With a wide (snatch) grip I work up to 10 or 20 pounds over my best snatch. With a clean grip I work up to 10 or 20 pounds over my best clean. I do this exercise two or three times a week usually one day with a snatch grip and one or two days with a clean grip.
"I believe in full squats because every time I do them my total goes up, Just two weeks before I snatched the 325, I broke my lifetime squat record by a 500 pound full squat in three separate workouts. I work squats twice a week."
Lou usually lifts much more in a contest than in training. His best training lifts are 300 press, 285 snatch, and 350 clean and jerk. His best contest lifts are 310 press, 325 snatch, and 375 clean and jerk. His best official total is 975.
We were therefore very interested in how he prepared for a contest. We asked him this question and he explained:
"I usually plan several weeks or more ahead of time what I want to total. I think about these lifts until two days before the contest. Then I relax my mind and forget lifting. I train the Monday before a Saturday contest fairly heavy (290 press, 265 snatch, 325 clean and jerk) and then lay off completely until the contest on Saturday. The only exception is that I may do some light presses with 205 pounds on Wednesday.
"In a contest before I make a lift, I read over a list of things I must do to make the lift. This list is prepared by me because of technical errors which I usually make and is intended to prevent their recurrence.
"For instance, I found that on several occasions I missed my first attempt in the press because I figured it was light and expected it to go up by itself. My notes tell me to put out on every lift.
"In the snatch I sometimes lean to the right and lose the weight. My notes tell me to push down hard on BOTH feet. This results in a straight pull.
"In the clean and jerk my common error is pulling too far forward. This cost me the National Championships twice and once resulted in a sprained ankle in Los Angeles (I forgot to take my list with me). My notes tell me to pull close to the body and keep the weight in.
"Also, in a meet I am convinced that I must get worked up a little to make heavy lifts. I have tried to be nonchalant and complacent about it and have missed attempts as a result. I am a competitive lifter and I must have the desire to lift.'
The times I have seen Lou lift, it was definitely apparent that he had the desire not only to lift, but also to win. He is a very competitive lifter.
We asked Lou about his eating and sleeping habits . . .
"I usually sleep eight hours a night and try to eat a good diet heavy in protein. However, I must eat a certain amount of ice cream and sweets to keep my weight up"
HEAVY OLYMPIC WORKOUT
135 x 5 x 5
205 x 3 x 3
255 x 1
275 x 1
285 x 1
135 x 5 x 5
205 x 1
225 x 1
255 x 1
265 x 1
275 x 1 (sometimes)
Clean & Jerk:
135 x 5 x 5
205 x 3
255 x 1
275 x 1
305 x 1
325 x 1
340 x 1 (sometimes)
TYPICAL SQUAT WORKOUT
225 x 5
305 x 5
350 x 5
400 x 5
450 x 5
475 x 3
490 or 500 x 1.