Sunday, September 27, 2020

Weight Training for Broad and Triple Jumpers - John P. Jesse (early 1964)

 The first two of 11 episodes are out.
Nothing else even comes close.
It is, quite simply, gonna be OUTSTANDING!


Sleep? You need to be told how important sleep is and instructed on how to sleep? 

Man, your problems run pretty deep if that's the case. 

Anyhow, all of Mr. Starr's articles done for the Crossfit bunch are now open to the public here: 

I'd really rather spend the time it takes to transcribe this John Jesse article. It's always better to add something new to the interwebs, as opposed to just pete and repeating what's already available. 

What follows below is interesting to me because it gives an indication of how weight training was used to improve specific athletic performance during that era that was live and going on five-and-a-half decades ago. Some books are mentioned that may be of interest as well. As always, though, a mind capable of thought will be able to see how these methods and the coach's logic behind them could be applied to other sports. Hey, if lifting itself is the sport you might think about looking at weight "training" as something like auxiliary movements that increase your efficiency in the lifts chosen to improve. The chosen lifts are your "sport" and I don't mean just the two Olympics or three Powers. Any major lift you choose to improve, seen as your sport. Or not. No matter, it's fun to look at "older" training literature sometimes, whether you are able to find a reason or way to apply any of it now or in the future or not.

The Article

A review of literature and periodicals relating to track and field techniques reflect that:

1) tremendous leg and abdominal strength is required by broad and triple jumpers for optimum performance in their events;

2) a general recognition by coaches that weight training contributes to overall strength and development in jumpers; and

3) a scarcity of material relating to specific methods of weight training for the development of strength in the muscles primarily used by athletes participating in these events. 
Optimum performance in the broad and triple jumps calls for the following qualities: 
1) great speed;
2) great jumping ability;
3) great skill; and
4) great strength in the related muscles. 
Among authorities there appears to be a greater emphasis placed on speed and jumping ability in the broad jump, while skill and strength are more strongly emphasized in the triple jump.
Kenneth J. Doherty [Modern Track and Field, 1960] comments that none of the Soviet triple jumpers were great runners or jumpers. Ruddi Toomsalu [Training and Technique of Soviet Hop-Step-Jumpers, 1960] writes that "strength exercises occupy about 40 to 50 percent  of the total training" for Russian triple jumpers who are among the best in the world as to performance records. Mikio Oda [The Hop, Step and Jump - clinic notes, 1956] states that "in training triple jumpers, I stress development of the legs as much as technique." Eng Yoon Tan [Research into the Hop, Step and Jump, 1959] writes, "Speed seems to be a very important factor in the triple jump, but of even more importance appears to be tremendous leg strength and muscular coordination." 
These comments raise an interesting question. How much further could American broad jumpers like Owens, Bell, Bennet and Boston, blessed with great speed and/or jumping ability. have jumped if they had applied 30 to 40 percent of their overall training program to the development of strength in the legs, abdomen, back and shoulders. 
The broad jump consists of four aspects: 
1) The run up consisting of a sprint at maximum speed with a slight gathering of forces during the final 3 or 4 strides. The sprint employs the following movement characteristics: 1) high knee lift; 2) forceful leg thrust; 3) great bounce or spring in the ankles and toes; 4) vigorous arm action; 5) good leg speed; 6) adequate length of stride. 1 through 4 are almost entirely dependent on the strength of the muscles involved in these movements.
2) Take off with explosive force to attain maximum height without appreciable loss in forward momentum. Violent extension of the takeoff leg employing a heel-to-toe movement of the foot, assisted by the accentuated lift of the leading leg and the upward thrust of the arms with arched back and head up, is the primary factor in gaining height. Mortenson and Cooper [Track and Field, 1959] comment that an explosive takeoff if probably the most contributing force in determining the distance attained. 
3) Action in the air to maintain balance and position the body for landing.
4) Perfect timing based on a well timed action with the legs held high till contact with the ground. Dean Cromwell [Championship Technique in Track and Field, 1949], Doherty [above], and Mortenson [above], write that keeping the feet high prior to landing is the most difficult aspect of broad jumping technique to learn and requiring extremely strong abdominal muscles. Theoretically, it has been estimated that for every inch the heels are kept up, a jumper will gain 1-1/2 inches in overall distance. [Geoffrey Dyson - The Mechanics of Athletics, 1963]. As the heels contact the ground, it requires a vigorous contraction of the knee flexors to bend the knees and of the abdominal muscles to bring the body forward. 
The triple jump consists of: 
1) a spring action for the approach;
2) a takeoff for the hop with emphasis on jumping forward, rather than up;
30 hop, step, jump aspects with emphasis on neuro-muscular coordination, balance, great rebound strength in the legs and the mechanical factors relating to distance covered in each aspect; 
4) a landing similar to the broad jump.
Eng Yoon Tan [above] comments that knee pickup is one of the most important things that one has to master in the triple jump, particularly of the hopping leg. 
In order to design a program for jumpers that emphasizes development of strength in those muscles classed as primary movers [Philip Rasch and Rober Burke - Kinesiology and Applied Anatomy, 1963] in a specific body movement, we should be familiar with the more important muscles used in the broad and triple jumps.
We must first concentrate on development of explosive power in the muscles that flex and extend the hip, knee, ankle and foot joints. 
High knee action in the sprint, that takeoff in the broad jump and of extreme importance through the different aspects of the triple jump is derived from the contraction of the hip flexors. The most powerful is the iliopsoas, a combination of two muscles originating of the upper rear of the pelvic girdle and crossing diagonally downwards where they insert to the upper end of the thigh bone. 
Two other prime movers in hip flexion are the pectineus and the rectus femoris, the latter also being an extensor of the knee joint. The abdominal muscles are called into action to improve the leverage of the hip flexors. They contract to lift the anterior rim of the pelvis causing the contraction force of the hip flexors, whose tendons run over the anterior rim, to be applied more nearly at right angles. [Gertrude Howley - An Anatomical Analysis of Sports, 1961].


Powerful leg thrust for sprinting, explosive takeoff in the broad jump and rebound extension in the triple jump is provided by the extensors of the hip and knee working in conjunction with the flexor muscles of the ankle and foot. The greater the power of these muscles in complete extension of the leg, the greater is the acceleration of the runner and greater is the vertical height attained by the jumper. Prime movers for hip extension are the gluteus maximums (buttocks and three muscles of the posterior thigh, biceps femoris, semitendinosus and sememembranosus, commonly known as "hamstrings.")
The primary extensors of the knee are quadriceps femoris, the anterior muscles of the thigh. Plantar flexion (extension) of the ankle and foot joints is accomplished mainly by flexion of the powerful gastrocnemius and soleus muscles at the rear of the calf. The flexor hallucis longus, which flexes the big toe, assists in plantar flexion and gives the "push off" in jumping, provided the jumper toes forward or slightly inward [Howley, above).
It should be pointed out here that keeping the heels high during the jump prior to landing is due more to the strong action of the hip flexors which raise the thigh to the body, the quadriceps femoris which straighten the leg at the knee and to the flexibility of the "hamstring muscles", rather than the abdominal muscles. The latter are not "prime movers" in this muscle action. They only assist the action of the hip flexors as stated above. 
Vigorous arm and shoulder action which supplements leg action in running and assists upward body momentum at the takeoff is derived from a balanced development of the shoulder girdle muscles that control movements of the upper arm. Strength in the pectoralis major (chest), anterior deltoid (shoulder), and upper trapezius for raising of arms and equal strength in the posterior deltoid, teres major and latissimus dorsi muscles for downwards and backwards extension of arms, provided a synchronization of arm action with leg movement during the approach run, and action in the air after takeoff, which counteracts the lateral oscillation of the trunk. 
At the takeoff, it is recommended by authorities that the jumper hold the head and chest high and arch the back. Fisher [in Championship Track and Field, 1961] comments that this assists in proper hip swing. Combined with a deep breath, it also takes up the slack in the abdominal muscles. Prime movers in arched back and head-high muscular movements are the splenius capitas (back of neck and upper back) and a group of muscles commonly known as the erector spinae that run parallel to the spinal column.
As stated above, strong abdominal muscles are required to assist in keeping the heels high during the jump. They also flex the spinal column in bringing the upward body forward at the time of landing. The prime movers in spinal flexion are the rectus abdominus and external obliques (sides). 
Strength in the knee flexors (hamstrings) is important to the jumper in landing and also influence the leg speed of the runner. Knee flexion shortens the arc of the leg swing which lessens the resistance to be moved thus enabling the leg to be moved faster.
Program Fundamentals
1) Program should begin in late summer; workouts should be 3 times a per week, with a day of rest between each workout period, until start of practice season; 2 days per week during practice season; discontinue during competitive season with exception of Bent Leg Knee Raise 2 days per week to maintain and improve strength of hip flexors. Weight training periods should be after activity on the field is competed.
2) When 8 to 10 repetitions are suggested, begin with 8, add 1 each exercise period until maximum of 10 is reached. Then add the suggested weight increase (2.5, 5 or 10 lbs.) and begin over at 8 repetitions. A 5 lb. increase in dumbbell weight means 2.5 lbs. added to each bell. Total repetitions in dumbbell exercises means for each arm individually. 
3) Progressive overloading of the muscle is required for strength increase. Whatever the weight used, the athlete must strain to complete the final one or two repetitions in a set. If completed with ease the weight is not heavy enough.

4) Exercises should be done at a moderate pace unless otherwise stated.

5) Weight training is the most effective method of gaining strength. It should be an integral part of the overall training program, but is not intended to substitute for any aspect of speed, skill and endurance training for a jumper.
1) Starting weights have been suggested for each exercise. They are only guides.
2) Weight increases are used when maximum repetitions are attained.
3) Progression on repetitions is one per workout.
1) Modified Forward Raise - 
Dumbbells at sides, palms facing toward body. Raise arms forward, elbows slightly bent, till they reach overhead Lower weights; as they reach shoulder level, incline the body forward from the waist at 45-degree angle. Continue bringing the weights downward past the body and upwards to the rear as far as possible. Lower weights to the sides and bring body to erect position. Perform one set of 8-10 repetitions. Average starting weight is 15 lbs. in each hand Increase each bell 2.5 lbs. when 10 reps are reached. Okay . . . full front raise, lower going into bentover straight arm kickback. 

2) Alternate Bench Press - 
As one dumbbell is pressed upward, the other bell is lowered simultaneously. One set of 8-10 reps with each arm. Average starting weight is 25 lbs. each hand. Increase 2.5 lbs. each bell when 10 reps attained. 

3) Alternate Rowing Motion - 
Bend at the hips to a parallel to the floor position, head up and back straight. Perform one set of 8-10 reps. Average starting weight is 25 lbs. each hand. Increase 2.5 lbs. each bell when 10 reps attained. 

4) Half Squat - 
Stand erect, feet about 16 inches apart, toes pointed straight ahead, weight on shoulders, head up. Bend knees to 45-degree angle, about half way between the erect position and a parallel squat. Return to erect position and straighten legs completely. Use very heavy weights and perform these half knee bends at a rapid pace. 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Suggested starting weight is 150 lbs. Increase by 10 lbs. when 15 reps are achieved.
5) Standing Weighted Boot Bent Knee Leg Raise - 
Raise knees to chest. Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg. Starting weight is 5 lbs. Increase 25 lbs. when 10 reps attained.
6) Knee (Leg) Extension - 
Extend leg to full lock position. Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Start with 30 lbs. and increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps attained. 
7) Leg Curl - 
Perform 2 sets of 8-10 reps. Start with 20 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps attained.
8) Straight Legged Deadlift with Shoulder Shrug - 
Stand on a raised platform with shoulder width grip on bar. Bend forward and lower as far as possible, keeping arms straight as you return to erect position; then "shrug" the shoulders upward towards the ears as high as possible, then lower the shoulders back as far as possible and then lower them back to normal position. Repeat the entire cycle for one set of 10-15 repetitions. Start with 55 lbs. Increase bar 10 lbs. when 15 reps attained.
9) Heel Raises - 
Place the balls of feet on a wood block with feet about 16 inches apart. The toes may face straight ahead of slightly inward. Raise as high as possible on toes, then lower the heels as far as possible. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions. Start with 50 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. when 10 reps are attained.
10) Bent Knee Situps - 
Quite a long bit here on the straight leg vs bent leg variety. Perform 2 sets, 8-10 reps. Start with 5 lbs. and increase 5 lbs. every two weeks. 
11) Reverse Abdominal Curl - 
Also known as the Lying Knees to Chest exercise. Bring bent legs to chest and raise hips six inches off ground. Start with iron boots. Add 2.5 lbs. to each boot every two weeks. Perform 8-10 reps.
12) Bouncing Split Squat - 
An extremely effective exercise for development of explosive power in the hips and legs and also for increasing flexibility of the hips. Stand erect, with barbell on shoulders, leap into the air, at the same time splitting the legs, one to the front with bent knee and the one to the rear with leg nearly straight. When landing, try and get the hips as low as possible. Immediately rebound as high as possible, reverse the direction of the legs and land in a low position. There must be no hesitation between jumps, only a continuous rapid motion. perform one set of 16-20 repetitions (8-10 reps each leg forward). Start with 30 lbs. Increase 5 lbs. every two weeks.
Triple Jumpers
Triple jumpers may add one exercise, hopping with weight on the shoulders. Place a light barbell on the shoulders and work up from 10 to 20 hops on each foot. This not only develops strength, but also balance. Increase 2 reps each workout period until you reach the maximum of 20 hops, then increase the barbell 5 lbs.
In Season Exercise
During the competitive season, both broad and triple jumpers should perform the Bent Leg Raise (5). This movement will keep the hip flexor muscles strong, greatly aiding performance. Perform this valuable exercise twice weekly. 2 sets of 8-10 reps with regular weight increases.



Friday, September 25, 2020

Sergio Oliva - Arm Training - Rick Wayne (1968)


Courtesy of Liam Tweed 

I got this mag when it came out on the stands back then. Actually followed this arm routine as a skinny kid. So, it's great to see it again.  Feel free to waste precious moments of your brief life criticizing this one.

Sergio considers the warmup to be as necessary to this routine as any of the advanced exercises used in it. For his warmup (and one which I am sure no bodybuilder has thought of!), he does
Chins to Back of Neck - 10 sets, squeezing out as many reps as possible, then moves on to . . . 

Part One - Regular Sets.
1) Seated Preacher Curl -
8 sets of 8 with maximum weight for this exercise. 
2) Triceps Pressdown - 
5 sets of 12 here. 
3) Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curl - 
8 x 8 reps.
4) Standing French Press - 
5 x 12.  

Part Two -  Giant Sets
The second part of Sergio's arm routine - giant setted - consists of the same four exercises above. This time instead of doing each exercise individually, they are done consecutively for a set each with no rest until one set of all four has been completed. Then, a rest of no more than three minutes and another giant set is performed. Do 2 to 4 giant sets. 

Part Three - Supersets 
1) Bentover Barbell Concentration Curl - 
4 x 10
superset with
2) One Arm Triceps Extension - 
4 x 12.  

Enjoy Your Lifting!







Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Charles A. Smith Letters, Part Six - Dennis Weis 


Joseph Heller
1986 . . . 
Believe me, ______ is more to be pitied than admired for his wealth. He isn't a happy man. You and I have what he'll never have and something that is a million times as precious as ALL his dough - our FAMILIES - the most precious thing, with health, you can ever own. He has no family and, as you can see from his claims to have invented, devised and come up with every exercise, training principle and piece of apparatus known to Man, is in a constant struggle for recognition. 

In other words, the man has a monumental inferiority complex. 

For heaven's sake, what can a man do with millions? He can only wear one suit of clothes at a time, drive one car, eat one meal at a time and live in one house daily. What does he do that's USEFUL to mankind with his dough - NOTHING - he just wants ALL the bloody money in the world. If I had all that dough, I can't see myself living any differently than I do now - simply and within what means I have. 

The other day I read an account in a financial magazine of a famous women author - married to her FOURTH husband. The home they lived in was a house with 45 rooms. The acreage was over 2,000 acres. On the property were several other small houses where the STAFF of 20 lived. In their garage were 15 cars - all of them expensive. Why, the total insurance costs yearly on these cars would keep five or six starving African villages inhabitants. 
To me, this sort of this is EVIL when there are thousands of people roaming our streets - children among them - starving and homeless. 
Perhaps the finest passage I have ever read regarding Man's ideal state was in the first chapter of that wonderful novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, the first great novelist. In it, young Crusoe is being interviewed by his father, and makes known to his parent his wild plans to make a lot of money. 
His father urges him to give up his wild schemes and realize that the MIDDLE path is the IDEAL path. But read it for yourself. 
As for Sullivan being outdated, I think not. The New Republic is in a much better position than POWERLIFTING HOTLINE to know just how big circulation is. As is the Los Angeles Times financial editors when they state that in 1984 ______ grossed 84 millions in his sports division alone. Fortunately - for me - I do not think in terms of MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. It is nice to have, but I don't know of any man who became a millionaire honestly.
Just look at any TV commercial or for that matter any ad in the big mags All lies and all false in what they claim their products can do and how superior they are to others.
The simple life and the honest life is all that one should aspire and all that one should desire. NOT MEGA BUCKS. To most, money means, and IS, power. They forget that the so-called power is on theirs while the money lasts. When's gone so is the "power." 
I think I may have remarked before that there is a dictum, expressed by a British peer, Lord Acton, when he wrote to a Bishop of the Anglican church in response to a question by the Bishop as to the qualities and effects of power. He said, "POWER CORRUPTS and absolute power corrupts ABSOLUTELY." 
I do not believe - as a former editor - that FLEX has a circulation of 400 thousand. This is wishful thinking on the part of Weider. Let him put his money where his mouth is. Newsstand sales in my opinion come nowhere close to this, as witness the length of time I have seen current copies of FLEX on the stands without being sold. I would say that 150 thousand is a bit closer to the mark. And in his most successful moment - if that is yet to come - Weider will NEVER COME A MILLION MILES within the success of MacFadden and his mags.
The last I heard of Schemansky - and that was very recently - was that he was foreman of a construction labor gang. Somewhere in Detroit. I will try and get his address for you - don't know if I can, but I'll try - Terry Todd talked to him a few weeks ago while preparing that tribute to the 50th Iron Man edition. So Ski is still around. He had the facility of making even his limit poundages look as light as feathers, so easily did he seem to hoist them.
My accomplishments in the weight world? Not much I am afraid. I have always believed that one's weight training progress is conditioned by what previous sports you took part in. In my case it was middle distance running - that is from 440 yard up. This of course entailed hundreds and hundreds of "reps" with the arms and legs. Thus, when I got into lifting I found I was able to do a load of reps and sets but my limit poundages didn't come near what all these high reps might have indicated. 
For instance, my best squat was around 500. Yet at a bodyweight of around 170 I did 30 full squats with 300. I have done a few reps with 400 and 2 with 415 at Abe Goldberg's old gym.

My best true Military Press was 200. My best Snatch was 200. My best Clean & Jerk was 250. All these at a bodyweight of 168 at the First West Coast Weightlifting Club in the middle 1930's in London, England. Later on, when I was in my forties and weighing considerably over 200, I had absolutely no trouble doing TWELVE reps in hang cleans - true power cleans - with 225. My best bench press at a bodyweight of around 220-230 was 390. Dave Willoughby saw me do several reps in a warm up with 330 and couldn't believe his eyes I did them so easily. Anyone seeing me do these would have tagged me for at least 430 or higher, but my best never went above 390. Even in my fifties I could do reps with 230 or 240. 
My best dead lift was around 550, but I am not sure of this. My next best was 530, so this might be the figure. My best one hand dead lift right hand was 420. I did this in a contest with Marvin Eder who dropped out at 410.
My best one arm snatch was 130 done when I weighed around 160 and in the early thirties. My best two hands curl, done in strict British style was 175 when I must have weighed around 230.
I also lifted in dead lift fashion 600 pounds from boxes that brought the height of the bar to knee height. After lifting the 600 I held it for one minute. Both the 420 dead lift and the above six hundred "somehow" lift were witnessed by Weider who remarked, "Chas, I hope I am as strong as you when I am your age." I was around 43 or 44 at the time.
So you see I can't brag about anything startling. I was more interest in wrestling and archery than in lifting. In fact, the feat - if it can be called that - of which I am most proud is that Paul Anderson, when he was a heavyweight, couldn't pull my head back.
I had an 18-1/2 inch neck at the time, weighing around 220. I had been doing a load of neck work and was attending a meet where I was referee and judge in the lifting. Backstage I sat on a bench with my back to Anderson. I put a towel around my forehead and the two ends back so Anderson could get hold of them. He then placed his knee in my back and tried to pull my head back. I just locked my neck and trap muscles and resisted. He couldn't budge me. The next feat of which I am most proud is holding 700 pounds in my hands, KNUCKLES FORWARD, for a minute. Weider printed it in his mag as being held for two minutes, and later said I had actually dead lifted 600, but neither statements are true.
I stood 5' 9-1/2" and my heaviest weight was 245 when I worked out with Reg Park and sat on him while he did his donkey calf raises.
I first got into weight training at 8 years of age - I was already a competitive swimmer at that age. My old man bought me a pair of Sandow dumbbells and a chest expander. I made the British National swimming team at 19 years of age and went with the team to Vienna in 1931. I would have been on the 1932 British Olympic Team if I hadn't developed a bad ear infection, which put paid to my swimming career. 
I then got into wrestling and lifting, the latter as an adjunct to wrestling and got quite good at wrestling. Went on the mat with any of the great pro shooters, including my foster brother Bert Assirati. Did pretty well in archery too, when I was in the middle forties, to the point where I was making my own bows and arrows. 
As for the training principles I used - I used the same that have been used since the 1890s and which now ______ claims to have either originated or invented. ______ is not to be believed or trusted since he allows his ego to get into the way of objective and truthful reporting. He once described me as the World's Greatest Weightlifting Authority - meaning Olympic lifting. This was sheer nonsense.    


Blog Archive