Sunday, November 29, 2020

Blitz Training - Jeff Kraschinski

Bomb AND Blitz!

Anyone who has trouble gaining mass using the techniques that have appeared in bodybuilding magazines, hang on . . . I love the term "bomb and blitz." It keeps everything about lifting so wonderfully in perspective. Yeah! Fun!!! Duh. 

Anyhow, who has trouble gaining mass using the techniques that have appeared in bodybuilding magazines or who wants to accelerate growth as never before should try the Blitz Training method. It's one that I have devised and used successfully. 

Because of my unusual work schedule I was training on a two-day split on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Even though I was making gains I wanted to gain faster still, especially in the area of my chest and back.

While thinking about the way the human body responds to weight training, I recalled that plateaus occur whenever the body fully adapts to the stress placed on it. 

Since making changes to one's routine during a plateau can help you to resume making gains, I reasoned that making small changes in one's routine between plateaus should accelerate gains. I also knew that by adding, rather than substituting set to a routine, thereby increasing intensity, I would accelerate gains further. These three ideas form the basis of my blitz training method. 

My routine looked like this: 


Chest - 
Bench Press, 5 sets of 8-12 reps
Incline Press, 5 x 8-12
Pullover, 5 x 8-12

Back - 
Pulldown, 5 x 8-12
Bentover Row, 5 x 8-12

Thighs - 
Squat, 5 x 8-12
Lunge, 5 x 8-12
Leg Curl, 5 x 8-12

Calves - 
Standing Calf Raise, 5 x 15

Abs - 
Leg Raise, 5 x 25.


Shoulders - 
Barbell Clean and Press, 5 x 8-12
Lateral Raise, 5 x 8-12

Lower Back - 
Stiff Legged Deadlift, 3 x 10, 6, 4 to failure
Good Morning, 3 x 10, 8, 6 to failure

Upper Arms - 
Barbell Curl, 5 x 8-12
Seated DB Curl, 5 x 8-12
Close Grip Bench Press, 5 x 8-12
Triceps Pushdown, 5 x 8-12

Forearms - 
Wrist Curl, 5 x 8-12
Reverse Wrist Curl, 5 x 8-12

Abs - 
Crunch, 5 x 25.

All that "blitz" requires is a good knowledge of various finishing exercises for the different bodyparts. By "finishing" exercises I mean any exercise for a bodypart that is NOT a basic mass building movement. Our next task is to determine how often to use the blitz method. 

A blitz cycle is as long as the number of days that you take to work the entire body once. If you operate on a three-day split, then a cycle is three days long. You blitz one bodypart each day of a cycle. If you use a three on, one off split your cycles for one week are Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, followed by Friday/Saturday/Sunday. You would blitz one bodypart on Monday, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday for the first three-day cycle, and then a different three on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the second cycle of the week. 

The bodypart you select is based on what bodyparts you work that day, and how you currently prefer to divide the body for training purposes. For example, I divide the body into chest, back, thighs, calves, abs, shoulders, lower back, upper arms, and forearms. If you want greater precision, think in terms of trapezius, anterior deltoids, medial deltoids, posterior deltoids, hamstrings, and quadriceps, each as separate bodyparts. Also, for example, if your Friday workout consists of working the chest and back areas, and you are also blitzing on Friday, then you would choose EITHER the chest or back as the bodypart that you would blitz, not both.

After the bodypart is randomly selected, you must pick a finishing exercise for that bodypart. Remember, you must not pick exercises like squats, bench press, upright rows, or deadlifts as these are all basic mass building movements. Continuing with our chest/back day example, select exercises like pec deck flyes, cable crossovers or some type of dumbbell flye.

Let's say as an example that you are blitzing your biceps on your Thursday workout, and that lying dumbbell curls are randomly chosen for the biceps. 
Once you are at this stage, you select an advanced training principle to use on ALL sets to perform along with the blitz method. Some advanced principles that work very well here are pyramiding, flushing, iso-tension, cheating, and pre-exhaust, descending sets, etc.  

Let's say you have chosen descending sets as an advanced principle to use this time. Next, you determine the number of sets to be used for the exercise. I advise you to pick numbers in the area of three to eight sets, as this has worked for me. Now the only thing left is to select the number of reps for each set, assuming that we are not using an advanced principle that would contradict this such as pyramiding or cheating. The number of reps that should be used is from 4 to 25. Let's assume that you select 7 sets of 4 to 6 repetitions each. Let's take a look at my upper arm workout routine for Thursday, with out blitz example added and underlined. 

Upper Arms - 

Barbell Curl, 5 x 8-12
Seated DB Curl, 5 x 8-12
Lying DB Curl, 7 x 4-6 (using descending sets)
Close Grip Bench Press, 5 x 8-12
Triceps Pushdown, 5  x 8-12.

As the blitz method is entirely random, your muscles will never totally adapt to your workout. by adding sets to your existing routine, you will build even more intensity into your workouts. This will increase your lean body mass even faster than ever. In the time since I started using this blitz method for my own workouts I have gained approximately five pounds of muscle, added about 3/4 of an inch on my upper arms, a full inch on my chest, and 1/2 inch on my calves. This is significantly more than I was gaining without the blitz method. It has really done wonders for me. 

Even though you are adding exercises to your existing routine and may be training with maximum intensity already, over-training is virtually impossible with the blitz method. You are only applying it to probably three or four bodyparts per week at maximum. As these bodyparts are selected randomly, the same ones may not see the technique again for weeks at a time. If you suspect you are over-training, cut down on the number of blitz sets to a number that causes you to cease felling over-trained while your system catches up with your new intensity level. Make sure diet isn't the culprit. Eat appropriately for the added intensity of your training. 

Be careful NOT to use a finishing exercise for blitzing that is already in your routine without changing it in some way. Change the position, angle, or speed in which the exercise is done. For example, if you already doing incline flyes at a 45 degree angle, you would pick flyes at a flat or decline angle, or another exercise other than incline flyes. 

Don't alter the rest of your routine though. This in turn makes the blitz unique, preventing the body from totally adapting to the routine, which is, after all, the entire point of doing it. 

But enough of all this talk. You've learned how to do it. Now do it.     

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

Highly Recommended Film - 

And a doc . . . 

And A two-season television series . . . 

Did I mention Enjoy Your Lifting? 



Friday, November 27, 2020

Different Muscular Formations - Earle Liederman (1964)


Article Courtesy of Liam Tweed

Every month in this magazine there are many photos of physiques you admire. You may often wish you had the extra large arms or legs or perhaps the whole build similar to the ones you envy, and you then wonder, "Why can't I have a body just like that?"

You can . . . in a way. Yet you will never be able to look exactly like your ideal. It is impossible because there are no two people completely alike on this earth. True, all of us have the same-named muscles, but these muscles vary greatly in size and shape. Even so-called identical twins are not alike. A critic's eyes can detect differences here and there. 

There are no two things exactly alike in all this world - not even blades of grass or leaves on trees. Consider all the faces in the world: two eyes, a nose and a mouth on each and yet all are different. 

Just imagine how things would be if every fellow could obtain exactly the same looking muscles, the same shaped chest and back, identical legs and arms, even to the face. Were it possible to produce physical duplications the world would be filled with lookalikes; and then, with similar dispositions, how monotonous this world would be.

You might possibly secure the same measurements as someone else whom you may admire and yet, if you did you would then find that each of your physiques would look differently.

And this might be compared to the muscles of youth with those of middle age or over. In some cases all these muscles might measure the same, yet the youthful muscles would look much better than would the older ones. They have considerably more definition. It is good for us that muscular formations vary as it affords interest towards the element of competitive betterment.

Heredity conditions control height, shape and size, with but very few exceptions. We are born to be tall or short - as the case may be - and there is nothing we can do about it. We can make the most of what we have and become satisfied as much as possible with the results and let it go at that. If a fellow is destined to remain short in stature all his life there is absolutely nothing that can alter his height. He might appear an inch taller by always assuming an erect posture but that is all.

I must confess that it would be rather nice if there were some magic formula that could change our whole appearance so we might look exactly as we wish to be. If such were possible, the extra rich guys would corner the market with the substance and thereby make the price of physical transformation prohibitive. And that is just like life itself: if it could be bought, then the wealthy would live and you and I long ago would have long ago entered that blessed calm of nonexistence.

Be thankful and appreciative that everyone is different. Be gladdened by the thought that everyone can secure a good physique through weight training. Such should be gratifying. You cannot have everything you want in life so accept substitutions or substitutes and be somewhat satisfied. You can become your own individual BEST physical specimen but you can never, for example look like a Steve Reeves, Reg Park, a Bill Pearl or a John Grimek Each of these fellows is a distinctive individual type, as are you. 

Look at it this way. If you cannot get a million dollars in life then be satisfied with a tenth of that amount. So if you are of average height and your ambition is set upon owning a pair of 19 or 20 inch arms, you will not get them if you are under six feet in height. Then why not be more than pleased to own a pair of 17-inchers attached to a finely developed physique? 

Let me tell you something about Steve Reeves. Perhaps then you will assign yourself to the enjoyment of owning a lesser physique. I first saw Steve when he was about 16 years old. He was then six feet tall, broad-shouldered, sported wonderful lats, and was a mighty handsome lad. One night at a physique show in Los Angeles where he was a spectator like myself and among a couple of thousand others, he chanced to roll up his trouser leg to show someone his calf. My trained eye readily guesses it to be at least 18 inches in size. It had wonderfully separated muscularity of perfect shape. Upon questioning Steve as to how he could get such magnificent calves he informed me that he had gotten them from bicycle riding Well, heck, I have ridden a bike more Reeves ever has in his whole lifetime. Did I, then, get 18 inch calves? I did not. So when a 16-year old kid owns such formation, size and shape of muscle, it becomes obvious that he is a natural and that he inherits such physical magnificence. 

Some years ago at Palm Beach, Florida, I saw a little three year old girl in a bathing costume. This child first drew my attention because of her well shaped deltoids, triceps curve and general arm shape. Even her thighs had muscular shape but, of course, no real muscle to speak of. This youngster cemented my belief that heredity plays a most important part in our lives because - in the case of this three year old girl - it would have been physically impossible for her to obtain such pronounced contours from activity at this age. 

I have seen boys around 10 or 12 years of age with forms that would do a grown man justice when it came to broad shoulders, well filled out arms and heavyset legs. Of course, these kids lacked defined development but they had shape and size. And so, anyone who is born into such a husky frame usually becomes on who can develop into a worldwide sensation if he trained for it. Most of such types never bother to exercise. They often lack ambition for it. 

Everyone has differently shaped arms. Let's discuss the triceps. Some have long, sweeping, curving triceps that appear rounded from the back of deltoid right down to the elbow, whereas other triceps might have almost 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch less sweeping curve, which causes the lower arm section to appear smaller than is should be. There is not the same power in the shorter formed triceps as there is in the one having the longer sweep. 

On some arms the external head of the triceps is more prominently outlined than the larger or internal head. This, in itself, becomes a matter of formation because two fellows can perform bench presses, for example, and one will get the longer head of this muscle better outlined, whereas the other fellow would have the outer head more developed. 

The same is applicable to the biceps. This muscle may form into a peak when flexed or it might resemble a round ball. It may also extend downward into the bend of the elbow pocket. In other forms of bicep the muscle might extend downward to bulk a bit higher upon the straightened arm or an inch or even two above the elbow location. The longer type biceps are the stronger. Yet these may not flex into the high peak as do the shorter type.

The pectorals vary greatly. Some men have wide ones that cover a generous expanse of the upper chest. Others have shorter ones which appear thicker and which do not possess the width of the aforementioned sort. There are also pectorals that possess a square formation and others that are rounded at the lower sections. You have undoubtedly seen all these kinds. The shape of the pectorals has much to do with the proper training movements performed right from the beginning of one's regime. It becomes essential, therefore, that a beginner should be absolutely certain to start off rightly with all his exercise motions. Hence, I would recommend Hoffman's Course etc. here.   

Let's discuss thighs. These are the same on everyone as far as the anatomical names of the muscles are concerned. All those who perform squats know of their quadriceps extensor muscles that cover the whole front of the upper leg. Two fellows can perform the identical amount of squatting while using the same poundages and yet one will secure better thighs than the other. This mystery can again be explained by heredity conditions. You either own thicker ligaments, stronger tendons, wider hip bones or heavier tibia than the one whose thighs fall short of your own if you are the more fortunate one to succeed in getting your legs much better than the next chap who might do the same work as you do.

The thighs can be developed to enormous proportions. The most muscular and largest pair of upper legs I have ever seen were owned by William Gerardi, whom I knew wll a good many years ago, His huge quadriceps extensor muscles curved tremendously at both the sides and front; and even his biceps femoris, the muscle back of the thigh, had a wonderful curve. His thighs measured a tight 31 inches at his 5'8" height. I recall he weighed a trifle over that 200 pound mark. Now then - you and I could squat and squat until all the cheese in Denmark walked away and we would never hit anywhere near that 31 inch measurement Fact is, we would not even get 27 inches, give or take a half inch.

Let me offer you some encouragement. Though your muscles will not look exactly like those of your ideal's physique, don't be discouraged. GET WHATEVER YOU CAN! 

There will always be numerous fellows envying you and wishing they had your build. Be happy and appreciative that you have worked for and achieved a strong body with well shaped muscles.   

If you really want my advice I recommend that you just plug along consistently and train with weights for the sheer joy of it, and not with the continuous laborious struggle for that ever wanted extra half inch of muscle. Relax more and be happier, you will gain more this way. Train hard, of course, but always relish the effort itself.  

Enjoy Your Lifting!   




Thursday, November 26, 2020

Steve Stanko, Human Derrick - Charles Coster (1954)


There's a few more things on Steve Stanko on this little blog.
But, like the raindrop on a rose, Serendipity is one of my favorite things. 

Although the name of Steve Stanko came into prominence fifteen years ago, his rise was so rapid and colorful that he is bound to be remembered by the faithful for years to come.

His activities commenced in 1938. He went from the bottom to the top in three short years - and then a tragedy occurred, for he ran foul of a serious illness and shortly afterwards it became plain that his athletic career might finish. 

it was a great tragedy that this misfortune should beset him, for at 22 years of age he was establishing 1,000 lb. Totals in the three Olympic Lifts in public weightlifting competitions and during his training, and there seems no reason to suppose that he had reached his ultimate "peak" by any means.

His athletic ability blossomed in conjunction with that of Louis Abele and John Davis and these three men left the whole weight-lifting world gasping with the immensity of their achievements. There is no doubt at all in my mind that America suffered the greatest single blow she has ever experienced when Steve Stanko's Olympic career came to a standstill. 

5'11" Steve Stanko competed at around 220 lbs. bodyweight, and he was magnificently equipped physically for the sport he had chosen. Some idea of the magnitude of his natural ability may be estimated when I tell you that he had only a few months of training behind him when gaining 2nd place at the World Championships at Vienna in 1938. 

The German heavyweight Joseph Manger was the winner with 903 but Steve, who was virtually a novice by comparison, made a total of 875 lbs. with individual lifts of 253-280-152.

He made the heaviest Snatch and the biggest Clean and Jerk of anyone, and received a great reception from an audience which was composed largely of experts in the ancient and noble art of barbell magic.

Judging by the speed, precision and timing with which he went about his business America had discovered a w-l star of the first magnitude in this man. I recall very clearly the first glimpse I ever had of Steve in Vienna. He came into the gym walking slowly and adjusting a wrist strap. Consequently the first part of him to appear past the doorway was his forearms. They were colossal. Huge tendons writhed and twisted about like steel cables. The brachialis anterior tendon seemed to be joined to the upper arm about half way up.

His legs were tremendously powerful and as I watched him lift I understood why Bob Hoffman labelled him "The Human Derrick." His lifting just oozed with speed, power, and courage and anyone who has been associated with out sport for any length of time will remember that these three assets were rarely encountered in one individual in days gone by. Especially did this remark apply in respect of SPEED, and in this Steve was an eyeopener. My interest in him grew rather than lessened after the 1938 tourney. 

Enquiries revealed the fact that that he was of Hungarian ancestry . . . and was born in 1918. He was fond of athletics generally and was a powerfully fast swimmer, excelled at baseball and football, and was selected on one occasion as all star fullback. He could still chin the bar with one hand when he weighed 220 lbs. 

I am not aware of him maximum recorded measurements, but my scrapbook tells me that when he was 21 years old and weighing 210 his neck was 17-1/2", biceps 17-1/4, chest 48, waist 34 and calf 17". 

His thigh was measured at 26-1/2" which I regarded as significant and it is reported that he once ran the 100 yards in full football uniform in a little more than 10 seconds.

Before his 21st birthday this prodigy was taking 275 lbs. Snatch as a "commencing" poundage, and 350 as a first attempt Clean & Jerk. In April 1939 at the YMCA Championships he pressed 260 and made a 275 Snatch, and a Clean & Jerk of 350 - both of which were starting weights. He also cleaned 370 but missed the jerk. Two months earlier, during training, he had snatched 290. 

In July 1939 he recorded an 885 total with commencing poundages only, and his best training lifts added up to about 925.

At this period Louis Abele and John Davis appeared in the picture, and a great rivalry was born.

According to my diary, they seemed to take it in turns to make starting lifts, and there can be little doubt that this intense competitive atmosphere was responsible for the creation of many, many astonishing weightlifting records from then onwards. 

In July that year John Davis definitely succeeded in establishing a big temporary lead by pressing 290, and there is proof that they were both repeatedly cleaning 370. 

As a youth Louis Abele concentrated on leg development by undertaking extensive and varied Squat or Deep Knee Bend schedules.  

As a light-heavyweight Abele's thighs became extremely muscular and made a good foundation for his future activities as a heavyweight . . . when on one occasion he performed 4 deep knee bends with 540 pounds, and he finally finished off with a thigh measurement of very nearly 30 inches.

John Davis was often busy lifting as a light-heavyweight but as time went on it becasme increasingly obvious that this could not continue indefinitely. 

In early 1940 Abele increased his competitive tempo by scoring a 941 total at Philadelphia with lifts of 280-296-365. H weighed 215 when he lifted. 

Shortly after this at the Middle Atlantic Championships Stanko, Abele and Davis lifted on the same platform. Stanko was 21 years old, Abele 20, and Davis 19. Steve was the winner, pressing 280, snatching 301 and clean and jerking 370 for a 950 lb. total. Only 10 pounds separated them, with Davis and Abele both totaling 940, Davis placing second by way of his lighter (197) bodyweight. 

On they day before the 1940 York Outdoor Exhibition Picnic Steve pressed 300, snatched 300, and clean and jerked 380. When doing the 380 he cleaned it once and made three repetition jerks from the shoulders.

In my scrapbook I have a remark on Steve from Bob Hoffman about that time, saying "He was so good at that period that he was able to commence with single lifts of 300-300-380." And he also said that he "had known Steve to elevate these poundages eight separate times during the course of one day." He has also curled 200 pounds and performed a pullover and press on bench of over 300. 

Before the advent of lifters like Steve Stanko, the heavyweight ranks had been notable for an almost total lack of speed and precision. Men of huge bulk and ponderous movements had held sway for many years on International platforms . .  but the "modern school" has altered all that . . . thanks to men like Ronald Walker, Steve Stanko, John Davis, and more recently the phenomenal Norbert Schemansky. In some respects Schemansky reminds me very much of Steve. Both exhibit superlative style for heavyweights, and both have shown the public a blinding turn of speed and this is something which is very rarely encountered in men weighing around the 220 lb. mark.  

By September 1941 Steve Stanko was in real trouble due to his illness, and it was announced that it would be surprising if he was ever able to lift again. He was bedridden for several months and several surgeons attended him.

Before the final crash came, his love of lifting was so great that he tried to lift without any leg movements. He snatched 235 like this, and clean and jerked 340, and at Chattanooga on one occasion he clean and jerked 360 in the same manner. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Novice Program 2.0 - Jason Blaha 

Lifters often become confused, disappointed and disillusioned when it comes to their training and the lack of results they achieve. Here is an excellent layout, and I hope that anyone new to lifting will study the linked video repeatedly, along with the exercise demonstrations and explanations. 

Slightly more experienced lifters who have failed to realize the results they seek should also take a hard look at their training, and this layout as well. At times I find it's an excellent plan to go back to the beginning, to refresh with a basic layout, and to reinforce inspiration with some solid gains that can be achieved with the basics. If you're going nowhere and burning out getting there, this might help reset your mind and body. 

Older lifters as well, those who are not yet ready to only "tone" or forego their search for more strength and muscular bodyweight, could also benefit from this more basic form of training. 

It's important to study the video properly, and make certain you fully understand the starting weights, weight progression, and the 10% reset method and how and why it's applied. 

I guarantee it. For four to six months CONSISTENTLY eat appropriately, train along these lines, get sufficient sleep and you WILL be rewarded with excellent results.  

Enjoy Your Lifting!   

First Impressions of Herman Goerner (1927)

 Article Courtesy of Jarett Hulse.
Many thanks!


Health & Strength, March 19, 1927.
Goerner has arrived, and is staying at the house of W.A. Pullum. No sooner had this piece of information reached my ears than I made my way to Camberwell. 

So much has recently been written and said about this latest prodigy in the strong-man world that with more than a little curiosity I entered the room, where he was to be found in the company of his wife and his host. 

I was prepared for something unusual in the way of muscular development, but I confess to more than a slight shock of surprise when, from his chair, there rose to greet me the most massively herculean figure I have ever set eyes upon.

Though over 6 ft., Goerner's height does not strike one a being above the average owing to the proportional development of his body in every direction. The first thing that impressed itself upon me was the tremendous breadth of his shoulders. It must have been such a pair of shoulders as these that first gave rise to the Greek conception of Atlas bearing the world. Goerner's chest is equally imposing, measuring 51-1/2 inches. The equally imposing arms look might even when covered by the sleeve, and, when bared, the 18 inch biceps would make anyone think twice before entering upon anything but the most amiable relations with their possessor. The statuesque thighs form worth pillars for the support of this magnificent torso.

A Gentle Giant
A few minutes' conversation with Goerner reveals that this formidable frame encloses a gentle and childlike spirit. His smile disarms the menace of his stature, and the voice, although firm and manly, betrays the inherent kindliness of his disposition. Nor is this mighty man without a quaint sense of humour, which is particularly apparent in the quiet, jocular fashion in which he refers to his own exploits.      

These have been before the public of Germany and South Africa ever since the Great War ended. In both countries have the audiences of circuses and music-halls been thrilled by feats such as - thus the inscription on a trophy won at Munich puts it - had never been seen there yet. Such a testimony coming from the most critical and most spoilt of physical culture audiences in the world means rare praise indeed. For the last four years Goerner has been touring in South Africa, performing before the Prince of Wales when His Highness's world tour brought him to this dominion.
 Goerner, who is now 35, started on his strong-man career at the age of 15. He is entirely self-taught, and has practiced wrestling as well as weight-lifting. These two forms of exercise and a certain amount of heavy hammer work have been the chief items in his training.    
Already After Records! 

And now Goerner is in England and by the time these lines appear in print will have been presented to the public by his manager, Mr. W.A. Pullum, at the National Sporting Club. At the latter's house, just to show what he was capable of, the strong man performed on the morning after his arrival a One-Hand Dead Lift of 530 lb., a Two-Hands Dead-Lift of 630 lb., and a Two-Hands Clean and Jerk of 315 lb. At the National Sporting Club Goerner will attempt to break two world's records, and Mr. Pullum is confident that with a little extra training, and under his personal tuition, the figure of the Two-Hands Lift, colossal as it already is, will be brought up to something very near to 700 lb.
Asking Mr. Goerner about the mode of which produced such marvelous results, I was told that he relied on all-round diet, with plenty of vegetables and fruit, and strict moderation in tobacco and drink, to keep him in good condition. Goerner makes it a rule rigorously to abstain from any liquor a couple of hours before his performances - a thing which would seem a very sensible precaution in view of the fact that he juggles with a weight of 120 lb.
Prior to his public speaking appearance Mr. Goerner is seeing the sights of London, and I should imagine that the person sitting next to him on top of a bus will have a "thin" time of it!       




Sunday, November 22, 2020

Charles Smith Letters, Part Nine


Saul Bellow


When my heart was younger and my hopes higher I could indeed bat them out with ease. One only has to go through Weider's mags from 1949 to 1957 to see the volume of my output - some stuff carried names other than mine - for instance Reg Park, Steve Reeves and Doug Hepburn. Now of course - and naturally too - at 76 years of age I just don't have the mental ability to bash them out as I did when forty. In nature, ALL things come to an end some time. Nothing stays the same. There is action and reaction. But when I think of what I once did, even I am amazed at my output. Some people won't believe me and tell me I am full of what food turns to when ingested and digested That's their problem But ask Weider if you ever meet up with him.
I have found article writing - especially the "lead" - made easier by recounting some of my personal experiences, even though these may have had little or nothing to do with weight training. Most books written are products of the authors' life experiences - example Charles Dickens, and most noteworthy of his works is David Copperfield, which is regarded by all of his biography. A delightful work. 
I call Terry Todd "Reverend" since he, to my way of thinking, looks remarkably like the Reverend Terry Waite, the British Anglican - there's a tautology for you - envoy who does, or did all that negotiating for hostages.
Doctor C______ V______. A mysterious chappie. 

He CLAIMS to have done four reps, or is it five or was it three in the bent press with 400 - THAT'S RIGHT - FOUR HUNDRED pounds, and a single bent press with FIVE HUNDRED. However, he was "honest" in this latter claim, telling all and sundry that he was "unable" to come upright with it. What the good "Doctor" doesn't tell you is that this was performed on a Smith machine. I do know that he has threatened to sue anyone who says he didn't do the feat he claims to have done. I have HEARD that he started life as a physical therapist. I also have been TOLD he wrestled professionally. 
As for his "Doctor's" degree, I am TOLD that this came from a "University" that isn't credited, in other words a diploma mill. Do to bent press 400 for REPS at way over the age of forty, should convince one that the age of miracles is still with us. Or it might well be in the same category as the feat of S__ C______ who claims - and has pictures and certificates to prove it - to have pressed 7,063 - SEVEN THOUSAND AND SIXTY THREE POUNDS WITH ONE ARM. So the only conclusion one can draw is that C_____ comes from the land of the monsoon, where the heavy rains wash away all the bullshit into the Indian Ocean from which it promptly drifts over to the United States.
The Flushing Flash has got himself into a splendid pickle. He spent a day in durance vile but made bond eventually and is now facing a few terms in a college whose location will be chosen for him - as well as having to pay stiff tuition fees.
Seems the Flash, or one of his cohorts had discovered a way of shoving more postage into a Pitney Bowes mailing machine. They came across this Mother Lode in 1979 - so I am informed - and kept it up until a week or so ago, when the Postal Authorities said, "Hmm. How come this cat never comes in to have more postage shoved onto his meter?" So the Postal inspectors did a little survey - these types are worse wolves than any thousand of IRS investigators - and found that someone had been "tapping the till." Needless to say they were vastly irked at this saying "tut tut. How could he. Oh the shame of it all" and other pithy apothegms and laid a brutal hand on ______'s shoulder and hiked him off to the hoosegow. He is blaming it all on one of his satraps. Anyway, it was all over the New York papers. 
I do believe that somewhere in Strength & Health there appeared a shot of Venus and his brother, but I can't remember what info went with it or if there was any "story" about him.
Moving on, it may, or may not, surprise you to learn that there were just as many Physique contests being held in the 1890s as there are today - MEN AND WOMEN. I attended the first Miss Britain contest in the late 1920s, won by Miss Elsie McKiersey, long before Joe W. was lifting anything heavier than school books. It may also surprise you to learn that there were HUNDREDS of Lifting and Physical Culture Clubs in London, England in the 1890s and early 1900s for MEN AND WOMEN. Look through some of the old mags of that period and you will see for yourself just how wide spread it was. In my mind it is well worth remembering that Joe didn't "invent" bodybuilding nor did he invent ANY of the so-called "principles" he claims he did. This does an IMMENSE DISSERVICE to the true pioneers, men like MacFadden, Liederman, Jowett, Pullum, Hackenschmidt and countless others - Mark Berry, Alan Calvert, all from whom Joe W. got what he now knows.    

       Joseph Curtis Hise
           Photo Courtesy of Joe Roark

[Some notes on the Book "Mass" here.] 

Blocking out all negative thoughts and training in a positive manner. Again not new. Hack, Jowett and Saxon all wrote of this in their books - or books bearing their names - repeatedly. When writing a training book or article, I believe it is important that beginners do not get the impression that the exercises and principles within are all new - they aren't. 

Fast and slow twitch fibers. These may be conditioned by the weight trainer's previous athletic experience. Before I began lifting, I was well into competitive swimming and wrestling sports that place emphasis on endurance. Thus, when I started weight training, I found that I was good at high reps but not so hot at fewer reps or limit lifts. What poundages I used for sets, left one with the impression that I could do a high limit lift - I couldn't do anywhere close to what my reps indicated I could do as a limit lift. [Users of max-single calculators may want to take note of this] 

After the initial breaking in period - in my opinion - each lifter becomes a law unto himself - again, what suits one man might not suit another. 

You mention "strict form" in which each exercise is to be performed but give no explanation as to what "strict form" is. Example, on page 29 we have a shot of Franco Columbu using lateral raises. He is NOT DOING THEM IN STRICT FORM, but is using an obvious body heave and bent arms.

If you will refer to Bill [W.A.] Pullum's book, WEIGHTLIFTING MADE EASIER AND INTERESTING

you will find that the lateral raise standing HAS to be done with the arms held absolutely straight, no body bend or heave, legs together and not RAISING. This was the competition rule, for the standing lateral raise and is still used by the BAWLA. Thus Columbu is using a Cheat form of the movement. Pullum's book was published in 1920. Joe W claims or has had it claimed for him that he invented the cheat principle - which is sheer balderdash.

Flat and incline benches were in use in the early part of this century. So again we have nothing new here. In fact, in 1913 an incline bench was being advertised in a French physical culture journal that could also double as an abdominal board, was adjustable to various heights of incline and could be folded up into a suitcase.

There is a comment on bench pressing improving the standing press. While this may be so in the majority of cases, it wasn't so in my case, nor in several other individuals I could name. 

Adding washers to the bar [microloading]. My point here once again is that this is not new at all, as it is often presented to be. This method was being used in the early 1920s and up to the Ron Walker era. It was written about extensively in Vigour, Health and Strength, Superman and other British mags. It was also being used by dozens of lifting club members in London, including the Pembroke AC, the Plaistow Lifting Club, the First West Central Lifting Club and countless others worldwide. Again the beginner is led to believe that this technique - if it can be called that - is NEW and IT ISN'T.

There is a reference to "pulling and pushing muscles." I got the distinct impression from what books I have read on Kinesiology and Physiology that ALL muscles PULLED.

On another page the somato type Endomorph is referred to as the "Nervous" energy type. This is wrong. It is the ECTOMORPH who is the nervous type . . . tall, lanky, often very thin, prone to acne and stomach troubles. The ENDO is the low energy type, lazy, good digestion, roly poly type. But it must be remembered that Sheldon's theories, for that is all they really were, have now been discounted, many believing that he didn't give a sufficient enough study time to his theories to render them valid. There are many, MANY variations of the types - mixtures if you will - of ALL three types. 

Pages 63 to 72. I liked the way the routines were laid out. VERY, VERY GOOD! 

Burns. Again this method was being used way, way back. In the early 1920s there was a lifter attached to Bill Pullum's club. Arthur Verge.  

He weighed around 132 but had 16" arms. Verge's favorite exercise was the two hands curl with barbell. In fact for years he held the British Record - can't remember the poundage - but he used to hold 56-lb block weights, those with a half moon cut out of the top and a bar bridging the gap. If you ever get hold of one of these, you'll quickly see how tough it is to curl one. 

Big Thanks to John Wood for all photos used here! 
Check this out . . . 
And This . . . 

Verge would do FIFTY alternate repetitions with two 56-lb block weights. He'd also do three or four burns at the end of the full reps. The only man who was lighter than he was, but whose arms were as big, was Jose Prada, a Mexican Roman-Ring artist who stood just five feet tall, scaled around 124 and had 16" arms. He would tie a 15-lb dumbbell around his waist, jump up and get hold of the rings, palms out, arms dead straight and locked at the elbows, and then pressing outwards would press himself up into a crucifix position and DO REPS. No bend of the arms whatsoever, pure chest, deltoid and arm power. 

Forced reps. Again as old as the hills. Ron Walker used it extensively. I can recall one Sunday morning after he had met Manger, the German heavy, snatching in the backyard of George Walsh, who claimed himself as Ron's trainer. He had, that is Walker had, failed, I think, 280 odd pounds in the Snatch during his match with Manger. Now this was 1936, so my memory regarding his failures in the match may be a pound or two out. However, that Sunday morning he snatched, ON AN ORDINARY ONE INCH BAR - 320 POUNDS. After this, Walsh stood in front of him as Ron took 350 off the deck. Walsh shoved his forefinger under the bar and kept it going while Ron took the 350 to arms' length. Walker used forced reps in his pressing routine, as well as using the so called High Intensity Training AND the Negative Training Principle, touted as MODERN today, and also microloading with washers. This in the early 1930s. 

There is constant reference to the "SCOTT CURL." The impression given is that Scott "invented" it. He didn't. Why or why do people keep calling this type of curl by Scott's name. It was being used way, way before Scott or Gironda were lifting anything more than a baby rattle. I was using it in the late 1920s. Alan Stephan was using it in the 1940s and countless others were before Scott ever came along. But despite the mention of Scott, there isn't a single picture of him in the book.

Note: Sorry to barge in, but here's two books I came across while looking for something else . . .  written by Hackenschmidt after he retired from the Iron Game: 

"Man and Cosmic Antagonism to Mind and Spirit: The Psychical, Physical, Mental and Spiritual Related to Physiological Processes." 1935 

"The Three Memories and Forgetfulness: What They Are and What Their True Significance is In Human Life." 1937

Up and down the rack system. Again the name of Scott is mentioned doing this and again he didn't invent it - though many young bodybuilders will get this impression. This goes back to the old European German gym. On the Kette or chain were dumbbells or kettlebells ranging from 20 to 110 pounds - roughly, since the DBs were in kilos. The trick was to go up and down the chain curling, then pressing the DBs or kettlebells overhead, and then back again to starting poundage. Hermann Goerner was the only man able to do this in his gym, the Leipzig Weightlifting Club. 

Here's an excerpt from another Smith article on Goerner: 

"Around the four walls of the gym were benches, and above them the shelves where you kept your personal beer stein. In Goerner's gym, running up the side of one of the walls was the "Chain," a rack with solid kettlebells resting in its notches. These ranged in weight from 13 to 52.5 kilos, with jumps of 5 to 10 lbs. [28 to 115 lbs.] The trick was to see how far you could "go up the chain" swinging, pressing, curling, then pressing again each kettlebell - using alternate hands as you went up. Only Goerner could go the length of the rack from the lightest to the heaviest. This was his regular warmup. 

From here

The Multi-Poundage System. I believe I wrote in a previous letter that this was extensively publicized by Henry Atkin who ran the Britisn mag "Vigour." But it was being used long before that. [Think drop sets here]

More here:

Joe Assirati and I AND others used it but discarded it since the memory of having failed with an empty bar stayed with us. In other words, though the system may seem to have some validity, it DOES have its drawbacks in that it encourages a psychological "block."

The Rest Pause System. Another oldie - got moss [not the Staff Sergeant given-named Alfred] growing out of it. Joseph Curtis Hise used it, along with other pioneers of that era. As far as I have been able to determine Hise used it first. 

Production of Continuous Gains. It has been my experience, as well as the experience of others, that NO CONTINUOUS GAINS ARE EVER MADE. One can form a graph of sloe rises, a leveling off, a slight drop, a small gain, another leveling off and so on. In fact, by looking at Nature one can see just how valid it is. The birth, the slow rise, the static, the slow rise again, the slow decline and finally the fall. One can see this all around. 

"Escape From Samsara" starring Kurt Russell. 
Page 119. Some interesting debate could ensue over the question, "What is power?" For instance, is a marathon runner strong? Is a swimmer who is a record holder at 100 and 200 meters strong? Is a miler strong? What is "wrestling" strength? Simply put, strength or power - is there any difference - is giving your best possible performance at a given time?  

Yeah, yeah, yeah, save the all-knowing comments . . . 

Page 123, entitled "A Treasury of Bodybuilding Secrets." What secrets? We were using this stuff sixty years ago, and others were certainly using it before us. As for squats, although I agree with you that they are an important part training, there is a man at the University of Texas, Professor Emeritus, Karl Klein, the expert on physical rehab, who will give you a heavy and convincing argument AGAINST SQUATTING. In fact he was instrumental in getting the Armed Forces to stop giving squats to recruits in their physical training sessions. I do not agree with Klein, but certainly bow to his superior knowledge. In my humble opinion, injuries incurred are the result of genetics or lack of same. However this is just my opinion and I am not saying it has any merit. 

There is mention of "Hack" squats in the book. Surely some mention should have been made of the man who used them and popularized them, George Hackenschmidt. And HE got them in the 1890s from Dr. von Krajeski who was using them 10 and 15 years before Hack was - 1875! 

There is a lot more to the development of the calf muscle than toe raising. The calf muscles are involved in inversion and eversion, plus plantar flexion and dorsi flexion of the feet. One of the very best exercises to calf work is running along a beach in loose sand. Try it some time, keeping on tiptoes while running. 

NEVER DO STRAIGHT ARM PULLOVERS as an all out limit lift. You can get all sorts of elbow trouble as well as wrecked deltoids, Ask me. I know. 

There are some individuals who can do pullovers with straight arms and suffer no adverse effects. Among those I have known are Bert Assirati and Sam Kramer(?). The elbows should always be slightly bent when using heavy poundages. 

Page 143. 18" forearms - or over 18". Come, come, old chap. I have the largest forearms ever - on Goerner. And though his wrist taped 9.1 inches, his forearm measured 15.8 STRAIGHT. And this was the man David Willoughby considered to have performed the greatest feat of gripping and forearm power when he ONE HAND deadlifting 727-1/4. Even the giant Bill Kazmaier didn't have an 18" forearm. To possess one this size would mean a wrist of around 11.5 inches and a very high bodyweight. Not even the giant French strongman Apollon had an 18" forearm. In this claim you gotta show me. Goerner weighed 290! 

Page 145. The function of the abdominal muscles is to flex the torso, upper trunk, onto the pelvis. Therefore ANY situps done with straight legs are a fine exercise for the leg extensors. Situps should ALWAYS be done with bent legs. Perhaps one of the finest abdominal exercises I have ever come across is a simple one - STANDING JUMPS OVER A ROPE. To do this you have to tuck the legs up into the torso, a reverse crunch if you will. I used to do it over a rope 3 feet high, jumping forward over the rope then back without turning around. Try it sometime. Great. 

Page 160. Breathing Squats were introduced by Joseph Curtis Hise during the the late 1920s. In fact it was Hise and this type of squat that sends lifting history and screaming into the into modern bodybuilding and lifting world. But Hise used a cambered bar patented and invented by Bill Pullum in the late 19 O O's - 1920. Bill had it made since it was easier in the bent press. No one thought of using it for squats. But then Hise came along and ordered a cambered bar from Bill Pullum and off we went.

Hise did his breathing squats thus. He would collapse under the weight, recover with a rebound [and not a "muscle rebound"] to starting position, take THREE DEEP BREATHS, forcing his breath in and out, then squat again and continue this. In between sets he would do breathing BENT ARM pullovers. Hise used a cambered bar because it didn't roll on the shoulders, thus leaving the skin where it should be. But Joe Assirati and I used it for ALL exercises, including bench presses - this was in 1932 - AND CURLS AND CLEANS. You must remember that the Pullum Cambered Bar isn't like the so-called cambered bars used by power lifters in benches. Pullum's bar was cambered in the bar's dead center. And it was thicker than an ordinary one inch training bar.    

J.C. Hise,  cambered bar, in his garage dugout "power rack". 
Photo, again courtesy of Joe Roark. Thank You! 
I honestly do not know if that is a Pullum Cambered Bar. 

Page 163. In all my close to seventy years in weight training I have known NO OVE user of weights who remained injury free. We ALL, at one time or another, manage to get that little strain or sprain or whatever you want to call it. 

Page 168. My advice is NOT to treat injuries yourself. Go to some competent physiologist or sports physician. 

Page 171. DON'T EVER DO STIFF LEGGED DEADLIFTS ON A BENCH, where the bar goes below the level of the bench. This is one of the most dangerous exercises in the book of training. The trunk should NEVER go below level or horizontal position with the floor. Even light weights can cause sacroiliac injury. J.C. Hise had the right idea with his HOPPER DEAD LIFT. 

Page 181. There are those who can tolerate cow's milk and those who can't. For these latter individuals drinking cow's milk can give them nasty cases of the "Trots" or "Montezuma's Revenge." For these people, if milk must be drunk, then goat's milk is a good substitute and the chaps who can't tolerate coe's milk, can do so if they use goat's milk in its place My youngest grandson has this problem. 

CAUTION! Always be very wary of the measurements some bodybuilders claim. When John Davis was in his heyday and was capable of cleanly standing pressing 330, snatching over 300 and clean and jerking over 400, I taped his arms. At 220 pounds bodyweight and a height of 5'9" his arms measured 17-5/8". When next some bodybuilder tells you his arms tape 22 or 21 or even 18 or 19, whip out your steel tape and say, "Let's see." And YOU see how many excuses you will get as to why you can't. Not even the giant Goerner's arms, when he scaled 290 at a height of just over 6 feet measured 22. In fact the correctly taped right flexed 18.9 and left flexed 18.1. The measurements were taken when he was 43 years of age. Date: December 16th, 1934. And he scaled at the time EXACTLY 290. 
There are some idiots who claim to have a 30 inch waist at 200 pounds plus. Seldom if ever do they tell the truth, whole and nothing but.
Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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