Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Joe Puleo - John Terpak (1964)


"When I first started lifting, I wanted to be a top contender for national honors and be a great national champion," said Joe Puleo, the 1964 National Middleweight Champion, during a training session here in York. He then added, "Now I want to be an international lifter and be a top contender for international titles, and this is what I have in mind right now." 

There is no question that he has reached the top in national lifting as he won the Senior National Championships in 1962 and again in 1964. Although he has realized his dream of being a top contender for national honors and a national champion, he has not yet fully realized his goal of being a top ranking international lifter. 

In a conversation with Joe concerning his training ideas, he explained, "My idea of training is to train just to stay in shape until about six weeks before a big contest. Then I pace myself on a six weeks "tune up" schedule. During this time, I use progressively heavier weights each week. 

"As an example, I may start out the first week by totaling 850 (275, 250, 3250, which I can make anytime. Then I add approximately five pounds each week on each lift until the contest. I also use the tune up schedule on the assistance exercises I perform during the week.

"I usually make a schedule for all the lifts and exercises I do. My schedule calls for me to use the progressively heavier weights on all exercises week after week up to the fifth week, after which I taper down and rest for the contest. After the contest I go back to training just to stay in shape. This allows me to avoid mental staleness as much as possible." 

At the present time, Joe trains Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.


Clean and Press of Press from Rack: 
135 x 3
205 x 2
245 x 1 x 3 sets
225 x 2
205 x 2.

three pulling positions on the isometric rack - 
1) starting from a position below the knees,
2) from just above the knees, and
3) from slightly lower than a completed deadlift (use snatch grip).

Do one set of 3 repetitions and hold the third rep for 8 to 10 seconds. Pull the weight from the described positions to as high as possible and hold. The holding position is the same for all three pulls -  a high shrugging position.

Joe suggests the lifter concentrate on:
1) standing on the toes,
2) shrugging the shoulders, and
3) bending the elbows.

Also, he believes that it is better to use a weight that can be handled correctly. Six weeks before a contest he usually uses the following poundages: 320 on the low position, 350 middle, and 250 top. He increases the low and middle positions by 20 pounds a week and the top position by 10.   

135 x 5
225 x 4
275 x 3
325 x 2
350 x 2
375 x 2
350 x 2
325 x 2.

Each set is increased by 10 pounds a week.


Jerks from Rack:
135 x 3
205 x 3
245 x 3
285 x 2
315 x 2 x 3 sets
285 x 2

Power Snatch:
135 x 3
175 x 3
195 x 2
210 x 1 x 3
Add about 5 pounds each week to each set. Joe uses a slight movement and a slight dip when performing his power snatches. He feels that these work the top pull and get the muscles accustomed to pulling high. 

Power Clean:
205 x 1
245 x 1
275 x 1
290 x 1
300 x 1 x 3
Add 5 pounds each week to each set. This is Joe's favorite exercise. He feels they help the clean for the press, the snatch and the clean. 


Total on the three Olympic lifts. He usually totals progressively heavier each Saturday until the contest. 

"As anyone can see, my routine is simple. I do exercises that build explosiveness and power. As important point is that I make changes in my routine from time to time because I am constantly learning more about myself and how I respond to exercises and methods of training. 

"The most important advice I could give to anyone concerning their routine is to experiment with their training. Learn from experience. Everyone must be their own trainer." 

Joe expressed his opinion regarding proper technique when he remarked, "It took me a long time to develop the technique I have now. I am glad I learned proper technique early, because once I did, I never had to really worry. Once a lifter learns technique, his lifting should be all automatic when he performs a lift, and he should be able to concentrate more on exploding." 

Enjoy Your Lifting! 

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