Joseph Curtis Hise
from IronMan, Vol 2, No. 5
BIG THANK YOU to Michael Murphy!
Note: J.C. Hise is still one of my favorite lifting authors from all that I've been lucky enough to read to date. He doesn't follow the format, just can't be bothered. Weaving and waving from this to that, you have to admit he gets his points and views across wonderfully . . . and his views on the world, and not just lifting. Helluva rare bird and pretty much one-of-a-kind in so many respects. And so was Peary Rader for giving him a platform to do it on. His selection of words is always a treat to read, to say nothing of the way he unspools his worldview throughout along with his training views, which were actually experimental and new back then, and there's always a nice rhythm and meter to his lines, definitely not by accident. My Man Rocks and Rules! And not just because for a lark he stripped off his shirt at a real early Mr. America or best built man in the cosmos contest and rushed the stage for a laugh. Scanned a small, grainy photo of that and now I can't find it. If my hat wasn't nailed on and causing incredible migraines I'd likely forget where I put that too.
The article . . .
Every story is irrevocably ruined by launching into prosaic details. No one pays any attention to details -- at least no exerciser or lifter ever does. Even if there are exceptions I won't admit it. I am sure you will all fail to pay any attention to my "prosaic details" and will only remember the poetry.
All progress depends on the "if".
If we know enough if we rest enough, if our folks are able to feed us, if we have the proper and adequate equipment to exercise and lift with -- we are automatically in our "golden age" such as the mystics tell us was so in Atlantis and Lemuria -- when philosophers -- not "bushwahs" ruled the people.
If we can increase the number of strong men sufficiently, these philosophers would end all crop surpluses (page the appetites of Mitchell, Klein and John Terry), all overwork (who ever saw a man that seeks to gain strength that can tolerate overwork) and find rich wives for the strong men -- our Golden Age will be here. Of course, some totalitarian economic dictator could probably fix it so we could support ourselves after out parents lose their WPA jobs -- you may be sure that the chamber of commerce and news publishers won't help us.
You need not commit suicide because your soul transmigrates you at the wrong historical period. Paradise can never entirely be eradicated from the globe -- in spite of the diligence of the commercemen, missionaries, and other patriots. There is such a place yet -- where people for centuries have acted as tho thy are waiting for someone to rebuild a New Atlantis.
The slander that Byrd -- one of the Cavaliers of Virginia -- poked at them in the 17th century -- (you may have read it in Colonial English) is said to be just as true today.
These lucky people that live along the "sound" region of North Carolina will go to any length of Gandhism to abstain from all utilitarian exertion. Utilitarian exertion makes everlasting mediocracy -- instead of philosophers. In fact some Smoky Mt. Tarheels in CCC camps [civilian conservation camps a la Roosevelt] told me that no CCC boy from this Lotus Land would ever work -- even to keep from freezing -- and build fires -- heavens, that is an indication of willingness to work and no philosopher from the sea coast was ever guilty of such indiscretion.
Those who know me best will wonder why I prate of Atlantis and Lemuria and the mystic philosophers when I already have heard of a 1938 realistic paradise.
All lifters are divided into 3 parts -- one part is the multiple pull lifters like Terlazzo, Terpak, and Bill Good -- the second part are the one pull lifters and exercisers whole lifts class them as 10th raters with one notable exception -- Charles Rigolout -- also such horrible examples as Boone, Walter Good, myself and all the rest of you who will read -- not study this. The third part of the "lifters" are either in prison -- on parole or the police and judges are looking for them -- they're not out business. We can't "lift" watches, railroads, purses, Brokerage houses and diamond garters -- wo we will give them the "silent cure" from here on.
Rigolout et al -- you and I are victims of "natural pull" -- a thing we "failures" are rich in. If you will dive and grasp a bar and heave -- where does it go? UP? Yes if light enough. Up an back? Or up and forward? If thou art a 10th rate lifter you have an active up and FORWARD "natural pull" -- you don't fold it in at all do you!!! That is the reason why the dreams of champs are not disturbed by the industry of exercisers.
What do our "coaches" say? "Pull up and over" -- Yeh? And the weight flying to front at great velocity and you pull it back? Alright, reduce the weight 80 or 90 pounds so you can -- but you are a heavy and you can drag in ONE MOTION 280 high enough for a 2 hand snatch -- there it is -- a foot in front of you -- and pull it back? Oh Yeah! Reduce the weight to 200 and then what? You are at the foot of the class with all "one pullers" -- except Rigolout. That is where you and I are boys, we pull like Rigolout and try to finish like Terpak -- it may be permissible in this democracy to do this BUT NONE of US get Gold Medals from the judges.
Almost without exception all great exercisers in the U.S. and throughout the world are VERY INFERIOR as lifters [my italics], not because they are "not strong" or necessarily "not skilled" as compared with lifters, but for some reason that anatomizes with their X-ray machines and charts might explain. Those who are "good lifters" did not devote "years" to cultural exercise and I am sure that there are many exercisers who have wasted more time than they care to admit at lifting styles and yet in the end they find that they can lift almost as much "without science" as with the most scientific styles used by present experts.
I say "used by experts" instead of "the most scientific styles known? because many of us believed and i am confident that we "know" a style that will put all the "exercisers" lifting records far beyond all the "present" lifting records. It will not come into general use until records are easily smashed with it, and I can not say that present "champions" will adopt it as present champions can force their cleans and snatches much higher with an exercise widely known and used very little. (I.E., the stiff legged deadlift on a hopper.).
Note: Bouncing weights to get past the sticking point has been used for quite a while. It was actually a Weider Principle I think, so it must be valid!! Here's an article on the bouncy approach:
Hopper SDLs . . . an early form of reverse band training?
"Lowered rapidly" may be a slight understatement.
Slam that bar into it, almost throw it and catch it on its way up.
But the style that has to be used by "exercisers," as contrasted with "lifters" is the style based on the "daddy of 'em all," Rigolout. From the style that Rigolout used, I will hazard that in orthodox style he is about as helpless as you "successful exercisers" are as compared to Terpak. In other words I do not believe Rigolout had any "natural" style.
Take any group of males and ask them to make a two hand clean showing the "two pull" clean of "natural" lifters -- you will find that one or more of them does this just as easily and instinctively as the most skilled lifters of the present day -- such as you or I have never had and show no indication of EVER acquiring.
For this reason we have "lifters" and "exercisers." The "natural" will exercise awhile and because he lifts so well, will drift into it exclusively -- while the poor "exerciser" will quit lifting altogether because he knows he can "out-exercise" perhaps the best lifter in his bodyweight class in every type of exercise except pressing.
I feel that the "compensation" necessary to exercise is a more efficient lifting style, a style that is not used in competition today.
(continued next month)
Enjoy Your Lifting!