Monday, March 14, 2022

A Rare Form of J.C.G.'s Writing Style (1970)


Training-wise, and I rarely mention that, I'm a few days into adding this to the beginning of every session: the usual warmup for me - dislocates, some stick work, and empty Oly bar snatching and overhead squats to get the juices flowing and the joints lubed, then . . . 

sets of 5 strict overhead presses, controlled lower and explosive start, dead stop, a big breath and re-brace before driving it up, adding 20 lbs each step up to a hard-ish, never impossible set of 5. No hurry, no breath-holding over the first few reps in each set. Just one top set of 5 a day. A good focus established on every rep right from the first to the very last. It is highly recommended, if you choose to Press every day for a period of time, that you shy away, back off intentionally from going beyond the absolutely doable each day, and that "doable" will vary over time, from what I've experienced. Then it's on the the "real" workout of the day. I'm interested in seeing where and how this goes.

Older and weaker now closing in on 69, a hair over six-two now, a hair under 170 and lower bodyfat than I've ever had, stopping so far at 135 x 5 strict, without too too much pushing it and my shoulders. I believe I can still improve on this, get closer to what I was allowed to do when a younger fella. There's no end to the fun in this game, if you create ways to find it for yourself. 

Hope you don't mind me including this sorta thing here every so often. I figure it may be of some use to another lifter at some point in time. 

Here is a rare response from John Grimek in one of his Your Training Problems Answered columns, done for Muscular Development magazine. This one's from the April 1970 issue, and I got a real kick out of it. He's, uncharacteristically, basically answering the query AND dressing down the questioner in the same response. 

Read it in all in order for the full effect . . . I loved it! 

Question: I've been plagued by my right shoulder "sagging for almost three months now. This happens every time when I am doing my bench presses. I weigh 155 pounds and, before this problem came up, was benching 275 pounds. Now I can barely lock out the weight with my left arm because the right arm lags so far behind. Even when I use a lighter weight, 245 pounds, the first two or three reps will go straight and easy, but any reps after that always are uneven and low on my left side. 

I've taken a layoff and cut down on the sets and reps but the condition continues. I've tried warming up before starting to lift the heavier weights, but even this hasn't solved the problem. Can you tell me what the problem might be, and a solution for it? 

Answer: Bench pressers frequently suffer from shoulder injuries that cause one shoulder to lag behind the other. This injury can come from a pulled shoulder, a strain or a bursa injury. But my guess is that anyone who can press a weight near his limit, even for a single rep, is not suffering from a bursa injury, but possibly from a pulled or strained muscle in either the deltoid area or upper arm, or both. 

Your "opinion" of a light weight in relation to your limit is something else. In fact, with the bothersome condition you complain to me about, you should NOT attempt anything over 200 pounds for the time being, or until improvement of the condition is achieved.

To overcome the lagging I suggest . . . I really don't want to re-type the parts that are font-problems . . . Ha! Got it. In your face, old computer! To overcome this lagging I suggest that you move the grip of the weaker arm closer to the collars. This will impose less stress on that arm and allow you to push the more evenly. However, include heat applications before training. This will ease the pain and permit greater freedom of movement. Do 12 to 18 reps for warming up. This kind of training will eventually help you to overcome the trouble. However, be patient and don't try to force progress. If you do, the next day your shoulder will ache, and when you try to exercise, you'll be more conscious of the pain.

By gripping "over" with your weak right arm some of the resistance is shifted to the left and this will aid your performance yet provide both arms and shoulders with plenty of exercise. Also include other forms of shoulder activity: standing laterals, dumbbell presses, alternate dumbbell raise, front raise bent-over laterals, etc., etc., but not all at one time. 

This will help, but keep in mind that the weights involved must be light, since it's not the resistance that will eventually affect a cure but movement. There's your clue. 

Nice. Clue-less implied. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!     



  1. Why was the first section included, starting with Training wise? It wasn't written by or about Grimek, who wasn't 6' 2" or born in 1901, or weigh around 170. He could press far more than 135 five times.

    1. "Hope you don't mind me including this sorta thing here every so often. I figure it may be of some use to another lifter at some point in time." It was me writing that. It must become a little confusing at times what with my "add-ons" but that, my friend, is the price you pay for accessing this stuff for free I guess. Take it. Leave it. A simple decision.

    2. I don't really care at all about what anyone else wants on this blog. If people read it, fine; if not, fine as well.


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