That Marvin Eder, sensational Eastern muscle and strength star, chose the bench press as his favorite exercise, is no surprise to any bodybuilding authority. For in this lift can be found the key to his determination to become a world beater, to overcome all obstacles and to gain immortality as one of the celebrated GREATS of bodybuilding.
Marvin is not a big man as bench pressers go. Doug Hepburn, Reg Park, John Mac Williamson, all outweigh him 30 to 80 pounds in bodyweight. Still he refuses to acknowledge the fact that physically he may not be suited to establish a heavyweight record in the bench press, and he trains as hard on this lift as though his next effort would smash all records.
For the bench press is more to Marvin than just another bodybuilding exercise or strength lift. It is really his silent partner, the one he looks to for encouragement, help and approval. Without it he would be just another bodybuilder.
Marvin is a firm believer of psychology in exercise. He feels that the mental and physical must meet in a happy embrace in each exercise session if unusual success is to be had.
However, this was not always so. We can remember Marvin when he was just starting to climb the ladder of physical success, just like any other beginner in bodybuilding. He showed potential then, but it was not until he discovered the bench press that his latent greatness was released and permitted full expression.
At the start, Marvin trained just like any other bodybuilder. He took his work-outs regularly, followed sensible programs and made usual progress.
Then, one day, a group of training partners suggested a contest in the bench press. For Marvin, this was a comparatively new exercise. He had little previous experience with it. Still, he beat everyone else at the gym, making well over 200 pounds his first trial.
To him, from this time on, the bench press became his symbol of success. He began to practice it with real zeal and determination, starting off each work-out session with the exercise. As he improved in the exercise, it was soon possible for him to gauge his strength for his entire workout by how well he performed on the bench press. When he did well, his entire workout was a tough, heavy one. When the bench press went poorly, hr found that the rest of the work-out was also below par.
In this manner, his psychology of training was developed. With his first exercise he knew exactly how much energy he had to expend in each workout – when he could go all out and use limit poundages and when it was more advisable for him to use less.
In this way, Marvin was able to avoid training errors. Even though on occasions he worked out 6 times a week, there was never any danger of him going stale, for the bench press tipped him off. Other times, when he was busy at his job, and could not train regularly, the bench press was his guide as to how hard he could train when time permitted and still not suffer sore muscles as a result.
Marvin has no secret way of performing the bench press. He does it just like other bodybuilders, generally performing 3 or 4 sets a work-out, about 10 repetitions a set. Sometimes he uses the standard grip, other times a very wide one, and still other times a narrow grip.
When he is training for power, he will drop the repetitions down much lower and perform more sets. Other times he will perform a few sets with heavy weight, low repetitions and then wind up his work-out with several sets of higher repetitions with lighter weights. The secret of his greatness does not lie on HOW he performs the bench press, but in WHAT this exercise means to him…the symbol it stands for, the infallible guide to his physical condition he has developed it into.
This is the real story behind the favorite exercise of this great star. From it you can see that to him, the bench press has long ceased to be a movement in which a mass of steel and iron is lifted from the chest to arms length. The exercise lives, as far as he is concerned, just as surely as your own greatest friend and booster lives. It is NOT and inanimate exercise motion, and that is exactly why it has done so much for him. Regardless to what heights the future career of Marvin Eder may rise, he will always have to say..”It was the bench press which makes me what I am today!”
Other champions have discovered this same key to their greatness in other exercises. Behind each, the story is one which has never been told before.