Image of Clancy Ross

Vic Tanny, ‘Clancy Ross’s Training Program,’ Strength & Health Magazine 1949

Clancy Ross was one of America’s most impressive mid-century bodybuilders. Winner of the 1945 AAU Mr. America, Ross appeared on multiple bodybuilding magazines during these years. This article was published one year after Ross’s famous victory over Steve Reeves in the 1947 Mr. USA contest. Some cool things to notice about this program

1. Ross trained before split-routines became popular. Hence his program was a full body one.

2. The rep ranges he used! While some of the reps seem reasonable (10 reps for squats), Ross was clearly an advocate of high-rep training.

3. The old school names – prone press instead of bench press, lat stretches instead of lat pulldown etc. It’s just a neat reminder of the way terms evolve in the Iron Game.

But without further adieu, Ross’s program

You will notice that in this program Clancy does 10 reps on each set of squats, 20 reps on each set of leg presses. 30 reps on each set of calf work. 10 reps on all chest exercises. 10 reps on all sets of shoulder work. 10 reps on all arm work and 10 reps on all “lat” work. 100 reps in sit up and 50 reps on both side bends and leg raises.

This program takes Clancy about two hours of steady work with a training partner. The buddy system of training is an excellent method and one that most men adopt sooner or later. It makes both parties work harder and more conscientiously. I’ve advocated this system in my gym for many years, and with excellent results. Try to pick a partner who is consistent and a hard worker. If you team up with a playboy you might wind up doing one arm curls at the nearest bar instead of your regular exercises.

1. Squats 4×10

2. Leg Presses 2x 20

3. Calf exercise 4×30

4. Prone Press 3×10

5. Incline Presses 3×10

6. Push ups between boxes 3×10

7. Upright Rowing 3×10

8. Side deltoid raise 3×10

9. Bar curl 3×10

10. Bent over dumbell curl 3×10

11. Triceps exercise 3×10

12. Overhead wall pulley 3×10

13. Five foot wall pulley 3×10

14. Lat stretches 3×10

15. Situps 100 reps

16. Side bends 50 reps

17. Leg raises 50 reps

As always … Happy Lifting!

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