It has been said of T.W. Clarke that he was a born strong man : and this, to some extent, is true. Fortune of birth, however, never made this pupil the modern Hercules he subsequently became. Harder and persistent training alone was responsible for this.
When Clarke joined the Camberwell Club as a youth of 17 he had one idea in mind – and one only! That was to become as strong as he possibly could. Muscular development solely for the sake of its appearance, he was not concerned about at all.
Commencing, Clarke put in three nights a week at the Club, in addition to which eh went through a pretty strenuous table of exercise every morning at home. This routine he kept up for three months, the end of which time found him the proud possessor of a trophy valued at £250. In appreciation of training him to win which, Clarke’s people presented me with a gold medal, suitably inscribed.
After achieving this success Clarke trained on different lines, confining himself to the practice of heavy work four afternoons a week at the Club. This alteration was made because he not only found himself free but best at this time of the day, the occupation he was following then calling for very early rising. And on these lines he continued to train up till the outbreak of war, when he enlisted in the Royal Naval Division.
Of Clarke it has to be stated that, while he practiced a fairly extensive range of movements in pursuits of his ambition, he only really concentrated on those lifts which the B.A.W.L.A. nominated for the Annual Championships. As these sets, however, were much more varied and comprehensive then than now, they very satisfactorily met his purposes.
This was one of Clarke’s 1913 Training Tables
|Lift||Starting Poundages||Following Poundages|
|One Hand Snatch||100||110-115-120-125-130|
|One Hand Clean and Bent Press||130||140-150-160-170|
|Two Hand Clean and Bent Press with Barbell||130 (10)||140 (8) – 150 (6) – 160 (4) – 170 (2) – 180 (1)|
|Two Hands Continental Jerk with Barbell||180 (6)||200 (4) – 210 (3) – 220 (2)|
Note – The figures in brackets indicates the number of times that each associated poundage was successively attempted from the shoulders. Practising in this manner, it may be remarked, not only calls for greater stamina than ordinarily required – it very successfully develops it!
But for an injury sustained during the war which permanently disabled him, Clarke would no doubt have returned to the lifting game and enhanced an already brilliant reputation. Unfortunately it was not to be.