Category: Biographies

The (Somewhat Complete) History of the Deadlift!

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Having previously looked at the history of the squat, bench press and even the smith machine, it seemed about time that we did a history of the deadlift. We’ve been putting this one off for quite a while, even looking at the Romanian Deadlift en lieu of the actual thing.

The stumbling block in approaching the history of the deadlift is the amount of smoke and mirrors surrounding one of the most popular exercises in the Iron Game. Someone writes something in a training book or blog and suddenly it becomes part of the popular lore. Actual research is a lot harder to come by. Nevertheless, it’s clear that deadlifts and variations on the deadlift have been around since time began. Man and woman kind has seemingly always displayed an insatiable desire to pick heavy things up from the ground.

For the sake of my sanity and timekeeping however, we’ll begin in with the eighteenth-century when a variation of the deadlift, of heavy lifting, briefly took England by storm.

Every Which Way But Loose: Gary Strydom’s Chest Training Turns his Pecs Inside Out for Awesome Mass

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Written by Jerry Brainum in 1991, the following article details then Bodybuilding prospect Gary Strydom’s impressive training routine. As readers of the blog will remember, Strydom dominated the briefly run World Bodybuilding Federation run by WWE’s Vince McMahon. Owing it would seem more to internal politics than meritocracy, many feel that Strydom was never given his dues within the Iron Game.

Gary Strydom hates competing. But he loves bodybuilding, and loves the fans. If it were up to him, Gary would prefer giving exhibitions and seminars and forget about competing.

Skeptics may say that Gary Strydom is afraid to lay it on the line, that he doesn’t want to get onstage and match muscles with the major league players in bodybuilding. How else to explain his absence from the Mr. Olympia ranks two years in a row?

These critics have short memories. They forget the ripped-to-shreds Gary Strydom of the 1988 Mr. Olympia who placed a respectable fifth in his first attempt at that title. On the considerably heavier Strydom who pushed Mike Christian in every show on the Grand Prix circuit last year. No. Strydom’s reluctance to compete doesn’t stem from fear.

Female Bodybuilder Astrid Falconi – From Pompons to Barbells & Dumbbells by Greg Zulak (1993 Article)

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Most women get into bodybuilding because they are unhappy with their bodies. Perhaps they are overweight and long to resemble the Twiggy-like models they see in Vogue or in TV commercials. Or perhaps they are in poor health and want more energy and vitality. Or maybe they are anorexic-looking and shapeless and want to add some bodyweight to fill out their clothes and have more sex appeal. In any case, it’s unusual that a beautiful woman, who is already a successful model, part-time actress and a cheerleader for a professional football team, turns in her pompons and heads to the gym to become a bodybuilder, but such is the case for Astrid Falcon, the 1991 Canadian national heavyweight and overall bodybuilding champion.

Bill Pearl’s 1967 Mr. Universe Workout

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Famous as one of the one champion vegetarian bodybuilders of his time, Bill Pearl was a force to be reckoned with during the 1960s bodybuilding scene. Well built, symmetrical and possessing a force last seen in the days of yore, Pearl’s physique inspired thousands of muscle fanatics to hit the weights room.

Still training well into his golden years, Pearl’s workout routines combine longevity with muscle building in an impressive way. Be warned however, this program is not for the faint of heart. Indeed, Bill didn’t win four Mr. Universes by pussyfooting around the gym floor.

With the preliminaries in mind, lets check out Bill’s workout routine for his 1967 Mr. Universe victory.

The Amazing Physique Of A. Schwarzenegger & How He Developed It (1967 Article)

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Published in Iron Man Magazine in 1967 by Arnold’s friend Albert Busek, the following article details Arnold’s rise to fame alongside his working routine of the time. A fine biography and reminder that even during the 60s, people marvelled at the Austrian’s successes.

JUST a short year ago his name was still generally unknown, but on October 30, 1965, in Stuttgart, his meteoric rise to international fame began.

However, let us review his story from the very beginning. Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, the son of police inspector Gustav Schwarzenegger and his wife, Aurelia. As a child he was taken along by his father to curling contests, and very soon the desire to emulate his father’s interest in sports awakened in him. At the same time he realised that that wouldn’t be a very easy thing to do, for his father was – and still is – an outstanding sportsman. Among other things, his father was the European title holder in distance curling, and several times he won awards as state champion in gymnastics and calisthenics. In his early efforts to achieve distinction in athletics, Arnold had to content himself with a merely average performance, and was very disappointed in this result. That happened in February, 1962, at the Graz City Championship in Distance Curling for Juniors. Arnold only won sixth place. For the son of a well-known sportsman that was naturally an unfortunate start, but Arnold was simply too weak to assert himself against the best performers. Thus, for the moment, his drive to reach the top came to a sudden halt.

Gains, Gains, Gains! Simple Ways To Increase Your Muscle Mass

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For a lot of guys, the main goal of their workout it to increase their muscle mass. Sure, there are plenty of people out there looking to lose weight, or simply become more active, but for the vast majority of men, the final goal of their routine is to get some serious gains. The issue is that there are far too many guys out there who simply don’t know how to achieve that result. They have a vague idea of what they want, but they don’t actually know how to most effectively go about making it happen. A lot of the time this then leads to them getting discouraged and giving up altogether. To help make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are some incredibly simple things that you can do to help increase your muscle mass.

Dave Waddington and the Thousand Pound Squat

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It was a timely moment for powerlifters. Anabolic steroids were by then de rigour. Weightlifting shoes, straps and suits had all evolved and greater attention was being paid to training and nutrition. Official powerlifting meets had been running for over two decades and the poundages were increasing with every competition it seemed.

Just as the Americans had rushed to the moon the previous decade, the 1970s and 80s in the powerlifting community were concerned with the race to the thousand pound squat. In today’s article we examine the first recorded effort at the thousand pound squat, undertaken by the American lifter, Dave Waddington.

The Fabulous Zabo Koszewski

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Famed for his god-like mid section, Ivan ‘Zabo’ Koszewski, is often forgotten about by modern gym goers seeking inspiration for their training. Although smaller in stature than contemporaries like Arnold or Frank Zane, Zabo’s physique was nevertheless the stuff of legend amongst his training colleagues.

Today’s post, written by Bob Hise for Strength and Health Magazine in 1967, details Zabo’s unique approach to training and nutrition. Whereas many of the time were eating between four and six meals a day, Zabo built his physique eating only twice a day. Something proponents of Intermittent Fasting will no doubt appreciate.