Category: Biographies

3 Champions With a Winning Mentality

How to take training to the next level? Often the biggest obstacle we face is our own self-doubt. When striving to reach the pinnacle of fitness we find ourselves facing challenges that hinder or stop our progress. These can be mentally through lack of motivation or physically through injury. During these times it can feel easy to give up. In this post we have three champions who no matter what obstacle they faced maintained a winning mentally.

Andreas Munzer – The Ideal Way to Massive Legs (1995)

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Forced Rep, Negatives, Free Weights & Machines – People have called me mad. They say no sane man would inflict my degree of discipline on himself. Perhaps they’re right, but I feel that extremism in the quest of your best is no vice.

If I seem to be in be in the iron grip of Spartan self-denial, it’s only because I’m convinced that’s what it takes for me to compete with the greatest bodybuilders i the world. The monsters out there today strain the very definitions as to what constitutes a human being, so I simply have to lift myself that much further beyond mortal effort just to stay with them, not only in training but in diet and lifestyle. If I can discipline myself more than the next guy, I will someday beat him.

1966 MR. OLYMPIA REPORT (December 1966 – Muscle Builder)

Having previously discussed the first ever Mr. Olympia contest held in 1965, it was a great and welcomed surprised to stumble across this report on the ’66 Olympia. Featuring a host of names from the golden age of bodybuilding, there’s something almost quaint about the sportsmanship and seeming politeness of this particular show. Especially when compared with the strictly professionalised competitions held nowadays.

The big question in 1966 was of course whether Larry Scott, the champion from the previous year, would retain his coveted title. At the risk of spoiling anything, I’ll just say read on!

The Bench Press Favorite Exercise of Marvin Eder World’s Strongest Youth – Abe Goldberg (1953)

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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.

21s in Bodybuilding Lore

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What teen or young lifter hasn’t been seduced by the idea of bigger biceps? Indeed in the bodybuilding universe of both males and females, no pose is more iconic that the front or back double bicep pose.

A difficult set of muscles to grow, except of course for the genetically gifted, the biceps have been subjected to a variety of tortuous and bizarre experiments aimed at growth. The subject of today’s short post, being one such example.

As a quick recap, ’21s’ is the name generally given to a set of bicep curls wherein seven partial reps are performed at the bottom of the movement, seven more at the top of the movement before finally, seven full reps are performed as one continuous set.

Long associated with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s repertoire of bodybuilding tricks, the purpose of today’s post is to highlight a potentially different story. A story that, in an odd occurrence, includes Arnold as a side character, away from the main spotlight.

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.