Category: Training

Why Crossfit Is Here To Stay

We’re not going to be starting a war on which system is better and why it is. The simple fact is that CrossFit has made a big impact and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere too soon. There are a lot of people who have been getting into exercise through this particularly high-intensity system and that’s only a good thing, so long as they’re responsible about it. So instead, we’re going to look here at why CrossFit has made such an impact and why it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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‘Put the Slant in Your Abdominal Training’ – 1968 Chuck Sipes Article

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One of the lesser known figures from the golden age of bodybuilding, Chuck Sipes was nevertheless one of the most influential men in the iron game during the 1960s and ’70s. Known for his chiseled physique and intense training methods, Chuck would regularly engage in seemingly tortuous activities in the pursuit of muscle. Thankfully for us however, his advice on abdominal training was relatively mild by his standards, though no less effective. Written circa 1968, the below ab routine will undoubtedly be of use to novice and veteran alike.

The History of the Reverse Hyper Extension Machine

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Lower back pain is an all too common problem these days for the average office worker. Long stints in the chair, hunched over, with poor posture. It’s little wonder back ache is one of the leading complaints for desk jockeys. If just sitting for extended periods of time causes such pain, imagine what lifting hundreds of kilos in a squat or deadlift does to the lower back!

It’s this juncture between the regular Joe and the super strong that the Reverse Hyper Extension Machine takes it place. Once a niche piece of equipment, the machine is beginning to crop up in more and more gyms. Though not my new gym but that’s a personal gripe!

So what is this machine that promises to strengthen the lower back, resolve back pain and build a damn strong posterior chain? Where did it come from and, perhaps most importantly, who invented it?

Three Old-School Squats You’re Not Doing

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For many gym goers the back squat is the Holy Grail for leg development. Known as a means of separating the serious trainers from the weekend warriors, the exercise has taken on a near mythical place in gym lore.

Yet like all things, too much of a good thing can lead to stagnation and poor results. While the back squat is undoubtedly a handy tool in the weightlifter’s repertoire, it can prove cumbersome for some lifters based upon their body structure or even boring for other lifters based upon their overexposure to it.

With this in mind, today’s short article highlights three time tested but often neglected squatting variations. Don’t be deceived into thinking these exercises are easier substitutes by the way. Once you try them, you may find yourself running back to the comfort of the back squat!

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.

Peary Rader’s Magic Circle

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Loved and despised in equal measure, the squat has long been the iron game’s go to exercise for maximum leg development. A cornerstone of most trainee’s leg routines, there is certainly no doubting the exercise’s popularity.

Yet despite the fact that the back squat in particular has enjoyed a decades long dominance amongst gym rats, this does not mean that it’s position has not been challenged. Indeed for every man and woman who swear by the traditional squat, chances are you’ll find many more who curse it.

Owing to individual body mechanics, many individuals have found it difficult to perform the back squat with the form necessary to produce maximum development. This is not a new problem either as today’s post attests.

Doug Hepburn’s 1953 Training Cycle

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An absolute goliath in the training world, Douglas Ivan Hepburn or Doug for short, was one of the most respected athletes of the mid-twentieth century. Winning gold medals at the 1953 World Weightlifting Championships, the 1954 British Empire Games and a series of other contests, Hepburn is perhaps best known for his incredible power. Indeed, the Canadian born strongman was the first individual to bench press 500 pounds and squat over 600 pounds with relative ease. A remarkable feat by anyone’s standards.

The following blogpost is based on Hepburn’s own interview with muscle writer Jim Murray in 1954 and details Hepburn’s training cycles in the lead up to his 1953 gold medal.