Tag: History of Weightlifting

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.

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Sandow, Hercules and the Birth of Modern Weightlifting

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While Eugen Sandow has long been been held in esteem in the lore of bodybuilding, fans of weightlifting have seldom seen the Prussian as a figure of great importance for their sport. This is unsurprising given that over the past half-century, Sandow’s image has become so integral to bodybuilding that the sport’s top contest, the Mr. Olympia, hands out miniature Sandow busts as trophies. Nevertheless part of Sandow’s fame, at least initially, came from his raw strength which he used to set records, wow audiences and defeat opponents.

With this in mind, today’s post looks at Sandow’s 1890 weightlifting contest with ‘Hercules’ McCann, a controversial bout during which the men’s weights measured to a tee, the first time such precision had ever been introduced to the growing sport. The contest can thus be seen as a pivotal moment in the evolution of weight lifting as a recognised sport in its own right.