I was flicking through some old strength magazines during the weekend and came across a lift that I doubt many of us are familiar with. Called the ‘Seesaw’ press, it is essentially a standing dumbbell shoulder […]
I love my PhD research. After three years, very few people can say that, but here I am. Now the reason for such positivity is not because a student recently gave me whiskey as a […]
Admittedly this is an exercise for your physical culture purist. Stemming from the early origins of physical culture in the late nineteenth-century, English style deadlifts are unlikely to be seen in your gym any time soon. Nevertheless, this style of lifting was hugely popular amongst British and European lifters of yesteryear. Used by Goliaths like Herman Goerner, this style of deadlifting was seen as inherently strict and the greatest measure of a lifter’s power.
That being the case, today’s short post will be addressing three simple questions. What is the history of the lift? How does one deadlift English style? And how can we incorporate it into our routines?
Almost a half-century ago the one and two hand swing lifts were very popular among lifters and bodybuilders alike, especially the one hand lift. Over the years, however, both of these lifts have slumped into oblivion so that today there are very few who ever practice them, either as an exercise or for record-breaking performances. Because of this the world record in both lifts still remains at that poundage that was lifted many years ago. The one hand record is 199 pounds, and the two hand record is 224 pounds, just 25 pounds more than the one hand swing.
John Grimek, The Dumbbell Swing (1959)
This weekend I had the pleasure of dipping once more into Arthur Saxon’s excellent work from the early 1900s, The Development of Physical Power. Notable, for me at least by Saxon’s no nonsense attitude and frankness, the work does not seek to deceive or flatter. Instead, one of the strongest men of his generation sets out his remarkable strength and some of the means used to sustain it. Many of the exercises set out by Saxon are still done today, except for the above mentioned dumbbell swing.
The purpose of today’s post is thus twofold. First, we’re going to examine what this exercise is and how to perform it. From there, we get to delve into it’s fascinating history.
Author’s note: If you’re wondering why this isn’t the second installment of “The Keys to Success” series, it’s because the article “out-grew” the pages of HARDGAINER. l’ve decided to turn “The Keys to Success” into my first book. I should have it completed by the end of the year.
Ah, the grand old question of them all. I’ve heard it a thousand times: “I’m doing everything right, so why aren’t I getting any bigger?” Let me give you the reasons why.
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.
After a man reaches the age of 50, and sometimes even 40, he sometimes feels that he is an old man, and tho he realizes the need for exercise for health’s sake, he thinks that he might be getting for heavy work.
This all depends on how he has trained in years past. If he has taken the best care of his health he can feel assured that he can stand rather heavy training until he is 50. Furthermore he will have enough experience and “know how” to arrange his own workout program from then on. We do not feel that man over 50 should try to excel the younger fellows in lifting meets regardless of how good he thinks he feels. However we do feel that fairly heavy bodybuilding training or even lifting training will be beneficial if he has always kept in good shape.
An ideal for Arnie and countless others, Reg Park was one of the biggest bodybuilding names of the mid-century. Known for his powerful physique and raw strength, it’s no surprise that even though the great man has passed away, many still follow his old workout routines to a tee.
Today’s post was generously given by a reader of the blog who stumbled across an article written by Park following the 1958 Mr. Universe. It details his training, supplementation and general state of mind leading up to the competition. I’m sure you’ll find it as interesting and informative as I did.
Now in the interests of accuracy, and my own laziness, the article will appear below just as it did in 1958…Enjoy!
Better known as Rheo H. Blair, Irvin Johnson was one of the foremost bodybuilding nutritionists of the 1950s and 60s. Producing one of the most sought after protein powders in the Iron Game, Blair was lauded for his nutritional knowhow and ability to achieve seemingly unbelievable weight gain amongst his clients.
Bearing that in mind, today’s short post details a sample eating plan from Johnson’s ‘Scientific Bodybuilding and Nutrition Course’, a mail order course produced in 1951 which promised to increase reader’s weight and muscle mass if followed correctly.
Similar to the ‘Get Big Drink‘ previously covered, the diet acts as a timely reminder that calories are needed for muscle gain. And that a systemised eating plan is often the easiest method of going about this. Enjoy!
Undoubtedly one of the most successful and aesthetic bodybuilders of the past century, Steve Reeves holds a special place in the hearts of iron lifters. Known for his remarkably genetics and interesting exercise variations, Reeves was the poster boy for mid-century bodybuilding.