Tag: Strength

Forgotten Exercises: English Style Deadlifts

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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?

Bill Kazmier, ‘Competitive Squatting Style and Techniques’ from Bill Kazmier, The Squat and Deadlift (Crain Power-Plus, 1981)

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The following extract comes from a fascinating twelve page pamphlet I recently got my hands on. Written by the Strongman and Powerlifter Bill Kazmier, the pamphlet details everything a budding strength enthusiast needs to learn to perform on the platform. Over the next few weeks we’ll be dissecting Kazmier’s advice for the Squat, Deadlift and the Bench Press

In the meantime, do enjoy the Strongman’s general tips and advice for performing the perfect powerlifting squat. As always…Happy Lifting!

The Confusing History of Strength Co-Efficients

Kevin Phengthavone 415lbs squat black and white

Undoubtedly we’ve all been faced with the question, who is stronger? As a teenager it emerged when those weighing 150 lbs. or less sought to square up to their heavier brethren. Was it more impressive bench pressing 200 lbs. at 150 or 280 lbs. at 200 lbs. bodyweight? While our adolescent selves often solved this problem by calling the other side fat or skinny, we were nevertheless ignorant of this perennial problem. Can strength across bodyweights be compared? For powerlifters or weightlifters currently reading this post, the words Wilks or Sinclair has undoubtedly passed through your lips. For the unaware, the answer is yes, albeit with some reservations.

Since the 1930s a series of formulas have been used to with the express intention of discovering who is the strongest lifter across all weight classes. Varying in their level of nuance, the strength coefficients, as they’re termed, have given a scientific air to locker room debates about the strongest lifter. Perhaps more significantly, they’re also used in competition to determine the overall winner. With that in mind today’s post seeks to examine the history of strength coefficients, beginning in the 1930s and continuing to the present day. As will become clear, the evolution of the strength coefficients used largely echoes the growing professionalism of weightlifting and powerlifting more generally.

The History of Weightlifting Belts

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Owing to the increasing popularity of powerlifting, cross fit and olympic lifting, chances are you either own a weightlifting belt or see them on a regular basis on the gym floor. A means of bracing the abdomen, weightlifting belts are a source of controversy in the weightlifting world between those who see them as legitimate tools in the quest for heavier weights and those purists who prefer all lifts be done without any equipment whatsoever. For the majority of us, they’re simply a novelty to break out on a deadlift PR.

In today’s post, we’re going to explore the history of the weightlifting belt, from ancient mythology to the present day. Far from a new phenomenon then, the belt has long been a lifter’s friend.

The History of Weightlifting Belts

shutterstock_1273653.jpg

Owing to the increasing popularity of powerlifting, cross fit and olympic lifting, chances are you either own a weightlifting belt or see them on a regular basis on the gym floor. A means of bracing the abdomen, weightlifting belts are a source of controversy in the weightlifting world between those who see them as legitimate tools in the quest for heavier weights and those purists who prefer all lifts be done without any equipment whatsoever. For the majority of us, they’re simply a novelty to break out on a deadlift PR.

In today’s post, we’re going to explore the history of the weightlifting belt, from ancient mythology to the present day. Far from a new phenomenon then, the belt has long been a lifter’s friend.

D. Haddleton, ‘It takes guts to chisel out the Abdominals’, Health and Strength (1964)

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Written by D. Haddleton, of Sydney, Australia in Health and Strength Magazine, in November 1964, the following article presents an ‘old school’ method of training the abs. It features several exercises long forgotten by the modern weightlifter, making it both an invaluable piece of Iron Game history and valuable training aid. Really want to kick-start some ab development? Combine the exercises found here with some old school weight loss techniques!

Every bodybuilder wants, and trains for, proportionate development. But what part of the anatomy is often neglected? And the lack of which spoils many above average Physiques? And at the same time, if this muscular group is worked and developed to its fullest extent, can impart to the owner the mark of a tough, well-trained athlete and also give him glowing health?

In your mind’s eye you are probably thinking of chest, arms, legs ; all these, of course do go to make a tremendous physique, but the true hallmark of a champion is the abdominals. Without a chiselled mid-section many promising physiques are relegated to the ranks of “Mr. Might Have Beens.”

You may think this exaggerated but cast your mind back to the ‘Mr. Universe’ contestants you have seen, or in the many photos of top men you have studied in the H. and S. Notice how fit and hard the men with well defined abdominals look, how some builds would have looked all the better for a clean-cut mid-section.

Well, if you have come this far, you probably agree with what has been written. O.K., but how to get these sometimes elusive blocks of muscle?

Marvin Eder and the Four Hundred Pound Dip

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Few bodybuilders and weight trainers are unfamiliar with the dip exercise. A favourite of Vince Gironda, albeit with some modifications, the exercise is a prime builder for the chest and tricep muscles. Done correctly, the exercise is for my money, up there with the bench press. Done incorrectly, you’re just flopping up and down.

While records on the Dip exercise are few and far between, I wanted to write a short post about Marvin Eder’s incredible feat in the early 1970s, which saw him parallel dip over four hundred pounds!