Tag: 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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Friends to Enemies: Steroids and the United States

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Note: This article is about the legal history of Anabolic Steroids in the United States and not an endorsement or discussion about steroids and performance.

There is perhaps no other topic in sports that garners as emotional a reaction than the use of steroids or performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes. For some the ends justify the means, whilst for others, the use of any ergogenic (something that aids performance) goes against fair play.

I suspect that much of this debate is fuelled by the fact that anabolic steroids are an illegal substance in the United States, which is oftentimes the mecca of sports. With that in mind, today’s post looks at the history of steroids in the United States, specifically their first uses and when they became a banned substance.

John McCallum ‘Get Big Drink’

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The quest for greater size has long plagued both the ‘hard gainer’ and the muscle bound hunk. At times it can seem that the need to ingest greater calories is almost as taxing as our workouts. A predicament that John McCallum, the focus of today’s article, was keen to address. As you’ll read below, McCallum devised a simple but highly effective weight gain drink for those seeking to put on weight in the shortest possible amount of time.

3 Sets x 10 Reps: The History, Logic and Reasoning

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Earlier in the week I was fortunate enough to spend time with a friend of mine who has recently qualified as a physiotherapist. Discussing the relative merits of different exercises and training protocols, my friend lamented his profession’s reliance on cookie cutter protocols for rehabbing patients. In their view, many physiotherapists tended to prescribe 10 reps x 3 sets on exercises for patients regardless of their training experience, interest or age.

Now admittedly my friend has been strength training for the better part of a decade, which perhaps explains his enthusiasm for varying rep ranges across populations. Indeed in their training lifetime, they’ve used 5 x 5, 3 x 8, 1 x 20 and a host of other schemes. Hence they’ve experienced the effects that different protocols can produce. Ruminating however on their complaints, I realised that even outside the world of physiotherapy, people can adhere to rep ranges with a quasi-religious real. After all, when was the last time you heard someone promote 4 sets x 11 reps? Sacrilege….rep ranges must be divisible by 2 in the vast majority of cases!

Indeed, it’s not just the world of physiotherapy that has become enamoured with 3 sets x 10 reps. Many beginner and advanced programmes promote likewise. Certainly when I finished my first ‘real’ programme of 5 x 5, I was encouraged by older lifters to move to 10 x 3 for an introduction into bodybuilding. So with this in mind, today’s post examines the history of ’10 x 3′, a training protocol favoured it seems by gym goers and professional clinicians alike.

Doug Hepburn’s 1953 Training Cycle

doug-hepburn

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.

How Can You Miss Leg Day If It’s Every Day?

What truly is the indication of someone who puts time and effort into carving the ultimate physique? Is the classic Hollywood bulging biceps, or the trapezius muscles that arch out like a venomous cobra ready to strike? Some men see the classic boulder-shoulder as the mark of a masculine body that exudes brute force and a highly trained trim. Too many people focus on being symmetrical, without focusing on their weak points first. Everyone in the avid fitness community has heard the term, ‘don’t miss leg day bro.’ But, even the most hulking guys, dread leg day. Working the largest muscles in the body is painful, exhausting and relentlessly merciless. Most professional bodybuilders even set out a specific day, just to work on legs, because they’re that difficult to train without the rest of your workout suffering. However, what if leg day, was every day, would you even notice? You don’t need to put yourself through a torturous gym session because there are better ways to do it.

From Waffles to Weightlifting: Eleiko Barbell

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In many ways the gold standard of the Iron game, few lifters will go through their careers without using an Eleiko barbell at some point in time. An iconic range in the weightlifting community, the history of this Swedish company is often forgotten. Indeed, so commonplace have Eleiko products become, be they barbells or plates, that we often take their very existence for granted. Having previously examined the history of the barbell, it seems only fitting to examine one of the most iconic barbells around.

When one digs a little deeper however, a bizarre story of waffles, weightlifting and innovation begins to emerge.