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29 June 2015

Movies, Music, and Books That Are Devils Rejects Approved

For whatever reason, I've had brutal writer's block on training and diet.  I've got a couple of articles in the works, namely on on Paleo dieting and the third powerbuilding article, but I've hit a wall on both.  Since I've not posted anything in over a month, I figured I'd hit you guys with something, which I suppose is better than nothing at all.  Thus, I give you another installment of the books/movies/music series that might give you guys some entertainment while you wait for me to get my head out of my ass.

Yeah, I realize this is from House of 1000 Corpses, but the gif rules and it's from the same series, so suck it,

For those of you who are unaware, The Devil's Rejects has been one of my favorite movies since it dropped.  From the "I am the Devil, and I'm here to do the Devil's work" line to Sheri Moon Zombie looking ridiculously hot in ripped up jeans to Bill Mosely's insanely brutal portrayal of a cop driven to the brink of insanity by a foe more evil than he could conceive, The Devil's Rejects has it all.  If you've not seen it, it's basically Natural Born Killers with far more brutality, less weirdness, and a much, much hotter lead actress.  Given my predisposition to liking movies of that ilk, I decided to make a list of films, books, and bands that would be appreciated by people who share my appreciation for that film- in other words, for people who want it filthy, sexual, and violent.  With that, here's a list of movies, books, and albums that have fit that bill in recent months.

Movies

Avenged- This is probably one of the coolest movies I've ever seen, and was life-affirming in the same way The Woman was- it pointed out the hypocrisy of "civilized" people and illustrated the nobility of "savages".  Basically a mashup of The Crow and Last House on the Left, it's about a deaf woman who is raped and killed while traveling cross country to live with her fiancée and is then resurrected by an Indian shaman and has to kill everyone before she rots to bits.  It's so brutal maggots actually fly off her as she beats the brakes off of a pack of white trash hell bent on killing Indians for no good reason.  Yeah, it's that awesome.  In the meantime, her fiancée is trying to murder rednecks and while he fails miserably, murders abound.



Rites of Passage- Christian Slater and Stephen Dorff in a movie in which everyone is whacked out of their head on Indian drugs or meth, Christian Slater has a sock puppet friend who talks to him, and titties abound.  Something of a whodoneit, it's a bit of a slasher flick, a bit of a stoner flick, and a bit of a mystery.  Plus, with Christian Slater as a meth-addicted greenhouse keeper hellbent on revenge against a college-girl drunk driver as the side story, you really can't go wrong.  Not the greatest movie in history, but certainly an awesome way to spend a slightly drunken evening watching A minus to B grade horror films.



ABCs of Death 2- If you enjoyed any of the V/H/S movies or if you're a fan of short story books like Steven King's amazing Night Shift and Skeleton Crew, you will love this film.  Comprised of 26 short films, each film is associated with a letter and conveys a different message.  The best of the bunch are certainly D is for Deloused (a truly disturbing stop-motion short film that has inspired me to get a tattoo of the line "You pay for life" somewhere on me this year), X is for Xylophone (starring the awesome Beatrice Dalle from Inside and featuring some awesome gore effects), and then the best part of the entire film, Z is for Zygote, which is perhaps one of the most fucked up things I've seen in the last year.  Even if you watch nothing else in this movie, check out Deloused and Zygote.  You can skip P is for P-P-P-P SCARY!, which is utter dogshit (if not still a bit disturbing), and cartoonist Bill Plympton's utter work of trash, H is for Head Games.  Beyond those two, though, everything else ranges from entertaining to fucking awesome.



Inside- Without question, the most brutal movie I've seen in the last few years.  Inside's plot is essentially this- a woman who is scheduled to give birth on Christmas Day, whose husband died in a horrific car accident, is stalked and attacked repeatedly by a female assailant in her home.  The gore is off the charts and none of it is CGI- it's good, old fashioned gore effects.  I won't give away the ending, but you literally cannot conceive of the brutality of this movie, and the opening credits wherein it's nothing but oozing, pooling blood pretty much sums up the movie.  I honestly cannot recommend this movie enough if you like gore and psychological horror.


Wyrmwood- If there was ever a unique zombie film, this is it.  Not only do the protagonists in the movie have the sense to armor up, which in and of itself makes the movie worth watching, but there are a number of unique twists in this movie that make it worth a watch.  Telepathy, zombie-breath-run vehicles, and armor-clad Kiwis make this movie fucking amazing.



Music
Nasty- Shokka.  I've loved Nasty for years, and they keep getting better.  German beatdown hardcore with a groove.  What more can you ask for?  And if you don't know of Nasty- check out their last album as well- "Love".  The tracks "My Brain Went Terribly Wrong" and "Look at Me, and Fuck You" are amazing.  Shokka picks up where that album left off, and Nasty just keeps getting harder and ... nastier.



Rise of the North Star is an awesome throwback to the mid 90s rapcore scene, with a bunch of weird Japanophile nonsense thrown on top for good measure.  Surprisingly, they're a Parisian band, making them the hardest thing to come out of France since Clovis and the Franks won the battle of Tours.  Even if you don't like rapcore, think of a harder version of E-Town Concrete but more fun.



Books

Monster Hunter Nemesis- Larry Correia  I've mentioned this series on numerous occasions, and with the exception of one installment, it has never failed to entertain.  This one, however, is even harder than the rest.  More blood, more gore, more fighting, and weirder monsters.  Well worth the $8.  Seriously, pick this up.



Muscle, Smoke and Mirrors Part I- Randy Roach  This is the single greatest resource on the history of strength training and bodybuilding I've ever found.  Combined with the Super-Athletes, you literally don't need another book on the subject of physical culture if you want information on any facet of it- from training methods to diet to overall culture, this has it all.  Additionally, it chronicles the feuds within bodybuilding, the feud between bodybuilding and Olympic weightlifting, and the rise of powerlifting.  Expensive, but well worth the price.


Better Nutrition- Bob Hoffman Although it's about as archaic as the Gutenberg printing press it's old enough to have been printed upon, it's an important look into the history of bodybuilding and strength training nutrition.  Written by the godfather of American Olympic weightlifting, this was a pioneering work in nutrition at the time it was written.  Hoffman was the first lifter to really espouse a high protein diet, though he also suggested that lifters should eat soy in large amounts, and he really seemed to be prescient about where bodybuilding and strength training nutrition would go in the future.

So, there you go- a little something to keep you entertained while I figure out how to write again.  If you're curious, the things I'm reading now are The Rise of Superman by Kotler, which is about managing flow to become a better athlete, Machine Man, which is a book on transhumanism that I'm rereading for that series, and the Crossed graphic novel, which is an ultra-violent and sexual comic about an apocalypse in which people contract a disease that puts a crucifix on their face, then makes them feral, hypersexual killing machines.  All three are awesome, if you've interest in things other than what I listed above.

28 April 2015

Natty Or Not? Not That Anyone Should Give Two Fucks: The History of Performance Enhancing Substances

Zero fucks are given.

Interestingly, when I began lifting weights, steroids were not a topic of discussion.  Of course, we knew some people used gear and took it for granted that the top pros used shit, but no one actually cared.  It didn't stop us from following their programs, from lifting 10 times a week, or from doing 60 sets a bodypart.  Instead, it gave us an aspirational goal which, while probably unrealistic, made us shoot for the stars.  It made us definitively and pointedly better, because it gave us supermen for idols- it gave us a huge goal for which to shoot that kept us from being mired in the mediocrity in which modern lifters seem eminently comfortable.


Doug Young- literally everything millenials aren't.

For the modern lifter, that must seem completely insane- modern lifters spend more time programming and making excuses for their shit lifts than they actually spend lifting.  They endlessly discuss their lack of progress, parse their programs, and nitpick their form, because doing all of that shit means they never actually have to exert themselves in the gym.  They've given all of the societal indications of caring without actually putting their heart and soul into training, which is what we used to do, and it's why we succeeded in spite of the fact that our programming and exercise choices were often subpar, led astray by the evil left hands of Ben and Joe Weider.


Natty bros, the guy on the left is to blame for your plight- Dr. JB Ziegler.  He brought steroids into the American zeitgeist.

Then, we have the "natty" excuse, an excuse so hollow and pathetic it is difficult to describe the contempt for it that I have.  Bear in mind, I never even saw a capsule of dianabol until I was 32- I knew of steroids, and I knew people who used them, but I never gave a shit.  I didn't give a shit because I knew I could succeed without any assistance, and did so.  I didn't look to "gurus" to assuage my ego with limits on my natural progress, begging them for an upper end to my gains by which I could measure myself as the peak of potential "natty" gains.  The idea that I was limited by genetics or "nattiness" never occurred to me.  likely because I am not the biggest fucking pussy on Earth, and the fact that I've read enough that I know that winners will always do what it takes to win.  Always.  Thus, when I needed a boost, I would take one, but until then, I would strive mightily against genetics, gravity, and humanity in a bold effort to transcend the normal and achieve the impossible.


Elite and not a bit sorry about it.

Don't believe me about the fact that winners will do what it takes to win?  Well, science says "go fuck yourself", because you're obviously not a winner.  A "researcher, Bob Goldman, began asking elite athletes in the 1980s whether they would take a drug that guaranteed them a gold medal but would also kill them within five years.  More than half of the athletes said yes.  When he repeated the survey biannually for the next decade, the results were always the same.  About half of the athletes were ready to take the bargain" (Reynolds).  Conversely, only 2 out of 250 recreational lifters said they would do the same (Ibid).  That's a pretty impressive disparity- 50% of elite athletes will do what it takes to win, whereas less than 1% of normies would.  Amusingly, this study was done at a time when both steroids and ephedrine were legal and acceptable for use among the average trainee, blissfully avoiding the unnecessary, illegitimate, and indefensible stigmas they now bear.



Bringing it back around to the topic of my generation and steroids, we didn't think of steroids in a pejorative manner or regard them as the magical group of pharmacological miracles that turn shit lifters into supermen than modern trainees do.  Instead, we regarded them as a tool in a toolbox... an option that might confer benefits... and basically something one could do if one wished.  There was neither stigma nor reference for that group of drugs-  they simply were.  It was accepted as a matter of course that methyltestosterone or dianabol were in the supplement Hot Stuff, and that clenbuterol was in the preworkout Ultimate Orange (along with ephedrine and every other heart attack-inducing substance Dan Duchaine could find).  It didn't matter if people used a stepped up androstenedione to us, or another substance to drop in on ephedrine to make our blood pressure even more ridiculous, but they were considered to be tools for use by people who wished to rather than magical death drugs used by "cheating" psychopaths- they were just a part of a panoply of performance enhancing drugs that humans have used since time immemorial when they wanted to win.



Frankly, I would not be surprised if nearly every person under the age of 25 reading this right now was bleeding from the eyes.  For those of you who are struggling not to punch your laptop, consider the opinion of the Washington Post's sports columnist Sally Jenkins:
"Maybe we shouldn't ask athletes to live up to ideals that, let's face it, are unsupported by the chronically weak performance of human nature. Maybe it's time to decriminalize performance-enhancing drugs, in view of the fact that the first drug cheat was an ancient Greek and runners brought sport-doping into the modern age in 1904 by dosing themselves with strychnine.
Our Air Force gives fighter jocks "go-pills" to get them through long missions, but we don't refuse to call them heroes because they're on speed. So what's this strange amnesia that causes us to seek purity in athletes? Why should they have to meet a higher moral standard than soldiers? Call me naive."
"What's the job of an athlete really? It is to seek the limits of the human body, for our viewing pleasure. Athletes are astronauts of the physique, explorers. Some of them choose to explore by making human guinea pigs out of themselves. So maybe we should quit assigning any ethical value to what they do, and simply enjoy their feats as performance artists. Virtue was another notion dreamed up by the Greeks, only they were a lot less confused about what they meant by the term. Their word for virtue could also be accurately translated as simply "excellence." As for the word "amateur," it didn't exist to them at all."
"Doping is not a modern art. It's just the medicine that's new. As a recent story in National Geographic pointed out, performance enhancement grew with chemistry in the mid-19th century. Athletes choked down sugar cubes dipped in ether, brandy laced with cocaine, nitroglycerine and amphetamines. In that context, the current scourges of steroids and blood boosters are merely a sequential progression" (Jenkins).

Performance enhancing drugs have been used since prehistory.  Ancient neanderthal burials all contain ephedra plants, which were used by that species for unknown purposes, though it is considered to be a PED.  Given the fact that neanderthals were well known for their slaughter of megafauna, it's not outside of the boundaries of consideration to think they used ephedra as a performance enhancing drug to aid in that pursuit (LoPorto).  And it's not just the neanderthals who have used PEDS- the ancient Greeks were well known for using any means they could to gain an advantage on their opponents, and not only was that expected, but it was appreciated, provided they didn't get caught (Bowers).  The Roman gladiators doped to get through fights, and nineteenth century French cyclists and lacrosse players used a combination of wine and coca leaves, called "Vin Mariani", aka "wine for athletes," to gain an edge on their competition (Murray).



It's not just hominids who look for an edge, either- horses consume locoweed, which affects them much in the same way nicotine affects humans (it's an ergogenic aid [Pesta]); capuchin monkeys and lemurs get high off millipedes and use them as a sex aid, narcotic, and a natural bug repellent (Zambone), reindeer eat the same mushrooms Viking Berserkers used to ingest to make them fearless before  going into battle (leading to a very weird cycle in which shamans and reindeer drink each others' piss to get high) (McBain), elephants are incorrigible drunks and rampage drunkenly through Indian towns causing wanton destruction (Hussain)... the list goes on and on.  Many high-functioning species use narcotics and other substances to perform in an altered state- it's the way of the world.


Thomas Hicks: Powered by rat poison.

Fast forward to the modern era and you'll find nothing's changed.  In the 1904 Olympics, marathoner Thomas Hicks began the tradition of doping at the Olympics when he won his event using a combination of strychnine, egg whites, and brandy (Abbott).  By the 1940s, the Germans were experimenting heavily with steroids and amphetamines, and Hitler was allegedly guinea pig #1 amongst them.  Pervitin and Isophan, methamphetamines, were the Nazi soldier's drug of choice (Ulrich), and later in the war the Nazis developed a pill that was a combination of morphine, cocaine, and methamphetamine to optimize performance.  Hitler himself was one of the first test subjects for steroids, and it's reported that he recommended their use for all German athletes as a result (Taylor 146).  Due to the success in the field of combat, athletes began taking these substances shortly thereafter, referring to amphetamines in particular as essential for optimal performance.
"These drugs — nicknamed la bomba by Italian cyclists and atoom by Dutch cyclists — minimize the uncomfortable sensations of fatigue during exercise. By setting a safe upper limit to the body’s performance at peak exertion, these unpleasant sensations prevent bodily harm" (Noakes 847).
Tommy Simpson straight KILT by amphetamines in the Tour de France.

In the 1960s, two athletes died in competition due to complications from amphetamine use, and shortly thereafter, drug testing began in competition.  In 1975, the IOC banned steroid use, but it wasn't until 1988 that Ronald Reagan banned the non-medical sale of steroids in the United States.  Bear in mind that this ban had nothing to do with the public health- this was simply a political move intended to demonize the Eastern Bloc countries, who had been kicking the shit out of us in international competition and openly admitted to widespread and prolific use of anabolic steroids.  By banning their sale, Reagan made the use of these substances taboo, thus taking away some of the glory the Russians and their satellites could take from their wins in international competition.  Demonization of these substances and propaganda against them has continued until today, in spite of the fact that doctors routinely prescribe anabolic steroids and growth hormone for everything from longevity to mental health, and prescribe amphetamines as a matter of general course to everyone from small children to the elderly.


6'6" 330 lb offensive tackle (and massive draft bust) Tony Mandarich

And it's not just lifters, football players, and cyclists who dope- it's truly a matter of "if you're not cheating, you're not trying."  Amphetamines have long been a part of baseball:
"Baseball and greenies [amphetamines] go together like hot dogs and apple pie, assuming the hot dogs come flying off the grill at Warp Seven and the pie sort of jitters and sweats slightly as it is removed from the oven. They've been together for a long, untouted while, is the thing" (Kreidler).  
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has stated that he's heard about the use of amphetamines in baseball as far back as the 1950s, in fact.  Shit, even badminton players use gear- Indian and Chinese badminton players have gotten popped for steroid use in the last few years, and star tennis player Rafael Nadal is routinely accused of using steroids.  Swimmers and soccer players routinely use albuterol and clenbuterol to improve their performance, competitive pistol shooters and archers take beta blockers, and fighter pilots take amphetamines (Harris).  In fact, performance enhancing drugs essentially permeate every competitive sport or activity, ranging from chess (Grossekathöfer) to golf (Rosaforte) to professional orchestra (Wise) to, believe it or not, billiards (Deardorff).


Badminton champion Lee Cong Wei, who has popped positive for corticosteroid use.

Performance enhancing substances are not limited to steroids, amphetamines, and growth hormones, however.  The most widely used PED is caffeine, and it's estimated that 85% of the US population consumes caffeine daily to improve alertness and performance (Mitchell).  Similarly, athletes in every sport use ibuprofen to improve their recovery times (Harris).  Miraculously, this is one of the few substances not banned by the WADA, which has banned 162 substances ranging from completely legal selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) to steroids to rat poison (Banned).  This, of course, essentially means that the banned substances list is a more or less arbitrary line in the sand drawn by non-athletes to limit the options of actual athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.



Up next, we'll cover the history of sports supplements and the bans on those substances by governments and various sporting bodies and federations, and continue to explore reasons why "natty bros" are nothing more than whiny, uncompetitive bitches looking to excuse their poor performance by drawing arbitrary lines in the sand on performance enhancing substances and ascribing near-magical attributes to substances routinely taken across the board by competitive people across the globe and throughout time.

Sources:
192 Banned Performance Enhancing Substances and Methods
with Pros & Cons of Their Health Effects.  Pro Con.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://sportsanddrugs.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002037#VI

Abbott, Karen.  The 1904 Olympic marathon may have been the strangest ever.  Smithonian.  7 Aug 2012.  Web.  23 Apr 2012.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-1904-olympic-marathon-may-have-been-the-strangest-ever-14910747/#18o2VX77ep0dtmJb.99

Bowers LD.  Athletic drug testing.  Clin Sports Med. 1998 Apr;17(2):299-318.

Grossekathöfer, Maik.  Outrage Over Ivanchuk: The Great Chess Doping Scandal.  Spiegel Online.  11 Dec 2008.  Web.  28 Apr 2015.  http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/outrage-over-ivanchuk-the-great-chess-doping-scandal-a-595819.html

Harris, William.  10 performance-enhancing drugs that aren't steroids.  HowStuffWorks.com.  06 Nov 2012.  Web.  28 April 2015.  http://science.howstuffworks.com/10-performance-enhancing-drugs.htm

Hussain, Wasbir.  6 drunk elephants electrocute themselves.  Seattle Times.  23 Oct 2007.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/6-drunk-elephants-electrocute-themselves/

Jenkins, Sally.  Winning, cheating have ancient roots.  Washington Post.   Aug 2007.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/02/AR2007080202497.html

Kreidler, Mark.  Baseball finally brings amphetamines into light of day.  ESPN.  15 Nov 2005.  Web.  27 Apr 2015.  http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kreidler_mark&id=2225013 

LoPorto, Garret.  Surprising Way Your Neanderthal Genes May Affect You.  Huffington Post.  10 May 2010.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/garret-loporto/surprising-way-your-neand_b_568455.html

McBain, Michael.  Strange fungi facts.  Amanita Shop.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.amanitashop.com/strangefacts.htm

Mitchell DC, Knight CA, Hockenberry J, Teplansky R, Hartman TJ.  Beverage caffeine intakes in the U.S.  Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Jan;63:136-42.

Murray TH.  The coercive power of drugs in sports.  Hastings Cent Rep. 1983 Aug;13(4):24-30.

Noakes TD.  Tainted glory--doping and athletic performance.  N Engl J Med. 2004 Aug 26;351(9):847-9.

Pesta DH, Angadi SS, Burtscher M, Roberts CK.  The effects of caffeine, nicotine, ethanol, and tetrahydrocannabinol on exercise performance.  Nutr Metab (Lond). 2013 Dec 13;10(1):71. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-10-71.

Reynolds, Gretchen.  Phys Ed: Will Olympic Athletes Dope if They Know It Might Kill Them?  New York Times.  20 Jan 2010.  Web.  20 Apr 2015.  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/phys-ed-will-olympic-athletes-dope-if-they-know-it-might-kill-them/

Rosaforte, Tim and Sam WeinmanWas Vijay Singh's biggest crime ignorance?.  30 Jan 2013.  Web.  28 APr 2015.  http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2013/01/was-vijay-singhs-biggest-crime-ignorance.html

Taylor, William N.  Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete, 2d ed.  Jefferson: McFarland & Company, 2001.

Ulrich, Andreas.  The Nazi death machine: Hitler's drugged soldiers.  Der Spiegel.  6 May 2005.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-nazi-death-machine-hitler-s-drugged-soldiers-a-354606.html

Wise, Brian.  Musicians use beta blockers as performance-enabling drugs.  WQXR.  16 Aug 2013.  Web.  28 Apr 2015.  http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/312920-musicians-use-beta-blockers-relieve-stage-fright/

Zambone, Jennifer.  Of monkeys and millipedes.  CEI.  30 Nov 2000.  Web.  23 Apr 2015.  https://cei.org/news-letters-cei-planet/monkeys-and-millipedes

22 April 2015

Powerbuilding #2: It's Not JUST About The Mustaches

"BUT WHAT ABOUT POWERBUILDINGS THOUGH? 
OH YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT THE POWERBUILDINGS DOE?
YOU MEAN WHEN YOU LIKE *WHEE* AND *WHEE* AND BE LIFTIN' UP DEM WEIGHTS LIKE HERCALEEZ?!
OOOOWWWWWW DON'T EVEN TELL ME ABOUT DA POWERBUILDINGS.
POWERBUILDINGS
IS
MAH
SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!"

Key and Peele could not have said it better, what with their love of Khal Drogo aka Big Dave Navarro, because powerbuilding is my shit.  Apparently, however, the wise "menfolk" of the interwebz feel differently, because of a variety of very weak and easily disassembled arguments.  In any event, here are the wonderful things I've learned after feedback from the last installment of this series:
  1. People love dogma like dogs love drinking out of the toilet.
  2. Lazy people too lazy to even bother getting out their recliner to take a shit will scream about being "natty' until my ears are bleeding like I've been listening to Michael Bolton on 10 and refuse to try anything new.
  3. Everyone seems to want to know my opinion on Layne Norton.
  4. The wise men of the internet has developed a very stupid acronym that I've already forgotten for "natty bros" they don't consider to be natty.
Here are my responses to that news:
  1. People are less intelligent than your average drunken koala.
  2. See above and add "lazy."
  3. I know literally nothing about the man other than he the seeming fact he uses the word "natural" so frequently one would think he's considering a name change to Natural Norton, and he undulates or something.  I guess he's some sort of snakeman who panders to the drunken koala people?
Just so you guys keep posting that stupid internet acronym for fake natty.  Because that endears all of you to my heart.

But, being the swell guy I am, I will plate the aforementioned parties by including more "natty" bros in this article, since everyone seems to have missed my inclusion of Mike O'Hearn (who insofar as I know no longer uses that dumbass word) and Roy Hilligenn.  Let me add the qualifier "alleged", because I don't know who's on or not and neither do the wise young men populating Reddit and filling it with all of the love and intellect that website could possibly hold.



For the uninitiated, steroids in the US basically started with a man named Dr. John Zeigler.  They were only ciminalized in the United States in the 1990s, however, after one of our athletes popped positive and lost his gold medal in about the same way a person in Los Angeles loses his car at gunpoint.  Bear in mind, it was not because he died or had adverse effects- it was because a body of Frenchmen said that he couldn't win because he tested positive for a substance that was legal to use in the US.  In any event, Ziegler was a third generation doctor who tested the effects of dianabol on American weightlifters around or after 1959 after traveling to Russia and witnessing feats of brutal weightlifting badassery.  Thus, any lifter mentioned before 1959 could be considered (for the excuse- and retardation-oriented) "natty".  That's not to say they necessarily were, however, as Ziegler himself noted in 1954 that the Russians "had to catheterize all of these young [lifters], say 22 years old just so they could urinate" because they were taking such enormous doses of methyltestosterone, which was first produced in 1947 (Roach 329).

So, we'll start with a man who was ostensibly "natty", to satisfy the Redditors who weep and wail and gnash their teeth about the subject, and then move on to more modern trainers.



Jack Delinger
5'6" 195 lbs

You've all heard of the 20 rep squat workout, right?  The workout about which old heads and "natty" kids who only want to lift twice a fortnight jack off to before they go to sleep at night after chugging a gallon of milk a day and admiring their nonexistent abs in the mirror?  Delinger comes from that era, except for the fact that he thought 20 rep sets on squats were for fucking pussies- he would just put 415 on the bar and squat it until he literally fainted.  As you can see from the picture above, his method clearly worked- apparently squatting more than double bodyweight for six sets of more than twenty reps is the way "natty" bros can defy modern conventional "wisdom" and actually get over 160 lbs.



Not a lot of planning went into his workouts, either- Delinger would lift five or so days a week, doing a full body workout that was roughly the same each time.  As to his split?  He essentially lifted as much weight as possible until he literally couldn't move, rested, and then hit the weights again when he was able.  He didn't fuck about with a slide rule and a notepad determining what his training weights and percentages should be- instead, Delinger beating every body part to death like he was Braveheart with a warhammer smacking about the British with heavy weight and high reps, with no fucks given about his exact training volume.



To gain weight, Delinger found that high reps with basic compound movements were his best bet- an interesting departure from the norm.  He apparently gained 33 lbs in two and a half months doing 6 sets of 15-20 reps on the following exercises (Delinger):

  1. Heavy Bench Press
  2. Heavy Cheat Barbell Curl
  3. Cheat Bentover Row
  4. Squat
  5. Cheat Upright Row

Definitely a different approach from what you usually see out of powerbuilders, but apparently a highly effective one, because Delinger was built like a brick shithouse.


Mike Francois
5'9" 235lbs in season/270lbs off season

Mike Francois was one of my favorite bodybuilders of the 90s simply because he was massively strong and looked it.  Though he didn't ever really get to show the world what he was truly capable of, due to his contraction of ulcerative colitis, Francois definitely brought the most brutal physique of the 90s to the stage every time he stepped on it, and certainly is in consideration for the title of "greatest uncrowned Mr. Olympia" of all time.  Want to know what makes it even better?  His numbers- a 700lb squat, a 525 bench, and a 800 deadlift, which are serious numbers for a 242 lb powerlifter.  Know how he did it?  When he was contest prepping, Mike Francois trained at Westside Barbell.

To get his brutal-as-fuck physique, Francois incorporated a lot of 5×5 and 8×2 rep schemes, then used high rep backoff sets and accessory work to backfill his program with volume.  True to his powerlifting-esque training regime, Francois used box squats and rack pulls to supplement his main lifts, in addition to his favorite accessories:
  • Chest: Incline barbell bench press (30* incline)
  • Upper Back: Wide grip cable row to chest
  • Biceps: Barbell curls, Hammer curls
  • Tricep: J-curls.  [Edit: This may be a half retarded description of a JM Press.  I've no idea- I just repeated what he described in an interview.]This is a Westside exercise that is kind of a combo skull crusher and close grip bench. Take the weight down to your chest using a narrow grip, the at the bottom of the motion slide the bar back to about your nose, then slide it back out to your chest and then press it up. 
  • Quad tear drop: leg press with feet on lower portion of plate, 6-12 inches apart.
  • Quad sweep: front squats with heels elevated.
  • Rear delts: dual cable flies or reverse pec dec
  • Calves: standing calf raises



Francois credited the no-fucks-given attitude of nonstop competition in the gym for a lot of his physique success.  "Each day was a competition. Being the lone bodybuilder (even though I was treated great by all the guys), there was an unspoken challenge. It may have just been in my mind, which is all the really matters anyway when you are trying to make improvements" (Colescott).  That's where his massive shoulders arose, apparently, as the constant competition led to Francois and his training partners using 400 to 500 lbs on seated shoulder presses, over 900 lbs on rack pulls, and other hideously heavy weights on everything else.




Phil Hernon
5'6' 239 lbs

Without question the bodybuilder of whom you've never heard with the most brutal physique you've never seen, Phil Hernon was the fucking man.  Allegedly a proponent of the H.I.T. training system, he was anything but- Hernon trained each bodypart three times a week with ridiculously heavy weights and rotating rep ranges.  And when I say ridiculously heavy, I mean it- at under 240 lbs, Hernon was repping out with over 400 lbs on the incline bench, and was apparently a serious squatter as well.


If those tree trunks he called legs were any indication, Hernon was moving serious weight in the squat rack.

Herndon generally only did three working sets per bodypart, but he did a hell of a lot of warming up beforehand.  For instance, when doing back, shoulders, and chest, he'd do pushups and light lat pulldowns to get his blood moving, then move to incline bench press for a couple of sets of 6 paused reps with 225 and 315.  After that, he'd do a single set of paused reps with 405 for 5.  Then he's hit up the incline bench press for a set of 8 to failure, followed by a warmupless set of low incline dumbbell bench press with the 125s for 12-15 reps.  Finally, he'd hit back, shoulders, and traps with the same set and rep scheme- machines mixed with compound movements starting with low reps and then working up to higher rep ranges on his accessories.

Two days later he would repeat the first day's workout, but with the rep ranges and exercises reversed to rest the first day's heavy exercise by doing 11 to 15 reps instead of 5 to 7 reps.



Hernon would only take a day off when he felt like he couldn't continue, as he believed that a muscle would start to degenerate if it wasn't stimulated within 48-72 hours.  This was the reason he kept each workout's volume low- frequency of training trumped long, volume-filled training.    In short, Hernon recommended everyone:
  • train a muscle often.
  • keep protein at very high levels to add in the needed synthesis
  • train just enough to stimulate growth but keep it to a point where you are able to train each bodypart again two days later
  • train even when sore, as soreness is not an indicator of recovery
Other Notable Powerbuilders

Bill Ennis

Lest you think that powerbuilding is only good for bodybuilding, think again.  Obviously, all of the dudes I've mentioned thus far were strong enough that they make the strongest guy at your gym seem like he's got enough AIDS that he pops AZT like Tic Tacs, but powerbuilding worked for all of the best lifters of the 70s and 80s as well.  One of those guys, the aforementioned (in the previous installment) Bill Ennis, used powerbuilding to dominate the 198 lb weight class and post a 1906 total at 5.5% bodyfat in 1980.



To achieve this wholesale domination of his class, Ennis used a combination of ultra-low rep sets with bodybuilding assistance exercises, which he considered to be essential for the achievement of complete strength.  In the end, however, Ennis credited his diet with much of his success.  Unlike many powerlifters of the 1980s, Ennis focused heavily on nutrition and utilized what was essentially a strict competition bodybuilding diet- moderate fat, moderate carbohydrate, and high protein.  In many ways, it mirrored Phil Hernon's paleoish Zone-esque diet.  Ennis ate 9-18 egg whites a day, low fat cottage cheese, and tons of raw vegetables and fruits- roughly 6 oranges and 6 apples daily.  

Like the Bulgarians of his day, Ennis's training sessions were short and heavy, 45 minutes to an hour.  He focused on one lift per training session and would work up to a daily max and then back off and do low rep sets.   When doing the basic movements, Ennis believed that repping out on the three main lifts was counterproductive, as it cut into his recovery and slowed his gains.  Instead, Ennis used bodybuilding movements like lat pulldowns, pushdowns, leg extensions and the like to backfill his volume and get in his rep work to ensure complete development and prevent muscular imbalances.



Franco Columbo
At a height of 5'3" and a bodyweight of around 194, Franco was an absolute beast in the gym.  He competed int eh World's Strongest Man against guys who outweighed him by over 100 lbs and did well until dislocating his leg running with a refrigerator on his back, squatted 655, pulled 780 in the gym, and benched 525 in competition. and deadlifted 700-plus, training twice a day and hitting each bodypart three times a week.  If you want to check out his brutal powerbuilding program, go here.



Aaron Baker
At 5'8" and 236 lbs, this dude was inclining 435 on the Smith Machine for 6 or 7 reps two weeks out from a show, and worked up to 105s for reps on dumbbell flies.  Though not particularly recognized for his strength, what amounts to a proto-Kai Green, nicknamed "Batman", was a legit badass powerbuilder in the 1990s.




Johnnie Jackson
The 5'8" 255 lb Jackson crushes 800-pound deadlifts and 100-pound side laterals, moonlighting as a powerlifter when he's not competing in bodybuilding. Referred to as the second strongest bodybuilder next to Ronnie Coleman, Jackson might be the third strongest behind Jackson and Stan Efferding but is likely the strongest current IFBB pro bodybuilder with an 825 geared squat and a 600 lb geared bench, plus an 823lb raw deadlift and a 225lb strict curl.

At this point, if you're not confinced of the efficacy of powerbuilding, you very well might be mentally retarded.  Get your shit together and start adding in bodybuilding movements to add volume and improve your physique and your main lifts- it's essential.

Sources:

Aaron Baker Workout.  Get Bulky.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://www.getbulky.com/aaron-baker-workout.html

Bass, Clarence.  Ripped for powerlifting.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  6 Jan 2012.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2012/01/ripped-for-powerlifting-clarence-bass.html

Colescott, Steve.  Mike Francois at Westside Barbell!  RX Muscle.  21 Jul 2009.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://www.rxmuscle.com/articles/nutrition/525-mike-francois-at-westside-barbell.html

Delinger, Jack.  Bulk Training.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  28 Oct 2009.  Web.  22 Apr 2015.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/10/bulk-training-jack-delinger.html

Forum Post.  Phil Hernon's Training Program.  T-Nation.  29 Mar 2010.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://tnation.t-nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/phil_hernons_training_program_want_opinions

Jack Delinger: An All-American Bodybuilder.  Muscle Old School.  Web.  22 Apr 2015.  http://muscleoldschool.com/jack-delinger-an-all-american-bodybuilder/

Meadows, John. October 2013 Interview with IFBB Pro Mike Francois.  Mountain Dog Diet.  23 Oct 2013.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://mountaindogdiet.com/media/interviews/interview-with-ifbb-pro-mike-francois/

Merritt, Greg.  Rated hardcore.  Flex Online.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://www.flexonline.com/training/rated-hardcore

Sloan, C.S.  Big Beyond Belief, HIT, Phil Hernon, and Other Things from the '90s.  C.S. Sloan's Integral Strength.  18 Apr 2014.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://cssloanstrength.blogspot.com/2014/04/big-beyond-belief-hit-phil-hernon-and.html

03 March 2015

The Last Couple Decades Weren't Just Awesome Because of The Mustaches: Behold The Awesomeness Of Powerbuilding

Lee Priest was a strong motherfucker in his day... because he was not a minimalist and learned from his contemporaries in other sports.

As I mentioned in a recent article, there seems to be a trend toward minimalism in today's trainee.  I'm not simply referring to powerlifting, either- the strength training/physical culture world has become so fractured that hard lines have been drawn in the sand regarding training techniques and styles that people don't dare cross, lest they arouse the ire of others within their given subculture.  For instance:
Ok, so not all amateur bodybuilders are tards, but the vocal ones on forums are 100% retarded.  Somehow, I don't think Milan Šádek is on Bodybuilding.com seeking affirmation from 16 year olds with gyno.
  • amateur bodybuilders  (not pros, as they actually understand how to train to maximize hypertrophy) scream endlessly about the value of "perfect form" and rail against training heavy or with loose form.  From Reddit to Facebook to Youtube, they're constantly bemoaning the likes of Brad Castleberry for their "shitty form"... nevermind the fact that that shitty form has him lean, 255 lbs at 5'9", and strong as shit all the time.  Has he been to "snap city"?  Nope.  That doesn't stop the pussies on the internet from whining about his form, however, and the weights he's using to "pump up his ego."  

I've seen pot pies with more muscularity and intensity than this chap.
  • powerlifters yammer on endlessly about the uselessness of bodybuilding movements and seem to hold it as a point of honor when they look like fat bags of pasty white dogshit.  Then, they have the utter audacity to flip out on people on the street when questioned if they bodybuild, incredulous that someone would actually be giving them a compliment for appearing as though they lift.  Fucking retarded, yet that's what they do daily.
Any time I need an ego boost about my shit-dog clean technique, I know right where to look.
  • CrossFitters are perhaps the worst of the lot, telling everyone nearby with their clothing and words of their love for CrossFit and decrying the utility of exercises that would actually lower their risk of injury and resolve muscular imbalances, like leg curls, seated rows, and dumbbell and cable work for their "vanity muscles."
Ugh.  Someone had to make the CrossFitter look good, I guess.
  • Olympic weightlifters in the United States are notorious for furiously masturbating to the deliberate misinformation propagated by the Bulgarians in the 1980s, so they eschew any and all assistance work for endless light sets of squats and the Olympic lifts to "perfect their form."  As such, they blow at everything from their own sport down on through basic fitness. 
So, how'd it get this way?  Frankly, I blame the internet, because I'm old and crotchety and shoot rock salt at the young whippersnappers in my yard as they scamper hither and yon in their damnable skinny jeans, listening to Miley Cyrus dubstep remixes or whatever horrible shit that passes as music is these days.  Prior to the internet, there were divisions between the sports, but nothing like what goes on now, at least in my experience.  The camps have become so fucking dogmatic that they're blind to the fact that all of them can learn a great deal from each other, and that they'd all benefit from doing so.

Lee Priest- powerbuilder and grand world champion of bulking.

That is where power bodybuilding, or powerbuilding, comes in- it crosses the lines between the different lifting disciplines to create the thickest, leanest, strongest motherfuckers the world has ever seen.  Nowhere in powerbuilding would you find fatties happy to be fat and look like they don't lift (save, perhaps, for Lee Priest and his hilarious obsession with KFC), and nowhere withing the confines of this style of training would you find a lifter whose training poundages didn't match the impressiveness of their physique.  Instead, powerbuilding has always been jam-packed with huge, strong, ripped dudes throwing massive weights around like they were pinatas at a Mexican midget's birthday party- we're talking about badass, hard-as-nails, thicker-than-a-mack-truck motherfuckers like:

Scott Wilson 
1980s mass monster with who is considered to have one of the broadest sets of shoulders in history

Superstar Billy Graham, Western USA Tenn Mr. America, World Strongest Man competitor, and possessor of a 605 bench press who trained with Pat Casey, Arnold, Franco, and Dave Draper in the late 1960s.

Brutally thick and strong Mike Mentzer

Huge squatter and possessor of some of the craziest triceps in history, Paul "Quadzilla" Demayo

Training partners and general lunatics Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson

One would hope that you might find the above pictures at least somewhat compelling, as those maniacs are all cut from the same cloth as Chaos and Pain's Baddest motherfuckers Ivan Putsky, John Grimek, Chuck Sipes, Phil Grippaldi, Steve Stanko, Stan Efferding, Franco Columbu, Bruno Samartino, John DeFendis, Benny Podda, and Marvin Eder.  A quick bit of googling will net you their routines, all of which I've posted in their requisite articles, and all of which were lengthy, brutally heavy, and frequent in the extreme.  The following workouts are no different- while they might vary in rep ranges and exercise selection, each of the following routines utilizes weights designed to make the lifter shit their pant s in fear before starting each set, training volumes designed to destroy the person undertaking the program or make them into the most brutal sonofabitch who's ever lived, and all of which require focus and intensity that would make the nerds in the CIA's Stargate Project look like drooling halfwits with a bad case of ADHD.

Bill Ennis, just walking into meets and trashing kids while looking like a bodybuilder and rocking 5.5% bodyfat.

Behold, then, the awesomeness of powerbuilding programs- programs designed to make lifters brutally strong, massive, and ripped.  And before you assert that these programs have never allowed a lifter to dominate powerlifting, bear in mind that Stan Efferding and Johnnie Jackson are both IFBB professional bodybuilders and are fifth and sixth on the best of the best list on Powerliftingwatch at 275 for the deadlift, IFBB pro Greg Doucette has the ninth best bench press at 198 in the history of the sport, IFBB pro Amit Sapir has the world record in the raw squat, Stan Efferding has held the unwrapped squat and total records at 275 lbs for the last four years, and that all of the great powerlifters of the late 1970s (John Kuc, Jon Cole, Rick Gaugler, Ricky Dale Crain, Ernie Frantz, and Jack Barnes) and most of the great powerlifters of the 1980s (like Gene Bell, Joe Ladnier, Larry Pacifico, and Ken Lain) trained with a powerbuilding style.  Hell, the first guy to bench press 600 lbs in competition, Pat Casey, was a bodybuilder.  Therefore, it might be time to put aside your Smolov/Sheiko/program du jour and take a page out of a time wherein Magnum Pi was an authority on facial hair and dudes were actually proud to look like they'd stepped inside a gym before.

The Powerbuilding Elite



Mike O'Hearn
6'3", 285lbs.

Frankly, I was surprised at this, but when I started googling "power building", his name started popping up like plastic rodents in a short-circuiting Whack-A-Mole game.  Insofar as I knew, O'Hearn gave up powerlifting and bodybuilding years ago to be a cover model, American Gladiator (he's the only person to be a gladiator on both the old and the new show, Battle Dome gladiator, and actor.  Apparently, that's not so, because he looks as big and lean as he's ever been at 46, and has been putting up crazy PRs recently like a double with 500 on the incline, bottom position pin squats with 650 for 8 sets of 8, and highish reps on seated behind the neck press with 405 lbs.


O'Hearn's self-stated training style is "power bodybuilding" and as he's bulked back up, he's been heavily espousing this style of training, mixing it up in the gym with the likes of such strong motherfuckers as Kali Muscle, NFL punter and oft-voted "best body in the NFL" punter Steve Weatherford, IFBB pro and world record holding powerlifter Stan Efferding, and synthol-ed Mickey Rourke look-alike Rich Piana.  From what I can see of O'Hearn's training, his workouts are a hell of a lot longer, heavier, and more intense than what he recommends for the average trainee, but you guys will get the gist of his methods from O'Hearn's 12 week power bodybuilding program.  If you check out his Facebook page, you can see he also highly recommends exercises like the bottom-position pin squats (also one of my faves), shrugs, machine rear laterals, incline JM presses and all sorts of cables for arms, seated dumbbell work for shoulders, and a bunch of other stuff- the following is just his bare-bones recommendation.


Monday
Chest
Warm-up
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip -1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip -6 x 5 as heavy as possible
Dumbbell Bench Press- 4-5 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Flyes-3 x 8-10
Pm: 30 minutes cardio/crunches

Tuesday
Legs
Warmups
Barbell Squat- 1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Squat 7 x 3 as heavy as possible
Leg Press 5 x 10 as heavy as possible
Leg Extensions 3 x 10 as heavy as possible
PM: 30 min treadmill/ crunches

Wednesday
Shoulders
Standing Shoulder Press - 3 x 8
Wide-Grip Upright Barbell Row - 3 x 8
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row - 3 x 8
Side Lateral Raise - 4 x 12
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise - 4 x 12


Thursday
Arms
Barbell Curl - 3 x 8
Seated Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8-12
Preacher Curl - 3 x 8-12
Lying Triceps Press - 4 x 8-12
Triceps Pushdown - 4 x 8-12
Dumbbell Incline Triceps Extension (shown with cable) - 4 x 8-12
PM: 30 min jog/ crunches

Friday
Back
Warmup
Barbell Deadlift - 1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Deadlift - 7 x 2
One-Arm Dumbbell Row -  5 x 10
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown - 3 x 8
PM: 30min Cardio/crunches


Sergio Oliva
5'9", 235lbs.
Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone could not be aware of Sergio Oliva, but on the off chance one of you just crawled out from under a rock and are still trying to blink the sunlight out of your eyes, here's the lowdown on Oliva:

  • he took 2nd place in the 1962 Cuban National Olympic Weightlifting Champions
  • 1966 AAU Jr. Mr. America
  • 1967-1969 Mr. Olympia
  • 1972-1973 WBBG Mr. Galaxy
  • 1975, 1976 and 1978 WBBG Mr. Olympus 
  • 1977 and 1980 WABBA Professional World Champion 
  • 1980 and 1981 WABBA Professional World Cup winner 

Oliva's strength was as massive as his arms and quads (his quads were always 27" and his largest waist measurement was 28").  He hammered at his body the same way he hammered steel in the foundry where he worked, and his efforts paid off- at 235 lbs, he was strong enough to tangle with most powerlifters and not embarrass himself.

Monday 
Chest and Back 
Bench Press supersetted with Chinning Bar.
Set 1: 200lbs x 8, 15 reps on chinning bar
Set 2: 220lbs x 8, 15 reps on chinning bar
Set 3; 260lbs x 8, 10 reps on chinning bar
Set 4: 300lbs x 8, 10 reps on chinning bar
Set 5: 320lbs x 8, 8 reps on chinning bar
Set 6: 350lbs x 8, 8 reps on chinning bar
Set 7: 380lbs x 8, 5 reps on chinning bar
DB Flyes supersetted with Dips- 5 x 15 reps with 80lb dumbbells for flyes, supersetted with weighted dips.


Tuesday
Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps
Overhead Press- 5 x 15 x 200 lbs
Extending Heavy Curls. 5 x 5 reps x 200 lbs
French Curls. 5 x 5 reps x 200 lbs
Scott (Curls) Bench. 5 x 10 reps x 150 lbs
Scott (Curls) Bench with Dumbbells. 5 x 5 reps x 60 lb dumbbell
Seated Triceps Extension. 5 x 5 x 60 lbs dumbbell, supersetted with Tricep Press Downs


Wednesday
Abs, Heavy Squats and Calves
Situps- 10 x 50
Leg Raises- 5 x 20
Side Bends with Bar Behind Neck- 5 x 200
Squats- 300 x 5, 400 x 5, 440 x 5, 470 x 5, 500 x 4
Standing Heel Raises- 10 x 8 x 300 lbs


Thursday
Chest, Back and Shoulders
Bench Press- 200 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 5, 300 x 5, 320 x 5, 350 x 5, 380 x 5
Press Behind Neck- 5 x 5 reps x 250 lbs, supersetted with Rowing Machine, 200 pounds
Sitting Press with Dumbbells- 5 x 5 x 80 lb dumbbells.
Dips- 5 x 8


Friday
Heavy Arms 
Press- 3 x, 5 x 200 lbs
Extending Heavy Curls- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
French Curls- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
Scott Bench for Triceps- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
Scott Bench for Triceps with Dumbbell- 3 x 5 x 50 lb dumbbell, supersetted with Tricep Press Downs.
Chinning Behind Neck- 5 x 5 reps
Chinning Bar with Closed Hands- 5 x 5 reps, supersetted with Tricep Machine Pull Downs


Saturday
Abs and Legs
Situps- 5 x 10
Leg Raises- 5 x 10
Side Bends with Bar Behind Neck- 5 x 50
Squats- 3 x 3 x 300 lbs; 2 x 3 x 400 lbs; 3 x 20 x 250 lbs
Front Squats- 5 x 10 x 200 lbs
Sitting Heel Raises- 5 x 5 x 200 lbs


Steve Michalik
5'10", 210lbs.
Well known for his psychotic intensity, undying love of AAS, and for having trained John DeFendis until he achieved his ultimate and ridiculous final Super Saiyan form.  Training two days on, one day off, Steve smashed heavy legs and back Day One, slaughtered chest, shoulders, and arms Day 2, and massacred his abs and calves on a daily basis.  Every workout was basically a bloodbath in which Michalik would work up to an incredibly heavy last set, then do three weight drops in that set to pulverize whatever was left of the bloody hamburger that was the bodypart being trained into a painful pile of pumped up muscle mush.


While the weights below might not scream "HOLY SHIT HE WAS STRONG" at you, bear in mind a bad car accident cut Michalik's career short and we never really got to see what he was capable of, but Michalik was strong as all hell.  According to 1974 IFBB Mr. America winner Don Modzelewski,
“I ran into [Michalik] and just asked if he could give me some advice. Out of the goodness of his heart, he came down and trained me every night, six days a week, for about twelve weeks, and never asked me for a dime. He was no longer training at that time, but one Sunday morning plopped down on a bench with a jelly doughnut in his mouth and, without a warm-up, knocked out twenty reps in the bench with 315, with his ankles crossed up in the air.” (Colescott).
I don't know about you, but I've never seen a 5'10", 210 lb man bench a set of 20 with his legs in the air and 315lbs, all while munching on a jelly doughnut.  That, in my book, equals fucking strong.

Michalik with 1982 Mr. O Samir "Lion of Lebanon" Bannout

Michalik's Split
Day One
Superset:
a. Leg Presses - four sets - 450 lbs. to 800 lbs.
b. Leg Curls - four sets - 125 lbs. - 15 repetitions.
Superset:
c. Hack Squats - four sets - 150 lbs. to 325 lbs. - super-setted with
d. Leg Extensions - constant weight of 225 lbs. - ten repetitions.
e. Full Squats - four sets - 205 lbs. to 405 lbs. - ten repetitions.
Superset:
a. Long Pulley Cable Rowing - seated - six sets - 150 lbs. to 200 lbs.
b. Bent-over Rowing - four sets - 150 lbs. to 245 lbs. Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
c. Seated Lat Pull-downs - six sets - 150 lbs. to 275 lbs.
d. Deadlifts - four sets - 205 lbs. to 400 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.

It wouldn't be a party without this picture.

Day Two
Superset:
a. Barbell Pullover - constant weight - 75 lbs. four sets of 15 repetitions for rib-box stretch.
b. Bench Press - six sets - 205 lbs. to 405 .bs.
Superset:
c. Decline press - six sets - 20t lbs. to 345 lbs.
d. Incline Press - six sets - 150 lbs. to 300 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
a. Seated Press (on machine) - five sets - 150 lbs. to 205 lbs.
b. Seated Behind the Neck Press (on machine) - 5 sets - 125 lbs. to 175 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
c. Lateral Raises (dumbbells) - 4 sets - 25 lbs. to 45 lbs.
d. Shrugs - 4 sets - 205 lbs. to 300 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
a. Lying Triceps Curl on Flat Bench - 6 sets - 110 lbs. to 200 lbs.
b. Seated Triceps Curl - 6 sets - 100 to 150 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Regular Set:
c. Decline Triceps Curl - 6 sets - 100 to 150 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
a. Preacher Curl - oNe Arm - 4 sets - 50 to 75 lbs.
b. Incline Curl (on half-moon bench) - 4 sets - 65 to 85 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Superset:
c. Standing Curl - 6 sets - constant weight - 120 lbs. super-setted with-
d. Preacher Curl - constant weight - 110 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.

Every Day
Calves - 15 sets of about 20 reps - 150 to 250 lbs.
Abdominals - On an adjustable abdominal board. 50 to 75 repetitions on each rung for a drop set.  One to two sets of each drop set (Mr. USA).


Roy Hilligenn
5’6”, 180 lbs,

Roy Hilligenn might be the baddest motherfucker of whom you've never heard.  At 5'6", 180lbs, he might have been the biggest guy I'm going to mention in this series, but he his strength was so prodigeous than when coupled with his Aryan good looks, he'd have been the only person in Hitler's spank bank if he'd lived long enough to witness Hilligenn's lifts.  Hilligenn was the first South African to clean and jerk double bodyweight, tied the world record in the same lift in competition, and eventually unofficially broke the world record in that lift, smashing John Davis's record with a 402lb exhibition lift at a bodyweight that was 50 lbs less than Davis's, and crushing his own weight class's best lift by 32 lbs.  Hell, Hilligenn was even crazy strong into his old age- at 72, he did 35 reps with 400 lbs in the deadlift at a bodyweight of 165 (Bass).

Hilligenn with 405 overhead.

Hilligenn's training poundages are pretty badass even by today's standards, considering the frequency with which he trained, his bodyweight, and the equipment available to lifters in the early 1950s.  While training for the 1951 Mr. America, which he won, Hilligenn was moving some impressive weights:

Full Squat- 420 x 10
Bench Press- 280 x 10
Seated DB Press- 90s x 10
Dumbbell Row- 155 x 10
Incline DB press- 115 x 10


Though his program wasn't really one that could be considered hard and fast or particularly codified, Hilligenn stuck to an interesting 6 day split, wherein he alternated Olympic weightlifting and bodybuilding days.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Hilligenn did bodybuilding exercises from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., then hit a second session from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were his Olympic lifting days, which consisted of just one session per day.  For his bodybuilding workouts, Roy typically went higher rep, sticking around the 10-15 rep range and going for a burn and a pump.  For most exercises, he'd use five sets, using a combination of barbells, dumbbells, and cables.


Hilligenn's Olympic days were much heavier and ultilized much lower rep ranges- for these he stuck in the 1-3 rep range.  On each of these days, he'd do all three of the olympic lifts, followed by jerks out of the squat stands for triples and doubles, then snatch grip high pulls, then clean grip high pulls, adding weight until he could no longer pull it.  Frankly, this seems like a really utilitarian, if brutal, methodology, and one that could easily be applied to any other strength sport with ease.

I couldn't find a single iota of info on this dude's training, but Mahmut Irmak is the only person I've seen make Andreas Munzer look like he should have been riding a Rascal through an Arkansas Wal-Mart.

As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to attack your physique with powerbuilding, and all ofthem yield pretty phenomenal results.  Still to come, we've got Mike Francois, Rich Gaspari, Phil Herndon, and a bunch of other badass, ultra-strong, weight-destroying badasses and their programs lined up to give you an idea on how to alter your program to bring your physique up to match your lifts, and vice-versa.  In the meantime, start working on that mustache- they appear to confer some sort of physique and strength advantage science has yet to explain.

Sources:
Bass, Clarence.  Roy Hilligenn, a Marvel - Then & Now.  Cbass.com.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://www.cbass.com/Hilligenn.htm

Colescott, Steve.  Surviving Mr. America's gym.  Musclemag.  16 Feb 2012.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.  http://www.musclemag.com/article/surviving-mr-americas-gym

The Mr. USA Story.  Eric's Gym.  Web.  24 Feb 2015.  http://bodybuilding.ericsgym.com/trainingarticles/stevemichalik/

Nuckols, Greg.  Powerlifters Should Train More Like Bodybuilders.  StrengthTheory.  7 Feb 2015.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.  http://www.strengtheory.com/powerlifters-should-train-more-like-bodybuilders/

O'Hearn, Mike.  mike O'Hearn's power bodybuilding: The 12-Week program.  Bodybuilding.com.  12 Nov 2014.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.  http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mike-ohearn/power-bodybuilding/12-week-program.html

Roy Hilligenn- The smiling superman.  Iron Game History.  Aug 1994:3(4);8-10.  http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/IGH/IGH0304/IGH0304d.pdf

Sergio Oliva Training Routine.  Muscle and Brawn.  5 Jun 2010.  Web.  26 Feb 2015.  http://muscleandbrawn.com/sergio-oliva-training-routine/