We might, at this point, have stumbled across the ultimate human being.
Pertinent Statistics, before we delve into the details of his awesome:
Weight: 340 lb (at the 1972 Olympics)
Billed weight WWF: 256 lbs.
Power Clean: 501-1/2
Squat Clean: 515
Clean and Jerk: 505.5
Clean and Press: 505.5
Press Behind Neck: 418, 405x2
Squat (belt only): 820
Front Squat: 650
Good Mornings: 573-3/4
Press off rack: 535
Overhead squat: 440-3/4
Steep incline press: 485
Bench press: 560 (a lift he never did and apparently put this up with ease)
Clean grip deadlift: 785x2
Snatch grip high pull: 440-3/4
Set 84 National or higher level records
4 Gold Medals at the 1971 Pan Am games
Competed at 1972 Olympics
2nd in 1971 Worlds
3rd in the 1968 NCAA track meet(shot put)
3rd in the 1977 World's Strongest Man Contest (competed in only 5 of the 10 events)
Ken Patera was not born- he erupted from a singularity that was created when the world's first DVDA was consummated in 1942, coinciding nicely with our victory over the Krauts in World War 2. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Patera apparently took to the weights like a lesbian does vagina, and quickly became renown for being the strongest kid at his high school. To be fair, he was just about the only person there who lifted weights, as everyone else was afraid of becoming musclebound, but little Kenny didn't give a fuck. Ken excelled in pretty much every athletic competition he entered, and was able to grab the rim from a standstill under a basketball net.
He was still able to do this years later, weighing 340 lbs., when he was training for the 1972 Munich Olympics. The 72 Olympics were a shitshow for everyone involved, save for perhaps Vasily Alexeev. Patera was apparently favored to win, since no one could touch his strict press, but the asshole Palestinians decided to do the only thing they know how, and shot a bunch of civilian Israeli athletes the day Patera was supposed to compete. The competition was delayed indefinitely while the Krauts hunted down the terrorists and shot most of them, leaving the remainder for the Israelis. Patera took that time to attempt to fuck every broad in West Germany, and according Verne Gagne would have won the Olympics if he hadn't been out all night banging sluts the night before competition. As he was busy all night, and his hip flexors and extensors were likely completely exhausted from the beating they took in Patera's efforts to ease up in anything he could find in a dirndl, he bombed out on the snatch, crushing his Olympic hopes like the Hun vagina he had already dominated.
Patera became a "strongman" in professional wrestling in 1973, as a way to make money while training for another shot at Olympic gold. He dropped that dream when his best lift, the strict press, was dropped from Olympic weightlifting like a fat kid from an up-and-coming boy band. Wrestling, however, proved to provide him ample opportunity for success, and succeed he did. He was essentially an old-school Mark Henry in that they both blew ass at their Olympic efforts and they were both billed as the "World's Strongest Man"- a dubious claim, however entertaining. He kept that name even as his weight dropped to a bodybuilder-esque 250 lbs, as he competed in the 1977 World's Strongest Man and performed a variety of feats of strength on TV. Perhaps his greatest feat of strength was picking up Andre the Giant's fat ass, but his typical money moves were to stand against a wall and put his feet on the front bumper of an Econoline van, then have the driver gun the engine and spin the wheels, trying to crush him, in addition to your standard strongman fare, such as bending nails and iron bars, driving nails through boards, and blowing hot water balloons until they popped like a bad guy's head in Riki Oh.
I've no idea how reliable this is as a workout template, as it lacks any mention of sets, and it's pretty hard to believe that the guy did 15 lifts and then headed home for the next 48 hours, but he was a total genetic freak. This workout was in Milo, however, and at least give you an idea of the absurd poundages Patera was using while training for the Olympics.
Overhead squats: 135x3, 203x3, 255x3, 295x2, 325x2
Front squats: 225x3, 315x3, 405x3, 455x2, 520x1
Snatch high pulls from blocks: 225x3, 315x3, 365x3, 405x3
Press Behind Neck: 135x3, 205x3, 255x3, 305x3, 345x1
Press off rack: 135x5, 225x3, 395x2, 355x2, 405x1, 440x1, 480x1, 325x5
Clean grip high pulls: 255x3, 305x2, 355x2, 405x2, 455x2, 505x2, 555x2
Hyperextensions: three sets of ten (no weight)
Snatch: 135x3, 205x3, 255x2, 295x1, 315x1, 340x1, 360x1
Inclines: 225x5, 395x5, 345x3, 405x3, 430x1
Good Mornings: 135x5, 205x5, 255x5, 305x5
Patera, ever the caged maniac, was clearly bored with this lifestyle. As such, he found an appropriate outlet for his energies- grabbing his tag team partner, throwing a big-ass rock through the window of a McDonald's after hours, and then ambushing the cops when they came to arrest them. "The true tragedy began innocently enough. Late, on a snowy night, in Wakesha, Wisconsin, when a hungry Ken Patera went to a fast food restaurant after a grueling match. According to newspaper reports, Ken Patera was denied service, told the restaurant was closed for the night. It is alleged that Ken Patera and a co-defendant threw a rock through the restaurant window, resulting in a call to the police." In the ensuing melees, of which there were allegedly two, as Saito and the 43 year old Patera utterly fucked up the first wave of cops, ignoring tazers and mace and breaking one of the cop's legs in the process, Patera earned his true status as a legend in strength sports. He then spent two years in prison, after which he returned to the ring for the second time. He continued wrestling on and off for another decade, proving to the world that it's not just Hulk Hogan and Rick Flair who can kick ass well into retirement age.
In summary, Ken Patera was an all-around badass who spent his days being stronger than everyone, one of the first WWF strongmen, an elite Olympic Weightlifter and powerlifter, the first American to lift over 500 pounds in both the military press and clean and jerk, the winner of four straight national championships in the shot put, and an avowed nemesis of both law enforcement and McDonalds.
MILO, Vol 2, No. 2, 1994