I think I've located the booty for which 95 South has been searching.
Piratical song lyrics aside, I've mentioned at great length the lessons that can be taken from old school lifters and general strength trainees, and recent personal experience has reiterated this strongly. People back in the day were, quite simply, far harder than we are today. This isn't some Hesiod-style reference to a bygone Golden Age of humanity, but a simple statement of fact. Modern life has made people soft as shit, and we're thus incapable of doing some of the epic crap that people did as a matter of course before the days of mocha lattes and iPads. Nor is this simply an affliction of the West, as Japanese karateka and Indian martial artists have found their bodies, and their hands in particular, to be far too soft to accomodate the old styles of training, and thus cannot attain the level of tiger-choking, bare-handed alligator killing, mass destruction of entire cities awesome that our forefathers did.
Mas Oyama used to beat up bulls, barehanded, as a goof. He built his strength by using the implements listed below, in addition to randomly fighting rocks, trees, and waterfalls, and (of course) by running half-naked in the snow on a regular basis.
Quite frankly, the shit's not entirely our fault- modern life doesn't really prepare you for badassery, or generally allow for it. Everything these days is mechanized, so even farmers are blubbery shadows of their former selves. Men of bygone eras built their bodies through their daily routines, chopping wood, digging ditches, and walking all over the fucking place. I mean, for fuck's sake- we're so soft that we now wear shoes while "barefoot running." The shit's gotten beyond ridiculous. As such, it seems that we might look to what these guys used to do for strength training, because we can rest assured that it's badass, and it might give you something to do when you're out of ideas.
Hmmmm... barefoot shoes seems like a contradiction in terms, methinks.
All of you know at least a bit about the Great Gama. According to a certain skinny bald guy with access to a lot of light clubbells and "secret ancient strength training knowledge", Gama did untold thousands of pushups and hindu squats, and then swung around a bit of wood for a while and was jacked as a result. Well, that's not the whole story.
"Gama used to wear a 60 kilogram granite ring around his neck while doing pushups and squats. Then he swung some very heavy karela or mudgar (Indian clubs). No. Not the puny cola bottle club bells now being promoted as the all singing all dancing fitness equipment, but really heavy ones weighing from 20 kilograms to 60 kilograms. In addition to all these , Gama used to dig the wrestling pit with a pharsa (a heavy hoe like implement) weighing as much as 30 kilograms. Not for fun, not because he could not find something lighter. But because the added resistance helped him to strengthen the forearms. The superior skill and the strength Gama possessed made him the greatest wrestler in the world." (Venkatachalam)X-vest- I want a granite ring hung around my neck while I go about my daily routine. Not only would that add resistance, but that'd build one hell of a thick fucking neck. Nor was that the end of the road for Indian wrestlers (who were at one time pretty fucking badass):
"Supplementary weight training was the rule - not the exception. The scenario was much the same with Kalarippayattu and other Indian martial arts like wrestling and vajramushti. Every village had some sort of vyayam mandir or gymkhana (gymnasium/health centre), and people who thronged there lifted heavy stone balls, did squats with heavy stone rings around their neck, swung heavy mudgar or Indian clubs, used sandbags, did exercises on a pole (mallakhamb) and then practiced their martial arts. These exercises were in addition to their menial jobs like chopping wood, fetching water from deep wells. carrying head loads over 100 kgms and walking to the market and the manual labor on the agricultural fields."(Venkatachalam)
Clearly, their daily routine was far harder than anything you or I will ever experience. Beyond that, even guys who work with their hands can attest to the fact that the old guys with whom they work rock 18" upper arms and forearms while eating a diet that consists of nothing but cheese and hard liquor, all due to the fact that they spent their entire lives using pipe wrenches and manual tools. Thus, we need to sack the fuck up and start building up our workload bit by bit, through the day, to try to regain some of the epic, diamond hardness that our grandfathers had simply because they were alive.
Jack Palance, one of the last of a dying breed of unbelievably hard motherfuckers. Coal miner, pro boxer, bomber pilot, country music singer, and one-handed pushups at 73-doer.
So, what'd they use to get their badass physiques of yore? In this installment, I'll go over some Eastern implements for strength building, and then in a future one, I'll throw in any other training system I can find. (Incidentally, if any of you are fluent in Latin, email me, because I've got a translation job for you) The Okinawans and Japanese had some sick methods for building overall strength, and given that the Okinawans created fighting systems so they could kill armored opponents with their bare hands, there's not much better place to start.
here) It's essentially a heavy hoop that you use in a wide array of exercises either by yourself or with a partner for total body conditioning. I don't know if they have a standard weight, but I know it seems to have been kicking the piss out of the guys on HW and looked awesomely unwieldy.
That kid missed his calling by about 75 years.
It's working for this broad.
I've said it a thousand times, and I'll say it again- we've become, as a species, soft as shit on the blacktop in an Arizona desert highway in the middle of August. There needs to be a hell of a lot more of the shit that went on in the past than there does ridiculous calculations of percentages of 1RM and note-taking in the gym, and even less of weak-sauce idiots wearing sleeveless Under Armor with matching nylon belts and gloves on the decline Pec Flexor 2000 machine. Less Coach McGuirk and more Captain Caveman.
Stop regressing and go lift something, already. If you want some ideas, check out this text on the use of some of the implements I listed above.
Hewitson, Nick. "Martial Arts Aren't What They Used To Be." Fight Times. http://www.fighttimes.com/magazine/magazine.asp?article=261
Venkatachalam, R. "Strength Training- The Neglected Art and Forgotten Aspect of Kalarippayattu." KalariWorld. http://www.kathinayoga.com/KalariWorld/Articles/Strength_article2.html