18 June 2018

Science Is A Liar Sometimes... And This Is Why 'Science-Based' Natty 'Experts' Are The Strength World's ISIS And Should Die Screaming

Stanislaus Zbyszko and his allegedly-impossible-for-a-natty-lifter 20.5" arms. 

No matter what the future brings, man's capacity to rise to the occasion will remain unaltered. His potential for tenacity and optimism continues, as always, to outfight, outpoint, and outlive any and all changes by his society."
- Richard Matheson, "Steel"

It will shock absolutely no one that I regard empirically-influenced training methods as worthless, but this is absolutely not the case.  I don't consider training methodology based on clinical studies to be worthless- I think that the vast majority of the people promoting those methods are charlatans and liars (with one prominent exception being Greg Nuckols), and their training methodologies are catastrophically detrimental to the strength training culture as a whole.  The people who promote those theories- and yes, they are theories, not fact, and are heavily flawed theories at that- are at best delusional, and at worst literal enemies of the strength training state who should die screaming and choking on their own blood.  They've sucked the heart and mind out of strength sports and replaced it with vapid adherence to milquetoast methods that produce dogshit results.

"This... is Aristotle. Thought to be the smartest man on the planet. He believed that the Earth was the center of the universe, and everybody believed him, because he was so smart. Until another smartest guy came around, Galileo, and he disproved that theory, making Aristotle and everybody else on Earth look like a... bitch. 'Course, Galileo then thought comets were an optical illusion, and there was no way that the moon could cause the ocean's tides. Everybody believed that because he was so smart. He was also wrong, making him and everyone else on Earth look like a bitch again. And then, best of all... Sir Isaac Newton gets born, and blows everybody's nips off with his big brains. 'Course, he also thought he could turn metal into gold, and died eating mercury, making him yet another stupid... bitch!"

My abject, virulent, and violent hatred for these pseudo-intellectual fuckwits will likely drive this article into a series, but as it stands, I am planning but one death stroke to their grotesque attempts to limit lifters and reduce them to the wildly pompous yet insanely unimpressive jitbags endlessly yammering about the supremacy of their methods online that they currently are.  In death ground you fight, and this fight will be brutal, bloody, and easy.  Anything you have read about your natural physical limit regarding muscle mass is not only a lie- it is a very specific and pointed effort to limit your growth by means of propaganda, though to what end I can only guess.  Perhaps its to excuse their own shortcomings, but more likely it's to limit yours so they don't look so pathetic by comparison.  Whatever their reasoning, they would disagree about as wholeheartedly with Matheson's sentiments as fifteen year old Redditors would with me about the utility and awesomeness of fetish porn in my articles.

We could all learn a thing or two from the morally superior and super-strong posters of Reddit.  As such, there will be no porn in this post.  Feel free to let Reddit know what you think of their opinions on the subject in the comments, or in r/weightroom over in that window to their parents' basements Reddit is.

I am aware that few of you share this sentiment- surely the dissembling shitbirds I am about to destroy are held aloft as veritable saints in your eyes.  Certainly, they don't curse or include porn in his articles.  They are paragons of virtue who haven't sunk into the moral morass in which I dwell.  As such, you believe that what they say must be more credible than my far better reasoned, well researched, and historically validated statements because mine are far too interesting, and theirs are stated in PG verbiage with the conviction of a saint speaking about Jesus the corpse god.   And because "systems of mass faith can persist only if their followers have a strong need to believe in the authoritative promises and remain ignorant of contradictory facts," you must invalidate my convincing yet unconventional arguments because your imaginary universe would come crashing down were you to consider alternative viewpoints (Huesemann 154).
"Systems of mass faith are also strengthened by invoking the authority of their leaders....  The authority of the pope is derived directly from St. Peter, and this authority is passed down through the church hierarchy to cardinals, bishops and priests.  In addition, for hundreds of years, the clergy conducted weekly masses in Latin, a language that was generally not understood by the public. This "language barrier" served as a tool for establishing authority and for keeping believers mystified, thereby limiting comprehension and avoiding critical analysis.  Similarly, scientists often appear on the media to authoritatively communicate their findings and promises, largely in a language not understandable to the scientifically illiterate which, unfortunately, is most of the public" (Huesemann 153). 
 "'People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something,' and this is often exploited by those in power.  The average person today is probably as credulous as the average person in the Middle Ages.  As Neil Postman writes, referring to comments made earlier by Georger Bernard Shaw, 'In the Middle Ages, people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what.  Today, we believe in the authority of our science, no matter what.'  Such a high degree of gullibility is generally associated with an unwillingness or inability to be informed about all of the relevant acts in support of or in opposition to the particular belief system"  [Emphasis mine] (Huesemann 154).

In other words- don't be ashamed for buying into the bullshit.  Just wake the fuck up and pay attention to the facts that are about to be presented.

Before I launch headlong into the evisceration of the bullshit "science" behind the dripping pussydom of the "natty or not" shitbirds, "evidence based training" fuckwits, and basically every other pompous fucking know-nothing on the Internet, allow me to forestall the inevitable "those body fat percentages are vastly overestimated/wrong/bullshit/whatever the fuck Redditors love to say", take a big step back and literally fuck your own face if you've plans to start that shit.
"Body composition assessments vary in precision and in the target tissue of interest. The most common assessments are anthropometric and include weight, stature, abdominal circumference, and skinfold measurements. More complex methods include bioelectrical impedance, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, body density, and total body water estimates. There is no single universally recommended method for body composition assessment in the obese, but each modality has benefits and drawbacks" (Duren).
To put it in layman's terms for the less than astute, that means that for insanely muscular people, there is no single reliable test of bodyfat unless you're a corpse.  If you doubt me, feel free to read that study- it's in the "Sources" at the bottom of the page.

Leroy Colbert, rocking "impossible" 21" arms and an FFMI (fat free mass index) of 28.63.

If you google genetic limits for a natural lifter, you would immediately be confronted with a great deal of discussion over the FFMI of various lifters, using it to confirm or deny the "natty" status of various bodybuilders.  The FFMI is a scientific method used to support the unequivocally pseudoscientific chart by which lifters are determined to be steroid users or not.

Let me state that unequivocally- any person using this chart is a fucking liar, a charlatan, a thief, and a loser.  They should be stripped of whatever academic credentials they possess, have the shit kicked out of them, and should be left to roam the streets destitute and crippled.  Just as somatotyping, phrenology, and psychoanalysis are all examples of blatant and unrepentant pseudoscience, so is the use of FFMI to determine whether or not a lifter is natural.  I'd posit that due to the fact that these fuckers are charging people for advice that by virtue of the fact they've used this chart are wholly unqualified to give, they should be sued by anyone they've charged into lifelong poverty.

Bruno Sammartino, a man who rocked a 32.39 FFMI, 20" arms, and a 565 competition bench, all natty as fuck.

The manner in which the FFMI is calculated is explained all over the place and I've no issue with the math.  It is the interpretation with which I have a problem, and it's explained with this little chart:

FFMI Interpretation
18 – 19 = Average
20 – 21 = Above average
22 = Excellent
23 – 25 = Superior
26 – 27 = Considered suspicious but still attainable naturally
28 – 30 = Highly unlikely to be obtained naturally without steroid usage.

According to empirically based lifter and coach, Greg Nuckols, with whom I disagree on just about every conceivable topic and whom I'm lambasted for destroying the culture around lifting with the promotion of extremely dull training methods, this chart interpretation is based on a single, extremely flawed study from the 1990's.  That study concluded that 25 was the normalized limit for FFMI in natty bros, and although various natty coaches have raised the bar slightly, they still begin their shit talking at or around an FFMI of 28 (Kouri).

Chuck Sipes, rocking a 570lb bench and natty as fuck 19.5" arms (cold measurement) in stark defiance of "science."

Like with all of the "evidence based" bullshit out there, the incredibly lazy, Anglo-centric, and close minded motherfuckers conducting their surveys of what is possible for natural trainees to achieve ignored literally the entirety of human history outside of an incredibly small sample of individuals who won a single bodybuilding contest in the early 1900's.  This ignores the Indians, who have the longest running history of weight training in the world and who have produced some of the strongest humans outside of the modern era, the strongmen of the early 1900's, sumo wrestlers, and ACTUAL FUCKING SCIENTISTS.  I don't give a fuck who's "scientific model" you might be using, be it that shit-talking autist Lyle McDonald or Marc "I appear to have cancer" Perry- they're all based on lies, bullshit, and ignorance of physical culture history, world history, and Pubmed.

To wit, here is some historical evidence:

One of the greatest Yokuzuna, and certainly the most muscular of all time- Chiyonofuji Mitsugu.

Sumo is practically a religious event in Japan, and its traditions are deeply rooted in Taoism.  As such, steroid use is literal heresy and a violation of an honor code so strict it makes WADA seem like a pack of disinterested chemists rather than the psychotic Warhammer 40k style inquisitors and commissars they really are.  As such, we can take it as a virtual certainty that the Yokozuna are natty, and their FFMI are off the fucking charts.

If WADA's Inquisitors looked like Inquisitor Lilith, I might compete in the IPF... just for the whipping.

And before Reddit starts screeching bullshit about the bodyfat percentages, everyone should take note- the mean bodyfat percentages in one study was 26.1% (Kondo) and another source stated that among "the top sumo wrestlers the average BMI is 36.5 and the body fat percentage is 30%. Also, the sumo association issues a warning to wrestlers who have tested over 38 percent body fat. If they go above 38 percent body fat they are forced to lose weight or risk suspension (Neporent 107-108).  The reason they look so fat is their fat distribution- whereas most people have 77% of their fat stored viscerally (around the internal organs) and only 23% subcutaneously, sumo are the exact opposite- visceral fat is only 25% of their bodyfat and the rest is subcutaneous.  The reason for this fat distribution is partially genetic and partially diet and exercise, but in the end the effect is that sumo "wrestlers lay down subcutaneous fat that doesn’t inhibit muscle development and which can be more easily accessed for energy use" (Hooper).  Researchers credit this to the fact that sumo are heavily active and eat very little sugar, whereas Westerners are just a bunch of candy-grubbing slobs with malfunctioning endocrine systems (Matsuzawa).

Still think they're all fat?  Ulambayar Byambajav slamming the fuck out of a 420lb opponent.

That said, here are some prominent Yokozuna, their stats, their body fat percentage or an estimate, and their FFMIs:
Ulambayar Byambajav- 6'1" 365lbs. 15% BF (reported): FFMI- 41.02 
Chiyonofuji Mitsugu- 6' 260-280lbs.  BF 11%.  FFMI- 31.45
Kitanoumi Toshimitsu- 5′10″ 373lbs. Est fat 35%.  FFMI- 34.86

As I've written in the past, India has the longest history of strength training in the world.  I realize that would shock the aforementioned autist and his fellow idiots, but it's a fact.  As such, the Indians have a codified system of training that persists even today and has produced some of the greatest wrestlers (pehlwani) to walk the Earth.

Here are a couple of the greats:

Jatindra "Gobar" Charan Goho- 6'1" 290lbs. Est 20%. FFMI- 30.67
Dara Singh- 6'2" 280lbs. Est 15%. FFMI- 30.62 Est 18% FFMI- 29.54
Great Gama- 5'7" 250lbs. Est 20%. FFMI- 31.39 Est 25% FFMI- 29.43

The West hasn't simply churned out bodybuilders- we've got our fair share of beasts to match the Asians.  Here are a few of our monstrous natty bros:

Louis Cyr- 5'8.5" 291lbs.  Est 30% FFMI- 30.59
George Hackenschmidt- 5'9 218lbs.  Est 12% FFMI- 28.39
Stanislaus Zbyszko- 5'8" 230lbs.  Est 18% FFMI-  28.74
Chuck Sipes- 5'9.5" 220lbs.  Est 8% FFMI 29.52

Oh, and as for the bullshit limits on the measurements of natty bros?
"Looking at the stats of these 3 legendary naturals, several important points stand out. The first thing we notice is that even with slightly higher body fat percentages than modern natural bodybuilders, these champions could not push beyond the 18 inch arm barrier. The second thing we notice is that 25 inch quads were a championship-level norm" (Shaw).
Fucking nonsense.  Cyr's arms were 20-21.5", Hack's were 19" cold. Sipes' were 19.5" cold, and Zybszko's were 20.5".  Your guess is as good as mine as to why these pussies are setting your natural limits so insanely low, but one thing is for certain- it's absolutely not science.  Know why?  Because science says this:
If limitations exist in skeletal dimensions, fat-free mass (FFM) might have an upper limit. To explore the upper limit to FFM, 37 professional Japanese Sumo wrestlers, 14 highly trained bodybuilders, and 26 untrained men were investigated for body composition (fat mass and FFM) and cross-sectional areas (CSA) of limb muscles, by hydrodensitometry and ultrasound, respectively. Mean % fat of Sumo wrestlers, bodybuilders, and untrained subjects were, respectively, 26.1%, 10.9%, and 12.1%. Sumo wrestlers had a significantly greater FFM than bodybuilders, who had a greater FFM than the untrained men. Six of the wrestlers had more than 100 kg of FFM, including the largest one of 121.3 kg (stature: 186 cm, mass: 181 kg, %fat: 33.0%). The FFM/stature ratio of elite Sumo wrestlers averaged at 0.61 kg/cm, with the highest 0.66 kg/cm. It is suggested that a FFM/stature ratio of 0.7 kg/cm may be an upper limit in humans (Kondo).
This means Flex Lewis is a long way off from his natty genetic limit.

To clarify, that means that at 5'5', my natural limit for fat free mass is 254lbs.  Put that in your fucking pipe and smoke it, natty fuckers.  And if you didn't like that study because it involved too many non-Americans, how about this less exciting result?
"SM [skeletal mass] index may be a valuable indicator for determining skeletal muscle mass in athletes. A SM index of approximately 17 kg/m2 may serve as the potential upper limit in humans (Abe).
There is no perfect method of which I know to reconcile exactly skeletal mass and fat free mass, but the largest athlete in the study was listed as having 59.3kg SM and 120.2kg FFM.  As such, my maximum SM (17kg*1.68^2) of 47.98kg (105.6lbs) SM would correspond to around 97.25kg FFM (214lbs).  So where the pink bitch pickpockets masquerading as experts on your natural limits had my limit at 135lbs (an amount of lean mass that I exceeded as a junior in college with very little in the way of supplementation), scientists say my limit is between 80 and 120lbs more than that.

22 year old Christian Wilkins- 310lbs, 4.80 in the 40-yard dash, can bench press 225 pounds for 31 reps, and can broad jump 9 feet.

Compounding that, a small study done in 2017 on collegiate football players showed their highest recorded drug-tested FFMI reading as 31.7, which indicates that it is possible to hit such an FFMI while still under the legal age to drink in the US.  Given that male strength athletes seem to peak in their late 30s to early 40s, that leaves a tremendous amount of time during which that FFMI could be pushed far higher.  In short- the charts you know and love are complete and utter horseshit, the people bandying them about are a fucking joke, and if you run into one of them in public, spitting on them or shitting in their cereal would be completely appropriate.

"And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? It is a corpse rotting slowly from within while maggots writhe in its belly. It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and now it is inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal frailties."

By now, you should be convinced that the natty limits drilled into your heads are pure bullshit, and setting a limit on your growth is counter-productive in any event.  With any luck, you will have been inspired by this to crack open your fridge and start emptying its contents into your stomach for the gains.  When you do, bear in mind the following:
  • You will gain mostly muscle on a dirty bulk if you are lean and have been for some time, whereas the fatties will gain mostly fat.  "In experiments of at least 3-weeks' duration, the weight gain of people with low bodyfat people comprises 60-70% lean tissues, whereas in the obese it is 30-40%" (Forbes).  Thus, it'd stand to reason to get lean and stay that way for a while before you dirty bulk like a motherfucker.
  • People who are naturally predisposed to endurance events will have a harder time gaining muscle than people naturally predisposed to strength and size, though the latter will gain more fat as well (Schuler).
  • Sumo wrestlers train twice a day, six days a week.  Drop that stupid fucking Smolov bullshit and actually challenge yourself while you're bulking.  Also, it might be useful when bulking to eat huge meals twice or there times a day- sumo only eat twice a day.
So there you have it- not only are the natural genetic limits to muscular growth insignificant for discussion anywhere, let alone a pack of fucking know-nothings on the Internet, the people propagating that bullshit should be drug out into the street and shot, and your genetic limit is so goddamned high that discussion on it is utterly pointless.  Therefore, a pox upon the children of the science-tastic shitbirds of the lifting world (with concessions to Nuckols for being sensible if hyper-conservative and promoting lifting a Soviet factory work rather than a good fucking time), and three cheers for our muscular futures- we've got a fuckload of eating and growing to do.

HAHAHAHA.  I couldn't help myself with the porn.

Abe T, Buckner SL, Dankel SJ, Jessee MB, Mattocks KT, Mouser JG, Loenneke JP.  Skeletal muscle mass in human athletes: What is the upper limit?  Am J Hum Biol. 2018 May;30(3):e23102.

Duren DL, Sherwood RJ, Czerwinski SA, Lee M, Choh AC, Siervogel RM, Cameron Chumlea W.  Body composition methods: comparisons and interpretation.  J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008 Nov;2(6):1139-46.

Forbes GB.  Body fat content influences the body composition response to nutrition and exercise.  Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000 May;904:359-65.

Hooper, Rowan.  The gene that may benefit sumo giants.  The Japan Times.  20 Aug 2016.  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/20/national/science-health/gene-may-benefit-sumo-giants/

Huesemann, Michael and Joyce Huesemann.  Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment.  Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers, 2011.

Kouri EM, Pope HG Jr, Katz DL, Oliva P.   Fat-free mass index in users and nonusers of anabolic-androgenic steroids.  Clin J Sport Med. 1995 Oct;5(4):223-8.

Kucharski, Adam.  Patterns and proofs.  The Conversation.  19 Aug 2013.
 Web.  17 Jun 2018.  http://theconversation.com/keep-it-simple-stupid-maths-doesnt-have-to-be-complex-16909

Matsuzawa Y, Shimomura I, Nakamura T, Keno Y, Kotani K, Tokunaga K.  Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of visceral fat obesity.  Obes Res. 1995 Sep;3 Suppl 2:187S-194S.

Neporent, Liz and Suzanne Schlosberg.  The Fat-Free Truth.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.

Schuler, Lou.  What's the most muscle you can gain?  Men's Health.  7 Nov 2015.  Web.  12 Jun 2018.  https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19515623/how-much-muscle-can-you-gain/

Shaw, Steve.  Natural muscle building: a look at potential, genetics, and arm size.  Muscle and Strength.  23 Oct 2013.  Web.  15 Jun 2018.  https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/bodybuilding-genetics

Tara, Sylvia.  Yes, sumo wrestlers are obese- but are they unhealthy? Medium.  30 Sep 2016.  Web.  15 Jun 2018.  https://medium.com/@SylviaTaraPhD/by-any-standard-the-sumo-wrestler-would-be-considered-obese-596defe012a9

Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE, Blue MNM, Schumacher RM, Mayhew JL, Mann JB, Ivey PA, Hirsch KR, Mock MG.  Fat-Free Mass Index in NCAA Division I and II Collegiate American Football Players.  J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Oct;31(10):2719-2727.

09 June 2018

[Full Fucking Redux] Baddest Motherfuckers Ever- Chuck "Wrath Of The Natty Axe Giant" Sipes

[This is a complete rewrite of my ancient Chuck Sipes article- the guy was such a fucking beast he deserves a fittingly brutal treatment, and given my penchant for writing about the lifters of the 1950s and 1960s of late, it seemed fitting to just blow away the old article and erect a massive monument to Sipes in its place.]

Over the last couple of articles I have joked about the near-mythical status of the badasses of the 1950s and 1960s, all of whom made insanely heavy lifts commonplace by taking every single modern truism about lifting, dumping it in the fucking trash, and deciding that the solution to every problem in the weight room is more food and harder training.  An anathema to the broke dick, science-tastic, weak-as-fuck "evidence based" lifters of the modern era who have deluded themselves into thinking that aping the methods of the successful is preposterous, the lifters of the mid-20th Century actually succeeded in the weight room by applying a little observation and introspection and a fuckton of effort.

One such lifter is Chuck "The Iron Warrior" Sipes, a paratrooper / lumberjack / powerlifter / bodybuilder / proto-Bear Grylls.  More hardcore than one of the kill scenes in I Spit On Your Grave 3, Sipes managed to rock one of the top three physiques in the world while benching 570lbs and working 12 hours a day slaughtering trees like they were hymens after the prom.  Though the Olympia title eluded him like he was an ICE agent chasing Dan Akroyd across the US in a eerily precognizant social commentary on American isolationism, Sipes managed to snag the 1959 IFBB “Mr. America”, the 1960 IFBB “Mr. Universe”, the 1967 NABBA “Mr. World”, and the 1968 IFBB “Mr. World”, while natty as fuck and  out-benching every single person on the planet not named Pat Casey (who, incidentally, outweighed Sipes by 135 lbs.)

Alright- he might not have been more brutal than this, but he was in the conversation.

Now, I realize that the nickname upon which I bestowed Sipes is not the one I just used, but in performing a retrospective on the man's life, I think "Wrath Of The Axe Giant" is far more fitting than the "Iron Warrior", as the former is the pastiche of the title and subtitle of a spectacularly bad Paul Bunyan-themed horror movie in which "somebody takes one of the cave trolls from Lord of the Rings, stuffs him into a bunch of flannel and hands him a giant axe, and then sets him loose on a group of assorted degenerates on a maximum-security prison field trip to singalong/labor camp in the Minnesota woods" (Neil).  Given that Sipes was a fucking monster, worked in a youth prison, was a tree serial killer by trade, and routinely took at-risk youth into the woods for survivalist and general primeval badassery training, "Wrath of the Axe Giant" fits like a Tijuana hooker onto a donkey cock.

Chuck Sipes was apparently conceived with the grip strength that later served him so well as a strongman, and he literally just grabbed fistfuls of his mother's uterus and ripped her abdomen open, forcing himself into the world in a Chuck Norris-esque manner in late 1932.  In spite of the brutal manner by which Sipes birthed himself, he grew up a somewhat scrawny kid.  As he wanted to play high school football like any other red-blooded, commie-hating, steak-loving American boy, he enlisted the aid of his neighbor, weightlifting equipment luminary Chuck Coker (who later founded Universal Equipment Company). 

The closest thing we have to an image of the moment of Chuck Sipes' birth.

Utilizing the techniques he learned from Coker, Sipes became a beast on the football field and after graduation joined the US Army as a paratrooper.  In a bizarre effort to demonstrate the fact that the only person who could kill Chuck Sipes was Chuck Sipes, he found himself tangled with another trooper during a practice drop when he chute didn't open, and then free-fell 70 feet to the ground.  Though he steadfastly refused to die, Sipes was stuck in the hospital for four month recuperating from grievous head injuries.  Upon receiving a medical discharge in 1952, Sipes went home with a headful of epilepsy and depression and the brass fucking balls of a man who could free fall out of an airplane without a parachute and not only live to tell the tale, but go onto be one of the greatest bodybuilders of the golden era and the greatest drug-free 220lb bencher of all time.

Chuck Sipes' Vital Statistics
Height: 5'9½"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Arms: 19 ½" (relaxed)
Chest: 50"
Waist: 32"
Thighs: 25 ½"
Calves: 18"
Forearms: 18"

Because the concept of a "natural genetic limit" had not yet been set, Chuck Sipes went about his business in happy ignorance of the "facts" the evidence-based fuckwits spreading their specious claims across the internet like cancer.  Training with Mr. Universe Bill Pearl, Sipes set his sights on being the greatest bodybuilder to ever live, though he didn't give two shits about posing and spent the vast majority of his time heaving huge weights around like toddler throwing his toys during a tantrum.  In spite of that fact, he racked up an impressive number of wins, including pulling down the “Mr. Pacific Coast” title at the ripe old age of 41.

Notice that headline, natty bros?  You guys might want to stop paying attention to those stupid fucking genetics limits charts.  The only reason for consulting for examining those entirely specious charts (which I'll cover in a subsequent article) is because you're looking for an excuse to be small and weak.

Unlike modern lifters, who possess all of the personality of a wax replica of Ben Stein, the depth of a spilled shot of vodka, and the varied interests of autistic trapped in a stairwell, Chuck Sipes didn't just lift weights and stare at himself in the mirror.  He organized the American Bodybuilding Club in the 1960's, which was practically free to join, and gave exhibitions and lectures on the benefits of fitness and recreational sports.  After he hung up his posing trunks, Chuck volunteered with crippled and retarded kids, which is impressive because he was not too far removed from a time when humanity either euthanized them or stuffed them in the basement of a mental institution until some shitbird doctor wanted to torture, lobotomize, or starve them to death.  

It's not every day you see the second biggest bencher on the planet bending rebar in half wearing nothing but an adult diaper and a peace medallion.

As if that wasn't enough do-goodery and well-roundedness, Sipes also painted a shitload of Western landscapes and 19th century mountain men.  He also took teenage criminals on on week-long trips into the mountains to teach them to rely on teamwork for survival, presaging the spate of horrible reality television American women would come to watch 30 years later.   In spite of all that and his hyper-enthusiastic faith in the Christians' corpse god, Chuck Sipes apparently had enough of the seizures and depression stemming from his head injuries and hung it up on February 24, 1993, at the age of 61.  Ever the badass, Sipes was buried in buckskins, just like Davy Crockett would have been if Mexican soldiers hadn't scattered and defiled his remains out of bitterness that they suck at war harder than channers suck at lifting.

"According to [Chuck's best friend] Norm, Chuck began his competitive bodybuilding career unwillingly.  Chuck Coker recalls that when Sipes was a lifting competitor in his junior college days in Modesto, there was one occasion when a physique contest was held in connection with the lifting. Chuck’s buddies on the team filled out an entry form to the physique contest, then informed Chuck that he had to get up on stage and pose. He said no at first, but then did sort of a stroll across the stage and hit a few poses" (Roark). 
Chuck Sipes' Contest History
1958 Mr. Northern California 1st
1958 Jr. Mr. America 3rd (Western section)
1958 Mr. America 9th
1959 IFBB Mr. America 1st
1960 IFBB Mr. Universe 1st
1966 Mr. Olympia 3rd (won by Larry Scott)
1967 Mr. Olympia 2nd (won by Sergio Oliva)
1967 NABBA World Championships 1st
1968 Mr. Northern California 1st
1968 IFBB Mr. World 1st (The Mr. Olympia was held the same day, and had also taken time to perform strongman stunts.)
1970 IFBB Mr. Universe 2nd medium class (Overall won by Arnold)
1974 Mr. Pacific Coast 1st (over-40 class)

Chuck Sipes' Best Lifts
Bench press: 570 lbs. 
Squat: 600 lbs. 
Standing Barbell Curl: 250 lbs. 

Word is that Chuck Sipes was so hot he never even had to get into the shower- women would just squirt spontaneously when he walked by, and he sensibly figured that was good enough.

Yes, yes- get on with how this superhuman maniac trained, right?  The man was a goddamn bulldozer, crushing weights all fucking day long, breaking hearts and spines all the live-long day.  According to Dennis Weis, Sipes believed in training often, training heavy, and doing a shitload of supports and partials do build sick tendon and ligament strength.  To determine the proper exercises and his set and rep range, Sipes treated lifting like a blind man does an orgy (he just feels it out) and examined the effect of the exercises in previous workouts to determine the best combination of movements to achieve his goals.   Sipes believed that he could feel out a good workout, rather than following a set regime in which he followed a system of glacial, unrelentingly boring, counter-intuitive, artificial, incremental progression based on the half cocked theories of geographically distant Communists.  Additionally, like any rational, thinking person with a belief in biology, the theory of specialized adaptation, and a general belief in the theory of evolution, Sipes said, "whenever I specialize on a body part, my stamina and endurance improve remarkably. In this way, the muscle ache and tightness I spoke of subsides quickly and in this way, there is less rest between sets" (Weis Power).

This led Sipes, even while training for strength, to rest between sets "only momentarily, probably less than 10 seconds. On most regular type exercise schedules, my rest periods between sets are around 20 to 30 seconds and no more."  Additionally, he followed a super-intense split, in which he trained two to three times a day, six days a week.  There was no retarded Stuart McRobert-loving whining about how he had bad genetics, or a Mentzer-esque love for abstaining from the gym in deference to the library and methamphetamines, wherein he would have spent countless hours misinterpreting an extremely simple subset of Russian philosophy, or an incessant screeching about the need for layoffs and deloads, but rather a dedication to busting his ass on the exercise on which he wanted to get very, very good.  

Even in his 50s, Sipes looked like a fucking golden god with his shirt off.

In spite of his nearly psychotic dedication to training, Sipes wasn't above heading off into the woods with up-and-coming teenage criminals, with friends, or by himself for a week or more at a time.  Giving exactly zero fucks about his diet or how it would impact his latest round of a terrible cookie-cutter Russian routine, Chuck would just forge out into the woods and have a good time. 

"Norm recalls trips into the mountains and workouts involving cables, which would be tied around trees and then stretched in various exercises.  Their conversations around campfires on such outings were the underpinnings of a lifelong friendship, and now, when Norm speaks of Chuck, it is with warmth, love, respect, and bewilderment as to what changed Chuck’s outlook later in life.  After a month in the woods, Chuck’s bodyweight often decreased by 15 to 20 pounds, and Norm remembers the amazing transformation Chuck could undergo in regaining the lost weight and muscle. He simply ate more and lifted. No drugs" (Roark).  
A message to everyone who thinks the bench is pointless- every sopping pair of panties generated by this photo would care to disagree.

If nothing else, Chuck Sipes should stand as an example of how to approach training- with an open mind and zero fucks given.  His method was essentially a weightlifting paean to Bruce Lee's philosophy of amalgamating the most effective fighting styles into his own, and a nod to everyone whose ever thrown anything they could find in the fridge and cupboard into a pot and unwittingly produced the best fucking chili anyone ever ate.  Additionally, it's not unlike the Paleo crossfitter who buys a burger and tosses the bun- there's something to be learned from just about everybody, and no one's above analyzing the greats from any sport to help propel themselves to a semblance of that greatness.  

That said, here are some of the methods Sipes employed over the course of his career (and those methods were fucking legion).

Chuck Sipes' Power Routine

Back Squat – 6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2
Bench Press – 6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2
Conventional Deadlift – 6, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2,
Shrug – 4 x 8
Cheat Curl – 4 x 6
Preacher Curl – 5 x 10
Situp – 3 x 20
Leg Raise – 4 x 15
Overhead Press – 5 x 6
Incline DB Flye – 3 x 8
Calf Raise – 4 x 20

Heavy 1/4 Bench Press – 5 x 8 
Heavy 1/4 Back Squat, (no lockout, 50-100lb over your max squat)   5 x 8  
Stiff Legged Deadlift off Bench or Box (bodybuilding-style deficits) –  5 x 4 
Chins –  6 x 6
Dips –  5 x 8
Lying French Press – 5 x 8

Incidentally, Sipes recommended trying for max on the powerlifts every two months, and added weight whenever possible to his training weights to facilitate progress.

Chuck Sipes' Bench Routine

Of all of Sipes' routines, this is the one in which we all are likely most interested, because Sipes' bench was fucking insane.  True to form, this routine is not for the faint of heart, fans of Rippetoe or anything with "Starting" in the title, Channers, or the vast majority of Redditors, because it involves no equivocation, stupid selfies, or whining.  Chuck did this fucking lunacy for six straight months prior to a meet and was what gave him a flat backed, 2 second pause on the chest, 570lb competition bench press.

Monday / Wednesday
Bench Press – 2 x 10 (warmup); 2 x 6; 2 x 4; 2 x 2; 4  x 1

Tuesday / Thursday
Heavy Supports – 5 x 8 (100 lbs. over best press from ¼ way down to lockout)
Bench Press – Close to maximum poundage.
Heavy Supports – 150 lbs. over best press, holding with a slight elbow bend.
Bench Press – close to maximum poundage.

Incline Press (wide grip, slow reps) – 4 x 6.
Dumbell Incline Press (slow reps) – 4 x 6.
Pullovers (very light weight, deep breaths following 1 minute jumping rope) – 2 x 20
Flat Flyes (very deep breaths) – 4 x 8.

Chuck Sipes' Alternate Bench Routine

This routine was done three times a week to bring the bench up quickly or to prepare for a meet.

Speed Bench – 6 sets of 10. Use a light weight and accelerate the bar from the chest as rapidly as possible.
Ultra-heavy Negative Bench Press – 4 × 8. Fight weight slowly to chest. Use about 100 lbs. over best lift.
Supports (Hold supramaximal weight at lockout)– 6 x 10 seconds 

Sipes had some seriously big quads and upper arms at 220, but his calves and forearms were the really fucking ridiculous sections of his limbs.

Chuck Sipes' Squat Routine
Full Squat – 2 x 8 (warmup); 2 x 6: 2 x 4; 2 x 2; 2 x 1
Quarter Squat – 6 x 10
Leg Press – 8 x 6

Interestingly, Chuck Sipes and I arrived at the same solution for getting stuck in the hole on squats.  Great minds and all that, it seems.

"Chuck recommended incorporating jumping squats with a barbell of a dumbbell in each hand, using a light weight. He mentioned 4 sets of 10 reps. The last 2 reps should feel hard but you should still be able to spring up forcefully. When you can do 8 out of 10 reps the weight is probably just right. When you achieve 10 proper reps it is time to add 20 lbs. to the squat bar or 10 lbs. to each dumbbell. This exercise will build the initial driving power" (Weis Power). 

Chuck Sipes' Forearm Routine

Guaranteed to turn your hands into immobile claws for a couple of weeks, this brutal routine is what resulted in Sipes' insane 18" forearms... along with a hell of a lot of chopping wood.  How the man managed to do both is a mystery for the ages, because a day of swinging an axe alone is enough to reduce most humans to a pile of blubbering bullshit, and this dude did both.

Reverse Curl (slowly) – 4 x 8

DB Wrist Forearm Curl (off knee)  4 × 15
Cable or Pulley Reverse Curl – 4 × 12
Rubber Ball Squeeze, Newspaper Roll-up, etc.

Chuck Sipes' Ab Routine

Though Sipes was something of a mass monster for his era and an absolute life-ruiner on the bench, even Zabo Koszewski envied the man's abs.  When following this program, this indefatigable tree-slaughtering maniac would do the following twice a day for the first six months and then there times a day the second half of the year.  The man trained so hard peoples' eyes bleed just reading this fucking insanity, but it's one more reminder that we're all a pack of pussies by comparison to lifters of yesteryear.

Not even the rage virus will have you ready for this insanity.
"I feel that SPEED OF MOVEMENT in abs training is the KEY to ZENITH development in the abdominal region. I always tried to CONCENTRATE on rapid, quick movements with continuous tension and flexing in the movements of waist work. I might mention that that I didn’t sacrifice strictness of movement in the exercises. The speed of movement is obtained over a period of many months while on this SPECIAL program. The increased speed of movement per rep doesn’t happen in the first month of training. From what I have observed from my many travels and training with many bodybuilders, most don’t concentrate on this speed of movement in their abs programs" (Weis Power).
Incline Situps – 2 x 25 
Incline Situps (25lb plate behind head) – 2 x 8 at each position on a 7 run incline board.
Front Bends – 2 x 50 (done with a stick or bar held behind the neck, he would expel all the air from my lungs and bend forward to a parallel position to the floor)
Side Bends – 2 x 50 (done with a stick or bar held behind the neck, bending from side to side in a rapid succession, touching the elbows to the sides)
Incline Board Leg Raises (with iron boots for resistance) – 4 x 8.
Stomach Vacuums – 4 x 8. 

Chuck Sipes' Shape and Size Arm Routine

As with every other bodypart, Sipes had a lot of different methods for training his gigantic arms, each one crazier than a bunny in a blender on Easter morning.  Interestingly, Chuck had extremely different methods for training his arms based on what he was doing- when it was for shape and size, he focused on biceps, but as you'll see in the power section, triceps were his focus in training for pressing power.  In his own words:

"Many bodybuilders say the triceps is first in arm importance, saying it is the largest muscle in the arm. I rank the triceps last on my list. Why? An unimpressive, large but droopy and poorly shaped arm is not what I want. Besides, the triceps are not as important in my strength feats. 
With the triceps last, next up the list with me is forearms. This muscular area of the arms is vital both to appearance - nothing is so unsightly as a big upper arm and a pair of sticks for forearms - and for gripping strength well developed forearms are essential. Every bodybuilder should work the forearms regularly as part of their workouts. I worked in sawmills and lumberjacking when I was younger, and this helped my development and strength quite a bit. 
But, at the top of the list is the biceps area. The better developed and stronger your biceps are, the better off you will be physically. They should be #1 on your arm training list. Therefore, this arm development article will concentrate on developing this area, the biceps" (Sipes Biceps).

Barbell Curl 21's 
7 reps from bottom position to middle position, 
7 reps from middle position to top of movement,
7 full-range reps 
4 sets x 21 reps

Cheat Barbell Curl
16 x 4 (You read that right- sixteen sets of four)
Alternate one set of 21's to each 4 sets of Cheat Curls.

Lying French Press 21's 

Conventional Lying French Press16 x 4

One set of 21's to each 4 sets of regular French presses

Chuck Sipes' Power Arm Routine

Cheat Curls – 5 x 6 - 8 (explosive cheat on the concentric, extremely slow descent on the eccentric portion)
Concentration Curls – 5 x 10 - 12 (Elbow braced on the thigh, one second peak contraction, one second pause fully relaxed at bottom)


Alternating Dumbell Curls – 5 x 6 - 8 (ultra heavy with a slight cheat)
Alternating Incline Curl – 5 x 8 (moderate weight, slow and controlled)
Reverse Barbell Curl – 6 x 6 - 8 

As for the triceps, Sipes thought this was basically the most important accessory work you could do for the bench, and he studied it like most male Redditors study PUA techniques in an effort to get their dick wet before their 50th birthday.
"The history of weight training has proved to be a constant game of hide and seek.  Truant muscles are no longer safe from the prying efforts of modern power lifters.  In the case of the bench press, the triceps, with its natural capacity for development, became suspect when it appeared to be riding on the efforts of the delts and pecs.   
At first, no one could say for sure.  Maybe it was the delts.  So they tried military presses.  they didn't prove to help the bench a great deal.  So they tried parallel dips with plenty of weight.  Pat Casey did them endlessly, dropping to an extremely low position, but they ground up his shoulders, and he stopped.  Extreme range of motion like the military and dip was out; the pecs and delts were out.  That left the triceps" (Sipes Tricep Power 109). 
"Thus comes into being the 'Triceps Power Cheats,' a movement that is spanking the triceps into unprecedented effort and routine [bench press] records up the line.  The movement flanks the regular bench press on the alternate workout of the week in which the bench press and [box squats].  In terms of two workouts a week, Saturday (heavy) and Tuesday, the power cheats fall on Tuesday" (Sipes Tricep Power 112).
The pic I took isn't blurry- the pic of which I took a pic was.

The two exercises Sipes recommended were the Pullover Triceps Cheat and the Power Rack Triceps Lockout.  Done twice a week with one of two methodologies, Sipes and other huge benchers of the time considered these exercises critical for a massive bench.  Depending on your preference, you can use the Bill West style for this or Pat Casey's style- Sipes respected the fuck out of both men and thought both styles had merit.

Pullover Triceps Cheat
(Bill West Method) West would put a folded towel on the bench a few inches over his head and do his pullovers from that point, heaving the weight up over his eyes and then bouncing it off the bench in between reps so he could handle bigger poundages (pictured above top left).  His rep scheme looked like this:
135 - 10
185 - 5 
205 - 5
205 - 1
255 - 6 singles

(Pat Casey Method) Casey was the only human on the planet benching more than Sipes, and he used this method- he'd have the loaded barbell on the floor off the end of the bench, hooks his feet around the supports for stability, starts the movement as a pullover off the floor and continues it as an extension to the top.  Per the picture it looks like a pullover and press, but from the description it sounds like you're using lat strength and momentum to get the bar moving and then finish it like you did a skull crusher from just over the top of your head.
135 - 10
225 - 5
275 - 5
305 - 3
325 - 1
340 - 1
355 - 1
370 - 1
325 - 1
305 - 1
275 - 8

Power Rack Triceps Lockout
(Bill West Method) On an incline bench set at a 60 degree incline, take the barbell out of the rack with a grip about six inches apart and do short range skull crushers from just above your forehead to lockout.  Your upper arm should stay in the same vertical plane as the bar.
135 - 10
150 - 10
170 - 7 x 7

(Pat Casey Method) Casey did these slightly differently, setting the pins in the power rack just above forehead level and pressing off the pins.  He did these quickly, for a pump.
225 - 6 x 7

Seated French Presses (as a high rep burnout)
3 x 10

Of note, Sipes basically thought you were a pink-bitch pussy if you used the cambered bar on tricep work and that you were basically just wasting your fucking time, so give the Olympic barbell a shot for these and see how they work for you.

Chuck Sipes' Diet 

Sipes was not a complicated man- like a lot of wildly successful maniacs, he preferred a simple plan involving a headlong charge into the proverbial teeth of the enemy to a complex strategy with a lot of moving parts.  As such, his diet was so simple even a Trump supporter could follow it, if they could fit the feedings in between tent revivals, denouncing science, and attending Flat Earther conventions. 

"Eat a well-balanced diet of meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. Avoid high-calorie foods such as bread, cake, candy, macaroni products and all foods containing white flour and white sugar. High-calorie foods add fat to your waistline and will make your abdominal training a whole lot tougher than it should be.  [The most important additions to your regular diet are] germ oils, sunflower seeds, papaya, peanuts and lots of milk. 
Drink 3-4 quarts of certified low-fat raw milk each day, a Chuck Sipes favorite for gaining (at least one pint or more with each feeding)" (Weis Huge). 
Never one to follow the same day to day program like a mindless robot hell bent on mediocrity, it's impossible to get a highly accurate depiction of what Chuck ate day to day, but this is a general overview of his daily eating habits.

Meal 1
4 eggs with cheese
Whole-wheat stoneground bread and honey
Wholegrain cereal milk and fruit

Meal 2

Fresh fruit and almonds

Meal 3
Fruit juice
Large salad with sunflower seeds and 2 large whole-wheat peanut butter sandwiches, two classes of milk

Meal 4

Nuts and fruit or his bulk drink, which was:
  • 2 cups milk
  • Protein powder
  • 2 spoonfuls Blackstrap molasses
  • 1 spoonful honey
  • 1 spoonful Ovaltine
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop natural ice cream
Meal 5
Steak or fish with salad and brown rice
Some whole-wheat bread and butter
Tea with honey
And some natural ice cream

Meal 6 (Bedtime)

A glass of fresh juice and sunflower seeds

So, in summary:
  • Chuck was a bad motherfucker
  • He trained around the clock on lifts on which he wanted to improve.  
  • He was strong as a fucking bull moose and took no shit in competition.
  • He was simultaneously ripped to fucking shreds and insanely strong.
Certainly, none of the bitch-made charlatans out there promoting evidence based training would support Sipes' methodology, but none of them could reproduce Sipes' results, either.  That alone should point to the fact that their methodology is flawed, but given the fact I would have a better chance convincing a born-again Christian that Jesus is sharing a bunk bed with the Easter Bunny in hell than convincing a fan of evidence based training that the "facts" they hold so dear are anything but, I suppose I'm just pissing in the wind and calling it rain.  Nevertheless, you ignore the methods utilized by this mythic badass at your peril.  Don't imperil yourself.

In short, if you think you train hard enough, Chuck Sipes and the demon succubi currently blowing him in hell say, "Go fuck yourself, pussy."

I know- Sipes would be pissy about the porn because he followed the Christ-man, but if you're in that crew and you hang yourself, you're signing up for that eternal suntan because Yahweh in his "infinite wisdom" apparently gives zero fucks about CTE.

Duckett, Ian.  Chuck's eating plan.  Old But Strong.  3 Aug 2016.  Web.  6 Jun 2018.  http://oldbutstrong.co.uk/nutrition/chucks-eating-plan

Kelly, Bradley Joe.  Bodybuilding's original superhero: Chuck Sipes.  T-Nation.  2 Nov 2012.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  https://www.t-nation.com/training/bodybuildings-original-superhero-chuck-sipes

Neil, Garrett and Sean Neil.  Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan.  Something Awful.  7 Dec 2013.  Web.  6 Jun 2018.  https://www.somethingawful.com/movie-reviews/paul-bunyan/1/

Pearl, Bill.  Chuck Sipes- "The iron knight."  Reprint from Legends of the Iron Game.  Bodybuilders Reality.  http://bodybuildersreality.com/chuck-sipes-the-iron-knight/

Roark, Joe.  The Roark Report - Chuck Sipes.  Iron Game History.  1993 May;2(6)20-21.

Sipes, Chuck.  Ab specialization routine.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso ban.  9 may 2014.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2014/05/ab-specialization-routine-chuck-sipes.html

Sipes, Chuck.  Biceps development. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.29 Aug 2009.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/04/biceps-chuck-sipes.html

Sipes, Chuck.  Put the slant in your abdominal training (1968).  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  5 Feb 2012.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-pack-circa-1968-chuck-sipes.html

Sipes, Chuck.  Routines.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  15 Sep 2013.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2013/09/chuck-sipes.html

Sipes, Chuck.  Triceps power cheats (1966).  Muscle Builder Magazine.  Reprinted in Forgotten Secrets of the Culver City Westside Barbell Club Revealed by Dave Yarnell.  Lexington: Self Published, 2014.  

Weis, Dennis B. Chuck Sipes on Power Training.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 1 Aug 2009.  Web.  5 Jun 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/08/chuck-sipes-on-power-training-dennis.html

Weis Dennis B.  Huge and freaky mass concepts!  Gain herculean muscle mass and power fast!  Dennis B. Weis.  Web.  6 Jun 2018.  http://www.dennisbweis.com/Articles/HugeandFreakyMassConcepts.html