03 August 2018

The Dubious Value Of Eccentricity

The following is an essay I wrote almost in its entirety a couple of years ago in a fit of frustration with the state of strength sports, and shit's only gotten worse.  I happened to come across it looking for some old notes and figured I'd drop it in here just because- it really wasn't written with the intention of publishing it.  It's a departure from the norm- no porn, no actual lifting advice, and I'm not sure if it's even "life" advice... and it's sure as shit not life coaching.

Bernarr MacFadden 
The father of modern bodybuilding culture, promoter of the first bodybuilding contest in modern history (with a cash prize bigger than any contest for the next 75 years), and the guy Jack LaLanne ripped off for just about everything.  You likely have never heard of him, because MacFadden was a full-blown weirdo who loved porn and fucking, did insane physical stunts even into old age, and thought (very rightly at the time) medical doctors were fucking monsters.

America is a nation founded upon a belief in individualism above all, if the propaganda rammed down our throats on a daily basis is to be believed.  Certainly, the eccentric has played a massive role in American society- from the flamboyant antics of Little Richard, lady Gage, and Prince in pop music to the oddly accessible masculinity and hyperfitness of Bernarr McFadden to the drug-addled, artistic intellectualism of Ken Kesey and Hunter S. Thompson to the bizarre mad scientist brilliance of Nikola Tesla to the utterly insane engineering genius of Howard Hughes and R. Buckminster Fuller, Americas global dominance for the last century is seemingly built upon rampant, brazen individualism.  Breaks with convention put man on the moon, into the air, under the sea, and gave us everything we wantonly take for granted today, from electrical power to the zipper.  Americans seem drawn to eccentrics like white trash to Oxycontin, though they secretly judge and condemn their oddball idols even as they explain away their behavior as somehow relatable.  At the same time, people who have shamelessly blazed their own path, choosing to do whatever the fuck they wanted, do whatever they would, and believe whatever they liked, now cower behind labels, bleating their fear of judgment like sheep rather than snarling their defiance like an enraged hyena, destroying the psychic underpinnings of their uniqueness in a pathetic, limp-wristed plea for acceptance that is an stomach-turning in its delivery as it is in its message.


"Are you unaware that murder was honored in China, rape in New Zealand, theft in Sparta?  That man you watch being drawn and quartered in the market place, what has he done?  He ventured to acquit himself in Paris of some Japanese virtue."
Marquis de Sade

A wise man once said, "Strangeness is the energy of our imagination," though society generally tends to adhere to a policy wherein "the nail that sticks out gets hammered down."  Wildly eccentric and prolific geniuses like Tesla and Hughes usually die alone and impoverished in spite of the fact that the modern world could not exist without their work.  Modern horror fiction would likely not exist without the influence of Edgar Allen Poe and HP Lovecraft, yet both men died tragically bereft of both friends and material comfort.  Unmatched strength luminary Arthur Saxon died penniless in a gutter (much like Poe), badass boxer Joe Louis diedowing virtually everyone, and the lifelong outsider who was the father of modern pop music, Stephen Foster, died alone with 38 cents in his pocket.  Yet without these people, our modern world simply would not exist.  They should be celebrated as the gods of modernity, yet men like Henry Ford, who turned men into mindless automatons regulated by dickheads with stopwatches and accountants, and the psychotic sneak-thief Thomas Edison, who did far more to destroy normal human sleep habits than any other human in history and stole everything from the rights to hundreds of other people's films to the life's breath out of elephants, are the men behind the curtain credited with tending the machines of progress.


Why is this?  Is it because the fine line between genius and insanity is also a line between self-improvement and self-destruction? Is it because a society in which the majority worships an allegedly faultless god and demands the same of its mortal heroes?  Is it because the bland shadows of true innovators, labelled as "tireless hard workers" rather than "inexplicable geniuses" are the tasteless pap fed to babes for ease of digestion rather than the deliciously habanero-laden street tacos that might have one shitting their pants in a couple of hours?


"Of course, we call the changes 'compassion,' 'reasonableness,' and 'progress,' but they are actually 'enfeeblement,' 'stupidity,' and 'degeneration.'"
Mark Mirabello

Perhaps it's a bit of both.  Perhaps it is neither.  Perhaps it is the formlessness of the true individualist- following their whims through life, their path is erratic, their movements unpredictable, their motivations too obscure and byzantine.  Lacking easily identifiable form, wedded to atavistic notions of self, intrinsically motivated and truly apart from society in every way, the true individualist is both a vaunted goal and something completely inaccessible to people who are members of a society that rewards collective thought and shuns the unusual and the unconventional.

"It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.  We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake."
Frederick Douglass

We live in a time where, more than ever, people wish to seem a part of the collective and whose every thought and action are scrutinized and criticized when they deviate from the norm.  Where children make their parents pay for coaches to learn Fortnight rather than playing the fucking game and figuring it out for themselves.  When individual thought and action is as shocking and reviled as it is for lemmings or citizens under a totalitarian regime.  When dogma and partisanship reign supreme and possession of opposing views makes one the enemy rather than an object of intrigue and progenitor of intelligent debate.


"A conclusion is simply where you stopped thinking."
- Black Iron Prison

As society fractures into smaller and smaller segments, people hold even more sacrosanct the precepts held forth by their given group.  Christian Republicans justify inhumane treatment to impoverished people fleeing collapsing societies with their holy book, in spite of the obvious hypocrisy in doing so.  Allegedly pacifist leftists justify pointless violence by pointing at the distasteful social opinions of the right.  Natty lifters screech endlessly about their purity and superiority relative to people doing what humans have always done, which is to utilize any means necessary to win.  Geared lifters and raw lifters hate each other.  Oly lifters and powerlifters band together to hate on Crossfitters.  And then there are vegans, who hate and are hated by everyone.  And all the while, individual thought is shunned more and more as idiots herd together for security against the looming "threat" of the other.


If you take nothing else from this, know that there is no mystery to lifting.  There is no need for specialization- there is no need to hire coaches and trainers.  There is no need to obsess over it- the mystification of weight lifting is one of the most odious trends in strength sports, and one that should quite frankly be met with violence.  The people mystifying strength sports- promulgating meaninglessly complex terminology the obfuscates the simplicity of battling gravity- are not your friends.  They are the enemy.  An enemy hiding in plain sight, pretending to be sorcerers when most of them fail to accomplish even basic strength feats.  They're thieves and charlatans, dickheads and fucktards, and generally terrible fucking people.  

"Doubt everything.  Find your own light!"
The Buddha

In the end, eccentricity holds little appeal.  Some might call me an edgelord, thinking my writing style is schtick and a gimmick, and that I'm at least partly satirizing myself.  

This just in: I'm not.  

The shit I write is me- exhaustive research, expansive vocabulary, hardcore and metal and porn and gore and vulgarity, all rolled into a big ball and then swallowed and vomited onto the internet.  Clearly, I'm not advocating anyone to follow in my footsteps, because as any have pointed out, I haven't parleyed my dubious internet fame and strength into much in the way of material wealth- though I am a libertarian with MBAs, I'm a pretty terrible fucking capitalist.  I write the shit I write to inspire myself, and I figure I might as well try to inspire and educate others while I'm at it.  In the end, however, going the path already trodden rather than forging your own is the far easier path.  I'm just not built to walk that way- I just forge off into the wild because walking along a beaten path is too fucking boring to bother doing... 

and I know I'll likely get eaten by a metaphorical wild animal while doing it.  

30 July 2018

Training For The Apocalypse Part 2- The Nuclear Option And Robot Rape

The apocalypse is gonna be too dope.

In the first installment of this series, published ages ago in a land far, far away, we examined the manner in which one should train for two apocalyptic scenarios- a slow apocalypse and a zombie apocalypse.  The reasoning behind this was fairly simple, in that such an exercise illustrates the manner in which one would go about structuring their own training based on the event for which they are preparing and their current level of preparedness.  The application, then, is to learn how to figure out how best to train for a given sport, couched in the kind of awesome insanity that leads wild-eyed psychopaths to dig bunkers in their backyard filled with rations, guns and Bibles, and others to slightly more rationally store combat hatchet and knife-laden bug-out bags in their basements (yeah, I fall into the latter category).  What you'll find is that there is a fairly wide gap between people who think that training should necessarily be sport specific and those who think that general strength is sufficient to improve performance.  Personally, I have never trained with my specificity for anything, be it football, wrestling, mma, powerlifting, or odd lifting/strongman, and I have not suffered for it in the slightest.  Strength is strength- there is no such fucking animal as "functional strength" because all strength is necessarily functional.



Not all heroes wear capes.  Functional as fuck.

Determining how to a train for a given activity is pretty fucking simple- you determine what will lend itself best to the activity by examining the activity in detail, then identify training methods or movements that aid in the development of those physical attributes.    When doing this, however, you need to examine your own strengths and weaknesses as well, so that you construct the program to reinforce your strength while bringing up your weaknesses.  If you have to do it Madden-style and just rate yourself out of 100, by all means go for it and be sure to share with the Internet, because if there is anything more in vogue than Excel spreadsheets these days, it's offering the world reasons why you cannot do something before you attempt it to forestall the shame of failure.




I'm actually going do one of these for an upcoming article on the best strength athlete of all time, I think.

When determining if and how your training is going to change for a given activity, be it participating an extremely abusive (yet consensual) gangbang, trying out for the USA Rugby Sevens team, or switching from Crossfit to strongman, it helps to consider both the the strengths you must display for that activity, and also your personal strength- and fitness-oriented weaknesses.  For the latter, we're looking at movements, planes of movement, strength endurance requirements, and cardio requirements that you can add into a program built around raw, violent strength.  That's right- barbarous, all-in, cataclysmic, soul-crushing, face-smashing strength will always be the crux of a strength program, because it's a fucking strength program.  Anyone who tells you they don't need to be brutally strong for any sport is 1) not an athlete, 2) certainly never going to be strong, and 3) a fucking retard.



Neck- and arm-centric programming would be appropriate for this.


With all of that in mind, we will move onto my other two favorite apocalyptic scenarios- the Robopocalypse, for which i have been preparing since I was a kid after reading a bunch of old Magnus: Robot Fighter comics, and a Nuclear Apocalypse, which was an eminent threat as a kid (fun fact- according to Robert Heinlein, all of the old malls have bomb shelters beneath them that were simply designed to collapse in upon the inhabitants to obviate the need for burial... rather than shelter the inhabitants so they could fight in a counterattack against the Russians.  Because Murica!)


Nuclear Apocalypse


The specter of nuclear annihilation and irradiated wastelands filled with pustulent mutants driven mad with hunger and cancer since HG Wells first wrote about atomic weapons in The World Set Free.  While the roaming bands of cancer-covered mutants dripping noisome ichor likely will never be the plague they are in the nuclear apocalypse flicks of the 1980s, a post apocalyptic wasteland is still a looming threat as Russia unveils new nukes and we are overrun with idiotic flag-waving chickenhawks in the American government.  As such, we've got to examine what we need to do to be prepared when one of the gibbering retards in charge of a nuclear button finally pushes the fucking thing because YOLO, and maybe they can get a post-apocalyptic reality show out of it.


For more on nuclear apocalypse scenarios, see: The War After Armageddon, Metro 2033Damnation Alley, 2000 ADSix String Samurai.


With the nuclear apocalypse looming, here are the things I think we need to focus on to ensure Chaos and Pain dominates the atom-blasted, radioactive wasteland we currently face:

  • Imposing Physique.  If post apocalyptic films have taught me anything, it's that being physically imposing is a primary survival trait in the apocalypse.  Whether it's Mean Machine Angel in Judge Dredd, Rictus Erectus in Fury Road, The Humongous in The Road Warrior, Blaster in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Roddy Piper in Hell Comes to Frogtown, or Fred Williamson in The New Barbarians, being jacked is always to your advantage.  As the Luciferian adage goes, "the strong rule the weak and the clever rule the strong," so by extension people those of us who are clever and strong are going to rule the apocalypse with an iron fist.  An imposing physique will deter raiders and inspire confidence in anyone you're trying to lead or order around, so it's important you look like a bad motherfucker.
  • Strength.  Like an imposing physique, immense physical strength will cow people who are weak and fearful, and you can easily enslave them to do your bidding.  Additionally, that strength will pay dividends in personal security and in the rebuilding process.  Being the strongest person in a community will likely make you both one of the most feared and one of the most valuable, which adheres to Machiavelli's suggestion in The Prince, "From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both: but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved."
  • Muscular Endurance.  Muscular endurance is certainly a useful trait in any apocalypse, but frankly it is more a trait of a conquered laborer than the warlord of a dawning post-nuclear polity.  Initially, however, muscular endurance will be useful for scrapping and scavenging, and for fighting, but its development is definitely a secondary consideration to maximal strength.
The Chernobyl mutants seem pretty tame- insofar as i know this kid has yet to taste human flesh.

The Donald Trump Contingency Program

Because the man in charge of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world is a halfwit who's confused threats of nuclear war with fake punching your kid brother in the backseat of the car, the threat of nuclear war is more real than it's been since the USSR was run by similarly pompous, old, impotent, retarded men.  As such, it might soon become necessary to fight off mutants, plague carriers, whatever government agency Trump sends to put us in internment camps for our own safekeeping, and the omnipresent threat of assault by countless illegal immigrants flooding across our borders (settle down there, southerners- your nonexistent plight of "invasion" by starving Central Americans must be just terrifying).  With these threats looming, it'd behoove us all to train at least six times a week if you can drag yourself away from Facebook to stop crying about who said what mean thing to whom first and just get ready to unfuck your situation when our government decides it's high time to just finish off the destruction they've already begun.


Congrats to Trump for at least picking the nation with the smallest dicks (3.8 sad little inches) to assert himself over, because a dick measuring contest is generally not one he'll win.  Know how I know?  If he was hung like a donkey it would have been the basis of his entire platform.

Too political?  Eat shit.  Onto the program.


Day 1

AM
{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with
{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

PM

Partial Front Squats (off the pins)- 10x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]
Unilateral Calf Raise- 10x10 (for quick bursts of speed, the ability to get up an incline quickly, jumping, etc) [1 min rest]
Klokov Press- 8x5 [2 min rest]
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP

Day 2

AM
Stone Loading- AMRAP ~185lb stone in 30 minutes (high rep)

PM

Pendlay Row (very explosively)- 10x3 [2-3 min rest between sets]
Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 6x4 [2 min rest]
Cable Row- 5x6-20 using a variety of handles [2 min rest]
Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 3

AM
{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with
{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with

{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]

PM

Bench Press- 10x3 [3 min rest]
Hammer Strength/Machine Chest Press-5x10 [90 sec rest]
Military Press- Work up to a max single, then 10x2 90%1RM [2 min rest]
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]


Don't forget you're gonna need to megadose the protein, so check out this article for weight gainer shakes.

Day 4

AM
Stone Loading- AMRAP ~185lb stone in 30 minutes (high rep)

PM

Stiff Leg High Pull- 12x2 [3 min rest]
Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 6x4 [2 min rest]
Weighted Pullups- 6x3 [2 min rest]
Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 5

AM
Rest

PM

Skullcrushers- 6x4-10 (working up to a very heavy set of four, bouncing the bar off the bench above your head rather than touching to your forehead) [2 min rest]
{Reverse Grip Pushdowns- 10x10-20 supersetted with
{Pushdowns- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]
Hammer Curls- 6x4-10 (working up to a very heavy set of four) [2 min rest]
{Reverse Grip Cable Curls- 10x10-20 supersetted with
{Cable Curls- 10x10-20 [1 min rest between supersets]
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 6

AM
Rest

PM

Partial Back Squats/Partial Front Squats/Yoke/Conan's Wheel
Log Continental and Press/Axle Continental and Press
Close Grip Bench Press/Close Grip Axle Press/Axle Floor Press


Day 7

Off

For progression: when you are able to get all of the reps with a given work weight, add 5-10lbs and use that weight until you can complete every rep. 



Robopocalypse


It's entirely possible you don't think that autonomous robots will never attempt to murder us.  The reason you think that is because you're an idiot.  Nevertheless, I have actually thought this issue through, at great length, because pontificating upon fantastical end-of-days scenarios is one of my favorite things to do.  And a robopocalypse is not difficult to imagine when Google and Amazon are developing advanced AIs, the ATLAS robot developed by Boston Dynamics can fucking trail run, and DARPA has developed a robot hilariously named EATR that can refuel itself on plant and animal matter.  Put those three things together and we're mere days away from getting hunted to the ends of the earth by sentient, robotic corpse-gobbling traceurs.



This broad has enough bolt-on parts she might just be a robot, and I had a request for bimbos with bolt-on tits.  I am a man of the people, after all.  Hit me up on FB if you wanna request a porn genre.

For more on this, see: Magnus: Robot Fighter, Robopocalypse, Gog, the Terminator franchise, Chopping Mall, Hardware, Class of 1999, and for fist-fighting robots, Richard Matheson's short story Steel (which was the source for a badass Twilight Zone episode and was then turned into a shit heap children's movie starring Hugh Jackman).




As the specter of the robopocalypse looms, it stands to reason we might want to be prepared.  Having read tons of Magnus: Robot Fighter back issues I found at a flea market as a kid, I feel as though I am now an authority on battling our future robot overlords.  Here's what i think our focus needs to be:

  • Shaolin Iron Body Training / Muay Thai Body Conditioning / Filipino Body Conditioning / Systema- Call me a lunatic (you'd be correct), but the very first thing I think anyone should do with the overthrow of humanity by machines on the horizon is prepare their body to receive a beating.  Shaolin monks have a method they've developed that allows them to take beatings generally reserved for cervices and retarded women in Louisiana without any damage at all. That would allow us to attack robots with nothing but a solid set of tactical gloves on if need be and possibly survive.  Similarly, Thai and Filipino body conditioning enable fighters in those disciplines to strike hard targets with little pain, which is going to be essential for your battles with Google death bots and the like.
  • Iron Fist Training- Even with tactical gloves on, punching a fucking robot is gonna suck.  Better that we harden the shit out of our hands with Iron Fist training or something similar to strengthen and fuse the bones in our hands than get one solid robot kill and then die because we're trying to fight with shattered hands.
  • Punching Power/Kicking Power- Frankly, I fucking hate losing fights, so if I am going to be fighting metal monsters, I intend to hit hard enough to hurt them.  This means insanely intense, explosive super strength.  Fuck doing reps- explosive strength between one and three reps is the kind of strength that will develop truly cataclysmic striking force.
  


The Magnus: Robot Fighter Training Routine
Yeah, yeah, I know- if we are reduced to having to fistfight Amazon's drone warriors we are likely all fucked harder than the Celts in the siege of Numantia, and like those Celts we're all going to die badly.  Given that I would rather go down swinging rather than bitching about the automatonic armageddon on Twitter and the the fact that this is just a fun intellectual exercise, I'm structuring my training this way.  I'm sure at least half of you would rather spend your time learning code so you can hack the robots and force them to do you bidding, but you're gonna need someone to keep their metallic appendages off your scrawny ass while you're attempting to decipher what will likely prove to be an unhackable AI legacy code we didn't even know existed, and since I'd rather be burned alive than go back to coding, I'll stick with training to brawl robots.
Day 1
AM
Si Bi Quan training (this is the training that wore down the concrete floor in the Shaolin Temple.  The force of the stomp actually strengthens both the bones and internal organs, which prevents damage and injury when struck).

PM

Viking Press- 6x3, 5x2, 5x1 [2-3 min rest]
Klokov Press- 4x2 [2 min rest]
Speed Bench- 10x3 (75% 1RM- 3 sets close grip, 3 medium grip, 3 wide) [30 second rests]
Skullcrusher- 8x3 (bouncing the bar off the bench above your head rather than touching to your forehead) [2 min rest]
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP

Day 2

AM

PM

Partial Front Squats (off the pins)- 10x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]
Unilateral Calf Raise- 10x10 (for quick bursts of speed, the ability to get up an incline quickly, jumping, etc) [1 min rest]
Pendlay Row (very explosively)- 10x3 [2-3 min rest between sets]
Hammer Strength/Machine Row- 4x3 [2 min rest]
Hammer Curl- 10x3 [2 min rest]
Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 3

AM

PM

Bench Press- 10x3 [3 min rest]
Viking Press- 10x1 [3 min rest]
Hammer Strength/Machine Chest Press-5x5 [90 sec rest]
Circus Dumbbell Press/ One Arm DB Press- 6x2 [2 min rest]
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]


If you're concerned about robot rape, I suggest a bit of this as a second evening workout.

Day 4
AM

PM
Stiff Leg High Pull- 12x2 [3 min rest]
Zercher Squats (off the pins)- 6x2 with a ten second hold at the top of each rep [2-3 min rest between sets]
Unilateral Calf Raise- 5x5 [1 min rest]
Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 5

AM

PM

Close Grip Bench Press- 12x2 [3 min rest]
Strict Military Press- 5x3, 3x2, 3x1 [3 min rest]
Skullcrushers- 5 sets of 21s
Ab Wheel- 5xAMRAP [1 min rest]

Day 6

AM

PM

Rack Pulls (knee height)- 12x2 [3 min rest]
Shrugs (off high pins)- 6x3 (you should barely be moving the fucking bar on the third one, or using a crazy amount of body English) [3 min rest]
Reverse Grip Curls (straight bar)- 5x5 [2 min rest]
Wrist Roller/Forearm Work- 10 sets [1 min rest]

Day 7


Off

For progression: when you are able to get all of the reps with a given work weight, add 5-10lbs and use that weight until you can complete every rep.

 


And there you have it- two training systems unique to the situation for which you're preparing, based upon the unique needs each situation has.  In spite of their uniqueness, however, there is no need for "sport specific" bullshit, because the movements associated with that shit are just window dressing trainers use to entice people to adopt their training program.  Even for strength sports (other than Olympic lifting, which is a skill sport), as I showed when I broke the all-time WR in powerlifting, there is not much need for specificity- simply being massively strong is enough.  Directing your training to maximize the strength you'll need across planes of movement is generally enough to dominate your opposition, be they radioactive mutant scorpions, incestuous, cannibalistic mountain men, killer robots, zombies, or just some pussy who's on his fifth iteration of Sheiko Jr.


Fuck those who oppose.  Annihilation of the opposition is what we do.

...and gore and porn.  We do a lot of that, too.

26 July 2018

John McWilliams, The Reason You Should Pay Attention To The Arm And Bench Bros In Your Gym


If there is any person in your gym more unjustly maligned than the dude with the biggest arms in the gym, I am a Chinese jet pilot.  For the last decade and a half, the arm specialists have labored in darkened corners, stretching their sleeves daily while 150lb "serious" lifters talk shit behind their backs like they are members of a Long Island elderly Jewish sewing circle.  Compounding this fact is the fact that the arm specialists are generally also bench bros, so the "serious" lifters talk even more shit, acting more jealous and salty than a pregnant women watching a doughnut and pickle-eating competition.  The coup-de-grace is the fact that when they're done benching everyone's best squat, those guys also tend to roll out of the gym with the hottest girl anyone's ever seen, because that's how life works- no one gives a flying fuck what your squat is until they're safely entrenched behind a computer screen so they can talk shit without getting hit.

Had he not skipped leg day, he'd definitely have been a bodybuilder people talk about in hushed tones today.  As it stands, he only managed to pull off 13th and 18th in the 1946 and 1947 AAU Mr. America contest, but fuck it and YOLO- the man was an upper body specialist.

In the 1950s, no one gave a fuck what you squatted- people barely did the goddamned lift.  I've no idea if this explains the ridiculous prevalence of 500lb natty benchers in that decade, but whatever the reason, every day was chest and arms day, and every day was good.  Contrary to the autistic screechings of a man who has never cited a source or read Carl Jung, Lyle McDonald, the guys in the 1950 didn't need to consult a genetic potential chart to determine their natty limit, because they just assaulted the weights like orally fixated college chicks attack cock at a frat party and got shit done.  It was either John McWilliams (or Bud Counts) who rocked the first 20" arms cold, which would likely indicate that he was busting his sleeves at over 21" with a pump on, and although that man would be a pariah in modern gyms, he was also one of the first people to bench over 500lbs and rocked a sick deadlift.   

"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as fraud [or steroids]."
- Carl Jung 

Clearly, McWilliams didn't skip shoulders or back day, either.

Not only was McWilliams more impressive in the gym and on the platform than a chick who can take three fists in her ass, but he was one of the most prolific trainers of his era.  At this point, NFL teams trained wherever they could, and McWilliams ended up coaching most of the San Diego Chargers including All-Pros Jack Kemp, Keith Lincoln and Ron Mix, who led their team to the AFL championship game twice.  McWilliams was just as legendary for his sick arms as he was for being an amazing trainer, and the arm program he devised was used by himself, bodybuilding luminary Gene Mozee, and dozens of trainees to put an average of 1.25" on their arms in six weeks.



Long after he quit competing, McWilliams was rocking 20" arms or bigger.

I am as skeptical as you- I've never put an inch on my arms in a full year, never mind six weeks.  McWilliams was a different breed- even over 40, having cut to 186 lbs, he still rocked 19.25" arms, cold.  Frankly, to me that is preposterous.  I'm five inches shorter than the man and at the same weight had 17" arms, so I'm unclear how that could possibly work, but the man who taped his arms was none other than the legendary trainer Leo Stern, so it goes without saying that the measurement was legit.



Tragically, all that survives of the man's training routine is his arm routine, though I think we'd all like a look at his bench and deadlift routines as well- pulling in the 700's while looking like a goddamned polio victim is a hell of a feat, especially in a time when deadlifting was not tremendously common and a 710 deadlift by a 220lb man was pretty unheard of.  Given the emphasis guys like Chuck Sipes put on triceps development to push your bench up, having the man's arm routine is better than nothing, especially given the fact that trainees who used it in Gene Mozee's gym averaged over an inch on their arms in under two months with this thing.



If you're still skeptical, bear in mind the fact that McWilliams had a standing offer of a thousand bucks to anyone who could measure his arms at less than 19.5", which might be the greatest endorsement of a training methodology ever.  The following is the McWilliams arm routine, and one we should all probably jump on for six weeks to test out.  It's unlike virtually anything you'll see advertised these days, which should tell you that if nothing else you should at least end up looking like you lift, something all too uncommon in the last few years.



I can only imagine how terrified this man's suburban neighbors were of him.


John McWilliams Arm Program (Mozee)
* This program is done, true to bench and arm bro sensibilities, three times a week.  

Superset

Barbell Pullovers- 2 x 12
Close-Grip Bench Presses- 2 x 12

Superset

Barbell Pullovers- 2 x 6
Close-Grip Bench Presses- 2 x 6

Superset

Barbell Curls- 3 x 12
Overhead Tricep Extensions- 3 x 12

Superset

Dumbbell Curls- 3 x 10
Dumbbell Triceps Presses- 3 x 10

Lying Barbell Triceps Extensions- 3 x 12


Close-Grip Bench Presses- 3 x 10*

One-Arm Kickbacks- 2 x 20**

*The second you're done the third set of bench, grab a db and start kickbacks.  Kickbacks get no rest between arms, but a 30 second rest between sets.




If you're stunned at the fact that a guy with a 500lb bench seems to have trained his arms strictly for the pump with a bundle of supersets that look to be crazier than a sack of rabid weasels, so am I, but before you run off half cocked, it's important you read the exercise descriptions.  Old heads like myself will remember doing skullscrushers and presses or pullover and press, but the new jacks definitely will not have any experience with this kind of thing.  Therefore, read the following descriptions, and you'll note that literally every other John McWilliams program reprint (including the one on Deszo Ban) is completely fucking incorrect.
1) Pullovers and presses. This is not only a good exercise for the chest and shoulders, but it’s terrific for the arms. I attribute 75% of my own arm development to this double-compound exercise. There are many variations of this that you can perform. In this routine it’s used as a warmup and the first exercise, as follows.
Lie on your back on a flat bench that’s at least 18 inches high. Grasp the barbell with your hands approximately 10 inches apart. Begin with the bar resting on your chest and then press the weight up about 12 inches. With your arms bent, continue by guiding the bar back, over your head and down as far as you can. When you reach the lowest point, pull hard and bring the weight back to the original position on your chest. Repeat for 12 reps, inhaling as you lower the weight and exhaling as you pull back to the starting position. Do this part of the movement slowly so you can feel the muscle pulling both ways.
When you finish the 12 pullovers, without taking any rest, do 12 narrow-grip bench presses, exhaling as you press the weight to arm’s length and inhaling as you lower it back to your chest. Still taking no rest, perform sis more pullovers and six more bench presses. This last round of the double-compound exercise really brings the blood to the target region, which gives you a massive pump that sticks around for the rest of the arm routine. Do two sets of this super movement, resting about 90 seconds between sets.
2) Two-arm curls and triceps presses. This double movement is one of the best exercises for the biceps. While standing erect, with your feet about 18 inches apart, hold a barbell with a medium, palms-up grip and slowly curl the weight from your thighs to your shoulders, tensing the biceps at the top. Lower the weight slowly to your thighs and repeat for 12 reps. Remember to stand stiff and let your biceps do all the work.
When you finish the curls, go right into the triceps presses. Switch to an overgrip and press the barbell overhead, which positions your palms facing forward. Holding your elbows stationary throughout the movement, bend your arms, letting the weight travel down to the backs of your shoulders, and then push the weight back to arm’s length with triceps power alone. Inhale as you let the weight down, and exhale as you press it up. Perform 12 reps and then without taking any rest, grab two fairly light dumbbells and do 10 fast curls using good form, which means going all the way down without swinging the dumbbells. When you finish that, again without taking any rest, do 10 fast triceps presses with the dumbbells.
Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and repeat this double-compound exercise for a total of three sets.
3) Lying barbell triceps extensions. This is one of my favorite exercises for building triceps size. Lie on your back on a flat bench and start with the bar at arm’s length above your chest and keep your hands 10 inches apart. Keeping your elbows pointed toward the ceiling, lower the weight slowly behind your head. Inhale as you lower the barbell and exhale as you press back to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 12 reps, resting for 45 to 60 seconds between sets.
4) Close-grip benches and triceps pumper. This is another superior size builder. Lie on a flat bench, and use a weight that you can sustain for three sets of at least 10 reps. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up, and rest about 60 seconds between sets.
When you finish the third set, taking no rest, pick up a dumbbell with your right hand and bend forward at the waist, with your left hand holding onto a support. Do 20 kickbacks, then switch the weight to the other hand for 20 reps. Rest for 30 seconds and perform a second set for each arm (Mozee).
Bodybuilder, magazine editor, photographer, and trainer Gene Mozee, who also rocked 20" arms and a 2 second paused bench press at 220 in the 1950s.

And if that isn't enough arm action for you, the guys at Mozee's Pasadena Gym who packed the most meat on their arms in six weeks also added concentration curls to the beginning of that bitch, because fuck overtraining.  Start with a set of ten, then a set of eight with a heavier db, then and even heavier six, and then drop the weight and bust out a set of 15.  The example Gene gave was "40 pounds for 10 reps, 45 pounds for eight reps, 50 pounds for six reps and 30 pounds for 15 reps" (Mozee).  After that, you start the above program.




Beyond the arms program, McWilliam's training gets speculative on a "let's fuck the economy in the ear by using derivatives to sell shitty loans to people with a AAA rating" kind of level.  There is another training article floating around, but he neither mentions frequency nor suggests what he actually does- he just gives recommendations for beginners that border on neglect and recommendations for advanced lifters that much be trolling, because no one is going to grow on the volume he recommends, nor bench 500... or even 300.  



The gist, however, is that McWilliams was a big fan of:
  • Side Press
  • Behind the Neck Press (with the lift started on the shoulders, not at full extension, and 5 deep breaths between reps with the back on your shoulders)
  • Straight Arm Pulldowns
  • Bench Press (narrow grip)
  • Incline Bench (absolutely no arch, high volume)
  • Pushups and Military Press (supersetted)

Beyond that, McWilliams was also adamant about these things:

  1. Massaging your triceps after exercise- this is key to increasing blood flow and keeping the muscle healthy enough for a three-days-per-week pounding.
  2. Consistent hard training- consistency is the thing that kept McWilliams from having to ever make that thousand dollar payout.
  3. Proper nutrition, including supplements.
  4. Sufficient rest, relaxation and growth promoting sleep.

And there you have your roadmap to putting another inch plus on your arms before summer ends.  Following this plan, you'll look like you've put on 20lbs just from the increase in arm circumference... and don't act like you're above having huge fucking arms or a big bench, tough stuff.  Short of jacking Synthol, there's no such fucking thing as arms that are too muscular, so get with the fucking program and show up to Labor Day barbecues with a set of guns that'll have every motherfucker there screaming the national anthem because the only thing that makes arms like yours legal is the Second Amendment (and for you foreigners, find some similar reason, or just do it because big fucking arms are awesome).



Sources:

McWilliams, John.  Triceps Development.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  11 Aug 2008.  Web.  10 Jul 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/08/triceps-development-john-mcwilliams.html

Mozee, Gene.  John McWilliams Arm Routine.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  15 Feb 2008.  Web.  10 Jul 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/02/john-mcwilliams-arm-routine.html