31 July 2012

Squatting Like You're The CEO of the Paper Street Soap Company #2- Wipe Your Ass With The Mona Lisa

Living in an abandoned building has its drawbacks, certainly, but it also affords one a great deal of freedom.  Without rent, utilities, or insurance to pay, one enjoys massive financial freedom, though they have a far greater responsibility in terms of general upkeep of the structure in which they live- though you might be able to live there without paying, you live with the stress of operating without a safety net, and with the knowledge that the slightest slip in concentration insofar as your abode goes and you're fucked, pretty much without recourse or salvation.  They can, however, move into another shithole if the building collapses around their ears.
Fuck an a right.

An elite squatter's not unlike the fuckers in Fight Club, except for the fact that if their structure collapses, they're wholly and irreparably fucked.  Raw squatting is squatting without a safety net- without briefs, a suit, or any of the other wacky accouterments of geared squatting (I've even seen people squat wearing bench shirts), and in most cases you have to walk your happy ass out of the rack as well, ratcheting up the fear factor and difficulty of the lift even higher.  As a result, raw squatters, especially good raw squatters, have to be like a combination of two epic Batman villians- the Scarecrow, and Bane.  They have to be expert managers of fear, and they have to be willing and able to destroy every motherfucking thing in their paths to achieve their goals.

"I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now. This is my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead."

Interestingly, you'd think that the best squatters would, like the best deadlifters and benchers, have somewhat similar structures to their workouts.  They, however, do not- the programs of squatting's elite absolutely run the gamut from completely insane volume to minimalism so basic and scanty it'd make Frank Stella's simplest artwork seem hideously complex.  Thus, the typical admonition to avoid rote adherence to a given program is magnified when devising a squatting routine- experimentation is even more critical, as there is really no "right" way to pursue a world record... just a shitload of wrong ones and some that will work for you once you determine your ideal workload.  Thus, without further adieu, I give you the greatest squatters in history, but you can rest assured this shit isn't pretty.
Idalberto Aranda
If any of you are aware of this guy's existence, I'd be fucking stunned.  He's not a powerlifter, and never held a world record in the squat.  That, however, makes him no less our physical superior or us his bitches on that exercise.  Aranda is a little guy- 5'3", 170 lbs, and an Olympic weightlifter for the tiny, poverty-stricken island nation that has given the world nothing but lung cancer and stupid ball caps for hipsters- Cuba.  In spite of the fact that he grew up in a nation-wide ghetto off the coast of Florida, Aranda racked up some impressive finishes in world competition, and set a middleweight record in the clean and jerk in 1999.(SR)  What's truly impressive, however, is the fact that Aranda could double 638, beltless and wrapless, with dive-bombed Olympic high bar squats.

Feel unmanned?  I certainly do.  The secret behind this tiny brown motherfucker's squatting success is the Soviet Olympic weightlifting system, which has fallen out of favor in recent years in spite of the fact that it served as the basis for basically every successful Oly program since the 1950s.  In the Soviet system, youth lifters start with a three day a week program and then work their way up to six days a week of training.(Performance One)  According to a Cuban coach who studied weightlifting in Russia, "the Russians and Bulgarians were relatively equal in terms of training volume, but that the Bulgarians had more lifts in the 95-100 percent zones, while the Russians would have more lifts in the 75-80 percent intensity zone."(Poliquin)

The Soviets divided their movements into four groups, and then divided the days amongst them, mixing the first four groups, which were lower body dominant, with the last group, which is upper body dominant.:

1) Snatches
2) Cleans
3) Snatch Pulls
4) Squats
5) Jerks and Presses

A typical split would look like this, then:
Monday: 1st and 4th
Tuesday: 5th
Wednesday: 2nd and 4th
Thursday: 5th
Friday:1st, 3rd, and 4th
Saturday: 2nd and 5th

Thus, they squatted roughly 3 days a week, lifting up to three times a day depending on the period, and never did more than 6 reps.(Poltaev)

Mike Kuhns
One thing I discovered while researching this post was that not one, but two midgets hold world records in the squat- Andrzej Stanaszek and Mike Kuhns.  Frankly, I think that's pretty fucking impressive, given the fact that they both appear to have achondroplasia, which I would guess would make it fucking hard to handle big poundages since their cartilage is abnormally formed.  Additionally, people with dwarfism are typically bow-legged, which would make make me thing they're generally structurally unsound for heavy squatting.  I'm not, however, an orthopedist, so I could be entirely wrong.  In any event, one of these bad little motherfuckers, Mike Kuhns, is a world record holder at 148 with a 556 lb. wrapless squat.  Thus, those amongst you without dwarfism might want to consider a different weight class if you want to smash a world record, since I'd venture to guess you'll have a hard time matching Kuhns.  Additionally, I'd bet Kuhns gets more ass than any of us, since he's rocking a surfer look and is strong as shit.

In any event, Mad Mike has a unique take on squat training, which I'd assume has to do with his dwarfism, but might suit those of you with back issues in particular- he uses belt squats to supplement his back squats.

Belt Squats – work up to x2x30, then x1x10 paused reps in the hole
(similar to a standing leg press from IronMind)
Pullovers x1x20
One-Legged Curls x3x20

Neutral Grip Dumbbell Floor Press x3x10-12
Dumbbell Tricep Extensions (laying on the floor) x3x12
(Make sure that the DBs touch the floor)
3 Exercise Circuit
Dumbbell Lateral Raises x12
Incline Flyes x12
Pushdowns  x12
(repeat 2 more times)

Deadlift – work up to 3 top sets using a 5,3,2 progression
Dumbbell Shrugs
Weighted Pullups
Dumbbell Rows
Grip Work

(this workout varies widely depending upon Raw or Equipped and where Mike is in the training cycle)
“Friday I Bench Press; this workout varies widely depending upon Raw or Equipped and where I am in the training cycle. If I’m training Raw the start of my cycle will have top set reps as high as 8. When I’m peaking its triples, doubles, and sub-max singles. If I’m training equipped, its whatever I can touch to my chest; unless I catch a workout with Niko Hulslander and Garage Ink. Niko works me hard in a shirt and helps me maximize its usage.” – Mike Kuhns

Squats – work up to 2 top sets, never completing more than 4 reps per set (Stewart)

Thus, if you've got a medical issue that "prevents" you from squatting that isn't parapalegia, suck it the fuck up.  You might think that Kuhns can hit huge weights because he doesn't have far to move them, but you're failing to take into account that even if he's got proportionate dwarfism, he's still all fucked up.  "With proportionate dwarfism, problems in growth and development often result in complications with poorly developed organs. For example, heart problems often present in Turner syndrome can have a significant effect on a child's general health. An absence of sexual maturation associated with growth hormone deficiency or Turner syndrome affects not only physical development but also social functioning."(CNN)  Thus, you've got no fucking excuse other than the fact that your mom is more of a man than you are if you're not crushing shit on the squat.

Sam Byrd
If you didn't already want to throw yourself down a well for not wrecking shop at squatting, let me give you one more reason- Sam Byrd's existence.  For those of you who've just opened your eyes for the first time and are reading this while suckling on a teat, allow me to fill you in on Byrd- he's a national-level bodybuilding competitor who happens to be the world record holder in the squat with a 782 lb wrapless 2nd attempt.  In that meet, he actually broke the world record with his opener, which has to be a first.

Byrd built his beastly squat with twice a week squat training, which is paired with the deadlift in both workouts.  Byrd cycles his training in microcycles, during which time he rotates upward from 60% of a 1RM he can hit "any day of the week regardless of how long [he's] been without training"(Byrd) to a point where he can hit 5 sets of 5 with 70% or 5x 3 with 80% of his previous 1RM in 15 minutes.  That's right- Byrd uses a Frankenstein's monster version of 5 x 5 combined with Staley's Escalating Density training.  He also mixes in bands and chains to add resistance at the bottom of his lift, which he thinks is critical for raw lifters.

Interestingly, Byrd prefers to use "rep maxes rather than heavy singles because its less taxing" and "less intimidating. Confidence is key in this sport, as with pretty much anything else in life."  He's a great deal more confident with a "5 rep max for a new PR than a 1 rep for a new PR" and finds that rep max calculators are spot on for him, so he uses http://www.joeskopec.com/repmax.html to calculate his rep maxes. Thus, he uses his 3 or 5 rep max to determine his 1RM and then resets to 60% based on the new max.   At that point, he does the following:
"If I start a new wave, which I am likely to do because, as I said, I avoid they heavy stuff as long as possible, then I take the next 3 weeks and wave 60% for 5x5 the first week, 70% 3x5 (plus a set at 60%x5 on the way up) on the second week, and then 80% for 5x3reps (with 60% and 70% both done for 5 on the way up. Remember all these sets are done with CAT- 100% effort on every single rep- all should be fast and explosive, no grinders. If you are grinding at all or slowing down then you tried to progress too fast. I do add a belt for 80%, but nothing less than that.
The fourth week ill rest, then take then finally take the rep max or repeat one more time before the rep max. I prefer this way because I like to do my rep max with about 80% and I like to feel it on my back a time or two before I have to max out my reps with it. Again, its a confidence thing. After all those weeks crushing weights confidence is pretty high. Ive performed hundreds of explosive powerful reps and not one single miss or grinder any where. By the time i get ready to max I'm ready to test the limits. Once I test, I reset my max and either begin again or change things up to add some variety- maybe a few weeks of chained singles the last 4 weeks before a meet."(Byrd)
Byrd's two days a week are: 
Main Squat Day:  He uses the aforementioned progression followed by some form of deadlift, usually a SLDL or similar set/rep for speed pulls, such as SLDLs for 3x10reps or 5-6 x 5 or speed pulls with 6-8x3 reps at 60% with 1 minute rest between sets. Thereafter, he does glute ham raises for 3-4 sets of 10-15, then abs and upper back work.

Front Squat and Rack Pull Day:  Both are done heavy and without rep max percentages as a guide.
Front Squats- 3x5 with a weight on which he fails on his 15th rep.  He goes to total failure on the last set, and raises the weight when he can get 8.

Rack pulls (just below the knee)- Sets of 5 until he can no longer get 5, then a heavy set of 3.

Like I said, this shit isn't pretty- it's all over the place.  I'm not posting these workouts as a guideline- I'm posting them so you know there are no guidelines but those you make for yourself.  Dislike 1RMs?  Do 5s.  Want to squat everyday?  There's nothing that says you can't- Bev Francis did and crushed everyone in her wake in the 80s.

The future is yours- fuck the past.
Behold the past.
     Byrd, Sam.  Sam Byrd's answer to question about raw squat progression.  EliteFTS.  http://asp.elitefts.net/qa/default.asp?qid=170557&tid=
     CNN.  Dwarfism.  CNN Health.  http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/dwarfism/DS01012.html
     Poliquin, Charles.  Understanding Russian Weightlifting Methods.  http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/637/Understanding_Russian_Weightlifting_Methods.aspx
     Poltaev, Petr.  The Russian Approach to Planning An Olympic Weightlifting Program. Strength and Conditioning.  February 1995.  http://physiqueconsultant.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/The-Russian-Approach-to-Planning-a-Weightlifting-Program.pdf
     Stewart, Brady.  Mike Kuhns Powerlifting Program B4P.  http://ironauthority.com/mike-kuhns-powerlifting-program-b4p/

27 July 2012

Chaos And Bang Your Earballs Is Back!

After a three week hiatus filled with a whole lot of bitching from you guys, we're back.  In this episode, we:
  • mock the fuck out of some asshole demanding we stick to training talk
  • discuss our pretty limited tales of swole-hate from everyone and numerous swole-love from broads
  • partials
  • my meet 
  • banging Sigourny Weaver
  • random feats of gym strength and whether your gym lifts mean a damn thing
  • pre-op transvestites
  • standup comedians we like
  • and a whole lot of other random bullshit
Download here.

And since it's Friday, start your weekend right.
Before you ask: Brittany Meece aka Elay Smith

25 July 2012

Squatting Like You're The CEO of the Paper Street Soap Company #1

If there's one exercise on which I feel confident I can be a Tyler Durden to the assembled masses, it is unequivocally the squat.  At the moment, I'm 17 lbs off a world record that has stood since 1973, and my latest third attempt was easy as pie.  As such, I feel pretty confident acting as a vocal authority on the king of exercises.  Making my level of comfort even greater is the fact that I wasn't always a great squatter, and for years was a barely passable squatter.  That did not, however, deter me from breaking my ass on it.  Thus, you motherfuckers need to sit back, grab a fucking notepad, and forget every single thing you think you know about squatting, because it's highly likely all you have in your mental Rolodex for squatting is a pile of horseshit written by people who suck at squatting for people who've accepted they're always going to suck at squatting.  No woman worth her salt would seek advice on prepping for a hundred man gangbang from a Catholic nun, and no man is going to seek advice on changing his oil from an effete, coiffed Frenchman on a moped.

"You do the little job you're trained to do.  'Pull a lever.' 'Push a button.' You don't understand any of it, and then you just die."
From the emails and comments I've received on my squat form, there appears to be a pervasive and hilariously nonsensical opinion that one's squat stance must be moderate when squatting raw.  At best, the reasoning online appear to be "a wide stance will kill your hips eventually", and at worst, people posit some preposterous bullshit about power transfer in the hips versus the legs in a pathetic attempt to bolster their bullshit with officious wording.  Having squatted with a moderately to extremely wide stance for years, I can say that you're in no danger of "killing your hips", whatever the fuck that means, any more than you are of incurring any other injury squatting, and that this point is especially moot considering the downright embarrassing numbers most people put up on the squat.  As such, you should worry less about eventual injuries, since they only exist in the fantasyland where your squat is elite and you are still competing in 40 years, and worry more about what fucking works.  Instead of blindly accepting the conventional wisdom of a fuckload of people who know less about lifting than I did 15 years ago and lift less than a 14 year old kid with a pair of balls and some contempt for safety, you might want to try to absorb knowledge from those of us who actually know a thing or two about moving weight on the squat.  

Let's take a look at what works, shall we?

Tony Fratto- World record holder since 1974 at 198 with 688 squat.  Moderately wide stance, toes out, wide grip.

Jill Mills- World Record holder at 181 with 473 lbs.  Moderate stance, wide grip.

Stan Efferding- World record holder with 854 at 275.  EXTREMELY wide stance and grip.

Kirk Karwoski- World record holder at 242 with an 826 squat.  Moderate stance, toes out, wide grip.

Scot Weech- World record holder at 308 with an 826 squat.  Wide stance, toes forward, extremely wide grip.

Sam Byrd- World record holder with 782 lbs at 220.  Wide stance, toes out, extremely wide grip.

Dan Dumitrache- World record holder at 165, 672 lbs with wraps.  Crazy narrow stance and grip.  (Pictured at 181, before you shit yourself)

Don Reinhoudt- World record holder with a 934lb squat at SHW.  Wide stance, toes pretty much forward, extremely wide grip.

Me- 17 lbs off a 40 year old world record with a 633 squat.  I squat wide as shit, and have started pointing my toes more forward than this picture shows, with a moderate grip.

Jennifer Thompson- 314 at 132. Wide stance, toes pointed slightly out, super close grip.

Konstantin Pozdeev- World record holder at 220 with a wrapped 815.  Horrifyingly narrow Olympic stance and grip.  His squat is as awesome as it is unbelievably awkward looking.

Suzie Hartwig-Gary- World record holder at 114 with a 319 squat.  Moderate stance, close grip.  By the way, time to stop patting yourselves on the back for your 315 squat and get pissed that a 114lb chick makes you her punk bitch every day.

What did we learn from this?  The idiots on your internet message board, Reddit, and in your gym know exactly fuckall, for one.  For another, the best of the best seem to squat primarily with a wide stance, even when raw.  If anything, the close and moderate stance lifters appear to be the outliers, rather than the norm.

"I really wanted to put a bullet between the eyes of every endangered panda that wouldn't screw to save its species and every whale or dolphin that gave up and ran itself aground."

As always, what is needed here is not the blind faith in idiocy that most people seem to have, but rather an overwhelming contempt for the opinions of the majority and a burning desire to determine what works best for you.  No one will be able to tell you what your best form is without 1) the requisite experience in powerlifting that comes from a great deal of training and a great deal of successful competition, and 2) seeing you attempt squats with a wide variety of squat forms.  This should be the most basic, simple to understand element in this equation, but for some reason people seem to think that blindly asking people so stupid and ill-informed that chimpanzees seem sage-like by comparison is the best course of action for them.

It's fucking not.

Before you consult a single other person for advice on the squat, spend a week squatting every other day.  These don't need to be marathon, balls-out sessions.  The goal is, in fact, to see what feels most comfortable squatting.  After months of squatting close to Olympic-style, I opened up my stance as much as my flexibility would allow and dropped the bar as low on my back as I could, and I watched my squat jump up like I never thought possible.  What I discovered was that the strength was there- I simply was using the wrong form to maximize my leverages.  As such, your goal for the next couple of weeks should be to determine, through trial and error, what your best form is.  If possible, find an elite lifter whose body type most resembles your own and see what form they're using.  Try that first and foremost.  You might think that the new form would take some time to acclimatize yourself to, but that's not the case- I realized the benefit of my new form within a couple of sets.  Once you break through the mental wall of "this feels wrong", you'll determine what works the best for you.  Four variables with which to play:

  • foot placement.  Test different widths ranging from shoulder width, slightly outside shoulder width, and as wide as you can get your feet inside the rack.
  • foot angle.  Conventional wisdom dictates that your foot should be in line with your knee, but I've found that angling my feet more forward seems to reduce the amount of tendinitis pain I get in my knees.  
  • bar placement.  I've found that the lower the bar, the easier the movement, which would be exactly what one would expect with any knowledge of physics- Archimedes postulated this thousands of years ago, and it's correct.  The closer the bar is to the fulcrum, the less your effort force needs to be. Thus, if you squat with a high bar, you're making the lift harder than it needs to be.
  • hand placement.  This will be a combination of shoulder flexibility and what's comfortable.  

Go forth and squat.
Involuntary muscle spasms!  Enjoy the show!

20 July 2012

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #27- Donald Dinnie

“Had he lived in primitive times [Dinnie] would have been much like the old chief who on his death bed, when asked to forgive his enemies, said he had no enemies, he had killed them all.”

While the man looks awesome for a 45 year old in swim trunks, he doesn't exactly appear to be sweating raw power.

In a time where men ate steak and potatoes and lifted heavy things to prove their mettle against their friends and neighbors, one man stood head and shoulders above the rest- Donald Dinnie.  Dinnie was basically what a sexual union between Mariusz Pudzianowski and Jim Thorpe's corpse might have produced if fed a bunch of beer and thrown into a plaid skirt, and as such competed in every possible professional sporting event he could, winning damn near all of them.  So profound was his effect on the opposition that during the World War I heavy artillery shells were nicknamed ‘Donald Dinnies’ because he fucking obliterated his opposition.

At 6'1", 218 lbs, Dinnie was hardly the most jacked motherfucker to walk the Earth.  Instead, he was basically the same size as former light heavyweight UFC champ Randy Couture at Randy's walking around weight.  Though Couture is renowned for being in fantastic shape and an incredible athlete, he's not what anyone would refer to as a physical powerhouse.  As such, it's even more surprising that the relatively slight Dinnie performed the feats he did and was so unbelievably dominant in strength sports as he was.  In short, the man was a freak of fucking nature.

If I'm honest, I'd have this guy losing a fight and a lifting competition to a cardboard cutout of Coutrure based on appearances.

If you've never heard of Donald Dinnie, it should hardly come as a surprise- he was incredibly famous in sports about which no one really cares anymore and in those about which we care, but prior to the Olympic Games, so again we're back to not caring.  In spite of all that, Dinnie was "the greatest all-around strong-man athlete" ever produced in Scotland, and is up against the likes of Mark Henry, Mariusz Pudzianoski, and Jim Thrope for best all round athletes of all time.  He was born in 1837 and competed professionally from the age of 16 to the age of 63, a perhaps unique record of sustained athletic ability.  During his long career as a highland games athlete and as a touring professional wrestler he was the recipient of over 100 medals and won no fewer than 7,500 cash prizes totalling over $100,000 [ed: using 1875 as a benchmark, that's roughly $2M in today's dollars]!  He was also the winner in more than 200 weightlifting contests"(Willoughby 541).

Some of his most famous feats include:

According to the inscriptions on a Championship Belt given to Dinnie for being the single greatest athlete ever to walk the Earth by "the Colonies", which I assume was a colonial authority ruling Scotland, Dinnie was:
  • Was the "Winner of over 2,000 wrestling contests.  In 1882 won the champion medal for mixed wrestling in New Jersey, USA.  Won the all-round wrestling championship of the world as Melbourne Wrestling Tournament in 1885, and was champion of Scotland over a quarter of a century." (Greatest)
  • "Won over 2,000 contests for hammer-throwing.  Best records on level, fair stand- By 4 feet, 2 inch still handle, 16 lbs., 132 feet.  By 4 feet, 8 inch handle, 16 lbs., 138 feet, 8 inches.  By 4 feet, 2 inch stiff handle, 22 lbs., 104.5 feet.  By 4 feet, 2 inch stiff handle, 44 lbs., 46.5 feet." (Greatest)
  • "Won 300 contests for throwing 56 lb. weight.  Fair stand- length of weight, including ring, 14 inches- distance 28 feet, 4 inches.  By chain, fair stand, 40 feet, 6 inches.  For height over bar, 13 feet, 11 inches." (Greatest)
  • "Won over 1,400 contests for tossing the caber.  Unbeaten for over 40 years!  Won championship of Australia at caber and wrestling at Goulburn, N.S.W., in 1891.Beat all comers in South Africa in 1898." (Greatest)

Much of Dinnie's strength, it can be surmised, likely stemmed from his background as a stone mason, and the fact that his father before him was one as well, in addition to a strongman.(Zarnowski)  As such, Dinnie had strong hands, a broad back, and the ability to endure a shitload of heavy manual labor while being berated by a drunken Scotsman wielding a hammer- certainly, this was the ideal background for a man involved in strength sports and Scottish crossdressing.  Dinnie allegedly spent all of his free time training for the Highland Games, which is even more impressive considering that he went from a drunken odd-lift profession into a drunken odd-lift leisure activity in the same day.  From what I can see, the man's life consisted of naught but drinking and throwing oddly shaped objects hither and yon while everyone around him screamed unintelligible epithets at gophers and maintained golf courses.

The Dinnie Stones look awkward enough to have been one of the scenes in Meet the Parents

Dinnie's main claim to fame was his lift and carry of the Dinnie Stones, two stones named after Dinnie after he moved them with an iron will and the grip strength of a chimp with a pronounced masturbation problem.  As a baby-faced but likely mustachioed 23 year old, Dinnie carried two John Goodman and Rosanne Barr sized boulders across the width of the Potarch Bridge (located somewhere in Scotland).  From what I could find, the bridge is 6 meters at its widest, so Dinnie likely carried the stones about 15 feet.  Who gives a shit, right?  Well, you should, because those things have a combined weight of 775-lbs, and he carried them both at once, grabbing them by the giant iron rings fitted to them in the 1830s so the stones could be used as anchors for scaffolding to be attached to the bridge.  According to Steve Jeck in Of Stones and Strength, the method used was "to straddle both stones at the point where he had brought them in close together.  He then took hold of the rings, one stone in front of him and the other behind.  Not only did he lift both stones together, but he also carried them across the width of the bridge."(Jeck 29)  That shit, however, was just a warmup for Dinnie, in spite of the fact that no lifter was able to duplicate that feat until 1972.

Few men rival Goldberg in trap development.

Perhaps in an effort to prove that Donald is not a moniker that will consign a person to the sewage treatment plant of history, Dinnie competed in over 11,000 athletic competitions in a 50 year span.  Of these, Dinnie won over 2000 hammer throwing contests, over 2000 wrestling matches, 200 weightlifting meets, and around 500 running and hurdling events, and was the Bill Goldberg of the caber toss, going undefeated in 40 years of competition over thousands of contest.  While Goldberg might have had Dinnie beat in trapezius development, Dinnie would have beat the fuck out of Goldberg in everything else, save for participation in shitty films, including product placement and promotion.  Dinnie's drink of choice, and the one he was paid to promote, was then called Iron Brew and is still sold today under the name Iron Bru (Van Vleck).
I've never seen any WSM on the label of a beer.  Sad.

Not only did Dinnie compete incessantly and invariably destroy his competition, but he did so around the world at a time when electricity was confined to lightning, a doctor's most oft-used instrument of "medicine" was a saw the likes of which one wouldn't normally see outside of Redwood National Park, and women in Ireland were mute punching bags.  Though the latter is likely still true, travel is far easier now than it was then.  
"After competing at all the important Highland gatherings in Scotland and England, Dinnie tramped the world displaying his strength and versatility. He started at Caledonian Games, which featured events native to Scotland, but just as frequently he  wrestled in tournaments or simply gave dumbbell-lifting (and later Highland dancing) demonstrations at dance halls. He toured Canada and the U.S.A. on three occasions, then steamed off to Australia and New Zealand in the 1880s, and later touted South Africa. At one stretch he was away for sixteen years, returning to Scotland in 1898 at age sixty-one"(Zarnowski).  
One can only surmise that the Highland Dancing bit was due to the fact that the video camera had not yet been invented, eliminating his ability to raise funds making terrible Youtube videos millenials refuse to stop watching.  In any event, Dinnie competed more in a year than most do in a lifetime, and won more money as well- 
"On his 1870 tour he attempted seventy-five Caledonian throwing, running, and jumping events at annual club meetings. Remarkably, Dinnie won sixty-eight of them and placed (top three) in the remaining seven, collecting several thousand dollars in prize money"(Zarnowski).

Mariusz has his godawful pop music video, and Dinnie had this.

Dinnie didn't restrict himself simply to the events popular in the land famous for getting its ass kicked in by the British, however- he is considered one of the greatest athletes of the 19th Century because he excelled at three entirely different sports- track and field, wrestling, and weightlifting.  As such, he's sort of like Michael Jordan, if Michael Jordan hadn't sucked at baseball and was also a track star.  Actually, I suppose they're nothing alike, as wrestling in the 19th Century resembled MMA far more than it does modern wrestling.  From what I've found, Scottish Backhold wrestling (very similar to Cornwall wrestling) wasn't quite as violent as American catch wrestling (which evolved out of Lancashire Wrestling), but given Donald Dinnie's constant search for large purses, it seems highly likely that he, unlike his countrymen, would have engaged in combat with the more violent wrestlers of the day.  In case you're curious about the distinction, check this out (which I find to be a fascinating aside, and if you don't, fuck you):
"Traditionally wrestling has two main centers in England: in the West Country, where the Devonshire and Cornwall styles were developed, and in the Northern counties, the home of the Cumberland and Westmorland styles.  Abraham Cann in the early 19th century was backed against any man in England for £500. Cann was a wrestler of the Devonshire style. He and others from his county, such as Jordan, were often objected to for 'showing the toe' - kicking. This was an acknowledged method, quite within the rules, in Devon but not in Cornwall, and there were many Cornishmen who would not 'go in' against a Devon opponent. The Devonshire style exponents justified their somewhat brutal methods by explaining that their style was more classic and that the Greeks themselves used to kick in their bouts."
  • "Cornish style originates from the Celts and is always held in the open air, and in a ring. The umpires are known as sticklers and usually four or six of these officials are appointed.
  • The legs of the wrestlers are bare from the knees and they wear canvas jackets that may be used in the holds.
  • Traditionally the challenge takes a form of throwing a cap in the air, and whoever wants may pick it up.
  • The object is to throw one's opponent so that he lands with both hips and one shoulder, or two shoulders and one hip, squarely on the ground.
  • Illustrating Cornwall's close connection with wrestling was the banner of the Cornish troops in the Hundred Years War, which showed two wrestlers in action.
The other main division of traditional English wrestling is known as Cumberland and Westmorland style, a form of contest said to have been introduced by the Vikings.
"Kicking was a part of wrestling everywhere except in Cornwall. Shinning or Cutlegs was a recognized sport and even today schoolboys play a variation which is called stampers - as its name implies, it calls for stamping on each other's toes.
Lancashire style wrestling is a form of Catch as Catch Can, which allows considerable freedom of movement and is similar to the free style seen at the modern Olympics. It has a reputation of being particularly barbarous, although the rules specifically bar throttling or the breaking of limbs. There are few restrictions and wrestling continues when the contestants hit the ground.
The Badminton Library has a quote on the Lancashire style of wrestling which states:
A Lancashire wrestling match is an ugly sight: the fierce animal passions of the men which mark the struggles of maddened bulls, or wild beasts, the savage yelling of their partisans, the wrangling, and finally the clog business which settles all disputes and knotty points, are simply appalling" (Brief History).
Wrestling was a bit more hardcore in those days.

According to one wrestling source, "Squabbling over rules (Greco-Roman versus collar-and-elbow versus Cumberland versus Lancashire, etc.) was often a pre-match hype."  Dinnie did compete in mixed-rules matches, according to Zarnowski, but Cornish/Scottish wrestling definitely seems to have been his forte, as I'd imagine he was able to use his upper body strength to his advantage. It seems that rules in combat sports were only tightened in the late 19th-early 20th Century, so it's possible that backhold wrestling forms like Glima, Scottish Backhold, and Cornish Wrestling were a bit more violent in Dinnie's day, and the evidence seems to bear that out.  In one match in Australia, Dinnie was pissed that the match was going to be called a draw, so he threw his opponent so hard the dude broke his leg.  Additionally, given his travels throughout the world and the US in particular, it seems likely that Dinnie would have had to compete with catch wrestlers, as catch/Lancashire wrestling was insanely popular in the US and in England during Dinnie's life.  

It's fair to say that Dinnie was likely a hard motherfucker in addition to being strong and fast.  Adding to the evidence that Dinnie was tough as shit, he is reputed to have competed in (and won) 16 Highland Games events in a single day and won 58 of 77 events over 15 competitions in the US with his left arm in a sling due to a bad shoulder injury incurred during a vault (Zarnowski).

At this point, Dinnie's clearly starting to sound a hell of a lot like Paul Bunyan, but it actually gets crazier- Dinnie didn't just win when he competed- he fucking embarrassed his competition.  According to Zarnowski, "the margins of Dinnie’s victories were gaudy. He dominated his competition normally winning hammer competitions by twenty feet or more, and stone tosses by five feet. And margins could have been more.

Unconcerned about “records,” Dinnie would take one toss or put which was good enough to win The other competitors would throw as often as the rules permitted while he went away to compete at some other event."  Very few competitors in any sport are content with leaving records on the field, but Dinnie was so fucking good, he just didn't give a shit.  In spite of the fact that no fucks were given in regards to setting records, Dinnie's "sixteen-pound shot put (stone toss) record was not surpassed for thirty-nine years" and it "took eight seasons to better his hammer mark and eight years to top his high jump best" (Zarnowski).

A blind kid using his own poop as Play-Do could sculpt a better likeness than this half-assed nonsense.  This looks like a modern art sculptor threw up on a deformed banzai tree and it

Like Paul Bunyan, Donald Dinnie's likeness is now found all over the place.  Dinnie competed in the Caledonia Games in Lucknow in 1882, and been an icon for the community since. They've erected a statue in his honor, and his likeness can be seen on signage for the village.  While alive, Dinnie was used as the body model for a statue of William Wallace, and he's still used to sell the Irn Bru he endorsed while alive.  For this reason, Dinnie is considered to be "the original superstar celebrity and Scotland’s first true professional sportsman”(Mair) and is often compared with the likes of David Beckham in terms of pop culture status and Jim Thorpe in terms of sports prowess.  In regards to the latter, most sports historians are of the opinion that Dinnie would have knocked the inimitable Thorpe to the ground and fucked him in his dirty mouth.  For those of you who are unaware of Jim Thorpe, he's considered as much superhero as he is athlete, and was even described by the Associated Press as "the greatest American football player" and the "greatest overall male athlete" ever.(Thorpe)  Despite those titles, author Frank Zarnowski compared the two athletes in the five events they had in common and found that Dinnie would win the contest 3-2 based on their best performances.  Thus, if Jim Thorpe is Superman, Donald Dinnie is Doomsday.

The next time you tell yourself you can't do something, or something's not possible, or that you're competing too much and need a break, slap yourself in your whorish mouth and do a shot in honor of Donald Dinnie- a man's man in a time when a metrosexual looked like John Fucking Wayne compared to the lot of us.

A Brief History of Wrestling in England.  The Exiles - Company of Medieval Martial Artists.  http://www.the-exiles.org/Article%20Brief%20His%20of%20Eng%20Wrestling.htm
Jeck, Steve and Peter Martin.  Of Stones And Strength.  Nevada City: Ironmind Enterprises, 1996.
Jim Thorpe: The World's Greatest Athlete.  http://www.cmgww.com/sports/thorpe/bio/bio.html
Russell, Rob.  Pinch grip training.  Medieval Strength, Fitness, Athletics, and Heavy Training.  http://kettlebell-training-for-sport.blogspot.com/2011/08/pinch-grip-training.html
Willoughby, David.  The Super Athletes.  
Van Vleck, Thom.  Donald Dinnie: Scotland’s Jim Thorpe.  USAWA.  http://www.usawa.com/donald-dinnie-scotlands-jim-thorpe/
Zarnowski, Frank.  The Amazing Donald Dinnie:  The Nineteenth Century's Greatest Athlete.  Iron Game History.  http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/IGH/IGH0501/IGH0501c.pdf

15 July 2012

Results from USPA Nationals

On Jamie's third attempt in the squat, he hits 633.5 LB. (He went 590, 621.5, and then 633.5.) This page will be updated with his latest lifts throughout the competition.     

Jamie made his opening bench at 335 but missed his second and third attempts.

Jamie's second attempt at the bench.  

For the deadlift, Jamie hit 661.39 LB on his last attempt, setting a personal record.

11 July 2012

Pimpin' Ain't Easy #3- Lift Her Up Just Like A Pick Up Truck

If there was every a series of movements about which the bitching goes from interminable to all-consuming and back, it is the overhead pressing family.  In my previous two installments in this series, I covered the utility of the strict military press, the necessity of higher-frequency overhead work, and sundry other issues.  Given that I'm still inundated with questions about overhead work, it seems my work here is not yet done.  As such, I shall continue expounding upon the fact that doing frequent, heavy overhead work is more beneficial than a jumbo pack of condoms when dropping Ecstasy with crack whores.

I'm Sure To Score, Endure For More Without A Flaw
I have found of late that the more frequently I train my shoulders, the better they look and the stronger they are.  Over the last two years I've gone from once or twice a week to anywhere between 4 and 8 times a week and the only way my shoulders could get stronger, leaner, or more vascular would be if they morphed into my cock.  Additionally, training Klokov Presses (snatch-grip, strict, behind-the-neck military presses for British assholes who like extraordinarily wordy exercise names) on a daily basis seems to have helped my pressing abilities overall, in addition to training my ability to grind an exercise well beyond that to which I am typically used.  I'll get to grinding in a moment.  Before I do, however, you should take note of the fact that the best pressers in the world, just like the best benchers and best deadlifters, practiced their lift of choice as often and aggressively as male bonobos masturbates, which is to say "very".

As I realize that bitching about drugs is set to commence at any time and that half of you are already masturbating furiously, drooling on yourself, and screeching "STEROIDS!!" like you're Bobcat Golthwait on a half pound of cocaine in the eleventh installment of the Police Academy series, I'll impart a bit of wisdom from the almighty Dezso Ban, who seems to be a fairly well-respected (if obscure) strength coach.  For those of you who require more evidentiary information before accepting the advice of a long dead man with a bizarre name, he was the strength coach of a variety of exceptional lifters in the 60s and 70s, and was an accomplished lifter himself.  According to Anthony Ditillo,

"At a bodyweight of around 190 lb. he clean and jerked close to 380. He power cleaned and pressed 285 for 3 sets of 5 repetitions; regularly did shrug pulls from the floor with close to 500 lbs.; stiff leg deadlifted 605 for three doubles, after a 50-set back workout and front squatted, Olympic style, 455 for 5 reps. He also did back squats, Olympic style, 445 for 5 sets of 5; hyperextensions with 185 on his shoulders; once shrugged 940 lb. for a triple (I witnessed this myself); snatch grip shrugged 775 for sets and reps between 5 and 10 and he also power cleaned with thumbless grip and NO KNEE DIP WHATSOEVER, 335 lbs."(Ditillo)  

Ban's opinions on training were not markedly unlike my own, proving once more that I was born on the wrong continent and in the wrong time period, what with my belief that human beings are capable of far more awesome in any given day than most strength coaches would allow in a week.  In any event,

"Dezso believes in training six days per week. Three Squat days, three Pull days and Presses are done EVERY DAY that you train. The total number of sets of leg work goes to around 50 per workout, along with close to 30 sets of pressing. This is done three days per week. On alternate days he would do close to 50 sets pulls along with an additional 20 to 30 sets of pressing movements. We should also include the assistance work such as Roman Chair for the abdominals and Hyperextensions for the lower back. These were also done three times per week."(Ditillo)  
In other words, Ban was recommending that natural lifters train shoulders 6 days a week for a minimum of 20 sets a day.  Ban was incredibly old-school, and developed his training methods prior to the advent of steroids.  Given that his greatest pupil, Anthony Ditillo, could perform "a seated press to his forehead with 435 pounds for 3 reps"(Poliquin), Deszo seems to have known what the fuck he was talking about.

Given the fact that Ditillo resembled no one more than alleged strongman and obviously homeless Milo contributor Steve Justa, you might require further evidence.  It's a bit of a pain in the ass to find information on great pressers at this point, given that pressing's no longer a competitive lift in any major sport.  Certainly MHP is leading the way in the effort to bring the lift back by including it in their pro meets, but that's about the only place you're going to see pressing in competition outside of strongman.  Thus, you either need to jump in the wayback machine to find old school oly lifters or look to our strongmen for inspiration.  Thus, I've done just that for you guys.  The following lifters are considered some of the best in their respective sports, and put more weight overhead than most of you have likely successfully squatted.

Rip Up The Whole Set, I'm About As Bad As You Can Get

Jim Bradford-  Back before most of us were born, a beast of an Olympian named Jim Bradford shrugged off some of America's collective Olympic weightlifting shame with what has been described as a military press so pretty it made Marilyn Monroe look like the chick from the show Mike and Molly.  According to US Olympic Weightlifting coach Jim Schmitz, "Bradford just stood straight and pressed 180 kg with his arms and shoulders, using pure raw strength" while "While everyone else was doing a little heave and layback."  Bradford took two silvers in the Olympics, and posted his best numbers in the 1960 Tokyo games, in which he posted a 1129 3/4 total consisting of a 396.75 press, a 330.5 snatch, and a 402.25 clean and jerk at a bodyweight of 286 lbs.

Bradford's routine, according to John McCallum, is as follows.  Oddly, it makes no mention of the Bradford Press, named for the epic presser.  If you've not heard of it, it's likely not because you've never done it, but rather because you simply had no idea what it's called.  It was one of the first overhead movements I ever learned, though, and has always been the Jermaine Jackson of my shoulder workouts- a nice accessory, but it's not the stuff on which one would hang one's hopes and dreams.  In spite of the fact that I've been doing them for over 15 years, I only just discovered their name while researching Jim Bradford.  In high school we  called them front-to-backs, which is as apt a name as you'd find- the exercise consists of half presses from the back to the chest that go just high enough to graze the top of your head.  Thus, the bar basically moves in a short arc over your head and keeps constant tension on the shoulders.  If nothing else, it's a damn good warmup.  Irrespective of that omission, it's worth noting that Bradford put heavy weights overhead every single time he trained, either in a press or a snatch.

Jim Bradford Routine

Barbell Shoulder Press: 5 sets of 3 reps
Barbell Curl: 5 sets of 3 reps
Squat: Sets of 3 reps —- adding 10 lbs every set —– keep going until you miss
Pullovers: 8-10 reps (light weight) after every set of squats


Bench Press: 5 sets of 3 reps (using same weight on each set)
Hang Snatch: 5 sets of 3 reps
Hang Power Cleans: 5 sets of 3 reps
Deadlift: Sets of 2 reps until you miss (each set increase poundage by 20-30lbs)

Ken Patera-  Another of America's greatest weightlifting products, Ken Patera had perhaps the sickest press of all time, pushing 500 overhead with no leg drive.  Though his press wasn't quite the Mona Lisa that was Bradford's, Patera was still the first person to press 500 overhead.  Patera's best relevant lifts were Clean and Press: 505.5, Press Behind Neck: 418, 405x2, Press off rack: 535, Overhead squat: 440-3/4, and a Steep incline press: 485.  If you're in the mood to get dick-slapped by one of the strongest and craziest motherfuckers on Earth, check out his Baddest Motherfuckers entry here- you'll leave feeling as though you might have completely failed at life.  Like Bradford, Patera put heavy weights overhead every time he entered the gym, and trained at exceptionally high percentages of his one rep max.  The workout below may or may not be entirely accurate- it was the only one I could find, and makes no mention of sets.  Thus, take it for what it's worth- it's at least an example that you can train shoulders extremely heavily three times a week.

Ken Patera's Routine

Overhead squats: 135x3, 203x3, 255x3, 295x2, 325x2
Front squats: 225x3, 315x3, 405x3, 455x2, 520x1
Snatch high pulls from blocks: 225x3, 315x3, 365x3, 405x3
Press Behind Neck: 135x3, 205x3, 255x3, 305x3, 345x1


Press off rack: 135x5, 225x3, 395x2, 355x2, 405x1, 440x1, 480x1, 325x5
Clean grip high pulls: 255x3, 305x2, 355x2, 405x2, 455x2, 505x2, 555x2
Hyperextensions: three sets of ten (no weight)


Snatch: 135x3, 205x3, 255x2, 295x1, 315x1, 340x1, 360x1
Inclines: 225x5, 395x5, 345x3, 405x3, 430x1
Good Mornings: 135x5, 205x5, 255x5, 305x5

I'm suddenly feeling the urge to grind something.

Confuse and Loose Abuse and Bruise the Crews
Before I continue with examples of badass pressers, I'll come back to something I mentioned in passing earlier- grinding.  "Grinding" is part and parcel of powerlifting, but it's something Oly lifters never do, and is an extremely useful mental exercise as well as a physical one.  In case you're unclear as to what grinding is, I'll explain- it's the point in a lift where the bar slows dramatically and you have to exponentially increase your effort for very little tangible forward progress.  I'd imagine for most people it's miserable, but for masochistic sonsabitches like myself, it's the thing we anticipate most when lifting.  If you're not grinding, you're not going heavy enough, in my book.  Since he's expounded upon the benefits of grinding at great length, I figure there's no need to reinvent the wheel.  Thus, here's top-ranked lifter but astonishingly dull writer Mike Tuscherer on the value of grinding:
"I’ve heard it suggested before that lifters should use Max Effort work to learn how to strain.  The idea is that straining against a heavy weight will teach you further to strain during max attempts.  For someone who can’t grind, asking them to strain during Max Effort work is like asking them to lift a PR through sheer force of effort.  It’s not that they don’t want to strain – it’s that they can’t.  Granted, they may be able to strain during some lifts, but chances are those lifts don’t target their weak area of the force curve and likely won’t result in improved performance.
So what SHOULD they do?  The first thing to realize is that the best way to fix this kind of problem is not by any particular exercise.  If the above example was a bench press, then many people would no doubt try a very low board press or pin press to correct this problem.  That’s usually not going to work because even if you do get the board height correct, you won’t be training the same kind of strength that will transfer well to the contest lift.  A better approach is by doing more reps.
The Max Effort crowd does get at least one thing right – if you want to get better at grinding (and improve your force curve), then you have to practice.  But how does someone practice doing something they can’t do?  In this case, it’s by doing more reps.  Instead of doing max effort singles, do triples instead.  Do rep work instead of speed work.  How many reps really depends on where it fits in your training, but I would normally suggest 4 to 6 reps.  Work up to a 5 rep max instead of doing speed work and see how that plays out in the next several weeks.
If you don’t follow the Westside template, the trend is still fundamentally the same.  More reps per set.  A good friend of mine developed this problem while doing Sheiko-style training cycles.  He did an 8 week cycle where he kept the volume and intensity the same, but he simply did more reps in each set.  So instead of doing 5 sets of 3 at 80%, he did 4 sets of 4 at 80%.  That’s roughly the same number of reps and the same load, but more reps in each set.  The end result was some nice PR’s and an ability to grind that he had never experienced before."(Tuscherer)
Most of us are likely used to grinding on a great many exercises, ranging from hip thrusts to deadlifts, but never once gave a thought to grinding overhead lifts.  This is likely why you fucking suck at them, if you do- you can't grind it out.  Tuscherer gives his two cents above on the solution- more reps, while I have a slightly altered take- do reps on exercises that force you to grind.  Two exercises immediately spring to mind when I think of grinding out overhead presses- the Klokov Press and the Savickas Press.

The Klokov Press

The Klokov Press, otherwise known by whiny bitches on the internet by its intensely unwieldy original moniker "strict, snatch-grip, behind-the-neck press", is a lift recently popularized by a video of Russian Olympic Weightlifting phenom Dmitri Klokov performing it.  The lift is just as its name would indicate- it's a strict, snatch-grip, behind-the-neck press.  From what I've gathered, it's basically a warmup for Olympic weightlifters, and it's a hell of a warmup for anyone who a) wants to learn how to grind, b) wants more shoulder volume without overly taxing the rest of their body, and c) wants to get massive, ripped, supremely strong shoulders.  There's not a great deal to this exercise other than a concentrated effort not to use one's legs to drive the bar, and an unremitting desire to put the fucking weight overhead no matter the mental cost.  This lift is fucking brutal, but it pays dividends.  Since I began doing them, my behind the neck push press jumped from a horribly stalled 315 to 345, and it continues to rise.  I credit the Klokov Press more or less entirely with the improvement, as I've not trained the BTNPP much in recent months due to its horrifyingly complete exhaustion of every muscle group in your body.  For these, I typically range in reps over the course of the week from 10 to 1, alternating heavy and light days and generally staying in the 3-5 range.

The Savickas Press
The Savickas Press is the brainchild of a strongman who should really need no introduction, but if you've not heard of him, he won the World's Strongest Man twice, the Arnold Strongman Classic six times, the IFSA Strongman World Championships twice, Fortissimus, the 2008 Strongman Champions League overall title, and Europe's Strongest Man twice.  As such, when he imparts training wisdom, you should get out your fucking notepad and start scribbling notes as furiously as a stenographer in a trial that has Twista and Tech N9ne as its chief witnesses.  Savickas is considered to be the greatest strongman presser of all time, and holds the world record in a shitload of pressing events(Wiki):

Apollon's Axle Press for Max Weight - 215 kg (470 lb)

Apollon's Axle Press for Reps - 166 kg (370 lb) × 8
Log lift for Max Weight - 217.5 kg (480 lb) (
Giant Wooden Log lift for Max Weight - 210 kg (460 lb)
Apollon's Wheels Overhead for Reps - 155 kg (340 lb) × 8 reps
Metal Block press - 150 kg (330 lb)

Clearly, the motherfucker knows what he's doing.  Savickas credits his overhead strength with his eponymous lift.  The lift is done seated in a squat rack, with a regular BB, a fat bar, an axle or a log at shoulder height. With your legs straight out in front of you, flat on the floor (no bent knee),  press the bar/log overhead.  Savickas seems to favor a set/rep scheme of 6x3, so you'll probably want to stick with that.(Schmidt)  To be honest, I lack the hamstring flexibility to do this, but have managed it sitting cross-legged.  It's a bitch.  One recommendation I've seen online is to have your spotter stand behind you with his knee in your back to catch you if you tip backwards, which seems like a reasonable enough suggestion provided you have a training partner.

In the last installment of this series, I'll cover training for beginners, Tommy Kono's workload, Mariusz's unique take on getting badass shoulders, and a couple of Crossfit chicks who can put more weight overhead than you guys.

If you have at least one arm and don't put start putting weight overhead on a daily or near-daily basis after reading this, it's only because you aren't concerned with the shame you're bringing upon your family name.

Go press.

     Ditillo, Anthony.  Strength Training Without Drugs.  THE TIGHT TAN SLACKS OF DEZSO BAN.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/09/strenght-training-without-drugs-anthony.html
     Horton, Nick.  Mariusz Pudzianowski’s Diet and Workout Schedule.  The Iron Samurai.  http://www.theironsamurai.com/2010/01/30/mariusz-pudzianowskis-diet-and-workout-schedule/
     Ken Patera.  Wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Patera
     McCallum, John.  Keys To Progress Training Routines. http://www.strength-oldschool.com/topic/63-keys-to-progress-training-routines-by-john-mccallum/
     Poliquin, Charles.  A Simple Formula for Muscle Growth and Maximal Strength Gains.  Charles Poliquin's Blog.  http://www.charlespoliquin.com/Blog/tabid/130/EntryId/377/A-Simple-Formula-for-Muscle-Growth-and-Maximal-Strength-Gains.aspx
     Schmidt, Julian.  Strongman secrets: how the world's mightiest men build their incredible strength and power.  Flex Magazine.  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KFY/is_5_24/ai_n26903256/
     Wilhelm, Bruce, "Ken Patera: Titan of Strength", Milo, July 1994.
     ┼Żydr┼źnas Savickas.  Wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BDydr%C5%ABnas_Savickas