26 September 2012

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #28- Ivan "The Polish Hammer" Putski

Poland is an interesting place.  Wedged in between the titans of Europe, the Germans and the Russians, the Poles pretty much fought a two front war against both groups for centuries, and finally had their shit handed to them in the 18th Century when the Russians and Prussians basically just walked in and started pointing at random shit and yelling "Mine!" like a couple of  fat, retarded girls in an ice cream shop.  Thereafter, both countries started what pretty much amounted to the least fair campaign of discrimination and disinformation of all time, shouting to the mountaintops about how the Poles were a pack of ugly, stupid pack animals that you'd like in your kitchen less than an unwashed, rotting donkey's ass.  For those of you who've never been to Poland, Poles are actually pretty fucking awesome.  In fact, you could throw a rock into a crowd in  Poland and hit three chicks that look like this- there's a reason Hitler had the SS banging the ever-loving shit out of every broad in Poland.

There exists, however, a Pole who exists simply to disabuse you of the false notions you might hold about the Poles, and his name doesn't rhyme with "oodzianowski".  Nope, before Marius could doff his fishnet tank top to hand you a beating, another badass Pole would rip off your arms and beat you to death with them were he to hear you spout off with some Polish jokes in his presence. That man is Ivan "The Polish Hammer" Putski.  Putski, born Josef Bednarski, was born in Poland and immigrated shortly thereafter.  You'll hear a lot of bullshit about how his English sucked, but that seems purely a gimmick- in the interview to which I listened, the motherfucker sounded like he was speaking on the phone from horseback in West Texas with chaw in his mouth and bowl of bean-free chili in his lap. 

For those of you who are unaware, Putski was a professional wrestler in the early years of the WWF, in a time when WWF wrestlers looked much more like superheros than men's board shorts models.  He was one of the massive motherfuckers in league with guys like the benching phenomenon Ted Arcidi, Olympic weightlifter and strongman Ken Patera,  and overall beast and badass facial hair rocker "Superstar" Billy Graham.  Throughout his career he mostly feuded with Billy Graham and the successor to Graham's original look, none other than Jesse "The Body" Ventura.  At the time, because there were so many jacked-to-bits dudes dripping testosterone and chugging cans of whoop ass that they regularly had to dispense with the bullshit histrionics and just settle shit Over the Top style with arm wrestling matches.  It was clearly a different time then, as the 180 lb oily goofballs predominating the modern WWE would have been eaten alive in Putski's era.

Putski stood a mere 5'6", but his weight as a wrestler and strongman vacillated between 225 and 300 pounds.  Most of the latter part of his career, in which he was more or less a bodybuilder, he was a lean 250 lbs, which is the same billed weight as Triple H, who's considered huge by modern wrestling standard in spite of the fact that he's almost a full foot taller than Putski.  If you haven't yet caught on, Putski is and was not to be fucked with.  Throughout his life, Putski was a professional football player (in the fledgling Continental League), a strongman (he placed 8th in the 1978 World's Strongest Man), and Tag Team World Champion with Tito Santana.  Thus, he did more awesome shit in an average day than most of us will likely do in our lives, and thought nothing of it.

I first read about Putski when researching Destroy the Opposition, (which is on sale on the right if you haven't already picked it up) and found him mentioned in a story about Doug Young.  Young was one of the greatest benchers in history, and a fucking beast at 242.  When Young was coming up in the scene, he happened to hit up the gym where Ivan Putski lifted.  By any account I've been able to find, Putski gave exactly zero fucks about programming- he just went in the gym, found someone doing something epic, and attempted to best them at their pet lift in marathon workouts that left everyone covered in vomit while Putski happily munched on boiled eggs and patted them on the head like they were small, harmless children.  According to Terry Todd, here's what happened when these two lunatics met on the iron battlefield.
"The word had gotten around to all the local horses, and so we had a big bunch at the T.A.C. when Doug began to train. No one, however, except Ivan Putski, the Polish pro-wrestler, seemed very interested in benching that day; and we suspect Putski didn’t know, or care, what was on the bar. The rest of us, though, surely knew – and cared. Doug took 135 for 100 reps as a warmup and then went to singles with 225, 315, 405, 485, 505, and 520. He then dropped back to 405 for 8 repetitions and 315 for 15. Not bad, seeing as how he had just lost weight down from 260 in an effort to stay somewhere near the 242-pound class limit"(Todd). 

That, my friends, is how babies get made.  Putski didn't give a shit that Doug Young was the greatest bencher in history at that point, that Young benched more in a week than most people do in a month, or that Young had benched 545 with three broken ribs in the past- he just said fuck it and matched him rep for rep on anything like the motherfucking beast that he was.  From other anecdotal accounts about Putski, that seemed to be his M.O.- he'd just step up to keep his rep up, whether it was Ken Patera doing overhead presses or some goofball doing calf raises like he was training for the world championships of accessory movements.  Lest you think I'm joking about the latter bit, I'm not.  One account I found online was from a self-professed nobody who happened to work out at a World Gym frequented by a bunch of WWE wrestlers and a couple of East Coast bodybuilders, including Mike Katz of "Pumping Iron" fame.  This guy recounted the following of Putski:
"I remember I was working out my strongest body part "calves" when Ivan politely asked me if he could work in on the standing calf machine with me. I was thrilled to be working out with the man who patented the "Polish Hammer" as a finisher. I remember Ivan eating a couple of dozen hardboiled eggs during his workout. He would do a set then eat a couple of eggs, do another set eat a couple more eggs etc. Ivan's English was very broken back then but when I was laughing at his eating so many eggs during his workout he simply said "Putski eat, Putski push." and push he did......an amazing powerhouse!
We eventually had the calf machine maxed out with all the weight that it could handle. 1400 lbs. to be exact, we had the entire weight stack pegged plus hung and placed 100 lb. dumbells and plates anywhere on the machine that we could safely add to the resistance of that poor overloaded machine. We both did our last set with 1400 lbs. for several reps when Ivan downed a couple more eggs, then came over and patted me on the shoulder, gave me a thumbs up, and a wink, as he grabbed his gym bag off a nearby bench and headed to the locker room" (Massie).

It becomes fairly apparent from those accounts that Putski didn't really stick rigidly to a set program- he just fucking loved lifting.  He did have a basic program he apparently stuck to rather loosely, just because he traveled so much for the WWE.  According to the interview I heard with him, however, he still trained on the road, and ensured that he took the earliest flight possible so he could get in a morning lift and then wrestle in the evening (Guttman).  His brutal workouts, however, all took place in the beginning of the week, when he wasn't traveling.

His main training days, then, were as follows:
Bench Press:  225 x 10; 325 x 10; 425 x 8; 425 x 7; 425 x 8; 425 x 8; 425 x7; 425 x 7; 425 x 8; 425 x 6; 425 x 7; 425 x 7; 425 x 6; 425 x 5; 425 x 4.  Each set was taken to failure, and he continued doing sets until he noticed a significant drop-off in bar speed and strength.  He called it "train yourself til you strain yourself." Putski, incidentally, was reputed to have a 600+ pound bench.
Push Press: 225 x 10; 275 x 10; 325 x 10; 325 x 12; 325 x l1; 325 x11; 325 x 10; 325 x 10; 325, x 10; 325 x 10; 325 x 10; 325 x 8; 325 x 8; 325 x 9; 325 x 6; 325 x 5

Box Squats (which he did to a high bench, actually): 300 x 10; 500 x 10; 15 x 10 x 650 
Stadium Stairs:  He would run the stairs of a local high school football stadium for a hour if the weather allowed.

Standing Barbell Curl or Seated Concentrated Curl:  15-20 x 10 x 200 or 100lbs, respectively.
Skullcrushers or Standing Tricep Extensions: 15-20 x 10 x 200lbs, going until his form gets sloppy.
(Marunde Muscle)

Another source had Putski busting out a pulling day on day three, though it provided no information on that (Furman).  I would ascribe the discrepancy to the fact that Putski simply did a hell of a lot of whatever the fuck he felt like every time he entered the gym.

The rest of the week, he'd be traveling and wrestling at night, so he would get into the gym early and do smaller workouts.  Frankly, the fact that he wasn't in a coma by Wednesday night is a testament to the type of beating you can put on your body and survive.  By all accounts, Putski was the nicest fucking guy on Earth, and was constantly smiling.  He was one of the few wrestlers to remain a babyface his entire career, because he was just too nice to play a heel.  This, I suppose is proof that you needn't be a total cock to be a badass, which is somewhat disappointing, as I like to think that channelling my inner Tommy Conlon spurs me on to victory.

Instead of being fueled by hate, however, Putski was fueled by the produce of his massive appetite.  Like most of the old-school, Putski ate more in a sitting than most of us eat in a day.  When Putski was first starting out, he lacked the money to eat anything expensive, "so a usual evening meal would consist of a quart or two of raw oysters. a pound of cheese, some Polish sausage, and fresh fruit. As he began learning about U. S. cooking, he developed a taste for fried chicken and it’s not at all uncommon for him to eat 20 or 30 pieces after an evening bout"(Marunde Muscle).  In case your math sucks, that's between two and a half and four WHOLE fried chickens in a single meal.  As he gained prominence in wrestling and became a bigger earner, Putski started eating steak three times a day, in addition to what was reputedly an absurd amount of kielbasa.  This then, lends a great deal more support to the credo of "eat big to get big", because Putski was a gigantic motherfucker.

Thus, to bring it all home for you, the following can be gleaned from Putski's example:

  • you can, and likely should, be doing far more volume than you are currently doing.
  • you can pretty much eat whatever you want in whatever quantities you want if you train your ass off, provided that your diet is heavy as hell on proteins.
  • you don't have to be an asshole to be a total badass.
  • compared to Ivan Putski, we are all a bunch of pussies.

Go eat something already.

All WWE Westlers. The Wrestler Ivan Putski. All WWE Wrestlers. Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://www.allwwewrestlers.com/ivan_putski.htm
Forum Post. Ivan Putsky's Training. Marunde Muscle. 26 Nov 2006. Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://www.marunde-muscle.com/
Furman, Tom.  POLISH POWER TEMPLATE.  Physical Strategies. 22 Nov 2006.  Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://physicalstrategies.blogspot.com/2006/11/polish-power-template.html
Guttman, James.  Ivan Putsky Interview.  World Wrestling Insanity.  23 Oct 2010.  Audio.
Massie, Roger.  Memories from World Gym in Connecticut. Online World Of Wrestling.  5 Sep 2005. Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/columns/misc/rogermassie01.html
Todd, Terry. Doug Young. The Tight Tan Slacks of Deszo Ban.  3 Sep 2011. Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/09/doug-young-terry-todd.html
Wikipedia. Ivan Putski. Wikipedia. Web. 20 Sep 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Putski


  1. Look at those forearms!!


  2. Big deal, just steroids (again).

    1. Resident whiney bitch chimes in with his pathetic mantra of weakness and excuses. Again.

      Throw yourself down a well, already.

      P.S.- Your mom hates you.

    2. Don't be too harsh on this old fuck. Apparently he's been on a fruitarian diet for the past month. Of course he feel off the fucking wagon and started eating grains and shit. Dude is a washed up blowhard full of hate and self loathing.

      The lack of proteins has left him in a weakened condition and little of the "ranting" that he was once capable of.

    3. Your mom seems to enjoy my man protein. She could suck an egg through a straw that gal could. I say could as she seems to be content just sucking my cock.

    4. Given the amount of estrogen apparently floating through your veins, I'd venture to guess "clit" would be a more accurate noun for use in the description of the erectile tissue in your groin.

    5. He's just pissed because I step all over his ass on his blog and call him out on his inane bullshit. He doesn't even try to step up there.

      Good comeback though, with the mom jokes. Harkens to days past of times spent in 4th grade spouting garbage on the playground. Let me know how the suicide turns out when your mental illness takes full effect Rant.

  3. In our country we have a lot of badass. Take a look at this year's Olympic Games - two gold medals in weightlifting, one in the shot put - all this despite the terrible financial situation of our Olympians and national associations full of old, venal whores. More examples? Poland kicks ass in powerlifting - surely you know Dariusz Mirowski, Daniel Grabowski, Daniel Miller or Jaroslaw Olech.And all without a penny of our government.

    As for strength sports and hot chicks you need to check a daughter of Paul (Paul is a former European and World champion in weightlifting) - her name is Dorota "Doda" Rabaczewska. Totally fucking hot and she also fucked with vocalist of Behemoth. A very colorful character.

    1. Hahahaha. You guys really need to chill out with your czew's- you are the only people on Earth who know who to make that noise.

      I will never dispute the badassery of the Ooles. you guys really fucked yourselves by constantly employing and then double-crossing the Cossacks, though. Had you treated them well, you guys would have dominated Prussia and Russia. Instead, you guys managed to piss off every person who could ride a horse from the Caucasus to Krakow.

  4. You're spot on about Polish girls being crazy hot! And not too mention all to eager to hook up with American guys (even if you're ugly as sin but have a halfway decent body... yeah, that's me). A buddy of mine is Polish, parents moved to US in their 20's and not only are they really cool people, they would give you the shirt off their back.

    I don't really know if the whole "dumb Polak" stuff came from the Russians but it's seriously not legit. These are some of the friendliest people I know.

    1. Two mistakes - Polish girls aren't nice looking. My sister-in-law is Polish, and as well as having an overly long stupid fucking maiden name made up of nearly all consonants, she's about as pretty as your mother. Second mistake, you haven't got a half decent body you braggart, get your fucking eyes tested.

    2. Sample size of 1, eh? Apparently, Rant is now an eminent population geneticist and authority of all things feminine. That would explain his incessant bitching, I suppose.

      It's been MINUTES since you mentioned steroids, Rant. Step up to keep your rep up.

    3. Jamie, are YOU now doing a bit of white knighting?! You two should get a room....


    4. sus, dbol, clen, + CnP. day 1. to be cont...

    5. Holy fuck, just shut the fuck up Rant, you're retardedly annoying. FUCK YOU.

    6. Polish girls (or Slavic girls in general) are only hot until they are married; as soon as they have found a poor victim, they turn into fat, nagging dragons (this is probably also the reason why Slavic men are so heavy on the booze).

  5. In the UK, USA and other Western countries can meet two types of Poles. Some are normal, cool guys who changed the place of life, adapted and assimilated with the local population. Unfortunately, part of Polish immigrants living in closed Polish communities and do not want to or can not live as citizens of the country in which they live - feel like a stranger, take the worst of the work and these are  "dumb Polaks".
    It all depends on the mentality of particular person.

  6. Lol, that clip was awesome...Jesse the body was bald even back then...gotta love androgenic alopecia!

  7. Also want to say I like that last bit, "You don't have to be an asshole to be a total badass." There's a LOT to be said for that.

    1. Really? Go ahead, say something about it (you thick fuck).

  8. Awesome article. Great size. Look thick. Solid. Tight. Keep us all posted on your continued progress with any new progress pics or vid clips. Show us what you got man. Wanna see how freakin' huge, solid, thick and tight you can get. Thanks for the motivation.

  9. Nice article. I don't know why Poles are so hated. I never had problems with any Polish guys here in Germany.

    Jamie, I followed a "I don't care how I look like as long as I can lift as much weight as possible" - philosophy. Therefore, I have pretty high body fat at the moment. I weigh 230 lbs and have 24% body fat. My lifts are quite good though (120 kilo military press, 145 kilo close grip bench, 210 kilo deep zercher squat, 230 kilo deadlift, 75 kilo strict biceps curl). I've been working out for about 3,5 years naturally. Now, I want to lose body fat and reach a level of 8-10%. I am also planning to start with testosterone since my natural levels are very low and with the peptides GHRP-6 and MOD-GRF.

    Now my question. Is it a realistic goal that I can shred bodyfat AND at the same time continue to make strength gains and a little bit of muscle gains while on gear?

    Also, I would like to know if there is a possibility to buy your ebook without the use of paypal. My paypal account is no longer working. I would definately like to read it.

    1. Bank wires are a huge pain in the ass, but we can work something out. Email me at chaos_and_pain@yahoo.com.

      As for your question, you can do that without gear- it's the entire concept behind the Apex Predator Diet I've blogged about. Lots of people have used it to get lean and stronger.

  10. "As for your question, you can do that without gear"

    - How do you know that, have you tried?

  11. What the hell is going on with this guy's brachialises? Never seen anything like that.

  12. "My workouts vary quite a bit depending on what phase of training I'm in but a general split looks like this:
    M--squat (heavy)
    T--overhead presses bar or DBs
    W--squat (heavy) or front squat (volume)
    Th--CG bench
    This is from a comment Dan Green made in youtube. He also said that he trains back At the end of each session, sometimes every day. What do you think of this kind of aprouch to training?

    1. Doesn't seem appreciably different from my training.

  13. This is a fantastic post on a great blog (by a fellow Gamecock, no less!). I'm not a lifter myself, but this blog is so inspiring, I find that I'm considering hitting the weight pile again. Keep up the good work.

  14. Since I'm an old guy, I actually watched Putski wrestle as a kid, and a guy I worked with while I was going to college at UT in the 80's (Sonic Drive In on South 1st St and Stassney, represent!) was good friends with his son Scott, so I got to meet his son, but not The Man himself. He stuck in my mind more than any other wrestler of the 70's, because I watched him pick Andre the Giant up and body slam him. You can rip on the WWF all you want, but you can't fake that kind of strength!

    I know you like to break a mental sweat sometimes so I was thinking you might be interested in this video I stumbled upon regarding synthetic biology and the 'singularity'. In someways it reminds me of zeitgeist because of its talk of a new world order but it's emphasis is on the biological rather than the sociocultural.


  16. as a warning it seems really stupid for the first five or ten minutes, but if you hang in there it starts getting very interesting.