31 July 2014

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat- The 500 lb Bench Press With Mel Hennessey And Serge Nubret

One of the most horrifying trends in powerlifting in the modern era is the tendency for most lifters to adopt the program du jour and then proceed to suck at lifting along with every other weaksauce dipshit blindly performing the reps and sets outlined therein.  Conscious thought among the average lift in powerlifting is completely dead, and it's been replaced by dogmatism reinforced by scientific jargon that ultimately is as meaningless as the unused piece of flesh dangling between the knees of the male segment of those automatons.  Anecdotal evidence has become passe, and they'll only do it if there exists a spate of peer-reviewed studies claiming that untrained lifters get some benefit out of whatever mysteries are contained within.  

In short, most modern lifters are little more than robots with access to the modern internet but only outfitted with the hard drives and processors of Apple IIes, so their capabilities are limited to the first 256kb they could download.  They're illiterate mongoloid children in search of the meaning of life inside the Library of Congress, and insisting that the meaning for which they were searching is contained inside the only book they were actually able to somewhat read.  They're cripples, and someone needs to smack them in the face with a set of fucking crutches.  Luckily, I happen to have a pair handy.

Iowa State's 2013 400lb Bench Press Club.  Roughly 10% of their team are 400lb benchers.  It's not as rare as the internet insists. 

Dogmatism about training methods and aversion to anecdotal evidence in training are about as sensible as booking a flight over the Ukraine.  Thus, I thought it prudent to dig up a couple of lifting routines from lifters who managed to press 500 or more in ultra strict form, just to give everyone an idea of how disparate methods could be to achieve the same lofty goal.   Notice, this is not an article about how a couple of choads cracked the 300 barrier, because frankly no one should really give a shit about that for more than a day or two.  400 is, of course, an incredibly elusive number for a lot of lifters, but 500 is really the number where jaws start to drop- 5 wheels clanging against each other as they conspire in a quarter-ton attempt to crush the person fighting them and gravity into a paste.  As you'll see, it's not the assholes who enter the gym with a 90 lb bag filled with $1000 in trendy prehab and rehab equipment, foam rolling their way to glory as they brandish their Chuck Taylors in a futile attempt to at least look the part- it's guys who enjoy lifting and do shit their own way who eventually slam 500 lbs to arm's length in ultra-strict form.

Pro wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino bench pressing 565 in what appears to be a completely do-or-you're-fucking-dead type of situation.  Kim Jong-Un gets more support for his attempt to get a worldwide ban on The Interview than Sammartino appears to have had from his sawhorse/bench or spotters in this attempt.

Two of the guys who immediately sprang to mind when I think of 500 lb bench presses are actually from two different sports, but hail from the same era of flat-backed, elbows-flared, ultra-strict bench pressing- Serge "The Black Guy From Pumping Iron" Nubret and powerlifting legend Mel Hennessey.  Not only were their training routines completely unlike each others', their chest days were so markedly dissimilar you'd find it almost impossible that Nubret was capable of a 500 lb bench press at 212 and Hennessey a 571 at 228.  This, in turn, should show you quite plainly that there is definitely more than one way to skin the powerlifting cat, and that anyone who tells you otherwise is a fucking moron.  

Simply because I'm an asshole and want to make you people wait for the powerlifter's program like you're Rwandan refugees in a Ugandan aid camp waiting for food, I'll start with the program you're definitely not going to try- that of Serge Nubret.  At 6'0 and 212 lbs with arms that hung practically to his knees, the "Black Panther" boasted the leverages that would have any Redditor screaming to the heavens that even a 300 lb bench press was out of the question.  What Nubret lacked in r/weightroom-approved leverages, however, he made up for in weightlifting volume and intensity that smacked of insanity and could be construed as auto-terrorism.  Nubret trained six days a week, and while most of his contemporaries consigned themselves to a mere four hours a day of training, Nubret went a bit further.  According to Frank Zane:
“There were times,” recalls former onstage adversary Frank Zane, “when he would work out all day — literally. He’d get to the gym at 8 or 9 a.m. and train until noon or so. Then he’d go for lunch, and then he’d return to the gym to train for another few hours. After that he’d get dinner at 5 p.m. or so and come back for his nighttime workout. It would be a 12-hour day centered on training” (Perine)
Nubret trained chest twice a week, and although he never really had a set routine, he generally stuck to high reps and low weight, for tons of volume... and when I state he did tons of volume, I mean that literally.  Nubret was famous for doing 40 sets of 25 with 225, or even higher reps with 200 lbs (Perine).

Maniacal as Nubret was (he was reported to do all kinds of shit ranging from 20 sets of 20 and up to an hour of continuous benching with 135), Nubret himself stated that the following was really more of what he normally did (Perine).  What follows is far more similar to what most guys in the 1970s did- over 30 sets per bodypart, and enough reps to rival pumps in a marathon fucking session by a couple who both had Parkinson's.

Bench Press: 8 x 12
Flat-Bench Dumbbell Flye: 6 x 12
Incline Bench Press: 6 x 12
Incline Dumbbell Flye: 6 x 12
Dumbbell Pullover: 6 x 12  

Nubret busted that workout out twice a week, usually on Monday and Thursday, and the did his bench press assistance work for shoulders and arms on Wednesday and Saturday.  Resting only 30 or so seconds between sets, Nubret would blaze through the gym like a fucking forest fire, which makes it all that more incredible that he would remain in the gym as long as he did as often as he did.  Nevertheless, Wednesday and Saturday were a festival of pain from the rotator cuff downward, and looked like this:

Behind the Neck Barbell Press: 6 x 12 
Alternate Dumbbell Front Raise: 6 x 12 
Barbell Upright Row: 6 x 12 
Cable Lateral Raise: 6 x 12 
Barbell Curl superset with Triceps Pushdowns: 8 x 12 
Dumbbell Curl superset with Triceps Dips: 6 x 12 

As I stated above, Nubret was not wedded to a program or routine designed for a long-dead foreigner living so unlike his own it may have well from from another star system, and he rarely did the same workout from week to week.  This, then, is simply an outline of what a typical day might have looked like, all of which assumes The Black Panther didn't get a bug up his ass to train his brachialis for 6 hours while singing patriotic French songs and nibbling on bits of horse.

Quick!  Someone tell Serge to tuck his elbows before he doesn't have a bench press that embarrasses 99.7% of the people on the planet!

We come, then, to the other side of the coin- Mel Hennessey, who stood a mere 5'5" but competed at 220 and 242 and moved some ridiculous poundages with what was by all accounts the most deliberate, slow, and precise form ever witnessed on the bench.  Interestingly, Mel Hennessey is described, physically, not unlike Nubret.  According to Verne Hollister, "incredibly and massively muscled that he could be a competitor for the most muscular title in a physique contest," and according to Anthony Ditillo, "when it comes to thick, dense, heavy muscular development plus pleasing shape and the power to match, Mel Hennessey stands above ALL his contemporaries of the present day and his competitors of the past when it comes to physical impressiveness."   

Though he never competed as a bodybuilder, Hennessey didn't train unlike a bodybuilder. He trained between three and six days a week, alternating what amounted to powerlifting and bodybuilding days.  If he was training six days a week, Hennessey would do all three power lifts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then assistance movements on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (Ditillo), and if he was training four days a week, he'd train heavy on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do "light" bodybuilding stuff on Thursdays and Sundays" (Hollister).  As you'll see, "light" is an exceptionally relative term when it comes to Hennessey's training, and no matter what the day, Hennessey always had the bench press in mind- it was his baby, and he treated it like a tiny little baby Jesus with bones made of glass and the brain of Stephen Hawking.

In spite of having his bench in mind at all times, Hennessey's routines were as esoteric as those of The Black Panther.  Whatever he was doing on the heavy days, Hennessey would focus on the big three lifts, but he'd never know if he was doing low reps, high reps, or attempting a new max until he go to the gym.  Unlike some of the people you'll read about who apparently never laid in bed at night and wondered , "what could I put up off the platform", Hennessey was all about living in dreamworld like he just slid off the paint-spilled set of What Dreams May Come, and hit 590 on the bench in the gym right around the time he hit 571 in a meet.  Likewise, he bested his meet best on the squat (690) with a massive unwrapped 740, and pulled a full 45 lbs more in the gym than he did in a meet, all while casually demonstrating an easy set of ten with the 150s any time he decided to show off a bit and do some dumbbell clean and presses (Parrillo).

For his heavy work, Mel liked to mix it up like he was the unnamed founding member of Girl Talk.  After completing anywhere from 10-20 heavy sets on the big three, he would utilize partials in the rack, negatives, isometrics, and heavy supports (Ditillo Milo).  As he did with all of his movements, Hennessey kept his reps incredibly strict and deliberate, though that is not to say he didn't train like a manic.  In the power rack, he'd pick a "zone" in which to work, and would begin by doing rep rep sets in that range of motion.  Over time, he would gradually increase the weight used in that "zone", keeping his reps just as high until he was doing extremely heavy partials for high repetitions in what had formerly been weaker than a WHO aid worker in Liberia a week after their suit punctured.  Staying in the three to five range year-round is a mistake, according to Hennessey- high rep partials bring far more benefit than low reps due to their positive effect on tendon and ligament strength, and don't come with the same joint pain and stiffness that low reps will give you (Ditillo Milo).

5'5" and 240 lbs in this pic.  Dat thickness.

Hennessey's light days resembled Nubret's workouts more than your average "fuck machines and the fucking horse they rode in on" powerlifter might expect- Hennessey focused as much on appearance as he did on performance on those days.  He'd generally start with his "day brighteners", which would include things like the good morning, working up to a single heavy set of five with 325, and then move onto his favorite lift- the close grip bench press, on which he works up to 360 for a set of five, jump setting with high rep lat pulldowns (Hollister) for between eight and rep reps of around twenty sets.  Yeah, that's right- 20 or so sets of 8-20 reps, or between 160 and 400 reps on lat pulldowns.

Nor is he done there- sticking with his method of using ultra-strict form, just as he does on the bench press, Hennessey then loves onto lateral raises, starting with the 70s and working his way up to the 150s, and then polishes off his day with situps and barbell curls with around 125 for 3 sets of 6 (Ditillo, Hollister).  Though the exercises were never absolutely consistent, Hennessey always used a wide variety of dumbbell movements because they allowed much greater range of motion, which Hennessey believed would "give the muscular areas and joints will promote flexibility which will enable a more forceful contraction and explosion during the performance of a lift" (Ditillo).  They also allowed Hennessey to achieve his ultimate goal, which was a physique without any weak links- by training as a bodybuilder and working at a variety of ranges of motion, angles, and planes of movements, Hennessey ensured that there would be no tiny neglected muscle groups that would impede his progress due to omission, or the haughty shirking seen amongst powerlifters and American Olympic weightlifters these days, most of whom seem to think they're too good and too strong to touch a cable or a Hammer Strength machine (Ditillo).

As this is an article about bench pressing, I suppose I might as well divulge Hennessey's favorite bench press assistance exercises, lest you guys decide to abduct and behead me like I'd suggested to an ISIS fan that a caliphate in the 21st century was a pretty fucking stupid idea.  The movements Hennessey used to increase his bench were not unlike those found in any 1970s bodybuilding routine- heavy front dumbbell raises, ultra-heavy side lateral raises, lying laterals for rear delts, dumbbell concentration curls, dips, lying and standing triceps extensions (on which he worked up to a ridiculous 300 lbs), pushdowns, pulldowns, and bent over rows with dumbbells, on which he always started out light and finished with a set of 5-10.

Not unlike what some current powerlifters do, Hennessey would front-load his program with assistance work and then gradually reduce it as the contest drew near, to allow for more heavy bench pressing.  He felt that the assistance movements initially hold back your one rep max in the bench, but they build a very strong foundation, so when you reduce the assistance movements and focus more on the heavy singles, the increased mass from dumbbell work allowed him to handle far bigger poundages (Ditillo).  That is the problem with most lifters, in Hennessey's mind- most guys avoid the assistance work at the beginning and focus too heavily on training the big three exclusively, which just leads them to hit their limits faster and limits their overall gains.  Training the way he did, however, steady and consistent gains over time were always coming.

On tit size alone I'm giving her a 200 lb bench.

So, there you have it- two examples of guys with completely disparate goals and physiques, yet they both managed 500 lb bench presses without the aid of dead Russians, stupid internet programs, form check videos, or ultimately useless information from Pubmed.  Instead, they built their badass bench presses through brutally hard work, doing what they enjoyed, and actively thinking about, modifying, and adapting their training to their needs.  Lemmings don't bench press 500.  Bad motherfuckers do.  Stop being a tiny fucking rodent and get your honey badger on.

Ditillo, Anthony.  Bench Pressing with Hennessey.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  29 Mar 2014.  Web.  10 Jul 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2014/03/bench-pressing-with-hennessey-anthony.html

Ditillo, Athony.  The training wisdom of Mel Hennessey.  Milo.  1997 Mar; 4(4):96-99.

Hollister, Vernon.  Mel Hennessey, Bench Press King.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  21 Jul 2008.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/07/mel-hennessey-bench-press-king.html

Leistner, Ken.  History of powerlifting, weightlifting, and strength training- part 36.  Titan Support Systems.  13 Sep 2013.  Web.  10 Jul 2014.  http://titansupport.com/blog/history-of-powerlifting-weightlifting-and-strength-training-part-36/

Overhead Pressing with Barbells and Dumbbells: The Once and Future KING of Shoulder Development.  Parillo Performance Press.  26 Sep 2008.  Web.  17 Jul 2014.  http://www.parrilloperformance.com/2008/09/26/overhead-pressing-with-barbells-dumbbells-the-once-future-king-of-shoulder-development/

Perine, Shawn.  The late Serge Nubret.  Musclemag.  Web.  21 Jul 2014.  http://www.musclemag.com/the-late-serge-nubret/

Pride, Victor.  Serge Nubret’s Old School Workout Routine.  Bold and Determined.  2 Feb 2011.  Web.  31 July 2014.  http://boldanddetermined.com/2011/02/02/serge-nubrets-old-school-workout-routine/

25 July 2014

Oh, Jesus Fuck. Really? Lectures On Not Letting Lifting "Dominate Your Life"?

As a general rule in the last three years, I've really offered no opinion pieces that weren't littered with facts.  That has apparently irked some people, as they found my ranty bits of not-quite-so-over-the-top violent intellectualism preferable to whatever it is one would characterize my current streak of incredibly heavily researched articles.  This piece, however, is going to take us back to the old school, because 1) it's an opinion piece, 2) this was, as they used to refer to them on shitty pop stations when people still listened to the radio, a "listener request", and 3) because there's no real reason to include facts when either side of this argument is generally too stupid to form a cogent thought and too emotional about the subject to consider facts even if any were offered.


According to the guy who requested this, Facebook has been more jam-packed with plaintive missives about how people shouldn't devote their lives to training than it is with inane posts invoking magical men in the sky.  Frankly, I cannot imagine a bigger waste of one's time than issuing a public service announcement about the myriad reasons one should not allow lifting to dominate their life- the only assholes with the time or inclination to chime in to the contrary don't actually train (they're fucking posers), and the people supporting the supposition are likely only doing so in an effort to excuse their own failures in the gym and on the platform.  Know what the people who've actually devoted ourselves to training are doing while those dipshits are expressing more butt hurt than a newbie felon in a "punch in" prison fisting weekend?  Training.  That's what I've been doing, but thanks to by bi-yearly illness and the fact that writing is now essentially my job, I'll weigh in on this stupidity.

Who, then, to address first?  The lazy fuckers or the posers.  Well, let us start with the posers, because I hate them so very much.  These are people who have invariably been training less than five years, consider themselves to be experts on strength training, usually hold a hilariously useless exercise science degree, and have at least one post a week on their Facebook page referring to the importance of one plane of movement or another.  These people, to a person, know exactly fuckall about training.  They're always weak, always have a wide array of excuses to offer about their weakness, and if they spent half as much time in the gym as they claimed, they'd be ten times as strong as they are.

Unsure about who I hate more- pickup trucks drivers or fat southerners.  Luckily, there's a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram.  If only there was an oven into which this fat bag of sadness would fit.

The posers seem to think that talking about training equals training time, and they spend an inordinate amount of time doing so.  They're the 2014 equivalent of the kids in the early 90s who would wear Stussy gear all day long, but you never saw them on a skateboard- they're like people who wear Bob Marley shirts but don't smoke weed, or people who claim flying the Confederate flag says they're into state's rights rather than dragging black people to death behind their stupid fucking giant hillbilly pickup.  They carry bags of foam rollers everywhere, wear shorts made of sweatshirt material, apparently refuse to let cloth touch their upper body unless it says Rogue or Elite FTS on it, and they suck shit at lifting.  Make no mistake about the last bit- they suck fucking shit at training.  If they claim to be posterior chair "experts" you can bet dollars to doughnuts they can't squat for shit... actually, if they profess to be a "guru" or an expert at anything at all, it's an ironclad guarantee they suck shit at it, and they've an endless litany of excuses why.

Holy shit I love Medusa piercings.

These almost invariably sloppy dipshits will yammer on endlessly about how devoting one's self fully to training is essential to being awesome at it.  In the event that they have read anything other than their utterly useless exercise phys books (they'd work far better as training aids if they declinated their trunks and engaged in training partner assisted anhydrous transrectal tome assimilation along the saggital plane), they might offer up Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers as evidence that one must put in the requisite time to become excellent at something.  While that might be the case, time spent in the gym by one of these posers does not equal time spent in the gym by an actual hard trainer, and the fact that if one does not have innate aptitude for an activity, they will never be good at it.   

Temple Grandin

Don't believe me?  Perhaps, then, you'll side with the autistic, social justice warrior-style.  Autistic savant Temple Grandin, who's made a hell of a living looking like the grandpa from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as communing with cows to determine what makes them happy on the way to the slaughter, vertical couches intended to mash autistic kids until they stop freaking out because the dog accidentally brushed them with its tail, and writing books about food animals, said that anyone who thinks 10,000 hours of attempting to be good at something, pitted against someone who's actually good at it, will make the try-hard victorious is a fucking moron (Grandin).  That's right, Facebook gurus, an autistic broad just called you a stupid motherfucker.

Kelly Pierce showed aptitude for being a t-girl long before she had tits.

To be successful at something, as anyone with a fucking brain would acknowledge, you obviously have to put in the work.  That much is obvious.  Temple Grandin, however, fleshes out the concept a bit:
"Certainly Buffett put in his ten thousand hours or ten years of work. He bought his first shares of stock at the age of eleven, founded a successful pinball-machine business with a friend at the age of fifteen, and before he graduated high school, he was wealthy enough to buy a farm.
This is not the career trajectory of someone who’s interested in business and is putting in his ten thousand hours. This is the career trajectory of someone who lives to do business. You might say it’s the path of someone who was born to do business. You might even say it’s the path of someone who was wired for business at birth" (Grandin).
The amusing bit is this man is likely far stronger than the Facebook try-hard know-nothings jacking off over their ACSM Advanced Exercise Physiology book.

Thus, you can see why I might call a grown man weighing over 200 lbs with a 385 lb squat a poser if he's yammering on about how he "lives for this shit" and posting various Rob Bailey lyrics-esque shit on the internet.  If he actually lived for it, he's be good at it.  Shit, I was squatting hitting what were likely high 405 lb singles (but no one gave a fuck, because I wasn't in a meet and I didn't take 9,237 videos of the shit and post them everywhere and beg for attention while whining at the negativity coming out of people who likely don't lift and shouldn't be bothered with publicly commenting on some stranger's squat depth anyway) with no spotter or belt as a 135 lb college wrestler with absolutely no coaching, direction, programming help, or input from anyone at all.  The idea that a grown man can't squat double his bodyweight is as much an anathema to my lifestyle as personal pride is to theirs, it seems.  In sort- if you suck at it, find something else to do or just keep your excitement to yourself- no one likes chihuahuas or the people who own them, and if you're a shitty lifter who's endlessly blabbering on about lifting, that's all you are to the Leonbergers of the lifting universe.

The Leonberger doesn't even know that horrible rat dog is on his back, because it's insignificant, but will provide a nice snack when it starts its fucking yapping.

Moving along to the other side of the argument, we have the people who suck at lifting an know it.  These people will claim that they have families, jobs, girlfriends, pets, children, grandparents, neighbors, lawns, weather, astrological events, illnesses, and at the end of the long list, a massive rant about performance enhancing drugs, that interfere with their ability to apply themselves fully to training.  What they don't realize is that no one gives a fuck- they made their bed, so they can fucking lie in it like the corpse they are.  If I wanted to end my life, I might have a kid, too.  To my knowledge, however, I've not yet come up red when I bet on black with a broad, so I've no massive drains on time and finances that would impede my training as only a child can, so I can still train whenever I want, drink whenever I want, fuck whenever I want, play Xbox whenever I want, and basically engage in whatever self-absorbed, puerile activities I see fit.  For those people who've chosen otherwise- sucks to be you, but you chose to do it, so shut the fuck up about it and let the rest of us enjoy our lives while you suffer through yours.  

What a winning mindset looks like.  I don't know of an instance wherein Goldberg has ever posted fitspiration bullshit... because that's what fucking posers do.  Winners are internally motivated.

In the end, as many of the inane arguments on the internet about training are, this whole discussion is fucking moot.  If someone is devoted to training and wants to be the best at one or more strength sports, bodybuilding, mas wrestling, or some other related pursuit, they're going to put on their fucking blinders, diet their asses off, train like they're possessed, and tell anyone with something to say about it to keep their fucking teeth together if they want to keep them in their mouth.  They won't let two jobs, a nagging cunt of a spouse, a kid, leprosy, or anything else get in their way.  Hopefully, they'll have an aptitude for whatever they chose, unlike the fucking goof who emailed me asking if he should quit his job and live as a homeless person in a van in the desert for three years to make it to the Olympics, though he was at the moment both fat and so piss-weak I wondered if I was being trolled.  If they do, they won't listen to the people on Facebook suggesting they need "balance" in their lives.  Balance, like moderation, humility, even-temperedness, political correctness, and every other thing people who love Michael Bolton, beige, and tapioca pudding proffer as the ultimate character traits and aspirational qualities, is for fucking losers.  Winners treat balance like we treat everything else the sheep bleat about- something to be crushed on the path to victory.

Fuck balance.  Fuck IBM blue button downs.  Fuck politeness.  Fuck Dockers.  Fuck minivans.  

You want to kick fucking ass?  
Grab what you want with both hands by the neck and throatfuck it into submission. 

Grandin, Temple and Richard Panek.  Your Genes Don’t Fit: Why 10,000 Hours of Practice Won’t Make You an Expert.  Wired.   May 2013.  Web.   Jul 2014.  http://www.wired.com/2013/05/so-you-know-that-10000-hours-makes-an-expert-rule-bunk/

10 July 2014

How Do You Make A Hormone? Don't Pay Her #2

After the heat that the last installment brought, you people know I could not help but come back for round two, because I enjoy hurt butts even when they're not the direct result of fisting porn.  Additionally, it's insane that women will fly off the fucking handle insisting that there's no reason to discuss the issues that female hormones create when lifting and competing, as ifegalitarianism does not extend to one's fucking endocrine system.  Your ovaries give two fucks about your bra burning, logic-free, Gloria Steinem-fueled misplaced rage- estrogen plays merry hell with brains and bodies and there's no shame in admitting that bleeding profusely for a week might make you a wee bit testy.

Before you go reaching for the nearest sharp implement and start googling my address, ladies, you might want to take a step back and remind yourselves that I'm not talking shit- this entire series arose out of the fact that it never occurred to me that the timing or overall incidence of a period could have any effect whatsoever on training.  Everyone trains hurt, or sick, or tired, so it was just a matter of rubbing some dirt on your vags and sucking it the fuck up, in my mind.  Then I started helping out my buddy Nuprin, and discovered that there's a whole host of bullshit you vaginally endowed people have to deal with that no man would even consider, because we're self-absorbed assholes who generally avoid the topic of periods to avoid getting screamed at (not because we're squeamish, because I would be hideously disappointed in any man who would wade in the red river but not drink from it).

It's claimed that the historical Amazon tribe had their right breast either burnt off or cut out to enable them to better throw their javelins, but this practice (if it indeed occurred) may have served a secondary purpose- lowering estrogen levels.  Given that aromatase expression primarily occurs in fatty tissue (Nelson), removal of a significant portion of these ancient bloodthirsty mankillers' extant body fat might have helped them increase body mass and strength, in addition to reducing the duration and intensity of their periods.  

Maybe they let the hottest Amazons keep both.

Though any man who's spent much time in the iron game likely feels compelled to view estrogen and progesterone as the hormonal equivalent of AIDS, however, both hormones play a number of valuable of roles in the lives of women.  Backed by a couple of studies and absolutely every argument-turned-attempted-murder-with-thrown-flatware ever initiated by a woman on her period, high estrogen levels confer improved verbal fluidity and improved motor skills, though perceptual object priming (the ability to associate like objects or words) is greatly reduced... which I suppose those arguments are so long and yet remain nonsensical after hours of repetition (Makia).  Estrogen also prevents bone loss and helps keep the vagina lubricated (Estrogen).  Not all of the effects are positive, however, as estrogen's role on female mental health is still a complete mystery.  As I have no interest in being accused of gender bias, allow me to simply copy and paste directly from Web Md:
"Hormones and the Brain
That's not to say estrogen isn't a major player in regulating moods. Estrogen acts everywhere in the body, including the parts of the brain that control emotion.
Some of estrogen's effects include:

  • Increasing serotonin, and the number of serotonin receptors in the brain
  • Modifying the production and the effects of endorphins, the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain
  • Protecting nerves from damage, and possibly stimulating nerve growth
What these effects mean in an individual woman is impossible to predict. Estrogen's actions are too complex for researchers to understand fully. As an example, despite estrogen's apparently positive effects on the brain, many women's moods improve after menopause, when estrogen levels are very low.
Some experts believe that some women are more vulnerable to the menstrual cycle's normal changes in estrogen. They suggest it's the roller coaster of hormones during the reproductive years that create mood disturbances.

Estrogen and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
As many as 90% of women experience unpleasant symptoms before their periods. If symptoms are reliably severe enough to interfere with quality of life, it's defined as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Generally speaking, PMS is present when:

  • Physical and emotional symptoms occur reliably a few days before multiple consecutive menses (periods)
  • The symptoms go away after completing a period and don't occur at other times
  • The symptoms cause significant personal problems (such as at work, school, or in relationships)
  • No medicines, drugs, alcohol, or other health condition might be to blame.
Bloating, swelling of arms or legs, and breast tenderness are the usual physical symptoms. Feeling overly emotional, experiencing depression, anger and irritability, or having anxiety and social withdrawal may be present. As many as 20% to 40% of women may have PMS at some point in life" (Web MD). 

Given that neither science nor women themselves have a handle on how estrogen levels affect their moods, it's unsurprising that the Amazons were as hard as they were after surgically lowering their estrogen levels.  The latter bit of the Web MD writeup was of particular importance for female athletes, though, especially when it comes to meet timing.  Bloating and swelling will make it hard to make weight, emotional swings will make it hard to focus, and the fact that women suffer pronounced ligament and tendon laxity, neuromuscular coordination, and postural control will make stability and power on the platform an issue, in addition to raising the possibility of injury considerably (Fridén).  Not when I refer to "power" I don't refer to the ability to generate strength- I'm referring to the ability to apply that strength against an unsecured load.  Actual muscular strength, as measured by machines, appears to remarkably unaffected by premenstrual syndrome according to studies (Frieden, et al), as are VO2 max and endurance (Xanne), though one study showed females peak strength to occur mid-ovulatory period and that strength decreased and susceptibility to fatigue increased as shark week drew near . 

Officially the greatest shark week underwear in history.

So, then, what's the point in caring what phase of the menstrual cycle a chick is in when planning a meet?  Of greatest import is the issue of tendon laxity.  Women are four to eight times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than men (Wojtys), and that seems to be due in large part to the laxity in tendons and ligaments in the follicular (days 1-@9) and luteal phases (@19-30).  This coincides with self reported evidence, in which women often claimed to feel muscular weakness during their luteal phase (PMS and the shark week itself).  Thus, it's likely unwise to compete in strength sports on one's period, if for no other reason than the drastic increase in the chance of a ruptured tendon or ligament, something to which I can personally attest blows ass harder than a leather-clad dude on meth and poppers in a gay scat video.   

Not pictured- the chick I asked.  This is just some random powerlifter.  Oddly, chicks are reticent to be associated with this blog.  Go figure.

Given that this is all conjecture on my part, I decided to consult a top ranked female powerlifter in regards to her opinion on competing during her period.  She felt that the biggest issue was making weight, and had the following to say on the subject: 
Meet Timing and Water Retention
I personally, never ever compete during shark week. I suppose I'm just fortunate in the sense my body works on a regular cycle and my stress levels (always high) remain pretty consistent. I've talked with more than one sister lifter who routinely competes while on it and can never quite match her gym totals.
Why would you ever?
If you're a chick you've been there. It's not a lack of aggression, it's a ton of unfocused white hot aggression. Everything pisses you off. Every single comment, every stupid misplaced dish, and your boyfriend's lack of understanding of how to just give you the damn chocolate and walk the fuck away.
If you bothered to read the earlier blog you'll realize we're not making this shit up. It's not really our fault we go bat shit crazy sometimes.
You'll stand at a bar getting antsy and angry at the same time. Concerned that you'll squeeze so fucking hard your blood stopper will slip out causing all kinds of embarrassment on the platform. Fuck it, it's not even worth the aggravation.
Cutting water is an even bigger nightmare. If you want to not even have problems cutting the water? Try timing meets right after your menstrual cycle.

I'm not saying you can't make weight while you're pmsing, just saying it is rather unpleasant and stressful.
Apparently a chick suffering from menstrual bloating.

As my buddy stated, women suffer from a sharp increase in fluid-regulatory hormones and plasma renin activity, both of which result in edema, during the crimson horror.  This means they're retaining water at a much higher rate than usual (Hirshoren).  Obviously, and as the anonymous female above stated, that's going to make competing a bitch from a "making weight" standpoint, nevermind the discomfort of feeling swollen and wearing a belt while your intestines are holding extra water and gas.  Neither of those two results are particularly conducive to setting records on fire at meets, which is yet another reason why the red scare makes competing a pain in the vagina.

Supposed to be what chicks say during their period.  I must know a lot of chicks on their periods.
Another issue facing women, especially those suffering through a crime scene in their pants, is anemia.  Around a quarter of the female populace in the United States is anemic (Percent), and this number likely increases during the luteal phase of menstruation.  That can have a profound effect on performance in the gym, and studies have shown that iron supplementation can increase sports performance in women with mild anemia (which of course would indicate that people with more severe anemia would benefit even more greatly) (LaManca).  Iron supplementation has been shown to increase VO2 max, decrease blood lactate, increase endurance time to exhaustion, increase muscular endurance and strength and decrease fatigue (LaManca, Brutsaert).

Cramps seem to suck pretty hard.

In summary, ladies, your body pretty much fucking hates you for about ten days a month.  If you're going to pick an ideal day to max out or compete, the middle of your cycle would be ideal, and the beginning of your cycle would be your best choice.  As we've detailed, however, shark week is definitely not the time to do it.  If you're training during that week (which is supposed to help relieve cramps), it might help to supplement with charcoal and goldenseal or dandelion root for the gas and bloating, electrolytes just to balance your salts, curcumin and white willow bark (or aspirin) for inflammation and pain, and vitex to help balance your hormones and control your progesterone levels.

And bros, don't consign your women to the red tent- chicks are crazy horny on their periods (Englander), and orgasms and vaginal stimulation in general increase women's pain threshhold (Whipple).  Less pain means less irritation means less fights means everyone's life is better.  Thus, you better up your oral skills, because not only do we not trust a man who will not wade in the red river at Chaos and Pain, we do not trust the man who refuses to drink from it, either.  

Brutsaert TD, Hernandez-Cordero S, Rivera J, Viola T, Hughes G, Haas JD.  Iron supplementation improves progressive fatigue resistance during dynamic knee extensor exercise in iron-depleted, nonanemic women.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Feb;77(2):441-8.

Englander-Golden P, Chang HS, Whitmore MR, Dienstbier RA.  Female sexual arousal and the menstrual cycle.  J Human Stress. 1980 Mar;6(1):42-8.

Estrogen.  Healthy Women.  Web.  10 Jul 2014.  http://www.healthywomen.org/condition/estrogen

Fridén, C.  Neuromuscular performance and balance during the menstrual cycle and the influence of premenstrual symptoms.  Thesis.  2004.  http://publications.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/38957

Fridén C, Hirschberg AL, Saartok T.  Muscle strength and endurance do not significantly vary across 3 phases of the menstrual cycle in moderately active premenopausal women.  Clin J Sport Med. 2003 Jul;13(4):238-41.

Hirshoren N, Tzoran I, Makrienko I, Edoute Y, Plawner MM, Itskovitz-Eldor J, Jacob G.  Menstrual cycle effects on the neurohumoral and autonomic nervous systems regulating the cardiovascular system.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Apr;87(4):1569-75.

LaManca JJ, Haymes EM.  Effects of iron repletion on VO2max, endurance, and blood lactate in women.  Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1993 Dec;25(12):1386-92.

Makia PM, Rich JB, Rosenbaum RS.  Implicit memory varies across the menstrual cycle: estrogen effects in young women.  Neuropsychologia.  2002; 40(5):518-529.

Nelson LR, Bulun SE.  Estrogen production and action.  J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Sep;45(3 Suppl):S116-24.

Review: could Premenstrual syndrome cause Lack of strength, muscle weakness, weakness?  eHealthMe.  Web.  10 Jul 2014.  http://www.ehealthme.com/cs/premenstrual+syndrome/lack+of+strength,+muscle+weakness,+weakness

Sarwar R, Niclos BB, Rutherford OM. Changes in muscle strength, relaxation rate and fatiguability during the human menstrual cycle.  J Phys (1996), 493.1, 267-272.

Whipple B, Komisaruk BR.  Elevation of pain threshold by vaginal stimulation in women.  Pain. 1985 Apr;21(4):357-67.

Women's health.  WebMD.  Web. 10 Jul 2014.  http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/estrogen-and-womens-emotions

Wojtys EM, Huston LJ, Lindenfeld TN, Hewett TE, V. H. Greenfield ML.  Association Between the Menstrual Cycle and Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in Female Athletes.  Am J Sports Med. 1998 Sep-Oct;26(5):614-9.

Xanne A, Janse de Jonge K.  Effects of the Menstrual Cycle on Exercise Performance.  Sports Med.  2003; (33)11, 833-851.

06 July 2014

Blast From the Past: (Completely Rewritten) Baddest Motherfuckers Ever #7- Paul Anderson

Have you ever felt like just digging a hole in your backyard, then building a squat stand over it and loading a thousand pounds on it, then standing in the hole and doing partials with it?  Me neither. Paul Anderson, however, thought about a lot of crazy shit like that. Paul Anderson, if you don't know already, was an American Olympic weightlifter, proto-powerlifter, and strongman who was well known for his weird-ass training style and his penchant for shattering world records.

Paul's Stats
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 330-360 lbs.

Chest: 58"
Biceps: 22"
Thigh: 36"
Neck: 22.5"

Paul's Pro Boxing Record (You didn't know he boxed, did you?)

2W-1L (2 KO's)

Paul lost his first amateur fight from basically being Butterbean- he knocked his opponent down three times but was wheezing by the third round and asked the ref to stop the fight so he didn't die.  His pro loss came from a disqualification when he just picked up his opponent and body slammed him (Silver).

Paul's Best Confirmed and Alleged Lifts
  • Standard clean and press: 402.5 lbs (confirmed)
  • Snatch: 347 lbs. (confirmed)
  • Clean and Press: 445 lbs. (confirmed); 415x3 (confirmed); 424x2 (confirmed).
  • One arm overhead push press (with Olympic barbell): 250 lbs. (confirmed); 300 lbs. x 8-10 with right and 5-7 with left hand (alleged) 
  • Squat: 920 lbs. (confirmed); 1,202 lbs. (alleged); 800 - 900 x 10 reps (depending on the source) 
  • Silver Dollar Squat: 1,160 lbs. (alleged- the owner said it weighed 1000 lbs. and was $15k in coins, and the weights here hanging off the bar to improve the leverage)
  • Bench Press (Raw): 450 x 3 (confirmed); 627 lb (alleged)
  • Deadlift: 750 lbs. (confirmed); 820 lbs. (alleged)  
  • Backlift: 6270 lbs (alleged and apparently entirely unwitnessed)
  • Hip Lift: 4100 lbs.
  • Continental and Jerk: 460 lbs. (alleged)
  • Two Hand Overhead Press: 400 lbs. x 7 (alleged)
  • Push Press: 500 lbs. (confirmed); 545 lbs. (alleged)

Paul's Olympic Weightlifting Record
Olympic Games
Gold- 1956 Melbourne +90 kg
World Championships
Gold- 1955 Munich +90 kg

U.S. National Weightlifting Championships
1st- 1955 +90kg
1st- 1956 +90kg

As loudmouth internet warriors are wont to be incredulous about the poundages with which Anderson is credited, I posted both the lifts that have been confirmed in documentation or competition and the ones he's alleged to have lifted.  Though many of his lifts have been verified by some of the greatest lifters in history, including Bruce Wilhelm, Bob Peoples, and Pat Casey, and all of them would slap you out of your shoes if they witnessed you shit talking Anderson's epic lifts, Anderson's biography was apparently pretty well full of shit and people are prone to making outrageous claims about Anderson's strength (Neece).  Tommy Kono, however, one of the greatest American Olympic weightlifters, said of people's doubts about Anderson's lifts (before the claims started to get really outrageous):
"Anyone who never saw Paul lift should reserve judgement because his strength levels had to be seen to be believed- it wasn't just the size of the weights Paul handled, but the ease with which he handled them was so staggering.  People have to recognize that many of Paul's lifts were done under impromptu conditions-- such as Paul accommodating people by lifting whatever was at hand at the moment.  This contributes to the discrepancies in reported weights, etc., but should not diminish the significance of the lifts" (Wilhelm 12).

Additionally, Paul was reported by Tommy Kono to have done a set of ten full squats, with no warmup, with 700 lbs., "so rapidly that it was as if free squats were performed" (PP 16), and shattered the world record in the strict press lifting IN THE RAIN, pressing 402 lbs in strict competition fashion over his head- 72 lbs more than the previous record. Ten years later, he broke the record again with 420. You can see why people felt comfortable making outrageous claims about Anderson's lifts, then, because the real weights were so phenomenal they were easy to embellish.

I would venture to guess he'd not be a fan of this pic.

Before we get into his training methods, it would only seem appropriate to outline the man himself, as although he's certainly every bit the strength sports badass who generally receives treatment on Chaos and Pain, he is hardly the psychotic, misanthropic, purveyor of destruction of the other Baddest Motherfuckers are.  Paul Anderson was none of those things- instead, he was a deeply religious Southern Baptist big softie who some might say squandered all of his talent performing exhibitions rather than actually competing to raise a youth home for disadvantaged kids. Nowhere will you find stories of Paul Anderson, hard drinking, coke snorting, bulldozer of a man who once threw a boulder through the window of a McDonalds, or smashed his face open by headbutting a pay phone off a wall, or holding people hostage for a ham sandwich.  Instead, Paul Anderson was what can only be described as a really nice guy.

Born to standard, intact, Southern American family, Anderson was huge even as a youth.  According to Earl Liederman, "when he was 12 years of age he weighed 160; at 15 he tipped the scales at 200; at 16 he was around 210; at 17 his weight went to about 230; at 18 he weighed 250; and at 19, 270 pounds," and by the time he was 20 he was 295 (Liederman).  According to Clarence Bass, Anderson's noob gains were beyond fucking retarded, but as everything about Anderson seems larger than life, it should come as no surprise.  "In less than a year of training, Paul transformed himself from "just another small town Southern boy" into a 275-pounder with a 21 l/2" neck, 20" arm, 33" thigh and 19" calf.  In later years, his arms and neck grew to 25" and his thighs to 36"" (Bass).

No real record exists of the sizes of his parents, but with dimensions like those you'd expect to hear a story that Gojira was a female and King Kong knocked her up, only to produce Anderson.  Well, save for his height, but what he lacked in height, he made up for in girth.  Paul Anderson was a mere 5'9" and weighed around 350 pounds at the peak of his strength career, though he at one point ballooned to 400 and snagged his Olympic gold weighing 303. Though he was famous for his fast sprint starts and concomitant explosive strength, he was apparently hideously out of shape and usually wheezing in an effort to catch his breath. 

No matter his failings as an endurance athlete and the fact that Anderson was fatter than Chris Farley after a weekend locked inside an all you can eat buffet- his resultant strength has made him a legend in strength sports, a successful pro boxer, an Olympic gold medalist, an epic powerlifter, and the king of the odd lifts in the 20th Century.  Anderson's career was as all over the place as his bona fides would indicate.  He had a show for some time in Las Vegas, in which he squatted a barbell weighing over 1,000 lbs loaded with $10,000 in silverdollars.  Later, he appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, and other late night shows, in an effort to raise money for his youth home.  Given what is still continuing indifference to awesome feats of strength in the fat-ensconced brains of the American public, Anderson soon turned to professional wrestling and boxing to earn money.  Additionally, he continued to tour the country performing exhibitions wherein he would backlift while playing some kind of wind instrument to raise money for his youth home.  He did this so often, in fact, that "[Bob] Hoffman would later claim, with a straight face, at a USOC eligibility hearing that [Anderson] was a musician, not a professional weightlifter" (Archibald). 

Anderson could have cited his unique training methods as the key to his success, but being an evangelical Christian, he gave all the credit to someone else. It's all well and good if you're religious, but if you're squatting upwards of 900 lbs, chances are it was a combination of long, brutal workouts, a little genetic luck, and a lot of eating, since the Catholic Church doesn't seem to be fielding the majority of the gold medalists in the Olympic Weightlifting and Jesus wasn't well known for being a strongman.  Weirdly, however, Anderson rarely chose to compete, even though he was nearly criminally strong and was occasionally even at competitions performing exhibitions.  This is probably why so many people are apt to call bullshit on his lifts.  For instance:

"In 1958, in Madison Square Garden, he gave an exhibition after a USA-USSR competition in which the U.S. team was defeated. Hoping to soothe the crowd, he took the Soviet heavyweight’s winning clean and jerk of 424 lbs. and cleaned and pressed it for two reps. A few years later, in 1962, when Yuri Vlasov broke his amateur record with a press of 415 lbs., Anderson answered by pressing 415 lbs. for three reps in an exhibition in Dalton, Georgia" (Neece).  

In spite of the fact that he preferred exhibitions to competitions and some of his lifts are somewhat disputed, his methods for getting crazy strong still bear investigation.  I've already alluded to, and shown a picture of, one of his favorite training methods- squatting in a hole. As time progressed, he would add dirt to the hole, increasing his range of motion, and he eventually got to the point were he could allegedly squat 1,200 (though bear in mind he allegedly squatted 315 for ten reps the first time he got under a bar or 400 for a double, depending on the source [Wilhelm, Liederman]).  As you can see above, he had a multitude of ways to do partial squats and gradually add weight, and it seems he included the use of proto-crazybells in his partials as well (this rig apparently weighed about 1800 lbs).  The key to these partials was to start at the bottom, rather than the top, so eliminate the bounce out of the hole and increase the loads your body is capable of handling.  

Another wacky training method Anderson used was to set up two golf holes on his farm about 300 yards apart. He'd whack the ball down to the one hole, where he'd set up an outdoor rack with a bar loaded to 400. He'd do 3-5 reps in the overhead press with it, then whack the ball back to the other hole, where he'd set up a squat rack loaded to 800. He'd bang out 3-5 reps with that weight, then repeat, all afternoon. Yeah, that sounds pretty fucking awesome to me as well, save for the golfing. I'd rather do a set and get a bleach enema, then repeat. I truly despise golf. Anderson's typical workouts (according to Marty Gallagher in Purposeful Primitive) were 6 days a week and took 3-4 hours to complete.

Paul Anderson's Powerlifting Routine
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Press Off Rack- 1x6x300, 1x2x400, 1x2x390, 1x2x370
Press Outs (from sticking point to lockout)- 1x4x500
Press From Shoulders To Top Of Head- 1x4x500
Push-Press Off Rack- 1x3x450
Bench Press- 1x6-8x400-450

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Full Squat- 2x10x600, 1x2x825, 1x2x845, 1x2x900
Half Squat- 1x2x1200
Quarter Squat- 1x2x1800
Deadlift- 4x6-8x650

Bob Whelan gave another account of an Anderson Program- one that was specialized for Olympic Weightlifting.  Though many oly lifters would scoff at this routine, it was developed by a man who had no coaching in the sport, yet who easily took the gold at the Olympics and won the world championships in Olympic Weightlifting.  As such, you may want to bust out your pens and take some notes on the following routine.

Paul Anderson's Olympic Weightlifting Routine
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
Overhead Press- Lots of sets of 2x320 
Dumbbell Press- 7x3x135
Press Behind Neck- High reps to pump up the shoulder area.
Snatch- Singles, working up from 225 to 300 pounds.
Squat Clean- Singles up to 400 pounds.
Deadlift- 690 pounds, 2x3.
High pulls (to waist)- 500 pounds, 4x3.

According to Whelan, Anderson was a big fan of using straps and metal hooks to aid his grip.  For the Oly stuff, it seems, he used straps, whereas with deadlifts, he used hooks (and reportedly worked up to a grand with a double overhand grip).  His rest periods explain part of the reason he trained all day, too- he rested 10 to 15 minutes between sets, and would sometimes take an hour break between exercises.

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Full Squats- Doubles, working up to 780 pounds for 3x2.

These were basically active rest days for Anderson, hence the low volume.


Anderson was also a big fan of day-long workouts, wherein he would rest up to 30 mins in between sets, sipping milk and bullshitting. He'd apparently drink a gallon or more of milk during the course of his workout.  Lest you think his workouts were limited to the above lifts, though, think again- Anderson was an all-round lifter who had a massive array of lifts he'd work into his daily lifts, and has was weak at nothing as a result.  For instance, there are pics of Paul training neck and grip incredibly heavy all of the internet, as well as walking on is hands in the pushup position using a rolling cart he designed for the purpose, and even doing upside down tricep extansions inside a squat cage.  He left no stone unturned and literally left no weight unlifted when he trained- there was no exercise too silly, or too beneath him, or too "worthless" for him to do, and he'd have even incorporated Bosu balls into his training if they'd existed.

Handstand pushups at 350 lbs.

 Traveling and think you can't train?  Anderson just called you a bitch from the grave.

I don't even have words... the man was an innovator, for sure.

Who would even think to do this?

Errr, sure.  That works, I guess.

To fuel his workouts, Anderson claimed that the key was protein.  Having been plagued by health problems as a kid stemming from Blight's Disease, which affects kidney function, Anderson was restricted to a vegetarian/fruitarian diet until the poor, malnourished little motherfucker plied his mom with enough tears to get her to feed him meat.  From then on, the man ate meat like it was going out of fashion, using what little spending money he had as a kid not on candy, like his friends, but on canned fish.  Later, he experimented with protein drinks made of sweet milk and raw eggs, and eventually adding ingredients until his ultimate formula contained "ice cream and milk shakes with... soybean meal, raw eggs, [and] milk" (Anderson).  On top of that, Anderson consumed any type of meat put in front of him, cooked rare, and not surprising to any of us after the Stew-Roids series, a very thick soup:
"This soup was usually made of some canned variety in which she added a liquid that she squeezed with a hand press from ground beef. She would put the beef on the stove in a large pan and add some water. As this started to get hot she would allow it to simmer for about a minute, actually just long enough for it to get hot, and then pour it through a lemon-squeezing press, that would extract all of the fluid. She would pour this fluid into the soup and serve it to me in that manner. Thinking of this, I decided I would add this type of strength-builder to my then fortified protein diet, and every morning for breakfast this is what I would have to start my strenuous day" (Anderson).

So how the fuck did the man get so fat?  He thought sugar was the key to digesting protein.  Nevermind the fact that this is quite literally impossible- Anderson believed it and ate accordingly.  
"Occasionally I would drink soft drinks during my training and noticed when I did this I could perform much better, and my digestive cycle would work much faster. This proved to me that I needed a great deal more sugar. It seemed that the more protein I took, the more sugar I needed to help digest the protein, and also give me quick energy. I turned to the greatest sugar supply I could find, which was honey. I soon found that much of the honey that could be bought in grocery stores did not do me as much good as honey direct from the beehive, bought from a farmer. It was my personal belief that much of the honey that was on the market had been heated in a pasteurizing process and had lost some of its quick digesting qualities.
Some days I would consume even a half pint of honey, when I was working out strenuously and carrying on my tremendous traveling schedule" (Anderson).
That might, and SHOULD, seem retarded to you, but I have witnessed with my own two eyeballs some old head at a meet drink three bottles of honey in a single day.  I waited for the man to go into diabetic coma and had "9-1-1" dialed into my phone with my finger on the send button, but wheeze as he might, the dude failed to die in front of me.  As he'd squatted in a suit and bench shirt, I was somewhat disappointed, but at least now I know why he did what he did.

So, there you have it. Another unconventional lifter in a world of bland, copycat bullshit. Guess who succeeds? It's not the douche doing bodypart workouts at your local Gold's- it's the guys who do weird shit, and A LOT OF IT, who make a name for themselves. Now, go do some reverse grip cleans and when some headband-rocking, heroin-chic, weak-as-you-little-sister-if-she-had-AIDS, personal trainer tells you you're doing cleans wrong, punch him in the mouth, roast him over an open fire, and invite anyone you know with a descended testicle to a barbecue... at least if you think you can get any meat off his sorry ass.

Interesting short bit from a documentary on Paul Anderson about his training methods.  You'll want to stab your eardrums with a screwdriver after listening to the mustachioed hillbilly jabber at you about how Paul Anderson  trained barefoot, but it's interesting nonetheless.

By the way, if you want an interesting read that disputes the validity of Paul Anderson's backlift numbers, go here; for his hiplift, go here; and in regards to the safe he used for the backlift, go here.  Given the propensity for exaggeration and misleading statements by Evangelical Christians, I can't imagine those articles will shock anyone.

Archibald, Dresdin.  Doug Hepburn and Paul Anderson: comparison and contrast.  Lift Up.  2005.  Web.  6 Jul 2014.  http://www.chidlovski.net/liftup/a_anderson_n_hepburn.asp

Bass, Clarence.  Paul Anderson, king Of the squat.  Ripped.  Web.  6 Jul 2014.  http://www.cbass.com/ANDERSON.HTM

Gallagher, Marty. The Purposeful Primitive. St. Paul: Dragon Door Publications, 2008. pp. 9-17.

Kiiha, Osmo.  Paul Anderson.  Bob Whelan.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/panderson.html

Liederman, Earle.  20-Year old Paul Anderson.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  30 Jul 2011.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/07/20-year-old-paul-anderson-earle.html

Neece, Steve.  Paul Anderson’s Claims.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  3 Sep 2009.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/09/paul-andersons-claims-steeve-neece.html

A Paul Anderson Power Training Routine.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  3 Sep 2009.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/02/paul-anderson-power-training-routine.html

Paul Anderson (weightlifter).  Wikipedia.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Anderson_(weightlifter)

Silver, Mike.  Boxers 2, Strongmen 0.  Boxing.  18 Apr 2013.  Web.  4 Jul 2014.  http://www.boxing.com/boxers_2_strongmen_0.html

Wilhelm, Bruce.  Paul Anderson: Force of Nature.  Milo.  1193 Apr;1(1):10-14.

Willoughby, David. The Super-Athletes. NY: AS Barnes and Company, 1970. pp 112-114.