23 December 2018

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever- Chet "I Beat Arnold Then Said Fuck Bodybuilding" Yorton

As I've pointed out, Arnold Schwarzenegger was mostly a paper tiger as a Mr. Olympia, but even as such, defeating him has to say something about one's pedigree as everyone on Earth seems to have lined up to suck Arnold's dick back in the day.  That's not to say that there were no good builders back in the day, but rather that they either competed in other federations than the Oak or the judges and federations gave the Oak preferential treatment.  In any event, one of the few people to defeat Arnold in bodybuilding (and who would have smoked the Oak in powerlifting as well) is a dude about whom you've likely heard little or nothing- Chet Yorton.

Chet Yorton's life reads like it was written by Joe Simon and illustrated by Jack Kirby, with an origin story so campy and stereotypical that it only could have come from a 1940s pulp rag.  Though Chet's personal habits fell in line with a whiskey-fueled backstory bearing the tagline "America's Greatest Hero," reality was for once as ridiculous as life.  After a car wreck that would have killed Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, an almost-eighteen year old Chet Yorton was left a shattered man, and frankly I cannot describe the situation better than the great Earle Liederman:
"After he had somewhat recuperated from a total physical wreck of broken and also shattered bones, serious multiple lacerations, concussion, and also escaping by only one-eighth of an inch from death, he developed himself so rapidly despite such handicaps, that within two years of exercising he won the title of Mr. Wisconsin, and also in the same affair won an extra award for being the most muscular. Such seems to be somewhat of a record--to become a prize winner within two years after a start from physical profundity" (Liederman).
As I said, Yorton should have received a lifetime supply of spandex and latex clothing and in a better world would have spent his life battling dudes with concrete for skin who shot lasers out of their eyes while robbing banks and attempting global domination.  Saying Chet Yorton is genetically gifted is like saying the Elon Musk is a marginally intelligent guy who occasionally has a good idea, but like Musk, Yorton worked his fucking ass off to develop the build he had.  Training six days a week from age 18 to age 26, Yorton built a physique so dense, and with so much muscle separation and vascularity, that it looked like the product of many more years under the bar.  The crazy thing was, however, that he wasn't even all that athletic growing up.  Instead, it took a car crash so ridiculously it seems like one of the more unlikely death scenes in the Final Destination series to spur him on to training, and had his friend not been a shitty driver in an era wherein you wouldn't go to jail for forgetting to wear your fucking seatbelt, we never would have even heard of the man.
"One night as a friend was driving me home and while hitting a speed of about 40 miles per hour, he missed a curve in the road and the car struck a tree which was but two blocks from my abode. I braced myself against the floorboards but the impact drove my hips out of their sockets. I flew up hitting the dashboard, shattering my thighs. I was thrown against the windshield, smashing it, and cutting my left eye, right through the eyeball. I also ripped open my left forearm from the elbow to the wrist. But that spear of glass that penetrated my eyeball was the most serious of all. And afterwards when I became conscious in the hospital in Milwaukee, I was told that had this glass penetrated my eyeball just one-eighth of an inch further I would have been dead as it then would have pierced my brain. But the nearest I came to that morbid state was a brain concussion. 
"I lay in the car for half an hour until the police arrived and pried the doors open with crowbars to release me. The ambulance rushed me to the St. Francis hospital where the doctors then debated about amputating my right leg, but not consenting, they then performed surgery on it for four and one-half hours, putting in a five-inch steel plate and eight screws around my right thigh bone. Three days later they performed surgery on my left thigh bone and at which time they inserted a stainless steel rod about an inch in diameter, inside the femur bone of my left leg from the hip to knee by cutting my hip open and drilling out the hollow where the rod was to be inserted down the center of the thigh bone. 
"I was put in casts from hips to toes in traction where I lay in this position for a month. The cast was then taken off my left leg when physical therapy started for its benefit. When I was able to bend my left leg sufficiently the surgeons allowed me to walk on crutches supporting my bodyweight on my right leg that was still in cast. 
"I hobbled around on crutches and finally was allowed to go home. There I continued hobbling around on crutches for some time, and one day, I accidentally lost my balance and fell down the porch steps. This fall bent my left leg and also left thigh bone into a 45 degree angle! So back to the hospital I was taken for 17 more days under further surgery and then confined to a wheel chair for over four months. I also had to undergo further treatments for still another month and so I had to later learn to walk on crutches all over again" (Liederman).
So, after discovering dumbbells while sitting in a hospital wheelchair, this literal superman managed to put on 55 lbs of rip in seven months.  He kept bulking from there, ending up at a massive but puffy 240lbs, for a total weight gain of about 80lbs in about a year and a half.  From there, he cut until 210, entered his first bodybuilding contest, and crushed everyone, in a story so preposterous that by now every Redditor is subconsciously screeching the word "steroids" in spite of the fact that Redditors think my writing will make you pop positive for gear and avoid it like they do hard training.  Even had the man used steroids, this story would be less believable than the one about Michael Jackson being a straight man who didn't fuck kids.  Nevertheless, it is not only true, but the man was so vociferously opposed to steroids that he became the first obnoxious natty bro in bodybuilding.

Chet Yorton Vital Statistics
Height: 5'11"
Off Season Weight: 210-240lbs
Competition Weight: 215-220lbs
Arms: 19"
Neck: 18"
Chest: 51½"
Waist: 32½"
Thighs: 26½"
Calves: 18"
Squat: 600lbs (competition, post automotive armageddon)
Deadlift: 600lbs (competition)
Bench: 450lbs (competition)
Olympic Total: 800lbs (Clean and jerk, clean and press, and snatch)
Semi-strict Curl (hips had to remain against a pole): 230lbs
Strict Curl (with back and hips against pole: 205lbs

Oh yes, people, it seems natty bros have always been a pain in the ass.  Although steroid use didn't carry the stigma then that it does now, Yorton railed against it like Seventh Day Adventists do against meat, fun, and fucking.  Frankly, it should have been a a siren call to everyone that a literal superman who packed on 80lbs of rip right out of a fucking wheelchair in under two years of training thought the use of steroids was unfair, but instead of people taking notice of the fact superman decried them, Yorton just managed to piss everyone off to the point that he was shunned.  Beyond that, he pissed off the AAU by appearing in two hilariously bad beach movies and saw his placings take a beating like a black woman who got lippy with an NFL player in a hotel lobby.  And the final ingredient in the shit sandwich that was Yorton's early shit sandwich of a career?  The fact that bodybuilding was about as lucrative then as powerlifting is today.  As such, Yorton said, "when life gives you lemons, say 'fuck the lemons' and bail," and proceeded to use his own money to finance the first natty bro federation the NBA (Natural Bodybuilding Association), and and magazine, Natural Bodybuilding.

As with anything else natty bros touch, the entire operation went to shit in short order.  No one believed the competitors were natty, in spite of Yorton's wild-eyed enthusiasm for treating steroids users like heretics during the Inquisition, and the fact that the contests involved serious prize money for the time and the most stringent testing available at the time.  As such, the whiny pussies of the natty world drove Yorton nearly insane with their incessant bitching and concomitant refusal to pay for anything themselves, and so Yorton sold his supplement shop, terminated the operations of the federation, and went into the antiquing business with his wife in 1982.

Arnold later said that he looked like a pile of uncooked bread dough standing next to Chet Yorton onstage, and changed both his training style and his contest preparation completely so as never to be embarrassed onstage again.
"In the middle 1960s, a number of things irked him personally and spiritually.  He saw a destructive trend rise in Southern California as steroids took a grasp on the field.  He also noted large areas of what he considered immoral conduct on the part of many top bodybuilders who seemingly sold themselves to the highest bidder for sexual favors to earn a non-laborious livelihood, so that their training would not suffer.  In that framework, he also noted  number of political intrigues that occurred within the organization governing bodybuilding contests" (Roach 271).
In other words, he didn't like the was shit was run, went his own way, and the world went against him... mostly because natty bros don't even trust each other and do little else than accuse everyone of being on steroids all the time.  Nevertheless, this is a guy who managed to intuitively concoct a program that allowed him to put on 55lbs while shrinking his waist 3" in two years, and produced one of the sickest physiques in an era that was filled with them.  

Speaking of an era filled with sick physiques, Yorton was sanctioned by the AAU (in a bout of fuckery that would make even the limpest micropenises in the IPF hard as the gumdrops they resemble) for appearing in the movie Muscle Beach Party with the superstar ensemble of Mr Olympia Larry Scott, champion gunsmith and Mr. America Gene Shuey, Steve Merjanian, Dan "Grizzly Adams" Haggerty, and bodybuilder and sword and sandal actor Peter Lupus, which resulted in lower placing than he should have received in the AAU Southern California and Mr California and made Yorton more bitter than an incel at a Valentines Day singles party.  

Chet Yorton, occasional training partner of Chuck Ahrens, describing the vast difference between the modern attention whore and the dudes of his era who actually enjoyed lifting: 
"Chuck [Ahrens] never cared about competing.  He just liked lifting for himself.  It wasn't uncommon.  I have encountered a number of athletes over the years who could have competed in powerlifting or bodybuilding and when approached to do so, they just say 'naa' and shrug it off" (Roach 274).

Yorton had the good luck to train alongside some of the biggest names of the late 50s and early 60s, but all of the lifters at that time had entirely different takes on training.  As such, Olympic weightlifters shared training methods and trained with proto-powerlifters and bodybuilders, and their training methods would adapt and evolve over time to reflect the environment in which they were developed and the best practices the lifters had learned in those places.  Yorton was no different.  Although he was well known for doing a bizarre workout consisting of sets of 22 reps, he utilized everything from six days of training a week to one session every five days.  The following is his contest prep program, which he did in a two days on, one day off schedule.  Day one was push, day two was pull and squat, and day three was off, and he'd repeat that ad nauseam until the day of the contest.

Contest Prep Program (2 Days On, 1 Day Off)
Day 1: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Bench Press- As many sets as necessary until you reach 100 reps total, then 1 rep max.  Chet usually did 5 sets of 22 with 315 and then a max single.  On these and every other set, Chet went to failure.
Lateral Raise-  5 x 8-10
Bent-over Lateral Raise- 5 x 8-10
Barbell Overhead Press- 5 x 8-10
Barbell Front Raise- 5 x 8-10 
Triceps Pushdowns- 5 x 8-10
Reverse Grip Dips- 5 x 8-10
One-Arm French Press- 5 x 8-10
Triceps Kickbacks- 5 x 8-10
Incline Crunches- 500 reps
Leg Raises- 500 reps

I've had the good fortune to have been around some top bodybuilders in my time, but I've rarely seen one as perfectly proportioned and "finished" as he was. And, this was well past his competition years. Not to be cliche, but he looked like a statue. Most photos of him I've seen don't do him justice. He was far from huge (I would guess he weighed 190-200 or so), but *everything* was in perfect proportion, separated, and cut. I swear, no need to add or subtract an ounce anywhere. The finish to his physique had that very rare quality reminiscent of a thoroughbred horse or large cat. I don't want to overstate this too much, but unlike a lot of bodybuilders before or since, a build like that looks like it was made by the hand of God rather than Man - everything went together that well. Arnold, Dave, Pearl, Zane and very few others I can think of fall into that category. He posed to "Exodus" or one of those really inspiring pieces. It was outstanding. I won't forget it. The crowd went wild (Luttrell).

Tuesdays- Back, Biceps and Legs
Behind the Neck Pulldowns- 5 x 8-10
Wide-Grip Rows- 5 x 8-10
Reverse-Grip Rows- 5 x 8-10
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows- 5 x 8-10
Barbell Curls- 5 x 8-10
Concentration Curls- 5 x 8-10
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls- 5 x 8-10
Standing Dumbbell Curls- 5 x 8-10
Squats- 5 x 8-10
Hack Squats- 5 x 8-10
Leg Curls- 5 x 8-10
Leg Extensions- 5 x 8-10
Standing Calf Raises (Toes pointed straight)- 5 x 40
Standing Calf Raises (Toes pointed out)- 5 x 40
Standing Calf Raises (Toes pointed in)- 5 x 40
Incline Crunches- 500 reps
Leg Raises- 500 reps

"I will never forget the tense, prolonged time it took during the prejudging posedown before the decision was announced. As I sat studying each contestant while they moved from pose to pose, two or three British judges were behind me making their decision. I heard them all agree that it was Chet Yorton’s calves that gave him the edge over Arnold; so Yorton won by a pair of larger, better developed calves" (Grimek).

Off Season Program (Done around every five days)
Squat- 2 x 22
Overhead Press- 2 x 22
Deadlift- 2 x 22
Bench Press- 2 x 22 (1x22x225; 1x22x325)

If the above program blows your fucking mind, it should- even famed strength coach Bill Starr was in disbelief about it.
"The most unusual program I ever saw for a bodybuilder belonged to Chet Yorton when we trained together at the old Muscle Beach Gym in Santa Monica. He did four exercises for two sets of 22 reps. How he came up with that grouping of numbers I’ll never know, but it worked perfectly for him. Not only did he have one of the most impressive physiques I have ever encountered, but he was extremely strong as well, maybe the strongest of the lot. For example, he would use 225 for his first set of benches, then jump 100 pounds and do 22 reps with 325. I know that because I handed off and spotted him. I seriously doubt whether another bodybuilder—or strength athlete for that matter—in the world could duplicate such a feat. And he weighed just over 200 pounds. 
It was a routine he specifically designed to fit his needs. 
The majority of the population in this country is very much like the characters in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Not quite that extreme, of course, although similar in many respects. Everything should be done in a precise, orderly fashion, and when that happens, they’re happy without having to think about it. Take some Soma if things get hectic. If there are problems, others will provide the answers. As a result, we as a nation have become dependent on others’ expertise and take few steps to become independent [Emphasis mine]" (Starr).

And speaking of independence, let's mention the diet the oh-so-learned natty bros of the internet claim cannot possibly be used to good effect by anyone who doesn't "eat clen and tren hard"- a borderline ketogenic diet.  When training hard, Yorton ate six times a day and drank a boatload of beer, though he'd cut it to three and less beer if he was trying to lean out.  According to Earle Liederman, Yorton ate no salt or other seasonings when dieting hard, nothing that might be constituted of delicious, delicious carbohydrates.  Instead, Yorton preemptively took a massive shit on the dietary stylings of the alleged genius science bros like Mike Israetel and stayed yacked as fuck and lean on:

6-8 eggs
2 glasses of raw milk with protein powder and brewer's yeast

1lb rare ground beef
Vegetables and a gelatin salad
2 glasses of raw milk with protein powder and brewer's yeast

1lb of liver, chicken or steak, or occasionally fish
Lots of vegetables and a salad, and as usual soybean powder
2 glasses of raw milk with protein powder and brewer's yeast

Essentially, Yorton's physique belied the fact that the polar opposite of the way a modern natty bro would recommend.  He ate too much protein and too few carbs, trained way too much, drank too much, and likely fucked and cursed and was generally far more awesome than those humorless, useless fuckwits would ever consider being.  According to one first hand account, Yorton blew minds with his eating, training, and physique wherever he went.
"I spent some time with Chet immediately after his Mr. Universe win in London, the day after I drove him North for 4 hours to promote his posing appearance in a show in Manchester. We had some fun on the way when we stopped to ea , a large group of people gathered round the car peering in. Chet was carrying his Mr. Universe trophy and expressed surprise that so many of the public (for that time) knew about bodybulding, what he didn't realize was that he was sat in the first Ford Mustang to be imported into Britain and was quite an eye-stopper! 
Once we were inside, the chef came running into the cafe to see who had ordered an 8 egg omelette! At 9pm that evening Chet was concerned that he hadn't had a workout for about 5 days with travelling and wanted to look well for his posing display the next day so I took him to my gym and he worked out for over 3 hours. By this time it had turned midnight and all the while he was worried that my wife might have gone to bed without leaving us some food. Not to worry she left all kinds of cold meats: ham, beef, chicken, eggs, tuna, salad, whole wheat bread - a whole tableful of food. I had a fairly normal plateful and Chet scarfed the rest and believe me I've never seen anyone eat as much food- he didn't leave a crumb! 
That was at about 1am and off we went to bed. Next morning my wife asked what he would like for breakfast and Chet said he would like a tuna fish omelette if we had any more left. She confirmed that we had a tin in the fridge but then Chet sheepishly admitted that he had been up earlier and feeling like a snack had eaten it" (Sweeney).
Dude still looked a beast at 67, and had this to say when he hit 70:
"The first seventy years were easy, but the next seventy are going to be a bitch."

The takeaways from this man's life and training career are simple.  One, throw your fucking program out the window and figure out how best to train for you.  Spit on the overpaid coach you thought you needed because you didn't know better, laugh at the dipshits on the internet who regard programming as some magical compilation of formulae that will unlock the secrets to strength, and forge your own fucking path.  And two, stay the fuck away from natty bros.  The only thing that could beat Chet Yorton was the relentless negativity of the natty bros and their endless witch hunts to root out all traces of awesome in their midst.  You want to be natty?  That's all well and good.  Shut the fuck up about it, don't waste your time debating the nattiness of others, and train your goddamned ass off.  The time you spend doing that shit is far better spent training, eating, or getting a nut off, because I think we can all agree that the internet's natty community is one of the most intolerable, unfuckable bunch of dickheads this side of ISIS.

Honor Chet Yorton today- bully a natty bro into suicide.

I don't care how they do it, so long as they're dead.

Chet Yorton Workout Routine.  RippedEr.  Web.  15 Dec 2018.  http://rippeder.com/content/chet-yorton-workout-routine

Grimek, John.  Unforgettable Moments.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  7 Dec 2008.  Web.  14 Dec 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/12/unforgetable-moments-john-grimek.html

Liederman, Earle.  The incredible story of Chester Yorton.  Strength and Health.  Sep 1964:64. Web. 16 Dec 2018.   

Luttrell, Bill.  Chet Yorton Memory.  Dave Draper.  Web.  15 Dec 2018.  

Marshall, Matt.  The boring but big training program from the man who out muscled Arnold.  Muscle and Brawn.  18 Apr 2010.  Web.  15 Dec 2018.  http://muscleandbrawn.com/boring-but-big-training-program-the-man-who-out-muscled-arnold/

Roach, Randy.  Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors.  Vol II.  Bloomington, AuthorHouse, 2011.
Schwarzenegger, Arnold.  Total Recall.  New York: Simon and Shuster, 2012.

Scott, Larry.  Instinctive training.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  5 Aug 2014.  Web.  15 Dec 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2014/08/instinctive-training-larry-scott.html

Speyrer, Steve.  Classic Anatomy Bodybuilding.  Self published, 1993.

Starr, Bill.  No brain, no gain.  Iron Man Magazine.  29 Sep 2009.  Web.  15 Dec 2018.  https://www.ironmanmagazine.com/no-brain-no-gain/

Sweeney, Bob.  Chet Yorton in England.  IronOnline Archive.   Web.  15 Dec 2018.  https://www.davedraper.com/chet-yorton-england.html


  1. Good work Mr Chaos, the antics of Chet have definitely made me reflect on my attitude/aggressiveness towards lifting

    1. Thanks man. It was a fitting last post for chassis and pain. From here on in, articles will be over in plagueofstrength.com.

    2. looking forward to it man, your writing always did fire me up, glad you're finding more joy in it.

  2. Seeing how jacked dude was at 67 makes me want to suck a pistol.

  3. I appreciate the underlying message in Yortons career: when negative dipshits are bitching and whining, double down on your efforts, disengage from the herd and show up at age 67 looking better than any of them ever have or will.

    Similarily, I like where you're going with the new page. I've been reading your blog for close to 10 years now. My favourite articles were always about the mental side of things, because I firmly know that results (and fun) are dependent on instinct, attitude and mind above all. So stemming the tide, the goals series, I'm not a superhero, going feral and best of all, evil will always win were fucking great. I like rereading them occassionaly for the pure fun.

    Thanks for all your effort so far. Can't wait for the new dawn.

    1. Thanks man- I appreciate hearing that. Like any writer worth a shit, I write for myself and basically just hope people like what I produce. As such, I'm never sure what it is people enjoy most. Good looking out for letting me know. I'm definitely going unconventional as hell with this new site and I'll explore every weird corner of the psyche I can. To that end, I have a part two for the berserker or zen monk article that goes into methods for inducing altered states.

    2. While on the subject, do you have any intention of expanding on occultism and how/if you link it to your training?

  4. Jamie, any chance of doing a article on Karl Norberg

  5. Jamie, any plans on doing an article on using steroids?

    1. I don't really know what the point of that would be. I'm no authority on the subject. Do you have a specific question you need to be answered? That's a broad topic.

  6. Jesus christ 75 sets plus 1000 reps of abs, this is some insane shit, probably the best oldtime psycho ever...after Bruce Randall!

  7. https://www.google.com/search?q=inurl:blogspot.com&ei=Tc3nXMzyGoaDk74PrJao4Ag&start=20&sa=N&ved=0ahUKEwiMzaujgLTiAhWGwcQBHSwLCow4ChDy0wMIjAE&biw=1920&bih=937