28 December 2018

The End Draws Nigh...

The site is nearing completion over at Plague of Strength, so expect a redirect from this site as of this weekend.  The first article to drop looks like it'll hit this weekend and will be on pullups, followed by a more philosophical one, a full blown article on Scott "Boulder Shoulders" Wilson, and the occultist Michael W. Ford's interview (when it's complete).  I'll be dropping shit fast and furious!  And before you ask, everything is available on the new site but has mysteriously located itself under a single one of the dropdowns.  That'll be sorted this weekend, so articles will be far easier to search.

If you've got article ideas/requests, hit me with them in the comments.

And merch is inbound, for anyone who wants some far less hackneyed gym gear.  First shirt design that is in the works:

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

14 December 2018

Rather Important Announcement: It's Been a Decade, So I'm Changing Shit Up

After ten years, I will admit I am bored as shit with this site.  I'm bored of the name, bored of the retro Blogger shit (though for writing it is vastly preferable to WordPress), and in mind to do something new.

So I did it.  As of Jan 1, this site is going to redirect to a new and far more brutal site.  I actually hired a deathcore band graphic designer to do the logo, am getting similar artists to do other design work for the site and some merch, and will be able to monetize the site so it actually pays for itself rather than costing me money.  

All of the old shit will be available on the new site, and I'm gradually editing it all.  It'll also be searchable and divided into categories.  On top of that, I'll be redoing all of the recipe blogs with pics of my own creations, and I'll be greatly expanding that shit so that you guys have a repository for keto, stewroids, and bulking foods that is easy to search and navigate.  Best of all, the sites that have banned Chaos and Pain won't know what's hit them when people start linking the new site.

It's the dawn of a new world order.  A Plague of Strength is about to spread itself across the land, and it's going to be more polished, more brutal, weirder, and more awesome than the chaos and pain from which it was birthed.

Go here if you want to bookmark it as it's being built, and here's a look at the rough draft of the logo if you're into that sort of thing.

And of course, feel free to bitch in the comments.

12 December 2018

Maurice Jones- Pre-Steroid Era Badass who was Still Curling the 50s at 85 Years of Age

We've all said that so-and-so looks good "for their age."  It's honestly a pretty shitty thing to say, especially when most people look like shit at any age.  Even taking that into account, it's rare that we see people remaining jacked as fuck into their twilight years.  And I don't mean sparkly, homoerotic vegan vampires- I mean liver-spotted, young-whippersnapper-hating, welding glasses-wearing, bingo-playing twilight years.  The years most of us would likely rather forgo for an epic steroids-and-cocaine-fueled bank robbery spree in our early 60s (or am I the only one who thinks that would be an epic way to go out?).  In any event, most of the people on the planet are basically just a droopy pile of fat and bone at that point, so when we see a man or women who is fighting each grain of sand in the hourglass of time, they definitely stand out... and every now and again one of those people makes us all look like a bunch of sloppy, out of shape assholes.

In every way possible preferable to waiting to die on a golf course.

The guys who spring to mind when you think of going down swinging against Old Man Time are people like the ageless Albert Beckles, who looked so preposterously good at the age of 61 (or 53 as the weirdly and endlessly bitter little keyboard warriors over at Getbig.com relentlessly assert) that he won the open class at the IFBB Niagara Pro Invitational; Dave Draper, one of the most epic, really, really ridiculously good-looking bodybuilders of all time and who still looks jacked at 75; Sylvester Stallone, who augmented his usual awesome physique in his 60s with enough GH to supply half the Western world; and Jack LaLanne, the 54 year old fitness guru who smoked a 21 year old Arnold on pullups and pushups.  There are plenty of other beasts of retirement age, but reading online forums or magazines, you'd think every motherfucker in the weight room needs to pretty much hang it up by age 40, and that's just not how the world works.

"I train like I'm training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I've always trained my whole life. 
You see, life is a battlefield. 
Life is survival of the fittest. 
How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. 
People work at dying, they don't work at living
My workout is my obligation to life. It's my tranquilizer. It's part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what's kept me going all these years." 
- Another aged (and now croaked) badass, Jack LaLanne

When you see a dude or chick who is 60+ and is fucking killing it in the gym every day, rocking low bodyfat and moving serious weights, it should clue you in that 1) you're probably doing everything in your life wrong if you can't match their physique and performance, and 2) you've got a lotta mo' when it comes to time to kill shit in the gym.  That's not to say you should slack now, but that what you are doing now in the gym is setting the stage for what you're going to be able to do later.  Thus, if you want to do more than totter around a fucking field waving a bit of metal or wood about while participating in the lamest goddamned alleged sport on Earth, you shouldn't be reading this anyway- go play some checkers and wait to die.  If you would rather be like Ellen Stein, however, who is still crushing kids a third of her age in powerlifting and keeps getting better with age, allow me to introduce you to a badass of whom I can almost guarantee you've never heard- Maurice Jones.

My man's trap game was on a fucking bean.

Nah- not Maurice Jones Drew, who at age 33 is now bizarrely unmuscular and fat.  Maurice Jones was an American bodybuilder who was born in the same year the Titanic sunk and the first parachute jump was made... 1912, for the unhistorical among you.  Though not a big dude growing up, Jones ended up one of the muscle monsters of the 1940s and 1950s, with a bodyweight that ranged between 200 and 237lbs at a height of 5'9", which according to the "scientists" in the natty bodybuilding community is an utter impossibility.  So when he wasn't constructing a time machine to travel forward in time and obtain the steroids he was obviously taking, Maurice Jones never missed a workout in the five five years he lifted.  That means that in addition to the thirty pound weighted mountain rucks he was fond of taking a couple of times a week, the dude was in the gym training six to nine hours a week with extremely short rest periods (Baptiste, Strossen).  Even after that introductory half-decade, 

“I wasn’t away from them (the weights) for very lengthy periods. I valued it greatly. I always felt so much better when I would have a good workout. I stayed with it,” explains Jones. “I held a certain amount of self-pride, I was going to stick with it till the end. You know, that attitude, and I’m still doing that. I do lots of situps and press-ups between two chairs at times when weights aren’t available” (Strossen).
Fueled by the fantasy steroids envisioned by today's natty bros and a shitload of meat and potatoes, Maurice Jones absolutely mangled the weights.  Lifting at a time prior to the proliferation of the squat rack, Jones started squatting heavy after reading about Milo Steinborn's epic squatting.
“I got up into the very heavy stuff – it used to frighten me before the act. How it all came about was with Milo Steinborn: I read that he had created a world record in the deep knee bend, which I was bound and determined to break, but nobody knew anything about it. And I did get up there over 500. My memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to, but it was around 525 pounds” (Ibid).

Nor was Jones heaving his weights about- he was well-known for having fanatical adherence to ultra-strict form, treating each lift like it was a ritual whose perfect performance would serve as a sacrifice to keep the Old Ones from destroying humanity.  As bizarre as that is for a Steinborn squat, his stiff-legged deadlifts were probably even more impressive- 425lbs (and occasionally more) for 15 standing on a bench and lowering the bar until it hit the tops of his goddamned feet.  And while we're at it, he would do sprints with a backpack full of plates up mountain trails.  Pretty much all of the man's lifts were beastly:

Maurice Jones' Best Lifts
Steinborn Squat- 415lbs x 2-3 sets of 15; 450 x 10; 525 x 1 (the WR at the time was 553)
Stiff-Legged Deadlift425 x 15
Military Press215 x 12; 260 x 1
Strict Curl- 135 x 12; 175 x 1
Reverse Curl- 120 x 12; 145 x 1
Clean and Jerk- 300 or 325lbs (depending on the source) the only time he tried it, with no instruction and no warmup.
Weighted Situps- reps with 125lbs behind his head
Reverse Curl- 145lbs

Perhaps you're thinking that my man looks thick, but not all that impressive by today's standards.  Well, you're incorrect.  According to the strongman nicknamed "Scottish Hercules," William Bankier (who among other awesome things was the co-founder of the British Society of Jiu-Jitsu, Maurice Jones' physique was more impressive than both Eugen Sandow and George Hackenschmidt, and bodybuilder Walt Baptiste claimed there were only a couple of other men in the same class as Jones- the ultimate bodybuilding badass John Grimek, a ridiculously muscular 1940s bodybuilder of whom I'd never before heard by the name of Sam Loprinzi (who was also jacked until the day he died), and "the immortal" Eugen Sandow (Baptiste).  Drink that in- this badass was held in the same esteem as the guy who is the model for trophy for the most coveted bodybuilding trophy in the world.  His measurements were definitely as impressive as his lifts for the time, looking like this:

Maurice Jones' Most Muscular Measurements
Height – 5’ 8 ½”
Weight – 210lbs
Neck – 18"
Chest – 49 ½"
Waist – 32"
Hips – 39 ½"
Thigh – 26 ½"
Calf – 17 ½"
Bicep – 17 ¾"
Forearm – 14 ½"
Wrist – 7 ½"
Ankle – 9 ½"

Maurice Jones' Biggest Measurements

Height – 5’ 8 ½”
Weight – 237lbs
Neck – 18"
Chest – 52"
Waist – 34 ½"
Thigh – 28"
Bicep – 18 ½"
Forearm – 14 ½"
Wrist – 7 ¾"
Calf – 18"
Ankle – 9 ½"

And to ram another nail into the coffin of the natty bros' vaunted limits on growth, Jones once dieted down to a very lean 195 and arms were measured at just over 18" cold.  So much for that bullshit about your wrist size controlling your upper arm size, eh?

The aforementioned Loprinzi, whose physique is preposterous for 1946 and only 160lbs.

I’ve put up with a lot of pain over the years, years I suffered, but I never avoided my training. You can’t do it for the best part of your life and just forget it. The way I’m built, I have to continue, obviously not as strenuously as before, but I never forget it. I guess there are a lot of weight trainers and people who have done over a period of years and are still doing it.”

Unlike the pussies on IG and various message boards who insist that guys like Calum Von Moger should hide in their houses and do nothing but train, Jones actually got out there and did shit, and he suffered for it.  Over the years the dude broke just about everything traipsing about in the mountains, and ended up having surgeries on his back neck, and both knees, among other things, but none of that shit stopped him from training heavy, cycling, climbing, or trail hiking (Strossen).  At the age of 50 he was said to have the physique of a jacked 21 year old and would jog his burly 205-235lb ass along an 11 mile trail daily.  Even at the age of 85, Jones weighed a solid 185, lifted three times a week, and continued all of his outdoor activities... proving simultaneously that cardio doesn't kill your gains and that you can still move weight into your old age, since he was still curling and overhead pressing the 50s for high rep sets.

Asked what he’d say if a young kid came up to him and said, “Mr. Jones, do you think I should take drugs to get bigger muscles or to get stronger?”: “I would say, don’t become a fanatic, although I must have appeared that way to a lot of people. If you get fanatical about something, it spoils it. You have to recognize the line – that’s the trouble.”

As for his workouts, we have only one sample program he offered from his older years, when his training volume had been cut down considerably.  In his younger years, he and his brother were the proto-Mentzers, training as partners brutal in three hour long sessions consisting of full body workouts and jump sets.  Later on, he kept the giant sets and pared down the volume and offered up this sample program, to be done three times a week.

Maurice Jones Program (when he was in his later years)
Warmup- Calisthenics, bending, arm waving, and pushups on the steep board.

Three sets of 12 of the following, jump setted, with a minute between sets:
Military Press

Three sets of 12 of the following, jump setted, with a minute between sets:
Bent-over Row 

Bench Press

Squat- 1-3 x 12

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts- 3 x 12-15

There were no chairs in the Jones gym because he never fucking sat down during a workout- he was no shiftless layabout.  In addition to the above, there was a ton of weighted ab work, weighted hill sprints and hikes, cycling, climbing, and whatever else he wanted to do. 

So there you have it- Maurice Jones, a man who lived and died so badass he likely never gave a fuck how close he was to a world record in the squat, because he'd rather rockclimb anyway.  There are a ton of lessons to be learned from the man's life- Jones was only limited by time and his imagination, he didn't give a fuck about records because he was all about the journey rather than the destination, and he didn't let shit stand in his way, be it age, injuries, or anything else.  Clearly, he was onto something.

... and if that shit wasn't enough to get your ass into the gym tonight, check out this 69 year old who managed to build a better physique than anyone I know under a Communist regime and still chumps the lot of us going into his seventh decade of life.


Baptiste, Walt.  Maurice Jones, Canadian Hercules (1941).  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  11 Dec 2010.  Web.  10 Jul 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2010/12/maurice-jones-canadian-hercules-by-walt.html

Maurice Jones the Canadian Hercules workout routine.  Rippeder.  Web.  28 Nov 2018.  http://rippeder.com/content/maurice-jones-canadian-hercules-workout-routine

McCallum, John.  Running.  Reprinted from Strength and Health Jan 1968.  Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  10 Aug 2017.  Web.  10 Jul 2018.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2017/08/running-john-mccallum-1968.html

Strossen, Randall.  Maurice Jones: muscles, mountains and the man.
Milo. Mar 1997 4(4)9-12.

10 December 2018

How Can You Save Me If You Can't Save Yourselves? Part 2.

In the first part of this bit of wild-eyed polemic, I explained that the evidence-based coaches in the strength training community are, almost to a person, liars who resemble in many ways the idiots and psychotics who espouse the Flat Earth theory.  The issue, however, goes deeper than conspiracies, however.  The theoreticians behind the studies utilized by evidence-based training aren't eminent lifters, nor are they wild-eyed optimists with the goal of advancing the human condition- they are shills paid to promote the degenerate goals of the cabal of coaches seeking to limit the potential of neophyte lifters to validate their weaksauce training methods and excuse the lack of results they produce.  Whereas the power of belief, the lack of mental limits on performance and growth, or the innate desire to achieve led us in the past to utilize training methodologies that essentially amounted to "if you believe in it, it will work," lifters now wait for "clinical evidence" to put a training method to the test rather than opening their fucking eyes and taking what is happening before them as proof of concept.  The insanity and weakness driving that mentality is fucking staggering, yet most strength sports "athletes" (Crossfit and strongmen being obvious exceptions, because those motherfuckers are hellbent on superhumanity) take that shit as gospel.

"The whole machinery of the state, in all different countries, is turned on to making defenseless children believe absurd propositions the effect of which is to make them willing to die in defense of sinister interests under the impression that they are fighting for truth and right.  This is only one of the countless ways in which education is designed, not to give true knowledge, but to make people pliable to the will of their masters."
-Bertrand Russell

That's right- it is a goddamned cabal of people who have no business discussing strength manipulating people who don't know better into believing they're preordained to be weak, then tricking them into the belief that the degrees they have validate their bullshit training methods, which are designed for weak people by weak people to induce very marginal gains to ensure a never-ending income stream. And if the above quote doesn't make you want to hang one of those pussy-ass poser coaches from the nearest fucking lamppost, you are officially dead inside.  The bullshit adage "those who cannot do, teach," is even less valid when it comes to strength and nutrition, because if they could truly turn anyone into a serious athlete, they likely would have started with themselves.  Thus, if they cannot do, they have absolutely no fucking business teaching.

Would you take advice about street racing from a guy whose parents bought him a Ferrari or the paraplegic who built his own rat rod from the ground up?

And as to their degrees, granted from institutions of purported higher learning who are willing to have their name attached to these charlatans- they're no more meaningful than the EliteFTS shirt you have in your dresser.  Does the fact they allowed you to purchase their shit mean they endorse your lifting and the beliefs you espouse?  Of course not, and the degrees for which these bullshit artist coaches have paid are similarly meaningless.  As Arthur Schopenhauer said:
"Ordinary folk have a deep respect for professional men of every kind.  They are unaware that a man who makes a profession of a thing loves it not for the thing itself, but for the money he makes by it; or that it is rare for a man who teaches to know his subject thoroughly; for if he studies as he ought, he in most cases has no time to teach it."
In this case, studying would almost entirely consist of actual lifting, and Schopenhauer sums up my myriad issues with these pink-bitch, half-assed, witch doctor coaches who are nothing but money hungry pussies with perpetuating the weakness of others at the forefront of their minds.  Shit, even when they succeed in making someone super strong, it is purely by accident, as the goal of their coaching is not the success of their lifters but the propagation of their system.  As such, they don't use logic to create their methodology- their method is eristic.  The form of the conclusion is correct, but the premises by which the conclusion is drawn are untrue, because victory in the form of sales is their sole goal.

Pissed off yet?  You should be, because these coaches, reliant on tiny studies and the broad conclusions drawn from them, are fakes.  Impostors.  Posers.  Ersatz rather than genuine.  They're like Danielson at the beginning of the Karate Kid who thought he could fight after doing the exercises in those (awesome as fuck, and I owned dozens) of ridiculous karate how-to books.  Imitation might be the greatest form of flattery, but in this case it's just disgusting.  They're like shaved monkeys pretending to be insurance salesmen, masquerading as logical while ignoring established anecdotal fact to promote their completely illogical agendas.  Their popularity, which many hold as proof of the veracity of their claims, proves nothing more than the fact that people have been lied to so much that at this point they'll believe any bullshit spouted by a limp dick in a labcoat.

Somehow, Ernest Cadine managed to transcend his natty genetic limits and trash everyone in Olympic weightlifting all without the help of science.  At 5'6" he competed at 181lbs and pulled a right hand axle deadlift of 367lbsBullshit artists like Lyle McDonald, Marc Perry, and Martin Berkham claim this to be impossible, yet it happened.  

It's not even that I have anything against the concept of evidence based training, but the reality is that the scientists conducting the studies have inherent bias before beginning them and utilize them in a manner that allows them to prove faulty theories.  Even if that weren't the case, their findings are in no way commensurate with the practical, hands-on knowledge in strength sports that has been compiled and refined over the history of human existence.  Hell, it's not just strength sports- wouldn't you rather take advice on building furniture from a well respected carpenter or on fixing your car from an actual mechanic?  Not the guys who read books about doing the shit and never successfully did either thing themselves, but the guys who have the practical, hands-on knowledge in going it?  Would you want sex tips from a virgin with a PhD in human sexuality or a prostitute?  For whatever reason, that sort of question is never raised in strength sports, and it should be.  People are metaphorically putting their kids in a daycare run by child molesting serial killers and happily overpaying for the service, and this shit has got to come to an end, because you're better off trying to get to the moon in a rocket built by a Flat Earther than you are trying to get insanely strong and jacked using the methods of one of these evidence based asshats.

The glute guy, Bret Contreras, can coach you to a ridiculously subpar squat (my man squatted a hilariously low 424lbs at 242lbs as a self-proclaimed authority on the muscle group responsible for big squats) for the low, low price of $120 a month!  For some perspective, my ex wife squatted 350 for a double at 135, beltless, and didn't think her lifts were in any way noteworthy... and Brett wrote a whole article excusing his shitty performance with genetics.  Surprise!

 For my money, it's far more embarrassing to pay a poser for bad lifting advice than it would be for a suburbanite to take a trap out on a date that would end up in sex.  Worst case there, you were fooled by solid makeup skills and overpowered by your dick, whereas paying a fake-ass authority on strength like Contreras means you're weak, stupid, out a chunk of money, and unfucked... and if you would rather be branded stupid and weak than bisexual, I've no fucking idea how you even found this site.

Whoops.  Well, I already have my pants off anyway, so...

In closing, the evidence/science/empirically-based training movement is a devious, illogical, close-minded, pretentious, and ultimately psychotic (in that the people perpetuating it are shallow and useless to the point of being mentally imbalanced) money grab that should be met with violent reprisals.  The movement has ripped the soul out of two strength sports and is draining the life out of a culture that used to be about positivity (not the idiotic touchy-feely disingenuous bullshit you see in IG comments and hashtags, but rather the genuine communal desire for everyone to get bigger, better, and more jacked), because it is bereft of imagination, joy, aggression, and art.  Yeah, art.  Strength training is as much, if not more, art than science, and anyone who disputes this fact is either an idiot or a liar (the exceptions  to this rule are again Greg Nuckols and Mike Tuscherer.  Nevertheless, I contend they succeed in spite of, rather than because of, their methods).  Your body is not a Betty Crocker Easy Bake oven that you can construct following step by step instructions, nor is your deadlift a cake you can follow a recipe to bake to perfection. 

The Soviet system didn't produce beasts like Rigert and Alexeev- it just benefited from their existence.  The rules and programs did not apply to guys like Rigert and Alexeev, who were allowed to train as they would.

It's time to take back our fucking scene and drive these false prophets of the false god of science the fuck out of strength sports.  Their methodology and attitude is destroying weight lifting culture- replacing the zest for life with banality, the camaraderie with attention whoring on the internet, and the desire to transcend the human condition with a solemn vow to wallow in it.   For those of you who feel like you want a coach, check out this great video lecture on the subject of picking a coach by Jay Nera, who is both a great lifter and a really good guy, or just ask yourself two questions when choosing one- "what have they done?" and "who have they coached?"  If the answer to either is nothing or no one, find someone else, or just fucking figure it out for yourself.  Picking shit up and putting it down is not all that fucking hard- if you suck at it, you're either overthinking it or not trying hard enough.

And to all of those "coaches" whose butts were hurt by this series, feel free to step up to keep your fucking rep up.  Till then,