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Baddest Mofos Ever- Armand “To Hell With Cooking Food, I’ll Eat It Raw” Tanny

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
One year after the end of the Great War, something amazing happened in Rochester, New York- the Tanny brothers’ badass mom spurted forth the younger brother of the guy who went on to build the first serious chain of bodybuilding gyms across the country… a younger brother who would go on to bang innumerable sluts and out-perform Hermann Goerner in the one arm clean.  That man’s name should be fresh on the lips of every hard trainer on the planet, yet hardly anyone’s heard of him.  
 

The name, which should taste sweeter on your lips than Dmitry Klokov’s superhuman semen and go down smoother than a bikini model’s bleached, waxed asshole, is Armand Tanny.

 
Vic Tanny at the age of 30 on the far left.  Joe Weider’s in the center.
 
At the ripe old age of 13, Armand Tanny’s older brother bought him his first weight set as a present apparently designed to land him into the “Coolest Goddamned Brothers on Earth Hall of Fame” in the first ballot drawing.  That weight set crippled Armand for the next day, after he trained himself into what was likely rhabdo and left him barely able to move for the next couple days.  The muscle protein cannibalizing weight set, however, povided some of the original equipment for the Tanny family gym, and became the birthplace of his brother’s, Vic Tanny, chain of gyms that was bought out by Bally’s a few decades later.  After training with his brother and the neighborhood guys for only five years, Tanny became one of the few people in the United States to clean and jerk 300 lbs, earning him nationwide attention for his prodigious strength and sick physique… all by the age of 18.
 
 

 

From there, Tanny enrolled in college, attending the a local Rochester school until being lured to the Southern California beaches with the promise of untold amounts of half-naked ass, badass weather, and the best strength training/bodybuilding scene in the country.  After collecting enough credits to qualify as a physical therapist, Tanny was lured away from his premed program by delicious vagina and sandy beaches.  He’d funded his schooling with professional wrestling, at which Tanny blew dogshit, but apparently paid for his party-boy/wrestling/sun-worshipping lifestyle as he amassed a 9W-19L record over the next 20 years even after injuring his knee so badly in a collegiate wrestling match that he had to give up full squats for the rest of his life.
 

 

“It wasn’t that I couldn’t finish med school.  I just loved the beach.  I wanted to be there from dawn to dusk.  Education is one thing, but you have to keep your perspective.  You see, I loved chasing pretty girls.” -Armand Tanny [actual quote]

 

 
If you’re a “normie”, you likely think that meant that Tanny just hung it up and took up knitting, like every old-timer who will talk a muscular guy’s ear off with tales of what I believe to be entirely fabricated tales of bygone weightlifting glory.  Nope.  His brother Vic followed closely on his heels to Southern California and opened what was widely acknowledged to be the best gym in the area.  Training there and on the weekends with strongman and woman Les and Pudgy Stockton; acrobat, Hollywood stuntman, Russ Saunders; and bodybuilder, strongman, and inventor of the Universal Gym, Harold Zinkin in a homemade weight pit they built on the beach as a predecessor to Muscle Beach, Armand built one of the greatest and strongest physiques the nation had yet seen.

 

 
This is what happens when pussies aren’t on the internet talking about lifting instead of lifting.
 
Two years later, and in spite of his debilitating knee injury, he placed second in the heavyweight class in the Junior Nationals competition in 1941. At a bodyweight of 190lbs and height of 5’9″, he put up an impressive 230lb press, 250 lb snatch, and 330 lb clean and jerk (Draper). Later that year, Armand became the Pacific Coast weightlifting champion with a 270 press, 280 snatch, and 360 clean and jerk, again at a bodyweight of 190, which was exceedingly light for a heavyweight (Wieder).  His most impressive lift, however, was a 300 lb one arm clean at that bodyweight, which was his pet lift and the lift that garnered him the most fame.

 

 
Over the next few years, Tanny gained even more fame for his broad-assed shoulders and barn-door lats, in addition to his massive one arm clean, and his brother and Joe Wieder eventually convinced him to enter a couple of bodybuilding competitions.  During the 1940s, he lived with and trained with Steve Reeves and George Eiferman, both of whom were legendary Mr. Americas and actors, and the latter was the inspiration for the cartoon character George of the Jungle.  

 

Though he only competed four times, he ended up with a fairly impressive record:

 

  • 1949 Pro Mr America, Winner. 
  • 1949 IFBB North American Championships, 4th.  Clarence Ross winner, Alan Stephan second, Floyd Page third, Armand Tanny fourth, Leo Robert fifth.
  • 1949 Mr USA, 5th.  John Grimek first, Clarence Ross second, Steve Reeves third, George Eiferman fourth, and Tanny fifth out of a field of fifteen competitors.
  • 1950 Mr USA, Winner.  Defeated George Eiferman and Vince Gironda. 

 

Thereafter, he quit the stage for a brief sojourn to Hawaii, then returned to become a part of the legendary Mae West’s travelling revue, which was a combination of burlesque, bodybuilders, and comedy.  This act was so popular it drew crowds bigger than those legendary crooner Frank Sinatra was drawing at the time, which would basically be akin to a travelling freakshow with bodybuilders, Carrot Top, and run by Joan Rivers’ reanimated corpse out-drawing Taylor Swift.  Thereafter, presumably due to the fact he was exhausted from all of the sloot banging he had done for the last 35 year, Tanny signed on with Joe Wieder as a writer and started training with proto-powerlifters for fun.  When asked why he never competed in the fledgling sport of powerlifting or again in bodybuilding, Tanny’s response was simple- he’d proven everything he needed to, and there was no money whatsoever in either sport.  Why spend time and money pursuing sports that would afford him nothing but expense when he could make plenty of money managing his bothers’ gyms and use it to train and hang out on the beach all day?
 
 
At this point, you should likely be wondering what sort of a program this maniac followed- one that allowed him to bang whichever beach-going sloots upon whom he happened, afforded him the ability to crush both professional bodybuilders and elite-level weightlifters.  From everything I can tell, the man was all over the place with experimentation and didn’t follow any kind of a set program- instead, he just trained for a couple of hours a day 6-7 days a week, mixing in gymnastics on the beach, swimming, and wrestling as well.
 
NOTE: Unlike today’s pussy lifters, Tanny did not avoid recreational activities and sports to avoid injury for lifting, which likely kept him from incurring much in the way of injuries.  
 
One of the programs Armand Tanny used was a superset program to get the biggest pump on as many muscles as possible.  To do so, he picked opposing muscle groups to be worked for as many sets and reps as possible in ten minutes (Supersets).  Thus, in 50 minutes, he and his training partners got a brutal, full body pump that they then took to the beach to use in banging sloots.
 

1. Deadlift

1. Abdominal Raise



2. Two Arm Press

2. Two Arm Chin



3. Deep Knee Bend

3. Leg Curl



4. Bench Press

4. Bentover Rowing Motion



5. Biceps Curl

5. Triceps Curl


 
Though Armand was a bit of a pretty boy (a lot of a bit of a pretty boy), he was heavily involved in powerlifting at its inception, and trained with early champion bench presser Pat Casey and powerlifting phenom Bill “Peanuts” West.  As a result of training with such unconventional and hideously strong juggernauts of the strength world, Tanny ended up espousing some really unconventional training methods and techniques.  For instance, Tanny once wrote as lovingly as most fanboys write about Dan Green’s every bowel movement of the “touch” method.  This method was developed by Bill West and is the bane of every single internet douchebag “lifter”‘s existence- HE LOVED PARTNER ASSISTED REPS.
 
Yup- you know the handsy spotters helping the bench bros bounce your squat max off their chests with aplomb in your gym?  Well, apparently that shit gets the job done… and not just on the bench press- Bill West’s team used the method on everything in the gym, from the bench to the clean pull to the press to the deadlift and squat.  Bear witness:

“As time went by, he thought why be so conservative — get in there and really help the guy trying to make the lift. Get hold of him bodily when necessary, apply the pressure. The closer the contact, the more realistic the assistance. The idea started getting clearer when Bill used the heavy touch on the power rack bench squat. How was a man going to get that first squat started from a sitting position on the bench with the bar resting on the shoulder level on the cross pins, loaded to two or three hundred pounds more than his best regular squat? A helper on each end usually results in an uneven spot. A steadier and more practical way proved to be method of getting directly behind the lifter, bear hugging him under the arms, and simply boosting him to a standing position.”

“The method may prove awkward at first, but after a bit of practice, the spotter gets to know the lifter’s particular sticking points and the amount of help he really needs. The whole idea of the touch system is to transfer power past sticking points. Complete movements can be made with heavier than regular limit lifts. The lifter gets the opportunity to use very heavy weights.”

 
Bill “Peanuts” West using the touch method on a dude in his underwear.

“Bill West, himself, was averaging 575 from the deck in every deadlift workout. But for some reason- and it went on for a whole year- he could not make 600 high deadlift. The secret eluded him. He knew if he could high deadlift heavy, his regular deadlift would go up. In a very brief period, using the touch system, it happened exactly that way. His high deadlift program went like this:

505 x 5555 x 1575 x 1605 x 1615 x 1 Touch system630 x 1 Touch system655 x 1 Touch system670 x 1 Touch system405 x 5His regular deadlift shot up to 630″ (Tanny). 

 

Both Armand Tanny and Bill West trained frequently with Pat Casey, the first man to officially bench press over 600 lbs.  Casey was a huge fan of bench press lockouts, and over time both West and Tanny came to share his appreciation for partials.  One day a week was devoted to lockout work, while a second chest day allowed for full range max work. The first series of sets was done as the photo above indicates- with the pins 2″ above the chest:

 

“145 x 10

185 x 10

245 x 5

270 x 3

295 x 4 reps x 5 sets

The second series of sets is done with the bar elevated 4 or 5 additional inches but not over 8 inches above the chest:

325 x 1

345 x 1

370 x 6 singles

290 x 10 reps” (Lockout Prones).  

 

 

By far and away the most interesting tidbit about Tanny was his I’m-So-Goddamned-Paleo-I-Don’t-Even-Use-Fire diet- after visiting Hawaii, Tanny came back raving about the badass Somoans he’d met.  Tanny reportedly gushed about them like a schoolgirl about the Jonas Brothers, claiming: “They ate everything raw.  you name it, fish, meat, beetles – everything!  They were so strong and healthy” (Roach 183).  After seeing the enormity of their bodies (they’re 5’10’ on average and have abnormally dense muscle and bone tissue) and their prodigrous strength, Tanny changed his diet entirely and started eating everything raw- .75 to 1.5lbs meat a day (tuna, beef, liver, lobster, oysters, clams), in addition to nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.  He took it even further than that- he would walk out into the surf while hanging out at the beach and kick up 6′-7′ clams to eat as a snack.  Then, Tanny added the advice of the first modern nutritionist Gayelord Hauser and added brewer’s yeast, dessicated liver, yogurt, black strap molasses, and wheat germ oil in an effort to aid digestion and improve his longevity (Roach 184).

Tanny felt like the creatine in his diet, obtained from the massive amounts of raw meat he was eating, was the reason he was able to bring such a complete package of size, cuts, and muscularity to the stage, all while maintaining a level of strength that made him the envy of other lifters around the country at 200 lbs.  Clearly, the fact that he had been training hard with what basically amounted to an early powerbuilding routine for nearly 20 years by the time he won the pro Mr. USA played a major role as well, in addition to the fact that he added an immense amount of GPP to his program in the form of gymnastics on the beach and wrestling.

Whatever it was, Armand Tanny definitely saw the inside of enough women in a relatively prudish time, made a pretty tidy sum of money, lived in the nicest climates in the US, and basically lived as a gym going beach bum who garnered a reputation for being one of the most muscular and strongest dudes in the country- all without really competing- to have baddest mofo status fully engaged.

 

 

 
Sources:

 

Armand Tanny.  Dave Draper Online.  Web.  2 Dec 2014.  http://www.davedraper.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PmWiki/ArmandTanny

 

Doonan, Simon.  Eating Gruel and Loving It.  Slate.  28 Mar 2012.  Web.  8 Dec 2014.  http://www.slate.com/articles/life/doonan/2012/03/gayelord_hauser_the_man_who_invented_the_celebrity_diet_.html

 
Roach, Randy.  Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors, Volume 1.  Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2008.
 

Tanny, Armand.  Touch System for the Deadlift.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  18 Jun 2014.  Web.  8 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/06/touch-system-for-deadlift-armand-tanny.html

 

Tanny, Armand.  Lockout Prones.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  16 May 2011.  Web.  3 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/05/lockout-prones-armand-tanny.html

 

Tanny, Armand.  Supersets for super size.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  9 Jun 2011.  Web.  3 Dec 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2011/06/super-sets-for-super-size-armand-tanny.html

 

Thurber, Jon.  Armand Tanny dies at 90; Muscle Beach bodybuilder won national titles in ’49, ’50.  LA Times.  9 Apr 2009.  Web.  4 Dec 2014.  http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-armand-tanny9-2009apr09-story.html

 

Todd, Terry.  Armand Tanny remembers Steve Reeves.  Iron Game History.  Dec 2000: 6(4);24-25.  http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/IGH/IGH0604/IGH0604g.pdf


Hey Crossfit Haters- Prepare To Suck It

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
The infamous 365 lb hitched pull from a broad that apparently lives within a stone’s throw of me- this was her third attempt, pulled 75 seconds after her second attempt and within the rules set forth by CrossFit.  Best part?  If she actually learned to deadlift rather than pulling like it was a clean, half of the people reading this would be forced to commit ritual suicide because of what she’d be pulling.

 
A disclaimer to begin- I am capable of differentiating between CrossFit and competitive CrossFit- and asked competitive CrossFitter Brooke Haas to explain the difference to those of you who cannot:

 

“Training CrossFit:

       -This is who the vast majority of my clientele are and I absolutely love it. These are people that use CrossFit for what it is truly designed for and in many ways it’s a means to an end. They don’t just want to be good in the gym but outside those walls as well. They want to be better cyclists, skiers, hikers, parents, grandparents, athletes… you name it. They use CrossFit to increase their base level of GPP (general physical preparedness) and this correlates to better performance in their specific sport or life.

It doesn’t mean they are any less of an “athlete” than any one of us out there, but they have different goals. In my opinion people can train CrossFit like this for a lifetime. We can come in the gym once a day, follow a 3 on 1 off cycle, or a 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off cycle of training and see results for years to come. With good varied programming we will get strong, increase our endurance, see improved times, etc. Our work capacity across broad times and modal domains will increase which is the goal regardless. Over time we may need to target some of our weaknesses to help “level out” our work capacity but realistically it could take years and years to get there if at all. For some of us that day may never come depending on what our previous athletic/training background may be. 

      The sacrifice here is minimal. In most cases these people may just be switching training programs and their time commitments and priorities won’t change. Likely we would see these athletes making sacrifices for other goals they may have if any (qualifying for the Boston Marathon, winning a local mountain bike series, working to become a pro surfer). Either way CrossFit is there to develop their base and if any sacrifices are made they would be due to other avenues. 

 

2. CrossFit as a Recreational Sport:

-This is the person that has been introduced to CrossFit and enjoys the competition aspect of it. Maybe they enter a local competition and find themselves more attracted to this side of CrossFit. Team competitions, local throw downs possibly offering “scaled” divisions as well as “rx’d”, and CrossFit is starting to become more of a sport to them. These athletes may pay closer attention to targeting some of their weaknesses in order to “fast track” their fitness. This is a legitimate goal and one that I think a lot of people fall into. 

      Having specific and realistic goals here are going to be important to helping us define where we are along the line of the competition realm. A good association here is the difference between any recreational and professional sport. You may like to play tennis, golf, compete in a local soccer or softball club, go to swim meets, etc. but it’s a different demand and commitment than those that play those sports professionally.

Sacrifices may start to be required of those that are treating CrossFit more as a sport. Generally it’s going to be more time spent in the gym with either consistency or additional work. It may include some more specific programming outside of the regular class. We may need to pay closer attention to our diets and learn how to treat competitions and train for them as well as how to manage them. Overall it should still be FUN for us though. We can take it seriously but we also haven’t invested “all” of ourselves into an event so we SHOULD be having fun with the journey as well as the competitions along the way.

 

3. CrossFit as a Sport (Elite Level):

       -Some may think it’s a stretch to call it professional but I disagree. Those that are at the top of the field these days generally make it a living to train. The sacrifices here are heavy and things are not always fun. It’s work, hard work and these athletes are willing to put it in regardless of the outcome and they risk the time invested. I know a number of Games athletes and almost ALL of them either train at a gym, own a gym, or simply compete and do nothing else. Their lifestyle allows them to focus primarily on training and this is what it takes to be at an ELITE level. Most of them have lengthy previous experience in athletics or some kind of strength and conditioning program. Having a base level of fitness and having good exposure to strength training is a plus and although not mandatory it is rare to see people competing at a high level without this. It just takes a whole lot of hard work, and that takes time. 

       This athlete is someone that can basically do every workout on crossfit.com as rx’d, no scaling necessary and posts competitive times/scores with top Regional (top 5 or so) athletes and Games competitors past and present. They may go to some of the more well known competitions and place well. Qualify for Regionals without specific training for the Open and are legitimate contenders for the Games (Top 5-7 in a Region). Truthfully it’s a small percentage of the population of our community. One that makes sacrifices just as any other athlete trying to reach the peak of their sport would. We may find them working through aches and pains, potential injuries, and having to pay close attention on their training programs as well as maintenance outside of the gym as well. Specific programming is often required in the area of the athletes weaknesses and they have to be ever evolving as the demands of these competitors continually increase. Volume will typically increase depending on the age of the athlete and most of them will either have a coach or a group of likeminded individuals at a similar level to train with.

      The sacrifices that are made in the present for these athletes may or may not effect their overall well being in the future. Some of those aches and pains may turn into something more and the risk is worth the potential reward for these athletes. The goals they set in the near future can come at a high price, some who are willing just pay up.”

 

 

Behold a CrossFittor outlifting you without straps.  Elgin will save you.  Pussy.

 
That said, allow me to begin this epic rant by addressing the video everyone who lifts and is on Facebook as seen- Elgintensity’s “Deadlifts from the Washed Up Loser Olympics.”  I’m sure half of you agreed with him in his commentary, as half of you were likely outdeadlifted by the 123 lb girls and/or 190 lb in that video.  As Elgin likes to say, “haters gonna hate,” because he’s a halfwit who’s marginally more original than his poor man’s Ben Stein delivery would indicate, and he lives up to that credo with every second of his “I’ve never seen a strongman deadlift in competition” commentary.

 

 

STRONGMEN DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEADLIFT.  DISGRACE TO THE SPORT.  AN INSULT TO EVERYONE WHO ACTUALLY LIFTS!!!!

 

Before we continue, let’s look at the God of the Waterheads’ in gym performance.  At a skinnyfat and wholly unimpressive bodyweight that appears to be 180 lbs of bird shit, Elginsaddity is apparently setting the weak-as-hell and sloppier-than-Phillip-Seymour-Hoffman’s-rotting-heroin-infused-corpse ass end of the strength training world on fire with a 425lb squat that impresses literally no one on Earth, an actually respectable 335 bench, and a CrossFit-tastic 545 deadlift.  In other words, he is basically on par with the strength levels of the Crossfitters upon whom he incessantly bags, but is in no way, shape or form strong enough to consider himself the authority on lifting he apparently does.  But wait, you might be thinking- isn’t this entire article about how Crossfitters don’t suck at lifting, and is it not hypocritical to then call Elgin a mediocre lifter?  Not at all, because CrossFitters consider themselves CrossFitters and don’t provide the powerlifts as the sole metrics of their overall strength, as the “Subhuman’s Champion” does.  This “champion” is in reality a mediocre lifter who does a bad Ben Stein impression while demonstrating a laughable paucity of strength training knowledge and above-average Windows Movie Maker skills.

 

 

Behold the awesome physique of the “People’s Champion.”

 
In an effort to garner undeserved internet fame by capitalizing on the wave of butthurt in the strength community that is CrossFit hate, Elginsaddity put himself front and center in the interminable “I hate CrossFit because I’m fat and weak and they’re at the very least not fat” discussion by posting a couple of videos criticizing the “form” used by CrossFitters.  This is, of course, the How this trend got started is up for discussion- I’d posit it’s likely due to the incessant rambling by CrossFitters about the superiority of their sport in comparison to others.  Like chihuahuas and their incessant ankle-biting and yapping, the CrossFitters’ ankle-biting and yammering is certainly obnoxious, and some measure of hatred of them is therefore deserved.  Unlike Chihuahuas, however, CrossFitters are not simply rackety, useless creatures capable of doing nothing but impotent aggression, carpet shitting, and general obnoxiousness (no, that’s left to the fans of Elgin Mones).  CrossFitters might be more annoying than a roomful of 16 year old entitled bitches at a Sweet Sixteen birthday party, but they are generally incredibly good-looking, reasonably (and in some cases exceptionally) strong people who compete in a sport that has in a few short years eclipsed strongman, powerlifting, and Olympic weightlifting in popularity.

 

 

Say what you want about CrossFit, but they can definitely draw a crowd.

 
Yeah- as much as you guys wish it weren’t so, CrossFit is actually an immensely popular spectator sport.  Whereas no one in their right mind travels to a powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting meet to serve as a spectator, and few major strongman meets draw appreciable crowds, the CrossFit Games have drawn crowds of between 24 and 30 thousand people the last couple of years.  Though the popularity of any given thing is often inversely proportional to the coolness of that thing, the willingness of the average person to watch a bunch of people engage in exercise that average person cannot possibly comprehend or associate with any physical activity is rather telling.  Clearly, the sport has a hook that extends beyond a bunch of people with too much money, board and booty shorts, and a collection of cameras that would shame even the most extreme Instragram-obssessed narcissist- it’s appealing to a spectrum of people that includes a wide array of strength and aesthetics sports, in addition to the average person.

 

 

CrossFitters- better looking and more muscular than most other strength athletes… which makes them more marketable and thus “better” from an economic standpoint, at the very least.

 
I realize, however, that many of you will claim that my statement regarding the strength of CrossFitters is specious, as literally none of the internet’s CrossFit naysayers even possess the modicum of motivation necessary to do the scantiest of research, nevermind actually pick up something heavy (if you haven’t yet caught on, I’m stating, unequivocally, that it is only pussies who claim to lift and dont, shmoes, and undeservedly self-important Asian ambulance chasers who hate CrossFit [with one notable exception]).  So, without further adieu, let’s examine metrics collected from the CrossFit website itself by author and scientist Chris Beardsey of Strengthandconditioningresearch.com.  Let me reiterate- these metrics were not fabricated by myself, nor were they fabricated at all- instead, they are considerably dated (which I’ll address shortly), low-end metrics provided by the CrossFitters to CrossFit over the last few years, compiled and analyzed by Chris Beardsley.  I realize Elginsaddity’s fans have already had problems wrapping their feeble, protein-starved, undertrained minds around this fact, so I will reiterate once more:

 
THESE METRICS ARE FREELY AVAILABLE TO INTERNET SHIT TALKERS ON THE CROSSFIT WEBSITE.  Feel free to put your heads between your legs and start sucking, by the way, Elgin fans- you’re a lot of dipshits incapable of working the goddamned Google machine with big mouths and tiny cocks.

 

Yup- they look like total pussies to me.  Good call, internet.  
Kill yourselves.  I don’t care how you do it, so long as you’re dead.

 
First off, we need a baseline for the determination of relative strength.  Thus, we must take a look at the bodyweight.  The top 125 Crossfitters in the country are all roughly between 150 and 225 lbs, the bulk of them (and seemingly the most successful of them) are between 180lbs and 210lbs, and the median all of the top 500 CrossFitters is about 190 lbs, which would put them in the 181 class for powerlifting.  Yes, the 181 class- they’re actually competitive athletes, meaning they will compete at their optimal bodyweight using whatever means are at their disposal to ensure victory.  As such, we will use performance metrics for 181 lb athletes to assess their performance.

 


Though likely of little interest to the bulk of you, I found it interesting that the best of the CrossFit men, with one notable exception in that little 150lber, are between 5’10” and 6′ and between 190 and 205.  Here’s a comparison of the height and weight of the top 500 CrossFitters:

 
 
So, now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the reported deadlift on the CrossFit website for the top 125 Crossfitters- they’ve got two guys who deadlift over 650 and a couple more who deadlift over 600, with an average of around 510.  The top 75 all deadlift over 500, and the top 50 all deadlift over 550.  
 
Yeah, none of you would like to be as strong or as jacked as Khalipa.  Suuuuuuuuuure.
Kill yourselves.  Again.
 
Again, bear in mind that these stats are old- for instance, Jason Khalipa’s clean is listed at 335 on the CrossFit site, but he’s on video clean and jerking 355 (which would tend to indicate his clean is even higher than 355).  In the same video, Froning snatches 305 when his snatch is listed lower online.  Matthew Fraser’s snatch PR is 315 on video, but 300 on the CF website.  Meanwhile, I took so long to write this article that the discrepancy was wider when Beardsley did his analysis.  In any event, rest assured that the PRs of Crossfitters, who don’t even train for maximal strength, are greater than those listed in this analysis.
 
Meanwhile, this random CrossFitter looks 10x as good as Elgin and has actually been laid in the last year.  
And note the background slogan, which is appropriate- Elgin’s consistently failed to do so.  Lots of bullshit and nothing to back it but a micropenis.
 
So, how strong are the top 50 powerlifters at 181 in 2013?  They deadlifted between 590 and 715- obviously bigger than the Crossfitters, but not shockingly so.  There are at least 12 CrossFitters with 600+ deadlifts, which would but them in the top 35 at 181, and the three CrossFitters with > 650lb deadlifts would crack the top 5.  According to the USPA’s lifter classifications (which I think are incredibly low, but I’ve discussed my opinion of lifter rankings before), the average of the top 125 CrossFitters’ deadlifters are right around the Master cutoff of 515, and at least there are easily 100 CrossFitters who class Elite by the USPA’s classifications at 181.   
 

 

 

So then we have the metric I’ve mentioned I find laughable in CrossFit- their back squats.  By powerlifter standards, CrossFitters just can’t hang… or can they?  Using the USPA standards, 501 is a master classification, 547 is elite, and 596 is international elite.  Given that I have only been outsquatted once in the history of the 181lb division, I feel like I am entitled to cast aspersions on everyone in terms of squatting- I don’t use any progression scheme, follow no program, and don’t even back squat fully outside of meets much.  I do a combination of jump squats and partials, and with that, I’ve got the second best unwrapped squat in the history of powerlifting.  Elginsaddity’s squat is suicide-inducing, so his opinion is null and void.  CrossFitters, however, can weigh in on the topic, because in spite of the fact that they don’t even really train the lift, they’re better at it than most parties.  Plenty of CrossFitters have a 500+ squat, which would get them into the top 30, and 6 CFers have a squat would land them in the top 8.

 

Guess who’s nowhere near the top of anything at 181?  Elginsaddity.

 

 

 

So, there you have it.  CrossFit might be at times somewhat homoerotic.  It certainly sucks at times.  But competitive CrossFitters are not, as are popularly bandied about “washed up losers.”  The only people who would characterize them as such are never-beens and never-will-bes, like your friend Elginsaddity and should die in a fire because he’d have to have sex to have AIDS.

 

 

He’s like, thhhhhhhho bufffffff.

 

Congratulations, fans of those pussies!   You suck in multiple dimensions.  Fans of Elgin Moines suck, and the lot of you should head to New Guinea and drink some Kool Aid, the useless, worthless, and weak omegas that you are.  You’re weaker than the people over whom you profess superiority, which is weaker than an AIDS baby in a Oly meet.  You don’t understand strength sports, fail to understand strength metrics at any point, and lack the testicular fortitude to prove yourselves on the battlefield… unlike CrossFitters.

So to the rest of you, stop listening to know nothings who will be never be nothings- I have proven myself because I absolutely hate people.  They’ll never prove themselves, because they’re leeches.  Treat them as such.  Salt those idiots.  Move on with your lives.  SALT IS GOD.  That is all.


Chanel’s Interview With Pam Bosko

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
Pamela Bosko is a Canadian based Powerlifter who competes in the 148lbs raw classic class in both Canadian and American Federations . She is a pioneer member of the Relentless charity organization and phenomenon and rocks out with a 350lb squat w/o wraps, 195lb bench, 405lb deadlift and an overall best classic raw total of 940lbs. She is currently coached by Dan Green and is also a BBBC Athete. She is an inspiration to many lifters including myself. Her heart and her strength and balls truly go hand in hand in hand and many people could testify to that.

 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. how did you begin competing in powerlifting?

A: I started competing in powerlifting after being bitten by the strength bug via strongwoman. I started competing in strongwoman and absolutely realized that comps were few in far between in these parts. The APF had just started up in Fargo, North Dakota which is about a 4 hour drive south for me. In November 2009, I went down and competed in a push/pull and haven’t really looked back since.

Q: Do you train often with a team or crew? Are they mostly raw lifters such as yourself?

A:  I train solo approx. 95% of the time. I train at McDole’s Gym here in Winnipeg, which is an amazing place but powerlifting is only recently starting to catch on. I travel down to Fargo, North Dakota roughly once a month to train with the crew at Edgar’s House of Pain which is home to some incredible lifters. I’ve accomplished a good amount training by myself, and as crazy as it sounds, I prefer to lift alone. Having said that, if I want to continue making progress, I need to be around people that are better and stronger than me. This is why I make sure to get down to Edgar’s House of Pain on a regular basis.

Q: I know a lot about being around people who are much stronger than myself as well. I know that you are an important contributor to Relentless Detroit/Minnesota. How do you think the turn out this year will be and what have you done training wise to prepare for this meet?

A: Relentless! I’m glad you are asking about Relentless as it has done so much good for the powerlifting world and the families and children we support. I’ve been with Relentless since the start in 2011 and looking back, from the amount of children and families involved, to the amount of lifters involved, to the amount of money generated, to the impact Relentless in ways unrelated to powerlifting. To say the least, the venue in Detroit will be busting at the seams in November with people, fundraising and new relationships.

Considering Detroit is still 4 months away, I haven’t started meet prep yet. I’m in the process of hammering down  the details but will start training in the next few days. I started a new career in mid-February, so after Relentless Minnesota in March, my focus and time has been spent working. I still hit the gym 4-5 days a week but some days I’m in and out quick, i.e. I’ll do my main lift and a quick accessory lift and get out.  I know I haven’t gotten weaker and in fact, my 41 year-old body needed the break. Maybe I’m at a different place in my life right now, but I have a very difficult time relating or even being around people anymore who view powerlifting as the end all be all and that’s all they do. I zone out after a couple of minutes.

Q: In your opinion, what was your most memorable meet (or stongman competition) you were ever a part of and why? What made it so memorable?

A: I would have to say it was my 5th meet which was actually the first Relentless in March 2011. It was my most memorable for a few reasons. It would be my last meet before undergoing my third shoulder reconstruction 2 months later in June. I also knew I’d be out for a minimum of 9-12 months afterwards and wanted to enjoy every single moment on the platform. I so badly wanted to hit an elite total at this meet just in case for some crazy reason I would never bench again after surgery. I had come close in my previous two meets to totalling elite and just missed the mark. I was hungry for this total but also terrified at the off chance my full meets were over. I ended up totalling 892 lbs at 165 and put my elite total on the books. It was also memorable since it was the first Relentless meet. I often look back at that meet and think ‘Wow, we had no idea what we were getting into and we have no idea where this is going to go but all I know is it’s going to be good!”

Q: How is the crocheting going?

A: It’s going really good. I can’t keep up though – I think people tend to forget I have a day job and training to do as well lol

Q: How do you keep up with your diet and nutrition when conflicted with the challenges of day to day work and responsibilities?

A; For years I struggled with eating disorders. When I say years, I mean half of my life. Food will always be a slippery slope for me but I’ve gotten to a place now where I have found balance with food. Balance with food is a direct result of finding balance and peace within myself after all these years. Through trial and error and lots of help, I’ve found what kind of foods, quantities and frequency work for me to keep me off that slippery slope while I stay healthy and work to get stronger.

Q: I think a lot of women especially will be able to relate to your story. What are your future goals in the competition world?

A:My most imminent future goal is putting together a 1000 lbs raw without wraps total at 148 lbs. I’m slowly inching my way there and it is within my reach. My main issue isn’t that I don’t have the strength, it’s that I need to lift smarter at meets i.e. start picking better attempts and stop making technical errors.

My future goals in lifting are fairly straight forward. I want to be involved in the sport for a long time so obviously an imminent and future goal is to stay healthy. Another goal is to continue learning but of course, to pass on to others the knowledge and experience I have gave gained. I keep chipping away at my strength goals and at one point thought when I hit those ‘magic’ numbers, I’d cross over and compete equipped. I can comfortably say I have no desire to compete equipped and still debating on wearing knee wraps in Detroit.

Q: One last question before we wrap it up. Would you rather 1) run your tongue down the top 2 feet of a bench platform at a meet or 2) press your tongue into Marshall Johnson’s nostril?

A: I would have to pick pressing my tongue into Marshall Johnson’s nostril. Marshall and I happen to be very close friends so I know his level of hygiene is really good, much better than the umpteen sweaty lifters who have laid on the bench I chose not to lick. Actually I have a funny nose related story about Marshall that’s fitting for this question. I was over at Marshall’s house visiting and sitting on the sofa crocheting (I tend to crochet a lot). Marshall says to me, “Pam, is this how it works?”. I turn to look at him to see one of my crochet hooks in his nose. Marshall has a pierced septum and he put the crochet hook through his septum. I just shook my head, laughed and posted a pic of it to Facebook. Ahhhhhh, good ol’ Marshall.

Pam and I when she dropped into the Anvil here in Toronto.

Interview by Chanel Nolet, Competitive 132lbs powerlifter and strongwoman based out of Toronto.


The Most Important Thing in Life Is Protein

Posted on: October 3rd, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
Nothing fails to shock me more than the consistent whining of lifters about their stalled lifts, shitty lifts, or lack of muscular gains.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the problem-the reason is always “your diet, bro.”  It’s not just that their diet sucks, which it almost invariably does, but that they’re not eating enough.  I’m not referring to not being on a bulking diet- I’m simply referring to the fact that their total amount of food consumed would likely only be suitable for small children, emaciated models, or, say, grown men under 150 lbs who struggle to bench their bodyweight.




Before you fly off the handle and start screaming obscenities at your computer screen in a hilarious fit of impotent rage, consider the fact that nearly every great lifter in history is well known for their prodigious appetite.  Perhaps it was due to the fact that their training workload was often twice to three times as great as that of the modern lifter, and they simply had to eat or die.  Or maybe it was due to the fact that those lifters understood, unlike the modern trainee, that in order to get big and lift massive weights, one must eat a tremendous amount of food.


Larry and Vince are saying “Pay some fucking attention, little people” from the grave.



Over the years, I’ve noticed that the adage popularized by Larry Scott and Vince Gironda, that weight training or bodybuilding is 90% nutrition, seems to have become the byline of the douche in the gym swilling some day glow drink in the middle of the gym, clutching his fancy shaker bottle between his gloved hands as if it were a chalice containing the blood of a long-dead Jewish messiah.  That adage becomes their justification for spending innumerable dollars on supplements of dubious benefit in spite of the fact that they have no appreciable muscle and their best lift is probably a 25 lb concentration curl.  As a result, I’ve shied from agreeing with Scott’s belief, as I’d not realized that the idea of proper nutrition was so ingrained I didn’t think about it consciously, and I make a concerted effort to distance myself from the kids in the Bodybuilding.com shirts.


Meanwhile, on Reddit…



That, of course, was rather silly of me.  Though I write rather extensively on dieting, I don’t think I’ve ever taken great pains to express the importance of it.  Clearly, training and sleep factor into the equation as well, but with insufficient food, all of the training and sleep in the world will amount to little more than fuckall.  So, allow me to take this time to climb atop the nearest proverbial mountain peak and proclaim to the world at large:


Diet is responsible for at least 50% of success in strength sports. 



Which, of course, leaves us with the question of what that statement should mean to the average trainee, most of whom seem to find themselves easily confused by conflicting information and the constant hammering of “NATTY LIFTERS CAN’T EAT PROTONZ LIKE GEAR MONKEYS BECAUSE NEBULOUS SCIENCE AND GENERAL SADDIFICATION.”  They’ll overwhelm you with studies about gut clearance and nitrogen retention and other assorted nonsense, most of which is related in such gibberish that you can be assured they don’t understand what they’re recounting (a good rule of thumb is that if someone cannot explain something in layman’s terms, they don’t understand it themselves).  Moreover, they have no knowledge of history or archaeology, so they will actually assert that something definitively proven to be possible is actually impossible, because fuck common sense, the historical record, and getting huge.


George Eiferman (r), who could bench 400 lbs cold at a bodyweight of 195, and Steve Reeves (l), who could clean 225 lbs while kneeling, both consumed incredibly high protein diets.



It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find a pre-steroid era strongman or bodybuilder who didn’t value protein above all else and eat it in massive amounts.  We’ll skip over the archaeological evidence I’ve given previously in regards to the greatest conquering peoples on the planet having meat-heavy indigenous diets, and the fact that Cro-Magnons ate the same insanely meat-heavy diet as Neanderthals, which according to the the science “gurus” should have killed them, and get right to a few examples of a few lifters who based their diets on protein.




The Saxon Trio

The Saxon Trio were basically the turn-of-the century Dream Team of strongman exhibition.  Not only were their lifts about as untouchable as a broad in a chastity belt’s clitoris, but it was essentially impossible to out eat or out drink them as well.  

“For breakfast they ate 24 eggs and 3 pounds of smoked bacon; porridge with cream, honey, marmalade and tea with plenty of sugar. At three o’clock they had dinner: ten pounds of meat was consumed with vegetables (but not much potatoes); sweet fruits, raw or cooked, sweet cakes, salads, sweet puddings, cocoa and whipped cream and very sweet tea. Supper, after the show, they had cold meat, smoked fish, much butter, cheese and beer.”

“Later, in England, as performers, Hermann and Kurt were partial to sweet foods and sugar. They tried very hard to gain weight but in spite of sweets and a terrific appetite, sometimes consuming one pound of butter between them, they failed to gain weight; sometimes only a few pounds which they could not hold. Arthur, the oldest, did not care for sweets and butter; even as a child he did not care for butter. Instead of butter he would use the lard from pork. Hermann and Kurt, in addition to other things, could make two pounds of marmalade and two quarts of very sweet cocoa disappear at one meal. Kurt was the heaviest eater of the three and for breakfast alone he could consume 24 eggs cooked in one-half pound of butter.

Their three o’clock dinner consisted mostly of roasted or fried meat, beef, pork or veal, not much potatoes, plenty of salads with oil just as in their childhood. Sometimes they had vegetables, but always lean meat. Every day they had pudding-yorkshire, rice, sago, etc., but very sweet. Then there was always raw or cooked fruits and nothing to drink. Sometimes, on one day during the week, they roasted poultry, goose, chicken, or turkey.


‘Many times I ate an 11 pound goose alone,’ Kurt informed me [Ed: That’s 151 grams of protein and around 12,000 calories in a single sitting]. One day during the week they had fried or boiled fish, plenty of butter and toast but no potatoes. At six o’clock they had “tea”-this was mostly raw minced meat with raw onions, German bread and plenty of butter; sometimes sweet cakes and coffee were substituted.

Their late supper included herrings (when they could get them) and eaten in the same manner they had become accustomed to in childhood. The herrings were sometimes used in salad form; they made their own mayonnaise with raw whipped eggs and oil. There never was any whisky or brandy at home. Even as children they did not care for milk and as men they developed no taste for it. At ‘tea’ time they very often had whipped cream. They did not care for boiled eggs, instead, they went big for poached eggs with plenty of butter” (Gaudreau).  

This means that just in two meals, each of the men, who weighed 210 lbs or less, consumed at the very least 64g of protein from eggs, 48g of protein from bacon, and roughly 80g of protein from their meat.  Thus, before accounting for the protein coming from their cream or pudding and other assorted foodstuffs, they’d each eat almost 200 grams of protein, then have “tea’ with raw hamburger and onions, and then a massive, multi-hour meal heavy in meats and cheeses after lifting.




Larry Scott

Larry Scott, first Mr. Olympia and possessor of some of the biggest and strongest arms in history, was adamant about consuming adequate amounts of protein.  According to the man himself,

“Basically I eat a lot of meat, cheese, and eggs. I like cottage cheese and meat-mostly beef in various forms. I eat almost no carbohydrates and very few vegetables. I supplement my diet with Johnson’s Protein” (Training Methods).  

“I was using from 11/2 to 2 cups of Johnson’s Protein (Rheo H. Blair’s Protein) per day. I would mix it with cream and milk. I used about 2/3 of a quart of cream a day in mixing this along with the milk to make it the desired consistency. I took this protein-cream mix three times per day. I would eat 6 to 8 times per day. I would have breakfast, then a snack at 10 A. M. and then lunch at noon, then another snack at 2:30 P.M., then dinner plus the Protein-Cream drink. My evening meal is eaten after I work out” (Ibid).



Scott’s diet was incredibly popular at the time, as Rheo Blair had popularized his protein drink, Johnson’s Protein, and was basically an evangelist for high-protein diets.  It was common to drink the protein with Half-and-Half, and in the amounts Scott drank it amounted to 156 to 208 grams of protein all on its own (Rheo Blair).  Add in another three to four food meals consisting of nothing but meat and cheese, and the 208 lb Scott was certainly consuming 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight or more.




Reg Park

Reg Park, who is both Arnold’s idol and the first bodybuilder to bench press 500 lbs., pretty much sweated masculinity the way most hipsters sweat douche.  He was so virile that women spontaneously gave birth in his presence, and his steely-eyed glare could break a man’s jaw from across the room.  Given those facts, it’s unsurprising that he often started his day with cereal sprinkled with protein powder, slammed 4kg of steak a day with only a cursory attempt to chew it, and drank enough Guiness to permanently disable most people every day (Croft).  In detail, his diet looked like this:



Breakfast

A glass of fresh orange juice

Papaya and banana

A large soup plate of oatmeal with full cream/whole milk & fresh cream

A plate of bacon, eggs, tomato and toast

Tea



Lunch

Large bowl of soup (tomato, pea, minestrone etc.) with rye bread

Vegetables

Steak (2 Kg)

Desert

Tea and chocolate

Wine or stout beer



Dinner

Same as lunch



Just from the steak alone, assuming he was a man of good taste and was eating something like a ribeye or t-bone steak, Park was getting a whopping 380 grams of protein at a bodyweight of 245 lbs.






Bill “Peanuts” West

Frankly, if your nickname is “Peanuts”, you’re either shopping for a shotgun to pain the walls with your brains or a bonafide hardass.  Though Bill “Peanuts” West was, by all accounts the nicest guy in history, his lifts put him definitively in the “hardass” category.  At a bodyweight of about 198, Peanuts hit a 435 lb bench, a 525 lb squat, 175 lb strict curl, box squatted 770 lb, power cleaned 305 lb, and push jerked 330 lb… at a time when powerlifting didn’t actually exist and without even training the Olympic lifts.  Though he started out at just over 100 lbs as a teenager, Peanuts built his body with just that, in massive quantities.

“The nickname “Peanuts” was bestowed upon Bill because he was given a rigid diet at Muscle House of proteins, chiefly peanuts. He ate one pound of raw peanuts daily, also a half-cup of peanut butter each day as well as six spoonfuls of raw peanut oil every 24 hours. Of course, in addition to all this peanut intake he had numerous protein drinks and raw milk as well as many assorted fruit juices” (Liederman).

Peanuts eventually upped his intake of peanuts to push him over the 200 lb mark, though there’s no info on how many he ate.  One pound of raw peanuts, however, yields 112 grams of protein all on its own, while the peanut butter yields about another 36, and that hardly accounted for all of his food.


Certainly, there are far more examples we could examine, from Louis Cyr’s attempts to eat all of the food on Earth to Sergio Oliva’s see-food diet, even precontest, which consisted of banana pancakes, sodas, boatloads of eggs, hamburgers, chocolate shakes, steak, and pre-and post-workout protein shakes, but I think I’ve made my point.  To get big and strong, one has to eat like they want to get big and strong.  Before I hear a “but, but, but, I caaaaaaaaan’t eat that muuuuuuuuuuuch”, allow me invite you to slap yourself in your stupid, whorish mouth and remind you that yes, you fucking can.  Stop being a little fucking bitch.


Always nice to see another strength author who practices what he preaches.  McCallum was no bitch.



To that end, John McCallum, longtime writer for Strength and Health, has your back.  I’ve written in the past about his “Souped Up Soup“, which he recommended you add to every meal, but McCallum had another trick up his extra-tight sleeves.  Second only to Rheo Blair in his attempts to spread the gospel of the ultra-high protein diet, McCallum created the Get Big Drink to get his readership jacked.  Unlike Rheo Blair, McCallum didn’t own a protein company- he was just serious about his protein.  “You’ve got to eat protein like it’s going out of style.  I keep protein tablets in my mouth all the time.  My meals are heavy protein.  I drink milk instead of water.  I pack the tablets down the beach and eat them constantly” (McCallum 473).




McCallum recommended that the following recipe daily and store in a jug in the fridge.  Every hour or so, he recommended hitting the fridge for a glassful, drinking the shake following a meal, but never in the place of one.



McCallum’s Get Big Drink

  • 6-8 scoops of protein (144-192g protein)
  • 2 quarts of whole milk (62g protein)
  • 2 cups of dry skim milk (48g protein)
  • 2 eggs (16g protein)
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter (16g protein)
  • Half a brick (.875 quarts or 462 grams) of chocolate ice cream (15g protein)
  • 1 small banana (1.3g protein)
  • 4 tablespoons malted milk powder (17g protein)
  • 6 tablespoons of corn syrup



That brings you to between 319 and 367 grams of protein per day, in addition to the three food meals you’re already eating.  Frankly that might seem like overkill to some of you, but it wouldn’t have to the Saxon Trio- they’d probably call you a lightweight and then go juggle triangular weights you couldn’t lift off the ground.  After 6 weeks of McCallum’s drink and hard training, however, it’s safe to say you might have a shot at budging a weight or two off the floor.





For myself, I add two tablespoons of cream to my protein shakes when keto dieting, to add calories and slow the digestion of the shake.  I’ve also found it useful to ass a single scoop of protein in water to the tail-end of any meal to add in adding weight.  I recently discovered Jim Wendler does this as well, and if he’s cutting he adds it to the beginning of the meal, to help reduce his appetite.  Either way, you’re getting extra protein and ensuring that the gains will come.


So, there you have it- if you’re weaker than you should be, smaller than you should be, or a combination thereof, it’s your own fucking fault.  Eat more and lift heavy and the gainz will come as the wise ones hath foretold.



Sources:

Bryant, Josh.  The M&F “GFH” Diet.  Muscle and Fitness.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.muscleandfitness.com/nutrition/gain-mass/mf-gfh-diet?page=2



Croft, Henry.  100% British Beef: The Reg Park Story.  Gym Talk.  24 Jun 2013.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.gym-talk.com/the-reg-park-story/



Everson, Jeff.  Incredible muscle mass: How Sergio Oliva and Victor Richards built theirs.  Strength Old School.  8 Jan 2010.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.strength-oldschool.com/topic/108-incrediable-muscle-mass-how-sergio-oliva-and-victor-richards-built-their-physiques/



Gaudreau, Leo.  The Saxon trio: what they ate and how they trained.  Natural Strength.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/saxontrio.html



Liederman, Earle.  Bill “Peanuts” West.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  17 Sep 2009.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/09/bill-peanuts-west-earle-liederman.html



McCallum, John.  Keys To Progress.  Nevada City: IronMind, 1993.



Rheo Blair Protein- How to mix the protein drink.  Iron Guru.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.ironguru.com/rheo-blair-protein-how-to-mix-the-protein-drink



Training Methods of Larry Scott.  Iron Guru.  Web.  3 Oct 2014.  http://www.ironguru.com/training-methods-of-larry-scott


Baddest Mofos Ever: Phil “the Man With Four Legs” Grippaldi

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments



Child stars are invariably more screwed up than a bondage scat porn film set to the looped theme songs of beloved childrens’ movies, yet the world constantly looks at them, hands wringing, and wonders “why?” and “how could we have saved them?” when in fact the answer is usually obvious.  It likely surprised no one when Dana Plato offed herself with Valium after years of being shit-poor on the heels of starring in Diff’rent Strokes- her cunt mom had been forcing the kid through audition after audition as a toddler, and Plato was whacked out of her head on coke as a 14 year old actress.  Same goes for Justin Bieber- the world will breathe a collective sigh of relief when that human shitstain hangs himself in a closet wearing nothing but a pair of thigh high stockings and a butt plug after being forced into pop stardom by an overbearing, formerly drug addicted, super ripshit pissed for Jesus (yet hates the Jews) mother.  Though strength sports rarely have child stars, they’re not immune to this issue either- that’s why when Phil Grippaldi, former protege of bouncer and bodyguard to the half-dead starvation model Twiggy, got arrested as the world’s oldest crack dealer at age 61, exactly no one was surprised.


On the left, Phil Grippaldi, at under 90kg.  On the right, Russ Knipp, world record holder in the press at 75kg, flexing his paltry 15″ arm.  Apparently the 30 lb difference in bodyweight was entirely in the arms.



Born in 1946 in the postapocalyptic nuclear wasteland of New Jersey, Grippaldi started training at age 14 under the watchful eye of a massive amateur, non-competitive bodybuilder Mike Gubliano.  Gubliano had this little guido trashing his arms for three hours a day in the company of like-minded spaghetti-gobbling benchbros, and by age 16 all of his hard work paid off.  No, Redditors, the kid didn’t end up in a cemetery from doing hours of curls and close grip bench presses every single day- he ended up a 16 year old kid with 19 inch arms weighing under 190 lbs, and likely more sopping wet vagina thrown at him on the street on a daily basis than most of us will see in the span of our lives (Everson, Gallagher “Phil” 2).




Shortly thereafter, Grippaldi met the coach of the legendary Keasby Eagles weightlifting team, which churned out badass American Olympic weightlifters throughout the 1960s and 1970s.  In his weightlifting debut, Grippaldi smashed the Junior World Record at 90kg by 35 lbs, then entered the Senior Nationals for his second meet and placed second to world record holder Bill March with another Junior World Record in the press with a 348 lb attempt.  The following year he switched coaches and broke his own record again with a 352 press.  At this point, the dude with arms so big that he was studied by Soviet scientists seemed like he was on the verge of bending over the Eastern block and raping it in the ear by himself.  That, however, was not exactly how things would play out.

“The grimly serious Grippaldi’s arms were so hypertrophied from bodybuilding done in his teens that the Russian weightlifting experts at the Soviet Academy of Sport—in an article translated for American magazines—diagnosed those prodigious arms as the cause of a technique problem that inhibited his ultimate success. Phil may have been okay with that. He didn’t get Olympic gold, but a silver medal and a band of worshippers is not too bad” (McKeen 87) .



In 1968, Grippaldi beat weightlifting legend Bill March in the national championships like he was a 20 year old Mike Tyson going up against an aging Joe Frazier, clocking a sick 1,055 lb three lift total.  Grippaldi went on to be a sensation on the international circuit, racking up some incredibly impressive finishes for an American whose nation had turned its collective back on weightlifting 20 years prior.  Working as a teacher by day and putting in 20 to 30 hours of training a day, Grippaldi continued to log massive numbers, even after his pet exercise, the press, was discarded like a used condom to cut down on duration of weightlifting meets (Gallagher “Phil”).  In spite of his nearly legendary success, however, an elbow injury sustained in competition in 1980 destroyed Grippaldi’s Olympic gold aspirations, although he attempted a comeback training only his legs that was apparently comprised of nothing but thousands of 1,000 pound-plus leg presses (McKeen 93).  No one’s quite sure how a teacher consumed with lifting could only have an ending crazier than the beginning, it seems, but it seems only fitting looking at the way he lived.


 

Phil Grippaldi’s Relevant Stats

Height: 5’5″

Weight: 195 lbs.

Arms: 20″-22″ (depending on the source)



Best Lifts

Clean and Press: 396 lbs.

Clean and Jerk: 451 lbs. 

Snatch: 341 lbs.




Competition History

1st- 1967 Pan American Games, 90kg

2nd- 1970 World Championship, 90kg (160kg Press, 140kg Snatch, 190kg Jerk)

1st- 1971 Pan American Games, 90kg

1st- 1975 Pan American Games, 90kg



By all accounts, Phil Grippaldi’s training methods ranged from “holy hell, he’s a maniac” to “my eyes are bleeding watching this guy.”  According to Jeff McKeen, a light warmup prior to pulling consisted of 5 totally cold reps with 495 on the squat, at which point he was ready to rock.  The guys around him considered him to be a demi-god, so Grippaldi was always the one setting the pace for their marathon workouts.  Thought the workouts varied widely, their mainstay lifts almost never changed.  On average, Grippaldi’s workouts looked like this:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Front Squats

Back Squats

Snatch

Power Clean



Tuesday, Thursday

Press

Snatch

Clean and Jerk

Bench Press

Power Rack:

Four 10 second holds in full extended position



Saturday

Total on all three lifts




Unlike most Olympic lifters of the time, Grippaldi absolutely refused to quit curling and benching, and for that reason often had trouble making weight at meets (Charniga).  Though most Olympic lifters though bench pressing would impede their shoulder flexibility, Grippaldi just knocked out shoulder dislocates before, during, and after benching to maintain a full range of motion.  Additionally, Grippaldi was famous in his gym for breaking lifts down into their component parts and training his weak points doing that.  This is how he build his press to such prodigious poundages- he’d identify component parts and use unrelated lifts to strengthen different parts of each lift, rotating the assistance work on a weekly basis (Gallagher “Grippaldi”). 




To make his sick overhead press so disgusting it caused nubile women to spontaneously ovulate in his presence, Grippaldi did the following three things:

  1. Blast his body with a wide array of non-shoulder specific assistance exercises
  2. Focus on press-related assistance exercises
  3. Refine his technique like a hipster refines his palette for wine tastings

 



In regards to the first point, which might seem about as sensible as owning one of those massive diesel pickup trucks dudes with micropenises have embraced during a global energy crunch, Grippaldi identified his abs and intercostals as incredibly important factors in his press.  Just as it’d be retarded to build a house on a sinkhole, it’d be incredibly stupid to attempt and overhead press with a weak midsection.  According to the man himself, “A lifter must have excellent abdominal and intercostal strength and to that end it is imperative that the lifter employ some of the following abdominal exercises in his routine.  Ab work aids in creating the ‘giant spring.’ During the Olympic press the abs and hips must be coordinated to create the initial thrust. On a related note: remember to drive the hips forward as the weight is being pressed. A lifter must isolate and work on his thrust” (Gallagher “Grippaldi”)




Everyone’s heard about the exercise du jour in that era for abs- guys like Serge Nubret and Frank Zane were famous for building their shredded midsections with thousands of unweighted Roman Chain situps.  While Grippaldi gave no shits about stepping on a bodybuilding stage, he did take a page out of the bodybuilders’ book and start doing Roman chair situps holding a 20kg plate either behind his head or on his chest.  Unlike Frank Zane, who would do sets of over 50 reps, Grippaldi held his shenanigans to 20 reps or less (Ibid).


181lb Gennady Ivanchenko regularly did hyperextensions with a 220lb barbell behind the neck to build that sick impression of the Grand Canyon where his spine should be.



After he knocked out abs, Grippaldi would flip over and do weighted hyperextensions to build thick spinal erectors.  This was the exercise of the Russians, and powered some of their most famous lifters to greatness just on the strength of their spine.  Though some Russians did these with a 220lb barbell behind their neck, Grippaldi stuck to a plate behind the neck or held to the chest and kept his reps between 5 and 15 (Ibid).




Grippaldi’s direct shoulder assistance work was fairly conventional.  It consisted of:



70-degree Incline Barbell Press- 6 x 5

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press- 6 x 5
Push press- 5 x 3
Isotonic/isometric rack pressing- 4 x 3.  This bears some explanation, as this was incredibly popular in the 1970s but has completely fallen out of use, likely because racks only come with a single set of pins.  Should you have access to two sets for a single rack, here’s how these are done- break the lift into thirds.  Set one set of pins at the bottom third of the rep and the other set at the top, then press the barbell from one set of pins to the other, holding the third rep against the top pins for 3-5 seconds.
 

“There was something wrong with us.  We chose a sport with no pot of gold and no rainbow.  Weightlifters didn’t get appearance fees or product endorsements, do commercials or interviews, and most spent their entire income on their training and travel to competitions.  Some lifters got fed up, and turned pro wrestler, or switched to the new sport of professional strongman competition; the strong legs and backs of Olympic lifters made it a natural transition. 

And we usually passed on fun.  Fun was tied to spontaneity outside of the weight room.  Skiing for the weekend?  Might get injured.  Trip to the Outer Banks?  Where should I train?  “You are going to the gym on Christmas Day?” my wife demanded, incredulous.

“It’s Wednesday.  Wednesday is jerk day.  I’ll just be a couple of hours,” I said.

“It is Jerk Day, isn’t it?”  She turned away.  Why the turn wasn’t permanent, I’m not sure.
All that for the possible reward of respect by a few thousand or so Olympic lifters in the country, of being a Grippaldi.  We few, we slap-happy few” (McKee 90-91).



So, he might not have ended up a world champion… and he might have ended up a piece of shit slinging crack rock on the corner, but for a decade, Phil “The Man With Four Legs” Grippaldi was the baddest mofo under 200lbs the world had ever seen, and was regarded as a god.  He represented everything awesome about an entire generation of lifters to that generation.  For ten years, no one looked back to the past for inspiration- they just looked across a dimly lit shithole of a gym to a dude with sides of beef for arms and an abject hatred of being a mere human.




Sources:

Charniga, Jr., Andrew. There Is No System, Part IV.  Sportivnypress.  2009. Web.  25 Jan 2014.  http://www.sportivnypress.com/documents/54.html



Connelly, Michael.  An Informal Boston Education: Boston Boomers, Beaches, Buddies, Broads, Bars, Beer, Baseball, and Barbells.  Bloomington: iUniverse, 2007.



Everson, Jeff.  True Or False.  The tight tan slacks of Dezso Ban.  30 Sept 2008.  Web.  25 Jan 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/09/true-or-false-jeff-everson.html



Gallagher, Marty.  Grippaldi the Great: How to Train the Overhead Press.  1 Aug 2013.  Web.  25 Jan 2014.  http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/article/grippaldi_the_great_how_to_train_the_overhead_press/P3#.UuSHtPQo5tQ



Gallagher, Marty.  Phil Grippaldi: Boy Wonder.  Starting Strength.  2012.  Web.  24 Sep 2014.  http://startingstrength.com/articles/grippaldi_history_gallagher.pdf



McKeen, Jay.  Heavy Metal Days.  Cimarron Review.  May 2012.  Web.  24 Sep 2014.  http://cimarronreview.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/169mckeen.pdf


The Lemmy Of Strength Sports- Inside The World Of The USAWA #2

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments

As we covered in the previous installment of this series, all-round lifting is about as popular in the strength world as an obese woman in a thong is on a Miami beach.  Part of the reason behind this, one might surmise, is the complete ignorance of the vast majority of lifters that all-round lifting exists.  The only magazine to acknowledge the existence of the sport is Milo, which though awesome could hardly be described as well-known.  In spite of their obscurity, the competition lifts of the USAWA / IAWA seem like they might be fun to try.  That said, one could write the coolest fucking book on the planet, but who gives a shit if it’s printed on newspaper in the back lot of a porn shop in Detroit?  No one’s ever going to have the chance to read it, so the hilarity and awesome inside will languish in some sticky, unlight corner of Detroit’s back alleys… just like all round lifting.

As such, it’s time to get the word out about odd lifting, as it’ll serve a s a break from the tedium of doing the same things over and over in the gym, if nothing else.  There are over 170 contestable lifts in the USAWA, ranging from the commonplace to the comical to the ridiculous.  I’m not going to bore you guys with the complete list of lifts and how they’re to be conducted, because that’d be a waste of everyone’s time and the USAWA handbook, which contains all of the lists, is available online if you wish to check it out.Instead, I’ll just cherrypick some oddities and obscurities you might find interesting, compelling, or at least a pleasant distraction for whatever boring bullshit you happened to be doing before reading this.

Allen Lift: As many of you know, I’m a hell of a researcher, and I take my research seriously.  In spite of that fact, I occasionally come up short- the only place I could find any information on this lift at all was in the USAWA rule book, so I have no idea who this is named after, when people started doing it, or why.  As for what it is, it’s a sit-up from the ground with arms locked overhead, holding weight.  If the bar moves inside a straight line from hip to shoulders or arms bend, the lift is disqualified.  In that way, it’s similar to a competitive stone lift I’ve written about before from India.  Lest you think there are people out there with abs that make Ross Enaimit look like a doughey chump, no one in the IAWA has used more than an unloaded bar for this, and most lifters are considerably weaker than that.

 



Arthur Lift: The Arthur Lift is so named, if you couldn’t guess, because it seems to emulate a trick lift Arthur Saxon used to do in his act.  That lift, however, used a powdered ovoid bag with no corners to grab filled with flour, and one end of the bag had a loose, heavy block of iron in it to make grabbing and balancing it more difficult.  Edward Aston stated of the Saxon Sack, “I do not believe that any man in the World, save Arthur Saxon himself, could lift and carry off his sack in the manner on which he insisted. This style compelled one to grasp and lift the sack from the floor to the knee, then to the thighs, and thence to the shoulder and finally overhead” (Aston).  That sack weighed 280 lbs, and the other sack used for similar competitions the Apollo sack, was heavier and had to be walked off stage on the lifter’s back.  Apollo’s sack, however, could be raised any way the lifter liked, so both Aston and Saxon lifted it by laying on the ground and pulling it onto their back, then standing with it.  The Arthur Lift seems to be a weird Sci Fi Channel monster-style chimera of the two lifts mixed, and it appears (very anecdotally), that Saxon himself did 386lbs on this movement.  Modern lifters haven’t come close to that- record lifts range from 105kg to 135kg between the 65kg and 105kg weightclasses, and superheavies (who outweighed Saxon by at least 40 lbs) have only managed 135kg.  Essentially, if you’re moving 200-300 lbs on this lift, you’re a bona fide Chuck Norris-esque hardass and likely grow a full beard in a single day.  You also have way to much fucking time on your hands if you’re doing this silliness with any regularity.

Danny Padilla, “The Giant Killer”, busting out a sick 225lb cheat curl at a bodyweight of around 180lbs- a 1.25x BW curl!

Cheat Curl with 5′ straight bar.  Before you scoff at the picture above due to indoctrination propegated by halfwits on internet messageboards, bear in mind that Arnold was famous for doing these and was quoted as saying “cheating barbell curl stands alone for building mass” (Muscle and Fitness Editors).  Not even the USAWA give a shit if this turns into a bizarre reverse power clean- Arnold started this lift with a huge forward lean and then ripped the fucking bar up in a half swing/half hip thrust aided reverse grip clean.  Per the USAWA, the lifter stands upright at finish of lift, but there is no rule about how the rest of the lift is conducted- just get the fucking bar up and eat a steak so you can bath in the gainz that are surely coming.  In competition, spotters can lower the weight after the “Down” signal.  If you want metrics for what’s awesome, the tiny 55kg guys are curling 62.5 kg, and the range pretty steadily increases by weight class to 110kg for the superheavies.  or the ladies, the grouping is much tighter- ranging from 42.5 kg to 50 kg between 50kg and 105kg in bodyweight.

Strict Curl.  This record might still be held by none other than rambling, jacked Youtube sensation CT Fletcher, who busted out a 225 lb strict curl with a cambered bar about 25 years ago.  Since then, the there’s not really been a single federation or a single source to determine who’s the best at the lift, so I doubt anyone’s sure who the superheavyweight record holder actually is.  In the USAWA, the lifter’s ass and upper back must stay in contact with wall, and they must use a 5′ bar (the fed CT set his record in allowed a cambered bar).  Spotters can lower the weight after “Down” signal.

1 Person 1 Finger On Each Hand Deadlift:  A favorite of Hermann Goerner, I can attest personally to the fact that this lift fucking hurts.  You never know what true soreness is until your fingers are swollen and achy from one finger deadlifts.  Well, I would surmise it’d be not unlike the saddle soreness a chick might get after a 100 man gangbang.  Yeah, it’s that painful.  In competition, the spotters can lower weight if need be, so the lifter really just needs to get the weight to lockout.

The IAWA actually contests this lift with each one of the fingers (I cannot imagine trying to deadlift with pinkies only), so if you want to give some of these a shot and see how you stack up, go here.

Ziegler Clean: Quite frankly, I cannot imagine how in the fuck this lift could be completed- it’s a clean while balancing a 2.5 lb plate on your head.  If the plate falls, it’s no lift.  In an effort to locate the source of this lift, I came up empty.  The only possible attribution one could give this lift is to Dr. John Ziegler, who was the physician who came to be known as “the Father of Dianabol” after supplying Bob Hoffman’s lifters with gear in the 1950s.  Ziegler wasn’t just some pasty-faced nerd, though- at 6’4″ 240lbs, he met Hoffman’s lifters in a Maryland gym.  While I can’t state definitively that this goofy nonsense was thought up by the man responsible for the proliferation of steroids in the US, it’s not outside of the realm of possibility (Fair).




Judd Clean and Jerk: This, for me, is a recipe for disaster- I have all of the balance and grace of a drunken Andre the Giant.  As such, attempting a clean and jerk while standing on one foot seems on par with Hitler’s decision to make a three pronged attack into Russia.  Normal people who aren’t as wide as they are tall might enjoy this lift- frankly, I have no idea what normal people enjoy.  If you want to give the Judd a shot, you just follow the rules of the normal clean and jerk, but must be done on a single leg only, and your non-lifting leg cannot touch the ground or your body at any time.

Kneeling Military Press: Being the witty motherfucker I am, I prefer to think of this as the Gloryhole Press.  As you can imagine, it’s just a strict press from a kneeling position.  The lifter must clean the weight from the floor while kneeling, then press without excessive layback.  For the skeptical amongst you,  I’ll remind you that world destroying strongman and log press world record holder Zydrunas Savickas (499lb log press) is famous for doing seated overhead presses on the floor, in the rack.  As I lack the flexibility to sit on the floor like that, this seems like a viable alternative.




Miller Clean and Jerk: The Miller clean and jerk is an odd one- it’s an ultra painful clean and jerk using only the middle fingers of each hand, and only a couple of lifters in history have beaten his 135 lb effort in this lift.  Wilbur Miller was a top ten heavyweight in the US at Olympic weightlifting, and for a while was the world record holder in the deadlift at 242 with a 725 pull.  For any of you who’ve seen the ancient, deep dish York plates in an old gym, it’s said that Miller was the reason York ditched them- he couldn’t fit enough weight onto the bar to max out (Myers). In any event, if you manage 135 in this lift, you’re kicking the ass of an American strength sports legend, and if you can hit 167 you’ve beaten the heaviest effort ever recorded on this lift.




Jackson Press: Named after one of the founding members of the USAWA and rival lifter to the aforementioned badass Wilbur Miller, the Jackson Press is so named because USAWA lifter Wayne Jackson was famous for his 300lb reverse grip clean and press.  Some of you may recall this seemed to be a popular lift in the US for some time, as John Grimek is legendary for having nearly been beaten in a competition at that lift by a drunken, geriatric longshoreman.  The Jackson Press omits the clean, though, and is simply a press from the racks, using a reverse grip.  Start position for the lift is with the bar on the chest, at least two steps away from the rack.  At the press command, the lifter presses, and holds the bar at lockout until they receive a down command.  No world records are listed for this one, but if you find yourself in the 70+kg range, you’re in with the world record holders on the reverse grip clean and press.

Scott Lift: In spite of diligent searching, I’ve no fucking clue where this exercise comes from- even the USAWA admits it’s obscure.  It is, however, a Zercher Lift that starts with the the lifter on their knees with the bar placed in the crooks of the elbows.  If need be, momentum can be built by rocking the bar back and forth, but the lifter must stand with the bar in the crooks of their elbows.  This is basically the USAWA’s lifting version of Kuato from Total Recall, if you could imagine making Kuato even more disgusting and less easy to understand.




Kelly Snatch: This lift is also known as the Reverse Swing and is as obscure as it looks painful.  Looking at this lift, I’m wondering if the USAWA lifters would start jamming sewing needles into their taint and rose stems up their urethra to get an extra 50 lbs on their bent press if they discovered Albert Fish secretly broke Saxon’s record.  Granted, is it worth trying out with a dominatrix just in case?  Probably, but that still wouldn’t have me in the gym doing Kelly Snatches, which seem far more likely to rip my shoulders out of the sockets than they do useful.  In any event, for these, the bar is behind the lifter on the floor, as in an Arthur Lift.  Grip width and foot placement is up to the lifter, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Then, through a combination of bad decision making, double jointed shoulders, child sacrifice, and sorcery, the bar is somehow teleported at arms length over the lifter’s head.  No world records are listed for this bad boy, either, presumably because people really like having full use of their arms.

That’ll do it for now, as you’d not imagine how much random research goes into hunting down these lifts.  I’ll hit you guys with another installment of wacky lifts soon, however, just in case you’ve got a bug up your ass to crack a world record in a sport not even the guys at your gym are aware exists.

Sources:

Aston, Edward.  The physical superman.  The Superman Magazine.  Dec 1930.  http://www.davidgentle.com/sandow/aston/hints.pdf

Fair, JD.  Isometrics or Steroids? Exploring new frontiers of strength in the early 1960s.  J Sport Hist. Spr 1993;20(1):1-24. http://library.la84.org/SportsLibrary/JSH/JSH1993/JSH2001/jsh2001b.pdf

Glassman, Greg.  The odd lifts.  The Crossfit Journal Articles.  Jan 2003;5:1-3.  http://www.crossfit.com/journal/library/05_03_The_Odd_Lifts.pdf

USAWA Official Rulebook

IAWA World Records.  IAWA.  8 Jan 2012.  Web.  16 Sep 2014.  http://www.havengym.org.uk/PDF/WR_Index.pdf

Myers, Al.  USAWA Official Rulebook.  8th Ed.  Web.  16 Sep 2014.  http://www.usawa.com/USAWA%20Uploads/2010/05/RULEBOOK-8th-Edition.pdf

Myers, Al.  Wilbur Miller.  USAWA.  16 Apr 2013.  Web.  16 Sep 2014.  http://www.usawa.com/tag/wilbur-miller/

Smith, Art.  Wilbur Miller, power perfectionist.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  24 Sep 2009.  Web.  16 Sep 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/09/wilbur-miller-power-perfectionist-art.html

Van Vleck, Thom.  Wayne Jackson: chasing strength.  USAWA.  20 Dec 2013.  Web.  16 Sep 2014.  http://www.usawa.com/tag/wayne-jackson/


Insecticidal- Getting Jacked On A Zoophagous Madman (aka Renfield) Diet

Posted on: September 8th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
“R. M. Renfield, aetat 59. Sanguine temperament, great physical strength, morbidly excitable, periods of gloom, ending in some fixed idea which I cannot make out. I presume that the sanguine temperament itself and the disturbing influence end in a mentally-accomplished finish, a possibly dangerous man, probably dangerous if unselfish” – John Seward.

It’s pretty rare, even in the modern era, that one refers to a 59 year old man as either having great physical strength or of being “possibly dangerous”, provided his name isn’t John Grimek and he’s not carrying a loaded firearm.  RM Renfield, however, was considered to be both, in an era when life expectancy in the United States was right around 45 years.  Sure, you might say, but RM Renfield wasn’t a real person, so this conversation is about as useful as pixelated Japanese pornography.  Not so, however, because I’m going to take a leap of logic and ascribe the great strength and dangerous nature of Renfield’s character not to a flight of fancy, but rather to his diet.

Anyone who’s seen a Dracula movie is familiar with Renfield’s diet- he’s the dude crazier than a bag of wet cats eating mealworms in the lunatic asylum.  Tom Waits apparently munched on one in the filming of the cinematic travesty Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and though that had most viewers in the West recoiling in horror, it happens that 80% of the world’s population eats insects as a part of their regular diet.  In fact, it’s only the pinkies-up-when-quaffing-our-champagne developed Western world that doesn’t partake of our exoskeleton-clad friends, as we can afford far more expensive protein sources than insects (Michels).

They love their bugs in Thailand.

The practice of eating arthropods (non-seafaring ones), which modern science refers to as entomophagy, is shared by all primates and is ubiquitous to every corner of the world.  Over 3,000 ethnic groups around the world are known to engage in this practice, and the number of creepy-crawlies they eat makes the “diversity” of my own diet seem laughable- I never even considered the fact that there were over 1,400 species of meat-sicles for me to eat, but then I despise seafood and generally stick to beef and chicken (Ramos-Elorduy 13, 44).  As you might have noticed by my qualification, most people are already used to eating one type of arthropod- crustaceans.   The other three types, insects, spiders/scorpions/horseshoe crabs, and trilobites, are all related edible species.  Well, one would assume trilobites would be edible, but they’re extinct.  In any event, eating arthropods is hardly unknown in the West.

The Club of Rome is Full of good news.  Don’t worry- this is how we’re going to hang onto our gains in the coming apocalypse.

Though it’s become very popular among the effete and the “green” to advocate the consumption of insects as a protein source, just as the Club of Rome nuts advocated soy as the savior of all mankind in the 1970s, Western authors have been advocating for the consumption of insects at least as far back as the 1880s, with the publication of Why Not Eat Insects?  As many of us in the strength community, at least those in the know, are averse to faddism, one might otherwise shy from a discussion about insects as a protein source- once something is advocated in the New Yorker, most skeptics turn a blind eye.  This concept, however, has both precedent and merit, as the consumption of insects is so common and in many cases lauded.  Why then, do we shun the shit that crawls on shit, in spite of the fact that half of the modern world under 40 has seen 2 Girls 1 Cup?

I’d venture to guess most people would react the same way to a plate of live mealworms as they would to that video.

Damned if I know, because by all accounts, insects are good eating.  “Because of their exoskeleton most insects give off very little odor and, therefor, smell has little influence on palatability.  Conversely, this same shell greatly influences texture.  Insects are crunchy and the act of chewing, couples with the resulting salivation, carries with it great oral satisfaction, similar to the pleasure of eating pretzels or crackers.  The exoskeleton is chewable and is actually an excellent source of fiber” (Ramos-Elorduy 16).  After spending time in Cambodia, Angelina Jolie stated that her kids were eating crickets “like Doritos” because they loved them so much (Angelina), and the wealthy housewives of Mexico City flock to upscale restaurants for a dish referred to as “Mexican Caviar”, which is actually boiled ants’ eggs (Armstrong).  Dubious?  This dish, known as escamoles, was selling for $25 a plate in 1999, which means it’s running closer to $35 these days if one adjusts for inflation (Defoliart 36).   White “gusanos”, or maguey worms, which are larvae of the skipper butterfly, sell for the same price, and the harvesters of those two insect dishes are the richest people in rural Mexico (Defoliart 37).  Apparently, eating bugs is literally the tits.

I am psychically sensing that no one is as yet on board with this idea.  Would it help to know that ancient Romans, conquerors of the Western World, ate snails and referred to grasshoppers, which were eaten incredibly frequently, as ‘four legged fowl'” (Brothwell 66, 70)?  Or that ancient Greeks, rampaging through East Asia on an empire-building mission led by the inimitable Alexander, thought cicadas were one of the world’s great delicacies (Brothwell 70)?  Eating snails in the desert could actually keep you alive in lieu of finding a water source, as a snail common to Libya, the Eremina, would be sufficient to enable survival for days if eaten in sufficient quantity (Brothwell 67).  Not in the desert but trying to get ripped?  Fried termites are the ultimate keto food- their exoskeletons provide fiber, and the rest of them is 44% fat and 36% protein, and rocks hard as a caloric belly bomb at 560 calories per 100 grams (Brothwell 68).  On a hike through the desert, leaving the granola at home and bringing a big bag of snails and another of fried termites would have you crushing trails like you’re a one man Badwater Ultramarathon.

Judging by those scars, Edward James Olmos got less ass in high scool than I did, which is impressive.  How do you get negative amounts of ass?

I realize that this is, quite literally, hard to stomach- the thought of eating insects is more repellent than Edward James Olmos’s acne scars.  I can attest, however, to the fact that ants actually taste pretty awesome.  In a hilariously failed effort to get small children to leave me alone at a backyard party- I tried to gross them out by eating ants.  I ate a hell of a lot of them.  Instead of grossing them out by eating what essentially taste like tiny little lemonades, the little shit machines decided I was officially the coolest adult on Earth, and they proceeded to collect a wide array of bugs for me to eat.  As I had no interest in having a live grasshopper in my mouth, I declined.  The memory, however, still serves to remind me that bugs definitely taste better than you’d think.  According to people braver than I, here’s what the most popular edible insects taste like:

If I were trying to sell beetles to people as food, this is not the posterchild I’d pick.  Nevertheless, there aren’t many picks of Westerners happily munching beetles, so you fuckers will have to settle for a forlorn Sub-Saharan African.
  • Beetles.  Most beetle larvae taste like pork rinds, and those from aquatic environments have a fishy flavor (Ramos-Elorduy 20-21).  One type of beetle, the sago palm weevil, is supposed to taste exactly like bacon (Strochlic).
  • Butterflies and moths.  These are, thankfully, always eaten in the larval or pupal stage.  Their flavor depends on the environment where they lived and the manner in which they’re prepared- some taste like chicken, others like codfish and herring.  The white agave (the worm at the bottom of bottles of mescal) is the most popular insect in the world from a luxury standpoint- a kilo of them costs $32-$35 (Ramos-Elorduy 21).  Like the white agave in South America,caterpillars are considered delicacies in southern African countries. Because it eats nothing but bee wax and honey, the wax moth caterpillar / wax worm, apparently tastes like an enoki mushrooms mixed with pine nuts (Strochlic).
  • Bees, wasps and ants.  Wasps are known for their pine nutty flavor.  Bees, however, range in flavor from pine nuts, peanuts, or almonds.  Ants are almost always nutty, though certain species have a citrusy flavor (Ramos-Elorduy 23)
  • Grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts. Grasshoppers are the most consumed type of insect in the world, and their flavor depends entirely on their method of preparation (Ramos-Elorduy 24).  Some people describe cooked locust as similar to smoky bacon, which most of you should get excited about (Dubois).  Africans call them “desert shrimp”, though, and claim they taste quite a lot like the locust’s sea faring cousin (Murray).  There, the dip fried locusts in a chili powder called yaji (the recipe for that is here), and it’s basically become one of the most sought-after protein sources in Nigeria in recent years. As such, I’d start here or with ants and a bunch of sriracha.
  • Flies and mosquitoes. The flavor of flies depends on where they were raised.  Flies raised on cheese (like in Sardinia) taste like cheese, while ones from water environs taste like duck.  Fresh mosquitoes taste like fish (Ramos-Elorduy 24)
  • Water boatmen and backswimmers. I grew up calling these things water striders, but irrespective of what you call them, their eggs are known as Mexican caviar and taste like fish when fresh and shrimp when dried (Ibid)
  • Stink bugs. Horrible as it would seem to eat one of these noxious motherfuckers, they’re damn good for you.  They possess anesthetic and analgesic properties, and add an apple flavor to sauces.  Additionally, they contain iodine, which is awesome for people in regions where it is not readily available (Ibid).  Just don’t eat them raw, or the toxins they contain might kill you.
  • Witchetty (witjuti) grubs.  Apparently these are only found in the land of Crocodile Dundee, but the larva of the cossid moth has been a staple in the diets Aborigines for centuries.  These little high protein, mobile boogers taste like almonds, and when cooked their the skin becomes crisp like roasted chicken (Food).
  • Tarantulas.  Having seen wolf spiders up close, all I can think when approached by a spider as big as my fist, all I am capable of is complete arachnid destruction.  For those of you who can stave off the “destroy everything” Hatebreed-esque respond and just stick to simple murder, tarantulas are said to taste like to soft-shell crab or shrimp (Strochlic).  As I hate seafood almost as much as spiders, I’ll leave that to you lunatics to test.


What’s weird in the above list is that the favorite of internet weirdos, paleo outliers, super-green non-vegan psychopaths, and every bizarre foodie on Earth is the mealworm.  When looking for Thanksgiving Day recipes, I happened upon 10,000 recipes involving mealworms, for no reason whatsoever.  Mealworms are apparently the shit.  They can be eaten live, they can be pan-fried, or you can do what most people do- dry-roast those nasty little sons of bitches.  Dry roasted mealworms would make for excellent post-apocalyptic food, if nothing else- roasting removes most of their moisture and retains all of their nutrition.  On top of that, they apparently taste just like peanuts, but lack the allergens that have housewives all over America shitting their collective pants (even though it’s half as common as bee sting allergy), and their macro nutrient and amino acid profiles ball harder than P Diddy in a room full of ATMS and big bootied white women.  Mealworm meat compares incredibly favorably with red meat, as mealworms average between 45-55g protein, 40-57g fat, and 1.4-2.3g fiber per 100g of dry weight.  As for aminos, they contain more of every amino strength trainers care about (especially leucine) than beef:      


(T. molitor = tenebrio molitor = mealworm beetle)
 
Please disregard the hilarious mispelling of “beef”.  Not sure who fell asleep at the wheel proofing this academic paper.

  

As I don’t own anything ironically, don’t wear tweed, and cannot stand indie rock, I’ve not yet tried eating mealworms.  Since I lack that hipster street cred, I’ll just relay the preparation methods for mealworms I’ve found in case you’re curious:

“Dry roasted mealworms can be salted or dipped in chocolate and eaten as a snack, sprinkled on salads, and added to soup. They taste a lot like peanuts and can replace nuts in cookies, cakes, and other desserts. Since roasted worms are brittle, they can be ground and mixed with flour when you bake muffins, pancakes, or bread. The different ways these insects can be added to recipes is almost limitless.

How to dry roast mealworms
Place your live mealworms in a colander and toss and rinse them under cool water. This is to remove any food and substrate from the worms. Be sure to pick out any dead worms or pupae.

Pat the worms dry with paper towels, place them in a container or plastic bag, and put them in the freezer for about fifteen minutes. This will quickly kill the worms.

Spread the mealworms out evenly on a non stick cookie sheet. If you are worried that the worms may stick, you can lightly grease the sheet.

Place the worms in an oven at 200 degrees and bake them for one to two hours until they are dry and crispy. Some people do not like the smell of baking worms and prefer to cook them outside on a gas grill set to a low temperature” (Mealworm).

If worms aren’t your bag, it’s not just mealworms that crush red meat in a battle to protein overdose induced kidney-failure death- insects in general hand beef and chicken a pretty stout ass whipping.  They’re crazy high protein, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, organic, naturally fed, free-range, and the only carbs they contain are fiber, so they have no chance of throwing you out of ketosis.




For most of you, this will have absolutely no impact on your life- you’ll just carry on eating the same poorly fed, poorly treated, factory farmed animals… as will I, likely.  This information is likely going to fall into the “good-to-know” category, then, but if you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you’re heading facefirst into catabolism without a helmet fashioned from an array of protein bars, you know know you can get your anabolism on ancient Greek and Roman style.  One thing to note, however, is that not all insects are edible.  Though the list I’m about to give you (Bryant, “How”, seems pretty much a full listing of insects, it’s apparently not. I’m not an entomologist and don’t pretend to play one on TV, so I’m not even going to make an attempt to help you identify the safe ones.  




They are, however:

  • Anoplura – lice
  • Orthoptera – grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches
  • Hemiptera – true bugs
  • Homoptera – cicadas and treehoppers
  • Hymenoptera – bees, ants and wasps
  • Diptera – flies and mosquitoes
  • Coleoptera – beetles
  • Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths
  • Megaloptera – alderflies and dobsonflies
  • Odonata – dragonflies and damselflies
  • Ephemetoptera – mayflies
  • Trichoptera – caddisflies
  • Plecoptera – stoneflies
  • Neuroptera – lacewings and antlions
  • Isoptera – termites 

Given that most of us couldn’t tell a caddisfly from a sparrow, you might want to bear in mind the following little rhyme if you decide to much on bugs:

“Red, orange yellow, forget this fellow.
Black, green or brown, wolf it down”

(Bryant, “Entomophagy”).

It’s also best to avoid eating overly colorful bugs or bugs with a strong odor (Bryant, “Entomophagy”), as that sort of gay pride parade style flamboyant is intended to warn predators they’ll get fucked up if they try and fuck with the bugs.  If that’s all you have for eating, just boil, roast, or smoke the bug.  Boiling is the safest way to kill of toxins, but roasting or smoking should serve the same purpose, and any kind of cooking will vastly improve the taste and texture (Bryant, “Edible”).

 

So there you have it.  Bugs, they’re what’s for a ketogenic, paleolithic, green, socially conscious dinner- third world tested, hippie approved.


Sources:

Angelina Jolie admits her children eat insects.  Mai FM.  20 Jul 2011.  Web.  4 Sep 2014.  http://www.maifm.co.nz/Angelina-Jolie-admits-her-children-eat-insects/tabid/76/articleID/1402/Default.aspx

Armstrong, Hilary.  Ant’s eggs, Mexico.  MSN Travel.  Web.  4 Sep 2014.  http://travel.ca.msn.com/international/photogallery.aspx?cp-documentid=23957391&page=17

Brothwell, Don R.  Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples.  New York: Prager, 1969.

Bryant, Charles W..  “How Entomophagy Works”  15 April 2008.  How Stuff Works. Web.  3 September 2014.  http://people.howstuffworks.com/entomophagy.htm



Bryant, Charles W.  How can I tell if a bug is edible? How Stuff Works.  14 April 2008.  Web.  8 Sep 2014.  http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/survival/wilderness/edible-bug.htm

DeFoliart GR.  Insects as food: Why the Western attitude is important.  Annu. Rey. Ennmol. 1999;41:21-50

Dubois, Sirah.  The Nutritional Value of Locusts.  Livestrong.  24 Oct 2011.  Web.  3 Sep 2014.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/549444-the-nutritional-value-of-locusts/

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Edible Insects: Future Prospect for Food and Feed Security.  Fao Forestry Paper.  Aug 2013;171:67-89.  http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e06.pdf



Mealworm Care.  Web.  3 Sep 2014.  http://mealwormcare.org/recipes-nutrition/

Michels, Spencer.  Bugs for dinner?  PBS. 7 May 2012.  Web.  2 Sep 2014.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/bugs-for-dinner/

Murray, Senan.  In pictures: Desert shrimps.  BBC News.  Web.  3 Sep 2014.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/07/africa_desert_shrimps/html/7.stm

Nutritional Value of Various Insects per 100 grams.  Iowa State Entomology Department.  Web.  3 Sep 2014.  http://www.ent.iastate.edu/misc/insectnutrition.html

Ramos-Elorduy, Julieta.  Creepy Crawly Cuisine.  Rochester: Park Street Press, 1998.



Siemianowska E, Kosewska, Aljewicz M, Skibniewska KA, Polak-Juszczak L, Jarocki A, Jędras M..  Larvae of mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) as European novel food.  Agri Sci.  May 2013;4(6):287-291.

Strochlic, Nina.  Cicadas, Grasshoppers, Locusts, Ants Among the Tastiest Insects.  The Daily Beast.  14 May 2013.  Web.  3 Sep 2014.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/14/cicadas-grasshoppers-locusts-ants-among-the-tastiest-insects.html


The Lemmy Of Strength Sports- Inside The World Of The USAWA

Posted on: August 29th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments



Of all of the bands in metal, one stands out as forever existing in the conversation, though you’d be fucked if you had to find a die-hard fan of the band- Motörhead.  Formed in the mid-1970’s, Motörhead’s been hailed as one of the seminal heavy metal bands, and are credited with being the progenitors of thrash metal.  In spite of the fact that metal fanboys will namedrop Motörhead for any reason or none at all, you would be hard pressed to find a person who can name a single Motörhead song beyond The Ace Of Spades, and only then because the hard rock anthem was in three Rock Band releases.




The singer of Motörhead, Lemmy, is the only human whose appearance could be compared with that Chinese Hairless that won World’s Ugliest Dog a few years back.  Known affectionately by his fans as “The Warted One”, Lemmy is to rock star good looks what a gelatin tuna salad mold (yeah, people ate that shit in the 1960s, apparently) is to delicious comfort foods, and his face is to Ben Affleck’s what krokodil is to Adderall.  Beyond that, the man drank at least a bottle of Jack Daniels a day for 37 years, and essentially lived off LSD and speed for the entirety of his career, which might not account for his face but should earn him a trip to a medical think tank to determine what sorcery gave his heart and liver better longevity than a naked mole rat.


Looks more like the kind of guy who’s fucked a handful of chicks in the dumpster behind fast food joints, and might occasionally land the diner waitress with some hard miles on her face, a speed habit, and a bunch of C-section scars than the white Wilt Chamberlain.



In spite of the fact that his music is generally unmemorable, he’s uglier than a can of smashed assholes, and he consumed massive amounts of every substance commonly believed to make your dick limper than Philip Seymour Hoffman’s wrists, Lemmy’s banged over 1200 women.  While many of them were likely of the brown snaggletooth, massively bespectacled, infamously ugly 1970’s British variety, that’s still quite a feat.  Oh, and did I mention the man credited with inventing speed and thrash metal has stated in numerous interviews that he fucking hates the genres of music with which he’s credited?  If Jesus had only managed to convert colonies of syphilitic hermaphrodites and subsequently decided that Mithraism was far cooler than modern Christianity, it still wouldn’t do justice to Lemmy’s quizzical actions.


If I entered one of their meets, I am betting I would be struck my lightning as I tried to enter the venue.



Like Lemmy and Motörhead, all round lifting and USAWA/IAWA (United States All-Round Weightlifting Association / International All-Round Weightlifting Association) don’t play nicely with the strength sports to which their traditions gave birth.  Instead, all round lifters seem to inhabit their own niche miles distant from powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and strongman- instead of raving about massive numbers and brutal training regimes, the USAWA guys are handing out courage and sportsmanship awards (no shit- it’s as if their organization is run by a kindergarten teacher who lives next to a trophy shop) and discussing the weirdly massive age ranges of their competitors.  Nowhere on the USAWA website will you find anything with a BR00TAL or extreme theme- everything is tidy and polite, nodding respectfully to the drunken lunatic strongmen of the past as if they’d actually hang out with them if, say, Saxon were to stumble into one of their gyms demanding a barrel of beer for himself and another for the people in the gym, and then lifting random shit until everyone else collapsed from exhaustion, they’d be super psyched he’d vomited all over their platform.


Grimek busting out an exercise of which I’ve never heard- the Kelly snatch.



Weirder still, one sees very little crossover of athletes from USAWA into the other three disciplines, or vice versa.  Despite the apparent likeness of the two sports, it’s not been widely publicized if a strongman ever made a crossover into USAWA.  Instead, the sport is content to garner the occasional mention in Milo… which is a far cry from its roots as the beginning of organized strength sports competition in the Western Hemisphere.




Though its roots are in the late 19th and early 20th Century, all-round weightlifting as an organized sport began in the US in 1985, when groups of odd lifts aficionados from the US battled lifters from the UK.  Lifting competitions at the turn of the century were formal affairs often contested for decent sums of money, but they had no set format.  Instead, the contestants, usually two, agreed upon a number of lifts, then determined the winner when one lifter defeated the other in more events.  In that way, it was much the same as how strongman events are contested now.  With the resurrection of the Olympics, weightlifting became a bit more organized, as the focus shifted to one and two hand versions of the snatch and clean (and for one Olympics, the swing).  Perhaps due to the fact that fun and the Olympic lifts are more akin to matter and anti-matter than anything else, informal lifting competitions persisted locally as “odd lift” competitions, which also included a physique round to determine the overall winner (Salado).


Only a people as awesome as the Germans would turn the deadlift into a drinking game.



Though the competitions were a far cry from those of the Bavarian beer gardens half a century and an ocean away, lacking both the standout lifters and large crowds, odd lift competitions flourished in the US in the 1940s and 1950s (Ibid).  With no set program of lifts, the participants themselves chose the events, which ranged widely between power lifts, Olympic lifts, and bodybuilding movements, the points from which were then added to the evening physique competitions to determine a winner (Salado).  Now, before you channel your inner Leslie Chow and shout “HA! GAAAAAYYYY!” at the screen, bear in mind that these competitions, while small and local, were incredibly popular.  So much so, in fact, that the godfather of Olympic weightlifting and evil authoritarian overlord of strength sports, Bob Hoffman, decided to destroy them.


Terry Todd busting out the world’s first 700 lb competition squat.



Awed by the lifting feats of Terry Todd, who at the time was the strongest man in America not named Paul Anderson, Grimek had taken a shine to what were then being called the “power lifts”, as the bench press, deadlift, and squat started to pull away from the odd lift contests (Fair 212, Sutphin 413).  Seeing powerlifting as the best method by which Hoffman could counter Weider’s growing legion of oily man magazines, Hoffman founded Muscular Development as a powerlifters’ training and diet resource (Fair 215).  He had, however, an even more nefarious goal- to destroy the sport of odd lifting, which he saw as a threat to his beloved Olympic weightlifting.  According to Hoffman, “there were not enough Olympic lifters in America and that physique and odd-lift contests were ‘killing our chances of victory’ in international competition (Fair 216).  To that end, he advocated upright rowing and behind the neck pressing for “power-lift” programs and sponsored the first two national powerlifting meets in 1964 and 1965 in an effort to force lifters’ hands into choosing a side (Ibid).   If that seems to be counter-intuitive to you, as it would seem that powerlifting would simply steal great lifters from Olympic lifting, you’re not the only one.  This would be like a Christian pastor decrying the loss of straight men in a bar to a club for bisexuals and deciding to sponsor a homosexual-only bathhouse and promote the gay lifestyle as a stop-loss.


Hoffman celebrating the death of odd lifting in the US.



Predictably, odd lifting was all but dead by the 1970s (History).  Like the martial arts masters of China going into hiding in the mountains when the Qing took power to refine their arts while living in caves, odd lifting aficionados retreated to the dusty corners of forgotten gyms and practiced their art in secret, awaiting a day when they could again pit themselves against other lifting Renaissance men.  One of these men was Ed Zercher, the guy for whom the zercher lift is named.  Ed was well known in Missouri for helping any young lifter in the area, and they all trained in Ed’s dungeon basement.  For those of you who know what a zercher lift is, it will come as no surprise that Ed’s gym lacked a squat rack, so it stood to reason that he and his lifters would begin to keep track of the weird shit they did, just so they had a metric against which to measure themselves.  It was this small group that eventually formed the basis for the USAWA, training in a tiny gym in a backwoods town, doing lifts of their own invention, those they’d heard about in passing (like the zercher lift, which Ed heard of being referred to as an elbow squat and started using), and those they had read about in the books of turn of the century strongmen (Van Vleck 99-100).


An ancient and wizened Zercher- like a leg pressing Yoda in a singlet.



For some reason, these pasty subterraneans eventually came into contact with other groups of like-minded, anachronistic, Morlocks.  Over the first few years of the 1980s they had enough of a cohesive structure that groups of odd lifters from both the US and the UK made contact, and by 1987 the first international odd lifting competition took place.  For whatever reason, the sport’s gained very little traction in the interim, but like Lemmy and Motörhead, the mere fact they seem anachronistic isn’t necessarily a reason to ignore them altogether.

Ever the egalitarian, Lemmy on women: “Women, they’re the same as me, with tits. If they want to be crazy, well, that’s all right, because I’m a little crazy myself sometimes.”



Here’s where it gets tricky, though, because the number of lifts that can possibly be contested in the IAWA borders on ridiculous.  A rival organization, the Odd Lift Strength Association, had a much shorter list of contested lifts, but appears to have been dead for the last few years.  Their competition lifts numbered only 25, and none of them seem esoteric enough to deserve a mention in a Dennis Miller monologue.  By contrast, the IAWA’s website lists no fewer than 170 movements, many of which are likely only known to a few people on the planet.  That is not going to stop us from finding out just what the fuck it is these guys are up to, however.  So, next time, we are going to delve into the lifts of the odd lift movement and see if we can figure out why that entire sport is consigned to a possibly interconnected, Viet Cong-style series of basements in the Midwest.



Sources:

Fair, John D. Muscletown USA: Bob Hoffman and the Manly Culture of York Barbell.  University Park:  Pennsylvania State Press, 1999.

 
History of I.A.W.A. (UK).  IAWA.  Web.  29 Aug 2014.  http://www.iawa.org.uk/HISTORY.html
 

Salado, Julio.  From Odd-lifts to Power-lifting: Boston’s weight lifting pioneer Archie Burgess.  Fitness Foundry.  10 Aug 2013.  Web.  29 Aug 2014.  http://fitnessfoundry.net/2013/08/from-odd-lifts-to-power-lifting-bostons-weight-lifting-pioneer-archie-burgess/



Sutphin, Paul.  Powerlifting: The Total Package.  Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2014.



Van Vleck, Thom.  Do You Zercher?  Milo.  2009 Sep;17(2):98-103.


Cut me, Shoot me, Kill me, But Don’t Bore Me, Bro

Posted on: August 25th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments
(Guest Author and Full-Time Asshole, Grimmtano contributed this one)



Truth be told, I’ve very little interest in watching or keeping up with most sports.  I like participating in them as a few games of football is a great way to put some hurt on your boys for talking shit all week.  Also, I’ll hit the road to head back to the yearly Auburn/Alabama Iron Bowl to get wasted with college students while I’m still young enough not to be that creepy old guy on campus.  Otherwise, I haven’t had a boner over a Super Bowl or World Cup in years and even when I did, it was because the broad next to me was wasted to shit wearing the shortest skirt known to man and bragging on how many cocks she can fit in her mouth at one time (I’ve known some sluts).  I’ve attended one baseball game in my life and I debated tossing myself and the people who made me go there right off the top of the stadium.  Americans are some boring bastards if that is truly is our national pastime [Ed. Note: According to the Harris Poll, “In 2014, 35 percent of fans call the NFL their favorite sport, followed by Major League Baseball (14 percent), college football (11 percent), auto racing (7 percent), the NBA (6 percent), the NHL (5 percent) and college basketball (3 percent)”, so America is doing a-ok].  


Pro wrestling’s “Superstar” Billy Graham representing at the WSM.



My opinion of strength sports is about the same.  With the small exception of World’s Strongest Man (and even that gets stale compared to the older competitions), weightlifting and powerlifting bore the living fuck out of me to watch.  While I’m sure a few shit sipping retards just spit out their $100 paleo protein shakes at that statement, I’m confident that there are many that will agree that jerking off to a donkey banging a midget is a far more intriguing thought than sitting through a powerlifting competition webstream. 


Samantha Wright only has so much drawing power.



There are some that would like to see powerlifting or weightlifting presented in the same mainstream manner as American football.  That’s cute.  It’s not fucking happening, but it’s cute.  As a consumer of entertainment, which is exactly what mainstream sports are, I can go to my local gym and get all I’m ever going to want to see from a powerlifting/weightlifting meet.  There aren’t any killer plays, very few “come from behind” victories, no one kicking your leg out from under you during a squat, and these days if you even try to start a rivalry, PC internet pansies will white knight you out of existence.  The only real difference between a meet and what any fucktard does at a gym is the presence of a crowd watching you and I’m confident I can draw a bigger crowd anywhere without paying $100 if I yell, “Hey!  Watch this, pussies,” at the top of my lungs and attempt to hoist the nearest fat woman over my head.  Even if I fail to accomplish that, dropping said fat woman and the police chase afterwards will definitely make me some some Youtube fame and money and still be more interesting than most meets.


Until Jesus squats 700lbs at 148, no one cares.



Something I find lacking with meets, from a casual viewer’s standpoint,  is the lack of clear adversarial competition.  So many competitors I read about state that they are, “competing against the weights and not other people.” Well, that’s cool if you’re into that zen bullshit but I’m not paying money to come see you do your best David Carradine impression on the platform unless it involves hanging yourself whilst jerking off into the crowd.  I don’t care about your favorite weightlifter’s personal journey, philosophy,  and how much that saddie loves him some Jesus.  I’m here to see someone kick ass, leave the defeated butthurt and crying, and roll out to the titty bar victory party and subsequently get arrested on prostitution charges by vice cops.  That’s the American fuckin’ way and one would be delusional to think that humming Barry White songs while lifting some weights for free protein powder is more interesting than a coked out football player hitting people so hard they spin three times in the air before hitting the ground and, subsequently, peeing on him! Look, you don’t pay cash just to show up and put your numbers up on a public chalkboard.  That’s retarded.  You come to win.  If you lose, just say you lost and you’ll do better next time.  But don’t expect the audience to pay to come view a bunch of dudes losing and going into some New Age chant about it.  I rather listen to 13 years olds scream homophobic slurs on Xbox on a loop instead of seeing that bullshit.


Pretty straightforward.



Powerlifting has so many federations and different rules that a casual passerby would have no idea why some guy’s squat didn’t count without you pulling out a 500 page manual explaining it to him.  Weightlifting isn’t much better as it’s the strength sport version of golf with all the silence and monotony to boot.  That isn’t even my opinion.  Random booty call number five made that observation as she was cleaning herself up for the night.  She literally had no idea of the amount of weight being lifted, who they were lifting against,  why a weight didn’t pass when it looked OK, or “why they keep doing the same thing all the time?  This is dumb.”  I don’t know every rule in football but I can watch it and still have fun because the core game is simple.  Bitching about an inch here and there turns the viewer right the fuck off, especially when one fed passes the lift and another one would not at all. 


I’ve never heard of a fight at a powerlifting weigh in.  These guys destroyed the entire press coference set.



Now, before you think I’ve completely lost my mind posting this on Chaos and Pain, there are two groups that have gotten the entertainment aspect of strength sports right: strongman and, unsurprisingly to me, CrossFit.  Those two events have individuals or teams clearly matched up against each other, varied events to avoid viewer fatigue, athletes that look like people you’d want to have hot sex by a fire with and not the fat dude at McDonald’s, and there are signs of mild rivalries that don’t require researching Twitter for 3 nights straight to know “they gots beef, yo.” 


And they’re bringing back the tandem deadlift?  Awesome.  Inb4 internet lifting gurus weaker than these chicks criticize their lift.



CrossFit, like it or not, does have a central ruling body in their HQ.  While you may not like their HQ, it is far easier for people to understand what is going on when there is generally ONE fucking rule set!  I can sit down, not knowing jack shit about CrossFit, but quickly grasp what is going on.  Strongman shares this quality as well in the World’s Strongest Man competition.  The competitors are clear, the events are easily understood and it’s exciting to see two mammoths side by side pulling cars and cheering for your guy to go for that last rep to win!  




Rivalry is a big draw in sports.  Hell, the WWE is literally rivalry opera.  Strongman of the 80’s was the shit not only because of Bill Kazmaier’s and Jon Pall Sigmarsson’s strength but the fact that they seemed to hate each other guts while they competed! They were showmen and knew that we want to see champions having a clash of the titans before our eyes, not two huge dudes hugging each other lovingly talking about how much they respect each other and their new curtain setup at home.  Even some of the CrossFit broads call each other out on Twitter and probably get all bitchy at the games…then make out later.  All 40 of them.  What?  Fuck you.  That’s hot.


Strongmen competing against sumo.  Strongman knows how to put on a show.



I can’t get behind the powerlifting going mainstream idea because it’s just not exciting enough to be appealing to the majority of people.  It is fun to lift and it’s great when you have a group of people that feel the same.  But to the rest of the people outside of that immediate circle, squatting a weight once and waiting around an hour to watch you do it again is not entertaining.  If it isn’t entertaining, Nike isn’t going to sponsor you and Lululemon can’t make yoga pants big enough to fit that 300lbs ass anyway so they are definitely going to tell you to roll the hell on.  Frankly, altering the contest to something of a strongman or heavier CrossFit style would seem a decent idea to the problem.  Sure, cut all the cardio and seizure looking pullups.  But instead of just having max lifts, have a three lift record event.  Put the overhead press back in.  Shit, go crazy with it and toss some sumo wrestling in after the main events a la 80’s Kazmaier for shits and giggles.  People will come to see giants make fucking spectacles of themselves and living large. While you may hate CrossFit, they had some good ideas in what makes a strength sport fun to watch.  


Meanwhile, in powerlifting, everyone’s yammering about the “value” of humility.  Blech.



If you want the sport to go mainstream, then it just can’t be about the numbers.  Legit personalities have to emerge that can put up big numbers, pull a crowd and know how to handle big sponsors.  I mean, goddamn, Arnold Schwarzenegger is still the de facto weightlifting personality and that fucker will be pushing 100 years old soon.  He was spot on in Generation Iron that most lifters essentially have the personality of wet cardboard covered in cat shit.  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s lifts pale in comparison to the elites but i bet your grandma knows him and has a mulatto dildo with his fucking name on it.  Why?  Because he knows how to talk to people and pump them the hell up!  Even if he’s hated, he’s still known.  Powerlifting and weightlifting have been around longer than CrossFit and people will actually come up to a lifter and say, “oh, you CrossFit” if they see him/her overhead press or front squat.  


Powerlifting would have trouble comining every meets’ crowd for three years to match a single CrossFit Games crowd.



You want mainstream?  Well, the sport may have to alter from its current form to become more appealing.  Fat people will have to lose weight.  The competitors will have to be interesting and exude a love of awesome in all forms.  If the people that want it to be mainstream don’t want to see it from outside their box, then it will remain niche.  That is probably for the best if being pure is the aim.  But goddammit, don’t bitch and moan about the CrossFit Games or the WSM having a spot on cable TV if you refuse to bring anything interesting to the table.  You are ignoring the most important thing that CrossFit and WSM has now: the massive crowds.   If they are not entertained, your sport is nothing.  If you want a stadium full of people, alter the sport or use powerlifting as a training tool  for CrossFit/strongman.  Otherwise, accept that your sport is small but it means something to you and drive on.  Just don’t be that sagget on a message board whining about your sport not being mainstream because no one gives a shit.  Roll it.


Baddest Motherf*ckers Ever: Henry “Milo” Steinborn

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by chaosandpain No Comments



For the vast majority of you, Henry “Milo” Steinborn is (erroneously) the inventor of the squat.  As I’ve mentioned in my weight lifting history “There Is Nothing New Under The Sun” series, however, that’s absolutely not the case- the barbell squat has been around in the fashion Milo Steinborn did them since the middle of the 19th Century.  “What fashion?”, the less well educated and sadly confused among you might be asking.  This fashion:




Having cleared that up, Henry Steinborn might not have invented the squat style subsequently named after him, but he was definitely the greatest of all time at it.  Lacking a rack out of which to squat, Steinborn loaded up a barbell with 553 lbs, up-ended it, dropped that quarter ton onto his back at the bottom of a squat, and powered out of the hole with it.  No person before him had ever come close to that record, and it’s only been in the last decade or so that anyone has done so since (IAWA World Records).  Steinborn was so far out ahead of his peers in the squat that at one point the richest man in the world at the time, Jean Paul Getty, took notice of Steinborn and ended up paying him a considerable sum when Steinborn busted out 33 reps with 315 at a bodyweight of 205, presumably after betting him that Steinborn couldn’t break 30 reps with 315 (Strossen 5).




Before you turn into a smug little Dennis Miller impersonator and start blabbering an esoteric list of relatively unknown people who can do that off the top of your head, bear in mind that Steinborn did them from the floor, and he was the world’s first squat specialist.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate- Steinborn was an all around badass who made lifting historian David Willoughby shudder and spontaneously climax when Steinborn’s name was mentioned- he just also happened to be the world’s greatest squatter at a time when the squat was about as well known and understood as electrical light.  According to Willoughby, Henry “Milo” Steinborn was a super athlete who “manifestly possessed the requisite combination of strength, speed, agility, and endurance” to be considered one of the greatest lifters of all time, (Strossen 5) and whose awesomeness exceeded so far beyond the limits of human comprehension that the man correctly predicted the year of his own death decades before he died (Orlando Sentinel).




Henry Steinborn’s Stats

Height: 5’8″

Weight: 205 lbs.

One Hand Snatch: 218 lbs.

Two Hand Snatch: 247 lbs.

Clean and Jerk: 375 lbs.

Squat: 553 lbs.

Strict Curl: 175 lbs. x 5 reps

One Hand Jerk: 255 lbs. 




Looking at the numbers above, you might be thinking, “So?  Who givers a shit?  Plenty of 200 lbers can move those weights.”  Indeed, they can.  Using today’s rankings, Steinborn would only be ranked 110th in the world at 198 lbs… but that fails to take into account that the Berg barbell had only been existence for a short time and was hardly the finely lubed, smoothly rotating, springy-steeled wonder of engineering with which modern lifts are completed.  Additionally, Steinborn wasn’t an Olympic weightlifting specialist, and he put up those numbers when the lifting world was still trying to figure out what in the hell Olympic weightlifting was.  Put more strongly- Steinborn and behmouth Louis Cyr went back and forth taking the world record in the clean and jerk until Steinborn accidentally clean and jerked 375 (he’d asked for 350 and the bar was misloaded to 375).  At that point, Louis Cyr was considered untouchable in strength sports, and he’s still considered by many as the greatest strongman of all time.  Steinborn beat the man badly by accident- he wasn’t even really trying.


The closest thing the world will ever see to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: From left to right, Henry “Milo” Steinborn, Olympic weightlifter John Terpak, Mr. America and former world record holder in weightlifting Steve Stanko. badass heavyweight champion boxer and wrestler Primo Carnera, first man to win world championships in three different weightclasses and Olympic gold medalist Stan Stanczyk, and weightlifting and bodybuilding legend John Grimek at the York Weightlifting Club.  Steinborn and Carnera were passing through to go to a wrestling match in Baltimore and decided to hang out with Hoffman’s guys for a bit.



While that was not an official record (Steinborn was a professional strongman and was ineligible for the Olympics), no one on Earth at his weight came close to a 375 clean and jerk for nearly half a century, and it was only super heavies who could get more weight overhead in any fashion for decades.  If Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Barry Sanders, Jim Thorpe, and Mariusz Pudzianoski all ejaculated into a blender and created a delicious, frothy milkshake of elite man goo to pour into a heavily sedated Ronda Rousey, the kid they produced would not be as dominant in any sport as Steinborn was in lifting in the first half of the 20th Century.  350+ lb Karl Swoboda was capable of continental and jerking 401 lbs, and Paul Anderson managed to put 400 overhead in a clean and jerk weighing even more than his fat German counterpart, but it wasn’t until John Davis hit 390 lbs in 1948 that anyone in Steinborn’s relative weight class was able to best the German superman in the clean and jerk.


Ronda Rousey… NOMZZZ.

At this point, you might be thinking we should all move to French Guinea and start a cult with a taste for Koolaid to bring about the second coming of this wondrous beast of a man, but I’m not even halfway through a comprehensive retelling of Henry Steinborn’s epic Santa Claus bag of awesome.  Henry Steinborn was born in Siegburg, Germany in 1893.  Not much is known about his upbringing, but Steinborn’s introduction to training came in the most unlikely place imaginable- he learned to lift in the four and half years he was Australian prisoner of war after he was captured in World War I (Strossen 5,8).  Life in post-war Germany blew- inflation was through the roof as the Germans were saddled with massive reparations payments, and life for Steinborn basically consisted of trying to make a buck by entertaining people with his lifting.  Unlike the modern, communist, vegan, skinny jean clad Germans, early 20th Century Germans spent their evenings in the pub, in the back of which were were barbells so the men who’d spent all day shoveling coal or hauling pig iron in a factory could get hammered and test each other in drunken feats of strength (Strossen 5).


Steinborn lifting at Hermann’s Gym, the site of which interestingly enough, is only two blocks from my brother’s cupcake shop.  



As incredibly awesome as that sounds, Steinborn realized that earning money that was worth less than the paper on which is was printed was pointless, so after coming in second to 5’2″ 220 lb Karl Moerke in the German National Championships in 1920, he stowed away on a ship to the US and applied for citizenship as an economic refugee (Ibid).  By 1921 Steinborn’s name was already well known in the US, as Steinborn had broken three world records in front of Alan Calvert at Hermann’s Gym in Philidelphia (Orlando Sentinel, Klein).  After an intervention by Arthur Saxon, who convinced Steinborn there was no real money to be made in exhibition lifting, he adopted the nickname Milo (because of his affiliation with Calvert and the Milo Barbell Company), and proceeded to wrestle in over 300 ultra-violent catch style matches in every corner of the world from 1922 to 1953.

That elephant appears to be the opposite of psyched.



Steinborn wasn’t done blowing off faces with nightly displays of weightlifting awesome, however- apparently snapping limbs every night wasn’t enough of a challenge for this Teutonic Destroyer Of Hopes, Dreams, and Limbs.  Under contract for Pepsi in the 1940s, Steinborn had to squat at least 400 lbs at every performance, and Steinborn often participated in what has been described as “one of the most lethal fighting arts the world has ever known” twice a day… when he was over the age of 50 (Strossen 7).  At the 1950 World’s Fair, Milo backlifted an 800 lb elephant while wearing a suit (at age 57), and busted out another 400 lb squat for an audience when he was 70 (Strossen 8).  All of this is even more incredible considering Steinborn had his had and legs crushed when his famous leg bridge feat, in which 5000 lbs of car and people traversed a bridge Steinborn held up with his legs, went horribly awry in 1926 (Boff).  Exactly 0 shits were given and no excuses made, and the dude who had been squashed 60 years prior was still squatting 300 into his 80s (Ibid).


Milo weighed around 170 when he was 92.  Here, he’s in his 80s and looking better than 3/4 of the people in any gym you visit.



I think at this point, we all understand- Henry “Milo” Steinborn was indeed one of the greatest strength athletes, and without a doubt one of the baddest humans to ever live.  To what, then, can we credit his badassery?


  • he started out as a gymnast.  Due to his background in gymnastics, Steinborn had great flexibility, body control, and balance.  This ingrained the necessity for good form, so conscious thought was unnecessary while lifting (Strossen 8).
  • he was concerned with overall health.  Steinborn sunbathed regularly, took a lot of long walks, and ate a ton of protein (Strossen 8-9)
  • he was obsessive about training through a full range of motion, and abhored cheating on any movement (Strossen 9)
  • he wasn’t a disgusting fatass- Steinborn showed the world that muscular “development, speed, and technique” are what makes good lifters, rather than massive bulk and retard strength (Strossen 7).



Given his rigorous traveling schedule and the fact he had to perform feats of strength so regularly, Steinborn had no training routine.  According to his son,

“Before he did any heavy lifting he did some stretching exercises.  He had an exercise stick that he used for stretching and calisthenics.  He did dislocates on the rings.  He could do giant swings [on a high bar]” (Strossen 8).  

Lifting, then, generally consisted of the quick lifts- one arm snatches and clean and jerks, then the two hand lifts (Strossen 9).  The one exercise he always did was, of course, the “squat- it was the foundation, whether he could do any overhead lifting or things like that.  The squat was like the fountain of youth- he could keep going back there and rejuvenate himself” (Strossen 7-8).



From those descriptions, Steinborn’s training seems no more out of the ordinary than a girl pissing in my mouth on the first date.  The apparent banality of this training methods, however, stand in stark contrast to his eating style, which is so bizarre it borders on unbelievable.  As I’m not one to be a contrarian simply because there’s no video of the feat on Youtube, and given Steinborn’s amazing muscular control in his wrestling and strength feats, I shall treat the following as both possible and true.   Henry “Milo” Steinborn could, according to eye witnesses, chew food without swallowing and bring up individual pierces of that food at will, to then masticate and swallow.





I am not making this up, and one author thinks this may have played a role in Steinborn’s success, though i would contend it’s just evidence of Steinborn’s preternatural ability to control his own body.

“Shortly after that we had gone to dinner and I witnessed his method of eating. On this occasion he had eaten boiled onions and steak. He had bolted it down in a tiny fraction of the time I required to consume my own dinner. As I watched him swallow his food in great chunks I thought, what is this? I had always read that strong men were deliberate eaters. They chewed their food well, keeping it in their mouths as long as they could while reducing it to the smallest possible particles. But here was something new. I didn’t ask Steinborn about it because I had only met him and did not feel that I knew him well enough to interrogate him concerning his eating habits.

A few minutes later we were walking down the street and I noticed his jaws moving methodically. “What are you chewing, Mr. Steinborn?” I asked. “A piece of steak,” was his reply. I wondered where he got the steak, could he have a rubber pocket in his coat and have slipped part of his dinner in there? Then Steinborn said, “It’s a gift I have to be able to eat hurriedly and then bring the food up for more thorough chewing. Do you want to see me bring up the onion?” He showed me that his mouth was empty and then almost immediately a big, white onion popped into view. He chewed this carefully and swallowed again. “Now do you want to see a piece of steak?” and then he brought up another piece of steak” (Schmidt).

Second from left next to the human the man with the impossibly skinny-fat arms, Karl Moerke.  Presumably, this was taken after the 1920 German National Weightlifting Championships in which Steinborn took second.



Bob Hoffman, who was then the coach and sponsor of the US Olympic Weightlifting team, apparently stated in his book Better Nutrition that “Steinborn swallowed 24 hard-boiled eggs, bringing them back up one at a time for thorough mastication” (Ibid).  In yet another account, Alan Calvert claimed Steinborn could bring up individual pieces of lettuce from a salad at will (Ibid).  Yes, I know it sounds insane, but “washing out his stomach”, as Steinborn referred to it, ensured healthy digestion and good overall health (Ibid).  Whether or not it did so, it is certainly further proof of Steinborn’s badassery.


The feat of strength that nearly killed him when he was 29.



So, there you have it- Steinborn could outsquat everyone on the planet, kicked ass at the Olympic lifts in spite of only having a few years of practice at them in a POW camp, was a prolific and dominant wrestler, and had control over his digestive tract the likes of which the world has never seen.  Not only that, but the man had longevity- he was still asking people to jump off of tables onto his ripped six pack at age 92 (Boff), three years before he died the exact year he’d predicted and had carved onto two watches at the ripe old age of 95.  Not bad for an illegal immigrant prisoner of war, eh?


As hard as I try not to use oldtimestrongman.com images, this one was unavoidable.  Apparently no one wanted to photograph Moerke’s disgusting fatbody.



A random aside:

While Steinborn gets credit for being one of the sickest squatters of all time, and he is, the aforementioned real life troll doll Karl Moerke deserves some notice.  Though shaped like a trashcan at 5’2″ 220 lbs, Moerke was an unequivocal lifting badass.  He “bounce squatted” 650 lbs, which apparently meant he cut the lift short but did it otherwise in the same fashion as Steinborn… making him ostensibly the better squatter, Facebook comments regarding depth notwithstanding.  He also represented in Olympic weightlifting, rocking the following lifts:


  • Right hand snatch 187 lbs 
  • Right hand continental jerk 248 lbs 
  • Two hands snatch 231 pounds lbs 
  • Two hands military press 265 lbs 
  • Two hands continental push 308 lbs 
  • Two hands continental jerk 386 lbs 
  • Squat (bounce style) 650 lbs 
  • Dead lift 650 lbs



Sources:

Boff, Vic.  Reminiscing about Henry “Milo” Steinborn.  Iron Game History.  Web.  18 Aug 2014.  http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/steinborn.htm



Grimek, John. Unforgettable Moments. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 7 Dec 2008. Web. 19 Aug 2014. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/12/unforgetable-moments-john-grimek.html



Henry ‘Milo’ Steinborn, 95, Weightlifter, Promoter.  Obituaries. Orland Sentinel. 11 Feb 1989. Web. 18 Aug 2014. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1989-02-11/news/8902110537_1_steinborn-milo-weightlifter



Klein, Sigmund. My Quarter Century in the Iron Game – Chapter Three. The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 7 Feb 2009. Web. 19 Aug 2014. http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/02/sig-klein-chapter-three.html


Schmidt, Bob.  Henry Steinborn.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  21 Mar 2009.  Web.  19 Aug 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/03/henry-steinborn-bob-schmidt.html

Strossen, Randall J. Henry “Milo” Steinborn: A conversation with Henry Steinborn, Jr. Milo. Apr 1993;1(1)4-9.



Willoughby, David P. Karl Moerke.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban. 8 Aug 2008. Web. 19 Aug 2014.  http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/08/karl-moerke-david-p-willoughby.html