Hail to the Dinosaurs!
I've been getting a ton of questions on
military pressing and the Hoffman Gold,
Silver and Bronze standards that I
mentioned earlier in the week.
Many of you asked about poundage goals
for dumbbell presses.
Hoffman gave lifting standards for the
alternate dumbbell press -- meaning that
you lift two dumbbells, one in each hand,
and perform a total of ten reps in alternate
arm style (left, right, left, right, etc.).
That's five reps per hand. Ten reps total.
And the rules allow you to rock from side
to side to use body motion to help lift
the dumbbells. That's important, because
it added many pounds to the lift.
The lifters in the 30's and 40's did TONS
of heavy dumbbell pressing and they were
super strong at it -- because these
standards (which were based on what
Hoffman saw and read about in letters
to Strength and Health) are off the
In that regard, let me note that the
165 pound standard is what the 165
pound World weightlifting champion,
Johnny Terpak, could handle. Or
what Sig Klein could handle at
a bodyweight of 148 to 150 pounds --
and Klein held the professional
world record in the military press.
It's also about what George Hackenschmidt
could handle -- and in his prime, he
weighed 220 pounds.
So these are VERY high standards!
Also, I'll note that the hardest
part of the lift is cleaning the
And once again -- these standards were
compiled in 1939, so they're drug-free
standards. No roidskies involved!
Now take a look!
(Note: All wts are in pounds, and it's
the weight of EACH dumbbell, not their
132 pound class
Gold -- 85 pounds
Silver -- 78 pounds
Bronze -- 70 pounds
Note: Once again, just to make things
clear, that 85 pound gold standard means
TWO 85 pound dumbbells -- which is scary
strong for a 132 pound man.
148 pound class
Gold -- 95 pounds
Silver -- 88 pounds
Bronze -- 80 pounds
165 pound class
Gold -- 105 pounds
Silver -- 98 pounds
Bronze -- 90 pounds
181 pound class
Gold -- 115 pounds
Silver -- 108 pounds
Bronze -- 100 pounds
Gold -- 125 pounds
Silver -- 118 pounds
Bronze -- 110 pounds
I don't know about you, but those
weights are pretty darn impressive.
And I think is very clear proof that
the lifters of the 30's and 40's built
much of their pressing power -- and
much of their total body strength --
with heavy dumbbells.
As always, thanks for reading and have
a great day. If you train today, make it
a good one!
Yours in strength,
P.S. For the best in dumbbell training for
total body strength and development, grab
a copy of Dinosaur Dumbbell Training:
P.S. 2. For more about old-school strength
training and muscle building, see Dinosaur
Training, Strength, Muscle and Power and
my other books and courses:
P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "Most people
train like dumbbells, not with them."
-- Brooks Kubik