Hail to the Dinosaurs!
One of the worst things in the history
of the Iron Game was the shift from
telling people that they could be a
champion to putting the champions on
pedestals and making them appear to
be unreachable muscle gods.
Things were a heck of a lot better
when the champs were GOOD -- but not
so good that the average guy thought
it was impossible to become a champ.
Once again, Bob Hoffman's gold, silver
and bronze lifting standards are very
Consider the following.
In 1939, John Davis won the 181 pound
class at the United States Senior
Nationals. The previous year, he won
the World Championship. So he was pretty
good -- as in, the best in the world.
Let me repeat that.
He was the best in the United States --
and the best in the world.
His winning lifts were:
Press -- 255 pounds
Snatch -- 260 pounds
Clean and jerk -- 300 pounds
Total -- 815 pounds
Frank Kay, the second place winner,
totaled 765 pounds -- and third place
finisher Gord Venables hit an even
Hoffman published his lifting standards
the very same year. Let's look at the
gold medal standards for 181 pounds.
Here they are:
Press --205 pounds
Snatch -- 215 pounds
Clean and jerk -- 280 pounds
Total -- 700 pounds
Now remember, the lifting standards were
intended as goals for the average lifter.
Not as impossible standards -- but as
realistic training goals for the typical
guy who trained at home or at a local
lifting club, YMCA or neighborhood gym.
So Hoffman set the goal at a three-lift
total of 700 pounds -- or roughly 85%
of what the World Champion was lifting.
And please note -- that same 700 pound
total was enough to give you third place
at the USA Senior Nationals.
So Hoffman was encouraging EVERY lifter
in the world to work toward a total that
was just about 85% of the defending World
Champion. And he was saying, "Go on --
give it a try -- You can do it!"
If you think about it, that's pretty darn
And it's encouraging in TWO ways.
Number one -- it encourages the younger guys
to try to move into championship territory.
Number two -- it encourages the champion to
work like heck and get stronger and stronger
so he can stay ahead of the younger guys.
And it may just be a coincidence, but for the
next 15 years, the USA lifters who grew up
reading Hoffman's books and courses -- and
his lifting standards -- were the very best
lifters in the entire world.
And later, when the muscle magazines became
addicted to the Cult of the Champions --
well, you know what happened then. USA
lifting melted like a snowball in July.
Anyhow, there's a reason why I've been
sharing those old school lifting standards.
Don't ask me what it is -- I just told you.
As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a
Yours in strength,
P.S. For the best in old school strength
training and muscle building, grab any of
my books and courses. You can find them
P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: "Old school
iron, old school values, and old school
power." -- Brooks Kubik