Thursday, December 22, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Ron Walker was born on Dec 22, 1909.
He held no less than 21 British Heavyweight records. This included One Hand Snatches of over 200lbs, and most importantly today, a Two Hands Snatch of 297½lbs.

This Snatch of 135kg in December 1936 was the first ever World Record on one of the Olympic Set performed by a British lifter.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Pierre Gasnier died on December 16, 1923. Gasnier was born in France and was one of the first most influential of the old time circus strongmen and performed for Barnum and Bailey Circus. Gasnier stood only 5’ 3 tall and weighed just 143.5lbs and was able to lift a dumbbell weighing 260 lbs over has head.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

November 22, 1935 Tony Terlazzo became first American to lift a International Weightlifting Federation world record.

FSS Deadlift Clinic

We had a great day in Marion this past Saturday. FSS was pleased to conduct a Deadlift clinic at Club Fitness. We would like to thank everyone who participated.
Check out the pics.

Friday, October 7, 2011

FSS Marion, NC Training Video

On This Day In Strength History

Oct. 7, 1989 - Marvin Eder received the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen Highest Achievement Award. Eder’s feats of strength include a 515-pound bench press, squatting 550-pounds for 10 deep reps, 12 one-arm chins and a 365-pound overhead press. At the 1951 Pan-American Games tryouts, he surpassed the world record in the press with 337 at a bodyweight of 192.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

X-Cross Knee Wrap Technique

X-Cross Knee Wrap

Here is my version of what I am calling the X-Cross knee wrap technique. I’m sure there are just about as many opinions on how to wrap a knee as there are people doing it. Hopefully this will lead you in the right direction if you are new to knee wrapping.

·         Start with a tightly rolled wrap.
·         Before commencing to wrap make sure the leg is extended, the knee is locked out and the toes are pointing upward slanted back toward the shin.
·         Begin wrapping just below the knee cap.
·         We recommend wrapping the leg from the inside, pulling the wrap over the top (front) of the leg. This is said to help your knees stay to the outside during the squat. I’m not convinced it makes that much difference but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt.
·         Wrap from bottom to top while covering about half the previous wrap as you go up.
·         Stretch the wrap and keep it tight with each rotation.
·         Once the wrap has reached the lower thigh just above the knee, the next wrap should move downward crossing the knee cap from the inside leg.
·         Wrap around the leg (at the bottom of the wrap below the knee) and move upward across the knee cap toward the lower thigh.
·         Wrap around the leg for the last time (at the top of the knee) and tuck the end of the wrap under the previous wrap.

At this point, your leg should be wrapped from the upper shin to the lower thigh with the last of the wrap crossing your knee cap from both directions in an X pattern.

  • Wrap the knee tightly. How tight is up to you. Obviously the looser the wrap is the less knee support you will experience.
  • When wrapping the “X” across the knee, make sure you wrap directly across the knee cap.

  • Do not use too much wrap below or above the knee joint. Most of the wrap should be utilized around the knee joint.
  • Don’t forget to wrap over at least half the previous wrap. (The wrap should always overlap.) There should be no skin showing under your wrap when you have finished the squat!
  • Don’t waste the wrap (pulling it through and) tying it at the conclusion. Excessive wrap should not be left dangling. It is most helpful when wrapped around your knee.

The knee joint is much more stable when wrapped properly. It is our opinion you should always wrap your knees when attempting to squat maximum weight.

The X-Cross is a simple and common knee wrapping technique. There are certainly more complex techniques but this is a good one to start with.

FSS will post more knee wrap techniques on the website in the near future. Let us know if you have questions. We will be more than happy to be of assistance if we can.

Keith Payne

PS- When I started to write this article I found it very hard to verbalize this technique so we have also produced a video that will hopefully explain this article further. It is also posted on the video page of this website.

On This Day In Strength History

On October 4, 1947, Bob Peoples pulled the “mythical” 700-pound deadlift in
the Bob Hise Show, an official contest in Chattanooga’s YMCA. When the bar was weighed it was 699; nonetheless, this world record
in the 181 pound class outstripped the world record held by Carl
Pepke, by 32 pounds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

September 27, 1879 Adolph G. Pitz was born in Germany. Pitz did some remarkable feats of strength having performed a "One Arm Press" with 178 pounds and a "Two Arm Press" with 220 pounds at a body weight around 165 pounds.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Joseph Curtis Hise died September 26, 1972. 
Hise is known as the father of American weightlifting. He is especially famous for creating the well known 20 rep breathing squats program.

Friday, September 23, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Sanislaus Zbyszko died September 23, 1967. He was a strongman and professional wrestler popular in the United States during the 1920s. He was one of the most influential European grapplers of all-time, he was also among the sport’s great pioneer champions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Walter Podolak was born September 19, 1909.
The Golden Superman Walter Podolak made some very fine lifts as a super strongman. He pulled six cars with his teeth; lifted over 500 pounds in the teeth lift; one arm military pressed 131¾ pounds with a dumbell; bent pressed 305; back somersaults with a 50 pound dumbell in each hand; alternate pressed 100 pound dumbells for 42 reps, and was one of the first men to clean & jerk over 300 pounds.

Friday, September 16, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

September 16, 1926 Doug Hepburn was born in Vancouver, BC.
He won the gold medal at the 1953 World Weightlifting Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

John Davis, of the United States, on September 13th, 1949 was the 2nd person to lift the Apollon Wheels. Davis was also a World Champion Weightlifter and was the first man to Clean and Jerk 400 pounds under official meet conditions.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

September 8, 1900 George Lurich set a world record in “belly toss” of 443 pounds.
(The "belly toss" was done while laying flat on the ground, arching during the lift the way a wrestler bridges. This movement began with the back and leg arching maneuver to get the bar started.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

On September 6th, 1953 at a Strength and Health Picnic in YORK PA. Marvin Eder benched 480lbs in strict style, no arching or bouncing and just failed with 500lbs.

Monday, September 5, 2011



Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene (a vitamin A equivalent nutrient), vitamin C, and vitamin B6. In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A. It's important to have some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes.
There are a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for the health benefits of this underappreciated tuber. Among these categories are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Each category brings with it valuable health benefits. Recent research has shown that particularly when passing through our digestive tract, sweet potato cyanidins and peonidins and other color-related phytonutrients may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. That risk reduction is important not only for individuals at risk of digestive tract problems like irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis but for all persons wanting to reduce the potential risk posed by heavy metal residues (like mercury or cadmium or arsenic) in their diet. Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits. What's equally fascinating about color-related sweet potato phytonutrients is their impact on fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is one of the key glycoproteins in the body that is required for successful blood clotting. With the help of a coagulation factor called thrombin, fibronogen gets converted into fibrin during the blood clotting process. Balanced amounts of fibrinogen, thrombin and fibrin are a key part of the body's health and its ability to close off wounds and stop loss of blood.
When choosing sweet potatoes in the store select sweet potatoes that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively affects their taste. Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days.
From a nutrition standpoint, there are a number of good options for cooking sweet potatoes. Options include steaming, boiling, stir frying and baking. Steaming is probably the best option.

Information compiled by
Keith Payne
Functional Strength Systems

Bengtsson A, Brackmann C, Enejder A et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print] 2010.
Failla ML, Thakkar SK and Kim JY. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 25;57(22):10922-7. 2009.
Mei X, Mu TH and Han JJ.. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 23;58(12):7305-10. 2010.
Mills JP, Tumuhimbise GA, Jamil KM et al. J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):44-50. Epub 2008 Dec 3. 2009.

On This Day In Strength History

Kurt Saxon died Sept 5, 1952. He was a member of the famous Saxon Trio. They were strongmen and circus performers from the late 19th century into the early 20th century.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

On September 3, 1949, Frank Spellman took 1st Place in the 165 Class at the North American Weightlifting Championships in Montreal, Canada. 255 - 255 - 320 = 830
The year before Frank won the Olympic Gold Medal in London England.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Review: Steroids Kill

A few comments about the book STERIODS KILL by Tom Ciola.
This book gives a great historical view of the origin of Steroids. It describes the effect Steroids have had and are having on sports today. Ciola explains the psychological dilemma caused by steroids. He explains it is very hard to stop taking steroids after you achieve increased size and strength. He states many athletes don't understand when you stop taking steroids your body will start to loose size and strength. Also, your body becomes accustom to steroids and it takes more and more to get the job done as time goes on.
Ciola talks about the side effects and negative results of taking Steriods. He interviews many people about their experiences with this drug. The book encourages you to be the best you can be without the use of drugs. Cioli outlines drug free training alternatives.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about steroids or is thinking about using them.
Keith Payne

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Bert Assirati, one of history’s greatest strength athletes and wrestlers died of cancer of the bladder on August 31, 1990. Bert did a straight arm pullover of 200 with ease. He could curl 200 pounds and squat for reps with 550 when a 400 pound squat was regarded as extraordinary. He also did a single-legged squat with 200 pounds.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

On August 30, 1953 Norbert Schemansky set a world record in the Clean and Jerk of 181kg in the middle heavyweight division at Stockholm. During his lifting career he set an amazing 75 US National, World and Olympic records, while winning nine National and four World championships--and four Olympic medals in four Olympic Games.

Monday, August 29, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

On August 29, 1953 Reg Park successfully pressed the 258 pound dumbbells. It was a British Professional Heavyweight Record. Reg commented "I had to keep a strict military position, not the looser Olympic style, and I was forced to hold the dumbbells at my shoulders for almost half a minute before I pressed them to satisfy the referee's demand for a low enough position".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
Vince Lombardi


Had a great training session in Marion yesterday evening. Keep up the great work!

Monday, August 22, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Charles Rigoulot died August 22, 1962. He was born in Le VĂ©sinet and died in Paris. 
Rigoulot became French weightlifting champion in 1923 and won a gold medal in the light-heavyweight class in 1924 at the Summer Olympics.
In 1929, he made a Right Hand Snatch of 115 kilograms (253.5 pounds).  This was done at a muscular bodyweight of 215 pounds. 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

John Robert “Bob” Peoples was born on August 21, 1910 in Northeast Tennessee, near Johnson City.
In the 1940s he deadlifted 728 lbs. weighing 178, minus drugs and body suits. He wore no shoes (only socks) and was the forerunner of ballet-type deadlift shoes.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This Day In Strength History

Walter Podolak "The Golden Superman" was born on August 19, 1909. He was recognized as the strongest man in America in 1933. Posolak once held the world's amateur record for a deadlift of 654 pounds.

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Ludwig Durlacher (aka Louis Attila) appeared as a strongman for over 20 years performing at the best theatrical houses in Europe. Attila served as Eugen Sandow’s mentor and trainer from 1886 to 1889. After separating from Sandow he moved to America arriving in New York City from London, England on August 18, 1893. Attila stayed in America and opened a gym in New York City where he trained businessmen, strongmen, professional boxers, and many women. He ran the gym until his death on March 15, 1924.  He was one of the first “personal trainers” for the rich and famous.

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Charles Estienne, (aka Charles Batta) was born August 17, 1866 in Lille France. Batta was known for a feat of strength where he would hold his hand (while seated), palm down about one half inch over an upright needle. A forty four pound block weight would be placed on the back of his hand. He would hold it there at arms length for about eight seconds, and then stand up still holding the weight at arms length.

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On This Day In Strength History

Bernarr Adolphus MacFadden was born on August 16, 1868 in Mill Spring, Missouri. Known as the "Father of Physical Culture" he was a life-long advocate of physical fitness, natural food, outdoor exercise, and the natural treatment of disease. MacFadden was the founder of a publication called Physical Culture which later on became Health & Strength Magazine.

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

On this Day in Strength History

On August 13, 1948, John Grimek, at age 38 took 1st Place in the Health & Strength Mr. Universe contest held at the Scala Theatre in London England.

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

“Neither do I consider a man a really strong man if he is in certain parts developed out of proportion to others. If a man has tremendous arms and chest and weak legs then he is only half a strong man.” 
Arthur Saxon - 1905

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Juicing May Be a Good Alternative

I will start by saying that nothing can replace the nutritional value that eating whole raw fruits and vegetables offers. But I know so many people who do not like to eat vegetables. Maybe juicing can be an alternative. If you don't enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing may be a fun way to add them to your diet. You can find many juicing recipes online or mix up your own combinations of fruits and vegetables to suit your taste. 2
Juicing has many benefits including:

  • Vegetable juice is very nutrient-dense. This concentration acts to supercharge the system. Juicing can contain concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, antioxidants and vitamins, substances that fight cancer, and substances that reduce inflammation and pain.1
  • Greens are the most alkalizing, mineralizing and healthiest foods. But not always the most palatable. By juicing vegetables you can mix with apples or carrots for better taste.4
  • The body easily absorbs natural fruit and vegetable juices. There is hardly any digestive work needed to process raw, enzymatically active liquid. 
  • Juicing helps detoxify the liver. Liver detoxification is so important, and nothing comes close to it like the juice of raw vegetables.3
  • Juices help the immune system to fight diseases.
  • Juicing helps the body heal and improves its overall function.
  • Vegetable and fruit juicing is also well suited for our fast moving lifestyle. It makes it possible for busy people to add more healing foods into their diets with minimal effort.

Green leafy vegetables are the best to use in your vegetable juicing program.6 Any of the following foods work well when juicing. It is very important to not juice the same vegetables every day. Variety is the key. Common Juicing Foods Include:

Brussels Sprouts
Ginger Root
Sweet Potato

A balanced diet is important. If you are neglecting to eat vegetables and fruit it is likely your body is very deficient in many nutrients. As mentioned before juicing can be an alternative to eating vegetables. Give juicing a try. Remember juicing will not replace raw vegetables and fruits but it can be the next best thing.

Keith Payne CSN, CFT, YFS
Functional Strength Systems


Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.

Saturday, August 6, 2011



Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family. It is closely related to cauliflower. Broccoli was first cultivated in Italy. Broccolo, its Italian name, means "cabbage sprout." Broccoli is loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals. It has no saturated fat or cholesterol. Broccoli is a good source of protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. Broccoli contains large amounts of vitamin C and beta carotene which are important antioxidants.

· Broccoli cantains sulforaphane which is a chemical that works with cells that lack an anti-tumor gene to fight prostate cancer.

· Ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K for people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores.

· Broccoli contains phytonutrients (glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin). This trio supports all steps in the body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants.

· Broccoli provides special cholesterol-lowering benefits if cooked by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.

Natural News .Com
The George Mateljan Foundation
University of Illinois

Keith Payne
Functional Strength Systems

Vemma is quite possibly the world’s most powerful liquid antioxidant.