Friday, November 22, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

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

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

John Grimek: Died November 20, 1998. Before John became a physique champion, he was a part of the 1936 USA Weightlifting Team at the Berlin Olympics.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

November 14, 1922, Richard K. Fox died.  Richard K. Fox was the publisher of "The Police Gazette" a 19th century magazine which reported on boxing, wrestling and feats of strength that might interest the public.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

November 13, 1933, David Gentle was born. David Gentle is an internationally recognized Author and Historian of Physical Culture.  For several decades, he has been a regular contributor of over 25 of the world's top muscle magazines.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

November 6, 1971 the first World Powerlifting Championships were held in York Pennsylvania.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I've been selected to be the Team NC Powerlifting Coach for the 2014 Special Olympics National Games!! I am honored and blessed to be chosen to lead this team. What a powerlifting weekend this has been! Nelda Newton

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Hermann Goerner performed a one-hand deadlift of 727.25 pounds on October 8,1920.

Monday, October 7, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Oct. 7, 1989 - Marvin Eder received the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen Highest Achievement Award.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Karl Abs was born September 17, 1851,  known as "The German Oak" he was the first man in Germany to continental and jerk 330 pounds. He accomplished this feat back in 1885. He also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship in 1894.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

On July 31, 1955 in front of a crowd of 1000 people Paul Anderson posted (390, 305, 400,) total of 1095 in the weightlifting competition at the Colonna picnic.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

In the United Kingdom, on July 24, 1913, at Crystal Palace, London, Edward Aston became the first Englishman to lift 300 lbs. overhead with one hand.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

John Henry Davis died July 13, 1984. He was an Olympic superheavyweight weightlifter for the United States. John won gold at the 1948 and 1952 summer Olympic Games, as well as 6 World Weightlifting Championships and 12 national championships. He was unbeaten from 1938 to 1953.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This Day In Strength History

Louis Attila was born July 2, 1844. He is credited with inventing the shot loaded globe barbell and the “Human Bridge” stunt that later became a regular part in many strongman acts. He was also the inventor of the Bent Press and was the first person to do 200 pounds in this lift.

Friday, June 28, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Jun 28, 2003 - Vic Boff  received the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen Highest Achievement Award.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

On This Day In Stregth History

Abbye “Pudgy” Stockton played a central role in popularizing physical culture and exercise for women in the central decades of the Twentieth Century. She lived primarily in Santa Monica, CA during her long life. In the late 1930s she began working out with friends at Muscle Beach and quickly became famous for her rare combination of beauty, strength and muscularity. Pudgy Stockton died June 26, 2006.

Monday, June 24, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

June 24, 1961 - Frank Spellman lifted at the Senior National Weightlifting Championships in Santa Monica, CA. He took First Place in the 165 Class at a bodyweight of 163 1/4 with lifts of 260lb. press - 230lb. snatch - 310lb. clean and jerk for an 800 lb. total. This was Frank Spellman's last contest.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Tony Garcy was born June 20, 1939. Garcy represented the USA in the 60 and 64 Olympics. He broke American Records in the press in the 148 and 165 divisions.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

John Davis set a world record on 6/16/1951 in the  Clean & Jerk - 182 kg Super Heavyweight in Los Angeles.

Monday, June 10, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Joseph Nicholas "Joe" DePietro was born June 10, 1914. He was an American weightlifter from Paterson, New Jersey, both World champion and Olympic champion. He won a gold medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Launceston Elliot was born on the ninth of June, 1874, in India, where his father was a magistrate. Looking very much like Sandow, although much larger, Launceston Elliot was one of the most respected figures in the world of strength at the turn of the century when this form of entertainment was at its height.
Elliot won for Britain the first Olympic gold medal for weightlifting.
The scene was Athens, Greece in April 1896 when Baron Pierre de Coubertin revived the Olympic Games. Weightlifting was supervised by Crown Prince George of Greece and Elliot did a one hand lift of 71 kilos (156 1/2 pounds) to win that event.

Friday, June 7, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

June 7, 1939 Charles Batta died. Though primarily a performer Batta could one arm snatch 154.5 pounds, put over head 209 pounds with one hand, and hold by the ring a weight of 55 pounds at arms length. During his performance he would lift 259 pounds over head with ease.  One of Batta’s challenges was to place a glass of water, a bottle, some gold rings and other jewels plus some gold coins on the seat of a straight back chair. He would then lift the chair with one hand at arms length by one of the horizontal rungs and not spill any of the water. He offered what was on the chair to anyone who could duplicate his lift. No one ever did.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

This Day In Strength History

June 6, 1942 Chuck Amato was born. Amato competed in bodybuilding for nearly 20 years, and judged competitions as well. Dave Draper once called Amato his favorite "clean" bodybuilder.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This Day In Strength History

John Terpak died June 1, 1993. He was recognized for participating in sixty consecutive national championships as a lifter, coach and judge. He won those nationals twelve times, and one span from 1936 to 1945 was a literal decade of victory.

Friday, May 24, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

May 24, 1941 John Grimek at age 30 wins the AAU Mr. America at the Arena Sports Palace 45th & Market, Philadelphia, PA.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

May 23, 1987- Bert Goodrich, Milo Steinborn, Johnny Mandel received the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen Highest Achievement Award.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

May 21, 2011 Joseph Greenstein, aka The Mighty Atom was inducted into the York Barbell Hall of Fame.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Forbidden Rice

Apr 19, 2013

The Forbidden Rice

Last night, Kyle and I tried black rice for the first time. I went to Costco a few nights ago on the hunt for quinoa and saw it on the shelf. I decided to buy it not really knowing the nutritional benefits of it… but still wanting to take a whirl. The few things I read on the package sounded pretty good and I thought it was a steal paying $6 for a gigantic bag.
It was actually pretty tasty—it has a nutty flavor and a good bite to it. The cooking directions on the bag weren’t very specific so Kyle just kind of winged it but it turned out great. We served it with some stir fry. It turned a beautiful dark purple once it cooked… and it also turned our mouths a beautiful dark purple once we ate. :-) We have since read that rinsing the rice before cooking may prevent that from happening next time.
I’ve done a little research last night and this morning about black rice and I’ve found some pretty awesome stuff. It grows in various parts of Asia. Waaay back in the day, black rice was only meant for emperors and royalty. A person would be executed for stealing even a handful or eating it without permission—that’s why people call it “forbidden rice.” Crazy, right? Emperors thought that consuming black rice would allow them to live longer. Modern day science has begun to prove they were probably right.
Here are some stellar health-improving facts about black rice:
1) Black rice is a fountain of youth. It is jam-packed with antioxidants. Several sources I read said it contains more than blueberries, which is commonly known for its antioxidant properties. This is super awesome because blueberries are way more expensive and I’m glad a broke kid like me can get so much black rice on the cheap. Antioxidants have been proven to prevent or treat conditions like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Diabetes and cancer run in my family so you can bet I’m adding black rice to my regular diet. Annnnd they say it has anti-aging properties. Way cool, my friends.
2) Black rice is a ninja. It breaks down plaque in your arteries and fights against cholesterol. Black rice is also known as an anti-inflammatory food. Everyone, say Kbye to heart attacks and life threatening infections and illnesses! …I mean obviously you can’t eat black rice and not change anything else about your lifestyle, but this seems like an awesome supplement to healthy living. Don’t you think?
3) Black rice is the champion. It beats all of its brother rice in the nutrition competition (especially white rice). It is the only rice that contains anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is especially awesome because it is a water-soluble antioxidant that can reach certain areas of the body that fat-soluble antioxidants cannot. Also, B Rice has a TON of fiber—great for digestion! And is very high in iron and vitamin E. Another win!
4) Black rice works for mice. I read about a study being conducted where researchers are feeding mice about 10% black rice in their diet. This significantly suppressed skin allergies on the mice. I have eczema and if black rice can improve it, I’m go team!
5) Black rice is DElicious! When Kyle cooked it he barely seasoned it. Woot woot for a food that is low in sodium as well.
All these facts combined make black rice one of the best foods ever. BLACK RICE IS MAGICAL.
As you can tell, I’m super excited about this new “super food” I’ve stumbled upon. I’ve been looking up recipes to try and I’ll definitely share with you how they turn out. Stay tuned!
Ashley Macon CSN

On This Day In Strength History

April 19, 1933 Karl Swoboda died. In 1910 Swoboda was the first man to lift 400 pounds over his head.

Friday, April 5, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

April 5, 1940 John Davis bent pressed the Rolandow dumbell.

John Davis seen here lifting Apollon's railroad car wheels.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

On This Day In Stregnth History

Emile Deriaz died April 4, 1939, he was around sixty years of age. A few days before his death he entertained a few friends with a display of impromptu lifting with beer barrels. This recalled his strongman act wherein he used to lift at arms’ length overhead a barrel of around 250 lbs. In his heyday as “The Modern Samson”  he had done much traveling to fill some very lucrative engagements.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

April 2, 1916 Donald Dinnie died. As Scotland's greatest athlete, Dinnie competed in sixteen Highland Games seasons in his native land. He first toured the United States' Caledonian Circuit in 1870. In that ...year he earned a fortune. Dinnie, then thirty-three, was titled "The Nineteenth Century's Greatest Athlete". However, others despised and criticized Dinnie for his incredible strength. He continued to tour, and in his 60th year he was in New Zealand and Australia as a successful professional athlete.

FSS at IBP Bench Night

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

During his most active period, circa 1896, Louis Cyr performed the following:--March 31st did clean and jerk of 347 lbs., then a World record, without science or skill, little if any dipping.  Louis Cyr: Strongest Man Who Ever Lived
By David Gentle

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Morning Juice

carrot, apple, greens, cucumber, celery

On This Day In Strength History

Elise Gillaine Herbigneaux (Miss Apollina), was born in Tongrine, Belgium on March 30,1875. Apollina toured London and the other cities showcasing her feats of strength. In her stage performances, she would engage local wrestlers to raise audience excitement and regularly wrestled men.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

In Munich, Germany on March, 27th, 1954 Adolf Grenzebach lifts a 508 pound stone during a contest for the strongest man of the Bavarian capital.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Have You Heard About This Awesome New Exercise?

Have You Heard About This Awesome New Exercise?

I am often amused by the infatuation that many lifters have toward all the “new” training exercises that continuously pop up in the strength training world. It seems many lifters are looking for that new magical exercise that will somehow propel them into elite lifter status. For example:

This is an excerpt from an article Charles Smith wrote back in 1949.

The Barnholth method is strictly for lifters. The exerciser takes the weight in the usual manner, across the back of the shoulders, and SITS on a small BOX or chair so that the thighs are level or parallel with the floor. He stands up from the box and then either returns to a sitting position and repeats or else stands upright and returns to that position using the box only to ensure that he does not go below the parallel position. The great advantage of this form of the deep knee bend is that it is very effective in developing a powerful jerk. In jerking a weight, the lifter must make certain that he does not dip too low or too fast. Squatting from a box ensures that the lifter develops strength well within the range of muscular contraction encountered in jerking a weight from the shoulders”.

The Smith article was written more than 30 years before the BOX SQUAT craze surfaced around the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Obviously the box squat had been around for a long time before then. But all of the sudden the box squat had taken the powerlifting community by storm. Many lifters saw box squatting as this “new” magical exercise that would take their squat to the next level. (Unfortunately in my opinion for many lifters what took their squat to the next level had more to do with armor plated squat suits and monolifts but that is another subject altogether.) Although I think box squatting certainly has its benefits, in the past few years many powerlifters have stopped box squatting and moved on to the next “new” thing.


The box squat is just one example among many that shows essentially there is very little new under the sun when it comes to strength building exercises. Just because someone starts promoting a certain exercise and you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it’s new.


Point is lifters should be far more concerned about training philosophy and putting together tried and true exercises that work for them and less concerned with so-called new exercises. There is no one magical exercise. If you research exercises there are plenty of “old” ones out there that can help you build extraordinary strength. You don’t have to chase the next “new” exercise that comes around. If you do, you may find out the “new” exercise has been around for a thousand years.


Likewise, items like chains, bands, boxes, boards, specialty bars and dumbbells, etc. have been used by strongmen longer than you have been alive. They are just tools that can enhance the exercises that have been around for hundreds of years. There is nothing new or magical about them. As I said, there are very few new things under the sun. Just build a training philosophy with exercises that work for you. Coupled with hard work and consistency you will achieve your goals. Don’t be one who is constantly searching for some new fangled Johnny come lately exercise. It’s most likely already been invented.


Keith Payne


Friday, March 22, 2013

Often Overlooked Bench Press Training Exercise

Often Overlooked Bench Press Training Exercise
Over the years I have had the opportunity to know quite a few lifters who preferred to compete in the bench press (only). Many do not squat or deadlift for whatever reason. Some of them have physical ailments such as lower back or knee problems. A number of them just participate in the bench press because that’s all they want to do. Regardless of reason, I have noticed benchers tend to utilize the same basic training techniques. It seems, for example, most benchers do a combination of the following exercises. (Supine pressing movements, over-head presses, a variety of pulling or rowing movements, shrugs, lockouts and board presses, various shoulder related movements and an array of exercises for arm development, etc). I’m sure everyone is very familiar with the traditional bench press training exercises we are talking about.
When coaching bench only competitors I have noticed many of them are lacking in upper back strength, especially in the trapezius area. The common prescription for this problem would be to do shrugs. Shrugs are a great exercise that all benchers should utilize but I think there is movement that is superior. This exercise is frequently used by “full power” lifters but is scarcely used by bench only competitors. The “high pin” RACK PULL is a tremendous upper back as well as upper body strength builder! With a 2” to 4” range of motion, a huge amount of weight can be utilized in this exercise which places stress on the muscle tissue and nervous system that can’t be duplicated with other exercises. Rack pulls allow you to pull heavy weight from an angle that is rarely employed (other than relatively “light” shrugs) by bench only competitors. The pulling movement combined with its static characteristics (I recommend holding the weight at the top for a few seconds before returning the bar to the pins.) under a heavy load will help build the upper back and core strength that it takes to handle heavy weight in the bench press without flattening out. With increased upper back strength, you will be able to maintain your optimal bench press “setup” throughout the movement. We all know what happens when you get flattened out during a maximum weight bench press attempt.
Add rack pulls to your bench press training regimen and let me know how it works for you.
Keith Payne
Functional Strength Systems and the contributors to FSS's website are not engaged in rendering medical advice, and the contents of FSS's website are not intended to take the place of such advice. Please consult a physician or physical therapist before using any of the information, advice or any of the services on our website. This includes all resources on this website.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

March 17. 1900  D. P. Willoughby was born.
In his day, David Willoughby was the world’s foremost historian of the Iron Game.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Strength Lies In The Tendons

Strength Lies In The Tendons

Images portrayed in the “muscle” magazines and on the internet frequently expose us to heavily muscled bodybuilders. I think exposure of this type misleads many athletes to believe big muscles equal great strength. If you are only interested in the cosmetic benefits of resistance training then don’t bother reading any further. On the other hand, if you are a strength athlete let me assure you acquiring great strength is not confined to building big (steroid like) muscles.

During my school years I participated in several arm wrestling events that were school sanctioned and some that weren’t. I had been strength training since I was 13 years old and was always attracted to strength sports. I will always remember my first experience in arm wrestling. I was challenged by a guy one day when I was in high school. He was an older bodybuilder who had huge arms. He had heard that I had done some strength training and since he was an experienced arm wrestler wanted to show me a thing or two. At the time I was certainly not an arm wrestler. I was impressed by the size of his arms knowing that my arms were not nearly as big. I didn’t see how I could beat this man but my pride wouldn’t let me back down. Turned out I won easily. I have always believed that the way I trained allowed me to be stronger than he was. I went on in my college years to defeat many (heavily muscled) arm wrestlers. I didn’t tell that story so you would know what a great arm wrestler I was. Fact is I lost several times to stronger quicker guys who had better technique. The point is I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter how big your muscles are if your tendons aren’t strong as well.

The value of strong tendons has been known by strength athletes for many, many years. Back in 1924 strongman Alexander Zass wrote “strength lies in the tendons” when he was explaining the difference in training methods between physical culturist and strongmen. He stated he “aimed first to develop the underlying connective tissues rather than the superficial muscles”. When speaking of his own training he said “I developed tendon strength”.

Why are tendons so important? Well, the tendon connects the ends of the muscle to the bone. In simple terms the tendons must grow along with muscle tissue for us to gain great strength. At the very least the tendon has to be as strong as the muscle.

It has been proven that tendon tissue will strengthen when a heavy progressive weight training regimen is applied with very heavy partial movements. Short range movements such as rack pulls and lockouts will promote tendon strength. These partial (approximately 5 inch range of motion or less) movements should be done with 110% to 150% of your maximum full range of motion for any given exercise. Obviously, this kind of training is very stressful and should be carefully done under the guidance of a trained professional over a time period which allows recovery and growth to take place.

 If I could tell adult powerlifters and strength athletes’ one thing about gaining strength it would be don’t worry as much about the size of your muscles. Concentrate on building tendon strength. As already stated, muscle size doesn’t necessarily translate into great strength. Zass wrote “a large biceps is no more a criterion of strength than a swollen abdomen is of digestion”. Don’t worry; strength training (which includes tendon building) will produce ample size in the muscle also.

Keith Payne CPT, YFS

Functional Strength Systems and the contributors to FSS's website are not engaged in rendering medical advice, and the contents of FSS's website are not intended to take the place of such advice. Please consult a physician or physical therapist before using any of the information, advice or any of the services on our website. This includes all resources on this website.


FSS's website and its contents are made available without warranties or guarantees of any kind. FSS disclaims any liability for injury or damage resulting from the use of the FSS website or any information, advice, services, or other resources that may be mentioned or made accessible through our website or by our instructors, trainers or representatives of FSS. FSS further disclaims any liability for injury or damage personal or otherwise resulting from the actions or advice of the instructors certified by FSS in the performance of their duties.


Friday, March 8, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

Alois P. Swoboda was born on March 8, 1873. Charles Atlas was quoted as saying that "everything he knew he learned from A.P. Swoboda.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On This Day In Strength History

March 6,1894 Eugen Sandow performed for Edison’s motion picture.

Live Fit Health Club

Timothy and I had the opportunity to visit Jonathan Logan at Live Fit in Belmont, NC yesterday. I'll have to say we were very impressed. Check Jonathan's website out at: