Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Isometrics: A Golden Key To Super Human Strength

Although everything has been done in the world of Physical Culture we still have much to learn especially when it comes to Isometrics. If there were any true secrets in the realm of super strength, this is it. When done properly, Isometrics get you past plateaus that you never believed existed. It’s no wonder it is one of the most underrated forms of strength training. Those that know its secrets hold the power to unlock true super human powers.

 Focus is a cornerstone in any exercise system whether it’s Muscle Control, lifting a heavy weight, enduring rep after rep or even going long periods of time in one exercise but Isometrics takes on a whole new level of focus and laser-like concentration. It doesn’t matter if you hold a posture for 10 seconds or 10 hours, the focus is still needed and if your mind goes blank, your body will follow. Holding a wrestler’s Bridge for example takes great focus and concentration not just on the body but internally. The real secret to Isometrics is not how long you can hold a posture or how intense the contraction, the real powerful secret is how much internal power you develop.

 Have you ever watched guys like Dennis Rogers, Bud Jeffries, Logan Christopher, Pat Poviliatis, Chris Rider and others like them in action? Some of the things they do are just mind blowing and flat out super human. My favorite form of training of these guys is Steel Bending. I would bet you dollars to donuts that you will get more of a reaction from any of these guys bending a extremely tough nail or bar than you would see someone lifting a 600 pound deadlift.

 Steel Bending is a style of strength training that is unique and builds a level of strength that you can’t get from a weight lifter or bodybuilder. I don’t care who you are or where you come from you will sweat and put everything in your body more from bending and shaping a steel bar 3ft or longer than you would going to the gym for an hour. How do you build that level of strength, from Isometrics? Hell yes you do and I’ll tell you why, because Isometrics gives you the power to give everything you have into one full out moment. Bending Steel is one of the best forms of Isometrics you can get.

 If there was ever an athlete that took Isometrics to a level that will never be duplicated is without a doubt quite possibly the world’s greatest wrestler, The Great Gama. Gama was known for his intense and brutal workouts ranging from swimming to wrestling for hours on end to his massive amount of repetitions in Push-ups and Squats and being famous for never losing one match in his entire career which extends to 5000 matches. What you may not have known unless you’re in the circle of Physical Culturists is that Gama was fierce with his takedown and throwing abilities to toss opponents left and right looking like a rag doll. One of his secrets to achieving that level of strength was every morning he would get up, tie a belt or some kind of strap around a tree and try with ferocious intensity and fiery power to take down that tree. He did other forms of Isometrics if I stand corrected but that was a move he was famous for and it made him not only a legend but a force that no one ever wanted to get in the ring with.

 Did I forget to mention that Muscle Control is a style of Isometrics? Damn, I must be slipping at almost 28 but seriously though, practicing the control of your muscles for contracting and relaxing is that of Isometrics and I believe arguably the two greatest superstars to ever do muscle Control was Maxick & Otto Arco. No two men before or since had a level of Muscle Control then those two gents right there. The flexion and extension of the muscles they contracted looked like balloons about to pop out of their veins but did it with grace, fluidity and control unlike anyone else in their time.

 Isometrics gets a bad rap these days because of how it develops blood pressure and that it does more harm than good and this and that but the truth is it’s really all a bunch of crap. If one took the time to actually learn this type of training, they will see that not only will they get stronger physically but internally as well. A lot of people including scientists believe that Isometrics is doing something extremely intense but yet the breath is being held. That’s where the high blood pressure comes in and the head aches, the pulled tendons and the ripped muscle tissue.

 A true Isometric contraction is in the breath. Just like any exercise you inhale and exhale during a movement or a hold. When you hold a posture, you don’t hold your breath now do you? You breathe deeply in order to keep that holding that posture. When you do an intense contraction say for ten seconds do not hold your breath, exhale with power and might. I believe the very best exhale you can do during a very intense contraction would be to make an “ssss” sound, when this happens your body is building more lung power and you’re not just contracting the muscle you want to flex but you’re also contracting the abdominals which in turn makes you strong throughout the entire body. When you hold a certain posture say like the Bridge or a downward facing dog (Hindu Push-up) or even hanging from a pull-up bar, you want to breathe deeply and picture as if you’re breathing into the muscles themselves, believing you’re giving them the oxygen they need to help stay in that posture longer.

 This has been a concept since ancient times and from the old-time yoga instructors to the old-time strongmen, the concept remains the same just in a different juncture. Practice Isometrics often and research the best ways to work them into your own training or just doing them as they are. If you look hard enough and are open-minded, you’ll find yourself in a whole new world of strength training that is better, healthier and more efficient to your bodies needs as oppose to the cardio machines and the pink dumbbells you see too many people doing plus those god damn weight machines that really don’t do diddly squat for you when it comes to functional strength and fitness. The old-timers had it figured out long before we were ever around, listen to them and they will help you, I guarantee it. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ferocious With A Vengence

As of late there have been a few strongmen popping up around certain areas around the world. Some ain't very legit and those few that are legit are far and in between. I can tell you first one of those legit strongmen is not only out there but he's hungry and full of fire and passion for the world of Physical Culture. That one man is Matti Merzel.

He burst onto the scene not too long ago compiling feats of strength that need to be seen to believe from bending and breaking wrenches, ripping phonebooks, 6000 Kettlebell Swings and one of the most awe-dropping Snatch test of 304 KB Snatches in 10 min. He hasn't been in the game very long but has already risen through the ranks of one of the fastest growing strongmen in the world today. His passion is unlike any other before or since. He has come into his own using influences by the best modern strongmen today with the likes of Bud Jeffries, Logan Christopher, Dennis Rogers, Brooks Kubik, Ryan Pitts, Pat Poviliatis and many more.

From the looks of him, he looks like the typical, athletic and not very muscular looking guy but that's where looks can be deceiving as underneath that type of physique lies one of the most powerful men today and has more will power than anyone thought possible. He is the personification of being an individual who doesn't need big muscles to be extremely strong and gifted in the Super Human Conditioning category. Because of this, he has developed a style of strongmanism that very have ever achieved and plans to break as many records as possible and quite frankly I have every confidence he will achieve those goals. I've talked to him on several occasions sometimes for more then 2 hours and I will say first hand he is one of the most knowledgeable young guys today and has tremendous wisdom for a guy in his mid 20's. He is without question an individual that will speak from the heart and will tell you what he really thinks and I admire guys like him.

Because of his passion for Physical Culture, he has developed a website dedicated to the strongest of the strongest individuals throughout the history of Physical Culture. He wants to help those who are need for guidence into becoming one powerful individual physically, mentally and even Emotionally. So I encourage you to be open-minded and come on over to http://ferociousstrength.com/ and learn all about the journey and well written articles of this up-incoming Strongman including guest articles by other athletes including yours truely. You will find very valuable information that you'll only find in very few places. I also encourage you to sign up for his newsletter where you'll get great info on health, fitness and history on physical culture plus when you sign up you will get a bonus report on how to develop Emotional Anchors, it is a must read and once you apply even a spec of that report, your results will skyrocket and if you apply all of the info I don't want to imagine how far it'll take you not only in your training but your life as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

13 DVDs That'll Turn You Into A One Man Wrecking Crew

At a recent workshop this year, Logan Christopher & Bud Jeffries took on a whole new deminsion of Physical, Mental & Emotional Conditioning that will have you bring out whole new levels of strength, power and muscle. You will find a plethora of new info on Isometrics, Kettlebell training, bodyweight exercise and various feats of strength.

There has never been a set of this Super Human caliber. Just when you thought everything was done, well you will learn something new on these bad boys because these two powerhouses of might and muscle will take you through program after program of powerful info you will not find anywhere else. Find out about the "Prison" workout that Bud demonstrates that will take your Kettlebell conditioning to a whole new level with just two exercises. Learn the Mental secrets that give you the power to climb past plateaus you thought you couldn't get past. Get the inside scoop on how Isometrics in their fashion can lead you to a whole new world of super strength, speed and power beyond belief.

This isn't just a set of DVDs, this set will set the standard for what you can achieve beyond your own beliefs. As you will see, these masters will show you a different prespective on training that you're not use to or have ever seen before. Find out how a simple 50-100' rope will give you Super Human endurance, get a sneak peak into the realm of mace swinging and kettlebell juggling unlike anything before. Training is a lifestyle and when you learn from two men at the top of their game, you will find yourself never having a boring workout ever again. Conditioning takes on a whole new meaning when you get your hands on a monster set like this.

Becoming Super Human is a work in progress but if you give your open mind to these individuals, you will see results faster then a speeding bullet and you can even find yourself turning into the Incredible Hulk once you learn to harness the power within you that takes your levels of strength into the stratosphere. Workouts will come and go but your ability to find out the one's that bring out the best in you will stay with you forever.

Many things have been done but there are still secrets out there that will teach you how to build muscle, lose fat, burn calories and give you energy beyond belief the fastest way possible and you can do it drug-free. Get yourself on the band wagon and become a Super Human. You are the only person stopping you from taking your inner powers to a level beyond imagination. Welcome to the world of Super Human Training.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Jackie Chan: Hardcore Athlete

Bruce Lee changed the way Martial Arts films were made and was a pioneer in the quest for what being an action star and dramatic actor was in films throughout Asia and the U.S. If there was one man who would be a successor to Bruce Lee and take action/comedy to a whole new level would be Jackie Chan. Chan personifies the qualities of a martial artist, action star and comedic actor all in one body.

 Martial Arts films are a genre that is unique and different among other genres. When you add comedy in the picture with awesome chorography, you have a blend that is a style all on its own. Chan’s skills are second to none as he doesn’t just know how to kick, punch and maneuver from many angles but the plethora of strength, agility and flexibility is one of the most surreal aspects that not many people realize. Growing up and training in a school for academics, athletics and theater, he took on a life most kids at that time was the norm unlike a child growing up in the U.S where you have school, do some form of extra-curricular activity and do homework, there was a guy who went to a school of hard-knocks as some of the training he was into was grueling and insane to western society.

 At a young age, Chan would go to the Theater and watch on the big screen, the legendary physical comedian Buster Keaton of the Silent Film era. Watching the actor became a passion and made the young prodigy love the world of acting and physical comedy. Although loving acting, Chan’s regimen in conditioning was legendary even at a young age doing hand balancing, various horse stances, high kicks, variations of extreme push-ups and sit-ups, fast pace punches that only a few including Bruce Lee ever achieved I mean it goes on and on. When it came to Abdominal Conditioning, Chan is far above than the majority of people in most cases. When you look at some of his films, the muscles on his abs are not just cool looking but they’re extremely powerful and can withstand quite a blow. When you have powerful abs like that, your whole body is powerful because training the Core is training the center of your strength and conditioning.

 Speed is another one of his phenomenal traits and I can think of only two other guys that have speed faster then the average person, those are of Bruce Lee and Jet Li, maybe Donnie Yen. You know you have phenomenal speed in a movie when the crew tells you to slow down by a huge margin; Bruce Lee was a perfect example of that when he was doing the short lived Green Hornet TV show. When you get good at going at a fast clip and with good form, your body’s nervous system will shift into overdrive and your growth hormone will ring up faster then any other attribute which means you can look young,burn fat, gain muscle and have energy unlike anything else.

 Jackie Chan has done countless movies throughout his career from Supercop to the Rush Hour trilogy but if there was one movie that is a must see that’s not only funny as hell but awe-dropping training methods at the same time with awesome Kung Fu to boot is one of his early films from the late 70’s called Drunken Master. I won’t give away too much of the film but there are certain scenes where his chorography is just incredible from a scene in his father’s Dojo to the grueling exercise regimen with his uncle doing horse stances, push-ups, sit-ups, crushing walnuts ect. It’s one of those films that have lots of comedy, awesome fight scenes and awesome messages about training.

 Chan is now in his late-50’s and shows no signs of slowing down and still has the grapes to do most of his own stunts which only an extreme few actors at that age can muster. He truly is the Bruce Lee of our generation and only a few after him can remotely have that type of status but there can be only one Jackie Chan.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Force Is Real

Let’s get something straight, unless you’re a magician, there’s no way in hell you can levitate objects. Now that we got that out of the way, the force has a lot of truth in how you can generate great strength and speed at the drop of a hat. The way it works is how you incorporate imagination, breathing and the way your body moves. With regular practice you can triple your strength in a shorter amount of time then the amount of years you spent training. With regular practice, you can have matrix-like movement where it’s fluid, graceful and above all strong.

 No matter what you believe in the fitness world, having 20 inch arms, a six pack and a puffy chest won’t mean jack S*it if you look like Tarzan but have the strength of Jane. Real superhuman strength comes from the power of your mind. There’s an old saying, “If you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” The power of belief in your imagination can help you generate strength beyond your own assumptions of how strong you can really be. The mind is your greatest weapon and if you looked deep inside yourself, you can generate real world-class strength without lifting weight or needing to have a muscular body. One man who can show you the most comprehensive system of creating the ultimate strength from the inside is Master Strength Trainer and Concert Virtuoso Garin Bader.

 Yoda said “A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.” What that means is that your strength has the ability to flow from within and how you see yourself finding that flow of power and your ability to control it any way you want to. The secret is within your imagination and how you can use sounds to test your power. The power of sound can make all the difference of where your strength relies in. Take the “BAM” for example, what does it feel like? In reality it’s powerful but has no give, no speed to go with it and above all, it’s slow and complicated. Now take another word like “WA-KAHH”, the Bruce Lee sound when he knocks out a guy without ever having him known what hit him. What does it sound like? In reality, it’s fast, fluid, and powerful plus builds a torque point that generates momentum that has just as much speed as it has strength. What you want is to generate momentum and find a torque point that shoots like a bolt of lightning and gives you that surge of strength that just flows like water.

 Jack Lalanne once said “Imagination is the elixir of life.” What that means is that the images you can create in your mind can give you a sense of life that can make or break your spirit and confidence. Our imagination is the first thing we think about before we take action kind of like thinking before acting on a certain task. Inventors are extremely imaginative and have created things that help us in our daily lives. The old-time strongmen had imaginations beyond the average person’s own mindset. When they were young and had certain health issues, they imagined themselves being strong and having dreams of being a superhero with the strength of ten men and the body of a Greek god, if you don’t believe me, look up guys like Maxick, Doug Hepburn, Otto Arco, John Grimek, George Hackenshmidt and one of the most beloved men in the history of Physical Culture Joseph Greenstein aka The Mighty Atom.

 When you learn to harness the power of the Force, you can create strength that goes up and up each time you use it and amp up your conditioning to levels unheard of before and do so without causing injury. Garin Bader had made a living harnessing this power and it’s given him a powerful presence not only in his strength but in his performance on the stage with playing the piano, gliding on a silk curtain, using his gifts as a magician and have the key eyes of a magnificent sculptor. The way he has taught this power gives you a whole new perspective on strength training that you won’t find anywhere else and only a handful of masters know its true power.

 Practice this type of training often and you will see a new found confidence in your presence of people, the energy that will feed off of you like electricity and the strength you can develop will stagger your friends and yourself. I’m a student of this practice and because of it’s teachings I can move light on my feet at a bodyweight of over 240 lbs. You will see how everything blends together and gives you the raw power and fluidity of your body that craves strength, that wants that super speed and it all can be yours if you open your mind to it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Abdominal Training For Superior Strength

When you think of Ab training, you mostly hear about crunches and little side bends and mostly isolating the Abs with little rockers and machines. This is not real world Ab strength training. Our body’s core is all the muscles of the Abdominals from below the breast line all the down just to the top of the sexual organs.

 A lot of people think if you want six pack abs you need to do this many crunches, eat less, do 100’s of side bends and whatever crap that others come up with. Not saying a six pack isn’t a bad thing but really what does it really matter when you have a washboard stomach that can’t take a punch and your organs aren’t strong enough to hold off diseases? Karl Gotch once put it that there are two types of muscles for an athlete or bodybuilder and that “Conditioned Muscle” & Counterfeit Muscle.” These two variations have obvious statements but let me clarify a little, conditioned means that it’s strong, can take a lot whether in a workout or a fight, it’s useful, functional and the organs are strong, counterfeit means basically it looks awesome but than no further than that as you can have great development but that won’t amount to anything if you’re prone to injury.

 Real Abdominal training comes from training the entire body as a unit while keeping a major focus on the Abs. If you look back over 100 years ago, the old-time strongmen had some of the most powerful Abs on the planet. Men like Otto Arco, Maxick, Sandow, Farmer Burns and others all had what would be called punch-proof Abs. Their developments were off the charts and this was long before machines and gadgets. They developed this kind of strength and power by utilizing Muscle Control, full body training, Gymnastics, various sit-ups and Deep Breathing. They became so strong that would be able to handle certain feats that were beyond their own bodyweight. This type of training didn’t take hours a day and never isolated yet some of them had muscles that are still better than the bodybuilders of today.

 One of the true kings of Muscle Control was Otto Arco of Poland. A master of abdominal training that had the ability to wrestle, lift heavy and was one of the purest acrobats in the world at that time. Many came after him but there is only one Otto Arco and unlike bodybuilders today, Arco not only looked incredible but had pure strength and power to back it up. For one of the first 3 men in history to lift overhead double bodyweight it was a real feat to be reckoned with. The ability to control any part of his body was a sight to be hold and very few then can match and chances are slim to none no one can match him today.

 Another facet of phenomenal Ab Training is the Bridge. To most the bridge is either a neck, back or a shoulder exercise but really it is an exercise that works the core to a level unlike any other. If you don’t have good solid strength in your abdominals, the bridge will be difficult to do. Holding a posture is one thing but to do lethal and acrobatic maneuvers is a whole different ball game. Ever heard of the burpee? I’m sure you have, it’s a staple of conditioning that’s practiced in many areas but what about the Bridge Burpee? This makes a regular burpee look like a cake walk as you fall into a bridge either on the hands, head/hands or head alone and you kick over and back, if you’re really athletic you would do this then stand back up. A good bridge builds functional and powerful abs and with power of deep breathing, your core will be difficult to hurt.

 A key ingredient in all of Physical Culture is one of the most neglected forms of modern training and that’s learning to breathe. We today take our breathing for granted but what if I told you that your breath is the source of all your power and strength. Breathing gives us life. We can go long periods of time without food or water but we can only hold our breath for only a few minutes before we start to give out and die. The number one secret to true core strength is in how you breathe.

 You don’t need the skills of a gymnast or the body of bodybuilder and neither do need to have the skills of a wrestler, all you need is a few minutes a day of working your body as a unit and focus on the abdominals. Muscle Control is a healthy practice as it teaches you how to use your mind and body’s connections and with basic gymnastics that anyone can learn from a humble beginner to an advanced athlete. The stronger your core inside and out, the stronger your whole body will be. Learn to take control of your body and your strength & fitness will skyrocket to levels you can’t imagine.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Indiana Jones Mindset

The character is the ultimate embodiment of an adventurer. Seeking new civilizations and bringing them to the forefront for all to cherish. He is a man’s man with great intentions to stop those who oppose all that is decent, resourceful and good productivity. We can all learn from quite possibly the greatest explorer in the history of film. What does this have to with training and great workouts? We can symbolize on finding that great quest on finding the greatest exercise or the ultimate workout or even the most productive program. Each workout is never complete without having some kind of adventure.

 We learn all kinds of things and the people that we learn from is just as important as the workouts themselves. There are those that are in it for the glory and never give you the right road to success. Consumed by greed, money and luxury, there are trainers out there that are like that and rather hurt you and take your money then give the valuable info that can help you live longer, get stronger and become a better individual. To me those are people like RenĂ© Belog (Lost Ark), Mola Ram (Temple Of Doom) & Nazi General Vogel (Last Crusade). They want to destroy what’s awesome about real training and finding the true nature of strength, conditioning and personal health.

 The people that give us the true meaning of strength and fitness show us how we can learn for ourselves and show us the true path to becoming strong, athletic and conditioned for the things we want to do and love to do. Some do have expensive things to help us but they want to teach us, how badly do you want it, do we have what it takes and how far forward do we want to go? Training is all about learning, finding who you are, where do you want to go in life and sometimes there are road blocks…Financial troubles, not finding that magic pill, what you’re doing is right or wrong, we all have had these issues but there are ways to work around them and still give yourself that adventure you’re always craving. The best I’ve learned from taught me how to push myself in ways no one else could, they gave me a sense of hope and they gave me the power to find my own path in what I can accomplish.

 We will never know if there actually is the Holy Grail that is from the bible, the one cup that caught Christ’s blood in the crucifixion and said to have powers of healing. The truth is, we’re all searching for ultimate power of healing or even the fountain of youth. The search is the search of the divine in all of us. I believe from a fitness standpoint that the Holy Grail is finding the right way to train that keeps you young, healthy and vibrant that keeps you pain-free and live a long, happy life. Very few have found that Grail. Jack Lalanne was one of them, George Hackenshmidt, Paul Bragg, Charles Atlas and a few others. It is that one true quest that keeps us going, finding what works and what doesn’t, learning where you will go.

 Like the Temple Of Doom, you are caught in a web of deceiving jackals that want to destroy your very well being and make you believe in something that not only can bring you to the brink of destruction but destroy your own personal beliefs for life and love. In the beginning, you’re crawling through a dark, mysterious and frightening cave, never knowing where you’ll end up. You find deadly creatures that not only look ugly and fierce but can also kill you in the process. You fight off the creatures a bit and each phase of this dark tunnel; more things tend to find you challenging your deepest fears. Sharp and destructive spikes rain down and you have to fight for your life to get out. You eventually walk out but the ultimate challenge is not too far ahead. Your ultimate challenge is fighting off the one thing that you fear the most and that fear is in yourself. This fear at times can take over you like an addictive drug that controls you more then your own well being. In order to destroy it, you must find that fire within you and set that fear ablaze and bring that spark of life back into glory. Those that don’t want you to have that spark or fire within will try to take you down into the depths of hell and make you they’re own little puppet. Never become someone else’s puppet, pull on your own damn strings and use whatever fight you have left.

 When it comes to the Ark, you are looking at one of the most prominent objects in world history. It is an object that in legend if its power is harnessed, you will be invincible. Reality check, no one is invincible but we can learn to harness the power of regeneration. Our bodies heal from certain injuries and therefore can help you be stronger in some cases. The human body is one of the greatest mysteries of all-time. We can learn anatomy, physiology, neurology and whatnot but the whole mystery of how powerful the body is just incredible. Regenerating is a major key in our body’s system and helps us build ourselves back up from some of the fiercest things like disease, aging, injuries and painful mental attributes. Now there are certain things that our body can’t recover from but with the right tools and with great people to learn from, we can harness our own healing powers and prevent certain things that can destroy what we need to keep healthy the most, ourselves. For most of our society today, we have lost touch of what’s important and that’s being healthy and living a long life. Diseases like obesity, lung cancer, heart problems, drinking and osteoporosis have plagued our way of life and we need to get back to what’s important. Being fit is a tough gig but it’s never too late to start working your way up and having the adventure of a lifetime.

 People need this, want that, this works, this doesn’t, we need this type of equipment, this machine blah blah. Why not just shut the hell up and look at what you’re doing. You’re putting more on your table then you need to and you need to see what the big picture is. Look at Indy, does he have a boatload of things to carry around that people tell him what he needs and should have? Hell no. He has a small change of clothes, a satchel, pistol, whip, his body and mind. He doesn’t use the latest gadget or tries to find a local store to get food, he’s in the f*cking jungle. Having less is more then enough. In fitness, you are seeing thousands of exercises, machines beyond the radar and equipment that you can’t possibly store in a small space. The less you have, the more you might gain something. There’s nothing wrong with variety but choose the things that will suit your needs. Find the best things that will give you superior results and give you success in your workouts. For the most part all you need for life if your own bodyweight, if you want variety then go here and see what can work for you. Use what you can and become the strongest and healthiest person you can be. There’s nothing that should be stopping you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wrestling & The Golden Age Of Physical Culture

Before baseball was a major success, before football became the second national pastime, wrestling was the talk of the world. Even in the carnival ACT shows, wrestling was a way to make money whether by side bets or on a major bout in a small city. The most notable wrestlers of the day were Tom Jenkins, George Hackenshmidt, Frank Gotch and quite possibly the greatest of them all Ed “Strangler” Lewis. Wrestling as we all know is the oldest of sports and what better to help bring wrestling to the national spotlight then in the Industrial Revolution. It took more then these men to make a profit and matches were unpredictable as some lasted a few minutes to lasting a few hours.

 If there was ever a man long before Television swept the nation in America’s living rooms, he took wrestling to a height that only Hulk Hogan and Lou Thesz would achieve later in the century and that was George Hackenshmidt. A man born in Estonia, the most built developed man at that time and was considered to be at one point to another title, The World’s Strongest Man. Looking like he was carved from Granite, Hack sold out areas in Europe such as the London Opera House and in America drew one of the biggest crowds in Sports History wrestling Frank Gotch. By far one of the strongest competitors of that time but more importantly believe it or not one of the most conditioned. Hack lived and breathed exercise and wrestling as he build muscles and brains by writing a course that became his Magnum Opus: The Way To Live. Up until Hulk Hogan arrived, Hack was the guy that brought strength and muscle to the world of Professional Wrestling.

 Lou Thesz who was the most watched man in America in the early TV era, considered one man he didn’t question as the greatest of all-time (even though it’s still argued to this day) was a man who was known to beat anyone at any length of a match and whenever he wanted but still made a moniker as a boring defensive wrestler named Ed Lewis a.k.a Robert Julius Fredrick if I stand corrected. Although very well talented and could cripple any guy he faced, Lewis wasn’t all that of a offensive wrestler if history serves me right and he just didn’t do very well when drawing a crowd. During one match it lasted five and a half hours when spectators were expected to see a good hour of wrestling. Because of this notion, during the roaring twenties and the Depression of the 1930’s, the scientific style of wrestling became faded and the people needed excitement. With promoters and wrestlers alike they began doing performance matches which they don’t try to cripple each other but get the people in frenzy and this was the turning point from being a sport to becoming an entertainment spectacle.

 No matter what sport you love, there’s always going to the single greatest debate, “Who’s the greatest.” Wrestling is no different. During the Industrial Revolution, kids and athletes of all shapes and sizes flocked to YMCA’s and the early stages of Gymnasiums done by guys like Sig Klein’s gym in New York in the 30’s and also York Barbell Company along with a Health Club in Oakland, CA by a little known Physical Culturist and athlete himself Jack Lalanne. Wrestling for most people at that time and in Europe such as England, Germany, Ireland & Scotland honed their skills just to pass the time because of either money trouble, tension at home, odd jobs or even to become a professional. Back then, Wrestling gave you a sense of hope and to test your manhood of not only skill but character. A lot of great athletes came out as wrestlers at one time or another. Even big name Presidents were wrestlers in their lifetime like William Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Teddy Roosevelt and others but the most famous wrestler in the White House long before the Industrial Revolution was none other then Abraham Lincoln.

 Such big names during this era up until the TV era were names like Otto Arco, Gama, Hackenshimidt, Frank Gotch, Eugene Sandow, George F. Jowett, Tom Jenkins, The Mighty Atom Joseph Greenstein, Lou Thesz, Ed Lewis, Jim Londis, Toots Mont, Ad Santell, Stu Hart and many, many more. These men were the cornerstone before there was a WWE, WCW and ECW. The NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) was on the verge of becoming the top promoting company in the wrestling business at that time. Wrestling back then was far more real and scientific then the high flying, bloated up bodybuilding and chair swinging entertainment that it is today and wrestlers had to be in tip top shape and be able to go an hour or more in a match if they needed to.

 Money wasn’t a major deal at the time until Hack and Gotch came around and for them, they were practically the first two athletes to draw a major wrestling card as they had a series of Championship matches that lasted god knows how long but they kept at it until they had a final match in 1911 at Chicago’s brand new Comiskey Park where Hack lost another match to Frank Gotch.  Other then that unless it was in the Carnival shows, betting on a wrestler was as much a gamble as horseracing (maybe less). Side bets came left and right and most likely there were guys who took a fall to get a big payday like shaving points in a basketball or football game today. Like any gamble, there were guys who won and lost money on a good wrestler and very few great ones like Santel, Gotch and Jenkins ever lost a match before they ended up crippling their opponents. Like any athlete you want to bet on a man that is good, strong and intelligent in how he uses his opponents. Once the promoters began running shows in various cities around the country and the real style of wrestling faded, the gamble wore off and ticket profits became the stuff of legends.

 There are an extreme few wrestlers today that are as good, some better and some far less then the wrestlers of the past. If I had to name a few would be Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Dan Severn, Kurt Angle, Kazushi Sakuraba, Brock Lesnar and Matt Hughes that are keen wrestlers to tearing down their opponents, yes I realize a few of these names were in WWE at one time but seriously, I’m talking before they even talked to guys like Vince McMahon. Any wrestler whether in the WWE, UFC, King Of The Cage or even what use to be PRIDE in Japan should pay homage to those that came before them, learn their history, learn where they came from and how to model themselves after. It’s more worth while knowing your history then knowing your techniques. Knowledge is power, wisdom is strength, and conditioning & technique come last. Whoever is the greatest wrestler doesn’t matter and really shouldn’t ever matter, what does matter is what did you get out of learning from the best whether it’s from one wrestler or ten of them.