"Strong Men" versus "Modern Weightlifters."
By Bee Brian (A. K. A. ViKtoricus)
I remember back when I was a MUSCLEMAG enthusiast (great magazine!) and reading about how great the 5x5 training protocol was. Authors decorate it with fancy words like "old-school" or "strength-building program." They may (or may not) have done it to exaggerate the benefits of such training philosophy, but it sure as hell works!
Because if it doesn't, then why would the authors risk being looked at as frauds?
The fact of the matter is, hypertrophy and sheer strength go hand-in-hand. This is exactly what 5x5 (whichever variation you can think of), Smolov program, Sheiko program, Russian Squat Program, Linear Periodization, and Westside-Barbell Training produces. Don't believe me? Take a look at Ed Coan and Chuck Vogelpohl.
Both are powerlifting superstars, and both are very strong. Both are also big... They're big and they have a rugged, muscular physique that would make alot of bodybuilders jealous.
How they train is their business, but I am willing to put my genitals on the line and say that their training is merely something that is "slightly heavier" than the average bodybuilding program is. A google search of "Ed Coan bench press program" would lead you to a link of a linearly periodized method of training. A google search of "Chuck Vogelpohl training" would lead you to a link that says "Chuck Vogelpohl has been training at Westside for twenty years." (Trainees at the Westside-Barbell Club do alot more high-rep training than actual "neurally dominant" training.)
How would these men fair against Olympic Competition? Do they really have the POWER to lift like Dimas or Pisarenko? I mean, Westside-Barbell trainees also train for "speed," which, if combined with strength, would result to "power."
But are they really that "powerful?" How can one be powerful if he/she is competing in a sport where SHEER STRENGTH is ALL THAT MATTERS? It is a fallacy that powerlifters must be fast and explosive in order to succeed in powerlifting. It is USELESS to be fast and powerful in such a sport. If such an attribute is so important, then Franco Columbu (a BODYBUILDER who deadlifted 750 pounds RAW at a bodyweight of 190-pounds NO BELT) would be deadlifting 900 pounds if he trained at the Westside-Barbell Club.
Franco Columbu (The ORIGINAL Italian Stallion.)
Now to be fair, GEARED powerlifting is something where the athletes benefit by taking advantage of the stretch-reflex generated by the descent of the lift. But geared powerlifting is also bullshit.
Even genetic freaks of today cannot deadlift 900 pounds raw at a bodyweight that is less than 200-pounds. No training system have documented a proof of its athletes achieving such a feat, and modern day powerlifters who lifts such a massive amount of weight are built like bodybuilders.
What then, separates "modern" athletes to the old-time strong men?
The answer? Their abilities.
In the 2008 Olympics, a female Korean weightlifter by the name of Jang-Mi Ran outlifted Paul Anderson's own Clean+Jerk. It's bad enough that a MAN would be outlifted by a WOMAN, but what's even worse about it is that SHE weighs LESS than Paul Anderson himself, and has SIGNIFICANTLY LESS MUSCLE MASS. Anderson is known to squat in excess of a thousand pounds, and yet this woman, who depended on her own "little" strength and her own speed hoisted a weight overhead that most men in ANY sports would only dream of being able to lift.
Modern day athletes have modern day training methodologies. Know the difference between "strong men" and "modern weightlifters."