by John McKean
Gomers hate Goernor! Yep, those Grumpy Old Men (GOMers) who these days have little to do other than take delight from obnoxious blogging and crabbing on certain weightlifting websites, just detest the many huge poundage lifts that the legendary all-round strongman established during his prime.Though few living were around during the 1920s, our iron game gomers will loudly proclaim that Hermann’s lifts were done improperly,plates or globe bells were hollow, bars were bent for better leverages, etc., etc.. Being this is Superbowl week as I write, I submit that our highly critical WL goms use the same “absolute evidence” to INVALIDATE a lift ( that perhaps hundreds witnessed or was judged good by highly respected officials of that time) as is used by the instant replays in pro football. OK, no exacting vids for proof during Goernor’s heyday, but can ANYTHING,even an old bar, globe,or dumbbell that was used,be produced to reduce stature of one of our historic all time greats? (by the way, Goms, opinions,speculation, and rumors count for nothing!).
I mention the above ,not only to glorify Goernor’s 430 pound Two Hand Anyhow overhead (with kettlebells!), 330 pound right arm cheat curl (you’ll have to read his book for the exact, bizarre technique), and his mind-blowing 727 1/2 pound right hand deadlift, but,rather, to discuss Hermann’s inventive training system. Many have heard of his “chain” warmup where he would move up a dumbbell or kettlebell rack, starting at the lightest weight and progressing to the heaviest ‘bell in the gym. Ole Herm would perform a swing ,then a press, down to a curl, then a final press-all one arm for a single on each event. He often changed the sequence or even the exercises, yet always did a bunch with the individual weights.Yet most all-rounders of today may have missed the fact that “Mr. Mighty” also did “chains” of sorts with his main, heavier lifts!
One passage in “Goernor The Mighty” shows this hard working man doing a combination of various curls, presses, and holdouts for 2 reps each, then increasing the barbell or db weight, going through the same sequence, then usually going through a third rotation. Indications are that Hermann also did this with various types of deadlifts and presses/jerks.
We modern all-rounders could also “chain” certain similar lifts to intensify our efforts by condensing work within a relatively short time frame. For instance, we can put together a routine of rows, hacks, straddles, and, say, one arm deadlifts , starting at maybe 135# for the first round, then progressing up in weight for a single at each of the four events. When a limit is reached on any of the lifts,we merely drop it from the upcoming sequence, until we reach perhaps just a final single by itself on our particular specialty. Not much fuss overall devoted to time wasting, constantly changing weights up and down during a workout ! I’m sure most of our guys can dream up endless amounts of similar poundage, “PARALLEL” all-round combos to sneak in more lifts than formerly possible within one workout!
Most will discover that this “new,yet old” parallel system of simultaneously working several events will supply just the stimulation needed for exciting training during 2015. Heck, ole Al needs to get a bit busier, constantly adding records to the books! And,gees, 50 years from now, we WANT the old Gomers of that day angry over OUR lifts!!