Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Hello everyone, this is my first post. Thanks very much for accepting me.

My question is about powerlifting training methods in the 70s and 80s.

Looking at the "Featured Athletes of the Month" picture with Lee Moran, Dave Waddington, Ted Arcidi and DR Squat sends chills down my spine.

I am wondering how the men (especially the heavy/super heavies) trained year round.

The only information I can find is from old powerlifting USA with 12 or so week periodized plans for one lift.

Were these template percentage based programs used year round, one after the other?

How were they strung together, finish week 12, get a new 1RM and start at week 1 again?

Were all three lifts pushed at once?

Was the year organised at all...or did they just max out all the time

Can anyone provide insight (particularly Fred himself)

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

I've looked at few of the 70's & 80's workouts a few years ago thinking I was going to find the holy grail. I was disappointed when I realized how many guys actually lifted like bodybuilders and was pretty much simple progressive overload.

The exception was Dr. Squats which was much more thought and based on science.

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

BTW Fred has few workouts in his article section. If he check in there it will give you an idea of what kind of workouts he was doing to peak.

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Thanks Tony.

I am not looking for the holy grail.

I am wondering how the pieces all fit together.

Much like how a kid wonders why the sky is blue

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Dean, when I came onto the scene, there was no "science" of powerlifting. Powerlifting had just begun as a sport. In the history of man, no sport EVER tested the limit strength of a human. Powerlifting was the first. And, in fact, the ONLY. In the world of strength sports, before powerlifting, there was only Olympic lifting and bodybuilding. All three are radically different from one another, despite the fact that all three make use of weight training to achieve the major objectives of their specific events.

'Nuff said on that topic.

But I will give you the holy grail on powerlifting. In all the world of sport, SPEED is KING. Powerlifting is no exception. There are only seven major "laws" to training for power (or any other sport, for that matter). How these laws are applied is the true science...and art...of any sport.

Read about these laws on this website...in the knowledge archives.

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Thanks Dr Squat,
I agree speed is king. I work as a strength and conditioning coach at an elite level...and thats a large part of what we focus on.

However I would like to draw attention to my original questions about trends in the training of powerlifters in the 70s and 80s.

I want to know about the organisation of training, the use of the percentage programs...and what they did when they werent on these programs (or how they organised them)

Since you were one of the major lifters at this time I was hoping to get your insight into the old school training modalities.

I see programs posted everywhere, every powerlifting USA, but no information about the day in day outs of powerlifting at this time.

I dont plan to use this training myself as I am progressing greatly and improving all the time. I am asking as a 'matter of interest'.

So back to my orignal questions.......

POWERLIFTING

BODYBUILDING IS NOT LIKE POWERLIFTING AND IT'S PROGRESSIVE OVERLOADING.....IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.......

MOST GOOD POWERLIFTERS LIFTED IN 2-3 MEETS A YEAR..AND CYCLED FOR THOSE MEETS..STARTNG LIGHT AND HAVING A GOAL AT CONTEST TIME.......NOT ANY DIFFERENT THAN MOST DO TODAY...BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT THOSE TODAY CANNOT SEEM TO STICK WITH ANY TYPE OF ROUTINE FOR VERY LONG SO NEVER GET THE MOST OUT OF IT......THEY ARE VERY IMPATIENT IN TODAY'S WORLD..............

RDC

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

That makes a lot of sense Rickey. Is it information overload? The internet has a huge influence on peoples training, its too tempting to swap programs because someone on a forum just posted information to the new sheiko workout, or a new program that will put 50 on your bench etc etc.

Looking at the powerlifting USA mags...I cant help but think of bodybuilding programs when I see them...no offence, but I cant really tell the difference, except the old powerlifters hit singles...where the bodybuilding programs didnt work up that high.
I have access to the mid 80s powerlifting USA at my library...and the programs all look the same

I have been reading some of yours...and you seem to hit singles more than other programs I have seen.
How did you string your programs together Rickey? finish one, then start at the begining again?

ROCKYTILSON's picture

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Rickey is so right. The new generation powerlifters are always looking for the QUICK FIX.

Funny, I see so many so-called ELITE or PRO powerlifters bombing out, with EGO's bigger than their true ability to perform a legitimate lift. Incredible equipment, incredible supplmentation (wink) etc.

They lack one very important aspect: HARD WORK and YEARS OF TRAINING!!!

We had amazing lifters back then. Why? One thing everyone had in common, HARD WORK!!! No short cuts.

Im always amazed at how many powerlifters actually condemn me for squatting below parallel in training and training raw until meet time mostly.

One very famous strength coach (we all know him) actually said I was waisting power to "EVER" go below parallel, and yet 90% of the time, his lifters bomb out or miss a majority of their squat attempts.

Enough said Smiling

ROCKY TILSON

Indy Power Team

Powerlifting in the 70s and 80s

Quote:
But I will give you the holy grail on powerlifting. In all the world of sport, SPEED is KING. Powerlifting is no exception. There are only seven major "laws" to training for power (or any other sport, for that matter). How these laws are applied is the true science...and art...of any sport.

Read about these laws on this website...in the knowledge archives.

Fred's "A Fresh Look At Strength" [http://drsquat.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=28] does a good job of breaking strength down.

However, the ISSA video in which Fred defines these "seven laws" is even better.

Kenny Croxdale

Re: POWERLIFTING

Quote:
MOST GOOD POWERLIFTERS LIFTED IN 2-3 MEETS A YEAR..AND CYCLED FOR THOSE MEETS..STARTNG LIGHT AND HAVING A GOAL AT CONTEST TIME.......NOT ANY DIFFERENT THAN MOST DO TODAY...BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT THOSE TODAY CANNOT SEEM TO STICK WITH ANY TYPE OF ROUTINE FOR VERY LONG SO NEVER GET THE MOST OUT OF IT......THEY ARE VERY IMPATIENT IN TODAY'S WORLD..............

Ricky,

I am from the same era as you. However, I see it differently.

Today's powerlifters are really no different than yesteryears., in regard to their dedication. You find the same percentages of dedicated lifters today as you did back in the early days of the sport.

Each generation believes the younger genereation is not as dedicated as their generation.

Things are a little different with today's lifters. Today's lifters have better lifting gear, supplements, and are better education.

The foundation of their knowledge in these areas built from those who came before them learned, such as yourself, Fred, etc.

Kenny Croxdale

Re: POWERLIFTING

Rickey Dale Crain wrote:
BODYBUILDING IS NOT LIKE POWERLIFTING AND IT'S PROGRESSIVE OVERLOADING.....IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.......

MOST GOOD POWERLIFTERS LIFTED IN 2-3 MEETS A YEAR..AND CYCLED FOR THOSE MEETS..STARTNG LIGHT AND HAVING A GOAL AT CONTEST TIME.......NOT ANY DIFFERENT THAN MOST DO TODAY...BUT BELIEVE IT OR NOT THOSE TODAY CANNOT SEEM TO STICK WITH ANY TYPE OF ROUTINE FOR VERY LONG SO NEVER GET THE MOST OUT OF IT......THEY ARE VERY IMPATIENT IN TODAY'S WORLD..............

RDC

Ricky,

I am from the same era as you. However, I see it differently.

Today's powerlifters are really no different than yesteryears., in regard to their dedication. You find the same percentages of dedicated lifters today as you did back in the early days of the sport.

Each generation believes the younger genereation is not as dedicated as their generation.

Things are a little different with today's lifters. Today's lifters have better lifting gear, supplements, and are better education.

The foundation of their knowledge in these areas built from those who came before them learned, such as yourself, Fred, etc.

Kenny Croxdale