Shoulder Press Training for Powerlifting and Strongman Success

When I began lifting weights in my basement in the early 80s, the shoulder press was one of my favorite lifts. I had to do them seated, but training alone, I always did them because I could push them hard without a spot- if you missed the lift, you just put it back on the …

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Interview of Troy Shanks

Troy Shanks is a dual sport strength athlete who trains at the Beaststrong Powerhouse Gym in Tucson, Arizona.  Troy recently hit a 505 bench and 705 lb squat in the gym while training for the 2021 Static Monsters Strongman Contest, at. which he log pressed 330 and 18” axle deadlifted 780 to place second amongst …

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Rafe Teich – Old School Iron Freak

A few years ago, I saw on Social Media that a new gym opened in Tucson on the east side called Beaststrong Powerhouse. I went and checked out the facility. I briefly met Rafe Teich the owner, but with my life circumstance at the time, I was unable to train at the premier strength training …

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Interview of Robert Heinamaki – Ronnie Coleman would be proud of him

Robert Heinamaki is known on Instagram as BigRob_auto_financing. Rob is incredibly strongman, with amazing upper body, capable of benching over 600lbs raw, dumbbell incline pressing 200lbers and deadlifting 840 lbs in the gym with minimal hype. Rob works at a Ford dealership in Canada, making people’s dreams of obtaining their dream car a reality. I …

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Westside-Barbell history origin inventor

Westside Barbell – The History of the Ohio version under Louie Simmons

The original Westside Barbell was created in Culver City, California in the early 1960s by a man named Bill “Peanuts” West. West was a fixture at Muscle Beach in Santa Monica and later Venice Beach. He lived in Culver City, California which is near Venice on the west side of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. …

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Zercher Squat – A Beautifully Brutal Exercise

I first learned about the zercher squat from Louie Simmons of the Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio. Ed Zercher of Missouri invented this lift. Louie described how this old school lift was done out of necessity by an inmate Robert Barnett, who was incarcerated and therefore had no access to a squat or any type …

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From Westside to Strongman Competitor

I did my first powerlifting competition in 1986, and began training Westside Style in 1994. After two top 5 finishes at the Men’s National Championships and a National Bench Press and Push Pull Championship, I got hurt at a local powerlifting meet and decided to rehabilitate my knee injury by engaging in strongman style training …

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Al Bianchi – A Life Time NATURAL 700LB Deadlifter

As anyone who reads my work knows, I am a proud native of Massachusetts. When I was doing local meets in the late 80s in New England, I became aware of a fellow competitor who was my age, a fierce platform warrior, and a super nice gentleman off the wood.  I left for California in …

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How My DEADLIFT Increased from 405 to 600+ IN FOUR YEARS

I lifted weights when began playing high school football in 1983. I played my last HS game, as the starting right guard, on Thanksgiving Day 1985, as my Boston Latin Wolfpack defeated Boston English in the game’s 99th meeting. While playing football, my best bench was 250lbs and my squat was 275 for 5. I …

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My First Year of Westside Barbell Lower Back and Abdominal Training

When I began training Westside style, I had very limited equipment options and a 1600lb total in 1994. One of the most important aspects of Westside Barbell System is the strengthening of your back. Louie Simmons agrees with the immortal Bill Kazmaier who said “a strong man has a strong back.” I trained in a …

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