Train Like Ex-Marine John Kuc

John Kuc Ex-Marine and most scariest Power Lifter in the 70s. He is known for his superhuman strength and mental attitude. I wrote an article about this legend: John Kuc: The Strong Silent Type

I will write down two training routines. The one is during to his 1971 competiton with Big Jim Williams as a training partner. And the other followed John prior to his 1974 competitions (without Big Jim). The 1974-system is a 5 day week program with 2 days benching, 2 days squatting and one day deadlifting.

 

Prior 1974

Monday
Bench Press 135lb 8x, 225lb 6x, 315lb 5x, 425lb 3x , 460lb 1x 480lb to 500lb 1x and then 4 or 5 sets of 3 with 420lb to 440lb

Tuesday: Bodybuilding: Biceps, Triceps, Back and waist; basic exercises such as the curl, tricep extension, tricep pushdown, pull ups and rows.
Supersets of curls and extension with 280lb for 8 to 10 reps, 25 strict pull ups, one arm rows where they worked up to 180lb in strict style

Wednesday
Squats 225lb 8x , 315lb 6x, 425lb 4x, 525lb 3x, 600lb 3x, 650 1x, 700lb 1x, 725-770lb 1x, 650lb x3x3. Every time the sequence is completed 5lb would be added to the next workout.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Same BP routine as monday with the addition of an arm workout following the benches.

Sunday: Squats – Same as wednesday
Deadlifts: 225lb 5x, 325lb 5x, 425lb 4x , 525 3x, 600lb 3x 650lb 1x, 725lb-770lb 1x, 675-700lb x4x3

 

During 1971

In November 1971 the 1st World Championships were held in York, Pennsylvania. About this time John met a Superheavyweight lifter from Scranton who had totaled 955kg, Big Jim Williams. Kuc drove down to train with the big Man at the York Gym. Jim had a big squat, big bench and low deadlift. They became steady training partners.

Tuesday(at home)
1. Bench Press 225 pounds – 6 reps
250 pounds – 5 reps
340 pounds – 3 reps
400 pounds – 1 rep
470 pound – 1 rep

2. Incline Dumbell Curls: 3 sets of 10 with 75lb Dumbell

3. Abdominal Work: Situps 40 reps, 
25 pound plate; Side Twist; 60 repetitions; Leg Raise: 2 sets of 30 repetitions

Wednesday (Scranton YMCA)
1. Squats: 315 pounds – 6 reps
405 pounds – 4 reps
525 pounds – 2 reps
700 pounds – 2 reps
760 pounds – 1 rep
770 pound – 1 rep

Maximum single on a good day – 700 pounds – 3 reps

2. Barbell Rows: 285 pounds – 8 reps
335 pounds – 8 reps
365 pounds 8 reps

Thursday(at home)
1. Shrug: 275 pounds – 6 reps
300 pounds – 6 reps
325 pounds – 6 reps
340 pounds – 6 reps

2.Incline Dumbell Curls as done on Tuesday

3. Abdominal Work as done Tuesday

Saturday(Scranton YMCA)
1.Squat: 315 pound – 6 reps
405 pounds – 4 reps
525 pounds – 2 reps
585 pounds – 2 reps
700 pounds – 1 rep
740 pound – 1 rep

2.Bench Press: 225 pounds – 6 reps
250 pounds – 5 reps
315 pounds – 3 reps
405 pounds – 2 reps
460 pounds – 1 rep
525 or 550 pounds – 1 rep

Assistance forced rep bench press (with just enough help from training partner Big Jim Williams to complete each rep):
575 pounds – 3 reps
625 pounds – 3 reps
625 pounds – 3 reps
645 pounds – 3 reps
655 pounds – 3 reps

Pump Set ( regular bench presses): 225 pounds – 15 reps

3. Barbell Rows as done as Wednesday

4. Incline Dumbell Curls as done as Tuesday

5. Deadlift: 325 pounds – 3 reps
425 pounds – 3 reps
525 pounds – 3 reps
800 pounds – 1 rep
660 pounds – 5 reps

John’s Training Philosophy 
John’s training started in his mind. He is thinking about it every day. After waking up, his whole day is centered around his workout. And before falling asleep he is planning and preparing for the next workout. 

This is one of the keys to his success. He goes into each workout with planned poundages, but will adjust them, either up or down, depending on how he feels. He feels that no more than three competitions a year should be attempted, contests break the training cycle and this cannot be done too often. 

source:  Powerlifting USA – Feb 79, Muscular Development 1972

 

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