Vince Anello – The Man With The Powerful Back

The following article was published in the year 1974 by Dan Hessler. In this article you will learn Vince Anello’s workout routine, diet and mind set! Big Update: Vince Anello uploaded a picture with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even Arni is aware of Vince’s legacy, respect – Mr. Berg

“Many men who are involved in powerlifting would be happy to have their name attached to a local or state record; a national or world record is a far off dream. 

This story is about a man who owns three world records in three weight classes.

Vince Anello of Cleveland, Ohio is a powerlifting specialist and his special talent is the deadlift, No an in the world today even approaches his efficiency in this event in 181, 198 and 220 pound classes. Most of 242 and super heavyweights can’t match back strength with Vince.

The start of the climb toward world records began like almost all such ascendance – very quietly. Vince began bodybuilding as an 18-year old high schooler who was trying to overcome a football-incurred knee injury. Success came fast for Vince. By the time he was 19 he was competing in physique events and making a good showing by winning the Mr. Cuyahoga County and Jr Mr. Ohio titles, and finishing third in Teen-Age Mr. America.

Vince became interested in powerlifting when he met another Vince, Vince Lubawicki who owns Vince’s Gym in Cleveland. It was Vince Lubawicki who convinced Vince that he could achieve more in powerlifting than in bodybuilding and Vince saw the logic behind Luba Wicki’s arguments. Vince says of that decision, “Structurally, I’m better suited to powerlifting than to bodybuilding with my long arms and short torso. But, I’ve never really lost the bodybuilding bug. I make it a point to work every body part.”

The deadlift world records came because of early success in the lift proving the old maxim that success breeds more success. As Vince himself said, “I was fascinated by the deadlift simply because I was good at it.”

Like all smart lifters, though, Vince makes it a point not to make the deadlift a “pet” lift at the expense of his squat and benchpress. “I actually work harder on the bench and squat because I realize that there is more room for improvement on them than on the deadlift.”

Vince’s training program is divided into four days – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. On Monday he trains for the bench and his upper body, using moderate weights and a fast training pace. He trains for the bench again on Friday but goes heavy, using the negative principle; after he reaches his failure point on the bench he finishes up with general upper body work.

On Wednesday and Saturday he trains for the squat and deadlift. He likes to put the two lifts together on the same day as he feels that he can warm up his back with the heavy squats before doing any deadlifting.

On Wednesday he works with moderate weights and higher reps, keeping rest periods short. On Saturday he works heavy again using the negative principles. Once the failure point has been reached on the squat. To do this he has his training partners help him out of the full squat position and then he takes it back down for several more reps.

For the deadlift he does the regular lift plus the deadlift from boxes, Working up as high as possible.

Vince uses assistance exercises for all of his powerlifts. For the bench he uses dips and inclines and experiments with others that he thinks will help. He feels that the only assistance exercise for the squat is to do more squats although he realizes that many back strengthening exercises do benefit squatting power.

To strengthen the back Vince uses the prone hyperextension with about 200 pounds behind his head. He also uses power cleans with straps. His routines are uncomplicated and go straight to the heart of power building; to become stronger one has to continually push the muscle beyond its current capacity.

This type of training has paid off. As a 181-pounder Vince’s current world record deadlift stands at 751; as a 198-pounder the mark is 780 and in the 220 pound class Vince has pulled up to 770!

In the gym his best mark is 800 as a 198. Currently Vince is taking his body weight back down to 181 where he intends to rack up a 400 pound bench, a 600 pound squat and a 800 pound deadlift for a 1800 pound total.

After these personal goals are set he will take his weight back up to the 198-pound class where he feels more comfortable and establish a new set of goals to shoot at. He intends to keep lifting as long as it remains as enjoyable as it is for him now. Only 26 years old now he will be around for many years to come – still breaking records!

Vince, like many other top lifters, has experimented with many nutritional variations in the search for more strength at a lower bodyweight. A recent successful test involved using Hoffman’s Super Hi-Proteen mixed with a liquid protein and safflower oil as a reducing drink.

He lived on this blend for a week, along with vitamin supplements, and was able to reduce considerably while maintaining his strength and energy. Normally Vince eats salads, raw vegetables, fresh juices, fish, lean meats and plenty of eggs. He supplements this with B-complex, C and E vitamins along with kelp and Hoffman’s Hi-Proteen.

A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College in education, Vince works as a physical education teacher in the Parma school system, a Cleveland suburb. In conversation, Vince is slow to expose the serious, thoughtful man he is.

But once he opens up, one can see that he has given careful thought and study to a variety of subjects. Some of Vince’s interesting ideas in relation to the sport of powerlifting:
The AAU – “I would like to see the end of the ridiculous rules about amateurs and professionals not mixing. I was recently invited to a college to give a deadlift exhibition but was barred from the stage because two ‘professional’ bodybuilder were also on the program.

That is idiotic! Was I going to be contaminated by those two men? I think as long as an amateur receives no money he should be able to exhibit or compete anywhere without jeopardizing his amateur status!”

Mental aspects – “I find it easy to psych-up during a meet; in the gym it’s a little tougher. I recently took a course in transcendental meditation and I meditate for two 20-minute periods each day. I think the development of my ability to concentrate and the restfulness of the meditation have been helpful to my lifting and to everyday activities, too.”

Drugs – “I have experimented with steroids briefly and found no improvement in my lifts. I know that a lot of guys believe that you can’t reach the top in powerlifting with them but I don’t think that is true. I think that these people would show just as much improvement taking anything they thought would help. In other words, if they believe something will help them strong enough, they will improve simple because the greatest source of power is the mind.”

More about Vince Anello:
Vince’s Website:

Note by neckberg: Vince published a book about his life! It’s available on amazon!

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