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Alan Calvert's Big Shock May Be Yours....
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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08-07-2019, 05:00 PM
Hello Friends,

The more I study old-time Physical Culture the more fascinated I become. For example, when Alan Calvert was writing his books on the wonders of heavy weight lifting it is obvious that he became more and more disillusioned because he discovered that rather than the development of long term strength through the use of heavier and heavier weights that the exact opposite was happening too often. Why was it that American lifters peaked after a short time and then seemingly lost their strength?

In his treatise on Lifting and Lifters that he wrote in 1926, Calvert stated that he discovered the truth about why the European lifters maintained their strength seemingly so much longer than their American counterparts and it made perfect sense. This what he stated:

Here is something that may astonish you. Back around 1906 I used to subscribe to several European papers dealing with lifting. About that time a Frenchman, named Jean Francois, made a one-arm swing of 199 ¾ lbs. (which is only about 4 pounds less than the present world’s record). In commenting on the new record, Stolz, the German authority, said, “The extraordinary thing is that this new heavy-weight lifting record was created by a man who never practices anything but light exercises.” I thought to myself, “Oh! That can’t be true. It takes a habitual user of big dumbbells to make strength records.” Recently I asked Arco about it. (He used to pal around with all the European lifters.) I said, “Otto, did you know Jean Francois Le Breton.” He said, “Oh, yes, intimately.” I asked, “Is it true that he got his strength by practicing only light exercise?” He answered, “Oh, yes, positively. Why, Mr. Calvert, over there none of the lifters train all the time with weights the way they do over here. They build themselves up and keep in trim with light work and then, being full of energy, they go every once in a while to some gymnasium or club where they have weights and try themselves out. If you keep pumping away at weights all the time you burn yourself out.”

After reading the above it became obvious to me why Lou Riecke whom Coach James Baley had known so well, who trained 5 X weekly with Isometrics for less than 15 minutes per workout and only 1 X weekly with a standard Olympic Style Weight Lifting workout was able to break the world record on the 'Snatch'. In 1964, he set a World Record by lifting 147.5 kg (just over 325 pounds) in the snatch as a light heavyweight at 181 pounds and he did so with a split style. Baley was right...Isometrics don't pound on your joints in the least so that when you do, do a serious workout once each week you can then try to break all previous records. This was why Coach Baley was so adamant that a man could become stronger and achieve better results with 20 minutes of Isometrics than by training for more than two hours with standard weight lifting. It's because you are concentrating nerve force and building strength rather than depleting it. Stay tuned when I release the instructions with the Power Belt immediately after labor day there will lots of heavy-duty discussions as naysayers will try to prove me wrong.

---John Peterson
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