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Powerlifting Stars of the early 70's

Here's a video which recognizes and celebrates some of the accomplishments of the powerlifting stars at the dawn of the sport in the early 1970's.

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Those were some great lifters! How about those big benches where the lifters had to unrack it themselves and do a significant pause? Very impressive stuff.

Man, those were the days ! Now we got triple-ply suits and monolifts ! God, what the hell happened ? What the hell happened ... :(

Very Nicely Done tribute to great Powerlifters !
enjoyable collage !

back when steroids were legal, What the hell happened...:(

Haa.... Old school.... All the recent talk about "CLASSIC" powerlifting... that is classic powerlifting.... and you never had to question the depth of the squats on any of those pictures... Thanks for sharing and the memories...

I lifted in a contest in the early 70's that Mel Hennesy tried a 575 bench at 211 lbs[I think he held the record at 573 or so at the time].He just couldn't quite look out his left arm.Benched narrow grip,complete long pause at the bottom and fairly flat on the bench.Pictures really do not do justice to how huge he was.Jerry Jones came by to watch with Ken Patera.

Very cool vid. Good to give credit to those pioneers and giants.

Mike Cross still lifts to this day. he is a very cool guy to talk to, his story is inspiring.

A couple comments-

1. How could those guys EVER get so strong without bands, chains, box squats, reverse hyper, etc?

2. Nothing says powerlifting like smooth jazz.

I hope that part two has mention of "The Wild Bunch" at Black's Health World from Cleveland, essentially the Westside Barbell of the early 80's, with Dave Waddington, John Black, Danny Wohleber, and John Florio (Vince Anello was already featured).

Very cool; thanks!!

Don Reinhoudt. Thats all I have to say. You know FLEX magazine recently had their 10 ten strongest men of all time and any list that leaves out Don Reihoudt which is WILLFULLY negligent and not doing their homework. How can any top 10 strongest men of all time leave out Don Reinhoudt?

Well what you mean squat that are deeper than today. I tell you I saw rheinhouts 920 squat and that thing was not deep by todays standards or thens. It was a barely pass then and it would probably miss now. Also a recomendation for the new classic powerlifting division, NO SPOTTERS OR HANDOFFS. just like the old school.

Anonymous wrote:
Well what you mean squat that are deeper than today. I tell you I saw rheinhouts 920 squat and that thing was not deep by todays standards or thens. It was a barely pass then and it would probably miss now. Also a recomendation for the new classic powerlifting division, NO SPOTTERS OR HANDOFFS. just like the old school.

Getting 3 "reds" on the 135 lbs squat fucked with you, didn't it ?

Mel Hennesy is one of the BEST benchers of all time - nearly 600 RAW at 220-225. I saw him in the 80's do a very strict raw 455 in the gym. I think he was close to 50 and still weighed 225.
He would do Totally - and I mean TOTALLY - straight arm dumbell flyes with 120 each hand for reps.

What...No pictures of me??? Oh well.

I competed in the Chatanooga Open back in 80 or 81. Mike Cross was still lifting at that time. I was a 123, but I don't remember if we went head to head. He may have been 114, possibly 132 at that time.

Anonymous wrote:
Also a recomendation for the new classic powerlifting division, NO SPOTTERS OR HANDOFFS. just like the old school.

Old School??? Sounds like Special Education division to me. As stupid as it comes.

Great stuff, I remember reading about these guys back in the day. I saw Big Don win the WSM title on CBS sports.

These guys all used simple periodization in their training. Not to bag on Louie, but the old stuff still works, remember Ed Coan?

George

I lifted in the Chattanooga open in 1976. I started lifting weights in a high school gym class in 1973 and discovered powerlifting when I bough a Muscular Development Magazine. The issue featured Vince Anello and his wicked deadlifting. It also featured results from the Chattanooga Open. So for my high school graduation present I got a suit case and a plane ticket to Chattanooga Tennessee.
At the time after the JR and SR Nationals the Chattanooga Open was one of the biggest meets in the country. I had never been in the south before and was very excited to go. Jim Taylor had someone pick me up at the airport and take me to the meet hotel. Then that night Jim Taylor came up to my room to meet me and talk about lifting. I remember he has a vat of scotch in his hand, my guess one of many. The next day I met a few girls that worked at his "Olympic Health Club" I told them about Jim's visit and they said "Yep, that's Jim" They had a saying in Chattanooga,
"If you want to gain weight go to a restaurant, if you want to lose weight go to Olympic, and if you want to get drunk then hang out with Jim Taylor."

awesome...i can not wait for part 2. this is when it was about the lifting and the lifter!

Great stuff. I am sure part 2 will be as good. Carl, great response about the 135 squat miss to the dumb ass who wrote it. I dont know todays powerlifting , but I sure do remember and love the stuff on this video. Again thanks for sharing it.

Carl wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Well what you mean squat that are deeper than today. I tell you I saw rheinhouts 920 squat and that thing was not deep by todays standards or thens. It was a barely pass then and it would probably miss now. Also a recomendation for the new classic powerlifting division, NO SPOTTERS OR HANDOFFS. just like the old school.

Getting 3 "reds" on the 135 lbs squat fucked with you, didn't it ?

Carl, that's just f***ing funny!

Anonymous wrote:
Well what you mean squat that are deeper than today. I tell you I saw rheinhouts 920 squat and that thing was not deep by todays standards or thens. It was a barely pass then and it would probably miss now.

As a lifter from back then I would tend to agree with this. We did not squat ATG back then as many today would like to believe. I know I didn't and never had a lift called on depth, ever.

Considering that these guys didn't have the gear, equipment, and training methods that are out there today, what they did was impressive. Can't help but wonder what Don Reinhoudt would've done in a canvas suit or Jim Williams in a Rage X.

I do think that the comment about depth is very much justified. I was there I saw the lifts of old and lifted there and I have to say these people that have the notion that the lifts from old were deeper than usapl or ipf squats got something wrong. they are glorifing memories that arent real. We squated to depth never had a call on depth but just like todays standard I went as deep as I had to and no further

Back in the good old days..... with half tennis balls wrapped behind your knees instead of a suit like today.... elbow wraps instead of bench shirts..... people moving the uprights out of the way instead of a monolift.... roids at the drugstore..... not taking anything away from the lifters,no doubt those guys were strong as all heck.... but enough with the " good old days" comments

I lifted back in the "good old days" late 60's early 70's. Not as dedicated as I am now but I did ok for being in the teens and early 20's. The lifters then are like the lifters now, trying new methods to get stronger, and lift more. They were, shall I say "creative" in there attempts to use equipment that was not allowed, to get the edge on their opponent. Some times the top lifters got gifts from the judges, shallow squats etc. There was a time I think early 70's when the rules were extremely strict, (this as a back lash from the creative lifters mentioned above). All in all I have to say powerlifting is a lot more fun and gratifying for me at least. There many more ways to lift more, better equipment, learning to use such equipment, different training methods etc.
The good old days were never that good, they were just old days. Pioneers, (some extremely stong and could compete with todays lifters) in the sport yes! But no more than that.

Brief edit, "All in all I have to say powerlifting is a lot more fun today than before".

Hey, its relieving to see the honesty on this comment section here. Nice to know I'm not just some young punk who thinks the good ole days might just seem a little better because they were 20+ years ago.

The slideshow is awesome, can't wait to see part two ( or more?)

Just like everything else in this world... technology changes... equipment, shirts, suits, wraps, and support equipment like benches and monolifts... If the world stood still...we would still driving Ford Model "T"'s.... But Old School is old school and that is the best thing about the video... the long hair the shorts, shoes etc... but again THANKS for the memories...

I lifted in Chattanooga for the first time in 1972 as a 5'8'' lightweight, got my ass handed to me but went back the next year and won. I think this was the year all wraps were banned and big Don was there and squatted over 900 pounds so easy and so deep it was scary!That was the day he should have done 950.
Does anyone out there have the meet results for the Chattanooga meets from 1972 thru 1980.