Monday, April 28, 2008

Pat Casey - Part Two - Bruce Wilhelm

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May 1968

September 20, 1969
Police Olympics


Philosophy of Training

As I stated previously, Pat’s routine would vary. This was important in order to always challenge the body and mind. If he was extremely tired, he would completely skip the workout (this would mean virtually exhausted, because in those days, there was never a missed workout). As we have stated earlier, Pat now knows that he was in a constant state of being overtrained or semi-fatigued and that he was able to lift the weights he did is a great testimony to his genetic and mental makeup. His mind was constantly trying to increase the weight. He would visualize it and then do it. When he felt like going for a personal record in the bench press, he would cut back on Monday and use lets sets and reps, allowing his body to somewhat recover. He would cut back on all the rest of the week’s workouts in addition, but the cutback would mainly come on the lift that he was attempting to PR in.

One lift that always seemed to lag behind the others was the deadlift. But there are obviously several reasons for this. First, he did not put in the time nor the effort that he did on the bench and squat. Second, when training he would sometimes pinch his sciatic nerve. This feeling or condition he would have from time to time. It went away when he reduced his bodyweight from 340-plus pounds to 240-265. In retrospect, he now thinks it was probably a problem of leverage, because as he lost weight, his deadlifts went up. He also feels that he should have trained the deadlift every 10 days and the same for the squat. It is truly amazing that as we get older we get so much smarter. We finally learn to train, but by then we are either laden with injuries or too old to be handling the monstrous poundages.

Looking Back . . .

1.) Train twice a week, cut the reps and sets back

2.) Get more rest.

3.) On diet, he probably wouldn’t have consumed so much. He did, and still strongly believes in supplementation. When he was training heavy he would drink 6 quarts of mild daily plus ½ dozen eggs with protein. He would also take numerous vitamins.

4.) On wraps and supportive gear: Feels that the equipment today must be extremely helpful. If the bench shirt is only for joint protection, then why don’t the athletes build up their strength through hard work and lockouts and innovative training? It looks like it takes 2 very strong men to just put the bench shirt on the lifter. That seems like a lot of work for a piece of equipment that is only used for protection! The same goes for the squat suit and knee wraps.

Pat may be somewhat envious here as he was never afforded the opportunity to wear such gear. It is beyond my mind to think what poundages he could have handled had he been afforded such opportunities. Also keep in mind that he never used a power belt, only a 4” Olympic lifting belt. I am sure that we could let our minds wander a little, and could really visualize some fantastic lifts. But then again, that is pure speculation and we want to keep away from that.

Bruce Wilhelm: Did you have any innovative or creative ideas?

Pat Casey: Not really, but I have always wondered why if they have a rule on 32” grip on the bench, why they don’t set a limit on foot stance for both the squat and deadlift. Hell, some of the squats, the lifter barely goes down. That is not really a squat. The same goes for the deadlift. I don’t really like the sumo style deadlift either. I don’t see it as much of a lift with that style.

BW: What is your opinion on performance enhancing drugs?

PC: I feel that it is a personal opinion and should be up to the individual. One has to weigh the potential side effects as well as the moral issue. Then there is also the issue of trying to be a role model for young kids. Kids should look up to you for the way you live your life. You want them to know that good things happen to those who work hard. Just remember – easy come, easy go.

BW: What do you think about the lifters of today versus the lifters of 20-30 years ago?

PC: That is a difficult question to answer. The one great thing that holds all lifters together is the pursuit of strength. The means and methods you use to get there vary as well as how you go about it. But most important, it is the quest for strength. It is really a great fraternity, but I feel that some of the lifters today are more self-centered. They have no respect for the past and the history of the sport. They are too self-centered.

Tips for Lifting

Bench Press: As far as performance on the bench, try and get everything into the start. Explode! Bring the weight down in a controlled manner, pause, then blast off the chest. This exploding, Pat felt, would carry you to the sticking point or a little past, and then the triceps would kick in. Position on the bench is also important. Feet tucked back, but not so far as to cause pain or cramping.

Squatting: Set up with the weight as quick as possible. Don’t waste time backing out and moving around. Inhale, descend under control, blast out of the bottom. Think explode. Head back as you fight through the sticking point.

Deadlift: Grab bar, drop hips and explode off the ground pushing with legs, keep arms straight like cables.

BW: I asked Pat about his heavy power rack lockouts. Why and how? What was the purpose?

PC: I needed something to jolt my body once I got past 500 in the bench press. I thought about doing the lockouts from two positions: 4” off the chest and 7” off the chest. The thought being that I would strengthen my tendons and ligaments. Then I could do more volume work in the other exercises without breaking down or getting injured. I was also after the psychological effect of lifting tremendous weights as well as thinking there might be some motor pathway carryover. (i.e. a muscle learning theory whereby the body takes a movement and incorporates it into a similar movement. For example: a partial movement in the bench press would correspond with a full movement. To reinforce such motor pathway transference, a last set would be done with a lighter weight doing the full movement.) When doing this type of rack training I would warm up very thoroughly, then go to doing 5 or so singles in these two positions. I felt that singles were best for building strength, but they also called on your fast twitch muscles to fire. So that was my theory and it worked well for me.

The 2nd exercise I used was the heavy incline dumbell press. I’d do a warmup set and then go straight to a heavy weight for 3 sets of 5 repetitions. The reasoning for this exercise was to attack the chest muscles from a different angle as well as working the deltoid and general shoulder girdle.

The 3rd exercise was dips. This developed tremendous overall body strength, especially when attaching a dumbell and doing reps. It really affected the strength of my triceps, but also worked deltoids and pectorals.

The 4th important exercise was the lying triceps extension. As I said before, I would lean forward and take an Olympic bar with a narrow grip and hook my feet around the bench, then lean back on the bench. I would then do a pullover/triceps extension. I would do 5-6 sets of 3-5 reps. My best was 365 x 3 in this pullover and extension movement. This exercise really strengthened my entire upper body.

The 5th and last exercise for improving my bench was the seated press. I would use a fairly wide grip and would press the weight, having to turn my face to keep from hitting it with the bar. This movement aided me in the bench press enormously.

These exercises plus the lockouts in some form were the key for me improving my bench. Almost all top bench press artists use some of them in improving their lift. These just happened to work for me and so did the sets and reps that I did with them. The great thing about training is that you can use ideas from other and “cut and paste” to get the “right” routine. So good luck in your endeavors to bench more.

BW: So Pat, what about today? What are you doing in the way of training?

PC: Well, obviously I have dropped a considerable amount of weight. It is much healthier at this stage of my life to be lighter. My weight is right around 225. It has been as high as 233 and as low as 213. My joints feel better lighter, so I keep the weight down. At 213 I am just starving myself. I control my weight by what I eat and the amount of aerobic activity I do. I feel it is very important to get in many different types of quality aerobics. Now I get in 40-45 minutes daily on my bike. Not a stationary bike. Where I live, up in the high desert, it gets very windy which makes it even more of a challenge. I no longer jog due to back injuries, and jogging aggravates them. I do, however, try to get in power walking for 45-60 minutes. This is in the sand, Try it some time. Then I do my little training routine that I’m using now.

BW: That sounds interesting, Pat. Do you mind giving us some explanation of it?

PC: What I am trying to accomplish with this workout is to give myself a good pump and maintain tone, as well as somewhat of an aerobic effect. Don’t be fooled by the weights. It’s nonstop and takes about 45 minutes on a good day.

BW: Sort of looks like some of Bill Pearl’s nonsense! I remember my brother Steve and I went to visit with Bill and went through one of his famous 4:30 a.m. workouts. That was up in Phoenix several years ago. We started working out with Bill and he had the old gleam of competition in his eye. We walked right into his trap. Inside of 25 minutes I thought I was going to throw up my breakfast. The only problem was that we had not eaten. It was a brutal learning experience. One that I would not want to go through again.

PC: Yeah! Pearl did the same to me. He does it with everyone. He enjoys the contentment that comes from pain for others. I used to visit him once a year to get motivated by his workouts. He is almost 70 years old and is still going strong. What an inspiration. He is a man who has done it all.

BW: What about diet?

PC: I eat mainly chicken, turkey, rice, very little red meat. I drink nonfat milk and yogurt. Nonfat pretzels and gummy bears. The day of a workout I whip up some egg whites for protein. Lots of water. A little wine at night and Chinese food once a week.

So there you have it.

I suppose that I have forgotten some things along the way, but I have truly believe put together the most important points on training. This is the most comprehensive booklet on Pat Casey ever written. Follow his words of wisdom, follow his lead. Be a pioneer. Believe in yourself.

Selected Workouts

What follows are selected workouts from Pat Casey’s Training Diary. These are copied directly from his workout book.

Tuesday, August 27, 1957

Bench Press: 135 x 6, 205 x 4, 275 x 2, 305 x 2, 335 x 2 x 2 sets
Press Behind Neck: 130 x 6, 150 x 5, 10 x 5, 180 x 5, 190 x 3
Lying Triceps Press: 175 x 5 x 5 sets

Saturday, August 31, 1957

Dumbell Incline Press: 130’s by 5 x 5
Chins with Bodyweight + 20 lbs.: 10 x 5
Concentration Curl: 65 x 10 reps x 5 sets

Sunday, September 1, 1957

Military Press: 155 x 5, 230 x 4
Snatch: 135 x 5, 155 x 3
Full Squat: 185 x 6, 275 x 5
¾ Squat: 275 x 26, 315 x 21

Tuesday, September 3, 1957

Bench Press: 275 x 5, 315 x 2, 345 x 2, 315 x 4
Press Behind Neck: 130 x 5, 150 x 5, 190 x 5 x 2
Triceps Press: 130 x 5, 150 x 5, 175 x 5

November 7, 1957

Bench Press: 200 x 6, 300 x 1, 355 x 1, 395 x 1,
420 x 1, 2 second pause record, 375 x 2, 375 x 2, 355 x 3
Triceps Press: 130 x 5, 200 x 2 x 3 sets, 185 x 5 x 2
Went from 345 BP Aug. 27 to 420 Nov. 7, gain of 75 lbs. in about 3 months.

Thursday, January 2, 1958 (weight 215)

Bench Press: 200 x 6, 305 x 1, 355 x 1, 405 x 1 x 3 sets,
365 x 2 x 2 sets, 320 x 5
Triceps Press: 130 x 6, 185 x 5 x 5
Chins: 10 lbs. x 8 sets of 10 reps

Tuesday, February 25, 1958

Bench Press: 200 x 10, 300 x 5, 355 x 2, 410 x 1
450 x 1 (record), Lockouts 525 x 1 x 2,
375 x 1.5 second pause x 1 x 3 sets
325 x 8 – 2 sec. pause
Triceps Press: 130 x 6, 200 x 4 x 2, 190 x 4, 180 x 5 x 2
Chins: 50 lbs. x 5 reps x 8 sets

Tuesday, March 11, 1958

Squat: 235 x 10 x 5 sets
Leg Curl: 70 x 5 x 5
Deadlift: 275 x 10 x 3
Calf Raise: 300 x 10 x 3
Pullover: 100 x 15 x 5

Saturday, March 15, 1958

Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 5, 120’s x 5
Squat: 135 x 10, 295 x 5 x 5
Sissy Squat: Bodyweight x 12 x 5
Leg Curl: 70 x 5 x 3, 20 x 50

Pec Injury 8/26/58
Had to train light for a couple of months due to injury.

Tuesday, November 11, 1958

Bench Press: 220 x 6, 290 x 1, 360 x 1, 410 x 1 (pause)
Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 7
Triceps Press: 185 x 5 x 8
Dumbell Curl: 67’s x 5 x 7

Tuesday February 10, 1959

Bench Press: 200 x 10, 290 x 1, 360 x 1, 410 x 1,
450 x 1, 450 x 1 x 3, 410 x 2, 360 x 2
Lockouts (4”) 205 x 8, 325 x 3, 455 x 3 x 2, 455 x 2, 455 x 1 x 2
Dumbell Curl: 70’s x 10 x 3

Friday, August 7, 1959

Seated Press: 130 x 8, 200 x 5, 250 x 1, 270 x 1,
300 x 1, 320 x 0, 320 x 0
Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 4

Tuesday, November 17, 1959

Bench Press: 130 x 8, 290 x 1, 360 x 1, 410 x 1, 450 x 1 x 5 sets
Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 3
Chins: Bodyweight x 8 x 8

Tuesday, January 5, 1960

Bench Press: 220 x 8, 290 x 1, 360 x 1, 410 x 1, 430 x 1, 450 x 1 x 2,
430 x 1 x 2, 410 x 1 x 2, 360 x 3, 360 x 3 (2 count pause)
Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 3
Dips: 160 x 3, 160 x 5, 200 x 5, 200 x 4, 210 x 5

Saturday, January 16, 1960

Lockouts: 225 x 8, 315 x 2, 385 x 1, 455 x 1, 513 x 1,
523 x 0,495 x 1, 455 x 3, 385 x 6, 315 x 10
Dips: Bodyweight x 8, 160 x 5, 225 x 5, 160 x 5
Dumbell Curl: 70’s x 5, 90 x 5, 80 x 5, 75 x 5

Tuesday, February 9, 1960

Bodyweight: 237
Broke 500 lb. Bench Press Barrier
Bench Press: 220 x 8, 308 x 1, 378 x 1, 428 x 1, 448 x 1, 478 x 1
504 x 1, 448 x 1 378 x 3
Dumbell Incline Press: 160’s x 5 x 3 sets
Dips: Bodyweight x 10, 160 x 5
Triceps Press: 130 x 8, 180 x 5, 210 x 3

Saturday, March 12, 1960

Press Behind Neck: 205 x 5 x 18 sets, 205 x 4 x 20 sets

Thursday, March 17, 1960

½ Squats: 270 x 6, 350 x 5, 450 x 5, 520 x 4, 605 x 4
Leg Curl: 40 x 10 x 10

Tuesday, June 28, 1960

Military Press (off rack): 135 x 6, 223 x 2, 273 x 1, 293 x 1,
308 x 1, 328 x 0, 233 x 1, 293 x 1, 313 x 0,
223 x 1, 293 x 1, 313 x 1, 328 x 0, 293 x 0, 233 x 5,
223 x 5, 223 x 3, 135 x 3, 223 x 1, 293 x 1, 313 x 0, 293 x 1

Friday, December 23, 1960

½ Squats: 225 x 8, 315 x 6, 365 x 6, 365 x 3, 435 x 5,
470 x 5, 495 x 5, 525 x 4, 485 x 4, 485 x 5,
485 x 5, 455 x 5, 455 x 5, 435 x 5, 435 x 5

Saturday, January 21, 1961

Bodyweight: 255
Dips: 185 x 5 reps x 33 sets
185 x 4 reps x 9 sets
Total lifted: 90,450 lbs.
Was going sort of crazy on heavy dumbell dips.
Trying to fatigue muscles.

Friday, March 31, 1961

Dips: Bodyweight x 8, 200 x 5 x 36 sets
200 x 4 x 5 sets
Start Time 2:45 p.m.
Finish 6:15 p.m.
Total lifted: 95, 325 lbs.

Saturday, July 1, 1961

Chins: Bodyweight x 5 x 42 sets

Pec Injury from 7/5/61 to 9/12/61

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