Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Working Out with George Frenn - Tony Fitten (1973)


George Frenn



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Sumo Deficit Deadlifts

Jon Cole


Psyching up and mental build-up for training and competitions was of prime importance to George Frenn, as was getting himself into a near-frenzy for big contest lifts.

He has always defended the use of wraps, as an integral and necessary part of powerlifting. This, however, is not to say that he did or did not use more than the permitted amounts of wraps, as I have heard said. I saw him with his 819 squat at 242, and he didn't look too wrapped, and I have no reason to believe it was excessive. He was an incredibly powerful lifter with some incredibly powerful legs.

George worked squats and deadlifts twice a week. Saturdays and Tuesdays. 

The Saturday workout was a real all out effort on both lifts so as to stimulate the kind of work and pressures he may have come under in a hard contest, thus making sure he would have the endurance and temperament to cope. 

The Tuesday workout consisted of bench squats and one set of deadlifts. "This was designed as a contrast and relief from the hard previous workout so as to maintain absolute keenness for the next Saturday effort. 

No workouts was ever taken lackadaisically, but were always concentrated serious work, especially the main Saturday one. 

George generally trained at the Westside Barbell Club, which was a double garage converted into a purely power gym at the back of Bill West's house. 

Photo courtesy of Mike Knight
Most of the top Los Angeles and West Coast powerlifters trained there from time to time, so a good atmosphere was generally guaranteed.

Three typical workouts just prior to his 819 squat and missed 785 deadlift attempt are outlined below. Every set performed is included and the underlined lifts indicate when knee bandages were put on. 


Saturday:

Squat - 
275 x 5
335 x 4
425 x 2
535 x 2
626 x 2
695 x 1
745 x 1
770 x 2
625 x 10

Deadlift - 
245 x 5
335 x 4
425 x 3
535 x 2
625 x 2
695 x 1
705 x 1
705 x 1


Tuesday:

Bench Squat -
The Bench Squats were done to quite a low bench, pausing at the bottom, rocking slightly backwards, so that very little weight was actually taken by the feet, and then rocking back again and driving upwards.
275 x 5
335 x 5
425 x 5
535 x 5
625 x 2/3
715 x 2/3
785 x 1
835 x 1
875 x 7
900 x 5
960 x 3 

Deadlift - 
(tired)
425 x 10
(not tired)
500 or 525 x 10


Saturday:

Squat - 
245 x 5
335 x 4
425 x 2
535 x 2
625 x 1
695 x 1
735 x 1
735 x 1
735 x 2
750 x 2

Deadlift - 
245 x 5
335 x 4
425 x 3
535 x 3
625 x 2
695 x 1
750 x 1
750 x 1
750 x 1
750 x 1

All workouts followed this sequence, increasing the top poundages or adding an extra heavy set when feeling capable. Having stayed with George for 3 weeks, enjoying his mother's fabulous hospitality, I can vouch for the fact that he ate a considerable amount of food, and drank a fair bit of milk whilst training hard. 

Even though training hard for the squat and deadlift he would still keep in trim for the hammer throw with a couple of sessions on the track. These would consist of some easy practice throws and a little running, which probably helped keep his physique in good trim also. Being a physical education teacher, he found this easy to work in during the day.

Perhaps the most important aspect of George's training to emphasize once again is that he treated his lifting very seriously, putting it absolutely number one in is life.






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