Article and Photos Courtesy of Liam Tweed and Michael Murphy
This is a very rare treat, and it allows us a view of just how different the world of weights was not long ago. Now, we suffer from a deluge of training info and nutritional details. Call it The Poverty of Abundance if you like. Back then for the majority of lifters it was for the most part word of mouth, hand written letters and experimentation on oneself. But make no mistake, there was, as this article on our first Powerlifter J..C. Hise shows, no lack of passion and an almost iron-like bond between practitioners of the Barbell Arts.
Joseph Curtis (J.C.) Hise
A few years ago there was a little magazine published by the Milo Publishing Company and edited by Mark. H. Berry. I have had many Iron Men tell me that never before or since has there appeared a magazine of such value to the barbell man. Anyhow Mr. Berry in his little magazine and also in the old Strength Magazine made a practice of promoting the squat or deep knee bend exercise as the finest growing exercise in existence. He always gave the stories of men who had used the squat to gain their desires of added bodyweight. All of them were startling enough but one day while reading through the latest issue of the "Strong Man" which was the Feb. 1932 issue I came across a letter in the back from a man who neither gave his name or address.
His gains on the squat and milk drinking were so great as to seem absolutely impossible. However the simple and compelling style of his letter proved to me that he was really telling the truth and had made the marvelous gains he claimed. I was very much impressed for I, myself, had for years labored unceasingly in my efforts to gain much needed bodyweight. I at once decided to go on this program which was sketched in his letter and I too received the same results though not quite so startling yet sure and certain never the less.
To be sure I had read all of Berry's instruction in regard to the squat as a weight gaining medium but never seemed to get the true meaning until I read of the efforts of this man. Well, I went on with my squat program and milk drinking and continued to gain until I had made a gain of 75 pounds in bodyweight.
From time to time more appeared about this man, whose name I had not yet found, showing that he was still making the same fast gains and surely becoming the world's strongest man on the squat and dead lift. At last I got hold of this man's name. It was J.C. Hise of Homer, Ill. I at once wrote him telling him of my own experiments since reading his letter. He wrote back at once a very long letter full of very helpful advice and details that were very valuable to me in my training. Since that time we have corresponded regularly and several years ago he visited me at my home here in Alliance for 10 days and I came to know him very well . . .