Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crush Workouts - By Jim Bryan

Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on April 20, 2005

Before I met Arthur Jones I had been training quite awhile. Our workouts were always a contest of strength and quick wit. My last training partner was Bob H. He was a strong big bodybuilder (215) that had a physique that resembled Steve Reeves. When we met at the gym one of us would tell the other “I’m going to crush you like a grape today.” So we started calling them Crush Workouts. Back then we didn’t write anything down except maybe the order of exercises. After awhile we didn’t need the list, until we changed workouts. No set number of reps or sets. We usually did a pyramid with the weights and did as many reps as we could. Each had to meet or beat the reps, kinda like playing “Horse” with a weight workout. We would go until one of us failed or got “Crushed.” Most of the time we would go up to weights that we could barely get 5 reps with. On some exercises we’d go to singles. Neither of us wanted to be crushed. I weighed about 170/180 then. I didn’t look as good as Bob but I always told him that ”Even though I was short, I was extremely powerful.” All through the workouts we would be giving the other heck verbally. “Baby weights build baby muscles.” “Be careful when you go outside, you might step into a Coke bottle with those calves.” And much more profane insults were thrown back and forth. Most of the time members of the gym would be laughing their butts off as one of us got off a good zinger. We trained very hard and heavy. The workouts were too long and we were in the gym way more than we needed to be, but we had to have the “Iron battles.” Challenges were made and accepted and bets were paid after the workouts were done. Usually we bet milkshakes and sometimes meals. AND I could eat with anyone back then. ( I pay for that now) We were watched closely by Al Christensen, so we didn’t do anything stupid and get hurt. Al really helped us out but I’m sure there were days he’d like to have had us take a day off so he could get one. He was a great Coach. Craig Whitehead came over often and we thought he was a monster!

All our workouts back then were of a “Strength/Bodybuilding” format. We also did Powerlifts as part of the workout. Basic and heavy was the theme. Now and then we’d invite someone to train with us just so we could “Crush” him. Usually the razzing was brutal and the weights would eventually “crush” someone. Along this time another guy was training in the gym. He looked good and half the women in Winter Haven were chasing him. We were friends but noticed he didn’t train that heavy and was working out by himself. Bob and I were tired of crushing each other (Really I was tired of crushing him) So we decided to invite Jerry M. into our workouts. Man! We abused him. Called him names and laughed at him during the workout. He was having a hard time hanging with us and we loved it. “Fresh Meat” is what we called him. Jerry struggled and we continued to bust him in a good nature way. Funny thing is that he was the one getting the most benefit from this training. He always had to go 100%. Sometimes we just coasted. After training with us Jerry got really strong. He also had one of the best physiques in Florida. If the women in the audience had a vote, he’d have won all the Contests he was in. Back then we had a great time. We didn’t worry about what Protocol anyone used. We all just “lifted weights.” Yes, there was a division between lifters and Bodybuilders. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I was both. And the girls never cared, so why should we? Fun time back then, living fast and working out hard. “Crush” anyone lately?


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