Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Natural Encouragement - By Vince Vaught

In our small group we should be thankful for one another as we cling to the
original purpose of what it was intended to be about. A healthy lifestyle and increased
strength through the disciplines of consistent hardwork with the use of weight training
equipment. It was and still is our objective. There's an existing respect & appreciation among
us who never crossed over. We're the ones who have stuck to the theme of health and are
satisfied with who we are. The old school purist never feels inferior or envious of what's
happening with the drug enhanced crowd. In the modern fitness & wellness culture most
people understand the difference and quietly feel sympathetic towards individuals who
made bad choices. After decades in the strength section of fitness, one can assume he's heard
and seen almost all of it...... except, a justified legitimate reason for chemical enhancement.
              The Natural Strength enthusiast has to discard all methods contrary to what's already been
proven effective. One must believe in what works and having followed those instructions also
believe in theirself. It takes confidence to embrace the challenge of out doing what you did before.
Keep on believing and don't waste time. You're doing the right things, proper nutrition, enough
sleep, and a generally clean lifestyle and along with that, the common sense not to over train in
volume or frequency.
             In pursuit of new strength levels a main issue is avoiding injuries & setbacks along the way.
One should be comfortable in knowing which compound exercises their body tolerates and the
particular technique required for them. Training forward comes easier when you're not working
around aggravated body parts. Consistency is key to achieving your goals, with that in mind, learn
how to minimize injury risk.
             It's hard to imagine anything goofier than training hard without a lifestyle to support your
expected progress. Worse yet would be someone doing everything right and the only thing holding
them back is the workout itself. Over the years many times a misguided young bodybuilder would
ask me how its done. What he really wanted to know was, could he expect to be like me someday,
20 years from now when he's my age. Well, no help was given unless they promised to put everything
aside, forget the past, believe,  and commit to my instructions.
             They were prescribed a 2-wk rest and provided with an abbreviated version of what they had
been doing. Without exception everyone who followed the plan got back to me with an amazing
testimony of new strength levels and muscular growth. Like me, they learned to appreciate quickly
what a difference it makes when a program is designed to ensure recovery and how the body responds.
              Having experienced good progress with a split routine in the past, there were still concerns
about overlap when doing Squats or Dead Lifts later in the week. If you've already hit upper body real hard,
how can you do Squats or Dead Lifts(which are both whole body efforts) within 2 or 3 days the
same week without interrupting recovery. Granted, these are concerns limited to those serious about
becoming stronger and they're the ones capable of training hard enough to overtrain.

              This is an example routine to be tweaked for your personal use and performed in a High Intensity
Abbreviated style. Rest instinctively after each workout. You should be ready to train again in
less than a week without fear of overlap. If not, you'll know it, just take an extra days rest.


The 3-Routines to rotate are "A", "B", & "C" in order. Do "A" take 5 days or so to
              rest and do "B" then rest again appropriately and do "C". If 5 days rest between isn't
             enough you'll realize soon enough. Obviously more rest could be required based on
             activities and other demands in life. Even at max intensity you should typically feel
             ready to workout again within 5 or 6 days, for sure by the 7th day in most cases.
                        Clearly this program is designed for those with the cultivated ability to train
              hard. The ones who really do something to the body, can't risk overlap, and are
             totally reliant on recovery to be consistent.
                        Honestly though, this comes with a warranty and it will work for everyone. The
             beginner, the one starting over, the veteran, and you too!!


              
                             "A"                             "B" "C"
             overhead bar press                              chin up 30 degree Inc Bench press
             trap bar dead lift                                      dip rows
                     pull up                                chin up bar squat
             overhead bar press                                 dip 30 degree Inc Bench press
             trap bar dead lift                                  calf press  rows
                    calf press                         Romanian dead lift bar squat
                   leg curl                                     Leg press 45 degree back extension
            seated DB curl                                     bar curl calf press
                                                                                                                                      arm curl: choice

                                Note: as mentioned before, tweak it a little for personal needs but leave
                                things structured the same.
                                             * upper body heavy as possible in the 5 to 8 rep range in strict form
                                             * Squats & dead lifts work it in the 12 to 16 range, keep the same load
                                                and see what you can get on the 2nd set. If your trap bar has high                                             
                                                Handles have a heavy day and a heavier day on the high side next                                                                                           
                                                Time and occasionally do a static hold at end of 2nd set
                                            **for upper body go to positive failure most of the time, do some
                                                 beyond failure cheat reps or negatives every 3rd or 4th workout
                                            **upper body: plan your micro load increases according to rep
                                                 accomplishment of a collective 10 in the two sets (or your
                                                 preference) & occasionally do a flush set with a reduced wt. after
the 2nd set.

                                                 

Great article Vince!


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tribute to Dr. Ken - By Linda Jo Belsito

Kathy, Sol, BariAnn, Bari, Doris, Greg, Kevin, Family and Friends.

As I sat down to write about my memories of Ken, I wasn’t sure how or where to begin. My mind has been flooded with 40 plus years of so many memories. How can I put all of this into words? As I read the tributes over the past week the recurrent themes I read were: He was a Dr. of Chiropractic, dedicated father, husband, son, brother, grandfather, friend, mentor, motivator, coach, great man, real, honest, smart, author, gentle, brilliant, motivator, pioneer & historian in the iron game and strength world. He was all of those things and more to me, as I called him my brother from another mother.

I received a call last Saturday afternoon on my way home from my gym which he helped me build.
All of us have some piece of equipment from his home gym or had something donated from someone he contacted to help us build his legacy. We will carry on his traditions of paying forward in the world of strength training.

Nothing made his chiseled face light up more than when he would give you a new piece of equipment, t shirt, steak, or slip you some cash as you walked out the door. Paying it forward was something he did constantly. He still is by asking us to donate to the kids in his community he has helped for so many years.

Beth and I worked for Ken and Kathy in his Chiropractic office from 1986- 1992. We were reminiscing, about the basement gym, the juke box, where he and Kevin allowed us to pick a song to train to after everyone else was done. 60 minute Man comes to mind. What he did for so many was taught us how to find that inner strength, mentally and physically. He lived that life, he had this charismatic way of making you want him to bring you to that next level. He would not give you any leeway, he would not ask you to do anything he had not done, or wasn’t willing to do along with you. If your goal was to get stronger, he was going to get you there.

I was blessed when he came into my life over 40 years ago at a local powerlifting meet on Long Island. I have to be honest, I was a little afraid of this guy with tattoos, who was running the meet. I guess he saw potential. He introduced himself “ I’m Dr. Ken”. He gave me his information in case, I wanted to get serious. I had no idea that in a short time I would be calling on him for help. I took him up on that after a squat work out when I attempted 225 lbs., pulled something in my low back. I went to the ER, where the physician said, “ women don’t lift weights! They gave me pain meds, told me to sit on ice and heat, rest and don’t lift.

I called Ken and told him what happened, and in Ken fashion, he said, “F**K that, get in here, I will adjust you and you will be back in the gym this week. “ And I was.

He has helped athletes of all walks of life. Many came to Ken wanting to train. But he gave us so much more. He made us all stronger, not only physically but mentally. He could explain the how and why, we needed to do something, due to his knowledge in the Iron Game that goes back so many years. But we all remember the experiences of those high rep workouts, where we either hit the bucket, or would attempt to stop, and his words were “ I didn’t tell you to F** ing stop”.

We did HIT training back then, which I incorporate every now and then with my athletes.

I traveled with Ken doing lifting exhibitions on Hammer equipment, did seminars, visiting colleges, and he also would take me to competitions to get the experience I needed in PL since he believed I could be a champion one day. He taught me how to find that inner strength. He let me figure out what it meant to be a mentally and physically strong in a world that did not yet accept female strength athletes.

Something he always demonstrated was unbelievable stamina, resilience, and a never quit, positive attitude to a degree where we questioned if he was human? Does he eat? Does he sleep? I could never figure that out. But believed in him and he would always greet me with a big hug and That great smile.

What I do know is, when he did eat, it was for the masses and he loved good food. He introduced me to Peter Lugers, steak tartar. He invited me to Thanksgiving dinner and asked me to help make smashed potatoes, which was a back and tricep workout. He would have summer strength events and BBQ’s, and pudding pie fights with the kids in the backyard of valley stream. We would train in the cold garage fully clothed, but completed the workout only to come inside and have Kathy waiting with something great to eat. His legacy will live on in everyone he has touched, mentored or trained. From local high schools, college, pro teams to helping produce an Olympic Champion Derrik Adkins.

He made us mentally and physically strong. He gave me unconditional love, friendship, guidance, and always followed through on anything I asked of him. He made me a better person and my successes in life and lifting I can say are because of him.

I find myself doing what he did for me with my athletes, young kids, children, and most recently the wounded warriors, marines, and Army soldiers who come into my gym to find that strength. I make it a safe place for all. I expect as he did that you train well, stick to the program and make the most of that training time.

All of us who have had the opportunity of training under Dr. Ken, know the lessons we have learned from him. We all can probably recite the stories he would tell about back in the day, when strength training for him consisted of lifting steel beams, sand buckets, in his garage, and the stories of trips he took to York Barbell to pick up equipment in a massive snow storm back in the 60’s.

What amazed me about this when I read it, is that the rack he picked up on that trip, he gave to me for my home gym back in 1986. I have it in my gym now. Beth and I worked for Ken and Kathy as their rehab nurses, in Valley Stream and it was some of the best times of our lives. Not only did we get great experience and learn, but he would always have perogies, cheesecake, steak, or Graters Ice Cream, to help us get stronger, after a workout.

Ken was real. He said what he felt. He was misunderstood by many, but to those of us who he loved, you knew you were loved. This man would give you anything to help you succeed, or put you in touch with those who could help you.

If he is listening now, just hear this. We didn’t tell you to Fucking STOP!

To say I will miss Ken, is an understatement. I will miss his hugs, calls, emails, that great laugh, and of course the events he held at his home. His absence is felt by us all. Our hearts are broken, But I know every time we step in the gym, now more than ever, we will be living his legacy and paying it forward as he taught us to do. I know we will meet again someday at his “Iron Island In the Sky”.

In Strength, LJ your sister.



Editor's Note: A Great Tribute to Dr Ken Lindo Jo! 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Much Respect and Rest In Peace Dr. Ken - By Bob Whelan

I really only knew Dr. Ken in a professional way, mostly in the 90's when we both wrote for some of the same magazines and he contributed a chapter for my book IRON NATION. I also got the idea of having a puke bucket in my gym after watching a few of his training video's! It sure beat cleaning the mess! If I had lived in the New York area, I believe we would have been the best of friends. I met him when I visited Iron Island Gym with Drew Israel in the mid 90's and had a chance to speak briefly to him and see his great world class gym. I wrote about this visit in Hardgainer. A few phone calls and emails pretty much sum up our personal relationship. We really did not know each other well, but I always had the greatest amount of respect for Dr. Ken. He was a unique personality and the people who knew him best absolutely loved him. I loved reading his articles and always wish that I had the chance to go to one of his epic Thanksgiving dinners. I heard so many great things about them from many of our mutual friends. I consider him to be one of the greatest and most influential writers in the history of physical culture. He will be missed. Much respect and Rest In Peace Dr Ken.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dr. Ken Remembered - By Jim Duggan

    It would be difficult to overstate the impact that Dr. Ken Leistner had on the world of Powerlifting, and Strength Training.   As a chiropractor, strength coach, writer, and gym owner, he influenced countless Lifters, and Iron Game devotees over the years.  Earlier today, I received the sad news that Dr. Ken had passed away, at the age of 72.
     Several of us from Bruno's discussed the impact that Dr. Ken had, not only on us, but on the world of weight training.  Chris Newins put it best when he said: " He was a mentor and friend to so many."  Truer words were never spoken.  He certainly had an impact on my life insofar as it relates to training.  There will undoubtedly be numerous tributes to Dr. Ken over the coming days, and rightfully so.  I think it is accurate to say that he was one of the most influential figures in the world of Strength and Lifting.
     My first introduction to Dr. Ken was through the pages of Powerlifting USA Magazine.  His column, "More From Ken Leistner," was a regular feature.  It was also one of the first things that I would read.  His no-nonsense, straight forward, no bull style of writing was perfectly suited for those of us who love to lift.
     Dr. Ken wrote for many magazines over the years.  Just about every Muscle/Lifting/Strength publication benefited from his expertise.  And readers like me were all the better for it.  His own publication, "The Steel Tip," was years ahead of its time.  I'm glad that I have a complete set of back issues,  which he generously gave to me.  One of my favorite articles of his appeared in Muscular Development magazine.  It was titled "Unorthodox Power Builders."  It described how one can become brutally strong by lifting odd objects.  Back then, lifting I-Beams, Anvils, or Torpedoes was not something that was generally done by trainees. This particular article was focused on lifting heavy anvils.  It must have made an impression on me since I am the proud owner of nine ( yes, nine) anvils ranging in weight fro 50- 206 Lbs..
     The first time I ever met Dr. Ken was in the Winter of 1992, when he opened the world famous Iron Island Gym.  I had the pleasure of speaking with him for about twenty minutes. At the time, I was 27 years old, and I thought I knew a lot about lifting.  Boy, did I have a lot to learn, and I could not have have picked a better place to learn, nor a more knowledgeable person to learn from.  You could just feel his passion about all things strength related, and he wanted to provide the very best facility for those who shared his passion.  I think if you ask anybody who trained at Iron Island, you will get the same answer:  It was the best lifting gym that any of us had seen.  The atmosphere, equipment, environment, and energy of that place could inspire anyone.  I have often said that if you couldn't get motivated at Iron Island, then you ought to be embalmed.  Dr. Ken and Ralph Raiola created a gym that was second to none.
     My first experience with High Intensity Training was through Dr. Ken.  At the time, he was writing articles for "Hardgainer" magazine. He was kind enough to give me a stack of back issues.  Looking back, Hargainer was one helluva training magazine.  And, just as with PL/USA magazine, his column was the first thing I would read.  Incidentally, during the mid 1990s, Hargainer could boast of having Dr. Ken, Bob Whelan, and Brooks Kubik as regular contributors.  Imagine, three of the most knowledgeable and talented Iron Game writers on the same magazine at the same time!
     I can't begin to imagine just how many lifters and Strength coaches have been influenced by Dr. Ken.  I certainly learned a lot from him.  I still have his monthly "Iron Island Insights," that he wrote for the members of the gym.  As I've often said, quality training information never goes out of style.  In fact, I still have a hand-written Deadlift program he wrote for me in 1993.  It was a program that helped me to a personal best of 688 Lbs., which I pulled at a meet at his gym.  The trophies he gave out were made from actual I-beams.  I cherish the program, and the trophies I received to this day.  More importantly, I will forever cherish the memories of a great gym, and a man who made a difference in the lives of those who benefited from his talent, passion, and wisdom.  I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his family, relatives, and many friends.
Rest in Peace, Dr. Ken. And Thank You. 


Editor's Note: Thank You Jim for the great tribute to Dr. Ken. I had a great deal of respect for him. He was an Iron Game legend and one of the best strength/ muscle writers in history. He will be missed but his influence on weight training will long remain with us.
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com
BODY • MIND • SPIRIT

Bob Whelan

Bob Whelan

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