Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Good Coaches and Basic Strength Training - By Jim Bryan

I am no different than most. I have had help from the beginning of my training life. I was very fortunate to have these men take notice of me and offer their experience. First was Bill Duncan. I had already been training for about 6 years when I met Coach Duncan in High school. I had all the old York Courses, that came with the barbell sets I bought with the little money I earned from the Ski Show at Cypress Gardens. These sets also came with implements that I didn't know how to use at the time. Kettle Bells, Iron Shoes, etc. This was pre teen for me around 10/12 years old (Yes, Kettle Bells have been around that long........they are NOT a new invention) As far as I know they started in the Old USA. My first training partner during this time was my friend of over 60 years Bob McKean.

Once I was able to drive and have a car I started training at another gym in Auburndale, a town near me. It was located in the back of Furnari's Barber Shop. The gym was run by Bill Lemacks a top body builder, Olympic and Power Lifter. I would train at my gym and then go to Billy's gym in order to train with him. Shortly after that Al and Vera Christensen opened a gym in Winter Haven, Fl. my home town. Several of us moved there and I had the opportunity to train with Al and Billy and be coached by them for Olympic Lifting. I competed for a few years as a Lifter for Al's "Bosco Weight Lifting Team."

The next group of gentlemen all helped with advice and tips. All of these Men were top bodybuilders and Olympic lifters from Florida. Harry Smith (TV wrestler and owner of Smith's Health Studio in Tampa) Tom Bowman,Former Mr Florida and a Coach at nearby Auburndale High School. Bill Hilton, Craig Whitehead (2nd Mr Universe) and Bob Harrington. Bob was one of the best to come out of Florida and won many Bodybuilding Titles. He was my main Training Partner when Al Christensen built a bigger Gym. I was just out of the Navy.

Then I met Arthur Jones. This was around 1970. I trained with Arthur and almost went to work for him. I chose instead to work at the Phone Company and lived in Winter Haven. I still traveled back and forth to Deland and later Lake Helen to train with the crew and Arthur. Here I met Jim Flanagan and Kim Wood, two of the best Trainers anywhere. Spent a bunch of time with Arthur and he was very generous with his knowledge. We became good friends and he trusted me enough to recommend that I take over and run the Nautilus Training Program at a local College.

Others have influenced me with their writing and phone calls. This group has a great deal of knowledge from many sources about Strength Training and Nutrition. Fred Fornicola has been a friend and treasure trove of good training ideas for me for many years. We talk a lot on the phone. Fred is a "thinker" and has many good ideas based on good factual common sense. Bill Piche started the first online version of "HIT" -High Intensity Training- called Cyberpump. This is the best darn collection of articles about sensible Strength Training from the days I was with Arthur Jones I have found. Matt Brzycki, Doc Ken Leistner, and Bob Whelan keep me informed with their articles and training sense. Bob is a big proponent of the "Old Way of strength training." Drug free and hard work. All of them inspire me. Later and one of the biggest influences on me is Randy Roach (Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors) Randy is the go to man for Strength Training and nutrition and the history of the "Weight Game." Tom Kelso is also a Top Strength Coach and has many very good articles to read. I still check his Website regularly.

Tyler Hobson, Tyler has developed my favorite weight Training equipment. "Pendulum" is now owned by Rogers but the brains behind this excellent Leverage style Strength Equipment is still Tyler. He has a unique God given ability to come up with some of the safest and most productive Strength Training Machines in the world. I have one of his first "Multi Machines" and it's still in heavy use for me and the select clients I train. Last but certainly not least is a young man I really admire for his experience and training savvy. Liam "Taku" Bauer. is a very good Trainer and a friend I listen to. He has written several Articles and has a vast amount of experience training athletes and the regular Joe and Jane.

What do all of these people have in common? They all believe in safe, honest, hard training with whatever you have.................Barbells, dumbbells, and well developed machines. All work when used properly. None believe in gimmicks that you see so much today. They don't have people stand on balls while lifting. They all know when training hard a stable surface is best. They don't make crap up to get noticed. I respect them all and thank them for all their input and help. If I have learned anything, it's been the ability to spot quality Coaches and Coaching.

Editors note: Great Information Jim!
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:

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