Strength Legend Paul Anderson

Considering this blog’s recent emphasis on homemade equipment, it only makes sense to pay tribute to one of the true pioneers of homemade equipment (for strength development).  Paul Anderson is a legend in the world of strength.  Many of his feats from 50+ years ago are still mind boggling today.

And as you’ll see in the video below, he thrived on homemade equipment.

Paul Anderson is perhaps the best example of low-tech/high-effect training.   Not only did he build much of his own equipment, but he also went on to say the following:

“I NEVER had a coach in weightlifting…  If I had someone instructing me, I would have never decided that the top priority for a weightlifter was to be strong.  This is why I first took up the power lifts and then drifted into the three Olympic lifts.”

Recommended Reading

For more information regarding Anderson’s training, please refer to the following links (all excellent):

Paul Anderson Interview and Routines

One-arm Pressing

Power Training Routine

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  1. That guy is a champ.

    I love that classic picture of him standing in the hole — that’s his answer to developing good squats!

    Essentially, you squat from inside a hole and keep adding dirt thereby increasing range of motion. Very cool.

    Of course the process is still repeated, doing things like supramaximal holds , limited range of motion lifting (board press, rack pulls, etc).

    Great read!

  2. Wow so impressive. I found this really cool: “Second, I recognize Louis Cyr as a tremendously strong man in the history of our sport; but, without being boastful, I believe that I was more athletic. People were always amazed that I could run a hundred yards in just a little over eleven seconds and leap flatfooted from the floor onto a three-foot high table. I’m not saying that Cyr was incapable of doing these things, but I never heard about him demonstrating them in his act.”

    Just looking at his build I automatically think “pure strength, not much agility”, but obviously I’m wrong.

  3. When I was a kid I would just lift “heavy things” to make myself stronger, and it worked. I was pretty strong for my age. When I got into high school and listened to my “Body Development” teacher is when I started getting into programs trying 10,000 different exercises in an effort to shock my muscles.

    If I had stuck to my original plan of just lifting heavy and getting stronger I think I would have been much better off in the long run, I’m still playing catch up to this day.

    Great post Ross

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