Jasper Benincasa Tribute

Sunday (March 25th) would have been the 91st birthday for bodyweight strength legend Jasper Benincasa. He sadly left this world on January 6th, 2012. Fortunately, Brad Johnson has done his part to help keep Jasper’s memory alive. He created the tribute video below.

The video is well worth a look whether you know of Jasper or not. Not only were his exercise feats tremendous, he achieved such status long before the modern era of supplementation and drug use.

As for how he trained, Jasper addressed the topic in a past interview:

“My training was very haphazard. I’d train as often as I could. I was a construction worker and I would chin on the scaffolding after I was already tired from work. I would do alternate one arm chins down the length of the scaffolding and then turn and work my way back.”

As you can see, Jasper didn’t rely on any of the fancy plans that you’ll see marketed today. He worked hard and remained consistent. It’s amazing what the human body can achieve when you work hard regularly and never give up. Jasper was even said to have done a one arm chin-up at age 89!

Happy birthday and RIP

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  1. Those were some INCREDIBLE feats of strength and endurance. Pullups and Chinups are really the Kings of upper body bodyweight exercises. Matter of fact, even if you weight train, you would probably benefit more by spending more time on pullups/chinups than you would the more popular pressing movements like bench presses/incline presses/military presses. Pullups/Chinups not only work your pulling muscles like lats, biceps, forearms, traps, and back, but will also work your chest and shoulders. Pullups/Chinups will also give your abdominals a great workout. If you have ever done an extremely intense chinup workout you’ll notice how sore your abdominals will be the next day. Maybe one day people will lighten up on all the bench pressing and recognize that the pullup bar just maybe a superior upper body movement, then you won’t see so many “hunched over” people with huge pectorals and flat backs.

  2. Very inspirational. I’m 55 and doing pullups every day. For most people they will never overtake the bench excercises because they are so much harder. Pullups are superior but take willpower and determination to make them a consistant part of your routine. I believe they work from your earlobes to your pinkey toes.
    Sad to see a man like this pass.

  3. @Roy

    You’re absolutely right Roy, attaching yourself to a pullup bar and grinding out reps is too much like work for most people. It’s far more easier to lie back on an incline or flat bench and press a barbell or a set of dumbbells. Pullups, just might be the upper body version of the barbell squat, coincidentally maybe that’s why the squat rack and pullup bar are often the most desolate parts of the gym or weight room. A pullup unlike the bench press movement will correctly gauge whether or not your weight gain or weight loss is functionaly useful for your body. The only ways to improve pullups are strength increase, weight loss, or both. That extra 10-15lbs of fat someone might gain around their waist during a cycle of less strict dieting won’t effect their performance on the bench press, but it could very well limit the amount of reps you can churn out on the pullup bar. The pullup bar is a great gauge in determining your ideal weight for functional athletic performance. Once you completely master the pullup, it maybe time to move on to the muscle-up, which will give your upper body and core a thorough workout with just one movement.

  4. Great video, very inspirational and you can rest assured Jasper will not be forgotten. From the first time I read about him, his feats have been etched in my mind and always will be. Sad to see another legend has moved on.

  5. I love to re read about Jasper from time to time (specially before a workout), very inspiring! A shame he has moved on but sounds like he had a good life and he is written into history.

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