THE JOURNEY (Part Five)

Posted by Louie Simmons on

Back to West and the gang.

The bench is one-third of the power lifts, so the Culver City guys worked on the bench as much as the squat and deadlift. They relied on board presses, rubber pads on the chest and rack work. They used the rubber pads to do what they called belly tosses with very high weights up to 660 pounds by Joe DiMarco. This was just the opposite of the rack work off pins.

The rack work was how Casey and the Culver City guys made record benches not only flat benching, but incline and seated as well. Chuck Sipes, a powerful bodybuilder, used the power rack to bench 570 at 220 bodyweight. He did a lot of power rack work off of pins.

One method that Chuck liked and credited was long holds on pins, five to 20 seconds for four sets with as heavy of a weight as he could hold off a high pin for his support work. Where his best hold was five seconds, he would stay at the same weight until he could hold it for 20 seconds then increase weight. The press in a full range lift was in a straight line. This was Bill Thrubber’s way at Culver City and Jim Williams as well.

Floor pressing was used at the Culver City Westside just like today. Some things never grow old as you know. You may also know that the Columbus Westside uses everything the Culver City guys did years ago. It was the Mecca of strength and power then, just like the Columbus Westside is today.

I not only hold the Culver City Westside Barbell in high esteem, but vowed to carry on where they left off until the day I die. It was my dream to visit all the guys in Culver City, but I could not get off work. Even to this day I have not had a vacation. We have never turned down anyone who wants to visit and train at no cost.

I know what it means to have the opportunity for training partners and I feel humbled by all who come to Westside, some for months at a time. Without the articles by West, Frenn and Joe DiMarco there would not be Westside Barbell or the Louie you know. I will always be indebted to them.

I appreciate how much Dave Yarnell revealed in his book Forgotten Secrets of The Culver City Westside Barbell Club.  This book has been so important to me as well as all the articles sent to me by my long time friend Dr. Ken Listner. Much of the information in this article came from Dr. Ken’s articles and this great book by Dave Yarnell. I suggest you purchase a copy for your library.=

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