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I started competitive powerlifting at 22 years of age, My mentor was Kenny Fantano at the MUSCLE FACTORY in West Haven CT.I trained under Kenny For 3 years before he closed the doors. I am 51 years old now and never stopped competing,every 6 months,I still train the way he taught me.IN my prime…Read More
By Marty Gallagher
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"Marty Gallagher has written the Great American Novel of Strength."-Pavel Tsatsouline
Paul Anderson roared out of the Tennessee hill country at the same moment another deep-fried, backwoods southern country boy was roaring out of Tupelo, Mississippi. Both men would forever change their respective worlds. At the same time Paul Anderson was demolishing all strength and power preconceptions, another young man the same age, Elvis Aaron Presley, was doing likewise in his field of expertise: music. Both men emerged from total and complete rural isolation. They mysteriously developed great insight within their respective crafts. Paul and Elvis destroyed every convention, demolished everything "held most sacred," shattered every orthodox belief, desecrated every ritual and decimated every cherished notion. Nothing would ever be the same after the appearance of these two hillbilly savants.
Nothing would ever be the same after Paul and Elvis. They were cut of the same cloth: backwoods boys, uncouth, unsophisticated hicks, off-spring of honest-to-God hillbillies. Viewed first with repugnance and yawning disdain, later with pure fear and terror, these two evoked vitriolic reactions on the part of entrenched defenders of the status quo. Unconscious revolutionaries operating in different venues, they moved mountains and changed entire worlds.
Anderson shifted the gravitational pull of his world as surely as Elvis Presley changed the musical world…irrevocably, forthwith and forever. Anderson's world did not have the high societal profile that Elvis' did—but that was strictly fate and circumstance, the luck of the cosmic draw. Paul had as profound an impact on all things strength-related as The King had on all things music-related. The fact that American society placed a financial premium on pop music and assigned negligible value to strength pursuits was predictable and irrelevant. That was life's lottery.
Both men died early. I saw Anderson lift in 1966 at the Silver Spring Boy's Club. He put on a mind-blowing exhibition that changed the direction of my life. Paul began with the power clean and overhead press. He worked up to an effortless 420 pounds. The world record at the time was 418 by Russia's Yuri Vlasov. The ease and speed of his lifting blew my young mind. His pulling techniques were awkward, yet powerful. Once he shouldered a weight, he simply…
Back in the sixties, men who weight trained with any degree of seriousness practiced three separate and distinct forms of progressive resistance training: bodybuilding, powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting.
Bodybuilding was about building muscle mass while staying lean. Powerlifting was about lifting as much as possible in the squat, bench press and deadlift. Olympic lifting was how much poundage could be hoisted overhead in the press, snatch and clean and jerk. The Amateur Athletic Union ran the Mr. America competition for forty years and controlled most local physique competitions. They awarded athletic points to physique competitors. If you wanted the extra points, you needed to demonstrate proficiency at some sport. Most bodybuilders picked Olympic lifting. Bodybuilders entered lifting competitions to pick up those invaluable athletic points. Powerlifters of the day often were often ex-Olympic lifters who couldn't master the subtleties of the very exacting O-lift techniques. Olympic lifters were plentiful in the sixties. Practicing the three overhead lifts produced men with…
Bill is a classical bodybuilder. He is credited as the one of the first bodybuilders to create and utilize the maximum volume training approach. Bill exemplifies one extreme of the bodybuilding training paradigm while Dorian Yates exemplifies the other extreme. Pearl's volume regimen requires the trainee perform lots of sets, reps and exercises per muscle group. Pearl typically hits a dozen or more exercises per session. He crams as many as sixty sets into each session. He hits each muscle two or three times per week. Bill never goes to failure. He talked of establishing a session rhythm; a momentum, an accelerated pace. The training partners, all following the same routine, would…
Bill Pearl is still important. Bill has been important for seven decades. Lately Bill is leading the charge in the battle against the ultimate foe: Father Time. Bill is 78 years old. And what makes him still so important is that Pearl is still stretching and expanding our preconceived notions about physical degeneration. Can the Grim Reaper be stiff-armed, held at arms length by a combination of weight training, diet, aerobics and stretching? Bill Pearl says…
No athlete was ever as despised by the athletic establishment as Muhammad Ali. No athlete ever generated the venom and pure unadulterated hatred that Ali did. Even before Clay became Ali, even before he stuck his Black Muslim thumb into the collective eyeball of white America, Clay was vilified for his unrepentant braggadocio. His self-aggrandizing rhymes and poetry didn't sit well with the lockstep white men who wore the blue blazers and ran the Amateur Athletic Union with the brutal efficiency of a totalitarian dictatorship. As the dominant sport aristocracy, they ruled all of amateur sports in this country and it was, in many ways, a…
Few men were more establishment than Bob Hoffman, founder and 100% owner of the York Barbell Club. An egomaniacal multi-millionaire, Hoffman owned American Olympic lifting. He footed the bill for teams to travel overseas and his York Barbell Lifting Club was the eternal O-lift dominator. His money made him the big swinging dick of American Olympic lifting and everyone bowed and scraped to the uber-leader who signed the paychecks and picked up the various tabs.
Hoffman entered the sixties by bringing…
I followed the ever-changing training strategies Bednarski rolled through over the years that marked his tenure at York. He was innovative and hard working and since he was a heavyweight, he sought to grow ever larger in order to move more poundage. In those days, any man who weighed more than 198 pounds was forced to…
Everything went to hell-in-a-hand basket after that glorious June day in 1968. Bednarski inexplicably didn't make the 1968 Olympic team when at the Olympic Trials he had an off day and Joe Dube and Ernie Pickett secured the two available spots. Big Daddy pushed through the 242 pound class in 1969 and Bednarski won over a beefed up Jan Talts of the Soviet Union. But wait! After making the winning clean and jerk, the lift was then taken away by a Red Bloc-loaded jury of appeals! What the hell!? Again, bitter disappointment was…
The first words Hugh Cassidy ever spoke to me were, "Hey Kid! I dig your squat style!" I was backstage at the first ever DCAAU Powerlifting Championships in 1968. I was 17 and taking my last warm-up. I knew Hugh was a pretty big deal in the then embryonic world of powerlifting. I ignominiously went on to bomb out, missing three squats with 500. I weighed 193 and insisted on starting with 500, though my best at the time was 510. I got bent forward and missed the lift on my opener. It felt heavy as hell and in those days if you missed and no one else took the same weight, you had three minutes before you had to lift it again: bip, bang, boom! Three strikes and Marty was out of the competition.
The next time I saw Hugh was…
Cassidy kept eating his sandwiches and drinking milk by the gallon. His sumo wrestler approach worked: at a height of 5'11" he eventually pushed his bodyweight to 290+ pounds and shocked the powerlifting world by…
Hugh Cassidy's basement gym looked like something from the TV show "The Munsters." Homemade equipment (Hugh was an expert welder) was crammed and stuffed into every nook and cranny. The basement of his funky, homey, artist house had a ceiling only seven feet in height, so no standing overhead lifting was possible.
Hugh introduced me to…
We would start our Saturday enduro with squats and work up to a top set. Depending on what phase of the overall training 'cycle' we were in, the top set could be 8 reps, 5 reps or 3 reps. 8 rep sets were done for four straight weeks, starting 12 weeks prior to competing. Eight weeks out we'd shift to 5 rep sets. For the final four weeks leading up to the competition, the top sets were dropped to triples or doubles. Ditto for the…
Going from training with Hugh Cassidy to training with Mark Chaillet was like being paroled from a Georgia chain gang to go live in a luxury spa. Not that training with Mark was easy or breezy, but Chaillet's Gym was a terrific facility, easily the best gym I've ever belonged to. The people were incredible and the place was heated and air conditioned. I made Mark's gym my second home for six straight years.
Marshall Peck and I were training with Hugh when we got wind that Mark Chaillet, already a power legend, would be…
It always seemed to me that Mark Chaillet really didn't like training all that much. Or perhaps to put a finer point on it, Mark didn't seem to like training in any way other than one way. He stuck with his particular, peculiar style of training for the six years I was his training partner. In a nutshell, twice a week he would have a…
The stories about Chaillet's Gym are so outrageous that they have taken on mythical proportions. I called Mark's gym "The House of Pain" in a Powerlifting USA article and for good reason; at Chaillet's I've seen beat-downs and sex between patrons, I've seen illegal activity and acts of heroism—sometimes all on the same afternoon. I will recount a few that come to mind. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.
The gym had a gun bin and clients were required to pass weaponry across the front desk to either Mark or Buck—no questions asked. A towel was draped over the firearm as it was passed. Serious powerlifting, competitive powerlifting, at least in the 1980s, attracted a large contingent of both police officers and career criminals. Mark's gym bumped up against a bad section of the city and the cocaine trade was keeping both cops and crooks active. One afternoon, one of the best training partners I ever had, a deep cover narcotics officer, nudged me and gestured towards a…
Doug Furnas was above all else an athlete. He was one of the true strength giants of our time, but being a hall of fame powerlifter was just one aspect of the Ice Man's extensive athletic career. He had a steely competitive demeanor, a savage work ethic and tremendous genetic gifts. He was successful in every athletic undertaking. Doug never reached his full potential in any one athletic arena because…
Doug's love affair with a barbell commenced after he was nearly killed in a horrific auto accident. The Furnas family was returning home from a rodeo competition when their car was…
Dennis Wright was a hall-of-fame powerlifter who got better as he got older. Dennis started off in the 70's as a gangly, yet surprisingly powerful 165 pound lifter. I saw him lift at age 50 and weighing 198 pounds. Dennis squatted 800 pounds, quadruple bodyweight, in exquisite fashion. He backed up the squat with a 475 pound bench press. The 800 pound squat was pure technical perfection. After a slow, controlled descent that…
What a trio: each man needed special handling. With six months of preparatory blood, sweat, tears and training preparation on the line, coaching these men on report card day was no freaking joke! These guys were all business on game day. They only competed twice a year—at the National Championships and at the World Championships—so there was a helluva a lot at stake. When these big guns, the biggest stars in the sport, were rolled out together, world record smashing was expected and demanded.
My job was akin to that of a NASCAR pit crew chief handing three racecars at once: it was up to me to…
Without a doubt the greatest athlete I've ever had the pleasure of working with is Ed Coan. Incredible Eddy is the Jim Brown/Michael Jordan/Muhammad Ali of powerlifting and his exploits are simply astounding when viewed from any athletic angle, be it peak performances or longevity.
Coan's friend and compatriot, Doug Furnas, was a powerlifting comet: a man who tore through our sport after rodeo, after big time college and pro football and before pro wrestling. Powerlifting, for Doug, was just another whistle stop, an athletic interlude before commencing his decade long journey as a professional wrestler. Doug passed through the strength universe for a few brief years, leaving an indelible mark, before exiting our sphere and heading onto other athletic worlds to conquer.
Ed landed on planet power in 1981 and as this is being written, Incredible Ed has not been beaten in head to head competition since July of 1983 when he took second place at the National Championships to the power dominator of the previous decade, Mike Bridges. When Ed took…
Ed and Doug Furnas took training cues from men like Dennis Wright and Bill Kazmaier. They designed a powerlifting training template that became the standardized training regimen for the great lifters of the eighties and early nineties.
Ed would spend the off-season getting as strong as possible in the three powerlifts, or their close exercise variations, wearing little or no equipment. Then, 14 weeks prior to a major competition, he would commence a powerlifting cycle broken into three, 4 week mesocycles. During each four week cycle, a specific…
Ever see a man wearing a t-shirt bench press 625 pounds for two reps, each rep paused on the chest? Ever seen a man strict incline press a pair of 200 pound dumbbells, creating a 400 pound payload, for 6 reps, each rep paused on the chest? Ever seen a man bench press with such explosiveness that he snaps the rivets clean off a heavy duty powerbelt? The same guy also squatted 953 ass-on-heels for a double.
Kenny Fantano was unique in every way; like Mark Chaillet, Ken was a fabulous powerlifter who wasn't…
For a guy who hated to talk about powerlifting gossip, Ken Fantano had sure as hell thought long and hard about powerlift biomechanics. His treatise on bench pressing was light years passed anything I'd ever encountered, before or since. He'd sit at the glass-topped counter of his funk-a-fied gym, The Muscle Factory in West Haven Connecticut, find a scrap of paper and a pencil and begin a…
Sunday Phase II training sessions could take four hours to complete. Fantano had specific ideas about rest periods between sets.
"We want to lift everything on a 'calm heart.'
People don't realize that to be a super strong person you have to always work in the…
Sunday was "Squat Day" at the Muscle Factory: the gym was closed to the public and entry was by invite only. The workouts were deadly simple and decidedly similar to what I had seen at Cassidy's and Chaillet's. The squat procedure was to take as…
Dorian Yates marched to the beat of a profoundly different drummer. Aptly nicknamed, "The Diesel," Yates was iconoclastic in the truest sense. During his formative teenage years he was swept up by the street turmoil of the English punk rock scene. Fueled by reggae, The Clash and the youthful nihilism and disenfranchisement of the era, he became "a troubled youth" and was actually introduced to weight training in reform school. He was the embodiment of the classical English Hard Man and grew up wild; the archetypical alpha male, cruising the tough streets of Birmingham. He and his street mates might engage in…
When Dorian took second place to Lee Haney in 1991 he weighed 239 pounds. He made his bones by coming in large and in "ripped" condition. He likely carried a 4% body fat percentile. Yates' symmetry and shape, while good, was not great. What set him apart that night was…
Film noir literally means "black film" in French and features themes that are uniformly negative. The feel is always dark and shadowy and purposefully filmed in black and white. Most noir stories feature main characters who find themselves embroiled in hopeless situations, fighting against forces that threaten them.
In 1999 Dorian Yates made the greatest bodybuilding training film of all time, appropriately named Blood & Guts. It was unintentional film noir at its best. Dorian and his savage training partner, the incendiary Leroy, video taped their exact workouts, exercise by exercise, set by set, rep by rep, for an entire week of training. Not a word of commentary or explanation from Dorian. No charts, no graphs, no product whoring, no nothing other than the indomitable Dorian powering through four workouts. The stark black and white photography is…
In 1996 I was the lead correspondent at the Chicago Olympia for Muscle & Fitness Magazine. I sat in the front row and would write the competition coverage and additionally interview the winner the next day to write a body part training article. I watched with glee as Dorian crushed the competition yet again. I wrote the feature lead on the competition in about 20 minutes and was really excited about the next day. I would be with a guy I really admired and was doing the…
Kirk Karwoski captured seven straight National Championships, six straight IPF World Powerlifting titles and got bored with it all. One evening at Maryland Athletic Club at about the time of year he would normally need to start serious preparation for the upcoming National Championships, training partner Bob Myers, and I reflexively tried to convince Kirk to mount yet another assault. We wanted him to win a eighth National and seventh World title. He informed us that he was…
Kirk was a methodical, determined, patient and intelligent trainer who took a long-term approach and never went crazy in training. Towards the end of his illustrious career, he never missed a rep over an entire 12 week cycle in any lift. Can you imagine? A man sits down with a pencil and paper four months prior to a National or World Championship, writes out the projected poundage, reps and sets for every single session for every workout for the next twelve straight weeks then never misses a single predetermined rep!
His prognostications were so realistic, his self-assessment abilities so accurate, he was so devoid of training ego and wishful thinking, that in each…
I've seen a lot of great strength feats in my day: I stood twenty feet from Lee Moran when he squatted 1000 at a Pacifico competition in Dayton. Lee had a disastrous previous attempt when he came within an inch of being blasted in the kneecaps by five hundred pounds. A collar had not been tightened in the rush to get the weight ready for the World Record attempt and as Lee stepped back and set up, his side-to-side movement caused the loose collar to break away and the weights slid off one side of the barbell before anyone could do jack about it. The heavy left side, suddenly without equal counterweight, whipped downward around Lee's neck, a stumpy 22 inch fulcrum. The net effect was pure chaos and I had the perfect vantage point.
After a 25, 45 and a gold hundred pound plate fell to the ground, the imbalanced barbell, way heavier on one side, spun around Lee's neck and…
Praise for Marty Gallagher's The Purposeful Primitive
"I would venture to say that I have read every book pertaining to weightlifting over the last three decades, and I have probably read the majority of the articles in this area. There are two things I can say unequivocally about what I have read. One, Marty Gallagher is the best writer in the world of physical fitness and strength, bar none, and two, Gallagher's newest book The Purposeful Primitive is the best manuscript ever produced in this field.
Teeming with esoteric information on training, biomechanics, nutrition, and sport psychology, The Purposeful Primitive is a wealth of information that every serious lifter needs to read. You are going to like this book. NO! You are going to LOVE it. I promise you that. It's Gallagher's best work, and that means it is strictly world class."
—Dr. Judd Biasiotto, author of 46 fitness and health-related books, world powerlifting champion
"I really only have two things to say about Marty Gallagher that bear on his new book, The Purposeful Primitive. The first is that there are two classes of writers in powerlifting: 1) Marty Gallagher and 2) all others. The second is that one day, ten years ago, Marty called to say he knew a Russian guy who he thought might be a good writer for MILO, so we invited the guy to submit an article: It was called Vodka, Pickle Juice, Kettlebell Lifting and other Russian Pastimes, the author was Pavel Tsatsouline, and rest, as they say, is history."
—Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Milo Magazine
"As a student, athlete, teacher, researcher, professional coach, and businessman I have spent over 60 years in health, fitness and sport, devoted to 'how to become the best you can be'. The Purposeful Primitive has been a very interesting journey for me... back-to-the-future...
Marty does a wonderful job bringing out the art and science of training, extracting many of the critical universal and specific principles (guiding rules to action—social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) that are applicable to living a productive life in general, and in training for health, fitness and sport, specifically. In addition, I like the way Marty personalizes the lives of outstanding athletes and shows how they applied these fundamental, can't-miss principles in their training to help them become the best they could be in their sport. My recommendation: if you want to achieve something 'great in your life', add The Purposeful Primitive to your training library… yesterday."
—Dr. Bob Ward, Sports Science Network, former head strength and conditioning coach, Dallas Cowboys
"For those who buy or judge reading material by size, number of pages, volume, or distance able to be thrown and cause damage, Marty has your back on this one. For the intellectual athlete who actually thirsts for knowledge and sees content as King, you will get 30 years of genius and experience in the Iron Game mixed with the passion and ability of Hemmingway all wrapped up in one book and the result is The Purposeful Primitive. From me to you—Go buy the book and enjoy!!"
—Rickey Dale Crain, IPF/WPC/AAU World Champion, 2000 Powerlifting Hall of Fame Inductee
"Marty Gallagher is a brilliant writer who thinks deeply about subjects he knows and loves. His manifesto/encyclopedia contains a ton of wisdom, one-of-a-kind role models, awesome color photos… a truly fascinating read."
—Clarence Bass, author of the Ripped series, Lean For Life, Challenge Yourself, and Great Expectations
"Marty Gallagher has written a most interesting book that contains not only telling first hand biographies from powerlifting's heyday, but the routines and mindset of the top practitioners of the strength pursuit. His style is rich with anecdote, at the same time being right on point regarding the many divergent paths to the attainment of fitness. The basic truths underlying those paths have been distilled down to a certainty, allowing the reader to intelligently compose their own program. Good job from one who sought intensely over many years to grasp the essence of power and fitness and most importantly loves what he does."
—Hugh Cassidy, first world heavyweight powerlifting champion
"What can one say with certainty about the author of this book—Marty Gallagher? Nothing other than the facts that he has 'been there and done that' as an 800-plus pound squatter! That he has written over a thousand articles about fitness and nutrition in the published print media (not to include his amazing blog). That he is not just a genius, but the best interviewer and storyteller going. And that he has not only truly trained the world's strongest athletes, but that he has distilled the most useful information from 15 of the foremost weight lifters, bodybuilders, psychologists and 'bodymaster' nutritionists of the last half century into a form that can be used by anyone from overweight, exercise-adverse beginner to world champions in their sports.
From Olympic lifting to power lifting and bodybuilding, whether muscle gain or fat loss, from cooking to supplements, from changing exercise and eating habits to molding the psychology of a champion (whether one is even remotely interested in competition or not), Marty has covered it all. I only wish I had had a book like this when I was growing up and trying my best to get bigger and stronger. Marty has demonstrated, without question, that he is the current and undeniably best 'trainer of champions' and 'ultimate guide to physical—and mental—transformation.' This book not only provides the simplest instructions and cheapest financial and lifestyle requirements, it is absolutely the single best book ever written on being the best you can be physically and otherwise."
—James E. Wright, Ph.D, former Director of Sports Science, U.S. Army Physical Fitness School; former Health and Science Editor, Flex Magazine
"Absolutely magnificent. What a breathtaking book on a life with iron. Marty Gallagher delivers an outstanding, comprehensive book with a writing style worthy of Hemingway himself. This book takes you on a journey through the iron-history of the great ones and in the most sophisticated way Marty presents probably the best ever written material on life, iron and mental fortitude.
This book is impossible to put down once you start reading it. It should be the first read of any who aspire to lift weights and be healthy. There are not enough words in the English language (or Danish for that matter) to describe how excellent this book is. It is an absolute must to any Strength & Health enthusiast. I give it my highest recommendation!!"
—Kenneth "the Dane of Pain" Jay, MSc, Sr. RKC
"Gallagher takes the gems of the greatest strength athletes in history and distills the keys to success for all of us.
After reviewing profile after profile after profile of great strength trainers in history, Gallagher goes the next step: he sums up their approaches then shows that all of them are right. As a person trained in the basics of theology, I understood immediately Gallagher's great point: it's not 'either/or' when it comes to strength and body mass, it is 'both/and'. I live by the coaching point: 'Everything works...for a while,' and Gallagher breathes flesh and blood into this principle.
There is so much more to this book, of course. The mental training section blends the Western and Eastern approaches to the mind game of training. Again, we find 'both/and', but Gallagher also spends a lot of time detailing how to incorporate these tools in one's training.
But wait, there's more! There is a section on cardio training for strength athletes that really makes me more comfortable with this notion of 'doing cardio'. It's nice to see the return for the widely misunderstood teachings of Len Schwartz's Heavy Hands. Moreover, we see a commonsense approach to this whole overhyped field.
The section on diet towards the end of the book again reflects the idea of both/and'. It is simply this: refreshing. Gallagher gives clarity to the calorie conundrum. Yes, every diet approach works, but Gallagher shows us a way to link them together. Truly, this man of experience understands that success leaves footprints and every approach is worthy of discussion.
Oh, this book is a joy. I put this book next to Tommy Kono's Weightlifting, Olympic Style for sheer fun and delight and love of training. I am convinced that I will probably keep reading The Purposeful Primitive in bits and snips for years. It's just fun and funny while pounding into the reader the 'secrets' of advanced training. Many won't like the message. The secrets involve training really hard and really heavy."
—Daniel John, Head Track and Field Coach, Juan Diego Catholic High School, American Record Holder, Masters Weight Pentathlon
"The Purposeful Primitive both inspired me, and also challenged some of my long-held notions about strength and athleticism. In the foreword, Pavel calls Marty Gallagher his mentor, and once you read this book, you'll understand why. The Purposeful Primitive is the most significant strength-training book I've read in 10 years."
—Charles Staley, Staley Training Systems
"Marty's literary style intrigued me and I could not put the book down!! I was drawn into being educated by a powerlifter that made points that would make me a better high school teacher/coach as well as an excellent Olympic weightlifting coach.
I was hooked by page 263, with Marty's 'physical and psychological weak points'. "What's the toughest lesson to learn in all of fitnessdom? I would nominate prioritizing weaknesses and not continually playing to our strength.' There it is! That did it! If nothing else, this chapter needs to be read by all coaches and by all athletes and all trainers in the fitness world…
I highly recommend The Purposeful Primitive as a must read."
—Mike Burgener, Senior International Weightlifting Coach, Coach for the Junior World Women's Weightlifting Team
"Marty Gallagher has convincingly presented the concept that successful people in all domains 'stand upon the shoulders of those who have gone before them.' He has accurately indicated that most of the fitness gurus and elite athletes of today are chasing after the golden fleece instead of following the tried, true and scientifically and empirically proven and validated principles of physical training, cardiovascular training, nutrition and psychology.
Marty characterizes this by stating; 'Old school methodology is the modern solution for achieving true physical transformation.' Readers will sink their teeth into the substance and procedures of the masters found between the covers of The Purposeful Primitive.
The Purposeful Primitive is an enlightening read, filled with great insights into the masters of the last century in Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Cardiovascular Training, Nutrition and Psychology.
Great job Marty Gallagher, master of: writing, powerlifting, physical training, cardiovascular training, nutrition and psychology."
—Dr. Paul Ward, PED, QPT Publications
"WOW! My old friend Marty knocked this one out of the park.
I was so fascinated I could not put the book down. These are exactly the routines most of us experienced in those days. It brought back a lot of memories.
For all you young powerlifters out there who want to build real power like we did it in the old days this is the book to get. Thank you so much Marty."
—Dan Wohleber, former national powerlifting champion, multiple world record holder, 1st man to deadlift 900 pounds
"When Marty called and asked if I could pose for a few photos for his new book, I knew I didn't have to worry about associating myself with anything he was writing. I knew it would be a quality book focused on proven, basic training principles and based on Marty's vast store of real, first-hand knowledge. What I didn't know until receiving my copy and really giving it a close look, was that I was stumbling across a small role in one of the most comprehensive, well-written, and above all else, entertaining, books on weight training that's ever been written.
I have a pretty extensive strength training library, and Marty's book belongs on the top shelf with Dreschler's Weightlifting Encyclopedia, Starr's The Strongest Shall Survive, McCallum's Keys to Progress, and McRobert's Brawn. I realize now how lucky I am to have been in the right place at the right time to be a small part of Marty's crowning achievement and lasting contribution to the Iron Game. Thanks so much Marty for not letting these great stories and this wealth of information fade away with the old masters!"
—Chuck Miller, attorney, journalist, C.S.C.S., AAU world and national powerlifting champion
"I enjoyed Marty Gallagher's new book and particularly liked his 'resurrection' of the methods of the Iron Masters. So much of that Old School training wisdom has been forgotten or discarded in our modern era. The training philosophies of men like Bill Pearl and Ed Coan are timeless and grounded in principles that have stood the test of time. These philosophies are based in the idea that first and foremost, hard and sustained physical effort must be implemented for a protracted period. This requires using lots of Old School discipline.
I agree with Marty's premise that to modify the human body, to improve it, to make it more muscular and leaner, requires real work. Too many individuals in this day and age want to believe that some miracle method exists that can magically bypass the requisite pain and struggle. By spotlighting men from a simpler era, Marty shows that real gains can be gotten from methods that need not be unduly complicated. I would hope that modern readers could absorb some of the iconic lessons he relates in his own unique way."
—John Parrillo, CEO Parrillo Performance Products
"I have been studying the industry for 20 years. Marty is in a class of his own. Combine his fitness knowledge with a unique talent for writing and one has an unbeatable combination."
—Larry Christ, multi-time national master powerlifting champion
"Once again, Marty Gallagher has proven that he is powerlifting's most articulate and informative writer. The Purposeful Primitive is an outstanding read, with credible and essential information for beginners and elite lifters alike. I will be honored to promote the book at my gym and the many contests we host each year."
—Dr. Spero S. Tshontikidis, R.A.W. United, Inc.
"Wow! Marty Gallagher did a tremendous job! Not only was it a very interesting and entertaining read, but it can be used as a reference manual. A must read for anyone interested in fitness and or strength."
—Bob Gaynor, WPC World Record holder
"Marty Gallagher has laid out simple tried and true old school principles that yield results. I believe that is what this book is all about; results. In a world full of bells and whistles, this book is a great reminder of what training should look like. I think this is an outstanding resource for physical transformation. I would recommend this book to anyone who is serious about building a real-world body."
—Tim Anderson, RKC Level II, CPT
I started competitive powerlifting at 22 years of age, My mentor was Kenny Fantano at the MUSCLE FACTORY in West Haven CT.I trained under Kenny For 3 years before he closed the doors. I am 51 years old now and never stopped competing,every 6 months,I still train the way he taught me.IN my prime in the 220lb weight class my lifts were 725SQ-410 bench-625 deadlift.Now at 51 my lifts are 500sq-310 bench-500 deadlift.every thing that is written about Kenny is true and I was there in 80s and seen his and other great lifters strength.IT inspired me for a life time to train and compete!
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