You Are Average

“You gotta make sacrifices if you wanna be 70’s Big”

Go ahead and face it now; you are average. If you were a genetic freak, somebody would have noticed by now. More than likely you are sitting here reading this, and you want to be stronger and like learning about guys that are strong (or you like looking at guys that are strong…and are female?). In any case, you aren’t in that small percentage of the gene pool that are genetically predisposed to being freakishly strong.

Do you realize what this means? You have to get strong and big with good ol’ fashion hard work.

There are no shortcuts. You have to follow a carefully made training program. You have to eat more than you want to, especially when you don’t want to. You have to find the energy to conquer that last work set of squats or deadlifts when nobody is around and there is no glory. You have to realize that if you avoid doing the things that are hard, then you are preventing yourself from accomplishing your goals.

How badly do you want to be strong? How badly do you want to be competitive? How badly do you want to be 70’s Big?



We look up to the demigods of 70’s Big yore (above), and they are gifted individuals. They undoubtedly worked hard, but you may not be so genetically fortunate. You will need to bust your ass for the same progress that others can make easily. You cannot afford to dick around with training, eating, or rest. You don’t have time to allow yourself to make excuses, so don’t bother.

So, sit down tonight and have a beer (Note: not fermented deer piss). As you sip, think about how your training can improve on Monday. Figure out what you can do better.

’Cause you gotta make sacrifices if you wanna be 70’s Big.

Click “read more” for more fun.

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“A beautiful thing indeed”


'The Pizz', a unique pencil drawing of Pisarenko at the WFAC does not merely suggest that you only become strong. My friend Gant — a competition enthusiast and judo player — said to me recently, “What’s the point of being 70’s Big if you can’t throw anybody around?” He’s got a point.

Aiming to only get strong and big is a waste of hard work and developed talent. Anybody wanting to become 70’s Big would probably enjoy displaying their strength, and what better way to to do so than to compete? It isn’t a coincidence that our 70’s Big co-captains, Doug Young and Anatoly Pisarenko, were successful in the sport of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting respectively.

Besides, aiming your goals at a specific sport will not only justify the purpose of training, but it will fuel your desire to improve. The official stance of this website is that its members should participate in sport in congruence with their strength training.

Sports that specialize in the development of strength and power would be excellent choices. Some options include, but are not limited to powerlifting, weightlifting, highland games, football, throwing implements (track and field style), throwing people (judo), wrestling, and strongman competitions. As this site grows, you’ll see that there are men who are 70’s Big in each of these sports.

Some of the aforementioned sports separate competitors by weight class. This seems to be a dichotomy to the idea of 70’s Big, but ease your troubled mind. There is a bodyweight at which a person will function optimally for a particular sport (typically dictated by height). Gant will eventually share his story of changing weight classes for judo, but he’d probably tell you he functions best in the 90 kilo class. This doesn’t make him 70’s Big, but the quest is never over, my friends. Athletes will function better in sport, especially in the sports listed here, when they are stronger. So you see, everyone is on a quest towards 70’s Big. And that is a beautiful thing indeed.

As scheduled, here is part 6 of the 70’s Big Interview with Rippetoe. This is one of my favorite parts of the interview, because it explains what a female would look like who would be fit for a 70’s Big guy.

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 6 from 70s Big on Vimeo.

If you wanna be the man, you gotta out-eat the man

“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight?”

The following is a write up by my friend Gant

This nugget comes from JM Blakely, a bench press specialist who was known for gaining and losing significant amounts of weight depending on where he was in his training cycle. He wrote several articles for Powerlifting USA, including “The Big Boy’s Menu Plan (reprinted here).

The article is gold. The summary: there are no hard gainers, only undisciplined eaters.

Blakely is specifically addressing bulking cycles for powerlifting. But anyone on the path to 70’s Big can can benefit from this knowledge. Make no mistake, eating for mass requires effort equal to that which you put into your training.

The mustache is good for another 10 pounds.

The mustache is good for another 10 pounds.

In a recent article article, Dave Tate tells how Blakely helped him over a mass plateau. Prepare to be inspired.

There was a time at the Old Westside gym where I couldn’t gain weight to save my fucking life.

There was this dude who trained there who could just put on weight like fucking magic. He’d go from 198 to 308 and then to 275 and back down to 198. And he was never fat. It was amazing.

I finally asked him one day how he did it.

“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight? Come outside and I’ll fill you in.”

Now remember, we’re at Westside Barbell. And this guy wants to go outside to talk so no one else can hear. Think about that for a minute. What the hell is he going to tell me? This must be some serious shit if we have to go outside, I thought.

So we get outside and he starts talking.

“For breakfast you need to eat four of those breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. I don’t care which ones you get, but make sure to get four. Order four hash browns, too. Now grab two packs of mayonnaise and put them on the hash browns and then slip them into the sandwiches. Squish that shit down and eat. That’s your breakfast.”

At this point I’m thinking this guy is nuts. But he’s completely serious.

“For lunch you’re gonna eat Chinese food. Now I don’t want you eating that crappy stuff. You wanna get the stuff with MSG. None of that non-MSG bullshit. I don’t care what you eat but you have to sit down and eat for at least 45 minutes straight. You can’t let go of the fork. Eat until your eyes swell up and become slits and you start to look like the woman behind the counter.”

“For dinner you’re gonna order an extra-large pizza with everything on it. Literally everything. If you don’t like sardines, don’t put ’em on, but anything else that you like you have to load it on there. After you pay the delivery guy, I want you to take the pie to your coffee table, open that fucker up, and grab a bottle of oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, whatever. Anything but motor oil. And I want you to pour that shit over the pie until half of the bottle is gone. Just soak the shit out of it.”

“Now before you lay into it, I want you to sit on your couch and just stare at that fucker. I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals.”

This guy is in a zen-like state when he’s talking about this.

“Now you’re on the clock,” he continues. “After 20 minutes your brain is going to tell you you’re full. Don’t listen to that shit. You have to try and eat as much of the pizza as you can before that 20-minute mark. Double up pieces if you have to. I’m telling you now, you’re going to get three or four pieces in and you’re gonna want to quit. You fucking can’t quit. You have to sit on that couch until every piece is done.

And if you can’t finish it, don’t you ever come back to me and tell me you can’t gain weight. ’Cause I’m gonna tell you that you don’t give a fuck about getting bigger and you don’t care how much you lift!”

Did I do it? Hell yeah. Started the next day and did it for two months. Went from 260 pounds to 297 pounds. And I didn’t get much fatter. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, though.

Follow the jump to watch Pisarenko in the clean and jerk portion of the 1982 World Championships.
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The Pizz

“That’s the sign of a real champion”


The Pizz bench pulling what looks like 220

Pisarenko Week continues with a look at Pisarenko’s championships. The Pizz won multiple USSR Championships (1982 and 1984), European Championships (1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984), and World Championships (1981, 1982, and 1983). Pisarenko set 13 world records in his short career in the super heavyweight class.

Unfortunately, he was unable to participate in the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. He missed out on the 1980 Olympics because two of his veteran teammates were selected to lift for the USSR (even though he lifted more than both of them). In 1984, the USSR pulled out of the Olympics for a number of political reasons. By the 1988 Olympics, Pisarenko’s lifting career was over.

Check out this website for a detailed look at his championships and totals.

The following video is from the 1982 World Championships and outlines Pisarenko’s battle with Antonio Krastev (Bulgaria). It shows the top snatches in the super heavyweight weight class. This is a rare look at Pisarenko lifting in a meet and speaking with his coaches backstage. Tomorrow we will watch Krastev and Pisarenko battle in the clean and jerk finale. Enjoy watching this beast of a man.

Fun fact: Pisarenko was a former Greco-Roman wrestler. I can’t think of any males that would like to have his hands on them. Females, however, are a different story.

Anatoly Pisarenko Week

“This guy will either die in the gym, or break himself.”


70’s Big

This week honors our second 70’s Big co-captain, Anatoly Pisarenko. To put it simply, Pisarenko is to Olympic lifting as Doug Young is to powerlifting. Unfortunately he lacks the fame of other successful weightlifters because he was unable to attend the 1980 and 1984 Olympics for different reasons. Despite this, his peers respected his work ethic — the above quote was from  Vasiliy Alekseyev.

Olympics or not, Pisarenko was god awful strong. His career bests were a 206 kg snatch in 1983 (Moscow) and a 265 kg clean and jerk in 1984 (Varna) — this ties him for second overall for the highest clean and jerk (the world records say otherwise since old records were dropped with the restructuring of the weight classes). To put this in perspective for those not familiar with kilograms, he snatched 454.15 lbs and clean and jerked 584.22 pounds!

It’s quite clear why “The Pizz” is one of our favorite lifters; he’s strong, he’s big, and for god’s sake, he’s got a mustache.


Pisarenko jerks 260 in Allentown, 1983

Here is part 5 of the 70’s Big Interview with Rippetoe:

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt.5 from 70s Big on Vimeo.