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.

Continue reading

Doug Young

“He was just an imposing physical presence”

Doug Young


Today wraps up our week-long dedication to 70’s Big co-captain Doug Young as well as the marker for his induction into the 70’s Big Hall of Fame. The behemoth that is Doug Young is one of the most impressive men I’ve ever seen in pictures. It’s a shame that he passed away a few years ago.

Our pal Mark Rippetoe saw Doug in person 29 years ago, and tells us the story in the following video:

Let us know what you think about Doug in the comments.

Food Plan

“What do I eat?”

I get a lot of questions about what kind of stuff someone should eat if they are trying to get 70’s Big. Well, recently I wrote out a food log for my pal Cliff. Remember, getting enough protein and calories is vital, especially when dealing with a guy that has been skinny his whole life. Cliff needed an extra boost to continue his novice linear progression, and here is what we did:


Cliff’s food plan

Here are a few things to note:

  • I immensely underestimated the calories for some of the snacks, especially the ice cream and magic shell combo
  • The “10 oz” refers to sirloin steak
  • The “8 oz” refers to chicken breasts
  • Notice he eats two of each per day
  • Cliff drinks a gallon of whole milk a day
  • Cliff was only eating almonds for a snack at work, now it is calorie dense trail mix
  • Cliff found ice cream and nutella to be a nice little combo at night

The most important points are that Cliff has increased his bodyweight from 185 to 215, improved his squat from 145x5x3 to doing 305x5x3 last night, and launched his deadlift from 225×5 to 405×5. All this in 2.5 months.

No, he is not fat. When you are skinny your whole life, not only is it hard to gain fat, but you don’t get to have an opinion on what fat is.

And he’s not done yet.
Let us know about any cool meals or snacks that have helped you recover. Remember, you can e-mail videos or pictures to


As promised, here is the fourth part of the 70’s Big Interview with Rip:

70’s Big Presents: Mark Rippetoe Interview Pt. 4 from 70s Big on Vimeo.


Tomorrow we will wrap up Doug Young week. A story will be told about how he was an imposing individual who was respected by the entire powerlifting community. This is why he is the co-captain of, and why he is our first entry into the “70’s Big Hall of Fame”.

Equal Opportunity

See, women can do it too!

Women typically have a paranoid view of barbell training in that they think it will make them “bulky” or “big”. This is a typical misconception that forgets that women don’t produce the same levels of testosterone that men do. Furthermore, “bulky” is a meaningless subjective term that is relative to all of the underweight women scattered around television and magazines.

Women can and should barbell train. For the most part they adapt in the same way that males do, albeit slower. And to be honest, most girls, regardless of body composition, can stand to gain 10 to 20 pounds of muscle (the same way that most guys need to gain 30 to 50 pounds of muscle). It’s important to note that women will not achieve the status of 70’s Big (since that would be scary thing, indeed), but being stronger with more muscle mass improves the “toned” look that so many of them aim for.

In any case, even with all of these sterotypes and misconceptions, there are women who barbell train successfully. We have a few here at WFAC:


Shelley has squatted 180x5x3, but needs to eat more


Prior to breaking some ribs, Melissa deadlifted an easy 225x5

Follow the jump for more on Doug Young.

Continue reading


This isn’t just “working out”

There are some people who are not familiar with the primary method of training implemented at the Wichita Falls Athletic Club to get 70’s Big. If 70’s Big is the goal, then strength is the goal. A novice will make the most successful strength gains doing a simple linear progression with five basic barbell lifts: squat, deadlift, press, bench press, and power clean. These movements are extensively analyzed and taught in the text “Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 2nd Ed.” by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore. The explanation of how the body adapts to strength training as well as how to program the barbell lifts is elaborated on within “Practical Programming for Strength Training, 2nd Ed.” by Rippetoe and Kilgore. There isn’t a better resource for any level of trainee and coach regarding strength training. You’ll need it if you are on the quest to being 70’s Big.

The local fitness gym is full of people working out. The skinny girl is running and the upper body boy is doing curls in the squat rack because that is what they decided to do that day. Their goals are vague and typically revolve around being nude with the opposite sex. Moving around and getting sweaty without a plan is called working out (or some kind of activity with the opposite sex). Training, on the other hand, has a goal in mind. Each training session has a task that is known before hand, and that task aids in accomplishing the known goal of training.

The majority of people who are actually training for a sport would benefit from improving their strength. Strength is the fundamental capacity for all other physical attributes. Strength and/or strength training, when done properly, will improve everything from speed to flexibility. Since this is the case, it would behoove the majority of trainees to exhaust the potential of making linear gains in strength for as long as possible. When this is done correctly, an increase in muscular bodyweight will occur.

An increase in muscular bodyweight will not be detrimental to performance regardless of sport. With muscles comes more force production ability that translates into performing the desired task easier and more efficiently. A bigger motor does not slow the car down. On the other hand, excessive junk in the trunk can.

In order to ensure that in an increase in strength and subsequently size occurs, proper recovery is required. Recovery is dependent on nutrition, particularly protein and total caloric intake. The amount of these two variables is independent to an individual, but most individuals will be in a position in which they need to gain muscular bodyweight. It has been recommended in “Practical Programming” that a person in this situation should consume at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Protein alone does not ensure proper recovery and/or weight gain. Total calories will affect the recovery from structural and metabolic fatigue. In this case, an excess of caloric intake is necessary. The amount of other macro-nutrients (fat or carbohydrates) that should be consumed with protein are typically unimportant at this point as long as a caloric excess occurs. This emphasis of macro-nutrients may change with advancement.

A perfect way to consume enough protein and calories to get 70’s Big is to drink a gallon of whole milk and consume AT LEAST three hearty meals a day. Requirements change depending on an individual and their specific circumstances, but this is a good rule of thumb to abide by (and The Dude abides). No one is suggesting that all people need to drink a gallon of whole milk a day, but those who are in need of muscular bodyweight would be foolish to not do so.

The emphasis here is that eating is not only equally important to training – it IS training. You don’t get stronger in the gym, you get stronger from eating and recovering outside of the gym. And chances are that you aren’t eating enough.

To continue with Doug Young Week, here is a video of a short interview with Doug Young along with footage from the 1977 IPF World Championships. Doug won the world championship with a total of 1956 pounds (699-545-710) — with three broken ribs. It is one of the most impressive performances in powerlifting history.