Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by John Wood
Paul Anderson was not a handbalancer per se, but he did discover some interesting reasons to introduce upside-down training into repertoire. Here’s something that Big Paul wrote in 1970:
“…As I did more thinking on the subject, I made
a great discovery. This discovery was that the
reason the thighs were responding so rapidly to
weight training was that they had such a free
flow of blood, and the upper body and even
Lower back did not have this rapid access to the
Even with the heart pumping vigorously our blood
still seems to respond to the pull of gravity. One
can see this by holding one of their hands over
head and the other down to the side.
After a few seconds, they can be compared and
the hand which was held overhead will be much
whiter, which is naturally caused by the lack of
Knowing the reason for the quick response in the
legs, and the same response in the upper body,
I set out to do something about it.
… I knew there must be a way to get more blood
Into the upper body and the only logical explanation
was to invert the body allowing the blood to rush to
the upper parts.
My first effort in the was to go into a handstand
position with my feet against the wall and stay
there as long as possible. While there I did some
hand stand presses, sliding my feet up and down
against the wall.
Immediately after returning to a normal position,
I went to the bar for bench presses and found
that I could press about twenty percent more
with this great quantity of blood in my upper body…”