Paul Anderson’s Upside Down Training

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
blood supply.

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
blood.

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…”

That’s some pretty interesting food for thought…

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Paul Anderson The Boxer

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2014 by John Wood

After retiring from weightlifting, the great Paul Anderson took up professional boxing. The above shot was from his April, 1960 debut bout against Italian boxer Atillio Tondo. Anderson was able to floor his opponent three times but didn’t have the wind to go the distance and the fight was stopped in the third round. Anderson’s boxing career only lasted a few more fights, and his with overall record ending up 2 wins (both by KO) and 2 losses.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

What is Dinosaur Training?

Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014 by John Wood
A short video clip (with sound) of several of the people, places and training topics that you’ll find in the pages of “Dinosaur Training” by Brooks Kubik.

Paul Anderson’s Deadlift

Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2013 by John Wood
The deadlift was not a competitive lift while Paul Anderson was in his heyday, so he only trained it to have a little fun. Even with that being the case, he could still toy with 800+ pounds. Makes you wonder what Big Paul could have done if he really put his mind to it…
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Paul Anderson, The Nail Driver

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by John Wood
Paul Anderson The Nail Driver
Paul Anderson accomplished many things in his life including an Olympic Gold Medal and World Records in just about every lift he tried… but I bet you didn’t know he was also an expert nail driver too… When he traveled around for speaking engagements, Big Paul figured the quickest way to get an audience’s attention was to perform an unusual feat of strength — and a man driving a nail through a wooden board with his bare hand sure fits the bill! Other great nail driving strongmen include Alexander ‘Amazing Samson’ Zass, Siegmund Breitbart, Dennis Rogers, and The Mighty Atom.

Paul Anderson’s Gold Medal Lift

Posted on Saturday, November 26th, 2011 by John Wood

Paul Anderson's Gold Medal Winning lift at the 1956 Olympic Games

Here’s a rare shot of the great Paul Anderson at the exact moment he won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia on November 26, 1956. The Russians, who had seen Big Paul in action previously, figured he would run away with it… But It was no cakewalk. Anderson had developed an inner-ear infection during the trip over which gave him trouble with his balance and caused him to miss lifts he ordinarily would have made with ease. Like a true champion, he fought through it and prevailed to take home the Gold with a 500 kg total.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Big Paul’s Big Wheels

Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by John Wood
Big Paul and his famous wheels
What do you do when you need to squat over 600 pounds but a normal barbell just won’t hold enough weight? — Keep in mind that they didn’t have 100 lb. plates back then either. This was Paul Anderson’s solution, a set of wheels he found in a junk yard in his native town of Toccoa, Georgia.

At first, everybody thought he was crazy but they changed their tune when he came home from the 1956 Olympics with a shiny new Gold Medal. I don’t know of anyone who looked as relaxed as Big Paul while handling big weights.

That’s also another pretty good lesson: if you don’t have what you need you’ll have to improvise…