FAQs and SIMPLEXSTRONG answers from one of the strongest athletes who ever lived, legendary wrestler and strongman George Hackenschmidt (1877 – 1968), also called “Russian Lion”.

Here are some excellent tips from his book The Way to Live (1908).

Yes, more that 100 years ago.

When to Begin to Practice with Heavier Weights? 

Hackenschmidt writes:

This should only be done after one has trained for at least three months in the foregoing manner with light weights, and one should never begin to lift any heavier weight than one can lift without much exertion at least ten times. He who ventures such trials without this previous training exposes himself to strainings or breakings of the sinews or muscles, also to ruptures, and I would particularly caution my readers against any such imprudent experiments.

How to Select a Suitable Starting Main Weight?  

This is quite easy. When in an unfatigued condition try an exercise say ten times. If you can accomplish this by using all your strength you have found the proper weight with which to begin your exercises five times in succession.

In other words, start with your 10RM, but do only 5 reps. Sounds familiar? Of course, it is the same strategy we recommend in many StrongFirst programs.

How and When Add Weight? 

“Russian Lion” recommends simple blueprint:

After having ascertained the correct weight for every exercise, begin each movement, say five times, and increase the number by one every week : thus five one week, six the next, seven the next, etc., until the prescribed maximum is reached. After that begin afresh with a weight that is 5 lb. heavier for one arm exercises, or 10 lb. for two arms, unless otherwise directed.

More SIMPLEXSTRONG tips from the old time strongmen coming soon.

Questions, requests? Post them please in the comments below the article.

Yours in Health & Strength

Pavel Macek

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