Scientific Training

505kg, sumoman

505.4kg – the work per inch on this lift is 1114.2 lbs/in

To gain superstrength like me you have to train very scientifically.

The Soviets were very scientific when it came to lifting weights. They wanted to prove that the Communist way was best. Obviously the best way of doing this was to thoroughly trash the Americans at Olympic Weightlifting, thus proving that the the cabbage eating Communist was superior to the burger eating Capitalist1. They did this by using the monstrous Soviet political machinery to put their best scientists on the case and enticing hundreds of thousands of boys and girls into athletics with something more appetising than cabbages.

The result of this was that the Russian weightlifters absolutely dominated Olympic weightlifting, so much so that the Americans decided to go to the Moon instead.

Fortunately training for maximum absolute strength (rather than the technical speed-strength of the Olympic lifts) is rather simple and the basic rules of this can be derived from reading the translated works of the Russian ex-cabbage eaters.


Partials are a very scientific way of training for superstrength. If you want to become strong you will have to lift heavy weights, some people object to this on the grounds that heavy weights will put the body under stress2. Needless to say these people never get very strong and attribute the strength gains of those on scientific training to be due to ‘genetics’.

I am world famous for doing partials, as such I would like to answer some of the objections I regularly receive regarding the efficacy of partials for superstrength…

  1. But my range of motion is not enough! A lifter needs to start piling on the weight rather than handwringing about whether his lift is has enough inches in it. Over time he can increase the range of motion (if he needs to), for example if he intends to enter a powerlifting competition. Otherwise there is no compelling reason in going for range of motion over heaviness of weight. If a lifter can keep piling on the weight in a partial lift whilst maintaining strong form then that is what he should do rather than fretting over range of motion and feeling superior because he can move a light weight over a long range of motion. Weight always takes precedence over range of motion.
  2. I lift full so I will be strong over the full motion! No you won’t. A lifter who weighs 200 lbs and squats full with 200 lbs will adapt to being able to handle 200 lbs. Give him 400 lbs and he will be unable to unrack the weight. In short the lifter will be weak in all range of motions. A full lift is actually only a partial lift because it ignores 90% the range of motion (if you divide the ROM into 10 divisions). Furthermore if you divide the stance into three (narrow, medium, wide) you are only doing 3% of all possible variations of the lift. If the lifter were now attempt to walk with the 400 lbs he would then have to contend with the full weight through each leg… which is 2 times more than he’s ever handled on his spine and 3 times more than he’s ever handled on each leg and umteenth more times lateral torque on each hip.
  3. Partials are very dangerous! Obsessing over danger is completely the wrong way to approach superstrength. Your first priority must be lifting more and more weight. If your first priority is safety then you will naturally lift less and less weight. If a lift does not break you the first time round then it is safe. The thing that will kill you is repetition over time, i.e. stress fatigue. Work a lift once a week and you may be perfectly fine. Do it 7 times a week and something may break. Every lift has a weak point, take the squat – for some it is the lower back and for others it is the knees, for some it may be the left side of the lower back, etc.. Keep repeating the lift and at some point a weak point will be felt. Ignore this (because the rest of the body feels fresh) until the weakness becomes a limiting factor and the condition will become chronic no matter how angelic your form is. The solution is to rotate exercises well before such a problem becomes apparent. By rotating exercises, stress on the same weak points is avoided… people then think you are bullet-proof or genetically advantaged. It is actually easier to perform ‘good’ (i.e. strong) form partials than it is to perform ‘good’ (i.e. strong) form fulls, because people are used to going through partial moves on a daily basis.
  4. The fatigue of a full motion will simulate heavy weights! No it won’t. Reaching failure at the mid-point of a squat isn’t the same as lifting a heavy weight at the start of a half-squat. A lifter might use 200 lbs in a full squat and reach failure at the mid-point. But if fresh might handle 300 lbs from the mid-point. This means fatigue has made 200 lbs feel like 300 lbs, but it only feels like it because 33% of the muscle fibres out of the original 100% have become inoperative, at the half way point, due to fatigue, i.e. fatigue is due to less muscle fibres operating, thus 300 lbs becomes 200 lbs – strength stimulation requires more muscle fibres, not less.
  5. But I am working hard for a full rep! Nope. The work per millimetre is less for a full than for a partial. Squat 300 lbs for a full rep and the work per inch is 300 lbs/inch, do a partial squat with 600 lbs for a quarter rep and the work per inch is 600 lbs/inch. This is because a muscle which is nearer contraction has greater myosin-actin overlap and therefore greater force generating capacity and therefore greater work capacity;

    If the muscle is stretched there is less myosin-actin head interaction, so the stretched phase of a muscle is weaker in terms of active force;


  6. My bones will break due to the tremendous stresses! That is the whole point of lifting weights. Not to break the bones, but to stress the body so it gets stronger, that means stronger connective tissues which includes the bones. You want stronger bones don’t you?
  7. Are you saying I shouldn’t do fulsome lifts? I am saying don’t ignore the majority of lifts (partials) in favour of a small subset (fulls) because some internet expert who has never done partials says they are dangerous. You should base your lifts on your goals. If your goal is all-round superstrength then you will have to do partials because fulls are only a small subset of all possible lifts.
  8. But full lifts are characteristic of all round strength! No they aren’t. A lot of everyday strength stuff requires partial strength, for example the first time I picked up the back of my car I used partial strength. A lot of strongman stuff is partial strength (Yoke Walk, most walks, log press). Some stuff requires full strength but mostly everyday strength is partial. For example when picking up a log one will hoist up one end first then shoulder it – most everyday heavy lifts are performed by moving stuff into a position of partialism so as to be able to lift heavy stuff.


  1. – Bud gets angry talking about Commercialism and Communism.
  2. – Puny Anthony believes that the spine is not ‘designed’ to take 300 lbs, which means I am done for because I’ve exposed my spine to +1000 lb loads many times over the years.

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