Iron Icons: John Kuc & Jim Williams, II Iron Icons: John Kuc & Jim Williams, II

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Thread: Iron Icons: John Kuc & Jim Williams, II

  1. #1
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    Default Iron Icons: John Kuc & Jim Williams, II

    • phoenix arizona seminar date
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    by Marty Gallagher

    “Show up or be branded a pussy!”

    Article

    Resources Page

  2. #2
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    Another great article! I did have one question though, did Marty train with Kuc? He mentions Kuc's DL routine in the article, and I received some conflicting information from another source that knew Kuc. The routines were similar (with a 4x4 base theme), but the routine I have has more assistance lifts (rackpulls, deficit pulls, etc) all based off percentages.

    I am at work right now, but when I get home I can paste the routine here.

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    Another great one by Marty! Just last night I read two articles about Jim Williams

    The Sacramento Superman http://www.powerliftingwatch.com/node/15307

    Black Power Man http://www.armwrestlinghistorychanne...power-man.html

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    As promised... long day at work! I think this program was from PLUSA a long time ago.

    OHN KUC'S DEADLIFT PROGRAM (PER CENT CHART)


    (First Day) (Second Day)

    DL Starts DL lock outs Reg DL's

    1. .63X4, .53X4X3 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.00X4X3) .65X6, .80X4X4
    2. .63X4, .55X4X3 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.03X4X2) .65X6, .80X4, .81X4X3
    3. .63X4, .75X4, .79X4X3 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.06X4X2) .65X6, .80X4, .83X4X3
    4. .63X4, .75X4, .79X4, .81X4 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.05X4, 1.09X4) .65X6, .80X4, .83X4X3
    5. .63X4, .75X4, .79X4 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.05X4) .65X6, .80X4X4
    6. .63X4, .75X4, .81X4, .83X4 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.05X4, 1.12X4) .65X6, .80X4, .83X4, .85X4X2
    7. .63X4, .75X4, .81X4, .85X4 (.65X6, .85X4, .95X4, 1.06X4, 1.16X4) .65X6, .80X4, .83X4, .88X4, .92X4, .90X4
    8. .63X4, .75X4, .81X4, .87X4 (.65X6, .80X4, .95X4, 1.07X4 1.07X4,1.20X4) .65X6, .80X4X4
    9. No DL workout on First Day. (TRY LIMIT SINGLE DL on second day- .65X6, .80X4, .92X1, 1.03X1, .80X4*)


    (REGULAR DEADLIFTS ONLY, ONCE PER WEEK, AFTER A 9TH WEEK TRYOUT)
    10. .63X6, .77X4, .82X4X3
    11. .63X6, .77X4, .84X4X3
    12. .63X6, .77X4, .87X4X3
    13. .63X6, .77X4, .85X4, .89X4, .87X4
    14. .63X6, .77X4, .85X4, .90X4, .87X4
    15. .63X6, .77X4, .85X4, .92X4, .87X4
    16. .63X6, .77X4, .87X4
    17. (LIMIT DL IN CONTEST) work up to 1.03 of previous best

    This is probably going to paste horribly bad, but you will see the routine has deadlift starts (haltings off a block I believe), normal deads, and rackpulls. As he tapers off in the later weeks, he goes to just DLing 1x per week instead of 2x. An old timer I workout with also gave me another version of a Kuc program that he got back in the day too. But I believe this was the exact program he used for one of his contest cycles.

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    You KNOW where this came from?

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    Some guy posting as "Ghost of John Kuc" put up a bunch of Kuc's training logs--preparing for the 1980 Worlds, I believe--over on Power and Bulk, although you need to create an account to find 'em. Simple, heavy, low reps, a little BB style assistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    You KNOW where this came from?
    http://jva.ontariostrongman.ca/DL2.htm

    This is where I found the info that I copied/pasted. I do not have the PLUSA magazine that it came from. I might know someone that does, since he has almost all of the PLUSA's that were ever printed (save for the first year I think).

    The guy I work out with (Jan Van de Weghe) also told me about another Kuc DL routine. It was very similar to the one that was posted on the website. It had the main 3x4/4x4 theme, rackpulls, and a second day of DLing. I agree with the main point of the article. He didn't use bands/chains or any other gimic. I just was wondering about the part where it mentioned training only 1x per week and only doing DL's and upper back work.

    Either way, I enjoyed the article. Thanks for posting it!

  8. #8
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    I have John Kuc's training book "John Kuc Speaks on Powerlifting" He built up 3X3 on his deadlifts once per week. He stopped all assistance 6 weeks out from a meet.

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    I'm trying out Kucs 3x3 for pulling. Felt good yesterday.

  10. #10
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    starting strength nutrition camp
    I knew John Kuc personally.

    I grew up in Wilkes-Barre, PA (god help me). Kuc owned a donut shop two blocks from my childhood home so I had quite a few opportunities to pick his brain. I asked the guy many of the same questions you’re all asking here so I wanted to comment when I saw this article.

    There’s confusion over what “his routine” was. Basically, the guy tried everything at one time or another just like everyone else does. The different routines people are posting are from different times in his career. It's misleading.

    This is basically the gist of what he told me:

    (His “Assisted” Routine)

    Early on he made most of his gains by ramping up to heavy singles in the lifts once or twice a week. He’d do something like:

    Monday - Bench, Curls
    Tuesday - Squat, Row, Shrugs
    Friday - Squat, Bench, Deadlift to maxes

    He'd work up to the heaviest weight of the day using 10,8,6,4,2,1,1 or some variation thereof. He would do something like 3,3,,1,1,1 in the deadlift.

    He didn’t like assistance work. He did experiment with box squats and rack pulls at certain times in his career but didn’t think they helped much.

    I showed him some early Louie Simmons articles in PLUSA and he thought they were bullshit. He urged me to keep it simple.

    He used simple linear cycles early on, dropping the weights back after a peak and working back up. He didn’t use percents, he just went by feel and added a bit week to week. Simple as that. (That JV Askem cycle is misleading. It makes it look like some sophisticated mathematics when there was none.)

    That being said, Kuc was also very frank about his use of “currently outlawed ergogenic aids“ which I greatly appreciated as a young lifter.

    He told me that the linear cycling only worked while he was using. He would come off cycle for a little bit after a meet, lighten the weights, and then gradually start back, increasing the dose as the weights got heavier. That's how me made most of his progress, by upping the dose.

    He also force fed himself to get up to super heavy. He and Jim Williams would go out for banana splits after their heavy session every week. That was their “post workout smart bomb“.

    He dropped from super heavy by eating around 2,200 calories a day and walking. He also got off the “supplements” for a while until his doctor gave him the OK. He said his lifts went to shit and he was miserable. He was also pissed that he lost so much hair. LOL

    (His “Clean” Routine)

    Once he started lifting in the ADFPA he had to change his training. He wasn’t able to progress in a linear fashion anymore, so he started doing smaller 4 week wave cycles. His theory was that dropping back to light weights (like 60%) as a “natural” is a waste of time, and that nattys need to back off and rest for a bit, but should keep the weights higher to maintain their strength.

    He also started using sets of triples and fours instead of singles. He would have kept doing singles if he could have, but he burnt out too easily without the "supplements".

    This is basically the approach Bob Gaynor outlines in his article. Bob used to run "Kuc's Fitness" (later the "Fitness Headquarters") and used to promote contests in the area. He and his wife Geri actually got me started in lifting. Good people.

    (Other Crap)

    Kuc hated deadlifts. He did them grudgingly and never liked training them. I shit you not.

    He pulled 925 in training as a SHW.

    He only got to train with Jim Williams ("Chimsey") once a week in Scranton. He loved doing assisted bench presses (forced reps) with Williams and thought it was the main contributor to his 600 bench.

    The assistance work people list in his routines is basically bodybuilding work he threw in to keep up his physique when he dropped down from super heavy. He enjoyed bodybuilding and when I first met him (96) he was in his late 50’s and still had a massive baseball bicep (actually more or a cantaloupe bicep).

    He seemed to be a bright individual but very low key. Someone would probably think he was shy or slow if they talked to him. Very much the “strong silent type”, though I know exactly what Mary Gallagher says when he refers to his “Scary” psych up. Everyone knows a nice guy who will rip your head off and shit down your throat if you piss them off. I got that gist from Kuc. Very introverted.

    The most poignant thing I can think of about him is that none of his coworkers even knew what the man had accomplished. My neighbor worked as a waitress at his shop. When I told her he was one of the strongest men to walk the planet she looked at me like my head was on sideways. He never talked about it, no trophies at the shop, nothing. To her he was just “John”, a very humble nice guy. It would be like working for Michael Jordan and not knowing he ever played basketball.

    I can also tell you all is that when Kuc quit powerlifting he was DONE with it. After a local YMCA meet I took Tony Succarotte (former IPF WR holder in the bench) to meet him. Tony remarked that Kuc should come back to power lifting as a master's lifter and asked him if he missed it at all. Kuc’s reply was a simple “No, not really”, and that was that.

    Somewhere in the early 00's Kuc sold the donut shop and the last time I heard he was involved in a Dunkin' Donuts in Exeter, PA. Wherever he is I hope he's well.

    It's a bittersweet world where Lance Armstrong can ride his wittle bicycle and become a multimillionare celebrity but guys like Kuc are left as faint memories on internet message boards.

    (p.s. - Jim Williams was a PIMP. Literally. Hell of a nice guy as well.)

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