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Thread: John McCallum complete keys to progress

  1. #1
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    Default John McCallum complete keys to progress

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    Rip,
    I have been reading McCallum's book and wanted to see your thoughts about it.
    The book reads nicely but does sound contradictory in some parts. For example, the author emphasis on strength training and avoiding lengthy workouts yet most of the routines he provides are high rep sets and amalgamates a multi faceted full body workout. For example combining hyperextensions, squats, front squats, bench, behind neck press, pullovers, power cleans, rowing and curls. The squats are 5 to 10 reps in his routines.
    Im just confused as to how such routine was perceived as quick and shot by the author who seems quite poised and knowledgeable. There is no emphasis at all at long rest between the sets and the emphasis is on breathing squats which I have not seen you ever discuss.
    Im interested, for practical and also academic purposes, to hear your thoughts and critique of this book, and explanations as to why the author promoted these lengthy routines while not deeming them as such.
    Best

  2. #2
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    Nobody really knew John McCallum. He mailed his pieces to York in the 60s, brown paper envelope, no telephone communication, no discussions, no other interaction. Suggs and Starr edited the articles and ran them as they showed up from somewhere in the Northwest, and they mailed the checks back to the return address. As far as I'm concerned, the primary value of the Keys stories is their basic message of lift big/eat big, not in the particular details. McCallum is a great writer, much better than I will ever be, and he was just a pleasure to read. I can only imagine how many copies of Strength And Health he sold for Hoffman back then, with guys all over the world waiting each month for the next installment.

  3. #3
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    The reason McCallum is so contradictory is because he was writing about bodybuilding as well as pure strength. He even threw in some Olympic lifting stuff, sorta.

    I started reading his stuff in high school in the mid 60's, and yes indeed, I couldn't wait for the next installment.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Nobody really knew John McCallum. He mailed his pieces to York in the 60s, brown paper envelope, no telephone communication, no discussions, no other interaction. Suggs and Starr edited the articles and ran them as they showed up from somewhere in the Northwest, and they mailed the checks back to the return address. As far as I'm concerned, the primary value of the Keys stories is their basic message of lift big/eat big, not in the particular details. McCallum is a great writer, much better than I will ever be, and he was just a pleasure to read. I can only imagine how many copies of Strength And Health he sold for Hoffman back then, with guys all over the world waiting each month for the next installment.
    You are a terrific (terrific) writer, speaker, and role model.

    Thank you ever so much for this eloquent and enlightening intro.

    If possible to talk about these early pubs (including Randal strossen' super "breathing" squats) on the next podcast ill be very grateful.

    Best

  5. #5
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    I haven't got anything good to say about Dr. Strossen, so I'll probably leave him off the podcast.

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