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03 March 2015

The Last Couple Decades Weren't Just Awesome Because of The Mustaches: Behold The Awesomeness Of Powerbuilding

Lee Priest was a strong motherfucker in his day... because he was not a minimalist and learned from his contemporaries in other sports.

As I mentioned in a recent article, there seems to be a trend toward minimalism in today's trainee.  I'm not simply referring to powerlifting, either- the strength training/physical culture world has become so fractured that hard lines have been drawn in the sand regarding training techniques and styles that people don't dare cross, lest they arouse the ire of others within their given subculture.  For instance:
Ok, so not all amateur bodybuilders are tards, but the vocal ones on forums are 100% retarded.  Somehow, I don't think Milan Šádek is on seeking affirmation from 16 year olds with gyno.
  • amateur bodybuilders  (not pros, as they actually understand how to train to maximize hypertrophy) scream endlessly about the value of "perfect form" and rail against training heavy or with loose form.  From Reddit to Facebook to Youtube, they're constantly bemoaning the likes of Brad Castleberry for their "shitty form"... nevermind the fact that that shitty form has him lean, 255 lbs at 5'9", and strong as shit all the time.  Has he been to "snap city"?  Nope.  That doesn't stop the pussies on the internet from whining about his form, however, and the weights he's using to "pump up his ego."  

I've seen pot pies with more muscularity and intensity than this chap.
  • powerlifters yammer on endlessly about the uselessness of bodybuilding movements and seem to hold it as a point of honor when they look like fat bags of pasty white dogshit.  Then, they have the utter audacity to flip out on people on the street when questioned if they bodybuild, incredulous that someone would actually be giving them a compliment for appearing as though they lift.  Fucking retarded, yet that's what they do daily.
Any time I need an ego boost about my shit-dog clean technique, I know right where to look.
  • CrossFitters are perhaps the worst of the lot, telling everyone nearby with their clothing and words of their love for CrossFit and decrying the utility of exercises that would actually lower their risk of injury and resolve muscular imbalances, like leg curls, seated rows, and dumbbell and cable work for their "vanity muscles."
Ugh.  Someone had to make the CrossFitter look good, I guess.
  • Olympic weightlifters in the United States are notorious for furiously masturbating to the deliberate misinformation propagated by the Bulgarians in the 1980s, so they eschew any and all assistance work for endless light sets of squats and the Olympic lifts to "perfect their form."  As such, they blow at everything from their own sport down on through basic fitness. 
So, how'd it get this way?  Frankly, I blame the internet, because I'm old and crotchety and shoot rock salt at the young whippersnappers in my yard as they scamper hither and yon in their damnable skinny jeans, listening to Miley Cyrus dubstep remixes or whatever horrible shit that passes as music is these days.  Prior to the internet, there were divisions between the sports, but nothing like what goes on now, at least in my experience.  The camps have become so fucking dogmatic that they're blind to the fact that all of them can learn a great deal from each other, and that they'd all benefit from doing so.

Lee Priest- powerbuilder and grand world champion of bulking.

That is where power bodybuilding, or powerbuilding, comes in- it crosses the lines between the different lifting disciplines to create the thickest, leanest, strongest motherfuckers the world has ever seen.  Nowhere in powerbuilding would you find fatties happy to be fat and look like they don't lift (save, perhaps, for Lee Priest and his hilarious obsession with KFC), and nowhere withing the confines of this style of training would you find a lifter whose training poundages didn't match the impressiveness of their physique.  Instead, powerbuilding has always been jam-packed with huge, strong, ripped dudes throwing massive weights around like they were pinatas at a Mexican midget's birthday party- we're talking about badass, hard-as-nails, thicker-than-a-mack-truck motherfuckers like:

Scott Wilson 
1980s mass monster with who is considered to have one of the broadest sets of shoulders in history

Superstar Billy Graham, Western USA Tenn Mr. America, World Strongest Man competitor, and possessor of a 605 bench press who trained with Pat Casey, Arnold, Franco, and Dave Draper in the late 1960s.

Brutally thick and strong Mike Mentzer

Huge squatter and possessor of some of the craziest triceps in history, Paul "Quadzilla" Demayo

Training partners and general lunatics Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson

One would hope that you might find the above pictures at least somewhat compelling, as those maniacs are all cut from the same cloth as Chaos and Pain's Baddest motherfuckers Ivan Putsky, John Grimek, Chuck Sipes, Phil Grippaldi, Steve Stanko, Stan Efferding, Franco Columbu, Bruno Samartino, John DeFendis, Benny Podda, and Marvin Eder.  A quick bit of googling will net you their routines, all of which I've posted in their requisite articles, and all of which were lengthy, brutally heavy, and frequent in the extreme.  The following workouts are no different- while they might vary in rep ranges and exercise selection, each of the following routines utilizes weights designed to make the lifter shit their pant s in fear before starting each set, training volumes designed to destroy the person undertaking the program or make them into the most brutal sonofabitch who's ever lived, and all of which require focus and intensity that would make the nerds in the CIA's Stargate Project look like drooling halfwits with a bad case of ADHD.

Bill Ennis, just walking into meets and trashing kids while looking like a bodybuilder and rocking 5.5% bodyfat.

Behold, then, the awesomeness of powerbuilding programs- programs designed to make lifters brutally strong, massive, and ripped.  And before you assert that these programs have never allowed a lifter to dominate powerlifting, bear in mind that Stan Efferding and Johnnie Jackson are both IFBB professional bodybuilders and are fifth and sixth on the best of the best list on Powerliftingwatch at 275 for the deadlift, IFBB pro Greg Doucette has the ninth best bench press at 198 in the history of the sport, IFBB pro Amit Sapir has the world record in the raw squat, Stan Efferding has held the unwrapped squat and total records at 275 lbs for the last four years, and that all of the great powerlifters of the late 1970s (John Kuc, Jon Cole, Rick Gaugler, Ricky Dale Crain, Ernie Frantz, and Jack Barnes) and most of the great powerlifters of the 1980s (like Gene Bell, Joe Ladnier, Larry Pacifico, and Ken Lain) trained with a powerbuilding style.  Hell, the first guy to bench press 600 lbs in competition, Pat Casey, was a bodybuilder.  Therefore, it might be time to put aside your Smolov/Sheiko/program du jour and take a page out of a time wherein Magnum Pi was an authority on facial hair and dudes were actually proud to look like they'd stepped inside a gym before.

The Powerbuilding Elite

Mike O'Hearn
6'3", 285lbs.

Frankly, I was surprised at this, but when I started googling "power building", his name started popping up like plastic rodents in a short-circuiting Whack-A-Mole game.  Insofar as I knew, O'Hearn gave up powerlifting and bodybuilding years ago to be a cover model, American Gladiator (he's the only person to be a gladiator on both the old and the new show, Battle Dome gladiator, and actor.  Apparently, that's not so, because he looks as big and lean as he's ever been at 46, and has been putting up crazy PRs recently like a double with 500 on the incline, bottom position pin squats with 650 for 8 sets of 8, and highish reps on seated behind the neck press with 405 lbs.

O'Hearn's self-stated training style is "power bodybuilding" and as he's bulked back up, he's been heavily espousing this style of training, mixing it up in the gym with the likes of such strong motherfuckers as Kali Muscle, NFL punter and oft-voted "best body in the NFL" punter Steve Weatherford, IFBB pro and world record holding powerlifter Stan Efferding, and synthol-ed Mickey Rourke look-alike Rich Piana.  From what I can see of O'Hearn's training, his workouts are a hell of a lot longer, heavier, and more intense than what he recommends for the average trainee, but you guys will get the gist of his methods from O'Hearn's 12 week power bodybuilding program.  If you check out his Facebook page, you can see he also highly recommends exercises like the bottom-position pin squats (also one of my faves), shrugs, machine rear laterals, incline JM presses and all sorts of cables for arms, seated dumbbell work for shoulders, and a bunch of other stuff- the following is just his bare-bones recommendation.

Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip -1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip -6 x 5 as heavy as possible
Dumbbell Bench Press- 4-5 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Flyes-3 x 8-10
Pm: 30 minutes cardio/crunches

Barbell Squat- 1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Squat 7 x 3 as heavy as possible
Leg Press 5 x 10 as heavy as possible
Leg Extensions 3 x 10 as heavy as possible
PM: 30 min treadmill/ crunches

Standing Shoulder Press - 3 x 8
Wide-Grip Upright Barbell Row - 3 x 8
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row - 3 x 8
Side Lateral Raise - 4 x 12
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise - 4 x 12

Barbell Curl - 3 x 8
Seated Dumbbell Curl - 3 x 8-12
Preacher Curl - 3 x 8-12
Lying Triceps Press - 4 x 8-12
Triceps Pushdown - 4 x 8-12
Dumbbell Incline Triceps Extension (shown with cable) - 4 x 8-12
PM: 30 min jog/ crunches

Barbell Deadlift - 1-3 sets, low weight
Working Sets
Barbell Deadlift - 7 x 2
One-Arm Dumbbell Row -  5 x 10
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown - 3 x 8
PM: 30min Cardio/crunches

Sergio Oliva
5'9", 235lbs.
Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anyone could not be aware of Sergio Oliva, but on the off chance one of you just crawled out from under a rock and are still trying to blink the sunlight out of your eyes, here's the lowdown on Oliva:

  • he took 2nd place in the 1962 Cuban National Olympic Weightlifting Champions
  • 1966 AAU Jr. Mr. America
  • 1967-1969 Mr. Olympia
  • 1972-1973 WBBG Mr. Galaxy
  • 1975, 1976 and 1978 WBBG Mr. Olympus 
  • 1977 and 1980 WABBA Professional World Champion 
  • 1980 and 1981 WABBA Professional World Cup winner 

Oliva's strength was as massive as his arms and quads (his quads were always 27" and his largest waist measurement was 28").  He hammered at his body the same way he hammered steel in the foundry where he worked, and his efforts paid off- at 235 lbs, he was strong enough to tangle with most powerlifters and not embarrass himself.

Chest and Back 
Bench Press supersetted with Chinning Bar.
Set 1: 200lbs x 8, 15 reps on chinning bar
Set 2: 220lbs x 8, 15 reps on chinning bar
Set 3; 260lbs x 8, 10 reps on chinning bar
Set 4: 300lbs x 8, 10 reps on chinning bar
Set 5: 320lbs x 8, 8 reps on chinning bar
Set 6: 350lbs x 8, 8 reps on chinning bar
Set 7: 380lbs x 8, 5 reps on chinning bar
DB Flyes supersetted with Dips- 5 x 15 reps with 80lb dumbbells for flyes, supersetted with weighted dips.

Shoulders, Biceps and Triceps
Overhead Press- 5 x 15 x 200 lbs
Extending Heavy Curls. 5 x 5 reps x 200 lbs
French Curls. 5 x 5 reps x 200 lbs
Scott (Curls) Bench. 5 x 10 reps x 150 lbs
Scott (Curls) Bench with Dumbbells. 5 x 5 reps x 60 lb dumbbell
Seated Triceps Extension. 5 x 5 x 60 lbs dumbbell, supersetted with Tricep Press Downs

Abs, Heavy Squats and Calves
Situps- 10 x 50
Leg Raises- 5 x 20
Side Bends with Bar Behind Neck- 5 x 200
Squats- 300 x 5, 400 x 5, 440 x 5, 470 x 5, 500 x 4
Standing Heel Raises- 10 x 8 x 300 lbs

Chest, Back and Shoulders
Bench Press- 200 x 5, 220 x 5, 260 x 5, 300 x 5, 320 x 5, 350 x 5, 380 x 5
Press Behind Neck- 5 x 5 reps x 250 lbs, supersetted with Rowing Machine, 200 pounds
Sitting Press with Dumbbells- 5 x 5 x 80 lb dumbbells.
Dips- 5 x 8

Heavy Arms 
Press- 3 x, 5 x 200 lbs
Extending Heavy Curls- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
French Curls- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
Scott Bench for Triceps- 3 x 5 x 200 lbs
Scott Bench for Triceps with Dumbbell- 3 x 5 x 50 lb dumbbell, supersetted with Tricep Press Downs.
Chinning Behind Neck- 5 x 5 reps
Chinning Bar with Closed Hands- 5 x 5 reps, supersetted with Tricep Machine Pull Downs

Abs and Legs
Situps- 5 x 10
Leg Raises- 5 x 10
Side Bends with Bar Behind Neck- 5 x 50
Squats- 3 x 3 x 300 lbs; 2 x 3 x 400 lbs; 3 x 20 x 250 lbs
Front Squats- 5 x 10 x 200 lbs
Sitting Heel Raises- 5 x 5 x 200 lbs

Steve Michalik
5'10", 210lbs.
Well known for his psychotic intensity, undying love of AAS, and for having trained John DeFendis until he achieved his ultimate and ridiculous final Super Saiyan form.  Training two days on, one day off, Steve smashed heavy legs and back Day One, slaughtered chest, shoulders, and arms Day 2, and massacred his abs and calves on a daily basis.  Every workout was basically a bloodbath in which Michalik would work up to an incredibly heavy last set, then do three weight drops in that set to pulverize whatever was left of the bloody hamburger that was the bodypart being trained into a painful pile of pumped up muscle mush.

While the weights below might not scream "HOLY SHIT HE WAS STRONG" at you, bear in mind a bad car accident cut Michalik's career short and we never really got to see what he was capable of, but Michalik was strong as all hell.  According to 1974 IFBB Mr. America winner Don Modzelewski,
“I ran into [Michalik] and just asked if he could give me some advice. Out of the goodness of his heart, he came down and trained me every night, six days a week, for about twelve weeks, and never asked me for a dime. He was no longer training at that time, but one Sunday morning plopped down on a bench with a jelly doughnut in his mouth and, without a warm-up, knocked out twenty reps in the bench with 315, with his ankles crossed up in the air.” (Colescott).
I don't know about you, but I've never seen a 5'10", 210 lb man bench a set of 20 with his legs in the air and 315lbs, all while munching on a jelly doughnut.  That, in my book, equals fucking strong.

Michalik with 1982 Mr. O Samir "Lion of Lebanon" Bannout

Michalik's Split
Day One
a. Leg Presses - four sets - 450 lbs. to 800 lbs.
b. Leg Curls - four sets - 125 lbs. - 15 repetitions.
c. Hack Squats - four sets - 150 lbs. to 325 lbs. - super-setted with
d. Leg Extensions - constant weight of 225 lbs. - ten repetitions.
e. Full Squats - four sets - 205 lbs. to 405 lbs. - ten repetitions.
a. Long Pulley Cable Rowing - seated - six sets - 150 lbs. to 200 lbs.
b. Bent-over Rowing - four sets - 150 lbs. to 245 lbs. Triple drop on last set.
c. Seated Lat Pull-downs - six sets - 150 lbs. to 275 lbs.
d. Deadlifts - four sets - 205 lbs. to 400 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.

It wouldn't be a party without this picture.

Day Two
a. Barbell Pullover - constant weight - 75 lbs. four sets of 15 repetitions for rib-box stretch.
b. Bench Press - six sets - 205 lbs. to 405 .bs.
c. Decline press - six sets - 20t lbs. to 345 lbs.
d. Incline Press - six sets - 150 lbs. to 300 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
a. Seated Press (on machine) - five sets - 150 lbs. to 205 lbs.
b. Seated Behind the Neck Press (on machine) - 5 sets - 125 lbs. to 175 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
c. Lateral Raises (dumbbells) - 4 sets - 25 lbs. to 45 lbs.
d. Shrugs - 4 sets - 205 lbs. to 300 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
a. Lying Triceps Curl on Flat Bench - 6 sets - 110 lbs. to 200 lbs.
b. Seated Triceps Curl - 6 sets - 100 to 150 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
Regular Set:
c. Decline Triceps Curl - 6 sets - 100 to 150 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
a. Preacher Curl - oNe Arm - 4 sets - 50 to 75 lbs.
b. Incline Curl (on half-moon bench) - 4 sets - 65 to 85 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.
c. Standing Curl - 6 sets - constant weight - 120 lbs. super-setted with-
d. Preacher Curl - constant weight - 110 lbs.  Triple drop on last set.

Every Day
Calves - 15 sets of about 20 reps - 150 to 250 lbs.
Abdominals - On an adjustable abdominal board. 50 to 75 repetitions on each rung for a drop set.  One to two sets of each drop set (Mr. USA).

Roy Hilligenn
5’6”, 180 lbs,

Roy Hilligenn might be the baddest motherfucker of whom you've never heard.  At 5'6", 180lbs, he might have been the biggest guy I'm going to mention in this series, but he his strength was so prodigeous than when coupled with his Aryan good looks, he'd have been the only person in Hitler's spank bank if he'd lived long enough to witness Hilligenn's lifts.  Hilligenn was the first South African to clean and jerk double bodyweight, tied the world record in the same lift in competition, and eventually unofficially broke the world record in that lift, smashing John Davis's record with a 402lb exhibition lift at a bodyweight that was 50 lbs less than Davis's, and crushing his own weight class's best lift by 32 lbs.  Hell, Hilligenn was even crazy strong into his old age- at 72, he did 35 reps with 400 lbs in the deadlift at a bodyweight of 165 (Bass).

Hilligenn with 405 overhead.

Hilligenn's training poundages are pretty badass even by today's standards, considering the frequency with which he trained, his bodyweight, and the equipment available to lifters in the early 1950s.  While training for the 1951 Mr. America, which he won, Hilligenn was moving some impressive weights:

Full Squat- 420 x 10
Bench Press- 280 x 10
Seated DB Press- 90s x 10
Dumbbell Row- 155 x 10
Incline DB press- 115 x 10

Though his program wasn't really one that could be considered hard and fast or particularly codified, Hilligenn stuck to an interesting 6 day split, wherein he alternated Olympic weightlifting and bodybuilding days.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Hilligenn did bodybuilding exercises from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., then hit a second session from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were his Olympic lifting days, which consisted of just one session per day.  For his bodybuilding workouts, Roy typically went higher rep, sticking around the 10-15 rep range and going for a burn and a pump.  For most exercises, he'd use five sets, using a combination of barbells, dumbbells, and cables.

Hilligenn's Olympic days were much heavier and ultilized much lower rep ranges- for these he stuck in the 1-3 rep range.  On each of these days, he'd do all three of the olympic lifts, followed by jerks out of the squat stands for triples and doubles, then snatch grip high pulls, then clean grip high pulls, adding weight until he could no longer pull it.  Frankly, this seems like a really utilitarian, if brutal, methodology, and one that could easily be applied to any other strength sport with ease.

I couldn't find a single iota of info on this dude's training, but Mahmut Irmak is the only person I've seen make Andreas Munzer look like he should have been riding a Rascal through an Arkansas Wal-Mart.

As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to attack your physique with powerbuilding, and all ofthem yield pretty phenomenal results.  Still to come, we've got Mike Francois, Rich Gaspari, Phil Herndon, and a bunch of other badass, ultra-strong, weight-destroying badasses and their programs lined up to give you an idea on how to alter your program to bring your physique up to match your lifts, and vice-versa.  In the meantime, start working on that mustache- they appear to confer some sort of physique and strength advantage science has yet to explain.

Bass, Clarence.  Roy Hilligenn, a Marvel - Then & Now.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

Colescott, Steve.  Surviving Mr. America's gym.  Musclemag.  16 Feb 2012.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.

The Mr. USA Story.  Eric's Gym.  Web.  24 Feb 2015.

Nuckols, Greg.  Powerlifters Should Train More Like Bodybuilders.  StrengthTheory.  7 Feb 2015.  Web.  22 Feb 2015.

O'Hearn, Mike.  mike O'Hearn's power bodybuilding: The 12-Week program.  12 Nov 2014.  Web.  3 Mar 2015.

Roy Hilligenn- The smiling superman.  Iron Game History.  Aug 1994:3(4);8-10.

Sergio Oliva Training Routine.  Muscle and Brawn.  5 Jun 2010.  Web.  26 Feb 2015.

23 February 2015

Before You Guys Start Bitching That I've Sold Out (Which We All Know You Will)- The Removal Of Porn From The Blog IS NOT MY FAULT

Here is the email I just received from Blogger:

Dear Blogger User,

We're writing to tell you about an upcoming change to the Blogger Content Policy that may affect your account.

In the coming weeks, we'll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video. We'll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.

The new policy will go into effect on the 23rd of March 2015. After this policy goes into effect, Google will restrict access to any blog identified as being in violation of our revised policy. No content will be deleted, but only blog authors and those with whom they have expressly shared the blog will be able to see the content we've made private.

Our records indicate that your account may be affected by this policy change. Please refrain from creating new content that would violate this policy. Also, we ask that you make any necessary changes to your existing blog to comply as soon as possible, so that you won't experience any interruptions in service. You may also choose to create an archive of your content via Google Takeout (

For more information, please read here (

The Blogger Team

(c) 2015 Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043


20 February 2015

Wimz Headed To The Club Aren't The Only Ones Who Should Accessorize

Is that a heroin addict, or your average powerlifter?  The arms look a little big for an average powerlifter.

One of the weirdest trends in powerlifting today is the mentality seemingly shared by every lifting new jack on the planet- the belief that accessory work is as pointless, useless, and possibly detrimental to one's strength as a combined heroin and krokodil addiction would be.  I've no idea what the source of this belief could be, but it is quite possibly one of the most ridiculous thought processes ever shared by a large group of people in history.  The belief that the Earth is only 6,000 years old rivals this belief in its utter, jaw dropping, jibberingly moronic mentality.  Perhaps we should blame some of the more famous training programs and their progenitors, which seem to treat bodybuilding exercises as tantamount to heresy and produce naught but mediocre lifters- I've no fucking clue.

I might have to make a caption contest for this shitshow.

By now, you're likely shaking your head in disbelief, shocked that I would dare to laugh in the face of Millennial internet lifting dogma, which seems to have cemented itself in the heads of everyone in spite of the fact that such dogma rarely leads to impressive totals.  I can do so, however, because I end up training people who have utilized the most popular programs on the internet, and they all suffer from the same issues- ridiculous muscular imbalances, easily fixable weaknesses in small muscle groups, small, weak arms, "shoulder impingement issues" (HOLY FUCKING CHRIST, YOU DON'T HAVE A SHOULDER TO IMPINGE BECAUSE YOU TREAT SHOULDER TRAINING LIKE SOME ESOTERIC RITUAL ONLY BODYBUILDERS AND CROSSFITTERS DO), weak abs, weak calves, and a hideous misunderstanding of how strength training actually works.

Jim Cash- brutal lifter, brutal physique... brought to you by bodybuilding.

Yeah, that's right- if you think accessory training is pointless, you should probably go drown yourself in an unflushed toilet, because you have all of the common sense of a halfwit fishing around in a garbage disposal for a hard candy while reaching for the light switch next to the sink to better see your confectionery prey.  If you're asking yourself why, let me tell you:

  • just about every great lifter in history, save the Bulgarians of the 1970s and 1980s, has incorporated bodybuilding exercises in their programs.  
  • All of the old time strongmen advocated curls and tricep extensions in their training programs. 
  • Olympic weightlifting great Vasily Alexeev benched and curled religiously, as did Phil Grippaldi and David Rigert, none of whom necessarily needed strong biceps or pecs for their sport (Ivanov).   
  • Pat Casey, the first man to bench 600 in competition, began his career as a bodybuilder and continued to do tons of curls, tricep extensions, leg curls, and leg extensions throughout his powerlifting career (Gallagher).  
  • Kirk Karwoski, for all intents and purposes, trained like a bodybuilder for his entire career (Gallagher).  
  • Jon Kuc did more accessory work than he did primary lifts, and he looked phenomenal while setting the powerlifting world on fire (Kuc).  
  • The coach of the Chinese Olympic weightlifting team, Coach Fang, says that "a weightlifter MUST use bodybuilding exercises to progress in the snatch and clean and jerk," and recommends that at every workout a lifter should choose one or two small bodyparts at the end of each workout and do 6 sets for each to failure, with whatever weight one chooses (Winter).

Jay Rosciglione.  Think he skipped his accessory work?

Coach Fang’s program includes training one or two small muscles at the end of every workout, with a particular focus on upper back, lats, triceps, obliques, and abs in particular.  Those recommendations seem to fit in with the accessory work espoused by other great lifters, as upper back work is one of the staples of Chuck Vogelpohl's training (Simmons), general bodybuilding training was a staple of beastly bench presser George Halbert (Simmons), Jon Kuc continually stressed the importance of ab work (Kuc), and every great powerlifter in history has done heavy and extensive tricep accessory work.

Tell big Bill he should have skipped leg extensions and done more squats.  I dare you.

And for those of you who think that leg extensions and leg curls are pointless exercises for people with crap leg development, think again- I've used them with great success in the past as an accessory movement or as a replacement for squatting on my light days, the Chinese and Egyptian Olympic weightlifting teams use isometric holds on leg extensions (Winter), drug-free lifter John Kuc used leg extensions and curls as his sole accessory work for squats (Kuc), Ed Coan loves unilateral leg curls (Koenig), and beastly strongman and powerlifter Bill Kazmaier was a huge fan of extensions and leg curls (Kazmaier).

If an Olympic weightlifter is chumping you in a front double biceps pose, it's time to rethink your training routine.

If you're wondering, then, what sort of accessory work you should be doing, let me impart a bit of wisdom gleaned from training for over 20 years- if you're pushing yourself and moving weight, there is almost no exercise that is a total waste of time.  Sure, you'd be better off back squatting with a heavy barbell than doing pistols on a bosu ball, but even the pistols will have a net positive effect on your lifting if they're used in concert with heavy compound movements.  Neglecting small bodyparts will only serve to exacerbate the muscular imbalances you'll invariably have if you train only a few movements.  It's a virtual guarantee that your form isn't perfect, and if it is, it's a guarantee you're not pushing yourself in the gym.  Either way, you're going to fuck yourself up if you don't hit all of the little shit you might think is pointless.  To satisfy your curiosity, here's an incomplete list of the accessory work I do on a regular basis- listing everything I ever do would take far too long and would likely only serve to confuse half of you.  Let's just say I take insanely short rest periods and train six to ten times a week when I'm training hard.  My reps on these range from about five to fifteen, and occasionally go up to over thirty if I feel like getting a pump or I'm doing dips or pullups.

Clearly, inclines worked for Kevin Levrone.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press.  For these, I pause deep at the bottom, explode to the top, hold it at full extension, and then do about a 2 second descent.  Most of the great benchers I know do these, and they are definitely worth doing for shoulder stretch and extra pec work. 
  • Dips.  Though I don't do these as much as I used to, they're great for most people.  Loading the belt is a pain in the ass once you get over three plates, and doing sets of 50+ gets tedious.  As a general rule for dips and pullups I pick a total rep number and do sets of whatever until I hit that total.  I.e., I'll pick 300 reps and do sets of 40-75 until I hit 300.
  • Cable Flies.  Frankly, I love these things, and do them with high reps and finish my sets with presses.
Who wouldn't want a back like Kai's?

  • Seated Hammer Rows.  I could do these for hours, and occasionally do.  My reps range from 5-12, and I don't have a set number of sets- I just get a massive pump and waddle around the gym like a flying squirrel with a myostatin deficiency. 
  • Barbell rows from the floor.  Another of my favorites, I do them more or less like Pendlay rows, but with slightly more body English and a hell of a lot of explosiveness- if I leave the gym with an unbruised sternum, I've failed.  I keep my reps low on these and use them as a replacement for deadlifts, along with shrugs.
  • Shrugs.  I pull these off the rack from knee height, so it's a bit of a combination lift, and work up as heavy as I can pull it off the pins (usually around 9 plates).
  • Pullups.  I often have days that consist of naught but pullups, and just stay in the gym doing sets of 12-20 until I hit the hour mark and go home.  Keep your rest periods short and just go bananas on these.
  • Face Pulls.  I throw these into random days for extra upper back work, on the recommendation of Chuck Vogelpohl.
The man.  The myth.  The legend, doing his namesake lift.

  • Klokov Presses.  I'm all over the place on these, doing anything from an hour and a half of sets of 12 with 135 to an hour of singles and doubles.  Honestly, these things are invaluable for shoulder health.
  • Laterals.  I do these somewhat sparingly, but still hit them every couple of weeks.
  • Rear Laterals.  I throw these in on both shoulder and chest workouts, doing either machines or free weights.
Mentzer was no weakling, and he loved his hammer curls.

  • Hammer curls.  I usually do these with a rope in the cables, but will go heavy to be a showoff with the dumbbells as well and work up to the 105s for four on occasion.  These were a favorite of Bill Kazmaier, who claimed they helped his bench immeasurably (Kazmaier).  
  • Pushdowns.  I'll do these with a cambered bar, reverse grip and regular, the rope, or any other attachment I might have at hand.  Reps range from 5-50, depending on my mood.
  • Skullcrushers.  I do these laying on the floor with dumbbells, lowering the weight slowly to just above and outside my ears.  I pause them on the floor, then explode to the top.  This is a favorite movement of top amateur bodybuilder and former world record holding powerlifter Ryan Celli, who asserts that if you gain strength in this movement, your bench will definitely go up.
Ernie Frantz credited calf strength for his pulling power.


  • Leg Extensions.  Though I've railed against these in the distant past, I've come to love them.  I don't retract my legs entirely, so as to keep stress off my knees, but I use the full stack and hold each rep for at least 3 seconds for an isometric contraction for reps.  Occasionally, I'll do these for a half hour with 60-90 second rests between sets, going to failure each set, then do leg curls and calf raises and jet.
  • Leg Curls.  I prefer to do these unilaterally and standing, but however I do them, I hold each rep at the top for an isometric contraction, then stop just short of full extension to keep constant tension on the muscle.
  • Calf Raises.  These are essential for pulling power, stability in walking out the weight, and stability in squatting.  Anytime you see a powerlifter with shitty calves, you're seeing a shitty powerlifter.

Pudz doesn't do 360 reps of abs a week just to look pretty.  A weak midsection equals a weak lifter.


  • Ab wheel.  My favorite exercise, I just do these whenever I feel like it while watching tv.  Usually 5-10 sets to failure a couple of times a week.
  • Standing crunches.  I use an ab strap for these and stand in the pulldown station, going to full extension and holding the contraction for a count or two on each rep.

So, there you have it- you should definitely be doing accessory work, no matter what your favorite internet message board might say to the contrary.  Avoidance of accessory work will only lead to plateaus, injuries, and general suckitude.  Don't suck, and don't look like shit- hit those bodybuilding movements and have a physique that matches your lifts.


Gallagher, Marty.  Kirk Karwoski.  Parrillo Performance Press.  1 March 2007.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Gallagher, Marty.  Pat Casey: The First Powerlifting Superstar.  Starting Strength.  2014.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Ivanov, Dmitri.  EFS Classic: The Science of Winning According to Vasili Alexeyev.

Kazmaier, Bill.  The Bench Press, Part Two.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  16 Apr 2014.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Kazmaier, Bill.  Squat and Deadlift.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  30 Apr 2014.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Koenig, John.  Atlas Speaks: An Interview with Ed Coan.  T-Nation.  15 Feb 2001.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Kuc, John.  Advanced Bench Press Training Routine.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  17 Mar 2014.  Web.  19 Feb 2015.

Kuc, John.  Advanced Squat Training.  The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban.  22 Oct 2013.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Simmons, Louie.  How to Reach the Top.  Westside Barbell.  16 Jun 2013.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Simmons, Louie.  Training The Back.  Westside Barbell.  14 Jun 2013.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Winter, Gregor.  Isometric Leg Extension Holds.  All Things Gym.  7 Dec 2013.  Web.  20 Feb 2015.

Winter, Gregor.  Larry’s Chinese Weightlifting Experience Part 1 – Snatches & Squats.  All Things Gym.  4 Jan 2014.  Web.  18 Feb 2015.

10 February 2015

Food of the Warriors- The Stew-roids Series Continues

We can only hope this idiot cued up that godawful country song "Proud To Be An American" and then stuffed that shotgun down his throat and pulled the trigger.

A recent article in Popular Science,"Striving For The Perfect Diet Is Making Us Sick", made some interesting points about the manner in which most people go about dieting.  In our current environment of clinical study obsession, it seems people are unwilling to test a hypothesis- instead, they simply want to be told, definitively, by scientists that whatever it is they're about to try will absolutely work to help them achieve their goal.  Nevermind the utter vapidity of such a mentality, or the mindlessness from which it stems- let's just look at the simple boredom that would come out of such a life.  Gone, apparently, is the appreciation for adventure, or the excitement that stems from formulating a hypothesis, testing it, and having one's theory bear fruit.  It's just plain fucking lazy and banal.

What's more, however, when such a mentality is applied to dieting, is that it seems to seriously fuck people up.  From the gluten-obsessed dipshits who will literally jam their fingers in their ears and scream "LA LA LA LA" like a four year old when you inform them that the entire concept of gluten intolerance is a fabrication to the vegetarians who willfully ignore every scrap of scientific and anecdotal evidence that humans are indeed omnivores to the paleotards who don't understand the evolution of cultivated foods, our diet obsessed, yet horrendously fat modern Western world continues to fuck up their health in the blind search for a magical diet bullet that does not, in fact, exist.  Not only that, but this idiotic mentality is actually being classified as an eating disorder called orthorexia (Moroze) and is classified as “a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition” (Schwartz).  According to the study, this mentality can seriously fuck you up to the point of death, as idiot fad diets "lack essential nutrients, and they make the vitamins and minerals a person does get from meals of exclusively, say, leafy greens, impossible for the body to absorb. This can lead to fragile bones, hormonal shifts, and cardiac problems, along with psychological distress and entrenched, delusional thinking. In other words, the opposite of the intended effect" (Ibid).

The weird part about this to me is that history has already given us plenty of nutritional ammunition and anecdotal evidence about the ultimate diet for us to mine.  It's no secret that humanity is at least devolving from a physical standpoint- one need look no further than the local Walmart to find evidence of that, and there are plenty of authors, from Thomas Sowell to Richard Lynn, who argue convincingly that humanity is devolving from an intellectual standpoint as well.  As such, it makes far more sense to look to our past rather than our present for a guide to optimal nutrition if one wishes to emulate the badasses of bygone eras.

For that reason, I've chosen some of the hardest peoples from history and examined their staple foods for some recipes, as one can never have too much ammunition, and frankly I've grown bored of eating the same four things endlessly.  Thus, I present to you some of the staple stews and meat pies of the Mongols, the Apaches, the Scythians and Sarmatians, the Romans, and the Teutonic Knights.
*A note on meat pies.  As I've gone through this series, it became more and more apparent that the toughest bastards on the planet not only love eating stew and drinking like they're chasing a cirrhotic liver harder than frat boys chase nearly comatose drunk sluts, but they also seem to love the everloving fuck out of meat pies.  That, it seems, is for good reason- they're easy to make, easy to transport, and provide you with a badass calorie bomb while on the go or simply when you're standing in your friend's kitchen at 4:30 in morning, vainly trying to maintain verticality and polish off that 1.75L you started 6 hours prior.  Dating back to the early Neolithic era, meat pies span every corner of the globe, and come in a hell of a lot of different varieties, shapes, and sizes.  Hearty as hell, loaded with protein, and delicious, these things have stayed in the ultimate human diet for almost 12,000 years for damn good reason.  

Scythian/Sarmatian Warriors
Fans of the blog might remember my having mentioned these two tribes in past, due to my love of cannibalistic, human-scalp wearing, heavily tattooed nomadic death dealers.  These two tribes established the Silk Road, ruled over vast swaths of lands stretching from China to Egypt, and fought pretty much anyone and everyone of note in Eurasia over the span of about a thousand years.

Invariably described as blond, broad shouldered, and tanned, these equestrian death machines lived on virtually nothing but milk, meat pies, and stew as they cut a blood-soaked swath through Eurasia, and they seem to have invented the method by which the Mongols eventually came to make their soups and stew- they fill an animal's stomach with hot rocks, spices, and the animal's own meat and let it cook itself from the inside out while they systematically burned off all of the animal's hair to give it a nice, crispy skin to munch on.

Modern descendants of these two tribes still stick to their traditional diet, for the most part, and while interbreeding with the Muslims and Slavs of the region has stripped them of their former blondness, they're just as fractious and violent as ever.  So, if you want to see what some of the most traditionally angry and violent people in history munch on to fuel their murderous rage, look no further.

Chanakhi (Lamb Stew)

Kosher salt
1 large eggplant, stemmed, cut lengthwise, and then cut into 4-inch-long wedges
1 pound lamb shoulder chops, cut into 3-inch-long pieces
2 cups diced onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
One 16-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper
Butter or vegetable oil, for sauteing
Pizza dough, for covering
Special equipment: Four clay pots

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a bowl of water and soak the eggplant for about 20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the stew.
  3. Heat a deep iron skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, and then brown the lamb (it makes its own oil). Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent, and then pour in the tomato paste and tomatoes, taking care not to smash the whole tomatoes. Drop in the potatoes. Cover with 1/2 cup water, if necessary, and then add the cilantro, parsley and cayenne and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat butter in a separate pan and saute the eggplant until completely soft and yellowish.
  5. Each serving is baked in its own clay pot. Place 2 to 4 pieces of eggplant into the bottom of each pot, and then ladle in a helping of the lamb and potatoes. Place a whole peeled tomato at the top of the bowl and pour over the broth until the bowl is nearly full.
  6. Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick and lay a piece only large enough to cover the top onto the stew.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough top looks like bread or a pizza crust. Cut open the dough top and use the bread for dipping.

Chakhokhbili (Georgian Chicken Stew with Herbs and Tomatoes)

A 5 lb. chicken, trimmed of fat and skin and cut into parts (or 2 lbs. chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks. I wouldn’t recommend only breast meat, because it tends to get dry.)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter or vegetable oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half and then into ½ in. slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 4 large ripe tomatoes, cored and diced—you can blanch and peel them first if you like, but I don’t bother)
½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
About 1 ½ cups finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (choose from cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, basil, dill, tarragon, summer savory, celery greens), for instance:
– ½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
– ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
– 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

  1. If using a whole chicken, cut it into parts, removing fat and skin as you go: separate the wings, the thighs, the drumsticks, and the breast, then cut the breast into 2-inch chunks.
  2. Heat butter or oil in a cast iron skillet until it begins to sizzle. (You can use any heavy-bottomed pan with high sides, but avoid nonstick pans, which keep things from browning properly.) 
  3. Add the chicken pieces, salt, pepper, and cayenne, stirring to coat. Brown the chicken lightly on all sides.
  4. Remove the chicken pieces from the skillet and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic until it turns fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the vinegar, and half the herbs, stirring to combine.
  5. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken back to the pan. Stir in the rest of the herbs and cover the pan. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve with additional herbs sprinkled on top, with crusty bread, pita bread or naan, or over basmati rice.

Fydzhin (Ossetian Meat Pie)

Ingredients for filling (for 2 pies) 
42 oz of minced beef and pork mix
3 onions
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 hot red pepper
1/2 tsp of black pepper
10 oz of beef broth
salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).

Ingredients for dough
11 cups of flour (includes 2.5 cups for dusting and kneading)
17oz ml of warm water or milk
2 tbsp of butter
1 egg
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt.

Directions (dough)
  1. Add 1 kilo of flour to a mixing bowl. Make a depression in the flour. Add warm water or milk, softened butter, 1 egg, baking soda and of salt. Mix by hand.
  2. The dough should be formed into a soft ball.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes for the dough to rise. Once the dough has risen, add 150 grams of flour and firmly knead the dough.
Directions (dough)
  1. Add the minced beef/pork to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the onions, red pepper and garlic and add to the bowl, together with half tsp of black pepper, and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).
  2. Add 8oz of beef broth. Squeeze and mix by hand. Leave for 30 minutes before using.
  3. Dust a preparation board with flour and divide the dough into 2 large and 2 smaller balls. The larger pieces will form the base for each of the two pastries and the smaller pieces will form the covers. The picture below shows one of the larger and one of the smaller balls.
  4. Roll out the 2 larger pieces to 5 mm depth.
  5. Rub butter into the base and sides of two circular baking dishes (26-28 cm diameter) before adding each pastry base. Use your fingers to mold the pastry to the shape of the baking dish.
  6. Add one half of the filling to each baking dish.
  7. Use a wooden soon to compress the filling, ensuring that mixture is pressed into the sides.
  8. Roll out the two smaller pieces of dough to 2-3 mm depth and in each make a circular hole in the middle and four slits.
  9. Carefully place the pastry over the baking dish. Use your palms and thumbs to mold the pastry around the dish.
  10. Trim any excess pastry.
  11. Bake the pastry in an oven at 400°F temperature. After 15 minutes, add 3 tbs of broth.
  12. Brush with the yolk of one egg mixed with tsp of milk.
  13. Reduce temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until the pastry is golden.
Serving: Rub with butter and serve immediately. In Ossetia, the top of the pastry is removed and cut into strips, which are then dipped into the meat juices. The meat and remaining pastry is eaten with a fork.

Mongol Warriors
If you don't know much about the Mongols, you have to be living under a fucking rock.  Some the swarthiest, stoutest, most robust, bloodthirsty, humanity-destroying, virile, and overall awesome humans to ever live, the Mongols conquered just about the entire Eurasian continent in the late 13th Century.  Fueled by little more than meat, liquor, and hate, the Mongols slaughtered so many people that their conquests removed nearly 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere, making their slaughter-happy leader, Genghis, the greatest environmentalist in history.  he is, after all, the only person in history to successfully bring about man-made global cooling (Daily Mail).

Even cooler is the fact that in spite of their penchant for murder, the Mongols have always been remarkably long lived.  Not even the Soviets could crush this aspect of the Mongol character, and in spite of their debilitating poverty and ridiculous drinking habits, the Mongols still have a life expectancy of 68 years (Veverka).

Their secret?  A diet incredibly heavy in meat and liquor and light on everything else.  Oftentimes in battle, the Mongols ate nothing but dried, powdered meat called borts, horse blood and milk, and raw horse flesh.  In camp, however, they ate better, but the consistency of their diet changed little- meat, meat, and more meat, with a side of meat and liquor.  Modern Mongols eat much the same way, and a typical day of eating in modern Mongolia looks something like this:

Breakfast – Kefir and Arvain Guril  (fried and malted barley flour porridge and sweet cream)
Lunch – Süütei Tsai (salted tea with milk) and Chanasan Makh aka Чанасан Мах (Lamb Chops, liver and other organ meats, and carrots)
Dinner – Budaatai Huurga (any kind of meat and rice boiled in Süütei Tsai)


A staple of the Mongols' diet for centuries, borts is dried meat cut into strips or often ground to a powder.  Depending on the region, the meat used will vary from camel meat to reindeer to horse to beef.

How it's prepared
The fresh meat is cut into long strips, 2-3 cm thick and 5-7 cm wide and then air dried under the roof of the yurt for about a month.  What's left are hard, dry sticks of meat, which are then broken into chunks, ground into powder, and stored in a linen bag.  If kept cool and dry, borts will keep for months stored in this fashion.

Borts is most commonly added to soup or tea to provide additional protein (making it awesome for lifters),but it can be used almost anywhere in place of fresh meat.

Khorkhog is probably the most exciting Mongolian dishes, and one of the most tasty ones. The meat of a sheep (sometimes less) is cooked together with vegetables in a closed container, with the help of heated stones. For a large Khorkhog, a metal milk container is normally used. For smaller amounts, other containers serve just as well, in our case two normal cooking bowls put on top of each other.

1/2 or whole Sheep chopped into pieces together with the bones.
6-12lb mix of carrots, white cabbage, onions, potatoes, and other vegetables.
10 - 20 smooth, round, fist sized river stones
1.5-2.5 cups water
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Caraway, to taste

  1. Heat the stones in a fire, until they are hot throughout. With a decent fire, that should take about an hour. 
  2. Place hot stones, meat, and spiced vegetables into the cooking container in layers. In the end, add sufficient water, which will fill the container with steam during the full cooking time.
  3. Close the container and put everything back on the stove on low. The heat of the stones and the stove together results in a uniform cooking process. When the container can be locked, care needs to be taken that the pressure inside doesn't get too high. Cooking time will vary depending on the equipment used. 
  4. When it is done, take the container from the stove and open it. Fire and fat have given the stones a glossy black color. Let them cool down as far as necessary, and hand them around to your guests. The Mongolians believe that the heat and fat have beneficial or even healing effects, when you hold and rub the stone in your hands for a while.


Crust Ingredients
2 cups flour
5 oz water

Filling Ingredients
10oz  ground meat. Traditionally, mutton is used, other types of meat such as beef work just as well.
Mongolians consider fatty meat to be of higher quality, but there's no problem in using western style lean meat. Borts can also be used.
1 Onion, minced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
3-5 tbsp. Water
Oil For frying


  1. Mix minced meat, onion and garlic.
  2. Add water until the mass is smooth to work with.
  3. Add enough salt and spices (the dough has no salt).
  4. Prepare the dough
  5. Mix flour and water to create a pliable dough. Let it rest for 15 min.
  6. Cut the dough into 3 cm (1.2 in) thick slices, roll the slices.
  7. Cut the rolls into pieces of 4 cm (1.6 in), flatten the pieces with a finger.

Apache Warriors

The Apache were a loose confederation of tribes of Native Americans that populated the American Southwest until their defeat by an absolutely ridiculously overwhelming force (5,000 US troops vs 30-50 Apache) in the 19th Century.  Well known for their fearsome fighting skill and utter ruthlessness on the battlefield, the Apache were legends in both Mexico and the American Southwest for their strength and courage.

Interestingly enough, a clinical study of 47 traditional Apache recipes was collected for for 13 traditional Apache dishes, and of those 13 dishes, 5 were stews and one was a meat pie/dumpling (Sharma).  If that's not rather telling for the efficacy of those foods in the diet of anyone wishing to go harder than a Viagra fueled porn star at the Playboy mansion during a LA country cocaine boom, I don't know what would be.; five were breads, five were chicken or meat-based stews, two were tortilla-based dishes and the remaining one was a traditional Indian dumpling.  Tragically, of the chicken, beef, elk, acorn, and cabbage stews listed in the study, I could only find a recipe for the a venison stew, and the recipe for Indian dumplings/meat pies was also absent from the internet.  Nevertheless, here's what I could find.

Apache Stew

2 red bell peppers
2 carrots, sliced
5 green Anaheim chilies
3 cups cooked Indian hominy
1/4 cup sunflower oil
8 cups water
1 lb venison, cut into 1 1/2 inch
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 garlic cloves, finely
1 cup tumbleweed greens (spinach can be used as an alternative)


  1. Roast the peppers, then peel, seed, and cut into long strips. Roast the chiles, then peel, seed, de-vein and dice.
  2. Heat the oil in a large stew pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the venison and cook until the meat is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Stir in the carrots, peppers, and chiles and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add the hominy, water, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the stew simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the meat is very tender.
  6. Just before serving, add the tumbleweed greens, stir 1 minute and spoon into bowls.

Indian Dumpling/Meat Pie 

Though I looked everywhere for a recipe for this, all I could find was a description of the dish, which sounds suspiciously like an empanada made with corn tortilla- "A dish made by wrapping the filling (usually ground beef) into the tortilla-based dough then boiled in water" (Sharma).  Sounds simple enough, so if anyone cares to experiment, hit me with a recipe.

Roman Soldiers
The Roman Empire was, as everyone knows, one of the most expansive and enduring in history, and its might and size rested entirely on the backs of its brutal military might.  Oddly, many archaeologists and nutritionists have asserted, common sense to the contrary, that the Roman army was primarily vegetarian.  Analysis of the bones of Roman soldiers, however, shows that they actually ate "ox, sheep, goat, pig, deer, boar, and hare, in most places and in some areas, elk, wolf, fox, badger, beaver, bear, vole, ibex, and otter", while "Broken beef bones suggest the extraction of marrow for soup", in addition to implements for making cheese and roasting and boiling meat (Gill). 

Apicius' Lamb Stew
Ancient cookbooks really just provided guidelines, rather than explicit direction.  As such, the entire thing is done to taste, rather than in a paint-by-numbers manner.  The following recipe is Apicius' recipe #360, "Another Stew for Lamb." 

3 pounds lamb ribs
1 onion
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Red wine
Parsley or cilantro


  1. Heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. Then add lamb ribs and brown all over.
  2. Then add the onion and the parsley or cilantro.
  3. Then add spices.
  4. Give a good stir and add wine. I added lots of wine because I wanted lots of juice to dip bread in or pour over some farro.
  5. Cook for at least 4 hours. Lengthy cooking, however, will mellow the flavors, so you may need to respice if you cook for over 4 hours.

Teutonic Knights
For a bit over 400 years, a monastic order of brutal, baby-killing maniacs tore open the assholes of the Poles and Lithuanians in an effort to stamp out paganism in the region.  According to the Poles, the Teutonic knights were unequaled in their brutality, and even out-performed the Tatars in committing random acts of horror and atrocity.

The knights Templar were enormous, standing over 6' tall and weighing in at just under 200 lbs, and cut a swath across the Baltics in a full armor and weapons kit that weighed over 60 lbs.  Fueled by little more than stew and liquor, these humongous Germanic death machines were also well-known for their propensity to drink their fucking faces off, day in and day out.
"They drink beer immoderately, encouraging and forcing one another to such excesses as would be too much for an ox.  And they are not satisfied with drinking to satiety but drink until they are sober again.  So they pass the entire day and often the entire night, and whoever overcomes the others in drinking, he is praised and honored" (Turnbull)
When they weren't getting hammered, the knights were making smoked meat to keep it from going bad.  Interestingly, they smoked the meat underground and then used it in all of their soups and stews.  As such, their ham hock was far smokier than what we have now.  For the following recipe, you might want to add smoky salt to make the flavor more authentic and ensure your next Eastern European conquest is completely successful.

Zupa z soczewicą- Polish Lentil Soup

1 small smoked ham hock
2 bay leaves
3-4 parsnips
1 leek (cleaned and chopped)
1 celery root with greens
1 box chopped mushrooms
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (mortar crushed)
1/2 can tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder or paprika (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup lentils, picked and rinsed
1/4 cup soup pasta (optional)
Organic sour cream as a topping


  1. Put ham hock in a large pot, fill with water, add 2 bay leaves, and slowly cook for 3-4 hours to make a broth.  Remove ham hock and cut meat into small pieces and set aside.  Discard fat and bone.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients such as the vegetables and seasonings to broth, leaving the pasta and lentils out. Cook until vegetables are soft, about one hour.
  3. Add washed and picked lentils and cook for about 30 minutes until soft.  When done, turn off heat and add pasta and cook for about 20 minutes.
  4. Top with sour cream mixture and serve!

Mincemeat à la Royale
Medieval recipes, like Roman recipes, were really more like loose outlines than specific directions.  As such, this recipe will really require a bit of testing.  Mince pies of the era were quite different than modern mince pies, and bore crusts that were several inches thick to withstand many hours of cooking. For all intents and purposes, they were inedible, and were either given to servants, beggars, or reused to thicken boiled stew.  You might want to just use a store bought crust to save yourself the hassle of dealing with all of that, or simply use a recipe for a pot pie crust.

For the filling, use equal proportions of roast-beef:, raisins, currants, suet, candied citron, orange, lemon, spices and sugar, add a proportionate weight of stewed pears and preserved ginger, the grated rind of three dozen oranges and lemons, and also their juice, one bottle of old rum, one bottle of brandy, and two of old port.

Stew- it does a Teutonic booty good.

Now, go fire up the crock pot, get those meat pies poppin', and pick up some heavy shit.  then, maybe go burn down your neighbor's house, bang his wife, and lay claim to a city park just for funsies... because that's what these guys would have done.

Apicius' Lamb Stew.  Ancient Foods Today.  16 Jan 2011.  Web.  6 Feb 2015.

Bake Metes and Mince Pies.  Historic Food.  Web.  10 Feb 2015.

Borts - Борц.  All Mongolian Recipes.  Web.  6 Feb 2015.

Cammpi, Warren Vincenzo.  The History of Pie.

Chakhokhbili (Georgian Chicken Stew with Herbs and Tomatoes).  3 Nov 2011.  Web.  10 Feb 2015.

Chanakhi (Lamb Stew).  Cooking Channel.  Web.  10 Feb 2015.

Daily Mail Reporter.  Genghis Khan the green: Invader killed so many people that carbon levels plummeted.  5 Jan 2011.  Web.  6 Feb 2015.

Fydzhin- Ossetian meat pie.  Georgian Recipes.  29 Jun 2014.  Web.  10 Feb 2015.

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Khorkhog - Хорхог.  All Mongolian Recipes.  Web.  6 Feb 2015.

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