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Pavel Dedicates Book to Clarence

We learned about the dedication in an email from a friend who had just received his copy of Beyond Bodybuilding. Pavel asked us for a photo of Clarence doing a waistline exercise with a heavy weight for his new book, which is an organized collection of his very popular Advanced Training series written for Muscle Media. We assumed it was to illustrate something or other, because he mentioned Clarence in the column several times. But sure enough, a few days after the email we received a copy of the new book. Page three is a photo of Clarence doing a side bend with a 100 pound dumbbell, with the heading “TO CLARENCE BASS.” Pavel had written in longhand “CLARENCE, YOU INSPIRE! Your friend, Pavel.”

Clarence admires and respects Pavel and is very pleased with the dedication. Pavel is the embodiment of the American dream. Born in the U.S.S.R., he originally came to this country as an unknown exchange student and decided to stay (legally, of course). A decade or two later, like Arnold, people know him by his first name. The byline on Beyond Bodybuilding is “By Pavel.”  

Until Pavel came along, kettlebells were something old-time strongmen used to lift. Now thousands of men and women, even kids, all over the country are happily hoisting kettlebells. Police departments and the military units are training with kettlebells. He holds training camps to certify new kettlebell trainers. I can’t keep track of the books he’s written and the videos he’s made, but it’s a bunch. (You’ll find a number of them on our products page.) He and Dragon Door Publications will be launching the first National Kettlebell Convention in Las Vegas later this year. (For more about Pavel and kettlebell lifting, see articles 43, 65 and 72.)

Congratulations, Pavel. Continued success—and THANK YOU!  

We offer this book for purchase, GO SEE

Clarence in Textbook on Aging--Again

Physical Dimensions of Aging (Human Kinetics, 1995) by University of Texas kinesiology and health education Professor Waneen W. Spirduso featured Clarence as an example of the “dramatic” difference in the muscular system of a completely sedentary person and one who trains conscientiously. (See the first “What’s New” above.) Teaming up with co-authors Karen L. Francis, PhD, and Priscilla G. MacRae, PhD, Dr. Spirduso has done it again in the second edition of the book, published early in 2005. A photo of Clarence at 60 has been added to those at 15, 31, 43 and 55 included in the earlier edition. (Dr. Spirduso says a photo of Clarence at 65 will be added in the second printing of the book. All six photos are included in the “Short Pictorial” on this site.)

Commenting on the full page of photos, Spirduso and her colleagues write: “The results of a well-planned, scientifically based, resistance training program can be spectacular. Photographs taken of Clarence Bass over a 45-year period clearly demonstrate the capacity of an individual to maintain muscle mass with training for many years.”

Recognition of the benefits of strength training by the scientific community is a relatively new development. “Before the 1990s, exercise recommendations by professional organizations…emphasized aerobic or endurance exercise…as the main component of a fitness program with scarcely a word about muscular strength and power,” Spirduso and her co-authors write in a sidebar. “However, the latest exercise recommendations for all ages, including older adults, include resistance training for muscular strength and power on equal footing with endurance exercises.”

The authors say the first research on the capacity of aging muscles to adapt to resistance training was published in the late 1980s. In 1988, researchers “shocked many people” by reporting leg strength improvements of 227% and significant increases in muscle size after only 12 weeks of resistance training in men 65-years-old on average. “Since then, increasing numbers of researchers have documented the benefits of resistance training for older men and women, even in those older than 90.”

Spirduso and her colleagues include an impressive table of 12 studies published between 1988 and 2003 reporting strength increases from 28% to 152% in men and women ranging in age from 60 to 98. The typical duration of the studies was only 10 to 12 weeks.

Clarence is pleased to be included in what Human Kinetics calls "the definitive reference on aging"--along with people like Connie Reeves, the 101-year-old cowgirl featured on the cover of book.

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For more information on the Physical Dimensions of Aging, Second Edition, and other books on exercise and sports, visit www.humankinetics.com. 

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For five years or more, multi-national champion powerlifter and record holder Ronnie Ray and his wife have been throwing a big party for senior lifters and strong men at their ranch home north of Dallas. It’s an informal, regional version of the famous AOBS reunion dinner held in New Jersey every year (see What’s New 3). 

Like the AOBS dinner, it started small, but has come to be quite an affair drawing over a hundred prominent iron tossers (mostly guys but a few wives and girl friends as well) from near and far. Among the notables attending last year was Louisiana resident Louis Riecke, who began lifting in the South and Southwest and went on to make a world record snatch of 325 pounds and represent the USA at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Lou was also Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1970 and 1980 when they won four Super Bowls. 

Carol and I learned about the get-together last year from Texas lifting promoter Joe McCoy and from Terry Todd, who co-publishes the highly respected Iron Game History with his wife Jan.

This year we attended and had a wonderful time renewing old friendships and kindling some new ones. We’d never met Ronnie. I saw him lift several times--he’s a 5-foot-3 mass of muscle who in his prime bench-pressed 500 like it was nothing. He and his wife now own and operate a very successful gym in Dallas. Their home in the beautiful hill country near the suburb of McKinney is perfectly suited for such an affair, with large rooms, patios and picnic tables outback. A unique feature is a special wing housing wild animal trophies taken by Ronnie on safari in Africa, Russia and elsewhere. Ronnie showed us around like we were long-lost friends.

One of the first people we ran into was Ellington Darden, who flew in from Florida. As many will know, Ell was an associate of Arthur Jones at Nautilus for many years; he will soon publish his 40th book on various aspects of high-intensity training. The really big news, however, is that he recently married and is the father of a fine-looking 2-year-old son.

Regulars at the party that we hadn’t seen for many years were lifting greats Sid Henry (Texas) and Wilbur Miller (Kansas). Sid beat Norbert Schemansky by five pounds to win the heavyweight class at the 1963 Senior National Olympic Lifting Championship. Wilbur was an all-around strongman, excelling in Olympic, power and odd lifting; he squatted and dead lifted over 600 and 700, respectively. We lifted in many meets together in Dallas and Denver. (Fortunately, I was in a different weight class.) Both Sid and Wilbur are looking lean and fit. It was wonderful catching up with them again.

Two famous strongmen we had not met before were Gary Deal and Ray “Thunder” Stern. Both were there with their lovely wives. Gary, who I believe was originally from Washington state but now lives north of Dallas, overcame a polio-weakened right arm and shoulder to become the 1971 Senior National Olympic Lifting Champion in the 242-pound class, pressing and clean and jerking over 400 pounds. I remember reading, marveling actually, about his lifting in Peary and Mabel Rader’s Ironman and Lifting New publications. It was a pleasure to finally meet him. He too was looking fit. Joe McCoy tells me that Gary is planning to lift in some meets soon, so he's obviously training seriously.

Ray Stern, a bigger-than-life legend, greeted Carol and I like old pals. Ray joined the Merchant Marines at 13 and went on to become a bodybuilder, weight lifter, professional wrestler, and pioneer of the modern day health club and fitness center. He now lives in Dallas with his stunning wife, former professional fitness competitor Debi Lee-Stern (7th place in the 1998 Fitness Olympia). A self-made millionaire, Ray’s “rag to riches” story can be found in the book The Power of Thunder. Needless to say, meeting Ray and Debi was a not to be missed experience.

We met and enjoyed lots more people, far more than can be discussed here, but you get the idea that it was a great party—thanks to Ronnie Ray. May there be many more.

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Ripped Enterprises, P.O. Box 51236, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236 or street address: 528 Chama, N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108, Phone (505) 266-5858, e-mail:  cncbass@aol.com, FAX:  (505) 266-9123.  Office hours:  Monday-Friday, 8-5, Mountain time.  FAX for international orders: Please check with your local phone book and add the following: 505 266-9123

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