The NavyAfter he graduated school, Randall enrolled in the U.S. Navy. Several months later, while walking around the base he stumbled upon the finest gym for weightlifting in the U.S. fleet, led by the best instructor of weightlifting at the time - Chief Petty Officer Walter Metzler.
The BeginningOn January 3, 1953, after returning from Christmas vacation, Bruce weighed about 90 kg.He wanted to bulk up to 100 kg, so he can join the football team. Randall realized that in order to increase his weight, he needs to eat more food. So at every meal began to take something extra - a glass of milk, a slice of bread, one more piece of meat etc.And the weight gradually increased, and his body adapted to the larger amounts of food.
First Workout RoutineThe first routine that Bruce used was entirely for arms:
- Barbell Military Curls – 3x6-8, 110 lbs/50kg.
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls – 3x 6-5, 50 lbs/22,5kg.
- Barbell French Curls/Skull Crushers – 3x6-8, 70 lbs/32.5kg.
- Dumbbell Bent Over Triceps Extensions – 3x6-8, 35 lbs/20kg.
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls – 3x6-8, 45 lbs/20kg.
With this routine and his football training Bruce increased his weight from 92 kg to 100 kg, by now his arms were almost 46 cm Randall was completely absorbed in sports, his dream was to become a professional at American football.
WeightliftingA little later, in the midst of football season Bruce already weighed 120 kg, his strength also increased. At that time his coach Officer Metzler advised him to give up football and focus on weightlifting. Randall decided to listen to his mentor and focus on increasing his weight with the purpose of gaining even more strength.
After he was devoted to weightlifting, he began to train with the following program:
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 3x5-8, 120 lbs/55kg.
- Decline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3x5-8, 130 lbs/60kg.
- Incline Barbell Presses – 3x5-8, 250 lbs/115kg.
- Good Mornings – 3x3-5, 295 lbs/135kg.
These are the initial weights,with which he started but after a while the weight increased dramatically. At the end of each workout Bruce performed several exercises like squats, dead lifts, barbell rows, shoulder presses etc. Breaks between sets and exercises were a few minutes.
NutritionDuring this period, in which Randall increased his weight and strength, and because of that he had to also increase food, which was of utmost importance. Bruce spend most of his money on food, although the fleet fed its staff pretty well. Randall always amazed the cooks and the people around him when he sat down to eat.
Often his breakfast consisted of about two liters of milk, a loaf of bread and a half and about 28 fried eggs.
Bruce ate four times a day,while drinking milk between meals.
- He had breakfast at 6:30, lunch at 11:30,and usually dinner was at 16:30 and at 21:30 he ate something more before bed.
- Usually eaten 12 to 18 eggs and drank about 7 to 9 liters of milk a day.
- I once drank 18 liters of milk a day in addition to their standard diet.
- The guys in the Navy counted the eggs Bruce ate for a week, the results were unbelievable, he consumed 171 eggs only for his breakfast for a week.
The SquatWhen Bruce Randall started his training, he asked his coach which exercise can generate the greatest strength in the whole body,Walter Metzler replied that that exercise is the Barbell Squat. In the beginning, when Bruce weighed 90 kg his legs were very weak, he tried to squat 85 kg and failed. Several years before he started training with weights Randall had an accident in which he had one leg broken at 7 spots, but that did not stop him. Later, at a weight of 112 kg Bruce squatted with 140 kg. A few months after he managed to squat 185 kg with a body weight of 127kg. And once he weighted 161 kg, was able to hit a 275 kg squat.
The Good Morning.
First CompetitionIn December 1953., Only 11 months after he began training Bruce participated in his first competition in weightlifting. He won the competition with an overhead press with 136 kg, 108 kg jerk and a clean and jerk with143 kg. By this time Bruce trained 3-4 times a week performing the basic compound exercises, and rarely practicing the Olympic movements
New RoutineOn 1 January 1954, a year after he began to train his training program was as follows:
- Incline Clean & Press – 3x3-5, 355lbs/160kg.
- Quarter Front Squat – 3x6-8, 1,010 lbs/460kg.
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 3x3-5, 205 lbs/90kg.
- Dumbbell Decline Press – 3x3-5, 195 lbs/85kg.
- Good Morning – 3x3-5, 565 lbs/256kg.
On March 11, 1954 Bruce Randall was dismissed from the Navy. After returning home to New York, Randall amazed friends and family with the dramatic increase in weight in just 14 months. At that time he weighed 155 kg.
Personal RecordsAfter returning home, Randall continued to train and increase his weight. These are unofficial records in his personal weight of 172 kg:
- Overhead Press –375/170kg.
- Squat – 680lbs/305kg.
- Good Morning – with legs bent, back parallel to floor, 685lbs/310kg.
- Deadlift – 770lbs/350kg.
- Curl – 228lbs/102kg.
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 220lbs/100kg x2.
- Bench Press – 3 second pause at chest, 482lbs/218.5kg.
- Decline Bench Press– 220lbs/100kg.
- 45 degree Incline Clean & Press – 410lbs/186kg .
- ¼ Front Squat – 1,320lbs/600kg
Randall continued to train and reached a weight of 186 kg/410lbs. But this body weight made it difficult to lift weights, and maintain such a large mass.
In the second part of this post I'll talk about how Bruce transformed from a 410lbs beast to a man with a physique of a greek god, and won the 1959 Mr.Universe.