Originally Posted by BendtheBar
Thanks Casey for this post. It really shines a light on the reality that I need (and want) to study these guys more. I am just beginning to tap into the lifting habits of old school lifters and had no clue that Reg rarely deadlifted.
Actually, it was never very well published - you'd probably have to be a bit of a Park fan to have come across that. As far back as his track running days in high school Reg spoke of having lower back pains ...incredible when you consider what he went on to lift. He had a long torso and that made Deadlifting and Squatting problematic for him - so he relied heavily on High Pulls/Power Cleans and Front Squats in his training.
For beginners he did prescribe Deadlifts three times per week, and also didn't seem to take such a cautious approach in the Weider magazine articles as he did in the Reg Park Journal. However, after 1952 Park never had good relations with Weider, broke off business ties with him, and it's not unlikely that Chas Smith was the actual author of at least some of the articles that appeared in Weider magazines under Park's name (Smith ghost wrote many of the articles appearing in Weider magazines in those days).
Park also trained for times with experienced Olympic Lifters (for instance, British Champ George Popplewell) who had much better mechanics and conditioning for frequent Deadlifting than himself and those influences probably affected his advised training courses at times - but he, himself, could not tolerate frequent heavy Deadlifting and when he did include the Deadlift eventually he settled on building up to only one top set once per week
. I think he may have seen himself as somewhat uniquely disadvantaged in that regard, so it seems that sometimes he cautioned trainees to Deadlift only once per week, other times he assumed he was speaking to beginners and intermediates with better leverages than him and not handling nearly the amount of weight (Park Deadlifted up to 700 lbs). But to make up the training effect for his lower back he mostly relied on Power Cleans and High Pulls, as well as started every session with 3-4 sets of hyperextensions with a barbell across his shoulders (he did this from the early days throughout his entire career). In fact, whenever I see a supposed full-body Park routine that doesn't start with hypers I know it's either a routine written by someone else to be "Park-ish", or Park may have wrote it but left the hypers off the beginning because he considered them a regular part of his "warm up". Later, towards the late 1960s when Park was performing split routines he didn't start every routine with hypers, but in his full-body days he did from the early 1950s on.
Just goes to show that despite his gifts, he was human ...at least in the lower back.