Herculean Champions!

Everyone has a person who motivated them into lifting. Many of us would say Arnold because his physique is something we all wanted.
Everyone has a person who motivated them into lifting. Many of us would say Arnold because his physique is something we all wanted. But I have some personal favorites over the years and the more I discovered more about bodybuilding and powerlifting, the more physiques I came across. The physiques that impress me most are the ones that are powerful as well as well-built. I have a few bodybuilders/powerlifters I think are HERCULEAN CHAMPIONS in my eyes.


Reg Park was one of many bodybuilders that played Hercules. His physique was amazing as well as his strength. I personally think that he's more close to looking like Hercules than Lou Ferrigno or Steven Reeves. Reg Park strength was impressive.

Before he did the Hercules movies, he was benching 500, behind-the-neck presses with 300 and squatting 600 and it was obvious in his films. Reg Park's physiques displayed both strength and power. He was no doubt Britain's strongest bodybuilder.


I didn't know anything about Chuck Sipes until a few years ago. I noticed that he was pretty much ripped-to-the-bone, but he was also strong as well. He was benching 600, a little more than Reg Park did. He had done 600 naturally and without a bench shirt. Sipes' physique was amazing to me because he was an actual power-bodybuilder.

He used blast singles in his training for mass and high reps on shaping exercises. Sipes physique had the appearance of a bodybuilder but the strength of a power lifter.


This is the man! He's the main reason why I got into power lifting in the first place. I first saw Kaz in a strongman competition on ESPN several years back. He like the others above, was lean like a bodybuilder but was true power lifter. There was little body fat on Kaz as he too was a power-bodybuilder himself.

I remember one competition were he and another opponent were doing a keg race. In the first few seconds of starting, Kaz was displaying superhuman strength by tossing keg barrels as if they were empty. That was then when I wanted to be just like him.

Kaz also brought strength and focus together by using pure intensity. He would dominate every competition he would go into. He even benched 661 at 330 before he switch over to strongman competitions. I even met Kaz last year and boy was it a pleasure competing in his meet and hearing him talk afterward. Kazmaier, in my eyes, will the strongest man to ever stepped onto the scene, he is also my inspiration in my training.


Dave was 193 ripped pounds of muscle and looking at him, you would think that that he's a bodybuilder ... but he wasn't. Some say that he was reminiscent of Ken Lain, who combined power lifting and bodybuilder just like Dave did. When I saw this guy, I knew he would inspire power lifters to use bodybuilding techniques in their training. Dave had benched 612 at 193, which was more than three times his bodyweight. That's amazing considering how lean this guy was.


I recently discovered his strong power lifter. He's an elite bencher whose benched 639 at 239. Carpenter uses a lot of bodybuilding movement and powerlifting movements in his training to help become injury free. Looking at him as well, looked like bodybuilder, but was power lifter.

He can increase size while keeping speed and strength up as well. He admits that by combining powerlifting and bodybuilding, you can increase your bench press and size. Carpenter really impressed me since I've turned my focus to benching and also he's given me numbers to shoot for in the 242s.


In the beginning, it was Ron Harris who sparked the interest in bodybuilding when I picked up my first Ironman Mag back in '94. Ron was always an inspiration to me. Then last year, I got in touch with him and saw how much his strength and physique had gotten. Of course, I was always reading his articles in Ironman.

What impresses me about Ron is not only his physique and his strength, but his intensity and focus. He also combines the two sports in his training and it's obvious from his progress and his physique. Oh and not to mention he has biggest quads I've seen on a bodybuilder. Ron's physique ripped and powerful too. Ron takes no prisoners in his workouts.

Click Here To Go To Ron Harris' Articles!


Jeff's physique is the combination of a power lifter and bodybuilders', but is a bodybuilder himself. Jeff's physique is impressive in the off season just as well as it is during contest preparation. Jeff is always going like "tank" in his training and it shows in his contest.

My strength and Jeff's strength aren't that much apart on some things, but Jeff is stronger pound-for-pound. His physique displayed power. Jeff isn't like most bodybuilders, he trains hard and heavy and believe it or not he's natural. I would say that Jeff is a strong bodybuilder.


Franco was the true power-bodybuilder. He had some freakish strength including bending a bar across his mouth. Franco has benched close to 500 and dead lifted close to 700 in his career and is shows in his physique. When you see someone who has muscle mass and density, you just have to assume that they do both bodybuilding and power lifting and that's what I assumed about Franco.

I saw Franco in the World's Strongest Man competition and even though he didn't place, he sure proved that he's one of the World's Strongest Men.

All of these guys combine some parts of bodybuilding and powerlifting and it shows in their physiques. These are just some of the people who's physique and/or strength I admire. I plan on patterning myself after these guys and I think you should to. Combine bodybuilding and power lifting to be a true freak of nature. Well, that's it from me. Until next time, stay big.