Badass INC. #2 – Hermann Görner
- Two Handed Deadlift with only two fingers on each hand – 270kg
- One Handed Deadlift with the right hand, hook grip – 330kg
- Two Handed Deadlift – 361kg (Double overhand grip)
- Two Handed Deadlift – 377kg (200kg Barbell, with a fully grown man standing on each side!)
- Right Hand Snatch – 104kg
- Left Hand Snatch – 90kg
- Right Hand Snatch with the arm kept straight – 77kg
- Two Hand Snatch – 135kg
Clean & Jerk:
- Right Hand Clean & Jerk – 120kg (Barbell from the floor to overhead with one arm)
- Two Hands Clean & Jerk – 177kg
- Two Hands Anyhow (Floor to overhead, any style) – 195kg (Combined weight of 4 kettlebells!)
- Two Hands Strict Barbell Curl – 110kg
These feats of strength are impressive by today’s standards, more than that – most of them still haven’t been broken. When was the last time you saw somebody doing a one hand snatch with two plates a side? The current world record for the one handed deadlift is lightyears away from Görner’s 330kg .
(As of writing Mark Felix holds a record of 225kg using an olympic bar with a hook grip in this lift, and Steve Gardener has broken 330kg off the floor in the 2″ ROM version of this lift – nobody has lifted this weight to full lockout in the manner Görner did. It’s also worth mentioning that the bars used in the 1900’s were considerably thicker than they are now, and probably didn’t revolve. In short, we’re all a bunch of pansies.)
1.) Two Hands Snatch: After loosening up with calisthenics he would work up in 8 or 10 sets of between 1 and 3 reps from around 125 to 300 lbs. on a good day.
2.) Two Hands Clean & Jerk: Beginning with 220 lbs. he would work up slowly to near his limit, which was almost 400 lbs. It should be noted that he used a very shallow split style on both the snatch and the clean & jerk, barely dipping under the weight.
3.) Two Hands Continental to the Shoulders: When he felt really well, he would put more weight on the bar after his heaviest clean & jerks and do several single continental lifts. He did them by taking the weight from the floor to his belt, then boosting it from there up to his shoulders. His best was around 450 lbs.
4.) Two Hands Curl: Goerner usually did 4 or 5 sets of this, working up to a maximum super-strict rep or two with 220 lbs.
5.) If the weather permitted, he usually ended his sessions with either some slow running or some swimming.
1.) Curl & Press with Kettlebells: Approximately 10 sets, going from 55 lbs. to 110 lbs. in 5½ lb. jumps (2½ kilo) jumps. These were done very strictly – usually only 1 or 2 reps with each arm, working up quickly to the 110 lb. bells.
2.) Clean & Military Press: Approximately 8 sets of 3 to 5 reps, going from 198 to 264 in 22 lb. jumps, doing 2 sets with each weight.
3.) One Hand Swing with Kettlebells: Approximately 8 sets (4 with each arm) beginning with 110 and sometimes going as high as 254 (using two kettlebells grasped in one hand).
4.) Deadlift: Usually 6 to 8 sets, never exceeding 3 reps. He usually began with 440 lbs. (200 kilos) and worked up to almost 800 lbs. Often he would do his lighter sets without a hook, or with only three fingers on each hand, or two, or only one.
1.) Curl & Press with Kettlebells: Same as Tuesday.
2.) One Hand Snatch: Usually, he would work up slowly in this lift, going from 110 to 220 with each hand.
3.) One Hand Clean & Jerk: As in the snatch, he would do quite a few sets, always using low reps (usually just one), working up to a best of 265.
4.) One Hand Deadlift: Alternating hands, Goerner would work up gradually in poundage from around 220 to over 700 lbs. on his good days, doing 10 to 12 sets.
5.) Squats: During this period, he usually squatted once each week, never more, and he would begin with around 220 and work up to approximately 600. He never really concentrated on this lift. Again, he favored low reps, 3 to 5.
1.) Clean & Press: Same as Tuesday.
2.) One Hand Swing: Same as Tuesday.
3.) Muscle-Outs with Kettlebells: He usually did these with “light” (up to 65 lbs. in each hand) weights and higher repetitions as a shoulder developer.
4.) Grip Work: Often, Goerner would practice lifting heavy barbells and dumbells with one, two or three fingers.
1.) Curl & Press with Kettlebells: Same as Tuesday.
2.) Two Hands Snatch: Same as Monday.
3.) Two Hands Clean & Jerk: Same as Monday.
4.) Front Squat: From time to time he did these, going up to a best of over 500 lbs.
5.) Two Hands Curl: Same as Monday.
As you can see, no slouching here. It’s worth noting that Görner’s gym was attached to a pub in which all the lifter’s personal steins (beer glasses) were stored on a shelf for when they were finished with training. Now THAT’s badass.
The whole point to this article series is that despite the advances in sports science, supplementation, “sports technology drugs” (cough), and gym equipment, there’s still a wealth of knowledge in the methods of lifters who came before all that. Hermann Görner is a prime example of this – in a time before steroids were even invented, and the first widely available sports supplements were still a few decades away; his training was basic and he used freeweights exclusively; his world records are still yet to be broken.
Nuff said. Hermann, you’re officially Badass Incorporated!