by Al Myers
At our Nationals in June, Dennis Mitchell loaned me a pamphlet that outlined Louis Abele’s Training Programs. It was compiled by Chester O. Teegarden, and published in 1948. It is only 15 pages long, and has lots of interesting training information and insight into the training philosophies of Louis Abele. I actually had set this pamphlet aside and just rediscovered it to read (so I haven’t forgot about it Dennis!). I blame my distraction on this to all that was going on at the National Meet.
Louis Abele was often in the shadows of other great York lifters at the time – namely John Grimek, Steve Stanko, and John Davis. However the progress he made in Olympic lifting compelled him onto the national stage as one of the best heavy weight lifters of the time. I asked Dennis about Louis Abele and this was his reply, ” I never had the opportunity to meet Louis Able. He had the misfortune of being at his best when John Davis was at his best. He could never get the recognition that he deserved as he was overshadowed by John. The thing that I found very interesting about his training was that he used a large verity of lifts. I’ve only read one other study where it was felt that instead of doing, for example four sets of squats, to do one set of lunges, one set of front squats, a set of back squats and then one set of leg presses. I’ve used this form of training as I’ve gotten older as I am trying to keep as many parts moving in as many directions as I can.”
I want to thank Dennis for sharing this Louis Abele Training Program with me, and thus in turn I’m gonna share it with you! Interesting historical information like this is easily lost with the passage of time. It is a pdf so simply open it, print it off, and save it for future generations of lifters (or put it in some digital file that will soon “die off” when your computer crashes because you forgot to have it backed up!”)
The Training Programs of Louis Abele (PDF) – Louis Abele Training Programs
I very much enjoy visiting with Dennis and discussing such issues as how he has seen lifting change in his lifetime. Dennis is over 80 years of age and STILL COMPETING in competitions (both all round and Olympic lifting). He has a wealth of information and wisdom. He has had a lifting career that has spanned over 60 years so he has “been there” and “seen it all”. I can’t help but finish with a little story on Dennis that I found humorous. At Nationals he made a comment to my daughter Molly (age 15) and Chad’s daughter Bree (age 16) as they were “playing” with their cell phones. I was fortunate to overhear this story that he told these two young girls about how he has seen communication improve over the years. It is priceless, and left a look of disbelief on the girls’ faces!!
“In 1954, Fort Monmouth in New Jersey I was in the last class to learn how to use carrier pigeons. They were still being used in the Korean War. Any time I use E-Mail or cell phones I think of this. We had a special net pouch that we could carry the birds in when we out in the fields. The only company the army found that could make these pouches was a company that made ladies undergarments, the Maidenform Co………………………..Denny M.. ”