Roger Estep is a name that most are unfamiliar with, however this image of Estep has probably been seen by anyone that has ever looked up anything about weightlifting on the internet. Roger Estep was a very successful powerlifter during the 1970’s. He not only held a world record in the squat, but also received a Silver and Bronze Star in the Special Forces. Some of Roger’s amazing feats of strength were an 815 pound raw back squat, and 675 pounds for 10 reps on the back squat during training.
Another place Roger holds in strength history is connected to the original Westside Barbell club in Culver City, California. When he visited Westside in Culver City, his competition total was 1600 pounds. His total quickly jumped up to 1800 pounds after learning some new methods from other legendary names in the Iron Game at the original Westside Barbell Club; Bill West, George Frenn, and Pat Casey – the first 800 pound squatter. (It was not until after the death of Bill West that Louie Simmons began to call his gym Westside Barbell, in tribute and respect to the Culver City crew that he learned so much from.) Louie would later ask Roger about what he learned at Westside, and after seeing how fast Estep raised his Total, Louie would say that he knew he was on the right track.
Roger was an elite lifter in the sport during this point in history. Many successful lifters during his heyday have said his visit to California contributed to a great change in the sport, at the time. Roger brought new, and unconventional training methods from Westside back east to West Virginia and to Louie in Ohio. Westside was writing articles on crazy new methods like Box Squats, power rack training, partial pressing, and pulling from deficits and blocks and Roger brought all these new methods back east.
With not only the strength he possessed, but his physique as well, Roger Estep is a great example of why training can and SHOULD be individualized. Roger built his physique with the majority of his training being Singles, as many as 12 sets of 1 sometimes. This is in stark contrast to the equally legendary and successful lifter Ed Coan. The lesson here: Do not be stuck in the dogma of one training methodology. Humans have been lifting weights since ancient Greece, and the perfect program that works perfectly for every single person does not exist. Guys like Roger Estep built world record numbers and as an incredible physique using tons of heavy singles. Bill Kazmier would do multiple sets of 15 and 20 and nothing lower than 5’s for the majority of his training. The Neurological Profiling methodology that I use, developed by Charles Poliquin, is the most effective and efficient I have found over the last 18 years to figure out which means and methods of training to use.
For information on the Neurological Profile methodology and how to tailor a program to fit you, shoot me an email at email@example.com