T Nation

Who Was This Guy?


I need some help identifying a man I saw a few years ago in Hawaii that put on a strength demonstration at a powerlifting meet. He probably weighed about 170 lbs, but challenged 5 University of Hawaii football players to curling then immediately shoulder pressing 45 lb dumbbells. The football players got to tag in when the previous man got tired, and yet the lone man still outlasted them by doing roughly 200 of these alternating curl-presses without rest. He apparently does these strength demonstrations all over the world and always wins. He looked about 40, very lean, dark hair, and may have been European.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


It sounds like something Pavel Tsatsouline would do. You'd know he was definitely European though.



I doubt it. Pavel would put people up to challenges, but never of the high rep muscular endurance sort.


Dragan Radovic



Fitness4x4: The Way of Dragan
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"The Way of Dragan" is a book that challenges conventional teachings on fitness and equips the reader with a totally new understanding of exercise. The book is not only a guide to reaching peak fitness; it also tackles the fundamental issues of lasting vitality and what it means to be healthy. Combining scientific principles with analogies, personal experience, and practical examples, 56-year-old Dragan takes the mystery out of his incredible fitness feats by explaining them in a straightforward manner. Author, Dragan Radovic, has caused a stir in the fitness world over the past 5 years, by staging a unique challenge at the world's leading fitness shows, offering large cash prizes to any individual who can beat him in a dumbbell lifting contest. At the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Expo, a prize of US$10,000 was offered to anyone who could out-lift Dragan; many tried, none succeeded. In more than 5 years of regular public contests around the world, nobody has yet come close to matching Dragan's performance. He has taken on professional athletes, bodybuilders, World's Strongest Man competitors, martial artists, AFL football players, US Marines, and all manner of sportsmen. Incredibly, he has even taken on the combined efforts of teams of 10 people or more - one person at a time! His challenge continues and is open to all people of all ages and all sporting disciplines, any size or weight!
The most remarkable thing about all this is that Dragan has achieved these things after the age of fifty! He has set all his life's best performance records after turning fifty, and has continued to break his own records every year to this day. Dragan is now 56 years old and continues to stage his 'Dragan Challenge' at fitness shows around the world. He defies the accepted idea that the human body ought to decline after the age of 30, and challenges people to think in new ways about their physical health. Many people speculate about what has enabled Dragan to achieve suc...


Not really a strength challenge, but I digress...


We have a winner! That's the guy. Here's the challenge I spoke about ($10,000 is on the line): www.fitness4x4.com/challnge.htm

Thanks to everyone for helping me out -- much appreciated.

Hanley: well, technically it's "endurance strength", a term I've seen used in T-Nation articles, but point taken.


I realise it's not Pavel now as they've established that but Pavel not putting people up to high rep muscular endurance stuff? That's his bread and butter. I'm yet to see him put someone under a large amount of weight and set a challenge.


No. Pavel was always yapping on about how you should strive for maximal tension and minimal fatigue. He was big on the "never train to failure" line and wanted people to do high intensity stuff at low reps around 5. A proponant of CNS intensive training, along with power breathing and other assorted tension techniques and what not.

He would bash bodybuilders for building up "fake" muscles and pumping their arms full of sarcoplasm with what he saw as useless high rep shit.

He advocated a few good ideas, however none of them were original, and they all came packaged in a too much bullshit.


Yeah I bought a kettlebell a long while back and got his Russian KB Challenge DVD. Didn't really rate it at all. It's been a while since I read or watched anything by Pavel so I'll appologise that my description of Pavel was off.


Some additional info...

On his main website, there's a local news video showing him performing 1041 reps with 35 pound dumbbells, taking him a little over an hour of non stop repping.

This is one of the most amazing fitness feats I've ever heard of. Can he shoulder press 315? I doubt it. But this is far more impressive to me.


only 1k? thats nothing http://youtube.com/watch?v=0mrrTj18i5M


Thanks for the video. It's a higher number of reps, and yet I don't find it as amazing:

-He apparently does one side for anywhere from 10-30 reps, which gives the other side a rest of 30-90 seconds (Dragan alternates sides with each rep, so neither side gets more than 3-5 seconds rest).
-He's using a kettlebell, which rests on the back of his forearm, which means it takes much less effort to grip than a dumbbell and that its center of gravity is closer to the elbow (and to the shoulder), making the lift mechanically easier.
-He's doing push presses (per the video's description), while Dragan does strict presses.
-There's no curl. So no biceps to give out first.


Where to guys like this and Lalanne (who could do a thousand push ups or a thousand chin ups, and set world records) get that kind of muscular endurance?


Regardless he would be a good challenge for this guy.



I want to try my own version. I guess the object is to find a weight that's light enough so that you can treat it as cardio, meaning through deep breathing and proper tempo, you can continue virtually indefinitely because you're getting enough oxygen and other goodies to recuperate the muscle. We can all probably do 5 lbs for 1,000 reps, just because it's so light that it's no more tiring than the arm action we get on an elliptical trainer or when we pump our arms while jogging.

I guess Dragan just upped the weights over time. Also, I heard that Dragan does 1,000 BW deep squats, so I guess he trains this way for more than just that one event.


Is there any value in doing this stuff? Perhaps it would increase the prevalance of cappilaries and thus assist in recovery. It might also build some Tyepe I fibers. Would the added work capacity be useful as it allows a person to do more sets in a work out?