Norb “Skee’s” Workouts: America’s Champ for Three Decades

This material comes from a great Strength and Health article from 1964. This is GREAT stuff for a modern lifter to think about.

“As a contest gets closer, I eliminate more and more power and substitute it with more and more Olympic lifting. Approximately eight to ten days before the meet I eliminate all power exercises. During the last two or three weeks I concentrate entirely on lifts,” Skee answered.

When Schemansky totaled 1,200 pounds, he had a 400 press, 355 snatch and a 445 clean and jerk.

The outstanding heavy weight weights 270 pounds, stands just one-half inch shy of six feet, and was born on May 30, 1924. His measurements: Neck, 18 1/2 inches; arm 19 1/2; forearm 15 1/2 ; wrist , 8 1/2 / chest, normal ,52, expanded, 53; waist, 40, hips, 44; thigh, 30 and calves, 18 1/2.

Besides the Olympic lifts, he does a 600 squat, 630 deadlift, 440 bench press and 225 curl.

His Olympic record is enviable. In 1948 he was second, first in 1952 and third in 1960. He has been national titlist in 1949, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957 and 1962.

In 1953 he was named Mr. Michigan. He was All-Detroit shotput high school champion.

(Note: Back surgery in 1955 nearly ended his career, missed 1956 Olympics.)

Schemansky’s Training Schedule
(Average Week)
Mondays
Low Snatch Pulls (from rack) 3 by 315, 3 by 365, 3 by 400
Low clean Pulls (from rack) 3 by 375, 3 by 450, 3 by 525
High Snatch Pulls (from rack) 3 by 315, 3 by 365, 3 by 400
High clean pulls (from rack) 3 by 400, 3 by 475, 3 by 550
Press 3 by 250, 3 by 275, 3 by 300, 3 by 325

Tuesday
Press 3 by 250, 3 by 275, 3 by 300
Squats 3 by 315, 3 by 405, 3 by 455, 3 by 505
One quarter squats up to 700 or 800
Sometimes he does press lockouts

Wednesday
No work outs

Thursday
Power Snatch 2 reps of 205, 225, 245, and 265
Power Clean 2 reps of 300, 320, 340, and 360
Press 5 reps of 205, 225, 250, and 275

Friday
No workouts

Saturdays
Olympic lifts up to 90 per cent. Sometimes he does squats and/or deadlifts

Two to three Weeks prior to meets

Mondays
Press 3 reps of 250, 275, 300,325, 350
Snatch 2 reps of 205, 225, 245, 265, 285, 305
Clean 2 reps of 275, 325, 350, 375, 400

Wednesday
Press 3 reps of 250, 275, 300, and 325
Snatch 2 reps of 205, 225, 250 and 275
Clean 2 reps of 275, 300, 325, and 350

Saturdays
Olympic Lifts up to 90 per cent, Concentrates on form, style and speed. Squats

And, from Osmo’s “Iron Master” Interview, a million dollar gem: “Don’t attempt maximums in the gym. Concentrate on doubles, and so saving a lot of nervous energy. Some members of the U.S. Lifting team couldn’t believe how much more I could do in a contest, where it counted. I was never burned out. Doubles also develop technique. Attempts at limit weights should be restricted to once every three or four weeks. One should not work any more than 80 to 90% of his limit in training.”

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