Not long ago, a blog was written about one of the best kept secrets in the United States, Vernon Smith, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. http://info.rogersathletic.com/get-strong/who-is-the-strongest-strength-coach-in-the-world
Vernon recently visited the Clare, Michigan factory and Pendulum showroom, and stunned America with a workout with enormous weights―making it look almost casual. During Vernon’s leg workout Coach Smith lifted 1260 pounds for repetitions, and more than one set on the Pendulum Squat Pro. He squatted over 600 pounds pausing on the 5th rep to get the most out of the exercise as the weight was extremely light for him.
Watching Coach Smith squat, we knew it would be worth a 5 hour drive to Marian University just to observe him pick up weight off the floor. Monday we called Vernon and requested to take a few pictures of a deadlift workout. Vernon said ‘come on down,’ but indicated he deadlifted pretty extensively a few hours earlier but would be glad to do a similar workout the next day.
Above Vernon is using about 635 or 655 as part of his warm up, following 225, 405 and over 500 pounds.
Vernon is a true gentleman. He welcomed us, and was truly unconcerned about lifting two days in a row a similar routine. We chatted with Vernon about a variety of subjects as he loaded the bar. Coach Smith, counted how much weight he was adding only for our benefit. The weight ended up being 725 or 745, which was actually irrelevant as it was just for pictures, not purposeful training. We were watching, and probably should have been timing bar speed, because during each lift the bar appeared to move to the fully erect position at the exact same pace, indicating the weight was far far below his capabilities.
Coach Smith Releases the Bar after Completion of the Rep
What we enjoyed the most was how Vernon held the bar in the fully contracted position. He did so in order to make sure we got the appropriate picture before releasing the weight to the ground, and was curious if we saw any flaws in his technique.
So who is this Vernon Smith? We know of his coaching prowess based on his accomplishments at Marian University, his strength causes one to pause yet, he doesn’t compete in lifting and when you meet him he never speaks about his abnormal power. The question is; is he Superman, the strongest man, a unique and extraordinary strongman, or a weightlifting champion unfolding? Or what most of us suspect a man and coach who truly ‘Just Loves Weights‘ and ‘Loves‘ to Get Strong!