A Tribute To Doug Hepburn.
I have a picture of the mighty Doug Hepburn, which features in my gym. I relate few of his accomplishments whenever I am asked about him in the gym, but I thought a brief write up would serve better to laud his achievements. You will find his story to be very inspiring.
Doug Hepburn was born on September 16, 1927, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The man who would one day be hailed as the Strongest Man in the world was born with double disability. He was cross-eyed (a condition later corrected by surgery), and he had a club foot and a withered right ankle and lower leg. Although an opreation corrected the club-foot condition, his right lower leg was little more than skin and bone, even when he weighed close to 300 pounds of solid muscle.
Although he was crippled as a baby, twenty six years later, he stood on the winner’s podium at the World Championships in Olympic Weightlifting – and was awarded the gold medal in the Heavyweight class.
At age 21, Doug set an unofficial Canadian record in the clean and press by lifting 230 pounds. At age 24 Doug set his first official World record, lifting 330 pounds in the clean and press.
His other lifts are:
Right hand military press with dumbbells – 175 pounds.
Two hand press from rack – 440 pounds.
Two hands press with dumbbells – 175 pounds each.
Press from behind neck – 350 pounds.
Two hand curls – 260 pounds.
Bench press – 580 pounds.
Push press from rack – 500 pounds.
Squat – 760 pounds.
Two hand dead-lifts – 705 pounds.
At a bodyweight of 280 to 300 pounds, Doug was able to perform unsupported handstand push-ups with ease. Sometimes he would knock of ten or fifteen reps at a time. In addition, while weighing 280 to 300 pounds, Doug could perform an unsupported single arm handstand.
Now comes the interesting part. On August 25, 1994, at the age of 68, Doug set six Master’s World records in less than 45 minutes. He performed the following lifts:
Bench press – 280 pounds.
Two hand curl – 180 pounds.
Military press – 210 pounds.
One arm dumbbell press – 100 pounds.
Close grip bench press – 215 pounds.
Press behind neck – 180 pounds.
Doug passed away on November 22, 2000, at the age of 74. Doug Hepburn is one of the most inspiring athletes who ever lived. His entire life was a profile in courage – and triumph over adversity.
The adjoining videos showcases Doug Hepburn in action. If you can listen to the commentary in the first video it briefly summarizes his lifting career. The second video is a footage where Doug Hepburn is Olympic pressing 380 pounds at the 1954 British Empire Commonwealth Games.
PS: All the above facts are quoted from Brooks Kubik book On Doug Hepburn.