Baddest Mofos Ever: James “Warrior” Hellwig
When one considers that there’s less money in lifting than there is sucking cock behind dumpsters in any American ghetto, however, it makes sense that anyone who loves to lift would gravitate towards wrestling. Furthermore, lifters are by and large boring-ass people. They go to the gym, train people, and go the hell home, never once stopping to rip an entire 8 ball of a line off the dashboard of a moving car and then leap out at the nearest passerby screaming unintelligible words, then throw them through a plate glass window as their best imitation of a practical joke… like Ken Patera did.
This is why I find it necessary to re-profile the only pro wrestler outside of Goldberg I have ever found myself compelled enough to watch on a regular basis, and my only choice when playing WWE video games in the arcade back in the day- James Hellwig, The Ultimate Warrior. Ultimate Warrior was sane in the same way Oprah is thin and the Kardashians are actually people- his promos were unintelligible to the point where you wondered if he was simply such a genius that you lacked the requisite intellect to comprehend him. He was one of the most physically violent and remarkably unskilled pro wrestler of the modern era, relying on drug-fueled rage, rawer-than-your-dick-after-jerking-it-with-sandpaper brute strength, and so much pants-shitting insanity that the love child of the Joker and Bane would be tame as a field mouse by comparison.
Like his eventual coke and dbol-fortified tag team partners, the Mad Max-inspired, freakishly coiffed, angriest tag team on Earth, the Legion of Doom, Warrior’s go to move was the gorilla press slam, which requires less athleticism than one would get out of Stephen Hawking but more brute strength than you’d get out of ten meatheads at the nearest powerlifting “destination gym” to complete. It is for these reasons, then, that the Ultimate Warrior is joining the esteemed pantheon of Valhalla-bound hardasses that comprises my Baddest Mofos Ever list.
Ultimate Warrior Vital Stats
Though true wrestling aficionados bag on them like they’re Clinique counter girls at Macy’s talking shit on Amy Weinhouse’s crack whore makeup motif (only likely in a far more effeminate manner, as I’ve yet to meet a true wrestling mark who doesn’t live in his parents basement and appear to spend the bulk of his time stealing and sniffing his mother’s shoes), all of the most entertaining wrestlers of the past seem to have been the least technically proficient- Goldberg, Big Poppa Pump, the Legion of Doom, Hulk Hogan, and Andre The Giant are living (and dead in the case of half of LOD and the Giant) proof. Speaking of Andre, the Ultimate Warrior might not have displayed his lifting prowess on the platform, but he sure as shit hefted that tubby acromegalic goof off the ground for a body slam when Andre was tipping the scales at 545 lbs. For those of you who think that’s not all that impressive, feel free to try to hoist a saddie in a scooter at your local Walmart and dump them on their ass. Whether or not you succeed, you’ll be a goddamned legend for trying and will gain valuable insight into what it feels like to heft about 600 lbs of uncooked cookie dough , flip it upside down, and smash it on the ground.
“On the lecture circuit, Warrior is fond of telling the story of how a skinny little kid befriended a rusty old workout machine and the machine gave that kid an ass. Seriously, that was his proudest accomplishment. Not the biceps, triceps, delts, or lats. Ass. Not even “glutes.” Ass. He was very clear about that. Ass” (Simon).
I realize that has absolutely no bearing on the discussion at hand, but I recall thinking that was a stupid goddamn gimmick even as a little kid. By the time he hit the mat for the WWE, the Warrior had established himself as a bonafide maniac capable of few legitimate wrestling moves, but also as the single greatest promo cutter in the history of wrestling. Not event the Rock could touch the Warrior’s stilted, guttural, incoherent rants, so rife with insanity that you couldn’t help but pay attention. I’m honestly not even sure his rants were a work, given that everything he’s done since is equally nonsensical and insane. Bear witness as he exercises his exorcism:
Having witnessed his insanity,it will likely come as a shock to you that his workouts were not all that exciting. He’s admitted a great many times that he has no idea how many years steroid abuse took off his life, so those of you chomping at the bit to scream “STEROIDS” can look smug and pat yourselves on your back. Then, punch yourselves in the goddamn face, because steroid use is so common in commercial gyms that even in Belgium, a country that has literally never produced a lifter of note, 25% of of recreational lifters use gear. Thus, steroids were not the magical panacea for muscle building and strength you might have thought they were. Instead, insanity seems to be the primary factor in the Warrior’s lifting and career success, just as it was for Tookie Williams.
Were you to watch the Warrior’s training, you would look directly into the face of a man who’s managed to channel enough insanity to fill 100 horror movie loony bins with gibbering maniacs, self mutilators, and compulsively masturbating cannibalistic evangelical Christians. I’ve been around multiple Special Olympians in my day, and I have never before seen a human being perform exercises with that much grimacing and slobbering.
That moaning chick at every commercial gym who sounds like she’s working her way through a 50 man gangbang while lifting makes less of a scene than the Warrior does while warming up. Nick Manning makes less of a spectacle of himself dropping loads on bitches’ faces. A roomful of naked, shit-covered midgets with Tourette’s would draw less attention than the Warrior in your local Gold’s Gym. It’s like the Warrior is trying to get his face as jacked as his body by cutting the most dramatic faces he possibly can in the least amount of time possible. It’s almost as if he’s using time under tension for his face, and somehow it radiates out to the rest of his body. Whether it’s intensity or insanity, however, the shit is clearly working- he looks better at 54 years old than most people look at 24.
In his later years, the Warrior did what he referred to as a “bodybuilding type of workout,” and was preternaturally excited about the fact that he trained calves. For the vast majority of his training in his later years, Warrior did 10-15 reps for each set with warmups in the 30 rep range, though in the past he was known for going far, far heavier. True to his completely nonsensical form, the Warrior believed that worked the muscles from “the inside out.”
We could spend the next hundred years with linguists, scientists, and psychologists trying to parse exactly what the hell working a muscle from the inside out means and would likely be no closer to the answer than we are now. Nevertheless, it seems to work for the Warrior, who was jacked to bits at 50 and angrier than ever. Just ask the band Asking Alexandria if his methods work- in a pilot for a television show that sadly never saw air, the Warrior spent the better part of an hour berating the skinny jean clad metallers from that band for disrespecting him and interrupting himself with a great deal of psychotic pseudo-intellectualism without ever really putting them through a workout. In spite of the fact that they learned nothing more than what psychotics smell like up close, I bet each one of those skinny dickheads put on 5 lbs just from being in the same room as the living embodiment of every fear that extremist feminists have of machismo that is the Ultimate Warrior.
The following is the basic setup of his training routine pieced together from several sources- as I mentioned, he rarely did the same thing twice, and his workouts ranged in length from 45 minutes to a few hours on any given day. As such, this is the basic framework of what he did, but he kept his rests short except for his heaviest sets and went to failure on every single set, which is something that is about as out of vogue as jodhpurs in gyms these days, but definitely a trend that could stand to be revisited, because it worked.
The Warrior’s Mass Split
- Very Close Stance Squat (Tom Platz style)– 12, 10, 8, 2 x 6, 2 x 4
- Leg Press– 4 x 6-10
- Leg Curl– 4 x 8-12
- Leg Extensions– 4 x 8-12
- Deadlifts or Stiff Leg Deadlifts– 12, 10, 8, 2 x 6, 2 x 4
- Calf Raises– 4 x 8-12
- Barbell Bench Press– 12, 10, 8, 2 x 6, 2 x 4 , with the occasional double or single thrown in for good measure.
- Incline Dumbbell Press– 4 x 8-12
- Flat Bench Flies– 4 x 8-12
- Hammer Strength Rows– 4 x 6-10
- Behind the Neck Pulldowns– 4 x 8-12
- Pulldowns (alternating back to front)– 4 x 8-12
Weekend: Shoulders and Arms
- Stiff Legged Power Clean to Behind the Neck Strict Press– 5 x 4-10 (He would clean the weight from the floor with form that would make the weightlifters in your gym stroke out, and power that would make themselves secretly stroke themselves when alone later that evening. He’d increase the weight each set and go to absolute failure)
- Dumbbell Laterals– 4 x 8-12
- Bent Over Laterals– 4 x 12-15
- Dumbbell Shrugs– 4 x 20
- Preacher Curls– 5 x 4-12
- Straight Bar Curls– 5 x 8-12
- Dumbbell Curls– 5 x 10-12
- Tricep Pushdowns (variety of angles)- 10 x 10-15 (he’d change up the handle or the angle of movement every couple of sets)
- Dumbbell Overhead Extension– 6 x 4-12
The Warrior’s Split On The Road
Stereotypical of 1990’s bodybuilders, these workouts had almost zero rest between sets, and consisted of one to two sets of three to four exercises per muscle group, hitting everything from a variety of angles and relying heavily on Hammer Strength equipment.
And now, to flog the same cold, dead horse I beat every time I do a baddest mofos entry- there is no one ideal program, and no program is useless if you apply enough pants shitting insanity to it. Just look at this dude- is there anything at all in his program that would indicate that he’s capable of moving prodigious weights? Nope. Will a pack of useless shitbirds content themselves with simply screaming “STEROIDS!!!!!!!” in spite of the fact that nearly everyone in your gym is on shit and none of them can do what the Warrior can do at age 54? Yup. In spite of the fact that everyone knows that excuses are like assholes, people just don’t want to admit that’s just what they are, because the only thing the lot of us should really be injecting is a truly terrifying dose of insanity- that’s where the fucking gains come from. And if you don’t believe me, here is an email from the man himself.
Got quite a few emails about my comment that I believe overtraining is (another) sissy modern day concept — and BS.
Many of you who commented couldn’t believe I said such a thing. You think I should explain myself — “if you can,” you snidely add. Apparently, you’re concerned young kids following my BODY advice might be “mislead.” Going by your training standards today, you might be right. Young kids who follow my advice would be mislead in how to become champions — winners. And God knows, we can’t have any winners in our culture today. Not when kids are “lead” to be losers.
I found it interesting that the majority of you commentators seem to think you also read that I said rest or recovery is not necessary at all. Along with disagreeing with me by believing overtraining is possible and legit, you support your believe by chastising me, “You know rest is important for the body to recover, Warrior, so I don’t understand why you would put forward any idea that it is not.”
Yes, Einsteins, I do. I do know rest and recovery is important. I never said they were not. I never put forward any idea as you imagine. You read something into what I actually said that was not there at all.
What I said — and absolutely still stand by — is that overtraining is not possible unless you believe so in your mind. Oh, and it is BS.
Like most of the modern day theories intended to stifle action but stimulate a lot of yakkitty-yak, overtraining is one of those state-of-the-art suppositions that keep people from doing the THREE tried-and-true things they actually most need to do to build up their physiques or their physical strength:
Train. Train Hard. And TRAIN HARDER.
For good measure you might want to throw in a fourth thing if the three above don’t seem to be working.
Back in my bodybuilding days it was typical to train bodyparts three times per week, including even the compound exercises- squats, deadlifts, bentover rows and heavy bench. I continually and progressively got huge and strong (all the monsters I knew then did too). Gritting, grinding, grunting, gnarling and growling were training concepts regularly witnessed, but overtraining? Never heard of it. Train big. Eat big. Get plenty of good, sound rest. Period.
All kinds of bodybuilders and strength athletes thrived off this simple three part formula. This was before they had all the theories, all the science, all the trainer certifications, and all the mad, over-the-top chemical experimentation that goes on today. During my sports entertainment career, for over 5 years of a practically straight-through tour of duty, I traveled on a plane nearly every day, never missed any hardcore HIT workouts (no less than 6 days per week), survived on 3-4 hours sleep a night, and ate mostly 5-6 cans of tunafish per day (and practically nothing else when I could not find eating establishments that served good, clean food). Many times I would go 24 hour periods without any other kind of food — no carbs, no fats…just tuna out of the can. That’s 24 hours where I would have also executed my workout and performed a wrestling match. I worked nearly every night of the year, pushing my body and energy reserves to the absolute limit. My success was dependent on my physique and physical conditioning. It was not something I could leave to chance or give silly, half-ass attention to. The limited caloric intake and the extreme workload never manifested anything but the most positive effects. My body ALWAYS took whatever exertion I subjected it to and it responded by getting better and better over time even though the mental and physical demands became greater and greater at the same time.
Training is what people of all ages, young and old, need to concentrate on before they think too much about doing anything else — including the silly idea that they might be overtraining. Actually doing the exercise work at hand will do wonders for your body you would not believe. I guess, though, this isn’t a training method scientific enough for today’s trainers and trainees. On the other hand, thinking and talking too much can actually prohibit training altogether. Go figure. Walk into any gym today and see this self-evident truth at work for yourself.
Young recruits today think they need supplements like pro-hormones and NO2 stimulants before they even go to the gym and experience what it is like to grab the iron and throw it around for awhile. In my mind, a long while, say 3-5 years, for starters. Maybe after they put in that kind of time and commitment they can start having some serious thoughts about what might be important next.
I must get 50 emails a day asking me what is the best prohormone, and what is most important, working out? OR food and supplements? And they do not mean food and supplements to go along with the working out they would do at the same time. They mean — is it more important to eat food and take supplements OR workout to build my body? Yes, fellow warrior, you are understanding me correctly in the way I’ve written this. Somehow or other these kids have the idea that they can eat food and supplements without working out and build their bodies that way. Exercise might not be necessary according to the newfangled bodybuilding theories they hold.
This is a direct result of the fraud and idiocy the health and fitness industry perpetuates, to sustain their desire to keep people ignorant, stupid, and confused. If a young kid is going to be mislead, and potentially do harm to himself, it is the modern day crap that it is going to cause it, not me saying overtraining is bs. My advice will actually help the kid.
The problem with young people today is that they are doing too much theorizing and talking and not enough damn work. It’s no mystery that athletic champions in any sport put in a lot of hours — a full day’s work of 8-10 hours working on what needs to be done to succeed at the highest level.
How all this BS started that the body of person working out with weights can only handle 90 minutes of training a day only a few times per week, and the remainder of the time should be spent laying around eating gourmet health foods and shoveling down expensive supplementation, I don’t know.
But I do know it is all BS because I speak from experience that undisciplined, weak-minded individuals and skinny fitness-training theory freaks never had. All of this nonsense came from out of the minds of midgets who saw big money in marketing easy muscle building strategies to the masses of lazy, afraid-of-hard-work losers like themselves.
Sounds like excuses to me. Damn pathetic ones. Ones not tolerated around here. Get to the gym, shut the fuck up and train your guts and brain out. Your body will tell you when it needs rest and recovery. When it does, give it some.
But don’t be a slave to its whining. Your best and most effective muscle building workouts will be when you least feel like going to the gym. Don’t be a sissy to soreness and hard work — or even pain. Try it — I promise, if you are serious about building muscle, you’ll love it.
If being big and muscular was natural, we’d all be big and muscular. Your goal to be huge is not natural and your body is going to try and come up with all kinds of excuses because it does not like what you are making it do. Tough shit. Engage Mind over Matter and go back and torture the crap out of it again.
Any kid out there training 5, 6 or 7 days a week and doing everything and anything, giving it his all, keeping his attitude positive, paying attention to what his body is telling him, drinking gobs of milk and not worrying about whether he has the new age supps — now, that’s a kid you do need to be afraid of. There’s a kid you will want to keep your eye on. Why? He’s been mislead, and he’s certain to be a future champion — and warrior.