Even Stronger Than They Look: Tom Platz

The greatest high-rep squatter who ever stood in a power rack


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"I have been reading that people thought maybe i knew that my legs were to big in the 80's to win the 0. My response, I never want to just please the judges! I wanted to express myself from within as any artist does! I wanted to humbly show them how it goes according to me! Also I thought at that time that the rest of the bodybuilding community had under developed lower bodies! Now 37 years later bodybuilders finally have legs! I think that we need less science and more Art! finally when a bodybuilder walks out on stage, they should never ask for applause! they should walk out and just stand there, smile and command applause without ever asking!" - Tom Platz #platzinum #TomPlatz #thegoldeneagle #quadfather #goldenera #bodybuilding

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If we’re talking Tom Platz, we’re talking wheels. And if we’re talking Platz’s wheels, we’re talking squats—narrow stance, below parallel, for mega reps. Perhaps no one has ever journeyed further into the pain zone of take-no-prisoners squatting. Platz, who finished third in the 1981 Mr. Olympia (which many thought he should’ve won), claims to have squatted 15 reps with 635 and 52 with 350, and to have squatted for 10 minutes straight (more than 100 reps) with 225 on numerous occasions, always while weighing less than 230.

Those numbers may seem dubious, but check out a YouTube video of him squatting 500 for 23 butt-to-ankles reps, shot in 1992, five years after he retired from bodybuilding. If you can believe your own eyes, you’ll know Tom Platz is the greatest high-rep squatter who ever stood in a power rack.


  • 1. Squats: 8-10 sets of 5-20 reps*
  • 2. Hack squats: 5 sets of 10-15 reps
  • 3. Leg extensions: 5-8 sets of 10-15 reps
  • 4. Lying leg curls: 6-10 sets of 10-15 reps
  • *Squats were performed deep and strict and pyramided to more than 600 pounds.



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