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The late Perry Reader, considered one of the most notable and honest Iron Game historians of all-time, repeatedly noted in the 1950s & 60s that Chuck Ahrens had the widest shoulders of any human being on the face of the earth.
A cursory Google search of Chuck Ahrens reveals that Chuck Ahrens was huge with nearly a 60-inch chest and shoulders that eclipsed the two foot mark by four inches! Ahrens was also somewhat of a mystery man, commonly referred to as the reclusive power house, lionizing his place as one of the founding that put Muscle Beach on the map.
Besides extremely heavy lateral raises and overhead barbell presses, there may have been another exercise that aided in Ahrens’ uncanny deltoid development. This exercise is affectionately known as the “Ahrens Press.”
The Ahrens press is a variation of the overhead dumbbell press, but instead of pressing the dumbbells straight up, you press them up and away laterally, sort of like making a V with both arms. Necessity was the mother of invention, in this case.
Ahrens had no choice but to press the dumbbells in this style because he used special loadable dumbbells that were very long; in other words, it was impossible to press them straight because they would hit each other with the massive poundages he routinely threw overhead. Because of the lateral pressing motion, this exercise forces the medial delts or “caps” to work harder.
The key to maximize muscular development is synergistically blending the most effective methods of the past with the newest innovation.