Thursday, 24 May 2012

Strength Icons - Lee Moran

A few days ago i introduced our followers to our new member of the team Jay Pateman who will be focussing on "Strength Icons"

In Jays first piece he focuses on Lee Moran. This strength sport world is moving really fast and the focus is on the current guys and up and coming talent But lets not forget the guys who brought us this far and that is why i brought Jay in ..

over to Jay -

   Strength Icons


          Once a month on VikingR blog I will be taking an indepth look into a superior strengh icon from the past.

There will be features on their lifestyle, training, diet and a look at one of their world class feats of strength.
In this blog I will be featuring on the legendary Hell's Angel powerlifter Lee "The Mystery" Moran and discussing his journey towards  the lift that has been described by some as the "greatest lift of all time".
           As a child, Mexican American Lee Moran wasn't interested in the futile other sports that children his age were indulging in, and instead  found his sanctuary with the clanging of iron, and clutching the knurling of a seven foot barbell. 
           Luckily for Moran his father was 'in service' so he built his strength and physique at the different gyms and bases his father was stationed at. After school he took jobs as a gym trainer and a club bouncer eventually meeting the love of his life Charlene.
            He settled at Johnny's iron gym in Alemeda California and it was there that he decided to hone his strength into an art.
Although only five feet seven inches in height he was now tipping the scales at over 140kg(22.5stone) carrying much of that weight in his shoulders chest and tree trunk like legs.
He personified power and more than kept up with the fellow giants in the Superheavies. His reputation, temperament and stature was getting him noticed and his rumoured gym lift exploits were causing shock waves in the world of Powerlifting. At this point he was still a newcomer and regarded as a raw and unpolished brute. The fact that he just appeared on the scene gave rise to his nickname "the mystery".
            He was a long standing member of notorious Sonny Bargers Hell's Angels (Oakland chapter), and proudly displayed his swastika tattoo on the platform. This seemed to intimidate his rivals and further enhance his tough guy image and made him a fearsome competitor to go up against.
            In 1983, with training going well, he entered his first National title up against legends such as Doyle Kennedy and Dave Waddington and shocked everyone by squatting a bone crushing four hundred and thirty three kilos in an old polyester marathon squat suit and hurricane knee wraps ! We must not forget also that this was in the years before monolifts appeared on the platform, so all squats were walked out. Lee declared there and then to everyone that would listen, that next year he would come back and be attempting to squat one thousand pounds ! For twelve months he focused on the upcoming 1984 senior Nationals.

           1984 came around and the Senior Nationals had begun. After what seemed like an eternity, the highly anticipated  return of Lee Moran to the platform was now underway and his name was called out to squat.
Almost unbeleivably when asked what his opening lift would be, he replied calmly "953lb" (433kg). Shocked and in awe, the packed auditorium hushed in unison as Moran staggered away from the stands. Momentarilly Lee positioned himself to squat, but all of a sudden panic ran through the crowd as Lee blacked out and collapsed as the weight came crashing down over his head causing him to fall back helplessly into the arms of his spotter.
Lee regrouped, and against the advice of the 'on site' medic crew, repeated his 953lb opening lift, but this time he smashed it..........."good squat" !!!
For his final lift he requested 1003lb to be loaded onto the bar for a new world record. Incredibly for Moran after staggering out with the record weight, the stressed and flexed bar had hit its limit, and the collar gave way under the weight!! This caused one side of the bars plates to cascade off sending the bar catapulting off his shoulders. Unbelievebly no one was injured. After blacking out on his opener, then the malfunctioning of the plates, and two near death experiences could Moran pull himself together physically, never mind mentally  ?!!
As the failed lift was due to a malfunction of equiptment, Moran was granted a fourth and final lift.


"The Mystery" walked out the monsterous weight and grinded out the record 455kg squat to the rapturous applause of the crowd and supporters. How anyone could have mentally dialed themselves in to complete that lift after all the previous drama is a real sentiment to Moran's dedication and 'do or die' attitude. Lee Moran was in my opinion more than worthy of the title of pulling off the "greatest lift of all time".


             That year he won the Senior National and the prestegious World Powerlifting Championships back to back. An injury soon after to Moran's lower back took him sadly into early retirement from competitive lifting,and although he continued training he never again hit the highs witnessed in 1984.
              Lee "the mystery" Moran sadly died in 1999 of a heart attack  and is buried as an 'angel' in Evergreen cemetery Oakland with a wonderful photo depicting his monumental 1003lb squat.
Lee Morans training ;

Style- Heavy basic short 1 1/2 hrs max,100% intensity.

Prog- Three days on one day off.

Cycle- 12 weeks cycle of increased intensity running up to contest.

Cardio-  Zero,quoted as saying....."a sea turtle lives up to 500yrs and i never seen him going any place"

Day1- Squats and legs,highbar and hack,ham curls,calf work,abs.

Day2- Bench press,assistance,cambered bar bench,pec dec,hammer curls.

Day3- Deads+T-bar row cable rows,behind neck press,side laterals,dumbell curls,abs.

Lee Morans food;

Plenty of cheese omlettes ,linguica,lasagne,jacket potatoes.Balance of protein and carbs plus high intakes of

fruit and vegetables.


                                                     By - Jay 'Ursus' Pateman @ VikingrBlog






  4. Wish we could've shared the same platform more than just once!