Jack King's Gym

Natural bodybuilding & Olympic lifting resource

Ironheart: Jack King’s Story

By William Crawford, M.D.

MILO September 2009, vol. 17. No. 2

All of us are aware that weight training and physical conditioning are the routes to a more powerful life. How we feel and how we accomplish our goals and carry out our daily lives are dependent on our inner force – our mental outlook as well as our will – that is created by our physical being.

This is a story of my mentor Jack King, a man who became a top-level Olympic-style weightlifter first, and then a world champion physique competitor and an eternal source of encyclopedic knowledge on physical culture’s practical application. Jack is an example of how a life spent pursuing physical excellence can carry over to other aspects of living and can teach us some valuable lessons.

When I entered Jack King’s Gym in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the first time at age 16 in 1978, I knew it would be a life-altering experience. The stiff mist of lifting chalk mixed with the smell of new bumper plates was tempered by the energy of heavy lifting in its purest form. Jack was the captain of this ship and he immediately gave me my place in this universe. Hard work and dedication was the path to respect as a lifter. Jack knew this path and all its bumps and curves. Continue reading “Ironheart: Jack King’s Story”


Jack King at the 1st Annual OCB No Gear Classic Greensboro, NC

Click to watch Jack King speak at the 2011 OCB No Gear Classic in Greensboro.

Jack King on Body Buidling (2011)

Jack King 1983

Starting Strength: The Tarheel Connection by Bill Starr

There were many factors that contributed to the resurgence of activity at the York Barbell Club in the mid-sixties. One that is often overlooked is the influence brought to the York Gym by lifters from other parts of the country. Olympic lifters in the various geographic regions seldom trained alike. The reason for this was rather simple: each locality was governed by a coach or lifter who had proven himself. Those who trained in that area usually followed the methods prescribed by that individual.

Continue reading “Starting Strength: The Tarheel Connection by Bill Starr”

Jack King frontpose4

Content of Books

Several folks have asked about the content of the four books to be coming out.

The first will deal mainly with push-ups. Another will focus on sprinting and running– how to plan runs, how to measure them, and the frequency for optimal results. Another will be dedicated to pull-ups. Content will focus on different variations and advantages of each variation. The last will be the most extensive book I’ve ever seen on diet and supplementation. The exhaustive nature of the diet/supplementation content is one of the reasons that the overall collection was divided into a four-part series. There would be way too much content for one book and it would make the book very expensive if all information was included in one binding.

I still do not have a date from JP, but I plan to give him a call tomorrow for an update.

Thanks for your continued interest and let me know if you have further questions.


Updates and Responses to Questions

Looks like the book should be out in the Spring. It will be one of a four-part series.

As far as the differences between John’s training philosophy and my own, JP is entitled to his opinions. In my many talks with John, we’ve discussed his friends and acquaintances who have experienced injuries where they can no longer do weight work. In my own experience in twenty years of competitive Olympic lifting, I had a left elbow operation, tore a right thigh muscle, and made frequent visits to the chiropractor. Even with all the injuries, I wouldn’t trade anything for my time as an Olympic lifter. Just as football players and other athletes know, injuries are a part of the sport. You love the sport, so you take and accept that injuries are going to come along with it. If you’re trying to excel, you will have to deal with injuries. Due to injuries, we often have to improvise our training techniques in the event that we cannot use weights. You can see other posts on this blog where I have described my use of non-apparatus training to continue training body parts that I would otherwise have been unable to train with weights.

As far as the book is concerned, I am very excited. I truly believe when you read this book series that you all have all the ammunition you’ll need for the rest of your life on how to train and what to do in non-apparatus training.

You can feel comfortable in calling me at the gym with questions or concerns. I’m that interested in your success. The specific training questions you’ve asked in these blog comments will be addressed in the book or you can call me directly. The books will include pictures and demonstrations of training techniques with descriptions that are dead on.

Thank you all for your interest and I will update as much as possible.

Keep training hard,


Thanks to everyone for their interest in the upcoming book

I wanted to take a quick minute to respond to everyone who has posted to the blog and indicated interested in the upcoming book. As soon as I find out more details, I will give an update on when it is coming out. In the meantime, I plan to respond to all your comments and questions.

Thanks for checking in and I will update soon.

Keep training hard,


Video of Push-Up Technique along with Jack’s Commentary

Based on the number of comments and great interest readers have expressed in my push-up routine, I have created this video in which the proper technique is demonstrated. During the demonstration, I provide commentary around the technique and it’s benefits.

Jerry Martin, winner of the Feb. 2010 NASF-sponsored President’s Day Festival, is the demonstrator. Just for the record, Jerry completes 110 push-ups in this video. Click here to view video of Jerry’s posing routine from that contest in which he won Best Poser. Jerry has trained at my gym since 2000. He added push-ups to his training regimen in the months leading up to the NASF competition and the gains really paid off.

There is a certain mentality, which I speak of in the video, that must prevail in taking up a hardcore push-up routine. Once the routine becomes standard and the results begin to show, no one will have to beg to you incorporate push-ups into your training routine. You’ll love what you see and this will motivate you over time.

Keep training hard,


Blog at

Up ↑