Ian King is the antithesis of what you may think a strength coach would be. Other than the proper diction of his Australian accent (which made my New York accent seem all that much more abrasive), Ian is not a pundit of any particular method or secret strategy obtained from scientific calculations. He does not claim to be privy to some "perfect rep range" based on an arcane principle known only to East Romanian Olympic gold medallists. Ian's approach to strength training depends on who is being trained and for what purpose. One size does not fit all.

He may not be well known (yet) outside of his homeland of Australia, but what Ian King has to offer, in terms of bodybuilding expertise, is an invaluable import. Ian states his case in an uncharacteristically soft-spoken manner, but he makes his point clear. Ask most any other powerlifter to speak about his "stats" and he'll jump at the chance, but Ian thought it gauche to recite numbers or to draw attention to himself, even though he has finished no lower than third place in several national powerlifting championships.

At first, I found his reluctance to speak about his accomplishments peculiar, but Ian wasn't trying to be intentionally cryptic. It soon became apparent that he's a humble man and very well aware that his personal accomplishments aren't a factor in how he can help others with their personal strength goals. That alone sets him miles apart from his contemporaries. To so many of the currently popular exercise "authorities," the line of thinking is, "It worked for me, so it'll work for you." More often than not, it seems as if good portions of these "principles" are little more than a marketable gimmick. You'll get no such spin doctoring from Ian King. No shortcuts here. What you will get is a wealth of knowledge and an extensive understanding of effective exercise techniques that can make that elusive quest for physical progress an obtainable reality.

Now, Testosterone has arranged for the bodybuilding community beyond the land of bushman and boomerangs to hear what this sage of strength has to say.

Due to the difference in time (21 hours!), it was after midnight in New York City when I called Ian at his home.

NM: Hello, Ian. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with Testosterone. Where exactly am I calling?

IK:

NM: Did you grow up and attend school in Australia?

IK:

NM: Is that also when you began taking on clients?

IK:

NM: Did you have an innate affinity towards athleticism?

You'll have to forgive Nelson. He once sat his butt down real hard on a Webster's dictionary, and it lodged up there.

IK:

NM: Do you work mostly on a one-on-one basis?

IK:

NM: Do you work with bodybuilders as well?

IK:

NM: Can you give an example of that?

IK:

NM: Do the athletes realize their weaknesses?

IK:

NM: Are your techniques contingent on the age of the athlete?

IK:

NM: Most bodybuilders will only stretch for a few minutes as a warm-up.

IK:

NM: That sounds very much like yoga technique.

IK:

NM: Are you familiar with the Poliquin techniques?

IK:

NM: I'm with you there! Any other similarities with your techniques and Charles'?

IK:

NM: So much of bodybuilding is making the muscle work as hard as possible, not as efficiently as possible.

IK:

NM: Do you feel, then, that there is validity in achieving a pump?

IK:

NM: Do you employ forced or assisted reps?

IK:

NM: That sounds similar to Arthur Jones' principle.

IK:

NM: In your opinion, how long should a workout last?

IK:

NM: What if long rests between sets are utilized?

IK:

NM: Do you use partial reps?

IK:

NM: Speaking of assistance, I understand that the drug scene in Australia is a lot looser than in the states.

IK:

NM: That's amazing. DHEA is so benign. You can buy it in candy stores here.

IK:

NM: Take it from me, you're not missing anything. Are there any supplements that you would recommend?

IK:

NM: Do you train as hard at this point in your life [Ian is 37 years old] as you did as a younger man?

IK:

NM: I understand that you've written some books on a variety of strength-related topics.

IK:

NM: What is the best way to order or get a listing of the books available?

IK:

NM: Ian, we've certainly covered a lot of ground and given our readers plenty to think about. Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us.

IK:

By the time I hung up with Ian King, it was almost 2am New York time. It may have been late, but it was well worth staying up for.

America has become a society of quick fixes. So much of our culture is designed to be disposable. Whatever you don't immediately like, throw it away! Something will replace it soon enough. Our "instant everything," microwavable, give-it-to-me-yesterday mentality has led to a search for the easy answer. The consequence of this thinking (or lack thereof)—besides a shortened attention span—is a growing deficiency in acquiring the necessary tools to truly excel.

I'd recommend to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of training principles and strength-building techniques to investigate some of Ian King's writings. Knowledge is power. And Ian King is a man who has a lot of both.

With any luck, Ian King will be regular contributor to the printed version of Testosterone magazine.