Glenn Buechlein, the Most Interesting Man in Physical Culture

By: Paul Leonard  

Glenn Buechlein of Jasper, Indiana is a lifetime Elite level lifter, educator, family man, and the most inquisitive and introspective individual I know. I have listed Glenn’s characteristics in the reverse order of his life priorities, but he knows that. The fact that he celebrated his 51st Fourth of July on earth by doing 1400 real pushups in two hours will give you an idea of what a special talent Glenn, or Power B, to his friends truly is. Power B has unselfishly shared his strength journey with hard core muscle heads for over 20 years with his free articles on Powerlifting centric websites as well as his book, the Tao of B. For over twenty years, B was an elite level bench presser, with a competition best press of 725 lbs. while in his 40s. Glenn did his official 700lb bench press wearing a Metal Brand Shirt. Power B was one of the first 5 lifters to bench over 700lbs in the 242 lbs. weight class. Like many lifters of the 90s, Glenn began his bench career in a Frantz shirt. He recalls that he benched a 640 lbs. bench in an Inzer shirt. B has always trained all his lifts as hard as he could. While being interviewed for an article in The Evansville Courier, attired in his work clothes and at a body weight of 235 lbs., Glenn completed a strict pull up using only 1 finger on each hand. Tales of B’s workouts from the alley adjacent to his home resonated with serious strength athletes, many of whom grew up reading of the intense workouts completed by Dr. Ken Leistner and his training partners. B’s writing style always captivated me whether it was a description of the training he executed in order to successfully jump out of an empty 55 gallon drum or the intensity which he applied to improve his already amazing bench press. Glenn endeared himself to his audience by expressing real emotions such as the angst an athlete feels at becoming a parent, as those last remnants of selfishness to guarantee personal performance die a painful death when you place your offspring’s well-being first – as it should be. I still recall B describing the mind-numbing chore of doing his new born daughter’s laundry, a task all us parents learn to endure-and we did it before podcasts! I have been blessed in my life to have some many friendships, from Boston, Southern California, Texas and now Arizona, I have had amazing friends and mentors. B stands out from this crowd in that he is a kindred spirit that I have known for over twenty years yet I have never met in person. Let’s hope I am not being catfished. Seriously, B is someone who I have been able to connect with through the internet, but I have not had the pleasure yet of shaking his hand and thanking him for his mentor ship over the years. I hope all you readers utilize this incredible site as well as social media to positively encourage and connect with people that have the same drive, goals, and interests as yourself. B always implemented and described innovative exercises such as triceps death. Workouts at B’s basement gym and surrounding property involve kettlebells, a bamboo bar, bands, center mass bells, stability balls, slosh pipes, steel logs, barrels, sandbags, sleds, and tires. Basically if an object weighed something considerable and did not talk back, B and his crew would lift it, carry, throw it, and find ways to dominate it-pure muscle mayhem at work.    

Glenn Performing 160 lbs. Kettlebell Rows

Glenn’s Midwestern work ethic has been perfectly melded with his intellectual application of Russian and Bulgarian training methods. The result has been an effective training philosophy that has influenced countless strength athletes because B has shared everything as any true physical culturist does. Recently B was selected to speak to a group of poverty stricken elementary school children about honoring a work ethic that inspires others. This humbled Glenn when the selection committee picked him because he exemplifies hard work, which is a core value to him. Except for Louie Simmons, I do not know an individual in the physical culture community who is as innovative as Glenn. His Facebook and previous published writings have more creative ways to challenge yourself while building strength, muscle, and mental toughness. B’s tales were always filled with the wryest sense of humor I have ever read. For example, he once described a giant paper clip like apparatus that he and his crew employed that was hilarious, with the member’s bench pressing each other’s bodies in a way that still makes me smile. Glenn described the how the operation of this apparatus, with members laying on an open frame and being pressed by other members may be confused for an NC 17 scene from a Turkish prison based movie. B once penned an awesome article series entitled keepers and throwbacks, a fishing analogy, to promote and pan certain training exercises that were considered key movements in the Westside Barbell system. Never one to accept dogma as fact, the Isaac Newton of the Prone Press questioned everything and let all aspiring lifters know his opinions based upon years of gym experiments. A few years ago I reconnected with Glenn, as I am always interested in how anyone who has been lifting over 30 years like I have is doing. Like all strength athletes who push the limits, B had suffered some injuries which is never a surprise to someone living the same lifestyle. What was surprising to me was the amazing training that B was now doing to continue to strengthen his body without destroying his shoulder joints or anything else he really needs for the next 40 years.  

Two Minutes of Terror Via Push-Ups with Glenn Glen is a professional school administrator so his training varies seasonally, as does many of us smart trainers who believe there should be yearly variances in your training style, volume, and goals that best coincide with the different phases of a calendar year. B’s focus on volume increases during time periods when school is not in session. Training during these higher volume training periods extreme push up workouts are attacked on Saturday mornings and then Sunday mornings high repetition back workouts are the focus of B’s furor. Many of these workouts are filmed and released on B’s Facebook page to inform and inspire. I know that is the effect they have on me and my training partners. An example of a recent push-up session completed in B’s own words: “In celebration of our independence, specifically our right to bear arms, I did pushups from 9 to 11, I set a new standard getting 1400 done. I did ten reps on the minute for the first hour then 13 reps on the minute for the second hour. My new goal is now 2000 push-ups in 3 hours.”  My left shoulder right now is not currently loving pushups but even when they did, I do not think I ever did 1400 push-ups in a month. The volume and quality of execution of Glenn’s pushups are inspiring and remind me that I need to get my butt in gear. By first glance at B’s physique you see he has a very healthy, athletic appearance that is capped off with arms that look like a second set of legs. Glenn also appears to about twenty years younger than he is, proof that his marathon training sessions are part fountain of youth or a DeLorean that goes 88 miles per hour. When Glenn was facing some difficult to solve injury issues, he decided to become certified in the activation methodology invented by Doug Heel. B has completed other fitness certification classes such as the CSCS, FMS, and RPR; yet he finds that Be activated method and a focus on breathing drills have helped him and those he treats the most. This shows how inquisitive B is, always looking for new modalities to improve his performance as well as those who entrust their training methods with him. Every challenge is an opportunity to improve himself and others not just hang it up and play Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen. Glenn would love to thank his awesome wife Kelly, beautiful daughter Taylor, and his legion of former training partners most of whom he considers sons. Gunnar, Garett, Brady, Tony, Taylor, and Dean all have special places in B’s heart. Glenn was Gunnar’s best man at his wedding, since they have trained together since Gun was 18 and is now in his thirties. Garett began training with B when he was 14 and now is in his 30s as well. He is expecting his first child in December and is naming him after Glenn. Brady earned his PHD, cited B in his dissertation and is currently a strength coach and lecturer at the University of Indiana. Tony owns a gym in Indianapolis and has trained with B since 1996. Taylor’s training with B allowed him to win the prestigious Indiana State High School Wrestling Championship. Dean and Glenn have trained together for 33 years’ people, a third of a century! They were each other’s best man at their weddings. Through all life’s changes, these men have remained loyal to each other and get together when they can. Think this is just about pumping iron? The gym can forge life long bonds. B is quoted as saying that the iron is your only true friend. This modern-day renaissance man has been known to write customized poetry for friend’s weddings as well as to provide motivational speeches to inmates at correctional institutions. If you ever get the chance to interact with B, I am sure you will agree his positivity is infectious. One thing though, make sure you either have or at least appreciate dogs, specifically boxers who will always be B’s companion. Today, Glenn benches for high reps and utilizes unique, conjugate and Jailhouse style exercises to test and build his strength.     

315 x 20 Reps as Glenn Recovers from a Pec Tear