A legendary powerlifter credited with multiple innovations that advanced and expanded that strength training sport has reportedly passed away.
Louie Simmons, a champion lifter, coach, inventor, and founder of the elite Westside Barbell gym in Ohio, was 74, weightlifting website BarBend reported.
It remains unclear at this point exactly when or how Simmons died, the outlet noted, but news of his death was shared Thursday by his gym.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Louie Simmons,” Westside Barbell wrote in an Instagram post. “We will make a formal announcement after we process this loss.”
Standard setter and innovator in powerlifting and strength training
BarBend reported that Simmons, born in 1947, had begun competing in powerlifting in his 20s and spent the remaining five decades of his life involved in the weight training sport, first as a competitor and later as a coach for other lifters.
He has been credited with inventing a variety of training machines and techniques to help lifters and strength trainers maximize their potential gains.
One of those techniques, known as the Westside Conjugate Method, has been broadly popularized outside of the powerlifting world for those seeking to increase their strength through resistance.
Admitted use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs
For what is worth, Simmons’ incredible physique and immense strength — he was considered an “elite” lifter in five separate weight classes — didn’t come entirely naturally but was aided by his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to News Random.
Nor was Simmons secretive about that, either, and had seemingly bragged about his steroid use in a 2016 interview with podcaster Joe Rogan. “I [was] taking anabolic steroids in January 1970. So what’s this, 2016? I never left them,” he said, and added, “Look, drug use isn’t against the rules. It’s against the law to get caught.”
Rogan reacted to the news of Simmons’ death with an Instagram post of his own that featured a picture of the two together. “Rest In Peace, Louie Simmons,” Rogan wrote. “You were a strength training genius, and a genuine bad motherf–ker who lived life on his own terms. It was an honor to meet you and have you on the podcast. You will be greatly missed. Westside against the world.”
Steroid use is common and accepted in powerlifting, strength training
Interestingly enough, Simmons had also been quoted in a lengthy 2016 article by Pacific Standard magazine about the little talked about prolific and accepted use of steroids and other PEDs in a profile of fellow powerlifter Mark Bell.
The key takeaway from that piece was that while such drugs were frowned upon and banned in most organized sports, it was generally accepted and perhaps even necessary in the sports of powerlifting and professional bodybuilding