Whole Milk - The most Politically Incorrect substance of all time deserves a second look.
“Milk is everything.”
Young Bill “Kaz” Kazmaier (above) at about the time of the incident.
My friend Tony Fitton is a brilliant guy. An erudite, educated, perfectly spoken Englishman and a former British powerlifting champion in the 242-pound class, Tony placed 3rd at the IPF world championships before morphing into an elite powerlifting coach. Tony was a born rebel, getting kicked out of every institution or organization he ever crossed paths with. His unrelenting rebelliousness created a never-ending series of political intrigues. He moved to the United States in the 1970s and became a major power player in the United States Powerlifting Federation.
One year at the British national powerlifting championships Tony got into a tiff with an imperious official who forbade Tony from wearing his combat boots to squat in. The official BPA rulebook stated British powerlifters had to wear “athletic footwear.” The next year Fitton created an uproar when he competed in the squat, bench press and deadlift wearing his new, conforming-to-the-rules, completely legal “athletic footwear,” swim fins. He took 2nd place and was immediately banned by the federation.
Tony was known by everyone who was anyone in the powerlifting world. He and I enjoyed each other’s company. He was funny as hell and had lived the life of a pirate, so we always had a lot to talk about. We spent a good amount of time together and talked often by phone. He once related to me a story about being picked up from LAX in the late 1970s by a rising young strength star named Bill “Kaz” Kazmaier.
As Tony told the tale, the gigantic Kaz, still in his early 20s, picked Tony up at the gate and led him back to the parking lot where they piled into Kaz’s VW bug. The first thing Tony noticed was the smell. The tiny vehicle reeked of stale, gross, spoiled, soured milk. The source of the putrid smell was “Dozens of empty ½ gallon plastic milk jugs, piled high in the back seat.” Kaz was completely oblivious to the stench and they got underway.
“Kaz insisted on driving in the left lane of this incredibly busy freeway.” Tony recalled. “We were talking up a storm as we drove. Cars would run up on us as Kaz’s tiny car struggled to go 50 miles per hour, this in the passing lane. Between Kaz and I, we weighed nearly 600-pounds and the VW had 54-horsepower. Cars would run up on us from behind, tailgate us and start honking for us to get out of the fast lane.”
Tony was incredulous at what happened next. “While we were still engrossed in conversation, Kaz would casually reach behind him, grab an empty half gallon jug and fling it out the window towards the impatient tailgating driver. Chaos would result, screeching brakes, swerving cars, crash noises, and loud swearing. Kaz never interrupted his train of thought or lost the flow of the conversation. I dare say he tossed three milk jugs out the window in the 40-minutes we were on the freeway.”
I cannot verify this tale as I only have Tony’s telling - but I certainly hope it is true. The larger point being Kaz’s enthused consumption of whole milk. The quote at the start of the article was Kaz’s response to a question asked by a muscle magazine interviewer, “In your quest for maximum size, strength and power – what role has milk played?” Kaz replied wistfully. “Milk is everything.” Kaz spoke for all the hardcore. Kaz’s incredible progress, his accomplishments – who he was as an athlete and as a Man – was, in some significant way, attributable to milk.
In the old days everyone that was anyone in the strength world drank milk, whole milk, and lots of it. The first nutritional breakthrough was the realization that protein, extra protein, protein in ample amounts, aided the progressive resistance effort. Protein came from animal sources, seafood, and dairy. Strength athletes would down powerhouse dairy milk, one cream-topped pint at a time. Each pint of whole milk contained 132 calories, 18 grams of protein, 26 grams of carbs and 20 grams of fat. Milk doesn’t need to be cooked and was available everywhere. This was important.
In the post WWII era and up thru the end of the 1970s, people obtained milk, eggs, cheese and cream from a local dairy. Dairy milk was created by cows living on local farms. Well-tended, well cared for, these cows lived outside and were healthy and contented. The greater the contentment the better the quality and greater the quantity of whole milk.
Potent milk straight from the dairy was delivered fresh, house to house, early every morning. Milkmen would come to your porch 2-3 times a week and switch out empty glass bottles for fresh full ones. Want cream? Butter? Homemade ice cream? Just leave a note. Readily available, cheap, milk was every hardcore athlete’s first (and likely most effective) nutritional supplement.
To grow stronger, a man needs more muscular firepower than he currently possesses. The solution is to grow muscle and the solution to growing muscle is to engage in bar-bending progressive resistance sessions while simultaneously taking in enough excess calories, quality calories, to drive bodyweight (muscle not fat) upward. Whole milk was perfect for that purpose.
No one drinks whole milk in 2020, much less drinks it by the gallon as the greats of yesteryear did on a widespread and wholesale basis. How is it that this miracle substance, whole milk, a substance that fueled muscle and strength gains for so many all-time greats, so many hall-of-fame bodybuilders, strength athletes and lifters on such a widespread basis for so many decades – how is it that this miracle substance fell from into utter and complete disfavor?
A strong case can and should be made for resurrecting the use of whole milk as a nutritional supplement. If available, raw milk, unpasteurized, is the most potent and nutritionally powerful of all milk types. The studied, timed use of whole milk and as a nutritional supplement makes it ideal for aiding in muscle gain and accelerating recovery. We’ll explore more in Got Whole Milk? Part 2. Read Got Whole Milk Part 2 HERE.
About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of multiple books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.