New Blog

This is THE PLACE for incredible feats, classic and unique equipment, advertisements, magazine covers, Olympic Champions, gymnastics, myths and legends, oldtime physical culture and everything else you can think of having to do with the history of physical training! -- There aint nothin' like it anywhere else! You'll want to check back several times per day, we update often.

Keep in mind that what you see on this page only the tip of the iceberg, check our Archive Section for all our back posts. If you are looking for any subject in particular, please try our Search page

If you want to "like" this section of our blog, please use the button above, otherwise, each individual post has it's own unique "like" button located in the upper right. Please share anything you find of interest with anyone you know who might like it!

Paul Anderson's Upside Down Training

Paul Anderson was not a handbalancer per se, but he did discover some interesting reasons to introduce upside-down training into repertoire. Here's something that Big Paul wrote in 1970:

"...As I did more thinking on the subject, I made a great discovery. This discovery was that the reason the thighs were responding so rapidly to weight training was that they had such a free flow of blood, and the upper body and even Lower back did not have this rapid access to the blood supply.

Even with the heart pumping vigorously our blood still seems to respond to the pull of gravity. One can see this by holding one of their hands over head and the other down to the side.

After a few seconds, they can be compared and the hand which was held overhead will be much whiter, which is naturally caused by the lack of blood.

Knowing the reason for the quick response in the legs, and the same response in the upper body, I set out to do something about it.

... I knew there must be a way to get more blood Into the upper body and the only logical explanation was to invert the body allowing the blood to rush to the upper parts.

My first effort in the was to go into a handstand position with my feet against the wall and stay there as long as possible. While there I did some hand stand presses, sliding my feet up and down against the wall.

Immediately after returning to a normal position, I went to the bar for bench presses and found that I could press about twenty percent more with this great quantity of blood in my upper body..."

That's some pretty interesting food for thought...

The Great Orlando

The Great Orlando  was another excellent steel bending strongman from Florence, Italy. Unsurprisingly, a steady diet of long bar steel scrolling led to some big strong hands and a knotty pair of forearms. 

John Terpak

John Terpak joined the York Barbell company in 1935 and from there did pretty much everything there was to do in the world of weight lifting. Terpak won eleven Senior National Weightlifting Titles (1936-1945 & 1947) and over his career he lifted in three different weight classes (148, 165 and 181.) His best performance occurred winning the 1947 Worlds as a light-heavyweight:

Press: 253-1/2 pounds
Snatch: 264-1/2 pounds
Clean & Jerk: 336-1/4 pounds
Total: 854-1/2 pounds

Terpak also one-hand snatched 154 pounds and one-hand jerked 170-1/2 pounds in some early weightlifting contests when those lifts were still contested.

He was a three-time Olympic Team Member (1936, 1940, & 1948), a part of nine total Olympic teams and sixty consecutive National Championships as a lifter, judge or coach. He eventually served as an executive for the York Barbell Company.

Also you can also tell this was an early shot by that style of barbell plate. There is only one known set of these 30's-era "deep dish/larger letter" York barbell plates still in existence.

Muscular Development October, 1964, featuring Steve Reeves

Here we have the October, 1964 issue of Muscular Development magazine (making this one the tenth issue ever) which features a painting of the great Steve Reeves on the cover. The first unofficial Powerlifting championships was to be held in York, Pennsylvania shortly after this issue hit the news stands so the issue focused on quite a bit of powerlifting related news and training including an excellent and quite interesting article on rack work by eventual champion Terry Todd.Sig Klein also contributed a dynamite article on the heavy deep knee bend ~ otherwise known as the squat.  With Steve Reeves on the cover, there was also a several page spread on his movie career and other accomplishments.

Apollon Poster

Here's a rare poster from Apollon 1897 tour of Germany. Unsurprisingly, heavy supporting lifts were the norm as they allowed rather impressive weights (and types of weights) to be used. It was probably Sandow who began this practice, lifting a horse with one arm and walking across the stage.  As far as lifting bicycles and their riders, this feat made appearances for many years to come, (check out this and this.)

Basil Korolev

Basil Korolev

Basil Korolev was Russian by birth but left his native land in 1919 at the start of the revolution. He settled in Japan were he was undefeated in Judo and boxing contests and held the heavyweight title in both sports until his retirement in 1936. Here is Basil at a strength demonstration curling a pair of 80-pound kettlebells with only his little fingers.

Frank Leight - Mr. America 1942

Frank Leight - Mr. America 1942

Frank Leight, AAU Mr. America 1942, is shown here with some classic globe barbells and kettlebells on the cover of the July, 1942 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. Frank Leight finished 2nd in 1940 (losing to John Grimek and 3rd in 1941 (again behind Grimek, and Jules Bacon)before finally winning the Mr. America contest himself in 1942.

Andre Reverdy

Andre Reverdy

Andre Reverdy the "vest pocket strongman" from  was a Massachusetts was active during the 1920's. He weighed but  113 pounds but could bent press 168 pounds, tear cards, bend steel and, as shown above, pull a car with his teeth. He was coached in these classic strongman feats by Professor Attila. The above photo was taken at one of Bernarr Macfadden's Physical Culture shows held at Madison Square Garden. Reverdy pulled this car full of passengers -- with his teeth -- the entire length of the arena.

Jean Louis Auger

Canada has long been a hotbed of impressive strength athletes. You can add this stout fellow to the list: Weider-trained man Jean Louis Auger, who could reporrtedly harness deadlift 2500 pounds! Auger tipped the scales at 380 lbs.

Cortese' One-Arm Deadlift

The one-arm deadlift has always been a fantastic lift for building an iron grip as well as all-over body strength. Here's Pete Cortese of the Boston Young Men's Christian Union Weightlifting Club making a record 330 lb. one-arm deadlift. This would be an impressive lift all by itself but Pete weighed all of 117 lbs. at the time.

Syndicate content