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!

Professor Gilman Low - The World's Champion Endurance Back Lifter

In 1907, Professor Gilman Low established the phenomenal record of one million-six-thousand (1,006,000) pounds in thirty five minutes and four seconds -- interestingly, this was after a period of training on one meal a day and less. Low's record was accomplished by backlifting 1000 pounds 1,006 times in thirty five minutes and thirty four seconds. Immediately following, Low set an additional record by lifting 2000 lbs. forty four times in four minutes. As far as we know, these records still stand.

Frank E. Miller

Frank E. Miller was the physical director of the Young Men's Christian Association of Dallas, Texas in the late ninteeth and early twentieth century. In 1900, MIller wrote an excellent training guide for indian club swinging entitled "Indian Club-Swinging: One, Two, and Three Club Juggling." Due to his club work, Miller was unsurprisingly also an expert fencer and golfer.

Terlazzo's Inverted Press

One of the exercises that the great Tony Terlazzo used to improve his standing press was what he called "the inverted press" - essentially a handstand press on top of two boxes to increase the range of motion. Terlazzo was a 13-time Weightlifting national Champion, something to think about if you're working on your press too.

Dave's Gym - South Bend, Indiana

Dave Bjoraas, (pictured far right) the legendary "Dave" of Dave's Gym and Dave's Barbell Club of South Bend, Indiana... for many years the center of strength activity in the Mid-Western United States. Dave's Gym in South Bend, Indiana produced many Iron Game champions: 1956 Mr. America Ray Schaefer trained there. So did Junior. Mr. America Doug Lindzy (pro-wrestling's original "Doug Gilbert"). Dave's Barbell Club Weight-lifting team produced champions like Winston Binney and Mike Burgener. And, most importantly, many of the top football players on Notre Dame's great Irish teams trained with Dave. Dave's Gym... one of the top gyms ever... Dave Bjoraas, a fine man and a giant in the world of weights.

Karl Moerke Lifts a Firetruck

A look at the great German strongman Karl Moerke lifting a firetruck said to weigh four thousand pounds. As we have been exploring, there is a great deal more to heavy supporting lifts than many have thought...

Bill Hunt

Bill Hunt was an excellent British weightlifter and handbalancer and this was his most daring feat: Bill first balanced precariously atop a six foot ladder which was also sitting on a table top. With a sudden flick of his arms, he knocked the ladder to the side and landed on the table while still maintaining the handstand! ~ THAT'S pretty amazing.

MacFadden's Headstands

Here's Bernarr MacFadden standing on his head around eighty years of age. MacDadden followed a daily exercise routine his entire life and headstands were always included - he believed that being in an inverted position helped his brainpower! Macfadden was a bit of a nut on many topics but he may be on to something there...

William Needham

Health and Strength League member William Needham was the Tasmanian Club Swinging Champion of 1911. Needham swung a pair of 4lb. Indian clubs for 24 continuous hours to set the Tasmanian record in April of that year. At times, he did 300 circles per minute but his average was about 150 per minute. Eyewitness accounts reported that Needham looked surprisingly fresh at the conclusion of his record swing.

A few years later, in 1913, Needham swung a pair of 3 lb. 3oz clubs for 100 hours and 4 minutes to establish a new record. Not only that, during one of his memorable endurance swinging performances, Needham allowed his barber to give him a shave, while continuing to swing, of course!  Needham engaged in several memorable Endurance Club swinging matches against Henry Lawson.

Wilfred Briton

Wilfred Briton, from Yorkshire, was the toast of the variety show circuit in the 1930's and 40's. "The Amazing Briton" performed a multitude of traditional strongman feats such as breaking clay pipes in his clenched fists, bending iron bars, supporting a piano player in the "Tomb of Hercules,"  pulling heavy strands while supporting two other people, and, as shown here, ripping decks of cards in half (always a popular one.) Briton was the feature of several newsreel shorts highlighting his strength feats.

Cadine's Leverage Feat

Here's an interesting feat achieved by the great French weightlifting champion Ernest Cadine in 1934: lifting a dozen pool cues by their tips. You can try this one at home.

Syndicate content