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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.

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Franz 'Cyclops' Bienkowski

Franz Bienkowski, known professionally as 'Cyclops' , was the first lifter to introduce the bent press to Britain. His best performance in this lift was 250 pounds. Cyclops was a partner of Charles A. Sampson and rival to Sandow. His favorite feats though were breaking chains wrapped around his arms (shown here) as well as bending or breaking coins.

Sergo Ambartsumyan

Sergo Ambartsumyan was a great lifter of Armenian descent who was the Russian super-heavyweight champion from 1933 to 1935. In those days, competitive weightlifting consisted of five lifts: press, snatch, one-arm snatch, one-arm clean and jerk, clean and jerk. The above is a rare shot of Ambartsumyan's winning one-arm snatch at the 1933 Minsk championships.

Sargent's Head Lifting Machine

The Head Lifting Machine

When Dudley Allen Sargent became the physical director of Harvard University's famed Hemenway Gymnasium, he wanted to make sure the student body was as well-rounded as possible in their development.

Henceforth, Sargent devised several unique "machines" which could be used to fill in the gaps in areas that the conventional equipment of the day could not address (equally true today and the very same rational justification for any device which solves a problem or provides an advantage.)

One of the more interesting examples can be seen at the right, this "head lifting" machine offered a method for strengthening the neck and upper- back in a progressive and systematic manner.  This was the first dedicated machine to building neck strength ever created, clearly it was under stood that this was an important area.

Neck training is, of course, down- played or ignored in many modern programs which is a real shame since it is certainly no less important today than it was back then.

Warren Lincoln Travis ~ The Human Link!

Here's a classic and rare shot of Warren Lincoln Travis performing the classic strength feat "The Human Link." Although out of the frame, Travis actually has a PAIR of horses looped over each elbow, and it's all he can do to stop from being torn limb from limb!

1906 Geneva Weightlifting Club

A look at the Geneva (Switzerland) weightlifting club, circa 1906 and some of their excellent training equipment. This was also a walking club -- which is still a winning combination for health a century later.

Jenkins Hudson

Who exactly is Jenkins Hudson, you ask? Only one of the most amazing stories in all of strength history. Hudson was four years into a stint in the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore, when a local gym owner Jack Lipsky volunteered to start teaching a weightlifting class to some of the inmates.  Hudson took part on a whim, and found he had the knack... With special permission of the Warden, Hudson was able to use all of his recreation periods for his weight training and six months later, won the New South Atlantic Weightlifing Championship with a 955 lb. total... also breaking two meet records in the process.

But the story doesn't end there:

In 1963, the U. S. National Prison Postal Weightlifting Championships took place, where 26 institutions from coast to coast took part on October 4th and 5th. Bob Hoffman and a large contingent from York, PA made the trip to the Maryland Penitentiary and Bill March also participated as a guest lifter. Jenkins Hudson achieved a 1015 pound  total, with lifts of a 340 lb. press, 300 lb. snatch and 375 lb. clean and jerk. On that day, Hudson bested March who was a 5-time National champion and his performance was not only the highest of the meet, it was also second highest total ever made in this weight class by an American at the time.

David The Gladiator

Here's a look at Dave Draper in his "David The Gladiator" garb on the cover of the December, 1964 issue of Young Mr. America magazine. The Bomber never acted in a sword and sandal picture but in the early 1960's, he did act as the tv host of the big Sword and Sandal movie feature every Saturday night on Channel 9 in Los Angeles. Did you catch it? A lot of people were introduced to the movies of Reg Park, Steve Reeves and the like thanks to The Bomber.

Tags: Dave Draper

Heinrich Schneidereit

Heinrich Schneidereit the German Strongman, finished second to Francois Lancoud at the 1903 World Championships in Paris, France. He came back to win it all, however, in 1906 in Lille, France. At a bodyweight of only 176 lbs., his winning lifts were: a one-hand snatch of 176-1/2 lbs, Crucifix of 71-1/2 lbs (each hand), overhead press of 231 lbs, and a barbell clean & jerk of 275-1/2 lbs. Schneidereit also competed in the 1906 Intercalated Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He finished third in both the one hand and two hand lifting events but did end up with a Gold Medal though as a member of the German Tug of War team.

The McKeever Twins

A look at The McKeever Twins on the cover of the September/October 1960 issue of Walt Marcyan's Physical Power Magazine. At the University of Southern California, The McKeever twins, Mike and Marlin were the first twins to achieve All-American status (Mike as a guard and Marlin as a linebacker.) The McKeever twins were notably some of the earliest great football players who also also were outspokenly involved in weight training, a rarity at the time since it was usually frowned upon by many coaches. Consequently, they were also featured regularly in Ironman, Strength and Health and obviously Physical Power magazines. (Did you also notice they are wearing 68 and 86? How awesome is that?)

Revas The Strongman

A look at Revas, the strongman - we unfortunately don't know much about him other than he liked to break chains by flexing his arm and had a truly excellent mustache. His forearm is also pretty impressive, and looks almost as big as his flexed bicep - this is indicative of most lifters from the 1890's due to their training with non-rotating barbells, so we can at least narrow down a time frame somewhat.

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