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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 ain't nothin' like it anywhere else! You'll want to check back several times per day, we update often.

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Wellesley College Gymnasium, 1905

A look at the Wellesley College Gymnasium, circa 1905. This awesome facility was outfitted by A.G. Spalding & Bros. and consisted of 6 Counterbalanced Booms 42 Stall Bars and Benches, 35 Italian Hemp Climbing Ropes, 12 Rope Ladders, 3 Vaulting Boxes, 3 Vertical Window Ladders, and 12 Balance Beams.

Joe Zimmerman

Joe Zimmerman and his brother Dick were Bob Hoffman's neighbors in York, Pennsylvania and they hung around the York Barbell Company office doing crazy feats of strength. Here's Joe performing a handstand on some boxes -- which is tough enough by itself -- but he is also lifting the 202-pound Louis Cyr Dumbbell in his teeth at the same time!

Dave Mayor

Dave Mayor, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a member of the U.S. Weightlifting team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he finished in 12th place with a 352.5 kg (775.5 lbs) total (Press: 100 kg, Snatch: 107.5 kg, Clean & Jerk: 145 kg.) Mayor made a 755.5 total at the 1936 Sr. National Weightlifting contest which was good enough for second behind John Grimek. Mayor won the heavyweight class the next year with an 835 lb total, an improvement of 80 pounds.

Klein's Bell

A look at the September, 1932 issue of "Klein's Bell" featuring John Garan on the cover. Garan was called by Klein a "Muscular Marvel" and it would be hard to disagree with what is shown here. Garan's results would be quite impressive even today. Of particular note is Garan's thigh development-- he was listed as having 23-inch thighs at a bodyweight of 155 pounds. Keep in mind, squat racks were an innovation still a decade or two yet to come.

This issue of Klein's Bell is posted in its entirety in The Iron League.

Nelson of Rutgers

Alfred Arthur "A.A." Nelson, of South Amboy, New Jersey was the collegiate club-swinging champion in 1910 and 1911 representing his alma mater (what was then called) Rutgers College. Rutgers had a long tradition club swinging success in the early 20th century, from 1904 through 1914, the collegiate club swinging championship was won by a Rutgers man seven times.

Slim's New Hammer

Several years ago, I found a huge old hammer. It needed a little work but overall was in decent shape. I had plans to refurbish it but never got around to it and since it was just gathering dust at my place, I decided to send it to someone who I knew would appreciate it: Slim The Hammer Man. I didn't tell the old boy that it was coming either so getting a giant circus hammer in the mail made Slim's day. Slim set to work, polishing it up and making it "show ready." As you can see, he dug it -- and I am honored that something of mine is worthy enough for a place in Slim's training area.

The Great Gama in Training

A look at The Great Gama in training in his akhara in Patiala, Northern India, circa 1928. It was said that Gama performed 3000 dands (pushups) each day. So much for the theory that "bodyweight-only" training can't build muscle mass... Gama clearly didn'thave any trouble doing so.

Batta

Charles Estienne, or or, as he was more commonly known "Batta" was an oldtime strongman famous for his incredible grip strength. Standing at 5'10" and a bodyweight of around 190 popunds, Batta was the only man who duplicated one of the Apollon's greatest feats: the lifting of four 44-pound blockweights overhead -- each tied to a finger of one hand. It was also written that Batta cleaned (but did not jerk) Apollon's famous railroad wheels - an incredible feat in its own right, but even more so due to his light bodyweight.

Larry Scott and Betty Weider

Larry Scott and Betty Weider on the cover of the French magazine "Atout Muscles" (Muscle Strength). This was the January, 1970 issue and I believe the premier issue -- only a handful of issues were published so this title is a hard one to find. If you happen to have a copy, you'll be lucky enough to read training articles on Franco Columbu's arms, Frank Zane's back and Arnold Schwarzenegger's chest.

The Mike Marvel DYNAFLEX Course!

Straight from the back of nearly every single comic book ever printed from the early 50's to the mid 70's comes the World Famous Mike Marvel DYNAFLEX Course! No telling how many youngsters saved up their paper route money to send away for this one but it was undoubtedly quite a few. The course itself has an interesting "take" on working out and if nothing more, was an important stepping stone for a lot of folks into other aspects of physical training.
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