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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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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.

Jack "The Comet" Henderson

I though this guy had an impressive chest expander but someone else came along and upped the ante and put him to shame. Jack "The Comet" Henderson was a Dutch strongman who performed on the Vaudeville circuit in the 1920's.

Paul Anderson The Boxer

After retiring from weightlifting, the great Paul Anderson took up professional boxing. The above shot was from his April, 1960 debut bout against Italian boxer Atillio Tondo. Anderson was able to floor his opponent three times but didn't have the wind to go the distance and the fight was stopped in the third round. Anderson's boxing career only lasted a few more fights, and his with overall record ending up 2 wins (both by KO) and 2 losses.

Gittleson Boards

Any University of Michigan football player from the last fifteen years will break down and cry at the sight of this picture. Needless to say, physical conditioning is a big part of the game of football and one of the 'top secret' conditioning tools that we used to use can be seen here. Think of it as a portable, one-man version of the traditional wooden sled.

We called 'em "Boards" and they were one of Mike Gittleson's evil creations. We used to push these boards up and down the field 2 minutes on/1 minute off for about 45 minutes or so (although that was only about half the workout.) The friction of the field turf or grass made this "extra fun" and one hell of a conditioning workout.

George Challard, The Man With The Iron Neck

We have featured many unusual feats of neck strength in our blog and here is another very impressive one to add to the mix: George Challard was a laborer from the Woolwich borough of London who possessed an unusual level of neck strength, as you can see shown here, letting a friend bend a stout piece of iron 'round his throat. Don't try this one at home, folks.

Strength & Health Magazine, July, 1958

A look at the cover of the July, 1958 issue of Strength & Health magazine featuring Chuck Vinci on the cover. If you didn't kno9w any better, you might think Chuck was a bodybuilder. He probably would have placed pretty high in just about any physique contest he entered but Chuck was actually one of America's greatest Olympic weightlifters and was at his peak right at this time. Chuck had just won the gold medal in the bantamweight class at the 1956 Olympics and a few years later would go on to have another gold medal winning performance at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Chuck is a pretty good example of how just focusing on multi-joint lifts and whole-body strength will certainly "do a body good."

The Baranoff Gladiators

The Baranoff Gladiators were a group of German acrobats who headlined several circuses in the 1920's and 30's. Above you'll see a rare photo of their most amazing feat taken in Berlin around 1927. A conservative estimate of the amount of weight supported on the neck of bridging bottom man would be 500 lbs. Having done both bridging feats and handbalancing, I can tell you that this one is as impressive as they come.

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