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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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Paul Von Boeckmann: Chest Expansion Specialist

Paul Von Boeckmann was a strongman from New York City toward the end of the 19th century. Over time, he developed a unique system of chest expansion methods which allowed him to build "the largest and most powerful lungs in the world" according to his advertisements.

Above, the strap around his chest is the same length in both pictures. He was able to inflate and deflate his chest to an incredible degree: an 11-1/2 inch difference. His lung capacity was listed at an astounding 410 cubic inches.

The 1946 U.S. World Weightlifting Team

A look at most of the 1946 U.S. World Weightlifting Team left to right: John Davis, Emerick Ishikawa, Frank Spellman, John Terpak, Stan Stanczyk, and coach Bob Hoffman. (not pictured: Frank Kay)

This was the first team to lift against the Russians. Davis and Stanczyk both won Gold, Terpak and Kay took Silver and Spellman took Bronze. The Russians entered ten lifters to only six from the US but the US came back with the team championship.

Reg Park in a Suit...

Three-time Mr. Universe Reg Park in a suit... still looking as big as life.

Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLanne once did 1033 pushups in one hour, swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf while handcuffed and towing a fleet of boats, and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television. Here's Jack as a young man working on his one-arm chins.

Baillargeon's Backlift

Here's a rare shot of Adrian Baillargeon (of the great Baillargeon Brothers) performing a backlift of well over 3000 pounds.

The Hip Lift

One of the most interesting training techniques of the Oldtime Strongmen is to use short-range movements with very heavy weights. This not only gives a super workout for the muscles, but strengthens the tendons, ligaments and bones and also gives the psychological boost of being able to lift far above what you would normally be able to.

Here's John Grimek, training his legs by performing a Hip Lift with what looks like 600 lbs. or so. To find out more about how Grimek trained, you'll want to pick up a copy of the Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses (which features this famous picture on the cover).

Archie Vanderpool in Action

Here, the mysterious Archie Vanderpool performs a pretty unusual feat of supporting strength... With his back against a stone wall, Archie braced his legs against a car driven at full throttle for 52 seconds. -- The tires were worn to ribbons!

John Y. Smith and His Unique Barbell

Gotta love some of the unique and usual weights that many of the strongmen found to lift. Here's a rare shot of the great Oldtime strongman John Y. Smith as he shoulders an unusual barbell, in his later years.

Smith was a very good bent-presser (with a lift of 275 lbs. at a bodyweight of just 160 lbs.) so that is probably what he is getting ready to do.

Power Vol.1 No.1

POWER magazine, was noted bodybuilder Barton Horvath's foray into magazine publishing. Above is Volume 1, Number 1 featuring Ray Moldonado on the cover -- (it was one only issue ever put out.)

Syd Strachan Lifts The Dinnie Stones

Syd Strachan, of Aberdeenshire, is among the few strength athletes to successfully lift The Dinnie Stones. Syd was six feet tall and weighed just under 200 lbs. when he lifted the stones which weighed just over 700 pounds combined. Syd actually successfully lifted the stones on two different occasions, once in 1971, and later in 1973
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