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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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Ditka's Neck Training

It is important for football players to increase their neck strength in order to be better prepared to play the game. This was a fact not lot on "Da Bears" as shown by this rare training camp shot. Check out the guys bridging in the background, and yes, that's Mike Ditka himself doing a headstand. Look closely and you'll see that his whistle has fallen down around his face. If you have no other equipment available, a simple headstand like this can be an excellent method for building neck strength.

Ted Williams Barbell and Dumbbells Exercise Course

If you bought a 110 pound Ted Williams Weight Set from a Sears department store, this is the instructional booklet that you received along with it. Unsurprisingly, the exercises and programs are as basic as can be, but it would not be a stretch to say that a lot of people would benefit a whole lot more by following Ted's program than most "modern" training programs found these days.

Clarence Ross

Clarence Ross on the cover of the July, 1948 issue of 'Muscle Power' magazine. Clarence has just won the Mr. USA title (beating Steve Reeves!) Clarence was listed as the Associate editor of this publication and contributed several articles. Also of note is that Earle E. Liederman, now a real oldtimer, was the editor in chief.

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.
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