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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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Munich, Germany, March, 27th, 1954: Adolf Grenzebach, given moral support by members of a Bavarian Brass Band, lifts a 508 pound stone during a contest for the strongest man of the Bavarian capital. In the competition traditionally held during the "strong beer" season in the Spring, the one who lifts the stone the highest is declared the winner. Adolph won with an 11-inch lift. Mr. Grenzebach's talents also weren't limited to stone lifting, he was also an egg eating champion, downing 26 in 30 minutes.
Paris, the great French strongman was known as "The Boat Man." Why? Because in his act he lifted boats! Paris often performed at the famous Folies Bergeres, and backlifted a boatload (literally!) of men, a total weight said to be over 1000 kg.
Willaim H. Thwaites, from Plumstead, Kent, shows off a 150 lb. one-arm snatch and his outstanding training equipment, about 1901.
What does the result of high intensity training look like? Check out Kevin Tolbert above. Kevin was certainly blessed on one level, but also keep in mind that he never bothered with "secret" exercises, just basic workouts, plenty of effort and no excuses. Kevin's exact training programs are outlined in The Steel Tip Collection.
Kevin is currently the strength coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
Ironically, Anerican weightlfting champions often got more recognition from the international media than they did back home. Here''s John Davis, pictured on the cover of a French Sporting magazine in 1950 on his way to winning the heavyweight class the 1950 World Championship in Paris, France. By the weight on the bar, this appears to be Davis' winning snatch lift of 147.5 kg.
We pride ourselves on providing content that even the most grizzled Iron Game vets probably hasn't seen. Case in point, this truly excellent Milo Barbell Company advertisement from the mid-1920s. The man shown doing the "get up" lift is F. P. Jones from Philadelphia. What was the secret? ...The same thing responsible for all training results: Progressive Resistance Training.
Thomas Topham is known as the greatest strongman of the 18th century. Among his many incredible feats, on May 28th 1741, by use of a harness, Topham lifted three barrels filled with water weighing 1386 lbs.
A look at a few of the strongmen from the Thule Athletic Club, Trelleborg, Sweden, circa 1899. Obviously they were big kettlebell fans. Look closely and you'll also notice that the globe barbell in the foreground has a thicker than average handle -- which, given the forearm development displayed by these athletes, comes as no great surprise. ~ Now THAT is some oustanding training gear.
Ell Darden on the cover of the January, 1973 issue of Muscular Development magazine. Ell made a point to focus on chest expansion techniques and it certainly showed. You can read more about Ell Darden's training right here.
A look at a vintage advertisement for Professor Anthony Barker's Strength -Maker Bar-Bell System. The set was rather ingenious, the handles could be unscrewed from the globes which could then be filled with shot to adjust the weight. From just a few pieces of equipment, one could train with a barbell, a dumbbell or a pair of kettlebells.
It should also be noted that The $15.00 price tag equates to over $400 in today's money.