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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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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

Traditional Indian Club Training

The swinging of "jori and gada" (heavy Indian clubs and maces) holds a special place in the ancient art of Kushti - (Traditional Indian Wrestling and Physical Culture Training.)

In the akharas (wrestling gyms) these traditional implements are decorated in many unique ways. Some are painted with lively decorative patterns, others, used only by the most skilled masters, are studded with nails. Some of these decorative Indian clubs weigh as much as 35kg (about pounds.)

Milo of Crotona

Milo of Crotona, who lived during the 6th century B.C., was the greatest of the ancient Greek Athletes.

He was a six-time wrestling Champion in the ancient Olympic Games and his strength was legendary.

Milo built his strength with an unusual method: Each day he would carry a new-born calf and, as the calf grew larger, so did Milo's strength.

Eventually Milo was able to carry a full-grown bull the length The stamp above features Milo holding apart a split tree and was created in honor of the 1924 Olympic Games, held in Paris, France (where Charles Rigoulot won the heavyweight-class gold medal.)

Charles Rigoulot

Charles Rigoulot was one of France's greatest weightlifters and easily one of the strongest men of all time. He won a Gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games, Cleaned and Jerked the famous Apollon Wheels and could snatch 255 pounds with one arm. After his weightlifting career, Rigoulot became a professional wrestler and race car driver.

At 24 years of age, his measurements were as follows:

Weight: 230 pounds
Height: 5'7-3/4"
Chest: 49"
Waist: 37"
Thighs: 27-1/2"
Calf: 17-1/2"
Neck: 18-1/2"
Biceps: 17-1/2"
Forearm: 14-1/2"

Milo Kettlebells

While kettlebells do certainly have a history in Russia and many other Eastern European countries, what many people don't realize is that kettlebells also have a long tradition in the United States as well.

Back in 1902, Alan Calvert founded the Milo Barbell Company -- the very first commercial strength equipment company in America. Along with barbells and dumbbells, Calvert also manufactured kettlebells, one version of which is shown on the right.

The Milo Kettlebell consisted of an outer "shell," with the inner plates sectioned to allow for easy progression. The lathed free-rotating wood handle made the kettlebell especially useful for presses and kettlebell swings as evident by the instruction shown in Milo Barbell training courses which Calvert distributed to his clients.

371 Pounds Overhead with One Hand!

Arthur Saxon has a legitimate claim for the greatest strength feat of all time with his bent-press of 371 pounds (he was said to have unofficially done 385 pounds.) Either way, it's a tremendous feat, to lift more weight overhead with one hand than most people can squat with!

Here's a little bit from the man himself on how he did it:
"I have often been asked what it feels like to press 350 lbs. with one hand, and perhaps to my readers the different sensations experienced will be interesting.

In the first place, immediately I start to press the weight away from the shoulder I become perfectly oblivious to everything except the weight that I am lifting.

The spectators are obliterated from my mind by the effort of intense concentration which is necessary to enable me to press the weight. I immediately engage myself in a terrific struggle in which the weight and I are competitor, and only one can win, either the weight must be lifted or else I fail.

This concentration is, of course, one of the secrets of success in lifting, as I have explained in another part of my book. It enables me to bring forward the last ounce of pushing power, and for the time being to exert strength beyond that normally possessed.

As the weight steadily rises aloft perhaps half way it wavers, the balance alters, and I have immediately, yet very carefully and quietly, to adjust my position to the altered balance of the bell.

Then I must proceed with the press, my body gradually falling lower toward the left knee, my eyes fixed all the time upon the ponderous weight balanced over my head, ready to fall at a moment's notice should I weaken or place myself in a false position, and should at this moment anyone shout out, it might startle me, make me waver, and cause the weight to fall.

Therefore, if I am attempting a world's record in this position, I generally ask for complete silence until I have either failed or succeeded, and I might mention here that to think of failure is to fail, and I always tell myself all the time that I am certain to succeed even though I am attempting a weight more than I have hitherto lifted.

Eventually, my arm is straight, and before coming to an upright position I engage in another tussle with the enormous barbell, in which I have to exert all my will power to hold together the flagging powers of tired muscles, which have been strained by the tremendous pressure which 350 lbs. brings on to them in the effort of pressing aloft.

By supreme effort of the will I fix the bell in a good position and then stand upright. Often the bar will roll on to the fingers instead of being directly over the wrist, in which case severe pain is inflicted and I have to persevere with the lift under doubly hard conditions, or drop the weight and try again."
For more information about Arthur Saxon and his training methods, pick up copies of his two great training books: The Development of Physical Power (1906) and The Textbook of Weight-Lifting (1910)

Stone Lifting in Tibet

Every culture has it's own "meaning" for strength. Here are a few interesting pictures from a stone lifting contest held at the 7th National Ethnic Games in Yinchuan, Northwest China's Ningxia Province which took place in 2003.

At the games, which are held every four years like the Olympics, over 3,700 ethnic athletes from 34 delegations competed.

The rules of the stone lifting contest are a bit unlike most stone lifting contests you probably have ever heard of... these Tibetan giants lift the stones any way they can, usually to hold in their arms, placed on shoulders or put up on their backs.

From there, they walk along in a circular path and the one who walks the most circles wins.

The stone pictured was said to weigh 160 kg (352 lbs.).

Bert Goodrich, The First Mr. America, Trained With Kettlebells

Among the many strength athletes who have trained with kettlebells is the very first Mr. America Bert Goodrich. In the article which accompanied this photograph, Goodrich mentioned that each of these 'bells weighed 56 pounds, and he used them primarily for shoulder work.
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