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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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Kevin Tolbert

Kevin Tolbert

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 was just recently announced as the new football strength coach at the University of Michigan.

John Davis

John Davis
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. 

Lift 150-lb. Weights With Ease!

Milo Barbell AdvertisementWe 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's Barrel Lift

Thomas Topham: Barrel Lifting

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.

The Strongmen of the Thule Athletic Club

The Strongmen of the Thule Athletic Club

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 ~ Muscular Development Magazine, January, 1973

Ell Darden on the COver of Muscular Development, Januarly 1973

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.

Professor Anthony Barker's Strength-Maker Bar-Bell System

Ptofessor Barker's Strength Maker Var-Bell System

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.

The Mighty Atom: Steel Bending

The Mighty Atom: Steel Bending

Leave it up to The Mighty Atom to figure out how to bend steel in unusual ways.  This style is not seen very often mostly because it is not particularly comfortable, but steel bending is all about making the mind stronger than the muscle, and when that is the case, the steel will bend.  The Atom was not a large man, but the forearm development shown in this rare shot is pretty impressive. 

The Man in The Gymnasium

The Man in The Gymnasium
The Man in The Gymnasium... unfortunately his name is lost to the sands of time.  We do know two things though: he had excellent taste in equipment AND was a snappy dresser.  This picture was taken around 1900.

Ike Berger

A classic shot of Ike Berger cleaning and jerking 325 pounds to set the world record and win the Gold Medal in the featherweight class at the 1958 Senior World Weightlifting Championships (held in Stockholm, Sweden.) Berger was known for his flawless technique in all three lifts.

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