The year was 1893 when a young man witnessed the strength act of the Great Eugen Sandow at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The stage weights that Sandow used fascinated this young man, as did the unbelievable strength and power that the great Sandow exhibited.

As a result of witnessing Sandow's amazing display, that young man became inspired and take up strength training that very day.  It was not long afterwards that he realized that he would need a barbell in order to reach his goals of size, strength and development. 

That young man's name? Alan Calvert --and what happened next would change the Strength World forever.

You see, at that time, the barbells that were available were very crudely constructed so Calvert decided to make his own. He did such a fine job that, after seeing his work, many of his friends wanted him to make one for them.

After seeing the reaction to his work, Alan Calvert decided to go into production of his own equipment and in 1902, the Milo Barbell Company was born! These "Milo" weights were quickly recognized as "the" equipment to use if you wanted to get strong. Milo equipment is where many of the great strength athletes got their start.  Milo Barbell Company weight sets included barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells and featured many styles - some plate loaded, some shot-loaded - some incorporating both methods.

Alan Calvert and The Milo Barbell Company

Milo Barbell Equipment In Action

  Calvert's Courses Live On

Over a hundred years ago, when Alan Calvert started his barbell business, good sources of training information were few and far between. The general public had little idea what a barbell was, let alone how to use one correctly. By necessity, Calvert had to publish his own training booklets and brochures which highlighted his products and the benefits that could be had from their use.

Calvert's training info was basic, but very effective.  Today, you can get your hands on three of Alan Calvert's greatest training guides, classically reprinted and even better than the originals:


The Truth about
Weight Lifting

~ (originally published in 1911) ~

In 1911, Calvert published his first book: The Truth About Weight Lifting, which was the first hardcover book on weightlifting ever released in America. Calvert's writings are among the absolute best ever written and there have been few books published since which contain as much effective training information as this one.  Original copies are extremely rare, but now you can get your very own copy of this classic book:

The Truth About Weight Lifting is a
part of The Alan Calvert Collection


Feats of Pure strength... German and American Systems of Training compared... America excels in light sports... Has produced no stars in heavy athletics... All strength records held by Europeans.

Why have so few good lifters... Professionals have killed sport by "faking"... A unusual kettlebell feat... How lifters deceive audience by using "trick" and phoney" dumbbells... Attitudes of professional lifters... The "secret" of thick handled barbells and professional lifters... How they "stall off" a dangerous-looking amateur.

A Warning... The eight STANDARD dumbbell lifts... The "Snatch"... The "Swing"... The "Jerk"... The "press"... How they are performed and the true World's Records in these events... Kettlebell vs. Dumbbell... The German lifting champions and their lifts... The Saxon Trio... Jean Francois LeBreton...Emile Deriaz... German, Austrian, English and French Lifting Rules. 

Other well-known lifts... The one-arm "press"... How to perform The bent-press...  Sandow's favorite stunt... "Muscling out" bells... Carl Abs' Record... Dead weight lifting... Harness lifting etc... C.A. Sampson... Back Lifting... The Grip Strengthener... Dead Weight Lifting to the Cross Position.

Exhibition feats... The human bridge...  Attractive and yet easy lifts with live weights... "Supporting feats" take with the public... George Lurich's feats... Bone strength vs. muscle strength... True test is how much a man lifts... Not how much he supports... The Human Pyramid

The Magic of strength... "Chain snapping"... Cyclops Bienkowski...  "Coin breaking"... "Card tearing," etc... John Grun Marx... Fred Rollon.

Endurance feats... Harness lifting, hip lifting and back lifting... Dumbbell Competition lifting... American professional "strong men" rarely compete.

Who is the Strongest Man in the world?...  Six or eight claimants considered by an expert... How to determine the Champion... The man who is recognized as the present Title Holder... Most lifting records held by amateurs.

Measurements of famous  strong men... Often exaggerated... Quantity vs. quality of muscle... The chest expansion fake... How size of a man's head affects his appearance... The 1908 European Championship.

Measurements of famous  strong men... Often exaggerated... Quantity vs. quality of muscle... The chest expansion fake... How size of a man's head affects his appearance... Table of lifts from the 1908 European Championship. 

Place weight lifting on proper footing... Appoint a Board of Control... Make professionals and amateurs prove their lifts in public... Never take a professional lifter's word regarding his lifts.


Weight lifting vs. heavy dumbbell exercises... How to strengthen the body for heavy work... Same methods used by all famous "Strong Men"... What Arthur Saxon could lift when he started... Views on kettlebell training... Lifting, a sport for young and old... Any age between 15 and 45... A man at his best in heavy work between 30 and 40... Famous William Tuerk created World's Records when 42 years old... Older Lifting Champions... Hammer throwers stay at top for years.

The Truth About Weight Lifting by Alan Calvert

Partial List of Images: Joseph Steinbach... A German Weightlifting Contest... The "Muscle Out" ... John Marx... The One-Finger Lift... The Right Hand Snatch... Louis Vasseur and his record one-arm snatch... The Dumbbell Swing... Jean Francois LeBreton... The One-Arm Barbell Clean and Jerk... Emile Deriaz's Record Lift... The One-Arm Military Press... Fred Winters... The Bent Press... Sandow's Human Dumbbell... . Harness Lifting... The Back Lift... The Human Bridge... Supporting 600 lbs. Overhead... Chain Breaking... Fred Rollon Card Tearing... Louis Cyr... Carl Swoboda... George Hackenschmidt... Arthur Saxon... Karl Witzelsberger

Difference between strength and power...Notes on dumbbell lifting...  A good big man always beats a good little man... How much ought a 200-lb. man to lift... 100 lbs. in one hand a boy's feat... Remarkable records of some 140-lb. lifters.

Old superstitions regarding lifting... Sandow's dumbbell lifts... Expectations for strength gains... What do you mean by "muscle bound?"... Takes an active man to do competition lifting... Great lifters usually fine jumpers.

Stage and exhibition work... Audience demands muscle on surface... So-called "Strong Men" who travel on their "shape".

Interesting anecdotes about famous lifters... Their methods in training... What you should be able to do after a year of training... Views regarding drinking, smoking, etc.

The modern reprint edition of  The Truth About Weight Lifting by Alan Calvert is a 160-page trade paperback with a heavy-weight glossy cover.  This edition consists of the 15 chapters and topics covered previously and is 7-3/4-inches x 5-1/4-inches in size.  There are several dozen rare photographs illustrating techniques and pertinent points from the text.

The Truth About Weight Lifting is a part of The Alan Calvert Collection
Click here for ordering information


Super Strength

~ (originally published in 1924) ~

Super Strength is the proverbial "Barbell Bible"-- twenty-six chapters, over 80,000 words and over 175 rare photographs.  Most people would agree that Alan Calvert had more original, innovative, result-producing ideas on weightlifting than any other man of the early twentieth century... and not only that, Calvert's training ideas are every bit as effective a century later.  The amount of practical training knowledge therein is staggering.  Many modern trainees are in dire need of the information contained in this book! 

At the time that Super Strength there were few gyms to be found in the country.  If someone wanted to get strong, they were pretty much on their own.  Super Strength was written to provide step-by-step detailed training advice for those who trained at home, in their barn, garage, basement, cellar, backyard, etc.

Every area of bodily development is covered along with dietary advice, answers to common questions. notes on proper lifting techniques, standards and lifting records of the past and plenty more.  Here's a look at the many topics which are covered throughout each chapter:

Super Strength is a part of The Alan Calvert Collection
Click here for ordering information


I. Introductory
What is a Hero's Strength?... How Strong is the Ordinary Man?... Expected Results after Two Month's Training... Super Strength, Not A Gifts of Nature... How It Can Be Developed... A Different Kind of Strength Building for "Strong Men"  

II. The Back
The "Keystone" of a Man's Strength... The Missing Element... Lifting Great Weights to Arms' Length Overhead... The One Thing You Should Take From This Book... The Inter-dependence of Muscle Groups... How to Gauge The Strength of a Man... Contraction vs. stretching... The best exercise for back development... Teaching the Back to Work with the legs... The secret of the "Flat Back"... How they used to train the Kettlebell Swing.

III. Some Lifting Records
The "Hands Alone" Lift... The test of Natural Back Strength... Details of the Hand and Thigh Lift... The unique shaped weight typically used for The Jefferson Lift.

IV. The Legs
 The Only Exercises That Can Build Powerful Limbs... The "Leg Press"... How to Modify The Jefferson Lift... Strength Exercises vs. Endurance Exercises for the Legs... Leg Power and Lung Power... The infatuation with Bicep Development... How Arthur Saxon Judged "Strength"... Building Driving Force... Arco's Favorite Leg Exercise.  

V. Harness and Platform Lifting
The Principles of Back Lifting... The Difference Between an Exercise and a "Lift"... No Game for the Untrained Man... Exertion... 3-4 Good Hours Per Week.

VI. The Sides
A Quick dumbbell exercise to build the side muscles and the waist... Building muscles for size, shape but NO Power... The often-Overlooked muscle groups

VII. The Abdominal Muscles
The abdominal training "fad"... The two basic abdominal exercises... When to graduate to the Roman Chair exercise... Roman Column training

VIII. The Chest
What "chest development" really means... The storehouse of power... How to increase the size of your Rib Box... Widening your shoulders through chest building... The Best exercise for chest expansion and how it's done 

IX. The Upper Part of The Back
Displaying Upper-Back Development... The Shrugging Movement... Squaring your shoulders...
functions of the upper-back musculature... The favorite exercise of the German lifters

X. The Shoulder Muscles
The functions of the shoulder muscles... Variations in dumbbell movements... The Floor Dip... The quickest  way to bigger biceps... Developing shoulder and back muscles at once

XI. The "Swing" and the "Snatch"
The best piece of equipment to use for the "swing"... the special technique which will allow you to lift 40-80 more pounds on your top swing lift... the finer points... "timing"... Jean Francois, Thomas Inch and Edward Aston's record lifts... Sandow's kettlebell swing... Quick lifts for rowing success

XII. The Jerk Lift 
overcoming momentum... George Jowett's lifting method... Clean and continental lifting... International rules... official and unofficial records in the lift

XIII. Arm Strength
Suggested starting weights for several arm building exercises... Comparing Barbells, dumbbells and kettlebell pressing... how to use "The under grip"... Curling records... Louis cyr's curling strength 

XIX Muscle Control
Strength and will-power... building control in each individual muscle... Sandow's muscle control... performing "the vacuum"

XX. Professional Exhibition Work
training for the stage... the public interest in barbell and dumbbell lifting... walking with weight overhead... the human bridge stunt... supporting feats... strength and skill

XXI. Who is the Strongest Man in the World?

The case for Cyr of Canada, Apollon, of france and Youseff of turkey... qualifications... doubling or tripling the strength of the average man

XXII. More About Lifting

the record for the two-arm pullover... the wrestler's bridge... neck development and vitality

XXIII. Some Out-Worn Superstitions

the easiest and quickest way to get a magnificent build... why the oldtimers were limited... the first great American "strong man"... learning to breathe... the safest way of gaining strength... physical exertion...  weight-lifting and athletics... speed through proper weight lifting

XXIV. The Secret of the Bent-Press
A history of one-Arm lifting... The bent-press explained... the role of the non-lifting arm... standards for a 200 lb. bent press

XXV. Statuesque Development

Physical improvement through bar-bell work... ideal measurements... Greek statuary... bone structure... the thickness of the wrist

XXVI. Effects of Exercise
super-strength and admiration... nervous organization... fat reduction... photographic proof... body development and muscular strength  

Super Strength by Alan Calvert

Partial List of Images: Anton Matysec w/a giant kettlebell... The Harness Lift... Apollon... Louis Cyr... Milo Steinborn... Adolph Nordquist's record deadlift... The Kettlebell Swing... The Hand and Thigh Lift... Roy Smith's 2250 lb. hip lift... The Roman Chair Stunt... The Kettlebell Press... The Dumbbell Swing... The Zottman Curl... Muscle Control... Matysek supporting 500 lbs. overhead... Bent-Press sequence... Harry B. Paschall's Development... Sig Klein... The Saxon trio... The "Shoulder Stand" lift... Melvin Tampke... Clevio "Tony" Massimo and his stage weights... John Y. Smith, the Boston strongman... Herman Saxon... Pierre Gasnier ripping a deck of playing cards -- there are over 175 images in all, including the greatest strongmen! Fantastic Feats! ...and plenty of classic equipment!

XIV. Lifting a Bar-Bell From Floor to Chest
The Differences between french and german-style lifting... Matysek's almost-Record and how it could have been achieved... the role of co-ordination in lifting success... how to perform the one-arm military press... the Military Press numbers of famous strongmen... Standards for the Two-Arm press... The differences between the press, the push and the jerk

XV. On Individual Training
Differences in attitude... strength and development for older lifters... adjusting the weight... the specific area of the body to focus on FIRST... potential problems and how to avoid them... training by yourself... group exercise vs. individual training... gymnastics vs. weight-lifting... a training secret... lesson in anatomy

XVI.Making Yourself Over
manual labor vs. barbell training... training at home... the right kind of exercise... a comparison of British and American lifters... remarkable cases of physical development... chest expansion techniques... breathing techniques for super strength... a 7-inch gain on the chest measurement and how it was accomplished... How to Alter body framework... broadening the shoulders... Sandow's measurements

XVII. Hands, Wrists and Forearms
how weak wrists are a handicap... the three methods to fully develop the forearms... the very best forearm exercise for strength building... the greatest test of forearm strength... A lift that builds extreme finger strength... one-Finger lifting

XVIII. Where Does it all Come From?
the "break in" period of training... dietary advice for the "strong man"...  Drinking Milk... the ice cream diet... "Iron jaw" lifting and neck strength building... strength building in the muscles and internal organs... building strength AND health

The modern reprint edition of  The Truth About Weight Lifting by Alan Calvert is a 160-page trade paperback with a heavy-weight glossy cover.  This edition is consists of the 15 chapters and topics covered previously and is 7-3/4-inches x 5-1/4-inches in size.  There are several dozen rare photographs illustrating techniques and pertinent points from the text.

Super Strength is a part of The Alan Calvert Collection
Click here for ordering informations


The Milo Barbell Courses

~ (originally published in 1924) ~

When you sent away for some shiny new weight set, something that you also received in the mail were the Milo Barbell Courses. Back then, training information was not as easy to come by and Calvert wanted to make sure sure you got the very most out of your barbells and dumbbells, hence the reason he provided these training courses.

The Milo Equipment is long gone but the courses live on to help a new generation build strength and power.  You can't beat training instruction directly from one of the all-time greats:

The FIRST Course in Body-Building and Muscle-Developing Exercises:

This introductory training course begins with six preliminary exercises designed to lay the ground work for strength gains. Once a certain level of strength is reach ed, you can then embark on the fifteen regular exercises which have been grouped so that only a few weight changes are necessary between exercises in order to save time.

Topics covered include: How to breathe while training... The proper amount of training time per day... How to breathe while training... The  order of exercises ... How long to stick with this course before moving up to the Second Course... Prelimary and "regular" movements for each area of the body... "Special" developmental exercises for chest expansion, forearm and deltoid development, triceps, etc

Fully illustrated with rare photos of the great George F. Jowett and Anton Matysek demonstrate ing  each of the exercises.

The SECOND Progressive Course of Instructions:

After building a solid foundation with the First Milo Course, the Second Milo Course contains special information designed to allow you to continue to increase growth and muscular size.

The Seconds Progressive Course contains special advice to enable the pupil to do the exercises to the best advantage by combin
ing elements from the first two courses into a complete day-by-
day training program.

Instructions include: A special kettlebell exercise for shoulder development and chest expansion... A unique lift for building the thighs which also develops tremendous balance... The best lift for building a powerful grip... A special method of shouldering the barbell... Calf development etc. 

In all, fourteen different result-producing exercises are presen ted in great detail.

Course of
Weight Lifting:

Once you reach the Advanced Course, you will be ready for instructions in proper Weight Lifting and how to perform the eight standard lifts.

In addition, the Advanced Course contains instructions on a great variety of lifts and exhibition feats of strength such as: The three ways to lift a barbell to the shoulder... Juggling with barbells and dumb bells... Bent-press techniques... The One-Arm snatch... The One -Arm Swing... The human pyramid... How to lift a man over head with one hand... Lifting TWO men overhead with two arms... Roman chair exercises... fancy & exhibition feats of strength... card tearing methods ... How to give a strength exhibition... Looking the part... The difference be tween a "lift" and an exercise... Parting thoughts.

Own a Piece of Weightlifting History!

The Milo Barbell Courses are a part of The Alan Calvert Collection
Click here for ordering informations

The Alan Calvert Collection