The Olympic Club Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by John Wood

The Olympic Club Gymnasium

The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California is the oldest athletic club in the United States (established in 1860). The original location didn’t survive the great earthquake of 1906 but they relocated to a new location on Post Street in 1912. This is what their gymnasium looked like, circa 1915.

With plenty of natural lighting, an indoor track, climbing ropes, Indian clubs, balance beams, medicine balls, wall pulleys, climbing ladders and an awesome selection of globe barbells and dumbbells, I’d say this facility is just about all you could ever ask for in a gym.

Tug O’ War at the 1906 Olympic Games

Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by John Wood

Here’s a rare look at the Tug O’ War event at the 1906 Olympic Games held in Athens Greece. It looks like the Gold Medal-winning German team is on the right — notable because several of its members were also champion weightlifters, namely Heinrich Rondi and Heinrich Schneidereit. The Greek team took Silver while Sweden took Bronze. Josef Steinbach was also a member of the Austrian team which finished fourth.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Bailey’s Rubber Exerciser

Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 by John Wood

Yes, they knew all about “functional” training way back in 1906. There’s nothing more “functional” than sawing wood (the best exercise known to man, indeed). Chopping a couple cords before dinner will put some hair on your chest but when you can’t always make it out to the wood pile grab one of “Bailey’s Rubber Exercisers” instead. Now you can go to town in the comfort of your own living room. Perhaps we can see about coming up with something similar? It would probably go over pretty big these days in the name of “functional training.”
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Physical Culture Magazine: April, 1906

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 by John Wood
Physical Culture Magazine, April, 1906
A look at the cover of Bernarr MacFadden’s Physical Culture Magazine from April of 1906. Macfadden’s arm graces the cover and while his methods were unconventional (even by today’s standards) they were certainly effective.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

French Weightlifting Club, circa 1906

Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2012 by John Wood

FRench Weightlifting Club, 1906

A rare look at a French weightlifting club, and their awesome training equipment, circa 1906.  One thing is for sure about the French lifters: they certainly had plenty of style.  Their equipment is basic: globe barbells, globe dumbbells, block weights, chest expanders etc, but undoubtedly more than enough to get it done.  Note the Sandow poster on the back wall. The president, Msr. Gustave Dechelpretre sits in the center.