Sayed Nosseir

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018 by John Wood
Here we have the great Egyptian weightlifter Sayed Nosseir deadlifting what looks to be about 400 lbs. at a festival in Berlin in 1935. Nosseir won the Gold Medal in the light-heavyweight class at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic games with a 355 kg total (Press: 100 kg. — Snatch: 112.5 kg. — Clean & Jerk: 142.5 kg.). (This was Egypt’s first ever Gold Medal, btw.) Over his career, Nosseir set 12 World records: four each in the snatch, clean & jerk, and total.

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.

Josef Matějček

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Shown here: Josef Matějček of Czechoslovakia, stalking the bar at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games. Adding up the weight on the bar, this looks like his first press attempt. Matějček finished 11th in the lightweight class with a 265 kg total.
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.

Victor DeLamarre’s Backlift

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
In October, 1928, Victor DeLamarre performed a backlift of an entire precinct of Quebec policemen. The captain, Emile Trudel, stands in the foreground. Interestingly, DeLamarre only weighed about 200 pounds at the time. It was said that one of the reasons for DeLamarre’s great strength was that he had thicker than average tendons and bones.
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.

The Great Gama in Training

Posted on Friday, March 10th, 2017 by John Wood
A look at The Great Gama in training in his akhara in Patiala, Northern India, circa 1928. It was said that Gama performed 3000 dands (pushups) each day. So much for the theory that “bodyweight-only” training can’t build muscle mass… Gama clearly didn’thave any trouble doing so.
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.

Tom Tyler

Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2014 by John Wood
Tom Tyler, late of Hollywood, California, was the 1928 AAU Heavyweight lifting champion and first American to clean & jerk 300 pounds in an AAU competition. Here’s a rare shot of Tyler at the 1928 Olympic weightlifting tryouts. Believe it or not, this is that Tom Tyler, western movie star and of Captain Marvel fame.

Jaroslav Skobla at the 1928 Olympics

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the great Czechoslovakian weightlifter Jaroslav Skobla during a reflective moment at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. He took Bronze…and doesn’t look happy about it. Over the next four years, Skobla added 22.5 kg to his total and took the Heavyweight gold medal at the 1932 Los Angeles games.
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.

1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 by John Wood

1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Here’s an interesting one: this 1928 Milo Barbell advertisement features Mr. Al Manger, who built himself up from “a bag of bones” into a weightlifting champion with the power of sensible physical training and a Milo weight set. At the age of 21, Manger weighed only 97 pounds, and within a year of barbell training, had added 26 pounds of solid muscle.

Manger kept at it, and went on to win three national lifting championships, one in the 181 lb. class in 1929 and two light-heavyweight crowns in 1930 and 1932. Manger finished fifth with a 315 kg. total at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games. Manger also won regional championships in the shot put and weight throwing.

…Pretty good for a skinny kid from Baltimore.

If you would like to learn about the specific types of training that helped Manger build his strength, you’ll find it in The Alan Calvert Collection.

Hooverball

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2014 by John Wood

“Once the day’s work begins, there is little chance
to walk, to ride or to take part in a game.”

That’s the problem that Herbert Hoover faced when he took the presidency back in 1928. Sure, running the country is hard work, but you still have to keep in shape.

Fortunately, this problem was solved ingeniously by White House physician Admiral Joel T. Boone. Boone created a game for the President and his staff which required very little equipment, and very little skill but which provided the perfect amount of daily physical activity.

The game was simple – it was a combination of volley ball and tennis, yet played with a medicine ball. Team members simply hurled the medicine ball back and forth over an eight foot high net. Points were scored when a ball hit the ground on the opposing teams side.

As Hoover wrote in his Memoirs:

“It required less skill than tennis, was faster and more vigorous, and therefore gave more exercise in a short time,”

And Will Irvin, a friend of the president, remarked:

“It is more strenuous than either boxing, wrestling or football. It has the virtue of getting at nearly every muscle in the body.”

Early each morning from four to 18 VIPs would show up for the games on the south lawn of the White House and at 7:00 sharp they choose partners and begin. They played until 7:30 when a factory down by the Potomac blew a loud whistle.

They played every morning of the week and paid little attention to the weather, whether it was cold, windy, rainy or snowing, they played almost always without fail, with the exception of an unusually drenching downpour where they retreated to the White House basement for their games.

Only once during his presidency did Hoover ever miss a game.

Double Your Strength Almost Overnight!

Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by John Wood

One of the most interesting (and, in my opinion, most fun) aspects of strength history is the old advertisements. There is much to be learned by those in the same business today who might take the time to study them. Here’s a classic ad circa 1928 from Professor Henry W. Titus, one of the early mail order muscle pioneers. You can see why someone would want to save up their paper route money to send away for this course. You even get a nifty medal to pin to your jacket when you completed it!

Courses like this one are simple and might even be considered crude by today’s standards but often the “after” results beat much of what we see in today’s gyms, even with infinitely more equipment and access to information.

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.