This shot was taken in the Paramount studios gymnasium, circa 1937 (which was a barn on one of the back lots.) Steve McQueen was famously photographed training in the very same gym a few decades later.
Being a swashbuckling leading man in Hollywood is tough work, which is why Clark Gable here, regularly engaged in physical training throughout his acting career. Not only that, but the posture, and body control developed from this training increased screen presence – Gable was one of the most popular actors of his time. The wall pulleys are likely from The Narragansett Machine Company.
“Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity. He also should be able to chin himself a reasonable number of times, as well as to dip a number of times, and he should be able to jump a reasonable height and distance.”
Earle E. Liederman
Earle E. Liederman
The Power of Endurance, 1937
Anton Gietl was a German weightlifter who won the Gold in the 1937 German championships and, later that year, the Bronze medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in the light heavyweight class. Gietl placed in the top five of the German weightlifting championships eight times in 1929 through 1949 ~ a pretty impressive feat in itself. Gietl’s specialty was the one-arm snatch, setting a world mark with 90 kg in 1933 (notably with his left arm.)
Indian clubs have a long history in the military, and with very good reason, regular club swing sessions will certainly keep one in fighting trim. This photo, dated November 4th, 1937, shows a club swinging workout at the Royal Navy Training School, Dartmouth, Devon, England. The Royal Navy smartly still includes club swinging in their training exercises today,
Japanese amateur wrestler Kitahata Kanetaka is shown here doing a few neck bridges with a 32kg kettlebell in each hand, circa 1937. Kitahata was taught kettlebell lifting by the Estonian strongman/wrestler/boxer Jan Kentel who introduced kettlebell training to Japan in the early 1930’s.