The Lind-Hendrickson “Big Giant” Grip Machine

Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 by John Wood

Lind-Hendrickson Big Giant Grip Machine

Even though “working out” was a relatively new concept in the early 1920’s, when the Lind-Hendrickson “Big Giant” Grip Machine first appeared, people still understood the importance of building a strong grip… something which far too many folks neglect in their training these days.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

100,000 Strong Men Can’t Be Wrong!

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012 by John Wood

Earle E. Leiderman

What we find pretty interesting is that while people tended to keep various strength books and courses, almost no one kept the ads, which are  fascinating in their own right.  Here’s a classic ad from Earle E. Liederman who did more advertising than any of the Mail Order Muscle Barons.  Whether you are a fan of oldtime strength training or oldtime copywriting, it’s a good idea to pay close attention… we may have several of Liederman’s books available in the near future.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

A Sensational Feat

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 by John Wood

A Sensational Feat Milo Bar Bell Co

A look at a vintage advertisement for the Milo Bar Bell Company, circa 1920. That’s Anton Matysek lifting and supporting a bicycle with three riders, upping the ante on a feat originally pioneered by Thomas Inch.

As the ad states:

“Walking with a weight of 560 lbs. in the manner shown above requires strength in every part of the body. That this man has strength is shown by his broad shoulders, deep chest and magnificently muscled arms and legs. He is a Milo Bar Bell pupil – a man who has obtained all his development through the practice of progressive bar bell exercises. Yet when he enrolled for our course of instruction he did not even have ordinary health and strength. He will give you a good idea of what you may expect to accomplish through the Milo Bar Bell system of exercise.”

While you may not necessarily have an interest in doing this particular lift, heavy lockouts and supports do go a long way in building incredible strength.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Professor Adrian Schmidt’s Automatic Exerciser ~ Life’s Backbone

Posted on Sunday, February 5th, 2012 by John Wood
Professor Adrian Schmidt’s “Automatic Exerciser” (also called a “Schmidt Machine”) was one of the very first commercially made pieces of strength equipment. It was ingenious in its simplicity since it allows for a number of exercises — especially those which required incredibly heavy weights — to be performed in a minimum of space. Movements such as hip lifts or deadlift lockouts (i.e. ‘The Health Lift) etc which often required hundreds of pounds of weight could now be performed with only a few dozen thanks to the leverage principle.

Schmidt felt, and rightly so, that maintaining a strong healthy life was a matter of maintaining a strong and healthy back. This concept, as well as instructions for the exerciser, were all explained in his booklet “Life’s Backbone.” Back in 1917, when this ad appeared, you could send away for this booklet for 4 cents!

1902 Milo Barbell Company Advertisement

Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2012 by John Wood

The Milo Barbell Company

In 1902,The Milo Barbell Company, headed by Alan Calvert, opened its doors. Shown here is one of the first advertisements for their wares. Back then the American public had little idea of what a barbell was or how to use one, so Calvert had his work cut out for him. The “system” in question was simply the principle of double progression… which worked great then and works just as effectively a century later.

Also of note is the dumbbell pictured in the ad… Various types of Milo Barbell equipment, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells etc are quite rare these days but they do turn up on occasion. Only one of these particular shot-loaded dumbbells is currently known to exist, however. The lifter of said dumbbell in this ad is Mr. Frank F. Jones, weightlifting champion of Philadelphia. As noted in the ad, Mr. Jones’ bodyweight at the time was 140 lbs. yet he could lift this dumbbell loaded to 150 lbs. with ease.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Peary Rader and The Magic Circle

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 by John Wood
THE MAGIC CIRCLE
– FOR MAGIC RESULTS –
The most satisfactory device yet found for doing quarter, half and full squats — for doing Hise Shoulder Shrugs and other heavy poundage exercises where weight is held on shoulders. It has made squatting a pleasure by removing the agonizing and sometimes paralyzing pain and discomfort of a heavy bar across the shoulders cutting into the flesh and putting pressure o the spine.

The “Magic Circle” gives a freedom for deep breathing in the popular and result-producing “Breathing Squats” for the exerciser can stand erect and breathe normally with a high lift of the chest at every breath, and is not compelled to hump over forward and breathes it the abdominal area as with a bar.

In use, the “Magic Circle” is loaded up on the side pegs (unless you go over 700 lbs., in which case you have front and back pegs to load on), step in the circle (which is supported on side horses or boxes), lift shoulder straps onto shoulders, center straps, stand erect and walk away from stand and begin squats in normal manner.

When finished, walk back to stands and lower ring to supporting rack. While squatting it helps to grasp ring in front and pull slightly toward you. If you get stuck at bottom you place hands on legs and push upward to recover. No more getting stuck at bottom, will hold 1200 lbs. or more.

If you read Iron Man Magazine in the 70’s you remember Peary Rader demonstrating the Magic Circle. Peary’s using 425 pounds in this classic shot. and making it look easy.

I actually grew up with one in our basement gym — that’s right a fully functioning Magic Circle, one of the last ones left. I don’t like using it for squats — it changes the center of gravity in the bottom position too much for my taste. Though not necessarily the same concept, (but very much along the same lines), a Gerard Trap Bar will give you a much better leg workout.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.