Cadine’s Arms

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 by John Wood
Another look at the great Ernest Cadine, circa 1915, and I’d say further proof that impressive physical development is certainly possible without drugs. Cadine never downed a single protein shake yet you won’t find a better set of arms, even a hundred years later.
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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.

A. A. Verge

Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 by John Wood
Arthur Verge, of the famous Camberwell Weight-Lifting Club, was the winner of the Open London Handicap Tournament of 1915 and holder of 10, 11, and 12-stone and Heavyweight Amateur Records. He was a pupil of W.A. Pullum.
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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.

Muscular Development November, 1972: Larry Scott

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by John Wood
A look at the cover of the November, 1972 issue of Muscular Development magazine featuring Larry Scott on the cover. They sure don’t make ’em like this any more, (neither the magazine or the man.)
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.

John McWilliams – “Mr. Arms”

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015 by John Wood
Some of the most impressive arms of all time belonged to Mr. John McWilliams. He happened to have a pretty good head start in the arms department thanks to Mother Nature, but what also helped McWilliams stretch the tape was a focus on basic exercises. That, and because he drank plenty of water… since muscle tissue is composed of mostly water, he believed that glugging down that H20 went directly to his arms! While this belief is a little simplistic, drinking enough water IS a good idea (most people don’t get enough and no doubt actually DID contribute to his impressive results.
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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.

John McWilliams

Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2014 by John Wood

The man with some of the biggest arms around was John McWilliams from Kenton, Ohio. While many bodybuilders used to inflate their measurements, he had an open challenge to anyone who could measure his arm at less than 19-1/2 inches… and the money was always safe. In case you are wondering about the “secrets” to his arm development, they were hard training, correct nutrition and proper recovery ~ along with more than a little bit of help from mother nature, of course.
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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.

Bill Pettis: 23-1/4-inch Arms!

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

23-1/4-inch Arms!… I don’t know if his arms stretched the tape measure quite that far, but Bill Pettis of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, DID have a pretty impressive set of guns. As far as training, Bill liked to do 100 sets of arm work… and they would stay pumped for days afterwards.
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.

Precary Amiable, Card Tearing Champion of The World

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

Precary Amiable, Card Tearing Champion

Precary Amiable, the French strongman, won the 1913 card tearing championship of the world by ripping an astounding 210 cards at once. That’s over four decks! Also, it looks like card tearing certainly “does a body good,” ~ our man is sporting a set of arms that are still very impressive a century later (notably at a body weight of only 150 lbs.)
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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.

Abe Boshes

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood
To provide additional proof that one can be impressive without being “huge” here is the famous Brooklyn strongman Abe Boshes. Boshes stood 5’3″ at a bodyweight of around 150 pounds and was very well-known for his shoulder development (which was obviously a big contributor to his stature.) Boshes did quite a bit of training with chest expanders.

Boshes could bent-press around 220 lbs for a single and a 100 lb. dumbbell 18 times in succession. In the early 1900’s, he won a contest put on by Bernarr MacFadden and the fame from doing so allowed him to travel the country on the Vaudeville circuit. Like many strongmen of the time he also did some wrestling.

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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.
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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.

Thomas Inch and The Evolution of A Biceps

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 by John Wood

Thomas Inch: Evolution of a Biceps Advertisement

I believe that advertisements tell as much about strength history as the books and courses, hence the reason I reproduce many of them here — (and you sure won’t find them anywhere else!) Here’s a fantastic ad from deep in the archives: Thomas Inch’s “Evolution of a Biceps.”
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.