The Bridge Press

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 by John Wood
The ‘bridge press’ was an early precursor to the modern bench press. In this case though, no bench required and the bar began on the abdomen and was heaved to begin the lift. The lift was also aptly referred to at times as “the belly toss.”

This was a favorite lift of Arthur Saxon and I’m sure it served him well in developing strength for his wrestling pursuits. Saxon’s record of 386 pounds was broken by Joe Nordquest with a lift of 388 pounds (shown above).

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 Textbook of Club Swinging by Tom Burrows

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 by John Wood
Whereas Arthur Saxon wrote The Textbook of Weight-Lifting, Tom Burrows wrote The Textbook of Club Swinging. Both men were certainly qualified to do so. There were several other “Textbooks” — on Swimming, Wrestling, Boxing, and various other athletic pursuits.

Saxon’s Kettlebell Press

Posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Something that I find pretty interesting is that Arthur Saxon demonstrated this unique Kettlebell pressing exercise in The Textbook of Weightlifting back in 1910, yet with all the hubbub about kettlebells these days, I have never seen it listed or performed in any modern kettlebell training course. Saxon wrote that this exercise was good for building thumb strength and I agree.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Al Beinart

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
Over a century later, Arthur Saxon still holds the greatest bent press poundage ever recorded. The man who has come the closest under official conditions was Al Beinart who managed 330 pounds and trains at Yaco’s Gym in Detroit. The hardest part of the lift, according to Beinart, is getting the weight to the shoulders. This is the style that he used. and with 300+ pounds, that’s an impressive feat by itself.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Harry B. Paschall

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Harry B. Paschall is shown here, hard at work drawing up his super strongman character Bosco. As a young man, Paschall became inspired after watching Sandow and Saxon in action. He went on do do illustrations for Alan Calvert’s Strength Magazine and, later on, Strength and Health Magazine and the British magazine Vigour. He was also a very good writer, with a number of training articles and three classic books also to his credit.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 2-Hands Anyhow

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
A step-by-step look at the 2-Hands Anyhow. It has been said that this lift is the ultimate test of strength, endurance and agility: it is the method by which the greatest weight has ever been lifted overhead with one hand, the complete lift lasts 12-15 seconds, and it requires practice, balance and the perfection of having to do two things at once. Once the lifter completes a Bent Press an additional weight, in the form of a dumbbell or kettlebell, is then cleaned to the shoulder and pressed overhead. The greatest performance of all time in this lift is 448 pounds, lifted by Arthur Saxon in 1905.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Paul Baillargeon

Posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 by John Wood
I have said many times that Arthur Saxon’s records would never be broken… and they won’t be… but the man who has come the closest was Paul Baillargeon of the famed Baillargeon Brothers of Quebec. These six brothers were all incredible wrestlers and strength athletes who toured their native Canada and the US taking on all comers.

Paul, shown here, who was quite possibly the strongest of the brothers, often lifted a horse as the finale of their strength performances. This picture shows him officially bent-pressing a barbell loaded to 321 pounds, a feat which he achieved on May 11, 1951, in front of Harry B. Paschall and other reliable witnesses at the Apollo Health Studio in Columbus, Ohio.

Paul Baillargeon actually did succeed in bent-pressing 375 pounds in practice a few times but never under official conditions.

Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik

Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by John Wood
~ Lost Secrets of Strength and Development ~
A man who lifted weights for his entire life once took a good look at the world of strength training around him…
…and he didn’t like what he saw … so he did something incredible…

Here’s what happened next:

A gym used to be a serious place for serious people, interested in building serious strength, but in modern times its safe to say that gyms have become glorified juice bars — with no shortage of chrome, ferns, and pencil-neck pseudo experts who wave around plastic dumbbells while making sure their designer headbands matched their suede lifting belts.

This guy… Brooks Kubik. As he trains in his basement gym with a bunch of rusty old weights and oldschool techniques — no chrome or ferns to be found!

Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Weight training was slowly but surely being taken over by the druggers … the toners … the bros … the poseurs … the pretty boys … the pencil necks … the whiners … the pump artists …the arm-chair experts …and the mirror athletes. (no doubt you’ve seen them all, and this makes you just as sick.)

This man had enough – Enough! His name was Brooks Kubik, and what happened next started a revolution throughout the entire world of strength.

And so it Began

…So Brooks began to write. While Brooks had authored articles in several different publications over the years

(including Milo, Hard Gainer, Iron Master and Iron Man) the words that were now issuing forth on his type writer were somehow different than ever before.

He wrote about the training that had worked for him, how he trained in high school, how he trained in college, how he trained to win multiple National Championships in Bench Press Powerlifting meets, and how his favorite oldtime strongmen used to train…

Brooks had originally planned to type out a fifty or so page manuscript and possibly sell (though more likely give it away) to the few people out in the world he thought might be interested in it. Brooks reached fifty pages after only a few short days of writing, and there was still more material he wanted to cover — a lot more.

Fifty pages turned into a hundred, a hundred pages turned into two hundred. and it didn’t stop there. With the encouragement of several the top people in the strength world, the finished product was titled Dinosaur Training since it was covered training techniques that were almost (but not quite!) extinct.

Dinosaur Training covered the methods that the strongest men who had ever lived had utilized — sure, with traditional weights such as barbells and, but also highly unusual implements such as sandbags, kegs, rocks, anvils, sledge hammers and more. Brooks Kubik went ahead and published Dinosaur Training, releasing it on an unsuspecting world…

And Then Everything Changed
Arthur Saxon — also known as “The Iron Master” — put more weight overhead with one arm than anyone in history, nearly 400 lbs.!
John Davis, multiple-time Olympic weightlifting champion and world record holder, could have just as easily been a champion bodybuilder
Doug Hepburn, the great Canadian champion, was easily one of the strongest men of all time. His workouts are covered in details in ‘Dinosaur Training’.

It was as if the ghosts of Iron Game’s past were suddenly brought back to life… men like Arthur Saxon, John Davis, Reg Park George Hackenschmidt and Steve Stanko became household names again

All of a sudden people started attacked their training with a ferocity that hadn’t been seen for many years. Calloused hands started lifting odd objects again – sand bags, kegs, rocks, anvils, anchors. Training methods such as thick handled weights, heavy partial movements and power rack work all experienced a resurgence in popularity. Suddenly it became OK to lift heavy chunks of iron and steel once again.

Dont’s just train…
Revolution or Evolution?

Less than eighteen months after it appeared, the entire first printing of Dinosaur Training sold out completely … College and NFL strength coaches began reading it and incorporating Old School training techniques into their programs … Everyone started setting up personal gyms in their basements and garages, stocking them with plenty of “old fashioned” equipment that worked better than anything else available.

This wasn’t just a local thing either; orders started flooding in from all over the globe. The strength world had come full circle… once again, people were training like they did in years past — AND building strength like they did in years past.

When it came time for the second printing, Dinosaur Training became even bigger …literally – Brooks added two additional chapters of intense training material. Today, over twenty years after its initial release, Dinosaur Training still stands as one of the all-time great strength books. You would be hard pressed to find a weight training book which has helped more people get the fire back in their belly (or get it going in the first place) when it comes to serious training.

With the treasure trove of solid training information that it contains, it is no wonder that Dinosaur Training and the Dino-Attitude has reached such great heights of popularity. Now you can read and learn from one of the best training books ever published …the book that started a Revolution.

Take a look at all the valuable training information what you will learn within its pages:

The tremendous value of basic exercises …the exercises that MUST be in your program …and which exercises to avoid at all costs (since they are nothing but a waste of your time)

The biggest reason why most of what you read about modern training is unproductive, and THREE simple things you can do turn the ship around if that’s the direction you were headed

What is the Dinosaur challenge? …are you up to it?

7 ways to “Be A Dinosaur” and how to crank the intensity of your workout up a notch or three

The ONE characteristic that all Dinosaurs have in common – find out what it is

3 steps that will make your training more productive – instantly

The #1 reason why most people give up and how you can avoid that like the plague

Think you know the “Best” program?… you’ll be surprised at Brooks’ answer to this one

Brooks Kubik’s favorite strength writers and training tips from the last 100+ years

What an outline of productive training looks like and how to put together your workouts so it’s guaranteed to work

How to train with a water filled barrel or keg, and how that training style nearly put Brooks down for the count

Why hard work is necessary, and how to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout

The 5 reasons people fail according to Dr. Ken Leistner… – probably the most valuable lesson strength training can teach you

What hard work is and is not

2 types of abbreviated training styles that you can use for big gains

The real meaning behind hard work vs. “bunny” training

What the name of the game is… and it’s not what you think

2 approaches to poundage progression, and how to make sure the gains keep coming for a long time

Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced workout routines, laid out step-by-step

Want to know the “secret” of advanced gains? – You’ll be surprised at how simple it really is

How to make progress with multiple sets of low reps

What the 5 x 5 system is, and how Reg Park, Champion strength athlete and bodybuilder, used it to build super strength fifty years ago

How to use “singles” in the most effective manner in your training

Why thick-bars “work” and how to implement them into your workout

How you can make fear work for you instead of against you

10 grip exercises and a dynamite beginners program for future grip masters

6 advanced grip exercises for monster crushing power

How to build real strength with logs, barrels and heavy bags

The many benefits of proper power-rack training

5 hard core power-rack routines

8 fads, fallacies and pitfalls of modern training and how to avoid them all

Much more!!

As you can see, Dinosaur Training covers a lot of ground. Of particular note are three big chapters on grip training which helps anyone lay a solid foundation.

A Crash Course in How to gain Super Strength with
One of the World’s Greatest Teachers

Do you remember the first time you tried to learn something for the first time? Starting out, nothing made sense and you felt like giving up. That’s how it is for a lot of people who want to start lifting weights – they get confused and don’t know what to do – and so they do the only thing they could do, they give up.

Now imagine how confident you felt when someone took the time to explain some things to you. What used to be frustrating, now makes perfect sense and now that you know exactly what to do, it’s off to the races.

That’s exactly how it is when you have Brooks as your teacher. As you turn the pages of Dinosaur Training, all of a sudden all the confusing things about strength training will make sense – you’ll know how many sets to do, you’ll know which exercises to do, you’ll know how much weight to use… and you will begin to build the strength you have always dreamed about.

Get your copy of Dinosaur Training and join the Revolution!

Order now!Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik
_________ $19.99 plus s/h

The Arthur Saxon Collection

Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Arthur Saxon, The Iron Master
Arthur Saxon, The Iron Master
The ONLY Man to lift 371 pounds overhead with one arm… now you too can learn the training Secrets of the IRON MASTER

How many men in the history of the World can say they ever put over 370 Pounds overhead with one arm? I don’t know for sure, but the answer is undoubtedly “not many.” In fact, I know of only one: Arthur Saxon, “The Iron Master” …the man whose records will never be equaled or surpassed…

If you’re into training, I’m sure you have always wonders how such a man as Arthur Saxon became so strong… but what if you had a time machine and could go back and talk to the man himself You could ask him exactly how he trained… what he ate… his views on strength… his favorite exercises… what his routine looked like… and what it felt like to lift 350+ pounds overhead with one hand.

Though time travel isn’t currently an option, you can still find out all that and more directly from Arthur Saxon through his two excellent training books: The Development of Physical Power and The Textbook of Weight-Lifting — and they are every bit as useful today as they were the day they were written, well over a century ago! These two classic courses, penned by one of the strongest men in recorded history, are now available once again in high quality modern reprint format:

The Development of Physical Power
Written in 1906, The Development of Physical Power in the first of Arthur Saxon’s two training books. In it, Saxon covers a variety of topics:

The meaning of the book’s title… What Saxon looks for beyond the muscles… How his early days contributed to his great strength later in life… Saxon’s international matches and challenges against other strongmen… His ideas on real strength… His views on light exercise… Weight-lifting for other sports, wrestling, boxing etc… Weight in relation to lifting… Notes on muscular measurements… How the strength of a man is often indicated by the thickness of his wrists…

Details of Saxon’s typical routine… Which types of lifts you should include in every workout… What an advanced lifter should do when he trains… The value of competition… The best question to ask about over-training… Nutrition information for the would-be strongman… The best place to train… One of the secrets to Saxon’s success…

What it feels like to lift 350 lbs. with one hand… The only thought that should be in your head when going for a record lift… Notes on the performance the bent-press… How to perform the One-Hand Snatch… The Single-Handed Dumb-bell Swing… Two-Dumb-bell lifting… Notes on Ring and ball (kettlebell) lifting… Measurements and record lifts… Measurements of Hermann and Kurt Saxon… Saxon’s open challenge to the world!

An eye witness account by famous physical culture authority Thomas Inch, which substantiates Saxon’s claims, rounds out the book. The photos on the front and back cover plus 45 rare photos and illustrations contained therein are more than worth the price of this beautiful 5-inch x 7-inch trade paperback with 122 pages. This is a unique look into the training and philosophy of one of the strongest men who ever lived whose methods you can incorporate into your own training.

The Textbook of Weight-Lifting
The Textbook of Weight-Lifting was written a few years later as part of a series of “Textbooks” on various sports and athletic events and offers an even deeper look into Arthur Saxon’s training techniques.  Saxon’s second training course is filled with many rare and never-before-published photos of the Iron Master in action – he personally posed for each photograph. Here’s a look at the topics covered:

Why everyone should lift weights… The test of strength… “Skill” in relation to weight-lifting… Real strength vs. possibilities… Choice of exercises… The difference between Continental and “Clean” lifting… The best exercises for competition lifting… One and two-handed Bar-Bell Lifts… The first thing you should do when training the Clean… The Clean Press from the shoulder… How to “Lock” the shoulder… Tips and techniques on the one-handed jerk from the shoulder…

The correct path that the bar should take… The two-dumb-bell clean… The dumb-bell swing… Four things you need to know about performing the snatch… The best “all-around” lift: bent-press…The two-handed bar-bell push… Records set by the German lifter Josef Steinbach… Ring, Ball and Square Weight-lifting… Records set by the French lifting champion Jean Francois LeBreton… Weight-lifting Exercises vs. Exercises with Weights… Several Kettlebell exercises for forearm development… Mental “tricks” to use for lifting more weight… Exhibition and Trick Weight-Lifting Feats…

The Textbook of Weight-Lifting was originally published in 1910… The modern reprint edition is 5-inches x 7-inches in size and 85 pages in length.  There are also 30 rare photographs of Arthur Saxon in action demonstrating the lifts and techniques discussed in the text. “Textbook” makes a worthy sequel to Saxon’s first book and an excellent addition to your training library.

A Blast from the Past… and a Look Toward the Future

Despite having been written over a century ago, Saxon’s writing’s are amazingly relevant to today’s lifters. His descriptions and tips on the oldtime lifts etc are, of course, top notch, but it is his advice on the other factors of lifting success are the real value to these courses. Saxon weighs in on such topics as proper diet, how often to train, “specificity,” the value of lifting for athletes, balanced development, the proper application of lifting and conditioning work for true athletic development, and mental training techniques… all concepts which were amazingly ahead of their time.

We are also talking about a man who routinely lifted more weight with one arm than most lifters — oldtime or modern — could lift with two, and this is a unique opportunity to learn the details of his exact approach. Saxon’s routines are not complicated and his advice is extremely practical which are two lessons that should not be lost on modern trainees. If you are looking to build your strength and power, you certainly can’t go wrong studying the methods and insight of one of the strongest men who ever lived.

Order now!The Arthur Saxon Collection (2 books):
_________ $29.99 plus s/h

Arthur Saxon’s Incredible Plank Feat

Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 by John Wood
As if you needed further proof that Arthur Saxon was one of the strongest men who ever lived, behold the following: Arthur and the other members of the Saxon Trio used to perform several supporting feats in their act and for these feats, they employed a large, heavy wooden plank.

Unbeknownst to many, the trio of strongmen also used this plank as a training tool to develop grip strength, each taking turns lifting it in various ways between their shows. While the other brothers did their best to deadlift it, Arthur Saxon could actually snatch the plank overhead with ease, something no one else could duplicate and a feat which humbled noted Strongman Siegmund Breitbart who visited the Trio at the Bush Circus in Berlin, Germany in 1922.

Kurt Saxon considered this to be Arthur Saxon’s greatest strength feat… pretty impressive condsidering some of Arthur’s other record achievements.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.