Reg Park Bench Presses 300 lbs. The Hard Way

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Reg Park bench presses 300 pounds the hard way — with a pair of 150-pound BARBELLS. Wow! This stunt is very difficult and requires a great deal of strength, balance and coordination.
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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 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).

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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.

John Davis’ Bench Press

Posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 by John Wood
Non-Functional? Please… When performed correctly, the bench press certainly can be an excellent upper body strength builder. John Davis certainly wasn’t any worse for the wear for bench pressing in his routine, and he was one of the finest Olympic weightlifters and all-around strength athletes in history.

The bar looks to be loaded to around 400 pounds and Davis seems to be handling it pretty easily. Note the fact that there are no uprights. This shot was taken at Yarick’s Gym in Oakland, California.

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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.

Malcolm “Mac” Richards

Posted on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
“Mac” Richards started powerlifting when he was 57 years old and within a year set new Masters World Records in each of the three lifts: squatting 425 pounds, benching 308 pounds, deadlifting 479 pounds and totaling 1212 pounds. In the years that followed, he won 18 National titles and four World Powerlifting Championships.

Here were his marks at the age of 75 years and 198 lbs, (Still Masters records for the International Powerlifting Association, by the way.)

* Squat: 440 pounds
* Bench: 330 pounds
* Deadlift: 470 pounds
* Total: 1240 pounds

Mac was inducted into the York Barbell Powerlifting Hall of Fame in the year 2000. He was also a good friend who will be missed.

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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.

Classic Grip Courses

Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2017 by John Wood
These 4 Classic Training Courses will teach you unusual exercises, training tips, workout ideas, feats of the oldtimers and the methods to build your own set of “mighty mitts”

Specific training to build an “iron grip and powerful forearms” was essential to the Oldtime Strongmen for what should be some very obvious reasons: you can’t bend a horseshoe, rip a deck of cards, or tear a phone book in half if you don’t have strong hands. This is also a big factor in why many of the Oldtime Strongmen were well known for their unbelievable grip strength – and why many of their records in that department still stand to this day.

Now you can learn exactly how to do it too, directly from the greatest strong men themselves with our collection of FOUR Classic Grip Courses. Each of these authors has the credentials and know-how to help you build some of the strongest hands around:

Developing The Grip and Forearm
by Thomas Inch

Thomas Inch was Britain’s strongest youth at 16, the first official Britain’s Strongest Man and at one time had the largest physical fitness correspondence school in Great Britain. He wrote an untold number of books, courses and training articles and was an excellent strand puller and all-around lifter but in Oldtime strength circles, the name Thomas Inch is recognized above all else for one thing: grip strength.

Inch’s “unliftable” Challenge Dumbbell has defied thousands of strong men over the last hundred years (and still does today). Many a strength athlete tried but failed to break it off the ground…

After many years and numerous requests, Inch finally decided to put in writing the methods by which he had developed his incredible levels of grip strength. So here it is, once again made available to the potential “grip masters” of the strength world Thomas Inch’s wonderful course: “Developing the Grip and Forearm” (originally published in 1930) and now available in high-quality modern reprint edition. Don’t let weak hands stand in the way of lifting limit poundages. This training course. will strengthen the weak link between you and record poundages. Fully illustrated, soft cover, 8 1/2″ x 11″ in size, also includes a list of historical grip feats

Iron Claws
Grip Development and Bench Press Course
by Mike Brown

Iron Claws is a rare and extremely hard-to-find training course, full of valuable and result producing information, and is now available once again. In the early 1970’s, Mike Brown set out to bench press maximum weights using a unique partial range of motion training program that he designed. The weights kept growing heavier and one day Brown sprained his wrist with over 600 pounds on the bar. He realized then and there that if his bench press was going to get any stronger, his wrists and forearms would need to follow suit. His research and subsequent experimentation became “Iron Claws: Grip Development and Bench Press Course“.

This extremely interesting training course first appeared in 1974 among the many unusual titles in The Madison Co. book catalog. Few copies were printed and even fewer were sold but now you can benefit from this course in the high-quality modern reprint version. You’ll learn about how the oldtimers developed 16″ forearms and enormous coin bending grip strength, the author’s special wrist roller, rack rebounders for heavy bench pressing, training in mud, and a variety of other unique training ideas.

How to Develop a Powerful Grip
by Edward Aston

Edward Aston is certainly qualified to teach you how to build a strong grip… he was The World’s Middle-weight Weightlifting Champion, British Heavy-weight Champion Weightlifter, and Britain’s Strongest Man from 1911-1934 (he retired undefeated.)

Aston knew full well that stronger hands meant greater strength everywhere else and in 1946 wrote “How to Build a Powerful Grip” teaching how he did so throughout his colorful strongman and stage career. Sit back and read about the pet feats of grip strength of such notable grip masters as: Caswell, Vansittart “The Man with the Iron Grip”, Breitbart, Marx, Topham, Samson, Tolson, Fox, Sandow, Inch, etc.

All in all, this publication is not only very informative but entertaining as well. It will provide you with exercises and techniques which can not be found anywhere else. Get a copy and add it to your grip training library, you’ll be glad you did! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Molding a Mighty Grip
by George F. Jowett

Molding a Mighty Grip was published as a part of George F. Jowett’s “Molding” library and features one of Jowett’s specialties: grip and forearm training. Formerly a blacksmith and chain maker by trade, Jowett developed powerful hands, 8 1/4″ wrists, 15 1/4″ muscular forearms, and 17-3/4″ upper arms making his incredible feats of grip strength legendary.

Jowett’s most famous feat was that of lifting a 168 lb. anvil by the horn to shoulder height and pressing it with one hand! Alan Calvert, founder of Milo Barbell Co., referred to Jowett as the most scientific weightlifter in America. This booklet describes Jowett’s unique exercises for developing each digit of the hands and turning them into “iron claws.”

In addition, Jowett reminisces about many of the famous old-time strongmen and their specialty feats of grip strength. A great book available once again for the truly serious student of grip strength. Get a copy today and start training your grip the way the great George F. Jowett trained his! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Order now!Classic Grip Course Collection (4 Booklets):
_________ $39.99 plus s/h

Strict Bench Press

Posted on Friday, September 29th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s something you don’t see every day — or pretty much at all these days. Could this bench press get any stricter? Other than the thumb-less grip, I dig it. Dave Moyer of Reading, PA is shown here setting a new Mid-Atlantic bench press record of 255 lbs. in the 123 lb class — That’s more than double bodyweight! Moyer won his class that day with a 1130 lb. total. He was not a tall man.

Interestingly, Moyer was also an Olympic weightlifting champion as well, winning the 123 lb. class at the 1963 AAU Senior Nationals. Lifting for the Reading Barbell Club, Mayor had prior set a world record in his weight class for the Press at the 1958 Middle Atlantic Championships with a lift of 240 lbs, bettering the previous mark of Vladimir Stogov of Russia by 2-1/2 lbs.

Marvin Eder’s Bench Press

Posted on Friday, November 18th, 2016 by John Wood

Here’s Marvin Eder bench pressing what looks like every plate in the gym — 430 lbs. if you add ’em all up. This was back in 1952 and Eder was just 19 years of age at the time and didn’t even tip the scales over 200 lbs. bodyweight. Eder eventually went on to bench press 515 lbs.
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.

Russian Olympic Set

Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 by John Wood

One of the interesting things that you would find in the old strength magazines was Olympic sets from some of the different countries – and they did a fine job. pictured here is a famous Russian Olympic set brought in by Leo Stern for use in his gym. Oh yeah, that’s also Pat Casey ‘unofficially’ bench pressing 525 pounds.
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.

Yuri Vlasov’s Bench Press

Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2015 by John Wood

How does a World Champion Olympic weight lifter build upper-body strength? The great Russian lifter Yuri Vlasov used the bench press (among other exercises) in his program back in the 50’s and 60’s. Of course, by the looks of things he sure didn’t mess around like the gym lifters of today.

“Getting stronger” and plenty of technique work were part of the game back then. It seems to have worked quite well for Mr. Vlasov, who set 34 Weightlifting World Records during his career… That’s 190kg above, over 400 lbs…. Maybe the bench press isn’t so bad of a lift after all?

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.

Benoit Cote

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by John Wood
Benoit Cote was another great Canadian strongman from Quebec and the rival of fellow countryman Doug Hepburn. The two met head to head in 1961 at a four-lift contest consisting of the Press, Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift. While Hepburn bested Cote in the bench press and overhead press, Cote beat Hepburn in the squat and deadlifted 752-1/2 pounds (shown above) to win.
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.