Vince Gironda ~ The Iron Guru

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 by John Wood
Known as “The Iron Guru,” Vince Gironda left an indelible mark on the bodybuilding world. For over fifty years “Vince’s Gym” was one of the most popular bodybuilding gyms in the country and a number of famous bodybuilders AND movie stars often trained there. Vince was one of the first muscle experts to place a great deal of emphasis on nutrition and was also well known for his “unorthodox” training methods and unusual exercise ideas.

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.

Al Berger

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by John Wood
Al Berger was a great strength athlete and classic bodybuilder during the 1940’s. Berger was a very good bodybuilder but was most well-known for his ability to perform incredible feats of strength while “pinch gripping” rafters in his basement. He could do 12 pinch-grip chins on rafters 30-inches apart, 6 with an additional 10-pounds and 1 with an incredible 43 additional pounds. In addition to his pinch-gripping feats, Berger could perform a reverse curl with 165 pounds.

John McWilliams

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
John McWilliams was an incredibly strong and powerful bodybuilder of the late 1940’s and 1950’s who was well known for his arm development. While many bodybuilder inflated their numbers, John McWilliams used to offer a reward if anyone could measure his arms at LESS than 19-1/2 inches! He ran a successful gym in Dayton, Ohio (The Dayton Health Studios at 131 E. Third Street) and wrote several training articles for Iron Man Magazine. He also had his own arm development course, “Big Arms for You” which can currently be found in its entirety posted in The Iron League.
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.

Mr. America ’68, Jim Haislop

Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Jim Haislop, the popular bodybuilder from Tampa, Florida, shows the foundation of his development: squats. Haislop had quite a career, winning Mr. Florida in 1965, Mr. North America in 1966, Mr. Northern States and Mr. USA in 1967, Mr. America and Junior Mr. America in 1968 and took first in his class at the 1969 NABBA Mr. Universe contest.

Bill Pearl Strongman Bodybuilder

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood

Bill Pearl is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won many different bodybuilding titles over his colorful career. Something you may not realize though is that Bill also began performing traditional feats of strength such as license plate ripping (pictured), chain breaking, spike bending, card tearing and even Nail Driving because he “felt that he should BE as strong as he looked.” I don’t think we’ll see his ilk again any time soon.
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 Garan

Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013 by John Wood
John Garan
John Garan began serious physical training after meeting the famous New York strongman Abe Boshes and went on to build one of the most incredible physique of all time.
At a height of 5’5″ and bodyweight of only 155 pounds Garan could easily squat with over 300 and was also an excellent wrestler. He regularly trained at Sig Klein’s Gym and was featured in “Klein’s Bell.” Garan is a perfect example of very impressive results, developed without supplements or growth drugs
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.

Clancy Ross

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 by John Wood

Clarence “Clancy” Ross, from Oakland, California, started weight training at 17 years of age (weighing all of 135 pounds) and built himself up into one of the greatest bodybuilders who ever lived. Ross won the 1945 AAU Mr. America title (plus the “Most Muscular” award.) He took the Pro Mr. America title the next year and Mr. USA the year after that.

Rather than focus on “pumping” exercises which was often the suggested method at the time, Ross was not afraid to lift heavy on the basic multi-joint movements such as bent-over rows, squats, deadlifts etc — and it showed. Ross appeared on the cover of over forty different bodybuilding magazines over his career.

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.

Strength and Health Magazine: September, 1944

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 by John Wood
Shown here is the cover of the September, 1944 issue of Strength and Health Magazine, featuring Steve Stanko. He had won both the 1944 AAU Mr. America and Junior. Mr. America titles only a few months before. This was not the first time Stanko graced the cover of Strength and Health, nor was it the last.

Just a few years earlier, in 1941, Stanko became the first man to officially break the 1000-pound total in the three Olympic lifts (which, very surprisingly, did not even get him a cover shot or a mention) …and just a few years later, in 1947, Stanko would go on to become the very first Mr. Universe winner.