Squatting with Casey

Posted on Friday, December 28th, 2018 by John Wood
Squatting with Casey
If there is a “secret” to super strength it’s hard, intense leg work. Here’s eventual 1971 Mr. America Casey Viator getting in a quick squat workout at the infamous quonset hut in Deland, Florida in the early days of Nautilus. There’s 535 lbs. on the bar — not bad for a “training weight.”

The Mr. America contest was still a few months out, and when the day came, Casey won in the most dominating fashion possible taking not only the overall title, but also five out of six of the subdivision: Best Chest, Best Legs, Best Arms, Best Back, and Most Muscular. The only subdivision that Casey didn’t win was “Best Abs” which went to Chuck Amato.

Omni Machines

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 by John Wood
A rare look at Casey Viator training during The Colorado Experiment. Many of the machines used during the Colorado Experiment, dubbed the “Omni Machines” revolved around “negative” training techniques. The one Casey is using, for example, was an overhead press machine. On the right is the infamous “Mr. Happiness” negative bench press machine. Both of these machines were prototypes and never made it to actual production.

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.

Nautilus Omni Machines

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017 by John Wood
The Nautilus Omni machines were used primarily during the Colorado Experiment and provided training advantages that no other piece of equipment ever provided – a foot pedal that allowed the trainee to perform the exercise in a negative only or negative accentuated manner in the most efficient way possible. These were the only machines, before or since, that allowed all five distinct methods of training to be performed. Above, Casey Viator does a set on the Omni-Bicep machine.
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.

Ellington Darden

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Before authoring over 50 books on strength training and meeting Arthur Jones, Ellington Darden was a very successful bodybuilder in the 60’s and 70’s. Interestingly enough, Ellington Darden won the 1969 Mr. Texas Bodybuilding contest, the same contest where a 17 year old Casey Viator finished 4th. This shot was taken a few days after Ellington Darden won the 1972 AAU Collegiate Mr. America Contest.
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 New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 by John Wood
The NEW Bodybuilding
for Old-School Results
Eliminate confusion, develop confidence and gain bigger and stronger muscles – faster than ever before!
Arthur Jones, feeding one of his baby elephants. Note the machine gun with a banana clip – this guy means business.

The man looked like the Devil himself and then threatened to kill me less than 20 minutes after we met…

He lunged at me but I was too quick and dodged his advance but then with a quick move he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck…

“Look kid, the smartest and toughest men in the world have mustaches … I have one and your dad doesn’t!”… but I broke free from his grasp … then like a cat I jumped up on the windowsill, sprang through the air and got him right in his bad shoulder with a flying drop-kick…

So went my introduction to Arthur Jones and probably the only fight that Arthur ever lost … I was six years old at the time.

Arthur Jones was the roughest, toughest, meanest and smartest Iron Game pioneer who ever walked the Earth and the man who revolutionized strength training forever. His ideas influenced millions of people to start training in the most effective manner possible. Now these same ideas will help YOU build TWICE the strength in HALF the time.

Fast Forward A Decade…

Here, read this,” said my Dad as he handed me a thick folder full of Xeroxed sheets of paper.

I was fifteen years old — just a freshman in high school — and starting to get into strength training in a serious way. I was looking for the best way to get as big and as strong as I possibly could for the next football season.

So I took the folder and, without looking too closely at it, noticed that it contained a series of training articles written by Arthur Jones; a name I vaguely recalled from the past.

This was a lot of material to go through and I originally intended to throw it in some forgotten corner of my room and get around to it when I had more time (probably never). The thing is, as I walked up to my room, I took a closer look at what was really inside and when I saw the first few pages, I stopped in my tracks… I couldn’t take another step.

I knew instantly that this was information that I had to read RIGHT NOW. I took a seat right there at the top of the stairs and began to read…

Understand, I had seen books on strength training — lots of them. I had seen plenty of training courses too, and a fair share of “muscle comics.” They were all pretty much the same … what I was reading right then was a whole different animal. Those articles were like nothing I had ever seen before. A few hours went by but it only felt like a few minutes as I made my way through the material. I read everything.

When I got done, I felt 10 feet tall, like I had found diamonds as big as basketballs in my own backyard. No more confusion – I now possessed the keys to super strength.

That day my life (and my training) changed forever.

Strength training had never been explained to me this way before. Many of the things about strength training that I had previously been confused about now made perfect sense. Arthur Jones’ ideas gave me a clear picture of exactly what I needed to do and exactly how I needed to do it in order to get stronger.

Within those pages, I learned the foundations (almost a step-by-step blueprint) for understanding the fundamental building-blocks of Strength development. All that was left was to do it, and now I had the Confidence to know I was on the right path.

Dr. Darden Strikes Again!
Dr. Ellington Darden

Many people had the same experience when they first read some of Arthur’s materials.

Over four decades ago, when Arthur Jones unleashed his training philosophy on an unsuspecting world, it soon spread like wildfire. It made a heck of a lot of sense to thousands upon thousands of trainees all over the country and the world, and in practice, worked better than anything else than they ever tried.

Among the many people who achieved tremendous results were Ellington Darden, a Champion Bodybuilder and Ph.D. who not only had many published training articles under his belt, but graced the cover of many strength magazines of the time.

Ellington Darden got his hands on all of Arthur Jones’ articles and liked what he read.  Darden eventually trained under Arthur Jones and ended up achieving the best results he had ever experienced — Darden was a previous collegiate Mr. America contest winner, so this was really saying something. Training with Arthur Jones had such a big impact that Ellington Darden has been writing about it ever since. Dr. Darden has the unique distinction of being there throughout the entire Nautilus phenomenon so he can definitely tell you the real deal.

Today, with nearly 50 books to his credit on a variety of subjects, now Dr. Darden takes it back to where it all began in this modern classic…

Enter: The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results
by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

Was Arthur Jones a Genius… Or a Madman?

There might be a pretty good case for him being both. Imagine stepping into a time machine to see and hear from the people who were actually there to learn the real story behind Nautilus, Arthur Jones and the whole ball of wax – Now you can!

Casey Viator (Pictured) was Arthur’s top student and, at 19 years old, the youngest Mr. America winner in history, you’ll be able to read an interview all about Casey’s life and his training starting on page 124.

At over 300 pages,”New Bodybuilding” is part history lesson, part training guide and one thing is for sure: there has never been anything like it before in the world of strength training. This book would be a valuable addition to your Strength library for just the Golden Age photos alone.: we’re talking hundreds of classic shots.

Here is just a sample of the things you will find in its pages:

10 Classic Interviews with the top individuals in the strength industry

Hear the real story from the men who lived it:

Kim Wood – Hall of Fame Strength Coach and Strength Legend

Ben Sorenson – Manager of Vic Tanny’s famous gym in Santa Monica (near Muscle Beach) from 1947-1949 and Arthur’s first training partner

Jim Flanagan – Arthur’s right hand man who reminisces about Milo Steinborn, the last of the oldtime strongmen; Jim describes what it was like to train in Steinborn’s Gym.

Casey Viator – The youngest Mr. America ever and Arthur’s top student. Read what Casey recalls about his most grueling exercise sessions with Arthur.

Roger Schwab – Owner of Mainline Nautilus, Philadelphia, PA, behind-the-scenes Strength Legend and REAL Trainer of Champions

Joe Mullen – Iron Game Veteran who teaches you the secrets of the one arm chin-up

Boyer Coe – Champion Bodybuilder: Mr. America 1969, Mr. Universe 1969,

Dan Riley – 25 year NFL Strength coach Veteran, holder of three Superbowl Rings (Including 3 Football Specific Training Routines)

Werner Kieser – Old School Intensity from Germany

Wes Brown – “Pumping Iron and Nautilus” – How Arnold Trained during his most famous film

Andy McCutcheon – HIT enthusiast from England, who outlines how he was able to break the British record for pushups (doing 107 in 60 seconds), and his training with Multiple Mr. Olympia Winner Dorian Yates.

  • Intensity vs. Form: Which is more important? – and the reasons you should know why
  • The Real meaning of “Old School” Training – Which probably isn’t what you think it is..
  • A look into the Past – Muscle Beach, the modern Muscle Mecca where Arthur began serious training at Vic Tanny’s Gym
  • How Kim Wood knew about Arthur Jones well over a decade before he met him in person and well before his Nautilus days
  • The real story behind the first appearance of “The Blue Monster” – Culver City, California 1970
  • The truth about Kim Wood’s unique “200 Reps” Routine
  • The most important goal for any football-strength related program and why most football training routines are worthless
  • What made Cincinnati Bengals Nose Tackle Tim Krumrie stand out above just about every football player who ever lived? – Check out his brief 4-set training routine
  • Boyer Coe’s “unvarnished” Championship Bicep and Tricep Routine, which only requires simple equipment that can be found in every gym
  • The 7 most important tips for getting the best results from any arm program Think you need to train for hours? – WRONG! wait until you find out just how long a proper arm development routine should take
  • The amazing influence of Confidence in your training program and how to use it to your best advantage
  • 6 Step-by-Step tips to the perfect pushup and 5 steps to performing proper negative-pushups
  • The single set vs. multiple set debate, now settled once and for all
  • The Best of the Bulletins – The collected wit and Wisdom of Arthur Jones
  • The 18 different signs of overtraining and 10 different ways to guard against them
  • Repetition Ranges: Low, Medium, High – Which is Best?
  • The value of negative-only training and how to do it correctly A simple test to help you know your optimum rep range
  • 9 “Beyond Failure” Techniques to stimulate maximum muscle growth
  • Just what was “The Happiness Machine” and Why just one workout on it would wreck your whole week
  • How to correctly perform Negative-only chin-ups and 2 different negative-chin-up routines
  • How Motor Learning Helps Strength Training: Stable Answers for Shaky Practices
  • The 3 types of motor “transfer” and what you have to know about each one
  • Metabolic Conditioning – What it is and why you need to know about it
  • How to perform Metabolic Conditioning workouts with Machines or with barbells
  • 7 Training “Rules” and why your workout won’t “work” without them

  • The precision workout chart and the best way to measure your progress
  • 3 reasons why split routines MAY or MAY NOT be right for you.
  • Find out what happened the time when Arthur Jones trained Legendary wrestler Dan Gable
A Unique Glimpse Into The Iron Game’s Past:
What was Old is New Again
The great Steve Reeves – some VERY interesting and little-known details of his training are revealed in chapter I
Milo Steinborn settled in Florida when his wrestling career ended and mentored a young Jim Flanagan, details are in chapter 11
Warren Lincoln Travis, the legendary strongman, still has few things to teach you about strength training a century later…

The truth is you can only look as far forward as you can see into the past. What if you could be a fly on the wall and listen in on how some of the strongest men of all time trained?

How about a look at their unique training equipment?

In The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results you will learn about many interesting things from the Golden Age of Strength training – the men and the methods that paved the foundations for today…

Take a journey back to the Turn of the Century with Oldtime Strongman Warren Lincoln Travis, or strength star Henry “Milo” Steinborn (who owned and ran the first commercial gym in America.)

Go back to the sands of the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California circa 1948 and learn how bodybuilding legend Steve Reeves used to train at Vic Tanny’s Gym. You’ll also learn about many more Iron Game greats: John Grimek, George Eiferman, Marvin Eder, Freddy Ortiz… Casey Viator, Sergio Oliva, Boyer Coe, Mike & Ray Mentzer… the list goes on and on!

How’s This for Old-School Strength?

Here I am doing a few wrist curls with an antique dumbbell that once belonged to the French Strongman, Apollon (Yes, that Apollon), from chapter 30, (which I helped write): Iron-Vise Grip Strength: A Fistful of Power. Find out more on page 272.

You Want Training Routines?

Most training courses provide plenty of “theory” but little that you can actually do. The New Bodybuilding for Old School Results doesn’t just provide a ton of workouts for you to try but gives you the very Best workouts – the exact workouts – that have been used successfully again and again for decades. Get the book, read it, and 10 minutes later you’ll be able use the same workout that the champs do:

Try these out for size:

The Classic Nautilus Machine Circuit from 1975

The Nautilus Negative-Only Routine

HIT (High Intensity Training) A-B Foundational Routine

HIT Thigh Emphasis Routine

HIT Mid-section Emphasis Routine

HIT Change of Pace Routine

HIT Overall Body Routine

HIT Back-Chest Emphasis Routine

The 5 “Core” Movements Routine

HIT Abbreviated Routine

HIT A-B-C Arm Specialization Routine

HIT A-B Basic Routine

The BIG Routine

The 3-Day Split

The 4 Day Contra-Lateral Split

2 different negative-chin-up routines

6 Cadence Variations

8 Ways to Specialize on Calves with the most productive calf cycle ever created

Rediscover the lost art of rib-cage development/Chest Expansion

How to stretch, breathe, and contract during the recommended exercises

The “Shoulders for Soldiers” Deltoid Routine

The “Fistful of Power” Iron-Vise Grip Routine

Not Just for Bodybuilders But
ALL Strength Athletes

One of the biggest reasons for failure among many trainees is that they never fully learned how to train in the first place. They have no clue as to why certain exercises should be done in certain ways — and the results, if there are any, are often mediocre at best.

The truth is that every person in the world is essentially the same in some very fundamental ways – and every person in this world gains strength through the same processes. The principles outlined in this book will help you understand these processes which will allow your to become super strong, no matter what you are training for and no matter what equipment you are using.

As you can see, The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden Ph.D. is chocked full of valuable information. There is enough here to point anyone in the right direction for Super Strength – 300+ pages, over 40 training routines, hundreds of pictures, interviews with All-Time Iron Game Legends and more!!

Order now!The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden:
___________$39.99 plus s/h

Casey Viator and The Colorado Experiment

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2016 by John Wood

In the early 1970’s, Arthur Jones wrote a series of articles for Iron Man magazine outlining some of his unique training ideas…

These training articles were like nothing anyone had ever seen before… Arthur simply gave a name to some ideas about training that had always been “true” — and while they were simple, and involved common sense and self-evident truth they rocked the strength world to its knees.

He had, in the previous years, put his ideas into practice and the results were tremendous, but what he needed was close supervision and justification for his ideas in a controlled setting where the results could be monitored and recorded.

In 1973, Arthur got his wish and “The Colorado Experiment” began at the Department of Physical Education, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and supervised by Dr. Elliott Plese, Director of Exercise Physiology Lab.

Over the course of one month, with himself and Casey Viator as the subjects, training ideas would be put into practice and studied extensively.

For an article in the September 1973, Volume 32 Number 6 of Ironman Magazine, Arthur wrote up his thoughts:

PURPOSE of the EXPERIMENT . . . it is the author’s contention that the growth of human muscular tissue is related to the intensity of exercise; increases in strength and muscle-mass are rapidly produced by very brief and infrequent training … if the intensity of exercise is high enough.

It is the author’s second contention that increasing the amount of training is neither necessary nor desirable . . . on the contrary, a large amount of high intensity training will actually reduce the production of strength and muscle mass increases.

It is the author’s third contention that “negative work” (eccentric contraction) is one of the most important factors involved in exercise performed for the purpose of increasing strength and muscle-mass.

It is the author’s fourth contention that nothing in the way of a special diet is required . . . so long as a reasonably well-balanced diet is provided.

It is the author’s fifth contention that the use of the so-called “growth drugs” (steroids) is neither necessary nor desirable … on the contrary, repeated tests with animals and double-blind tests with human subjects have clearly demonstrated that the use of such drugs is strongly contraindicated.

It is the author’s sixth contention that maximum-possible increases in strength and muscle-mass can be produced only by the use of full range, rotary form, automatically variable, direct resistance.

And the results:

First subject (Casey Viator), 28 days
Increase in bodyweight……..45.28 pounds
Loss of bodyfat…………..17.93 pounds
Muscular gain……………..63.21 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.

The Arm of Casey Viator

Posted on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by John Wood

At just 19 years of age, Casey Viator became the youngest man to win the Mr. America title. This impromptu shot from 1971 gives you a pretty good idea why. Under the tutelage of Arthur Jones, on May 16, 1971, Casey Viator won the AAU Junior Mr. America contest. Then, four weeks later, Casey Viator won the AAU Mr. America contest in the most spectacular fashion in the history of such contests. In addition to the overall AAU Mr. America title, Casey took the Most muscular Man in America title and the subdivisions for Best Arms, Best Back, Best Chest and Best Legs.
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 Nautilus Upright Squat Machine

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012 by John Wood

Casey Viator, using the Nautilus Upright Squat Machine during the Colorado Experiment

During the “Colorado Experiment” Casey Viator famously gained 63 pounds of muscle mass in 28 days.  The workouts were brief and intense and while not an “experiment” in a truest sense of the word, it did show that dramatic results were quite possible under a certain set of circumstances.  Interestingly, much of the equipment used was in fact, experimental, and never actually made commercially available.

The Nautilus Upright Squat Machine, shown here, is a good example of this.  This machine was designed to provide all the benefits of the barbell squat, while reducing or eliminating the drawbacks.  This was the only leg machine that Casey used in every workout for the duration of the Colorado Experiment.  While it was effective, the potential for the user to be catapulted right out of it was deemed far too great, so this was the only one ever manufactured.