Professor Anthony Barker’s Herkules Exerciser

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2018 by John Wood
The need for great equipment hasn’t changed much over the last hundred years which is why chest expanders work just as well today. This ad for Professor Anthony Barker, Herkules Exerciser originally appeared in 1910.
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.

Thomas Inch and Hints on The Art of Expander Pulling

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016 by John Wood

It took me four years but I finally tracked down a copy of the rare course “The Art of Expander Pulling” by Thomas INch — and it was worth the wait. There’s no date on it but I would guess it was printed in the 1920’s and as far as rare training courses, this one is simply impossible to find.

Thomas Inch, who is probably most famous for his incredible grip strength and his “unliftable” dumbbell was actually a very well rounded strongmen who excelled in many different types of feats – and some of his favorites were with chest expanders.

In his strongman act he used to do a standard press out with a 56 lb. kettlebell hanging on each thumb, and the expander generally had 30 strands on it.

Not bad at all…

Here’s a few hints from the master:

“The first thing to do is to make sure your expander is of the detachable kind.”

“The Secret to great strength is gradual progression, and as there is no doubt whatever that a large majority of physical culturists only use expanders so that they may become stronger than their fellows, it behoves them to practice themselves in a position to practice on the right lines and this means using handles which will take several strands.”

“When starting out, enter the number of strands you find comfortable and easy to exercise with, going right through your movements without a pause, if possible, thus developing endurance as well as mere muscle.”

“Start with, say, only five or six repetitions each hand of each exercise, and gradually work up to ten each hand. Keep at ten for a week or two, then return to five or six repetitions, and add another strand.”

“The weight lifter will be advised to use a strong pull in every day work, and each day, or every other day, try himself out on strength tests I have previously quoted with a view to increasing pushing power for different lifts.”

All good info, and all very useful if you happen to be paying attention.

Just goes to show you that sound training info never gets old. Chest Expanders, of course, make a great addition to any training program. We’ve actually reprinted this course and include it with “All About Strand Pulling” by Syd Devis if you would like to check out you own copy.

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.

Strength and Health Magazine, November, 1969

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 by John Wood

How’s this for a groovy cover? The November, 1969 issue of Strength and Health magazine featured this somewhat psychedelic mixed media illustration by Frank Hummel. Front and center is 1963 Mr. America Vern Weaver doing an overhead pulldown with a chest expander. The lovely Vera Christensen is at the left squatting. This issue also has a feature on the newly crowned Teenage Mr. America Bob Gallucci. Hummel had several other Strength and Health magazine covers around the same time period (although none as flashy as this one.)
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 Reg Park Muscle Builder Ad

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 by John Wood

You used to be able to find ads for ‘The Reg Park Muscle Builder Set’ on the back of Reg’s magazine “The Reg Park Journal.” If you saved up your allowance for one of these sets, you got quite a haul: a 10-strand cable exerciser, a wall pulley attachment, a head strap, foot stirrups, two hand grips (for a mighty, he-man grip) a cable exercise and rowing machine and, of course, several free courses to show you how to use it all.

Alfred Danks: “The Chest Expander as a Strength Builder”

Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 by John Wood
“A well-known strongman, world’s record holder and ex-world’s champion weight lifter has put it on record on several occasions that he never trains for a record lift without a strong chest expander.

He has given full credit to this type of chest expander, and I am quoting him here in order to endorse what I am about to say from my own experience…

“With but little training I have made records on the “dumbbell swing,” the “single handed press,” the “Crucifix” and on some special feats of my own. I wish to make it quite clear that not only my muscular development but my great strength as a weightlifter and strongman was obtained solely by the use of the chest expander.”

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.

Fred Rollon

Posted on Sunday, January 18th, 2015 by John Wood
Many old timers built powerful bodies with Chest Expanders, and of them, Fred Rollon was the greatest. While many strongmen frowned upon Chest Expanders as a means of testing strength, preferring weights instead, Rollon was never beaten at cable pulling. For sheer muscular separation in the upper body, no one has yet surpassed Rollon. In fact, he was often called “The Human Anatomy Chart.” A look at this photo has started many bodybuilders and young trainees into more vigorous training with Chest Expanders and other strength cables.
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 One-Arm Expander Press

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by John Wood

Earle E. Liederman was a big fan of chest expander training, and featured chest expanders prominently in his courses. This was certainly with good reason. You won’t find a better movement for building shoulder mass and strength than the one-arm expander press shown here.

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.

Lou Thesz & Expander Training

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2014 by John Wood

Expander work has always been popular with wrestlers since they offer a workout that is both portable and effective. Here is the great champion Lou Thesz, the man who held the NWA Championship belt longer than anyone else is history, doing a couple curls with what looks like one of Roy Noe’s Graduated Xercisors. This is a really fantastic exercise and the tension can be adjusted based on foot placement.
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.

Jack Lewis

Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 by John Wood

Jack Lewis

One of the lesser-known strength authors was Jack Lewis, of London, England. Lewis did most of his training with chest expanders and built a pretty impressive physique. We may reprint one (or more) of Lewis’ courses in the near future.
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.