The Chest Expander Training Bulletin

Posted on Friday, November 30th, 2018 by John Wood
The Chest Expander Training Bulletin
NEW! Chest Expander Training Bulletin No. 3
– Downloadable PDF –
(19 pages)

1. Thoughts on Cable Training (Part II) by Jan Dellinger
2. A Different Type of Progression by John Wood
3. The Sandow Expander Course

$9.99

Chest Expander Training Bulletin No. 2
– Downloadable PDF –
(15 pages)

1. Thoughts on Cable Training (Part I) by Jan Dellinger
2. Earle E. Liederman Mail Order Course, Lesson Six
3. The Magic Expander Exercise by John Wood

$9.99

Chest Expander Training Bulletin No. 1
– Downloadable PDF –
(14 pages)

1. My Dad’s Favorite Cable Workout by Brooks Kubik
2. Better Strand Pulling, #4 and #13 by G.W. Hart
3. How to “Expand” Your Triceps by John Wood
4. The Jettison Technique by Ernest F. Cottrell
5. Three Chest Expander Workout Ideas by John Wood
6. The Whitely Chest-Pull Course

$9.99

Also available for a limited time:

Order now! All About Strand Pulling by Syd Devis (print book)

_________ $29.99 plus s/h

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.

Fred Rollon

Posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Another look at the utterly ridiculous muscular development of Fred Rollon. This was taken about 1905, mind you. Rollon was often referred to as “The Human Anatomy Chart” — and, as you can see, with very good reason. Interestingly, Rollon claimed not to lift weights at all, he just trained with expanders. Look closely and you’ll actually notice an expander handle in his hands. It was said that the bands that he trained with had a resistance level of over 300 lbls and could withstand horses.
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.

The Dammarie-les-Lys Weightlifting Club, 1906

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by John Wood
A look at the Dammarie-les-Lys Weightlifting Club and their awesome training equipment, circa 1906. (Dammarie-les-Lys is a suburb of Paris) Note the chest expander, and ring weights and, of course, an excellent selection of globe barbells and dumbbells. The president of the club, M. Gustave Dechelpretre, sits front row center holding the sign.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

Bert Elliott’s Classic Strongman Equipment

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 by John Wood
Bert Elliott was a bodybuilding champ in the 1950’s and 60’s who had an interest in real oldtime strength training. He even shaved his head and dressed like a turn of the century strongman to complete the effect. Here’s Burt standing in front of some pieces of his famous collection of oldtime equipment: chest expanders, globe barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and Indian Clubs. (Note the very old Hand Grippers on the wall.)
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.

Jack Lewis British Steel Expanders

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by John Wood

A rare look at an advert for the Jack Lewis British Steel Expander sets from the 1930’s. We’ve covered Jack Lewis before. At some point, we will feature the entire Jack Lewis Expander Course over on 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.

Desbonnet’s Expander

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 by John Wood

You can add Professor Desbonnet’s name to the long list of strength champions who have used chest expanders to build size and strength. Expander training has always been popular, this pictures dates to 1891. This particular exercise, performing a 1-arm curl with one end of the expander underfoot, is one of the all-time best methods for building arm strength and why you’ll find it in just about every expander course ever written.
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.

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 © 2005-2019 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.