The Magic Square

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 by John Wood

You’ve heard of the Magic Circle… but have you heard of the Magic Square? It was another experiment to make intense leg work more “comfortable.” However, like the Magic Circle, it also changed the lifter’s center of gravity which was somewhat problematic. Still, the Magic Square was GREAT for Hise Shrugs and calf work. Jerry Liekam demonstrates above in the old Iron Man gym.
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.

Competitive Strandpulling

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by John Wood

Competitive Strandpulling

A look at the setup used for competitive Strand Pulling which made its way from across the pond many moons ago. Unlike competitions involving a barbell, in strand pulling contests, the strands were adjusted for each lifter’s dimensions. For example, if one lifter had a 2-inch longer “wingspan” than the strands would be adjusted to be 2″ longer. More info on the 20 official “pulls” can be found 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.

Reg Park Kettlebell Handles

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2014 by John Wood

You can count Reg Park among the many strength athletes who trained with kettlebells, in fact, Reg sold his own set of plate-loaded kettlebell handles through his equipment company. The above advertisement is from 1956.

It should be noted though that Reg et al, performed bodybuilding movements with kettlebells, (usually shoulder and arm work) and did not train with them in the kettlebell methods that are widely promoted today.

Spalding Ebonite Indian Clubs

Posted on Friday, February 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Spalding Ebonite Indian Clubs

“In introducing our new Trade-marked Indian Clubs, we should call special attention to the perfect shape, beautiful finish, and correct weight of each club. We select the very choicest timber for these clubs, turn them by hand, and work each club down to the exact troy weight, and this care in making, together with the beautiful ebony finish, highly polished, and banded in gold, with nickel-plated heads, makes them the most beautiful and desirable Indian Clubs ever placed upon the market, We purposely keep these clubs up to the very highest grade, and to protect ourselves and customers against cheap imitations, our trade mark will be stamped on each club, as represented in the above cut.”

Spalding produced a number of interesting Indian Clubs and here is a perfect example from way back in 1886. These clubs were made of ebony, a particularly sturdy dark wood which is also quite heavy. Given the look, style and makeup, these clubs must have been a lot of fun to train with. We hold ourselves to the same standards over a hundred and twenty years later.

The Olympic Club Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by John Wood

The Olympic Club Gymnasium

The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California is the oldest athletic club in the United States (established in 1860). The original location didn’t survive the great earthquake of 1906 but they relocated to a new location on Post Street in 1912. This is what their gymnasium looked like, circa 1915.

With plenty of natural lighting, an indoor track, climbing ropes, Indian clubs, balance beams, medicine balls, wall pulleys, climbing ladders and an awesome selection of globe barbells and dumbbells, I’d say this facility is just about all you could ever ask for in a gym.

The Columbia Gymnasium

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 by John Wood

Columbia Gymnasium

A look at the Columbia University (then college) gymnasium circa 1905. The wall pulleys were made by The Narragansett Machine Company and were state of the art back then. The intended training was gymnastic oriented as was common during this time frame, but one could certainly still achieve very good results with this equipment selection. With so much open space and natural light, this would have been a fun place to train.

Harry Shafran’s Gym

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 by John Wood

Harry Shafran's Gym

Think you could get a pretty good workout here? …A unique look at some of the equipment once belonging to Harry Shafran and housed in his great gym. Much of what is shown here was previously owned by Warren Lincoln Travis. Some of this equipment has a very interesting story since the time this picture was taken… part of which will be covered in The Dellinger Files Volume II.