The Edward Aston Physical Culture Medal

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 by John Wood
The Edward Aston Physical Culture Medal
Many mail order Strongmen had their own medal or prize for students who finished the course. Here’s a look at an incredibly rare one: The Edward Aston Physical Culture Medal. Even most people who have “been around” strength training for a long time will not have ever even seen it. The medal is shown here about twice actual size.
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.

Classic Grip Courses

Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2017 by John Wood
These 4 Classic Training Courses will teach you unusual exercises, training tips, workout ideas, feats of the oldtimers and the methods to build your own set of “mighty mitts”

Specific training to build an “iron grip and powerful forearms” was essential to the Oldtime Strongmen for what should be some very obvious reasons: you can’t bend a horseshoe, rip a deck of cards, or tear a phone book in half if you don’t have strong hands. This is also a big factor in why many of the Oldtime Strongmen were well known for their unbelievable grip strength – and why many of their records in that department still stand to this day.

Now you can learn exactly how to do it too, directly from the greatest strong men themselves with our collection of FOUR Classic Grip Courses. Each of these authors has the credentials and know-how to help you build some of the strongest hands around:

Developing The Grip and Forearm
by Thomas Inch

Thomas Inch was Britain’s strongest youth at 16, the first official Britain’s Strongest Man and at one time had the largest physical fitness correspondence school in Great Britain. He wrote an untold number of books, courses and training articles and was an excellent strand puller and all-around lifter but in Oldtime strength circles, the name Thomas Inch is recognized above all else for one thing: grip strength.

Inch’s “unliftable” Challenge Dumbbell has defied thousands of strong men over the last hundred years (and still does today). Many a strength athlete tried but failed to break it off the ground…

After many years and numerous requests, Inch finally decided to put in writing the methods by which he had developed his incredible levels of grip strength. So here it is, once again made available to the potential “grip masters” of the strength world Thomas Inch’s wonderful course: “Developing the Grip and Forearm” (originally published in 1930) and now available in high-quality modern reprint edition. Don’t let weak hands stand in the way of lifting limit poundages. This training course. will strengthen the weak link between you and record poundages. Fully illustrated, soft cover, 8 1/2″ x 11″ in size, also includes a list of historical grip feats

Iron Claws
Grip Development and Bench Press Course
by Mike Brown

Iron Claws is a rare and extremely hard-to-find training course, full of valuable and result producing information, and is now available once again. In the early 1970’s, Mike Brown set out to bench press maximum weights using a unique partial range of motion training program that he designed. The weights kept growing heavier and one day Brown sprained his wrist with over 600 pounds on the bar. He realized then and there that if his bench press was going to get any stronger, his wrists and forearms would need to follow suit. His research and subsequent experimentation became “Iron Claws: Grip Development and Bench Press Course“.

This extremely interesting training course first appeared in 1974 among the many unusual titles in The Madison Co. book catalog. Few copies were printed and even fewer were sold but now you can benefit from this course in the high-quality modern reprint version. You’ll learn about how the oldtimers developed 16″ forearms and enormous coin bending grip strength, the author’s special wrist roller, rack rebounders for heavy bench pressing, training in mud, and a variety of other unique training ideas.

How to Develop a Powerful Grip
by Edward Aston

Edward Aston is certainly qualified to teach you how to build a strong grip… he was The World’s Middle-weight Weightlifting Champion, British Heavy-weight Champion Weightlifter, and Britain’s Strongest Man from 1911-1934 (he retired undefeated.)

Aston knew full well that stronger hands meant greater strength everywhere else and in 1946 wrote “How to Build a Powerful Grip” teaching how he did so throughout his colorful strongman and stage career. Sit back and read about the pet feats of grip strength of such notable grip masters as: Caswell, Vansittart “The Man with the Iron Grip”, Breitbart, Marx, Topham, Samson, Tolson, Fox, Sandow, Inch, etc.

All in all, this publication is not only very informative but entertaining as well. It will provide you with exercises and techniques which can not be found anywhere else. Get a copy and add it to your grip training library, you’ll be glad you did! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Molding a Mighty Grip
by George F. Jowett

Molding a Mighty Grip was published as a part of George F. Jowett’s “Molding” library and features one of Jowett’s specialties: grip and forearm training. Formerly a blacksmith and chain maker by trade, Jowett developed powerful hands, 8 1/4″ wrists, 15 1/4″ muscular forearms, and 17-3/4″ upper arms making his incredible feats of grip strength legendary.

Jowett’s most famous feat was that of lifting a 168 lb. anvil by the horn to shoulder height and pressing it with one hand! Alan Calvert, founder of Milo Barbell Co., referred to Jowett as the most scientific weightlifter in America. This booklet describes Jowett’s unique exercises for developing each digit of the hands and turning them into “iron claws.”

In addition, Jowett reminisces about many of the famous old-time strongmen and their specialty feats of grip strength. A great book available once again for the truly serious student of grip strength. Get a copy today and start training your grip the way the great George F. Jowett trained his! Fully illustrated, soft cover, and 8-l/2″ x 11″ in size.

Order now!Classic Grip Course Collection (4 Booklets):
_________ $39.99 plus s/h

Edward Aston

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017 by John Wood
From 1911 to 1934, Edward Aston held the title of ‘Britain’s Strongest Man’ and judging by this picture, it’s not hard to see why. One of Aston’s “Secrets” was to pay particular attention to strengthening the grip and forearm. He employed a number of different exercises to build his hand strength but one of his favorites was to do one-arm timed hangs from a climbing rope.

Edward Aston’s Gripper

Posted on Sunday, October 27th, 2013 by John Wood

Aston Gripper

When you go through old training courses, sometimes you find something that even the most knowledgeable historians have never seen before. Here’s a bit of rare grip history from deep in some forgotten lore: The Edward Aston Spring Grip Machine. As you can see, it is essentially a combination of two gripper springs and two handles ~ a pretty unique design indeed.
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.

Henry Victor Chest Expanders

Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 by John Wood

An advertisement for the Henry Victor Chest Expanders, circa 1924 or so. Expanders are a fantastic choice today for the same reasons they were back then: they are portable, effective and offer a tremendous range of exercises, many of which can’t be done with any other type of equipment.
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.

Leverage Bar Training

Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by John Wood

Edward Aston Leverage Bar Training

The Leverage Bar is one of the truly underrated methods of training. It’s convenient and you don’t need much weight, as the great Edward Aston demonstrates above. There’s maybe ten pounds on the bar but with the leverage–or lack thereof–it probably feels like at least ten times that much, if not more. Plus the keeping the bar level gives an entirely different feel than “normal” weightlifting. Aston referred to this device as the “Un-Barbell” and he did NOT swing it like a mace. Hermann Goerner also did some interesting things with different leverages in his training.
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.

Edward Aston ~ Britain’s Strongest Man

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 by John Wood

•Edward Aston - Britain's Strongest Man

n 1911, Edward Aston won the title of “Britain’s Strongest Man” by defeating the great Thomas Inch in a challenge match. Aston held the title for the next 23 years and retired undefeated.
Aston was the first Englishman to lift 300 lbs. overhead with one hand and could do a one-arm snatch with 180 lbs. as well as a one-arm clean to the shoulder with 250 lbs.
Edward Aston lifted 496 pounds on a 2.25 inch thick bar with an overhand grip – a tremendous feat of grip strength.
He wrote the grip course ‘How to Develop A Powerful Grip’ in 1946.