Billy Cannon

Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 by John Wood
Billy Cannon
For a number of years strength training was frowned upon with in athletics. Lifting weights was thought to make athletes slower and musclebound… One of the key figures in changing this attitude was Billy Cannon. He was one of the first high profile athletes who regularly lifted weights. Here he is featured on the cover of November, 1959 issue of Strength and Health magazine. A month later he was awarded the Heisman Trophy as the best player in College football which sealed the deal.
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.

Sled Pushing

Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 by John Wood
Oldtime football players used to push wooden sleds to build leg strength and stamina. This was good for conditioning although not so much for football technique — either way, it’s a great workout. This picture shows the Harvard football team training circa 1910. Sleds like these are actually still made for training purposes although if you don’t have one, you can always push a car for a similar effect.

Val Vasilieff

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Val Vasilieff, 1964 AAU Mr America is shown here performing a weightlifting exhibition in front of 54,000 people during halftime of a 1964 Philadelphia Eagles-San Francisco 49ers football game. Vasilieff jerked 302 pounds for 10 repetitions and also was able to generate $8000 for the Olympic fund. When you consider that this was done on grass, probably without much of a warmup, and that weightlifting was not particularly well known to the general public, this was a world class accomplishment on both fronts.
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.

Ditka’s Neck Training

Posted on Monday, April 10th, 2017 by John Wood
It is important for football players to increase their neck strength in order to be better prepared to play the game. This was a fact not lot on “Da Bears” as shown by this rare training camp shot. Check out the guys bridging in the background, and yes, that’s Mike Ditka himself doing a headstand. Look closely and you’ll see that his whistle has fallen down around his face. If you have no other equipment available, a simple headstand like this can be an excellent method for building neck strength.
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 Gittleson Dumbbell

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

The Gittleson Dumbbell

The ‘Gittleson Dumbbell’ is so named because it sat on my college strength coach Mike Gittleson’s desk for all the years that I was at Michigan, and likely at least a decade before that. (Mike was the University of Michigan’s football strength coach for 30 years and produced more All-Americans and NFL Draft picks than any other college strength coach in history.)

As you can see this unforgiving chunk of iron weighs 120 pounds. I’ve bent pressed it, snatched it but not yet strictly overhead pressed it ~ something I am on track to do soon…

Neck Training

Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by John Wood

Rick Redman Neck Training

To say a larger, stronger neck is important in playing the game of football would be an understatement…so it’s curious why neck training is often left out of many modern programs. At least a few people “get it” though. Here’s College Football Hall of Famer Rick Redman working on his neck development in an interesting way back in 1963 while playing for the University of Washington.

Warren Moon on the Double Shoulder

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2013 by John Wood

Warren Moon trains on a Nautilus Double Shoulder machine

Warren Moon, circa 1976, then a junior at the University of Washington, getting in a workout on a Nautilus double shoulder machine. Despite training on machines, Moon somehow still went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Hammer Strength/Tim Krumrie

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 by John Wood

Tim Krumrie, Hammer Strength and a classic Globe Dumbbell

Tim Krumrie, the Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro nose tackle is shown here with a classic globe dumbbell in this early advertisement for Hammer Strength equipment. The dumbbell shown (yes, it was a dumbbell) once belonged to the great French strongman Apollon.

Krumrie was well-known for his incredible hand strength, which should be an essential part of training programs for the game of football. Krumrie’s specific grip routine can be found in The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden.