Von Krajewski’s Gym

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s a unique look at Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski’s Gym in St. Petersburg, Russia, circa 1901. This is the place where an untold number of strength champions trained, most notably George Hackenschmidt. I know that I could sure get strong in a place like this.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Dr. Benjamin Roller

Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Benjamin Franklin “B.F.” Roller was an early catch wrestler who sparred with the likes of Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, The Great Gama, and Stanislaus Zbyszko. Aside from wrestling, Roller was a great athlete in other sports, captaining the football and track teams at DePauw University where he attended in the late 1800’s. Roller briefly held the world record in the discus.

Roller was actually a legitimate Doctor having graduated from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Roller played a bit of professional football to pay the bills after that but eventually accepted a professorship at the University of Washington. Shortly after, in a rather interesting twist, he instead chose to chase fame and fortune — mostly fortune — as a professional wrestler.. Roller’s first professional match was against Jack Carkeek whom he defeated in two falls after 17 minutes and for which he received $1600 which was a rather princely sum in the early 20th century.

Roller was a very good (but not great) wrestler although he did win his fair share of matches, and held the American Heavyweight title on three occasions. Roller wrestled the likes of Farmer Burns, Fred Beell, Raymond Cazeaux, Hjalmar Lundin, Raoul Le Boucher, George Lurich, Jim Londos, Ed Lewis, and Joe Stecher (among others.) Eventually he became a training partner for George Hackenschmidt during the time Hack famously tussled with Frank Gotch.

In the years after, Roller wrote a syndicated column for newspapers around the country on health and physical culture topics and even came up with his own training system dubbed “Rollerism.”

Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski

Posted on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski was one of the leading physical training of the day, the founder of the St. Petersburg Athletic and Cycling Club and personal physician to the Czar of Russia. The good doctor’s interest in physical training was as a method of securing and preserving health, strength, activity and vigor (both mental and physical). He created a system of training around these goals, and it was the reason behind the success of many of the strongest men who ever lived. Some of Dr. Von Krajewski’s most famous pupils included George Hackenschmidt, George Lurich, and Ivan Poddubny.

Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik

Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017 by John Wood
~ Lost Secrets of Strength and Development ~
A man who lifted weights for his entire life once took a good look at the world of strength training around him…
…and he didn’t like what he saw … so he did something incredible…

Here’s what happened next:

A gym used to be a serious place for serious people, interested in building serious strength, but in modern times its safe to say that gyms have become glorified juice bars — with no shortage of chrome, ferns, and pencil-neck pseudo experts who wave around plastic dumbbells while making sure their designer headbands matched their suede lifting belts.

This guy… Brooks Kubik. As he trains in his basement gym with a bunch of rusty old weights and oldschool techniques — no chrome or ferns to be found!

Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Weight training was slowly but surely being taken over by the druggers … the toners … the bros … the poseurs … the pretty boys … the pencil necks … the whiners … the pump artists …the arm-chair experts …and the mirror athletes. (no doubt you’ve seen them all, and this makes you just as sick.)

This man had enough – Enough! His name was Brooks Kubik, and what happened next started a revolution throughout the entire world of strength.

And so it Began

…So Brooks began to write. While Brooks had authored articles in several different publications over the years

(including Milo, Hard Gainer, Iron Master and Iron Man) the words that were now issuing forth on his type writer were somehow different than ever before.

He wrote about the training that had worked for him, how he trained in high school, how he trained in college, how he trained to win multiple National Championships in Bench Press Powerlifting meets, and how his favorite oldtime strongmen used to train…

Brooks had originally planned to type out a fifty or so page manuscript and possibly sell (though more likely give it away) to the few people out in the world he thought might be interested in it. Brooks reached fifty pages after only a few short days of writing, and there was still more material he wanted to cover — a lot more.

Fifty pages turned into a hundred, a hundred pages turned into two hundred. and it didn’t stop there. With the encouragement of several the top people in the strength world, the finished product was titled Dinosaur Training since it was covered training techniques that were almost (but not quite!) extinct.

Dinosaur Training covered the methods that the strongest men who had ever lived had utilized — sure, with traditional weights such as barbells and, but also highly unusual implements such as sandbags, kegs, rocks, anvils, sledge hammers and more. Brooks Kubik went ahead and published Dinosaur Training, releasing it on an unsuspecting world…

And Then Everything Changed
Arthur Saxon — also known as “The Iron Master” — put more weight overhead with one arm than anyone in history, nearly 400 lbs.!
John Davis, multiple-time Olympic weightlifting champion and world record holder, could have just as easily been a champion bodybuilder
Doug Hepburn, the great Canadian champion, was easily one of the strongest men of all time. His workouts are covered in details in ‘Dinosaur Training’.

It was as if the ghosts of Iron Game’s past were suddenly brought back to life… men like Arthur Saxon, John Davis, Reg Park George Hackenschmidt and Steve Stanko became household names again

All of a sudden people started attacked their training with a ferocity that hadn’t been seen for many years. Calloused hands started lifting odd objects again – sand bags, kegs, rocks, anvils, anchors. Training methods such as thick handled weights, heavy partial movements and power rack work all experienced a resurgence in popularity. Suddenly it became OK to lift heavy chunks of iron and steel once again.

Dont’s just train…
Revolution or Evolution?

Less than eighteen months after it appeared, the entire first printing of Dinosaur Training sold out completely … College and NFL strength coaches began reading it and incorporating Old School training techniques into their programs … Everyone started setting up personal gyms in their basements and garages, stocking them with plenty of “old fashioned” equipment that worked better than anything else available.

This wasn’t just a local thing either; orders started flooding in from all over the globe. The strength world had come full circle… once again, people were training like they did in years past — AND building strength like they did in years past.

When it came time for the second printing, Dinosaur Training became even bigger …literally – Brooks added two additional chapters of intense training material. Today, over twenty years after its initial release, Dinosaur Training still stands as one of the all-time great strength books. You would be hard pressed to find a weight training book which has helped more people get the fire back in their belly (or get it going in the first place) when it comes to serious training.

With the treasure trove of solid training information that it contains, it is no wonder that Dinosaur Training and the Dino-Attitude has reached such great heights of popularity. Now you can read and learn from one of the best training books ever published …the book that started a Revolution.

Take a look at all the valuable training information what you will learn within its pages:

The tremendous value of basic exercises …the exercises that MUST be in your program …and which exercises to avoid at all costs (since they are nothing but a waste of your time)

The biggest reason why most of what you read about modern training is unproductive, and THREE simple things you can do turn the ship around if that’s the direction you were headed

What is the Dinosaur challenge? …are you up to it?

7 ways to “Be A Dinosaur” and how to crank the intensity of your workout up a notch or three

The ONE characteristic that all Dinosaurs have in common – find out what it is

3 steps that will make your training more productive – instantly

The #1 reason why most people give up and how you can avoid that like the plague

Think you know the “Best” program?… you’ll be surprised at Brooks’ answer to this one

Brooks Kubik’s favorite strength writers and training tips from the last 100+ years

What an outline of productive training looks like and how to put together your workouts so it’s guaranteed to work

How to train with a water filled barrel or keg, and how that training style nearly put Brooks down for the count

Why hard work is necessary, and how to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout

The 5 reasons people fail according to Dr. Ken Leistner… – probably the most valuable lesson strength training can teach you

What hard work is and is not

2 types of abbreviated training styles that you can use for big gains

The real meaning behind hard work vs. “bunny” training

What the name of the game is… and it’s not what you think

2 approaches to poundage progression, and how to make sure the gains keep coming for a long time

Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced workout routines, laid out step-by-step

Want to know the “secret” of advanced gains? – You’ll be surprised at how simple it really is

How to make progress with multiple sets of low reps

What the 5 x 5 system is, and how Reg Park, Champion strength athlete and bodybuilder, used it to build super strength fifty years ago

How to use “singles” in the most effective manner in your training

Why thick-bars “work” and how to implement them into your workout

How you can make fear work for you instead of against you

10 grip exercises and a dynamite beginners program for future grip masters

6 advanced grip exercises for monster crushing power

How to build real strength with logs, barrels and heavy bags

The many benefits of proper power-rack training

5 hard core power-rack routines

8 fads, fallacies and pitfalls of modern training and how to avoid them all

Much more!!

As you can see, Dinosaur Training covers a lot of ground. Of particular note are three big chapters on grip training which helps anyone lay a solid foundation.

A Crash Course in How to gain Super Strength with
One of the World’s Greatest Teachers

Do you remember the first time you tried to learn something for the first time? Starting out, nothing made sense and you felt like giving up. That’s how it is for a lot of people who want to start lifting weights – they get confused and don’t know what to do – and so they do the only thing they could do, they give up.

Now imagine how confident you felt when someone took the time to explain some things to you. What used to be frustrating, now makes perfect sense and now that you know exactly what to do, it’s off to the races.

That’s exactly how it is when you have Brooks as your teacher. As you turn the pages of Dinosaur Training, all of a sudden all the confusing things about strength training will make sense – you’ll know how many sets to do, you’ll know which exercises to do, you’ll know how much weight to use… and you will begin to build the strength you have always dreamed about.

Get your copy of Dinosaur Training and join the Revolution!

Order now!Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik
_________ $19.99 plus s/h

Gotch vs. Hackenschmidt

Posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 by John Wood

The greatest pro wrestling match ever held is undoubtedly on April 3rd, 1908 when the Frank Gotch and George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt stepped in the ring to face each other after years of build-up. The undefeated Hackenschmidt was favored to win but after two hours of grappling, he finally submitted to an ankle lock by the American Champion Gotch. The match took place at Chicago’s Dexter Park Pavilion. The referee (middle, above) was Ed Smith.

Gotch and Hackenschmidt would face each other once again on September 4, 1911, this time at Comiskey Park stadium in front of 30,000 fans. Gotch won the rematch in two straight falls and would go on to hold the heavyweight title until he retired in 1913.

George Hackenschmidt

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood


“World Champion Wrestler and Record Setting Strongman Reveals All…”

George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt has the unique distinction of being one of the first well known physique stars, a champion wrestler, legendary strongman, AND outspoken strength author.

He was a man of imaginable power. In fact, many of “Hack’s” greatest strength records still stand and his first wrestling bout against Frank Gotch in 1908 is widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestling match of all time…

Later that same year, Hackenschmidt published The Way to Live which was part autobiography and part training course. 21 editions later, this book was considered the highest selling book on physical culture ever written!

In The Way to Live, Hackenschmidt covers a wide range of topics, including:

How he lived … his methods of exercise … training with weights … training without weights … training for young and old … nutrition and diet … building and cultivating will power … feats of strength with heavy weights … hindrances to the acquisition of strength … tips on bathing … rest and wholesome sleep … variations in exercise … exercises for athletes, etc. and a complete course in barbell and dumbbell training…

Hackenschmidt closes the book telling the story of his life including his early days under the guidance of Dr. von Krajewski (physician to the Czar of Russia), and Dr. Theodore Siebert, the famous German weightlifting pioneer. He relates tales of his wrestling bouts with the likes of Zbysco, Lurich, Jenkins, Farmer Burns, and, of course, his most famous match against Frank Gotch.

This 5″ x 7″ trade paperback high-quality modern reprint edition features new material not found in the original printing: 173 pages, over 89 rare photos and illustrations (several of which have been added to the modern reprint edition and did not appear in the original version), and a unique look into the life of one of the strongest man who ever lived, holder of many world strength records, and world champion catch-as-catch-can wrestler.

Order now!The Way to Live by George Hackenschmidt
_________ $19.99 plus s/h

Hackenschmidt’s Bridge

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015 by John Wood
A look at George Hackenschmidt demonstrating perfect form in the wrestler’s bridge around 1910. This exercise has obvious merit for wrestlers but can be an awesome method for developing neck and upper-back strength. Bridging will also strengthen the spine and may even make you slightly taller so it’s a good one to have in your bag of tricks.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Hackenschmidt’s Kettlebell

Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 by John Wood

Hackenschmidt's Kettlebell

Here’s a look at George Hackenschmidt’s kettlebell — or one of them anyway. You’ll find this one, along with many of his other training weights in a sports museum in Eastern Europe.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

George Hackenschmidt in 1902

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by John Wood

George Hackenschmidt

1902 was a pretty good year for “The Russian Lion,”George Hackenschmidt. That year he won the European Greco-Roman wrestling championship and took 3rd
place in World weight lifting championships in Vienna, Austria. This rare picture was taken in January, 1902 and Hackenschmidt certainly looks ready to compete for just about anything.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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 Hack Squat

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

Walter Donald Demonstrates the Hack Squat

The Hack Squat, (or Hack Lift, as it is sometimes called) is a behind-the-back deadlift, as demonstrated by famous oldtime physique star Walter Donald in the pages of Super Strength by Alan Calvert.
This movement is not actually named after George Hackenschmidt but gets its name from “Hacke” the German word for ankle, which is roughly where the bar touches before the commencement of the lift. One coaching point on this lift which is not obvious is that the hands are supposed to be touching. Several lifters have been able to perform this movement with nearly 800 pounds.