T.H. Sarkari – The Indian Sandow

Posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Tehmurasp “T.H.” Sarkari lifting in a contest circa 1920. Sarkari owned a gymnasium in Bombay and was known as “The Indian Sandow” for promoting the importance of physical training and weight lifting in his native country. Sarkari was adept at tearing phone books, which is always an impressive feat.
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.

Bob Hoffman’s Favorite Squat

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Here’s a classic shot of Bob Hoffman at the old Broad Street Gym demonstrating one of his favorite exercises, squatting on the toes. That’s a pretty nifty globe barbell that ol’ BoHo is using, and, of course, he’s wearing his trusty York Barbell Club t-shirt. The fellow on the left is Frank Findley, the great physical culture coach and gym owner from Australia.

Arthur Leslie

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Arthur Leslie was just a guy who trained at Sig Klein’s Gym in New York City. The reason Leslie began training in the first place is that he became tired of being weak and overweight. At 46 years years old he had never touched a weight before but soon after he began training he began to see tremendous results. In fact his results were so dramatic, Sig Klein featured him in several occasions in his publication Klein’s Bell. Here he is with a great Thick-Handled show barbell. Leslie was 59 years of age when this picture was taken.
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.

Melvin Tampke

Posted on Saturday, February 17th, 2018 by John Wood
Melvin Tampke, from San Antonio Texas, was frequently featured in Alan Calvert’s Strength Magazine. Here he does a one arm clean and jerk with an excellent Thick Handled globe barbell. Tampke made it into Ripley’s Believe it or Not by doing 200 straight pushups. It was also reported that he drove a no. 20 nail through three 1-inch yellow pine boards and two pieces of no. 15 gauge iron all stacked one upon the other with one blow of his fist!
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.

Shafran’s Gym

Posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 by John Wood
Harry Shafran was an oldtime lifter who owned a couple successful gyms in New York back in the 1920’s. Eventually he grew tired of big city lift and retired to a farm near Scranton, Pennsylvania where he converted the large barn in the back of his house into one of the greatest gyms of all time.

Here’s a look back in time… Globe dumbbells, climbing ropes, Milo kettlebells, gymnastic rings, swedish bars — note the double handled kettlebells used for swingbell exercises. A half-moon bench can be seen in the foreground. This unique piece of equipment was used specifically for chest expansion exercises and used to be quite common. Also note the handbalancing stands on the right, with a dumbbell in between, presumable for lifting in the teeth at the same time — that’s old school! Look closely and you’ll also see a 150 lb. kettlebell.

An Unusual Barbell

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
J.J. Brown doing a few overhead presses with a very interesting looking barbell in the new gymnasium at the Shakespeare Avenue police station in Chicago, Illinois, circa 1924.
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.

Charles Rigoulot’s One-Arm Snatch

Posted on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
History’s greatest performer of the One-Arm Snatch was the French weightlifter Charles Rigoulot. His one-arm snatch of 261 pounds will likely never be surpassed. Here, Rigoulot prepares to one-arm snatch only 220-1/2 pounds in Paris in 1925 while still an amateur .
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 Continental Press

Posted on Monday, October 9th, 2017 by John Wood
Lift No. 47. — The bar Bell Shall be taken clean to the shoulders after which the starting position shall be assumed. This position must be taken with the feet on the line, about sixteen inches apart. The trunk may be inclined forward as much as desired. A pause of two seconds is made at the starting position. The bell is then pressed to arm’s length overhead. As soon as the press begins, the legs and trunk may be bent to any extent but lowering the body vertically is not permitted. As the conclusion of the lift, the trunk shall be erect, the arms and legs straight and the feet in line.
Method of Performance

Pull the bell to the shoulders in one clean motion — same stye as in preparing to military press or jerk the weight. To fix the bell at the shoulders while leaning forward it is necessary that the elbows be inclined well forward. When the bell is in at the shoulders, place the feet in line, sixteen inches apart, the elbows well up, incline the body. well forward, and hold this position for two seconds. When the referee has given the signal, raise the trunk, bending it backward as far as possible, pushing the bell upward as strongly as you can; the back is bent as far back as possible until the bell is held overhead at arm’s length. When the arms are straight, raise the trunk, stand erect with the feet still on a line for the count.

From Weightlifting, by Bob Hoffman,
Published in 1939

Above: John Grimek continental pressing a 245 lb. globe barbell

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 Brooklyn Strongboy” In Action

Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 by John Wood
A look at “The Brooklyn Strongboy” Charles Phelan in action in mid-two-hands-anyhow with an excellent globe barbell and kettlebell. Phelan held five world records in his day: a one-finger lift of 506 pounds, a 700 pound lift with two fingers, a hand and thigh lift of 1125 pounds, a hip lift of 1600 pounds and a backlift of 2500 pounds. Phelan learned the strongman arts from none other than Warren Lincoln Travis.

How to Use Bar Bells…

Posted on Friday, December 9th, 2016 by John Wood

Here’s an advertisement for “Professor Anthony Barker’s Strength Maker” course featuring the great Warren Lincoln Travis, circa 1910. …And does anyone else find it ironic that the headline touts the intelligent use of a barbell though the accompanying picture shows one of the least intelligent ways to do so?
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.