The Iron Master Dumbbell

Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012 by John Wood
From 1989 to 2000, Osmo Kiiha published “THE IRON MASTER” one of the most informative periodicals ever produced on the history of strength training. What made this publication stand out from anything before or since was the focus on training — every issue focused on one or more of the all-time greats but it wasn’t just talk, there was always a number of workouts included so that readers could learn exactly how the champs trained.

At one point, Osmo decided to create a further link to the past by coming out with his own classic equipment. He created a series of globe barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells which were reminiscent of the kind of equipment that the MILO Barbell Company had produced a century before. The “Iron Master” Dumbbell is shown above.

Like the MILO models, these had hollow globes which could be filled either with shot or loaded with smaller plates through the handle. They were cast in either aluminum or steel and were machined, one at a time, by hand ~ true works of art.

The Rasso Trio

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

The Rasso Trio French Strongman Poster Casino De Paris

The Rasso Trio were a group of performing strongmen started by the German strongman George Stanglemeier. The original trio also included Heinrich Weber and Godfrey Nordmann, though many other members came and went over the years. As shown in this extremely rare poster, the trio’s act consisted of lifting, juggling and carrying globe barbells, block weights and each other! The Rasso Trio performed at the Casino de Paris throughout the 1890’s and in that time, had a famous run-in with the great French strongman Apollon, which we’ll cover at another date.

The Milo Barbell Company Showroom, circa 1915

Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 by John Wood

The Milo Barbell Company, circa 1915

A look at one corner of Alan Calvert’s MILO Barbell Company showroom circa 1915… Globe barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells as far as the eye can see. That must have been a great place to train… Many performing strongmen of the era commissioned Calvert to make special stage ‘bells for their act.
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.

Professor Attila

Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012 by John Wood

Professor Louis Attila

Professor Attila — real name Louis Durlacher — was the mentor of Eugen Sandow and the man who invented many of the feats of strength that we know of today: The Roman Column, The Roman Chair, supporting feats in the human bridge position and tearing packs of playing cards. It was Attiila’s idea to make globe barbells and dumbbells shot-loadable so that their weight could be adjusted. Attila invented the bent-press and was the first man to perform the lift with over 200 pounds.

In 1894, Professor opened his famous Studio of Physical Culture in downtown New York city and it became a hotbed for learning the strongman trade. In addition to Sandow, Professor Attila could list many other famous strongmen among his students: Warren Lincoln Travis, Anthony Barker, Horace Barre, Arthur Dandurand, Lionel Strongfort, George Rolandow, Louis Cyr, Bobby Pandour and Adolph Nordquest.

Attila’s daughter, Grace, later married Sig Klein.

Globe Barbell Bridge by John Hajnos

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2011 by John Wood
John Hajnos, the Navy Hercules, accomplishes a bridge with a heavy globe barbell — VERY impressive. I wonder where that great barbell is today?
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.

Alan Calvert, Founder of The Milo Barbell Company

Posted on Saturday, September 17th, 2011 by John Wood

Alan Calvert

Back in 1902, Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell company, which was the first ever strength equipment company on American soil.   Calvert began one of the the very first training publications “Strength” Magazine in 1914, wrote several training books and courses and helped pave the way for thousands of trainees to build size and strength through common sense methods and hard work.
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.