Dr. Georges Rouhet’s Favorite Barbell

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Georges Rouhet is shown here demonstrating an overhead press with his favorite barbell. It was listed that this barbell weighed 216 French Livres, or just over 233 lbs.
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.

Joseph Vanderzande

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Joseph Vanderzande, the great Belgian strongman, was a contemporary of Arthur Saxon. Vanderzande is widely recognized as the strand pulling champion of the late 1800’s (note the pair of chest expanders on the platform behind him.) He was said to have been able to “pull” several reps with a 20-strand chest expander with a 297 pound level of resistance.

Rolandow The Jumper

Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017 by John Wood

The great strongman G.W. Rolandow was very well known for his traditional feats of strength and the oldtime equipment that bears his name but he also excelled at feats of jumping prowess.

Here, Rolandow jumps over a 36-inch high, 25-inch wide table with a 65 lb. dumbbell in each hand. His best jump was with a pair of 75’s – try that some time and you’ll appreciate this feat a heck of a lot more.

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 La Seyne-sur-Mer Athletic Club

Posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the few, but hardy, members of the La Seyne-sur-Mer athletic club, circa 1906. La Seyne-sur-Mer is a port town located in south eastern France, and like most all French strongmen, they have an excellent array of training equipment: globe dumbbells, barbells and ring weights.

Small Inch Dumbbells

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Thomas Inch is famous for his Challenge Dumbbell which weighs 172 pounds… What most people do not know, however, is that there where actually three other Inch Dumbbells which were smaller and which allowed him to progressively gain strength in order to lift the biggest one. The smaller “Inch” bells weighed 75, 140 and 153 pounds respectively.

Since the original Inch Challenge Dumbbell is now sitting in my living room in Cincinnati, I recently, decided to commission a series of smaller bells which would not only keep that tradition alive but also better help in bridging the gap while training with the 172-pound Inch bell.

These dumbbells were cast in a far off land and brought to the U.S. at great personal expense. They are currently the only bells of this sort on U.S. soil. The two larger ones weigh 53 kg (116.6 pounds) and the two smaller bells in the back weight 40 kg (88 pounds). I wanted to get a pair of each size for farmer’s walk training.

You’ll be seeing more of these bells soon…

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 Olympic Club Gymnasium

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by John Wood

The Olympic Club Gymnasium

The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California is the oldest athletic club in the United States (established in 1860). The original location didn’t survive the great earthquake of 1906 but they relocated to a new location on Post Street in 1912. This is what their gymnasium looked like, circa 1915.

With plenty of natural lighting, an indoor track, climbing ropes, Indian clubs, balance beams, medicine balls, wall pulleys, climbing ladders and an awesome selection of globe barbells and dumbbells, I’d say this facility is just about all you could ever ask for in a gym.

Globe Barbells

Posted on Monday, November 11th, 2013 by John Wood

No idea idea who these guys are, their names are unfortunately lost, but one thing we DO know is that they had an awesome collection of globe barbells and dumbbells. Bravo!
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 Kiruna Atletklubb

Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2013 by John Wood
The Kiruna Atletklubb
The Kiruna (Sweden) Atletklubb, circa 1902, and their truly epic selection of kettlebells and globe barbells.
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.

1903 German Sport Club

Posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013 by John Wood
1903 German Sport Club
A look at a German Sport club, circa 1903. As for their equipment, as was the custom with German-style kettlebells, the handles were large and open to enable juggling… the barbells also appear to have thick handles, which encourage grip and forearm development.