Clash of the Titans: Grimek vs. Stanko

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 by John Wood
Clash of the Titans: Grimek vs. Stanko
What would happen if two of the greatest strength athletes in history went head to head? Whether bodybuilding, Olympic lifting or unusual feats of strength, I would say the match up between John Grimek and Steve Stanko is pretty evenly matched. Only history knows the outcome of this arm wrestling match…
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.

John Grimek and Classic Weights

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
When you work at the York Barbell Company you get to lift some classic weights any time you want to. Here’s John Grimek about to do just that. The top one is the famous Louis Cyr Challenge Dumbbell. The middle one is a giant dumbbell which belonged to the great French strongman Apollon. You can see the football player Tim Krumrie lifting it here. The bottom globe barbell may have belonged to Warren Lincoln Travis.

The Dellinger FIles

Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 by John Wood

Rock Solid Training Information and Iron Game Memories from the man that lived it…
By now you should be familiar with the name Jan Dellinger… but if you aren’t, he worked for the York Barbell Company for over 25 years — where he was Bob Hoffman’s right hand man, assistant editor of Muscular Development Magazine, and even shared an office with strength legend John Grimek for a number of years. He’s caught more than a few workouts with past Mr. Americas, written dozens of training articles for several major publications and sold more quality barbells than you could shake a stick at.

Well I’ve known Jan for a long time and we have been corresponding by email for the last few years now. Over the course of our conversations he would often write up some interesting story which he saw or was a part of while he worked at York. Jan had also been watching the website with great interest and a few of the topics I have written about got his creative fires going.

You want to talk strength history? Jan was there…

Last fall Jan asked if he could write up a training article or two that might be posted on the website. Of course I agreed and a few days later Jan sent something over… It was a detailed article on sandbag training.

Jan had also mentioned that he had a few other topics that he would like to cover, and, remembering the material he had written from our correspondences,I suggested that I would be delighted to collect this material into book form. I told Jan to just go wild and write about anything that he saw fit.

As I mentioned earlier, Jan has seen a lot of things over his time at York Barbell, and has been training since he was in junior high himself so he knows his way around a barbell…

We took a look at what we had, narrowed it down to a hundred and twenty five pages and dubbed it “The Dellinger Files Vol.I” (I say “Volume I” because there we have several hundred more pages of material and memories from Jan and there will be subsequent volumes)

For the time being though, Volume I is now ready to roll, and once it was all said and done it turned out even better than expected.

Take a Look Inside Volume I…

By now you’re probably dying to find out what exactly you’ll find in “The Dellinger Files volume I.” As I mentioned above, we combined some of Jan’s “Muscletown Memories” with training articles and alternated the two throughout the book. Take a look at some of the topics covered in volume I:

  • Where it All Began… How Jan started working at York Barbell and Grimek’s unique interview” process… what it was like editing Muscular Development Magazine and sharing an office with John Grimek… how Jan met Dr. Ken Leistner… adventures through the strength world, NFL weight rooms, lifting championships… and much more!
  • How to buy an Olympic Barbell… Why “saving a buck” is generally not a good idea… How long you should expect your bar to last… Exercises you should never do with a good Olympic bar… Where the money goes in the price of a quality bar… What the markings on your bar mean… The main differences between an “Olympic Lifting” Barbell and a Powerlifting Barbell…
  • Tips for lifting contests…
  • The Bruno Course… The best training course Jan has ever seen in all his years in the strength business… and it’s probably not what you might think…
  • Sandbag Training Tips… Jan’s introduction to “sandbag training,” why he was apprehensive at first, and what changed his mind… Three different methods for training with sandbags… How sandbags compare to barbells and dumbbells… How to structure a sandbag workout… Sandbag conditioning work… “PHA” sandbag training… How to combine sandbags with barbell training
  • Sergio Takes a Nap… What happened at the 1983 Ms. America bodybuilding contest and how Sergio Oliva lived up to his nickname “The Myth”
  • Two of the Very Best Bodyweight Training Exercises… what they are and which bodybuilding, legends used them to build their champion physiques…
  • Sled Pulling Tutorial… Get ready for some pretty strange looks from the neighbors… putting your “pulling” routine together… sled pulling for strength and conditioning… Dr. Ken’s influence… how-to’s, progression tips and goal
  • Behind the scenes at York Barbell… Who are celebrities who have shown up (some announced, some unannounced) at York… and what happens when they do?
  • A Different Kind of Road Work… Ever wanted to learn the finer points of car pushing? Now you can find out for yourself…
  • Range Training… How to use this unusual method of progression to build strength and move past sticking points…
  • Bodyweight Training… How a life-long barbell man makes it work… Goals, training tips and workout ideas… Where bodyweight training “fits” into a routine…
  • Negative Training… For Chins, how Robert Francis trained to win the Chinup contest at the 1998 York Barbell picnic…progression methods… how much you really need
  • Ed Jubinville’s Muscle Control Act… You won’t believe what happened, luckily someone was there to see it live…
  • One-Arm Deadlift Training Tips… find out more about this little used but highly effective grip and forearm exercise
  • The Partial Trap Bar Deadlift… A good substitute for The Jefferson Lift? You be the judge
  • Sample Workouts and Training Tips… above and beyond what is discussed in each training chapter

You want York Barbell history? — It’s in there. You want sandbag training? — It’s in there. You want grip training advice? — It’s in there….

As you can see, basic, straightforward, and to the point… great training information combined with strength memories that you will not find anywhere else… All the ingredients for a classic strength book — and what will be the first of many. Whether powerlifter, bodybuilder, garage lifter, beginner, veteran, or strength history buff, this is a title that should be in your personal library…

20 Chapters, 8-1/2″ x 11″ Size, over 51,000 Words, Sample workouts, Recommended Reading List, Glossy Cover, Printed on heavy weight paper, No pictures. The Dellinger Files Volume I is in stock and ready for immediate shipment. Get your copy today!

Order now!The Dellinger Files Vol 1. by Jan Dellinger
_________ $29.99 plus s/h

Ironman Magazine Volume 1, No. #1

Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Ironman Magazine is a well-known publication these days but it all started way back in August, 1936 with this issue. As you can see it was originally called “Super-Physique” and featured John Grimek on the cover. (It wasn’t titled “Iron Man” until issue #2.)

As the story goes, Peary Rader found an old mimeograph machine in the garbage at the school where he worked as a janitor. He took it home, fixed it up, and started putting out a magazine on physical training. There were only 50 copies of “#1” ever produced, mostly just for Rader’s friends. They liked what they saw, Peary Rader edited and produced every issue of Ironman for the next 50 years!

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.

Muscle Control by Maxick

Posted on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 by John Wood
The Lost Art of Muscle Control!
“Now You Too Can Learn One of the True Lost Secrets of Oldtime Strength Training”
We’ve heard more than a few people say that the secret to
super strength is merely hard work and just putting your time
in — which is certainly partly true — but there’s more to
it than that. The Oldtime Strongmen and Physical Culture
pioneers figured out things about building great strength:
unusual techniques that almost no one knows how to
do these days.

…One of these “lost” techniques is the art of Muscle
Control, and there is no greater resource for learning
how to do it correctly than right here.

Unlike most kinds of training, Muscle Control work
can be done every day, multiple times per day,
without an equipment and the results can be
outstanding.

The increased flexibility, dexterity, and greater
blood flow to the muscular system from regular Muscle Control practice
is ideal for promoting greater recovery, making it a very valuable tool
for all strength athletes. And check out Mr. Maxick on the right, that
level of muscular development is still VERY impressive despite the fact
that photo was taken well over a hundred years ago!

If you would like to get started with Muscle Control, as long as you provide the commitment, we can provide the know-how in the form of one of the best training courses ever written on the subject:

Maxick ~ Master of Muscle Control!
The great “Maxick” ~ champion weightlifter and famous Muscle Control expert. Read on to learn more about him and his methods
Muscle Control
by Maxick

Originally published in 1910, this truly remarkable training course has run through countless editions. This was the course that started it all. The author, Maxick, was the first great Muscle Control master and it served him incredibly well. Maxick developed his own unique system to add to his weightlifting… the result was a champion physique and world class levels of strength.

In fact, Maxick was the third man in the world to put double bodyweight overhead with a lift of 322-1/2 lbs. at a bodyweight of only 145 lbs!

Throughout the course, Maxick describes in detail how, by use of concentration, you can develop and gain deliberate control of each muscle group in the body. Detailed explanations of each technique and area of the body are provided. Highlighting the instruction found in the text, are rare, high-quality photographs of each technique in action for each muscle group.

Further written tips from the master himself show you exactly what to do and how to do it.. Muscle Control should be an important part of everyone’s training and has been to some of the greatest names of the past: Eugen Sandow, Otto Arco, John Grimek, Sig Klein, John Farbotnick, and Marvin Eder, just to to name a few.

Order now!Muscle Control by Maxick
__________________ $19.99 plus s/h

* Also includes a FREE copy of our
Train Hard Bulletin paper newsletter

The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses Poster Set

Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2017 by John Wood
“Something NEW for your Gym Wall!”
Give your weight room an OLD SCHOOL look with the Mark Berry Bar Bell Course training posters:

Around 1936, the great strength author Mark H. Berry put together three classic mail-order training courses which he featured in his magazine Physical Training Notes. Berry’s courses consisted of basic (but incredibly effective) exercises which could be performed with barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells.

Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses Poster #2Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses Poster #2

As was Berry’s style, these courses were straight and to the points, but since strength training was still relatively new to the masses, many trainees needed additional instruction as to how to perform each of the suggested movements.

The Mark Berry Bar Bell courses were all text but since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” each of the courses also came with a large instructional wall chart illustrating how to perform each of the exercises which were discussed.

Not only that, but the individual who was shown demonstrating the exercises on the charts was none other than a young John Grimek (It was Mark Berry who initially mentored Grimek and taught him the value of heavy, basic training.)

Today we proudly announce that the Mark Berry Bar Bell Course posters are once again available! Whether you are looking for instruction, inspiration or decoration, these posters will make a fantastic addition to your gym wall.

The First Course

The poster for the First Course showcases exercises for building upper body strength. These include: weighted and un-weighted situps, kettlebell swing, kettlebell side bends, calf raises, bent-over rowing, the floor press, the behind the neck press, shrug, straddle deadlift, side press, bridge press, the wrist roller etc.

The Second Course

Though you will see a few upper-body exercises mixed in for good measure, the poster for the Second Course focuses primarily on exercises on strength building exercises for the hips, legs and low back. These include: the squat, the deadlift, stiff-leg deadlift, weighted step up, barbell “leg press,” good mornings, the “low” squat etc.

The Third Course

The Third Course poster illustrates the finer points of many of the quick lifts and several single-arm exercises: the one and two arm snatch, the one and two hand clean, the one hand jerk, the bent-press, the dumbbell swing, the push press etc

Keep in mind that the list of exercise given above is by no means exhaustive, there are many more exercises pictured.

Each poster is 14″ x 20″ in size and printed on 100 lb. heavy weight glossy enamel paper making them excellent for framing or otherwise displaying prominently on your gym wall.  These posters are folded once horizontally and will arrive at your door sealed in heavy cardboard for protection.

“Grab a set of the Mark Berry posters and make your gym a little more Oldschool!”
The Mark berry Barbell Course Poster Set (3)Order now!___________$29.99 plus s/h

The Expander Overhead Downward Pull

Posted on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 by John Wood

John Grimek demonstrates the overhead downward pull with a set of York chest expanders. This movement is STILL one of the very best back developers and can’t be done with a barbell or dumbbell. If you are lucky enough to have access to a good set of expanders, this move should be in your program. Grimek also may have done a few squats in his day, eh?…
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.

Grimek on Iron Man

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 by John Wood
John Grimek appeared on the cover of Iron Man magazine ten times. The January, 1954 issue shown above was the final occasion. Grimek was 44 years of age at the time and clearly hadn’t missed many workouts.
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 Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
“…Whenever a new issue of Strength and Health Arrived in The Mailbox, They Always RIPPED open the envelope and turned to John McCallum’s article first!”
Back when Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were playing concerts, John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” series helped pack more muscle on more people than all other articles combined… and now, five decades later, McCallum’s workouts will help you pack on muscle too!
Before there was this thing called “The Internet,” anyone who was serious about building size and strength got their training information from magazines… and the very best magazine to get solid training info from was Strength and Health, directly from The York Barbell Company in York, PA.

Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.

It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)

McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)

Now you too can read all of John McCallum’s
“Keys to Progress” articles in one place

If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.

Lucky for us though, every single one of of McCallum’s classic training articles have recently been combined into one volume and reprinted for a new generation to read and enjoy.

You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one strength book to read ‘THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS’ should be it!

Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:

Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…

Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?

You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.

The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.

McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:

You Won’t Find This Training
Information Anywhere Else!
How long should your workouts last? …It’s an age-old question that you’ll finally get the answer to on page 2… You’ll also find a good, basic weight gaining program for beginners and intermediates later on in the article

McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)

How do you put on good, solid strength and size quickly? — Sure, lifting is a part of it, but so is getting in enough calories… You’ll receive the recipe and instructions for the “Get Big Drink” on page 15
What did a typical workout look like for three-time Mr. Universe contest winner Reg Park? McCallum was there and saw one with his own eyes… and it probably isn’t what you think… Read all about it in the “Training for Gaining” article starting on page 16

On Page 22, McCallum devotes an entire article to addressing one of the most important training secrets — one that just about everyone downplays or ignores

Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar

If there’s one area of training that just about every program is lacking in, it’s grip work… but the fact of the matter is that if you want to lift big weights, you’ve gotta have strong hands… Starting on page 49, you’ll find two articles devoted to increasing grip and forearm strength, along with an enlightening visit to Mac Batchelor’s pub!

Having trouble bulking up? You’ll want to try the “High-Protein, High-Set” Routine found on page 60… and don’t miss the “results” follow up article
What if you can’t squat? …there ARE other options… in fact, there’s an exercise that can do for the upper body what squats can do with the whole body and you can read all about how to work it into your program on page 68
Just because you lift weights does not mean you shouldn’t be in shape as well… A decade before before the”jogging boom” McCallum was urging strength athletes to hit the track to get their waistline in check. Find out his thoughts and recommendations on page 85
One of the most unique training programs that McCallum discussed in his articles was “P.H.A.” which was developed by 1966 Mr. American Bob Gajda… this routine is especially effective if you need more definition…you’ll read everything you need to know about PHA training starting on page 99
Looking to widen out? Try the “Back Work for Bulk” program on page 127… You’ll be in good company with this routine, these exercises were used with great success by Maurice Jones, Bill Pearl and Reg Park (among others)
If you want to build a big chest, you’ve got to enlarge your rib box…McCallum’s 4-part “For a Big Chest” series, which begins on page 131, outlines the specific exercises for making it happen
Not many people know about Hip Belt Squats but you can read all about them on pages 156-160… that includes details on setup, how to incorporate them and the other exercises that should be performed with them
Forget the store-bought stuff, if you need some more nutrients in your diet, you’ll want to read McCallum’s articles on baking muscle muffins and Vitamins… you’ll find more info starting on page 191
Training not going so great? There are some pretty predictable reasons why this may be and McCallum examines them in detail on pages 216-228
“The Case for the Breathing Squat” — one of the ALL-TIME greatest training articles — starts on page 259… the entire price of the book is worth it for this article alone

These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.

One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.

If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!

Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!

Order now!The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
___________$19.99 plus s/h