The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 by John Wood
The NEW Bodybuilding
for Old-School Results
Eliminate confusion, develop confidence and gain bigger and stronger muscles – faster than ever before!
Arthur Jones, feeding one of his baby elephants. Note the machine gun with a banana clip – this guy means business.

The man looked like the Devil himself and then threatened to kill me less than 20 minutes after we met…

He lunged at me but I was too quick and dodged his advance but then with a quick move he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck…

“Look kid, the smartest and toughest men in the world have mustaches … I have one and your dad doesn’t!”… but I broke free from his grasp … then like a cat I jumped up on the windowsill, sprang through the air and got him right in his bad shoulder with a flying drop-kick…

So went my introduction to Arthur Jones and probably the only fight that Arthur ever lost … I was six years old at the time.

Arthur Jones was the roughest, toughest, meanest and smartest Iron Game pioneer who ever walked the Earth and the man who revolutionized strength training forever. His ideas influenced millions of people to start training in the most effective manner possible. Now these same ideas will help YOU build TWICE the strength in HALF the time.

Fast Forward A Decade…

Here, read this,” said my Dad as he handed me a thick folder full of Xeroxed sheets of paper.

I was fifteen years old — just a freshman in high school — and starting to get into strength training in a serious way. I was looking for the best way to get as big and as strong as I possibly could for the next football season.

So I took the folder and, without looking too closely at it, noticed that it contained a series of training articles written by Arthur Jones; a name I vaguely recalled from the past.

This was a lot of material to go through and I originally intended to throw it in some forgotten corner of my room and get around to it when I had more time (probably never). The thing is, as I walked up to my room, I took a closer look at what was really inside and when I saw the first few pages, I stopped in my tracks… I couldn’t take another step.

I knew instantly that this was information that I had to read RIGHT NOW. I took a seat right there at the top of the stairs and began to read…

Understand, I had seen books on strength training — lots of them. I had seen plenty of training courses too, and a fair share of “muscle comics.” They were all pretty much the same … what I was reading right then was a whole different animal. Those articles were like nothing I had ever seen before. A few hours went by but it only felt like a few minutes as I made my way through the material. I read everything.

When I got done, I felt 10 feet tall, like I had found diamonds as big as basketballs in my own backyard. No more confusion – I now possessed the keys to super strength.

That day my life (and my training) changed forever.

Strength training had never been explained to me this way before. Many of the things about strength training that I had previously been confused about now made perfect sense. Arthur Jones’ ideas gave me a clear picture of exactly what I needed to do and exactly how I needed to do it in order to get stronger.

Within those pages, I learned the foundations (almost a step-by-step blueprint) for understanding the fundamental building-blocks of Strength development. All that was left was to do it, and now I had the Confidence to know I was on the right path.

Dr. Darden Strikes Again!
Dr. Ellington Darden

Many people had the same experience when they first read some of Arthur’s materials.

Over four decades ago, when Arthur Jones unleashed his training philosophy on an unsuspecting world, it soon spread like wildfire. It made a heck of a lot of sense to thousands upon thousands of trainees all over the country and the world, and in practice, worked better than anything else than they ever tried.

Among the many people who achieved tremendous results were Ellington Darden, a Champion Bodybuilder and Ph.D. who not only had many published training articles under his belt, but graced the cover of many strength magazines of the time.

Ellington Darden got his hands on all of Arthur Jones’ articles and liked what he read.  Darden eventually trained under Arthur Jones and ended up achieving the best results he had ever experienced — Darden was a previous collegiate Mr. America contest winner, so this was really saying something. Training with Arthur Jones had such a big impact that Ellington Darden has been writing about it ever since. Dr. Darden has the unique distinction of being there throughout the entire Nautilus phenomenon so he can definitely tell you the real deal.

Today, with nearly 50 books to his credit on a variety of subjects, now Dr. Darden takes it back to where it all began in this modern classic…

Enter: The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results
by Ellington Darden, Ph.D.

Was Arthur Jones a Genius… Or a Madman?

There might be a pretty good case for him being both. Imagine stepping into a time machine to see and hear from the people who were actually there to learn the real story behind Nautilus, Arthur Jones and the whole ball of wax – Now you can!

Casey Viator (Pictured) was Arthur’s top student and, at 19 years old, the youngest Mr. America winner in history, you’ll be able to read an interview all about Casey’s life and his training starting on page 124.

At over 300 pages,”New Bodybuilding” is part history lesson, part training guide and one thing is for sure: there has never been anything like it before in the world of strength training. This book would be a valuable addition to your Strength library for just the Golden Age photos alone.: we’re talking hundreds of classic shots.

Here is just a sample of the things you will find in its pages:

10 Classic Interviews with the top individuals in the strength industry

Hear the real story from the men who lived it:

Kim Wood – Hall of Fame Strength Coach and Strength Legend

Ben Sorenson – Manager of Vic Tanny’s famous gym in Santa Monica (near Muscle Beach) from 1947-1949 and Arthur’s first training partner

Jim Flanagan – Arthur’s right hand man who reminisces about Milo Steinborn, the last of the oldtime strongmen; Jim describes what it was like to train in Steinborn’s Gym.

Casey Viator – The youngest Mr. America ever and Arthur’s top student. Read what Casey recalls about his most grueling exercise sessions with Arthur.

Roger Schwab – Owner of Mainline Nautilus, Philadelphia, PA, behind-the-scenes Strength Legend and REAL Trainer of Champions

Joe Mullen – Iron Game Veteran who teaches you the secrets of the one arm chin-up

Boyer Coe – Champion Bodybuilder: Mr. America 1969, Mr. Universe 1969,

Dan Riley – 25 year NFL Strength coach Veteran, holder of three Superbowl Rings (Including 3 Football Specific Training Routines)

Werner Kieser – Old School Intensity from Germany

Wes Brown – “Pumping Iron and Nautilus” – How Arnold Trained during his most famous film

Andy McCutcheon – HIT enthusiast from England, who outlines how he was able to break the British record for pushups (doing 107 in 60 seconds), and his training with Multiple Mr. Olympia Winner Dorian Yates.

  • Intensity vs. Form: Which is more important? – and the reasons you should know why
  • The Real meaning of “Old School” Training – Which probably isn’t what you think it is..
  • A look into the Past – Muscle Beach, the modern Muscle Mecca where Arthur began serious training at Vic Tanny’s Gym
  • How Kim Wood knew about Arthur Jones well over a decade before he met him in person and well before his Nautilus days
  • The real story behind the first appearance of “The Blue Monster” – Culver City, California 1970
  • The truth about Kim Wood’s unique “200 Reps” Routine
  • The most important goal for any football-strength related program and why most football training routines are worthless
  • What made Cincinnati Bengals Nose Tackle Tim Krumrie stand out above just about every football player who ever lived? – Check out his brief 4-set training routine
  • Boyer Coe’s “unvarnished” Championship Bicep and Tricep Routine, which only requires simple equipment that can be found in every gym
  • The 7 most important tips for getting the best results from any arm program Think you need to train for hours? – WRONG! wait until you find out just how long a proper arm development routine should take
  • The amazing influence of Confidence in your training program and how to use it to your best advantage
  • 6 Step-by-Step tips to the perfect pushup and 5 steps to performing proper negative-pushups
  • The single set vs. multiple set debate, now settled once and for all
  • The Best of the Bulletins – The collected wit and Wisdom of Arthur Jones
  • The 18 different signs of overtraining and 10 different ways to guard against them
  • Repetition Ranges: Low, Medium, High – Which is Best?
  • The value of negative-only training and how to do it correctly A simple test to help you know your optimum rep range
  • 9 “Beyond Failure” Techniques to stimulate maximum muscle growth
  • Just what was “The Happiness Machine” and Why just one workout on it would wreck your whole week
  • How to correctly perform Negative-only chin-ups and 2 different negative-chin-up routines
  • How Motor Learning Helps Strength Training: Stable Answers for Shaky Practices
  • The 3 types of motor “transfer” and what you have to know about each one
  • Metabolic Conditioning – What it is and why you need to know about it
  • How to perform Metabolic Conditioning workouts with Machines or with barbells
  • 7 Training “Rules” and why your workout won’t “work” without them

  • The precision workout chart and the best way to measure your progress
  • 3 reasons why split routines MAY or MAY NOT be right for you.
  • Find out what happened the time when Arthur Jones trained Legendary wrestler Dan Gable
A Unique Glimpse Into The Iron Game’s Past:
What was Old is New Again
The great Steve Reeves – some VERY interesting and little-known details of his training are revealed in chapter I
Milo Steinborn settled in Florida when his wrestling career ended and mentored a young Jim Flanagan, details are in chapter 11
Warren Lincoln Travis, the legendary strongman, still has few things to teach you about strength training a century later…

The truth is you can only look as far forward as you can see into the past. What if you could be a fly on the wall and listen in on how some of the strongest men of all time trained?

How about a look at their unique training equipment?

In The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results you will learn about many interesting things from the Golden Age of Strength training – the men and the methods that paved the foundations for today…

Take a journey back to the Turn of the Century with Oldtime Strongman Warren Lincoln Travis, or strength star Henry “Milo” Steinborn (who owned and ran the first commercial gym in America.)

Go back to the sands of the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California circa 1948 and learn how bodybuilding legend Steve Reeves used to train at Vic Tanny’s Gym. You’ll also learn about many more Iron Game greats: John Grimek, George Eiferman, Marvin Eder, Freddy Ortiz… Casey Viator, Sergio Oliva, Boyer Coe, Mike & Ray Mentzer… the list goes on and on!

How’s This for Old-School Strength?

Here I am doing a few wrist curls with an antique dumbbell that once belonged to the French Strongman, Apollon (Yes, that Apollon), from chapter 30, (which I helped write): Iron-Vise Grip Strength: A Fistful of Power. Find out more on page 272.

You Want Training Routines?

Most training courses provide plenty of “theory” but little that you can actually do. The New Bodybuilding for Old School Results doesn’t just provide a ton of workouts for you to try but gives you the very Best workouts – the exact workouts – that have been used successfully again and again for decades. Get the book, read it, and 10 minutes later you’ll be able use the same workout that the champs do:

Try these out for size:

The Classic Nautilus Machine Circuit from 1975

The Nautilus Negative-Only Routine

HIT (High Intensity Training) A-B Foundational Routine

HIT Thigh Emphasis Routine

HIT Mid-section Emphasis Routine

HIT Change of Pace Routine

HIT Overall Body Routine

HIT Back-Chest Emphasis Routine

The 5 “Core” Movements Routine

HIT Abbreviated Routine

HIT A-B-C Arm Specialization Routine

HIT A-B Basic Routine

The BIG Routine

The 3-Day Split

The 4 Day Contra-Lateral Split

2 different negative-chin-up routines

6 Cadence Variations

8 Ways to Specialize on Calves with the most productive calf cycle ever created

Rediscover the lost art of rib-cage development/Chest Expansion

How to stretch, breathe, and contract during the recommended exercises

The “Shoulders for Soldiers” Deltoid Routine

The “Fistful of Power” Iron-Vise Grip Routine

Not Just for Bodybuilders But
ALL Strength Athletes

One of the biggest reasons for failure among many trainees is that they never fully learned how to train in the first place. They have no clue as to why certain exercises should be done in certain ways — and the results, if there are any, are often mediocre at best.

The truth is that every person in the world is essentially the same in some very fundamental ways – and every person in this world gains strength through the same processes. The principles outlined in this book will help you understand these processes which will allow your to become super strong, no matter what you are training for and no matter what equipment you are using.

As you can see, The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden Ph.D. is chocked full of valuable information. There is enough here to point anyone in the right direction for Super Strength – 300+ pages, over 40 training routines, hundreds of pictures, interviews with All-Time Iron Game Legends and more!!

Order now!The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden:
___________$39.99 plus s/h

The Hip Lift

Posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by John Wood
One of the most interesting training techniques of the Oldtime Strongmen is to use short-range movements with very heavy weights. This not only gives a super workout for the muscles, but strengthens the tendons, ligaments and bones and also gives the psychological boost of being able to lift far above what you would normally be able to.

Here’s John Grimek, training his legs by performing a Hip Lift with what looks like 600 lbs. or so. To find out more about how Grimek trained, you’ll want to pick up a copy of The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses (which features this famous picture on the cover).

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.

Hard Work On Basic Exercises by Bradley J. Steiner

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood
Hard Work On
Basic Exercises
by Bradley J. Steiner

Reg Park
3-time Mr. Universe Reg Park

I happen to believe that Reg Park is the best example and single representative of what proper training with weights can do for a man. He’s got everything: huge, almost superhuman muscles, the strength of the most powerful competitive lifter, and the perfect, well-balanced physique that one sees on Greek statues in museums.

Whether or not you agree that Park is the Greatest — if you’ve seen him, then you’ve GOT to admit that he’s good, to say the very least. OK. so who cares about my opinion anyway, and what in heck does this have to do with how you can get the Herculean build you’re after?

The best physiques (and Park’s is one of ’em),

were all built by hard work on the basic, heavy duty exercises. There are NO exceptions to this statement. Even easy-gainers who (like Park) build up very easily, never get to the Hercules stage without the ultimate in effort. Park worked up to squats with 600 pounds, behind the neck presses with 300 pounds, and bench presses with 500 pounds!

Hereditary advantages or not, Park sweated blood to earn the massive excellent physique that he has. And so did every other human Superman whose muscles aren’t merely bloated, pumped-up tissue. The problem of WHAT these basic exercises are, and HOW HARD one must work on them for satisfactory, or even startling results, is one that every bodybuilder, at one time or another during his career, is confronted with. This month we’re going to solve the problem…

To begin, let’s sift through the thousands of possible exercises, and variations of exercises that confront every barbell man, and set down a principle by which the trainee can determine the BEST among them; those upon which he should be concentrating his best efforts. Here’s the principle: An exercise is worthwhile if it allows you to use very heavy weights — brings into play the BIG muscle groups — and causes lots of puffing and panting.

From the simple formula stated above, it is quite easy to see that fully eighty or ninety percent of the exercises followed by most barbell trainees do not come up to the standards required for maximum physical development. Concentration curls, Hack squats, lateral raises, thigh extensions, triceps “kickback” movements, etc., all followed slavishly by thousands of misinformed bodybuilders, are a waste of time.

My very bitter apologies to the high-pressure ad-men, and the authors of all the super Space-age courses, but their stuff is strictly form hunger. If you’ve been sucked into following any such routines, drop ’em! In all honesty, fellows, that garbage won’t do a thing for you, aside from bringing discouragement and disillusionment.

Save your time and money, and put your effort into THESE exercises:

  • The Squat – Regular, parallel, breathing style, or front style
  • The Press – Seated or standing, barbell or heavy dumbbells
  • Rowing – Bent over, barbell or dumbbells, one or two arm
  • Power cleans and High pulls
  • Bench pressing – barbell or heavy dumbbells, Incline or flat bench style
  • Stiff-legged dead lifting and heavy barbell good mornings
  • In essence, those are the exercises that you ought to be killing yourself on. We’re concerned with the development of SIZE, POWER and SHAPELY BULK, so we’ve eliminated all supplementary abdominal and calf work. This you can do at your leisure, or you can omit it entirely, with no consequences to your overall development. The stuff we’ve enumerated above is what you need in order to turn yourself into a Human Hercules. And, lest you believe that this writer has a vested interest in this, let me say that he HAS.

    I derive personal, private, selfish satisfaction pushing the truth about sensible barbell training, and seeing those guys who are willing to work for their goals, achieving the builds they desire. The muscle heads, the “muscle-spinners,” the drug-takers, etc, are no concern of mine. They can go their own way; I’m concerned about the rest of you.

    Honest muscles, like honest men, are rare. But they can be attained, and the only way to do it is through HARD, HARD work, and an honest approach to training programs. So if you’re willing, you can get the physique you’re after; if you train as I have discussed on the Basic Movements.

    There are reasons why these basic exercises are best. Let’s talk about them.

    It isn’t generally understood, but the easiest way to build the small muscle groups is by exercise on the big ones! For example, it’s impossible to build a broad, powerful back, and thick pectorals, along with terrific shoulders via the heavy cleaning, pressing, rowing and bench work that I advocate, without building enormous arm size and strength. You couldn’t do it if you wanted to! Yet, aside from weight-gaining, building big arms is a giant headache for most barbell men. How simple a matter it would become if only they would forget about the ridiculous pumping, cramping and spinning-type isolation exercises, and just train hard on the basics! The big arms would come naturally.

    John Grimek once had arms that taped close to 19 inches. They were so big and powerful that they didn’t look real! Grimek at the time was an Olympic weight-lifting contender, and he had trained for a long period without doing a single curl or triceps “pumper.”

    His big arms got the way they did from the Heavy Lifting Training. You can do the same by working hard and heavy. And you don’t have to enter Olympic
    competition!

    The trapezius and neck muscles are impressive and too often neglected by many weight-trainees. But your traps will grow like crazy if you push your cleans hard, and if you get your presses up to really impressive standards


    John Grimek

    Ditto for your neck muscles. The huffing, puffing, and muscular work and exertion caused by ALL heavy work will make your neck muscles grow. Forearms – “stubborn forearms” will respond like obedient, trained seals to heavy rowing, cleaning and pressing. And just try to keep your grip on a super heavy barbell while doing a set of stiff-leg deadlifts, without forcing the forearm muscles to ache and grow beyond belief!

    Heavy squatting will build heavier calves. Sounds impossible? Well, just try working your squats like you’re supposed to, and you’ll see your calves begin to grow no matter how they’ve refused to respond to toe raises.

    Power cleans are fine for the calf muscles too. Incredible as this statement may sound, it’s absolutely true. The coordinated effort of leg and back movement in heavy cleaning DOES work the calves! Try it for a few months and find out for yourself.

    Nobody wants to be fat around the middle. Yet, unless you’re drastically overweight, you don’t need more than one set of one abdominal exercise (done in high reps, with resistance) to keep a rock-hard, muscular mid-section. The hard work on squatting, cleaning, and ALL heavy exercises will inevitably keep you trim and hard. And make no mistake about this: you are far, far better off with a thick, powerful waist than you are with a “wasp-waist pretty body.”

    A man should be BIG. He should be strong and powerful. And he can’t be if he tries to blow his biceps up to 20″ and keep his waist down to 30″. Use your head! If there are any real supermen around who have waistlines below 33″ or 34″, then they’ve got ’em only because they’re SHORT, and, the small waist is proportionate tot he rest of their husky muscles.

    Training on the big exercises builds HEALTH and LASTING muscle size. These two factors are very important. Today, men like John Grimek, Reg Park, Bill Pearl, and another lesser-known Hercules, Maurice Jones of Canada, all possess builds and physical power comparable to that which they had during their prime. The reason? They built REAL MUSCLE, Sig Klein must be around seventy, yet he’s got the build of a twenty-five year old athlete. The reason? He built REAL MUSCLE. The same holds for scores of others in the weight game who got their physical development by hard, hard work with heavy weights on the best exercises.

    If you’re a young man now, then you’re probably more interested in what you can look like on a posing platform, and in how fast you can get piles of muscle – but don’t, no matter how great the temptation for an “easy way out” via pumping routines or muscle drugs, follow any system of training except the good, heavy, teeth-gritting type routines that build pure, strong, big muscles.

    I say this as a sincere warning against charlatans who would rob you of your money and your health – and do it gladly – to sell you on their own private “miracle systems’ or methods’. Keep clear of them, and remember, please, that you’ve got a long life ahead of you after any physique competitions you might enter or win within the next few years. You want health, well-being AND big muscles that will stay with you for the rest of your life. You will only get them if you train HARD and HEAVY!

    Here’s a sample program that you can follow. It will give you every desirable physical quality. IF you work to your limit on it.

    Warm up with one set of twenty prone hyperextensions. Do two progressively heavier warm up sets in the squat, using five reps in each set. Then load on weight until the bar bends, and do three sets of five reps each with this limit poundage. Push! Fight! Drive! The SQUAT is THE builder of SUPERMEN!

    Go to your flat bench and do two warm up sets, as you did for your squats, of five reps each in the bench press. Then do a final 3 sets with all the weight you can properly handle. In this, and in every other exercise in the program, REST WELL BETWEEN SETS!

    Now do power cleans, stiff–legged dead lifts, or barbell good mornings. Same sets., same reps and the same forced poundage attempts as in the preceding exercises. Your lower back is a vital body area. Turn it into a SUPER POWER ZONE by intensive back work!

    Do heavy, bent-over barbell rowing. Two warm up sets – then three limit sets – five reps in each set you do. Reg Park (I always seem to come back to mentioning him, don’t I!) used this exercise along with the power clean in order to build the unbelievable back that he possesses.

    He considers this bent-over rowing exercise the best single upper back movement a man can do.

    It was Bradley J. Steiner’s training articles (just like this one) which taught a young Brooks Kubik to focus on basic, result-producing exercises… A few decades later, Brooks Kubik’s Dinosaur Training has become a modern classic, and the book that many people refer to as their strength “Bible.”

    More info

    Do some form of HEAVY pressing, If you read my stuff then you already know that I practically sneer at any shoulder exercise but the press behind the neck! But of course you can old military barbell presses, dumbbell presses, or any form of heavy seated pressing with excellent results sure to follow – IF YOU WORK HARD.

    Same set-rep scheme for your pressing as for the other exercises, and a tip: Many guys have complained to me that I don’t understand (a-hem!) their difficulties when it comes to heavy pressing behind the neck. It seems that the effort of cleaning the bar up and behind their necks before each set tires their
    poor little bodies out.

    What to do?

    Do your presses right off the squat racks! Load the bar up. Get set comfortably under it. Get a good, solid grip on the bar and set your feet firmly.

    Now go to it.

    Press the weight right off the racks. Then, after each set, return the bar to the squat racks. Simple? you’ll get wonderful results this way – since you’ll be saving your energy and concentration exclusively for the pressing action, and all of the work will be thrown directly on your
    deltoids…so, better and bigger muscles!

    End your workout with an abdominal exercise. Do any one that you happen to like. I prefer leg raises off the end of a flat bench, with iron boots on my feet, but it’s really only a personal preference, and you can work your midsection with any “ab” exercise that you happen to like. Just do one set, and run the reps at around twenty or
    thirty. Here’s the routine written out:

  • Warm-up – 1 x 20
  • Squat – 5 x 5
  • Bench press – 5 x 5
  • Stiff-leg dead lift – 5 x 5
  • Bent-over rowing – 5 x 5
  • Press behind neck – 5 x 5
  • Leg raises 1 x 25
  • Do that routine – or a similar one – as described in this article, and your muscles will bulge through your clothing after a year or so of training!

    The watchwords are BASIC EXERCISES and HARD WORK. Remember them when you walk into the gym next time. You’ll be grateful for the rest of your life that you did.

    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 Training With The Automatic Exerciser

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 by John Wood

    John Grimek loved to train with just about everything. Here’s the man getting in a quick set of deadlifts with one of Professor Schmidt’s Automatic Exerciser machines from way, way, way back in the day. Schmidt machines were a pretty nifty idea even back then, someone should see about bringing them back…
    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.

    1941 AAU Mr. America Results

    Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 by John Wood
    Final Placing:

    1. John Grimek
    2. Jules Bacon
    3. Frank Leight
    4. Elwood Holbrook
    5. Ludwig Schusterich
    6. Terry Robinson
    – Paul Como
    – Johnny Davis
    – Roland Essmaker
    – Melvin Kahn
    – Constantine Kosiras
    – Tommy O’Hare
    – Joseph Peters
    – Steve Stern
    – Kimon Voyages
    – Elmer Witmer
    – Harold Woomer

    Most Muscular:
    Ludwig Schusterich

    Best Chest:
    Frank Leight

    Best Back:
    Johnny Davis

    Best Abdominals:
    Melvin Kahn

    Best Arms:
    Elwood Holbrook

    The 1941 AAU Mr. America contest is notable since it was the second time it was won by John Grimek — the first and last time any man won it twice. The next year they changed the rule so that someone could only win it once — figuring (probably rightly so) that Grimek would keep winning the contest indefinitely.

    The contest was held at the Arena Sports Palace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 24, 1941 in conjunction with the AAU Senior National Weight Lifting Championship (which several of the Mr. America competitors also competed in as well. — you sure won’t see that kind of thing these days!)

    Above: John Grimek on the cover of the August, 1941 issue of Strength and Health magazine.

    John Grimek’s Bodybuilding Contest History

    Posted on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 by John Wood

    Here’s John Grimek showing his winning form and hardware after taking first in the 1948 Mr. Universe contest (defeating Steve Reeves in the process!) Most bodybuilders are lucky to win one contest in their careers but Grimek finished first in EVERY contest he ever entered. Here’s a look at the full list:

    1939 – York Perfect Man
    1940 – AAU Mr. America
    1941 – AAU Mr. America
    1946 – Most Muscular Man in America
    1948 – NABBA – Mr. Universe
    1949 – Mr. USA

    After winning the AAU Mr. America contest for the second year in a row, they passed a rule that one could not enter it again once they won – the powers that be figured that if they didn’t take this step, Grimek would just keep on winning them.

    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’s Handstand

    Posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 by John Wood

    For a period of a few years, John Grimek didn’t touch a weight of any kind… no barbells, no dumbbells, no nothing BUT he still continued to maintain and even enhance his impressive physique by focusing intently on his hand-balancing skills. The great thing about hand-balancing is that it’s a lot like riding a bike, once you learn how to do it, you never forget. This classic shot of Grimek looks like it was probably taken in Bob Hoffman’s back yard in North York, PA.

    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 vs. The Cyr Dumbbell

    Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 by John Wood

    …Also, the Cyr dumbell we had was always a bone of contention. Men from all parts of the country came to see if they might get it overhead. It weighed “only” 202 pounds empty but it could be loaded with lead shot to over 270. We never loaded it over 269½ pounds, and even then it defied most men who tried it.

    One time, Milo Steinborn and four or five other wrestlers stopped by on their way to Baltimore. Milo had Primo Carnera with him – truly an impressive individual. When Carnera shook hands you could feel your whole hand being swallowed by something that felt like an octopus. Because all the men were wrestling that evening none of them cared to train that afternoon, but most of the lifters kept on training. In the center of the gym was the awkward Cyr dumbbell that seemed to be in the way of everyone. Without thinking I picked it up off the floor and tossed it aside so it wouldn’t be in the way. I remembered the huge hands Carnera had when he shook my hand, and knew if anyone could handle this weight it was him. I called out to him to try it. He smiled as if to say, “that’s easy,” and no one would doubt him. he came over, very casually gripped the stubby handle and made a half-hearted attempt to lift it. A look of surprise came over his face as the weight slipped from his grip. I offered him some chalk to absorb the moisture of his hand. With some disdain, instead, he grabbed the handle and though he lifted it a little you could see that the weight was a great surprise to him.

    I tried to explain that there was a slight technique to handle this weight. He just kept looking at me and the awkward hunk of iron mass that was defying him. I chalked up, especially the heel of my hand, gripped the weight and tossed it a few feet to one side. Carnera only growled. However, I feel sure that with his banana-like fingers he could have done things with that Cyr dumbbell that no one else could do. Others felt much the same way about this big man.

    I must point out that many men who tried to lift the small clumsy dumbbell failed. This awkward hunk of iron required lots of practice before one learned the little details needed to be successful at lifting it. No one played around with this weight more than I did; and eventually I was the only one who lifted it off the floor to an overhead position using one and only when it weighed 254 pounds. Stanko was the first man who picked it up off the floor in one sweeping movement. Unfortunately, I do not remember how much it was loaded to at the time. The weight of that dumbbell was always being changed. It always looked formidable and defying. Those who tried it remember that only too well…

    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.

    Frank Leight – Mr. America 1942

    Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by John Wood
    Frank Leight, AAU Mr. America 1942, is shown here with some classic globe barbells and kettlebells on the cover of the July, 1942 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. Frank Leight finished 2nd in 1940 (losing to John Grimek and 3rd in 1941 (again behind Grimek, and Jules Bacon) before finally winning the Mr. America contest himself in 1942.
    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.

    Leverage Bar Training

    Posted on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 by John Wood
    Leverage bar training, demonstrated here by John Grimek, will make an excellent addition to any program, especially if the goal is knotty forearms. You can use a sledge hammer, a broom, or, as shown here, a dumbbell handle loaded at one end. Supination and pronation, ulnar and radial deviation and pretty much any movement will build tremendous strength is the small muscles of the forearms that don’t always get enough attention…
    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.