Steinbach’s Stone Tossing

Posted on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Early weightlifters often participated in many other forms of “heavy” athletics and field events were a natural fit. Here’s the great lifting champion Josef Steibach also doing a little stone tossing. On June 23, 1907, Steinbach won the Stone Throwing Championships of Austria with a toss of 7.17 meters — this may have been that very throw.
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 Arthur Saxon Collection

Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Arthur Saxon, The Iron Master
Arthur Saxon, The Iron Master
The ONLY Man to lift 371 pounds overhead with one arm… now you too can learn the training Secrets of the IRON MASTER

How many men in the history of the World can say they ever put over 370 Pounds overhead with one arm? I don’t know for sure, but the answer is undoubtedly “not many.” In fact, I know of only one: Arthur Saxon, “The Iron Master” …the man whose records will never be equaled or surpassed…

If you’re into training, I’m sure you have always wonders how such a man as Arthur Saxon became so strong… but what if you had a time machine and could go back and talk to the man himself You could ask him exactly how he trained… what he ate… his views on strength… his favorite exercises… what his routine looked like… and what it felt like to lift 350+ pounds overhead with one hand.

Though time travel isn’t currently an option, you can still find out all that and more directly from Arthur Saxon through his two excellent training books: The Development of Physical Power and The Textbook of Weight-Lifting — and they are every bit as useful today as they were the day they were written, well over a century ago! These two classic courses, penned by one of the strongest men in recorded history, are now available once again in high quality modern reprint format:

The Development of Physical Power
Written in 1906, The Development of Physical Power in the first of Arthur Saxon’s two training books. In it, Saxon covers a variety of topics:

The meaning of the book’s title… What Saxon looks for beyond the muscles… How his early days contributed to his great strength later in life… Saxon’s international matches and challenges against other strongmen… His ideas on real strength… His views on light exercise… Weight-lifting for other sports, wrestling, boxing etc… Weight in relation to lifting… Notes on muscular measurements… How the strength of a man is often indicated by the thickness of his wrists…

Details of Saxon’s typical routine… Which types of lifts you should include in every workout… What an advanced lifter should do when he trains… The value of competition… The best question to ask about over-training… Nutrition information for the would-be strongman… The best place to train… One of the secrets to Saxon’s success…

What it feels like to lift 350 lbs. with one hand… The only thought that should be in your head when going for a record lift… Notes on the performance the bent-press… How to perform the One-Hand Snatch… The Single-Handed Dumb-bell Swing… Two-Dumb-bell lifting… Notes on Ring and ball (kettlebell) lifting… Measurements and record lifts… Measurements of Hermann and Kurt Saxon… Saxon’s open challenge to the world!

An eye witness account by famous physical culture authority Thomas Inch, which substantiates Saxon’s claims, rounds out the book. The photos on the front and back cover plus 45 rare photos and illustrations contained therein are more than worth the price of this beautiful 5-inch x 7-inch trade paperback with 122 pages. This is a unique look into the training and philosophy of one of the strongest men who ever lived whose methods you can incorporate into your own training.

The Textbook of Weight-Lifting
The Textbook of Weight-Lifting was written a few years later as part of a series of “Textbooks” on various sports and athletic events and offers an even deeper look into Arthur Saxon’s training techniques.  Saxon’s second training course is filled with many rare and never-before-published photos of the Iron Master in action – he personally posed for each photograph. Here’s a look at the topics covered:

Why everyone should lift weights… The test of strength… “Skill” in relation to weight-lifting… Real strength vs. possibilities… Choice of exercises… The difference between Continental and “Clean” lifting… The best exercises for competition lifting… One and two-handed Bar-Bell Lifts… The first thing you should do when training the Clean… The Clean Press from the shoulder… How to “Lock” the shoulder… Tips and techniques on the one-handed jerk from the shoulder…

The correct path that the bar should take… The two-dumb-bell clean… The dumb-bell swing… Four things you need to know about performing the snatch… The best “all-around” lift: bent-press…The two-handed bar-bell push… Records set by the German lifter Josef Steinbach… Ring, Ball and Square Weight-lifting… Records set by the French lifting champion Jean Francois LeBreton… Weight-lifting Exercises vs. Exercises with Weights… Several Kettlebell exercises for forearm development… Mental “tricks” to use for lifting more weight… Exhibition and Trick Weight-Lifting Feats…

The Textbook of Weight-Lifting was originally published in 1910… The modern reprint edition is 5-inches x 7-inches in size and 85 pages in length.  There are also 30 rare photographs of Arthur Saxon in action demonstrating the lifts and techniques discussed in the text. “Textbook” makes a worthy sequel to Saxon’s first book and an excellent addition to your training library.

A Blast from the Past… and a Look Toward the Future

Despite having been written over a century ago, Saxon’s writing’s are amazingly relevant to today’s lifters. His descriptions and tips on the oldtime lifts etc are, of course, top notch, but it is his advice on the other factors of lifting success are the real value to these courses. Saxon weighs in on such topics as proper diet, how often to train, “specificity,” the value of lifting for athletes, balanced development, the proper application of lifting and conditioning work for true athletic development, and mental training techniques… all concepts which were amazingly ahead of their time.

We are also talking about a man who routinely lifted more weight with one arm than most lifters — oldtime or modern — could lift with two, and this is a unique opportunity to learn the details of his exact approach. Saxon’s routines are not complicated and his advice is extremely practical which are two lessons that should not be lost on modern trainees. If you are looking to build your strength and power, you certainly can’t go wrong studying the methods and insight of one of the strongest men who ever lived.

Order now!The Arthur Saxon Collection (2 books):
_________ $29.99 plus s/h

Weightlifting at the 1906 Olympics

Posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by John Wood

A rare look at the “two arm lift” event at the 1906 Olympics. Silver medal winner Josef Steinbach of Austria is shown here lifting while the eventual winner Demetrious Tofalos of Greece, looks on. Steinbach took gold in the single-arm lifting event later on. As a point of interest, the 1906 Olympics is now referred to as the “Intercalated Games.”

Tug O’ War at the 1906 Olympic Games

Posted on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 by John Wood

Here’s a rare look at the Tug O’ War event at the 1906 Olympic Games held in Athens Greece. It looks like the Gold Medal-winning German team is on the right — notable because several of its members were also champion weightlifters, namely Heinrich Rondi and Heinrich Schneidereit. The Greek team took Silver while Sweden took Bronze. Josef Steinbach was also a member of the Austrian team which finished fourth.
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.

Dimitrios Tofalos

Posted on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 by John Wood
Dimitrios Tofalos, Greek Weightlifting Champion
Demetrius Tofalos was a Greek weightlifter who survived a serious childhood
injury and went on to defeat the great Austrian lifter Josef Steinbach to win the Gold Medal at the 1906 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The winning effort for Tofalos in the “two-hand barbell lift” (i.e. clean and jerk) was 142.4 Kilograms.

t really was a “clean” and jerk, according to the rules of the time, lifters were penalized if the barbell touched any other part of the body as
they brought it to their chest. Tofalos’ record stood for the next eight years.

Tofalos was also a very successful professional wrestler although a defeat by American Champion Frank Gotch forced his retirement. Tofalos eventually went on to manage “The Golden Greek” Jim Londos.

Today, a sports arena is named in Tofalos’ honor in his hometown of Patras, Greece.

Tromp Van Diggelen ~ The South African Hercules

Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 by John Wood
Tromp Van Diggelen survived a sickly childhood to become a traveling performing strongman and one of the true unsung heroes of strength history. His performing feats were certainly impressive (such as the 210 pound “barrel lift” barbell press above) but it was his work behind the scenes which he should be remembered best.

It was Tromp Van Diggelen who discovered “Max Sick” and had him change his name to Maxick. Van Digglen also managed Josef Steinbach and Hermann Goerner and also helped found The British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA).

Josef Steinbach

Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 by John Wood

Josef Steinbach

Josef Steinbach of Vienna, Austria, was one of the greatest weightlifters and strongmen of the early 20th century.  Some of his best marks include: a two-hand Continental and Jerk of 387 pounds, a two-hands Snatch of 264-3/4 pounds and a two-hand Continental and press of 335 pounds (besting Louis Cyr’s mark by 34 pounds.)
He won the world amateur weightlifting title from 1904 through 1906 and went on to win the Gold medal in the “One Arm” event and a Silver medal in the “Two Arm” event at the 1906 Olympics.