Lurich’s Ringweight

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 by John Wood
Weights which once belonged to strength legends are always interesting. Here is a great example: this ring weight (or maybe you could call it a kettlebell) was once owned by the great Estonian strongman and wrestler Georg Lurich. In case you are wondering, it weighs 34 kg, or about 75 pounds.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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

Milo Kettlebells

Posted on Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by John Wood

While kettlebells do certainly have a history in Russia and many other Eastern European countries, what many people don’t realize is that kettlebells also have a long tradition in the United States as well.

Back in 1902, Alan Calvert founded the Milo Barbell Company — the very first commercial strength equipment company in America. Along with barbells and dumbbells, Calvert also manufactured kettlebells, one version of which is shown on the right.

The Milo Kettlebell consisted of an outer “shell,” with the inner plates sectioned to allow for easy progression. The lathed free-rotating wood handle made the kettlebell especially useful for presses and kettlebell swings as evident by the instruction shown in Milo Barbell training courses which Calvert distributed to his clients.

Russian Kettlebell Lifting Contest, 1965

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by John Wood

Here’s something you don’t see every day, an actual Russian Kettlebell contest. This one was held in Moscow, circa 1965. In these types of contests the object is to get the kettlebell (or bells, when a pair is used – look closely, there’s a pair on the platform here.) overhead as many times as possible in a 10:00 time period. Usually the one-arm snatch or two arm jerk is contested and, as you can see there is certainly no lack of willing participants.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Madame Yucca – The Female Hercules

Posted on Sunday, April 17th, 2016 by John Wood

A rare poster featuring Madame Yucca as performing in the Forepaugh and Sells Brother Circus. The Female Hercules was shown lifting various globe weights overhead, harness lifting several animals including an elephant and even lifting an anvil with her teeth. Note the use of kettlebells for one and two arm lifts. The poster dates from 1898.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Al Tauscher’s Kettlebell Press

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2016 by John Wood

Did the oldtime strongmen understand some things about training that we don’t today? I would say so, otherwise, we would see more feats like this one. Al Tauscher was one of America’s greatest lifters and strength athletes at the start of the 20th century. He was one of the first lifters of any bodyweight to lift 300 lbs. to the shoulders and jerk it overhead. At a bodyweight of 165 lbs, here’s Al in mid-lift of a “bottom up press” with a 122 lb kettlebell – now that’s strong!
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Latvian Sport Club, 1970

Posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2016 by John Wood
The view from a Latvian Sport Club, circa 1970. Not that it’s any great revelation but kettlebells were (and are), very popular in eastern Europe countries.

Kettlebells in Iran, circa 1897

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 by John Wood
Kettlebells are thought by many people to be uniquely Russian. While there is no question that they have very strong roots there, kettlebells have a long tradition in other areas of the world as well. This rare picture was taken in Iran, circa 1897, showing these practitioners of ‘Varzesh-e Pahlavani’ (Iranian Martial Arts) who obviously use them as a part of their training. The text offers no explanation as to why they are fastened together by ropes.

Also of note are the Kaebade (i.e. Iron Bows) at their feet. That unique training tool is swung from one shoulder to the other, building upper-body strength.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Milo Triplex Kettlebells

Posted on Friday, December 5th, 2014 by John Wood

Many people think kettlebells are uniquely Russian, but while they certainly have a long history in Russia, kettlebells also have a long tradition in America as well.
In 1902, Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell Company and kettlebells were among his first products.
He went through several different designs, the patent shown above is for the Milo “Triplex” Kettlebell which was patented on September 23, 1919.
The Milo Triplex shown did not have a shot-loaded compartment but instead had globed plate “slices” inside the outer shell.
The rotating handle is also of note.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Kettlebells for ‘Different’ Development by Sig Klein

Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by John Wood

I’ve seen it written that kettlebells were completely unknown in the US until the late 90’s but that’s not exactly true… I wouldn’t say that they were tremendously popular, but people have certainly known about kettlebells on these shores and trained with them for many years prior. Sig Klein was always big fan of kettlebells and discussed them often in his articles and courses. To give you one example, this article, “Kettlebells for ‘Different’ Development” appeared in Strength and Health magazine in the late 1950’s.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.