Al Tauscher

Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2018 by John Wood
Here we have Al Tauscher, the Oregon Strongman, getting in a quick kettlebell workout back around 1916. Though he only weighed 162 pounds, Tauscher was incredibly strong. In this classic shot he presses a 105 lb. kettlebell with the left hand while simultaneously curling a 75 lb. ‘bell in the right… This feat was said to be ridiculously easy for Tauscher by those who witnessed it. He could also one-arm snatch 157 pounds and one-arm clean and jerk 210 pounds, both of which were American Amateur records at the time.
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 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

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.

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.

Reg Park Kettlebell Handles

Posted on Friday, April 11th, 2014 by John Wood

You can count Reg Park among the many strength athletes who trained with kettlebells, in fact, Reg sold his own set of plate-loaded kettlebell handles through his equipment company. The above advertisement is from 1956.

It should be noted though that Reg et al, performed bodybuilding movements with kettlebells, (usually shoulder and arm work) and did not train with them in the kettlebell methods that are widely promoted today.

Kettlebells in Japan

Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 by John Wood
Kettlebells in Japan

Japanese amateur wrestler Kitahata Kanetaka is shown here doing a few neck bridges with a 32kg kettlebell in each hand, circa 1937. Kitahata was taught kettlebell lifting by the Estonian strongman/wrestler/boxer Jan Kentel who introduced kettlebell training to Japan in the early 1930’s.

Steve Reeves: Kettlebell Training

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 by John Wood
Shown here: Steve Reeves performing a “full” lateral raise with a pair of Milo kettlebells… a highly underrated movement for shoulder development made that much more enjoyable with classic iron. The rotating handles of the Milo kettlebells allow for certain exercises that are difficult to do with cast-iron kettlebells. (As a side note, Steve Reeves was well-known for his broad shoulders which were measured by Armand Tanny at an unbelievable 23-1/2 inches.)
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.

Sig Klein ~ Kettlebells!

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 by John Wood
Sig Klein was talkin’ kettlebell training decades ago. He had kettlebells in his gym… he featured kettlebells in his training courses… he wrote articles about kettlebells in Strength and Health… Yet you don’t hear ol’ Sig’s name pop up much in modern kettlebell literature… Some of the experts need to do a little more homework.