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 © 2005-2019 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.

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.

“The Brooklyn Strongboy” Charles Phelan

Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 by John Wood
“The Brooklyn Strongboy” Charles Phelan was the American Professional Lightweight Champion and also performed a strongman act for many years at Coney Island and around the New York area. Notice the outstanding show weights: the unusually large kettlebell and the thick-handled globe dumbbell.

Charles Phelan was a protege of Warren Lincoln Travis and eventually taught much of what he knew to Vic Boff.
Phelan told jokes between feats of strength, also billing himself (quite uniquely, I might add) as “The World’s Most Entertaining Strongman.” Phelan only weighed 140 lbs, but could backlift 2500 lbs.

Spike Bending with “Bull” Bonvicin

Posted on Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by John Wood
Dave “Bull” Bonvicin, from Oakland, California, was a performing strongman with many different talents. Among them was spike bending — he didn’t just bend these spikes in half but liked to make various designs and shapes out of them. “Bull” also had some pretty sweet equipment. (Is that a kettlebell I see in the background?)
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.

Hackenschmidt’s Kettlebell

Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 by John Wood

Hackenschmidt's Kettlebell

Here’s a look at George Hackenschmidt’s kettlebell — or one of them anyway. You’ll find this one, along with many of his other training weights in a sports museum in Eastern Europe.
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.

1900 Russian Weightlifting Medal

Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 by John Wood

1900 Russian Weightlifting Medal

A Look at a pretty nifty Russian weightlifting medal from 1900 or so roughly double actual size. Many of the old postcards of Russian strongmen and wrestlers show them proudly displaying medals such as this one on their chests ~ and rightly so.
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.

Physical Culture Magazine ~ February, 1902

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 by John Wood

Physical Culture Magazine - February, 1902

Now THAT’S a kettlebell! …a look at the cover of the February, 1902 issue of Bernarr Macfadden’s “Physical Culture” magazine. If you were wondering where people got their training info a century ago, “Physical Culture” was pretty much it

.

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.

W.A. Pullum’s Challenge

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 by John Wood

W.A. Pullum was a great British Strongman who set scores of strength records during his competitive career. Like many Oldtime Strongmen, Pullum had his own strength challenge. Using the special thick-handled globe barbell shown here, a lifter had to do a “Two Hands Anyhow” with a poundage equal to 1-1/2 times his own bodyweight and simultaneously lift a kettlebell loaded a third of the barbell poundage with the other hand.

Pullum used to perform this “double-bodyweight” feat twelve times per week but in all his years, his “challenge” was never accepted.

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.