Alfons Dobiczek

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019 by John Wood
Alfons Dobiczek
Alfons Dobiczek, from Ruda Slaska, Poland, won the Polish light-heavyweight lifting championships once and came in second on two other occasions. Here he is around 1920 with a selection of his training equipment.

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.

Chinese Stone Locks

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Kettlebells go back a long way but Chinese Stone Locks predate them by several thousand years. Martial artists in China have been using stone weights like these to develop their bodies for centuries. There are, of course, many ‘kettlebell’ exercises that can be done with stone locks, but they carry with them their own specific kind of training — and a specific set of results. Stone locks training is particularly good for grip and forearm work.
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.

Von Krajewski’s Gym

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s a unique look at Dr. Vladislav Von Krajewski’s Gym in St. Petersburg, Russia, circa 1901. This is the place where an untold number of strength champions trained, most notably George Hackenschmidt. I know that I could sure get strong in a place like this.
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.

Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller

Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 by John Wood
Now you too can learn about the life and training secrets of one of the strongest men who ever walked the Earth!

Hermann Goerner

Every once in a while, a man comes along who possesses a level of strength that is simply head and shoulders above everyone else out there ~ and Hermann Goerner was just such a man!

Goerner’s strength and power was the stuff of legend, and even nearly a century after his time, no one has ever been close to many of his records.

His most famous lift is likely his ONE-HAND deadlift of 727 pounds(!), but some of his other marks were equally impressive.

These include a strict curl of 242 pounds, a deadlift of 505 pounds with just two fingers of each hand and a plank “leg press” with 24 people which totaled over two tons. Goerner even had a “Challenge weight” a 2-3/8ths inch thick-handled globe barbell which he could clean and jerk almost effortlessly which no one else could so much as budge.

Goerner’s deadlifting ability was the stuff of legend … here he is in 1933, lifting nearly 600 lbs. with only two fingers of each hand!
Goerner’s excellent “challenge” weight… Few strongmen could lift it in any capacity but Goerner did so with ease.
Goerner used to wrestle with a 700 lb. baby elephant as part of his daily act in Pagel’s Circus, South Africa.
How Did a Genuine Oldtime Strength Legend REALLY Train?
Now you Can Find out for sure!

How would you like to know how Hermann Goerner trained? I’m not talking about guesses either, but the actual sets, reps and weights that he used in his workouts. It’s not often that we can have a look into the exact training ideas and programs of a true super man, but, that is exactly what you will have an opportunity to do as noted strength historian Edgar Mueller saw fit to chronicle Goerner’s amazing life, strength records and unique training techniques…

The result was Goerner The Mighty, which was originally published in 1951 but now once again available in high-quality modern reprint edition ~ and even better than the original! Here’s a quick look at the many interesting things you will learn from its pages:

Goerner the Mighty
Table of Contents:
FOREWORD by Irving R. Clark

INTRODUCTION by John E. Dawe

Chapter I: Introducing Hermann Goerner
— What stood out in meeting Goerner for the first time… His other interests… Goerner’s sleep habits and diet

Chapter II: His Early Life
— The age that Goerner first started lifting… His earliest feats of strength as a boy… How he compared to George Hackenschmidt at the same age… His introduction and training to building “animal” strength”… Lifting titles won… Early strength performances as a member of “The Atlas Trio”… Challenge weight feats… Results of the 1913 German Weight Lifting Championship… His ‘battles’ with Karl Moerke

Chapter III: His Later Life and Travels
Pagel’s Circus and adventures in South Africa… Details of his circus “act”… Discovery by Tromp Van Diggelen and introduction to W.A. Pullum… The inspiration for the famous ‘Plank’ feat

Chapter IV: His Measurements
Goerner’s exact measurements taken by the author on December, 16th, 1934… Additional measurements… Notes on body weight at various periods throughout his life

Chapter V: His Lifting Performances and Feats of Strength
The single-handed press… Single-handed snatches… Single-handed jerks… Double- handed jerks and ‘anyhow’ lifts… How some of his lifts compare to several other famous strongmen and lifters, Saxon, Walker, Stanko, Rigoulot, etc… Double-handed snatches… Single and double-handed swings… Feats of Arm and Shoulder Strength… Two-hands slow curl… Two-hands kettlebell press… Two hands holdout… The rectangular fix… The Good Morning… Lifts to Shoulders, Single and Double-Handed… Deadlift records and performances… Supporting Feats… The ‘Plank’ and Human Bridge stunts… Lifting a Car… Carrying a Piano… Walking with a half a ton supported on his shoulders… Feats of Agility and Strength

Chapter VI: His Training Methods
— How many days per week he trained, and the specific ‘type’ of workouts taken… How long each training session lasted… Goerner’s post-workout recovery… A typical training program… Details of the “Die Kette” kettlebell workout… Specific weights used and order of exercises… Lifting tempo… Training for special feats and records… Six different one-hand deadlift “grips”… Training for two-hands deadlifting… Three of Goerner’s favorite types of shrugging movements… Training for supporting or carrying feats… The Brick Lift… Pinch Lifting… Training for a match… Additional training information, diet, massage, roadwork etc

Chapter VII: His Attitude to Lifting Feats and Feats of Strength
— Training philosophy and position on ‘Health’… The role of variety in training… Thoughts on mixing fast and slow movements in the same workout… Deadlifts… Lifting ‘Cold’… Carrying heavy weights… Unusual methods of lifting a barbell… Success in Wrist Wrestling… How Goerner could tear a deck of playing cards… Breaking one of Louis Cyr’s records… Feats of Abdominal strength… Weight Throwing accomplishments

Conclusion: Appreciation by World-Famous Authorities
— Notes and observations on Hermann Goerner from: Prof. Theodore Siebert… David P. Willoughby… George F. Jowett… Tromp Van Diggelen… Bob Hoffman… Henry Graf… Hugo Rosch… Gord Venables… Jack Reid… W.A.Pullum… Ray Van Cleef… Mac Batchelor… Leo Gaudreau

Index

The modern reprint edition of “Goerner The Mighty” by Edgar Mueller is a 5″ x 7″ trade paperback, with full glossy cover, 136 pages in length consisting of eight chapters, the contents of which are listed above.

There are also 32 rare photos and diagrams of Goerner and his exploits and training techniques as well as a full index. This modern reprint edition is nearly identical in every way to the original 1951 printing.

Order now!Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller
___________$19.99 plus s/h

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

George Hackenschmidt

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood


“World Champion Wrestler and Record Setting Strongman Reveals All…”

George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt has the unique distinction of being one of the first well known physique stars, a champion wrestler, legendary strongman, AND outspoken strength author.

He was a man of imaginable power. In fact, many of “Hack’s” greatest strength records still stand and his first wrestling bout against Frank Gotch in 1908 is widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestling match of all time…

Later that same year, Hackenschmidt published The Way to Live which was part autobiography and part training course. 21 editions later, this book was considered the highest selling book on physical culture ever written!

In The Way to Live, Hackenschmidt covers a wide range of topics, including:

How he lived … his methods of exercise … training with weights … training without weights … training for young and old … nutrition and diet … building and cultivating will power … feats of strength with heavy weights … hindrances to the acquisition of strength … tips on bathing … rest and wholesome sleep … variations in exercise … exercises for athletes, etc. and a complete course in barbell and dumbbell training…

Hackenschmidt closes the book telling the story of his life including his early days under the guidance of Dr. von Krajewski (physician to the Czar of Russia), and Dr. Theodore Siebert, the famous German weightlifting pioneer. He relates tales of his wrestling bouts with the likes of Zbysco, Lurich, Jenkins, Farmer Burns, and, of course, his most famous match against Frank Gotch.

This 5″ x 7″ trade paperback high-quality modern reprint edition features new material not found in the original printing: 173 pages, over 89 rare photos and illustrations (several of which have been added to the modern reprint edition and did not appear in the original version), and a unique look into the life of one of the strongest man who ever lived, holder of many world strength records, and world champion catch-as-catch-can wrestler.

Order now!The Way to Live by George Hackenschmidt
_________ $19.99 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.

Classic Polish Globe Weights

Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2016 by John Wood

Great equipment practically begs to be used and I would say that would definitely be the case here. These classic Globe Barbells, Dumbbells, Kettlebells and Blockweights from a century ago can be found in a Polish Museum.
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.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

Cadine’s Leverage Bells (?)

Posted on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 by John Wood
Now here’s a curious one: We have several rare shots of the great French weightlifter Ernest Cadine with these interesting pieces of equipment. You could make the case that they have the trappings of kettlebells but they appear to be used more like dumbbells with an unusual twist. The counterweight can be adjusted along the handle to increase or decrease the resistance but the resulting torque of holding them in place must be tremendous which means even curls, presses or other basic movements would be terrific grip developers. Cadine was certainly no slouch in the forearm department. We’ve never seen these advertised so they must have been for his own personal use.
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.