Basil Korolev

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by John Wood
Basil Korolev was Russian by birth but left his native land in 1919 at the start of the revolution. He settled in Japan were he was undefeated in Judo and boxing contests and held the heavyweight title in both sports until his retirement in 1936. Here is Basil at a strength demonstration curling a pair of 80-pound kettlebells with only his little fingers.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

A Congress of Japan’s Famous Strong Men

Posted on Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 by John Wood

Here’s a pretty interesting item, a poster from the Barnum and Bailey Circus advertising “A Congress of Japan’s Famous Strong Men.” Based on the attire, I would expect to see sumo wrestling and/or grappling such as is pictured in the top half of the poster.

The bottom illustrations are intriguing though: Sumo wrestlers engaging in stone lifting, steel scrolling, live animal wrestling, horseshoe bending, chain breaking… and of particular interest is the gent in the bottom right holding a kettlebell in each hand. This poster is from the 1921 Circus season.

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

1904 German Lifting Team

Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by John Wood

Here’s a rare look at a German weightlifting team circa 1904, and below, a closer look at their outstanding equipment. As was standard for the time period, the kettlebells had large, open handles as they were frequently used for juggling.

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

Bert Goodrich, The First Mr. America, Trained With Kettlebells

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by John Wood

Among the many strength athletes who have trained with kettlebells is the very first AAU Mr. America winner (1939) Bert Goodrich. Each of these interesting kettlebells weighed 56 pounds, and he used them primarily for shoulder work.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

Art Levan

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

Art Levan

Besides being a a great Olympic lifter (10x National Champion in the 126 lb. class) Art Levan, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was also a master of several unusual feats of strength as well. Here’s Art hanging by his teeth with a 70-pound kettlebell in each hand.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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 Treubund Sport-Club, 1903

Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2014 by John Wood

The Treubund Sport-Club, 1903

A look at the members of the Treubund (Lüneburg, Germany) Sport-club, circa 1903, and their fantastic equipment.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

Anton Riha

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

Back in 1890, Anton Riha, of Bohemia, set an unusual record for weight supporting. Using a specially designed harness rig, he was able to support and/or hang 1400 lbs. of globe barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, ring weights and other miscellaneous weights on his body in a standing position. This record was broken shortly afterwards though by a strongman from Vienna who upped the ante to over 2000 lbs.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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 on Kettlebells

Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013 by John Wood

Sig Klein on Kettlebells

I have always found the kettlebell to be one of the most useful and fascinating pieces of weight training apparatus. It can be handled in so many diverse manners that its application in the field of body -building exercises is almost without limit. You will have to hunt for a long time to find a more versatile piece of training equipment. – Sig Klein
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.

Strongman Wrist Straps

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by John Wood

Strongman Wrist Straps

If you are going to run off to the circus and be a strongman, you also have to look the part. In addition to barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells you could also get these nifty wrist straps from The Milo Barbell Company. Of course, these wrist straps also came free with a subscription to STRENGTH magazine, which sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.