At that time there was a man known as James Walter Kennedy who was athletically inclined and developed. He was an oarsman and general athlete, leaning, however, more toward the strong man. He was about 6 feet tall and weighed around 190 pounds, had jet black curly hair and mustache and at a time was a special officer at The Globe Museum at 298-300 Bowery, New York City.
Kennedy took a notion that he could lift this 1000 pound dumbbell with his hands and he began to train with a big whiskey cask, not using whiskey in it, but water, sand and rock as he gained strength. In other words, he used the Milo Bar Bell system of gradually increasing weight as he improved in his strength.
The first time he tried lifting the 1000 pound weight he failed but some time later he succeeded. His style was to straddle the weight and have one hand in front of his body grasping the weight and the other hand grasping it in the rear of his body, this position being known as the Hands Alone Lift. His body was erect with the exception that the knees were bent about 2 or 3 inches.”
– Warren Lincoln TravisMy 40 years with the World’s Strongest Men
The rights were eventually purchased by multiple-time Mr. Olympia winner Frank Zane, and re-released as the Frank Zane Leg Blaster (which is still available today.) We have an original Moore Squat bar still very much in use in our private collection.
The Nautilus Upright Squat Machine, shown here, is a good example of this. This machine was designed to provide all the benefits of the barbell squat, while reducing or eliminating the drawbacks. This was the only leg machine that Casey used in every workout for the duration of the Colorado Experiment. While it was effective, the potential for the user to be catapulted right out of it was deemed far too great, so this was the only one ever manufactured.
This movement is not actually named after George Hackenschmidt but gets its name from “Hacke” the German word for ankle, which is roughly where the bar touches before the commencement of the lift. One coaching point on this lift which is not obvious is that the hands are supposed to be touching. Several lifters have been able to perform this movement with nearly 800 pounds.
Here’s an impressive feat: This picture was taken on one of the lifting platforms in the Ridge Avenue York Gym. A group of lifters placed this 500 pound barbell onto Wilbur Miller’s feet and he commenced to “leg press” it. Yikes! You can read more details about this picture in The Dellinger Files Volume I.