Iron Boots

Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 by John Wood
Iron Boots
Before there were leg press machines, a pair of Iron Boots was a pretty good way to condition your lower body. Demonstrating here is professional wrestler Adrienne Nichols from Cleveland, Ohio. This was actually from a photo shoot for Life Magazine in 1948.
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.

Bob Hoffman’s Favorite Squat

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Here’s a classic shot of Bob Hoffman at the old Broad Street Gym demonstrating one of his favorite exercises, squatting on the toes. That’s a pretty nifty globe barbell that ol’ BoHo is using, and, of course, he’s wearing his trusty York Barbell Club t-shirt. The fellow on the left is Frank Findley, the great physical culture coach and gym owner from Australia.

The Origin of The Kennedy Lift

Posted on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017 by John Wood
“About forty years ago, at the height of the new wave of strong man popularity, the late Richard K. Fox, then publisher of the Police Gazette, the leading sporting journal of America, had a 1000 pound dumb-bell cast, but it was not in the shape of the dumbbells today. It was more like a massive block of iron. He offered a very valuable gold medal and title to the first man to lift this 1000 pound weight.

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 Travis
My 40 years with the World’s Strongest Men

Moore’s Squat Bar

Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by John Wood

Here, 1959 AAU Mr. America winner Harry Johnson demonstrates Moore’s Squat Bar, a unique piece of equipment from the Atlanta Barbell Co., which was often advertised in the old Iron Man magazine and which eliminates much of the discomfort of squatting due to the “yoke” design.
Look familiar?
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

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2012 by John Wood

Casey Viator, using the Nautilus Upright Squat Machine during the Colorado Experiment

During the “Colorado Experiment” Casey Viator famously gained 63 pounds of muscle mass in 28 days.  The workouts were brief and intense and while not an “experiment” in a truest sense of the word, it did show that dramatic results were quite possible under a certain set of circumstances.  Interestingly, much of the equipment used was in fact, experimental, and never actually made commercially available.

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.

The Hack Squat

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

Walter Donald Demonstrates the Hack Squat

The Hack Squat, (or Hack Lift, as it is sometimes called) is a behind-the-back deadlift, as demonstrated by famous oldtime physique star Walter Donald in the pages of Super Strength by Alan Calvert.
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.

Wilbur Miller’s Leg Press

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 by John Wood

Wilbur Miller: Leg Press

Wilbur Miller was a very strong lifter in the 1960’s who probably didn’t get as much recognition as he deserved.
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.
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.