Double Your Strength Almost Overnight!

Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014 by John Wood

One of the most interesting (and, in my opinion, most fun) aspects of strength history is the old advertisements. There is much to be learned by those in the same business today who might take the time to study them. Here’s a classic ad circa 1928 from Professor Henry W. Titus, one of the early mail order muscle pioneers. You can see why someone would want to save up their paper route money to send away for this course. You even get a nifty medal to pin to your jacket when you completed it!

Courses like this one are simple and might even be considered crude by today’s standards but often the “after” results beat much of what we see in today’s gyms, even with infinitely more equipment and access to information.

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.

100,000 Strong Men Can’t Be Wrong!

Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2012 by John Wood

Earle E. Leiderman

What we find pretty interesting is that while people tended to keep various strength books and courses, almost no one kept the ads, which are  fascinating in their own right.  Here’s a classic ad from Earle E. Liederman who did more advertising than any of the Mail Order Muscle Barons.  Whether you are a fan of oldtime strength training or oldtime copywriting, it’s a good idea to pay close attention… we may have several of Liederman’s books available in the near future.
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.

Joe Bonomo : The Strongman of the Movies

Posted on Friday, November 4th, 2011 by John Wood

Joe Bonomo

Joe Bonomo was one of the early “Mail Order Muscle” stars and a contemporary of Charles Atlas.
As a young boy, Bonomo was fortunate enough to meet a Polish strongman named Ladislaw who taught him how to train.

Soon the boy they used to call “toothpicks” became a star football player and gymnast. Right out of high school Joe won a talent search contest in the Daily News for “The Modern Apollo” — which led to a role in a motion picture.
He went on to star in dozens of movies as both an actor and a famous stuntman. His performances in serials and adventure films earned him many fans, many of whom wrote in asking how he had developed his rugged physique.

Joe created a form letter detailing his training and sent it to anyone in need of advice. The demand became so large that an outright mail-order business soon followed. In addition to his work in Hollywood, Joe Bonomo inspired millions of young men around the workd with his strength building courses.

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.

Eugen Sandow

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by John Wood
Eugen Sandow was the prototypical strongman, the first true strength Superstar and can rightfully be called “The Man who Started it All.”
Strength and How to Obtain It by Eugen Sandow
Sandow thrilled audiences all over the world with his classical physique as well as his amazing feats of strength. In fact, many of the most famous Iron Game luminaries such as George Jowett and Alan Calvert (among others) were inspired to begin training after seeing Sandow in action.

Once he tired of the performing life, Sandow established the very first “Health Studios,” mail order training courses, mail order training equipment and physical culture magazine — all “firsts” for things which are now commonplace in the modern age.

Earle E. Liederman

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 by John Wood
Earle E. Liederman
Earle E. Liederman began his career as a strongman on the vaudeville circuit and traveled the country performing feats of strength and acrobatics. Liederman eventually grew tired of the traveling life and settled down to write a series of books and training courses which became incredibly successful, making him one of the first of the Mail Order Muscle Barons.

His first training course showcased a number of exercises that could be done with chest expanders and bodyweight exercises. Theses courses were very popular since they did not require a lot of equipment and could be done at home.