Modern Samsons!

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Back in 1902 when Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell Company this is the type of equipment he started out with: a canister shape which had a compartment for barbell plates as well as a compartment which could be shot-loaded for micro progression. The Milo Barbell Company switched to the more practical Globed equipment shortly afterwards. The $7.50 price tag in 1902 equates to around $180 in today’s money when adjusted for inflation.

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.

Young Alan Calvert

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
Alan Calvert, founder of The Milo Barbell Company, was a prolific strength author who wrote an untild number of courses and articles. He rarely featured himself though, but this is an exception: a rare image of a young Alan Calvert in mid-swing with an excellent Milo globe dumbbell. This would be circa 1902. Dig those gladiator boots!
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.

Alan Calvert

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016 by John Wood

A very rare picture of Milo Barbell Company founder and noted strength author Alan Calvert. Calvert established the Milo Barbell company in 1902, one of the very first training publications “Strength” Magazine in 1914, wrote several training books and courses and helped pave the way for thousands of trainees to develop size and strength.

Gotta love those classic ‘bells!

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.

Milo Triplex Kettlebells

Posted on Friday, December 5th, 2014 by John Wood
Many people think kettlebells are uniquely Russian, but while they certainly have a long history in Russia, kettlebells also have a long tradition in America as well. In 1902, Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell Company and kettlebells were among his first products. He went through several different designs, the patent shown above is for the Milo “Triplex” Kettlebell which was patented on September 23, 1919. The Milo Triplex shown did not have a shot-loaded compartment but instead had globed plate “slices” inside the outer shell. The rotating handle is also of note.
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.

1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 by John Wood

1928 Milo Barbell Advertisement, Featuring Al Manger

Here’s an interesting one: this 1928 Milo Barbell advertisement features Mr. Al Manger, who built himself up from “a bag of bones” into a weightlifting champion with the power of sensible physical training and a Milo weight set. At the age of 21, Manger weighed only 97 pounds, and within a year of barbell training, had added 26 pounds of solid muscle.

Manger kept at it, and went on to win three national lifting championships, one in the 181 lb. class in 1929 and two light-heavyweight crowns in 1930 and 1932. Manger finished fifth with a 315 kg. total at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games. Manger also won regional championships in the shot put and weight throwing.

…Pretty good for a skinny kid from Baltimore.

If you would like to learn about the specific types of training that helped Manger build his strength, you’ll find it in The Alan Calvert Collection.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

Vintage Milo Barbell Company Advertisement

Posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 by John Wood

Vintage Milo Barbell Company Advertisement

Here’s a look at a vintage ad for the Milo Barbell Company circa 1920. Read the words carefully. Interestingly enough, the messages of proper training and necessity for good equipment have not changed one bit over the last hundred years.
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.

Richard Thomas, of Niagra Falls, New York

Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by John Wood

Richard Thomas, Niagra Falls, New York

Shown here is Richard Thomas of Niagra Falls, New York, and his weights, circa 1931. Mr. Thomas ran a private gym of about thirty members and was also clearly a big fan of kettlebell handles. These were Milo Barbell Co. weights and bars as things had only just barely gotten started down in York, PA at the time…
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.

A Sensational Feat

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 by John Wood

A Sensational Feat Milo Bar Bell Co

A look at a vintage advertisement for the Milo Bar Bell Company, circa 1920. That’s Anton Matysek lifting and supporting a bicycle with three riders, upping the ante on a feat originally pioneered by Thomas Inch.

As the ad states:

“Walking with a weight of 560 lbs. in the manner shown above requires strength in every part of the body. That this man has strength is shown by his broad shoulders, deep chest and magnificently muscled arms and legs. He is a Milo Bar Bell pupil – a man who has obtained all his development through the practice of progressive bar bell exercises. Yet when he enrolled for our course of instruction he did not even have ordinary health and strength. He will give you a good idea of what you may expect to accomplish through the Milo Bar Bell system of exercise.”

While you may not necessarily have an interest in doing this particular lift, heavy lockouts and supports do go a long way in building incredible strength.

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.

The Iron Master Dumbbell

Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012 by John Wood
From 1989 to 2000, Osmo Kiiha published “THE IRON MASTER” one of the most informative periodicals ever produced on the history of strength training. What made this publication stand out from anything before or since was the focus on training — every issue focused on one or more of the all-time greats but it wasn’t just talk, there was always a number of workouts included so that readers could learn exactly how the champs trained.

At one point, Osmo decided to create a further link to the past by coming out with his own classic equipment. He created a series of globe barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells which were reminiscent of the kind of equipment that the MILO Barbell Company had produced a century before. The “Iron Master” Dumbbell is shown above.

Like the MILO models, these had hollow globes which could be filled either with shot or loaded with smaller plates through the handle. They were cast in either aluminum or steel and were machined, one at a time, by hand ~ true works of art.