Ron Lacy

Posted on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by John Wood
Originally from Hazard, Kentucky, Ron Lacy was the winner of the 1957 AAU Mr. America Contest and is shown here gracing the cover of the September, 1958 issue of Muscle Builder magazine.

Lacy also won the 1955 Mr. Kentucky Contest and finished first in the medium class in the NABBA Mr. Universe contest. Ron was well-known for his leg development and once squatted 300 pounds for 50 consecutive reps.

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.

Dan Lurie

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

Dan Lurie

As a bodybuilder, Brooklyn-born Dan Lurie won the “Most Muscular” subdivision and finished second in the AAU Mr. America contest in 1942, 1943 and 1944.

As a strongman, Dan performed 1655 push ups in 90 minutes, a bent press of 285 pounds (at a bodyweight of 168 pounds) and backlifted 1810 pounds.

Lurie went on to become a very successful gym owner, magazine publisher and TV strongman. He also established the Dan Lurie Barbell Company which produced barbells and plates primarily on the east coast.

Bonus points if you noticed that the dumbbell that Dan is holding in this photo is from Professor Anthony Barker’s Strength Maker Bar-Bell System.

Alan Stephan, Mr. America!

Posted on Friday, October 11th, 2013 by John Wood

Alan Stephan, Mr. America!

Surprisingly, few Mr. America title winners had their own training courses. Alan Stephan, the winner of the 1946 AAU Mr. America title was one who did. Here’s a nifty ad for his training course which ran in several magazines. As a side note, the 1946 Mr. America contest was actually the first contest Stephan entered.
Stephan could also lay claim to being “Mr. America” more-so that anyone else, since he was the only man to win the title in the AAU as well as the IFBB (which he accomplished in 1948).
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.

January, 1940 Strength and Health, John Grimek Cover

Posted on Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 by John Wood

The great John Grimek on the cover of the January, 1940 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. A few months later, Grimek went on to with the first AAU Mr. America contest.  Grimek won it again the next year, prompting a rule change that someone could only win the contest once, figuring that Grimek would likely otherwise just keep winning indefinitely. This line of thinking wasn’t a stretch either as Grimek was certainly ahead of his time.
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.

Clancy Ross

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 by John Wood

Clarence “Clancy” Ross, from Oakland, California, started weight training at 17 years of age (weighing all of 135 pounds) and built himself up into one of the greatest bodybuilders who ever lived. Ross won the 1945 AAU Mr. America title (plus the “Most Muscular” award.) He took the Pro Mr. America title the next year and Mr. USA the year after that.

Rather than focus on “pumping” exercises which was often the suggested method at the time, Ross was not afraid to lift heavy on the basic multi-joint movements such as bent-over rows, squats, deadlifts etc — and it showed. Ross appeared on the cover of over forty different bodybuilding magazines over his career.

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.

Muscle Up and Make Out!

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 by John Wood

Muscle Up and Make Out!

Muscle Up and Make Out! – Straight outta the back of a thousand comic books comes Dave Draper and the World Famous Samson “007” Twister! One twist is all it took to start adding inches of muscle. The chicks clearly dug it and it certainly worked for Dave Draper, who won the IFBB Mr. America in 1965, Mr. Universe in 1967 and Mr. World in 1970.

John Grimek

Posted on Saturday, March 17th, 2012 by John Wood

John C. Grimek, from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has the unique distinction of being one of “the greatest” in pretty much every aspect of strength training that you can think of…

As you can probably tell, Grimek was a champion bodybuilder and won every contest he ever entered. This included the AAU Mr. America contest twice (in 1940 and 1941 – the only man to do so) and Mr. Universe in 1948. Grimek was a fixture on the cover of Strength and Health magazine and either the subject of, or the author of dozens of training articles.

…but he also wasn’t just all show, Grimek was as strong as he looked. Grimek represented the United States at 1936 Olympics in Berlin (where he accomplished the highest American total) and put up impressive numbers in many different lifts.

To give you a few good examples, Grimek could easily rip phone books, lift 11-3/4 pounds on the “Weaver Stick” and actually worked up to supporting a thousand pounds in the overhead press position.

Steve Reeves’ Favorite Exercises

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 by John Wood

I’m sure you can see why they say Steve Reeves has the classic physique… he looked like a Greek statue brought to life. Reeves was one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time, winning almost every contest he entered including the 1947 AAU Mr. America title. In 1950, he trained at the York Barbell Club in York, PA for the NABBA Mr. Universe contest (which he eventually won, by the way.) While at York, John Grimek, watched Reeves train, and later wrote an article about what he saw in the November, 1964 issue of Muscular Development Magazine. According to Grimek, here are some of Steve Reeves’ favorite exercises:

•Hack Squats

•Cable Rowing

•Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls

•Behind Neck Press