The Billard Golden Triumph Barbell Training Manual

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 by John Wood

The Billard Golden Triumph Barbell Training Manual

The Billard Barbell Company, out of Reading, Pennsylvania, hit the scene in the early 1960’s and featured their equipment primarily in department and sporting goods stores. If you got one of their weight sets, you also received this nifty training manual featuring Bruce Randall, the 1959 Mr. Universe winner. Randall made appearances at sporting good stores promoting and demonstrating Billard equipment. As a side note, Billard was actually the third barbell company based in Reading, PA (after the Good Barbell Company and the Reading Barbell Company.) In addition to weights, the Billard Barbell Company also boasted a national championship caliber softball team.

The Dumbbell Pullover

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012 by John Wood

Dumbbell Pullover, Paul Wynter

If there’s one exercise that rarely gets its due it is the dumbbell pullover, demonstrated here by 1960 and ’66 Mr. Universe winner Paul Wynter. When done correctly, it can add a great deal of muscle to the upper body, especially when combined with high-rep breathing squats.
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

Strength and Health Magazine: September, 1944

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 by John Wood
Shown here is the cover of the September, 1944 issue of Strength and Health Magazine, featuring Steve Stanko. He had won both the 1944 AAU Mr. America and Junior. Mr. America titles only a few months before. This was not the first time Stanko graced the cover of Strength and Health, nor was it the last.

Just a few years earlier, in 1941, Stanko became the first man to officially break the 1000-pound total in the three Olympic lifts (which, very surprisingly, did not even get him a cover shot or a mention) …and just a few years later, in 1947, Stanko would go on to become the very first Mr. Universe winner.