Training for Gotch

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
George Hackenshmidt drew a crowd while in training to face Frank Gotch for the second time, in Chicago in 1911. Hack is shown here building his neck strength with the the wrestler’s bridge. His training partners Dr. Benjamin Roller and Gus ‘Americus’ Schoenlein, look on.

The Wrestler’s Bridge 3

Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 by John Wood
Another fantastic shot of The Wrestler’s Bridge in action. Unfortunately, it was not recorded who these gents were but the fellow on the bottom performs a picture-perfect nose-to-mat bridge to save what would probably have been an easy pin. Superb.
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 Nautilus Rotary Neck Machine

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 by John Wood

The Nautilus Rotary Neck Machine contains no weight stack, no built in source of resistance of any kind … instead, the resistance is provided by the user through the use of hand levers that enable you to exactly control the resistance during both the positive and negative parts of the exercise. There aren’t many Rotary Neck Machines around but we happen to have one in our private gym and when used correctly, it is excellent. We may do a feature on it at some point.

Farmer Burns on the Wrestler’s Bridge

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by John Wood
“I wish to impress upon all my students the great value of physical training connected with the bridge exercise. I want you to practice bridging every day, for you can find nothing that will develop the neck and back muscles to such an extent as bridging will do.

You already realize the importance of a very strong neck and it is entirely up to you to have a wonderful neck or not, depending entirely on the amount of study, and time of practice that you give the subject. A strong, well-developed neck is not only valuable to health and your personal athletic appearance, but important in wrestling as well.”

~ Farmer Burns, 1912

Sargent’s Head Lifting Machine

Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by John Wood
The Head Lifting Machine
When Dudley Allen Sargent became the physical director of Harvard University’s famed Hemenway Gymnasium, he wanted to make sure the student body was as well-rounded as possible in their development.

Henceforth, Sargent devised several unique “machines” which could be used to fill in the gaps in areas that the conventional equipment of the day could not address (equally true today and the very same rational justification for any device which solves a problem or provides an advantage.)

One of the more interesting examples can be seen at the right, this “head lifting” machine offered a method for strengthening the neck and upper-back in a progressive and systematic manner. This was the first dedicated machine to building neck strength ever created, clearly it was under stood that this was an important area.

Neck training is, of course, down-played or ignored in many modern programs which is a real shame since it is certainly no less important today than it was back then.

Extreme Neck Strength II

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by John Wood
Don’t try this one at home: Rudolpho Gulliano, the Italian Strongman, showcased his neck strength development by allowing a heavy produce cart to run back and forth across his Adams’s apple… and doesn’t look like it phased him a bit.
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.

Extreme Neck Strength

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014 by John Wood

When you build a little strength, sometimes you want to show off a bit… and that is exactly what’s going on here. Up top you’ll see my good friend Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitis, bending a spike in his hands while John Wood provides the platform in the form of a nose-to-mat bridge. You won’t find many people that can hold a full bridge, even without a 180 pound man standing on top of him. If you aren’t practicing your “nose-to-mat” bridge, or at least working up to it, in our experience, you aren’t getting as much out of the exercise as you could…
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.

Dio Lewis’ Iron Crown

Posted on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by John Wood

You’ll find some pretty interesting ideas when you venture into the “forgotten lore” of physical training. Here’s a good example from the great physical culture pioneer Dio Lewis, introduced way back in 1864:

THE IRON CROWN

“Bearing burdens on the head, results in an erect spine and an elastic gait. Observing persons, who have visited Switzerland, Italy, or the Gulf States, have observed a thousand verifications of this physiological law.

Cognizant of the value of this feature of gymnastic training, I have employed, for this purpose, within the last twelve years, various sorts of weights, but have recently invented an iron crown, which I think completely satisfactory. The accompanying cut gives a good idea of its general form. I have crowns made to weigh from three to one hundred pounds.

The crown is so padded within, it rests pleasantly on the entire top of the head, and yet so arranged that it requires skill to balance it. It is beautifully painted, and otherwise ornamented.

The Following Suggestions are deemed important in wearing the crown: Wear it five to fifteen minutes morning and evening. Hold the body erect, hips and shoulders thrown far back, and the crown rather on the front of the head, as shown in the cut.

Walking up and down stairs while wearing the crown, is good, if the lower extremities are not too much fatigued by it. When walking through the hall or parlors, turn the toes, first, inward as far as possible; second, outward; third, walk on the tips of the toes; fourth, on the heels; fifth, on the right heel and left toe; sixth, on the left heel and right toe; seventh, walk without bending the knees; eighth, bend the knees, so that you are nearly sitting on the heels while walking, ninth, walk with the right leg bent at the knee, rising at each step on the straight left leg; tenth, walk with the left leg bent, rising at each step on the straight right leg.

With these ten different modes of walking, the various muscles of the back will receive the most invigorating exercise.

All persons of both sexes, and of every age, who have round shoulders or weak backs, are rapidly improved by the regular use of the Iron Crown.”

Ellington Darden’s Neck

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 by John Wood

Like many young trainees, Ellington Darden wanted to build size and strength, but unlike many of his peers, he wanted a bigger neck to go with a bigger pair of arms. Throughout junior high and high school, he focused specifically on his neck work, primarily using the wrestler’s bridge and a Neck Helmet.

He continued this neck program in college, which was especially important while playing football. It paid off… When he graduated from Baylor University in 1966, at a body weight of 215 pounds, Ell sported a genuine 18-inch neck.

Unsurprisingly, neck training was always a part of Darden’s training books and courses. You’ll find many good neck training training ideas in this book, which was especially written with football preparation in mind.

Sig Klein’s Neck Training

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2011 by John Wood

Sig Klein Neck Training

You’ve got to hand it to the oldtimers, they didn’t neglect training any area, a lesson that a lot of people could stand to learn today. Here’s the great Sig Klein using a neck developer of his own design.  Interestingly, he also recommended a specific breathing pattern while training the neck — the neck muscles actually do also assist in respiration which is part of the development procedure.
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.