Hans Haas

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Hans Haas, the Austrian weightlifter, was the second man to do a double bodyweight clean & jerk in international competition. He accomplished this mark in winning the Gold Medal in the lightweight class at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. Haas came back four years later to win the Silver medal at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles.
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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.

Waldemar Baszanowski

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
Waldemar Baszanowski, the great Polish weightlifter, competed in four Olympic Games and took home Gold twice, at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, and the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. He also won five Wold Championships: 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968, and 1969 and set twenty five World Records over the course of his career. He also had five Silver medals, giving him twelve total medals in international competition, more than any other weightlifter in history (at least to date.)
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.

Harold Sakata

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
You might recognize him by his most famous movie role as the villain ‘Odd Job’ in the James Bond movie ‘Gold Finger”, but Harold Sakata was also a great Olympic weightlifter, sometimes-bodybuilder and professional wrestler. Sakata got his start reading Strength and Health Magazine and, as a teenager, won many local lifting contests on his native Hawaii. After a stint in the Army, Sakata had a chance to focus on his training and he set a Hawaiian record in the clean and jerk as well as won the Mr. Hawaii bodybuilding title. His weightlifting totals were such that he was able to compete in the Senior Nationals, where he finished second to Stan Stanczyk at the 1948 Senior Nationals. His finish at the Nationals qualified him for a spot at the 1948 Summer Olympics (above) where he finished second, winning the Silver Medal, again, to the eventual champion Stanczyk. The two would go on to become lifelong friends. After his weightlifting career, Sakata traveled the country as the pro-wrestler Tosh Togo.

Jim Bradford

Posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Jim Bradford, was a great weightlifter from Washington D.C. who was AAU Junior Champion in 1950, AAU Heavyweight champion twice (1960 and ’61) and competed in two Olympic games (1952 in Helsinki and 1960 in Rome), winning the Silver medal each time. Bradford happened to come along at a time when the competition in his class was the all-time strongest, placing second to a who’s who of strength legends: John Davis, Norb Schemansky, Paul Anderson and Yury Vlasov. Bradford was well known for his pressing power — the above shot is his opening 170kg press from the 1960 Rome Olympics. Once his lifting career came to an end, Bradford went back home to D.C. and worked for The Library of Congress.
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.

Schemansky Stalks The Bar…

Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 by John Wood

From the late 1940’s to mid-1960’s, Norb Schemansky was America’s most successful Olympic Weightlifter and the first weightlifter to medal in four Olympic Games, (despite missing the 1956 games.)

Do you think he means business in the shot above? That’s from the 1964 Olympic tryouts. Here’s a look at Norb Schemansky’s achievements over the course of his amazing career:

  • Olympic Champion – 1952 Olympic Games, Helsinki
  • Silver Medal – 1948 Olympic Games, London
  • Bronze Medal – 1960, Rome, 1964, Tokyo
  • World Champion (1951, 1953, and 1954)
  • 1955 Pan American Games Heavyweight Champion
  • Silver Medal – Senior World Championships (1947, 1962, 1963)
  • Bronze Medal – Senior World Championships (1964)

And best career marks:

  • Press – 415 lbs.
  • Snatch – 363 3/4 lbs.
  • Clean and Jerk – 445 lbs.
  • Total – 1200 lbs. (400-335-445)

In addition to his weightlifting exploits, Norb also famously cleaned, then thrice jerked the Apollon Wheels.

Tom Tyler

Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2014 by John Wood
Tom Tyler, late of Hollywood, California, was the 1928 AAU Heavyweight lifting champion and first American to clean & jerk 300 pounds in an AAU competition. Here’s a rare shot of Tyler at the 1928 Olympic weightlifting tryouts. Believe it or not, this is that Tom Tyler, western movie star and of Captain Marvel fame.

Isaac “Ike” Berger

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by John Wood

Ike Berger is one of America’s most successful Olympic Weightlifters — he was the first featherweight in history to lift more than 800 pounds and the first to press double body weight.

Over Ike’s career he was the owner of 23 world weightlifting records, a 12-time United States national titleholder, 2-time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1956 Games in Melbourne Australia (along with two more Silver medals at the next two Olympic Games.)

At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games, he established a record of 152.5 kg (336-1/2 lbs.) in the jerk, at a bodyweight of only 130 pounds (59 kg). This lift bettered the world record by 11 lbs., and made Ike pound-for-pound the strongest man in the world, a record that stood for nine years.

Ike Berger was elected to the United States Weightlifter’s Hall of Fame in 1965.

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.

Louis Martin

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by John Wood

Louis Martin was an excellent British weightlifter who competed in the 1960 Rome and 1964 Tokyo Olympic games, winning Bronze and Silver respectively. Martin won the 90kg Middle-Heavyweight class at the 1959 World Weightlifting Championships held in Warsaw, Poland. Above you’ll see his winning Press of 303 lbs.
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.

Humberto Selvetti

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014 by John Wood

The great Olympic Weightlifter Humberto Selvetti shows his stuff in his home land of Argentina. It was Selvetti who Paul Anderson defeated to win the Gold Medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Selvetti and Anderson both totaled 500 kg but Anderson beat him on lighter bodyweight)

Selvetti also competed at the at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki (where he took Bronze with a 432.5 kg total) and at the 1964 Tokyo games, (where he finished 17th with a 445 kg total ).

As a side note, I find two other items of interest in this phone, #1, that’s a pretty hefty weight to put overhead while going uphill, and #2, the barbell set in this picture is especially unique, I have never seen anything like it before or since.

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.