Svend Olsen

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 by John Wood
Here’s a rare shot of the Danish weightlifter Svend Olsen lifting in the light-heavyweight class at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Svend finished with the Silver medal after posting a 360 kg total (102.5 kg Press, 107.5 kg Snatch, 150 kg. Clean and Jerk).

This lift appears to be Olsen’s third Snatch attempt of 112.5 kg (which was not passed.) Olsen briefly held two official and one unofficial world records but retired shortly afterwards to become a strongman at the Circus Meihe.

Elwood Holbrook – Master of the Bent Press

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
Elwood Holbrook took 4th at the 1941 AAU Mr. America Contest AND took home the “Best Arms” award (He had also competed in the afternoon’s weightlifting contest where he finished 6th with a 715-pound total in the 165-pound class.)

While Holbrook was a very talented strength athlete and equally good at bodybuilding as well as weightlifting, his real gift was the bent press — he won the national Bent-Press Championship in a contest held by Sig Klein.

Holbrook was also one of the few men to bent press the famous Rolandow Dumbbell – a feat which he did on his first try and without a warmup. Here’s a shot of a 48-year old Elwood Holbrook bent-pressing 240 pounds — 75 pounds above his bodyweight. That unique dumbbell belonged to Paul Anderson.

Sergio The Weightlifter

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by John Wood
Like many bodybuilders in the 60’s, Sergio Oliva got his start in Olympic Weightlifting. In fact, he did well enough to compete for his native Cuba at the 1963 Pan-Am games. Though he was very strong, his Olympic lifting ability was actually hampered by his relatively thin waist. The foundation built by Olympic lifting still served Sergio well in his bodybuilding career though, he went on to win the Mr. Olympia Contest in 1967, 1968 and 1969.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 Development of the Clean & Jerk by David P. Webster

Posted on Tuesday, November 28th, 2017 by John Wood
RARE Training Course Teaches You The Secrets of The KING of Lifts!

Back in 1964. Peary Rader himself printed up a fantastic training course entitled The Development of the Clean & Jerk by David P. Webster.

At that time, Webster was the chief weightlifting coach for Scotland and went on to become one of the foremost strength historians of our time. We managed to get our hands on a few ORIGINAL copies of this incredibly rare collectible booklet.

The Development of the Clean & Jerk is an in-depth, technical training manual, going over the finer points of the “King of Lifts” for anyone interested in lifting the maximum amount of weight overhead. 5½” x 8½” inches in size, printed on heavyweight glossy paper, textured stock cover, 46 pages with MANY rare images and diagrams.

Here are a few of the topics covered:

  • A comparison of the early Clean & Jerk techniques and styles of the 1900’s and how they have changed into modern methods
  • The “Clean” techniques used by the great early strongmen: Arthur Saxon, Thomas Inch, W.A. Pullum, Mark Berry and Alan Calvert, among others
  • The “Clean” vs. the “Continental style and the important details  that you should know about each
  • The two unconventional techniques pioneered by Monte Saldo
  • The “Dive”and “Set” styles of cleaning and the countries that used them successfully pre and post-WWII
  • Some famous performances of the clean and jerk going all the way back to 1895
  • Observations of film clips and phot sequences from World Champions and Olympic Games competitors
  • The 12 technique questions that MUST be answered to lift the maximum amount of weight
  • A sequence of pictures outlining the technique of Jim Moir, British record holder and Scottish Champion and how he used them to correct two common faults
  • How to start the lift, and the proper back angles to use
  • Differences in Asian and Polish starting techniques
  • The meaning of “ANGULAR VELOCITY” and why you should know all about it
  • The three “Gold Key” positions and the one “rule” you must follow when pulling from the floor
  • Positioning the bar and how to properly pass the bar past the knees during the first pull
  • Analyzation and critique of EIGHT world champion lifters
  • The four main factors of balance in the clean & jerk and how to keep your balance during a maximum lift
  • How high does Schemansky, Zabotinsky and Vlasov pull the bar? An interesting comparison of the pulling heights of champion lifters
  • Summation of forces and how to work your muscles in the correct order
  • The biggest mistake that lifters make at the start of the lift and how to easily avoid it
  • The most important part of the pull, and how to engage the second pull
  • The fully extended position and how to lower the weight correctly and safely
  • Foot position, and where to hold the bar during the jerk
  • Elbow action and weight transference
  • Shoulder mobility in the clean & jerk
  • The path of movement of the bar during the clean
  • Common faults and how to correct them
  • Additional and recent information on better pulling technique

A you can see, this booklet is extremely information-dense and if you are interested in putting the MAXIMUM amount of weight overhead, the tips and techniques highlighted in it will help you do just that.

…Like all of our rare and vintage strength items, there are only so many copies of these courses to go around, and when they are gone, they are gone for good.

Get your copy today!

Order now!The Development of the Clean & Jerk by David Webster
_________ $19.99 plus s/h

* Also includes a FREE copy of our
Train Hard Bulletin paper newsletter

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Perikles Kakousis

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Shown is Greek Weightlifter Perikles Kakousis on his way to winning the “Two Hand Lift” Weightlifting competition at the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St. Louis, Missouri. This lift of 246 pounds was good enough for the Gold Medal and set the world record at the time (breaking the old record by a mere four ounces.) The judge Dr. R.Tait McKenzie (a noted physical training author, btw) looks on from the right. At the same games, Kakousis also competed in the Tug ‘O War event although his team only finished tied for 5th place.

The Good Brothers

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
The Good Brothers, Harry, Walter and Bill, were a trio of weightlifters and Strongmen from Eastern Pennsylvania. Bill was the strongest of the three, winning seven Senior National Weightlifting Titles (1930-1937) and competing in two Olympic Games (1932 Los Angeles, 1936 Berlin). Bill Good was the first American to Clean & Jerk 350 Pounds. Walter Good competed in the 1936 Olympics as well. Harry was the U.S. Professional Champion in 1933 in addition to writing training articles for a number of different strength publications and training courses. Harry Good went on to establish the “Good Barbell Company” in the late 1930’s. Mark Berry also used the Good Brothers to demonstrate several of the exercises in his book Physical Training Simplified (1930).

The 1946 U.S. World Weightlifting Team

Posted on Wednesday, September 21st, 2016 by John Wood

A look at most of the 1946 U.S. World Weightlifting Team left to right: John Davis, Emerick Ishikawa, Frank Spellman, John Terpak, Stan Stanczyk, and coach Bob Hoffman. (not pictured: Frank Kay.)

This was the first team to lift against the Russians. Davis and Stanczyk both won Gold, Terpak and Kay took Silver and Spellman took Bronze. The Russians entered ten lifters to only six from the US but the US came back with the team championship.

Gary Cleveland

Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2016 by John Wood

Gary Cleveland, 2-time Senior National Champion weightlifter, York Man, strength author an all-around nice guy is shown here placing 5th in the 82.5 kg class at the 1964 Olympic games held in Tokyo, Japan. Cleveland was a very good presser.

He went on to write a number of training articles for several different publications and also self-published a successful newsletter called The Avian Movement Advocate which was devoted to many different facets of strength training, philosophy and physical culture.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

John Davis and BAWLA Plates

Posted on Friday, August 14th, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s a rare look at the great John Davis. Hard to tell were this shot is from though. This image was actually from a German tobacco card from 1952. If you take a close look, those are BAWLA (British Amateur Weight Lifting Association) Plates so it may be from the 1948 Olympics, held in London, where Davis took home the gold medal. Problem is, it doesn’t match up to any other shots we have seen from that time period. Either way, another look at Mr. Davis in action is always a good thing.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

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.