Developing Physical Strength by Bob Peoples

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by John Wood
“How a Tennessee Farmer Who Trained Alone in His Basement With Only Home Made Equipment Became One of The Strongest Men of All Time”

Though there have been individuals who may have pulled more weight, Bob Peoples is still unquestionably the strongest deadlifter of all time. Like every successful lifter, Bob was resourceful, innovative, kept meticulous records of what worked and did not work, and trained like a total madman…

The results speak for themselves: at a body weight of only 181 lbs., Peoples was deadlifting well over 700 lbs. back in the 1940’s! No one else could touch him, Bob Peoples was undoubtedly a man ahead of his time.

What is also interesting is that Peoples did not have fancy equipment of a complicated training program. He trained mostly by himself in his basement gym primarily with homemade equipment which consisted of wooden 2x4s, 55-gallon drums, concrete, scrap iron, and anything else he could get his hands on.

While certainly crude by some standards, this setup more than made up for it in results, as is evident by his deadlifting ability. In fact, many of the unusual training techniques he utilized are now commonplace…

To give you a few good examples, Peoples was one of the first lifters to successfully implement negative-style training into his routine and he pioneered the use of the power rack.

Fortunately for us, in 1979, Bob put pen to paper and wrote down many of the things he learned over the years which helped him build his great strength the result was Developing Physical Strength, which is certainly one of the most unique training courses of all time.

In Developing Physical Strength, Bob Peoples discusses a number of training topics that you should definitely know more about if your goal is to build maximum strength:

* Tips on using the power rack for the greatest results, and the value of keeping notes and records

* The training systems and methods of the oldtime greats that he used with the greatest success AND which systems did not work

* Notes on the bench press, eccentric movements, special exercises, “the sweep,” the centrifugal machine, static contraction, and much more

Peoples was the mentor to a young Paul Anderson, so you know he is a man whose methods are worth studying.

Now this modern classic is available once again to help you kick start your routines. 50 pages, 6 x 9 glossy cover paperback and highly recommended for the rare pictures and diagrams alone.

These are the actual training methods of one of the strongest men who ever lived — right from the man himself — and this book simply must be a part of your training library!

Order now!Developing Physical Strength by Bob Peoples
_________ $16.99 plus s/h
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.

Chalk and Sweat by Brooks Kubik

Posted on Monday, October 9th, 2017 by John Wood

We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller

Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 by John Wood
Now you too can learn about the life and training secrets of one of the strongest men who ever walked the Earth!

Hermann Goerner

Every once in a while, a man comes along who possesses a level of strength that is simply head and shoulders above everyone else out there ~ and Hermann Goerner was just such a man!

Goerner’s strength and power was the stuff of legend, and even nearly a century after his time, no one has ever been close to many of his records.

His most famous lift is likely his ONE-HAND deadlift of 727 pounds(!), but some of his other marks were equally impressive.

These include a strict curl of 242 pounds, a deadlift of 505 pounds with just two fingers of each hand and a plank “leg press” with 24 people which totaled over two tons. Goerner even had a “Challenge weight” a 2-3/8ths inch thick-handled globe barbell which he could clean and jerk almost effortlessly which no one else could so much as budge.

Goerner’s deadlifting ability was the stuff of legend … here he is in 1933, lifting nearly 600 lbs. with only two fingers of each hand!
Goerner’s excellent “challenge” weight… Few strongmen could lift it in any capacity but Goerner did so with ease.
Goerner used to wrestle with a 700 lb. baby elephant as part of his daily act in Pagel’s Circus, South Africa.
How Did a Genuine Oldtime Strength Legend REALLY Train?
Now you Can Find out for sure!

How would you like to know how Hermann Goerner trained? I’m not talking about guesses either, but the actual sets, reps and weights that he used in his workouts. It’s not often that we can have a look into the exact training ideas and programs of a true super man, but, that is exactly what you will have an opportunity to do as noted strength historian Edgar Mueller saw fit to chronicle Goerner’s amazing life, strength records and unique training techniques…

The result was Goerner The Mighty, which was originally published in 1951 but now once again available in high-quality modern reprint edition ~ and even better than the original! Here’s a quick look at the many interesting things you will learn from its pages:

Goerner the Mighty
Table of Contents:
FOREWORD by Irving R. Clark


Chapter I: Introducing Hermann Goerner
— What stood out in meeting Goerner for the first time… His other interests… Goerner’s sleep habits and diet

Chapter II: His Early Life
— The age that Goerner first started lifting… His earliest feats of strength as a boy… How he compared to George Hackenschmidt at the same age… His introduction and training to building “animal” strength”… Lifting titles won… Early strength performances as a member of “The Atlas Trio”… Challenge weight feats… Results of the 1913 German Weight Lifting Championship… His ‘battles’ with Karl Moerke

Chapter III: His Later Life and Travels
Pagel’s Circus and adventures in South Africa… Details of his circus “act”… Discovery by Tromp Van Diggelen and introduction to W.A. Pullum… The inspiration for the famous ‘Plank’ feat

Chapter IV: His Measurements
Goerner’s exact measurements taken by the author on December, 16th, 1934… Additional measurements… Notes on body weight at various periods throughout his life

Chapter V: His Lifting Performances and Feats of Strength
The single-handed press… Single-handed snatches… Single-handed jerks… Double- handed jerks and ‘anyhow’ lifts… How some of his lifts compare to several other famous strongmen and lifters, Saxon, Walker, Stanko, Rigoulot, etc… Double-handed snatches… Single and double-handed swings… Feats of Arm and Shoulder Strength… Two-hands slow curl… Two-hands kettlebell press… Two hands holdout… The rectangular fix… The Good Morning… Lifts to Shoulders, Single and Double-Handed… Deadlift records and performances… Supporting Feats… The ‘Plank’ and Human Bridge stunts… Lifting a Car… Carrying a Piano… Walking with a half a ton supported on his shoulders… Feats of Agility and Strength

Chapter VI: His Training Methods
— How many days per week he trained, and the specific ‘type’ of workouts taken… How long each training session lasted… Goerner’s post-workout recovery… A typical training program… Details of the “Die Kette” kettlebell workout… Specific weights used and order of exercises… Lifting tempo… Training for special feats and records… Six different one-hand deadlift “grips”… Training for two-hands deadlifting… Three of Goerner’s favorite types of shrugging movements… Training for supporting or carrying feats… The Brick Lift… Pinch Lifting… Training for a match… Additional training information, diet, massage, roadwork etc

Chapter VII: His Attitude to Lifting Feats and Feats of Strength
— Training philosophy and position on ‘Health’… The role of variety in training… Thoughts on mixing fast and slow movements in the same workout… Deadlifts… Lifting ‘Cold’… Carrying heavy weights… Unusual methods of lifting a barbell… Success in Wrist Wrestling… How Goerner could tear a deck of playing cards… Breaking one of Louis Cyr’s records… Feats of Abdominal strength… Weight Throwing accomplishments

Conclusion: Appreciation by World-Famous Authorities
— Notes and observations on Hermann Goerner from: Prof. Theodore Siebert… David P. Willoughby… George F. Jowett… Tromp Van Diggelen… Bob Hoffman… Henry Graf… Hugo Rosch… Gord Venables… Jack Reid… W.A.Pullum… Ray Van Cleef… Mac Batchelor… Leo Gaudreau


The modern reprint edition of “Goerner The Mighty” by Edgar Mueller is a 5″ x 7″ trade paperback, with full glossy cover, 136 pages in length consisting of eight chapters, the contents of which are listed above.

There are also 32 rare photos and diagrams of Goerner and his exploits and training techniques as well as a full index. This modern reprint edition is nearly identical in every way to the original 1951 printing.

Order now!Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller
___________$19.99 plus s/h

Classic Wooden Indian Clubs

Posted on Sunday, November 20th, 2016 by John Wood
‘HOW TO GET THE WORKOUT OF YOUR LIFE… with only 2 pounds of wood
Now You Too Can Build Stronger, Healthier Shoulders (and a Whole Lot More) with a 5000-year old Indian Tradition
Every workout, there you are, pushing and pulling heavy weights (which is definitely a good thing), but there’s more to it than strengthening the muscles alone… You must maintain stronger joints as well.

After all, when you lift weights, you can only lift them in straight lines…but your body moves and functions in a circular manner. This is especially true for the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder. Think of how many different directions you can move your arm and how few of them you can reach with “weights” alone.

There’s no question that the shoulder girdle is by far one of the most movable areas of the body but it is also one of the most fragile. Regardless of how you use your body, it is very important to keep the shoulders strong, loose, and flexible.

But many people never fully develop their natural shoulder girdle mobility and muscular balance. Let me tell you about a simple training technique that will help you to an incredible degree…

The 5000 Year-Old Tradition That Makes You Stronger…
More Flexible… AND Saves Your Shoulders

Several thousand years ago, Indian wrestlers and warriors prepared themselves for battle by swinging wooden “clubs” to condition their bodies and build upper-body strength.

Indian Club SwingingIndian boys are generally introduced to the clubs around 10 years of age and expected to practice daily. Regular bouts of physical training are known to benefit growing bodies. This rare image dates back to the early 1900’s.

This practice spread amongst many different countries throughout the ensuing centuries — club swinging of some form can be found in nearly every middle-eastern and Asian country.

In the 1800’s, British soldiers started practicing “Indian Club” techniques and brought them back to Europe where the clubs became part of the physical culture tradition.

In time, European immigrants brought Indian Club training to American shores. Club swinging was adopted into American school physical education programs and military physical readiness training.

In the early 20th century, many students began their day with a few minutes of club swinging to wake up mind and body.

Utilizing a series of graceful swinging movements, Indian Club training was a simple method for individuals to build stronger, healthier bodies while promoting joint integrity and improving strength and overall vitality.

Sadly, Indian Club training fell out of favor (at least on these shores) some time around the 1920’s but fortunately they did not disappear forever…

A NEW Era: Ancient Training Tools for Modern Results

The benefits of club swinging are endless …and now you can bring this ancient tradition into your own workout with our New Classic Wooden Indian Clubs. We’ve got three different weights for club swingers of all experience levels.

Our new clubs are made right here in America out of oak hardwood and fashioned from classic designs ~ right from the history books! These classic wooden Indian clubs range from one to three pounds in weight and from 16-1/2 inches to 20 inches in length.

You simply need a space big enough to let you swing the clubs without interference and you are in business. Keep in mind that just because the clubs are “relatively” light doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get one hell of a workout. When used correctly, the clubs can humble even the strongest of athletes.

It doesn’t get more “Oldschool” than these clubs — each are turned by hand

Fashioned from oak hardwood, the new clubs have a classic look and a perfectly balanced feel.

The approximate weight of each club is branded on the barrel, along with our very cool logo

Why You Can Get a Great Workout with 2 Pounds of Wood

A few of the graceful movements which can be done with a pair of Indian Clubs – they are not just for show, such movements will strength the shoulder girdle to a very high degree.

The biggest question on your mind is undoubtedly whether you really can get a great workout with something as light as a few pounds.

Think about what we are trying to do here (and keep in mind that Indian Club training is not like training with “weights” as you know it) – the clubs allow you to apply resistance in a circular manner, thus improving posture, increasing blood flow, and flexibility to all joints involved. Indian Clubs will help you “open” up your chest, increasing lung capacity and helping you breathe more efficiently.

Remember how I mentioned the shoulder joint earlier? When the ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder is made stronger, aligned, and more mobile, other joints like the wrist and elbow also benefit…and Indian Clubs can exercise the shoulder, wrist and elbow in ways not possible with traditional linear weight training.

The movements are easy to learn and just a few minutes of club swinging makes you feel “solid” and ready for action.

As a strength athlete, shoulder health is of the utmost importance – a few minutes of Indian Club swinging a day will keep your shoulders feeling stronger and more powerful. Indian Clubs have long been popular in the military and even today among modern combat athletes looking for greater shoulder strength and stability.

Of course, Indian Club training will benefit any athlete in any sport.

Indian Club Instructional Materials Also Included!

Just to make sure you learn the correct techniques “right out of the box,” we have also included two different types of instructional materials with each Indian Club package:

Learn the Ancient Art of Indian Club
Exercises with Dr. Ed Thomas
Indian Club Poster
24″ x 36″ Simple Indian Club Exercises Instructional Poster by Staff Sgt. Moss

First up is the how-to video “Learn the Ancient Art of Indian Club Exercises,” which is hosted by Dr. Ed Thomas, a Fulbright scholar, martial artist, and physical education teacher, who has been teaching Indian club and physical education classes in schools across the country for decades.

Dr. Thomas is recognized as THE foremost modern Indian Club expert. This 35-minute instructional video demonstrates all the basic Indian Club swinging movements. This is nopt a physical dvd — once you place your order, you will receive a link to a special page where the video can be viewed online any time day or night.

This video is not a Hollywood production by any means but it will help you figure out what to do with a set of clubs in your hands.

Additionally, back in 1905, the famed strong man, gymnast and physique star Staff Sgt. Alfred Moss put together his own course on Indian Club swinging which outlines all the basic movements one by one.

We have reproduced Staff Sgt. Moss’ course in poster form, making a classy addition to your gym wall. This poster is 24-inches x 36-inches, landscape-oriented, printed on heavyweight, glossy, high-quality poster stock and also digitally “aged” giving it an Oldtime look and feel. This poster looks like it would be right at home in Sig Klein’s Gym or the old Hemmenway Gymnasium at the turn of the century. You can get your own poster with all Indian Club sets ordered from us as a special bonus although they can also be purchased separately on our Indian Club order page.

Indian Clubs: Something your workout has been missing

If you are ready to add Indian Clubs to your routine, look no further than our Classic Wooden Indian Club package. These clubs have a traditional look with a quality finish — you can’t beat Oak hardwood — and great for general use. As indicated above, every set of Indian clubs comes bundled with the Ed Thomas instructional video (streaming) and Staff Sgt. Moss poster as well.

Do NOT underestimate these clubs because of their seemingly light weight. They clubs will give you a great workout, regardless of your strength. When we first received these clubs, I picked up the clubs and gave them a try. I broke a sweat just minutes into the routine. For such a small amount of weight, they sure do make you work.

One additional note about the clubs – they are hand-turned and as with any handmade, natural product they may have small imperfections. Rest assured that these slight differences in the cosmetic appearance of the clubs will not affect their functionality in any way. The weight of each club may also vary slightly but we will always make sure that clubs are matched evenly.

Training with Indian clubs is a great way to improve your overall physical strength, flexibility, and shoulder integrity. They are portable, easy to pick up and use, and will produce results almost immediately. No matter what your age or ability level, these clubs are an excellent workout.

Order now!
Click HERE for Indian Club Ordering Options and Pricing
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.

George Hackenschmidt

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood

“World Champion Wrestler and Record Setting Strongman Reveals All…”

George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt has the unique distinction of being one of the first well known physique stars, a champion wrestler, legendary strongman, AND outspoken strength author.

He was a man of imaginable power. In fact, many of “Hack’s” greatest strength records still stand and his first wrestling bout against Frank Gotch in 1908 is widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestling match of all time…

Later that same year, Hackenschmidt published The Way to Live which was part autobiography and part training course. 21 editions later, this book was considered the highest selling book on physical culture ever written!

In The Way to Live, Hackenschmidt covers a wide range of topics, including:

How he lived … his methods of exercise … training with weights … training without weights … training for young and old … nutrition and diet … building and cultivating will power … feats of strength with heavy weights … hindrances to the acquisition of strength … tips on bathing … rest and wholesome sleep … variations in exercise … exercises for athletes, etc. and a complete course in barbell and dumbbell training…

Hackenschmidt closes the book telling the story of his life including his early days under the guidance of Dr. von Krajewski (physician to the Czar of Russia), and Dr. Theodore Siebert, the famous German weightlifting pioneer. He relates tales of his wrestling bouts with the likes of Zbysco, Lurich, Jenkins, Farmer Burns, and, of course, his most famous match against Frank Gotch.

This 5″ x 7″ trade paperback high-quality modern reprint edition features new material not found in the original printing: 173 pages, over 89 rare photos and illustrations (several of which have been added to the modern reprint edition and did not appear in the original version), and a unique look into the life of one of the strongest man who ever lived, holder of many world strength records, and world champion catch-as-catch-can wrestler.

Order now!The Way to Live by George Hackenschmidt
_________ $19.99 plus s/h