Attila: The World’s Greatest Physical Culture and Athletic Instructor

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s a rare and pretty nifty advertisement for Professor Attila’s Studio of Physical Culture from 1903. Not many people have seen this one.
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 Tomb of Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 by John Wood
Supporting heavy weights on the knees and shoulders as shown here was known as “The Tomb of Hercules” feat and it was invented by Professor Attila. Practitioners, like Sandow pictured above, increased the drama by acting as the pivot point in a “human bridge.” In Sandow’s era, they used horses but a few decades later, many strongmen upped the ante by having heavy motor cars drive over the “bridge.” Because the weight is supported rather than lifted a tremendous poundage can be used, but that certainly does not mean that this feat is easy.
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.

You Can Banish Weakness…

Posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 by John Wood
Lionel Strongfort(aka Max Unger) was one of the first mail order muscle kings and this is one of his advertisements from 1928.

His “Strongfortism” system, which involved mostly body weight movements and light dumbbells, was incredibly popular in the early 20th century.  Strongfort was originally a pupil of Professor Attila.

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.

Sig Klein

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 by John Wood

Sig Klein with some classic barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells.

Sig Klein inherited much of his great equipment when he married Professor Attila’s daughter and took over his gym in New York. Of course, Sig had pretty good taste in equipment and often had custom-made barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells fashioned to train with.
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.

Professor Attila

Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012 by John Wood

Professor Louis Attila

Professor Attila — real name Louis Durlacher — was the mentor of Eugen Sandow and the man who invented many of the feats of strength that we know of today: The Roman Column, The Roman Chair, supporting feats in the human bridge position and tearing packs of playing cards. It was Attiila’s idea to make globe barbells and dumbbells shot-loadable so that their weight could be adjusted. Attila invented the bent-press and was the first man to perform the lift with over 200 pounds.

In 1894, Professor opened his famous Studio of Physical Culture in downtown New York city and it became a hotbed for learning the strongman trade. In addition to Sandow, Professor Attila could list many other famous strongmen among his students: Warren Lincoln Travis, Anthony Barker, Horace Barre, Arthur Dandurand, Lionel Strongfort, George Rolandow, Louis Cyr, Bobby Pandour and Adolph Nordquest.

Attila’s daughter, Grace, later married Sig Klein.