The Iron Cross

Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2016 by John Wood
Much of the origins of strength training and physical culture come from gymnastics. The Iron Cross as performed on gymnastic rings, is one of the most impressive gymnastic feats. It takes a great deal of strength and plenty of skill to perform The Iron Cross properly.

The fellow above, Albert Azaryan was a Armenian gymnast who competed internationally for the Soviet Union. Azaryan is the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Champion on the still rings and the first ever gymnast to become an Olympic Champion in Rings twice. Azaryan actually originated a variation of the Iron Cross which was eventually named for him, which incorporates a very difficult quarter turn to the side, a simply mind boggling display of shoulder strength.

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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.

The 23rd Street Y.M.C.A.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 by John Wood
The 23rd Street Y.M.C.A.
A look at the interior of the famed 23rd street Y.M.C.A. in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, sometime around 1900. Though the available equipment was spartan by some standards, it was certainly all that was (and is) required to build a high level of strength and vitality.

This facility is actually famous for several other reasons: It was one of the first centers of widespread basketball interest and activity in the US… in fact, the team that practiced in this gym, headed by Alfred “The Kid” Abadie and his brother Bob, won the very first national AAU tournament championship in 1898. Charles Merrill and Edmund Lynch (of Merrill Lynch) are said to have met in the swimming pool sometime in 1913 and, as the story goes, many decades later, it was this location that inspired the Village People song “Y.M.C.A.”

Around a decade ago, the building was sold and this area was turned into luxury apartments.