Too old? 75-year old William Barker shows he’s still “got it” by performing a crucifix with a Milo kettlebell handle loaded to 50 pounds hanging from each thumb while still wearing his Sunday best. Barker had previously been featured in LIFE magazine. In 1901, Mr. Barker was a gold-medal winner at one of Sandow’s competitions.
George W. Lee, of Astoria, Long Island, reports that his secret to keeping young is regular physical training. He says that he never engages in “normal” calisthenics but rowing and a series of exercises he devised with a pair of oars. He claims to be the only man of his age able to perform this feat. The oars are nine feet, six inches in length. George is sixty six years young and this picture was taken in 1940.
Many of the Olympic-style weightlifting champions of years past were also very good handbalancers. They felt–with very good reason–that handbalancing would build shoulder strength and stability to help their overhead pressing power and in holding heavy weights in the overhead position.
Showing that a heavy bodyweight isn’t an obstacle, the great Doug Hepburn could easy perform handstand pushups at the drop of a hat at 305 pounds. Handbalancing is still very much a discipline that will benefit every strength athlete.
Shown here: Steve Reeves performing a “full” lateral raise with a pair of Milo kettlebells… a highly underrated movement for shoulder development made that much more enjoyable with classic iron. The rotating handles of the Milo kettlebells allow for certain exercises that are difficult to do with cast-iron kettlebells. (As a side note, Steve Reeves was well-known for his broad shoulders which were measured by Armand Tanny at an unbelievable 23-1/2 inches.)