Arthur Leslie

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Arthur Leslie was just a guy who trained at Sig Klein’s Gym in New York City. The reason Leslie began training in the first place is that he became tired of being weak and overweight. At 46 years years old he had never touched a weight before but soon after he began training he began to see tremendous results. In fact his results were so dramatic, Sig Klein featured him in several occasions in his publication Klein’s Bell. Here he is with a great Thick-Handled show barbell. Leslie was 59 years of age when this picture was taken.
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.

George Jowett, Karl Moerke, Sig Klein, and Mark H. Berry

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
Once in a great while several different legends will be in the same place at the same time. In this case, a strength show at Bryant Hall in New York City circa 1922. From left to right George Jowett, Karl Moerke, Sig Klein and Mark H. Berry. (Klein made a record press at the show.)
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.

Bob Harley

Posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018 by John Wood
Bob Harley, of Sig Klein’s Gym was one of the world’s greatest masters of the bent press. In fact, Bob Harley was the winner of the New York City Bent Press contest (put on by Sign Klein in 1940 — lifting in the 181 lb. class, Harley out bent-pressed the heavyweights (including John Davis) with a winning lift of 254 lbs. Harley was one of the few men to successfully bent-press the Rolandow Dumbbell.
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.

Try Hand-Balancing! by Sig Klein

Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017 by John Wood
Try Hand-Balancing!
Sig Klein’s “Lost” Course Shows You How!
Try Hand-Balancing by Sig Klein

The Maestro, Sig Klein, shows his stuff, holding a handstand on a sturdy bench. This wasn’t all though, several full range handstand pushups followed.The details of this movements and several more variations are covered in “Try Hand-Balancing.”

WHEN YOU BUY A COLLECTION, you never know what you might find…

That was sure the case just recently when a big box of “forgotten lore” yielded a very interesting discovery: it turns out that the great Sig Klein wrote a course on hand-balancing that no one today (including me) had ever heard of before.

As you are probably aware, we are BIG fans of all things hand-balancing, and, of course, we are big fans of Sig Klein, so this training guide was certainly worth its weight in gold to us on many levels.

We immediately made plans to shine it up re-release this course again to the world so that everyone could once again benefit from Sig’s teaching.

First, we had all the text transcribed so that we could lay it out more readily. Second, we carefully re-scanned each image at the highest resolution possible in order to avoid the dreaded moire (checkering) effect…  blemishes, specs, age spots and imperfections in the images were digitally edited and/or removed, and finally each scan was, enlarged, cropped, centered and leveled.

Our original plan was to put out this “lost” course as a hard copy, and you know how we like to do it, taking a lot of time, effort and great care in paper selection, layout and all other aspects of the presentation so that you end up with something in your hands that you can be proud to own.

We still intend on doing that at some point, but it recently came to our attention that a lot of people might also like to get an electronic copy. There are, of course, advantages in either case, but the immediate bottom line is that, with most of the layout work done, we could get an electronic copy up and ready to go in a matter of days and make it available immediately.

And so we did… and, as of the time of this writing, the electronic Kindle version of “Try Hand-Balancing” by Sig Klein is current climbing the charts over on Amazon.com.

Now, just to give you an idea of the kind of information that is covered in this course, here’s quick a look:

  • The THREE most important reasons to give your lower body a rest and increase the strength of the upper body by turning your training upside-down!
  • Why hand-balancing is and can be of the utmost importance for women and how a several groups of women easily show up their male counterparts
  • The simplest method for practicing your hand balancing skills — a skill that you should be able to do easily, even if you have never even attempted a handstand before
  • The two important factors that you must take into consideration when using the wall for practice
  • A simple-as-pie elementary exercise that will help you learn to position your feet correctly
  • How to perform the basic movement that will help you bridge the gap into advanced advanced exercises and movements
  • The two simple calisthenic exercises that will increase your hand-balancing skills
  • The spectacular hand-balancing feat that can be done with a simple chair, which is also a fantastic abdominal strength builder
  • Why Sig Klein believes every human being should be able to manage the weight of his body under all conditions
  • How hand-balancing builds steady nerves and quiet tempers through strengthening “concentration”
  • How to perform the highly impressive “Tiger Bend” and the small detail that finally allowed Sig Klein to conquer it. Also, why brute strength alone may not get the job done.
  • A three image sequence on how to perform the push-up-to-hand-stand on low parallel bars and why the low parallel bars are more of a challenge than high parallel bars for this movement
  • Details on the handstand bench push-up and its variations. How many times can Sig perform this movement?
  • The highly impressive “free” barbell hand-stand, and why Sig Klein says it is “only the b-e-g-i-n-n-i-n-g”
  • How to perform the Planche on low parallels
  • What Sig Klein feels is the biggest secret of hand-balancing success, and why you won’t get far without knowing it…
Additional Instruction from John Wood!

But that’s not all! Sig Klein wrote this course roughly seventy five years ago, but the principles which make hand-balancing work are eternal. When I embarked on my own hand-balancing journey, unsurprisingly, I learned from and practiced many of the movements that Sig discusses in his course. Since I went from knowing absolutely nothing about hand-balancing to being able to hold a “pretty good” one, (especially for a former nose-guard) there were a few additional details that I wanted to share along with what can already be found in Sig’s course.

So, in the latter pages of the course, I have put together TEN tips, tips, techniques and pieces of advice that I wished I knew when I got started, or which I learned along the way. Here’s an idea of what I mean:

  • The biggest mistakes that I made with my first hand-balancing effortss, why I initially quite and the completely random experience at an amusement park that occurred about a decade later pulled me back in
  • The biggest Secret to hand-balancing success – yes, Sig covered it already, but I wanted to list it again just to make absolutely sure that it sinks in.
  • How long will it take you to be able to hold a handstand? Everyone progresses at different rates, but I can tell you how long it too me, and the markers that I like to use.
  • What to do in case you have a bad workout …and the foolish mistake that *I* made that lead to one of the worst hand-balancing workouts that I ever had, something that I sure never repeated
  • How my early hand-balancing workouts will differ from my later ones, and the types of movements I recommend putting your focus toward early on
  • How to break up your training into three distinct phases: the “conditioning” phase, the “practice” phase and the “mastery” phase and the specific types of training that should happen in each
  • What my early hand-balancing workouts looked like, how long they generally lasted and why that time frame was important
  • The simple way that I like to keep track of my exercises to ensure progress is taking place
  • “Strait talk” on using the wall for your practice, when it is important and when it is a good idea to stop using it.
  • How often to train.. what I learned about frequency, and how often I currently practice
  • Why being “never satisfied” is a good thing when it comes to hand-balancing and how to make it work for you
  • A discussion on training environment, and how you can avoid the mistake that I made that made my wife very angry
  • Mental training for hand-balancing, a lesson from a Jedi master and how to not be your own worst enemy
  • The two visualization techniques that I use, and how they help me improve in my sleep!

IMPORTANT: Try-Hand-Balancing by Sig Klein is currently ONLY available in electronic format on the Kindle and available from Amazon.com. The order button below will take you directly to the order page on Amazon.com where it can be purchased. If we go ahead with a PRINTED version we will make an announcement once it is ready.

Order now!____$9.99 (Click this button to order from Amazon.com)
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.

Muscle Control by Maxick

Posted on Saturday, September 16th, 2017 by John Wood
The Lost Art of Muscle Control!
“Now You Too Can Learn One of the True Lost Secrets of Oldtime Strength Training”
We’ve heard more than a few people say that the secret to
super strength is merely hard work and just putting your time
in — which is certainly partly true — but there’s more to
it than that. The Oldtime Strongmen and Physical Culture
pioneers figured out things about building great strength:
unusual techniques that almost no one knows how to
do these days.

…One of these “lost” techniques is the art of Muscle
Control, and there is no greater resource for learning
how to do it correctly than right here.

Unlike most kinds of training, Muscle Control work
can be done every day, multiple times per day,
without an equipment and the results can be
outstanding.

The increased flexibility, dexterity, and greater
blood flow to the muscular system from regular Muscle Control practice
is ideal for promoting greater recovery, making it a very valuable tool
for all strength athletes. And check out Mr. Maxick on the right, that
level of muscular development is still VERY impressive despite the fact
that photo was taken well over a hundred years ago!

If you would like to get started with Muscle Control, as long as you provide the commitment, we can provide the know-how in the form of one of the best training courses ever written on the subject:

Maxick ~ Master of Muscle Control!
The great “Maxick” ~ champion weightlifter and famous Muscle Control expert. Read on to learn more about him and his methods
Muscle Control
by Maxick

Originally published in 1910, this truly remarkable training course has run through countless editions. This was the course that started it all. The author, Maxick, was the first great Muscle Control master and it served him incredibly well. Maxick developed his own unique system to add to his weightlifting… the result was a champion physique and world class levels of strength.

In fact, Maxick was the third man in the world to put double bodyweight overhead with a lift of 322-1/2 lbs. at a bodyweight of only 145 lbs!

Throughout the course, Maxick describes in detail how, by use of concentration, you can develop and gain deliberate control of each muscle group in the body. Detailed explanations of each technique and area of the body are provided. Highlighting the instruction found in the text, are rare, high-quality photographs of each technique in action for each muscle group.

Further written tips from the master himself show you exactly what to do and how to do it.. Muscle Control should be an important part of everyone’s training and has been to some of the greatest names of the past: Eugen Sandow, Otto Arco, John Grimek, Sig Klein, John Farbotnick, and Marvin Eder, just to to name a few.

Order now!Muscle Control by Maxick
__________________ $19.99 plus s/h

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

Rope Climbing for Grip Strength

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Sig Klein was always outspoken as far as the importance of grip strength… One of Sig’s favorite exercises was to hang by one hand from a thick climbing rope. It’s still a good 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.

Sig Klein’s Gym (Exterior)

Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2016 by John Wood

I’ve shown plenty of shots of the inside of Sig Klein’s Gym but here’s a rare shot of the exterior. Sitting atop Gruppe’s School of Music and Romeo’s Spaghetti Kitchen, Klein’s Gym was located at 717 Seventh Avenue in New York City and was hard to miss with the huge picture of Sig out front. The building is still there, if you know where to look. Wonder if the current occupant has any notion of Sig’s place?
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.

How to Bent Press by Sig Klein

Posted on Saturday, February 20th, 2016 by John Wood

If there ever were someone qualified to teach the bent press it was Sig Klein. He wrote this nifty little training guide in the 30’s. Original copies are pretty hard to come by but our good friend Bill Hinbern has done a modern reprint edition which is available here.
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.

An “Ice Cold” Strength Feat

Posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 by John Wood
Joe Mongelli, a former pupil of Sig Klein, was an iceman by trade. He could carry a 325 pound block of ice on his back, then, using ice tongs, could pick up a 120 pound block of ice with his right hand and a 60 pound block with his left. Joe could walk the length of a city block carrying the entire 505 pound load!
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.

Muscular Development October, 1964, featuring Steve Reeves

Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2015 by John Wood

Here we have the October, 1964 issue of Muscular Development magazine (making this one the tenth issue ever) which features a painting of the great Steve Reeves on the cover. The first unofficial Powerlifting championships was to be held in York, Pennsylvania shortly after this issue hit the news stands so the issue focused heavily powerlifting related news and training including an excellent and quite interesting article on rack work by eventual champion Terry Todd. Sig Klein also contributed a dynamite article on the heavy deep knee bend ~ otherwise known as the squat. With Steve Reeves on the cover, there was understandably a several page spread on his movie career and other accomplishments.
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.