Mike Brown

Posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Mike Brown is a modern day Renaissance man who has written several unique books on various aspects of strength training (as well as many other unique topics.) Judging by the size of that arm, I’d say Mike looks like he knows a thing or two about building strength and power. Mike was always a big fan of expander training and came up with his own unique “Samson Cables” set which he used to advertise in the back of Ironman Magazine. Theses handles actually unscrew apart so the bands can be looped on to them – an ingenious design, really. Here’s a look at Mike around the time he wrote Iron Claws: Grip Development and Bench Press Course which is definitely worth a look.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Harry B. Paschall

Posted on Friday, December 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Harry B. Paschall is shown here, hard at work drawing up his super strongman character Bosco. As a young man, Paschall became inspired after watching Sandow and Saxon in action. He went on do do illustrations for Alan Calvert’s Strength Magazine and, later on, Strength and Health Magazine and the British magazine Vigour. He was also a very good writer, with a number of training articles and three classic books also to his credit.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Ellington Darden

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Before authoring over 50 books on strength training and meeting Arthur Jones, Ellington Darden was a very successful bodybuilder in the 60’s and 70’s. Interestingly enough, Ellington Darden won the 1969 Mr. Texas Bodybuilding contest, the same contest where a 17 year old Casey Viator finished 4th. This shot was taken a few days after Ellington Darden won the 1972 AAU Collegiate Mr. America Contest.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Heidenstam’s Handstand

Posted on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 by John Wood
Heidenstam's Handstand
Oscar Heidenstam is known as the Father of British Bodybuilding. In 1937, he won the “Mr. Britain” contest on his first try and went on to win the 1939 “Mr. Europe” title, the first British bodybuilder to do so. Later, he became president of not one but two bodybuilding promotions: The World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA) and the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA).

Heidenstam wrote many books on physical training including “Modern Bodybuilding” which can be found in The Iron League.” Above, Heidenstam, a life-long devotee of gymnastica and hand-balancing, easily goes down a flight of steps on his hands — he was 45 years of age at the time.

Press – Pull – Squat

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 by John Wood

Strength author John McCallum is shown here following some of his best training advice: PRESS – PULL – SQUAT. If you focused on only those three exercises you’ll end up pretty damn strong.

If you’re wondering the reason behind McCallum’s somewhat unusual attire, this was a series of pictures illustrating his training article on ‘Weight Training for the Scuba Diver which can be found (although sans pictures) in the appendix section of The Complete Keys to Progress.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Jack Lewis

Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013 by John Wood

Jack Lewis

One of the lesser-known strength authors was Jack Lewis, of London, England. Lewis did most of his training with chest expanders and built a pretty impressive physique. We may reprint one (or more) of Lewis’ courses in the near future.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Don Athaldo

Posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 by John Wood

Don Athaldo - Australian Strongman

he land down under has had its fair share of great strongmen and one of the most well known was Don Athaldo from New South Wales. Athaldo (born Walter Joseph) overcame a sickly childhood and injuries incurred during World War I to become a circus strongman. Athaldo had a flair for performing, often donning tiger-skin outfits, gladiator boots and a fiery red cape. Athaldo performed a number of unusual feats, including carrying a horse up a ladder with the use of a harness and supporting an automobile in the “leg press” position. Athaldo also wrote a number of training courses which were very well received.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Siegmund Breitbart: The Iron King

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by John Wood

Siegmund Breitbart

In the early part of the 20th Century, Siegmund Breitbart was one of the most well-known strongmen the world had ever seen… stories of his great strength graced newspapers all across the country.

He bent steel bars, drove nails with his hands, supported automobiles, twisted horse shoes, pulled wagons with his teeth and even bit through chains!
Breitbart was from a family of blacksmiths and was known professionally as “The Iron King” — like many strongmen of the period, he also had his own series of mail-order training courses.

He would probably have ended up a household name had he not tragically passed away from blood poisoning at the age of 42. The movie “Invincible,” (2001) directed by Werner Herzog, was loosely based on his life

Alan Calvert, Founder of The Milo Barbell Company

Posted on Saturday, September 17th, 2011 by John Wood

Alan Calvert

Back in 1902, Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell company, which was the first ever strength equipment company on American soil.   Calvert began one of the the very first training publications “Strength” Magazine in 1914, wrote several training books and courses and helped pave the way for thousands of trainees to build size and strength through common sense methods and hard work.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Eugen Sandow

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by John Wood
Eugen Sandow was the prototypical strongman, the first true strength Superstar and can rightfully be called “The Man who Started it All.”
Strength and How to Obtain It by Eugen Sandow
Sandow thrilled audiences all over the world with his classical physique as well as his amazing feats of strength. In fact, many of the most famous Iron Game luminaries such as George Jowett and Alan Calvert (among others) were inspired to begin training after seeing Sandow in action.

Once he tired of the performing life, Sandow established the very first “Health Studios,” mail order training courses, mail order training equipment and physical culture magazine — all “firsts” for things which are now commonplace in the modern age.