Three Great Champions

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 by John Wood
Three great weightlifting champions: Norb Schemansky, John Davis, and Tommy Kono. This shot was most likely taken at or around the 1952 Helsinki Olympic games where all three of them took the gold medal in their respective weight classes. Between these men, you are looking at 36 medals in international competition and 50 World’s records.
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.

Tommy Kono ~ 350 lb. Press

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 by John Wood
A look at the great Tommy Kono pressing 350 lbs. on May 26, 1961 – a World record. Tommy’s bodyweight was only 183 lbs. at the time but lifted in the 198 lb. class. When they weighed everything afterwards, they found the loaded bar actually weighed out at 350-1/2 lbs. This amazing lift took place at the Hawaiian State weightlifting championships and the Mr. and Miss Hawaiian Islands contest held at the Nuuanu YMCA Auditorium. The same day he snatched 290 lbs. and clean and jerked 350 for a 1000-1/2 lb. total.
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.

1957 Middleweight World Weightlifting Champions

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by John Wood
A rare shot at the winner’s stand of the Middleweight class (75kg) at the 1957 World Weightlifting Championships (held in Tehran, Iran from November 8 to November 12, 1957.) Tommy Kono and Soviet lifter Fyodor Bogdanovsky both had an identical 420 kg. total but Kono took the Gold on lighter bodyweight. It must have stung too, it was the only Silver medal for the the Soviet team, they took the Gold in every other weight class. Polish lifter Jan Bochenek got the Bronze with a 395 kg total.

Gray Hair and Black Iron by Brooks Kubik

Posted on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 by John Wood
Can any Lifter REALLY Gain Strength and Muscle at any age?
The Answer is YES!
GRAY HAIR AND BLACK IRON, the first and only book of its kind, shows you how!

Let’s face it… most of the training info these days is written by (and for) muscle heads. There is little ‘there’ for anyone who is serious about getting results and this is especially true for older lifters who have been around the block a few times and are tired of the latest “fads”.

Without many places to turn for the right kind of training info, many older lifters have thrown their hands up in frustration… but now a completely new kind of training guide has come along to turn the tide in a completely different direction.

A Book for Older Lifters… and Not a Moment Too Soon!

Brooks Kubik famously wrote the modern classic Dinosaur Training back in 1996 which was and is the book that thousands upon thousands of trainees list as their strength bible. While the methods and techniques of Dinosaur Training have certainly stood the test of time, Brooks found that, as the years went on, some of the things that he once talked about needed to be adjusted a bit.

Of course, Brooks wasn’t the only one interested and in this type of information, the entire generation of Dino trainees wanted (and needed) to hear it as well. Brooks looked high and low and when he didn’t find what he was looking for he realized that he was going to have to be the one to write it The result was a classic for a whole new generation: Gray Hair and Black Iron,which was written specifically with older lifters in mind.

Teaches You Exactly What to Do…and How to Do It

You sure don’t have to be satisfied lifting soup cans or the ridiculously light plastic dumbbells that are often suggested for older lifters in the popular fare. Gray Hair and Black Iron is all about serious training at an advanced age. We’re talking about gaining strength, adding muscle and staying injury-free, even if you happen to have a few more candles on your birthday cake. Here’s a look at some of the material covered in Gray Hair and Black Iron

CHAPTER ONE: Recovery and Recuperation for Older Lifters Why older trainees need a different type of training … Peary Rader’s viewpoint on older lifters … The two most important keys to training success for older lifters … Why the training principles in this book apply to Olympic Weightlifters, Powerlifters, Strongman trainees, Bodybuilders and anyone else who ever lifted a weight … The area of the body that requires the greatest recovery time … An interesting point from Russian research on Olympic weightlifters

CHAPTER TWO: Abbreviated Training for Older Lifters... The ideal workout length… How workouts have changed through time and a typical workout for Brooks… Favorite exercises… How to train with the Trap Bar… How to perform Divided Workouts in order to maintain enthusiasm

CHAPTER THREE: Sets and Reps for Older Lifters … Seven different approaches … The Seven Important benefits of low rep training … The best way to warm up … How to develop more precise movement patterns … Building the “Success” habit … How to get even better results by spending even LESS time at the gym … Tommy Kono’s squat advice … Training for increased bone density … Strengthening the joints, tendons and ligaments

CHAPTER FOUR: More Straight Talk on Sets and Reps for Older Lifters … Examples of effective warmup sets … Singles, Doubles and Triples for Older Lifters … The rep range that gives the best balance between strength and power training and conditioning … the 5/4/3/2/1 training system

CHAPTER FIVE: Training Frequency for Older Lifters … Brooks’ usual weekly training schedule … The unusual reason why Brooks likes to train on weekends … The specific reason why Brooks doesn’t back squat anymore and what he does instead … Joe Mills’ advice

CHAPTER SIX: The Best Exercises for Older Lifters, Part One … Why a few changes need to happen in your exercise choices as you gain experience … A good exercise to drop out of your program … Six examples of the best kind of exercise you can do … Training to preserve neurological function … Cardio Training with weights … Preserving perfect posture … Three exercises to leave out of your program, and which ones you should do instead … Preserving Athleticism and Mobility … How to maximize hormonal activity and the specific exercises that trigger this phenomenon … Ground-based training for older lifters… Where to find a qualified Olympic weightlifting coach in your area … The Miracle Machines and their results

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Best Exercises for Older Lifters, Part Two… The “old standby”… The exercises that most people avoid doing in the gym … Two different “styles” of squatting and advantages and disadvantages of each … How Olympic weightlifters train their legs … Something to avoid if you plan on deadlifting … Benefits of the Gerard Trap Bar and why heavy dumbbells and not an effective substitute … One of Brooks’ absolute favorite exercises and details on performing it in your own training … The truly “old school” exercise for upper body power … John Grimek’s favorite exercises … Combination exercises … Training with blocks

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Role of Auxiliary Exercises … Should you be doing “bodybuilding” exercises? Brooks’ answer may surprise you … Tommy Kono’s training … Three different A/B/C ‘Cardio” weightlifting routines to try

CHAPTER NINE: Unsafe at any age – Exercises to Avoid … The worst offenders of the commonly performed exercises that you’ll see at just about every gym … The truth about Yoga, stability balls, depth jumps, the pec dec machine and many more

CHAPTER TEN: How Heavy Should You Train? … An interesting point from one of the top Master’s weightlifters in the world … One of the common mistakes that most lifters make, according to Tommy Kono … 10 Rules to lift (and live) by for older trainees

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Simple Cycling Programs for Older Lifters … Why “Training Heavy” all the time is a mistake … Three different cycling program listing sets, reps and suggested starting weights, each designed to help you hit new personal records in several different lifts … The influence of job, family and other time constraints … A sixteen-week cycle … Alternating easy weeks and hard weeks … How an older lifter should determine a 1-rep max

CHAPTER TWELVE: Sets, Reps, Weight and the Stabilizing Principle … The absolute worst training mistake that Brooks ever made — and how you can easily avoid making in in your own training… How three sixteen year olds equaled one 47-year old … The 5 x 5 training system … Variations of 5 x 5 training … Reg Park’s Training … 5 x 2 training and cycling

Seen enough and ready to grab your copy of Gray Hair
and Black Iron? Use this button to place your order immediately:

1-800-978-0206

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: How to Warm Up Properly … Something that that many older lifters neglect to do in every workout … The goal of a good workout … Step-by-step instructions … Warming up with a broom stick

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: “Bury Me Big” … Bob Hoffman’s Quick Gain Weight Routine … Hi-Proteen… John Grimek’s example … When to bulk up and when to cut weight

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Cardio Training for Older Lifters … A simple exercise to get you started … Cardio squats … the 5 x 10 squat program … Cardio Supersets fow whole-body conditioning … Tri-sets and super-sets … Bodyweight conditioning … Using barbells and dumbbells for conditioning work … A complete cardio super-set program … PHA training: advantages and drawbacks … PHA workouts

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: More Cardio Training Ideas … How to use the “fives” technique for building strength, power and cardiovascular fitness … Fred Lowe’s training … Power supersets… Pairing full-range movements with partial movements for interesting results … Twelve ways to combine barbell, dumbbell and heavy, awkward object lifting … Complexes … Breathing Squats and Joseph C. Hise, William Boone, John Grimek, John Davis, Louise Abele and Peary Rader … Five things you should know about breathing squats before you begin … Twenty-Rep Deadlift s… Lugging and Loading Workouts … Conventional Cardio Training … Staying active away from training

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Ten Training Programs for Older Lifters Who Use Athletic Style Exercises … The one constant throughout each workout … Programs based on the teachings of Harry Paschall and Bradley J. Steiner … “Cardio Training with Weights” … Abbreviated workouts … 4-Day Upper-Body /Lower Body Split routines … Circuit Training … Workouts for lifters 55 years of age and above

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Ten Basic Strength Training Programs for Older Lifters … Workouts for lifters who are interested in strength and power, but who have limited equipment … Which adjustments can be made in each workout

CHAPTER NINETEEN: Ten Total Body Workouts for Older Lifters … Workouts for age 60 and above … How to train hard but not too hard … The classic three-day per week program … Low volume training techniques

CHAPTER TWENTY: Ten Circuit-Training Programs for Older Lifters … Cardio Workouts without cardio machines … Bob Hoffman’s Simplified System of Barbell Training … Where and how to add rope jumping to your training … A program based on Randy Couture’s workout … A six-exercise circuit performed with dumbbells… Sandbag training cardio … Trap Bar Training

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: Ten Ultra-Abbreviated Programs for Older Lifters … Brief, too the point but VERY effective … Squats, front squats, and Trap Bar routines …

CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: Gut Check Time … Three compelling reasons to get your waist-line in check … Dietary advice for losing bodyfat… How many times per day to eat … Supplements

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: Core Training for Older Lifters … What core training is and is not … What Brooks stopped doing crunches and what he does instead for abdominal training … Suggestions for heavy ab work

CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR: Protecting Your Joints … Tips on exercise selection … “Cycling” for older lifters … Seven ways to avoid overtraining … When to use ice after a workout … Straight talk on lifting belts, knee wraps, squat suits, bench shirts, knee sleeves, waistbands, sweatsuits and lifting shoes … Suggestions on what to do in case you should get injured … Coming back from an injury

CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE: The Wrap Up

A Treasure Trove of Practical Strength Knowledge

As you can see, the topics that are covered throughout Gray Hair and Black Iron are extensive. Brooks left no stone unturned. We listed the tips and techniques that we found of great interests but there are undoubtedly other gems that you’ll find as you flip through its pages — and this is the type of book that you will flip through very often.  Whether you need a quick workout incorporating just a few barbells and dumbbells, or a more detailed routine to add some poundage to your top bench press, you’ll find more than FIFTY different workouts which run the gamut.  Simply pick the one you need and get to work.

Not JUST for Older Lifters Though…

We’ve listed many pages worth of reasons why Gray Hair and Black Iron should be in every older lifter’s strength library but the fact of the matter is that the advice contained within it is for lifters of any age.  The name of the game here is usable, practical, time-tested training info built on common sense and most importantly of all, results.  The workouts can be performed “as is” or adjusted as needed, either way, this is just the type of information that every lifter should here. 

Too often, lifters spend the second half of their training careers trying to make up for the mistakes they made up in the first half… Gray Hair and Black Iron is the type of book specifically written to help anyone avoide those mistakes in the first place.  Besides, if you don’t need the book right now, the fact of the matter is that you will at some point.

In Stock and Ready to Ship!

If you have read this far, we know you are serious.  In case you can’t wait to get your hands on your personal copy of Gray Hair and Black Iron you should know that we always have several cases on-hand and ready to ship asap.  Orders are generally shipped the same day they are placed or the next available opportunity – the faster we get your books in the mail, the sooner you can start using them to get stronger.

Gray Hair and Black Iron is 310 pages in length and contains the 25 chapters covered in detail above. The book is a 8-1/2-inch by 5-1/2 inch trade paperback with a heavyweight glossy cover. There are no illustrations. All that’s left to do now if for you to take action. You can order your copy online or give us a call any time during normal business hours. Grab your copy today!

Order now!Gray Hair and Black Iron by Brooks Kubik
___________$34.99 plus s/h

If I Had My Way by Tommy Kono

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2016 by John Wood
IF I HAD MY WAY
by Tommy Kono

If I had my way, the weightlifting area would be treated like a “dojo” as the martial arts students would use their area and equipment for training.

The entire area would be treated with respect from the bar to the barbell plates, from the chalk box to the platform. The barbell bars would never have the soles of a lifter’s shoe get on it to move or spin it, no more than you would place your shoes on the table top. The bumper plates would never be tossed or stepped on.

The barbell will always be loaded with double bumper plates on each side whenever possible to preserve the bar and the platform. The purpose is to distribute the load over two bumper plates instead of one with an assortment of small iron plates.

The barbell lifted would never be “thrown” down or dropped from overhead except for safety reasons. The hands will guide the bar down in a controlled manner as it is in a contest.

Anger from a failed lift will be controlled so no four-lettered words would be used. Instead the energy for the anger will be directed for a positive result.

A good Olympic bar will never be used on a squat rack for squatting purpose. There is no need to use the good bar on the squat rack where it could ruin the knurling or cause the bar to be under undue stress, damaging the integrity of the quality of the bar that makes it straight and springy.

When a lifter finishes using the area for training, it would be left neat and clean with the barbell bars and plates properly stored.

Imagine how it would be if you did not have the gym to work out in and had to go to one of the spas, health clubs or fitness gym to practice Olympic lifting.

Imagine if you did not have a “good” Olympic bar and bumper plates for training.

Imagine if all the equipment was your very own and you had to replace it if you or someone damaged it by abuse – the money coming out of your own pocket.

Treat the Olympic barbell bars, bumper plates, platforms and any items used for training or competition with respect. Development of a strong character begins with
respect even for innate objects.

Character Building begins with Respect and Responsibility.

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.

Ed Yarick

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 by John Wood

In addition to running one of the most popular gyms in the land, the 6’4″ Yarick won the tall class in the “Mr. Pacific Coast” bodybuilding contest and was also the coach of the 1952 National Jr. Weightlifting Team.

Yarick’s Gym was located at 3355 Foothill Blvd. in Oakland, California and was one of the centers of the strength world on the West coast. It was also where Steve reeves got his start and the training headquarters at various times of Roy Hilligenn, John Davis, Clancy Ross, Jack Delinger, Tommy Kono and Doug Hepburn (among others).

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.

Iron Man Lifting News – Vol.4, No. 4 – December, 1959

Posted on Sunday, January 31st, 2016 by John Wood
Iron Man Magazine was mostly oriented towards bodybuilding so Peary Rader started up another side-publication oriented towards heavy weight lifting and what would eventually become Powerlifting. “Iron Man Lifting News” started out in 1954 at brochure size and eventually grew to a full fledged magazine. Issues are pretty rare as they were only available by subscription and never appeared on the newsstand. As a result, a number of incredible training articles flew under the radar. To give you a great example, this issue — Vol. 4, No 4. from December, 1959 — was devoted specifically to how to clean and jerk maximum poundages. As you can see, the techniques of several great champions, Schemansky, Kono, Louis Martin, and others were analyzed in great detail.

Copies are extremely hard to come by but in case you are interested, this issue of Lifting News is posted in its entirety in THE IRON LEAGUE.

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.

1959 Senior National Weightlifting Championships Program

Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the program/ score card for the 1959 US. Senior National Weightlifting Championships. Cover man Tommy Kono, unsurprisingly, won the 165-1/4 pound class with a 905 lb. total. Other winners included Chuck Vinci, Isaac Berger, Paul Goldberg, Jim George, Clyde Emrich and Dave Ashman.
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.

Tommy Kono ~ Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955 - Tommy Kono Cover

Tommy Kono graces the cover of the August, 1955 issue of Strength and Health magazine. Just a few months later, in October of 1955, Tommy would go on to take the Gold medal in the light-heavyweight (82.5 kg) class at the World Championships held in in Munich, West Germany. Kono’s winning total was 435 kg, and consisted of a 142.5 kg press, a 127.5 kg snatch and a 165 kg clean and jerk.

Gennady Ivanchenko

Posted on Saturday, August 20th, 2011 by John Wood
Gennady Ivanchenko, the great Russian weightlifter, was the first light-heavyweight lifter ever to surpass the 500 kg total. This famous shot, taken by Tommy Kono, shows Ivanchenko doing snatch pulls at a training session prior to the 1971 Sr. European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria (where Ivanchenko, unsurprisingly, took gold).  You can probably see why Ivanchenko’s nickname was “The Robot.”