Kevin Tolbert’s Anvil Curls

Posted on Monday, December 29th, 2014 by John Wood
Kevin Tolbert is Dr. Ken Leistner’s adopted son – and easily one of the strongest men who ever lived. If you’ve read any of Dr. Ken’s writings, especially The Steel Tip Newsletter, you know Kevin’s name pretty well.

Kevin went on to play running back at the U.S. Naval Academy. At 5’9″ and 220 pounds, Kevin could run a legit 4.5 forty yard dash. As for his marks in the weight room, here’s a few:

23 reps with 375 lbs. and 15 x 405 lbs. in the bench press at a bodyweight of 230 lbs.

510 lbs. max-Bench Press in a legal, competitive style

Squat: 30 x 600 lbs. at a bodyweight of 248 lbs.

Those aren’t misprints…

Here’s Kevin doing a couple anvil curls while finishing up a workout in Dr. Ken’s basement in the mid-1980’s. I was fortunate to have Kevin as a strength coach at the University of Michigan for a few years and it looks like he may be back for another stint…

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.

Gittleson Boards

Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2014 by John Wood
Any University of Michigan football player from the last fifteen years will break down and cry at the sight of this picture. Needless to say, physical conditioning is a big part of the game of football and one of the ‘top secret’ conditioning tools that we used to use can be seen here. Think of it as a portable, one-man version of the traditional wooden sled.

We called ’em “Boards” and they were one of Mike Gittleson’s evil creations. The first iteration was literally a 2′ x 4′, about four feet long and pushing them on astroturf was decidedly awful. Later, when we got field turf in the fieldhouse, the boards got an upgrade with the “skis” you see above — they didn’t make them any easier. We used to push these boards up and down the field 2 minutes on/1 minute off for about 45 minutes or so (although that was usually only about half the workout.) A few times, we pushed them outside on the grass. It was one hell of a conditioning workout.

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.

Irving K. Pond

Posted on Friday, May 16th, 2014 by John Wood

Irving K. Pond

Who the heck is Irving K. Pond you may ask? Well, pull up a chair and let me tell you: He was the man who scored the first touchdown EVER in the history of the University of the Michigan football program, something which he accomplished in May of 1879. Later on, he also became a famous architect, designing, among other buildings, the Michigan Union and the Michigan League (where I got married) ~ so I have several reason to shake the man’s hand if I ever happen to meet him in the afterlife. Beyond his architectural pursuits, Pond was a lifelong devotee of physical training and, as shown here, could still perform a back flip and jump over his cane at 77 years of age ~ pretty impressive.
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.

The Gittleson Dumbbell

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

The Gittleson Dumbbell

The ‘Gittleson Dumbbell’ is so named because it sat on my college strength coach Mike Gittleson’s desk for all the years that I was at Michigan, and likely at least a decade before that. (Mike was the University of Michigan’s football strength coach for 30 years and produced more All-Americans and NFL Draft picks than any other college strength coach in history.)

As you can see this unforgiving chunk of iron weighs 120 pounds. I’ve bent pressed it, snatched it but not yet strictly overhead pressed it ~ something I am on track to do soon…

Kevin Tolbert

Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 by John Wood

Kevin Tolbert

What does the result of high intensity training look like? Check out Kevin Tolbert above. Kevin was certainly blessed on one level, but also keep in mind that he never bothered with “secret” exercises, just basic workouts, plenty of effort and no excuses. Kevin’s exact training programs are outlined in The Steel Tip Collection. Kevin was just recently announced as the new football strength coach at the University of Michigan.
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.