York Lifting Shoes

Posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 by John Wood
In the late 1960’s, the York Barbell Company became the first company to come out with a special shoe designed specifically for weight lifting. No longer would lifters have to sport their wingtips or work books when going for a personal record. Here’s a look at a pair AND the box. These shoes had a slightly raised heel and sturdy laces which provided extra stability in the low position — and they looked pretty sharp too. This particular pair is a size 8-1/2.

A pair of these would set you back $14.95 in 1969 which, adjusted for inflation, is a little over $100 in today’s money. (And no, we DO NOT have them for sale.)

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.

Gord Venables ~ The Overhead Squat

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019 by John Wood
Gord Venables ~ The Overhead Squat
A look at one of the original “York Gang” Gord Venables as he demonstrates the overhead squat, a movement you will have to master if you want to become an Olympic Weightlifter. At the 1944 Sr. Nationals, Gord finished third with a 710 pound total (behind Ellwood Holbrook and Bill Bush of Cincinnati). For years, Veenables also had a monthly column in Strength and Health Magazine entitled “Incredible But True!” which highlighted amazing feats of strength throughout history and the world.
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.

John Grimek and Classic Weights

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
When you work at the York Barbell Company you get to lift some classic weights any time you want to. Here’s John Grimek about to do just that. The top one is the famous Louis Cyr Challenge Dumbbell. The middle one is a giant dumbbell which belonged to the great French strongman Apollon. You can see the football player Tim Krumrie lifting it here. The bottom globe barbell may have belonged to Warren Lincoln Travis.

Globe Dumbbells

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
For the better part of the last century and a half, globe dumbbells and barbells were the “art form” of the Oldtime Strongman. Many were hollow, which allowed it to be filled progressively with shot to increase the weight and produce a unique training effect. Others, like this one, were solid, and just fun to train with. Several companies used to manufacture globe dumbbells: The Good Barbell Company, The Jackson Barbell Company and, of course, The York Barbell Company who made this one.

In fact, York Barbell was still producing globes like this one until well into the 1970’s. Unfortunately there are no true solid globe dumbbells currently being manufactured today, so if you see any, better grab them quickly because they are exceedingly rare.

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.

Strength and Health Magazine, March, 1934

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
The great weightlifter Art Levan on the cover of the March, 1934 issue of Strength and Health Magazine. This is one heck of an issue: Check out the lineup of strength authors: George Jowett, Earle E. Liederman, Harry Good, Bob Hoffman and Professor Paulinetti (among others.)

The York Bar Bell Co. – 51 North Broad Street, York, PA

Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017 by John Wood
The year was 1930, and a young fellow named Bob Hoffman, began his oil burner business at 51 North Broad Street, in York, Pennsylvania. In the early days, the bottom floor sold heating equipment and the top floor was devoted to Hoffman’s other passion: weightlifting. Eventually, the barbell business won out and a new chapter in U.S. Weightlifting history was born. At the time of this photograph, the bottom floor was the home office of Strength & Health magazine and the right side of the building was where barbells and dumbbells were packed and shipped. In 1958, the York Barbell Company moved to a new location on North Ridge Avenue.
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 Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
SOLD OUT!

We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

Early York Barbell Co. Advertisement – “We Build Mighty Men”

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s an ad for the York Barbell Company from 1934 making it a very early one. Notice Bob Hoffman — with hair! — and the famous picture of Wally Zagursky and Tony Terlazzo getting in a quick workout with York equipment in BoHo’s backyard on Lightner’s Hill in north York.
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.

When you buy a set of YORK DUMBBELLS you also get SWINGBELLS!

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 by John Wood
When you buy a set of YORK DUMBBELLS you also get SWINGBELLS! ~ and everyone loves swingbells. Swingbells are still an interesting concept today and, of course, dumbbells are always tough to beat.
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.

Strength and Health Magazine: Volume 1, Issue 1

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health issues number one, Wally Zagurski cover

Just in case you ever need to know who was on the cover of the very first issue of Strength and Health magazine, the answer is Walter “Wally” Zagurski. This issue hit the scene in December of 1932. Starting a magazine in the teeth of the Great Depression was quite an ambitious undertaking for Bob Hoffman, something which will be covered in great detail in the second volume of The Dellinger Files.

Zagurski was an original member of the “York Gang” who lifted back when it was called the “York Oil Burner Athletic Club.” He competed in the 1932 Olympics, won the 1933 Sr. National Weightlifting title at 165 pounds and was a very good all-around strength athlete.