Steve Stanko and The Hub Lift

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 by John Wood
One of the classic classic grip feats was to pick up a York Deep-Dish 45 Pound barbell plate just by the hub, something weightlifting and bodybuilding champ Steve Stanko could do with ease, even with an added 10 pounds. Steve’s best on this feat was with over 90 pounds!

York Isometric Model W.W. Power Rack

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s another look at the York Isometric Model W.W. Power Rack. Back in the early 1960’s, my Dad and Uncle sent away to Muscletown York, PA for one of these W.W. racks so they could do isometric training which was all the rage back in the day. Then this rack sat in storage for the next few decades until I saw the pieces in the corner and asked if I could take it up to my gym. The crossbeam was lost and the base had rotted away but I had one of our fabricators fashion the necessary pieces to get it back into working order. Initially my goal in refurbishing this piece was more from a sense of nostalgia — a family heirloom of sorts — but eventually, I found it to be invaluable. It was this rack on which I formulated the movements for “The Bone Strength Project” and it’s design is ideal for those. Who would have ever guessed that such a “primitive” rack would end up being exactly what I needed for my training goals about fifty years later?
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.

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

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
“…Whenever a new issue of Strength and Health Arrived in The Mailbox, They Always RIPPED open the envelope and turned to John McCallum’s article first!”
Back when Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were playing concerts, John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” series helped pack more muscle on more people than all other articles combined… and now, five decades later, McCallum’s workouts will help you pack on muscle too!
Before there was this thing called “The Internet,” anyone who was serious about building size and strength got their training information from magazines… and the very best magazine to get solid training info from was Strength and Health, directly from The York Barbell Company in York, PA.

Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.

It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)

McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)

Now you too can read all of John McCallum’s
“Keys to Progress” articles in one place

If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.

Lucky for us though, every single one of of McCallum’s classic training articles have recently been combined into one volume and reprinted for a new generation to read and enjoy.

You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one strength book to read ‘THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS’ should be it!

Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:

Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…

Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?

You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.

The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.

McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:

You Won’t Find This Training
Information Anywhere Else!
How long should your workouts last? …It’s an age-old question that you’ll finally get the answer to on page 2… You’ll also find a good, basic weight gaining program for beginners and intermediates later on in the article

McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)

How do you put on good, solid strength and size quickly? — Sure, lifting is a part of it, but so is getting in enough calories… You’ll receive the recipe and instructions for the “Get Big Drink” on page 15
What did a typical workout look like for three-time Mr. Universe contest winner Reg Park? McCallum was there and saw one with his own eyes… and it probably isn’t what you think… Read all about it in the “Training for Gaining” article starting on page 16

On Page 22, McCallum devotes an entire article to addressing one of the most important training secrets — one that just about everyone downplays or ignores

Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar

If there’s one area of training that just about every program is lacking in, it’s grip work… but the fact of the matter is that if you want to lift big weights, you’ve gotta have strong hands… Starting on page 49, you’ll find two articles devoted to increasing grip and forearm strength, along with an enlightening visit to Mac Batchelor’s pub!

Having trouble bulking up? You’ll want to try the “High-Protein, High-Set” Routine found on page 60… and don’t miss the “results” follow up article
What if you can’t squat? …there ARE other options… in fact, there’s an exercise that can do for the upper body what squats can do with the whole body and you can read all about how to work it into your program on page 68
Just because you lift weights does not mean you shouldn’t be in shape as well… A decade before before the”jogging boom” McCallum was urging strength athletes to hit the track to get their waistline in check. Find out his thoughts and recommendations on page 85
One of the most unique training programs that McCallum discussed in his articles was “P.H.A.” which was developed by 1966 Mr. American Bob Gajda… this routine is especially effective if you need more definition…you’ll read everything you need to know about PHA training starting on page 99
Looking to widen out? Try the “Back Work for Bulk” program on page 127… You’ll be in good company with this routine, these exercises were used with great success by Maurice Jones, Bill Pearl and Reg Park (among others)
If you want to build a big chest, you’ve got to enlarge your rib box…McCallum’s 4-part “For a Big Chest” series, which begins on page 131, outlines the specific exercises for making it happen
Not many people know about Hip Belt Squats but you can read all about them on pages 156-160… that includes details on setup, how to incorporate them and the other exercises that should be performed with them
Forget the store-bought stuff, if you need some more nutrients in your diet, you’ll want to read McCallum’s articles on baking muscle muffins and Vitamins… you’ll find more info starting on page 191
Training not going so great? There are some pretty predictable reasons why this may be and McCallum examines them in detail on pages 216-228
“The Case for the Breathing Squat” — one of the ALL-TIME greatest training articles — starts on page 259… the entire price of the book is worth it for this article alone

These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.

One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.

If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!

Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!

Order now!The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
___________$19.99 plus s/h

Stan Stanczyk

Posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 by John Wood

Stan Stanczyk

The great Olympic weightlifter Stan Stanczyk was the first man to win three successive World titles in three different weight classes. Lifting for the York Barbell Club, he won five in all. He also won six Senior National titles, a Gold Medal at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, a Gold at the 1951 Pan-American Games and a Silver Medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

Stanczyk set eight word records during his lifting career. He was also a fairly good bodybuilder, placing very respectably in the few contests he entered.

The York Calflex

Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 by John Wood
The York Calflex
One interesting training ‘gizmo’ from strength training yesteryear is the York Barbell Calflex. According to the ads, the York Calflex “allowed the tension to be increased in both directions for complete calf development.” Nice. N.B. There is a small hook-like piece missing from the front in the image above which locks the foot into 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.

1947 World’s Weight Lifting Championships Official Program

Posted on Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by John Wood
A look at the Official Program for the 1947 World’s Weight Lifting Championships held at the Municipal Auditorium in Philadelphia, PA.  Pictured are members of the 1946 US team consisting of Stanley Stanczyk, Frank Spellman, John Terpak, Emerick Ishikawa, Bob Hoffman and Frank Kay (Not pictured: John Davis).

At the Championships, which were held on September 26 and 27th, 1947, the US team ran the table, taking the Gold Medal in every single weight class and winning 10 medals overall.

Just Another Day on Broad Street…

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 by John Wood

York Gym

Just another day in the old York gym over on Broad Street, circa 1958. The great featherweight Ike Berger is getting in a few presses with 205 on the platform. The gentleman looking on from the left is Eduardo Adrian, who was the lifting champion from the island of Curacao, and who spent a few weeks training in York at the time. In the background, 1944 Mr. America and 1947 Mr. Universe Steve Stanko works in on the long cable. while Jack Mills, a local high school student, rests between sets — that’s right, at one point in time you could have just shown up at York and worked out right along side world champion lifters and strength athletes.
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.

York Holdtite Barbell Collars

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by John Wood

York Holdtite Barbell Collars

If you got a standard York Barbell set in the mid 1930’s through the early 1940’s, this is the set of collars that would have come with it.  These “Holdtite” collars are made of bronze and certainly live up to their name.
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.

Steve Reeves’ Favorite Exercises

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 by John Wood

I’m sure you can see why they say Steve Reeves has the classic physique… he looked like a Greek statue brought to life. Reeves was one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time, winning almost every contest he entered including the 1947 AAU Mr. America title. In 1950, he trained at the York Barbell Club in York, PA for the NABBA Mr. Universe contest (which he eventually won, by the way.) While at York, John Grimek, watched Reeves train, and later wrote an article about what he saw in the November, 1964 issue of Muscular Development Magazine. According to Grimek, here are some of Steve Reeves’ favorite exercises:

•Hack Squats

•Cable Rowing

•Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls

•Behind Neck Press