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This is THE PLACE for incredible feats, classic and unique equipment, advertisements, magazine covers, Olympic Champions, gymnastics, myths and legends, oldtime physical culture and everything else you can think of having to do with the history of physical training! -- There ain't nothin' like it anywhere else! You'll want to check back several times per day, we update often.

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Sergio's Other Job

Sergio Oliva's "real" job was a Chicago police officer, a position he held for 27 years. With a 60 inch chest and 20 inch arms, unsurprisingly, his uniforms had to be custom made. You'd probably think twice about littering with this guy walking toward you.

David P. Willoughby

Strength author and historian David Willoughby gracing the cover of the January, 1936 edition of the British physical culture magazine "Superman." Willoughby was the AAU Southern California AAU weightlifting champion from 1923-1926 and eventually went on to author countless books, articles and training courses. He also owned a successful gym in the Los Angeles area -- the same gym where Bert Goodrich got his start.

Joseph Barton Kohen "The American Hercules"

Joseph Barton Kohen "The American Hercules" (also sometimes known as "The Allegheny Hercules" based on his hometown of Allegheny, PA), was a well known feature in Bernarr MacFadden's early Physical Culture Magazines. In fact, he was one of the very first strongmen to ever appear on a magazine cover. Kohen also secured himself one of the first endoresement deals ever, he appeared in many ads promoting VIGORAL, the delicious beefy drink from Armour & Company in Chicago. Check out that sweet training gear (and his hair was perfect.)

Rolandow The Jumper

The great strongman G.W. Rolandow was very well known for his traditional feats of strength and the oldtime equipment that bears his name but he also excelled at feats of jumping prowess.

Here, Rolandow jumps over a 36-inch high, 25-inch wide table with a 65 lb. dumbbell in each hand. His best jump was with a pair of 75's - try that some time and you'll appreciate this feat a heck of a lot more.

Fyodor Bogdanovsky

The great soviet Fyodor Bogdanovsky graces the cover of the November, 6, 1957 issue of Health and Strength Magazine above. At the time of this publication, the 1957 World Weightlifting Championships were just about to commence in Tehran, Iran. The above shot is actually from the 1955 World Championships held in Munich, Germany where Bogdanovsky finished with the Silver medal behind the America, Pete George in the middle weight class. In Tehran, Bogdanovsky again finished second, this time behind Tommy Kono (it was an epic battle: both lifters finished with an identical 420 kg total with Kono ultimately taking the Gold on bodyweight.)

Nino The Carousel

The Italian strongman "Nino" figured out very early on that making a lift impressive went far beyond mere poundage, "what" was lifted was a big part of it too, and he had a flair for making his feats remarkable productions. Here's a perfect example: Nino as the fulcrum in a carousel consisting of two motor cars. This was the early 1900's so those cars had to weigh a few thousand pounds apiece, and to boot each was also filled with an additional four people. -- I'd certainly pay to see that.

Carl Hempe

Carl Hempe, of Easton, Pennsylvania, won the Medium class of the 1939 "America's Finest Physique" contest. A year later he competed (but did not place) in the 1940 AAU Mr. America contest. This led to a lifelong interest in physical training, here's Carl training in his back yard with a most excellent "log barbell."

Sig Klein's Gym (Exterior)

I've shown plenty of shots of the inside of Sig Klein's Gym but here's a rare shot of the exterior. Klein's Gym was located at 717 Seventh Avenue in New York City and was hard to miss with the huge picture of Sig out front. The building is still there, if you know where to look.

Pierre Gasnier: The French Hercules

Pierre Gasnier was the quintessential Oldtime Strongman: BIlled as the "French Hercules," He performed feats of strength for the Barnum and Bailey circus in the late 1890's: tearing decks of cards, bending horseshoes, breaking chains, and lifting his special "challenge weight" globe dumbbell shown here.

The dumbbell had a handle of 2" in diameter and weighs 236 French Livres (which equals 260 pounds) Gasnier weighed only 138 pounds at a height of 5'3" yet was able to lift the weight with ease, a feat that such other noted strongmen such as Sebastian Miller, Hans Beck, and Franz "Cyclops" Bienkowski could not duplicate.

Victory Goes Over The Bridge!

"Victory Goes Over The Bridge!" - That was a favorite saying of the great wrestler Karl Gotch and the above picture shows why. Mr. Gotch has just caught his opponent in his finishing move, "The German Suplex" which is both devastating and near unstoppable, and the only way you can add this move to your repertoire would be to learn to bridge properly: nose to mat.

And even if you don't have any interest in stepping in the right, a steady diet of bridge work is still a very good idea to build strength in the upper body and neck areas.
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