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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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Luigi "Milo" Brinn

Luigi 'Milo' Brinn
Milo Brinn (born Luigi Borra) performed feats of strength and took on all comers as a wrestler at the famous Folies Berger in Paris.  Brinn's act at the Folies consisted of tumbling and gymnastics, hand balancing, figure display, heavy juggling and feats of supporting and carrying weights.  He could perform a crucifix with 66lb. in each hand and could do a one-leg squat holding 60 kg.

As a wrestler, Brinn won the amateur world's title  in 1887 and supposedly once defeated Sandow in a match.

You Can Banish Weakness...

Lionel Strongfort Advertisement
Lionel Strongfort (aka Max Unger) was one of the first mail order muscle kings and this is one of his advertisements from 1928. 

His "Strongfortism" system, which involved mostly body weight movements and light dumbbells, was incredibly popular in the early 20th century.  Strongfort was originally a pupil of Professor Attila.

The Gymnasium of the Romania College of Physical Education

The Gymnasium of the Romania College of Physical EducationHere's a quick look at The Gymnasium of the College of Physical Education in Bucharest, Romania. Their most well-known graduate is the famed gymnastic coach Bela Karolyi.

Sandow and Goliath

Goliath and Sandow
In the autumn of 1890, Sandow appeared at the Royal Music Hall, London, with the Giant Goliath (who had previously been working as a stone quarryman.)  Goliath was aptly named as he stood 6 feet 2-1/2 inches tall, and weighed 370 pounds, with hands big enough to fit pillow cases and chest, arms and head of phenomenal proportions.  

In the act, Sandow played the proverbial "David" initially assailed by the massive Goliath but triumphing in the end and actually lifting his foe and a large cannon from the stage with one finger. Their act concluded with Sandow supporting on a board, on his chest and knees, a total weight of 2400 pounds.



Rene Duverger

Rene Duverger - French Olympic Weightlifting ChampionThe French weightlifter Rene Duverger won the Gold in the lightweight class (67.5kg) at the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles, California. Duverger's total was 325kg on the day and comprised of a 97.5 kg press, a 102.5 kg snatch and a 125 kg clean and jerk.

Thomas Inch and The Evolution of A Biceps

Thomas Inch: Evolution of a Biceps Advertisement
I believe that advertisements tell as much about strength history as the books and courses, hence the reason I reproduce many of them here -- (and you sure won't find them anywhere else!) Here's a fantastic ad from deep in the archives: Thomas Inch's "Evolution of a Biceps."

The Billard Golden Triumph Barbell Training Manual

The Billard Golden Triumph Barbell Training Manual

The Billard Barbell Company, out of Reading, Pennsylvania, hit the scene in the early 1960's and featured their equipment primarily in department and sporting goods stores.  If you got one of their weight sets, you also received this nifty training manual featuring Bruce Randall., the 1959 Mr. Universe winner.  Randall made appearances at sporting good stores promoting and demonstrating Billard equipment.

Billard was actually the third barbell company based in Reading, PA (after the Good Barbell Company and the Reading Barbell Company.)  In addition to weights, the Billard Barbell Company also boasted a national championship calibre softball team. 

Tonitoff The Strongman

Tonitoff the Strongman
The great French strongman Tonitoff was the talk of the town when he performed in the Grand Circus Lenka during the 1896 season.    He was billed as "The World's Strongest Man" and easily supported several thousand pounds on his shoulders as he walked around the arena.

1956 Olympic Weightlifting: The Bantamweights

1956 Olympics BatamweightsA look at the medal platform for the 1956 Olympic Weightlifting Bantamweight class: American lifter Chuck Vinci took gold (with a 342.5 kg total ~ an Olympic record), Vladimir Stogov from the Soviet Union took the silver medal (with a 337.5 kg total) and Mahmoud Namdjou of Iran, took the bronze (with a 332.5 kg total).

Bavarian Stone Lifting

Bavarian Stone Lifting Contest

Munich, Germany, March, 27th, 1954: Adolf Grenzebach, given moral support by members of a Bavarian Brass Band, lifts a 508 pound stone during a contest for the strongest man of the Bavarian capital. In the competition traditionally held during the "strong beer" season in the Spring, the one who lifts the stone the highest is declared the winner. Adolph won with an 11-inch lift. Mr. Grenzebach's talents also weren't limited to stone lifting, he was also an egg eating champion, downing 26 in 30 minutes.

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