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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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H.E. Mann

Robert Edward "H.E" Mann, of Germantown, Tennessee, followed in the footsteps of Milo of Crotona... He began with a 35-pound Jersey bull calf and lifted it daily. A year later, the bull weighed in at over 500 pounds. The animal kept growing and Mann kept training - eventually the bull weighed over 800 pounds, and Mann was able to carry it 60 yards on his back.

The Sandow Health and Strength Cocoa Token

Sandow's Health and Strength CocoaEugen Sandow was bodybuilding's first superstar and lent his likeness to a number of different products, including cigars, pins and a chocolate cocoa drink.  Sandow's Cocoa didn't last long. Some of other big chocolate manufacturers saw Sandow's brand as a threat. They who lowered their prices and forced Sandow out of the market.   The factory, which opened in 1913, shut down production in 1916.

Tokens, like the one shown above, were used for the promotion of Sandow's Cocoa and are quite rare.  The image shown here has been enlarged to roughly twice the size to show detail.

Bob Hoffman at The York Picnic

A look at Bob Hoffman bent-pressing a classic globe barbell at the York Picnic many years ago. In case you might be wondering, It was clearly a hot day, but Bob is wearing a sweatshirt to maintain some friction with his off (i.e. left) arm and the hat is to keep the sun out of his eyes.

The Dumbbell Bench Press

Reg Park Dumbbell Bench Pres
A exercise that rarely gets its due is the dumbbell bench press. It can be performed in a  much safer manner than the barbell version and builds just as much (if not more) upper-body strength and power.

The Dumbbell Bench Press was one of Reg Park's favorite exercises. Here's Reg using 140 pounds in each hand -- an impressive poundage if you can do it once... Reg lifted it for 5 sets of 10 reps in a typical workout.

Club Swinging for Health by Tom Burrows

Club Swinging for Health by Tom Burrows

Here's a real treat: an extremely rare Indian Club training course from Tom Burrows, published in an issue of Health and Strength in 1905.  Burrows was a champion in boxing, wrestling, fencing, gymnastics, the broad jump, the long jump, the hundred yard dash and the mile run -- in fact, he won whole track meets by himself.

It was Burrows' feeling was that swinging Indian Clubs was the finest all around exercise for health and strength. 

In this particular course, Exercise 1 is for chest expansion, balance and leg development...  Exercise 2 is for building the waist and arms... Exercise 3 works the trunk... Exercise 4 develops the shoulders and thigh muscles... Exercise 5 is for the abdominals... Exercise 6 works the arms, legs, trunk and thighs... Exercise 7 is for chest development and Exercise 8 is for arms, legs and trunk development.  

Jack LaLanne: January 1942 Strength and Health Coverman

Strength and Health 1942, Jack LaLanne

Before he was selling juicers, breaking records for pushups, and urging the world to do calisthenics on their living room rugs, Jack LaLanne was featured on the cover of Strength and Health Magazine several times -- four, to be exact. This is his earliest cover, January, 1942, and Jack is looking pretty impressive.

Oscar Wahlund, The Strongest Man in Sweden

Who IS the strongest man in Sweden? Hard to say these days but a hundred years ago it was Oscar Wahlund. He is credited with a harness lift of well over 4600 pounds and could clean and jerk 225 pounds for 10 repetitions.  That aint bad even a century later.

Alan Calvert, Founder of The Milo Barbell Company

Alan CalvertBack in 1902, Alan Calvert established the Milo Barbell company, which was the first ever strength equipment company on American soil.   Calvert began one of the the very first training publications "Strength" Magazine in 1914, wrote several training books and courses and helped pave the way for thousands of trainees to build size and strength through common sense methods and hard work.

Galen Gough

Billed as "The World's Miracle Strongman," Galen Gough from Howard''s Grove, Kentucky certainly lived up to his title. Gough was terribly injured while serving in World War I, but built himself back to health and strength through physical training. His results were so dramatic that a career as a performing strongman soon followed.

Gough was one of the very first (if not the first)  strongman to impress crowds by ripping phone books in half.

The Bowmill Exercise

The Bowmill ExerciseIf you were looking for dumbbell exercises from back around the time of the Civil War, here's one you might have run across: "The Bow Mill Exercise," as discussed by Dio Lewis in 1864:

"The Bow Mill Exercise: The apart position is taken from which the dumb bells are made to describe a circle, the circumference of which shall be as near as possible to the floor, and as high up on the right as possible, and thus is followed by another circle of the same description to the left."
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