Author: Conor Heffernan

Conor is Assistant Professor of Physical Culture and Sport Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. When not in the library or the gym, he likes to try his hand at writing, often with mixed results.

Cycling down memory lane: The History of the Bicycle

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Two wheels, some slabs of metal, a chain and an uncomfortable chair. What could be more simple to make then the common bicycle? Well motivated in part by a decision to begin cycling to work, I decided to delve into the history books to discover who invented the world’s first bicycle.

What should have been a simple google search descended into a merry-go-round of contradictory facts and misinformation. Nothing’s ever simple is it? Luckily a few interesting tidbits did emerge during my meandering searches…

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Muscle and Nutrition: When Paul Bragg met Bob Hoffman

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The history of Bodybuilding and Physical Culture is full of those great ‘what if’ moments. What if Joe Gold never opened Gold’s Gym? What if Arnold never took up the sport? And what if drugs never infiltrated physique competitions?

Another great ‘what if’ moment that many of us are unaware of comes from the 1940s, when nutrition zealot Paul Bragg met with Bob Hoffman, the owner of York Barbell with a proposal to create nutritional supplements. Whilst the two men failed to collaborate, Bragg’s suggestion would later result in the birth of the modern day supplement industry.

Iron Boots: The Slimming, Trimming, Shaping Equipment that the Fitness Industry Forgot About

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The fitness industry, it’s fair to say, is a fairly fickle business.

Every number of years we encounter the next great training innovation or revolution be it Crossfit, PX90 or TRX. So often our quest for the new and unknown results in the abandonment of what worked in the first place.

Today we’ll be looking at Iron Boots, a versatile piece of equipment used from 1900 to 1970. Once the staple of many’s training regimes, the iron boots were used by old school trainers from Sig Klein to Frank Zane with great success in developing their quads, hamstrings and abs.

What the boots lacked in aesthetics, they made up for in results but sadly they have now become the equipment that fitness forgot.

Guest Post: How to Build a Budget-Friendly Home Gym

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Today’s post comes from Kellie Davis and the good folks at Health Perch. Highly recommended you check them out!

Long commutes, expensive membership fees, and bad weather are just a few excuses that stall a regular workout routine. Consistent exercise promotes better health, improved energy, and a positive mood, so why not create a space for exercise where it’s most convenient: at home.

Though elaborate at-home gyms sound dreamy, these budget-friendly ideas are sure to keep a body moving without breaking the bank. Home gym equipment doesn’t have to be bulky. Build a killer routine using items that stow away under beds, pack in bags, are portable around the home, and can be crafted using items found at the hardware store.

The Savvy Home Gym Dos and Don’ts 

Born to Run: The Origins of America’s Jogging Craze

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Set in 1970s San Diego, cult comedy movie Anchorman featured a brief skit about jogging. In the scene, lead character Ron Burgundy attempts to explain the new fashionable jogging craze to his colleagues. Struggling to come to terms with the concept himself, Ron settles on “running for a prolonged distance of time…it’s supposed to be wild.”

So when exactly was jogging discovered by the United States?

Can A Non-Steroid User Compete Today? (Ironman Magazine, 1973)

steroids3Here’s a fascinating article from the annals, written by Joe Gallucci for Ironman Magazine in 1973 (33/1) about the growing drugs scene in Bodybuilding. Some of the arguments and accusations put across by Gallucci will be familiar to modern day Bodybuilding fans concerned with drugs in the sport.