Category: Biographies

Female Bodybuilder Astrid Falconi – From Pompons to Barbells & Dumbbells by Greg Zulak (1993 Article)

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Most women get into bodybuilding because they are unhappy with their bodies. Perhaps they are overweight and long to resemble the Twiggy-like models they see in Vogue or in TV commercials. Or perhaps they are in poor health and want more energy and vitality. Or maybe they are anorexic-looking and shapeless and want to add some bodyweight to fill out their clothes and have more sex appeal. In any case, it’s unusual that a beautiful woman, who is already a successful model, part-time actress and a cheerleader for a professional football team, turns in her pompons and heads to the gym to become a bodybuilder, but such is the case for Astrid Falcon, the 1991 Canadian national heavyweight and overall bodybuilding champion.

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Bill Pearl’s 1967 Mr. Universe Workout

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Famous as one of the one champion vegetarian bodybuilders of his time, Bill Pearl was a force to be reckoned with during the 1960s bodybuilding scene. Well built, symmetrical and possessing a force last seen in the days of yore, Pearl’s physique inspired thousands of muscle fanatics to hit the weights room.

Still training well into his golden years, Pearl’s workout routines combine longevity with muscle building in an impressive way. Be warned however, this program is not for the faint of heart. Indeed, Bill didn’t win four Mr. Universes by pussyfooting around the gym floor.

With the preliminaries in mind, lets check out Bill’s workout routine for his 1967 Mr. Universe victory.

The Amazing Physique Of A. Schwarzenegger & How He Developed It (1967 Article)

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Published in Iron Man Magazine in 1967 by Arnold’s friend Albert Busek, the following article details Arnold’s rise to fame alongside his working routine of the time. A fine biography and reminder that even during the 60s, people marvelled at the Austrian’s successes.

JUST a short year ago his name was still generally unknown, but on October 30, 1965, in Stuttgart, his meteoric rise to international fame began.

However, let us review his story from the very beginning. Arnold Schwarzenegger was born on July 30, 1947, the son of police inspector Gustav Schwarzenegger and his wife, Aurelia. As a child he was taken along by his father to curling contests, and very soon the desire to emulate his father’s interest in sports awakened in him. At the same time he realised that that wouldn’t be a very easy thing to do, for his father was – and still is – an outstanding sportsman. Among other things, his father was the European title holder in distance curling, and several times he won awards as state champion in gymnastics and calisthenics. In his early efforts to achieve distinction in athletics, Arnold had to content himself with a merely average performance, and was very disappointed in this result. That happened in February, 1962, at the Graz City Championship in Distance Curling for Juniors. Arnold only won sixth place. For the son of a well-known sportsman that was naturally an unfortunate start, but Arnold was simply too weak to assert himself against the best performers. Thus, for the moment, his drive to reach the top came to a sudden halt.

Gains, Gains, Gains! Simple Ways To Increase Your Muscle Mass

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For a lot of guys, the main goal of their workout it to increase their muscle mass. Sure, there are plenty of people out there looking to lose weight, or simply become more active, but for the vast majority of men, the final goal of their routine is to get some serious gains. The issue is that there are far too many guys out there who simply don’t know how to achieve that result. They have a vague idea of what they want, but they don’t actually know how to most effectively go about making it happen. A lot of the time this then leads to them getting discouraged and giving up altogether. To help make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are some incredibly simple things that you can do to help increase your muscle mass.

Dave Waddington and the Thousand Pound Squat

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It was a timely moment for powerlifters. Anabolic steroids were by then de rigour. Weightlifting shoes, straps and suits had all evolved and greater attention was being paid to training and nutrition. Official powerlifting meets had been running for over two decades and the poundages were increasing with every competition it seemed.

Just as the Americans had rushed to the moon the previous decade, the 1970s and 80s in the powerlifting community were concerned with the race to the thousand pound squat. In today’s article we examine the first recorded effort at the thousand pound squat, undertaken by the American lifter, Dave Waddington.

The Fabulous Zabo Koszewski

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Famed for his god-like mid section, Ivan ‘Zabo’ Koszewski, is often forgotten about by modern gym goers seeking inspiration for their training. Although smaller in stature than contemporaries like Arnold or Frank Zane, Zabo’s physique was nevertheless the stuff of legend amongst his training colleagues.

Today’s post, written by Bob Hise for Strength and Health Magazine in 1967, details Zabo’s unique approach to training and nutrition. Whereas many of the time were eating between four and six meals a day, Zabo built his physique eating only twice a day. Something proponents of Intermittent Fasting will no doubt appreciate.

Joe Weider’s Weight Gain Contest (1955)

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In December of 1955, Joe Weider published the first issue of Junior Mr. America magazine. Aimed at teenagers and young men between the ages of 12 to 21, Junior Mr. America highlighted the importance of the younger community for bodybuilding entrepreneurs. Packed with training, dating and general life advice, the magazine was viewed by many teenagers as a godsend.

For Weider, the magazine was a chance to market his products to the highly enthusiastic and highly gullible. Something he did with gusto. Pictured above is the magazine’s first cover, featuring Clement Desjardins, the Jr. Mr. Canada of 1955. Aged just 18 years old, Desjardin had only taken up training two years previously at the behest of his friends. Beginning at just 125 lbs., Desjardin weighed 170 by the time he turned 18. Something which Weider attributed to Desjardin’s faithful following of the Weider training principals.

Now as part of the first issue (Dec 1955), Joe wrote an article that kicked off what he called a “Giant Weight Gaining Contest.” This contest would not take place within the confines of an arena but rather within Joe’s new publication.

The History of American Powerlifting

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Perhaps the most popular form of training for modern gym goers, powerlifting is nevertheless a relatively recent phenomena. Indeed, while bodybuilding and Olympic Weightlifting date to the start of the twentieth-century, it was not until the 1960s that the art of lifting incredibly heavy things was formally recognised.

Today’s article thus looks at the birth of American powerlifting, from it’s humble beginnings, past it’s first competitions and into the age of international contests. A story of strength, politics and fun.

Guest Post: Jon Pall Sigmarsson

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You can’t talk about great strongmen without mentioning Jon Pall Sigmarsson. He was a complete strength athlete. From competing in strongman, Highland Games, Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and even Bodybuilding, Jon Pall embodied his Icelandic Viking heritage in all that he did. It was the combination of his physical ability and larger-than-life personality that have left a legacy in the world of strength.