Category: Training

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.

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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?

The History of Gold’s Gym

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In 1965, former bodybuilder and US Marine, Joe Gold opened up a gym in Venice California as a place for himself and his friends to train. Charging $60 a year, Joe kept costs down by making his own gym equipment, skimping on the heating and recruiting every bodybuilder worth his salt as a member.

Unbeknownst to Joe, his simple gym would eventually become an institution in the fitness world.

Steroids Good or Bad? Muscular Developement Article, September 1968

steroids3In 1968 Jackson Bowling, a writer for bodybuilding magazine Muscular Development set out to clear up any misconceptions about the growing trend of anabolic steroids in bodybuilding. Jackson’s advice? Use them sparingly and under the supervision of a doctor. Fascinating to think that in less than 50 years Steroids have gone from being relatively unknown in bodybuilding to widespread.

Bodybuilders and athletes alike are hearing more and more about the “new” tissue drugs and anabolic steroids, but down to earth facts and information has been hard to come by.

Just what are these steroids? Are they harmful? Do they really work the miracles some claim ? These are but a few of the many questions that more and more weight trainees are asking, and this article hopes to give the answers in plain, every day terms.

1977 and the birth of the World’s Strongest Man

Who is the strongest man in the World? Ever since man began to lift heavy objects for fun, there has been an insatiable desire to know who is the strongest.

It was this desire that led to the creation of the World’s Strongest Man (WSM) Competition in 1977, a yearly event that has since become an industry in it’s own right.

Today we look at the creation and execution of the first ever WSM event, a competition that saw bodybuilders carry fridges, Olympic Weightlifters out lift power lifters and the four finalists battle it out in a tug of war competition.

Pumping Iron: The History of the Bench Press

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The Bench Press, one of the most primitive and effective exercises in the weight room. Despite it’s much revered status, few of us know about the fascinating history of the bench press, a lift that evolved to suit the needs of a growing professionalism in competitive weightlifting.

Having previously examined the history of the squat, it only seems fair to look at the history of the gym rats favourite exercise.

Old School Leg Exercises

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“Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.”

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next leg workout then you’ve come to the right place.

Today we look at some of the greatest leg exercises that time has forgotten about.

They were invented by iron legends like Gironda and used by men like Arnie. Needless to say, they’re effective, they’re tough and they’re worth doing.

What is Strength?

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So often in today’s world of World’s Strongest Man, Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting, the assumption that strength is defined by maximum weight lifted goes unchallenged. It is as if we accept unquestioningly that the person who can lift 500 pounds once is stronger than the those who can ‘only’ lift 400 pounds for reps.

It’s important to remember that strength was and is, a highly contested issue. Today we are going to look at a 20th century European strongman’s views on what strength really means.