Doug Hepburn in Action! (British Pathé, 1953)

Admittedly this site has not given Doug Hepburn his due. A Canadian by birth, Hepburn was known the world over not only for his weightlifting and strongman feats. The above video shows Hepburn at the […]

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Tom Burrows and the 100 Hour Indian Club Swing

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Readers of this blog will undoubtedly be familiar with my fondness for Indian club swinging, that great Hindu and Persian practice which became all the rage in England and the United States during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The history of Indian club swinging has been previously covered here with one big exception. I have said little to nothing of my favorite Indian club athlete, the great Tom Burrows.

Burrows was an Australian athlete who came to Britain in the late nineteenth century to train soldiers at the Royal Army Physical Training Corps gymnasium in Aldershot. Once there, Burrows became a minor physical culture celebrity owing both to his expertise as a coach but, more importantly, his ability to swing Indian clubs for hours on end. This is no exaggeration. By the late 1900s, Tom Burrows could swing Indian clubs for eighty hours without resting. Such was his popularity and demand that he even went on a world tour during this time to showcase his abilities to foreign audiences.

Today’s post, which is based on an article I wrote for Sport in History, centers on Burrow’s ultimately failed efforts to swing the Indian clubs for 100 hours without rest. Interested? Read on.

Guest Post: The History of Sports Uniforms

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Sports uniforms have come a long way since they first appeared. Originally, the idea was to have all the players in the same team dressed the same in order for their teammates to see them better and not mistake them for an opponent. However, very soon after they were introduced, sports uniforms started representing the team’s spirit and values, as well as striking fear into the hearts of opponents. Nowadays, they are designed to provide maximum comfort to players wearing them, while at the same time designers are trying to make them as appealing as possible, so that millions, or even billions of fans around the world would also buy the uniform of their favorite club. So, let’s take a look at how these uniforms have changed when it comes to the most popular sports around the world.

Guest Post: The History of Kratom: An Ancient Herb and Its Implications in Sports and Health

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For better or worse, supplements seem to have become an inextricable part of the modern lifestyle. Provided that you use them the right way, though, and provided that you choose the right ones for your health and fitness needs, supplements truly can elevate your long-term well-being and even help you take your fitness game to the next level, so to speak. Even so, there’s just no replacing a healthy diet plan. But when you’re exercising diligently or trying to surpass your limits before a well-deserved deload, there is no denying that supplements can be useful.

Today, we are not talking so much about a mainstream supplement so much as we are talking about a popular exotic plant that health-conscious individuals as well as athletes are introducing into their routines – kratom. Let’s go over the history of this healthful herb and uncover its potential benefits for athletes and those seeking to elevate their overall health.

Ron Kosloff, ‘Why I Loved Vince Gironda’

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This will probably be the very last article I will write about Vince Gironda since I think I’ve covered it all, plus I certainly don’t want to over-glorify him and possibly sound ridiculous, as this would be a mistake.

Simply stated, there are two (2) reasons I have such monumental admiration for him. First, he has proven to be the most brilliant mind ever to grace bodybuilding in every aspect.

Second, if you were to look in the dictionary to research ethics and integrity, it would state his name and follow with “like a rock, true and enduring, of the highest moral stature; a decent, honorable, incorruptible man,” plus a ton of other adjectives, including being a tormented man, but he walked the walk and talked the talk!

Ding Lifting in Ancient China

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Today’s short post comes primarily from Nigel B. Crowther’s wonderful chapter on Ancient Chinese sport and physical education. Looking primarily at Chinese physical cultures, Crowther found that weightlifting, archery, weight throwing, tug of war, boxing and a host of other activities were practiced by Chinese men. Of interest to us today, was the use of Ding’s as feats of strength.

Mike Mentzer, ‘Balancing Your Muscle-Building Diet’, HEAVY DUTY NUTRITION (1993), 9-11

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The majority of bodybuilders I meet at my numerous exhibitions and seminars all over the country still seem to think that protein is needed in tremendous quantities to build muscle. The fact that muscle is only 22 percent protein suggests that our protein requirements are not nearly that high. And just because muscle is more than 70% water doesn’t mean we should begin drinking gallons and gallons of water a day to hasten the muscle growth process either.

What would happen if we were to drink such large quantities of water? We would go to the bathroom a lot to eliminate the excess water. In the case of consuming excess protein, however, we aren’t so lucky, since protein contains calories which turn to fat when consumed in excess. The point I am trying to make here is that our bodies possess specific needs for all the various nutrients each and every day. We don’t force more utilization of nutrients by taking mega- doses. Nutrients consumed beyond need are excreted, in part, and the rest is turned to fat.