Tag: History

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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The History of Weightlifting Belts

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Owing to the increasing popularity of powerlifting, cross fit and olympic lifting, chances are you either own a weightlifting belt or see them on a regular basis on the gym floor. A means of bracing the abdomen, weightlifting belts are a source of controversy in the weightlifting world between those who see them as legitimate tools in the quest for heavier weights and those purists who prefer all lifts be done without any equipment whatsoever. For the majority of us, they’re simply a novelty to break out on a deadlift PR.

In today’s post, we’re going to explore the history of the weightlifting belt, from ancient mythology to the present day. Far from a new phenomenon then, the belt has long been a lifter’s friend.

A Brief History of the Barbell

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Whether you bodybuild, power lift, cross fit or simply keep fit, there’s no denying the importance of the barbell to your training. Easily adjustable, stable under enormous weights and challenging to the nth degree, barbells are a time honoured means of building muscle and strength.

Yet despite the barbell’s unrivalled popularity amongst the current gym going population, we tend to know very little about its short history. Borrowing from the work’s of historians such as Jan Todd, today’s article seeks to present a brief history of the gym-goers favourite device.

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.

The History of the Burpee

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An exercise loved and loathed across classrooms, the Burpee can be found in P.E. classes, conditioning circuits and anywhere where trainees are searching to shed pounds and increase definition.

As simple as it is difficult, the exercise is often engaged in with relative unenthusiasm. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely enjoys it! Nevertheless it is done. And for that reason alone, it’s interesting to explore its relatively recent history.

The History of the Burpee

The History of the Reverse Hyper Extension Machine

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Lower back pain is an all too common problem these days for the average office worker. Long stints in the chair, hunched over, with poor posture. It’s little wonder back ache is one of the leading complaints for desk jockeys. If just sitting for extended periods of time causes such pain, imagine what lifting hundreds of kilos in a squat or deadlift does to the lower back!

It’s this juncture between the regular Joe and the super strong that the Reverse Hyper Extension Machine takes it place. Once a niche piece of equipment, the machine is beginning to crop up in more and more gyms. Though not my new gym but that’s a personal gripe!

So what is this machine that promises to strengthen the lower back, resolve back pain and build a damn strong posterior chain? Where did it come from and, perhaps most importantly, who invented it?

Three Old-School Squats You’re Not Doing

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For many gym goers the back squat is the Holy Grail for leg development. Known as a means of separating the serious trainers from the weekend warriors, the exercise has taken on a near mythical place in gym lore.

Yet like all things, too much of a good thing can lead to stagnation and poor results. While the back squat is undoubtedly a handy tool in the weightlifter’s repertoire, it can prove cumbersome for some lifters based upon their body structure or even boring for other lifters based upon their overexposure to it.

With this in mind, today’s short article highlights three time tested but often neglected squatting variations. Don’t be deceived into thinking these exercises are easier substitutes by the way. Once you try them, you may find yourself running back to the comfort of the back squat!

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.