Tommy Kono performing winning Olympic lifts (1958)

In this video footage from the 1958 World Weightlifting Championships in Stockholm, Sweden, posted on the “John Phung” Youtube channel, Tommy Kono of Sacramento, CA, USA performed winning Olympic-style lifts including a world-record snatch of 133.5 kg (294.3 lbs), taking home the top prize in the middleweight division.

By this time, Kono had also established himself as a physique champion with one Mr. World and two Mr. Universe titles in addition to his weightlifting awards. Continue reading

The Apparatus Needed – Michael Fallon (1960)

The text below is from another weight training manual to come out of English physical culture, Michael Fallon and Jim Saunders’ Muscle Building for Beginners (1960). This pocket-sized paperback book is focused on training for physique development. The book is divided into two sections. Part I, by Michael Fallon, is an overview of the field of physique training, including tips on gaining and losing weight through nutritional changes. Part II, by Mr. Universe, Class II Jim Saunders, features more specific information on training muscle groupings such as arms, chest, back, etc.

FallonSaundersMuscleBuildingBook cover: click image to enlarge (will appear in new window/tab) Continue reading

Principles of weight training – George W. Kirkley (1963)

Welcome to FOUNDATIONS OF IRON! We hope that this site will provide insight on physical culture and weight training for strength and physique as practiced decades ago, and that this online archive will continue to grow over the coming years.

We begin with an introductory text. The following excerpt, entitled “Principles of weight training,” is the first chapter of Weightlifting and Weight Training, by George W. Kirkley (1963). This paperback volume was a very good introduction to lifting weights for strength, physique, general athletics, and for the sport of competitive Olympic weightlifting. Among other credentials, Kirkley was senior coach of the British Amateur Weightlifters’ Association, and he had decades of experience in the field. However, little other information seems to be readily available on Kirkley himself. The text below gives excellent reasons to engage in this activity, and presents a basic overview of how to go about lifting weights.

KirkleyWeightLiftingBook cover: click image to enlarge (will appear in new window/tab)

Book excerpt: Continue reading