Farewell to Doug’s Gym, Dallas, TX: 1962 – 2018

The iron game bids a sad farewell to another classic gym this month. Doug’s Gym, one of the oldest gyms in the US, is closing as of the end of March, 2018, after being in continuous operation under the ownership of Doug Eidd since 1962.

This weight training facility — located on the second floor of an old brick building in Dallas, Texas — is replete with decades’ worth of history, and it will be sorely missed. Here is coverage of the gym closure from the Dallas Morning News’ Youtube channel:

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How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 1 – John Grimek] (1956)

Who doesn’t like to train arms in the gym? In fact, many beginning weight trainees may be so enthusiastic in their desire to train their biceps that they perform endless curls to the neglect of other muscle groups! Nevertheless, well-developed arms can be quite impressive in conjunction with balanced overall physique development.

Today we feature the first out of five sections of a classic article with thoughts on arm training from physique champions of the 1950s, as presented in the March 1956 issue of Bob Hoffman’s magazine “Strength and Health.” Naturally, the champions cited herein were those associated with Hoffman’s own York Barbell enterprises, and they did not fail to throw in a few plugs for Hoffman products. In the article, the sections do not actually appear in the same order laid out in the introductory paragraph, and there does not appear to actually be a portion attributed to Jules Bacon.

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A photo of the incomparable John Grimek which accompanied the article below. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

The first and longest part, presented below, was ostensibly written by York Barbell strength and physique star – and multiple Mr. America winner – John Grimek. Intriguingly, right in an article on arm training, he began by stating clearly that he had basically given up biceps curls, considered by many to be a staple exercise! Continue reading

What the Weight Trainer Should Eat [Part 1] – Richard Alan (1956)

Serious athletes have been aware of the importance of proper food intake for quite some time, as this is foundational for proper energy levels, performance and recovery. But what constitutes good sports nutrition in the iron game? Views have varied over the years based on refinements in scientific knowledge, as well as experience and observation. 

Today we present a viewpoint that seems to have been typical in mid-twentieth century bodybuilding, as written by physique athlete Richard Alan of Michigan, USA. The excerpt below is taken from the third chapter of Alan’s now-obscure 1956 booklet “Nutrition and Recipes for Progressive Resistance Exercise.”

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The author as he appeared in the opening pages of his booklet. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Who was Richard Alan? Little information seems to be readily available on the man himself, whose full name was Richard Alan Poel. We have been able to piece together the following possible biographical sketch from publicly available sources. Continue reading

Training on the Olympic Lifts – Doug Hepburn (1962)

As indicated in a previous post featuring the Polish weightlifting team in the 1970s, here is some Olympic weightlifting training advice from the classic years of the iron game. The article below was written by Doug Hepburn for the February-March 1962 issue of “Iron Man.” Hepburn was a champion weightlifter and former wrestler from Canada who moved tremendous weights in the Olympic lifts as well as “odd lifts” that would soon be subsumed into competitive powerlifting once that field was formalized. He was also a prolific writer in the 1950s and 1960s, dispensing useful and practical training advice to lifters everywhere by means of his magazine articles, such as the one featured here.

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A photograph of Hepburn that accompanied the excerpt below. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

In the article below, Hepburn stressed the importance of setting realistic goals, as well as developing correct technique rather than trying to rely solely on pure strength.

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A tour of Loprinzi’s Gym – 70th anniversary, 2018: A photo essay

To follow up on the 1963 biographical profile of Sam Loprinzi featured last week here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, and in continued recognition of the seventieth anniversary of the classic Loprinzi’s Gym in Portland, OR, USA, today we are pleased to present a number of photos of Loprinzi’s, taken from a workout visit in early 2018.

LoprinzisGymInteriorSam Loprinzi in his gym, from the February 1963 issue of “Iron Man.” Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Without a doubt the oldest weight training gym in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA (not counting private athletic clubs), Loprinzi’s Gym has been in continuous operation since 1948. Continue reading