The Story of Sam Loprinzi – “Iron Man” Ed. (1963)

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the classic Loprinzi’s Gym in Portland, OR, USA! Inspired by a recent visit to Loprinzi’s, today we feature a profile of the gym’s late founder and strength and physique athlete Sam Loprinzi (1913-1996), which originally appeared in the February 1963 issue of “Iron Man” magazine and was written by the editor.

We are also supplying a copy of the original article to the current staff of Loprinzi’s Gym, in honor of the gym’s 70th anniversary! Loprinzi’s is a rare and special kind of old-school weight training facility which has been in business since 1948. We will feature some of our recent photos of Loprinzi’s next week, right here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON.

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Photos of Sam Loprinzi which accompanied the article below; on the left at age 25 with his “Most Muscular” trophy from the Mr. America 1946 contest, and on the right displaying his physique at age 50. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Sam Loprinzi and his brothers could be described as the American Pacific Northwest region’s claim to fame in the iron game of the mid-twentieth century.
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Leroy Colbert and friends training and posing outdoors (1958)

This week we present some rare preserved footage of a jovial Leroy Colbert and a few training partners doing weight training and flexing their upper body muscles out on the lawn on a bright, sunny day in 1958, as posted on the “MrYorkieLover Fitness” Youtube channel. Anyone who has trained with weights outdoors knows what an exhilarating experience it can be to lift heavy things in the midst of nature.

Colbert has long been known as the first man to develop 21-inch upper arms before the steroid-dominated era, and the tremendous dumbbells that he incline-presses in this footage are undoubtedly quite impressive.
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Dumb-bell Training – Reg Park (1955)

As indicated in a previous post featuring the late three-time Mr. Universe winner Reg Park’s posing routine and preferred posing music, today we present some of Park’s own weight training experience and advice. We hope to feature even more from Reg Park in the future as additional materials become available to us.

The article below was originally published in the October 1955 of Park’s magazine “The Reg Park Journal.” It addressed the concept of periodically changing your workout, an idea that is still common in the field of weight training.

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Reg Park looking quite professional on the Editorial/Contents page of his magazine. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Park here described his experience with Siegmund Klein (his first name is spelled differently in various sources, and even throughout the article below), who made his name as a strongman in the 1920s and 1930s. Continue reading

Polish weightlifting team in training (Late 1970s)

Today we present some outstanding vintage documentary footage of Eastern European strength training, showing the Polish weightlifting team’s exercise regimen. During the Cold War era, Eastern European countries tended to dominate in international strength sports competitions. This video is a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into their training methods. The video reel, posted on the “Goodfoot101” Youtube channel, appears to be from the late 1970s, as it includes footage from the 1977 World Weightlifting Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. While somewhat outside the particular era generally covered here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, this is still a great showcase of old-school strength training.

As seen in this vintage footage, training for Olympic-style lifting involves much more than simply practicing the Olympic lifts themselves. Continue reading

Vic Tanny’s Wonderful World of Physical Fitness (1961)

The article below presents a foray into a typical Vic Tanny Health Club of the early 1960s, including a photo spread several pages long, which has been partially included here. Vic and his brother Armand Tanny were quite active in the field of physical culture in the mid-twentieth century. Armand won a number of physique titles from 1949 to 1950, he appeared on the covers of various fitness magazines, and he was a regular on the original “Muscle Beach” scene at Santa Monica pier. Vic, a shrewd businessman, helped popularize physical fitness among the general public by means of his comfortable luxury health spas.

TannyTitlePageArticle title spread. Click to enlarge (will open new window/tab). Continue reading