Welcome to FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, an online archive and library of old-school strength and physique training information! The primary focus is on weight training from approximately the 1930s to the mid 1960s, but we will sometimes venture a little outside this time period or into broader areas such as general fitness, nutrition, or training for sports performance, as such subjects were understood in past decades.
This site will feature excerpts from physical fitness publications that have long been out of print, generally with our own annotations or introductory comments. We will also present relevant and interesting film or video footage with our commentary or notes, as well as reviews of movies and publications that spotlight historical aspects of weight training, and the occasional foray into classic historic gyms.
In the iron game, the 1970s are often considered a “Golden Era,” the beginning of the modern era of strength and fitness, when this field blossomed and gained wider public recognition and acceptance. However, this tends to overshadow the pioneering work and the wealth of information that came from previous decades. After all, how did the champions of the ’70s Golden Era learn their craft in the first place? On the other hand, there has also been increasing emphasis on going far back to the “strongman” feats and training of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site seeks to bridge the wide gap between the two eras, focusing on the intervening decades in the middle of the twentieth century. Hopefully, the information posted on this site will provide readers with insights on past individuals, events, and training methods that may no longer be so well-known. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is humbly presented to the public as an informative and hopefully interesting and entertaining sojourn into the history of the iron game. Please accept this site it in that spirit.
Want to Participate?
Civil and constructive discussion is welcome and appreciated here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON. Please keep your comments respectful, free of commercial advertising, and appropriate for general audiences. Comments may be edited or removed if they do not meet these guidelines.
If you own any relevant original out-of-print publications from decades ago that you would like to make available to this site, or if you would like to contribute a book or movie review, we would be happy to consider it. Please use the “Contact” page, accessible from the “Home” menu, to discuss possible arrangements.
If you would like to re-post, re-blog, etc. anything contained on this site, please be courteous and request our approval beforehand by using the “Contact” page, accessible from the “Home” menu. Please do not attempt to use this site or any materials found herein to promote commercial interests, to sell any products or services, etc. After all, this is a library, not a marketing firm.
FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is a hobby project meant purely for recreational purposes, not for profit. This is a labor of love, with excerpts manually type-written. Although we strive for accurate transcription of archival materials, typographical errors may sometimes occur during this process. On the other hand, spelling variations, grammatical or typographical errors that appeared in the original materials will be reproduced without correction.
All materials included on this site are provided “as-is,” for historical reference or entertainment purposes only. The information presented herein may not always be in line with current views and understandings of the subject matter. For that matter, different posts on this site may sometimes contradict each other, since the information comes from a wide variety of sources! Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise or nutritional program. This site is not intended to give medical advice, nor to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Before any substantial excerpts are posted on FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, efforts are taken in good faith to verify that they are from out-of-print historical publications that are now only available as older collectibles, and that the excerpts included in the post are not available in publications currently or recently in print, whether in hard-copy or electronic format (other than third-party reprints of materials that have fallen into the public domain or have apparently been abandoned/orphaned). We also endeavor to minimize duplication of work that has been done by other blogs or websites. For example, on this site you may not see many materials from Anthony Ditillo, Steve Reeves, Vince Gironda, or John McCallum, as others have taken up their mantles and republished or redistributed a good deal of those writings in excellent form elsewhere.
We aim for courteous, respectful, and mutually understanding engagement with the strength training and physical fitness community. No copyright infringement or disrespect for others’ efforts is intended. If you hold current copyright or other distribution rights on an item posted on this site, and you would like that item to be removed, please use the “Contact” page, accessible from the “Home” menu, to inform the site administration.
There are a number of publications now in print and on the market that either deal with physical fitness in the era featured on this site, or contain official reprints of articles, book chapters, etc. originally published in that era. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON will not knowingly include substantial passages, scans, e-books, etc. from publications currently or recently in print, whether in hard-copy or electronic format (other than third-party reprints of materials that have fallen into the public domain or have apparently been abandoned/orphaned), unless explicit permission is granted by the current rights holder. We wish to avoid the types of disputes that have arisen when well-meaning individuals posted such materials on blogs, message boards, or websites in an effort to be helpful to the online community, without obtaining prior clearance from the publishers.
Very brief quotations from publications presently or recently on the market may occasionally be included solely for purposes of reference, review and commentary. However, readers who request substantial excerpts, scans, etc. from books, journals, or other writings under current or recent publication will kindly be provided links to online retailers that have those materials available for purchase.
We may also include relevant links in our book lists or reviews of publications or movies, or for further recommended reading. This is simply out of respect for the creators, publishers or distributors and their work, as well as common courtesy for our readers in informing them how they may legitimately obtain those materials. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON does not receive, solicit, or even accept any monetary or other material compensation for posting reviews or links, and we do not use “affiliate” links or the like to make money from readers’ clicks to or purchases from outside sites. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is not responsible for any off-site content. You may report any broken links through our “Contact” page, accessible from the “Home” menu.
Thank you for your interest in our site, and enjoy the fascinating history of the iron game presented here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON!