How To Keep Fit, By Beauty Contest Winner – Betty Colonna (1963)

After yet another hiatus due to the unexpected necessities of hectic modern living (sorry about that!), FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is back once again to continue the series of posts on women’s weight training in the middle decades of the twentieth century.

Peary Rader’s Iron Man magazine regularly featured a small section entitled “Vivacious Womanhood,” which was dedicated to a female readership, and demonstrated how the modern woman of the mid-twentieth century could stay physically fit. The excerpt featured in our post today, originally featured in the January-February 1963 issue of Iron Man, was written by Betty Colonna, a winner of several American beauty contests in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Formerly Betty Woodhouse, she eventually married Bill Colonna, a physical culturist based in the area of Norfolk, Virginia. Precious little information seems to be publicly available on Betty Colonna today. Continue reading

Girl Weight Lifters (1954)

Today we pick up again after a brief summer hiatus, to begin a series of posts focusing on women’s weight training as it was practiced in the middle decades of the twentieth century.

We kick this series off with some vintage footage from British Pathé, posted on their Youtube channel.

This video highlights the benefits of weight training, at a time when it was thought by the general public that lifting weights would distort women’s figures and cause them to become overly masculine, in addition to various supposed ill effects on health.

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more on this topic, with exclusive vintage magazine excerpts on women’s weight training!