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!

Remarkable Jack LaLanne – Earle Liederman (1963)

The late Jack LaLanne was renowned as the “godfather of fitness.” He did a great deal to promote physical fitness and healthful nutrition to the public. Additionally, he was known for his feats of physical endurance, and he competed in physique competitions and graced the covers of various fitness magazines in the mid-twentieth century.

Today we present an entertaining and inspiring profile of Mr. LaLanne which originally appeared in the October 1963 issue of “Strength and Health,” in an account given by the prolific iron game writer Earle Liederman.

LaLanne1963FeaturedJack LaLanne near fifty years old and in top condition, in a photo that accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (appears in new window/tab).

Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading

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.

Loprinzi1946  Loprinzi1963

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.
Continue reading

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.

RegParkEditor

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