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

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

How are your “External Obliques?” – Bob Hoffman (1940)

The text featured below consists of excerpts from an article by York Barbell founder Bob Hoffman, which originally appeared in the August 1940 issue of his monthly magazine “Strength and Health.” For the sake of brevity, only a few segments from the long and verbose (and often repetitive) original article could be included here.

GrimekOneHandLiftYork Barbell star John Grimek performing a one-handed lift. Click to enlarge (will open in new window/tab).

Hoffman generally promoted Olympic-style weightlifting as the primary modality for exercising with weights, rather than bodybuilding with cosmetic purposes as the primary objective, and his focus is quite evident in this article. Continue reading