Bodybuilders’ Notebook — Leon Burk’s Back Routine (1962)

Many recreational lifters focus on areas of the physique that seem the most visible, such as arms and chest. However, only doing exercises for these body parts means missing out on the benefits of training muscular groups such as the legs and the back. Below is a brief article from the May-June 1962 issue of Physical Power, featuring the back training routine of Leon Burks. Burks was a physique competitor in the early 1960s in southern California. Unfortunately, precious little information seems to be available on him today.

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Leon Burks displaying his back development in a photo which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (will appear in new window/tab)

Brief further reading, a list of contests that Leon Burks placed in: http://musclememory.com/show.php?a=Burks,+Leon

Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading

Vince Gironda posing (1950s?)

Today we feature footage of the late “Iron Guru” Vince Gironda doing a physique posing exhibition, from the “ironguru” Youtube channel. The footage has been paired with Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire” theme, which was one of the preferred compositions of Gironda’s student Mohamed Makkawy.

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Develop Stubborn Muscles This Way – Bruce Page (1963)

Bruce Page was a frequent writer for Peary Rader’s Iron Man magazine. The article below originally appeared in the January-February 1963 issue. In offering a different technique for stimulating muscle growth, this article touches on several aspects of the iron game, first of all reminding bodybuilding trainees to focus on weight training despite the then-current trend of isometric exercise for weightlifters.  Page also emphasizes the importance of good nutrition. Here we see the beginnings of the long-standing dietary fat and cholesterol scare, which nutrition writers in more recent years have openly challenged. Finally, the article discusses the value of the occasional layoff/de-load from training.

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A photo of Bruce Page that appeared with the article. Click to enlarge (appears in new widow/tab)

Magazine Excerpt: Continue reading

How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 2 – Steve Stanko] (1956)

Today, we present the second of five parts of the “Big Powerful Arms” article which originally appeared in the March 1956 issue of Hoffman’s “Strengh and Health.” The excerpt below by Steve Stanko follows the first part of the article, by John Grimek, which was posted previously on our blog.

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A photo of Steve Stanko which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

Stanko was, of course, part of the Hoffman/York Barbell team, and he took a couple moments in the article below to promote York products. While not quite as renowned as John Grimek, Stanko in his prime won titles in both weightlifting and physique contests in the 1930s and 1940s.

Unlike Grimek’s routine of the time, Stanko’s arm training routine made significant use of curls to target the biceps muscles. This shows that different individuals may benefit from different exercises. 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.

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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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