The Story of Jeanne Kalfur: Corrective and Contouring Exercise — Peggy Gironda (1951)

Alas, real life has once again gotten in the way of blogging for a number of months. FOUNDATIONS OF IRON is still alive, I promise! At last, we present another classic article on women’s fitness, this time the “Vivacious Womanhood” supplement to the July-August 1951 issue of Peary Rader’s Iron Man magazine. This piece demonstrates the value of weight training for therapeutic purposes. Today, decades later, physical therapy continues to incorporate resistance exercises with machines, bands and free weights.

This article was written by Peggy Gironda (nee O’Neil), the first wife of the “iron guru” Vince Gironda, fitness trainer to Hollywood stars and physique competitors in the middle to later decades of the twentieth century. Like Vince, Peggy had a background in show business. At a time when women typically trained separately from men, Peggy trained female fitness enthusiasts at Vince’s Gym and other locations. Unfortunately, she passed away from a brain hemorrhage at a young age.

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A rare photo of Peggy and Vince Gironda together, on the cover of the magazine which featured the article below. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab) Continue reading

Exercises of Champions — Dick Zimmerman (1940)

Today we feature some excerpts from an article which originally appeared in the August 1940 issue of Bob Hoffman’s Strength and Health. This article explained a group of exercises favored by York Barbell champion Anthony “Tony” Terlazzo, who was active in Olympic weightlifting in the 1930s. The article was the first in a series, and it introduced the concept of “compound exercises.” This term was decidedly not used in today’s sense of exercises that involve several muscle groups simultaneously, such as squats and deadlifts. Rather, Hoffman’s publication presented “compound exercises” as series of individual isolation exercises performed in succession.

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Tony Terlazzo demonstrating the arm and shoulder “compound exercise” series described in the article. Click photos to enlarge (will open in new window/tab)

Further reading on Tony Terlazzo’s weightlifting records: Continue reading

Exercise of the month (Reg Park Journal, Oct. 1955)

Below is an example of a very brief feature of The Reg Park Journal in the mid-twentieth century, highlighting one particular exercise and describing the benefits. This was a practical and beneficial feature of Mr. Universe Reg Park’s physical culture publication.

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Illustration which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (will appear in new window/tab)

Magazine Excerpt:

“Chins” behind head are an exercise which can be used as a basic body-building exercise or on your “off” training days “free style.” Continue reading

The Mental Aspects of Weight-Training – Chuck Coker (1962)

Written works on serious weight training sometimes describe the “mind-muscle connection,” and serious trainees can attest that if their mental state is ‘off’ during a workout, then performance and results will suffer.

The article below illustrates the importance of the mind in weight training. This was taken from the May-June 1962 issue of Physical Power, a mid-twentieth century fitness publication which covered a variety of aspects of training for physique, strength, and sports. The writer, the late Chuck Coker, was head Track and Field coach at Occidental College in the late 1950s to the early 1960s.

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A photo of Vince Gironda which accompanied the article. Click to enlarge (will open in new window/tab).

Further reading on Chuck Coker: https://www.oxy.edu/magazine/fall-2016/guts-glory

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