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

A tour of Loprinzi’s Gym – 70th anniversary, 2018: A photo essay

To follow up on the 1963 biographical profile of Sam Loprinzi featured last week here at FOUNDATIONS OF IRON, and in continued recognition of the seventieth anniversary of the classic Loprinzi’s Gym in Portland, OR, USA, today we are pleased to present a number of photos of Loprinzi’s, taken from a workout visit in early 2018.

LoprinzisGymInteriorSam Loprinzi in his gym, from the February 1963 issue of “Iron Man.” Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab).

Without a doubt the oldest weight training gym in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA (not counting private athletic clubs), Loprinzi’s Gym has been in continuous operation since 1948. 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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Leroy Colbert and friends training and posing outdoors (1958)

This week we present some rare preserved footage of a jovial Leroy Colbert and a few training partners doing weight training and flexing their upper body muscles out on the lawn on a bright, sunny day in 1958, as posted on the “MrYorkieLover Fitness” Youtube channel. Anyone who has trained with weights outdoors knows what an exhilarating experience it can be to lift heavy things in the midst of nature.

Colbert has long been known as the first man to develop 21-inch upper arms before the steroid-dominated era, and the tremendous dumbbells that he incline-presses in this footage are undoubtedly quite impressive.
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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