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

How to Develop Big Powerful Arms [Part 3 – Dick Bachtell, Jim Park and Charles Vinci] (1956)

Today we pick up with the final part of the “Big Powerful Arms” article from the March 1956 issue of Strength and Health. The excerpt below, following up on the previous passage by Steve Stanko, includes shorter sections by champion weightlifter Dick Bachtell, multiple physique contest winner Jim Park, and Charles Vinci, who took home gold medals for weightlifting in two Pan American Games and two summer Olympics.

Each of these experienced iron game figures had different methods for developing the various arm muscles. Bachtell recommended the Zottman curl, an older exercise which apparently was not in common use by the time this article was written, and is certainly not well-known today.

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A photo of Dick Bachtell performing Zottman curls, which accompanied the original article. Click to enlarge (opens in new window/tab)

Further reading: 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

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

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