Category Archives: Strongman Bios

Dandurand the Great by Mac Batchelor

Every strength fan has a boyhood idol – one of the great old-timers or a modern champion.

Dandurand in his fifties hoisted this 455-lb. Ford engine to his shoulders and walked off with it after Albert Manger the heavy-weight champion couldn’t budge it off the floor.

The short beetle-browed man stood in the center of the gym as his young visitor approached shyly. For a moment they regarded one another silently, then the older man thrust out a hand and smiled. “I’m Dandurand,” he said, and the ice was broken. “I’m Joe Weider,” said the sixteen-year-old visitor, and thus two leading lights in the world of strength met for the first time. According to Weider, twenty years later, it was one of the most important moments of his life.

View the FULL STORY by subscribing to the HOPC.  Visit DavidGentle.com

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Oscar Heidenstam

Oscar Heidenstam was born in Cyprus in 1911. At the age of 9 he moved to England where he pursued a variety of athletic interests including gymnastics and swimming.  He eventually specialized in bodybuilding.  The following is a list of his accomplishments.

  • Mr. Britain 1937,
  • Mr. Europe 1939,
  • Runner-up Class 2 Mr. Universe 1950,
  • Runner-up Class 1 Mr. Universe 1951,
  • Runner-up Mr Britain 1950,
  • Senior Mr. Britain 1952,
  • Runner-up Mr. Europe 1953.

Heidenstam served in the British Armed Forces during World War II.  In 1977 he became the President of the World Amateur Body Building Association (WABBA) and later in 1980 the President of the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA).   He was also  Bodybuilding Adviser for HEALTH and STRENGTH magazine.  Over the years Heidenstam authored several books on the topic of bodybuilding.  He passed away in 1991 at the age of 80.

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Alexander Zass (The Amazing Samson) 1888 – 1962 by Gordon Anderson

Alexander Zass was also known under the stage name of The Amazing Samson. Zass was born in Vilna, Poland in 1888, but lived most of his early years in Russia and after 1924 in Britain. He lifted a 500 pound girder with his teeth, carried a small horse, caught a woman fired from a cannon and allowed professional boxers to hit him in the stomach, but his greatest talents were in bending steel bars and breaking chains which were the center piece of his music hall exhibitions.

Like many other strongmen of his era Zass was initially motivated to develop his strength when he attended a circus and saw the feats done by the circus strongman.

At first he developed himself by climbing trees, running and with home made dumbbells and barbells. Later he trained under some of the great Russian professional strongmen including Krelov, Anokhin, and Demetrioff who taught their systems in person and through correspondence. Anokhin taught his system to George Lurich who eventually became famous as a world champion strongman and wrestler.

Zass was very innovative and started bending green branches and twigs to develop his grip strength. Perhaps this was the start of his great belief in the application of isometrics and “maximum tension” (a concept that is present in Russian training methods to this day) for the development of strength. He believed such an approach superior to the use of weights in developing strength.

Whilst a prisoner of war he continued to develop his strength with the use of isometrics by pulling on the bars and chains. This episode and the knowledge that he obtained from it later became the basis of his mail order course which featured isometrics in the form of pulling on chains of various lengths.

Zass lived a very full and exciting life on many fronts. In addition to being a strongman he was also an accomplished animal trainer. At one time he worked for military intelligence in Russia and later as cover for his manager, Captain Howard, who was a British secret agent.  Zass died in Hockley, Essex in 1962.

Alexander Zass (The Amazing Samson) 1888 – 1962 by Gordon Anderson

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The Artistry of Frank Zane by David Gentle

With the massive explosion of interest in bodybuilding that occurred in the 1970’s, and it’s domination by behemoths such as Sergio Olivia and Bill Pearl, and an ever growing neophyte, Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was some relief and certainly an inspiration to those bodybuilders who preferred the more aesthetic physique, that this is when Frank Zane came upon the muscle molding scene and began to topple the giants.  Zane was, and still remains, a one-off. A well-educated, intelligent and articulate man, being a superb spokesman for bodybuilding, a sport always fighting it’s corner for recognition that is all too often let down by it’s image of being just a pursuit for muscle-headed morons, and those with self interest at heart. It’s true that Frank’s esoteric beliefs made some uncomfortable and has left him very misunderstood. But time has proven his theories and ideas of the body/mind link (Mens Sana In Corpore Sano). Training was then, and still is, in the forefront of workable systems for true health and fitness.

Frank Zane is living proof that sensible and scientific bodybuilding works and brings lasting benefits, without the need to resort to artificial aids, or drugs.

More active now than ever before in the world of making money from muscles with his numerous books, courses, CD’s etc., and the Zane Experience, Frank’s bodybuilding odyssey first started way back in the tough coal mining district of Kingston in Pennsylvania, USA, where he was born on June 28th, 1942. It was the war years, when Malta was awarded the George Cross, top of the pops was That Old Black Magic, Enrico Fermi (US) had just split the atom and the first electronic brain or computer was developed. Despite sugar rationing in the USA, Frank was oblivious to the war and spent his childhood days in bliss, loving being outdoors, taking solitary hikes and joining the Scouts (one year he was awarded 50 merit badges and won a trip to Mexico in the bargain). Whilst out there he won a junior’s bodybuilding contest.

Frank attended normal American education programmes, graduating from Wilkes University in 1964 having an active, and healthy sports life, including basketball and baseball. His father, an electrician in radio and TV, encouraged him to take an interest in science and engineering. Frank gave it a try, later switching his efforts to maths and chemistry.

It soon became very obvious to young Frank, that a weight-trained body could help him command respect from his peers, and be useful for urban survival in tough PA. Diverse with his activities, he also developed great skill as an archer (which he later taught to one Arnold Schwarzenegger) including the making of his own bows and arrows. This ancient martial art suited his introverted nature. Along with these varied physical activities, Frank kept up his bodybuilding, with shape being his main aim, and the Steve Reeves look his inspiration. In 1961 he placed 3rd in the Teenage Mr America and in 1962, won the Mr PA contest.

Frank continued to exercise his brain as well as his body, excelling at science, chemistry and maths whilst at school, obtaining a scholarship and gaining a BSc in education, later teaching chemistry and maths. In his spare time circa 1964, he also started up a weight training club, in part financed by the local iron foundries who made, amongst other things, York barbell plates and became the assistant director of a Health Studio.

In his second year, Frank taught in New Jersey, then moved down to Florida, meeting his future wife, Christine, whom he married in 1967. In 1968 after 10 years of dedicated training, Frank won the IFBB Mr America crown. This was soon followed by beating a very young Arnold Schwarzenegger in the NABBA Mr Universe contest in London. Christine and Frank moved again in 1969, this time to sunny California, and Frank, still a teacher, found the physically orientated Californian’s even more respecting and appreciative of bodybuilding and bodybuilders. In 1970, after further NABBA success, he successfully competed for the Mr World title, all the time supported and encouraged by his wife Christine, herself a bodybuilder and fine photographer, taking some of Frank’s best ever muscle shots. They lived in Santa Monica from 1969-85 with Frank taking all the trophies that really counted, including 3 times Mr Universe and triple Mr Olympia.

Keeping it brief, his chequered and highly successful bodybuilding competitive career followed these events. He switched from the AAU to the IFBB during the mid 60’s. He competed in the 1965 and ’66 Mr Olympias, when Larry Scott took the title. Frank won the IFBB Mr America title in 1968 and the IFBB Mr World in 1970 in Brugge, Belgium, and the NABBA Mr Universe in 1970. The IFBB suspended him in 1971 for entering the 1970 NABBA, which he later entered and won again in 1971 and 1972, the pro-title, beating Boyer Coe. Reinstated by the IFBB in 1972, Zane entered the Olympia and kept competing until he won it for three consecutive years, i.e. 1977, ’78 and ’79. A tenacious competitor, he placed 3rd in the 1980 Mr Olympia and 4th in the 1983. Frank considers his best ever shape to be from 1979 to 1982. After his 1972 Mr Olympia win he retired from teaching to devote all of his energies to bodybuilding. Christine, also a school teacher, won the Miss America title in 1967 and Miss Universe Bikini in 1970.

Proportion and Posing

A masterpiece of physique; streamlined, defined and proportionate.  Frank weighed, at his best, in the region of 190-200 lbs., at 5 ft 9 ins.  He prefers the word proportion to symmetry, arguing that no mortals are symmetrical.  Frank always worked for proportionate development, e.g., not over-developing thighs at the expense of poor calves.  Frank once said, “I have always kept an eye on the total picture and have been aware of my weak points.  I ask myself every year, what do I need to work on this year.”

Frank always attempted to make his poses look more interesting and he developed the ability to sustain a pose for a full minute without moving, i.e., hitting a shot and then maintaining it.  A perfectionist, he always demanded first class audio and visual presentation, i.e. optimum staging saying, “If you want bodybuilding to look good to the public, you have to put on a good show, i.e. first class staging and sound.”

Training Notes

In a virtual lifetime of training Frank Zane has obviously used almost every exercise, set and system known, keeping a diary throughout his life so that he knows just what does work for him personally. Then and now, he relied a lot on instinct; rarely limiting himself to certain sets or reps. Frank doesn’t believe in constantly changing exercises just for the sake of it. He has discovered, through a lifetime of experience, that drawing from about 70 exercises or so, has provided him with the best workouts. He still uses an average of 10 reps with only brief rests in between sets. All exercises receive full concentration, often via slow movements, without any cheating.

Frank, in his fine book, Fabulously Fit Forever, advises newcomers to bodybuilding as follows, “It is important to begin at the beginning. Too many people of all ages who want to get into top condition begin their training by doing too much, too soon. Reading through the pages of the top muscle mags, they devour the training programmes of the bodybuilding champions. Reasoning this is the programme that did it for the champs, they’ll save time by following it too. Before long they are tired, sore, overtrained, injured, frustrated and confused. Because they are impatient and not willing to spend time as a beginner, they attempt to complete their penthouse before they erect the basement in the building of their body.” Frank trained literally for years before bodybuilding success.

Routines For The Universe

Training for the NABBA Universe Pro title in 1972, and remember he already had done his basement training before all of this, Frank aimed for size, later to trim down for the contest, i.e. defined and muscular. His first requisite was to avoid any possible injuries by switching some exercises to safer varieties. He also had a chiropractor, Dr Dick Tyler, also a bodybuilder, on hand. Secondly gradual progression of intensity was increased, training on average of 2-3 hours.

Frank’s training programme was as follows:

  • Monday and Wednesday morning: Deltoids, chest, triceps,
  • Monday and Wednesday evening: Calves, abs.
  • Tuesday and Thursday mornings: Lats, biceps, forearms.
  • Tuesday and Friday evenings: Calves, thighs, abs.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Total rest and relaxation.

Frank was then performing approximately 20 sets per bodypart, i.e. 4 exercises x 5 sets. He rested just enough between sets to have the energy for the next set. Usually 1-3 minutes, the longer time taken for squats. Every set would be heavier than the previous one, e.g. (at that period) incline dumbbell presses:

  • 1 set of 10 repetitions at 50lbs
  • 1 set of 10 repetitions at 60lbs
  • 1 set of 10 repetitions at 70lbs
  • 1 set of 10 repetitions at 80lbs

He finished off by doing a set of 8 repetitions using a pair of 90lb dumbbells. Muscle with power for such a small boned man.

Closer to the contest, Frank would step up his pace, i.e. less resting time between sets, intensifying everything possible to achieve greater muscularity.  Zane did not believe in socializing whilst exercising, his concentration was legendary and awesome. The nearer the show, the more time he spent on posing and pure muscle tensing or isometric contractions to bring out the cuts and striations, with of course emphasis on his diet, cutting down on dairy products and fats, but not on milk, which is a great provider of calcium and can also help to prevent shakes and tremors.

Prior to the actual event Frank stayed in Belfast, at Ivan Dunbarr’s gym, Health Studio, compressing his routine into a 45 minute workout that still managed to impress all of the locals, stressing once again the importance of optimum nutrition, saying” It is impossible to get anywhere near your true potential without proper nutrition.”

Olympia Amendments

By the Olympia, Zane was working out even harder on a 3 day on, 1 day off system, i.e.,

  • Day 1: Thighs, calves and abs.
  • Day 2: Chest, shoulders, triceps and abs.
  • Day 3: Back, biceps, forearms and abs.
  • Day 4: Rest.

Always using the heaviest of weight, squats and bench were then around the 350lb and 300lbs mark. Mainly standard exercises were used, including dead lifts, for back power and vitality. As always adding poundage even if it meant dropping reps. Always an eye on his diet, his calorie intake rarely exceeded 3000.

The Zane Experience

In between taking all the top trophies, Frank spent his time establishing his muscle by mail business and his Zane Haven and later the Zane Experience. A select Shangri-la for one to one clients, offering a range of treatments from detoxing to relaxation techniques and stress management. Frank is noted for his almost detached calmness and quiet peace of mind, complementing in harmony with his muscular physique. A great believer in stilling the mind with meditation, Frank says the mind plays an important role in bodybuilding and believes that, “You cannot fulfill your true potential until you have a positive state of mind” adding that his own career in bodybuilding did not really get started until he began thinking positively.

Today, he still keeps a balanced life, loves movies and playing the harmonica, recording his own music and playing a mean blues on CD.  Active with his business, he says “I am still motivated and I will do anything it takes to remain in top shape, short of taking drugs and risking my health.”  In fact he looks as though he may well remain Fabulously Fit Forever.

© The Artistry of Frank Zane by David Gentle All Rights Reserved

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Joe Weider, Trainer of Champions 1919-2013 by Roger Fillary

“Body Building in post war Britain didn’t really exist, it was very wrapped up in the Physical Culture era of the pre-war 30s. Body Building was part of the movement and not an entity, sport or activity on its own. Basements, disused buildings e.g. schools, church halls, garages and even garden sheds were the Gyms of post war Britain. Winter meant training in gloves, scarves and even woollen hats in the attempt to keep warm. In those days the weight trainer  was a real Spartan.

Exercise routines and systems weren’t any better, they were based on 12 basic exercises which were performed for 3 sets of 8 for the first 12 months, then after this period they could be upped to 4 sets, as you were then considered advanced. Equipment was in line with training locations and exercise routines. Lat machines consisted of a rope around a high pulley with a dumbbell tied on the end, incline benches a plank propped against a wall, this also doubled as an abdominal board. Most if not all equipment was home made. It was into this era that Joe Weider’s publications crossed the Atlantic, landing like  bombshells on newsagents’ counters. Up to this time British Bodybuilders had been served by Health and Strength Magazine and several similar publications, all of them still following the Physical Culture mantra of the 30s.

London 1948; the first Mr. Universe contest was run in conjunction with the 1948 Olympic Games, and for the first time British Bodybuilders were able to see the US Bodybuilders in the flesh, Body Builders they had only seen in grainy black and white photos in the magazines. Along with the Weider publications Body Building was to change very fast, but not for another 10 years.  The reason for this was the British Body Building hierarchy who stood their ground against the intruder, writing defamatory articles in the British magazines. Articles criticizing the Weider methods of training, attacks on the honesty of his competitions. In the meantime National Amateur Body Building Association (NABBA) had been born, and under the leadership of OSCAR HEIDENSTAM waged war on the International Federation of Body Builders (IFBB), the Weiders organisation. But NABBA was fighting an ever increasing onslaught of American publications and Americanisms, like instructions to  “Bomb and Blitz”  your muscles. It was the late 50s, three sets of eight had gone, Weider had arrived. British Body Building was changed for ever.” – Gil Waldron

Joe Weider was a force to be recognized in bodybuilding, health marketing, publishing and business from the 1940s until his death in 2013. Joe studied Stalin, Lenin, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler and Jesus Christ, the latter two surprisingly as he was Jewish. All but Jesus had created or ruled over great empires, empires that had grown and collapsed. Joe made sure, by noting their mistakes, that the Weider Empire would not go the way of these previously mentioned, and even after his death his legacy goes from strength to strength.

(c)Joe Weider, Trainer of Champions 1919-2013 by Gil Waldron, Research Historian, HOPC Team

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George Walsh by Roger Fillary

18 Year Old George Walsh l  Contributed by Ron Tyrrell

The late George Walsh as his youth.   He had been under the physical direction of W.A. Pullum a matter of two years or so, his age at this time being 18.

By this time his tubercular condition  had been changed to one which medical opinion certified to be free from its attack.  His general physical appearance – plus the powers of that appearance – confirmed the accuracy of that diagnosis.

Throughout life onward, he never suffered recurrence of the affliction.

  

Measurements

Height 5′ 11″, weight 174 pounds, neck 16 inches, chest 44 inches, waist 30 inches, biceps 14.5 inches, forearms 12 inches, thighs 23 inches, calves 14.5 inches

Best Lifts

  • One hand clean and bent press- 220 lbs,

  • One hand bent press (two hands to shoulder style) – 239.5 lbs.

  • Two hands snatch – 210 lbs

  • Two hands clean and jerk- 210 lbs.

  • Two hands Continental jerk – 290 lbs.
    (c)George Walsh by Roger Fillary

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Ronald Walker 22 Dec. 1907 – 25 Oct. 1948 By Ian Hampson

Yorkshire born Ron Walker was an Olympic Weightlifter who, in his lifetime, held 26 British Heavyweight records.

From 1938 he ran a postal Physical Development Course in London. After years of deteriorating health starting in 1940 he finally succumbed to cancer of the stomach and died in 1948. He is still held in very high regard in the world of weightlifting.

Ron Walker from Wakefield was one of only four Yorkshire lifters to represent Great Britain at the Olympics, and his achievements rightly rank him as possibly Yorkshire’s best ever lifter, and certainly amongst its best ever sportsmen.

At the time of his death in 1948 he held no less than 21 British Heavyweight records. This included One Hand Snatches of over 200lbs, and most importantly today, a Two Hands Snatch of 297½lbs.

This Snatch of 135kg in December 1936 was the first ever World Record on one of the Olympic Set performed by a British lifter.

Ron was often out of work and certainly did not have the training advantages of many of today’s lifters. He smoked heavily, but displays the impressive physique of the early Olympic lifter – big shoulders and arms but no pecs! In addition, Ron had near legendary thickness in his back muscle development, from work shovelling coal onto delivery carts.

Three points about Ron make his achievements even more remarkable:- His Olympic lifts were performed using the “Split” Clean and Snatch techniques, rather than the more modern (and more effective) “Squat” techniques, and the Clean was a real Clean – no hitting the legs with the bar!

He lifted more weight than recorded in the record books – lifts were often not ratified as records because of there being few referees and sets of certified scales around. Although lifting as a “Heavyweight”, Ron rarely lifted at much over 14 stone, and would have comfortably made the 90kg class nowadays. The Heavyweight lower class limit was just 82.5kg in pre-war days!

Ron first lifted as a novice in 1929. In 1930 he was British Twelve Stone Champion, and in 1931 started his run of British Heavyweight titles.

Berlin Olympics 1936

Ron Walker placed 4th in the Heavyweight Class at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 . He was easily the lightest of the (main) competitors, and was much better at the fast lifts than the Press. Without the Press, he would have won! Articles in the lifting press at the time accused the referees of being partisan, as a German and an Austrian turned down good looking lifts which would have given Ron gold ahead of the German World Champion.

The team consisted of: F. Marsh Featherweight, H.E.K. Laurance Middleweight, N. Holroyd Featherweight, A. Griffin Lightweight, R. Walker Heavyweight.

Photo from the British Olympic Association Report. – Contributed by Ian Hampson

Ron still held the YNE Snatch record when the new weight classes were introduced in 1993. He still holds several British All-Round Records, as well as YNE Records. Curiously, the British Records are recorded in the 100kg Class, and the YNE Records in the 110kg Class! British Records Ron still holds.

Results of the 1936 Olympics:

Name Nation Bodyweight Press Snatch Clean & Jerk Total
 Josef Manger GER 105.0 132½ 122½ 155 410
Vaclav Psenicka CSR 104.2 122½ 125 155 402½
 Arnold Luhaar EST 120.0 115 120 165 400
Ron Walker GBR 88.5 110 127½ 160 397½
Nine others including John Grimek

Ron’s Olympic Snatch Record was broken by the great American Norbert Schemansky in 1948). He set his final British (professional) Record in 1947, and finally succumbed to cancer shortly after the 1948 Olympics in London, at the age of forty. He is buried in an unmarked grave in Harehills Cemetery, Leeds.

©Ron Walker by Ian Hampson

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Al Treloar (Albert Toof Jenkins) (1873 – 1960) by Roger Fillary

Albert Treloar (Jenkins was the winner of the world’s very first international bodybuilding contest. This was organized by Bernarr Macfadden and took place at Madison Square Garden on December 28th 1903.

Treloar, a Harvard-educated man, was well versed in athletics and professional strongmanism. He could tear two and three decks of playing cards with his bare hands.

In 1904 he wrote ‘The Science of Muscular Development’ which included many photos of himself and his wife Edna Tempest. Treloar was hired as the Physical Director of the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1907, a position he held for the next 42 years.

Albert Treloar died in 1960 at the age of 87.

(c) Al Treloar (Albert Toof Jenkins) (1873 – 1960) by Roger Fillary

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Frederick W. Tilney (1895 – 1977) by Gordon Anderson

Frederick Tilney was a giant of physical culture who made great contributions to the field, although too few people are aware of his accomplishments.  To a large extent this lack of recognition is a result of the fact that he worked in the background, primarily as a staff writer for physical culture and bodybuilding magazines and as a ghost writer of courses.

During his career as a physical culture writer he was associated with major pioneers that included Bernarr Macfadden, Joe & Ben Weider, Bob Hoffman at York Barbell Company and Charles Atlas.

Frederick Tilney was born in Norwich, Norfolk on the east coast of England.  He was very weak as a child and from a very unhealthy family, (his mother died at age 51 and his father at age 59). At 12 years of age he came across a copy of Physical Culture Magazine which was the flagship publication of Bernarr Macfadden’s publishing and physical culture empire.  He wrote to Macfadden to send him some back issues  and when they arrived he not only used them himself, but distributed them to patients in a local hospital. This was the start of his physical development and his accumulation of knowledge of physical culture.

He and his wife moved to the United States in 1920 where he initially worked for an industrial company. After winning a couple of contests for writing ads he prepared a marketing plan that he submitted to Bernarr Macfadden who immediately hired Tilney and his wife.

Frederick Tilney discovered Charles Atlas demonstrating cable exercises in the window of a New York department store along with his friend Earle Liederman.

Macfadden had a long history of running Perfect Man and Perfect Woman contests to promote his publications and generate advertising for them.  In fact Macfadden married Mary Williamson, who had won the contest that he held to determine “Great Britain’s Most Perfect Woman.”

Charles Atlas had won  the 1921 perfect man contest which was determined from photographs and Macfadden had decided to make a movie starring Atlas. Macfadden wanted Tilney to direct the movie.  Macfadden referred to Tilney as “his idea man” and said that. ” he never had to worry about Tilney where ever he was as his mind was always working.”

During the making of that movie Tilney recalls the following incident in his biography “Young At 73 And Beyond:”  He says, “It was while driving with Mr. Atlas back and forth to the studios I suggested that he and I start a mail order business. We did and our first ad appeared in November 1922. We were business associates for many years, and he has told me that the years spent in association with me were the happiest in his life.”

Tilney was also a personal trainer and continued working with Atlas to perfect his physique to make it more like the statues of the Greek Gods and was constantly developing new exercises to reach those ends.  He also acted as a personal trainer to John Grimek  who is described in Atlas’s Biography “Yours In Perfect Manhood” as “arguably the greatest bodybuilder who ever lived.”  Grimek and Atlas both admired each other.

Tilney wanted to move to Florida, but Mrs Atlas did not want to leave her family in the New York area.  He sold his interest in the business to Charles Roman and moved to Florida where he ran a health food store and continued to exercise and stayed healthy until his death in 1977 at the age of 82.

(c)Frederick W. Tilney (1895 – 1977) by Gordon Anderson

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Alois P. Swoboda 1873 – 1938

Alois P. Swoboda was born in Vienna on March 8th 1873. In 1881 he emigrated to the USA and arrived at New York City with his father, Adolf Swoboda, to live with a relative. At present little is known about his early years other than that he went on to become one of the leading Physical Culturalists in America.

*Charles Atlas was quoted as saying that everything he knew he learned from A.P. Swoboda.

The Peoples Almanac Of The 20th Century has the following statement: “He [Charles Atlas] wrote away for the Swoboda Course.” The Swoboda course featured self resistance exercises [pitting one muscle against the other] and basic muscle flexing and tensing exercises of the type that Charles Atlas later included in his Dynamic Tension Course.

Reader’s comments – Submitted by J.C

“The quote allegedly made by Charles Atlas is suspect and has never been confirmed. The quote, “Everything I know I learned from Alois Swoboda” first appeared on John Peterson’s Transformetric forum. At the time, Peterson and Anderson were corroborating to reproduce Swoboda’s system of exercise, and endeavor that was eventually abandoned. Anderson somehow came up with the alleged quote, attributing it to a relative of Swoboda’s. The dubious quote has been roundly criticized and dismissed as a marketing ploy by Peterson and Anderson. Submitted by J.C. Jun 5,2014″

When Bob Hoffman was promoting isometrics in the 1960s he said that his father had one of the best builds that he had seen and that all he did was flex his muscles which he learned from taking the Swoboda Course. Hoffman also said that they were the first exercises that he was exposed to.

At the age of 28, just 10 years after reaching the US, Swoboda had become a millionaire and his family, including daughters Helen Aloisia, Emilie & Lillian, were raised in elegant luxury. Helen attended finishing school in England and Lillian appeared in silent movies under the name of Evona Dione.

Apart from his highly successful exercise course (only partly available on this website at present) he also produced other courses on more general topics, some which you will see below.

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