Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Originally posted on NaturalStrength.com on 25 March 2006

By Alan Calvert, the Originator of Progressive Weight Lifting in America. Inventor of the “Milo” and “Milo Triplex” combination dumbbells. Proprietor of the Milo Bar-Bell Co.

Published by the Author, Philadelphia, 1911


The purpose of this book is to describe some of the greatest know feats of strength; how such feats are performed, which feats are genuine, and which feats are tricks, or fakes; also to endeavor to give the reader some idea of who are the strongest men of the present day and the records to prove them so.

It has been the custom for a man who is writing a book about feats of strength, or the development of muscle, to open the subject by relating some remarkable feats of the ancient athletes. We are gravely told, for instance, that there was a certain Roman Emperor so strong that he would take an ordinary cobblestone in his hands and squeeze it to bits; and that some other equally remarkable athlete of the older times would seize a wild bull by the horns and tear the said horns out by the roots. Such stories may be very interesting, but their truth is entirely dependent upon word of some authority who is dead and gone these centuries past. We suppose that, like most other stories, they become wonderfully magnified as they passed from mouth to mouth. For his own part, the writer does not place the least credence in such tales. He fully believes that the men of today are larger and stronger than they have been before in the history of the world. Moreover, he believes that the feats of our present-day athletes and modern Hercules are far and away beyond the actual feats of the ancient heroes.

I find that there are a great many people who are firmly convinced that the present-day athletes are mere pigmies compared to the old Greeks or Romans. These people have heard the old fairy tales so often that they have come to believe them true. In proof of my contention that the modern man is larger and stronger than his forebears, I would like to call attention to the well-known fact that the average size man of today cannot possibly get into the suits of armor which are in the collections of the great European museums; and yet these suits of armor are supposed to have been worn by the greatest heroes of the middle ages.

Physical Culture Books.com
Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com

Vintage Bodybuilding Literature

Vintage Bodybuilding Literature
Oldtime Strongman Books

This site does not provide medical advice. We assume no liability for the information provided in NaturalStrength articles. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. Copyright © 1999-2024 NaturalStrength.com | All Rights Reserved.