WHY Iron History Is SO Important

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Image from http://DaveDraper.com
Image from https://DaveDraper.com 

I've traveled around the country and have done some crazy things to get my hands on vintage, historical strength training equipment. This article was written in 2010. This was a time when I rarely came across collectors.

People flipping vintage equipment as a business is different than guys like myself who actually TRAIN on this equipment. People have offered me money for my 150 lb globe dumbbell and I've told them I won't sell it, ever. You can offer me 15 or 20 grand and that money means nothing to me.

It is the story behind the dumbbell that means everything to me!

There is a special history embedded into these older weights, where the men were EXTREMELY strong. The passion behind training back in the day for these men was NOT about pumping light weights. Training had a MUCH deeper meaning than 6 pack abs or any other fad and gimmick of today.

Here are some photos and videos from my early days of collecting which actually began as soon as I started training athletes full time in 2002. There was always a special feeling of excitement as I drove to pick up old, used weights.

There was no navigation on the flip phone. There was a printed out paper with directions to someone's house. Before ebay, it was the newspaper classified ads. There were NO photos, only your imagination of what you might be picking up.

Enjoy!

When I grab old school dumbbells housed in either of my gyms, I KNOW history has been bled into those weights. There is something unique and special, in my mind, about these old school weights.

As I always said, I'm a throwback, certainly not the norm, and I am perfectly happy with NOT being part of the "norm".

Below are some updates since 2010.......

If you love Iron History, make sure you dig into my Iron Roots Podcast HERE.

 

Live The Code 365

--Z--

 The Gladiator Project

10 Responses

  1. Zach,
    I just love this stuff. Gives me goosebumps. When you touch history in any form you can definetly feel it. Especially if men/women have put sweat, tears & blood into it.

    Checking vintage photos and films can give you so much. For example I just love to watch old films of fighters training (check out some training footage of Sugar Ray Robinson, Tyson, Mancini, Duran). So much wisedom and knowledge in there.

    Often I think that much of that oldschool knowledge has been lost in this crazy world of ours. Just because nobody seems to have enough time to soak in the purity of it.
    Cheers

  2. I love old school. As I get older I have learned to appreciate it more.
    A few years ago I was moving some strength equipment for a person and they wanted to pay me for it. Since I knew them really well I said it was no big deal, but as I was walking out of their basement I noticed a bunch a dumbbells and plates. When they bought the house the weight equipment came with it, and the weights. So I asked if they would ever use them, and he said take them all because they were too heavy for him. I scored a load of dumbbells. Then I pulled back a box and behind was a stack of old York and Milo plates. I asked if he knew what he had, and he didn’t care so I took them. I have a dumbbell with York and Milo on it 120#. Love tossing that beast over my head. I think of all the greats that were built with the same weights.
    Most people wouldn’t get the big deal about your video, but for people like us we could watch video about plates and the history of lifting all day.
    Good Stuff!

  3. Robert Zuver says:

    Zach
    Thanks for helping people remember part of the Great History of the West Coast Gym and though’s who made it. I grew up seeing a lot of amazing things and met a lot of the muscle legends of yesteryear’s. Bill Pearl, Paul Anderson, Pat Casey, Arnold, Franco, Big Lou, Bill (peanuts) West, Bert Elliot, Terry Todd, but the most Famous of all to me was Big Bob Zuver. My Father.
    God Bless

    1. WOW!!! Robert, to have your comment on this Blog means a LOT to me. Your father was an amazing man and his gym blows my mind along with how he went about creating such a historical atmosphere!!!

      We spoke about your father a LOT when I chatted with Richard Sorin this past weekend.

      It solidified why I do what I do as well as WHO I want to be.

      I love the internet for the reasons I can connect with people like you from afar but being in the trenches of the strength world is where the magic lies.

      Thank you so much for your feedback, Robert!!!

      Z

      1. Doesn’t get any better than that Zach!

    2. Robert, did you and your father have any video footage or only photos? I would love to see a book come to life with all the photos and stories you have to share!

  4. Aah those good old days, indeed you were right, workout in those days was not so scientific and advanced, it usually entailed lots of hard-work as compared to today.

  5. Robert Zuver says:

    I wish you all could have visited Dads Dream. You all would’ve been amazed.
    Dad and I worked day and night building a gym far beyond its time and had members of such a high caliber for the times.. i’m proud there are still a few of the old members still alive today that remember training in what might be the best gym of all time.

  6. Robert Zuver says:

    I wish you all could have visited Dads Dream. You all would’ve been amazed.
    Dad and I worked day and night building a gym far beyond its time and had members of such a high caliber for the times.. i’m proud there are still a few of the old members still alive today that remember training in what might be the best gym of all time.
    12/14/2021

    1. Robert, I can only imagine. This original article was written in 2010, back then there was not much info on Zuver’s but the past few years as the internet has exploded as you know, it’s great to see the photos come to life. There will NEVER be another Zuver’s.

      I don’t think the people of today would understand and truly respect everything that people like you and your Dad to build such a place.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

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