What Can We Learn From Old Time Barbells?

A high-quality Olympic barbell is a gem of a tool. But what was it like to train with old time barbells and dumbbells?

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Two quick notes and then we'll talk iron -
as in, what we can learn from old time

Notice that I didn't say "old time strong-

I said "old time barbells."

Yes, they can tell us things - sometimes,
very important things.

1. Going Fast!

We're near the end of the run for Strength,
Muscle and Power
- and I'm not going to
print any more for awhile - maybe not
ever - so now's the time to grab a copy:


It's a great book, but we're planning to
move out West - as in, to the Pacific
Northwest, and I can't print another
couple of thousand copies and bring
them with us. So, I repeat - if you
want a copy, grab it now!

2. The January Dinosaur Files

Go here to grab the January issue of
The Dinosaur Files. You also can grab
the Oct, Nov and Dec issues:


In the meantime, I'm pounding the key-
board to finish the Feb issue. So if you
have any comments or feedback - or an
update on your training - send it on it!

3. What We Can Learn from Old Time

Back in the old days - as in, 120 to 150
years ago, there were no mass-market

Back then, if you wanted a barbell, you
had to have it made at a local iron foundry.

And the barbells they made were very

Instead of plates, they had globes at the

Hence the term "globe barbells."

Sometimes the barbell and the globes were
one solid piece of iron.

Other times, the globes could be screwed
onto the bars. That gave you the ability to
adjust the weight on the bar by changing
from one globe to another.

Of course, you never had too many globes,
so you could only make a couple of weight
adjustments - with big jumps from one
weight to another.

The globes came in  different sizes. Most of
them were round spheres - but some were

Some were made of iron. Others were made
of other metals.

And some globes were empty - so you could
add weight by filling them with sand or lead

But that was a time-consuming and cumber-
some process.

So the bottom line was this - your barbells
were pretty much fixed weight barbells.

If you had a couple of them, you might have,
for instance, a 60 pound barbell, a 100 pound
barbell, and a 150 pound barbell.

Or you might have a 100, 150 and 200 pound

Or a 42 pound barbell, a 96 1/4 pound barbell,
and a 116 1/2 pound barbell.

Remember, these were essentially one of a
kind items - so there's no reason to believe
they weighed an exact amount.

And here's something else to consider.

There were no uniform specifications for the
size, thickness and length of a barbell.

So you might have barbells that were of
different lengths - and different thicknesses.

Your 80 pound barbell might be one inch
thick and four feet long.

But your 117 pound barbell might be 1 1/2
inches thick and six feet long.

In other words, every barbell was different
from every other barbell.

And sometimes, they were VERY different.

The same was true of dumbbells.

And your dumbbells might or might not come
in pairs.

Ditto for kettlebells and ring-weights.

And if you DID have pairs, they might not
be an exact match.

In short, all your weights were more or less

And adding more weight was difficult or even

If that were the case, what would you do with

How would you train?

Think about it - and send me a short email if
you have any ideas about it.

I'll share your feedback tomorrow - and
also share what I think the answer is.

In fact, I'll share what the answer MUST have
been - and explain why it was a GOOD thing
to train with such challenging equipment.

As always, thanks for reading and have a
great day. If you train today, make it a good

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Remember to grab a copy of Strength
Muscle and
Power while the little monster
is still here:


And remember to grab the Jan issue of
The Dinosaur Files:


P.S. 2. My other books and courses --
including links to all of my e-books on
Kindle -- are right here at Dino

Hard-copy and PDF




P.S. 3. Thought for the Day

"Study old time barbells and dumbbells
closely and carefully. They can teach you
a lot."

- Brooks Kubik


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