Bodybuilding Legends – Part XII

Bob Gajda on Old School Feats of Strength

Back when Bob Gajda was training, whether at Norb Grueber's Bodybuilders Sport Shop, his years as a fitness instructor in the military, even during his legendary tenure as Fitness Director at Chicago's Division and Duncan Street YMCAs, a man's strength was measured by what he could lift over his head. Today, it's all about how much you can bench press. But back then, the Olympic lift was the standard. Bob still considers this difference symbolic of the Old School way. Of course, years after he retired from bodybuilding, Bob continued to compete in AAU Olympic style powerlifting competitions.

It should come as no surprise that Bob wrote for Bob Hoffman's Strength & Health magazine. The founder of York Barbells was a dominant force in weight training from the 1930s to the 1980s. This experience may have served as the inspiration for some of Bob Gajda's innovative weight machines which employed a pulley system designed to provide steady resistance through the full range of movement. Bob is still applying this expertise today with inventions like his Conforming Moving Force machine that combines the benefits of weight-training with sport-specific practice. The device's sliding pulley system helps the user reproduce the motion of swinging a tennis racquet, rolling a bowling ball, even swimming or throwing a baseball. Of course, Bob has been and remains very adept at these and many other athletic endeavors.
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