Bob’s Bombs

by Al Myers

Dino Gym member Ben Edwards lifting Bob's Bombs at the 2013 Dino Gym Challenge.

I’ll start this writing contest off by writing about a piece of equipment in the Dino Gym that is very “dear to my heart”.   I’m talking about Bob’s Bombs.  Yes, that’s right – these are actually bombs!!!  Years ago we lost a very special friend and training partner Bob Maxey.  Bob was the type of training partner that would NEVER miss workouts, and always knew how to motivate the rest of us to push ourselves in our workouts.  Because if we didn’t – Bob would “call us out” – and you didn’t want him to do that because he knew how to speak his mind in such a way that it bordered on being rude, but wasn’t. He didn’t “suger coat” it when he thought we were slacking.  He simply knew when we were capable of giving more effort than we were giving, and we knew he was right. 

One night Bob brought these beautiful pair of blue bombs into the gym (they were empty training shells thank goodness!!).  For a while in Salina Bob had ran a bar which he named the “Blue Bomb Bar”, and these bomb shells hung from the ceiling as decor.  I’ll never forget Bob’s request to me.  He wanted me to fill these bombs to 100 pounds  each and attach handles so he could use them as farmers walk implements.  Of course, I obliged.  At the time I had no idea what training Bob was expecting to do with them, but I never questioned his training methods which were ofter quite bizarre and unorthodox.

It took me that week to get them “in working order” for him.  I filled them with sand and perfectly center balanced the handles. Well, the first night in the gym after I finished them Bob revealed what he was going to do with them.  He planned to carry both of them to the “top of the hill and back” behind the gym every Tuesday night as a way of giving  himself a little cardio.  For those of you that have been to the Dino Gym know that this is no small feat.  I’m talking to the fence at the top of the hill.  This means down through the raven, pass the ballfield, pass the shelter, pass the throwing trigs, TO THE FENCE.  That’s a total distance of 200 yards, and then you have to walk back.  But when Bob set his mind to something – he was intent on accomplishing his goals.  That first night I had to watch him just because I didn’t believe he was going to try to carry 200 pounds over a distance of a quarter mile over rough up and down yard terrain.  I have no idea how many times he sat the weights down and rested (quite a few), but 30 minutes later he was back to the gym with the BOMBS in hand!!  I also want to mention for those of you that didn’t know Bob, that he was a large man at around 400 pounds.  He was “huffing and puffing” – but he accomplished what he set out to do.  That alone was worth the effort it took me to modify those bombs into farmers walk implements.  He repeated  this feat  several times over a period of 3 or 4 years.

Today Bob’s Bombs sit in front of the Dino Gym as a memory to him.  Occasionally I get to tell someone new to the gym this story about Bob, and remind them of the challenge that Bob left all of us with his pair of bombs.  The blue paint is now faded on them, but I will never repaint them. They are part of the lifting legacy of my great friend Bob Maxey.

Hey, Old Guy Lifters!

by Roger LaPointe

An Old Time Strongman performing a Yoke Lift with a man on his shoulders!

Old guy lifters are finally getting a little respect.

The world sure is changing. I re-posted a cool photo within Facebook that Facebook “Friends” seem to be loving. It’s an old black & white photo of this old guy lifting a home made barbell with two of his buddies hanging off the ends. I would re-post it here, but I don’t want to violate any copyright laws.

Discussion with Jeff Bankens:

Jeff Bankens: I wanna be scary strong like that when I’m a senior.

Roger La Pointe: Keep it up and you will be. 15 years ago, when I worked for York Barbell, I sold a set of “chest expanders” with the the surgical tubing, to Tommy Kono. I believe he had just had his hip replaced and he was still in his hospital bed. He couldn’t think of any other tool he could use in his condition, but he didn’t want to miss a workout.

True Story

I remember my Grandmother warning me that weightlifting was dangerous. It would make me “muscle bound” and it was “bad for my heart”.

For those of you who don’t know him, Jeff Bankens is a performing strongman from Louisiana who did his act at the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Old Time Strongman Picnic in 2012. He has certainly “Friended” me on Facebook and I encourage you to “Friend” him as well. He has a lot of great stuff on YouTube and you will also find out more about his traveling shows.

I sure am glad I didn’t listen to her warning. Here another great photo of an older guy lifting something cool. I don’t know who took this photo or how old it is, but it is in my PRE-WWII folder. I know you want to see amazing Masters Age lifting, so I encourage you to also check out the USAWA meet coverage that we have available on the Atomic Athletic web site. Here are links for reference:

All the best, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift”