Don't Weaken

A blog by Director Terry Todd

The Peoples Champion

By Terry Todd

Posted January 15, 2010

The most recent of these periodic submissions provided some detail about how pleased we were to have picked up on our recent road trip what we believe is the very first power rack ever built/invented—a rack built in the 1940s in the cellar of Bob’s farmhouse along a creek in the beautiful rolling hills of East Tennessee, outside of Johnson City. This posting will be very brief, but when a member of the staff here at the Stark Center came across last week an envelope containing a number of photos of Bob Peoples and some of his training gear nothing would do but to share some of them with the few, but stalwart, readers of this blog. The photos in question are part of the Peary and Mabel Rader/Iron Man Photo Collection, and it was a real case of serendipity to come upon it less than a week after we brought to the Stark Center the very rack depicted in several of the photos.

The photos were obviously sent to Peary Rader by Bob Peoples in regard to a story in Iron Man, and perhaps someone who reads this will remember from the photos when that article appeared. Should this happen, I’d appreciate having the citation as I haven’t taken the time to search through my back issues of that wonderful old magazine. I’ve seen some of these photos in Iron Man in the past, but certainly not all, and although I’m not going to include all of them today it was impossible not to call attention to the coincidence of finding the photos just as the famous rack arrived in the center.

I’ve written extensively in the past about the many contributions Bob made through the years to training theory and equipment, and although I’m not going to rehash this information now, it seemed appropriate to share with readers/viewers some of these historic, eye-opening training devices.

Pictures associated with this post:

Click the pictures to see a larger version and read the description.

Shoulder rack arrangement for heavy squats

Bob Peoples training

Another of Bob

Alta Peoples


  1. Robert Wildes, March 20, 2018:

    That photo of Bob Hise III appears to be when he was around 12 years of age.
    My guess is that issue was in the not to far off from a 1960 issue. When and if I find it I will post the issue.

  2. Dave Hartnett, January 29, 2012:

    Very nice old photo’s, thanks for sharing them!

  3. MIKE BONDURANT, January 27, 2011:


    The “Hatfield” device shown actually is closer to the Draper “Top Squat” now being marketed by Dave Draper. I have one and I love it!

  4. Dale Credico, January 31, 2010:

    Thanks for making these, and other materials, available to people unable to get down there to the Stark Center, Terry. Thoroughly enjoyed! And you betcha, those Rader IronMan mags are quite the treat to read.

  5. Carl Linich, January 15, 2010:

    Thanks for this interesting bit of Iron game pioneering. My dad was a welder, and made me a bench from steel plate, and angle iron. He also made a power rack from angle iron. This was in the mid 1950’s.

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