Klein trained in a very precise, scientific fashion. He reminded Jim of an Old World
Of all his exercises, Klein’s Handstand press-ups were the most remarkable. Jim had never seen anything like it.
Klein performed the exercise on an old piano bench. He began placing his hands in the center of the bench. From there, he leaned forward and effortlessly kicked up into a free-standing, unsupported handstand. Klein had begun his career as a hand-balancer and stage performer, and he had no difficulty in maintaining the handstand position for as long as he wanted.
Once in the handstand position, Klein bent his arms and slowly lowered his body until his upper chest touched the edge of the piano bench. He then reversed the movement slowly and effortlessly, pushed himself back to the handstand position. He performed 15 reps with ease.
“What’s your best in that?” asked Jack.
Klein wiped the sweat from his forehead.
“Nineteen,” he replied.
“That’s a lot of press-ups!”
“I believe it’s more than anyone else has ever done in that style. I’ve often wondered how many reps Maxick or some other old timers could perform.”
“You’re awfully good at them, Sig.”
“Thanks, Jack. It’s like anything else – it’s just a matter of practice. Press-ups are one of my favorite exercises, an I include them in almost all of my workouts. They’re one of the very best for pressing power.”
This is an excerpt from Brooks Kubik’s new book Legacy of Iron, which I just finished this morning. If you want to learn how many of the old-timers trained this book is for you. While most of it is concerned with weightlifting and competitions surrounding the York Barbell Club, you get a mix of all the various means of physical culture.
Back in that day hand balancing went right along with lifting iron. Even Bob Jones makes an appearance earlier in the book as one of the contest’s judges along with a few other famous hand balancers.
If you want to read more go check out the new book, Legacy of Iron at www.BrooksKubik.com and prepare to get transported back in time.
Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
P.S. Just a few issues left of December’s Acrobat Accelerator where I cover free-standing handstand pushups in depth. If you want one you have to order before the new year comes in. Get it along with one of several other hand balancing courses.