Muscles of Iron Website

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Old-School Strength

This Site is in Memory of...

Ralph Cameron
Chris Bostick
Hank Darnell
Mike Mentzer
Clarence Harrison
Allen Nickell

Ralph Cameron (1926 - 2013)

The man who introduced me to weight-lifting and taught me the value of hard work.

Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick (1951 - 2019)

A friend who was always willing to help somebody in need and whose art work was extraordinary.

Hank Darnell (1919 - 1996)

Founder of the defunct Darnell Body Building Studio in Louiville, KY and a firm advocate of the “York” methods of weight training.

Mike Mentzer (1951 - 2001)

A former Mr. Universe who popularized the HIT methods developed by Arthur Jones and introduced the world to “Heavy-Duty” training.

Clarence Harrison (1929 - 2009)

Born with little, he overcame seemingly impenetrable barriers to win Mr. Kentucky and become a “Million-Dollar” salesperson.

Allan Nickell (1933 - 2017)

A close friend who was a state weightifting champion, a dedicated soil scientist, and a devoted Pastor.

Tips of the Month

  • Where Brains and Brawn Come Together

    When is the last time you read Stuart Robert's classic book, Brawn? If it's been a while you may want to dust your copy off and then devour every page of it with a wild passion. Why? Because this book skips on gimmicks and delivers sound advice for sensible, productive, and drug-free training.

    Cover of the book Brawn showing a drawing of a muscular bodybuilder posing.

    There are no thrills here. No bull. No Mr. America routines. No exaggerations. No pictures even. What you do get, though, is some of the soundest muscle-building advice ever put to print. In the words of the publisher, “BRAWN provides the instruction needed to put an end to the waste.”

    If you don't already own a copy of Brawn, now may be the best time to invest in one. You can buy this book from multiple sources, including Amazon. Just Google it!

  • Use Dumbbells to Develop Pressing Power

    In his book, weight lifting, Jim Murray gave much praise to the two-arm dumbbell press for developing overhead lifting ability. The author stressed that the use of dumbbells requires greater coordinated effort than pressing with a barbell. This unique aspect of the dumbbell form strengthens various stabilizer muscles and helps build total body power.

    Doug Hepburn performing the two-dumbbell press.

    For strength building, Murray recommended working up to several sets of three or four repetitions in the dumbbell press, using approximately 70% of your best barbell press weight. For Olympic lifters, he also prescribed the two-arm dumbbell press as a supplement, rather than a substitute, for the regular barbell press. Bodybuilders, however, may find it beneficial to elevate the two-arm dumbbell press to primary status during a particular training cycle.

Site Focus

The purpose of Muscles of Iron (MOI) is to dispense an array of productive training methods for gaining muscular bulk, strength, and power. This site specializes in and endorses only drug-free training, healthy living, and ethical promotion of products. If you are looking for magic pills, an easy road to success, or the latest fad, you are at the wrong place. However, if you are seeking a rational and enduring approach to building muscles, welcome aboard!

With hard work, intense training, persistence of effort, proper recovery, and a dogged determination to succeed, almost anybody can develop an impressive physique with the right know-how. And, it is the top goal at MOI to provide the willing strength enthusiast with the knowledge and inspiration needed to reach the upper limits of their potential.

MOI is devoted to bodybuilding as it was practiced during the “Golden-Age” of Strength. The Golden Age took place from around the start of the 20th century up until the mid 1950s. During this period, the lifting world was drug-free and dominated by practitioners who followed relatively bare-boned, rugged, and highly effective training programs. The lifters of this age were strong, powerful, and health oriented. MOI carries on with this tradition.

The mission at MOI is to provide the physical culture community with reliable, helpful, and motivating resources for building muscle, health, and fitness. You are encouraged to actively participate in this mission by sharing your training experiences through comments, letters, photos, or other means. You can reach the editor via the site contact page.

Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to growing this important website with you.

Robert Drucker

Meet Our Staff

Muscles of Iron is based on broad vision that was built upon the insights, contributions, and assistance from many people. At its core, the ideas that circulate on MOI are linked to various dedicated strength practioneers, both from the past and in the present. This site would not be possible without such a collective gathering of personalities, knowledge, ideas, and philosophies. With this understood, the primary staff at MOI is as follows:

Robert Drucker

Robert Drucker

Site Founder, Technical Director, and Editor

Rob Drucker grew up in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) and got his start in weight training at the age of 13. His early training was greatly influenced by Ralph Cameron, father of a friend and third-place finisher in the 1949 Mr. Louisville physique contest. Mr. Cameron became Rob's mentor and taught the young lifter a great deal about old-time physical culture. This led to Rob becoming highly influenced by many past champions, including John Grimek, Doug Hepburn, and Reg Park.

While a Junior in high school, Rob studied the works of Arthur Jones and Mike Mentzer, both advocates of the HIT style of weight training. Rob credits his winning of the 1979 Teenage Mr. Kentuckiana (Kentucky and Indiana) to both Cameron and Mentzer.

After graduating from Youngstown State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Rob met a super-strong fellow named Brooks Kubik in an old dungeon-like gym in Louisville. From that day forward, Rob has been a big fan of Brooks and Dinosaur Training, his brand of old-time lifting.

Recently, Rob retired from the chemical industry after working nearly 30 years as an engineer and manager. At the age of 57, he is now focusing on a new career as a full-stack website developer. Rob is also resuming a heavy body-building program after a seven-year layoff from the gym. His comeback is being fueled by High Voltage Training, his own formula with strong ties to his weight-lifting roots. Currently, Rob and his family reside in Charleston, South Carolina.

Peter Yates in his martial arts uniform

Peter Yates

Director of Martial Arts and Physical Culture

Peter Yates is a fitness expert, a teacher of the martial arts, and an established writer of physical culture. Peter began his training at the age of 10 lifting rocks and branches in the local countryside of Darwen, England. After joining the Darwen Weightlifting Club at age twelve, he came under the guidance of Maurice Ainsworth who taught him weight training and martial arts.

In his adult years, Peter spent around fifteen years living in the Far East where he sought out masters of various martial disciplines and also learned acupuncture. Among his teachers was Sifu Share K. Lew, a grandmaster who was revered for his skill in meditation, the healing arts, Qigong, and Kung Fu.

In addition to being a writer for MOI, Peter is Editor in Chief for the History of Physical Culture website, a contributing writer to the Dinosaur Files, and a former contributing writer for the now defunct Health and Strength magazine. He has also written one book and several articles about Chinese medicine and martial arts.

Peter now lives in Long Island, New York with his wife, MaDong, and his son, Robert. Peter runs an acupuncture clinic, trains in his garage gym, and he has a small group of dedicated martial arts students.

Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick at his drawing desk.

The Late Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick

MOI Contributor and Supporter

Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick contributed many works of art and articles to MOI before his untimely death in 2019. He showed an uncanny artistic talent for drawing beginning at an early age. During his lifetime, Chris created more than 2,000 drawings, many which were cartoon humor with a muscles theme.

In addition to humor art, Chris was well known for drawing, illustrating, cartooning, and designing his own strength equipment. This was a passion of his. Rob Drucker, an engineer and the founder of MOI, indicated that Sticks's equipment designs were “nothing short of ingenious.”

Chris was a regional powerlifting competitor in the early 1970s. He trained almost entirely in his home gym using self-built training equipment. This formula allowed him to work up to a 400-pound bench, a 500-pound squat, and a 275-pound press. Eventually, Chris stopped competing in powerlifting because he did not like the direction the sport was heading. He noted, “competition meant committing to supersuits and pharmacology”. The big man was a strong advocate of training drug-free and without the use of artificial training aids.

Professionally, Chris spent 50 years in the electronic manufacturing business in East Syracuse, New York. After retiring from the electronics field, he became co-owner of and an artist for Syrapro LLC, a sportswear and marketing firm. In the years prior to his death, Chris also served as Art Director for the History of Physical Culture website.

Not only was ‘Sticks’ a super talent, he was a kind and gentle soul who was eager to help whoever he could. And, although Chris has moved on to a better place, his memory and given works still continue to shape the direction of MOI and the lives of the people who were fortunate enough to know him.