Ralph Cameron (1926 - 2013)
Chris ‘Sticks’ Bostick (1951 - 2019)
Hank Darnell (1919 - 1996)
Mike Mentzer (1951 - 2001)
Clarence Harrison (1929 - 2009)
Allan Nickell (1933 - 2017)
John Grimek once related that the “secret” to achieving outstanding muscular strength and development is persistent work. A willingness to stay the course and keep your dream alive, no matter the difficulties encountered, is what builds winners. This is true in all of life's endeavors.
Persistence of effort and an impervious will to reach a higher stage of development are what will transcend you from the sphere of ordinary into the realm of extraordinary. There is no room for negativism, self-doubt, impatience, or laziness. These growth killers must be TERMINATED if you want to build a standout physique.
Years ago, Doug Hepburn stated, “There is nothing that stands between you and your goal except time, and time can be mastered with patience.” Think about the implications of this profound observation. Your gains in strength may come very slowly. You may be laughed at and ridiculed by your peers. You may run into a plethora of roadblocks. But, if you proceed with courage and faith—if you never give in— a personal victory will surely follow.
Milo of Croton was an ancient Greek wrestler who was known for his prodigious strength. Legend has it that starting as a young boy, he lifted a new-born calf and repeated this feat every day as the animal grew larger and larger. According to folklore, this process continued until Milo was lifting, not a calf, but a full-grown bull!
Whether or not this story about Milo is based on truth or myth is not the focus here. Rather, it is the lesson of PROGRESSIVE TRAINING exemplified by this fable that is of central importance. So, be like Milo and lift just a little bit more each time you can. Maybe you only increase your barbell weight by a few pounds each month. But, if you continue on this path—month after month, year after year—those small increments will aggregate to something MIGHTY BIG.
The principle of progression is, perhaps, the most important concept in muscle building. Sandow understood this. Grimek understood this. Anybody who seeks to reach their full potential in the gym must understand this. Thus, it is not a quantum leap in progress that builds a strongman. It is a continual progression of even the tiniest of gains—over a lengthy period of time— that molds a weakling into a strong lifter, a hopeful spirit into a champion.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.