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Author Topic: Sig Kleinīs gym- Does anyone know somebody who trained there?  (Read 11863 times)
tom67
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2014, 06:13:08 PM »

I never saw Sig do tiger bends but I know he did them when he was younger. 


I don't recall reading anything about the 1946 contest.  Could this be the one in NY were Lurie showed up and fully dressed claiming ingury and would not be competing?


Also I have a guestion.  I have only seen potos  of Sig Klein's  Gym from the early years.  Never from the mid fifties on!  Has any  one seen a photo of the more modenized gym?

Tom
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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2014, 07:01:17 AM »

The second time I saw Sig in a handstand was one evening near closing time.  There were only three or four of us left  on the floor when one fellow said Sig, can you still do a handstand on  the handle of a barbell?  Sig just looked said nothing and turned around took a globe barbell out of the rack and placed it on the floor.  He gazed into the distance slowly bent forward and grasped the bar levering his leg slowly up to a perfect handstand.. He the proceeded to roll the bar about 5 or 6 feet on the floor.  Thenhe slowly levered down stood erect.  He said nothing and then put the bar back in the rack. And yes we did applaud.  Sig then said now lets go its getting late.  Grin    good stories, some fine memories of a great man right there. not many gyms like that around anymore.
                                                                                                                                                        Tom             


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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2014, 07:05:33 AM »

I never saw Sig do tiger bends but I know he did them when he was younger. 


I don't recall reading anything about the 1946 contest.  Could this be the one in NY were Lurie showed up and fully dressed claiming ingury and would not be competing?


Also I have a guestion.  I have only seen potos  of Sig Klein's  Gym from the early years.  Never from the mid fifties on!  Has any  one seen a photo of the more modenized gym? Grin

Tom
Grin


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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2014, 07:06:49 AM »

 Grin


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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2014, 07:08:25 AM »

 Grin


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tom67
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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2014, 05:22:48 PM »

The pictures you posted were very old, long before he modernized the gym.  I am beginning to think there are no photos available.  I remember at one time someone in the gym took some photos of Sig.  One was with me and another member with Sig in the middle standing behind the bench press bench.  They were for private use as I never got a copy.

You might want to know how the members address Sig.
Sig  or Sigmund
Mr. Klein
Professor Klein
One guy called  him Sigamundo                                                                                                                             
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« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2014, 05:16:32 PM »

One early afternoon I was in the gym and two members were by the window shouting down toward the street.  I went over to see what was going on.  They were shouting to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was dressed as Hercules and in a chariot with one or two white horses.  I shouted with the other two don't know why they were loud enough.  Arnold was facing away from us but a assistant saw us and pointed up, Arnold turned around and waved but did not come up to the gym.  Sig came over to  see what was going on, so we explained, he shrugged and said get back to work.  No surprise there.

PS  Arnold was filming his first movie, Hercules In New York 1969.

Tom
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« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2014, 05:32:33 PM »

I don't no if you have seen the following  by Sig Klein.  If not it is worth reading.  It is about Sigs first 25 years in the iron game.  The heading  is  called  " The Tight Tan  Slacks  of Dezso Ban January 2009"  It is 17 chapters.  Includes his early life and many early strongmen  he met in those 25 years, how came to acquire  Attila's gym..   Well worth the time to read.

Tom

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« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2014, 08:37:10 AM »

Well know bodybuilder of the day I have seen at Sigs.  Freddy Ortiz, John Grimek, Hugo Labra, Peter Lupos, Lou Reicke.  Most of the men who visited Sigs spent an hour or more talking to Sig.  I don't know what was discussed.  Peter Lupos only came to look around.  Sig came out of his office but did not say anything to Lupos and just nodded.  About a minute later he left.  Sig looked at me and shrugged.  I asked Sig if he knew who he was and Sig said no.  I told him that was Peter Lupos.  He played in the TV series Mission Impossible ( the original series). Sig looked at me for a second and said I never watched that, and walked back to his office.  Not an easy man to impress.

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« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2014, 02:32:30 PM »

Well know bodybuilder of the day I have seen at Sigs.  Freddy Ortiz, John Grimek, Hugo Labra, Peter Lupos, Lou Reicke.  Most of the men who visited Sigs spent an hour or more talking to Sig.  I don't know what was discussed.  Peter Lupos only came to look around.  Sig came out of his office but did not say anything to Lupos and just nodded.  About a minute later he left.  Sig looked at me and shrugged.  I asked Sig if he knew who he was and Sig said no.  I told him that was Peter Lupos.  He played in the TV series Mission Impossible ( the original series). Sig looked at me for a second and said I never watched that, and walked back to his office.  Not an easy man to impress.

Tom
seems like sig had a little of vince gironda in him.


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« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2014, 05:26:55 PM »

Sig was not a easy man to impress.  He was not impressed with the actors in the gym and treated them as anyone else.

On another occasion Freddie Ortiz came for a visit.  He spoke with Sig in his office for a bit and then Sig asked Freddie how big are his arms Freddie said 20 inches. Freddie had a short sleeve shirt on with slit on the under side.  I wonder what that as for.  Sig asked if he could measure his arms and Freddie said ok.  Sig took out his tape and put It around Freddie's flexed arm, carefully get perfectly even and then pulling it snug.  It measured 19 3/4 inches.  Sig was impressed. I cannot recall another time seeing Sig that impressed.
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« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2014, 05:44:38 PM »

Hugo Labra stopped in one afternoon and spoke with Sig in his office.  Sig told me after he left that he was concerned that he was finding it hard to train  heavy.  He was afraid he would loose muscle and his conditioning.  His was in his forties at that time.  Sig said he should cut back abit and that would still keep him in good shape.  Sig was proof of that.  I wonder if he took  Sigs advise.

Lou Reicke was in town for meet or something Iam not sure.  If it was a meet I think he would look for a gym that had Olympic lifting.  But he did take a workout some pressing, squats and some other lite exercises.  Sig never said why he stopped in.  Maybe he was sent by gang in York to spy on Sig.  Thats another story I'll have to get to.

 
Tom
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« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2014, 05:21:57 PM »

John Grimek stopped inthe gym one saturday and like the other guests spend ahour or more talking to Sig in his office.  When they came out Sig put a block of iron on the floor.  It was used to test grip and finger strength  ( guess thats what they talked about).The block weight about 45 lbs. about 8 or 10 inches long 5 or 6 inches wide with tapered sides, also it had a ring in the middle.  John showed how to lift it using finger grip.  He also lifted it by the ring five times using a one finger thru the pinkey.  I could not lift it using all my fingers tho it did come of the floor a bit. I don't remember if Sig gave it a try.  I asked John if he could pinch grip two 45 lb olympic plates.  He said get them out.  We put them together with smooth side facing out.  John then gripped them and in a second or two he lifted them off the floor and held them for 2 or 3 seconds.  Every one was impressed with his gripping strengh.

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« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2014, 05:36:42 PM »

John Grimek  stopped in the gym on another saturday and again talked with Sig for about 2 hours.  John didn't perform any strength feats that day.  After he left I was talking to Sig and he motioned me to his office. He  said you know why John was hear?  I said no. Sig said Hoffmann sent him to see why I didn't come down to York for his birthday picnic.  Sig explained to John that he has a gym to run.  John understood.  Sig was a bit anoyed with Hoffman almost ordering him to show up.  To my knowledge Sig never in future went to York while he operated his gym.  Sig and John were life long friends and it probably pained John to have to deliver this message.

Tom
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« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2014, 05:14:47 PM »

I guess everyone here knows Sig collected Beer Steins.  Well here is a little more info.  The steins were displayed in his gym above the weight and around three walls.  Sig also had many steins at his home.  He also stored steins in a closet in the gym, but infortunately one night there was a break in and the burglars broke open his closet and destroyed many of the steins 20 or more. No steins were broken that were displayed fortunately.  Sig removed the unbroken steins from the closet and took them to his
 home. 
When I went into the army in1965 Sig and I correspondered a bit.  I later was sent to West Germany and Sig asked if I got the chance to be on the lookout for steins and let him know.  I did find a couple of shops that sold steins and I wrote to Sig with the name and address of the shop.  I also told the owners that Sig Klein was a big collector.When I got home I asked Sig if my leads were of any use, he said that he could not make any deals. 
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« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2014, 05:30:40 PM »

In my last post i mentioned that the gym was broke into.  Another incident was one evening near closing I had just taken my shower and when I stepped out of the shower I notice someone going thru the jackets and pants of the members.  At first I didn't realize what was happening then the thief turned a quick look at me and went out the window It was a hot summer evening.  I shouted out SIG and came in the locker room and I told him that had happened.  Sig checked his jacket and said his wallet was missing which contained various important cards and papers.  He was upset and mad.  Three days later Sig gets a call from someone who said he found his wallet in the trash on 7th Ave. only about three blocks from the gym.  Sig asked if he would bring the wallet to the gym and he did.  Fortunately nothing was missing. On another occasion the radio by the entrance was suddenly gone.  Someone had come to the gym entrance and unplugged it and it was gone..  There was a alot of crime in those days, mostly junkies.
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« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2014, 05:08:16 PM »

Now, a few funny moments from the acting  community. Zero Mostel, Walter Matthau, Sir Laurence Olivier, Ben Gazzara, Rip Torn. There were many lesser known actors who trained there also.

One evening I was doing sets of curls, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye Zero Mostel was walking toward me.  I said to myself what now.  When he got in front of me he stopped and turned his head toward me  but was looking at the bar going up and down moving his eyes only he then rolled his eyes and shook his head as if I were crazy.  I then heard Sig voice holler out ZERO that are you doing? Zero walked away like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
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« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2014, 05:22:50 PM »

Another incident with Zero and Sig was more damaging.

Zero was standing near Sig's office listening to the conversation inside.  Sig had a pontenial new client. The new client asked Sig if their was any danger of getting a hernia from lifting weights?  Sig said no, I train you properly and there is no danger of a hernia.  Zero turned his head to me and gave me a evil grin.  He then grab his crotch and ran into Sig's office hollering I  did it again, I did it again Sig.  The new cliet looked at Zero and Sig and got up and walked out of the gym.  Sig had a holy fit he was screaming at Zero. I don't blame Sig he just lost a client and income.  Zero was laughing, he thought it really funny.  When you think about it he should not have done it.  You never know what Zero Mostel might due.

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« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2014, 05:14:49 PM »

Walter Matthau  was a very funny guy.  He was mostly quite but friendly.  One evening Walter was standing  close to where Sig and I were talking.  Sig kept looking at Walter and not hearing what I was saying.  Sig suddenly said Walter you have been talking for ten minutes picked up the weight and do something.  Walter said in a comical voice and moving his arms outward ok Sig. He then looked right and left and said to Sig wheres the 55 lb. bar.  Sig looked at him and said in an annoyed voice, its behind you Walter.  Walter then looked right and left  again and then with a surprise look said oh there it is.  Everyone laughted except Sig who just shook his head.  Walter had that funny lisp in his voice which made it even funnier.

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« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »

One evening I was talking to a friend when a fellow we called Tommy terrific came over to us and said he was going to be an actor.  He was very animated in his speech. He said he was going to be a big actor and was going to acting school.  We said thats nice. We also point to a gentlemen in the gym and told Tommy he was an actor.  Tommy looked surprised and said  he is?  He then walked over to the actor an said you an actor?  The actor said yes.  Tommy said he's  an actor too. He went on saying he was going to be a big actor and  was going to acting school.  I though we had caused a problem but the actor looked at us and smiled.  Sig was watching and told Tommy to get busy.  The actor looked at us again and shook his head and laughed.  The actor was Sir Laurence Olivier, probably the greatest actor of the 20th century.  The joke was Tommy had no clue who he was talking to.

Tom
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« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2014, 05:31:31 PM »

The friendliest of all the actors at Sig's gym was Ben Gazzara.  He always had jokes and funny stores to tell the members. Ben drew a crowd when he was in the gym.  Sometimes it would take Ben a half hour to change clothes and get out on the floor.  Sig would often come into the loker room and break up the party.  One evening Ben came in and started to talk and tell a joke before he got to the locker room.  Sig came out of his office and looked at Ben and said "alright Ben everybody has seen the suit now go change your clothes."  Ben took it as a joke and just laughted.  

One saturday I was doing my doorway curls when I saw Ben comeing up the stairs and said to myself I"am going to finish the set, Ben will have to wait.  When Ben saw me he smiled and called into the gym saying "Sig is it so crowded in there that your making them work out in the hall?"  Sig quickly came out of his  office to see what was going on.. Ben was having a good laugh.  
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« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2014, 05:55:52 PM »

When my first son was born I took a box of cigars to the gym.  Of course I gave Sig one and shook his hands and his congralations.  I went into the locker room and was giving cigars to four or five fellow gym member  when I hear the booming voice behiind me saying whats going on in hear? it must be a party.  I turned around and said hey Ben have a cigar my wife delivered me a son.  Ben took the cigar put it in his mouth wrapper and all.  He shook my hand said congratulations and slapped me on the back. We all spent a few minutes laughing an kidding around when guess what happened?  Thats right Sig came in and broke up the party. I wonder what took him so long?

Yes, Ben Gazzara was the nicest, most fun and friendliest of just about all the members.

Tom
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« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2014, 10:02:39 AM »

John Grimek  stopped in the gym on another saturday and again talked with Sig for about 2 hours.  John didn't perform any strength feats that day.  After he left I was talking to Sig and he motioned me to his office. He  said you know why John was hear?  I said no. Sig said Hoffmann sent him to see why I didn't come down to York for his birthday picnic.  Sig explained to John that he has a gym to run.  John understood.  Sig was a bit anoyed with Hoffman almost ordering him to show up.  To my knowledge Sig never in future went to York while he operated his gym.  Sig and John were life long friends and it probably pained John to have to deliver this message.

Tom
hoffman was known to be a very vain and vindictive guy. he is said to have cut john grimek out of his will.
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« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2014, 10:08:28 AM »

hoffman was known to be a very vain and vindictive guy. he is said to have cut john grimek out of his will.
Grin hoffman's relationship with grimek  seemed to be a lot like weider's was with dave draper years later.


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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2014, 05:05:49 PM »

Didn't know that about Grimek and the will.  Must have happened after 1973.  If before

 Sig would have said something.

I asked Sig at one point if all the record lifts Hoffman claimed were true.  Sig gave me a strange answer.  He shrugged and said I guess so.  He didn't speak further.  I dropped the subject.

Tom
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