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Author Topic: Sig Kleinīs gym- Does anyone know somebody who trained there?  (Read 20562 times)
tom67
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« Reply #75 on: March 18, 2014, 04:22:30 PM »

Didn't know that about Frank Leight!  We use to tell Sig he should write a book about all the characters and incidents in the gym over the years, but he just shrugged and smiled.

Your mention of situps reminded me of another incident.  I walked into the gym one evening about five PM and noticed a fellow off to the side doing situps.  I changed my clothes and came out of the locker room and he was still doing situps.  I asked Sig about him. Sig said he came in about ten this morning and said he wanted to do 25,000 situps. Sig said OK that will be five dollars.  He has been doing situps all day none stop.  I took my workout and about seven o'clock I changed to go home, he was still doing situps. Sig told him he had to stop now the gym was closing.  He stopped and spoke to Sig a few minutes and left.  I asked Sig how many did he do? Sig gave his customary shrug and said I don't know.  As I said in a previous post, Sig was not and easy man to impress.   
Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #76 on: March 19, 2014, 04:32:31 PM »

One Saturday afternoon a couple of guys were having a discussion about who would win a wrestling/boxing match if the wrestler wrestled and the boxer boxed.  Sig overheard the discussion and said let me tell you a story.  George Hackenschmidt  came to America many years ago and Sig and another  strong man meet him as he departed the ship.  They did the usuall things, lunch, getting Hackenschmidt a hotel room etc.  Then they went to Sig's gym.  Sig asked Hackenschmidt the question of boxer vs  wrestler.  Sig then described what Hackenschmidt said with his hand motions and in a German accent.  Hackenschmidt said I would dive at his legs knock him to the ground and tie him up in a knot, he could do nothing.  So  ends that debate from the greatest wrestler of the times.      

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2014, 04:04:11 PM »

In November of 1965 there was a major blackout in NYC and most of the northeast.  I was in the gym at the time when all of us noticed a dimming of the lights outside in the street and the gym. We thought it was something minor and would end.  It got worse with the light going dark and then coming back on and dark again. I remember one guy was doing bench presses and every time the light would dim or go out he shout out to Sig that he was going blind.  He did that thru his whole set.  Finally it went dark and stayed that way.  Sig came out with a flashlight in each hand and we continued the workout.  People would call Sig to shine the light here and another would say I can't find the 30 lb dumbell, and still another would say over here Sig.  It was getting out of hand so Sig said enough, I'am closing the gym, get dressed.  Now Sig had to shine the flashlights in the locker room so we could find our clothes.  What a night that was.  I didn't get home to the next day, went back to my office to sleep.

Tom
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Montague
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« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2014, 07:59:23 PM »

Tom, these stories/accounts are GREAT!!!

I'm really enjoying them, and I hope you'll be adding more! I don't think I've ever heard a single story about George Hackenschmidt on Getbig!!
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tom67
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« Reply #79 on: March 21, 2014, 07:49:49 AM »

Thank you, Montaque for your kind comments.  Iam glade you enjoy them. I will try to relate other incidents from the gym but it was along time ago and I don't have many notes on the day to day goings on.  I wish I took the advice we gave Sig and written daily diary of events.

Tom
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funk51
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« Reply #80 on: March 21, 2014, 09:07:25 AM »

Tom, these stories/accounts are GREAT!!!

I'm really enjoying them, and I hope you'll be adding more! I don't think I've ever heard a single story about George Hackenschmidt on Getbig!!
x's  2
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Montague
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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »

Thank you, Montaque for your kind comments.  Iam glade you enjoy them. I will try to relate other incidents from the gym but it was along time ago and I don't have many notes on the day to day goings on.  I wish I took the advice we gave Sig and written daily diary of events.

Tom


Absolutely!

I have a background in professional ("fake") wrestling, and I'm also a HUGE mark for Walter Matthau...any stories regarding such will be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!
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tom67
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« Reply #82 on: March 21, 2014, 04:27:43 PM »

I related a story about Walter Matthau in an earlier post.  Walter was basically quite but when he spoke he had that lisp in his voice that made everyone smile, much like you would hear him in his movies like Grumpy Old Men, and the Sunshine Boys.  You would really have to be there to appreciate the humor when he spoke.  A simple greeting like "hello how are you today" came across as funny and made you smile.

In another post I described Sig's workout and his posing routine, but forgot to describe what he did at the very end.  He flexed each bicep one at a time and made the muscles move, he then kissed each bicep at the end of posing.
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tom67
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« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2014, 04:44:58 PM »

A few words on Sig's diet.  He said he eats very lite meals I never asked what he ate, but I know he always ate a salad for lunch in the gym.  On saturday night he would go to Luchows in downtown NY for a good meal and some German beer.  He had his own table there.

Once a month I would buy the various bodybuilding magazines and bring them to the gym.  When I came in the gym I would go into Sig's office and drop them on his desk. Sometimes I would say your in this one. He would just shrug. Sig would look at them and later return them to me in the lockeroom.  I would say well, what did you learn from them this month?  He would look at me and roll his eyes.

Tom

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jpm101
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« Reply #84 on: March 22, 2014, 10:01:52 AM »

Great stuff, always a pleasure to learn about the history of lifting or anything else for that matter.

Did Sig give any special instructions for training the abs, obliques and lower back?

Read once that some men, getting ready for the NYPD academy, would train at Sig's. Believe they had to DB press a 100lbs and other such lifts to pass the physical part of the police test.

Thanks again for all the stories about back in the day.
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funk51
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« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2014, 12:20:18 PM »

Great stuff, always a pleasure to learn about the history of lifting or anything else for that matter.

Did Sig give any special instructions for training the abs, obliques and lower back?

Read once that some men, getting ready for the NYPD academy, would train at Sig's. Believe they had to DB press a 100lbs and other such lifts to pass the physical part of the police test.

Thanks again for all the stories about back in the day.
i read that article too, i think the passing grade was 40 lbs one arm db press and 80 was a perfect score along with other strength and speed tests.
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funk51
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« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2014, 01:26:00 PM »

question for you tom. i was just on the ironhistory.com site, and they were discussing if sig klein actually had barbell plates with his name on them, and if he did  were they for sale on the  retail market. the stark center actually has some klein plates they came in sizes 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 lbs. Huh Huh Huh
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tom67
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« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2014, 04:02:26 PM »

Great stuff, always a pleasure to learn about the history of lifting or anything else for that matter.

Did Sig give any special instructions for training the abs, obliques and lower back?

Read once that some men, getting ready for the NYPD academy, would train at Sig's. Believe they had to DB press a 100lbs and other such lifts to pass the physical part of the police test.

Thanks again for all the stories about back in the day.

Glade you like my comments.  I will be seventy this year and I was one of the youngest members of the gym.  Most others were ten or fifteen years older and probably not with us now.  I am trying to keep the memory of the gym alive and dispel any miscomceptions.

Sig trained his new comers with a the standard exercises including sit ups, leg raises, and side bends.  No direst lower back work that I ever saw.

I don't remember seeing any police men training for the police academy.  Maybe he did train them before my time. I have a brief story about a member who became a policeman while training at Sigs.
I'll write about him another day.

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2014, 04:11:01 PM »

question for you tom. i was just on the ironhistory.com site, and they were discussing if sig klein actually had barbell plates with his name on them, and if he did  were they for sale on the  retail market. the stark center actually has some klein plates they came in sizes 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 lbs. Huh Huh Huh

No not during my 10 years at Sigs.  May have been years before.  In fact when the gym closed Sig cleaned out his storage closets and no plates came out that I saw.  If I saw them I would have asked Sig if I could buy one.  What a great souvenir that would have made.

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #89 on: March 22, 2014, 04:23:19 PM »

Sig told me a incident the happened at noon time.  I husky fellow came in to the gym and asked Sig if he could take a workout. Sig said OK and charged the appropiate fee. The fellow said he worked construction and decided to workout on his lunch hour.  Sig said I hope you didn't eat lunch. The fellow said don't worry about it working out is not any harder than construction.  Well, he worked out for about twenty minutes when Sig saw him sitting on a bench very pale,sweating and shaking.  Sig quickly ushered him into the bathroom where he promply thre
w up.  Ashort time later he came out without his attitude and left the gym.  I guess he had lunch.  He was refered to as 'throw up guy".

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2014, 03:58:37 PM »

At one point a Sigs i was talking to a fellow who worked for NYC as a social worker.  He was telling me about his job and the problems he was having.  He said he was sick and tired of being abused and even physically attacked across his desk.  He had enough.  He said I am going to be a cop so I can carry a gun.  I was surprised at this.  He was gone from the gym for a couple of months but when he returned he was a cop.  I don't know were he took his strength test to become a cop, but it was not at Sig's gym.  Ah, of course he already was strong he trained a Sigs!  I should mention one other thing about this fellow. After twenty years as a police officer he retired. On the day he retired he saved a couple of people from a burning building.  His picture and an article praised him in a New York newspaper.

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2014, 04:09:38 PM »

One evening Sig was interviewing a possible new client  in his office.  After the interview Sig called me into his office and said did you see the person that left.  I said yes.  Well he said at the end of the interview I leaned across my desk and said "tell me one thing are you a man or a woman?"  The person said can't you tell?  Sig said "no".  The person said "I am a woman."   Sig said I am very sorry but I don"t have accomadations for woman.  The person left without a problem.  All I can say is, this is New York City you never know what to expect.

Tom
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Montague
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« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2014, 04:28:17 PM »

One evening Sig was interviewing a possible new client  in his office.  After the interview Sig called me into his office and said did you see the person that left.  I said yes.  Well he said at the end of the interview I leaned across my desk and said "tell me one thing are you a man or a woman?"  The person said can't you tell?  Sig said "no".  The person said "I am a woman."   Sig said I am very sorry but I don"t have accomadations for woman.  The person left without a problem.  All I can say is, this is New York City you never know what to expect.

Tom


He, ha...
These days, a business owner will get sued for something like that!!
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tom67
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« Reply #93 on: March 24, 2014, 04:24:42 PM »

One evening I walked into the gym and before I could walk ten steps Sig came out of his office hands on hips, looking a bit angry and said in a annoyed voice where were you this afternoon?  I looked at him surprised wondering that did I do. I said calmly I was working.  Sig replied I needed you here today.  He then explained the boys from York were here to do an article on finger and hand strength.  I would have used you to demonstrate hand gripping as an excercise.  I said if I new that I would have taken a day off.  Sig replied he knew they were coming but  not what day. Sig used another fellow name Jerry.  Jerry a very nice guy would at times run the gym for Sig if he had other business.  
I guess I missed my big chance for fame. Oh well.
The article was in Muscular Development April 1965 with a lot of good hints for building finger and hand strength.  Also with 7 photos of Sig demonstrating various exercises.

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #94 on: March 24, 2014, 04:43:10 PM »

Another client of Sig's gym was a fellow who wanted to loose some weight.  He wore a loose fitting rubber full body suit.  The idea was to induce sweating.  It worked and he was about to prove it.  He was talking to another gym member when he pulled the suit away from his ankle.  Sweat flowed out like a faucet all over Sig,s carpet.  Sig saw that he did and had a fit.  He told him to get the damn suit off and never use it here again.  He also told him to take it off in the shower.  Some members started to laugh and had to walk away before Sig saw them.

Tom

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tom67
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« Reply #95 on: April 01, 2014, 04:22:40 PM »

Well, I'am running out of funny happenings at Sigs gym. However there were many amusing incidents that took place over the years that were minor but not real standouts in my memory.  You would have to  been there to appreciate them.  However one incident I will relate now.

A minor broadway actor named Alex worked out there.  He was absent from the gym for a few months at one point.  When he returned I said long time no see.  He replied in his rich voice I'm working again.  Alex now had long hair and a bushy black beard.  He also had a habit of practicing his stage lines out loud.  He would stop his exercise and practice his lines and then continue his set.  This really annoyed Sig.  Sig would holler loudly for Alex to shut up.  Alex would ignore Sig until he completed his lines and then would just laugh.  He did have a wonderfull voice.

Tom
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« Reply #96 on: April 02, 2014, 09:26:30 AM »

One evening I walked into the gym and before I could walk ten steps Sig came out of his office hands on hips, looking a bit angry and said in a annoyed voice where were you this afternoon?  I looked at him surprised wondering that did I do. I said calmly I was working.  Sig replied I needed you here today.  He then explained the boys from York were here to do an article on finger and hand strength.  I would have used you to demonstrate hand gripping as an excercise.  I said if I new that I would have taken a day off.  Sig replied he knew they were coming but  not what day. Sig used another fellow name Jerry.  Jerry a very nice guy would at times run the gym for Sig if he had other business.  
I guess I missed my big chance for fame. Oh well.
The article was in Muscular Development April 1965 with a lot of good hints for building finger and hand strength.  Also with 7 photos of Sig demonstrating various exercises.

Tom
now you went and made me look it up. it was on page 38 of that issue stan brice was on the cover. fellows name was jerry pelto.
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tom67
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« Reply #97 on: April 02, 2014, 04:07:41 PM »

now you went and made me look it up. it was on page 38 of that issue stan brice was on the cover. fellows name was jerry pelto.

Jerry was a very nice guy and always seemed to be there when Sig needed him. He was familiar with the operation and everyone liked him.  Oh, by the way did you read the article?

Tom
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tom67
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« Reply #98 on: April 02, 2014, 04:27:38 PM »

Another actor named Mike Baseleon worked out at Sigs. He was known as the golden greek.  He always had a great tan. Let me tell you of a interesting incident between Mike, myself and Sig.

Besides working out at Sigs I worked out at a midtown YMCA.  I went there to practice some Olympic lifting.  On one occassion at the Y Mike saw me and came over and said don't tell Sig you saw me here. I said I won't.  A week or so later Sig said to me why are you going to the Y?  I was very surprised he knew.  I told him the reason and he was very concerned I would leave his gym.  I explained I had no intention to leave and he seemed satisfied.  I never told Sig that Mike also was at the Y.  I though about how Sig found out.  Did Mike tell him?  No, Mike didn't want Sig to know either.  I then thought there must have been a third party at the gym who saw me. I never tried to find out who told Sig.  He probably would not have told me anyway.  The whole incident was forgotten and life went on as usual. Mike was as friendly as ever and I did not want to change that.
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funk51
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« Reply #99 on: April 03, 2014, 08:02:16 AM »

Jerry was a very nice guy and always seemed to be there when Sig needed him. He was familiar with the operation and everyone liked him.  Oh, by the way did you read the article?

Tom
no, but i will now that you called me on it. pics were good though. showed sig doing beam holds from the ceiling and other innovations to develope the grip.
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