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  1. #1
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    I've heard of the Roman Chair, but does anyone know what a Roman Column is?

    I've been checking through SandowPlus and old-time strength blogs out of curiosity to see who teaches pullups and what they call them (anything to avoid actually exercising) and came across this oddity. Does anyone know what it is?



    The only mention I could find on the site it was on was this:
    Professor Attila -- real name Louis Durlacher -- was the mentor of Eugen Sandow and the man who invented many of the feats of strength that we know of today: The Roman Column, The Roman Chair, supporting feats in the human bridge position and tearing packs of playing cards.

    It was Attiila's idea to make globe barbells and dumbbells shot-loadable so that their weight could be adjusted.

    Attila invented the bent-press and was the first man to perform the lift with over 200 pounds
    The chair seems well known, but no idea what this 'column' thing is. Thinking maybe it'd be good to make a wiki for odd terms like that. The best I can tell it looks like the guy is dangling upside down with chains around his calves and either balancing on or preparing to pull up a pair of kettlebells. Seems incredibly dangerous.

    Did people do stuff like this before lat pulldowns? It's hard to believe it had much of a benefit.
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    My gf and I used something like that once....
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    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Found another interesting one. A "Roman Board" which supports the calves while standing to do a "Roman Squat" which looks like it helps emphasize the quadriceps or something kinda like a sissy squat.

    Really makes me curious how this 'roman' naming began. Never heard of them training like this in Rome.
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    Originally Posted by smokinal View Post
    My gf and I used something like that once....
    video or it didnt happen
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    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Chicks do this, here's proof:


    They just use softer material, not iron chains the the iron men of old did.
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    gym comes from the greek word gymnasium.so there you go,
    the greeks had been building and excercising in gyms from 500 bc onwards.
    the romans didnt believe in excercising,they felt army training and marching all day was enough.
    it was not until much later during roman times when they where stealing everything greek,that they even built a gym.
    im thinking anything excercise related should be referred to as greek this or greek that,not roman.
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    They just use softer material, not iron chains the the iron men of old did.
    I used to see the track team girls doing this stuff years ago in college. At that time, I always wondered what the hell it was.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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    Does any one know where I can find online the plans for the Roman Column or the Roman Board?


    It's either Super strenght by Alan Clavert or Physical Training Simplified by Mark H.Berry that gives you the need details on how to transition safely from doing situps on the floor to doing Roman Column work.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Bladerunner1811 View Post
    Does any one know where I can find online the plans for the Roman Column or the Roman Board? It's either Super strenght by Alan Clavert or Physical Training Simplified by Mark H.Berry that gives you the need details on how to transition safely from doing situps on the floor to doing Roman Column work.
    I'd love to find these too. I can only guess so much based on the illustrations. To collect them:

    Board:
    Column:

    Actually had to mull over why it was called a board until I realized looking closer that it was a solid piece. It looks like you'd need a foot strap to hold your foot in place, both to prevent your foot from sliding forward and also to prevent the top of the foot from rising so you don't tilt backward and keep the toes planted.

    The ab strength required to do a backbend on that board must be tremendous.

    So you think they also do ab work on the column? Looking at it, it's still kinda hard to figure out what it's for, I almost thought it might be used to do inverted pullovers or something, mimicking a straight-arm pulldown in the days before setting up pulleys became affordable.

    I guess you could also do inverted situps in those too. Kind of like dem Nazy seals


    Though I wonder how comfortable this roman pillar was, those metal clamps look about as comfortable as something like this:


    Also can anyone see what's holding this guy's legs?

    Caption says it's situps but am thinking it might actually be a backflip shot.
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Also can anyone see what's holding this guy's legs? Caption says it's situps but am thinking it might actually be a backflip shot.
    That, my dear friend, is an ancient bit o' history called a backyard clothesline -- one half of it. For hundreds of years, this lo-tech modern marvel was used by those families of yesteryear who didn't want/couldn't afford/never heard of ... an electrically motivated clothes dryer. This version uses the sun and wind for drying yer undies, a forward look into the current trend of "Alternative Energy Sources".

    When it wasn't "laundry day" at Grandma's house, this clever device could double as a tent pole, a shiny knight of steel to defeat in a sword fight, or even ... gym equipment.
    Last edited by mrmrbill; 03-18-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Ah okay, I thought maybe it was a clothes-line but was thinking in terms of a single line and thought "there's no way you could balance on that", but when you show the multiple lines I guess I could see how yo ucould balance on that...

    Though I didn't figure those things could bear much weight. Although that guy looks pretty light.

    But anyway, I can't actually see any lines in the photo. Are they invisible?
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Though I didn't figure those things could bear much weight. Although that guy looks pretty light.
    Eh, wet clothes can get pretty hefty when you throw big cotton sheets and denim jeans into the mix. Also, the one in your photo looks like an older, stout steel one rather than the newer aluminum frame in the illustration I posted.

    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    But anyway, I can't actually see any lines in the photo. Are they invisible?
    Removable or retractable for safety. Else folks running around in the yard accidentally hit them, usually head or neck first. This causes an abrupt impairment of physical direction, hence the very appropriate name, "clotheslining".

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    If you don't have a problem drilling into your floor, you can anchor nylon webbing to an eye bolt for the roman board.

    Presumably the advantage to roman column pull-upside-downs (?) is working with the direct load, versus lightening the load with a pulley. If anyone can elaborate -- revive the "Universal/Nautilus SUCKS" debate, I'd be curious to be convinced that under equalized net loads, direct loading is "better."

    Presumably the advantage to a situp on a roman column vs hanging by your ankles is that your hamstrings are engaged, which locks out your quads, which further stresses your abs (a straight-leg roman chair encourages cheating by shifting the load from your abs to your quads.) But if you really don't like yourself very much, you can hang by your ankles, pull yourself up by your ankles, then do a crunch -- then hold it. That's one rep. And if you really, really don't like yourself, you can hold dumbbells while doing it.

    The roman column as illustrated seems to have two planks to trap the feet -- which means leverage -- which means cheating. Upside-down situps on many inversion tables allow you to push your butt against the backing, which to me also means cheating. Upside-down situps from suspended ankles, especially with flexed hams, is pure torture, no icing. Holding it isometrically probably just increases the pain more than actually benefiting you or your abs or your hams very much -- unless you feel like holding that position, right-side-up, on stage in competitions, which may not have been tried yet.

    Back to that eye bolt in the floor thing: forget I said anything. I'm going to market it -- $0.50 eyebolt, $1.00 webbing = my very own $200 p91x(tm) program. Call now, operators are standing by.
    Last edited by theregoesmyback; 03-19-2012 at 10:31 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    Removable or retractable for safety. Else folks running around in the yard accidentally hit them, usually head or neck first.
    Yeah but if they were retracted/removed they couldn't be holding the guy's legs up, thus the 'this is a freeze-frame of a back flip' theory.

    Originally Posted by theregoesmyback View Post
    Presumably the advantage to roman column pull-upside-downs (?) is working with the direct load, versus lightening the load with a pulley. If anyone can elaborate -- revive the "Universal/Nautilus SUCKS" debate, I'd be curious to be convinced that under equalized net loads, direct loading is "better."
    I'm not really sure what the difference would be, having trouble understanding this dichotomy.

    As far as I know, pulleys don't lighten loads unless you're using the more complex mobile pulley systems which can halve/third/quarter it. A basic pulley just redirects the angle, and if it has friction may even make it require more force to lift.

    Originally Posted by theregoesmyback View Post
    Presumably the advantage to a situp on a roman column vs hanging by your ankles is that your hamstrings are engaged, which locks out your quads, which further stresses your abs (a straight-leg roman chair encourages cheating by shifting the load from your abs to your quads.)
    Let's just say rectus femoris instead of quads The vasti aren't involved after all.
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Yeah but if they were retracted/removed they couldn't be holding the guy's legs up, thus the 'this is a freeze-frame of a back flip' theory.
    You've managed to simultaneously over-and-underthink this. I haven't seen this rare achievement since the Athenian Expedition to Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War. The individual clotheslines aren't in the shot simply because ... they aren't in the shot. If they weren't retracted/removed, they would cause an obstructive condition called "In The Way". "In The Way" acts as a barrier to performance. Accomplishments are few when things are allowed to get "In The Way". To facilitate the opposite condition of "In The Way", i.e. "Not In The Way" or "Out Of The Way", the lines are removed to enable one's legs to curl around 1/2 of the horizontal portion of the T-frame.
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    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    You've managed to simultaneously over-and-underthink this. I haven't seen this rare achievement since the Athenian Expedition to Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War. The individual clotheslines aren't in the shot simply because ... they aren't in the shot. If they weren't retracted/removed, they would cause an obstructive condition called "In The Way". "In The Way" acts as a barrier to performance. Accomplishments are few when things are allowed to get "In The Way". To facilitate the opposite condition of "In The Way", i.e. "Not In The Way" or "Out Of The Way", the lines are removed to enable one's legs to curl around 1/2 of the horizontal portion of the T-frame.
    lol,clothes line and over thinking.
    what did the athenians call these since there where no romans at the time.etruscan chairs.
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    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    You've managed to simultaneously over-and-underthink this. I haven't seen this rare achievement since the Athenian Expedition to Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War. The individual clotheslines aren't in the shot simply because ... they aren't in the shot. If they weren't retracted/removed, they would cause an obstructive condition called "In The Way". "In The Way" acts as a barrier to performance. Accomplishments are few when things are allowed to get "In The Way". To facilitate the opposite condition of "In The Way", i.e. "Not In The Way" or "Out Of The Way", the lines are removed to enable one's legs to curl around 1/2 of the horizontal portion of the T-frame.
    Your mention of 'T-frame' made me finally understand this. I was picturing just a vertical bar, didn't process the horizantal one there. Now I understand how he's straddling the pole...

    It makes me wonder just how much the vertical strut is jamming into his perineum?

    Originally Posted by tomsfish View Post
    what did the athenians call these since there where no romans at the time.etruscan chairs.
    Well we don't know if athenians had these guys of devices, although I found an interesting tidbit which might apply...

    http://www.teeter-inversion.com/inversion-history.asp
    Originally Posted by 400BC

    Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, hoists up a patient on a ladder with a series of ropes and pulleys to harness the force gravity in an effort to stretch his patients and relieve their ailments.
    I don't know for sure, but perhaps Hippo's patients did inverted crunches/situps and back extensions while being hung on the ladder?
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    Originally Posted by tomsfish View Post
    what did the athenians call these since there where no romans at the time.etruscan chairs.
    The Etruscans were a lazy lot, somewhat above real strenuous exertion. Pro'ly why they got their butts kicked or surrendered a lot. One of the first languages with unpronounced syllables, they couldn't even be bothered with speaking half the letters in their own words -- that's just plain lazy. Leisurely as they were, you'd expect they'd have invented the ottoman, but in an epic display of sloth, waited 2500 years for the Ottomans to invent the ottoman.

    Surely they had no need for Etrusco-Roman Chairs
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    Originally Posted by Tyciol View Post
    Your mention of 'T-frame' made me finally understand this. I was picturing just a vertical bar, didn't process the horizantal one there. Now I understand how he's straddling the pole...

    It makes me wonder just how much the vertical strut is jamming into his perineum?
    Perineum blockage alleviated: he's not on the unused half of the horizontal portion of the T-frame that he isn't using. He's only on the 1/2 of the T-frame of which he is using.

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    for more informations it is guide of bodybuilding beginners
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    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    The Etruscans were a lazy lot, you'd expect they'd have invented the ottoman, but in an epic display of sloth, waited 2500 years for the Ottomans to invent the ottoman.
    I just read this comic about Vlad the Impaler, apparently the Ottomans taught him a lot about how to please women.

    Yet they might have turned his little brother bicurious, so Vlad was mad. That's why he invented the Wallachian Deadlift.

    Originally Posted by mrmrbill View Post
    Perineum blockage alleviated: he's not on the unused half of the horizontal portion of the T-frame that he isn't using. He's only on the 1/2 of the T-frame of which he is using.
    I regret I lack the intelligence to interpret your grabs: but since his leg would stop his knee from being centered over the bar, I figure the off-set weight would force him to rotate around until the pole stopped him by jamming into the ridge between the folds of his max glutei.
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