TERRY & JAN TODD

Dr Terry Todd is a former national weightlifting champion who went on to win the first national powerlifting championships in the superheavyweight division.  He also co-founded the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports is the co-editor of Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture, and is the creator and director of the Arnold Strongman Classic. Todd has also had a career as a journalist on the staff of Sports Illustrated magazine, as well as doing commentary for CBS, NBC, ESPN and National Public Radio. He has written five books and over 500 articles in the field of physical culture. He lives with his wife Jan on a ranch outside of Austin, Texas with their bullmastiffs.

 

Terry Todd began training with weights in 1956 and won the Junior Nationals in Olympic weightlifting in 1963. He then turned to Powerlifting and won the first national championships in 1964 and, in 1965, the first official Senior Nationals. At the 1965 Nationals, Todd became the first man to squat 700 lbs. in competition, although the actual weight was in fact 710 lbs. at a bodyweight of 335 lbs. Dr Todd then became the first man to total 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 pounds in competition. His best official lifts were: a 720-pound squat, a 515-pound bench press, and a 742-pound deadlift.  Todd retired from competition in 1967.

 

Todd was directly involved in the development of the sport of women's powerlifting. He helped his wife Jan Todd organize the first national women's meet in 1977, and coached the women's Canadian team, with Jan, from 1976-1979.  In 1977, when the World Powerlifting Championships were televised in the USA for the first time, Todd was the colour commentator for NBC. In the following few years, he also did colour commentary for national and international powerlifting events for NBC, CBS, ESPN, and the BBC, some of which involved women's powerlifting. He also created a TV show called The Strongest Man in Football, which was nationally televised for three years.

 

In 1977, Todd published the first major book about powerlifting, called Inside Powerlifting. The book profiled seven of the leading powerlifters of that period, one of whom was his wife, Jan Todd. Todd covered the major national and international powerlifting events during the 1970s and 1980s for such magazines as Muscular Development and Iron Man.  He also helped to introduce powerlifting to a larger audience through his articles in Sports Illustrated, profiling such lifters as Lamar Gant, Bill Kazmaier, Larry Pacifico, and Jan Todd.

 

In 1966 Todd received his doctorate from the University of Texas. Once he stopped competing, he became a college professor in 1967 at Auburn University. Todd taught at several universities in both the United States and Canada before finally returning to the University of Texas 35 years ago. Todd retired from the classroom several years ago and is currently the Director of the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports, a 33,000-square-foot library/museum, housed in the football stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

 

The Stark Center contains more than 40,000 books as well as photos, films, magazines, letters, training courses, videotapes, posters, paintings, and artefacts. The collection covers the history of competitive lifting, professional strongmen and strong women, sports nutrition, bodybuilding, naturopathy, conditioning for athletes, drug use in sports and alternative medicine.


In 2001, Todd was asked by Arnold Schwarzenegger to create a Strongman contest for the Arnold Sports Festival, which is held annually in Columbus, Ohio. This competition is known as the Arnold Strongman Classic and is considered to be the most prestigious contest in the Strongman sport. Through the years, Todd has been inducted into a number of Halls of Fame and honorary organizations in the field, including The US Powerlifting Federation Hall of Fame, the USA Powerlifting Federation Women’s Hall of Fame, the Association of Oldtime Barbell and Strongmen, and received the Al Roy Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, and the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation Award for contributions to Physical Culture. , He is also recognized as a “legend” by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association and is in the National Fitness Association Hall of Fame. 
 

Dr Jan Todd, the Roy J. McLean Fellow in Sports History, is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Jan directs the Physical Culture and Sports Management faculty in her department and teaches classes in sports history, history of physical culture and,  sport and ethics. An active lecturer, Todd was named the Seward Staley Honor Lecturer for the North American Society for Sports History (NASSH) in 2008, and the D.B. Dill Lecturer for the American College of Sports Medicine in 1998. She received the NASSH Honor Award (with her husband, Terry) for her contributions to the field of sports history in 2013.  She is currently president of the North American Society for Sports History and was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology in 2011,  the most prestigious honour in her field.

Todd serves as co-editor of Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture, a scholarly journal covering the history of physical culture, and has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles during her academic career.  She is currently working on a book on the history of the strength coaching profession with husband Terry Todd and former student Dr Jason Shurley, that is scheduled for publication in 2019 by University of Texas Press.   She has also written dozens of popular articles on training, competition reports, and women and strength training.  Her two earlier books are Physical Culture and the Body Beautiful: Purposive Exercise in the Lives of American Women (Mercer University Press, 1998), and Lift Your Way to Youthful Fitness (Little-Brown, 1985, with Terry Todd).

With her husband, Terry Todd, Jan Todd co-founded the H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports and directs many of the day-to-day operations of the Center and its affiliated PhD program in Physical Culture and Sports Studies.  The Stark Center, which opened in 2009, contains museum exhibits and an extensive research library that is generally considered to be the largest public archive in the world devoted to the study of physical fitness, strength, resistance training, conditioning for athletes, and alternative medicine.

Recognized as a pioneer in the history of women and weight training, Dr Todd’s interest in the study of sport and physical culture was galvanized by her personal participation and success in the sport of powerlifting. During her career, many publications—including Sports Illustrated magazine – described her as “the strongest woman in the world.” As a powerlifter, Todd set more than 60 national and world records (in five weight classes) and was included in the Guinness Book of Records for over a decade.  She was the first woman to total 1000, 1100 and 1200 pounds, and the first woman to officially lift 400 pounds in the deadlift and 500 pounds in the squat. She was also the first woman to lift the Dinnie Stones in Scotland, and in the late 1970s and 1980s appeared on dozens of TV shows, including The Tonight Show, I’ve Got a Secret, CBS Sports Spectacular, and the Guinness World Record shows. Todd was also the first woman inducted into the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame and was inducted into the first class of the USA-PL Women’s Powerlifting Hall of Fame. She received the 2008 Oscar Heidenstam Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the field of physical fitness and has also been honoured by the Oldetime Barbell and Strongmen Association and The National Fitness Hall of Fame for her contributions to the strength sports. 

In addition to her lifting career, Todd served as head of both the USPF and IPF women’s committees and helped write the original rules for women’s participation in the sport. She was also the first woman to coach a men’s national team at the IPF World Championships. In recent years, she has assisted her husband Terry Todd in the organization of the Arnold Strongman Classic and the Rogue Record Breakers competitions at the Arnold Sports Festival and has worked with Rogue Fitness, Sansom Media, and her husband Terry as producer on a series of  historical documentaries that include Levantadores (https://www.facebook.com/roguefitness/videos/10155534194139460/) about stone lifting in the Basque region of Northern Spain; Stoneland,  (which explores the strength culture of Scotland and Dr Todd’s historic lifting of the Dinnie Stones (https://www.facebook.com/roguefitness/videos/10155534194139460/);   and a new series of videos called The Legends Series that profile strongmen Eugen Sandow; Louis Uni knew as  Apollon; and coming later in the spring of 2018, George Hackenschmidt.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nPD2__e0E&t=930s

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The International Sports Hall of Fame (aka ISHOF and SPORTSHOF) is a non-profit foundation established to honor the world’s greatest athlete legends in all sports. Founded by Dr. Robert Goldman. The induction ceremonies are held annually every March at the Arnold Sports Festival.