National Fitness Hall of Fame Museum & Institute

Educate * Motivate * Inspire

Bob Hoffman

2005 NFHOF Inaugural Inductee

“The Father of World Weightlifting”

Born:  November 9, 1898

Died:  July 18, 1985

Hometown: York, PA


Bob Hoffman probably did more to popularize the use of weights than any other person in the history of the Iron Game.  His York Barbell Co., Strength & Health magazine and other publications introduced millions to the benefits of weight training, exercise and sound diet.  Through his recruiting and coaching he took the US Weightlifting Team from relative minor leaguers in the early 1930's to legitimate contenders for the World title by the end of the decade and to winning 3 Olympic Team titles after WWII. 

His tireless advocacy for weight training helped to destroy the myths about the sport and make weight training an accepted conditioning method for athletes in every sport.  His marketing of protein supplements was responsible for creating a huge industry.  He proclaimed himself “The Father of American Weightlifting” but it would be hard to imagine anyone who more richly deserved that title.

Hoffman was a decorated World War I veteran and an author of a number of books, including "How to be Strong, Healthy, and Happy" and "I Remember the Last War".