en Robert B. Snyder <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="520" height="372" /></p> <div class="blog2">There have been more than a few great strongmen who are not giants. A perfect example is Robert B. Snyder of Hagerstown, Maryland. As a boy he was inspired by the strongman from the Forepaugh &amp; Sells circus and began training by lifting barrels and stones. He also taught himself hand balancing - something which he would become exceptionally good at. <br><br> At the age of 14 (weighing 116 pounds) Snyder lifted his first barbell -- a MILO barbell owned by a local strongman. Shortly afterward, Snyder began following MILO barbell course #1 and showed tremendous improvement... so much so that he was featured in Bernarr MacFadden's Physical Culture Magazine as well as Alan Calvert's STRENGTH Magazine. <br><br> At his heaviest, Snyder weighed only 139 pounds yet was incredibly strong easily performing multiple one-arm chins with each hand as well as lifting poundages well above bodyweight. Above, Snyder performs the one-arm get up lift with a human weight.</div> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 21:00:18 +0000 jtwood 1450 at Stone Lifting in Ancient Greece <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="443" height="443" /></p> <div class="blog2">Every ancient culture has evidence of stone lifting as a method of physical preparation. The Ancient Greeks, for example, often portrayed stone lifting and other athletic events on their pottery.<br><br> This image adorned a vase and dates to about 450BC and shows a young man lifting a smaller stone in either hand. It is said that this image shows the "weightlifting" event at the very first Olympic games, stones weighing as much as 300 lbs. were said to have been used in the contest. </div> Mon, 28 Nov 2016 19:09:13 +0000 jtwood 1449 at Bruce White - Rafter Pinch Grip Chin Ups <p><img src="" style="border: 1px solid black; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="433" height="720" /></p> <div class="blog2"> It would be impressive to be able to hold your bodyweight off the ground by pinch gripping rafters but far beyond that is doing an actual pullup with that kind of grip. Here Australian Grip Master Bruce White does just that -- and this was just a warmup -- White could perform same with additional weight tied to his waist!</div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 22:11:33 +0000 jtwood 1448 at John Y. Smith <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="465" height="600" /></p> <div class="blog2">John Y. Smith was a great strongman in the New England area in the early 1900's. Among his many impressive feats were a right hand bent-press of 275-1/2 pounds (which broke Louis Cyr's mark) and a left hand bent-press of 248 pounds (Which stood as an American record for many years.) It was said that Smith's hands resembled "Iron Claws" due to his extensive training with Thick Bars.</div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 22:01:06 +0000 jtwood 1447 at Warren Lincoln Travis' Challenge <p><img src="" width="520" height="776" /></p> <div class="blog2">If you wanted to win the Richard K. Fox Heavyweight Strongman Champiionship Belt you had to beat Warren Lincoln Travis at his own game in a challenge match.<br><br> Here's the list of Travis' ten strength challenges: <div style="margin: 20px;"> 1. 100 lb.barbell brought from the floor with both hands, pressed overhead with both hands, while seated(thirty seconds). <br><br> 2. Pair of ninety pound weights brought from side of body to shoulders, then slowly pressing to arm's lengh over the head. <br><br> 3. Teeth Lift from floor, hands behind back, 350 lbs. <br><br> 4. 350 lbs. from floor with one finger, eight times in five seconds. <br><br> 5. One finger lift from floor, 560 lbs. once. <br><br> 6. Two-hand grip lift, straddling the weight from floor, 700 lbs. twenty times in ten seconds. <br><br> 7. Hand and knee lift from floor, 1600 lbs. once. <br><br> 8. Back lift, 3660 lbs. once. <br><br> 9. Harness lift, 3580 lbs. once. <br><br> 10. 2000 lb. back lift, 250 times, seven minutes. </div> (Did I mention all these lifts must be accomplished in 30 minutes or less if you want to win the belt?)</div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 21:32:45 +0000 jtwood 1446 at Roy Hilligenn - 1951 Mr. America <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="520" height="785" /></p> <div class="blog2">South African Roy Hilligenn, seen above on the cover of the September/October 1951 issue of Iron Man magazine was the AAU Mr. America that same year. Hilligen was a tremendous all-around "iron athlete" -- As a bodybuilder, he won the Mr. South Africa title in 1943, 1944, 1946 and 1976 as well as Mr. Northern California (1949), Mr. Pacific Coast (1949), and The World’s Most Muscular Man (1952). Hilligenn was the shortest man to ever win the AAU Mr. Anerica title (at 5'6").<br><br> As an Olympic lifter, Hilligenn was the first South African to Clean and Jerk double body weight. <br><br> His lifts in 1946 were Press: 245 pounds, Snatch: 255 Pounds and Clean &amp; Jerk: 321 pounds. In the early 1950's, and weighing just 173 pounds, Hilligen unofficially equaled the world record in the Clean &amp; Jerk with a lift of 375 pounds. He actually finished second in the 1951 National championships to Norbert Schemansky.<br><br> Hilligen eventually Clean &amp; Jerked 405 at a slightly heavier body weight, which was an unofficial world record at the time. It was voted as one of the greatest "lifts" of all time. Hilligenn also "cleaned" a pair of 142-pound dumbbells (but did not press them) at Ed Yarick's Gym in Oakland, California in the 50's. <br><br> Interestingly, Roy Hilligenn was also a life-long vegetarian and claimed to have never eaten meat ever.</div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:27:13 +0000 jtwood 1445 at The Iron Cross <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="520" height="667" /></p> <div class="blog2">Much of the origins of strength training and physical culture come from gymnastics. The Iron Cross as performed on gymnastic rings, is one of the most impressive gymnastic feats. It takes a great deal of strength and plenty of skill to perform The Iron Cross properly. <br><br>The fellow above, Albert Azaryan was a Armenian gymnast who competed internationally for the Soviet Union. Azaryan is the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Champion on the still rings and the first ever gymnast to become an Olympic Champion in Rings twice. Azaryan actually originated a variation of the Iron Cross which was eventually named for him, which incorporates a very difficult quarter turn to the side, a simply mind boggling display of shoulder strength </div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 20:03:45 +0000 jtwood 1444 at 1953 NABBA Mr. Universe Contest <p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="" width="520" height="386" /></p> <div class="blog2">It's common knowledge that Bill Pearl handily won the 1953 NABBA (National Amateur Body-Builders' Association) Mr. Universe contest but what most people don't realize is that also competing in the contest was a young fellow from Scotland by the name of Sean Connery -- yes THAT Sean Connery! James Bond himself is fourth from the left in the above picture in the white trunks. FYI, he did not place in the top five in the tall class. </div> Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:07:11 +0000 jtwood 1443 at Marvin Eder's Bench Press <img src="" width="520" height="377" /> <div class="blog2">Here's Marvin Eder bench pressing what looks like every plate in the gym -- 430 lbs. if you add 'em all up. This was back in 1952 and Eder was just 19 years of age at the time. Eder eventually went on to bench press 515 lbs. </div> Fri, 18 Nov 2016 19:31:21 +0000 jtwood 1442 at Muscle Builder, April 1954 <p><img src="" width="520" height="671" /></p> <div class="blog2">A look at the April, 1954 issue of Muscle Builder magazine with Jack Delinger on the cover. Notice that this was the "Giant He-Man issue." Delinger (who was once a skinny weakling) was only a few years away from winning the Mr. Universe title.</div> Sun, 13 Nov 2016 19:49:58 +0000 jtwood 1441 at