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Montana's "Black Lion" Gives Full Credit to STRONGFORTISM for His Marvelous Strength

Another fantastic "oldtime muscle course" advertisement: in 1927, Fred Van Norstran gambled the price of a stamp, and sent away for the famed Lionel Strongfort "Strongfortism" course... a short time later he ended up as Montana's strongest man. Not only that, but his daughter, Pearl, who watched her father engage in these physical training lessons, eventually followed suit and learned to perform amazing feats of strength in her own right.

"If you seek great muscular strength or just plain good health, STRONGFORTISM will show you the way!"

P.A. Linebarger

Hang on to your hat because what follows is strongman tale like no other: Above you'll see Mr. P.A. Linebarger, late of San Francisco, California, bending a steel bar in his teeth. Suth a feat is, of course, not an uncommon site amongst strongmen, especially the Vaudeville-type, which Linebarger was... but this image was not actually intended to showcase muscular strength, but instead the fact that Linebarger could now continue to perform this feat thanks to the nifty new set of false teeth fashioned for him by the highly unusual dentist "Painless" Parker! Also, check out the forearms, pretty impressive. 

Fred Lony and his 22 Chairs

One of the featured attractions at Tom Arnold's London Circus during the 1950's was Fred Lony, of Latvia, and his 22 chairs.  As shown in the rather amazing image above, Mr. Lony could balance all 22 chairs in his mouth at once ~ a pretty awesome feat in more ways than one. FYI: each chair weighed nine pounds.

Freddy Ortiz

Freddy Ortiz is proof that someone doesn't have to be a giant to be physically impressive.  He was was just over five feet tall but sported one of the best upper bodies in the business, maybe even ever. Freddy, seen above on the cover of the November, 1965 cover of Mr. America magazine finished in the top three of every content he ever entered, taking first in the short class of the 1962 IFBB Mr. Universe and the 1963 and 1964 IFBB Mr. America and 1966 IFBB Mr. Eastern America bodybuilding contests. Freddy often trained at Vince's Gym.

Incidently, in this issue, you'll find the article "Secrets of Arm Wrestling" by Mac Batchelor.

Ricardo Nelson, Acclaimed "The World's Strongest Man" Postcard

Ricardo "The Swedish Lion" makes his second appearance in our blog, on this occasion, we have an extremely rare postcard showcasing a few of his unique feats of strength: bending a horseshoe in his teeth, scrolling a long steel bar around his leg and breaking a thick rope with leg power alone.

The Human Vise's Engine Block

Many Oldtime Strongmen were famous for their Challenge Weights which bared their names and were representative of their greatest feats of strength. Pat "The Human Vise" Povilaitis has several unique pieces of equipment which he uses in his strength performance among them this customised engine block, which he may, for example, lift with his head while also bending a nail or horseshoe.

Harold Ansorge

Harold Ansorge, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a master of many different strength feats, among them, tearing a quarter-sized hole from a deck of cards. unsurprisingly, Ansorge was big a proponent of grip and forearm training.

Armand Tanny's Favorite Exercise

Armand Tanny (brother of Vic Tanny) was a very successful bodybuilder in the late 40's and 50's, and a regular at the original Santa Monica Muscle Beach scene. Tanny competed in many major bodybuilding contests and won the Pro-Mr. America in 1950. His favorite exercise was: the one-arm barbell clean. Armand lifted 250 lbs. in the rare shot above, and reported doing 280 lbs. in practice. The one-arm barbell clean is a rugged lift that will definitely build plenty of back strength, especially when done "heavy." 

Jack Walsh

Jack Walsh from Trenton, New Jersey, is the strongest man you've never heard of. Over his career he performed all kinds of crazy strength feats, including lifting elephants, towing trains and letting trucks run over his body. At a bodyweight of 190 pounds, he even broke Louis Cyr's backlift record. Anyhow, here's Jack Walsh jerking a 230-pound dumbbell overhead -- That's damn strong! Do you know anybody that can jerk more than bodyweight overhead with one arm?

Isaac "Ike" Berger

Ike Berger is one of America's most successful Olympic Weightlifters -- he was the first featherweight in history to lift more than 800 pounds and the first to press double body weight.

Over Ike's career he was the owner of 23 world weightlifting records, a 12-time United States national titleholder, 2-time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist at the 1956 Games in Melbourne Australia (along with two more Silver medals at the next two Olympic Games.)

At the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games, he estabilished a record of 152.5 kg (336-1/2 lbs.) in the jerk, at a bodyweight of only 130 pounds (59 kg). This lift bettered the world record by 11 lbs., and made Ike pound-for-pound the strongest man in the world, a record that stood for nine years.

Ike Berger was elected to the United States Weightlifter's Hall of Fame in 1965.

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