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Stefan Siatkowski - The Man of Iron

Stefan Siatkowski - The Man of Iron

Stefan Siatkowski a.k.a Samson a.k.a "The Man of Iron" was a Polish Strongman who excelled in bar bending, nail bending, steel scrolling and anything else that involved bending metal. He was active as late as the 1960's.

The Hammer Man's Hammers

The Hammer Man's Hammers

Took this shot a few years back at a special dinner honoring Slim the Hammer Man. That's Slim's Challenge Ax on the left followed by his two sledge hammers with their distinctive markings on the handles and chromed weights. They are sitting on Slim's special oak carrying case. If those hammers could talk I bet they could tell some stories...

Eugene "Tiny" Walsh

Eugene "Tiny" Walsh

Here's something you don't see every day ~ a REAL squat! Here, Eugene "Tiny" Walsh goes all the way to the floor and back with 550 pounds wearing a "super suit" consisting of a t-shirt, shorts and penny loafers. It was reported that Tiny also made 600 pounds in this style. Also of note is the Jackson weight set.

Tags: Squat

The Weaver Stick

The Weaver Stick

The great strength author George Weaver came up with a unique strength challenge which now bears his name: The Weaver Stick.

You can easily make your own with a broom stick. An "official" weaver stick is exactly 42 inches long with the challenge being to grasp the end of it, no closer than 5-1/2 inches from the opposite end, and lift a weight from the floor or a platform, all the while keeping the stick perfectly level.

A lift of 5-7 pounds in this manner is exceptional. The great weight lifting champion John Davis for example, could lift 8 pounds, while John Grimek set the modern record with 11 pounds.

Primo Carnera and His Globe Barbell

You may know that "The Preem" Primo Carnera was the Heavyweight boxing Champion of the world from 1933-1934 but you probably didn't know that he was also a performing strongman as well. He achieved a one-hand snatch of 220 pounds and could clean and jerk over 300 ~ pretty good for someone who was 6'6".

Chuck Sipes Lifts His Truck

Chuck Sipes won the 1959 IFBB Mr. America, 1960 IFBB Mr. Universe and the 1968 Mr. World Bodybuilding titles, but unlike most physique stars, Chuck's muscles weren't just for show, he could also perform many incredible feats of strength as well.

As Chuck was training to accomplish a 600 pound(!) bench press, he used to train using a variety of techniques involving heavy supports and negatives -- he even had a special handle welded to the underside of his pickup truck which he used to lift and support the whole affair.

As he is shown doing here, Sipes would first lift the pickup truck as high as he could with his arms then wedge his legs underneath. In the top position, Chuck estimated that he was supporting 1600 pounds.

Tom Tyler

Tom Tyler, late of Hollywood, California, was the 1928 AAU Heavyweight lifting champion and first American to clean & jerk 300 pounds in an AAU competition. Here's a rare shot of Tyler at the 1928 Olympic weightlifting tryouts. Believe it or not, this is that Tom Tyler, western movie star and Captain Marvel fame.

The Viking Barbell Company

Here's a nifty advertisement for the Viking Barbell Company, circa 1947. Viking barbells were the official outfitters of the British Amateur Weight-Lifters Association (BAWLA) for many years and you'd always see them in the action shots in Vigour and Health and Strength magazines.

We've never had the pleasure of seeing any Viking weights in person, but they certainly always looked good in the magazines. Look closely at this ad, besides the barbells, you'll find two dumbbells, a swingbell and a pair of iron boots.

The Japanese Handstand

The Japanese Handstand, also aptly called the wide-arm handstand is an intermediate handbalancing skill that you should be able to accomplish without too much trouble. With the arms positioned out wide, and the fingers oriented differently, achieving the Japanese handstand will require more strength than a typical handstand to achieve. If you really want to impress people you can start out in a normal handstand, slide your hands out wide and hold and slide back again. Above, Mike White, of Southwest Miami high School performs a Japanese handstand during the free exercise event of the 1967 Gold Coast High School Gymnastic Championships.

Tags: 1967

Tokyo Police Force Training

In 1956, 19-year old Kazuhiko Nakadaiji won the Mr. Japan title in a nationwide contest. Greatly impressed with his development, Tokyo police Chief Katsuki Takayanagi hired Nakadaiji to help train his officers and help to build strength for judo. Barbells were limited but calisthenics and bodyweight movements offered a way to allow a large group of people to train at once. Elevated pushups are also, of course,  just as effective today as they are back then and a fine addition to any program.

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