June 19, 2012
Tim Krumrie, the Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro nose tackle is shown here with a classic globe dumbbell in this early advertisement for Hammer Strength equipment. The dumbbell shown (yes, it was a dumbbell) once belonged to the great French strongman Apollon. Krumrie was well-known for his incredible hand strength, which should be an essential part of training programs for the game of football. Krumrie's specific grip routine can be found in The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden.
June 17, 2012
Anthony "Tony" Terlazzo brought home the Gold Medal in the featherweight (60kg) class at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. In the process he set a new Olympic record in total with 312.5 kg (687.5 lbs) Above Tony is shown with 97.5 kg (214.5) overhead making this the shot of his winning lift in the snatch (also a new Olympic record in his weight class.)
June 16, 2012
On April 18th, 1913, the Australian All-Around Athlete and Club Swinging champion Tom Burrows accomplished an incredible feat: he swung a pair of Indian Clubs for 100 hours straight without a rest. He averaged 80 repetitions a minute through the entire affair, a mind-boggling feat of muscular endurance and toughness. That's a record you won't see challenged any time soon.
June 13, 2012
We have long been making the case that grip strength is a valuable commodity to all athletes, case in point: The Killer Karate Krusher! If you have ever wanted 'A Bone-Crushing Grip", "Fingers as Tough as Steel", and "A Fist as Tough as a Sledge Hammer" then the 'Killer Karate Krusher' is one to check out. The Killer Karate Krusher is the only exercise which permit full "finger bombing" for an extra-powerful grip -- or at least that's what is said in the ad. Who knows how many of these were ordered from outta the back of comic books? Demonstrating is IFBB Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World, Chuck Sipes, who was clearly no stranger to forearm work.
June 11, 2012
The Italian strongman "Nino" had a flair for equipment that few others have ever matched. His specialty was heavy supporting feats but in his act he preferred to use much more dramatic weights than many of his fellow strongmen. Here's a look at Nino's 500kg (1100 lb.) globe barbell - it doesn't get more "Oldtime" than that! Nino himself is at the far left.
June 11, 2012
Mark Berry (left) and John Grimek (right.) at the time when Berry was the weightlifting coach for the 1936 Olympic games, held in Berlin, Germany. The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses, which featured Grimek demonstrating a number of exercises, appeared shortly afterwards. As they had a lot of time on their hands, it's conceivable that Berry and Grimek discussed the details of said courses on the boat trip over to Germany.Berry was also the weightlifting coach during the 1932 Olympics, held in Los Angeles, California.
June 6, 2012
Already a strength star in his teens when he won the British national Championships, in 1896, Launceston Elliott traveled to Athens, Greece to represent England at the very first modern Olympic Games. Elliot had been trained by Eugen Sandow and bared quite a resemblance to his mentor. Things were a bit different back then in weightlifting: they contested two events: the "one-hand lift" and the "two-hands lift" (i.e. the "clean and jerk.") In the first contest, the "two hand lift" Launceston tied with Viggo Jensen of Denmark when each lifted 111 kg (244-1/2 pounds). The Gold medal, however, was awarded to the Dane because the judges thought he lifted the weight "in much better form" than his English competitor. In the one-hand event, Elliot lifted 71 kg to the Dane's 57 and thus Britain's first Olympic Gold medal winner was crowned! At the 1896 games, Elliott also competed in the 100m dash, wrestling, and rope climbing events. Elliot performed credibly well in each even but did not match his weightlifting success. After his Olympic achievements, Elliot returned home to England, won the first major physique contest ever held and toured the country as a performing strongman.
June 4, 2012
One of the true unsung strongman is undoubtedly Joe Nordquest from Ashtabula, Ohio. His name is rarely mentioned at the top of the list of all-time greats yet his strength feats would certainly rank him among them. Joe Nordquest could jump from a table to the floor while maintaining a handstand position, curl 180 pounds and bent press 277-1/2 pounds. He could military press 124-1/4 pounds with one hand, an American record at the time and did a "bridge press" with 388 pounds (breaking Arthur Saxon's record.) Keep in mind that he did all this and more on only one leg, having lost a limb in an accident as a boy. Joe's brother Adolph was also an excellent strongman.