July 30, 2015
The wrestler's bridge is a fantastic exercise for building neck size and strength and here's a good look at why it is so named and practiced by grapplers. In a match, the neck can act as an extra 'limb' which, if strong enough, can keep the shoulders off the mat. Shown here is a Greco-Roman featherweight class match from the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics with Swedish wrestler Ewald Persson (bridging) vs. Norwegian champion Ragnvald Gullaksen. This match ended in a decision after 59 minutes, with Gullaksen taking the win.
July 25, 2015
Here's one that no one has seen for a long time: a rare poster of Siegmund Breitbart from the Paris stop of his European Tour.  Breitbart is shown supporting a woman playing the piano, two horses and a crowd of people all on his chest.
July 25, 2015
Unfortunately Dimitrios N. Zeus' story has been lost to the sands of time. The old postcard bearing his name says that he was the World's Strongest Man AND a film star. By his large, strong hands, looks like he also bent more than a bit of steel in his day.
July 25, 2015
Here's an interesting one, courtesy of an extremely rare course by 'The Iron Samson' Alexander Zass. Many people like to do their wrist roller training standing straight up, which is certainly good, but using the wrist roller from a crouched position is a good one to try for a change of pace.
July 17, 2015
Here's a look at Miss Bliss, a French Strong woman from 1901. Don't know much else about her other than she has a strong set of choppers. It would be easy to think that this photo was faked but if you look closely, you'll see that her neck development would indicate that she has trained for and is actually performing this rather amazing feat. It's also worth noting that she has a larger and likely stronger neck than several football players I know.
July 17, 2015
Saul Hallap was a great Estonian weight lifter who set four world records and seven European records during his career. Hallup also competed in the 1924 Olympic games in Paris where he one-arm snatched 75kg, one-arm clean & jerked 95kg, pressed 90kg, two-hand snatched 90kgand two-hand clean & jerked 115kg, which was good for a 465kg total and a 9th place finish. After his weight lifting career, Hallap became a circus acrobat.
July 15, 2015
How about this shot of the great German lifter Heinrich Schneidereit and this awesome globe barbell? We believe this shot is from the 1912 German weightlifting championships where Schneidereit finished seconds to Heinrich Rondi. Karl Moerke finished third.
July 14, 2015
[Join The Iron League! ] Another look at the great Russian Circus strongman Vsevolod Kherts and his incredible 300+ lb. neck bridging, this time, from another angle. And check out that nifty globe barbell rack in the background.
July 14, 2015
[http://www.ironleague.com] Another look at the great Ernest Cadine, circa 1915, and I'd say further proof that impressive physical development is certainly possible without drugs. Cadine never downed a single protein shake yet you won't find a better set of arms, even a hundred years later.
July 14, 2015
[http://www.ironleague.com] - Unfortunately this fellow's name is lost, which is unfortunate since this is one of the more impressive feats of strength that we have ever highlighted (and that is really saying something!) Even if we are pretty conservative with the bodyweights, that's got to be close to 900 pounds. Supporting feats always go over well because very heavy weights can be used but doing so in a full backbend is utterly ridiculous.
July 12, 2015
Indian Clubs used to be very popular with turn-of-the-century boxers because they will build strong and well-conditioned shoulders. This pair of indian clubs once belonged to the great Heavyweight Boxing Champion James J. Corbett who used them in his training circa 1895 (he held the championship belt from 1892 to 1897.) You can make out his name written in black ink on the left-most club. Corbett certainly looks like he trained. These clubs are 17 inches long which means they weigh around a pound each. They also once were on display in "The Ring" Boxing Museum.
July 8, 2015
When you're strong, all the world is your gym. Here Paul Anderson does a one arm press with his bicycle. Big Paul enjoyed bike riding, problem was, most bikes of the day were built for "normal" sized people, and at a bodyweight of 350 pounds, bikes crumbled like tissue paper with regular use. This picture is from the Summer of 1961, when Paul embarked on a 1500 mile bike trip to raise awareness for his youth home. After his other bikes broke down, East Ridge (TN) Bicycle Shop owner Joe Dyer made "The World's Strongest Bike" for the World's Strongest man.
July 8, 2015
We've covered Grigori Novak's weightlifting career previously. Novak got a handful of Olympic medals and set over a hundred lifting records but once his competitive career came to an end, he did what any great strength athlete would do: he ran off to the circus! For the next 25 years, Novak was a genuine performing strongman, lifting barbells, juggling kettlebells, supporting heavy weights and the like. Eventually his sons Roman and Arkady even joined the act. Above, you'll see a rare poster of Novak's circus days.
July 8, 2015
Unfortunately we haven't found much in our files on Gaston de Paris but muscling out a 20 kg blockweight, as he is doing here, is no small feat. Based on that accomplishment, he would have to have been fairly proficient. He clearly has excellent taste in equipment otherwise.
July 2, 2015
Max "The Strongman" Rosenstock holds a pair of airplanes back as in the human link stunt at the Culver City Airport, circa 1928. Max also bent steel, ripper phone books in half and did supporting feats.
July 2, 2015
Arkady Vorobyev took an interest in weightlifting while serving in the Russian Navy during WWII and it led to a hall of fame career. Vorobyev was one of the most dominant lifters of the 1950's, taking gold in two Olympic Games (1956, Melbourne, 1960, Rome) five World Championships (1953-1955, 1957-58) and five European championships (1950, 1953-1955, 1958). Vorobyev set 16 World records over the course of his career. He went on to become a noted strength researcher and his "Textbook on Weightlifting," written in 1978, is thought of as a modern classic in the field.

July, 2015