Arthur Verge, of the famous Camberwell Weight-Lifting Club, was the winner of the Open London Handicap Tournament of 1915 and holder of 10, 11, and 12-stone and Heavyweight Amateur Records. He was a pupil of W.A. Pullum.
A look at the cover of the November, 1972 issue of Muscular Development magazine featuring Larry Scott on the cover. They sure don’t make ’em like this any more, (neither the magazine or the man.)
Some of the most impressive arms of all time belonged to Mr. John McWilliams. He happened to have a pretty good head start in the arms department thanks to Mother Nature, but what also helped McWilliams stretch the tape was a focus on basic exercises. That, and because he drank plenty of water… since muscle tissue is composed of mostly water, he believed that glugging down that H20 went directly to his arms! While this belief is a little simplistic, drinking enough water IS a good idea (most people don’t get enough and no doubt actually DID contribute to his impressive results.
The man with some of the biggest arms around was John McWilliams from Kenton, Ohio. While many bodybuilders used to inflate their measurements, he had an open challenge to anyone who could measure his arm at less than 19-1/2 inches… and the money was always safe. In case you are wondering about the “secrets” to his arm development, they were hard training, correct nutrition and proper recovery ~ along with more than a little bit of help from mother nature, of course.
23-1/4-inch Arms!… I don’t know if his arms stretched the tape measure quite that far, but Bill Pettis of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, DID have a pretty impressive set of guns. As far as training, Bill liked to do 100 sets of arm work… and they would stay pumped for days afterwards.
Precary Amiable, the French strongman, won the 1913 card tearing championship of the world by ripping an astounding 210 cards at once. That’s over four decks! Also, it looks like card tearing certainly “does a body good,” ~ our man is sporting a set of arms that are still very impressive a century later (notably at a body weight of only 150 lbs.)
A look at the cover of Bernarr MacFadden’s Physical Culture Magazine from April of 1906. Macfadden’s arm graces the cover and while his methods were unconventional (even by today’s standards) they were certainly effective.
I believe that advertisements tell as much about strength history as the books and courses, hence the reason I reproduce many of them here — (and you sure won’t find them anywhere else!) Here’s a fantastic ad from deep in the archives: Thomas Inch’s “Evolution of a Biceps.”