371 Pounds Overhead with One Hand!

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood

Arthur Saxon has a legitimate claim for the greatest strength feat of all time with his bent-press of 371 pounds (he was said to have unofficially done 385 pounds.) Either way, it’s a tremendous feat, to lift more weight overhead with one hand than most people can squat with!

Here’s a little bit from the man himself on how he did it:

“I have often been asked what it feels like to press 350 lbs. with one hand, and perhaps to my readers the different sensations experienced will be interesting.

In the first place, immediately I start to press the weight away from the shoulder I become perfectly oblivious to everything except the weight that I am lifting.

The spectators are obliterated from my mind by the effort of intense concentration which is necessary to enable me to press the weight. I immediately engage myself in a terrific struggle in which the weight and I are competitor, and only one can win, either the weight must be lifted or else I fail.

This concentration is, of course, one of the secrets of success in lifting, as I have explained in another part of my book. It enables me to bring forward the last ounce of pushing power, and for the time being to exert strength beyond that normally possessed.

As the weight steadily rises aloft perhaps half way it wavers, the balance alters, and I have immediately, yet very carefully and quietly, to adjust my position to the altered balance of the bell.

Then I must proceed with the press, my body gradually falling lower toward the left knee, my eyes fixed all the time upon the ponderous weight balanced over my head, ready to fall at a moment’s notice should I weaken or place myself in a false position, and should at this moment anyone shout out, it might startle me, make me waver, and cause the weight to fall.

Therefore, if I am attempting a world’s record in this position, I generally ask for complete silence until I have either failed or succeeded, and I might mention here that to think of failure is to fail, and I always tell myself all the time that I am certain to succeed even though I am attempting a weight more than I have hitherto lifted.

Eventually, my arm is straight, and before coming to an upright position I engage in another tussle with the enormous barbell, in which I have to exert all my will power to hold together the flagging powers of tired muscles, which have been strained by the tremendous pressure which 350 lbs. brings on to them in the effort of pressing aloft.

By supreme effort of the will I fix the bell in a good position and then stand upright. Often the bar will roll on to the fingers instead of being directly over the wrist, in which case severe pain is inflicted and I have to persevere with the lift under doubly hard conditions, or drop the weight and try again.”

For more information about Arthur Saxon and his training methods, pick up copies of his two great training books: >The Development of Physical Power (1906) and The Textbook of Weight-Lifting (1910)

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Swingin’ With Saxon

Posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by John Wood

“The Swing” is mentioned in several modern courses, but it was a performed in a much different manner back in Arthur Saxon’s day. Here are his instructions for performing the lift:

“The muscles called into play are practically the same here as in the one-handed snatch, but the bell must be placed on end between the feet as shown in illustration. Keep the head down, then, with a perfectly straight arm, pull up, using a combination of muscular efforts and concentration as described in the snatch lift. Lean back and watch the dumb-bell with your eyes, and when it is at suitable height suddenly dip beneath same and twist your wrist violently, so that you may place a straight arm beneath the bell.”

-from The Development of Physical Power,
Chapter 15
(written in 1906)

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Saxon’s Support

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by John Wood

…Bone and sinew
strength count for much in weight-lifting, and all the above
points cannot be taken into consideration in considering a
man’s muscular measurements on paper, nor in studying
photographs…”

          ~ Arthur Saxon, The Development of Physical Power

As we have been examining in our daily training tips, it would appear that heavy supporting movements may contribute in interesting ways to the development of muscular power. It would appear that Arthur Saxon would agree, here he is supporting a globe barbell and his two brothers Kurt and Hermann with his arms and a plank-load of nine men with his legs.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

What is Dinosaur Training?

Posted on Friday, August 15th, 2014 by John Wood
A short video clip (with sound) of several of the people, places and training topics that you’ll find in the pages of “Dinosaur Training” by Brooks Kubik.

Arthur Saxon Envelope

Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 by John Wood
Strength legends are generally treated differently in other countries than they are here. Case in point, here’s a nifty commemorative envelope from Germany, circa 1991, celebrating the great Arthur Saxon. Don’t think we’ll be seeing anything like this on these shores any time soon. In a nice touch, note that the stamps are also related to lifting.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2018 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Joe Nordquest, The Ashtabula Strongman

Posted on Monday, June 4th, 2012 by John Wood
Joe Norquest, the strongman from Ashtabula, Ohio, lifts a heavy globe barbell overhead.
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.