The 12th Man to lift “The Water Barrel” at Zuver’s Hall of Fame Gym

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by John Wood

It was on July 1st, 1968 that Dr. Ken Leistner became the 12th man to lift the Zuver’s Gym “challenge” water barrel overhead. Nobody knows exactly how much the barrel weighed but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-250 lbs. And, if you have done any barrel lifting, you know that it’s a whole different deal than a barbell. If you ever get to talk to Dr. Ken, get him to tell you the story on how this came about.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Galen Gough – “The World’s Miracle Strongman”

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2016 by John Wood
Billed as “The World’s Miracle Strongman,” Galen Gough from Howard”s Grove, Kentucky certainly lived up to his title. Gough was injured while serving in World War I, but built himself back to health and strength through physical training methods. His results were so dramatic that a career as a performing strongman soon followed.

Gough performed feats of strength in carnivals, fairs and vaudeville houses all over the country. In addition to “traditional” strongman feats such as The Human Link, Nail Driving, and bar bending, Gough came up with many of his own including dangling from a rope tied to an airplane by his teeth, with a 50 pound weight in each hand, biting keys in half, and juggling a 300-pound anvil!

One of his many adventures was to perform feats of strength as publicity stunts for the Louisville, Kentucky- based Oertel Brewing Company which is the origin of the ‘Barrel’ barbell pictured here.

Marijan Matijevic

Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 by John Wood

Marijan Matijevic was a great Croatian strongman and Greco-Roman wrestler who was popular during the turn of the century. Nicknamed the ‘Lika Samson’ after the town where he was born Matijevic won his first medals for strength feats and wrestling when he was only 21 years old and collected many more as the years passed. He had a standing offer that anyone who could defeat him in feats of strength could have the entire collection of medals that he had accumulated. He was adept at bending steel bars, barrel lifting, teeth lifting, stone breaking and lifting thick-handled globe barbells. Interestingly, in 1912 he was examined by doctors in Chicago while traveling and performing in America and it was found that he had double the amount of bone tissue as a normal human being. The doctors believed this was one of the sources for his great strength.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Ferdinand Le Bouche and Le Sadi Aperitif

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by John Wood

Strongmen have long been featured in alcohol advertisements and posters, generally they are able to do things which makes a dramatic and memorable point which would certainly be the case here. In case you aren’t a wine fan, an apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Our man above, the famous french physical culturalist Ferdinand Le Bouche is shown here lifting a barrel full of 250 livres worth (about 270 pounds) of Le Sadi brand with his teeth. I’m sold.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Athleta

Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 by John Wood
Athleta Strongwoman
There weren’t many performing “strongwomen” …but there were a few, one of the greatest of whom was Athleta Van Huffelen, of Belgium. In the late 1800’s, her solo act at the Eden Alhambra Theater in Brussels caused quite a stir in the strength world as she performed feats that, at the time, were thought all but impossible for a woman. Athleta lifted barrels, bent horseshoes and spikes, and, as shown above, danced a waltz while supporting three men and a loaded barbell on her shoulders. The French strength historian Professor Desbonnet had never seen anything like it, so much so that he listed Athleta among the great strength athletes in his classic book “The Kings of Strength.”

Barrel Rolling

Posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 by John Wood
Barrel Rolling
Here’s a sport you don’t see these days, at least not around these parts: Barrel Rolling. Many competitive events started off as “work” and this is a perfect example. Long before mechanical machinery, heavy lifting had to be done by hand and in the vineyards of France, the quickest way to move a wine barrel from here to there was to roll it on its edge. Well, as these things often go, one fine day, one gentleman said that he could roll a barrel farther and faster than all his friends and soon it turned into a full-fledged contest. It became very popular, so much so that the different areas of France had their own tournaments culminating with the championship held in Paris.

It takes strength as well as dexterity to keep a rolling barrel under control and moving in a straight line. The champions of this sport could keep their barrel moving while at a full sprint. Some places in France still have these contests.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Butty Sugrue

Posted on Saturday, March 30th, 2013 by John Wood

Butty Sugrue: Barrel Lifting

Ireland’s Strongest Man, Michael “Butty” Sugrue, used to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by performing feats of strength in his pub in Kilburn. One of them was to lift a two-hundredweight barrel of beer overhead. Sugrue was a colorful character and led a pretty interesting life, among other accomplishments, he promoted the Muhammad Ali versus Al “Blue” Lewis fight in Croke Park in Dublin in July, 1972.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Thomas Topham’s Barrel Lift

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 by John Wood

Thomas Topham: Barrel Lifting

Thomas Topham is known as the greatest strongman of the 18th century. Among his many incredible feats, on May 28th, 1741, by use of a harness, Topham lifted three barrels filled with water a combined weight of 1386 lbs.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.

Louis Cyr’s Barrel Lifting Feat

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2012 by John Wood

Louis Cyr Barrel Lifting

On May 8th, 1896, the great Canadian strongman Louis Cyr performed several amazing feats of strength, among them lifting and shouldering a 433 lb. barrel with one hand. The barrel was filled with a mixture of water and sand and the feat took place at Saint-Louis Hall in Chicago, Illinois.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 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 © 2005-2019 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.