The Human Vise Strikes Again!

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Why do they call Pat Povilaitis the Human Vise? This collection of bent steel should explain it: about a hundred pounds of bent, mangled steel: nails, spikes, horseshoes, rebar, bolts, wrenches, drill bits, screw drivers, ripped card decks… nothing is safe when “The Vise” does his thing.

The Double Bent Wrench

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
It’s hard enough to bend a wrench one time but Dennis Rogers can bend one twice and make a nifty pen holder. This is a very tough feat that takes incredible grip strength to accomplish — you have to know exactly where to start and end each bend to make it work.

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.

Vansittart’s Spike

Posted on Friday, October 30th, 2015 by John Wood

They used to call Charles Vansittart “The Man With The Iron Grip” for good reason — he could bend an Old English penny, rip a tennis ball in half and bend a spike like the one pictured above.

Bending bars, spikes and nails has always been a traditional Oldtime Strongman feat, not only do many people find it incredibly impressive but merely doing it will build tremendous strength throughout the entire body.

You can tell that rectangular stock (like the spike above) was actually hand bent by the shape. If a piece of steel was truly hand bent, it will bend on the angle, not the flat edge.

Wilfred Briton

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2015 by John Wood
Wilfred Briton, from Yorkshire, was the toast of the variety show circuit in the 1930’s and 40’s. “The Amazing Briton” performed a multitude of traditional strongman feats such as breaking clay pipes in his clenched fists, bending iron bars, supporting a piano player in the “Tomb of Hercules, pulling heavy strands while supporting two other people, and, as shown here, ripping decks of cards in half (always a popular one.) Briton was the feature of several newsreel shorts highlighting his strength feats.
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.

Mac Batchelor

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by John Wood

“I was in L.A. about ten years ago. I went into one of the gyms and asked about a man named Mac Batchelor. They told me how to find the tavern where he worked and that night I drove over to see him.

The tavern was full of thirsty customers, but there was no doubt who was Batchelor. He weighed about 330 and most of it was muscle. I climbed up on a bar stool and introduced myself.

“Tell me Mac, “I said, “You still the world’s best arm wrestler?”

He laughed. “I think so.” He propped an arm like an elephant’s leg up on the bar.

“Wanta try?”

I looked at the arm. “No Thanks.”

He looked surprised. “No? How come?”

Mac, I’ll tell ya, I said. “You might break my arm and I don’t think my insurance would cover it.”

He smiled broadly. “You know,” he said, “you’re one of the very few people who ever walked in here and didn’t think they could beat me.

“Good grief,” I said,” I ain’t too bright, but I’m not crazy. I tell you what I would like, though. I’d like to see some of those strength feats of yours I’ve heard about.”

“Sure,” he said. “Here.” He reached under the bar and brought out four bottle caps. He jammed one between each finger on his right hand and held his hand out. “Watch.” He squeezed lightly and the four caps crumpled like Kleenex…”

– from “Grip and Forearm Development” in The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

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.

John Grunn Marx: The Luxembourg Hercules

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by John Wood

John grunn Marx

At an exhibition in Paris, in the year 1905, ‘The Luxembourg Hercules’ John Grunn Marx bent and broke three horseshoes in the span of 2 minutes and 15 seconds. One of these horseshoes is shown above. Marx was descended from a long line of blacksmiths and was famed for his grip and forearm strength. More of Marx’s strength feats will be covered in subsequent posts.