Dan Lurie

Posted on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by John Wood

Dan Lurie

As a bodybuilder, Brooklyn-born Dan Lurie won the “Most Muscular” subdivision and finished second in the AAU Mr. America contest in 1942, 1943 and 1944.

As a strongman, Dan performed 1655 push ups in 90 minutes, a bent press of 285 pounds (at a bodyweight of 168 pounds) and backlifted 1810 pounds.

Lurie went on to become a very successful gym owner, magazine publisher and TV strongman. He also established the Dan Lurie Barbell Company which produced barbells and plates primarily on the east coast.

Bonus points if you noticed that the dumbbell that Dan is holding in this photo is from Professor Anthony Barker’s Strength Maker Bar-Bell System.

Victor DeLamarre

Posted on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 by John Wood
Victor DeLamarre was another great name in the long line of Canadian Strongmen. He was one of thirteen children and built the foundation for his great strength at a young age by farming and working as a lumberjack.

When he was 14 years old, DeLamarre studied the exploits of Louis Cyr and declared that he would one day break Cyr’s records — a rather bold statement for someone who weighed all of 110 pounds at the time. Amazingly, this would come to pass on April 2nd, 1914, when, at age 25, DeLamarre bent-pressed 309-1/2 lbs at the Arcade theater of Montreal.

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.

Abe Boshes

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood
To provide additional proof that one can be impressive without being “huge” here is the famous Brooklyn strongman Abe Boshes. Boshes stood 5’3″ at a bodyweight of around 150 pounds and was very well-known for his shoulder development (which was obviously a big contributor to his stature.) Boshes did quite a bit of training with chest expanders.

Boshes could bent-press around 220 lbs for a single and a 100 lb. dumbbell 18 times in succession. In the early 1900’s, he won a contest put on by Bernarr MacFadden and the fame from doing so allowed him to travel the country on the Vaudeville circuit. Like many strongmen of the time he also did some wrestling.

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.

Paul Von Boeckmann’s Breathing Gymnastics

Posted on Saturday, July 21st, 2012 by John Wood

Many people think “Strength” only comes down to the muscles – it doesn’t. One Oldtime Strongman who understood this concept very well was Paul Von Boeckmann from New Braunfels, Texas whose “Breathing Gymnastics” course focused on building lung power along with great strength and development.

Von Boeckmann was certainly on to something as he won many championships in both wrestling and weightlifting. He could bent-press of 201 pounds, do a “hand and thigh” lift with 1652 pounds and has an immense “challenge” Indian club that no one could shoulder.

William Beattie

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

William Beattie lifting two blockweights

“The Scottish Apollo” William Beattie is shown here doing a bent-press with a pair of what are most likely 56-pound block weights. It should be noted that he fist swung them up to that position which is a fantastic feat of grip strength in holding the blocks together.  Beatties was also fond of juggling these weights.

Unsurprisingly, Beattie was one of the many students of William Pullum and won the British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA) 12 stone Championship in 1929. Beattie went on to perform feats of strength and acrobatics with several circuses.

Professor Attila

Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2012 by John Wood

Professor Louis Attila

Professor Attila — real name Louis Durlacher — was the mentor of Eugen Sandow and the man who invented many of the feats of strength that we know of today: The Roman Column, The Roman Chair, supporting feats in the human bridge position and tearing packs of playing cards. It was Attiila’s idea to make globe barbells and dumbbells shot-loadable so that their weight could be adjusted. Attila invented the bent-press and was the first man to perform the lift with over 200 pounds.

In 1894, Professor opened his famous Studio of Physical Culture in downtown New York city and it became a hotbed for learning the strongman trade. In addition to Sandow, Professor Attila could list many other famous strongmen among his students: Warren Lincoln Travis, Anthony Barker, Horace Barre, Arthur Dandurand, Lionel Strongfort, George Rolandow, Louis Cyr, Bobby Pandour and Adolph Nordquest.

Attila’s daughter, Grace, later married Sig Klein.

Bob Hoffman at The York Picnic

Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2011 by John Wood

A look at bent-pressing a classic globe barbell at the York Picnic many years ago. In case you might be wondering, It was clearly a hot day, but Bob is wearing a sweatshirt to maintain some friction with his off (i.e. left) arm and the hat is to keep the sun out of his eyes.
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.