Secrets of Strong Man Feats by Ottley R. Coulter

Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 by John Wood
Ottley R. Coulter wrote this interesting course in 1942. In it, he covers many classical feats of strength: how to rip a newspaper in half, card tearing, nail driving,how to break rocks with your fist(!), spike bending etc. All those are interesting, but to me, the real value is the excellent abdominal development course that appears in the last few pages.

P.S. This course in full is posted in The Iron League.

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.

Orville Stamm – The Boy Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 by John Wood
A top vaudeville attraction for several decades, Orville Stamm, who performed as “The Boy Hercules” possessed many talents. He would often sing a rendition of “Ireland Must Be Heaven, Because My Mother Came from There” to the accompaniment of a piano which he happened to be supporting in the “Tomb Of Hercules.”

Stamm could also tear a deck of cards into quarters, played the violin with his 66-pound bulldog Tige tied to the wrist of his bow arm, lifted a horse with one hand, and performed acrobatic feats ~ Sounds like quite a show! Stamm learned the strongman arts as a member of the Los Angeles Athletic Club and a student of Al Treloar.

During World War I, Orville Stamm also served as physical instructor to the Navy and one of his students was president-to-be Franklin D. Roosevelt. After FDR was elected, Orville and his wife Martha were often guests at the Whitehouse for tea.

Tearing a Mini-Deck of Cards

Posted on Monday, March 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Plenty of people can tear a regulation deck of cards but it’s a whole new ball game with a mini-deck. Dennis Rogers can do this feat with ease, as well he should since his fingers are about as strong as a set of pliers.
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.

Card Ripping in Oven Mitts

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Ok, so you can rip a deck of cards … but can you rip a deck of cards while wearing oven mitts like Dennis Rogers? …And not only can Dennis Rogers do this, he makes it look easy.
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.

Dr. Luis J. Phelan

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by John Wood
Dr. Luis J. Phelan, of the University of Chicago, was an early physique star and proponent of physical training. The good Doctor used his own physical development as an illustration of what could be achieved — although interestingly, he claimed to have never so much as ever lifted a weight but had only trained with rubber exercisers. Sandow himself recognized Dr. Phelan’s achievements and publicly awarded him a medal in 1897. The above shot was from 1898, when Phelan was 32 years of age and weighed 10 stone, 3 lbs. (143 lbs.) Notably, Phelan also entered the 1907 world card tearing championships where he successfully halved 115 cards at once.
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.

Jacques Montane ~ Amateur Card Tearing Champion of France

Posted on Friday, December 9th, 2016 by John Wood

Here’s a fellow whose name and exploits seems to have slipped through the cracks of Iron History: Jacques Montane was the Amateur Card Tearing Champion of France in the early 1900’s. His bests were 90 cards torn in half, 52 torn in quarters, 40 in eighths and 32 cards in sixteenths.
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.

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
SOLD OUT!

We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

Bill Pearl Strongman Bodybuilder

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

Bill Pearl is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won many different bodybuilding titles over his colorful career. Something you may not realize though is that Bill also began performing traditional feats of strength such as license plate ripping (pictured), chain breaking, spike bending, card tearing and even Nail Driving because he “felt that he should BE as strong as he looked.” I don’t think we’ll see his ilk again any time soon.
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.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

Dennis Rogers’ Card Notching

Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by John Wood

Tearing a deck of playing cards is one of the all-time classic feats of strength… there have always been whispers that some strongmen had such fearsome fingers that they could “notch” a quarter-sized hole out of a deck… in fact, many people said it was impossible. Dennis Rogers, however, came along and silenced all the doubters by accomplishing the feat. … and not only that, he makes it look easy.