Cyclops and Sampson: The Strongest Men on Earth

Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015 by John Wood
A rare poster advertising the strongman duo of Franz “Cyclops” Bienkowski and Charles A. Sampson. Sampson’s Harness Lift is highlighted.
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.

Franz ‘Cyclops’ Bienkowski

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by John Wood

Franz Bienkowski, known professionally as ‘Cyclops,’ was the first lifter to introduce the bent press to Britain. His best performance in this lift was 250 pounds. Cyclops was a partner of Charles A. Sampson and rival to Sandow. Cyclops’ favorite feats though were breaking chains wrapped around his arms (shown here) as well as bending or breaking coins.
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.

Charles A. Sampson, The Chain Breaker

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014 by John Wood

We’ve covered Charles A. Sampson before but here is another look at one of his signature feats: breaking a chain by striking a blow with his fists. Sampson claimed he developed his great strength after being struck by lightning as a young man, whether true or not, his development was still impressive. Sampson WAS a pioneer as far as performing strongmen are concerned, and quite literally set the stage for many who followed him.
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.

Charles A. Sampson

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2012 by John Wood

Charles A. Sampson

Charles A. Sampson was a turn-of-the-century strongman who, unlike any of his contemporaries, claimed his great strength came not from physical training but a result of having been struck by lightning as a small child!

As noted in Physical Training Simplified by Mark Berry, Sampson could perform a Harness Lift with 4008 pounds and frequently collaborated with the famous coin breaker Franz “Cyclops” Bienkowski.

Sampson and Cyclops were both handily defeated by Eugen Sandow in a famous challenge match in 1889.