Chiezel: The Man Who Walks On His Head

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2012 by John Wood

Chiezel - The Man Who Walks On His Head

Adrian Chiezel, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin developed the unusual talent of being able to “hop” long distances on his head. He then did what anyone with such an unusual talent would do; he ran off and joined the circus.
In his act, “Chiezel: The Man Who Walks On His Head” hopped up and down this platform as shown, which seems like a pretty amazing show of neck strength (and balance) if you ask me.
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 Mighty Atlas

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by John Wood
The Mighty Atlas - Anvil Neck Strength
You’ve probably seen the old feat of strength where a strongman puts an anvil or a large stone slab on his chest and lets someone hit it with a sledge hammer… but I guarantee you haven’t seen this feat before though, — “The Mighty Atlas,” Morris Shapiro, a professional wrestler from Brooklyn, New York, teeth-lifting an anvil while someone else whacks said anvil with a sledge hammer.

Now that’s impressive!

The Mighty Atlas often demonstrated feats of strength before his matches, bending iron bars, snapping chains, ripping phone books etc. He learned the secrets of strength from his father who was a strongman in the Russian Circus in Minsk.

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.

The Human Chain!

Posted on Sunday, January 15th, 2012 by John Wood

The Great Levasseur performs 'The Human Link' feat with four horses

One of the well-known traditional feats of Oldtime Strength is the Human Chain. There’s no telling who came up with it first but what we do know is that Strongmen have been performing this feat for well over a century — and because it is very dangerous, always goes over great with the crowd.

Shown here is George “The Great” Levasseur who famously performed this feat for the Ringling Brothers circus in the early 20th century where he was billed as “The Strongest Man that Walks the Earth.” Levasseur was also famous for his backlifting ability. We’ll highlight other great performances of “The Human Chain” in subsequent posts.

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.

Signor Lawanda, The Iron Jawed Man

Posted on Saturday, December 24th, 2011 by John Wood

Signor Lawanda - The Iron Jawed Man

Signor Lawanda, born Hugh David Evans in Bethlehem, PA, was the possessor of one of the strongest jaws of all time.  Rightfully billed as “The Iron Jawed Man” Lawanda famously lifted a barrel filled with water then allowed as many as four men to sit astride it.  Lawanda could also bite silver dollars in half, and caught P.T. Barnum’s eye when he lifted a 1400 pound horse via a harness clenched in his teeth.  Needless to say, training for these unusual types of feats also led to unusual development in the musculature of Lawanda’s neck and jaws.

Louis Cyr “The Canadian Colossus”

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by John Wood

Louis Cyr Circus Poster

The great Canadian Strongman, Louis
Cyr traveled and performed with The
John Robinson Circus during the 1898 season. According to records, Cyr’s measurements at the time
were as follows:

* Width across shoulders: 27 inches
* Neck: 23 inches
* Forearm: 19 inches
* Bicep: 21.5 inches
* Waist: 52 inches
* Thigh: 29-3/4 inches
* Calf: 24 inches
* Chest: 59.5 inches

John Robinson’s challenge was whether
any man could equal or better any one of Cyr’s feats… With numbers like a backlift of 4300 pounds and a one-arm Jerk of 254 pounds, needless to say, the
money was very safe.

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 Russian Hercules: Ivan Poddubny

Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2011 by John Wood

Ivan Poddubny

Ivan Poddubny was one of the greatest of the Russian Strongman /Wrestlers (of which there were many). He was born in a small village and worked hard jobs even from a young age.
After some training, he joined the Russian circus, performing feats of strength and wrestling all comers. The sash he is wearing in this picture is most likely from the 1908 World Championship, which he won by defeating his friend Ivan Zaikin. This was his fifth World Championship title. Even to this day, Poddubny is still a well-known sports hero in Russia and several big wrestling tournaments bare his name.
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.