Viktor Solovyev

Posted on Monday, January 1st, 2018 by John Wood
Viktor Solovyev, the great Ukranian strongman and wrestler, is shown here looking quite impressive in this rare picture take around 1906. As far as his lifting feats, he was able to ‘slow curl’ 165 pounds, perform a Crucifix Lift with 60 pounds in each hand and could jerk 293 pounds. As a wrestler, he defeated Franz ‘Cyclops’ Bienkowski, the French Giant Louis ‘Apollon’ Uni, George Lurich, Pyotr Krylov and many others on the way to winning several world championships.

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

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.