Steve Stanko and The Hub Lift

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 by John Wood
One of the classic classic grip feats was to pick up a York Deep-Dish 45 Pound barbell plate just by the hub, something weightlifting and bodybuilding champ Steve Stanko could do with ease, even with an added 10 pounds. Steve’s best on this feat was with over 90 pounds!

Al Berger

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by John Wood
Al Berger was a great strength athlete and classic bodybuilder during the 1940’s. Berger was a very good bodybuilder but was most well-known for his ability to perform incredible feats of strength while “pinch gripping” rafters in his basement. He could do 12 pinch-grip chins on rafters 30-inches apart, 6 with an additional 10-pounds and 1 with an incredible 43 additional pounds. In addition to his pinch-gripping feats, Berger could perform a reverse curl with 165 pounds.

Eagle Claw!

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 by John Wood
One very interesting exercises for building grip strength is to grasp the opening of a large clay jar with each hand. As you get stronger, simply fill the jar with additional sand or rocks to increase weight to make the movement more difficult. This method is simple, but very effective, and martial artists have been using it for centuries.

This type of training had many names, for example, in Okinawan Karate, as a part of “Hojo Undo (supplementary exercises) they are referred to as Nigiri Game, or gripping jars. The fellow above is from 1906, and seems to have things pretty well taken care of in the grip department from using this exercise.

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.

The Baseball Grip

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
A very simple way to build your hand strength is with a simple baseball or softball. This one has been drilled and fitted with an eye-hook which allows weights to be hung from it. It’s a surprisingly effective challenge.
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.

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 © 2005-2018 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.

Cyr’s One Finger Lift

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 by John Wood
At St. Louis Hall in Chicago, Illinois on May 7th, 1896, in front of 1000 spectators, Louis Cyr lifted a 535 lb. weight clear of the floor with one finger. This was just a warmup through, among the other feats performed that day: a “muscle out” with a 131-1/4 lb. dumbbell, held for five seconds at a perfect right angle to the body, then brought back to the shoulder with ease … a one arm press of 258-1/4 lb. dumbbell … shouldering with one hand, a 433 lb. barrel filled with sand and water … pressing a 162-1/2 lb dumbbell overhead 36 times in succession.
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.

Doug Hepburn’s Mighty Pinky

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by John Wood
“I’ve got more strength in one finger than you have in your whole body!” For most people, such a statement would be mere hyperbole, but in the case of Doug Hepburn it was obviously true. One of Doug Hepburn’s favorite feats was to muscle out a 45-pound plate hanging from his pinky finger — an amazing display of shoulder and grip strength. As evident here, Hepburn could do this with either hand.
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.

Gottfried Huber

Posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 by John Wood
Not much is known of Gottfried Huber, the early weightlifter/strongman/wrestler from the Austrian state of Tirol. What little is remembered is that he specialized in feats of gripping power and finger lifting. Consequently, he was also a champion in the sport of Fingerhakeln (finger hooking), a test of strength in which you you try to pull your opponent across a table with your middle finger only.
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.

Bruce Lee’s Thumb Pushups

Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 by John Wood
The great martial artist Bruce Lee was a big proponent of physical training and with good reason. He understood… he “got it” … which is why he also made it a point to train his grip. Building stronger fingers, wrists, hands and forearms is obviously very important in combat settings. Here’s Master Bruce doing pushups on only his thumbs in between takes while filming Game of Death – an incredible feat. Can anyone today do this?
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.

Julius Cochard

Posted on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 by John Wood
The French strongman and wrestler, Julius Cochard, possessed an unusual level of strength and endurance. His best known feat was to carry a 220-pound sack on his shoulders from Paris to Reims, a distance of 112 miles. It took him just under a week to cover that distance. He was also very adept at feats of finger strength, being able to snatch and swing 110-pound dumbbell with only one finger. Cochard pulled one of the first recorded impressive deadlifts when he lifted 661 lbs. way back in 1895. Cochard, whose name was also spelled “Cochart” in some circles, weighed around 220 lbs at a height of 5’10”