Milo Barus

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by John Wood

Milo Barus

Milo Barus was Germany’s greatest strongman in the time period between the World Wars.  Barus performed a number of spectacular strength feats in his act: Nail Driving, The Human Chain, Teeth Lifting, Steel Bending, Harness Lifting, The “Leg Press”, Horse Lifting etc. Here, he has a crowd of ten people bend a heavy steel bar over his head (which sure doesn’t look comfortable.)

In 1983, a movie was made about his life. Today, a strength competition in his honor takes place in front of his old house at Mühltal Eisenberge and the winner receives the “Milo Barus Cup. Press clipping list Barus at seven feet tall, though it’s hard to tell by the photos if that is the case.

Sebastian Miller: The Stone Breaker

Posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 by John Wood

A strongman has turned up in Philadelphia. He calls himself Sebastian Miller and a distinguished gathering of physicians and Professors witnessed some of his feats of strength in the Pennsylvania hospital a day ago.

Miller stripped to the waist in order that the physicians might see the workings of his gigantic muscles, and he stepped to a light pine table on which were placed several cobblestones.

A large stone was held in place and Miller, giving three powerful swings with his right arm, brought his fist down on the stone.

The first blow cracked it, the second broke it, and the third shattered it into bits.
In doing this, Miller wrapped a piece of cloth around his hand to protect it from being cut.

But Miller’s strength is not all in his arms. With a harness he has raised 3500 pounds and with his hands he can lift 1800 pounds. With three successive blows of his fist he has broken a block of Quincy granite 5 feet long, 4 feet broad and 6 inches thick.

— From The Cambridge (Ohio) Jeffersonian,  dated January 3, 1899

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.

Goerner The Mighty

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 by John Wood

Hermann Goerner lifts a large globe barbell above his head

The great German strongman Hermann Goerner was known as “Goerner The Mighty” — and for very good reason.  Among his many amazing feats were a one-arm deadilift of 734.5 lbs and a “leg press” of 24 men sitting on a plank, a total weight of 4123 lbs. Above, Goerner lifts his famous challenge barbell, which was 330-3/4 lbs. and had a 2-3/8ths-inch handle.; Goerner’s challenge was to clean and jerk this unique barbell without moving the feet, something which he could do easily but which no one else was ever able to duplicate.

The Rasso Trio

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 by John Wood

The Rasso Trio French Strongman Poster Casino De Paris

The Rasso Trio were a group of performing strongmen started by the German strongman George Stanglemeier. The original trio also included Heinrich Weber and Godfrey Nordmann, though many other members came and went over the years. As shown in this extremely rare poster, the trio’s act consisted of lifting, juggling and carrying globe barbells, block weights and each other! The Rasso Trio performed at the Casino de Paris throughout the 1890’s and in that time, had a famous run-in with the great French strongman Apollon, which we’ll cover at another date.

The Great Spadoni

Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012 by John Wood
The Great Spadoni balances a dog cart on his chin

“The Great Spadoni,” aka Paul Krause from Germany, was one of the great masters of lifting, balancing and juggling heavy weights, a discipline known as jongleurs de force.

One of his best known feats is pictured at the right:

To begin, he was driven upon the stage in a full-sized dog cart. He then dismounted, removed the wheels — which were then set spinning on pivots fixed to the points of the shafts — lifted the dog cart in his arms and finally balanced the whole affair on his chin.

The balance aspect alone is certainly impressive (to say the least!), but the amount of whole-body strength involved in getting the cart into position in the first place and the level of neck strength necessary to keep it aloft, may be even more so.

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.

German Strongman Karl Moerke

Posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 by John Wood

Germn Strongman Karl Moerke

Karl Moerke was a German Strongman in the early 1900’s. At a bodyweight around 250 pounds at a height of only 5’2 Moerke was quite the powerhouse. He could deadlift 650 pounds, jerk 375 pounds (shown here), and had a 19-inch neck. Moerke is thought to be the first man to squat 600 pounds.
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.

Karl Abs ~ The German Oak

Posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 by John Wood

Karl Abs, Holding a Globe Barbell

Karl Abs, known as “The German Oak” was the first man in Germany to continental and jerk 330 pounds… he accomplished this feat back in 1885. Abs also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship in 1894.
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.

German Weightlifting Club ~ 1919

Posted on Saturday, August 27th, 2011 by John Wood

A rare shot of a German weightlifting club and their classic equipment, taken around 1919. Also notice the particularly large and wide handles on their kettlebells. This style of handle served a specific purpose as the German strength athletes were particularly fond of juggling and throwing and catching their kettlebells.

Hans Steyrer: The Bavarian Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 by John Wood
Hans Steyrer
Hans Steyrer: The Bavarian Hercules
“The Bavarian Hercules” Hans Steyrer is shown here with his signature lift: a one-finger lift of a heavy stone block, usually 500 pounds or more, combined with a muscle-out of a 50-pound kettlebell. Either one of these feats would be impressive by themselves, but doing them both at the same time put Steyrer in a league by himself. It should also be noted that Steyrer was the very first strongman ever photographed using kettlebells (at least to our knowledge.) This was around 1880 or so