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.

Ernest Cadine

Posted on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 by John Wood

The French weightlifter Ernest Cadine with a classic globe barbell

Ernest Cadine was a French Weightlifter who won the Light-Heavyweight Gold medal at the 1920 Olympic Games held in Antwerp, Belgium. His winning total was 295 kg (649 lbs.) though the contested events were very different then: the one-arm snatch, the one-arm clean and jerk and the two arm clean and jerk. His performance in these lifts was 70 kg, 90 kg and 135 kg respectively. He also set six World Records over his competitive career.

In 1925, Cadine performed a one-arm swing with 90 kilos which was actually greater than his own bodyweight. Cadine could also right hand snatch 211 pounds and one-hand deadlifted the famous Apollon Wheels.

Also of note is the sand-pit floor — you’ll see this feature a lot in old school physical culture gyms as it made it so globe barbells and dumbbells were not damaged if they were ever dropped.

Physical Culture Magazine ~ February, 1902

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 by John Wood

Physical Culture Magazine - February, 1902

Now THAT’S a kettlebell! …a look at the cover of the February, 1902 issue of Bernarr Macfadden’s “Physical Culture” magazine. If you were wondering where people got their training info a century ago, “Physical Culture” was pretty much it

.

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.

Apollon: King of Strength

Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 by John Wood
Apollon!
Louis Uni, the French Strongman known professionally as “Apollon,” was certainly one of the greatest, if not the greatest strongman who ever lived. It was Apollon, along with Louis Cyr who were dubbed “Les Rois de la Force” (Kings of Strength) by Professor Desbonnet because their strength was so far above and beyond the ordinary.

Apollon, who was at his peak during the 1890s, stood 6″2′ and, in solid muscular condition, around 260 pounds.

While he was certainly thickly-muscled and strong all over, he excelled in grip an forearm feats, especially lifting thick handled weights, such as the Challenge Weight that bears his name. Also of note is the fact that even though this images was taken well over a hundred years ago with crude photographic equipment by today’s standards, Apollons tremendous “core” strength — built through years of heavy one-arm and two-arm overhead lifting — is evident.

Unknown Strongman #1

Posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 by John Wood

There were hundreds, if not thousands of strongmen who were very successful yet never got their due since the flow of information back then is certainly not what it is today. Consequently, there are many examples of oldtime strongmen whose images remain but whose names are lost to history. Here’s one example of an image you probably haven’t seen before and won’t see anywhere else. We don’t know who this guy is, but he certainly had excellent taste in equipment.
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.

W.A. Pullum’s Challenge

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011 by John Wood

W.A. Pullum was a great British Strongman who set scores of strength records during his competitive career. Like many Oldtime Strongmen, Pullum had his own strength challenge. Using the special thick-handled globe barbell shown here, a lifter had to do a “Two Hands Anyhow” with a poundage equal to 1-1/2 times his own bodyweight and simultaneously lift a kettlebell loaded a third of the barbell poundage with the other hand.

Pullum used to perform this “double-bodyweight” feat twelve times per week but in all his years, his “challenge” was never accepted.

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.

Bob Hoffman at The York Picnic

Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2011 by John Wood

A look at bent-pressing a classic globe barbell at the York Picnic many years ago. In case you might be wondering, It was clearly a hot day, but Bob is wearing a sweatshirt to maintain some friction with his off (i.e. left) arm and the hat is to keep the sun out of his eyes.
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.

Charles Rigoulot

Posted on Sunday, August 21st, 2011 by John Wood

Charles Rigoulot

Charles Rigoulot was the last great lifter to forgo shot-loaded equipment in international competition. In fact, he won the light-heavyweight Gold Medal  at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, France using a shot-loaded barbell — and was actually the only lifter to use shot-loaded equipment in the contest.

Rigoulot was also the first man to clean and jerk over 400 pounds, lifted Apollon’s Wheels. and broke 57 weightlifting records over the course of his career.  One of these records was a one-arm snatch of 261 pounds, which will likely never be broken. Rigoulot was also a very successful professional wrestler and his greatest match was against fellow strongman Milo Steinborn.