Apollon at 19

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 by John Wood
The famous French strongman Louis “Apollon” Uni at 19 years of age. As the story goes he ran off and joined the circus at 14 and started performing as a strongman a year later. Even at this young age, Apollon’s potential for great strength is evident by his thick bone structure. Strength ran in the family, it as was said that he was descended from Pompelius Unicus, an undefeated Roman Gladiator.
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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.

Pete Grammas

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Pete GRammas, of Concord, New Hampshire, is shown here with a mid-lift of a 150 lb. globe dumbbell that he purchased from the Milo Bar Bell Company. Pete’s best lift was 215 lbs. and his exploits were written up in STRENGTH magazine.

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.

John Grimek and Classic Weights

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018 by John Wood
When you work at the York Barbell Company you get to lift some classic weights any time you want to. Here’s John Grimek about to do just that. The top one is the famous Louis Cyr Challenge Dumbbell. The middle one is a giant dumbbell which belonged to the great French strongman Apollon. You can see the football player Tim Krumrie lifting it here. The bottom globe barbell may have belonged to Warren Lincoln Travis.

Globe Dumbbells

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
For the better part of the last century and a half, globe dumbbells and barbells were the “art form” of the Oldtime Strongman. Many were hollow, which allowed it to be filled progressively with shot to increase the weight and produce a unique training effect. Others, like this one, were solid, and just fun to train with. Several companies used to manufacture globe dumbbells: The Good Barbell Company, The Jackson Barbell Company and, of course, The York Barbell Company who made this one.

In fact, York Barbell was still producing globes like this one until well into the 1970’s. Unfortunately there are no true solid globe dumbbells currently being manufactured today, so if you see any, better grab them quickly because they are exceedingly rare.

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.

IRON MASTER Dumbells

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Another look at one of Osmo Kiiha’s great IRON MASTER dumbbells. This one looks well used because of all the deadlifts and shrugs I did with it (and its mate) back in high school.
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 Thomas Inch Dumbbell – Lifted At Last!

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
History is made! John Gallacher of Glasgow became the first man in modern history to decidedly lift the Thomas Inch Dumbbell at the 1957 NABBA Mr. Universe Contest held in London, England.

Mr. Gallacher fully deadlifted the Inch Dumbbell THREE times that night and was awarded the Special Plaque by Thomas Inch himself. As you should well know, the famous Thomas Inch Dumbbell weighs 172 pounds and has a 2-3/8th inch diameter thick handle making it a tremendous grip challenge for anyone who attempts to lift it. This challenge weight defied thousands of athletes until Mr. Gallacher came along. As luck would have it, Mr. Gallacher called my office a few years back and I got a chance to speak with him at length about the special training which allowed him to lift The Inch Dumbbell.

Young Louis Cyr

Posted on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017 by John Wood

A look at a young Louis Cyr taking a huge Globe Dumbbell for a ride. Cyr was 18 years of age at the time. This rare engraving is from a Quebec newspaper from the late 1800s. Cyr had just defeated David Michaud, the Canadian champion. It was with this very dumbbell that Cyr set many of his strongman records.
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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.

Unknown Strongman #7

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2016 by John Wood

There are a lot of well-known “names” throughout strength history. Just spend a few minutes on this site and you’ll get a good idea of most of them. But there are also hundreds, if not thousands of strongmen out there whose names and feats have been lost to the sands of time.

Take this gentleman, for example: All we know is that he was active in the Holyoke, Massachusetts area at the turn of the century… and he had good taste in equipment. That’s a fine looking dumbbell by his feet. Only time will tell if we ever learn anything more about him.

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 White’s Inch Dumbbell

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 by John Wood
One of the most famous grip feats of all time is to deadlift the Thomas Inch Challenge Dumbbell. Replicas were not available until the mid-1990’s so if you wanted to lift it, you had to either travel to the original, or have your own Inch dumbbell cast, and that is exactly what the great Australian grip master Bruce White did. It took him five years of training to finally accomplish lifting his 172-pound dumbbell. Keep in mind that Bruce White was only 148 pounds at the time, the lightest man to ever do so — a simply phenomenal feat of grip strength.
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.

Ali Kotier

Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 by John Wood

Syrian athlete Ali Kotier is shown here lifting a few famous stage weights. Kotier was featured frequently in Alan Calvert’s Milo Barbell literature as a fantastic example of how one could build incredible strength without being huge in stature: Kotier weighed less than 140 pounds but could put well over 300 lbs. overhead.
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.