Batta

Posted on Friday, March 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Charles Estienne, or or, as he was more commonly known “Batta” was an oldtime strongman famous for his incredible grip strength. Standing at 5’10” and a bodyweight of around 190 pounds, Batta was the only man who duplicated one of the Apollon’s greatest feats: the lifting of four 44-pound blockweights overhead — each tied to a finger of one hand. It was also written that Batta cleaned (but did not jerk) Apollon’s famous railroad wheels – an incredible feat in its own right, but even more so due to his light bodyweight.
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.

Rope Climbing for Grip Strength

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Sig Klein was always outspoken as far as the importance of grip strength… One of Sig’s favorite exercises was to hang by one hand from a thick climbing rope. It’s still a good one.
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.

The Collins Dynamometer

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016 by John Wood
Many of the oldtime strongmen and physical culture pioneers were big on measurement (or Anthropometry, as it was known) for the sake of better understanding their training techniques as well as measuring their improvement over time. The Collins Dynamometer shown here was used for measuring grip strength.
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.

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 © 2005-2019 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.

1901 Sandow Grip Dumbbell Poster

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015 by John Wood
Sandow’s Grip Dumbbells were one of the earliest pieces of commercial training equipment, and the most popular as well. Here we have a nifty advertising poster for them from 1901 that not many folks have seen before.

Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells

Posted on Thursday, December 4th, 2014 by John Wood
Sandow's Grip Dumb-Bells

Back in 1899, the hottest thing going was Eugen Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells which consisted of two dumbbell “halves” joined together by a series of springs.

While they were not the first piece of mail order strength equipment, Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells were very close — and they were certainly one of the most well-known.

As one followed the suggested workouts, they could build their forearm strength by keeping the two halves “crushed” together as they trained the rest of their body through various other movements.

Also, according to several of the advertisements, regular training with these dumbbells also improved not only strength but will power and concentration as well.

Sandow’s Grip Dumb-Bells came in a variety of styles and types — ranging from “Basic Black” to nickel-plated models with leather handles. There were also different resistance levels for “Gents” men, women, youths and children. This ad is from 1907.

Shake Hands With Uncle Sam Grip Tester

Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2014 by John Wood

If you feel like taking a road trip, I know they they have one of these machines right here in Michigan at Marvelous Marvin’s place. These Uncle Sam machines were first made in 1908 as grip testers. Once you dropped your penny in the slot, you squeezed Uncle Sam’s out-stretched hand as hard as you could and the arrow on the dial told how strong your grip was. If you scored 300, a bell rang so you can impress all your friends. The modern versions cost a quarter and tell you the strength of your “personality.”

Either way, bonus points if you noticed one of these machines at the “Double Deuce” in Roadhouse.

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’s Deadlift

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 by John Wood

Goerner's Deadlift

Hermann Goerner was a big fan of deadlifting and he picked weights up off the ground in every conceivable way. Goerner deadlifted with two fingers of each hand… he deadlifted with only his middle fingers… he deadlifted with offset weights… and he deadlifted with one hand. Shown here is Goerner’s one-arm lift of a stone block of 660 German pfunds – the standard measurement at the time. (That’s 727 pounds!)

Goerner’s feat was featured on an advertising poster for the Greco-Roman wrestling championships held in Dresden, Germany from September 8th to the 12th back in 1920.

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.

Joe Kinney’s Can Bustin’

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2013 by John Wood

THE Man when it comes to grip strength is Mr. Joe Kinney from Bean Station, Tennessee. In 1998, he became the first man to close the Ironmind #4 Gripper and did so in a manner that has never been duplicated before or since; it looked easier than a Trainer as he slammed the handles shut. Pictured above is how Joe likes to “open a beer”– by squeezing the can until explodes!
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.

Edward Aston’s Gripper

Posted on Sunday, October 27th, 2013 by John Wood

Aston Gripper

When you go through old training courses, sometimes you find something that even the most knowledgeable historians have never seen before. Here’s a bit of rare grip history from deep in some forgotten lore: The Edward Aston Spring Grip Machine. As you can see, it is essentially a combination of two gripper springs and two handles ~ a pretty unique design indeed.
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.