John Davis: Pinch Gripping

Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 by John Wood

John Davis Pinch Grip

One of the classic tests of grip strength is to pinch two heavy weight plates together – something that legendary John Davis could do with ease with these York Deep-Dish 35-pound plates. Davis could perform three one-arm chins as well as lift the famed Apollon wheels which also had a very thick handle — needless to say, if you want to be a strongman, it pays to have strong hands…

The Victor Master Grip

Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 by John Wood
Grip developers have always been popular and the “Victor Master Grip” is a good one from way back, about 1926 or so. It’s got progressive resistance through a full range of motion and you can adjust resistance by the number of springs. You’ll still see this design around today.

Rocket Richard Hand Gripper

Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 by John Wood

Rocket Richard Hand Gripper

Maurice “Rocket” Richard was one of the all time great hockey players. With the Montreal Canadiens, he was the first to score 50 goals in 50 games, the first to score 500 goals in a career and likely the first (and perhaps only) hockey player with a signature hand gripper. Whether this particular gripper helped his hockey prowess is anyone’s guess, but there’s no doubt that extra hand and grip strength certainly does help out on the ice.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Stanley Radwan ~ The Iron Man

Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 by John Wood

Stanley Radwan ~ The Iron Man

Stanley Radwan was a catch-wrestler and strongman who performed during the 1940’s and 50’s in the Cleveland, Ohio area. This event poster from 1949 advertises Radwan pulling cars with his teeth, biting through steel, breaking chains, bending horseshoes, bend nails and spikes, nail driving by hand, tearing decks of cards, and performing the human chain feat. It was said Radwan could also bend coins with his hands. As a side note, St. Josaphat’s Hall is still around, it was converted to an art gallery a few years ago.

Grip Dynamometer

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012 by John Wood
Grip Dynamometer

The early physical training pioneers were very interested the study of Anthropometry, or the measurement of various aspects of the human body. The device above, a grip dynamometer, which was designed and used by Dudley Allen Sargent at the Hemenway Gymnasium, was used to measure the strength of the hand and forearm musculature. Squeezing the two handles together compressed the springs which caused a small dial to turn and register the applied amount of force thus giving the amount of grip strength (or lack thereof) possessed by the user.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Hammer Strength/Tim Krumrie

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 by John Wood

Tim Krumrie, Hammer Strength and a classic Globe Dumbbell

Tim Krumrie, the Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro nose tackle is shown here with a classic globe dumbbell in this early advertisement for Hammer Strength equipment. The dumbbell shown (yes, it was a dumbbell) once belonged to the great French strongman Apollon.

Krumrie was well-known for his incredible hand strength, which should be an essential part of training programs for the game of football. Krumrie’s specific grip routine can be found in The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results by Ellington Darden.

The Killer Karate Krusher!

Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by John Wood
Chuck Sipes Demosntrates 'The Killer Karate Krusher!'
We have long been making the case that grip strength is a valuable commodity to all athletes, case in point: The Killer Karate Krusher! If you have ever wanted ‘A Bone-Crushing Grip”, “Fingers as Tough as Steel”, and “A Fist as Tough as a Sledge Hammer” then the ‘Killer Karate Krusher’ is one to check out. The Killer Karate Krusher is the only exercise which permit full “finger bombing” for an extra-powerful grip — or at least that’s what is said in the ad. Who knows how many of these were ordered from outta the back of comic books?

Demonstrating is IFBB Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World, Chuck Sipes, who was clearly no stranger to forearm work.

The Lind-Hendrickson “Big Giant” Grip Machine

Posted on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 by John Wood

Lind-Hendrickson Big Giant Grip Machine

Even though “working out” was a relatively new concept in the early 1920’s, when the Lind-Hendrickson “Big Giant” Grip Machine first appeared, people still understood the importance of building a strong grip… something which far too many folks neglect in their training these days.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

William Beattie

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

William Beattie lifting two blockweights

“The Scottish Apollo” William Beattie is shown here doing a bent-press with a pair of what are most likely 56-pound block weights. It should be noted that he fist swung them up to that position which is a fantastic feat of grip strength in holding the blocks together.  Beatties was also fond of juggling these weights.

Unsurprisingly, Beattie was one of the many students of William Pullum and won the British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA) 12 stone Championship in 1929. Beattie went on to perform feats of strength and acrobatics with several circuses.

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.