Clevio Massimo Strongman Poster

Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 by John Wood
An old poster of the strongman Clevio Massimo during the time he appeared on the stage throughout the country, depicting some of the feats of strength he included in his act: harness lifting, the One Arm get Up, Kettlebell Crucifix, card ripping, hand balancing etc. He included quite a variety; many not illustrated here, and his ability as a showman only enhanced his fine performances. Massimo also played the violin in one portion of his act to prove he was a capable musician as well as a genuine strongman.

William Pagel

Posted on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 by John Wood
The German Strongman William Pagel used to perform an amazing feat of strength: carrying a 1050-pound horse to the top of two 18-foot ladders by the use of a harness. Even more amazing was that he did this for 10 shows a day. Notably, Pagel could clean 225 pounds with one arm, jerk it to arm’s length and while holding it aloft, lay down flat on the ground and then return to a standing position, barbell still overhead. Pagel was also a great wild animal trainer.
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.

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Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by John Wood

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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.

Cyclops and Sampson: The Strongest Men on Earth

Posted on Sunday, October 25th, 2015 by John Wood
A rare poster advertising the strongman duo of Franz “Cyclops” Bienkowski and Charles A. Sampson. Sampson’s Harness Lift is highlighted.
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 Amazing Samson’s Harness Lift

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by John Wood

“The Amazing Samson,” Alexander Zass was a master of many different types of lifts. Here’s the man making a harness lift of over a ton without even breaking a sweat. Harness lifting was always very popular with performing strongmen since they could be done with very heavy weights, and could use audience members as ballast. Aside from the performance benefits, our research indicates that heavy supporting lifts may be a great contributor to greater overall body 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.

Young Bill Good and The Good Dumbbell

Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the great American weightlifter Bill Good in the midst of harness lifting the equally famous Good Dumbbell. circa 1934. Good, a Reamstown, Pennsylvania, native was a seven-time National weightlifting Champion (1930-1935, 1937) and competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games. Good liked to celebrate his birthday each year by harness lifting the 2150 lb. Good Dumbbell for as many repetitions as the number of years of his age, a feat he kept up until he was 90.

Karl Abs at The Winter Circus

Posted on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by John Wood

Karl Abs at The Winter Circus

Here’s an extremely rare poster from the late 1880’s, when Karl Abs was the featured attraction at the Cirque d’ Hiver (Winter Circus) exhibition hall in Paris, France. Each night, Abs harness-lifted a horse and challenged all comers in the wrestling ring, (among other feats.) It’s pretty awesome that the Cirque d’ Hiver, which opened in 1852, is actually still going strong to this day.

Thomas Topham’s Barrel Lift

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 by John Wood

Thomas Topham: Barrel Lifting

Thomas Topham is known as the greatest strongman of the 18th century. Among his many incredible feats, on May 28th, 1741, by use of a harness, Topham lifted three barrels filled with water a combined weight of 1386 lbs.
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.

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 © 2005-2018 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.