Breitbart’s Motorcycle Race

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 by John Wood
Siegmund Breitbart was a master of many traditional strongman feats (horseshoe bending, Nail driving, steel scrolling etc) but he also came up with a number of his own unique feats. Here’s a shot of Breitbart supporting a full-blown motorcycle race on his chest!
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.

J.C. Tolson ~ The Young Mighty Apollon

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by John Wood
J.C. Tolson, of Yorkshire, England, took the stage name of “The Young Mighty Apollon” after his hero the original Apollon”, the great French Strongman. Tolson was a master of many different strength feats, including bending steel as shown here. The image above is actually from the Apollon Bar Bending Course which is posted in full in The Iron LeagueTolson was not a large man but had tremendous full-body power. In 1927, at a bodyweight of only 185 pounds, Tolson easily deadlifted 550 pounds, one of the first men to do so. .

George Levasseur

Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017 by John Wood
George Levasseur was the strongman for the Ringling Bros. Circus in the early 20th century. Here he is bending a horse shoe, circa 1905.
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.

Joel Schumanov Bends a Horseshoe

Posted on Thursday, December 11th, 2014 by John Wood

Strongman Joel Schumanov bends a horseshoe circa 1925. While impressive as a performance feat, steel bending is also a tremendous workout especially for the forearms and upper body.

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.

Athleta

Posted on Friday, June 14th, 2013 by John Wood
Athleta Strongwoman
There weren’t many performing “strongwomen” …but there were a few, one of the greatest of whom was Athleta Van Huffelen, of Belgium. In the late 1800’s, her solo act at the Eden Alhambra Theater in Brussels caused quite a stir in the strength world as she performed feats that, at the time, were thought all but impossible for a woman. Athleta lifted barrels, bent horseshoes and spikes, and, as shown above, danced a waltz while supporting three men and a loaded barbell on her shoulders. The French strength historian Professor Desbonnet had never seen anything like it, so much so that he listed Athleta among the great strength athletes in his classic book “The Kings of Strength.”

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.

Siegmund Breitbart: The Iron King

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by John Wood

Siegmund Breitbart

In the early part of the 20th Century, Siegmund Breitbart was one of the most well-known strongmen the world had ever seen… stories of his great strength graced newspapers all across the country.

He bent steel bars, drove nails with his hands, supported automobiles, twisted horse shoes, pulled wagons with his teeth and even bit through chains!
Breitbart was from a family of blacksmiths and was known professionally as “The Iron King” — like many strongmen of the period, he also had his own series of mail-order training courses.

He would probably have ended up a household name had he not tragically passed away from blood poisoning at the age of 42. The movie “Invincible,” (2001) directed by Werner Herzog, was loosely based on his life

The Human Vise Pat Povilaitis

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

Pat Povilaitis, “The Human Vise”, is a modern strongman and one of the few human beings who can stand toe-to-toe with many of the oldtime greats. As you can likely tell by his moniker, “The Human Vise” excels at Steel Bending: spikes, nails, horse shoes, frying pans – no piece of steel is safe in his hands!  Pat also likes to do combo feats, usually bending something with a 300+ pound stone in his lap!
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.

John Grunn Marx: The Luxembourg Hercules

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by John Wood

John grunn Marx

At an exhibition in Paris, in the year 1905, ‘The Luxembourg Hercules’ John Grunn Marx bent and broke three horseshoes in the span of 2 minutes and 15 seconds. One of these horseshoes is shown above. Marx was descended from a long line of blacksmiths and was famed for his grip and forearm strength. More of Marx’s strength feats will be covered in subsequent posts.