Henry Wittenberg

Posted on Saturday, November 30th, 2013 by John Wood

Jersey City, New Jersey born Henry Wittenberg was one of the greatest wrestlers who ever lived. Unbelievably, he never even wrestled until he got to college but by his junior year, he was doing very well in many prestigious tournaments.

After college, he entered eight AAU tournaments – and won all of them. In an era where many people inflate their numbers, Wittenberg legitimately won over 300 straight matches. He won a Gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics and came back to win Silver in 1952 at Helsinki. He doesn’t have any World Championships to his credit because his employer, The New York Police Department, would not allow him the time off.

One of the notable things about Wittenberg is that he was one of the few athletes at the time who actively lifted weights. His coaches at the time forbade him to do so, but Wittenberg understood how important it was and would not hear of it. They gave in and allowed him to keep lifting weights so as long as he didn’t let it be known.

Later on, he wrote this book on Isometrics which has gone through five printings.

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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 Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass

Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 by John Wood

Alexander Zass - The Amazing Samson

As far as Oldtime Strongmen go, few were more impressive than “The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass. Bending and breaking nails… twisting horse shoes …driving nails by hand… supporting feats… scrolling steel… breaking chains… teeth lifting… carrying horses or pianos on his back… Samson did it all. Interestingly, Zass attributed much of his strength and development to isometric training.