The Iron Jawed Man

Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Another look at Signor Lawanda: The Iron jawed Man. The top picture shows Lawanda at 20 years old and his neck and jaw development is quite dramatic.
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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.

Joe Ponder

Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017 by John Wood
Joe Ponder, from Love Valley, North Carolina, was a truck driver who injured his neck in an accident in 1970. As a part of his rehab, his doctor recommended strengthening his neck muscles and Ponder did so by lifting a bucket with a towel wrapped around the handle clenched in his teeth. Each day he added a little more water to the bucket until it became full.

Joe began to lift other heavy objects with the power of his teeth and jaws and it took him around the world: with his teeth, he lifted giant pumpkins, livestock, Miss Nude America and Miss Nude World (at the same time!) and towed a fully loaded tractor trailer. Ponder made it into Ripley’s Believe it or not, The Guinness Book of World Record, performed on the David Letterman Show and received a fitness award from President Jimmy Carter. Once Joe also smashed some concrete blocks while swinging a 20pound sledge hammer clenched in his teeth! The pumpkin above weighed “only” 343 lbs, he easily lifted one over 600 lbs.

John Massis

Posted on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
Flemish Strongman John Massis led an incredibly colorful life: Born in Bruges in 1940, by 19 years of age, Massis was already appearing on television as a strength prodigy. He bent steel bars and other traditional strongman feats but was most famous for his jaw strength. Massis lifted cars, stopped motorbikes and even once pulled two Long Island passenger cars, weighing 80 tons to get himself into the Guinness Book of World Records. Feats of strength were only part of Massis’ amazing accomplishments: he also recorded several hit songs, funded his own political party, founded a circus, and appeared in several films. Later on, a musical was written about his life.
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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.

Joseph Vitole’s Strong Teeth

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by John Wood
“… looming before my vision as a standout, was a feat by Joseph Vitole, a 155 lb. lad whom I trained right after World War I. Vitole had the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. Each tooth met the other in his bite. He had a square jaw, a stocky neck and a rugged all round build. He specialized in all teeth and jaw hobbies. He really liked to bite and grip with his jaws and this lead to the lifting of weights with his teeth alone. He had a leather “bit” which was attached to a strong chain. This chain had a link-clasp at the other end. Joe would simply wrap one end of this chain around the bar of a bell, then take a firm grip upon the leather mouthpiece, place his hands upon his lower thighs and pull with the back of his neck until the weight raised a few inches off the floor. He trained a lot with this sort of novelty lifting. gradually his poundages increased until he was absolutely sure of doing the unheard of (then) total of 550 pounds! I have seen him do this lift many times in practice. Finally, Bernarr McFadden promoted a physique contest for both men and women in 1921.

At this affair which ran for one week at the old Madison Square Garden, NYC, there were staged various unique events and one of these was a contest in teeth-lifts. I was a judge in this particular affair. Joseph Vitole then and there made an official record of 550 lbs. in the teeth-lift which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been broken. Now please check up on what I have written: Vitole weighed only 155 lbs. himself, yet with the power of his back, neck, jaws and teeth, he lifted this weighted barbell, which was officially tested and checked by many assigned for that particular purpose, and found to weigh 550 lbs. Vitole often told me afterwards that he could easily lift much more than that poundage…”

~ Earle E. Liederman

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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.

Lee “Strongman” Jones

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Lee “Strongman” Jones does his thing back in the mid-1950’s. We don’t know anything about the man other than he obviously has a pretty strong set of choppers.
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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.

Yet Another Way to Lift a Horse

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by John Wood
George Jagendorfer demonstrates one of the many ways that he lifted a horse while performing for Hengler’s Circus in the 1890’s. You have to have a pretty strong set of choppers for this one.
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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.

Andre Reverdy

Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by John Wood
Andre Reverdy
Andre Reverdy the “vest pocket strongman” from  was a Massachusetts was active during the 1920’s. He weighed but  113 pounds but could bent press 168 pounds, tear cards, bend steel and, as shown above, pull a car with his teeth. He was coached in these classic strongman feats by Professor Attila. The above photo was taken at one of Bernarr Macfadden’s Physical Culture shows held at Madison Square Garden. Reverdy pulled this car full of passengers — with his teeth — the entire length of the arena.
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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.

Art Levan

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

Art Levan

Besides being a a great Olympic lifter (10x National Champion in the 126 lb. class) Art Levan, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was also a master of several unusual feats of strength as well. Here’s Art hanging by his teeth with a 70-pound kettlebell in each hand.
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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.

Unknown Strongman #4

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

UNknown Strongman #4

Here’s another unknown strongman whose identity is unfortunately lost to history. I believe he was German, and whoever he was, clearly has a strong set of choppers on him. That’s a pretty nifty globe barbell too!
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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.

Dallas Cooper of Akron, Ohio

Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 by John Wood
When someone offers Dallas Cooper of Akron, Ohio a bet, he bites. Above he is practicing with only” 200 pounds. Cooper, who was 46 at the time of this shot, had been lifting since he was 15 years old, and his best was 350 pounds. Cooper has won countless bets with this ability ~ and, surprisingly, has never broken a tooth.
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.