An Unusual Grip feat from Mac Batchelor

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 by John Wood
“The great Mac Batchelor had quite a set of strong mitts. As reported in by John McCallum in The Complete Keys to Progress, Mac could pinch a wine cork between forefinger and thumb, press down as shown and split the cork in half.

Try it…

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.

Mac Batchelor

Posted on Friday, November 10th, 2017 by John Wood
Mac Bachelor was well-known for his feats of grip strength but he was a fine all-around strength athlete. Here’s ‘Big mac’ getting in an impromptu “odd object” workout while working at his tavern in California. Mac’s thick bone structure is evident, it should come as no surprise why Mac was never defeated at armwrestling.
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.

Batchelor’s Backlift

Posted on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 by John Wood
A look at mighty Mac Batchelor as he takes a breather from backlifting, circa 1949. Look closely and you’ll see that his “human weight” included Les Stockton and Roy Hilligenn of South Africa (who had recently won the Mr. Pacific Coast contest.) Mac had recently “trained down” to 275 lbs. (a loss of about 50 lbs. from his normal weight.)
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.

Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller

Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 by John Wood
Now you too can learn about the life and training secrets of one of the strongest men who ever walked the Earth!

Hermann Goerner

Every once in a while, a man comes along who possesses a level of strength that is simply head and shoulders above everyone else out there ~ and Hermann Goerner was just such a man!

Goerner’s strength and power was the stuff of legend, and even nearly a century after his time, no one has ever been close to many of his records.

His most famous lift is likely his ONE-HAND deadlift of 727 pounds(!), but some of his other marks were equally impressive.

These include a strict curl of 242 pounds, a deadlift of 505 pounds with just two fingers of each hand and a plank “leg press” with 24 people which totaled over two tons. Goerner even had a “Challenge weight” a 2-3/8ths inch thick-handled globe barbell which he could clean and jerk almost effortlessly which no one else could so much as budge.

Goerner’s deadlifting ability was the stuff of legend … here he is in 1933, lifting nearly 600 lbs. with only two fingers of each hand!
Goerner’s excellent “challenge” weight… Few strongmen could lift it in any capacity but Goerner did so with ease.
Goerner used to wrestle with a 700 lb. baby elephant as part of his daily act in Pagel’s Circus, South Africa.
How Did a Genuine Oldtime Strength Legend REALLY Train?
Now you Can Find out for sure!

How would you like to know how Hermann Goerner trained? I’m not talking about guesses either, but the actual sets, reps and weights that he used in his workouts. It’s not often that we can have a look into the exact training ideas and programs of a true super man, but, that is exactly what you will have an opportunity to do as noted strength historian Edgar Mueller saw fit to chronicle Goerner’s amazing life, strength records and unique training techniques…

The result was Goerner The Mighty, which was originally published in 1951 but now once again available in high-quality modern reprint edition ~ and even better than the original! Here’s a quick look at the many interesting things you will learn from its pages:

Goerner the Mighty
Table of Contents:
FOREWORD by Irving R. Clark

INTRODUCTION by John E. Dawe

Chapter I: Introducing Hermann Goerner
— What stood out in meeting Goerner for the first time… His other interests… Goerner’s sleep habits and diet

Chapter II: His Early Life
— The age that Goerner first started lifting… His earliest feats of strength as a boy… How he compared to George Hackenschmidt at the same age… His introduction and training to building “animal” strength”… Lifting titles won… Early strength performances as a member of “The Atlas Trio”… Challenge weight feats… Results of the 1913 German Weight Lifting Championship… His ‘battles’ with Karl Moerke

Chapter III: His Later Life and Travels
Pagel’s Circus and adventures in South Africa… Details of his circus “act”… Discovery by Tromp Van Diggelen and introduction to W.A. Pullum… The inspiration for the famous ‘Plank’ feat

Chapter IV: His Measurements
Goerner’s exact measurements taken by the author on December, 16th, 1934… Additional measurements… Notes on body weight at various periods throughout his life

Chapter V: His Lifting Performances and Feats of Strength
The single-handed press… Single-handed snatches… Single-handed jerks… Double- handed jerks and ‘anyhow’ lifts… How some of his lifts compare to several other famous strongmen and lifters, Saxon, Walker, Stanko, Rigoulot, etc… Double-handed snatches… Single and double-handed swings… Feats of Arm and Shoulder Strength… Two-hands slow curl… Two-hands kettlebell press… Two hands holdout… The rectangular fix… The Good Morning… Lifts to Shoulders, Single and Double-Handed… Deadlift records and performances… Supporting Feats… The ‘Plank’ and Human Bridge stunts… Lifting a Car… Carrying a Piano… Walking with a half a ton supported on his shoulders… Feats of Agility and Strength

Chapter VI: His Training Methods
— How many days per week he trained, and the specific ‘type’ of workouts taken… How long each training session lasted… Goerner’s post-workout recovery… A typical training program… Details of the “Die Kette” kettlebell workout… Specific weights used and order of exercises… Lifting tempo… Training for special feats and records… Six different one-hand deadlift “grips”… Training for two-hands deadlifting… Three of Goerner’s favorite types of shrugging movements… Training for supporting or carrying feats… The Brick Lift… Pinch Lifting… Training for a match… Additional training information, diet, massage, roadwork etc

Chapter VII: His Attitude to Lifting Feats and Feats of Strength
— Training philosophy and position on ‘Health’… The role of variety in training… Thoughts on mixing fast and slow movements in the same workout… Deadlifts… Lifting ‘Cold’… Carrying heavy weights… Unusual methods of lifting a barbell… Success in Wrist Wrestling… How Goerner could tear a deck of playing cards… Breaking one of Louis Cyr’s records… Feats of Abdominal strength… Weight Throwing accomplishments

Conclusion: Appreciation by World-Famous Authorities
— Notes and observations on Hermann Goerner from: Prof. Theodore Siebert… David P. Willoughby… George F. Jowett… Tromp Van Diggelen… Bob Hoffman… Henry Graf… Hugo Rosch… Gord Venables… Jack Reid… W.A.Pullum… Ray Van Cleef… Mac Batchelor… Leo Gaudreau

Index

The modern reprint edition of “Goerner The Mighty” by Edgar Mueller is a 5″ x 7″ trade paperback, with full glossy cover, 136 pages in length consisting of eight chapters, the contents of which are listed above.

There are also 32 rare photos and diagrams of Goerner and his exploits and training techniques as well as a full index. This modern reprint edition is nearly identical in every way to the original 1951 printing.

Order now!Goerner The Mighty by Edgar Mueller
___________$19.99 plus s/h

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
“…Whenever a new issue of Strength and Health Arrived in The Mailbox, They Always RIPPED open the envelope and turned to John McCallum’s article first!”
Back when Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were playing concerts, John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” series helped pack more muscle on more people than all other articles combined… and now, five decades later, McCallum’s workouts will help you pack on muscle too!
Before there was this thing called “The Internet,” anyone who was serious about building size and strength got their training information from magazines… and the very best magazine to get solid training info from was Strength and Health, directly from The York Barbell Company in York, PA.

Strength and Health magazine always had good training articles but in the early 1960’s, a strength author by the name of John McCallum began a series entitled “Keys to Progress” …and it took off like wild fire.

It didn’t take long before trainees figured out that when they followed McCallum’s advice, they started getting results… When word got around, the first thing that everyone did when a new issue of Strength and Health arrived in the mailbox was to rip open the envelope and turn to the latest McCallum article to see what was in store that month… and McCallum certainly left no stone unturned. He covered all the important topics (keep reading to see what they were all about.)

McCallum’s articles weren’t just informative, but entertaining as well… and many of them set THE standard for how a strength article should be written. It was through these articles that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people learned how to train (and I’m among them, my story is further on down the page.)

Now you too can read all of John McCallum’s
“Keys to Progress” articles in one place

If you happen to have all of the original issues from the 60’s and 70’s which contain all of John McCallum’s “Keys” articles, then you are one very fortunate individual… it is all but impossible to find these issues any more… and even if you could find them (which is highly unlikely) it would cost you a small fortune to get every issue.

Lucky for us though, every single one of of McCallum’s classic training articles have recently been combined into one volume and reprinted for a new generation to read and enjoy.

You can skip right to the chase and order your copy right now… Other wise, keep reading to find out why “Keys” is a must have… (especially in this day and age!)

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one strength book to read ‘THE COMPLETE KEYS TO PROGRESS’ should be it!

Now, you might be wondering… “So why were McCallum’s articles so popular?” …there are several reasons. One of them is his unique “style” of writing. Many of the Keys to Progress articles are more like stories and he’s got a memorable cast of characters:

Among them you’ll find the old gym owner (who bears a striking similarity to John McCallum), a guy who is trying to make the world a stronger place, one bodybuilder at a time…

Then there’s Marvin, a typical ’60s teenager looking to put on some size to impress the girls. (Marvin makes many of the same knucklehead mistakes that just about everyone has, which also puts a few more grey hairs on JM’s head, and the fact that Marvin is also dating his daughter doesn’t help)… There’s Ollie, JM’s best friend and running buddy who he likes to bounce ideas off of… and who could forget good old “Uncle Harry” who puts bodybuilders half his age to shame?

You’ll get to know these folks pretty well, in fact you’ll probably see parts of yourself in them too.

The other factor that makes John McCallum’s articles so effective is the subject matter. Unlike many of today’s strength “authors,” even if it ruffled a few feathers, McCallum was not afraid to pull any punches and tell it like it is… this solid dose of real training was certainly worth it though, an untold number of trainees finally start seeing results by following the workouts and advice in these articles.

McCallum also visited and corresponded with many of the most famous weight men of the time in order to find out the real scoop about how they trained. He learned a great deal from them and wasn’t shy about including his findings in his articles. If you want to know how many of the greats trained — how they REALLY trained — then you’ll find that type information on these pages:

You Won’t Find This Training
Information Anywhere Else!
How long should your workouts last? …It’s an age-old question that you’ll finally get the answer to on page 2… You’ll also find a good, basic weight gaining program for beginners and intermediates later on in the article

McCallum understood full well that one of the “secrets” to record breaking lifts was through harnessing the power of the human mind… You’ll read tips on fractional relaxation, auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis in his three articles on Concentration (and in several other articles as well)

How do you put on good, solid strength and size quickly? — Sure, lifting is a part of it, but so is getting in enough calories… You’ll receive the recipe and instructions for the “Get Big Drink” on page 15
What did a typical workout look like for three-time Mr. Universe contest winner Reg Park? McCallum was there and saw one with his own eyes… and it probably isn’t what you think… Read all about it in the “Training for Gaining” article starting on page 16

On Page 22, McCallum devotes an entire article to addressing one of the most important training secrets — one that just about everyone downplays or ignores

Building a bigger, stronger neck is important — especially if you play football — McCallum’s “Neck Specialization” article, which you can find starting on page 46, gives you seven basic exercises for filling out your collar

If there’s one area of training that just about every program is lacking in, it’s grip work… but the fact of the matter is that if you want to lift big weights, you’ve gotta have strong hands… Starting on page 49, you’ll find two articles devoted to increasing grip and forearm strength, along with an enlightening visit to Mac Batchelor’s pub!

Having trouble bulking up? You’ll want to try the “High-Protein, High-Set” Routine found on page 60… and don’t miss the “results” follow up article
What if you can’t squat? …there ARE other options… in fact, there’s an exercise that can do for the upper body what squats can do with the whole body and you can read all about how to work it into your program on page 68
Just because you lift weights does not mean you shouldn’t be in shape as well… A decade before before the”jogging boom” McCallum was urging strength athletes to hit the track to get their waistline in check. Find out his thoughts and recommendations on page 85
One of the most unique training programs that McCallum discussed in his articles was “P.H.A.” which was developed by 1966 Mr. American Bob Gajda… this routine is especially effective if you need more definition…you’ll read everything you need to know about PHA training starting on page 99
Looking to widen out? Try the “Back Work for Bulk” program on page 127… You’ll be in good company with this routine, these exercises were used with great success by Maurice Jones, Bill Pearl and Reg Park (among others)
If you want to build a big chest, you’ve got to enlarge your rib box…McCallum’s 4-part “For a Big Chest” series, which begins on page 131, outlines the specific exercises for making it happen
Not many people know about Hip Belt Squats but you can read all about them on pages 156-160… that includes details on setup, how to incorporate them and the other exercises that should be performed with them
Forget the store-bought stuff, if you need some more nutrients in your diet, you’ll want to read McCallum’s articles on baking muscle muffins and Vitamins… you’ll find more info starting on page 191
Training not going so great? There are some pretty predictable reasons why this may be and McCallum examines them in detail on pages 216-228
“The Case for the Breathing Squat” — one of the ALL-TIME greatest training articles — starts on page 259… the entire price of the book is worth it for this article alone

These points are, of course, just some of the items that I find of interest, there are many more that I didn’t mention… there’s a great deal of nutrition information and nearly every article also contains a workout of some kind so if you ever need a good one to try, you can flip to just about any page and find what you need.

One of the keys (pardon the pun) to successful training is having the right kind of information to guide you and keep you on point — with John McCallum’s “Keys to Progress” articles in hand, you’ll definitely get (and stay) on the right track.

If you were around when “The Keys to Progress” first hit the scene, this will be a nice trip down memory lane (and probably also serve as a reminder of some important points that may have fallen by the wayside)… but if you’ve never read any of McCallum’s stuff before, then you’re in for a real treat… You’ll enjoy reading them, learn more than you think, and most importantly, if “The Keys to Progress” articles don’t get you fired up to train, then nothing will!

Don’t waste another single second, order your copy right now to get started!

Order now!The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
___________$19.99 plus s/h

Mighty Joe Young vs. 10 Strongmen

Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2016 by John Wood
The 1949 film ‘Mighty Joe Young’ features a number of familiar faces. In a memorable scene, Mr. Joseph Young of Africa plays tug of war with 10 strongmen in a nightclub. The strongmen in question are played by Mac Batchelor and Primo Carnera and famous wrestlers ‘Killer’ Karl Davis, William ‘Wee Willie’ Davis, Henry Kulky, “Slammin” Sammy Menacker, Man Mountain Dean, Ivan Rasputin, Sammy Stein and ‘The Swedish Angel’ Phil Olafsson. (The strongmen never had a chance, Mighty Joe easily prevails, pulling them one by one into a pool of water.)

Armwrestling’s First Super Match

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2016 by John Wood
Starting in the 1930’s, the man to beat in the armwrestling (sometimes called “wrist wrestling”) world was California strength athlete and tavern owner Mac Batchelor. People came from far and wide to have a go with Mac but none succeeded, Batchelor undefeated in an estimated 4000 matches.

It just so happened, in the mid-40’s a new challenge showed up in town in the form of Earle Audet, a two-time national champion shotputter and professional football player for the Los Angeles Dons. Audet was also similarly undefeated as an armwrestler …someone had the grand idea to pit these two titans head to head and the first “Supermatch” was born.

December, 16th, 1946 was the date and they met up in the famed Embassy auditorium for a 2 out of 3 falls bout. Audet tipped the scales at 250 lbs., which was certainly large for the time but Batchelor was closer to 300 lbs. Outweighed and out-experienced, it was Batchelor who eventually came out the winner and declared the World’s champion. It should also be noted that the table used was designed by George F. Jowett.

Freddy Ortiz

Posted on Monday, August 25th, 2014 by John Wood

Freddy Ortiz is proof that someone doesn’t have to be a giant to be physically impressive. Mr. Ortiz was was just over five feet tall but sported one of the best upper-bodies in the business, maybe even ever. Freddy, seen above on the cover of the November, 1965 cover of Mr. America magazine finished in the top three of every content he ever entered, taking first in the short class of the 1962 IFBB Mr. Universe and the 1963 and 1964 IFBB Mr. America and 1966 IFBB Mr. Eastern America bodybuilding contests. Freddy often trained at Vince’s Gym.

Incidentally, in this issue, you’ll find the article “Secrets of Arm Wrestling” by Mac Batchelor.

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.

Mac Batchelor

Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by John Wood

“I was in L.A. about ten years ago. I went into one of the gyms and asked about a man named Mac Batchelor. They told me how to find the tavern where he worked and that night I drove over to see him.

The tavern was full of thirsty customers, but there was no doubt who was Batchelor. He weighed about 330 and most of it was muscle. I climbed up on a bar stool and introduced myself.

“Tell me Mac, “I said, “You still the world’s best arm wrestler?”

He laughed. “I think so.” He propped an arm like an elephant’s leg up on the bar.

“Wanta try?”

I looked at the arm. “No Thanks.”

He looked surprised. “No? How come?”

Mac, I’ll tell ya, I said. “You might break my arm and I don’t think my insurance would cover it.”

He smiled broadly. “You know,” he said, “you’re one of the very few people who ever walked in here and didn’t think they could beat me.

“Good grief,” I said,” I ain’t too bright, but I’m not crazy. I tell you what I would like, though. I’d like to see some of those strength feats of yours I’ve heard about.”

“Sure,” he said. “Here.” He reached under the bar and brought out four bottle caps. He jammed one between each finger on his right hand and held his hand out. “Watch.” He squeezed lightly and the four caps crumpled like Kleenex…”

– from “Grip and Forearm Development” in The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

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.