An extremely rare posterof the great French Strongman Apollon. he was called “Le Roi des Athletes” (The King of Athletes) for good reason, even a hundred years later no one has even come close to bettering any of his feats. Apollon is shown performing a Muscle Out with a ring weight and a small horse! Apollon’s famous wheels are pictured as well.
“I’ve got more strength in one finger than you have in your whole body!” For most people, such a statement would be mere hyperbole, but in the case of Doug Hepburn it was obviously true. One of Doug Hepburn’s favorite feats was to muscle out a 45-pound plate hanging from his pinky finger — an amazing display of shoulder and grip strength. As evident here, Hepburn could do this with either hand.
Gustave Empain the Belgian weightlifter, finished third at the 1903 World Weightlifting Championships, behind Francois Lancoud and Heinrich Schneidereit. Empain’s greatest feat, however, was a Muscle Out of 76 pounds, which he did in front of Professor Desbonnet at the Weightlifting Club of France. After retiring from competition, Empain opened a bar in his hometown of Charleroi, Belgium.
Heavyweight champ Primo Carnera was a “strong man” as well as a strongman. Here’s “The Preem” doing a ‘Muscle Out’ of a pretty good size kid. I’d say that’s a hundred pounds at least. Strong shoulders obviously come in pretty handy in the ring.
Alfred Decottignies, shown here ‘muscling out’ a block weight whilst simultaneously pressing a heavy globe barbell overhead, established the Comines Weightlifting Club in northern France in 1892. The club is still going strong today making it the oldest ongoing weightlifting club in existence. Alfred’s son, Edmond Decottignies went on to win the gold medal in the lightweight class in the 1924 Paris Olympic games.
Here’s one you can try at home: do a front hold out with an Olympic barbell, then, by wrist power alone twist it from horizontal to vertical and back again. At 70 years of age, “The Mighty Norseman,” Karl Norberg could do this with ease.
“The Bavarian Hercules” Hans Steyrer is shown here with his signature lift: a one-finger lift of a heavy stone block, usually 500 pounds or more, combined with a muscle-out of a 50-pound kettlebell. Either one of these feats would be impressive by themselves, but doing them both at the same time put Steyrer in a league by himself. It should also be noted that Steyrer was the very first strongman ever photographed using kettlebells (at least to our knowledge.) This was around 1880 or so