Secrets of Strong Man Feats by Ottley R. Coulter

Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 by John Wood
Ottley R. Coulter wrote this interesting course in 1942. In it, he covers many classical feats of strength: how to rip a newspaper in half, card tearing, nail driving,how to break rocks with your fist(!), spike bending etc. All those are interesting, but to me, the real value is the excellent abdominal development course that appears in the last few pages.

P.S. This course in full is posted in The Iron League.

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.

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.

Bill Pearl Strongman Bodybuilder

Posted on Sunday, August 28th, 2016 by John Wood

Bill Pearl is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, having won many different bodybuilding titles over his colorful career. Something you may not realize though is that Bill also began performing traditional feats of strength such as license plate ripping (pictured), chain breaking, spike bending, card tearing and even Nail Driving because he “felt that he should BE as strong as he looked.” I don’t think we’ll see his ilk again any time soon.
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.

Galen Gough – “The World’s Miracle Strongman”

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2016 by John Wood
Billed as “The World’s Miracle Strongman,” Galen Gough from Howard’s Grove, Kentucky certainly lived up to his title. Gough was injured while serving in World War I but built himself back to health and strength through physical training methods. His results were so dramatic that a career as a performing strongman soon followed.

Gough performed feats of strength in carnivals, fairs and vaudeville houses all over the country. In addition to “traditional” strongman feats such as The Human Link, Nail Driving, and bar bending, Gough came up with many of his own including dangling from a rope tied to an airplane by his teeth, with a 50 pound weight in each hand, biting keys in half, and juggling a 300-pound anvil!

One of his many adventures was to perform feats of strength as publicity stunts for the Louisville, Kentucky-based Oertel Brewing Company which is the origin of the ‘Barrel’ barbell pictured here.

Nail Driving

Posted on Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 by John Wood
One of the all-time best strongman feats is to drive a nail through a thick board with your bare hand. There are two different techniques for doing so, the “slap” technique and the “punch” technique shown here demonstrated by The Amazing Samson, Alexander Zass. You’ll probably be better at one more than the other but it pays to practice both of them.
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.

Saxon Brown

Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2014 by John Wood

Saxon Brown

In 1924, at seventeen years of age, Saxon Brown was Britain’s strongest youth. As a professional, he performed many traditional feats of strength such as Nail Driving, Nail Bending, Card Tearing, The Human Chain and Steel Scrolling.

Brown could also lift a car from the side and would let a motorcycle drive over his neck as a part of his act…he is thought to be the first man to pull a bus with his teeth. Brown was also clearly a big fan of chest expanders.

Arthur Santell

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 by John Wood

Arthur Santell was just a kid from Los Angeles with an interest in physical training who talented enough to be featured the newspaper every once in a while. What we do know of Arthur Santell is that he could drive a 20 penny nail through two 1-inch boards with his fist, break chains with his bare hands and scroll a 1-1/2-inch x 1/4-inch steel band around his arm. This picture was taken on May 6th, 1930. Santell was 18 at the time.
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.

Siegmund Breitbart Newspaper Clipping

Posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2013 by John Wood
Siegmund Breitbart Newspaper Clipping

Siegmund Breitbart toured the United States in the 1920’s, performing feats of strength AND amazing crowds wherever he went.

Here’s a clipping from the Chicago News, October 22nd, 1923, showing Breitbart demonstrating his nail driving ability — pounding a nail through a one-inch thick oak board with nothing but his bare hand.

Nail Driving is one of the classical strongman feats, one that not only wows ’em every time but also one that builds tremendous strength in the shoulder and upper body. Several “oldtime” boxers actually practiced nail driving in order to build striking power.

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.

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.

Paul Anderson, The Nail Driver

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by John Wood
Paul Anderson The Nail Driver
Paul Anderson accomplished many things in his life including an Olympic Gold Medal and World Records in just about every lift he tried… but I bet you didn’t know he was also an expert nail driver too… When he traveled around for speaking engagements, Big Paul figured the quickest way to get an audience’s attention was to perform an unusual feat of strength — and a man driving a nail through a wooden board with his bare hand sure fits the bill! Other great nail driving strongmen include Alexander ‘Amazing Samson’ Zass, Siegmund Breitbart, Dennis Rogers, and The Mighty Atom.