Clevio Massimo Strongman Poster

Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 by John Wood
An old poster of the strongman Clevio Massimo during the time he appeared on the stage throughout the country, depicting some of the feats of strength he included in his act: harness lifting, the One Arm get Up, Kettlebell Crucifix, card ripping, hand balancing etc. He included quite a variety; many not illustrated here, and his ability as a showman only enhanced his fine performances. Massimo also played the violin in one portion of his act to prove he was a capable musician as well as a genuine strongman.

Training for Gotch

Posted on Sunday, December 10th, 2017 by John Wood
George Hackenshmidt drew a crowd while in training to face Frank Gotch for the second time, in Chicago in 1911. Hack is shown here building his neck strength with the the wrestler’s bridge. His training partners Dr. Benjamin Roller and Gus ‘Americus’ Schoenlein, look on.

Ditka’s Neck Training

Posted on Monday, April 10th, 2017 by John Wood
It is important for football players to increase their neck strength in order to be better prepared to play the game. This was a fact not lot on “Da Bears” as shown by this rare training camp shot. Check out the guys bridging in the background, and yes, that’s Mike Ditka himself doing a headstand. Look closely and you’ll see that his whistle has fallen down around his face. If you have no other equipment available, a simple headstand like this can be an excellent method for building neck strength.
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.

Chuck Davis

Posted on Monday, February 29th, 2016 by John Wood

Here’s one you don’t see every day: the man under the barbell is Chuck Davis, doing an impressive neck bridge lift of 350 lbs. This feat happened at a show in March of 1959 and was featured in the Knoxville News Sentinel. This clipping was sent in by Chuck’s good friend Bob Simpson (spotting on the right above.) Bob tells us that Chuck rarely did this lift, perhaps only a dozen times but accomplished 400 lbs. at 200lbs bodyweight. Having done a little of this kind of training, I can tell you that this is IMPRESSIVE. Chuck was also featured in Strength and Health.
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.

Vsevolod Kherts ~ Another Angle

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 by John Wood
Another look at the great Russian Circus strongman Vsevolod Kherts and his incredible 300+ lb. neck bridging, this time, from another angle. And check out that nifty globe barbell rack in the background.
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.

Hackenschmidt’s Bridge

Posted on Monday, January 19th, 2015 by John Wood
A look at George Hackenschmidt demonstrating perfect form in the wrestler’s bridge around 1910. This exercise has obvious merit for wrestlers but can be an awesome method for developing neck and upper-back strength. Bridging will also strengthen the spine and may even make you slightly taller so it’s a good one to have in your bag of tricks.
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.

Farmer Burns on the Wrestler’s Bridge

Posted on Thursday, December 18th, 2014 by John Wood
“I wish to impress upon all my students the great value of physical training connected with the bridge exercise. I want you to practice bridging every day, for you can find nothing that will develop the neck and back muscles to such an extent as bridging will do.

You already realize the importance of a very strong neck and it is entirely up to you to have a wonderful neck or not, depending entirely on the amount of study, and time of practice that you give the subject. A strong, well-developed neck is not only valuable to health and your personal athletic appearance, but important in wrestling as well.”

~ Farmer Burns, 1912

Lurich’s Bridge

Posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the great Estonian strongman/wrestler Georg Lurich giving a few friends “a lift” in the wrestler’s bridge, sometime around 1910. As someone who has a little experience with bridging with additional (human) weight, I can tell you that this feat is as impressive as they come.

Extreme Neck Strength

Posted on Friday, June 6th, 2014 by John Wood

When you build a little strength, sometimes you want to show off a bit… and that is exactly what’s going on here. Up top you’ll see my good friend Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitis, bending a spike in his hands while John Wood provides the platform in the form of a nose-to-mat bridge. You won’t find many people that can hold a full bridge, even without a 180 pound man standing on top of him. If you aren’t practicing your “nose-to-mat” bridge, or at least working up to it, in our experience, you aren’t getting as much out of the exercise as you could…
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.

Ellington Darden’s Neck

Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 by John Wood

Like many young trainees, Ellington Darden wanted to build size and strength, but unlike many of his peers, he wanted a bigger neck to go with a bigger pair of arms. Throughout junior high and high school, he focused specifically on his neck work, primarily using the wrestler’s bridge and a Neck Helmet.

He continued this neck program in college, which was especially important while playing football. It paid off… When he graduated from Baylor University in 1966, at a body weight of 215 pounds, Ell sported a genuine 18-inch neck.

Unsurprisingly, neck training was always a part of Darden’s training books and courses. You’ll find many good neck training training ideas in this book, which was especially written with football preparation in mind.