Jean Baillargeon’s Bridge

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 by John Wood
Jean Baillargeon's Bridge
Jean Baillargeon was one of famed Brothers Baillargeon, (and perhaps the strongest of them all, which is really saying something.) Looks to be about 230 pounds on the bar. It is unclear whether he pulled the weight over, bounced it off his belly or chest, or if the barbell was handed to him, but either way, simply holding this amount of weight in this position (all of it supported by the neck musculature) is VERY impressive. Jean was also a professional wrestler so the ability to bridge with a substantial amount of weight I’m sure came in very handy.
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.

Neck Training With Sonny Liston

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2018 by John Wood
The great boxer Sonny Liston used to strengthen his neck by doing a headstand on a table and working his body back and forth then left and right, in order to hit all four “sides” of the neck. I can say from experience that this method is simple but very effective.

This picture was taken in May of 1963 while Liston was in training to face Floyd Patterson for the second time. Liston knocked out Patterson in the first round just like he did the first time they fought. With this victory Liston retained the WBA, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles and won the vacant inaugural WBC heavyweight title.

Neck Stands

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018 by John Wood
The oldtime boxers seem to “get” why neck strength is important a lot more-so than they do today. Here, Mexican boxer, Ignacio “The Pineapple Bomb” Pina does a highly underrated exercise for building neck strength: a simple head stand. This picture was taken in 1960 at Joe Bloom’s gym in London in preparation for his match with Freddie Gilroy. (The Pineapple Bomb went on to win on points after 10 rounds in what was considered a major upset.)

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: The Hangman’s Drop

Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Farmer Burns built his neck strength to such an advanced level that he could literally “hang” himself with a noose, including the drop, — and live (all the while whilst whistling Yankee Doodle!) That’s pretty intense as this rare photograph shows (DO NOT try this at home.) His theory was simple — one of the most important physical training goals of any combat athlete is to build the neck to the point that no one can choke you out. The “Old Farmer” built up his neck strength with his favorite exercise: The Wrestler’s Bridge.
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.

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.
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.

The Great Peters — The Man With The Iron Neck!

Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2018 by John Wood
Aloys Peters was a German acrobat who developed an unusual skill — he could jump off a platform 75 feet in the air with a hangman’s noose around his neck and yet not hang himself. He had figured out the knack where he could maneuver his body mid-air and “tame the arc” taking the jolt out of gravity’s cruel grasp. Peters performed this feat initially for the famous Strassburger Circus in Berlin and then the Sells-Floto Circus on US shores in the early 1930’s.

The Wheel of Death!

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Indian Strongman Najeeb Goswami allows a cart loaded with a few hundred pounds of passengers to pass over his neck – a feat that he terms “The Wheel of Death!” Mr. Goswami was not the only one who accomplished this feat.
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.

The Wrestler’s Bridge 3

Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 by John Wood
Another fantastic shot of The Wrestler’s Bridge in action. Unfortunately, it was not recorded who these gents were but the fellow on the bottom performs a picture-perfect nose-to-mat bridge to save what would probably have been an easy pin. Superb.
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.

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

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 ~ The Man They Cannot Strangle!

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
Saxon Brown clearly has a very strong neck! Here he is in a rare newsreel shot dated April 5, 1929, showing Mr. Brown resisting the pull of five men yanking on a rope around his neck. So well are Mr. Brown’s neck muscles developed that the tugging in no way effected him! Brown’s other hobbies were snapping horseshoes in half with his hands and biting steel chains apart.
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.