Joe Ragusa BackLifts an Elephant

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
Strongman Joe Ragusa shows one way to lift an elephant: via back lift. Ragusa regularly performed this feat in nightclubs and television shows. You can see another elephant being lifted here.
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.

Henri Toch – “The Cannon Man”

Posted on Sunday, October 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Henri Toch was a Belgian strongman in the late 1800’s who was billed as “L’Homme Canon” or “The Cannon Man.” It was with pretty good reason, his unique performance included the incredible strength feat of holding 365 Kilogram Cannon on his shoulders while it fired. Toch met an unfortunate end in 1890 when when a cannon on his shoulder was accidentally mis-loaded with powder and blew up.

Dr. Ken’s Steel Suitcases

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 by John Wood

The farmers walk is a great exercise and has always been one of my favorites — just grab a weight in each hand and start walking. How far you go is up to you, but one thing is always for sure: you can go a lot farther than you think you can since your mind will give out before your body does. Needless to say, this is a great exercise for building hand strength AND mental toughness.

As far as the weights you can use, a pair of dumbbells is a good choice, as are sandbags, or even some specially made handles which some folks like to use.

If you got a chance to check out some of Brooks Kubik’s old Dinosaur Training videos, you saw Brooks performing the Farmers walk with some highly unusual implements: a pair of 180-pound iron suitcases made by Dr. Ken. Imagine two pieces of metal each shaped like an “I” with handles welded on top and that’s what we are dealing with.

Brooks, the madman that he is, decided to take these little monsters for a walk around the city block in his Bags, Barrels, and Beyond video and if you’ve seen it, you know it is in-tense.

Apollon vs. The Piano

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by John Wood

Talk about “Odd Object Lifting!” The great Apollon’s grand finale at the Reichshallen Theater in Berlin during the 1897 season was to walk across the stage carrying a piano (AND it’s player!) on his mighty shoulder.
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.

Tromp Van Diggelen’s Lift

Posted on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by John Wood

Tromp Van Diggelen's Lift

Tromp Van Diggelen bent-presses a sack of mealies (a type of coarse corn flour) weighing 203 pounds (which was 20 pounds more than his body weight at the time.) Tromp was 53 years of age when this picture was taken, which makes the approximate date of this picture 1938. Of course, a 200+ pound bent-press would be an impressive lift at any age.
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.

Indian Wrestler Sandbag Training

Posted on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 by John Wood

Indian Wrestler Sandbag Training

Chances are, you were probably introduced to sandbag training in >Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik but sandbag training goes back a lot farther than that.

Here’s a rare shot from a turn of the century training course of an Indian wrestler getting ready for a sandbag workout. Elsewhere in the course, he is pictured lifting, throwing and carrying the sandbag. As a combat athlete, lifting or carrying heavy, awkward and sometimes off-centered objects can be much more useful than simply “lifting weights.” I sure wouldn’t want to mess with this guy.

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.

Anchor Lifting

Posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 by John Wood
Anchor Lifting
Don’t have a weight set?

No worries, grab anything with some reasonable heft and you should be in business, as this gent demonstrates in lifting a very cool “Popeye” anchor while on holiday at the beach.

Barbells and dumbbells were made to be lifted so they are perfectly balanced, but at times it pays to lift awkward, unbalanced objects and I’d say this anchor certainly fits the bill nicely.

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.

Cannon Lifting

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 by John Wood

Cannon Lifting

“Don’t have a weight set? …just lift a cannon!” That’s what Steve Justa would have said if he had been born a century earlier…

Sensing potential threats invading from the Alpine border, back in the late 1800’s, the French Military formed a special brigade devoted specifically to mountain warfare  Their cannon were often transported by mules,  yet there were many places where the mules were not able to travel so these soldiers did what they had to do in order to be prepared, and that often meant putting their cannons on their backs and carrying them themselves.

As these kinds of things often do, it became a sense of pride to see who could lift the heaviest cannon.  One of the highest compliments that could be said for a member of these battalions was that “he can do the work of two (or three) mules.” The cannon that the gentleman above is shown carrying was listed as weighing 280 kg — that’s over 600 pounds!

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.

Oldtime Barrel Lifters

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 by John Wood
Barrel Lifting Strongmen
I’m afraid I don’t have any information on who these gents are but I sure do like their style. You can get very strong lifting heavy, awkward weights and barrels (or partially-filled barrels) certainly fit the bill nicely. In fact, about half of George F. Jowett’s Molding a Mighty Grip course is devoted specifically to barrel lifting techniques. That would be our suggestion to check out if you want to learn more about barrel lifting.
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 Spadoni

Posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012 by John Wood
The Great Spadoni balances a dog cart on his chin

“The Great Spadoni,” aka Paul Krause from Germany, was one of the great masters of lifting, balancing and juggling heavy weights, a discipline known as jongleurs de force.

One of his best known feats is pictured at the right:

To begin, he was driven upon the stage in a full-sized dog cart. He then dismounted, removed the wheels — which were then set spinning on pivots fixed to the points of the shafts — lifted the dog cart in his arms and finally balanced the whole affair on his chin.

The balance aspect alone is certainly impressive (to say the least!), but the amount of whole-body strength involved in getting the cart into position in the first place and the level of neck strength necessary to keep it aloft, may be even more so.

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.