As you might guess by the image above, Grafl possessed immense pressing power. In Vienna, circa 1912, Grafl pressed 220.5 lbs overhead for 18 repetitions. This was not “military” style popular today but an even more strict performance: with his heels together. It was later estimated by strength historian David P. Willoughby that this performance was equivalent to a maximum single of 344 lbs.
Well… a couple of reasons: This picture was taken during World War II when Iron and Steel were being used for the war effort. Hence if you wanted to lift anything, you had to make arrangements other than barbells and dumbbells. Lifting sandbags offered a very effective alternative.
Secondly, Grimek loved all different kinds of training and a sandbag offered a new challenge, something altogether different than regular barbells and dumbbells would provide. Not to mention that the sandbag provides more of a “grip” challenge than a barbell ever could and building extra forearm strength is always a good idea.
It was Tromp Van Diggelen who discovered “Max Sick” and had him change his name to Maxick. Van Digglen also managed Josef Steinbach and Hermann Goerner and also helped found The British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA).