Clevio Massimo

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2012 by John Wood

Italian Strongman Clevio Massimo Lifting a Giant Kettlebell

Now THAT’S a Kettlebell! …Antonio Clevio Massimo Sabatino, professionally known as Clevio Massimo, was born in Opi Labruza, Italy in 1895. When only a small boy he immigrated into the US and made Buffalo, New York his home. Shortly after finishing high school, Clevio Massimo toured the country performing strongman feats, hand balancing, adagio dancing and muscle control and for a time, even ventured into professional wrestling.  You can find out more about Clevio Massimo in The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses.

William Beattie

Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 by John Wood

William Beattie lifting two blockweights

“The Scottish Apollo” William Beattie is shown here doing a bent-press with a pair of what are most likely 56-pound block weights. It should be noted that he fist swung them up to that position which is a fantastic feat of grip strength in holding the blocks together.  Beatties was also fond of juggling these weights.

Unsurprisingly, Beattie was one of the many students of William Pullum and won the British Amateur Weightlifting Association (BAWLA) 12 stone Championship in 1929. Beattie went on to perform feats of strength and acrobatics with several circuses.

Edwin Zello

Posted on Thursday, November 24th, 2011 by John Wood

Edwin Zello lifts over 400 pounds with one finger

Edwin Zello, of Platt’s Valley, Nebraska is shown here with a one-finger deadlift of well over 400 pounds. Zello performed many traditional strongman feats around the turn of the century, and so did his wife Alice, who was also part of the act, and quite a performer herself. Also of note is that Zello once wrestled George Hackenschmidt to a draw in an exhibition match in Canada.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

John Hajnos ~ The Navy Hercules

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 by John Wood

John Hajnos, The Navy Hercules, balances a fellow officer in a chair clenched between his teeth

John J. Hajnos, originally from California, became a professional strongman after serving in the Navy in World War I. He performed a number of traditional feats but his most well-known is pictured here, supporting a fellow officer (in this case J.F. Kaska, who weighed 175 pounds) seated in a chair clenched between his jaws – an incredible test of balance as well as neck/jaw strength. Hajnos was a student of Lionel Strongfort’s “Strongfortism” system and actually once defeated Warren Lincoln Travis at an impromptu contest held at Coney Island.

Galen Gough

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 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 terribly injured while serving in World War I, but built himself back to health and strength through physical training. His results were so dramatic that a career as a performing strongman soon followed.

Gough was one of the very first (if not the first)  strongman to impress crowds by ripping phone books in half.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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 Human Vise Pat Povilaitis

Posted on Monday, September 5th, 2011 by John Wood

Pat Povilaitis, “The Human Vise”, is a modern strongman and one of the few human beings who can stand toe-to-toe with many of the oldtime greats. As you can likely tell by his moniker, “The Human Vise” excels at Steel Bending: spikes, nails, horse shoes, frying pans – no piece of steel is safe in his hands!  Pat also likes to do combo feats, usually bending something with a 300+ pound stone in his lap!
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Dennis Rogers

Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 by John Wood
Over the two decades, Dennis Rogers has become the most widely seen Strongman in history. More people have probably seen Dennis than all the other performing strongmen – ever!

Dennis has appeared on The Discovery Channel, The Best Damn Sports Show Period, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Stan Lee’s Superhumans and dozens of other television shows in the US and all over the world.

You may not believe this but Dennis Rogers weighed all of 79 lbs. in high school and even today tips the scales at only 160 pounds. Even though he may not fit what you think of as a typical “Strongman” Dennis has performed feats that have yet to be duplicated.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Barletti

Posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by John Wood
We couldn’t find much in our files about Mr. Barletti but the one thing we do know is that he liked to lift horses as a part of his act. He most likely copied this feat from Sandow, and I’d be willing to bet it wasn’t exactly done on stage like it is pictured here.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2021 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 © 2005-2021 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.

Stanless Steel

Posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2011 by John Wood
Stanley “Stanless Steel” Pleskun from South Brunswick, New Jersey has been quietly performing some pretty amazing feats of strength for many years. He can lift over 600 pounds with one finger, break chains, drive nails, lever sledge hammers and, incredibly, bend a penny with his bare hands. Stanless attributes his great strength to the ability to harness the power of his own mind.

Eugen Sandow

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 by John Wood
Eugen Sandow was the prototypical strongman, the first true strength Superstar and can rightfully be called “The Man who Started it All.”
Strength and How to Obtain It by Eugen Sandow
Sandow thrilled audiences all over the world with his classical physique as well as his amazing feats of strength. In fact, many of the most famous Iron Game luminaries such as George Jowett and Alan Calvert (among others) were inspired to begin training after seeing Sandow in action.

Once he tired of the performing life, Sandow established the very first “Health Studios,” mail order training courses, mail order training equipment and physical culture magazine — all “firsts” for things which are now commonplace in the modern age.