Thor Jensen

Posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 by John Wood
Thor Jensen, pro wrestler, promoter, and swashbuckler had a very strong neck. Here a friend puts a boot right on Jensen’s Adam’s Apple with no ill effect. Don’t try this one at home folks.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 Brothers Baillargeon

Posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by John Wood
The Brothers Baillargeon are another entry in the long line of great strongmen from Quebec. From left to right: Charles, Paul, Adrian, Lionel, Jean, and Antonio. They traveled the continent performing tremendous strength feats and all eventually became famous professional wrestlers.

Note the family crest on their uniforms: It featured the number “6” (representing all six brothers) a beaver, their name and a maple leaf logo.

Lou Thesz & Expander Training

Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2014 by John Wood

Expander work has always been popular with wrestlers since they offer a workout that is both portable and effective. Here is the great champion Lou Thesz, the man who held the NWA Championship belt longer than anyone else is history, doing a couple curls with what looks like one of Roy Noe’s Graduated Xercisors. This is a really fantastic exercise and the tension can be adjusted based on foot placement.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Bruno Sammartino

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by John Wood

Talk about “built for strength,” this rare image of the great Bruno Sammartino highlights his incredible bone structure. No wonder he toyed with 550+ lb bench presses and wiped the mat with pretty much everyone he ever faced in the ring… I sure wouldn’t want to be at the other end of THAT fist.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Henry “Milo” Steinborn

Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014 by John Wood

Henry "Milo" Steinborn

Henry “Milo” Steinborn was a German strongman and wrestler who came the the U.S. in 1921 and immediately caused a big splash in the world of physical training. At a bodyweight of 210 pounds, he could snatch 220 pounds with one hand, military press 265 pounds and clean and jerk 347-1/2.

Milo was most well-known for introducing hard and heavy squatting to this side of the world.
Milo could tip a barbell loaded to 550 pounds up and onto his back unassisted and then perform five deep reps with it — a feat yet to be duplicated.

The Iron Sheik’s Persian Club Challenge

Posted on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 by John Wood

he Iron Sheik's Persian Club Challenge

Many oldschool Pro-Wrestlers had their own strength challenge to confound their opponents and sometimes members of the crowd.
The Iron Sheik had “The Persian Club” challenge where he offered $2000 to all comers if they swung a pair of “75 pound” traditional meels for as many reps as he could.

To my knowledge The Sheik was never beaten, and what’s more, Sheik used the Persian Club Challenge to injure then-champion Bob Backlund before their title match back in ’83 (it wasn’t the first time he used the clubs to get the upper hand against his opponents either, see below.)

He’s a crafty one, that Sheik.

Also of note is the Takhteh Shena (traditional Zurkhaneh pushup board) at his feet. Before his pro-wrestling gig, the Sheik was a bonafide stud on the amateur mat and competed for the Iranian Greco-Roman team in the 1968 Olympics.

Doug Hepburn The Pro-Wrestler

Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 by John Wood

Doug Hepburn The Pro-Wrestler

Most people don’t know that Doug Hepburn had a short professional wrestling career in Canada once his weight lifting career came to an end. Shown above, he even got his own Parkhurst trading card in the 1955-56 set.
Doug often performed feats of strength before his matches, hence the dumbbell by his feet.

Doug’s finishing move was an inverted bear-hug, using his great strength to squeeze the life out of his opponents until they had no choice but to submit.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Ivan Shemyakin

Posted on Thursday, August 1st, 2013 by John Wood

Ivan Shemyakin

Born in a small village near Moscow Ivan Shemyakin ran off to join the circus when he was fifteen years of age to become a strongman and wrestler. He was quite skilled in both areas, winning the kettlebell lifting championship of Russia in 1899 and a World Championship in wrestling in 1913.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 Antonio

Posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 by John Wood

The Great Antonio

One of the more colorful Canadian Strongmen was “The Great Antonio” who lived most of his life in Montreal. Antonio was known to pull several city buses at once, sometimes with his hair and could lift a truck. The photo above is unfortunately cropped, otherwise you’d be able to see the other dozen or so people that Antonio is supporting hanging on the telephone pole on his shoulder.

Antonio also certainly lived up to his “Grand” nickname, usually tipping the scales somewhere between four and five hundred pounds at a height of 6′ 6″. He also toured Japan as a professional wrestler.

The Mighty Atlas

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by John Wood
The Mighty Atlas - Anvil Neck Strength
You’ve probably seen the old feat of strength where a strongman puts an anvil or a large stone slab on his chest and lets someone hit it with a sledge hammer… but I guarantee you haven’t seen this feat before though, — “The Mighty Atlas,” Morris Shapiro, a professional wrestler from Brooklyn, New York, teeth-lifting an anvil while someone else whacks said anvil with a sledge hammer.

Now that’s impressive!

The Mighty Atlas often demonstrated feats of strength before his matches, bending iron bars, snapping chains, ripping phone books etc. He learned the secrets of strength from his father who was a strongman in the Russian Circus in Minsk.