Pierre Ferechtauoff

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by John Wood
Another steel bender with an unknown past… at least we know his name, or at least the name listed on the photo: Pierre Ferechtauoff. Mr. Ferechtauoff is shown here scrolling a steel bar with the aid of his choppers. Something tells me that he might have also been a wrestler.
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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.

Hary Berti

Posted on Monday, December 4th, 2017 by John Wood
We haven’t found much so far about Hary Berti. He was a German strength athlete, likely active in the 1920’s-30’s who was billed as “das wunder menschlicher kraft” (“the miracle of human power”). Here he is bending a steel bar.
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.

John Massis

Posted on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
Flemish Strongman John Massis led an incredibly colorful life: Born in Bruges in 1940, by 19 years of age, Massis was already appearing on television as a strength prodigy. He bent steel bars and other traditional strongman feats but was most famous for his jaw strength. Massis lifted cars, stopped motorbikes and even once pulled two Long Island passenger cars, weighing 80 tons to get himself into the Guinness Book of World Records. Feats of strength were only part of Massis’ amazing accomplishments: he also recorded several hit songs, funded his own political party, founded a circus, and appeared in several films. Later on, a musical was written about his life.
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.

Ivan Orloff

Posted on Monday, November 13th, 2017 by John Wood
Ivan Orloff, of Siberia, Russia, was a mid-card pro wrestler in the early 20th century who was quite prolific, he wrestled well into the 1940’s. Later on, he became a promoter. Orloff was billed as 6’2 and 210 pounds of wiry muscle — he was also adept at bending steel bars.
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 Human Vise Strikes Again!

Posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 by John Wood
Why do they call Pat Povilaitis the Human Vise? This collection of bent steel should explain it: about a hundred pounds of bent, mangled steel: nails, spikes, horseshoes, rebar, bolts, wrenches, drill bits, screw drivers, ripped card decks… nothing is safe when “The Vise” does his thing.

J.C. Tolson ~ The Young Mighty Apollon

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 by John Wood
J.C. Tolson, of Yorkshire, England, took the stage name of “The Young Mighty Apollon” after his hero the original Apollon”, the great French Strongman. Tolson was a master of many different strength feats, including bending steel as shown here. The image above is actually from the Apollon Bar Bending Course which is posted in full in The Iron LeagueTolson was not a large man but had tremendous full-body power. In 1927, at a bodyweight of only 185 pounds, Tolson easily deadlifted 550 pounds, one of the first men to do so. .

Strongman Stunts Made Easy by George F. Jowett

Posted on Monday, October 9th, 2017 by John Wood
The “Strongman Stunts Made Easy” training booklet, along with five other individualized courses in the “Molding” Series, appeared sometime around 1930 and George F. Jowett claimed to have sold hundreds of thousands of them all over the world.

Like much of Jowett’s writings, the material is surprisingly timeless, of course, this booklet is devoted specifically to feats of strength — the Bent Press, lifting a human being, finger lifting, steel bending, how to tear a deck of cards etc.

In what should also not be a surprise, Jowett describes the training for each feat in great detail. Copies of “Strongman Stunts Made Easy” are not easy to come by but FYI, this course is available in its entirety in The Iron League.

Extreme Neck Strength in Action

Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 by John Wood

I was going through some old tapes and while I knew I had the still photo, I found some footage that I didn’t even know I had. About ten years ago, Pat “The Human Vise” Povilaitis and some other buddies all got together at my house in Cincinnati, and well, when strong hombres get together, sometimes interesting things happen. Here’s Pat bending a spike while standing atop yours truly, John Wood, while I’m holding a nose-to-mat neck bridge. The video quality isn’t great, but hey, we had to take what we could get back in the day. (Video has sound.)
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.

Dennis Rogers’ Steel Scrolling

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by John Wood
A few years back Dennis Rogers performed in Detroit and gave me the piece of steel he bent into a pretzel shape during the show. If you look closely you can see that it is dated 11/06/2005 and signed by Dennis.
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.

Breitbart’s Muscle Builder

Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 by John Wood
In addition to his training courses and strength performances, Siegmund Breitbart also created some of his own training equipment. To work on his steel scrolling he devised this “muscle builder” apparatus, a series of flexible pieces of steel with a handle on either end. This setup allowed for a number of unique training movements similar to traditional steel bending as well as the ability to adjust resistance by adding or subtracting bands.
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.