Steve Justa: The High Plains Heavy Metal Iron Master

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 by John Wood
Out in the Nebraska cornfields you’ll find a man who lifts anything he can get his hands on — barrels,rocks, scrap iron, even trucks. He will push, pull, carry and drag the heaviest weights he can, and regularly moves half a ton, if only a few inches, its still impressive. Steve Justa is his name and his training philosophy is anything but conventional… “Don’t Have a Weight Set? – Lift a Tractor!”

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.

Barrel Lifting Strength Feats

Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by John Wood
It has been well written that many so-called “feats of strength” had their roots in manual labor. Back in the beer halls of Bavaria and old, Old, OLD Vienna I’m sure a couple of robust beirmeisters once sat around shooting the breeze when one bet another that he could lift the biggest barrel — and it’s all been down hill from there.

Many of the old timers were well-known for their barrel or keg lifting feats, including Louis Cyr (who was said to have been able to lift a 400 lb. barrel to his shoulders) and George F. Jowett who included a Barrel Lifting Course in his Molding a Mighty Grip training guide. I would imagine the “Cincinnati Strongman” Henry Holtgrewe lifted a few barrels and kegs in his time. He owned a tavern down on 6th street in downtown Cincinnati just after the turn of the century.

Several modern day strongmen have included barrel lifting in their training. Probably the two most well known are Steve Justa and Brooks Kubik who wrote extensively about barrel lifting in Dinosaur Training. Keep in mind that lifting a 200 pound FULL barrel is actually easier than lifting a 150 pound HALF-filled barrel.

Archie Vanderpool

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 by John Wood
If you want to practice heavy partial deadlifts or hand-and-thigh lifts, you’ll want a setup like Archie Vanderpool here. The strongman (and proud member of the York Barbell Club) from Woodbine, Iowa, specialized on a number of unusual — and very heavy — lifts. For example, his record in the lift shown was 1840 pounds. He also liked to do things like shouldering a 1100 pound railroad rail and then going for a walk.

He also reported carrying a barbell loaded to 400 pounds for a distance of 80 feet. If this looks and sounds familiar, it’s because Archie was good friends with Steve Justa’s father.

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.

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 © 2005-2018 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.