Clash of the Titans: Grimek vs. Stanko

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 by John Wood
Clash of the Titans: Grimek vs. Stanko
What would happen if two of the greatest strength athletes in history went head to head? Whether bodybuilding, Olympic lifting or unusual feats of strength, I would say the match up between John Grimek and Steve Stanko is pretty evenly matched. Only history knows the outcome of this arm wrestling match…
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.

Giving Bob Hoffman a Lift

Posted on Thursday, November 29th, 2018 by John Wood
Sometimes Bob Hoffman had to call up the York Gang when he needed a lift… That’s Steve Stanko on the right and Stan Stanczyk on the left lifting an “MG” with Bob Hoffman sitting in the driver’s seat to give it a little more weight.

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.

Steve Stanko and The Hub Lift

Posted on Monday, October 29th, 2018 by John Wood
One of the classic classic grip feats was to pick up a York Deep-Dish 45 Pound barbell plate just by the hub, something weightlifting and bodybuilding champ Steve Stanko could do with ease, even with an added 10 pounds. Steve’s best on this feat was with over 90 pounds!

1938 World Weightlifting Championships – Heavyweight Winners

Posted on Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 by John Wood
A rare shot of the lineup of heavyweight winners at the 1938 World Weightlifting Championships held in Vienna (Which was then a part of Germany.) From left to right Josef Manger of Germany (410 kg. total), Steve Stanko of the United States (397.5 kg. total) and Arnold Luhaar of Estonia (390 kg. total).

The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 by John Wood
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We recommend >>> Gray Hair and Black Iron

John Grimek vs. The Cyr Dumbbell

Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 by John Wood

…Also, the Cyr dumbell we had was always a bone of contention. Men from all parts of the country came to see if they might get it overhead. It weighed “only” 202 pounds empty but it could be loaded with lead shot to over 270. We never loaded it over 269½ pounds, and even then it defied most men who tried it.

One time, Milo Steinborn and four or five other wrestlers stopped by on their way to Baltimore. Milo had Primo Carnera with him – truly an impressive individual. When Carnera shook hands you could feel your whole hand being swallowed by something that felt like an octopus. Because all the men were wrestling that evening none of them cared to train that afternoon, but most of the lifters kept on training. In the center of the gym was the awkward Cyr dumbbell that seemed to be in the way of everyone. Without thinking I picked it up off the floor and tossed it aside so it wouldn’t be in the way. I remembered the huge hands Carnera had when he shook my hand, and knew if anyone could handle this weight it was him. I called out to him to try it. He smiled as if to say, “that’s easy,” and no one would doubt him. he came over, very casually gripped the stubby handle and made a half-hearted attempt to lift it. A look of surprise came over his face as the weight slipped from his grip. I offered him some chalk to absorb the moisture of his hand. With some disdain, instead, he grabbed the handle and though he lifted it a little you could see that the weight was a great surprise to him.

I tried to explain that there was a slight technique to handle this weight. He just kept looking at me and the awkward hunk of iron mass that was defying him. I chalked up, especially the heel of my hand, gripped the weight and tossed it a few feet to one side. Carnera only growled. However, I feel sure that with his banana-like fingers he could have done things with that Cyr dumbbell that no one else could do. Others felt much the same way about this big man.

I must point out that many men who tried to lift the small clumsy dumbbell failed. This awkward hunk of iron required lots of practice before one learned the little details needed to be successful at lifting it. No one played around with this weight more than I did; and eventually I was the only one who lifted it off the floor to an overhead position using one and only when it weighed 254 pounds. Stanko was the first man who picked it up off the floor in one sweeping movement. Unfortunately, I do not remember how much it was loaded to at the time. The weight of that dumbbell was always being changed. It always looked formidable and defying. Those who tried it remember that only too well…

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.

1938 Senior Nationals Program

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 by John Wood

1938 Sr. Nationals Weightlifting Program

A look at an extremely rare program from the 1938 Senior National Weightlifting contest. If you had been in attendance, you would have seen quite a show: Firpo Lemma, out of the Bates Barbell Club of Patterson, New Jersey set two records in the 112 lb. class: a press of 205 lb. (which was a World record) and a Clean and jerk of 210 lbs. (An American record).

Anthony Terlazzo set a World record in the 148 lb. class with a Clean and Jerk of 320 lb., John Terpak set an American record in the snatch with a lift of 250 lb. In the 181 lb. class, Stanley Kratkowski set an American record in the Clean and Jerk with 330 and John Grimek set an American record in the press with 250 lb.

In the heavyweights, Bill Good set an American record in the Clean and Jerk with a lift of 340 lb. but Steve Stanko came along and broke it a few minutes later with a lift of 345 lb. It should also be noted that Weldon Bullock, then only 17 years old, shook up the weightlifting world with a Clean and Jerk of 330 lb.

Just Another Day on Broad Street…

Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012 by John Wood

York Gym

Just another day in the old York gym over on Broad Street, circa 1958. The great featherweight Ike Berger is getting in a few presses with 205 on the platform. The gentleman looking on from the left is Eduardo Adrian, who was the lifting champion from the island of Curacao, and who spent a few weeks training in York at the time. In the background, 1944 Mr. America and 1947 Mr. Universe Steve Stanko works in on the long cable. while Jack Mills, a local high school student, rests between sets — that’s right, at one point in time you could have just shown up at York and worked out right along side world champion lifters and strength athletes.
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.

Strength and Health Magazine: September, 1944

Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 by John Wood
Shown here is the cover of the September, 1944 issue of Strength and Health Magazine, featuring Steve Stanko. He had won both the 1944 AAU Mr. America and Junior. Mr. America titles only a few months before. This was not the first time Stanko graced the cover of Strength and Health, nor was it the last.

Just a few years earlier, in 1941, Stanko became the first man to officially break the 1000-pound total in the three Olympic lifts (which, very surprisingly, did not even get him a cover shot or a mention) …and just a few years later, in 1947, Stanko would go on to become the very first Mr. Universe winner.