Joseph Vanderzande, the great Belgian strongman, was a contemporary of Arthur Saxon. Vanderzande is widely recognized as the strand pulling champion of the late 1800’s (note the pair of chest expanders on the platform behind him.) He was said to have been able to “pull” several reps with a 20-strand chest expander with a 297 pound level of resistance.
A look at the setup used for competitive Strand Pulling which made its way from across the pond many moons ago. Unlike competitions involving a barbell, in strand pulling contests, the strands were adjusted for each lifter’s dimensions. For example, if one lifter had a 2-inch longer “wingspan” than the strands would be adjusted to be 2″ longer. More info on the 20 official “pulls” can be found HERE.