Bob Harley

Posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018 by John Wood
Bob Harley, of Sig Klein’s Gym was one of the world’s greatest masters of the bent press. In fact, Bob Harley was the winner of the New York City Bent Press contest (put on by Sign Klein in 1940 — lifting in the 181 lb. class, Harley out bent-pressed the heavyweights (including John Davis) with a winning lift of 254 lbs. Harley was one of the few men to successfully bent-press the Rolandow Dumbbell.
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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.

Cyr’s One Finger Lift

Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018 by John Wood
At St. Louis Hall in Chicago, Illinois on May 7th, 1896, in front of 1000 spectators, Louis Cyr lifted a 535 lb. weight clear of the floor with one finger. This was just a warmup through, among the other feats performed that day: a “muscle out” with a 131-1/4 lb. dumbbell, held for five seconds at a perfect right angle to the body, then brought back to the shoulder with ease … a one arm press of 258-1/4 lb. dumbbell … shouldering with one hand, a 433 lb. barrel filled with sand and water … pressing a 162-1/2 lb dumbbell overhead 36 times in succession.
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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.

Kohen’s Tomb Of Hercules

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 by John Wood
Here’s a look at Joseph B. Kohen performing “The Tomb of Hercules” feat. Count ’em up, looks to be at least a thousand pounds which is no small accomplishment.
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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.

Joseph Vitole’s Strong Teeth

Posted on Friday, October 20th, 2017 by John Wood
“… looming before my vision as a standout, was a feat by Joseph Vitole, a 155 lb. lad whom I trained right after World War I. Vitole had the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. Each tooth met the other in his bite. He had a square jaw, a stocky neck and a rugged all round build. He specialized in all teeth and jaw hobbies. He really liked to bite and grip with his jaws and this lead to the lifting of weights with his teeth alone. He had a leather “bit” which was attached to a strong chain. This chain had a link-clasp at the other end. Joe would simply wrap one end of this chain around the bar of a bell, then take a firm grip upon the leather mouthpiece, place his hands upon his lower thighs and pull with the back of his neck until the weight raised a few inches off the floor. He trained a lot with this sort of novelty lifting. gradually his poundages increased until he was absolutely sure of doing the unheard of (then) total of 550 pounds! I have seen him do this lift many times in practice. Finally, Bernarr McFadden promoted a physique contest for both men and women in 1921.

At this affair which ran for one week at the old Madison Square Garden, NYC, there were staged various unique events and one of these was a contest in teeth-lifts. I was a judge in this particular affair. Joseph Vitole then and there made an official record of 550 lbs. in the teeth-lift which, to the best of my knowledge, has never been broken. Now please check up on what I have written: Vitole weighed only 155 lbs. himself, yet with the power of his back, neck, jaws and teeth, he lifted this weighted barbell, which was officially tested and checked by many assigned for that particular purpose, and found to weigh 550 lbs. Vitole often told me afterwards that he could easily lift much more than that poundage…”

~ Earle E. Liederman

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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.

Mike Dayton Holds Back a Hot Rod

Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2016 by John Wood
“Think of the outcome you want and firmly believe in your ability to achieve it.”

Strongman/Bodybuilder Mike Dayton holds back a Hot Rod for the “That’s Incredible!” TV show. He could also break a regulation pair of handcuffs, broke baseball bats over his leg, bent coins and performed The Hangman’s Drop. Dayton was big on the power of the mind and attributed this training to his ability to perform all of these amazing feats. He even put out a course on the subject back in the 1970’s entitled “Chi Mind Control” (which is all but impossible to find.)

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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.

John Pesch

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2016 by John Wood

John Pesch of San Francisco was a strongman whose claim to fame was that, to win a wager, he allowed an automobile loaded with three additional passengers run over his chest. The weight was calculated to be 2750 pounds in all. This was in 1921. Whether this counts as a strength feat I don’t know but it was impressive none the less.
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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.

An “Ice Cold” Strength Feat

Posted on Sunday, February 7th, 2016 by John Wood
Joe Mongelli, a former pupil of Sig Klein, was an iceman by trade. He could carry a 325 pound block of ice on his back, then, using ice tongs, could pick up a 120 pound block of ice with his right hand and a 60 pound block with his left. Joe could walk the length of a city block carrying the entire 505 pound load!
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’ Card Notching

Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by John Wood

Tearing a deck of playing cards is one of the all-time classic feats of strength… there have always been whispers that some strongmen had such fearsome fingers that they could “notch” a quarter-sized hole out of a deck… in fact, many people said it was impossible. Dennis Rogers, however, came along and silenced all the doubters by accomplishing the feat. … and not only that, he makes it look easy.

Milo Steinborn “The Human Bridge”

Posted on Thursday, October 31st, 2013 by John Wood

Milo's Human Bridge

One of Henry “Milo” Steinborn’s greatest strength feats was to act as a “human bridge” supporting a heavy frame while a automobile drove over it. It is estimated that between the frame and the car, Milo was supporting a combined weight of over 5000 pounds ~ talk about ligament strength!
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 Amazing Samson’s Chain Breaking

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

The Amazing Samson Chain Breaking

The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass was a master of many different strength feats, among them chain breaking of various sorts. This is a shot of one of his more original efforts, snapping a chain secured underfoot and wrapped around his neck.
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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.