Chuck Sipes Lifting His Truck

Posted on Friday, October 26th, 2018 by John Wood
Chuck Sipes was one of the strongest bodybuilders of all time. Chuck, who won the 1959 IFBB Mr. America, 1960 IFBB Mr. Universe, and 1968 Mr. World Bodybuilding titles, could also could perform many incredible feats of strength.

As he was training to accomplish a 600 pound(!) bench press, Chuck used to train using a variety of techniques involving heavy supports and negatives — he even had a special handle welded to the underside of his pickup truck which he used to lift and support the whole affair.

Sipes would first lift the pickup truck as high as he could with his arms then wedge his legs underneath. In the top position, he estimated that he was supporting 1600 pounds.

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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.

Orville Stamm – The Boy Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 by John Wood
A top vaudeville attraction for several decades, Orville Stamm, who performed as “The Boy Hercules” possessed many talents. He would often sing a rendition of “Ireland Must Be Heaven, Because My Mother Came from There” to the accompaniment of a piano which he happened to be supporting in the “Tomb Of Hercules.”

Stamm could also tear a deck of cards into quarters, played the violin with his 66-pound bulldog Tige tied to the wrist of his bow arm, lifted a horse with one hand, and performed acrobatic feats ~ Sounds like quite a show! Stamm learned the strongman arts as a member of the Los Angeles Athletic Club and a student of Al Treloar.

During World War I, Orville Stamm also served as physical instructor to the Navy and one of his students was president-to-be Franklin D. Roosevelt. After FDR was elected, Orville and his wife Martha were often guests at the Whitehouse for tea.

Breitbart’s Motorcycle Race

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018 by John Wood
Siegmund Breitbart was a master of many traditional strongman feats (horseshoe bending, Nail driving, steel scrolling etc) but he also came up with a number of his own unique feats. Here’s a shot of Breitbart supporting a full-blown motorcycle race on his chest!
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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.

George “Rasso” Stanglemeier

Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018 by John Wood
George “Rasso” Stanglemeier was an early German strongman famous for his arm strength and development. In fact, he was one of the first strongmen to curl over 200 pounds. He was the leader of the group of strongmen known as The Rasso Trio (who were famously defeated by Apollon.) Here, Stanglemeier lifts a cannon and two more fellows along for the ride. Stanglemeier was particularly adept at heavy supporting feats and I bet this one went over very well during his performances.
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.

Don Athaldo Leg Presses a Car

Posted on Friday, December 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Supporting feats were quite popular with many of the Oldtime strongmen since some truly impressive weights could be lifted. Here’s the Australian strongman Don Athaldo supporting a three-quarter ton car on his legs and arms. This took place on December 12, 1931 in New South Wales.
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.

Joe Ragusa BackLifts an Elephant

Posted on Thursday, October 19th, 2017 by John Wood
Strongman Joe Ragusa shows one way to lift an elephant: via back lift. Ragusa regularly performed this feat in nightclubs and television shows. You can see another elephant being lifted here.
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.

Dandurand Lifts an Engine!

Posted on Sunday, October 15th, 2017 by John Wood
Many of the oldtime strongmen were famous for their ability to lift heavy, awkward objects. Their reasons were simple: Not everyone can relate to a loaded barbell… but everyone knows that if you can “lift” a piano, anvil, safe or a cannon on your back you must be pretty damn strong.

Here’s a look at the famous Canadian strongman Arthur Dandurand as he supports a 406 lb. Ford engine block on his shoulder. Dandurand was only 5’8″ and 180 pounds but possessed very unusual strength. He was documented as having first accomplished this feat on January 17th, 1930 and could do it any time he was asked. — and perhaps, even more impressivly, no other strongman was ever able to duplicate it! You can read more about Arthur Dandurand in Physical Training Simplified by Mark H. Berry.

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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.

Nino The Carousel

Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2016 by John Wood

The Italian strongman “Nino” figured out very early on that making a lift impressive went far beyond mere poundage, “what” was lifted was a big part of it too, and he had a flair for making his feats remarkable productions. Here’s a perfect example: Nino as the fulcrum in a carousel consisting of two motor cars. This was the early 1900’s so those cars had to weigh a few thousand pounds apiece, and to boot each was also filled with an additional four people. — I’d certainly pay to see that.
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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.

Oscar Marineau

Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 by John Wood
Oscar Marineau, the great Canadian Strongman is shown here with a unique exhibition feat: that’s 850 pounds supported on his back which he took out for a stroll. The two engines weighed 346 pounds each and his son weighed over 150 pounds. In order to get the weights in position in the first place, Marineau had to perform a partial squat. Marineau weighed only 142 pounds himself.
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.

The Double Backlift!

Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 by John Wood
Here’s a strength feat that we’ve never seen before: The Double Backlift! This was performed by Erik Petterson and Arvid Andersson who were both great Swedish strongmen in the 1920s. I count 23 people, so a conservative estimate of this lift would be around 3500 lbs. ~ which ain’t bad at all.
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.