The Mighty Young Apollo

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 by John Wood
The Mighty Young Apollo — A.K.A. Paul Anderson from Melbourne, Australia performed many unusual feats during his colorful career. He was fond of the Human Link Feat, letting cars and trucks run over him, and pulling railroad cars with his teeth. He once let an eight ton elephant stand on his chest! One of his feats — “The Bridge of Death” involved taking a wrestler’s bridge position whilst two men with heavy sledge hammers smashed a piece of granite on his chest, oh, and a hunting knife was placed on the ground below him with the blade at his heart! He made it through though, the Mighty Young Apollo actually was still performing amazing feats into his 80’s. Here he is bending a steel bar in his teeth.

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

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.

Warren Lincoln Travis’ Challenge

Posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2016 by John Wood

If you wanted to win the Richard K. Fox Heavyweight Strongman Champiionship Belt you had to beat Warren Lincoln Travis at his own game in a challenge match.

Here’s the list of Travis’ ten strength challenges:

1. 100 lb.barbell brought from the floor with both hands, pressed overhead with both hands, while seated(thirty seconds).

2. Pair of ninety pound weights brought from side of body to shoulders, then slowly pressing to arm’s length over the head.

3. Teeth Lift from floor, hands behind back, 350 lbs.

4. 350 lbs. from floor with one finger, eight times in five seconds.

5. One finger lift from floor, 560 lbs. once.

6. Two-hand grip lift, straddling the weight from floor, 700 lbs. twenty times in ten seconds.

7. Hand and knee lift from floor, 1600 lbs. once.

8. Back lift, 3660 lbs. once.

9. Harness lift, 3580 lbs. once.

10. 2000 lb. back lift, 250 times, seven minutes.

(Did I mention all these lifts must be accomplished in 30 minutes or less if you want to win the belt?)

Yet Another Way to Lift a Horse

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 by John Wood
George Jagendorfer demonstrates one of the many ways that he lifted a horse while performing for Hengler’s Circus in the 1890’s. You have to have a pretty strong set of choppers for this one.
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.

Art Livingston

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by John Wood

Art Livingston was a strongman who performed in the New England area in the 1930’s. He did a lot of promotion work with small businesses. For a nominal fee, Livingston could come to your place and do something like what is pictured here: a pretty unique shoulder-stand atop two chairs while lifting a heavy tire by the teeth. I’d certainly pop by just to see that.
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.

Ferdinand Le Bouche and Le Sadi Aperitif

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by John Wood

Strongmen have long been featured in alcohol advertisements and posters, generally they are able to do things which makes a dramatic and memorable point which would certainly be the case here. In case you aren’t a wine fan, an apéritif is an alcoholic beverage usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Our man above, the famous french physical culturalist Ferdinand Le Bouche is shown here lifting a barrel full of 250 livres worth (about 270 pounds) of Le Sadi brand with his teeth. I’m sold.
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.

Unknown Strongman #4

Posted on Monday, January 20th, 2014 by John Wood

UNknown Strongman #4

Here’s another unknown strongman whose identity is unfortunately lost to history. I believe he was German, and whoever he was, clearly has a strong set of choppers on him. That’s a pretty nifty globe barbell too!
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.

Dallas Cooper of Akron, Ohio

Posted on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 by John Wood
When someone offers Dallas Cooper of Akron, Ohio a bet, he bites. Above he is practicing with only” 200 pounds. Cooper, who was 46 at the time of this shot, had been lifting since he was 15 years old, and his best was 350 pounds. Cooper has won countless bets with this ability ~ and, surprisingly, has never broken a tooth.
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.

Stanley Radwan ~ The Iron Man

Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 by John Wood

Stanley Radwan ~ The Iron Man

Stanley Radwan was a catch-wrestler and strongman who performed during the 1940’s and 50’s in the Cleveland, Ohio area. This event poster from 1949 advertises Radwan pulling cars with his teeth, biting through steel, breaking chains, bending horseshoes, bend nails and spikes, nail driving by hand, tearing decks of cards, and performing the human chain feat. It was said Radwan could also bend coins with his hands. As a side note, St. Josaphat’s Hall is still around, it was converted to an art gallery a few years ago.

The Amazing Samson ~ Girder Lifting

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 by John Wood

The Amazing Samson Girder Lift!

Here’s a Human Chain” feat of a whole different sort. That’s “The Amazing Samson” Alexander Zass suspended in mid-air while also lifting a 500-pound iron girder in his teeth. That’s a pretty awesome feat no matter how you slice it, one that we have never seen equaled before or since.
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.