It is fairly common knowledge that on March 3, 1930 Charles Rigoulot attempted, (and of course, subsequently lifted) the famed rail car wheels of Apollon. You probably haven’t seen this one though: on the morning of the attempt, the wheels were delivered to the Voltaire Gymnasium from the museum where it normally resided. Here’s a rare shot of the crew of workmen getting the wheels off the truck and they sure don’t look too thrilled about it… Look closely and you’ll see that they delivered other weights besides the wheels that day.
A look at a few of the strongmen from the Thule Athletic Club, Trelleborg, Sweden, circa 1899. Obviously they were big kettlebell fans. Look closely and you’ll also notice that the globe barbell in the foreground has a thicker than average handle — which, given the forearm development displayed by these athletes, comes as no great surprise. ~ Now THAT is some outstanding training gear.
The great German strongman Hermann Goerner was known as “Goerner The Mighty” — and for very good reason. Among his many amazing feats were a one-arm deadilift of 734.5 lbs and a “leg press” of 24 men sitting on a plank, a total weight of 4123 lbs. Above, Goerner lifts his famous challenge barbell, which was 330-3/4 lbs. and had a 2-3/8ths-inch handle.; Goerner’s challenge was to clean and jerk this unique barbell without moving the feet, something which he could do easily but which no one else was ever able to duplicate.
n 1911, Edward Aston won the title of “Britain’s Strongest Man” by defeating the great Thomas Inch in a challenge match. Aston held the title for the next 23 years and retired undefeated.
Aston was the first Englishman to lift 300 lbs. overhead with one hand and could do a one-arm snatch with 180 lbs. as well as a one-arm clean to the shoulder with 250 lbs.
Edward Aston lifted 496 pounds on a 2.25 inch thick bar with an overhand grip – a tremendous feat of grip strength.
He wrote the grip course ‘How to Develop A Powerful Grip’ in 1946.
On September 13th, 1949 the American Olympic Weightlifting Champion John Davis succeeded in cleaning and jerking the famous Apollon Wheels. In doing so, he became just the third man to put them overhead, joining the French Champion Charles Rigoulot and Apollon himself. Davis’ accomplishment did not come easy, on his first attempt he passed out in mid-lift!