Elwood Holbrook – Master of the Bent Press

Posted on Sunday, April 8th, 2018 by John Wood
Elwood Holbrook took 4th at the 1941 AAU Mr. America Contest AND took home the “Best Arms” award (He had also competed in the afternoon’s weightlifting contest where he finished 6th with a 715-pound total in the 165-pound class.)

While Holbrook was a very talented strength athlete and equally good at bodybuilding as well as weightlifting, his real gift was the bent press — he won the national Bent-Press Championship in a contest held by Sig Klein.

Holbrook was also one of the few men to bent press the famous Rolandow Dumbbell – a feat which he did on his first try and without a warmup. Here’s a shot of a 48-year old Elwood Holbrook bent-pressing 240 pounds — 75 pounds above his bodyweight. That unique dumbbell belonged to Paul Anderson.

Tommy Kono ~ Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955

Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by John Wood

Strength and Health Magazine, August, 1955 - Tommy Kono Cover

Tommy Kono graces the cover of the August, 1955 issue of Strength and Health magazine. Just a few months later, in October of 1955, Tommy would go on to take the Gold medal in the light-heavyweight (82.5 kg) class at the World Championships held in in Munich, West Germany. Kono’s winning total was 435 kg, and consisted of a 142.5 kg press, a 127.5 kg snatch and a 165 kg clean and jerk.

Pat Casey’s 210 Pound Dumbbell Incline Press

Posted on Saturday, August 18th, 2012 by John Wood

Pat Casey 210 Pound Dumbbell Incline Press

On March 25th, 1967 Pat Casey became the first man to break the 600 pound barrier in the bench press with an official lift of 615 lbs. — Keep in mind that was without a bench shirt, elbow wraps or other nonsense that typically goes on these days.

Casey was no one-lift specialist either, as he was also the first man to squat over 800 pounds and total over 2000 pounds in an official contest.

For his workouts, Casey used to grab a pair of 210 pound dumbbells, haul them over to the incline bench, get the dumbbells into position, perform his reps, then return the dumbbells to the rack — all unassisted — quite an impressive feat of strength in its own right.

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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2021 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.