The Great Gama: Lion of The Punjab

Posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2012 by John Wood

The Great Gama: Lion of The Punjab

Ghulam Muhammad, The Great Gama, is the greatest Pehlwan, or Indian wrestler, who ever lived. He is the only wrestler to remain undefeated throughout the course of his entire career which spanned over 5000 matches.

The Great Gama publicly challenged all comers and easily defeated the likes of the American Champion Dr. Benjamin Roller (who he “threw” 13 times in 15 minutes), Stanislaus Zbyszko of Poland, the European John Lemm of Switzerland, and Maurice Deriaz of France. Interestingly, Gotch and Hackenschmidt refused to face him.

Gama’s daily training routine consisted of thousands of traditional squats and pushups… and after seeing him train, many would-be challengers wanted no part. The object Gama is seen holding here was not a piece of training equipment but an ornamental scepter known as a Gurz, the Indian Wrestling version of the Championship Belt.

Paul Pons

Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 by John Wood

Paul Pons

Paul Pons won what is recognized as the very first wrestling world championship in 1898. Pons would go on to win several more world championships in 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1910. Like most wrestlers of the day, Pons was also a strongman, and, as a matter of fact, Apollon’s training partner. Though Pons put most of his focus toward his wrestling, he did accomplish several notable strength feats, among them briefly holding the world record in the “Two Hands Anyhow” with a lift of 129 kg. For most of his life, Pons ran a wrestling and physical training gymnasium in Paris where he, Apollon, Batta and many other great French strength athletes trained.
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
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.

Clevio Massimo

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2012 by John Wood

Italian Strongman Clevio Massimo Lifting a Giant Kettlebell

Now THAT’S a Kettlebell! …Antonio Clevio Massimo Sabatino, professionally known as Clevio Massimo, was born in Opi Labruza, Italy in 1895. When only a small boy he immigrated into the US and made Buffalo, New York his home. Shortly after finishing high school, Clevio Massimo toured the country performing strongman feats, hand balancing, adagio dancing and muscle control and for a time, even ventured into professional wrestling.  You can find out more about Clevio Massimo in The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses.

Karl Abs ~ The German Oak

Posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 by John Wood

Karl Abs, Holding a Globe Barbell

Karl Abs, known as “The German Oak” was the first man in Germany to continental and jerk 330 pounds… he accomplished this feat back in 1885. Abs also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship in 1894.
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
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.

Gust Lessis: A Smashing Feat

Posted on Saturday, August 20th, 2011 by John Wood
Gust Lessis
Around 1925 or so, the Greek Strongman and wrestler Gust Lessis, wanted a shot at the lightweight boxing crown (which was held by Paul “The Astoria Assassin” Berlenbach at the time.)

In order to show that he was worthy of such an opportunity he gave a demonstration of strength before his grappling matches: while supporting an 500-pound slab of concrete on his chest his manager smashed it to bits with a sledge hammer. Say what you will about supporting feats, but this one is still no walk in the park!

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
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.

The Russian Lion George Hackenschmidt

Posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2011 by John Wood
George Hackenschmidt, The Russian Lion, has the unique distinction of being a Champion wrestler, a Champion Strongman, a strength author, and and early physique star.

His matches with Frank Gotch are widely regarded at the most famous wrestling matches of all time.

As far as strength feats go, many of Hackenschmidt’s best marks are just as impressive today, even a hundred years after they were originally set!

These include a pullover and press (in the wrestler’s bridge position) of 311 pounds for two reps, a 279 pound overhead press and a crucifix lift of two 90 pound dumbbells…You sure won’t find many people who can even get close to those numbers today.