5 Old-time strongman feats of strength

5 feats of strength commonly performed by the old time strongmen

Ram Martell

6/8/20232 min read

Pioneers of Strength: Exploring the Old-Time Strongman Feats of Strength

The world of strength training has come a long way since the early days of weightlifting. Back in the 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the strongest athletes in the world were known as "strongmen" who performed incredible feats of strength. From lifting hundreds of pounds with ease to bending horseshoes and ripping phone books in half, these strongmen left a lasting legacy on the world of strength training. In this article, we explore some of the most impressive and inspiring old-time strongman feats of strength.

1. The Bent Press

The bent press is a lifting technique that was popularized by early strongmen such as Arthur Saxon. It involves lifting a heavy weight (such as a barbell) overhead while bending or "leaning" to one side. This feat of strength requires both core and shoulder strength and was considered a signature move of many strongmen of the era.

2. The Human Bridge

The human bridge was a feat that was performed by many old-time strongmen, including Eugen Sandow. It involves lying flat on one's back and then arching the body into a bridge position, supporting the weight of multiple people on top. This feat requires significant back and core strength and was considered a crowd-pleaser at the time.

3. The Nail Bend

Old-time strongmen were known for their ability to bend horseshoes, nails, and other steel objects with their bare hands. Bending nails was one of the most impressive feats of strength, requiring a combination of grip strength and bracing technique to achieve. This feat is still performed by some strongmen today, and it remains a testament to the incredible strength of these early athletes.

4. The Chain Break

Chain breaking was another impressive feat of strength that involved breaking or ripping apart metal chains with bare hands. Early strongmen such as Louis Cyr were known for their incredible chain breaking abilities, showcasing the strength of their fingers and grip.

5. The One-Arm Chin-Up

The one-arm chin-up is a difficult feat of strength that requires a great deal of upper body strength and control. Early strongmen such as John Grimek and Sig Klein were known for their ability to perform this feat, demonstrating incredible strength and control.

In conclusion, the old-time strongmen of the early 20th century were pioneers of the world of strength training. They performed incredible feats of strength that continue to inspire athletes today. From the bent press and human bridge to the nail bend and chain break, these feats required a combination of strength, endurance, and technique that remains impressive to this day.

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