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Three Swingbell Exercises

The Swingbell is a bit like the combination of a barbell and a medicine ball. Here's three different swingbell exercises with some interesting possibilities: Left to right: Ex. No. 1, Rotating upper body while holding the swingbell overhead ... Ex. No. 2, Forward Raise ... Ex. No. 3, Swinging Exercise from side to side.

Tags: Swingbell

Arthur Dandurand

To say that the French Canadian Strongman Arthur Dandurand was gifted in the forearm department would be an understatement. He not only was able to deadlift over 550 pounds with one arm but also achieved a rectangular fix with 177½ pounds - an all-time record! Keep in mind that Dandurand only weighed about 180 pounds.

The Osman Trio

Three great strongmen formed the act known as the Osman Trio. From left to right: Wilhelm Turck was a butcher by trade who became the World's Weightlifting Champion in 1898. He could perform a two-hands anyhow dumbbell lift of 279 1/4 pounds: 140 lb. DB in right hand, 139 1/4 lb. DB in left hand. Georges Jagendorfer was a very popular strongman who performed with Cooke's Circus.  Franz Stahr was one of the first strongmen to lift 200 pounds overhead with one hand.The trio often used elaborate stage weights and costumes in their performances around Europe.

Grimek The Handbalancer

You can count John Grimek among the many great strength stars who were also expert handbalancers. There were periods of time in his life when Grimek didn't have access to barbells and dumbbells and regular handbalancing practice allowed him to still get in a great workout just about anywhere.

Handbalancing is certainly a worthwhile skill to practice for every strength athlete. The increased shoulder stability helps build pressing power. You sure won't find a handbalancer who isn't impressive in either strength or muscular development.

Monotosh Roy

Monotosh Roy was a highly respected strongman, bodybuilder and physical culture practitioner in his native India. He was famed for his tremendous muscularity and won his class in the 1951 Mr. Universe Contest, the first Asian to do so which made him a local celebrity. As a strongman, he was particularly good at traditional strength feats such as bending steel.

"Starke" Arvid Andersson

Arvid Andersson was a Champion Swedish strongman who put up some very impressive numbers at the turn of the century. He got his start lifting horses in the circusm and once he moves on to more conventional weights, quickly set the world record in the Clean & Jerk with a lift of 328 lbs on November 7th, 1906.

Professor Desbonnet, was the judge, and was highly impressed with the lift. Andersson's nickname soon became "Starke Arvid" or Strong Arvid. Like many strongmen of the time he was also a wrestler, and held the Swedish Heavyweight Championship for many years. After he retired from wrestling and lifting contests, "Starke Arvid" moved back to Stockholm and opened a café.

Head-Standing For Perfect Health By Professor Anthony Barker

There are many rare courses out there and you never know what you might find on a trip back through the history of physical culture. Here's an unusual one from Professor Anthony Barker: "Head-Standing For Perfect Health." Written in 1922, it may seem a little counter-intuitive, but standing on your head does indeed have many health benefits. Maintaining an upside-down position increases blood flow to the brain, which is always a good thing, and it also allows the spine to decompress. Give it a try.

"The American Hercules" Edwin F. Morrison

Edwin F. Morrison was a talented strongman whose exploits were nearly lost to the sands of time. He is shown here on the cover of the January, 1905 issue of the early French magazine La Vie Au Grand Air which often had features on strongmen, weight lifting and wrestling. Morrison's relative obscurity is likely due to the fact that he performed mostly in Europe, with engagements at Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and the Royal Aquarium in London, England during the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Morrison's specialty was breaking chains by flexing his arm, by chest expansion or a powerful blow of the first. He could bend pennies and shillings with his fingers and easily ripped multiple decks of cards at once. (As seen above, his card tearing prowess will haunt your dreams at night.)

Morrison also could walk across a stage supporting a platform loaded with sixteen people and could bent-press 336 pounds, a fact which was loudly accounced in public to be 18 pounds greater than Sandow's record. Morrison challenged the great Sandow to a match seventeen times but Sandow never took him up on his offer.

Edward Kunath

Edward Kunath, of Jersey City, New jersey was the AAU National Rope Climbing Champion of 1899-1903, 1907 and 1909. He set many records over the course of his career, one of which was in 1901 when he climbed 25 feet in 6.8 seconds. When you do the math, that is over 44 inches per second! A few years later, Kunath invented and patented the spacer for manual typewriters, making him millions.

Shake Hands With Uncle Sam Grip Tester

If you feel like taking a road trip, I know they they have one of these machines right here in Michigan at Marvelous Marvin's place. These Uncle Sam machines were first made in 1908 as grip testers. Once you dropped your penny in the slot, you squeezed Uncle Sam's out-stretched hand as hard as you could and the arrow on the dial told how strong your grip was. If you scored 300, a bell rang so you can impress all your friends. The modern versions cost a quarter and tell you the strength of your "personality."

Either way, bonus points if you noticed one of these machines at the "Double Deuce" in Roadhouse.

Tags: Grip Tester
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