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Rope Climbing for Grip Strength

Sig Klein was always outspoken as far as the importance of grip strength... One of Sig's favorite exercises was to hang by one hand from a thick climbing rope. It's still a good one.

Ab Training: Shaolin Style

How do Shaolin Monks train their abs? Here's one way: this fellow is hanging upside down with his legs over a tree branch. He fills a small cup with water from the jar below him, sits up, and dumps it into a bucket which hangs above. No sets and reps needed, the workout ends when the bucket is filled.

Lee "Strongman" Jones

Lee "Strongman" Jones does his thing back in the mid-1950's. We don't know anything about the man other than he obviously has a pretty strong set of choppers.

Ironman Magazine April, 1952: Cover Man Zabo Zoszewski

Irvin 'Zabo' Koszewski on the cover of the April, 1952 issue of Ironman Magazine. He finished 5th at the 1952 Mr. America Contest although to no ones's surprise, took home the 'Best Abs' subdivision.

Zabo was a safe bet for an Abs trophy, in fact he won "Best Abs" in every bodybuilding contest he ever entered, including four times in the AAU Mr. America contest and three times in the Junior Mr. America Contest.

Mr. America '68, Jim Haislop

Jim Haislop, the popular bodybuilder from Tampa, Florida, shows the foundation of his development: squats. Haislop had quite a career, winning Mr. Florida in 1965, Mr. North America in 1966, Mr. Northern States and Mr. USA in 1967, Mr. America and Junior Mr. America in 1968 and took first in his class at the 1969 NABBA Mr. Universe.

The Michigan State Normal School Gymnasium, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1894

A look at The Michigan State Normal School Gymnasium in Ypsilanti, Michigan, circa 1894, the year it was built. This impressive red brick building was located across the street from the Water Tower in Ypsilanti (and if you have been to Ypsi, you know exactly where this is).

This gymnasium was divided completely in half, the North half reserved for women and the South half for men. The Michigan State Normal School eventually became Eastern Michigan University, and unfortunately, this particular building was demolished in the mid-1960's.

Dennis Rogers' Steel Scrolling

A few years back Dennis Rogers performed in Detroit and gave me the piece of steel he bent during the show. If you look closely you can see that it is dated 11/06/2005 and signed by Dennis.

Milo Lifts an Elephant

In August of 1950, Milo Steinborn attended the Chicago fair and the AAU Mid-States Weightlifting championships which was going on as a featured attraction during the Chicago fair. During a break in the action, they held an impromptu elephant lifting contest. None of the other lifters could budge "Tommy" an 800 pound baby elephant but Milo, 57 years old and still wearing his Sunday best, stepped in and gave him a little ride. (Tommy doesn't seem to happy about it.)

FYI, Norb Schemansky won the Mid-States heavyweight lifting title with a 910 lb. total and Jim Park won the Mr. Central U.S.A bodybuilding contest, also held that day.

Arthur Saxon's Incredible Plank Feat

As if you needed further proof that Arthur Saxon was one of the strongest men who ever lived, behold the following: Arthur and the other members of the Saxon Trio used to perform several supporting feats in their act and for these feats, they employed a large, heavy wooden plank.

Unbeknownst to many, the trio of strongmen also used this plank as a training tool to develop grip strength, each taking turns lifting it in various ways between their shows. While the other brothers did their best to deadlift it, Arthur Saxon could actually snatch the plank overhead with ease, something no one else could duplicate and a feat which humbled noted Strongman Siegmund Breitbart who visited the Trio at the Bush Circus in Berlin, Germany in 1922.

Kurt Saxon considered this to be Arthur Saxon's greatest strength feat... pretty impressive condsidering some of Arthur's other record achievements.

"The Brooklyn Strongboy" In Action

A look at "The Brooklyn Strongboy" Charles Phelan in action in mid-two-hands-anyhow with an excellent globe barbell and kettlebell. Phelan held five world records in his day: a one-finger lift of 506 pounds, a 700 pound lift with two fingers, a hand and thigh lift of 1125 pounds, a hip lift of 1600 pounds and a backlift of 2500 pounds. Phelan learned the strongman arts from none other than Warren Lincoln Travis.
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