Alexander Zass: The Amazing Samson

zass2Alfonso Alexander Zass is a legendary strong man, and one of most prominent during his era.

He was born in 1888, a native to Lithuania. Although he was only 5'4 feet tall and weighed 165 pounds and not very muscular, he made up for his physique with his awesome strength and endurance. 

He was known for his strength, surprisingly enough, he didn't engage in any weightlifting, which lead some to wonder how he had grown so strong. He earned his name "The Amazing Samson" because of the many different feats of strength he would perform. He is well know also for being a significant proponent of isometric exercise which was his primary training method. He is a man of many other talents aside from those of a strong man.

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A lot of Alexander Zass's talent were ground-breaking and unseen at that time. As a circus performer, Zass was well known for bending steel bars into a "scroll" shape, breaking chains with his bare hands as well as with stretching his muscles and carrying huge weights with his teeth. Equally astonishing was his ability to catch 200 pound cannon balls out of a modified cannon.

He was also said to be able to resist the power of two horses pulling on his arms on opposite directions, and he was said to have the strength to carry a horse on his shoulders. He was known also for his able to take punishment, he would often have people punch him in the gut,  take a blow from a sledge hammer and even balance a huge piece of granite weighting a ton on his torso.

Additionally he was renowned as a talented wrestler and an animal trainer, some even claimed he could tame panthers.


Zass contributed to strength literature with treatises on his methods and feats with publications like Samson's System & Methods and The Amazing Samson as told by himself.

Alexander Zass worked with Russian Intelligence at one point and served in the Russian Army during World War I. He was captured and taken prisoner after he was wounded by Austrian forces and escaped POW camps on 3 separate occasions. Surely a very intelligent man as well, he maintained his strength by continuing to train while  a prisoner of war which surely aided him during his escapes.

After the war, Alexander Zass continued his career as a strong man all over Europe until his death in London in the year 1962, he was 74 years old and died of natural causes.

Today he is seen as one of the greatest strongmen of all time, and a prime example of the benefits of isometric excise. In fact many of his personal training methods are in use today.

He was certainly an extraordinary individual, and a strength talent. His statue in Orenberg Russia is a testament to this.