Arthur ‘The Iron Master’ Saxon was born Arthur Hennig in 1878 in the German town of Leipzig.
Born eleven years later, Arthur “The Iron Master” Saxon was in many ways the antithesis of Eugen Sandow.
Despite taking a very similar route in the iron game, both were German strongmen in European circuses, Saxon’s motivations were purely based in strength whereas Sandow concentrated on the aesthetic body.
Learning the Craft
Not the consummate academic, Saxon at the age of 14, dropped out of school. He promptly took up strength training with weights made by himself out of stone.
Alfonso 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.
Hermann Goerner was a famous strongman from Germany who was known for his grip strength and overall lifting ability.
Born 1891 in Saxony Germany, Hermann began his liting career at the tender age of10.
Fast forward to 14 years old and Herman Goerner was doing one-arm kettlebell swings with 50kg. At this time he stood at 5’6” and weighed 185lbs.
This was a muscular 14 year old, especially in the early days of the twentieth century.
Milo of Croton, an ancient world legendary athlete, is best remembered for his might and great strength.
He was born in Croton, a Greek colony in the southern part of Italy and it is here where his legend grew.
The legend of Milo’s celebrated strength began I his childhood.
The now famous legend goes, that he carried his pet calf daily increasing the distance gradually.
As the calf grew and increased in size, Milo’s muscles grew stronger and he could carry it easily when it was a full-grown ox.
William Bankier who was most famously known as “Apollo, The Scottish Hercules” was a well known strongman and physical culturalist of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Bankier is not well known today because his star often fell under the shadow of Eugen Sandow whose fame was prolific at the time and in the subsequent years.
That said, it could successfully be argued that Bankier’s athletic prowess and strength exceeded that of Sandow. While Sandow, a very strong man in his own right, specialised in attaining the “Grecian Ideal”, Bankier was a generalist strength trainer, boxer and professional wrestler.
He was born in December 10, 1870 in Banff, Scotland to parents who were school teachers. When Bankier was young, he was not drawn to the sedentary academic life of his parents; rather he was fascinated by the circus.
A native of Scarborough in the north of England, Thomas Inch was born on December 27th 1881.
Inch's interest in strength and bodybuilding began at a young age, when his parents told him that manual labour would help him to grow up to be big and strong.
This lead to Inch using the family garden as his initial training ground, repeatedly digging ditches in an effort to build muscle mass.
Inch's passion for strength increased steadily from there, and at the age of 16 he was crowned Britain's Strongest Youth. Later he went on to win the title of Britain's Strongest Man on June 11th, 1910.
Bob Hoffman is a legend in the world of weightlifting, body building and fitness.
He brought attention to the sport at a time when body fitness and development was not a part of American sensibility.
What began as a personal quest to improve his health, became a lifelong ambition to assist others in their quest for physical fitness and self-improvement.
Bob Hoffman grew up in Pittsburgh as a skinny, sickly kid, but it is the transformation that he went through in his twenties, in York, that became the principle of the philosophy that he would purport for the remainder of his life.
Joseph L. Greenstein, better known as Mighty Atom, is widely considered as one of the greatest strongmen of all time.
Greenstein was born two months premature in 1893 in Poland. For most of his youth he suffered a very poor body constitution, and his body was significantly frail.
At the age of 14, the Issakoff Brother’s Circus visited his town, and Joe Greenstein saw a poster of the Russian strongman “Champion Volanko” which mesmerized him immediately.
The strongman struck a relationship with the sickly boy offering to train the boy in his circus trade as a means to overcome his physical limitations.
Joe Greenstein accepted that offer and a legend was born!
Louis Cyr baptized Cyprien-Noé, a name that he used up to 1880, was a lumberjack, a farm hand, a weightlifter, a police officer and a strongman.
Cyr was born on the 10th of October 1863 in the lower region of Canada in a town called Saint-Cyprien also known as Napierville. He was the second born of seventeen children.
When he was a child, Louis Cyr was quick witted, wilful yet still gentle by nature. From his early years, it was clear that Louis had exceptional strength that he apparently got from his paternal grandfather named Pierre Cyr, who was a trapper and a hunter. Louis also got some strongman genes from his mother who was a woman of great physical stature and ability.