Hermann Goerner: The Mighty

goeHermann 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.


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Goerner was by no means confined to strength pursuits as a boy. He was also an avid practitioner of running, swimming, shot put, acrobatics, boxing and wrestling.

It was by now very apparent to all and sundry that Hermann Goerner was a very gifted strength athlete. 

By the age of 18 he was nationally renowned for his strength and his physique. His powerful physique earned him fame and accolades all over Europe.

His appearance became a source of income for him as he was engaged by many painters and sculptors of the day as a physique model. By the age of 21, Goerner the athlete weighed a mighty 296 lbs at a height of 6 feet.

By 1911 he was able to take part in most of the leading weight lifting tournaments. That year he won three regional competitions and placed second in the European Championships.

In 1912 he won the National German Title.

In the 1913 weight lifting world championships, Hermann came fourth and this was seen as one of his best performances. It was a performance that put him in the list of the promising athletes of the early 1900s.

During these years Hermann was part of a Strongman Trio with his brother Otto and a friend Otto Brauer.

Their act included kettlebell and barbell juggling, bent press feats, back lifts and the “Jerk”, where Goerner with jerked a bar overhead with his partners sitting at either end.

Then of course came the Great War, in which Germany played an integral part.

Goerner the soldier was not so blessed with luck. He was injured and lost an eye during the First World War.

Nevertheless, this did not deter him from pursuing his goals and his career was never affected.

After the war Goerner became a professional strongman. This venture saw him tour Britain, Germany, and South Africa. His strength now became world-renowned.


His Feats of Strength

  • Wrestling a 1500lb elephant
  • Clean and Press 330lb barbell with a 2.4” bar
  • One-handed block weight deadlift of 734.5lb
  • One-handed deadlift of 727.5lb
  • 595.5lb deadlift using two fingers of each hand
  • Pinch lift of 111lb
  • Leg press of 24 men (4,123lb)

herman goerner

In 1929, Goerner suffered an hand injury which put and end to his serious lifting attributes but he continued to lift and train until the Second World War.

He was held in a Soviet POW camp after the war and was later released.

Hermann more or less was retired by this time and settled in Hanover with his wife Elsie.

He entertained many budding athletes and admirers until his death in 1956.

Hermann Goerner was 65 years old.

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