This is a guest post by Jason Ferruggia
If you don’t know who Mike Mentzer was I will give you some quick background. He was a famous bodybuilder who competed back in the seventies and eighties against none other than Arnold, himself.
He was known for being a huge proponent of extremely low volume training. Mike was either loved or hated; there was no in between.
He had some radical view points and an in-your-face way of expressing them. He even had the balls to call Arnold out about his high volume training protocols and say what a complete waste of time it all was.
Doug Hepburn is undoubtedly one of the great Canadian athletic legends.
At the peak of his career he was considered the strongest man alive.
Doug is now acknowledged by many – along with Paul Anderson – as the grandfather of modern powerlifting.
Like Louis Cyr, nearly a century before, Hepburn put Canada firmly on the map in the strength world.
Doug was a truly multi-talented individual, whose skills and interests took him beyond the realms of sport to make him an inventor, storyteller, philosopher, and singer.
Most importantly Doug Hepburn should be seen as a true strength innovator.
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.
I’ve always thought that kettlebells look quite cool. But when I look at Primal kettlebells from Onnit, I think they look plain bad ass.
Onnit Labs have some really great products – I’m a huge fan of their supplements.
But they’ve really outdone themselves this time
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.
Much has been made of the benefits of thick bar training.
Thick bar training is a true old school muscle building method.
Whereas it was a commonplace training method in the past, it has fallen by the wayside in more recent times.
By far the most famous thick bar in history was the Thomas Inch Dumbbell that foiled the attempts of many famous strongmen – including Arthur Saxon.
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!