Arthur Saxon: The Iron Master

saxon1Arthur ‘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.

 

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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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Doug Hepburn: Canadian Strongman

hepDoug 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.

 

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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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Milo of Croton: Father Of Progressive Resistance

milo3Milo 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.

 

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William Bankier: Apollo, The Scottish Hercules

apolloWilliam 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.

 

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Joseph Greenstein: The Mighty Atom

mighty atomJoseph 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!

 

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