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The Slim Lever – The Signature Feat of a Strongman Legend

There have been many great Strongman Performers in the past, that it is impossible to point to all of them and the amazing feats of strength they accomplished.

One of the all-time greats that is still a living legend is Slim the Hammer Man Farman.

Slim Farman is called the Hammer Man because of his prowess with Sledgehammers. They are his trademark and he has done some things with Sledges that most likely will never be duplicated.

The Story of Slim the Hammer Man is a long one, but in a nutshell, he worked in stone quarries with sledgehammers from a very young age. During his youth, he would often watch the Mighty Atom perform his strength act. Eventually the two interacted during one of the shows and a simple challenge turned into a friendship that lasted years and years. The Mighty Atom took Slim under his wing and coached him to be a professional strongman performer.

The Mighty Atom has long since passed, but the Hammer Man is still alive today. I first met Slim when he traveled from his home in PA to the location of the Global Grip Challenge, 2007.

I also was in attendance when York Barbell inducted Slim into their museum, last year. I wrote about that trip and posted videos here: Slim Farman Inducted into York Barbell Museum.

Slim has also taken on a position of a mentor for many of my colleagues in the area of Strongmanism, such as Dennis Rogers, Chris Rider, and David Whitley. Although I have never had the occasion to sit and train or be coached directly by Slim, I still marvel at some of the feats he has accomplished.

Slim and many of his friends he has trained with over the years

The Slim Lever

One of the feats he is famous for has been labeled, The Slim Lever, and is sometimes contested in Grip Contests, especially in medley events. It can be done with one signle sledgehammer or with two sledgehammers that are bolted together.

I do not know the weights that Slim Farman has done with this sort of set-up, but I am sure it is way more than I have done.

Execution of the Slim Lever

1. The Sledgehammer starts out with the head positioned vertically and the handle nearly parallel with the ground.

2. A small pad can be used to cushion the knuckles. A wash towel should work perfectly.

3. From there, the hand is placed at the end of the handle and the hammer head is raised with wrist strength until the handle is vertical, then the hammer head is returned to the ground.

You can see an actual picture of Slim performing this lift, above. That hammer there looks to be a 20-lber with a pin attached that allows for even more weight to be added – SCARY!

Recently, I was training with my friend, Kyle Kintner, and I showed him this maneuver and for the first time I was able to hit 16-lbs. The video is below.

16-lb Slim Lever

I was so PUMPED about getting the 16-lber up, that I had to try the 20-lber as well, and to my surprise, I was actually about to get it up a few inches…

20-lb Slim Lever

With this feat being this close, I just HAVE to try it some more in the next few weeks. This would be a feat that would blow away anything I have ever done, and it would be something that I would be very proud of accomplishing. To be this close to it also tells me that the other limited stuff I have been doing for wrist strength has been helpful, even though it has not been a major factor in my training.

I will keep you posted. Until then, keep training hard on your goals as well.


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