The Most Impressive Feat of Strength
fter my workout tonight, I decided I’d sit on the bike in my gym and just pedal away and relax for a bit.
I had the music playing but I also wanted to read something, so I began to look around my basement for some sort of a book, catalog, flyer – SOMETHING!
Something caught my eye on top of a stack of papers. It was a very old magazine that was given to me by a friend at work whose father had hundreds of these magazines. It was an issue of Muscle Power from 1952.
I thought, “What the hell – maybe I’ll find something cool.”
So I sat down on the bike, set the tension to 4 and started pedaling away as I leafed through the book.
Throughout most of the front of the magazine, the articles and features were of bodybuilding nature, but when I got about half way through the magazine, it shifted emphasis to more of a strength-based focus. (This is probably why the magazine says it’s “Two Magazines in One,” DUHH!)
Surprised, I continued paging through until I saw a familiar picture of Hermann Goerner. The image, shown above, has been featured on just about every website I have seen that salutes the strongmen of the past, so it is pretty much burned into my memory at this point.
Since I knew that Hermann Goerner had a tremendous grip, I knew I had to read the article. It was called, “The Greatest Feat of Strength I Ever Saw.” The article featured snippets of info that bodybuilding figureheads from the day of the magazine had witnessed in their lifetimes.
In relationship to Goerner, the witness was Joe Assirati, who the article calls England’s Leading Bodybuilding Authority. The article quotes Assirati in saying:
- “I will never forget the time I saw Herman Goerner show his amazing strength at Bill Pullum’s gym in London. Goerner was training under Bill, and Paul Getty, son of an American Millionaire, promised Goerner $100.00 if he could one hand dead lift 600 pounds. At that time the British record was around 440. Next day, Goerner did a right hand dead lift on a STRAIGHT bar, with 602 ½ lbs. The weight took the skin off the palm of his hand but Goerner made it! That in my opinion, is the greatest feat of strength I ever had the pleasure of witnessing.”
Who wouldn’t believe he was that strong with a mustache like that?
The article continues to cover several other feats of strength that various bodybuilding representatives of the time recollected, but my favorite was this one, by George F. Jowett:
- “I will never forget the time Sam Crawford, a British seaman, saved my life and the lives of his shipmates. Sam was a townsman of mine, a gigantic, fine looking man of ponderous strength. I was with him aboard a trawler in the North Sea. Caught in a storm, we drifted towards a sand bank when the donkey engine failed. Sam saved the ship and the crew by picking up an anchor weighing 650 pounds and tossing it overboard from a heaving deck. That was the most impressive feat of power and will forever remain green in my memory.”
Can you imagine seeing someone save an entire crew’s life by throwing an anchor overboard?!?!? Let alone the fact that it weighed 650 lbs!
I have heard lots of stories over the years of fantastic feats of strength that people have done in order to save lives.
In fifth grade, my buddy Scott Williams told me that one time he was playing on a tombstone while his dad was mowing the cemetery and the giant tombstone tipped over on him. Barely able to breathe, he let out a squeak of sheer terror and his dad ran over and picked the thing up off of him and saved his life. The tombstone sliced his face over his nose and cheek, leaving him with a souvenir for life, and that story has been burned in my memory ever since he told it to me.
Oh, and Scott also told me that a few days after the accident, his dad went back to the cemetery to put the stone back where it had been before, and he couldn’t even budge it!
Of all the articles in this magazine, this is the one I enjoyed the most and it got me thinking to myself – “What is the most impressive feat of strength I have ever witnessed?”
I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the most impressive strongman performers, strongman competitors, powerlifters, and grip strength practitioners that are alive today, and out of all the tons of stuff I have witnessed, I have been trying to choose the best feat of strength I’ve ever seen.
While I have seen a lot of awesome things at all of the grip contests, strongman competitions, and strength get-togethers I have attended, I must say that the most impressive thing I have seen in a while took place last month directly after the 2009 United States Hand Strength Championship, and it was done by Andrew Durniat.
Andrew, as many of you know, is a kettlebell expert and is able to do many kettlebell feats, especially kettlebell juggling.
Many of you readers in the Diesel Universe saw that back in winter of 2005, Smitty and I worked diligently to perform a double forward flip and catch with out 95-lb kettlebell (not allowing it to touch the ground). I mean, we trained for months to do this.
Smitty was the first to do it, high pulling the 95-lb kettlebell to about neck height with two hands, violently pushing it forward in a tight spin, and then catching it by the handle before it hit the ground.
It was unbelievable, my friends!
I was the first to perform the feat with a one-hand high pull. This was one of the feats I was most proud of that I included in our DVD, The Sh*t You’ve Never Seen.
In 2006, I accomplished a similar feat, only this time, I caught it and immediately snatched the bell over head.
Since Smitty and I performed these variations of this feat, I have never seen another soul do it, so I regard it as one of the most impressive feats we have ever done.
On September 19th, 2009, Andrew Durniat blew us both away!
As you will see in this video clip, posted by Joe Hashey earlier in the week, Andrew performs not one, not two, but THREE consecutive double forward flips and catches with a one handed push. Check it out below.
It may not look like much, my friends, but that is because Andrew can do it so effortlessly. It is without a doubt the most impressive thing I have seen in years. And he did it after a grueling 6-hr grip competition.
So I want to know what the most impressive feat of strength you ever saw was.
- Did it take place at a contest you were competing at or watching?
Was it during a training session?
Was it while fighting for your country?
Was it a case like my buddy Scott’s or like the case of Sam Crawford where one or more people’s lives were saved?
I want to hear about what you have seen, so please leave a comment below.
I will take a random drawing out of all those who participate and they will get a free copy of the new DVD Joe Hashey and I have been working on and recently released, Home Made Strength.
Remember, just leave a comment below!
Thanks and all the best in your training.
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