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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


Here are at Top Tenz, we give the people what
they want. One of our Patreon supporters named Birgir
recommended we tackle a list about strongmen, and we obliged. If you’d like to support Top Tenz and suggest
list ideas, you can visit our Patreon page. Over the years, the definition of a “strongman”
has changed significantly. It was once an occupation held by circus performers
who exhibited feats of strengths to small crowds. In the 20th century, it evolved into something
more like athletic competitions, where competitors displayed their abilities through a series
of exercises including lifting rocks, pulling trains, and toting huge trucks. Not wanting to discriminate against strongmen
of earlier epochs, here are 10 of the most fascinating strongmen from over the last few
centuries… 10. Thomas Topham (18th century) Born in London, Thomas Topham was one of the
most famous strongmen of his generation. He was best known for bending thick fire irons
by striking them against his forearms. Crowds would also enjoy watching as he lifted
items weighing 224 pounds over his head with just his little fingers. Despite his other heroics, his most famous
feat took place on May 28, 1741 when, while using a harness, Topham lifted three barrels
of water weighing 1,386 pounds. For those skeptics out there, Topham’s feats
were documented in a widely held work by Dr. John Theo Desaguliers called “A Course of
Experimental Philosophy.” 9. Siegmund Breitbart (19th century) As previously mentioned, many of the earlier
strongmen worked as circus performers and Siegmund Breitbart was no exception. Born to a Jewish family in Poland, Breitbart
was subjugated to relentless Antisemitism, which drove him to become the “Strongest
Man in the World.” Some of his most impressive feats included
bending iron bars around his arm in floral patterns, biting through iron chains, or pulling
them apart; he even lifted a baby elephant as he climbed a ladder. As a performer, Breitbart excited audiences
by holding back two whipped horses, and pulling a wagon full of people with his teeth. Breitbart is probably best known for incorporating
The Tomb of Hercules into his act. The performance consisted of Breitbart laying
on his back as a bridge of boards was built across his chest. Animals were then brought to parade cross
the bridge. Bulls, elephants, and other heavy beats walked
across Breitbart’s chest without even a flinch from the strongman. 8. Eugen Sandow (19th century) Known as the “father of bodybuilding,”
Eugene Sandow was born Friederich Wilhelm Mueller in Königsberg, Prussia in 1867. By the age of 19, he was already performing
as a strongman in various circus-like shows. He became known for his barbell routines and
for breaking a chain locked around his chest. Audiences gathered around him, but were more
interested in his bulging muscles than his feats of strength. Inclined to give the people what they wanted,
Sandow began to develop and perform poses. He declared the poses “muscle display performances”
and these same displays of strength are used in bodybuilding competitions today. Sandow was a highly sought-after carnival
attraction as audience members believed him to resemble the Roman gods. It turns out that Sandow’s similar build
was no accident. He had traveled to Italy as a child, and it
was there, staring at the artwork of these chiseled gods, that his passion for bodybuilding
began. Sandow believed that these gods had the perfect
physique and modeled his own body based on their image. He became the first bodybuilder to develop
his musculature to predetermined dimensions. 7. Leonid Taranenko (20th century) Born in 1956 in Belarus, at the time part
of the Soviet Union, Leonid Taranenko would become a world record holder for the clean
and the jerk at the age of 32. His first taste of success came at the 1980
Olympics where he won the gold medal competing for the Soviet Union. Taranenko initially competed in a lower weight
class, but in 1988 he moved up to super-heavyweight class. On November 26, 1988 in Australia, he set
a world record of 266.0 kg in the clean and jerk. Due to “restructuring” by the International
weightlifting federation, his official records no longer stand, but his feats have not been
matched. 6. Andy Bolton (20th century) Another world recorder holder on our list
is power lifter Andy Bolton. Born in England in 1970, Bolton is the first
man in history to have deadlifted 1,000 pounds. And he did it twice. Before he became a world recorder holder,
Bolton found success at an early age. By the time he was 21-years-old, Bolton had
won a powerlifting event called Yorkshire Junior Championships. As previously mentioned, Bolton is most known
for being first strongman to deadlift 1,000 lbs. Twice during the competition he “eclipsed
his own accomplishment with pulls of 1,003 pounds and a then-record 1,008 pounds.” Bolton is not a one trick pony. He also holds the fourth highest squat of
all-time with 1216.63 pounds, and his three lift total of 2,806.34 pounds ranks third
highest in history. 5. Brian Shaw (21st century) The first American on our list, Brian Shaw
(born in 1982) is a monster of a man. Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing 435 pounds,
he’s massive even compared to other strongmen. While not holding any individual weightlifting
records, what he does have to his name is the title of World’s Strongest Man. Shaw has claimed the title twice and has placed
in the top tree at World’s Strongest Man a total of five times. His personal bests include 972 pounds in the
deadlift, 1,122 in the Hummer tire deadlift, and squatting 825 pounds along with benching
535 pounds. Not too shabby. 4. Louis Cyr (19th century) There’s no one on our list who had a more
colorful career than Louis Cyr. A boxer, a police officer, and of course,
a strongman, Cyr did it all. Many believe that he is the strongest man
to ever have lived. Born in Quebec, Canada, Cyr developed his
strength at an early age, working at a lumber camp during the winter and on his family farm
during the summer. Told of the legendary exploits of strongman
Milo of Croton, who as a child carried a calf on his shoulder, Cyr attempted the same feat,
only for the calf to kick him in the head and run away. Cyr decided instead to carry a sack of grain
and added two pounds each day. His strongman career began at the age of 17
after he gained some publicity for lifting a farmer’s heavily laden wagon, which had
become stuck. Soon after, he competed against Canada’s
strongest man (at the time), beating him in tests of lifting heavy stones by hoisting
a granite boulder weighing 480 pounds. After immigrating to the United States, Cyr
competed in a strongman competition in Boston, where he lifted a horse (that was resting
on a platform) off the ground. Despite gaining fame, the strongman, now a
married man, became a police officer. His foray into police work came after, just
using his strength, he broke up a dangerous knife fight. According to eyewitness accounts, Cyr disarmed
and subdued the combatants and then made a citizen’s arrest, carrying the hooligans
under his arms to the police station. Eventually he’d leave the police force,
using the money he had earned to open a tavern. Louis Cyr’s most impressive feats of strength
include lifting a platform on his back holding 18 men for a total of 1,967 kilograms, lifting
a 534 pound weight with one finger, and pushing a freight car up an incline 3. Louis Uni (19th century) The Frenchman who became known as Apollon
the Mighty was most popular for his grip strength. Louis Uni ran away from home at 14 to join
the circus, but was returned by police officers who noticed he was underaged. It wasn’t enough to stop his drive to become
a strongman and after a couple of years, he left home again. Uni became a student of strength training
and would repeatedly be challenged to demonstrate his strength. In one particular instance, a friend named
John Grun Marx told him that he would perform a lift that no one else could. Marx slowly approached a thick-handled dumbbell,
which weighed 226 pounds, and lifted it over his head. At the time, Marx and three others were the
only men to have been known to accomplish such a feat. Louis, not known to turn down a challenge,
attempted it as well but he lost control and it landed 10 feet behind him. This demonstrated that he had the ability
to accomplish such a feat, he just needed more training. Years later, he was challenged by Andre Brandelli,
who claimed no one else in the world was capable of performing clean and jerk using his 278
pound barbell. After performing the feat, he turned to Louis
smirking. Conscious of his strength, Louis grabbed the
barbell and performed the feat. The challenges only continued as Louis became
more famous. A trio of Germans called the “Rassio Trio”
approached Louis claiming that they would strip him of his title of “World’s Strongest
Man.” For the challenge, Louis instructed them to
bring a dumbbell which weighed 200 pounds onto the stage. However, hoping to trick Louis, a dumbbell
which weighed 341 pounds was brought to the stage instead. Unable to notice the difference, Louis lifted
the dumbell over his head. The Rassio Trio didn’t make much of this,
but when it was their turn to lift the dumbbell, they were barely able to get it off the ground. Some of Apollon the Mighty’s most notable
feats of strength include an act called “Escaping Prisoner,” in which he would bend iron bars
in order to escape from a cage, cleaning and jerking a 341 pound barbell, and lifting two
train wheels (366 pounds) over his head. 2. Angus MacAskill (19th Century) Angus MacAskill makes all of the strongman
on our list look like ordinary people. According to the Guinness Book of World Records,
MacAskill was the the largest true giant to have ever lived, and the man with the largest
chest measurements of any non-obese man. Standing at 7-foot-10 (for reference, the
man beside him in the above picture was 6-foot-5), MacAskill weighed 580 pounds, but what was
so remarkable about him was the proportionality of his figure. He was free of growth abnormalities, with
his size and strength was simply due to his genetics. Born in 1825 on the Isle of Berneray in Scotland,
MacAskill moved to Nova Scotia with his family as a child and eventually they settled in
a fishing community. He was known in his community to have lifted
“a 2,800 pound ship’s anchor to chest height, carry barrels weighing over 300 pounds
under each arm, and was apparently able to single handedly set a 40-foot mast into a
schooner deck.” Soon, the fishing community became too small
for MacAskill and he joined P.T. Barnum’s circus. Word spread of his amazing size and strength. Queen Victoria eventually invited him to appear
before her to give a demonstration at Windsor Castle. Afterwards she proclaimed him to be “the
tallest, stoutest and strongest man to ever enter the palace.” She presented him with two gold rings in appreciation. 1. Thomas Inch (20th Century) There aren’t many strongmen who left a mark
on strength athletics like Thomas Inch. Born in Scarborough, England in 1881, Inch
won the titles of both Britain’s Strongest Youth and Britain’s Strongest Man. However, his lasting legacy isn’t a feat
of strength, but a mechanism of demonstrating strength. Inch invented the “Thomas Inch Dumbbell.” It’s routinely used in strongman competitions
because of its difficulty to lift. The dumbell weights 172 pounds, 9 ounces and
it’s handle is extremely thick, making it difficult to hold onto without a forceful
grip. And while Thomas Inch doesn’t have any records
that remain, he will always have a dumbbell that bears his name.

100 thoughts on “10 Fascinating Strongmen Throughout the Years

  1. Pity Joseph "The Mighty Atom" Greenstein couldn't be included; a real-life superhero (not to be confused with today's RLSHs), he is believed to be the inspiration for the "Golden Age" version of DC Comics' Atom character.

  2. From the start I thought Paul Anderson would be #1.  I was stunned he didn't make the list at all.  In addition to his amazing strength, I believe his time for the 100 yard dash was something like 12 seconds or less, extraordinary for someone 5'8" and about 340 pounds.  Also surprised people like Bill Kazmaier and Ed Coan were not on the list.  I am glad to learn of MacAskill,  of whom I knew nothing.  Of the old Soviets, I recall Alekseyev was a legend while still competing when I was young.

  3. John Grün Marx deserved more attention and not just because I'm related to him. He outperformed many of these being known as the Hercules from Luxembourg, he broke horseshoes with just his hands.

    "He juggled hundreds, and toyed with thousands of pounds as a child plays with a rattle" – Harry Houdini about Grün, Houdini and Grün often performed together.

    He also famously lifted 2 horses with riders on them and in 1898 he lifted a carousel with 11 people on it and balanced it for a few minutes.
    He was considered the strongest man alive in his time, with contemporaries such as Eugen Sandow, McCann Brothers, Louis Cyr etc.

  4. HEY EVERYONE, this video is titled "10 Fascinating Strongmen Throughout the Years". It is not titled "The top 10 Strongmen of all time".

  5. How could Big Z not be on this list? He's been on the top level of strongmen for the past 20 years, WSM 4 times and second 6 times, 8 times Arnold classic champion (with 6 in a row), he's been holding the log lift world record since 2005 and brought it up from 190 to 228, and a total of over 50 world records in his career.

    Also Shaw won WSM 4 times and was on the podium 9 times out of 11 consecutive finals

  6. Learn your topic before you make videos! Knowing how many incorrect facts are in this video….how poorly done are your other videos?

  7. When the metal bar is yielding more than your thighs, you may very well be a mutant.

    I welcome you as my overlord.

  8. Arthur Saxon was also an amazing strongman. Performing incredible feats years before a protein shake was invented let alone steroids or hgh

  9. The best time was only genes not roids. Don't get me wrong genetics are still very inportant. But nowdays if 2men have the same top tier genetics the one that takes the most health risks wins.

  10. The list of people missed in this.. Also Brian Shaw earlier this year lifted 2 176lb thomas inch dumbells and pressed them overhead. Bring does hold 1 wr tho.. he holds the fastest rowing time on a machine ever seen. Also he's capable of breaking the 96lb grip challenge with the Hub he did do 90lbs recently and without question can break that world record. We haven't even talked about thor or eddie hall or many others. Big Z comes to mind as probably the actual strongest man to ever live altho bill kazmier might be in the group. Franco columbo.. the list goes on. Hell who can forget Larry wheels a guy that routinely sets wr's in his youtube videos..

  11. HOW CAN THESE BE THE 10 STRONGEST MEN WHO EVER LIVED? NOT ONE OF THEM EVER WON A BODYBUILDING CONTEST GOGGLE IT!

  12. Brian Shaw does NOT hold the title worlds strongest man. He may be 4 times worlds strongest man, but Hafthor Bjornson is the worlds strongest man.

  13. I clicked on this video expecting strongmen, but it was just men who were/are strong. Still a great video thought.

  14. this list is all over the place, I can't even blame you one being biased for putting only english men, cause you missed Eddie Hall, who on his own could make the list. List of people who could be here, instead of beardy dudes in old pictures:

    Kazmier, Zydrunas, Eddie Hall, Malanichev, Donnie Thompson, Kiril Sarychev, Ray Williams

    The only valid ones you picked were Andy, Brian and Taranenko. Most other ones were just circus acts

  15. Doubt I'm going to be the only one to say this, but the mellow tone of the video balances out the fast pacing of the video better than any other vid I've see on this channel

  16. Should add Iron Biby, similar stats to Shaw except Biby is shorter.. and can do back flips and hand springs… Trust me it's impressive to see a near 400lb man flip through the air like he's 180

  17. It feel it incumbent upon me to note that much of the script for this video is taken verbatim from the respective Wikipedia entries; specifically "Louis Cyr, the strongest man ever to have lived."
    I love this channel, but seriously?

  18. Performing the anchor lift later in his life was ultimately what ended Angus McAskill's career as a strongman and shortened his life to a degree. After lifting the anchor, a fluke struck his shoulder as he tried to put it back down, causing an injury he would never overcome.
    You managed to, somehow, ignore the man who the Guinness Book listed accomplishing "the greatest weight ever raised by a human being", Paul Anderson, who backlifted a weight of 6,270 lbs.
    The historical impact of Eugene Sandow was reflected in recent animation by the show The Venture Brothers. He was shown (with a great deal of detail to emulate his physique and visage) as a bodyguard to Dr. Venture's grandfather, a previous Dr. Venture who was more of a steampunk superscientist.

  19. i feel like those ppl on netflix with that weird doc on both sandow and the previously mentioned sig guy keep trying to advertise and get those two talked about again

  20. Very poor list. No Big Z for example. I am a big fan of Brian Shaw but Z has more records, more titles, and an overall epic career

  21. Thank You that was very interesting, I was surprised to find out Eugen Sandow was a real person. I’m a movie buff and I recognized the name “Sandow” immediately from “The Great Ziegfeld” 1936. Starting William Powell as Florenz “Flo” Ziegfeld and “Sandow The Great” portrayed by Nat Pendleton.

  22. It's nice to see old mythological people from the past. But to believe in peoples words if rather not. I saw photos of that huge man, but should I believe he did what he did? There's no proof. Nowadays we can prove, and since the 20th century we haven't had any beast besides Brian Shaw and a few other guys. To me, Brian Shaw is huge, and he tried to perform what the other did in the past and he can't, cuz it's a bunch of crap.

  23. Sandow, Franco Columbo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Craig golias, and Seth faros are all the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Eddie Hall is my favorite strongman. Himself and Shaw. Are both the two greatest strongman.

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