T Nation

Greatest Strength Feat?


What are some great strength feats that any of you have seen or heard of? Whether they be Absolute strength, Speed-strength, Strenth-speed, strength endurance,etc.. Their are so many feats that have been done I am sure that most have not been recorded. The greatest feat I have ever heard of was what I read about Wilt Chamberlain told by a former Kansas teamate.

"I remember the first time we met each other. Wilt had driven his car and parked it against the fieldhouse. We were there for the freshmean orientation for the basketball team. It had rained, so it was muddy, and when we came out from our meeting, we got into his car, and it was stuck in the mud. There were four of us in the car. Two or three of us got out, and we tried to push the car away from the building. Finally, Wilt said ,Billings, get behind the wheel. He got out of the car. He went to the front and lifted that sucker up and pushed it out."

            -Bob Billings

The car he owned at the time was a 1947 Oldsmobile convertible.


Best I've seen would be Dave Watterman's 600+ bench when he weighted in the low 190's. He used to go to the same gym I did here in upstate NY.

I then heard about another guy from our gym who beat his record, Jim Kilts. He benched over 600 in the 180something lb class.

That was the best I've seen or heard of that was local for me.


Hossien Reza Zedeh has powercleaned and power-jerked 240kgs in training. But I am more of a fan of Yuri Zacharievich who did a 235kgs power clean while weighing much less, like 117kgs. He also did a 300kg (yes, 300kg/661lbs.) rack jerk.


I went to highschool with a kid who benched 565 at 19yrs old. The most impressive thing [to me] is that his routine sucked. He'd bench 5 days a week and would stay at the gym for upwards of 3 hours and ate like shit.


I've seen the Chinese acrobats perform so many times I can't even remember which feat of theirs impressed me more.

I remember seeing the guys from the traveling Shaolin monaster tour last year supporting his whole body on one finger.


I agree that the Shaolin people are sick. I have never seen such feats replicated. Bud Jeffries flipping a car is also up there.


I haven't seen too many big time powerlifters training. However, I have a guy barbell curl 185 with strict form for sets of 5. He also did front lateral raises with 55 lb DB's.


Any of that stuff that Dennis Rogers does. Go to his website and check it out.


Feats of strength aren't specific to PLers.

One of my favorites to watch is people rolling up frying pans. Cleaning and pressing the Inch Dumbbell (with one hand) is incredible, and I've had the opportunity to see that one done in person. Anything John Brookfield does impresses the hell out of me. That man has so many world record its ridiculous. Steve Jeck lifting the Inver Stone (or any other stone for that matter) is also very impressive. Watching the video of Pyrros Dimas training was inspiring.


where was that bench performed?


I'm sure that there have been far greater strength feats. But when you see someone you know well do something impressive in person that stays with you:

A friend of mine Deadlifted 565lbs at a body weight of 165lbs.! I know that's not a world record, but seeing it left and indelible impression!


I have many favorites. Bill Kazmier rolling up a 3/4 inch thick iron frying pan like a burrito with one hand. "Sorry guys, I hurt my right arm a while back so I'll have to do this one-handed."

Gene Rychlak benching 1000lb.

But let's take a break from the lifting related feats. Four feats that blow my mind, even though they aren't PL/weights related.

1) Chris Sharma making the first ever ascent of "Realization", the world's first 5.15a rated rock climbing route (5.15 is the sport's highest grade). 130 feet of 35% overhang with nothing but small 2-3 finger pinch holds and sloping rock the whole way up. Arguably the hardest route in the world. And nowhere to really set your feet well. Every time I see the video I just want to cry. Think of it this way, from 5.10 up each decimal has four letters (a-d) that further describe difficulty.

Anything at or above 5.13 is pretty much like vertical glass.

2) Chris Sharma making first ever ascent of "Witness the Fitness", probably the hardest boulder problem (short rock route) in the USA. 40ft of dead overhang, with a perfect jug handhold at the beginning and a perfect topout, and in between nothing but tiny tiny edges and small mushroom shaped knobs.

3) Tommy Caldwell for free climbing the 25 pitch Dihedral Wall in Yosemite (5.14a). One of the hardest free walls in the world. 1 pitch=50m-60m.

4) Heinz Zak for free soloing (no ropes, no protection, no 2nd chances) "Separate Reality" in Yosemite. The crux is exposed, a roof that hangs 200m above the Merced river. There are harder technical climbs, but not many that take more balls.

I can't resist. Pics forthcoming.




Realization(2). This was all I could get size wise.


Witness the Fitness. See www.bigupproductions.com Extras section for bigger pics (flash). This was all I could get.


Witness the Fitness (2)


Dihedral Wall


Separate Reality free solo, Heinz Zak


Jim Kilts got the record at a competition not too long ago (several months) but I don't remember where. He got 665lbs in the 181lb class.

You can do a yahoo or google search for "jim kilts bench", and you'll get a few results about it. I think yahoo turned up better results.


The guy climbs in Teva's?!