T Nation

Modern Day LIfters


Why are modern day lifters not as strong as the lifters from days of old such as...
Arthur Saxon at 210lbs body weight could lift a 300 lbs sand bag from the floor to overhead at arms length he could also Bent Press 370lbs.
Herman Goener Deadlifted 727lbs with one hand to full lock out, Louis Cry could shoulder a 400lbs barrel with one hand.

Thomas Inch made and lifted the 172lbs 2 and 1/2 inch pound dumbbell to overhead with one hand and no one since has matched him.
Milo Stienborn could get a 550 lbs bar on his back unnassited with no squat rack... squat the weight... and then safely lower the bar back to the ground, George Hackenschmidt would snatch a 198lbs barbell with one hand.

Not many pros ok I will even goes as to say that only maybe 1% of all pro lifters in the world could match even one of these. All of these men accomplished their amazing feats from around 1920 to the early 1960s.

They had absolutely the bearest equipment and most had never even almost heard of a steroid or anything like that... WHy with all the equipment, supposidly ground breaking most advanced trainning routines and more drugs accesible to the lifters than most doctors can we not match the original strongmen and barbell men...What have we lost or forgotten that these men thrived on.


Because no body lifts sand bags, does bent presses, deadlifts with one hand, carrels barrels and lifts inch dumbbells regularly anymore.

I doubt any of the people you mentioned can match Antonio Krastev's Snatch, Leonid Taraneko's Clean and Jerk, Yurik Vardanian's total. We've gotten stronger and progressed in the application of strength, we've merely regulated the demonstration of strength through Olympic Weightlifting, Power Lifting, and Strong man competition, instead of random feats of strength as the people you have mentioned have done in the past.


lifters specialized in that during those times.. now-a-days they specialize in the powerlifts/oly lifts and now the general strongman competition lifts.. im sure strength athletes of today could destroy some of those feats from old, but some would still stand..

for example, hardly anyone does bent press these days, yet everyone was doing it 80 years ago.



Saxon, Goener, and Cyr were all in their prime before 1900. All of the men that you cite did their lifts as part of exhibitions and paid shows. There was nowhere near the accountability that we have in modern powerlifting. Unless there's video of the lift along with either video or substantial documentation demonstrating the actual weight of the apparatus lifted, I view all such "old-time" lifts as suspect.


I would like to see anybody, from any era, try to beat Andy Bolton's 1008 pound pull from earlier this year.



That was THE most amazing lift ive seen.


None of these lifts count because they're not on youtube for the internet judges to see.


Lol really?

He's strong (and fat) as fuck, and it's an amazing pull, but that's the most amazing lift you've ever seen?


How is Boltons two handed deadlift more impressive than a one handed 727lbs deadlift. Not to put bolton down he is insane a amazing puller but Herman Goener was 60 lbs lighter than him.


Because it's 281 pounds more. That's why.


With TWO HANDS and Bolton is most likely on far more drugs than Herman there is no comparison what so ever between the two but I guess I am just different that way.


I don't think you can make this comparison, so what if he pulled it (not to say it wasn't an amazing lift), but there are poeple who have hit 45 inch 1 legged box jumps, does that mean that they would be able to hit 90 inch 2 legged box jumps, not even close. Transferring power from 1 body part to two doesn't make that gigantic difference that people think it would.


I agree and understand that but what sets the two apart is that Bolton Much out weights the man, is on much more "supplemets", and Herman did this lift over 100 years ago... My main point of this is that with as many drugs as we have today and advanced techniques supposidly why are the lifters of today not much stronger if at all than the men of 100 years ago.


Because a lot of that shit was for show.

Most people don't know have any clue how heavy something they can't lift is.

They just regard it as "heavy", I could tell people the shit I lift is 800lbs and they wouldn't know the difference if they weren't allowed to add the plates up.

A lot of those guys were very strong but they were performers for the most part, I'm with Skizac.

Some of their claims are suspect.


So the original strongmen and barbell men the men who started all this were liars... Is this what you are saying and all the photos from 1900 were photo shopped... and the legends of these men never really happened.


Regardless of any advancements that are ever made, the same stays true. The strongest get the strongest by busting their ass with intensity and consistency on the basics. Steroids have allowed people to get stronger now, but steroids do not help THAT much, they are not the X factor that allows people to become like Andy Bolton, there is a lot more to it than steroids.


those feats sound even cooler because they did it with weird objects.

how about srongmen pulling airplanes? isnt that cool and a feat of strength?

you are just caught up in the past and the romance of living in a different era.


You also have to remember a lot of the guys today that have awesome genetics are typically off playing football or another sport where they are making a lot of money.


Because nowadays you can't just point to a barbell loaded up with 160 lbs worth of plates made from less dense material than usual to match the size of regular plates, say "this weighs 400 lbs"(there would be a big "400" punched into the outside of the bell as well, just for good measure), let some un-trained buck 20 guy try to lift it and fail, then press it overhead yourself with one arm and receive lots of applause and money from the crowd.

Well, ok. Maybe you could... It's just that telling everyone about it wouldn't be a good idea... Unless you wanted to have to prove your claim in front of actual lifters and without your own equipment...


Have not several people done the Inch Dumbbell trick? Mark Henry for example. There's a YouTube video of the russian strongman/oly lifter snatching 110kg (240 pounds or so) with one arm.
The deadlift may have happened, but the length and width of the bar,plate size,potential bar elevation and little things like that must be accounted for. I've seen some videos of modern grip contests with their 'deadlift' events where they basically jerk a weight off the floor for fraction of a second. So who knows.

Is not Andy bolton like two meters (6'7) tall? That's a lot of distance for the bar to travel although proportions matter in the deadlift.