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Tony Massimo

Nathan Say

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I wondered the same thing too. He had to be really strong just to curl that 50 pound plate ten times. I wonder what the circumference of the 50 pound plate was. Was it as large as today's 45 pound plates? Or was it one of those smaller ones? Either way, that is a tremendous feat!

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Plate curl is not a matter of biceps strength. I can curl a 75 dumbell but there's no way I can curl a 45 plate. I'm sure it's the last world-class ranked grip feat I'll do, if I ever do it.

It's all in the wrist.

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If Manfred is a CoC & he's a strongman, he'd have really strong wrists from the event training. That's what I was thinking. Anyway, nobody knows more about that Massimo guy?

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There is a notation in my files that a 24 part

series of articles ran on Clevio written by John R.

Coryell in the old Physical Culture magazine. The series

was called 'The Adventures od a Modern Hercules' and

ran circa 1921 (I don't have all these).

Hercules would be the name that Clevio would give later

to his son.

Willoughby says that to his knowledge Clevio never

set any overhead barbell lifting records.

I am working on something for Iron History for the

May 3rd installment on Clevio.

Charles Atlas said that Clevio was the most muscular

man he had ever seen.

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That may be the kettlebell that Alan Calvert made for

Massimo about 1920. Liederman, writing about the bell

in Musc Devel Aug 1969 "When this bell is empty it weighs

70 pounds, but when lead pellets are poured into it, it

becomes something that will defy even the most powerful

of men."

Massimo's bells, or at least some of them, passed into the

hands of Bert Elliott, about whom this article was written,

and he is shown with some thick handled bells, including a

dumbell that appears to have a handle as thick as the Inch

and weighed 156 lbs empty! Filled would go to 300 lbs!

Wonder where these beauties are now!

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Massimo didn't look heavy, but he was muscular and I think very strong. I saw somewhere that he could do reverse curls with a tremendous amount of weight. I don't recall where I read about this.

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Regarding Roark's question, where are these weights now, I bet a lot of recreational iron was melted down for the war effort.  I have read that probably accounts for the scarcity of pre-war Milo brand weights in this country and it would be doubly true in Europe where the war was waged for years before the Yanks joined in.  It's not widely known, but the metal skeleton of the Hindenburg was shipped back to Germany and melted down to make warplanes.  Likewise, I suspect there are many historic pieces of lifting equipment which just don't exist anymore.

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No doubt many pre WW II weights found other shapes

after being melted down. I think I may know where a

couple of Elliott's weights ended up- will check with the

person and get back to the board. Massimo's weights ended

up with Elliott and then - if I recall correctly- when Bert

died, Tom Lincir at Ivanko acquired some of them, but I am

not certain. I know on the cover of Ivanko's catalog are photo

of some of Tom's antique bells.

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Guest baldy

Paul, I read Brooks Kubik talking about his reverse curls on a 3" bar. Don't remember where, it was somewhere on the Internet. Might have been an intro to Dino Training or something.

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Thanks baldy. I'll get my copy of Dinosaur Training out tonight and see if I can find anything. That might be where I read about him.

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Tom Lincir who owns Ivanko Barbell just answered some

questions for me.

Those of you who have see Muscular Development magazine

August 1969, and those VERY thick handled dumbells, and the

beautiful old globe barbells, and Massimo's huge kettlebell which weighed 70 lbs empty- all the bells in that article are now the property of Tom, who is a collector. One of the

dumbells has a handle which may be 3" in diameter and weigh

156 lbs empty!

Someday, when he can catch a breath, Tom wants to open

a museum of lifting (yes, he has that much stuff!). Good news for Americans- the museum may be in Las Vegas. Bad news for

Americans- the museum may be in Europe! But that is years

away. In the meantime, Tom collects.

Some of Sig Klein's weights went to Bert Elliott, so when Bert

passed, his mother was searching for a buyer, and Tom was

lucky enough to now own some of Klein's weights. He also

bought the Mac Batchelor collection.

Not anytime soon, but one day Tom will get specific measure-

ments and weighings, and digital photos of the antique bells.

These treasures are in wonderful hands!

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The Super Athletes says Massimo was 5'10" & ~195lbs. He was a handbalancer or something & his partner was pretty heavy @ 154lbs, but Massimo tossed him around 'as if he were a rag doll'. I still can't believe he could curl a 50 for 10.  :0

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If you have access to any pictures of Massimo, take a close look at his wrists. They look very thick! He seems to have large wrists possibly contributing to his ability to curl that 50 pounder. On the other side of the coin, maybe he built his thick wrists by performing those plate curls.

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What is the source for the idea that Massimo could curl

a 50 pounder for ten reps? Is this a plate curl? Or did he

place his hand in the hole so that half the plate was beside

his forearm? This is the first I have heard of this claim- must

have missed it altogether. Where did this appear?

Regarding his measurements there is much variation. Webster in Sons of Samson says Massimo's wrist was 6"; Willoughby in

Your Physique says the wrist was 8". Now THAT is a difference!

Anyway, where did the 50 lb curl claim catch your eye?

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My only source for this information is John Brookfield's _Mastery of Hand Strength_. No source is stated in the book relating to the plate curling feat.

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One of the places that I heard about this feat is Tom Black's website. Here is the link: http://bigsteel.iwarp.com/Articles2/GripFeats.html. The feat we are discussing is a plate curl performed with a 50 pound plate. I'm sure I have seen this elsewhere. Maybe we can contact Tom and see where he found this information. I hope this is of some help.


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My source was "Mastery of Hand Strength," page 82.  I don't know John Brookfield's source, although I know that Massimo wrote a book on training, maybe the claim is originally from there.

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