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John davis


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John Davis, fantastic American weightlifter, and the third

man to lift the Apollon wheels overhead, died 18 years ago

today. He lifted the wheels on Sep 13, 1949 when he was age 28. Apollon lifted them several times, in my view; Charles Rigoulot lifted them at age 26 on Mar 3, 1930; Norb Schemansky at age 30 (Oct 14, 1954), and Mark Henry lifted the replica wheels at the Arnold Classic this year. I think he was age 30 but I am uncertain of his birthdate.

So Norb and Mark remain the only living men to clean and jerk

the wheels. [not speaking here of the continental]

Davis did not have long fingers/hands so the feat was

especially noteworthy for him.

He was truly one of the mountainpeaks in the panorama of

the world's lifting landscape.

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In my opinion, John Davis was one of the best all-round lifters in history.  He excelled in almost every lift.  What really impressed me was his curl of 215lbs. at 190lbs. bodyweight!

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Guest Reverend


How did Davis develop such colossal gripping power?  I mean, to CLEAN Apollon's Wheel must have taken tremendous gripping power.  Did he do a lot of thick-bar work?

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Davis used an alternate grip (as in deadlift) to begin

his clean with the wheels, then when the bell was at

the chest he released  the knuckles forward hand and

grasped the bar for the jerk- wonderful athlete.

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Both palms facing away- he switched the hand that

was palm toward him.

There is a link at cyberpump regarding his lift in the News

Archive under Jan 14, 2002.

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I'm glad you mentioned Davis. He truly was an incredible lifter and athlete. I wish there was video of him in competition available.

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