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David Willoughby May 1941 p 23 in VIM magazine

about Apollon [Louis Uni]

"...make it fairly safe to conclude that in all-round

tests of hand, finger, wrist, forearm and gripping

strength, he was supreme."

Earlier in that same article Leo Gaudreau wrote on

page 13, something that whets the curiosity, and

hopefully someone on the board will have further


As we know, John Grun Marx had a challenge dumbell

of 143 lbs that had a 2.75" diamter handle, so was

it about Marx and his challenge bell that Leo wrote

the following about Apollon?:

"Another owner of a challenge weight, saw Apollon

swing his dumbbell 13 times in succession. 143 lbs.

this one."

If this was Marx's bell, and Apollon repped it 13 times in the swing, what would he have done to the Inch bell ?!

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Do You think Apollons allround grip was stronger than Görners?

Arne Persson

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Yes, in all-round feats of hand/grip strength,

including the lifting of thick handled bells, without

any doubt in my mind, Apollon was king.

On the occasion when Apollon squeezed a dynanometer

and registered less than Goerner, we need to keep

two things in mind: Apollon could not be prodded into

attempting feats just for the sake of attempting them

(unless he was angered)


His effort on the dyna was ha;f-hearted and he claimed it hurt his hand and would not try a second time; further,

how shall I say this,...there seems to be more

credence with the feats of Apollon than of Goerner,

at least among those writers of history that I consider

most trustworthy to detail.

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  Willoughby wrote in "The Super Athletes" that Marx owned both a 143-pound dumbbell and a 132-pound dumbbell, each with a 2.75" handle. Was the article clear that it was the 143-pound dumbbell that was used?   Swinging either of these bells 13 times would be impressive.  

   Speaking of dynanometers, I had the opportunity to squeeze one in a Doctor's office and I was above the numbers reported by Willoughby for Apollon and Gorner.  The one I squeezed must have been defective or overly used and the spring was degraded, I am not claiming a grip stronger than the above listed :).   I did this before I got the book, and was very surprised at the numbers reported for these men when I received the Super Athletes.  One thing that was interesting about the device was that I felt the pain of the handle would have been a factor for me if not for my nail bending.  I felt that my readings were high because I withstood a lot of pain to get them.  I wrote down the readings in my old Journal, it may take awhile before I can find them.  The device I used looked identical to the one on page 232 of the book, but was a different brand.

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Apollon was also known to avoid dipping under a weight which is allowed for swings, cleans, and snatches. Also, backloading the dumbbell is supposed to make the swing easier but these challenge dumbbells were not constructed this way.

I believe that Apollon could have easily cleaned the Inch DB to his shoulder had he been granted the opportunity. Perhaps Inch's challenge was intended for the general public and the likes of Arthur Saxon and Apollon were understood to be excluded.

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Good point about Apollon's disdain for dipping

under the weight, and for that matter his minimal

use of leg thrust for overhead lifting, and no splitting

the legs but leaving the feet beside each other so

to speak.

But, a challenge with a thick handled 172 pound bell

directed only at the general public would have been

pointless, I suspect. And Inch, in writing about the

men who failed with the bell, never to my knowledge

wrote that hundreds of 'average men' failed to lift

the bell, but did claim that hundreds of strong men

failed to.

Further, Inch traded on Saxon's claimed failure to lift

the bell, and said that when he (Inch) met Apollon,

the latter was past his prime, so that Inch thought it

unbecoming to challenge Apollon with the bell.

The text I began this thread with does mention a

challenge bell of 143 lbs, but it did not specify to whom

that bell belonged. I am guessing it was Marx's. Marx

knew how to trip Apollon's trigger and get Apollon to

exert himself.

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