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Daydreaming strength


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It is a theory of mine that one cannot be at

his strongest while daydreaming in a workout.

If the woman in spandex distracts you, or the

loud music, whatever; you must concentrate

to be at your strongest- which is why Apollon's

strength has always simply amazed me- he had

a form of non-chalant strength; wheras other

strongmen had to 'get set', concentrate, and

give all out effort, Apollon was almost casual

in his approach, such as he was on Dec 18,

1892, when he felt (because his wife had told

him) that the Rasso Trio would attend his per-

formance that day to show him up. That was not

true, but his wife wanted to motivate him, and it

appears only two things could motivate Apollon

to be serious: doubting him, or challenging him.

The story is told fully in Gaudreau's books, but a

couple of details here to give a sense that

Apollon had simply untested reserves of strength:

He 'performed' with a thick handled dumbell which

weighed 158 lbs, and which garnered audience

applause (14 lbs less than the Inch, but how thick-


He performed several feats with his 176 lb ring-

weight, which the Rassos came up on stage to

'test' and "returned to their seats casting sur-

prised glances at each other".

Another barbell, unknown to Apollon, instead of

having sand added into into, had been replaced

with solid balls and weighed about 341, much

heavier than Apollon was expecting. Paul Pons

and Batta had made this adjustment rather than

take the time to fool with the sand. Desbonnet

had overheard them but did not warn Apollon.

Apollon lifted the bar to his face and without a

pause put it overhead. Henri Herzog deadlifted it

to his knees before it fell from his grip- and Henri

was the strongest of the Rassos.

Desbonnet reported: "Apollon had lifted a bar of

155 kilos without noticing for an instant that it was

much heavier than he had asked for. As for Batta,

Pons and myself, we looked at each other like

strange animals and we were under the impression

that we would never know Apollon's strength."

A few days later The Rasso Trio changed their stage

name to  The Three Apollons.

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