If you hadn’t guessed, I love strength and strength history. I hope you find this documentary as interesting as I did.
Enjoy this documentary about the strongest man who ever lived, Louis Cyr…
Born in 1863 to a poor farm family in St. Cyprien, Québec, Louis Cyr was widely considered to be the strongest man who ever lived. Even as a child his strength was considered exceptional. At the height of his career, he toured Europe and the US. His act included dead-lifting a platform holding 18 men (a weight of nearly 4,000 lbs or 1800 kgs) over his head, and he was able to lift 600 pounds (280 kgs) off the floor with one finger!
But Cyr’s awesome strength had a dark side – his violent and uncontrollable temper. That and his muscles made a frightening combination, and would cost him dearly. Despite his professional success, Cyr’ s personal life was marred by many tragic episodes. At the peak of his career, Cyr suddenly quit and returned to Québec. There he languished in obscurity before he literally ate himself to death in 1912 at age 49.
So, just how strong was the great Louis Cyr?
Let’s see what leading Louis Cyr expert Paul Ohl says. In case you are unfamiliar with Paul Ohl, let us introduce him by noting that in addition to being a sports historian, he is a former member of both the International and Canadian Olympic Academy, and most germane to this discussion, his biography of Louis Cyr stands in a class by itself. Ohl is the Chairman of FORTISSIMUS 2008: The Louis Cyr World Strength Challenge, “to be presented near Quebec City on August 2 – 3, 2008.”
“Here are the 10 greatest strongman feats performed by Louis Cyr,” reported Ohl, who documented them.
“1. In May, 1883, at age 19, Louis Cyr became the greatest stone lifter ever, hoisting from the ground to the shoulder a 517-pound boulder, in Lowell, Massachusetts.
2. On September 21, 1891, in Montreal, Canada, in front of a crowd of 10,000, Cyr pulled against two teams of horses, total weight of 4,800 pounds, arms crossed over his chest, during 55 seconds.
3. On January 19, 1892, at the Royal Aquarium Hall, in London, UK, he performed a right-arm dumbbell press of 273-1/4 pounds. In 1896, he did a left-arm press of 258-1/4 pounds.
4. On January 30, 1892, at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, UK, he did a right-arm dumbbell press of 174 pounds for 16 consecutive repetitions, from a kneeling position.
5. On September 7, 1892, at the Huntington Hall, in Lowell, Massachusetts, Cyr lifted a compound weight of 558 pounds with the middle finger of his right hand.
6. On May 27, 1895, at the Austin and Stone’s Museum, in Boston, Massachusetts, Louis Cyr became the first human to backlift over 4,000 pounds with a record 4,337 pounds held clear from its supports for over 5 seconds.
7. On May 8, 1896, at the Saint-Louis Hall , in Chicago, Illinois, Cyr performed a crucifix hold of ten seconds with a 97-1/4-pound dumbbell in the right hand and an 88-pound dumbbell in the left hand.
8. The same evening he became the first human to ever lift over 1,500 pounds to the knees (1,897 pounds)
9. The same night he became the first human ever to lift over 750 pounds with one hand (987 pounds with the right hand).
10. The same night he pressed and push-pressed a 162-1/2-pound dumbbell for 36 consecutive times with the right arm.”