Tag Archives: Bill Kazmaier

Strongest Of All Time #SOAT

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

Zydrunas Savickas and Bill Kaz Kazmaier

I was listening to the Worlds Strongest Man PodCast (yeah I’m late) and they were talking about the Strongest Of All Time Strongmen, and only Eddie Hall pulled an old school strongman out of the mix (Louis Cyr) where as most others were concentrating mostly on WSM guys, which is an understandable mistake to make given the context. Brian Shaw refused to name a 3rd but gave mention to Mariusz Pudzianowski and some others, he was the only one to mention the dominator too. 

In short most people said Bill Kazmaier, Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Zydrunas Savickas. The latter is the more interesting one because these are his peers and they are name checking him, which is a huge thing. It would like like Jenson Button saying Lewis Hamilton is the best driver of all time. I was really surprised that they named an active strongman, but equally I loved that they did. 

Colin Bryce made some good points about why Brian Shaw may not be remembered for the monster that he is because he doesn’t really show off and doesn’t finish events if he doesn’t need the points. Basically he doesn’t play the crowd, he’s playing just for points and the win. I say for no reason because last years WSM 2016, there were a moment where Thor and Eddie agreed to end it on the deadlift and take equal first points. Eddie played the points because he has dislocated his fingers and we know he could have done more but he played tactics due to injury. Zydrunas on the other hand near enough threw away his win by going for a world record log press, and often shows off his brute strength. 

My Strongest Of All Time

I am aware there are guys moving nearly 4x their body weight, and Olympic lifters with amazing numbers but I’m sticking within the spirit of Strongman and the extremes of human performance 🙂

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Arthur Saxon Bent Press

Author Saxon – Arthur Saxon were born nearly 100 years before Worlds Strongest Man even existed, he nearly envisioned the WSM TV Format and some of his world record breaking feats still stand today.

There were no steroids, no growth, no intimate muscle knowledge or training techniques, very little body building knowledge existed. Still his feats are impressive, even more so for a man his size.  

There were so little available knowledge that Arthur Saxon (and his brothers) wrote a huge amount of the available literature at the time on how to get fit, strong and healthy, how to build a better body and generally documenting physical culture.

Much of the 100 year old advice given in his books (which are copyright free now) is still relevant today and even being touted as “new ideas” by modern science. 

Arthur invented the Saxon Side Bend which is one of my favourite core and abdominal moves, he used to eat like a beast, drink like a fish and even went to war with a dapper moustache.

What A Man! 

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas Savickas at Body Power 2017

Zydrunas “Big Z” Savickas – The greatest in a long line of Lithuanian strongmen, having just turned 40 years old and holding 4 Worlds Strongest Man titles (matching Brian Shaw), with only 1 man holding more titles (The Dominator). Big Z is obviously the king of current day strongmen with even many of his peers saying the same thing.

When others struggle with events at Worlds Strongest Man, you see Big Z thunder up, the ground shaking under his steps, the crowd wide eyed and he lifts the weight like it wasn’t even there an shows his peers hows its done and strolls away.

I have met Big Z a number of times at various events, a fairly quiet man, doesn’t catch all that you say due to the language barrier and noise at the events but a really really nice guy and quite funny too.

At Body Power 2017, Bill Kazmaier did the forearm flex for a photo and Big Z stood up and did the same and his forearms are HUGE and made Kaz’s look normal size so Kaz took a step closer to the camera and pushed Zydrunas back a little and just a little fooling around between 2 legends of strongman.

 

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2017

Bill “Kaz” Kazmaier – When it comes to one of the early days legends of strongman, its all about Bill Kazmaier, while Jon Pall may have been the showman it were Kaz who were the berserker powerhouse.

I will always remember his eyes bulging out like Jim Carreys Mask Character and him slapping himself in the face Rowdy Roddy Piper style getting the rage up. 

Much like Eddie Hall having broken the 500kg Deadlift Barrier for the World Record, Kaz were the first man to break the 400kg Deadlift barrier for the World Record.

The fact they have Bill doing the commentary for world strongest man is awesome for me, along with Magnus they add some informed colour in to it. They KNOW what they are they talking about and what it takes. 

I’ve also met Kaz a few times and he’s also a really nice guy, and gave me a little interview a few years ago. I did want to get an interview for my blog this year when I spoke to him but he were just so damned busy when I met him, maybe next time. 

The Feats

I haven’t really gone on too much about what they have done and what makes them the strongest because you guys can read my Arthur Saxon post and the other 2 guys are well wrote about online so I won’t cover them again. 

This concludes my strongest of all time strongmen #SOAT.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Mark Felix Cross Fit and Worlds Strongest Man

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

Mark Felix Body Power 2014

When you think of CrossFit pretty much the last thing you would associate with it, would be Strongman. Personally I don’t think the 2 mesh well, while they are not exactly polar opposites they are not complimentary of each other at all. Earlier this year I heard about a World Class Strongman doing Cross Fit, I expected to lumbering beast clumsily throwing themselves about like the proverbial bull in a china shop.

I was tagged in a post on facebook and discovered it were none other than Mark Felix, yeah the 50 year old Blackburn based Plasterer. Yeah 50 years old, dudes clearly found the fountain of youth, along with Odd Haugen they are proving Arnies “Old but not Obsolete” is a solid point. He’s looking spectacular for an old man of 50.

A little later in the year I ran into Kaz (Bill Kazmaier) and got a quick 5 to 10 minute interview with him. After a little fanboi action, where I was telling him I enjoy his commentary and the colour he adds as a man who were there in the early days, competed with the legends of my childhood and broken records himself (deadlift world record holder at 400kg).

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Bill Kazmaier at Body Power 2016

Once I were finished :P, I mentioned that a month of so earlier I’d heard of this CrossFitting Strongman and that I had found it were Mark Felix. Kaz seemed equally surprised that a strongman, yet alone Mark Felix were doing it. I suggested it would be interesting to see if the speed and explosive power Mark would gain would come at a cost, the cost being Strength. He were a little non-committal but I did kinda put him on the spot.

The mini-interview were published elsewhere so I can’t put too much about it here. 

Not longer afterwards, a few Days I think. I ran into Mark Felix, I only got a few minutes to talk to him due to other commitments I had. He seemed confident that CrossFit can sit alongside Strongman and it would not have a negative effect on Worlds Strongest Man in just a few months time.

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower CNP Challenge

Wayne Worthington at BodyPower

What I did get to witness were his phenomenal grip in action, CNP along with Glenn “The Daddy” Ross were doing a Grip Challenge, it were basically a pinch grip using a rotating bar handle which were thicker than a can of coke. Only 1-2 people had lifted the heaviest plate which I believe were 90kg.

Lots of people were hooking the bar to get the 50kg-75kg up, but Mark did it in true pinch form. Brutal!. I also noticed compared to 2012, and 2014 (above) where lost alot of mass, in 2016 he seemed to have toned up a lot, the power shelf (stomach) near enough completely gone, he were looking good.

I didn’t get a picture of him doing it, but I borrowed this picture of Wayne Worthington who I spoke to about the challenge at the time. I think the weights were 50-75-75kg, not many made it past the 50kg.

I’ve just watched his group on the Worlds Strongest Man 2o16 and you can see its clearly reduced his raw power and overall mass. Sure he were faster than most others, his endurance were crazy especially on the Hercules hold, I think he could have easily taken the world record had he been aware he were just 11 seconds away.  I say “just” 11 seconds like it doesn’t seem much but 11 seconds may as well be 11 days under these circumstances. 

X-Ray of Broken Leg

X-Ray of Broken Leg

I’d say when legend like Mark with best part of a year of CrossFit under his belt… erm kilt produces one of his weakest shows, I say weakest as he still performed well just lacking maximum power. I do think if he goes back to maximum effort and keeps the crossfit ticking he’ll get some major speed like the Polish Speedster Mateusz Kielszkowski.

Its time to concede that CrossFit and their methods are good for toning up, gaining speed and weight loss but I’d say this almost proves that CrossFit doesn’t make for a Strongman looking for maximum power. Not to mention almost everyone I know who does more than casual crossfit has major injuries and broken bones. 

What I did notice were a little interview with Martins Licis where he said he were a farmer and saw WSM going farming moves, and thought he could do that, hes a farmer. He reminded me of Mark Westaby who were a strongman in the late 2000s, his trademark were crushing apples and basically walked out of the farm in to the arena. 

Along with Konstantin Janashia, Mateusz Kielszkowski and Martins Licis we have some big talent coming through from 2016.  

I’m looking forward to watching all these of them, even knowing they didn’t win, the final is up later. 

X-Ray Image Courtesy of Tsu Nimh.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.