Thursday, March 9, 2023

I Can Lift Five Million Pounds in Three Hours - Warren Lincoln Travis (1924)

From This Issue, May, 1924.
Coverman - Charles Atlas.
Courtesy of Michael Murphy.
Thank You! 

Courtesy of Mark Mills.
Thank You! 
Warren Lincoln Travis letting a car run over him in on Coney Island in 1905. 

Here's more on Travis, by Ray Van Cleef: 

Also, a tribute to Travis by Sigmund KIein:

And here is a challenge left by Travis presented by the USAWA:

There is a story of a white settler who met a naked Indian in a blizzard in the great northwest. The pale face marveled at the ability of the red man to stand the cold. 

"Well," said the Indian, "you have no cover on your face." 

"No," agreed the settler, "I don't need protection for my face. It is used to cold." 

"Well," chuckled the Indian, "I am all face." 

When I heard that story, years ago, it set me to thinking. I finally decided that the way to acquire a sturdy body was to expose it as much as possible to the light and air. That story has helped much in making me a man of endurance. I never wear underclothing or an overcoat and I never have a cold. Colde weather means nothing to me. 

When I was a boy I was no stronger than any other boy, but I had early ambitions to be a stong, healthy man and as a lad I took good care of myself. My desire to be a strong man grew as I grew, and I soon started weight lifting and doing other stunts. I went to a circus one day and as the elephants lumbered by I resolved to be able some day to lift one of those beasts. And I have done it. I can stand on a platform and with a back-lift raise an elephant two feet off the ground. 

Horses, too. 
Lift the zoo. Warren!

Here is the cover of Travis' promotional booklet, 
courtesy of great guy Jarett Hulse. 
At a later date, I'd like to put the whole of it up here. 

Several years ago an Ohio strongman was advertized as being the only man on earth who could lift a million pounds. His stunt was to lift 1,000 pounds 1.000 times. I set out to beat that record and I made up my mind that I would do something worth while. I wanted to make a record that would stand for a time, at least until a superman came along. So I went at it . . . 

Little by little I developed my strength, my lifting muscles, and general endurance. I saw to it that my heart was in good shape and paid particular attention to my wind for I knew it was going to take a lot of wind to do what I was training for. 

Note: Travis, as part of his challenges, included the Seated Barbell Clean @ Press. The challenge was 100 pounds x 10 full reps in 30 seconds. 

Give it a go! 

Here's Sig Klein demonstrating: 

At last I was ready for the test. In three hours and nine minutes I lifted 5,000,000 pounds. I started out by lifting 2,000 pounds 500 times. This I did in 35 minutes. Then I went to a 1,500 pound weight which I lifted 750 times in 55 minutes. I then took a 1,000 pound weight and lifted that 3,000 times in 101 minutes. This made a total of 5,000,000 pounds lifted in a little over three hours. I have an idea that that record will stand for quite a spell.

Some of my other lifting accomplishments may be of interest. 

I can lift 1,500 pounds with my teeth. 

In harness I can raise 3,600 pounds. 

With my back lift I can lift 4,000 pounds. 

I have borne on my neck a 400 pound cyst, er, dumbbell loaded down further with 1,000 pounds of men. 

With one finger I can lift 425 pounds.

With my two wrists I can lift 750 pounds 100 times in less than a minute. 

There are men who claim to outlift me in various lifts, but not one can deny my right to the world's record for endurance lifting. And if you make up your mind to do it you can equal my achievements. 

Read the histories of supermen of almost any age and you will discover that most of them were born weaklings. Most of the burly weight lifters now in tghe public eye have been pupils of mine and not one of them came to me possessed of any more power than the average man has. A dozen of them were underdeveloped and sickly. One was threatened with tuberculosis and another was frail as a match.

I am forty-eight years ole but I actually feel half that age. My body seems as good and strong as ever and there is no reason why it shouldn't. I have taken care of it. If every man would care for his body as I have cared for mine there would be few doctors' shingles in sight and most of the hospitals would close their doors. Oooookay then. 

A man who neglects his body is not normal. I have always looked on mine as the most precious possession on earth. And it is, to me anyway.

Every man should be able to lift a thousand pounds on his back. 

I don't mean that he should be able to do it the first time that he tries it. Let him start with 20 pounds, then go to 25, then 30, and so on, all the while building himself up and keeping in fit condition. It is only a question of time when he will be able to raise a thousand pounds without overexerting himself. 

The ordinary run of men take great pains to keep their homes in repair and their automobiles in good shape, but let their bodies take care of themselves. Nature can stand a lot of abuse. But there comes a time whem she calls a halt. A man wouldn't think of putting mud into his carburetor no matter how strangely it's spelled, but thinks nothing of stuffing himself, figuratively, with mud in the shape of heavy, indigestible foods, alcohol and tobacco. You can't do that and lift a thousand pounds. You can't do that and be strong, healthy and successful. The body will rebel and then you're done.

The strong are those who understand the value of proper food and the body building properties of fresh air, sunlight and water. They are the men and women who know that a jog uphill and down dale (pardon?) is more precious than a ton of medicine. In this world, you know, only the fittest survive so build up that body of yours for to be strong is to be fit. Start in lifting and exercising today. Start with light weights the way all strong men start. Then lift a few more pounds tomorrow and a few more day after tomorrow, adding to your muscular power a little each day. The mere lifting will bring you nothing, but the strength you acquire as you go along will bring you anything. There is no place in this world for weaklings who are willing to remain weak, but any weakling can be build up if he so wills it. 

I want every man I come in contact with to be one of the fittest of the race [human race, you boob]. Whenever I make this ambition of mine known to the young men around town, they stare at me and ask if it is possible for someone earning a moderate salary to become a superman. 

 The fact of thte matter is that one who aims to be a strong man can live on a few cents a day. The young man who thinks he is saving money is the one who eats at a cheap restaurant and stuffs himself with ptomaine-laden hash, three cent pie and coffee made of the grounds left over from the week before. But the chap who is really saving money is the one who can live on wholesome rice, a few slices of whole wheat bread and  portion of vegetables. The man who lives on the latter diet not only saves cash at a restaurant, but he fends off disease-laden concoctions of unsavory eating places. And he is the young man who is building his body and preparing for a career of usefulness. He is the one who can enter the ranks of strong men and be one of them.

As for the matter of actually gaining a reputation as a weight-lifter, it costs less than becoming a lawyer or a member of any of the professions. The impoverished folks who to depend on night scholls for an education have to at least lay out money for books. The would-be strongman needs only time and patience as his helpmates. He needs no special books and requires no equipment. If he is unable to purchase a set of dumb-bells for progressive resistance weight-lifting, he can start his career by lifting heavy rocks and barells loaded with sand. 

The man I consider the greatest weight-lifter who ever lived, Louis Cyr, did most of his practicing out in the open fields with boulders and barells of rocks and sand. Even when he was a headliner at Austin and Stone's Museum, the tea-party city, he went outdoors for his exercise. He never delivered a diatribe against dumb-bells, but he often told me that one can become as powerful as he wants to be by lifting everything in sight that promises to build muscle. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!        


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive