Early life[ edit ] Hackenschmidt, ca. He later said that neither of his parents was particularly robust in stature or had any unusual physical characteristics, though his maternal grandfather was said to have been a huge and powerful man. From his earliest years, Hackenschmidt devoted himself to physical development, particularly at the Secondary Science School Realschule of Dorpat, as Tartu was then known , where he took advantage of the gymnasium. He excelled in cycling, gymnastics, swimming, running , jumping and weightlifting. His feats of strength astounded his teachers, as he could lift a small horse off the ground and lift pounds overhead one handed. In , he jumped times over a table with his feet tied together.
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He grew up in Livonia, a country that, at the time, was ruled by the Russian empire. He was raised by his parents Georg and Ida. Although George would later become known for his strength, he said none of his family members were physically strong or muscular.
The only exception was his grandfather, who was said to have been a physically powerful man. Feats of Strength in School Just like his grandfather, George Hackenschmidt was a naturally strong and well-built person. His natural strength became apparent when he started going to school. It was at this point that George began excelling in different sports, such as cycling, gymnastics, weightlifting, and swimming, just to name a few.
He was said to have been able to lift lbs overhead with just one hand. On one occasion, while he was still going to school, George was seen lifting a small horse off the ground.
Start of Weightlifting George graduated from the school in and moved to the town of Reval called Tallinn today to work at a large engineering factory. He went on to take up cycling, winning many contests along the way. However, when the winter months came, George had to find another hobby. Ultimately, he chose weightlifting.
An old picture of George Hackenschmidt. On top of this, George lifted these extreme weights with a nearly perfect form. He lifted the weight slowly from the ground using the strength of his biceps before pressing the weights up with his shoulders. Lurich toured the city with his small company, challenging anyone brave enough for a wrestling match. Only a few people stepped up to the challenge — one of them was George Hackenschmidt. During the match, George quickly realized Lurich was an extremely challenging opponent.
This was the first time George met someone who equaled his physical power and strength. Due to his lack of experience in wrestling, George ended up losing the match by a close margin. This sparked a more intense desire within George to excel in wrestling and strength. It was also during this time George did one of the first ever floor presses, an exercise which almost no one heard about back then. Lying on the ground, George lifted and pushed himself up using two hands, while having a weight of lbs on top of him.
He improved his own record not long after, doing a lbs floor press. This exercise heavily influenced the growth of the bench press. Breaking New Records In April , George took part in one of the biggest events of his weightlifting career. The Reval Athletic Club organized a lifting meet, where many of the top weightlifters from the area came to show off their strength. After six months of grueling workouts, George set a one-hand press world record at This time, he lifted lbs of weight behind his back while having his knees bent; setting a new world record in the process.
Later Wrestling Career Between , George achieved over 3, wrestling victories, and set many lifting records in the process. With these feats, he left a lasting impact on the wrestling and weightlifting communities around the world. From here on, he started writing books on strength and lifting weights. He became known for his informative lectures, as well as for helping people become stronger with his detailed advice. He went on to publish five books on the physical culture and training.
In one of the books, George even illustrated in detail all of the exercises he did in order to reach his level of strength. Among these were his trademark floor press and hack squat. Death George Hackenschmidt passed away in England, in at 90 years old. With his countless feats, he cemented his place as one of the most iconic strongmen and wrestling figures of all time. His workouts lasted between minutes. He spent the majority of the time in the gym doing heavy compound exercises, which included floor press, squats, and more nuanced exercises such as dumbbell isolations.
Afterwards, about thirty minutes are fully sufficient to the acquisition and preservation of strength and endurance. He believed that this was an effective way of targeting all the fibers and strings within the muscle. Heavy Weights For Big Muscles George always preferred heavy weights when looking to build muscle and strength.
Although he loved to lift heavy, he never advocated pushing too far; believing this could do more harm than good. George also ensured proper form, despite doing extremely heavy lifts. If you feel tired and exhausted, give yourself the necessary rest, and, as in everything else, use moderation and common sense.
Remember that excessive and rapid exercising is harmful. George avoided meat and dairy because he believed it was hard to obtain these foods from healthy and grass-fed animals. The purest natural food for human beings would, therefore, be fresh, uncooked food and nuts. The bench press and hack squat, lifts that he popularized, are staple exercises of many training programs to this day.
What we can learn from George Hackenschmidt George Hackenschmidt established himself as a strongman, powerlifter, and wrestler. Some of his feats included doing a lbs overhead press with one hand, along with winning around wrestling matches and losing only two. He also wrote five books on training and physical culture later in his life. It all began with one simple thing for George — a passion for strength.
He grew up in Livonia, a country that, at the time, was ruled by the Russian empire. He was raised by his parents Georg and Ida. Although George would later become known for his strength, he said none of his family members were physically strong or muscular. The only exception was his grandfather, who was said to have been a physically powerful man. Feats of Strength in School Just like his grandfather, George Hackenschmidt was a naturally strong and well-built person. His natural strength became apparent when he started going to school.