Warren Lincoln Travis was one of the first famous strongman on the US soil during the beginning of 20th century. He was most popular for back and hip lifting, apart from finger lifting and an incredible grip strength he had.
With just about 200 pounds in bodyweight, Travis demonstrated amazing strength as he turned professional at the age of 21. After taking “World’s Greatest Weightlifter” title in 1906, Warren Lincoln Travis set several records in a very short period of time:
- 4140 lbs Back Lift
- 3985 lbs Harness Lift
- 667 lbs finger lift
Around twenty years later, Travis created a feat which included lifts done for repetitions in a specific time frame using any rep/set combinations. He managed to back lift 5,500,000 lbs in 3 hours and 9 minutes, through 5500 reps with 1000 lbs in weight. He held this record for full 55 years when Howard Prechtel broke it with 6,066,060 lbs back lifted in the same time frame of 3 hours and 9 minutes.
Travis had a custom made dumbbell weighing 1650 lbs empty or 3750 lbs loaded with sand which he used on many occasions for his shows. This dumbbell has been owned by York Barbell’s Company for quite some time now – and it’s still there, so if you find yourself near York in Pennsylvania it would be a shame to miss checking it out.
Warren almost lost his head on few occasions, but the most interesting one happened in the Brooklyn Athletic Club, when he was 27. As part of the training for an upcoming performance, Travis worked on the big back lift. On the stage, he would do a big back lift with many people on a platform. Before this incident, he used to ask gym members to use them as his live weight – but this time he arrived early and the club was empty. Determined to continue with his plan, Travis improvised and loaded everything he could get his hands on on the platform, supported by two sawhorses. Unfortunately, one of the sawhorses broke down after Travis finished one of his reps and all that weight fell down on him, leaving him unconscious.
He was found covered under more than 3000 pounds of weights by a janitor, who needed more hands to get rid of all that heavy iron. Warren Lincoln Travis was taken to a hospital where doctors were pretty sure that he was going to die, due to numerous lacerations, internal injuries and even a dislocated hip. However, he lived and continued to lift heavy until he died at the age of 65. Bizzarely enough, he died during one of his shows from a heart attack.
Wanna get stronger without packing on size? Then check this out and ask yourself – Are you up for the Warren Lincoln Travis Challenge?