There is a bit of back story to this video. And it is hard to pin down the exact starting point but I will cover everything needed.
The first idea must have been planted while reading the Biography of The Mighty Atom. If you have not read this book then you need to as soon as possible. I have said it before and I will say it again, for anyone interested in physical culture and crazy feats of strength it is a must read.
One of the Mighty Atom’s signature feats was the pulling of vehicles or other objects by his hair. In fact, on two separate occasions he held an airplane from taking off by his hair and nothing else.
Joseph went on to teach Slim “The Hammerman” who in turn taught Dennis Rogers. Dennis Rogers is just about the strongest man on the planet today, and he weighs less than me! This brings up the second main point. He held a contest late in 2006 in which you could win prizes for the best feat of strength sent in by video.
My friend Tyler and I both had the long hair so we thought ‘what the hell,’ let’s give it a shot since we had been talking about trying this for days.
The first problem was in how to rig up the apparatus. You see The Mighty Atom had thick curly hair and all of his stunts were done using a comb device. In addition he pulled backwards, meaning he had his hair come over his face and when he pulled a vehicle he faced it and took steps backward.
With our straight hair we needed something else. A trip to the hardware store mixed with some ingenuity and we had a workable setup. As you can see in the video it involves a metal hook and a bunch of zip ties to hold it in place. Cheap and effective.
Getting set for the stunt was quite interesting. Neither of us really knew if we could pull it off but we had hope.
If you watch the video closely you can see a block is kept behind the back tire of the truck. When it is removed the truck starts to roll backwards. An important thing for any performing strongman is to never cheat or use anything fake. Anyone could pull a vehicle downhill with their hair, but we had to fight gravity. Harder, for sure, but legitimate.
Just connecting the chains to the hair felt awkward. Since our hair was tightly secured the pull was fairly evenly spread throughout the entire head. That being said it still hurt.
The true difficulty (besides the pain tolerance) was strain in the neck. If you can imagine towing a couple tons by your head you might just realize the importance of having strong neck muscles especially in the front.
When all was said and done it came time to perform. You’ll notice that both of us start with our hands on top of our heads. This is merely to ease the pain and keep the hairs inside the scalp. It did not help with pulling the truck.
Near the end of the run we removed the hands since we had momentum going. Since repeating this feat we have done it without the use of hands on the head at all.
The best part had to be the look on the face of a guy who was driving past right as we neared the stop sign.
We pulled it off and will do bigger and better things in the future. Though we didn’t win the contest it was still worth the effort.
The only thing was we lost a couple hairs (but not too many) and felt a bit light headed the rest of the day. Not nearly as bad as The Mighty Atom with his face nearly torn off. I don’t know if I will ever go as far as using a plane!
This goes to show that you can do more feats of strength than just the classic ones. With some creativity, toughness, and strength the sky is the limit. A true strongman feat.
And perhaps you need a little craziness too!
My coach practice sando an Indian art of strongman..he pulled 60tonne at 62 years his student pulled 34 tonne aeroplane by hair in 1991.