The ‘Muscle Out’ is a classic challenge when it comes to feats of strength. And its really easy to do. You take a weight and hold it out at arms length either to your front or to the sides.
A true test of shoulder strength, it can be done with a single arm or both at once. It is also known as a Crucifix or Crucifix Hold when done with both arms to the side.
Here’s a video of Rich Gorvin holding out two axes that weigh 40kg each, coming close to Louis Cyr’s performance.
Usually the heaviest weight possible is used, but you can also hold the weight for time. Generally, like in pressing, you want to minimize the lean you use.
Louis Cyr, the great Canadian strongman, is generally accepted to have been and still be the strongest in the crucifix hold. In May of 1896, he performed a crucifix with 97lbs./44kg in his right hand, and 88lbs./40kg in his left.
This drawing is another muscling out feat he performed along with a partner.
This is not often seen or done is most people’s training, but that doesn’t make it any less a test of mans’ strength.
More details about training with muscling out weights is covered in Strengthen Your Structure.