The following comes from promotional material from The Iron Samson, Alexander Zass, one of my favorite of the oldtime strongmen.
The secret of my strength explained.
Many physical culturists possess large-size muscles, yet they lack something—something- fundamental. Some possess it in a degree more than others, but they have not specialized in its training.
Have you seen my performance on the stage? If so, you have probably noticed that my movements, when performing a feat of strength, are short ones. Some of my feats require no movement at all. There is a reason AND, IN EXPLAINING IT, I GIVE YOU THE SECRET OF MY STRENGTH.
Years ago, when I determined to become “The Strongest Man on Earth,” I studied the methods of all the strong men I met. I studied their physiques and sought to learn why different feats produced different types of development. When I became satisfied that I had learned sufficient to give me scope for something new, I decided on my plan of action and I trained on new lines.
THE NEW METHOD WAS ONE OF WHICH ALL ATHLETES TOUCH THE FRINGE ONLY, BUT I DETERMINED TO THOROUGHLY EXPLOIT IT. I have been rewarded by success. What is it? Listen! I will tell you.
I am tendon–strong.
I AIMED, FIRST, TO DEVELOP THE UNDERLYING CONNECTIVE TISSUES RATHER THAN THE SUPERFICIAL MUSCLES. I DEVELOPED TENDON STRENGTH.
The tendons are the cord-like media between the bones and the muscles. A large biceps is no more criterion of strength than a swollen abdomen is of digestion. It is the pulling tendon of the biceps that counts. AND SO ON THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BODY THIS METHOD WAS EMPLOYED.
Some men with thin legs are stronger than some with thick legs. Why? Because strength lies in the tendons. Those unseen tough sinews which are the second in strength and density only to the bones themselves. The tendons are the powerful fibrous attachments of the muscles to the bones. THEY ARE, IN SHORT, THE MASTER KEY TO THE STRENGTH WHICH OVERCOMES GREAT RESISTANCE.
Without tendons one would possess no control over the body. There would be no rigidity, no steadiness of physical movement.
They and their development are the secret of my strength. I am tendon-strong. Muscles alone won’t hold horses back. Tendons will—and do. But they must be cultivated. Oh, yes. They must be developed.
More from Zass tomorrow…
If you want more about Zass and his methods check out The Mystery of the Iron Samson here.