Ian Mac Batchelor was a strongman and arm wrestler born in Scotland. At the age of 5, his family moved to the US and that’s where he became famous. Mac was most famous among wrist-wrestling champions, but his strength in other areas was incredible as well.
Believe it or not, Mighty Mac has never lost an arm wrestling match, and he was involved in a LOT of these, for more than 25 years. Aside from the obvious finger, arm and wrist strength, Mac was a very powerful deadlifter with over 300 pounds in bodyweight. He worked as a bartender in LA where people often came to see his incredible strength or try to defeat him in arm wrestling. In some cases, he was intentionally woken up in the middle of the night by his competitors, but he always won.
Mac’s extraordinary grip strength allowed him to practice beer caps bending at his work. Mind you, those were not soft beer caps like we have today, but heavy duty metal ones which he bent in a quite unusual manner – between his extended forefinger and thumb. He could bend 500 of these one hour.
He could also do 400 squats for reps and deadlift 500 pounds, with stiff legs. When you couple this with his monstrous measurements, you might wonder what was his training routine like.
Well, he mainly trained in his home gym, with the focus on powerlifting routines twice a week. Rest of the time, Mac worked on his grip and forearm strength. No wonder he was undefeated arm wrestling champion. But check this out – with more than 300 pounds in weight, Mac could hang from a vertical climbing rope using only one hand and four fingers – his thumb was unlocked.
Mac Batchelor was featured in many magazines (like Strength & Health) and TV shows (Ripley’s Believe it or not). He also took part in many movie and television productions, as he was quite a musician, artist and writer. Ian Batchelor once wrote a letter to George F. Jowett, concerning his arm-wrestling machine. You can read the entire letter in this article by Dennis Rogers.
Ian Mac Batchelor died in 1986, but he will always be remembered in the history of oldtime strongmen as a man whose strength might never be duplicated.
If you are looking to improve your grip strength and try to come close to Mac’s amazing grip, check this out.
Very hard to find this info. 300lbs but i did not see his height. Louis was a natual born strength and no drugs like today.
Often confused with strongman Louis Uni from france born 1870s. Height 6’8″.
I heard or read ,when I was a young boy, that Mac could bend a bottle cap which contained a dime . Bent them both! was that a documented fact?
Haven’t heard that myself, but sounds awesome.
Aside from this article, looong before the internet, the only place that I’ve ever heard of Mac Batchelor was in a fantastic book called (The) Super Athletes. Borrowed it and some other great old school strength books from the KPL(Kitchener Public Library) in the ‘80s. This area has a really great history of strength, and strength athletes. We host the Fergus Highland Games. Not to mention some of the greatest boxers to walk the Earth.