There was a strongman named George Olesen (had a ridiculous arm 3" bigger than the other) and I belive he broke Kaz's record...it was in ironman 10 yrs ago or so..here is the story:
An Inspiring Hero in an Old Tradition! by: David Prokop
The feats of strength George Olesen has accomplished are often exotic, sometimes bizarre. A few have even seemed crazy and death defying. Yet the man who accomplished all these feats, making him the world's most successful professional strongman, with 14 entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, more than anyone else in the business, is decidedly human. Forget the tattoos, they're mainly for show. He's polite, personable, caring, shy, a faithful partner to his mate, Michelle Sorenson, herself a world record holder in strength events, and a soft hearted daddy to their 7 yr. old son Oliver. George, who's 37 and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, is totally in love with the Irongame and so respectful of the strongman tradition, it's almost as if he's a fan. Although he worked as a bouncer before he became a professional strongman, George doesn't smoke or stay up late. He lives the clean, dedicated life of an athlete, which he is.
He trains 3 times a day with Michelle on a totally strength oriented program consisting of a few basic exercises, rarely doing more than 3 reps per set. George says he never used drugs or steroids, and if he takes a drink, its just an occasional beer. As he explains it, "I'm not smoking or taking drugs or something like this, but you have to have a beer sometime to be a grown-up man, I think". if you're going to make a living as a professional strongman, you have to be good at promoting yourself, and George is. During his 6 week visit to Los angelis late last year, he was featured on numerous television shows, appearances he drummed up by calling the producers to introduce himself and then sending a video tape showing some of his awesome feats: pulling a bus, letting a 9,000 lb. elephant, with Michelle on its back, walk over him, lifting various heavy objects, such as an iron beer keg weighing more than 300 lbs., above his head, and keeping a helicopter that was 15 feet above him, its propeller whirling madly, from ascending by resisting with his sheer strength alone. Who wouldn't put him on television after seeing a video like that? Not surprisingly, the producers of the next James Bond film auditioned him for a part. Although George is a master of self-promotion, he remains disarmingly humble. Everybody likes him; there's no apparent ego to the man. He just lets his feats of strength speak for themselves. And they do-more loudly, perhaps, than bragging ever could. Not that George doesn't believe he's the best in the world at what he does. In all, he's set more than 90 world strength records, including the following achievements:
*Horsens, Denmark-Hoisted a keg of beer weighing 62.9 kilos, or 138 pounds, from the floor to arm's length overhead 737 times in the span of six hours--in other words, an average of three times per minute for six hours! He lost 20 pounds in perspiration and almost tore all the skin off his palms, despite the fact he was wearing gloves. The next day his resting heart rate was 140-normally it's 60 to 65.
*Flensburg, Germany-Raised 18 cases of beer weighing 320 kilos, or 704 pounds, with one finger. It was the greatest one-finger deadlift in history. This feat was part of an awesome display in which George set five world records in 1 1/2 hours.
*Berlin, Germany-Lifted 602.5 kilos, or 1,325.5 pounds, in a partial deadlift; that is, the bar traveled from five centimeters below his knees to midthigh. The weight in this case consisted of 350 hardcover copies of the Guinness Book of World Records in two specially built metal boxes attached to a powerlifting bar.
*Aarhus, Denmark-Completed 38 repetitions with a pair of 125 pound dumbbells on the standing shoulder press in 1 1/2 minutes. This broke the great Bill Kazmaier's record of 35 reps. George actually completed 41 reps, but the judge ruled that three didn't count because his arms weren't fully locked out at the top.
Early Inspiration: Bill Kazmaier, in fact, was George's great inspiration early in his lifting career, and George still speaks of the Alabama powerhouse in the most glowing terms. "I think he was the strongest man who ever lived," says George. "He's the one who made me keep going because I liked the way he lifted-with all that power. He was so impressive to see. "I'm kind of stronger in other ways than him because I can use my body more than he can. He had such fantastic power, but used too little technique. When he lost to somebody, it's only because of the technique. You have to do a combination. If he had my technique, I think he would be a very good competitor today. For power alone, he was stronger than the strongest weightlifters from Russia.
"Bill Kazmaier was like a god to me because he was like a god to me because he was so strong. I thought, 'If I could ever become strong enough to break one of his records, I'd be so proud.' And in 1991, I broke his world record in the dumbbell press. It felt fantastic to be able to do that."
Mind Power: If a hero can be defined as a man admired for his achievements and qualities, George Olesen undoubtedly qualifies as one of the great heroes in the weight games today. He's a man who's got something to impart to bodybuilders as well as lifters. After all, it's a rare bodybuilder who doesn't want to be strong as well as look good. In the gym George works not only on his physical strength but his mental strength as well. He doesn't use a lifting belt, because he doesn't want to become dependent on a belt or anything else. He wants to achieve his feats totally with his own power. He knows that the strongman feats he undertakes are, first and foremost, a mental challenge. That's a prime reason why he's never resorted to drugs. "People ask me, 'Do you think that you could have been stronger if you used steroids?'" George says. "And I like to say no to that. I'd like to be stronger, of course. But if I have to wonder if I'm going to be stronger because of what I'm taking, I think I would lose some of the power in my head-and what I do takes more mind power than muscle power."
Perhaps an even more compelling reason to avoid bodybuilding drugs of any kind is the fact that George would run the risk of a brain hemorrage or the rupture of other blood vessels from the sheer force he creates on some of his strongman feats. Steroids are known to raise your blood pressure, so it doesn't take a genius to understand the possible ramifications of, for instance, lying on your back with a metal ramp over your stomach while a lumbering pachyderm takes a stroll across it!
"A doctor told me afterward, 'If you're gonna let an elephant walk over your stomach and you're taking drugs, you'll be dead after that,'" George recalls. "Because you get too high blood pressure from drugs already. With an elephant walking you, it's like having this unbelievable pressure on you for 15 seconds. That's a long time. So I would have my nose bleeding and all this stuff if I was taking drugs." As it was, George blacked out just as the elephant was stepping off the platform. Had that happened a few seconds earlier-and his tensed stomach muscles releaxed while that massive weight was still directly over him-the platform the elephant was walking on probably would have crushed George's spine, either killing him or at the very least causing paralysis. Fortunately, that didn't happen, and George survived to continue keeping the time-honored tradition of the strongman alive, looking to set new standards of what the human body and mind can accomplish. Even so, he says he's through with elephants-not because they wiegh too much but because they move too slowly. Now George is hoping to bring the strongman tradition back to full blossom here in America, where it was so popular in the early part of this centurey. America has always occupied a very special place in George's heart. Not only did he learn a lot about training and borrow many strongman ideas from this country-the so-called one-finger deadlift originated int eh United States-but hismother was born here. The child of an unwed Mormon woman from Utah, she was adopted by a Danish family as a baby, and for the past 10 years she's spent a month each year visiting her blood realtivesin America. No wonder Geoge feels right at home in the U.S. in a manner of speaking, he's part American.
The Right Bicep: No doubt George Olesen does belong in America. More specifically, he belongs in Hollywood in the movies, in magazines and on TV shows that thirst for the unusual and the eye-catching. And eye-catching is certainly an apt description for the Mighty Dane. His shoulders aren't particularly wide, but his body is heavily muscled and looks incredibly powerful. Once he weighed a somewhat flabby 300 pounds, but now he'sl ean and his muscles are defined, not unlike those of a bodybuilder. The tattoos that decorate both arms; the square-jawed, handsome face; and the full head of curly, dark hair ending in a long braided ponytail only add to his dashing appearance. Then there's the arm-that unbelievable right bicep. It serves as his badge of honor, a symbol of his trade.As he explains, his one arm and finger lifts rely primarily on the biceps-in fact, if he tried to do them by pulling with the shoulders and back while keeping his elbow locked and his biceps out of the exercise, he'd break a bone in his arm. As a result, that right bicep measures 23 inches, and it's so round and hard, it looks constantly flexed like a cannonball under his skin. With that might bicep, plush his shoulder, forearm and finger strength, George would make an incredible arm wrestler. "I think I cannot lose in arm wrestling." he says matter-fo-factly. Who knows maybe when his career as a professional strongman is over, he'll start a new one in arm wrestling. (If you're ever in a bar anywhere from here to Copenhagen, don't get into an armwrestling match with a quiet, curly-haired, muscular man with tattoos on both arms and a braided pigtail down his back.)
Bodybuilders, of course, tend to have a more visceral reaction when they see that awesome arm: "Boy, would I ever like to have that right bicep!" Sure, all you have to do is lift 704 pounds with the middle finger of your right arm.
A Boy's Life: The road to these outer reaches of muscular strength began in Aarhus, Denmark, when Olesen was a little boy. His father, a tough, demanding man who physically abused young George, was in the gardening-and-landscaping business, and George was helping his father lug around heavy paving stones when he was six or seven years old. "I was sometimes working so hard, I had to throw up when I came home" George recalls. "I would never do that to my own son. That's too hard." The hard work, however did pay one important dividend-you might say those paving stones laid the foundation for the awesome strength George possesses today. "When I was eight years old, I could lift 220 pounds. Not up over my head, but I could take it from the ground and walk with it. I've never heardof anyone else at that age being able to lift so much. And I was only, I think, about 30 to 35 kilos heavy-that's 65 or 70 pounds. Everybody was so impressed by me except my father, who never said, 'Oh, you're very strong, my son.' But I think maybe that was a good thing he did because it made me want to impress him even more."
The downside of all that heavy lifting at such a young age is George feels it probably stunted his growth-not that at 5'11", 245 pounds he's exactly puny, but his two brothers are both 6'5". "It was the heavy lifting I was doing when I was young," George explains, "because why should my brothers be over a head taller than me?" George says he was always athletic, and as he continued helping his father, he started participating in gymnastics. Then he played badminton, a sport emphasizing quick reflexes, and finally he got into boxing, which he liked very much. "The only thing I didn't like about it is what my mother would say to me when I was coming home with a nose bleed," he says, laughing. "She told me, 'Oh, please don't let them break your nose. You have such a nice nose.'" "I was always kind of listening to my mother whatever she told me," continues George, who, as mentioned above, is a genuine nice guy. "And it's kind of embarrassing for me to say it, but I told her, 'Okay, I'll do weightlifting instead.'[I chose it] because the goal in weightlifting is yourself-nice and quiet, nobody hitting you, nobody shouting. In boxing the trainer was always shouting at the whole team."
As you might imagine, the moment George started formal weight training at age 15, he discovered that he was a natural at it. "I could squat about 400 pounds the first time I had a bar on my back. I think I only weighed 160 pounds at the time. And they were so impressed in the club-you know, weightlifting is a lot about leg power. So they said, 'You're going to be fantastic!'" They were right. In due course George became the Scandinavian champion in Olympic lifting. Because he relied mostly on his power, rather than technique, he thought, "Powerlifting-that must be for me." And it was. He became European powerlifting champion, with his best lifts in competition being 245 kilos, or 539 pounds, in the bench press ("That's not very much, but I always have a little pain the shoulders doing the bench press"); 372 kilos, or 818 1/2 pounds, in the deadlift; and 412 kilos, or 906 1/2 pounds, in the squat. Despite his success in both Olympic lifting and powerlifting, George quickly realized one very important fact: Not many people were coming to see the competitions. "That's why I became a strongman," he explains, "because nobody was interested in watching these sports." Now George does more than 100 strongman shows a year, with Michelle joining the act as both performer and emcee. He makes a good income, but it's a very demanding lifestyle. Since George has to take along all the heavy paraphenalia he uses in his shows, he drives to almost every city. In two years of touring he put 200,00 kilometers on the odometer, running a brand-new car into the ground. In addition to all the traveling and performing, George trains every day of the week that he doesn't have a show.
Typically his show includes such displays of strength as the standing dumbbell presses described above, exploding a hot water bottle and lifting a heavy metal beer keg or specially cut stones weighing as much as 300 pounds. In between George's feats Michelle does several heavy lifts or tears some telephone books in half-she holds the women's world record for that. Sometimes little Oliver gets into the act by doing pushups-at six he can do more than 30. You'd better believe, however, that you'll never find him lifting so much as one paving stone, and George says he wouldn't want his son to become a professional strongman-"It's too hard a life."
George tries to make each show an audience-participation affair by offering $1,000 to anyone who can outdo him in any of the lifts. "The funny thing is, when I come to do a show, people say, 'Wow, he looks strong, but I thought he was going to be bigger,'" George explains. In other words, it's a general reaction that almost compels guys from the audience to come up for a shot at the $1,000. George also believes it's important, from a performance standpoint, to give the audience that frame of reference. Or, as he puts it, "If nobody comes up and it's just myself lifting-if I don't have the strongest guys come up and try to get my money-nobody can see how strong I am."
So at show after show they take the challenge, many of them much bigger than George. And, although the word has gradually gotten around from city to city, "You can forget about taking his money," still they come. They take one look at George in the flesh and are seduced by the thought, "He's not that big. He can't be that strong!" Oh yes, he can. George Olesen has never had to part with that $1,000.