“Strongest man in history”? Ever heard of a man named Louis Cyr? He is purported to be the strongest man who ever lived.
“Cyr was born in Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville, Quebec, Canada. From the age of twelve Cyr worked in a lumber camp during the winters and on the family’s farm the rest of the year. Discovering his exceptional strength at a very young age, he impressed his fellow workers with his feats of strength. He had learned of the story of how a legendary strongman (Milo of Crete) had carried a calf from birth to a full grown bull and attempted to do the same, one day the calf bolted, kicking him in his back so he then began carrying a sack of grain a half-mile everyday adding two pounds each day. According to one of his biographers, his mother decided “he should let his hair grow, like Samson in the Bible.” She curled it regularly.
In 1878 the Cyr family immigrated to Lowell, Massachusetts in the United States. It was in Lowell that Cyr changed his name from Cyprien-Noé to Louis, as it was easier to pronounce in English. Again his great strength brought him fame. At seventeen he weighed 230 pounds (104 kg). He entered his first strongman contest in Boston at age eighteen, lifting a horse off the ground, the fully grown male horse was placed on a platform with 2 iron bars attached enabling Cyr to obtain a better grip. The horse weighed at least 3/4 of a ton.
While several of Cyr’s feats of strength may have been exaggerated over the years, some were documented and remain impressive. These included lifting a platform on his back holding 18 men, lifting a 534 pound (242.72 kg) weight with one finger and pushing a freight car up an incline. He also beat Eugen Sandow’s bent press record (and therefore the heaviest weight lifted with one hand) by 2 pounds to a total of 273 pounds (124 kg).
Perhaps his greatest feat occurred in 1895, when he was reported to have lifted 4,337 pounds (1,967 kg) on his back in Boston by putting 18 men on a platform and lifting them. One of his most memorable displays of strength occurred in Montreal on October 12, 1891. Louis resisted the pull of four draught horses (two in each hand) as grooms stood cracking their whips to get the horses to pull harder. A feat he again demonstrated in Bytown (now Ottawa) with Queen Victoria’s team of draught horses during her ‘Royal’ visit. While in Bytown(Ottawa) he volunteered with the police when they took deputees to round up a local gang of miscreants, they turned him away claiming he would be too slow due to his bulk. He challenged the regular officers to a foot race, beating the majority and they took him on.
In The Strongest Man in History, Ben Weider says that Cyr’s records remain “uncontested and incontestable.”
Cyr died in 1912 of Bright’s disease (now known as chronic nephritis ).
At his peak Louis was 5’10” in height and weighed 310 pounds, with a 21″ neck, 54″ chest, 45″ waist, 22″ biceps, 19″ forearms, 11″ wrists, 33″ thighs, 23″ calves.”
(Article copied from Wikipedia)
What a day we’re living in! Physical fitness, strength training, aerobics, and a number of other programs are all the rage. A major research firm looks at the US fitness and exercise equipment market as about $5 billion annually. There’s such a push for our kids to eat healthy and exercise more. And while it’s important for each of us to have a healthy body and mind, what about the third part of our makeup – the spirit?
People treat their bodies as if they expect them to last forever. That’s not a bad thing, but how do they treat their spirit? Or, how do they treat their character, which is really an outflow of their inner most being. How much time and money goes into that training course?
What makes a person strong? Louis found ways to increase strength by daily increasing the weight, or resistance, to his training regimen. He did, however, opt out of using a live calf when it became too lively. But increasing the resistance was a good thing for him; and is for each of us, as it helps one develop and become prepared for anything we may face.
Strength wasn’t designed by God simply to flaunt! Muscles weren’t created to oil and flex. They weren’t really created to lift tractors or horses, unless there was an emergency which required it.
Louis Cyr showed his strength by lifting things, things with no emotion, no enticing power; things that weren’t trying to seduce, trap and kill. How do you show yours?
I will discuss, briefly, someone who I believe was the strongest man in history. No, I’m not talking about Samson. He actually was one of the weakest! His strength was supernatural, to be used for the glory of God. But it wasn’t long before he acted like it was his; to be used for his pleasure.
I personally think Samson was about 5′ 4″, weighing about 110 pounds. His neck size was like 13″, waist 24″, chest 26″, biceps 11″, thighs 15″, and a 6″ nose (which grew to twice the size when he got mad). Think about it; if he LOOKED like a muscle bound beach bum, why would Delilah need to ask him where he got his strength?
Anyway, my strong man hero is Joseph. You know, the guy with a fancy robe, wild dreams, and a strong spirit. A strength in character that allowed him to face things designed to either destroy or strengthen a person.
Some people believe that experience is the best teacher. That’s true, if the experience doesn’t kill them while they’re learning. Ever see people lifting weights, especially a bench press? They don’t lift by themselves. They don’t want the “experience” to injure or kill them. They’re either spotted or they don’t lift.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his older brothers. That alone was a huge test of his inner strength. But while he was serving as a personal servant to a man named Potipher, the test of Joseph’s lifetime would take place.
“Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God. So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.
But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. “And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; “so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.”
So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:6-21 NKJV)
Joseph was constantly barraged with temptation; suggestive talk, lustful eyes, and flirtatious touching. Since Joseph wore skin like every other man I’ve known, I’m sure he had to battle the lurid thoughts that would attack him while he tried to sleep at night.
Wow! Joseph had his own personal gym and “trainer”. Resistance! Weight training! One major problem; these “weights” kept coming at him every day.
Finally, the temptress took hold of Joseph and demanded, “Lie with me!”
Here’s where I see Joseph exhibiting the strength that established him as the strongest man in history. He had to lift free of evil desire, lust, fingernails, soft lips, perfume, and an empty house; all the while keeping his focus on God and his integrity with his employer. The strength of character his situation demanded was more than most people can fathom.
You see, there’s a time to oil and flex, but Joseph was way beyond that. He knew it was time to run away as fast as he could. It took real strength to do that.
Finally, I would like to advise you to work out regularly; physically if you’d like, mentally as well, but spiritually for certain. You can’t wait until someone drops a 1,000 pound temptation on you before you try and lift it.
Practice holiness and right living now.
Before someone thinks you’re a stud.
Before the weight is dropped around your neck!