Bill Kazmaier vs. Magnus ver Magnusson and the Hercules Hold: Who Can Win?

The classic Hercules Hold will be a true test for the strongman legends.

As you may have seen here on BarBend, Bill Kazmaier and Magnus ver Magnusson are both coming out of retirement for a one-time only special challenge at the Giants Live event in Wembley on July 6. Kazmaier was considered the original “goat” of strongman back in the Golden Era of the 80’s. Magnusson came along in the 90’s but his legend is as recognized today as it was when he was winning the World’s Strongest Man.

So it would make since that these two old-school legends would compete against in each other and perform a legendary test of strength – the Hercules Hold.

What Is the Hercules Hold?

The athlete stands between two pillars that when released would normally be falling down to either side. The reason they don’t is because the athlete will be holding onto handles that are connected to them by a chain or rope. Their arms will be stretched out to the sides being pulled by the weight of those pillars which is 160 kg (353 pounds) each.

The athlete’s grip obviously has to be extremely strong. The arms and shoulders will be getting stretched out which will inevitably lead to burning sensations that only intensifies as the seconds tick away. The longer the athlete can hold on, the more impressive his strength and pain tolerance will be. It’s beyond a physical test. You must be mentally strong and determined to last longer than the athlete before you.

Best Times

Earlier this year, 52 year old Mark Felix stunned the crowd at Europe’s Strongest Man when he held the pillars for an incredible 1 minute, 22 seconds. While there is no official world record of this event, Felix’s effort appears to be considered the new standard.

While there were various events that called for lateral holds of weight, Kazmaier didn’t perform this particular hold in any of his three WSM wins from 1980-82. Instead, they did battery holds with 65 kg (143 pounds) but the weight was in both hands and extended to the front. Magnusson did a different version of the Hercules Hold in 1994 with 130 kg (286.5 pounds) in each hand with a time of 43.15 seconds. While he would win the title that year, he didn’t win that particular event.

While it isn’t certain how this particular event will play out in Wembley, there is one fact that is certain. The NBA may never see Jordan vs. LeBron and baseball may not see what it would be like if Babe Ruth went against Nolan Ryan. So the sport of strongman and its fans are in for a rare treat when these two legends return to the stage where they earned their status as icons. Hopefully everyone involved enjoys it.

Featured image: @giantslivewsm on Instagram

Roger Lockridge

Roger Lockridge

Roger "Rock" Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He's also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.

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