Lifters of all ages, weights, and nationalities were there in great force, they having been expressly invited to witness an exhibition by Maxick, of Munich.
Professor Szalay, whose name was associated with weight-lifting more than a decade ago, and who has not inaptly been described as “the father of weight-lifting,” was there in all his glory. There were also many of the younger generation, including Messrs. W. P. Caswell (the marvelous ten-stoner), Charlie Kussell (the ten-stone champion of former days), Edward Aston (claimant to the middle-weight lifting championship), W. L. Carquest (the great nine-stoner), Mr. H. C. Tromp van Diggelen, Mr. Reggie Walker (the famous sprint champion), Mr. W. O. Wood (the well-known wrestler), Young Olson, Monte Saldo (Maxick’s manager, who acted as stage manager), the Editor of “Health and Strength,” and many others.
That Maxick is by way of being a physical phenomenon is beyond question. His muscular control is marvelous. In a series of poses, with which he followed up his lifts, he thrilled the onlookers by the splendor of his development, and the manner in which he “commanded” (that is the word for it) each muscle of his body.
His will seemed to act as commander-in-chief, and at a signal from him, and without any forcing, the latissimus diversi, the abdominals, the deltoids, etc., seemed to do whatever they were told. His body, in fact, was like a transformation scene. One moment he was all chest; the next he was all back; and again you saw his abdominal muscles marshaled, so to speak. It was really very wonderful indeed.
He certainly astonished the onlookers by his weight-lifting feats. He commenced with a number of one-handed lifts, including the 202 lbs. one-handed jerk five times. This seemed quite easy to him. Then one after the other he performed a series of two-handed lifts. The weights were tested by Messrs. Russell, Caswell, Carquest, Szalay, and van Diggelen, who testify that he lifted 222 lbs. clean to the chest, and then pressed it above his head, with his heels together and body erect. His next feat was a 240 lbs. lift clean to the chest. This he pressed above his head in the recognised Continental style. His next lift of 254 lbs. drew forth a spontaneous encomium from Professor Szalay, who declared that he had never seen such lifting. Maxick raised the barbell clean to his chest, then in a singularly graceful style, pressed it above his head by means of a steady two-handed bent press.
In neither of the three lifts described above did any of the weights come in contact with the lifter’s body. Both the above lifts are claimed as world’s records, and it is a pity that we have not as yet a recognized weight-lifter’s association, by whom such claims could be officially decided.
Another lift which roused much admiration was the raising of 302 lbs. any way up to the chest. This, which was double his own weight (I should have stated that just before the exhibition he was just under 10 st. 11 lbs.), he then jerked above his head, and really he did not seem to find it very difficult. This was done in the German style: up to the waist, then to the chest, and then aloft.
After the 254 lbs. lift, Maxick made an attempt upon a still further advance upon this. The weight of the bells in this case was kept a secret, only to be revealed in the case of success. Though he made several very creditable efforts, he failed, but it was announced that he would try again on a future occasion.
The exhibition was distinctly interesting, and not by any means devoid of dramatic incident and humor. Nature, when she endowed Maxick with his remarkable physique, threw in with it a very attractive smile. It lit up his countenance every time he made an attempt upon a lift, and it softened into tenderness once or twice when Monte Saldo’s pretty, flaxen-haired daughter (aged three) insisted on walking up to him as he was resting and demanded a kiss.
I had always heard that the English were a very conservative race of people, very slow to adopt new theories and ideas, but my experience has proved to be the very reverse, for the English people did not wait for me to prove my theories and assertions on their own physiques, but listened to my arguments and took me on trust, simply because they saw logic and common sense untainted by mystery in my statements.
Assisted by Monte Saldo, I have succeeded in building up a larger clientéle, and our success in curing functional complaints and disorders through the means of muscle-control, combined with suitable mechanical exercises and proper diet, is now a matter of common knowledge.