Alexander Zass Isometrics Workout – Amazing Samson’s Secrets Of Building Strength
Alexander Zass, who was also known as the Amazing Samson, is considered by many to be the father of modern-day isometric exercise.
Born in Vilna, Poland… he was regarded as one of the strongest of the strongmen of his day.
He was famous for his ability to rip chains apart with his chest, bend iron bars with ease as well as lifting girders that weighted in excess of 500 pounds with just his teeth.
He also performed other stunts such as… allowing individuals and professional boxers to punch him in the stomach as hard as they could, carry an animal such as a small horse across his back, lift a piano with two women on top of it, chained to 2 horses with just his arms that were trying to pull him apart and many other exciting yet dangerous feats of strength.
Prisoner of War And Some Interesting Isometric Exercise Equipment
A circus actor, Secret Spy and a professional wrestler were some of the occupations that he held in his impressive career. However, it was his discovery of isometrics in a prisoner of war camp that allowed him to build his powerful yet ripped physique.
He was chained by his hands & legs.
The only exercise he could do was pulling against his chains. He realized that his body was losing muscular strength and as a result this was the only exercise he could perform since he was chained to a wall. He pulled and pushed on his chains and bars in order to maintain his physical strength and muscularity.
He was astonished by the fact that not only did he regain his former fitness level – but he actually became stronger due to his isometric training.
He continued his unusual bodybuilding workout until he eventually realized that he was strong enough to break them apart. He waited for an opportunity to escape from the German prisoner of war camp. He broke his chains that held him for years, bent the bars in the window, and made his escape.
Alexander Zass Circus Performer And World Strongest Man In History
As mentioned earlier, after his escape from prison he became a circus strongman and traveled all around Europe performing feats of strength.
Interestingly enough, Alexander Zass refused to do feats of strength that required lifting weights.
Most people of his day felt that he acquired his physique by using free weight workouts. However, Alexander Zass would publicly deny that his strength was the result of weightlifting.
Weightlifters of that day were very upset with his statements.
You see they all believed that he had developed his physique and strength by lifting weights. And that accounted for his ability to perform strongman stunts such as — bursting chains that were wrapped around his chest.
Little did they know that he created his strength training and muscle building program using isometric contractions while in prison.
Not much is known about his childhood days.
Toughest Man on Earth
Except for the fact that he first became impressed with strength and strong men — when the circus came into town. Watching the circus performers motivated young Alexander Zass to begin exercising to build his muscles.
At first, he would climb trees to gain strength in his upper body. Later on he created some barbells and dumbbells and began working out with them.
He was one of the first individuals that spoke about the concept of creating "Tendon Strength." In his books one of which was "Samson Systems and Methods" he expounded on the idea that in order to be truly strong your tendons — must be as strong or stronger than your muscles.
That is what probably lead to his development of isometric exercise.
He concluded that in order to become strong you must develop your connective tissues — the tendons — before concentrating on strengthening the muscle fibers.
He reasoned that the best method to accomplish this was isometric exercise.
He even published a training program, an isometric exerciser device and instructional courses that detailed his use of isometrics using chains.
Benefits of Isometric Exercises
The benefits of isometrics are not that well known because it lost some of its popularity. Although power lifters and bodybuilders have been using isometrics as part of their strength training program for years, the general public is pretty much in the dark about this scientifically proven exercise protocol.
Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of isometrics:
- Increases strength quicker than any other form of exercise protocol.
- Exercises can be performed anywhere.
- Greater safety than weightlifting or typical bodybuilding workouts.
- Exercises can be performed quickly because it takes very little time.
- Builds strength at the tendon and muscular level.
These are just some of the benefits of isometric exercise. If you are looking to develop greater strength and muscle size you can try the Bully Xtreme isometric exerciser
After the war, he visited London and performed his incredible feats of strength. The newspapers gave him the name — Amazing Samson. He immediately became a superstar of his day.
As a result, he enjoyed a boom in the sale of his training courses and isometric exercise programs.
Unfortunately, he died on September 26, 1962 at the age of 74. It is still unknown what the cause of death was however, it has been speculated that he was murdered.
Alexander Zass is now recognized as the father of Isometrics.