by Al Myers
Jack Walsh, the New Jersey Strongman, was a strongman showman more than a weightlifter. He loved the Heavy Lifts, such as the Back Lift and the Hand and Thigh Lift because they were crowd favorites with the large amount of weight lifted. He was not a big man, standing a little more than 5’6″ and weighing 180-200 pounds at his heaviest. Thus, his best claims in the Back Lift of 4700 pounds and 1900 pounds in the Hand and Thigh Lift seem even more spectacular. His best lifts were done in the early 1950’s. He was also good at the one arm Clean and Jerk, with a best of 210 pounds done with a barbell. He excelled at the finger lifts – doing a middle finger lift of 550 pounds (using a padded ring which is not used today).
But this lifting stunt of his caught my attention more than any others – he would hang from a chin-up bar with ONLY his chin supporting him, and while in this “hanging position” perform a crucifix with a pair of 50 pound dumbbells!!! Is this possible? I have some leftover USAWA Nationals T-shirts and will give one away to anyone who sends me a picture of themselves doing this!! I’ll make it easy – Just do it with a pair of 20 pound dumbbells!!