What Happens When You Imprison an Old Timey Strongman,
Born in 1888 in Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire, Alexander Zass was an old time strongman circus performer who is now known as the “Father of Modern Isometrics”. Zass taught that the key to superhuman strength was not just weightlifting, but by strengthening the hands, wrists, and arms through isometric exercise. Zass was very strong. VERY STRONG. Just how strong was he? Working as a circus performer as “The Great Samson”, he would bend iron bars around his legs, neck, and teeth, break chains with his chest, tie bars into knots, he would appear on stage carrying two lions, or suspend a piano from his teeth. One time he even carried on his shoulder a piano compete with pianist and a dancer.
When World War I broke out in 1914, Zass was conscripted into the Russian Army in order to fight the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. In the midst of battle he was captured by the Austrian Army. While a prisoner of war, he quickly gained a reputation as an escape artist, making three escape attempts. On his fourth and successful attempt, the guards locked him in a cell, then shackled him to the floor by his arms and legs for good measure. One day, when the guards checked his cell, they were astounded to discover that he had broken his shackles, bent the iron bars of his cell window, and climbed to his escape.