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Bill Kazmaier - A Living Legend

Strength Oldschool

Author: Unknown

Strongman Legend Bill Kazmaier

Birthdate: Dec. 30, 1953 in Wisconsin
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 321 to 350 lbs.

Measurements:

60″ chest | 23″ biceps | 17″ forearms | 22+” neck | 40″ waist | 32″ thigh | 20.5″ calfs

Bill Kazmaier - Strongman

 

A Biography:

He is 6′ 3” and ranged from 330 to 350 lbs. He has a 60″ chest and 23” biceps. He was born on December 30, 1953. He has superhuman strength and even superhuman eyesight: 20/13 in one eye and 20/11 in the other. He is still alive today. He is a powerlifter and strongman who thoroughly dominated the strength scene in the 1980s.

He lifted hard, ate a lot and competed for so long and in so many contests, why? Bill was always a big kid when he was growing up like his father. His father, William Bart. Kazmaier, was born in 1895 in Lancaster County, PA. Kaz’s grandfather was born in 1871 in Germany and was a brewer by occupation living in Columbia, PA. His grandmother was Mimmie E. Wisser who was born in 1868 in Marietta, PA. There is some reason to believe that she is of Native American decent.

Bill Kazmaier 1988

Bill grew up in the Southern Lakes region of Wisconsin. He was an excellent high school football player for Burlington High School. He also held the high school’s records in the shot put and in the 100 meter dash. He had trouble with his grades. So, despite his great athletic talent, the University of Wisconsin was the only place that gambled on his admission. He was admitted on a five year program for financially challenged students. (If you were to ask him today, if he had any advise to young weightlifters what would it be, he would reply train hard and hit the books harder.) He played for Wisconsin from 1973-4 as their fullback. While at Wisconsin, he discovered his destiny: lifting weights.

Bill decided to leave school and become the top powerlifter in the world. He achieved this in short order. By 1979, at the young age of 25 years old, he did so winning the American powerlifting championships and the IPF world championship that year in the superheavyweight class.

Before he launched his career as a strongman, he worked as an oil rig rough neck, lumberjack and a bouncer in some really rough bars. He is remembered for his powers of concentration and perseverance over adversity. He was the first human to bench press over 300 kg. or 660 pounds. He held the world record bench at 661 pounds for a long time. He was the first man to lift all five McGlashen Stones in competition. He remains the only man to lift the Thomas Inch Dumbell overhead. He could cheat c*rl 315 pounds for fifteen reps. He still has the IPF and USPF Senior American record total in powerlifting (1100 kg. or 2420 lbs.). He set this in 1981 in Columbus, Georgia. He was an IPF champion twice in 1979 and 1983. In the 1978 national championships in the 125+ kg class in Dayton, Ohio, he squatted 865 lbs. He benched 622 pounds. He deadlifted 804 pounds. This gave him a total of 2292 pounds. In 1983 when he won again in Gothenberg, Sweden in the 125+ kg. weight class. He squatted 848 pounds. He benched 501 pounds with a sever pec injury. He deadlifted 799 pounds. This gave a total of 2149.

Bill Kazmaier Bench Pressing

He also competed in the World’s Strongest Man Contests. He competed in six of them. In 1979, he came in third. From 1980 until 1982, he won the competitions handsomely. He was the first man to win the WSM title three times in a row. In 1981, he tore his pec while bending cold rolled steel bars in the WSM. This makes his 1983 IPF championship all that much more significant. After this tear, he lost more than one-hundred pounds off his bench. He was forced by the organizers of the WSM into a premature retirement in those competitions. He was simply too dominant in the WSM. The organizers decided not to invite the reigning WSM back to compete for several years. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up, he continued to compete in lesser known strong man tournaments, such as the Ultimate Challenge and the Le Defi Mark Ten. He returned to the World’s Strongest Man Contest in 1988 and came in second to John Paul Sigmarsson. In 1989, he competed again. He came in fourth because he severely strained his ankle in the first event.

Bill Kazmaier Deadlifting

He is perhaps the single most studied human in history. While he worked as the Strength and Conditioning coach at the University of Auburn, the University’s National Strength Research Center evaluated every aspect of Kaz. His power is the basis for the Holden Thesis concerning Sauropods. In 1983, he returned for a brief stint in the WFL. He turned down offers from the Jacksonville Bulls. In 1981, he tried out for the Green Bay Packers; however, he had to leave camp because of his pec injury.

He also wrestled in the WCW. On September 5, 1991 in Augusta GA, Bill Kazmaier teamed up with Rick Steiner in a WCW tournament to decide who would take over the vacant tag team title. Bill Kazmaier proved how fake WCW really is when he lost to Arn Anderson (6’3″ 225 pounds) and his other partner on the Enforcers. Give me a break! At Holloween Hacov 1991, in Chattanooga, Tennessee Bill beat Oz by submission. At the 1991 Starcade Battlebowl: The Lethal Lottery, Bill and his partner Jushin “Thunder” Liger defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Mike Graham in Norfolk, VA.

He participated in Rings. He had one match and lost it.

Right now, he is still active in the sport, although he is not competing. He served as a commentator for the 1997 WSM in Prim, Nevada. He owns an exercise equipment import/export company called DynaKaz Inc. in Alabama. He imports Air Machine and Panatta. He exports TicenT.

Bill was inducted into the York Barbell Hall of Fame. He has a son. He says that his idol when he was growing up was the great Jim Thorpe, not only for his obvious atheletic ability, but also his ability to persevere over trials of adversity.


Best Lifts

Please Note that He Did Not Use Bench Shirts or Squat Suits. Also, in the Squat, He Kept his Back Perpendicular to the Ground, Not like the Good Mornings that Pass as Squats.


Competition Squat:
925 pounds-wr

Competition Bench: 661 pounds-wr

Competition Deadlift: 887 pounds-wr

Total in Competition: 2425 pounds-wr

Bill Kazmaier Squatting

 

Career Statistics

These are just a few of his accomplishments in his life.

  • Junior National Powerlifting Champion-275 Pound Class-(760-512-760-2033) in 1978.
  • Senior National Powerlifting Champion-275 Pound Class-(782-534-804-2121) in 1978.
  • World Record-Bench Press-Superheavyweight-617 in 1979.
  • World’s Strongest Man Contest-Third in 1979.
  • World Powerlifting Champion-Superheavyweight-(865-622-804-2292) in 1979.
  • World Record-Bench Press-Superheavyweight-622 in 1979.
  • Strongbow Superman Contest-Winner-374 Clean and Jerk, 837 Deadlift, 120sX17 Dumbell Press in 1980.
  • World Record-Bench Press-Superheavyweight-634 in 1980.
  • World Record-56 lb. Weight Toss Over Bar-Scottish Highland Games-Height: 16 feet and 3 inches in 1980.
  • World’s Strongest Man Contest-Winner in 1980.
  • Powerlifting Competition-Best Squat-Superheavyweight-925 in 1981.
  • World Record-Bench Press-Superheavyweight-639 in 1981.
  • World Record-Bench Press-Superheavyweight-661 in 1981.
  • World Record-Powerlifting Total-Superheavyweight-2424 in 1981.
  • World Record-Dumbell Press in Exhibition-a Pair of 155sX10 repetitions; a Pair of 165sX5 repetitions in 1981.
  • World’s Strongest Man Contest-Winner in 1981.
  • World Record-Deadlift-Superheavyweight-887 in 1981.
  • #2 All-Time Squat in World’s Strongest Man Competition of 969 pounds in 1981.
  • World’s Strongest Man Contest-Winner in 1982.
  • Senior National Powerlifting Champion-Superheavyweight Class-(870-540-837-2248) in 1982.
  • #3 All-Time Deadlift in World’s Strongest Man Competition of 1055 pounds in 1982.
  • World Powerlifting Champion-Superheavyweight Class-(848-501-799-2149) in 1983.
  • Powerlifting Exhibition Best Deadlift-Superheavyweight-904 in 1983.
  • World Record-56 lb. Weight Toss Over Bar-Scottish Highland Games-Height: 18 feet and 3 inches in 1984.
  • World Record-Barbell C*rl-440 lbs. in 1985.
  • Ultimate Challenge-Runner up in 1987.
  • Le Defi Mark Ten International-Winner in 1987.
  • World Record-Seated Barbell Press-(Previous Record: Chuck Arens-407) Kaz: 448X3 in 1988.

Bill Kazmaier - Seated Barbell Press - 448 lbs for 3 Reps

  • Muscle Power Classic-1st Place in 1988.
  • World Record Log Press-375 lbs. in 1988.
  • World’s Strongest Man Contest-Runner up in 1988.
  • Pure Strength II Team Competition-1st Place with Stuart Thompson as his partner in 1988.
  • McGloshen Stones-First Man to Ever Lift all Five Stones in Competition in 1988.
  • Louis Cyr Dumbbell Side Raise and Hold-(Louis Cyr-88 lbs. in one hand and 97 lbs. in the other); Kaz-89 in one hand and 101 in the other for 6 reps. in 1988.
  • Pure Strength II Team Competition-2nd Place with partner with OD Wilson in 1989
  • Louis Cyr Dumbbell Front Raise and Hold-(Louis Cyr-131 lbs. for 1 rep.); Kaz-210 lbs. for six reps.
  • World’s Strongest Man Competition-4th Place in 1989.
  • #2 All-Time Loglift in World’s Strongest Man Competition of 363 pounds in 1989.
  • World Record-Dumbbell Press-100 lbs.X40 reps. in 1989.
  • Guinness Book of Records-Member of 10 Man Team that Pulled a 14 ton Tractor and Attached Caravan for 2 Miles.


** I hope fans have enjoyed reading this article on the great Bill Kazmaier. If you have any stories to share on Kaz, please comment below.


Keep training hard,


Strength Oldschool

 



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