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A Lesson From
The Mighty Atom

Just got an amazing find, an issue of Look Magazine from the 1930's. Who was featured in a two-page spread?

Joe Greenstein a.k.a. The Might Atom.

"The World's Biggest Little Man is 55 Year Old Joseph Greenstein of Houston, Texas. He weighs but 148 pounds and is only 5 feet 4 inches tall and yet he can drive a spike through ten layers of sheet metal and then through a two-inch plank. He wraps a piece of cloth around the spike in the palm of his hand. He strikes and then...

He pulls the spike out with his teeth. He was born in Suwalki, Poland and was a weak sickly child. He suffered from a head injury until he was 7 years old. Greenstein claims that his strength came with his cure, effected when his dying father placed his hand upon his head.

As a youth he became a professional wrestler and strongman. Today he can break a heavy chain with his chest and pull a 12-ton transport plane with chains fastened to his hair. In fact his hair cannot be pulled out."
The article goes on to describe several more amazing feats, Nail Driving lying on a bed of nails, biting chain links in half (yes really) etc.

I have collected as much as I can find about the Mighty Atom (and there isn't much out there.) He has always been one of my favorite Oldtime Strongmen. Sure he was very strong and the mentor of Slim the Hammerman and all but what I have been most interested in is how the Mighty Atom focused so intensely on the mental aspect of training.

One of his most enduring messages was usually to the effect of - "You can if you think you can."

If you can conquer your own mind, you will succeed, not just in strength training but also in so many other areas.

The Mighty Atom
Click here for more pictures of the Mighty Atom
I never met the Mighty Atom, he passed on a few years before I was born but his message remains true today, "conquer your own mind." When people used to ask him how it was he became so incredibly strong, it was always the same, strengthen your mind, the rest will follow.

Train hard,
John Wood signature
John Wood

P.S. If you want to hear Slim The Hammerman tell stories about how he met The Mighty Atom at Zern's Market in Pennsylvania, you have to check out Slim's brand new DVD. Click here to check it out.

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