• History of Strength Sports

Sandow and his own struggles with training at home

It's every performers dream to 'bring the house down'.

Sandow did just that in 1890, dropping his weights on the first floor of his lodgings, causing major damage and resulting in a court case with his landlord...

As the world slowly begins to move back to ‘normal’ and gyms begin to reopen, many of us have been training at home and realised the difficulties and complications this can bring. We recently came across this story about Eugen Sandow and thought it would be particularly fitting during this time.


Shortly after moving to London to pursue a career in strength performance and entertainment, Eugen Sandow resided on the upper floor of a house owned by a Mrs Brackenbury. Off-stage, Sandow dressed smartly and was an unassuming character and his new landlady new little about his strength prowess, let alone his training methods - "even a London lodging-house keeper is capable of enter - taining a strongman unawares


In November 1890 while likely training for an upcoming match with Hercules McCann, Sandow was training with his equipment when his weights crashed through the floorboards, damaging the ceiling of the floor below, walls and furniture! The landlady took Sandow before a magistrate at the Westminster County Court where he was ordered to pay damages of £4, 12s, 6d.


In what is an amusing tale to us would have been embarrassing for both Sandow and the landlady but no doubt increased media interest in the strongman. The episode was also publicised as a warning to landlords in London as the strongman scene erupted - 


"Always ascertain, if your calling be that of a letter of lodgings, whether your intended lodger be a professional follower of Hercules or not, and in the event of his being so, never offer him quarters except in the basement"

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