William A. Pullum
“The Wizard of Weight-Lifting!”
Here’s the story of a young lad born a chronic invalid from birth. William A. Pullum overcame the ravages of pulmonary tuberculosis, meningitis, peritonitis, etc., and through the practice of physical culture, became a world champion weight lifter.
He was born in 1887 around the time that many famous strongmen such as Arthur Saxon, Eugen Sandow, Thomas Inch, Edward Aston, and Maxick were getting public acclaim through their feats of extraordinary strength.
In fact, young Pullum was so inspired by Arthur Saxon that he opened The Saxon Weight Lifting Club in 1907, later changing the name to, the now famous, Camberwell Weight Lifting Club at 5 Church Street in Camberwell. Most of England’s champion weight lifters of the day got their training there directly from “Pop” Pullum, where the rules as well as much of the science of weight lifting as we know it today were developed.
His lifts were so unbelievable that many times he had to repeat them!
During the early years of Pullum’s meteoric rise to fame, the judges at competitions often requested that he repeat many of his record breaking lifts.
He won one championship after another during his competitive years, sometimes winning two classes in one day!
Here are a few of his records:
A Two Hands Anyhow of 204 pounds at a bodyweight of 112 pounds.
A Right Hand Clean and Bent Press of 177 pounds at a bodyweight of 126 pounds.
He did a plank feat where he would support nine men on a plank and three more seated on a barbell held in his hands for a total of about 2,000 pounds at a bodyweight of 122 pounds!
During the early 20th century, Pullum’s world famous Camberwell Weight Lifting Club turned out more champion weight-lifters than anywhere else!
That’s right, “Pop” Pullum was not only a champion himself, but a world class instructor that churned out more champions from his Camberwell Gym than anywhere else in Great Britain!
His roster of world champion caliber pupils reads like a proverbial who’s who of the British weightlifting world of the 20’s and 30’s:
- P. W. Arden – 12st British Amateur Champion 1913.
- C. F. Attenborough – Middle-weight British Olympic Champion 1924-5-6-7-8, 12 st. British Amateur Champion 1924-5-6-7, 11 st. British Amateur Champion 1929.
- Alf Baxter – 10 st. British Amateur Champion 1920-24-26, 11 st. British Amateur Champion 1924, Feather-weight British Olympic Champion 1924-26-27-28-32, Light-weight British Olympic Champion 1937.
- William Beattie – 12 st. British Amateur Champion 1929; T. W. Clarke – 11 st. British Amateur Champion 1913, 12 st. British Amateur Champion 1914.
- Frank Connick – 7 st. World’s Champion.
- T. W. Cranfield – Premier Winner of the Title “Britain’s Strongest Youth”.
- Sidney Daniels – 12 st. British Amateur Champion 1931-2-3-4-5, Middle-weight British Olympic Champion 1931-2-3-4.
- Syd Devis of strand pulling fame – 300 lb. “One Hand Anyhow” at 11 st.!
- Alf Hopkins – Feather-weight British Olympic Champion 1925, 10 st. British Amateur Champion 1926-27-28-31.
- Douglas Marsden – Light Heavy-weight British Olympic Champion 1938, Heavy-weight British Olympic Champion 1939 (All this through a special 12 month postal training course by William Pullum!).
- Nat Thewils – Feather-weight British Olympic Champion 1935, 10 st. British Amateur Champion 1929-30-32-33.
- A. A. Verge – All-England Amateur Champion 1915, “The 10 st. British Hercules”.
- Ronald Walker – 12 st. British Amateur Champion 1930, Heavy-weight British Amateur Champion 1931 to 1936, Heavy-weight British Olympic Champion 1931-1937.
- C. V. Wheeler – 11 st, 12 st and Heavy Weight British Amateur Champion 1920.
- Laurie White – 10 st. British Amateur Champion 1928-31.
- H. Wood – Heavy-Weight British Olympic Champion 1924-1929, Heavy-Weight British Amateur Champion 1924-1930; and so on!
How many athletes in any sport can claim to have retired undefeated?
Here is a list of the accomplishments of William A. Pullum:
The Late Technical Adviser to the British Amateur Weight-Lifter’s Association
Coach of the 1948 British Olympic Weight-Lifting Team
Undisputed 9-stone (featherweight) Champion Weight-Lifter of the World for 15 years
Winner of 15 British Championships
Winner of Over 50 Gold Medals
Breaker of nearly 200 official World’s and British Weight-Lifting Records.
Retired undefeated in 1929 at the age of 42.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to obtain this valuable information!
William A. Pullum probably did more to advance weightlifting in Great Britain than any other instructor in history. However, because he was a feather weight, never weighing over 126 pounds, he never got the notoriety and fame of the heavier lifters. What a shame.
But don’t let his being a feather weight fool you! To this day, his writings through books, courses and magazine articles have valuable information that can not be obtained anywhere else.
Yours for greater strength,
Super Strength Training
Check out the following books and you’ll see why they still call him, The Wizard of Weight-Lifting!
(click on either book for more information!)
Easy and Interesting
How to Use a Barbell