Marvin Eder

The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezbo Ban is a fantastic website that is full of legendary stories and articles from over half a century ago. THIS article on Marvin Eder is very interesting several reasons.

Mark Eder and the Canadian Colossus Doug Hepburn were having a legit face off, a showing of strength on muscle beach. THIS WAS FOR ALL THE MARBLES

The action heated up when the bar reached 420. Juliano dropped out, but that was no disgrace for a 17-year old superman. Eder, not much older at 19, blasted out two reps with 420. Hepburn also rammed up the 420. Eder then did 430 pounds in strict style – thereby setting a new, albeit unofficial, world record. Hepburn lifted the same poundage and announced the fact that he was just warming up. he then benched 440, but his form was so rough Marvin said, “Nice lift, Doug. You must have lost two inches off your chest the way the bar bounced off your pecs.” Everybody in the large crowd surrounding the workout area laughed. Except Doug.

I bet Doug was pissed, but did he start a fight? Did he break a bottle over his head and try and stab Eder with the pieces?

Hepburn, who set a world record in the military press at the National Weightlifting Championships a few days later, went into his strongman prop bag and brought out a thick leather belt, with which he strapped two 45-pound plates together. He lifted the plates overhead with his left hand, then lowered them until his arm was parallel to the ground. It was known as the one-arm holdout. He held the weights in the muscled-out position for five seconds. The crowd gasped and applauded. They went wild when Eder duplicated the feat – and held the plates out for 10 seconds.

Ah, the strong men of lore. So impressive — yet Eder is obnoxiously impressive. Read the article, because I won’t be able to cover it all.

Muscle photographer Art Zeller remembered seeing Marvin Eder hold his arms out while a 150-pound hand-balancer named Maurice Maruitz put his hands on Eder’s wrists s though they were parallel bars, leapt up, and went into a handstand. “Eder just stood there like a rock, without quivering at all. He looked like he could have stood there all day,” Zeller said.

As for his top end strength:

Eder’s feats of strength include a 515-pound bench press, squatting 550-pounds for 10 deep reps, 12 one-arm chins and a 365-pound overhead press. At the 1951 Pan-American Games tryouts, he surpassed the world record in the press with 337 at a bodyweight of 192, but the AAU refused to let him compete.

And lastly, as a 67 year old (in 1999), Eder was still training and looking solid:

Today (1999), at age 67, Marvin can still do 100 dips anytime, and more amazing, 90 chinups. I saw him last year at the Oldetime Barbell & Strongmen’s annual dinner. H told me that his three-times-a-week workout consists of five sets of chins for 50 reps, five sets of dips for 50 reps and 550 alternate jumping lunge squats. He still weighs 197 pounds and looks sensational.

That’s so awesome. Eder is now one of my strength idols.