Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Lawrence Heffernan
Written By : Scott Bird
Filed In : photos
Lawrence Heffernan

Lawrence Heffernan in 1938.

Australian Strongman Lawrence Heffernan whirling a 100lb ball around his head using a neck harness.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



NB : if you love talking about strength-training as much as I do, you might also like to check out the weekly newsletter (there's also a daily version available). A regular dose of fitness-focussed discussions, absolutely free.


  1. Anthony Crusader

    In 1982 IRONMAN magazine had an article called 50 Feats of Strength. Lawrence Heffernan demonstrating his neck strengrh by permitting himself to be hanged, and this exercise where he had a leather harness that went around his head and under his chin whereby he would whirl a 100 pound ball was in the text without any picture. At 12 years old I wanted to be like that! Eventually I rigged up a harness and 27 pounds is all I will do…15 is better and just work on speed is ideal for me. VIDEO

    • Scott Bird

      Fantastic video Anthony.

      Suspect there are quite a few people here who wouldn’t mind making their own headgear – is that just a modified version of a ‘standard’ head harness? One for slightly lighter neck work? 🙂

      • Anthony Crusader

        Thanks Scott,
        The jarness was the heaviest one I ever found that had a CROSS of 2″ webbing going over my head so that at the center top of my head I had a place to attach a 31″ strap. I had to add 2 chin straps , one coming from the back of my head and one from in front of my ears both to under my chin or the force would rip the harness off my head. In addition my hands are holding the harness down onto my head by the straps that were designed to hold weight in the convrntional manner. 27 ponds is ALOT. The length of the STRAP dictates dwell time of a revolution and centrifugal force. speed makes the bell parallel to the deck while fatigue makes it droop tword the ground. 15 pounds for ZME see,s ideal as can create SPEED and make it like a jelicopter rotor!, Once it droops the exercise shpuld be terminated in my experience because once muscle fatigue has got to that level, connective tissie is doing all the work AND THAT IS NOT OPTIMAL FOR SAFETY.,..THANKS AGAIN , GOD BLESS YOU


Leave a Reply

What's This?

Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

images of strength

'Napalm' Jedd Johnson.
Want to see (and learn) more Feats of Strength like this? Dive in.

Just Joined Us? Try These.

There are some incredible writers on the team here. To give you an idea, check these out :

If you enjoyed these, check out the complete ‘Best Of Straight to the Bar‘ list. Fantastic.

setting up a home gym?

If you’re getting ready to put together a solid Home Gym (fantastic thing), here’s how.

For more, swing by the full guide. Absolutely free.

And of course, you’ll find everything you need over in the SttB Strength Store. Massive range.

Ever Tried Kettlebells?

If you’ve seen people using them but never taken the plunge yourself, here are the ones I use personally. You can also pick up a book/DVD/course if you want to learn how to put them to work.

Ready To Learn Even More?

I love learning new skills, and the many seminars & workshops available are a great way to do that. If you’re looking for a specific type of workshop nearby, check out the ones on Dragon Door. Great mix of kettlebell and calisthenics-based offerings.

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program

The Precision Nutrition Certification Program.

If you’re a fitness professional and love the Precision Nutrition approach, check out their certification offering. To say it’s comprehensive is an understatement.

Wherever You Are, We Are.

In addition to the main site, you can share your strength-training passion with a like-minded community on :

Wherever you like to hang out, get your regular dose of strength. Straight to the Bar.

Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via Twitter, Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
Drawing of Scott Andrew Bird performing a deadlift. Artwork by Vince Palko.