He had 25-inch arms the sort of physique that would have been easy to dismiss Manfred Hoeberl as being a mere bodybuilder, but it only took a few minutes of watching him compete at the 1994 European Musclepower Championship to realize that he really was a strongman—and we would soon find out why everyone talked about Manfred Hoerberl’s grip strength.
Manfred Hoeberl still has his original Captains of Crush® T-shirt from the 1990s . . . when he nearly closed a No. 3 gripper on sight and would subsequently go on to get certified after audibly clicking the handles together. IronMind® | Photo courtesy of Manfred Hoeberl.
As we described it in the January 1995 (Volume 2 - Number 4) issue of MILO®: A Journal For Serious Strength Athletes: “. . . we had the opportunity to let Manfred Hoeberl give one of our #3 grippers a squeeze. On first sight, with no warmup or chalk, Manfred laid out the most serious squeeze we have ever witnessed under comparable conditions - bringing the handles down to about 1/8-inch of each other. We are used to seeing really strong guys get the handles down to about 3/4-inch, but anyone who hits the last 1/4-inch or better on his first try makes a very big impression on us” (p. 26).
Since then, Manfred has used up some of his nine lives in both car and motorcycle accidents, but his prodigious hand strength remains - although he’s not really trained in years, Manfred Hoeberl recently picked up a Captains of Crush® No. 2 and closed it on sight. Want more? Manfred told Randall Strossen that he will train a little on the grippers and, if so, our money is on him to once again click a No. 3.