French Strongman Who Broke Out Of Prison With His Bare Hands

Samuel Reason | April 18th, 2018

There is one French strongman that goes down in the books as having undeniable strength and determination: his name is Charles Rigoulet. Not only was he breaking numerous weightlifting records all over the world, he won a gold medal in the 1942 Summer Olympics. And if that was not enough? He was also an actor, race car driver, and professional wrestler. You could say that for this powerlifter, strength was not enough. His real claim to fame though is when he broke out of a Nazi prison with only his muscle.

Born in 1903 he lifted weights from a very early age, and during the period of 1923 to 1926, he broke over ten world records for weightlifting. Including one that was lifting a one-handed snatch of 253 pounds, when his own weight was only 215 lb.

During World War II, he was placed in prison after a dispute with a Nazi officer. What did Charles do? He bends the bars of his cells with his strength, just pure power no tools used at all. Then proceeded to wrestle the Nazi officer guarding him to the ground and let several prisoners escape, before making a swift exit himself. He really was a jack of all trades, and his prowess showed in several sporting events.

For example, he took part in the 1937 Le Mans race and even wrestled the likes of Strangler Lewis or Henri DeGlane. In 1932 he even joined a circus and a theater, where he would lift and sing at the same time. It was this determination that drove him to compete in everything he could that really made him stand out and become one of the greatest quick lifters of his time.

One method he used to stay ahead of his competition was trained on a specially constructed Challenge Barbell. This barbell was quite long and therefore had a considerable amount of bounce to it. This allowed Charles to train quick lifts and improve regularly in the spring – but when other competitors attempted to lift if they were not used to the bounce and quickly failed. Charles really was a weightlifter who innovated the game and showed that strongmen could diversify into multiple trades.

Next Article
  • In 1962 Maryland Declared Jousting Their Official State Sport

    One would have thought that jousting was reserved for a bygone time, the medieval ages. A time of knights, kings, and princesses; all galloping furiously on their noble steeds. Tipped from head to toy in ancient armor, jousting was a sport that was much loved for decades. Of course, as we entered the modern times...

    Read More
  • There Has Only Ever Been One Submarine VS Submarine Fight Ever!

    A famous film that dramatized underwater battle for the whole world to see is, of course, The Hunt For Red October, it portrayed a nerve-racking experience with crews deep under the ocean searching for their enemy with sonar. And though it is true that hunting undersea enemies is, of course,...

    Read More
  • Nuclear Pasta The Strongest Material In The Universe

    If you happen to be in the industry of creating the strongest materials in the universe, then you are in luck. We have the recipe and it only takes three easy steps: Find yourself one dying star and put into your favorite boiling pot, boil it until it goes supernova and explodes. Beware this could...

    Read More
  • Sometimes Little Galaxies Are Actually Cannibals

    Astronomers around the globe have long seen big galaxies like the Milkyway swallow up some of their little brothers and sisters. In fact, the sky is full of cannibals. They swallow up stars that are in their cosmic neighbors, and over time eat up whole galaxies. It seems only natural, that even in space, the...

    Read More
  • A 20 Min Extra Commute Is Worse On The Mind Than A Pay Cut

    A new study into what is seen as most negative when it comes to our daily work routines shows that being told you will need to commute an extra 20 mins to get home is just as bad as being informed about a pay cut. When it comes to job satisfaction it seems that commuting...

    Read More
  • The Oolichan Fish That Can Be Used As A Candle

    Oolichan fish is a type of fish that is so greasy it can actually be burnt and used as a candle. Hence it has the popular nickname the candlefish. The Oolichan is seen as a savior for many North Coast First Nations, the indigenous tribes of the Pacific northwest coast. This is because even though...

    Read More
  • Walt Disney’s Not So Happy Family

    You would think that growing up around animated series and seeing the creation of Disneyland first hand, would ensure that you would become a loving and happy family. In the case of Walt Disney’s grandchildren, this is just not the case, Michelle and her twin brother Brad Lund is far from being the happiest family...

    Read More