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Some Lesser Known Strongmen of the Fifties and Sixties – Iron Game History – May, 1998

The first man I want to mention is a man I knew well—Steve Merjanian. The lifts I will relate are those I personally witnessed. I was around him a lot in the mid to late sixties and saw many amazing feats of strength. He may have exceeded some of the lifts I mentioned but I think this a fairly accurate record. To my knowledge Steve was the first man to really popularize the incline barbell press. There were those who used it before him and did big numbers but the real popularity of the exercise on the west coast dated from a 1963 photo in Iron Man of him doing 440 on a bench with an angle of approximately forty degrees.