In 1971 thirty year old Texas strongman Joe Bednarski burst on the regional wrestling scene as Ivan Putski - The Polish Piledriver. At a height of about 5' 9" he weighed in the neighborhood of 280 lbs and had a physique as burly as any Olympic weightlifter of his day. Putski always opened his wrestling cards by performing feats of strength for his audience such as crushing a metal storage drum in his powerful bear hug. Another favorite of his at strength exhibitions was to brace his back against a wall and his feet against the front bumper of a large car while the driver slowly depressed the accelerator, causing the rear tires to spin and screech until they smoked. When you see the tremendous development in his legs you'll understand his confidence in such a feat. The only pair of legs that looked stronger to me than his belonged to Serge Reding. How did Ivan achieve them? In addition to squatting some ultra-heavy poundages he was known to spend hours running up and down the stands at a football stadium near his Austin, Texas home. As his star began to rise in wrestling in the late 70s and his circle of fans became ever larger, he slowly transformed his powerlifter's physique into one of a bodybuilder. A few of these 9 pictures hint at this transformation, but largely I stuck to that period of his career when he would have to be regarded as a super-heavyweight strength athlete.