Is the suicide Milo the thickest barbell of all time? To answer your question let me start off by telling you that the suicide Milo was first made popular by C.G. Pillay, who was a South African-based physical culturist. What is more fascinating is that the barbell had a 3” diameter in 1938, so it is probable that it is the thickest barbell to be ever used.
Strong men and women in the past usually appealed to an audience when they used strange or unknown equipment. Pillay was one of the very few people who had special access to the suicide Milo barbell. He made a lot of money by challenging people to lift the infamous dumble because no one was familiar with the equipment.
On 21st March 1938, Pillay engaged in an Eastern Province Weight-lifting competition, where he easily performed the following:
- 85 pounds of One Hand Clean and Press.
- 142 pounds of One Hand Jerk from Shoulder.
- 120 pounds of Two Hand Snatch.
- 152 pounds of Two Hand Military Press.
- 168 pounds of Two Hand Clean and Jerk.
As you can see, Pillay was one of the strongest men in South Africa even though he stated that he rarely trained for overhead presses. Therefore, a price of 50 Euros was placed for anyone who could beat Pillay on lifting the suicide Milo, but, unfortunately, no one ever did.