Man is real-life Popeye: Jeff Dabe Popeye

Published: August 7, 2015

Man is real-life Popeye: Jeff Dabe Popeye, JEFF Dabe’s the last guy you’d challenge to an arm wrestle. So it’s only natural that a man built like a real life Popeye should compete in arm wrestling competitions.

Jeff Dabe was given the nickname “Popeye” thanks to his monster forearms which measure 49cm in circumference, with the strongman capable of holding a basketball in each hand.

Tests have been conducted to discover what makes Jeff’s arms so large, as family photographs show over-sized limbs.

Having looked for signs of gigantism and elephantiasis, the University of Minnesota concluded that there were no signs of the disease or abnormalities, Jeff’s wife, Gina, said — he was simply born that way.

The arm wrestler, from Stacy, Minnesota, USA, has been competing in arm wrestling tournaments since the 1980s, with his giant paws giving him a natural advantage.

He said: “I arm wrestled as a senior in high school.

“The fans way back then were the ones that named me Popeye.”

Having made a promising start in the sport, Jeff, 52, popped his right arm during a contest in 1986, causing him to stop competing.

It wasn’t until 2012, when Minnesota arm wrestling champ Josh Handelland came to town, that Jeff decided to start competing seriously again — this time using his left arm.

He would then go on to become the State Champion himself, which would see him invited to compete on the World Arm wrestling League circuit.

“Thanks to the World Arm Wrestling League I am now competing with people from all over America,” Jeff said.

“It’s so fun to travel to places we wouldn’t normally go.

“I was always good at arm wrestling, but the size of my hands did shock people at first — I had the strength to back it up.

“People freak out when they see my hands in real life.”

The arm wrestling competitive season sees Jeff and Gina, 53, travel across the United States to compete in tournaments in the likes of Las Vegas.

Initially, Jeff did not focus purely on arm wrestling-based training — he would build up strength carrying out farm chores: chopping wood, shovelling and working with heavy equipment.

Recently, though, Jeff has begun taking arm wrestling more seriously, welding his own practice table and hitting the weights.

Jeff Dabe Popeye

Jeff Dabe Popeye


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