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John Grimek Bodybuilder Biography


John Grimek The Glow, The Monarch of Muscledom

John Carroll Grimek was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey USA on June 17, 1910. He was the son of Slovak immigrants George and Maria Grimek who were peasants from a village called Ústie nad Oravou in western Slovakia.

John was not only a very successful bodybuilder who was never defeated but he also was a very successful weightlifter. There are no bodybuilders alive or dead that can say they have never been defeated which shows the amazing talent and strength that this man had.

John set more than one American weightlifting record and managed to even beat the legendary John Davis in a weightlifting competition. John was the last man to defeat Davis after which he won the 1938 World Championships and continued to win until the 1953 Senior Nationals.

John Grimek competed successfully at the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, his training that he did allowed him to also compete very successfully as a body builder. At the age of 38 years old he managed to defeat the famous Steve Reeves at the NABBA Mr. Universe contest which was held in London.

John won Mr.America in 1940 and a few other top bodybuilding competitions always winning any competition he entered and was voted as the most muscular man in America. He would also do strongman demonstrations like card tearing and bar bending or tearing telephone books in half and breaking chains with is bare hands.

He earned the names "The Glow" and "The Monarch of Muscledom" which was something well deserved as there is no doubt that he made a huge impact on how the sport of bodybuilding has grown since his time. John always trained at Bob Hoffmans gym called York Barbell Club.

It was through his work as an editor for both Strength and Health and Muscular Development that John made his biggest impact on the bodybuilding scene in those days. John Grimek was committed to teaching the basic principal of physical culture, building muscle and how to get stronger.

When John was 60 years old he was still able to squat with 400 pounds on his back and even do reps. It was his dedication to health and fitness and strength training which has been responsible for the inspiration of countless strength athletes since.


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