Mark Berry and John Grimek

Posted on Monday, June 11th, 2012 by John Wood

Mark Berry and John Grimek

Mark Berry (left) and John Grimek (right) at the time when Berry was the weightlifting coach for the 1936 Olympic games, held in Berlin, Germany. The Mark Berry Bar Bell Courses, which featured Grimek demonstrating a number of exercises, appeared shortly afterwards. As they had a lot of time on their hands, it’s conceivable that Berry and Grimek discussed the details of said courses on the boat trip over to Germany.

Berry was also the weightlifting coach during the 1932 Olympics, held in Los Angeles, California.

John Grimek

Posted on Saturday, March 17th, 2012 by John Wood

John C. Grimek, from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, has the unique distinction of being one of “the greatest” in pretty much every aspect of strength training that you can think of…

As you can probably tell, Grimek was a champion bodybuilder and won every contest he ever entered. This included the AAU Mr. America contest twice (in 1940 and 1941 – the only man to do so) and Mr. Universe in 1948. Grimek was a fixture on the cover of Strength and Health magazine and either the subject of, or the author of dozens of training articles.

…but he also wasn’t just all show, Grimek was as strong as he looked. Grimek represented the United States at 1936 Olympics in Berlin (where he accomplished the highest American total) and put up impressive numbers in many different lifts.

To give you a few good examples, Grimek could easily rip phone books, lift 11-3/4 pounds on the “Weaver Stick” and actually worked up to supporting a thousand pounds in the overhead press position.

John Grimek ~ Chest Expander Training

Posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2012 by John Wood

John Grimek did every kind of barbell, dumbbell and kettlebell exercise known to man in his training. While his preference was always “weights,” he often augmented his workouts with chest expanders to fill in some of the gaps. It should also be noted that training with one of the chest expander handles “anchored,” like Mr. Grimek is demonstrating here, offers a tremendous number of possibilities which are not often covered in most chest expander training guides.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Steve Reeves’ Favorite Exercises

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 by John Wood

I’m sure you can see why they say Steve Reeves has the classic physique… he looked like a Greek statue brought to life. Reeves was one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time, winning almost every contest he entered including the 1947 AAU Mr. America title. In 1950, he trained at the York Barbell Club in York, PA for the NABBA Mr. Universe contest (which he eventually won, by the way.) While at York, John Grimek, watched Reeves train, and later wrote an article about what he saw in the November, 1964 issue of Muscular Development Magazine. According to Grimek, here are some of Steve Reeves’ favorite exercises:

•Hack Squats

•Cable Rowing

•Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls

•Behind Neck Press

Maxick

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2011 by John Wood

He began his life with the unfortunate name of “Max Sick” and it was certainly fitting as he suffered with a variety of ailments. As a young man he was introduced to physical training as a method for improving his condition. Using isometrics, hand balancing and weightlifting he built himself back to health and later became reborn as “Maxick” champion Strength athlete.

One day, while working as an artists model he noticed that he was able to isolate his abdominals in a certain way while he held a specific pose for periods of time. As time passed, he began to experiment with isolating other muscle groups and the unique art of “Muscle Control” was born.

The audiences of the time had never seen anything like it. It was not only quite a sight but Maxick himself used primarily Muscle Control to build an incredible physique. Though he rarely lifted weights, Maxick was incredibly strong, at a body weight of around 150 pounds, he could perform the following:

  • Two hands military press with barbell: 230 lbs.
  • Right hand military press: 112 lbs.
  • Right hand snatch with barbell: 165 lbs. 
  • Right hand swing with dumbbell: 150 lbs. 
  • Two hands clean and jerk with barbell: 272 lbs.

Due to the unique benefits and training effects of practicing muscle control, many physique stars and physical culturists practiced it including: Otto Arco, Alan P. Mead, John Grimek and Ed Jubinville.