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The Weightlifting Exploits of John C. Grimek – Iron Game History – April, 1999

Iron game lore rightly recognizes John Grimek as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Less appreciated, but no less significant, is the fact that he was also one of the strongest weightlifters of his era. Although he was national champion in 1936 and a member of the Olympic team that went to Berlin, Grimek’s awesome strength has largely escaped the attention it deserves. While his physique clearly surpassed such contemporaries as Sig Klein, Clarence Ross, Alan Stephen, Dan Lurie, and Steve Reeves on the posing dais, his strength has never been compared with others of his ilk on the lifting platform. Perhaps there is no truer test of one’s upper body strength than the old-fashioned military press, a lift in which Grimek was particularly adept. Furthermore he never consistently trained for proficiency in the competitive lifts and never shirked an impromptu challenge.