04 April 2010

Baddest Motherfuckers Ever 12: John Grimek

You ever think to yourself, "Maybe I should plan out my workouts? That shit might work better... after all, that's what everyone else does"? Well, here's a newsflash, fuckface- EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS. I know, you might think you know someone who doesn't suck. Consider this for a second: are they alive right now? If so, they likely suck. This includes me- I'm aware that I'm alive and have not yet attained the strength or muscularity of people of bygone eras(1), nor have I fucked my way through multi-thousands-broad harems(2), slain any dragons(3), or done any of the other insanely cool shit that used to occur.

In any event, here's the shit that occurred on John Grimek's watch:
The following measurements are from 1940/1941:
Height: 5'8½"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Neck: 17 inches
Arm: 17.5 inches
Forearm: 14 inches
Chest: 47 inches
Waist: 31 inches
Thigh: 25 inches
Calf: 17 inches
Wrist: 8 inches
Ankle: 9.8 inches
In other words, he was jacked to shit, pre-gear. Testosterone wasn't even synthesized until 1937, and steroids weren't even introduced in the Eastern bloc until the 40's, so it's fairly certain Grimek was drug free for most, if not all, of his career. His career included the following highlights:

1939 York Perfect Man
1940 Mr. America
1941 Mr. America
1946 Most Muscular Man In America
1948 Mr. Universe Short & Overall
1949 Mr. USA

Basically, this motherfucker was the shit. How'd he get there? Training way too fucking much, by any modern standard. What'd he do? This shit:
"I'd usually train about five days a week and sometimes six. How long? Sometimes when I felt ambitious and I wanted to do more, it would take four to five hours. Normally it would not last more than two hours at the most. I trained everything in every workout-I didn't do what they call split workouts and train legs and arms one day, back and other stuff the next day. No, the only way I ever isolated a group of muscles was when I was finished with my routine for the day and I still thought I needed more for my back or chest or legs or whatever. Then I threw in an additional two to three exercises and much heavier-you know, trying to maximize the thing. And that was it. What is called split training wasn't used then, although I had read somewhere that Hackenschmidt was using a method where he would isolate certain groups on certain days or else put more emphasis on a specific part while training the entire body on a given day. But I never had a yen for that. I was making progress all over, so there was no need for a concentration on a certain area. And I never found that training the whole body in each workout was too tiring. In fact, when I got through, I was feeling a helluva lot better and more ambitious and energetic than I did when I started."(4)

In other words, he was a fucking CnP adherent long before the shit existed. He was a bad motherfucker who knew nothing of overtraining- he just trained his fucking ass off, and was a world champion as a result. Oh, well he must have programmed, right? Fucking WRONG:
"Instead of always taking an exercise and repeating it in sets four, five, six times, I often preferred, if I was working the arms, for example, to do five, six or seven exercises that were different. I felt that there were some deep-seated muscles that needed an extra jolt. And the only way to get that jolt was to either exercise it from another angle and see if you could make it function as fully as the other part of that muscle was working. And that's what I always tried to do. I did a lot of exercises for the same part of the body. And it worked! At least it felt like it was working. That's why, when people ask me how I trained, I can't think back right now and say, "Oh, yeah, that was the one exercise I did which promoted everything." No, I cannot say that, because I did a variety of movements even for the same part of the body. And I would also do what I felt like doing on that day That's the thing. If I felt I needed additional repetitions or additional exercises, I did it. But if I felt, "Oh, the hell with it! I've had enough of that," I would quit! See, there was no sense of a routine that was stringent in any way, something that I felt I had to do. The hell with it! I did what I wanted. If I started an exercise, and I found that I didn't like it or need it that day, I just bypassed it. In the beginning, of course, I followed a more formal system of training, like the kind you would get when you ordered a set of weights from a company like the Mb Barbell Company." (5)
Fucking WHEELS. Nice loafers, too. How the fuck did they lift in loafers?

The fucking kicker? This story from natural strength:
" "Well," says John. "I've done many possible stupid and strange things. One of which was squatting very heavy when I was between 74 and 75 (years of age) but I NEVER strained or fought going down, deep and struggling to raise up, never. In later years, say after the 30s (his age) when I squatted, I always did HIGH reps, and the last time was in my late 70s, I did squats, just simply because I wanted to do some training, but not the usual workout. One professional football player (Philadelphia Eagles) was visiting the gym and no one else wanted to train. He came up to see the guys train, but that I was the only one, none of the others wanted to do anything, but I needed a light workout, so I squatted.

"I began with 225 lb. and did about 28 consecutive reps. Then I added 90 lb more and did another 18 to 20 reps and continued in that fashion, adding weight, while cutting the reps and always working up to where I would do only one to three reps with 645 lb usually, but occasionally working up to 695 lb [when he was over 70 years of age, remember] and by then I already completed 75 to 80 reps. But as mentioned, I never struggled, for some reason I felt that was straining, avoiding that because I felt it did nothing for except cause pain. The visitor looked at me when I was finished doing 20 reps with the second set of 315 lb and asked, 'I thought you weren't in the mood to train hard?' I said I wasn't, but what the heck, squats are easy. He looked at me and said, 'I squat too, but on my best days I could never do that.'"(6)

Next person to brag about their squat gets punched in the fucking teeth, unless they're 70+ and squatting over 600.

We are all a pack of pussies. Get to squatting, motherfucker.

1. There's plenty of examples, but the Viking at Stamford Bridge single-handedly fought off an entire army of Saxons for an hour until being stabbed in the cock by a treacherous Englishman.
2. Khosrau II had a harem of 3000 wives, in addition to 12,000 other bitches. Epic.
3. This is more shitty than cool, but according to the apocrypha of the christian Bible, Daniel killed off the last dinosaur by poisoning it in a temple of Marduk, because he was a giant pussy. Should I ever meet one of his decendants, you'll see me piss on his corpse on Youtube. What kind of pussy poisons a dragon because it's an "abomination before god"? Moreover, who worships a god that hates dinosaurs? That's 11000 different kinds of fucking suck. (Bel and the Dragon, a book of the Apocrypha, http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/summaries/bel&dragon-notes.htm) Check out Ooparts for more evidence of man coexisting with dinosaurs.
4. "John Grimek: Insightful Look &Interview With Bodybuilder John Grimek." FitFlex. http://www.fitflex.com/johngrimek.html
5. Ibid.
6. Whelan, Bob. "John Grimek Talking About Squats." http://www.bobwhelan.com/history/grimeksquats.htm


  1. Thanks for a great tribute to Grimek. I knew John slightly, and worked out with him a few times when I was young (back in the 1970s -- John was still super-strong despite being in his 60s). Let's recall that John's best clean and press was 285 at a bodyweight of 200, and that was a MILITARY press in the strictest sense. My dad, who was his buddy, saw John clean 340. TRULY a very bad MFer, who did it all without gear or juice.

  2. Bob Whelan is a pretty cool guy for hanging out with so many pussies. He doesn't train like a C&P guy, but he does train like some sort of a psychotic motherfucker. If you go to the natural strength website there's a video of him doing some pretty badass shit in the farmer's walk.

  3. I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. A 70 year old guy squats my max for 18-20 reps? I'm going to buy a Frisbee and try to eat it now.

  5. Listen, I don't read this blog for all the jibber-jabber about lifting weights. I read it for all of the paragraphs that begin, "In other words...". I can't get enough!

    --Strange OCD Guy

  6. Well, it looks like my remembering a video is mistaken as it's just a picture of it (could have sworn though.) But then again, going to natural strength is worth it just for the stories about parental abuse leading to lifelong training, and the video of Hoffman bent pressing.

  7. Strange OCD Guy,

    Go fuck yourself. No one gives a flying fuck why you read this blog. While CNP undeniably loves the transitional phrase "in other words," many people read this blog for the lifting advice. Plus, you're a huge pussy for commenting anonymously. If I found out who you were, I'd hop on an Aer Lingus flight, take a taxi to your home, and bash your brains in.

    Liam O'MacFitzpatrick

  8. One anonymous guy threatening another. What's with these guys?

  9. Maybe we can start a drinking game to "in other words" ...

  10. Liam,

    But for your use of "in other words" in your comment, I would make love to your bottom until I ejaculated.

    --Strange OCD Guy

  11. Both of you faggots are faggot pussies. I could kick both of your asses. Anyone who threatens people on an internet comment is a fucking moron. I oughta beat the shit out of both of you.

  12. Yo Strange Guy, you forgot to call "no homo!" That means you gay, dawg!


  13. Brotha,

    If I were similar to the phrase "in other words," I would be gay. Besides, I thought Liam was a girl's name.

    --Strange OCD Guy

  14. A girl's name?!? I will find you, give you curbies until my legs are tired, douse you with petrol, light you on fire, and piss the flames out ALL THROUGH MY INTERNET CONNECTION.

    Liam O'MacFitzpatrick

  15. Yo Liam, I don't quite know what curbies are, but you forgot to call "no homo!" That means you gay, dawg!


  16. If you don't know what curbies are go fuck yourself and watch American History X


  17. Hahaha. Incidentally, I just noticed the in other words fuckup right before reading these comments, and changed it. Thinking about changing it back, just fucking because. In other words, eat shit.


  18. In any event, this in other words thing seems to be catching on at any rate. In other news, no homo.