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Below is one of John Grimek's workout for putting on weight and strength.

For those of you who don't know who John Grimek is here some information from http://www.schwarzenegger.it/mro/grimek.html: "John Carroll Grimek is the only man ever to win the AAU Mr. America title more than once. His wins in 1940 and 1941 were so overwhelming that contest organizers from then on implemented the single-victory rule.


Grimek exhibited a Herculean visage and was as strong as he looked - evidenced when he represented the United States as a weightlifter at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. In 1948, at 38 years of age, Grimek beat the young sensation Steve Reeves at the NABBA Mr. Universe in London.


A year later, in his last contest, the AAU Mr. USA, he beat Reeves again - as well as Clarence Ross, George Eiferman and Armand Tanny - and retired from bodybuilding competition undefeated. Expert at controlling his muscles and agile in acrobatic posing moves, he possessed extreme power; he was still able to squat with over 400 pounds for reps well after retirement age.


With his combination of proportionate bodylines and raw power, John Grimek served as the perfect hybrid between the pre-war "bodybuilder as strongman" genre and the modern "one sport only" bodybuilder.


John passed away on November 20, 1998, and will forever be remembered for his philosophy of life - always keep your focus on good health as the primary motivation for your toil, and build muscle the old fashioned way - earn it by hard work and dedication."



His workout involves compound, multi-joint movements with low reps and heavy weights.


Grimek Power and Bulk Routine

Overhead Press 5 x 3-5

Power Cleans 5 x 3

Bench Press 5 x 3

Squats 5 x 5

Deadlifts 5 x 3


Notes: Warm-up for five minutes before working out. Perform this workout three times a week, but eliminate deadlifts on the third workout. Lift as heavy as you can, using 80-90 percent of your 1-rep max. As always, increase poundages whenever possible, eat right, get adequate rest, and drink lots of water.



His Stats as listed on wikipedia:




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




1939 York Perfect Man

1940 Mr. America

1941 Mr. America

1946 Most Muscular Man In America

1948 Mr. Universe Short & Overall

1949 Mr. USA


John Grimek on Iron Man cover.








Are those 5x3 supposed to all

Are those 5x3 supposed to all be a working set after warmup sets?

The source article seems to

The source article seems to imply that. It notes below the written workout to warm up before doing the above listed routine.

Great article.The workouts

Great article.The workouts from this Era are classic strength and bulking routines.These guys were not products of Chemistry.They worked hard ,trained right and got results.No machines for isolation..Just heavy compound exercises.

First of all, your claim that

First of all, your claim that Bob Hoffman was one of the judges at the 1948 Mr. Universe contest in London is incorrect. He was not a judge. He was asked to be a judge but declined; thinking it would prejudice the decision in favor of Grimek. Also, the decision to crown Grimek over Steve Reeves is also erroneous. Read the British articles written by reporters who were there and you'll see that there was no dispute. Quite the contrary. The audience stood up and cheered themselves hoarse when Grimek was announced as the winner. I know a lot of guys like to put the rap on Grimek because he was never defeated and/or because he was a York guy and not a Weider guy. Nevertheless, it doesn't change the fact that Grimek is the only undefeated bodybuilder in the history of the sport and probably will always be. One other erroneous comment supposedly made by Vic Tanny at the 1949 Mr. USA Contest where Grimek again defeated Reeves and every other top bodybuilder, was that the guy who should have won was Reeves. In Tanny's words, "there was the physique!" Well, if that's the case, then why did Reeves place third, behind Clancy Ross if he "was the physique?" Reeves was truly great, but the fact remains he lost to Grimek twice. So, as much as it may gall you to realize Grimek went undefeated throughout his entire bodybuilding career, stops putting the rap on him and realize he was simply, as in Steve Reeves own words, "The greatest bodybuilder who ever lived!"

Spot on !

Spot on !