Here is John Grimek holding Glenn Marlin in a low hand-to-hand balance. This shot made the cover of the short lived magazine Acro-Chat. Unfortunately this magazine, covering all things acrobatic with writers such as Ray Van Cleef and Bob Jones, caved in due to financial problems.
This comes from an article inside talking about the picture.
“A pleasant renewal was our chance meeting in Chicago with our old friend John Grimek. Grimek the most famous physical specimen of our time is also a very capable acrobat, easily doing handstands, backbends and splits, as well as having a natural ability as an understander. In his youth Grimek spent a great deal of his time practicing acrobatics at Chicago’s North Beach.”
Bodybuilders like Grimek, were much different from the ones of today.
Here is a bit from an interview done with the late Reg Park talking about how Grimek’s posing routine won the 1948 Mr. Universe Contest for him.
“John Grimek won the 1948 Mr. Universe, but in my book, Steve Reeves should have beaten him. When it came down to sheer physical beauty – which was what I thought the Mr. Universe contest was about – Reeves was way ahead of Grimek. John started off with acrobatics and presses from the floor into handstands, that and his muscle control, well, the roof almost caved in from applause he received. But there you are, that is what mass hysteria can do at a muscle contest.”
I’d like to see any of the bodybuilders of today do any of those skills in their contest besides just pose. It would be impressive if one could even hold a handstand, but that’s not likely to happen. Watching bodybuilding contests might become a favorite pastime of mine if they all performed like Grimek did.
A good dose of acrobatics, hand balancing, and weightlifting and you too can build up a physique with the strength to back it up like John Grimek.
Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
P.S. There will be more coming as far as articles and pictures from Acro-Chat magazine.