John Grimek was born in 1910 in New Jersey, where he started training with his older brother George, who was already well developed and bigger than John. However, his brother wasn’t as interested in competitions as John was and in 1934 John took a heavy weight contest in New Jersey, totaling 710 pounds.
He went on to set the national record in 1936 where he cleaned and jerked 308 lbs, snatched 220 lbs and pressed 285 lbs. That same year John had the honor to compete in the Olympics in Germany where he didn’t won anything, but still managed to perform better than his American colleagues.
John won the Mr. America contest in 1941 and that’s when he decided to focus on body building instead of weightlifting. This title was followed by Mr. Universe in 1948 and Mr. USA in 1949. In 1998, John died remaining undefeated in body building contests.
John Grimek shows one of the most impressive abdominal vacuums ever seen. He outperformed the famous Ringling Brothers Circus performer “the man without a stomach” back in the 30’s.