John Brzenk- Arm Wrestling G.O.A.T.

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One of the most exciting, nail-biting sports to watch is the sport of arm wrestling and, speaking of which, if you’re a lover of arm wrestling, for sure, John Brzenk must have been an inspiration. He has been and still is an inspiration to many, and why not? We’re talking of The Golden boy, The Legend himself, John Brzenk!

Born on the 15th of July, 1964, John Brzenk is a professional arm wrestler hailing from the United States. His successful career began after he participated in his first arm wrestling tournament (he was just 16). He was officially named as the “Greatest Arm Wrestler of All Time,” by the Guinness Book of World Records. The other names or nicknames John is known by are The Golden Boy and The Perfect Storm.

With an undefeated streak of 25 years, he is known as The Legend of Arm Wrestling. This man really changed people’s perspective on the sport and dominated it for the longest time than anyone. And, no one can deny that he truly has earned the title of ‘Legend.’

Brzenk’s Physical details

  • Height- 1.85m (6ft 1in)
  • Weight- 103 kg
  • Forearm- 41cm (Right- 16.5in, Left- 13.5in)
  • Biceps- 44cm

Brzenk’s Early Life

John Brzenk Arm Wrestler
John Brzenk Arm Wrestler

Apart from his father, John Brzenk Sr., who also was an arm wrestler, there is not much information about John’s mother or any of his family members. The only thing that is known is that his father was one of the reasons why he started to love the sport.

John Brzenk, his History and Career

John Brzenk was born on the 15th of July, 1964, in McHenry, Illinois, United States. His father was also an arm wrestler who heavily influenced him to join the sport. He was only 16 when he first participated in an Arm Wrestling tournament. In 1983, John (18 years of age) won his first-ever Championship or World Title on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. And by the year 1994, he had already won four world titles in the championship division.

Brzenk has won numerous arm wrestling titles and records in his career. They even documented a film on John called ‘Pulling John’ in 2009 on his lifelong career, which further shined his achievements. 

However, it was in the 2004 tournament in Warsaw Alexey Voyevoda finally broke John Brzenk’s record of the 25-year undefeated win streak. Even after this bitter defeat, Brzenk never stopped but went on to win more titles. The very next year, Brzenk reclaimed his title by winning the tournament in a rematch with Voyevoda.

Brzenk has won over 500 titles and 26 world champion titles in his lifelong career. No wonder he was titled as The Greatest Arm Wrestler of All Time by The Guinness Book of World Records! 

Some Facts about John Brzenk

  • Birthplace – McHenry Illinois, United States
  • Nationality- American
  • Religion- Christianity
  • Zodiac Sign- Cancer
  • Nicknames- The Golden Boy, The Perfect Storm, Giant Crusher
  • Height- 6ft 1inches
  • Weight- 103 kg
  • Wife- Renne Brzenk
  • Children- Kelli Brzenk and Megan Brzenk

John Brzenk’s Achievements

John Brzenk has won around 500 titles in his lifelong career. Mentioning each one of his titles would take an entire long day. So, here are some of the honorary titles won by John.

A.W.I. World Titles in the years 1986, 1987, 1988, 1995 and 2001.

Golden Bear Titles in the years 1990, 1994 and 1998.

Over the Top World Title in the year 1986.

Ultimate Arm wrestling League (U.A.L.) titles in the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

A.A.A. Stand-up National Titles in the years 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1990.

Carling O’Keefe International Titles in the year 1989

Harley Pull Titles in the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009.

Main Event Title in the year 1998.

Forsa Tropical International Titles in the year 1998.

Mike Gould Classic Titles in the years 2006 and 2010.

W.A.F. World Championship title in the year 1999.

GNC Pro Performance title in the year 2002.

U.S.A.A. National Pro-Am titles from the year 1996-2010.

Mohegan Sun P.A.C. World titles in the year 2005-2007.

Reno Reunion titles from the year 199-2006.

Sands International Wrist Arm Wrestling titles in the years 1988 and 1989.

Sherkston Beaches International titles in the year 1987.

Superstar Showdown titles in 2004 and 2005.

Ultimate Arm wrestling (Las Vegas) title in the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.

World Wrestling Championship (Petaluma) titles- 

In the Heavyweight division titles in the years 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2001( Heavyweight Division), 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1998 and 2001 (Middleweight Division) and 1984 ( Lightweight Division).

John Brzenk’s Personal Life

John Brzenk is happily married to Renee Brzenk and has Megan Brzenk and Kelli Brzenk. He is also a granddad now. However, significantly less is known about Brzenk’s parents and his siblings. It seems as though John lives a private life and likes to keep his family matters away from the cameras or papers.

Brzenk’s as been an airplane mechanic for decades, there is no doubt that handling tools all day has been an added benefit to arm wrestling and development of the forearm, wrist and finger muscles.

Pulling John

It was around the year 2000 that John started to contemplate his retirement due to his aging. And interestingly, in the year 2009, a documentary film based on his arm-wrestling life or career was released. It was an hour-long film directed by Vassiliki Khonsari and Sevan Matossian.

For 25 years, John remained dominant and undefeated in the world of armwrestling. He even defeated much bigger and stronger opponents and was the toughest competitor everyone dreamt of defeating one day. The film shows the championship in Warsaw where two such determined competitors, Vassiliki Khonsari and Travis Bagent, try to defeat John.

Brzenk’s Toughest Matches

In his professional career, the heaviest competitor John Brzenk ever faced weighed 660 lbs, almost 300 kg. However, John trounced him without much difficulty.

Brzenk has never lost a match or a super match until his later years, with only a countable number of arm wrestlers being able to defeat him, among them, the honorary mentions would be Devon Larratt and Alexey Voyevoda.

John Brzenk’s Net worth

John Brzenk is no doubt one of the wealthiest arm wrestlers of all time. With all the titles won in his lifelong career, he now lives a luxurious life with his wife and two daughters. His net worth is on the growth every year, and currently, it’s said to be worth $1 Million- $5 Million.

Over the Top

The 1980’s showcased armwrestling on the big screen in Sylvester Stallone Arm wrestling movie “Over the Top” which had several of arm wrestling’s biggest names such as Cleve Dean, Rick Zumwalt, Richard Lupkes and John Brzenk. A truly great movie and experience for Brzenk, it showed a young Brzenk arm wrestling in scenes and to this day is one of the highlights of Brzenk’s Arm Wrestling career.

Quick Info About John Brzenk

How old is John Brzenk?

He is 58 years of age. (The 15th of July, 1964)

What is John Brzenk’s Zodiac?


What are John Brzenk’s other nicknames?

The Golden Boy, The Perfect Storm.

What is John Brzenk’s income?

According to sources, Brzenk is said to be earning about $32,000 a month.

How strong is John Brzenk?

Brzenk can bench press 315 lbs for 5 reps with a flat bench. That said, he has extremely task specific strength for arm wrestling as well as has said most of his training is done in arm wrestling weekly meets where he pulls against training partners at team table practice.

Why is John Brzenk good at arm wrestling?

Brzenk is a professional arm wrestler and considered G.O.A.T in the sport. He loved arm wrestling from a young age and used to arm wrestle with his friends in school. However, it might also be true that he inherited some of his forearm sizes from his father genetically as well as has a true aptitude for the sport, the techniques and tactics.

What is John Brzenk’s record?

He has won over 500 titles in arm wrestling.

Who are John Brzenk’s most formidable rivals?

Being the G.O.A.T., Brzenk doesn’t have many tough competitors. However, he has had some truly incredible matches with Travis Bagent, Devon Larratt, Alexey Voyevoda and Denis Cyplenkov.

Is John Brzenk retired?

Although Brzenk retired in 2021 after a last super match at the Dave Patton Classic, where he defeated Chance Shaw, he decided to come out of retirement to face Canadian Arm Wrestling Phenom Devon Larratt at King of the Table 2 in Dubai. John would ultimately lose 4-0 to Devon in the right hand heavyweight division.

In Conclusion

Much more can be said about John Brzenk, the G.O.AT, and the living Legend. And if we go on talking about his achievements, it’ll take some time. So, let’s just cut to the chase.

You can rightfully call him the god of arm wrestling. We see many sports people who do exceptionally well in their field of sport. They stick in their top positions for years and years, and eventually, someone better dethrones them. But John Brzenk, this unbelievable sportsperson, remained the best and at the top for 25 years! Can you imagine how difficult it is to maintain such a position for that many years!

Once, Playboy Magazine even published about Brzenk, saying, “John Brzenk is better at arm wrestling than Michel Jordan ever thought about being a basketball.” Grapplezilla absolutely agrees and can whole heartily say this entirely true because Brzenk really is the living definition of a winner!


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