John Grimek was a bodybuilder back in the time (1930’s & 1940’s) when they were as strong as they looked. Meaning they also utilised low reps in their training to create their physiques. He also competed in Olympic Weightlifting at The Games in 1936 so this guy was certainly strong.
As I mention often, success leaves clues, so let’s look at one of Grimek’s favourite Training Protocols. This protocol is genius in its simplicity and can be applied to many different goals, not just relative strength, and also has an infinite number of variations you could utilise.
Grimek Method (Original)
Grimek would perform 5 x singles on a major movement he wanted to improve, then make the movement slightly easier to complete a further 5 x sets at the same weight. Here’s an example of a Deadlift session:
There are so many ways to play with this if you think about it, and more importantly individualise to your weakness. It won’t always be black & white. I’ve seen people with the ability to deadlift from a slight deficit more than they can pull from the floor or a partial so their Deadlift session could like this:
Reps & Sets
Grimek’s intention was to utilise this for Neural reasons. Heavy weight and plenty of exposure to it. You could though adapt it and utilise higher reps. You could take Advanced German Volume Training and make it more demanding, creating a Functional Hypertrophy response:
You could even consider by-passing the rigidity of the 5 x sets for the ‘A’ series and simply complete as many sets up to 10 as possible and progress once all 10 sets are complete on the ‘A series’ variation. For Example:
So there you have it. A timeless and fantastic protocol. Even without all the variations, it’s honest hard work that will provide results.