Weight gain does not equal strength and fitness

Did you know weight gain equals strength? That’s because it doesn’t. We are under the impression that

Johnny Grube @ 240lbs

if we gain weight will some how become a superman and be fit. Gaining weight can actually cause
you to get weaker and become unfit.

We are ego maniacs, we think gaining weight is some kind of miracle for becoming fit and strong.
Years ago all I thought about was gaining weight. I was 145 lbs in high school could bench 330lbs
and deadlift 400 lbs and run a 4.5 yard dash, but I wasn’t happy with my weight. No matter how
hard I tried or how much I lifted I couldn’t gain weight.

Then my goal became to gain as much weight as possible as fast as possible without steroids no matter
the cost. I started drinking whole milk by the gallons, sometimes two gallons a day. Then I went to Quick
chocolate milk because it had more calories, did I tell you I was also taking weight gain and eating everything
in sight. Before I knew it my weight went from 145 to 175 then I just continued to get heavier and was lifting
heavier weights until I got to my top weight of 240lbs.

I was strong and powerful. I was lifting more weight but not much more then when I was 145lbs.
I had 18 1/2 inch arms and a 21″ neck and looked the part but I lost so many other things gaining weight.
I threw away  fitness and went for looks, I just wanted to be huge.

I went from 26 pullups to 10 on a good day, my bench went up only 20 more pounds to 350lbs and I lost
all of my athletic ability. I couldn’t get out of my own way. I carried this weight for over 10 years until
the “Toughman ” contest in 1994 I won my fight but because of the shape I was in ” round” I couldn’t go on.

Then I stopped and re – evaluated my whole philosophy and lost 85lbs in 5 months. It was the best thing
I ever did it changed my life. I’m still strong, but can do more now then I ever could. Instead of trying to
gain weight, try to stay lean and athletic it will take you a lot farther then the extra weight.

Toughness Builds Winners

Johnny Grube


  1. Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say…
    I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get anything done.

  2. Marc Gervais says

    Great write up Johnny. I agree that weight gain is not necessarily a good thing for fitness enthusiasts. We often forget, the heart still has to pump all that blood to all those muscles and the bigger a person is, the more the heart must work. Bruce Lee was not a big man, yet one of the strongest people around pound for pound. I think that when a person goes too big they get to the point they become inefficient and can’t move as well or do as much volume of work over time. Their endurance will suffer with the weight gain.

    Staying lean and muscular is where it is at.

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