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John Grun Marx

Chronological list of John Grun Marx in print

The information below has been collected by me. Please contact me for further information regarding scanning information for research. If I have the original and it's out of copyright this can be done for a fee. I also have many other strongmen and women in my files. This list will be updated regularly so check back.

I will be adding more information, articles and photos here.

Article on ‘John Marx – Horseshoe Breaker’ by W.A. Pullum. p.179, 186 + 190. Health & Strength magazine, July 31, 1937.

Non-dated events.
Apollon deadlifted a 500 lb dumbbell with (church bell shaped weights) one handed. John Grunn had lifted it easily with two hands. At 48, Faubourg Poissoniere, France.
p.41. ‘Apollon, The Emperor of Athletes’ by Professor Edmond Desbonnet, Iron Game History, August, 1997.

One day at Desbonnet’s gym in Roubaix, France, John Grun Marx deadlifted (to just about knee level height) a 226 lb dumbbell with a 2 3/8” thick handle. Marx teased Uni, doubting anyone else in the world could do this. Apollon rose to the bait and pounced on the weight, snatching it to shoulder or head height. The thick grip caused it to slip out of his hand, going over his shoulder and crashing to the floor.
p.47. The Iron Game – David P. Webster. David Webster, Irvine, Scotland, 1976.

John Grün professional with the name of John Marx. Born in Luxembourg in 1868. Not in the arms and shoulders, he is particular powerful in loins and legs, as demonstrated by his exercises. With two hands, he jerks 135 once, 115 four times, cleaning always the bar from ground to shoulders in one move and without touching the body. He performs the same exercise keeping a dumbell of 65 in right hand simultaneously to another one of 60 in the left hand. With one hand he snatches 75 in right and 70 in left and with two hands snatches a bar of 105.
‘Portraits of Athletes’. La Bicicletta. Corriere dello Sport, June 1, 1898. Research by Gherardo Bonini.

Joined Al in 1889, but his appearance was delayed until 1890, owing to his arm being broken.
‘The Brothers Marx’, The Music Hall and Theatre Review, August 29, 1891.

As Brothers Marx. February, 1891. Arrived in London.
‘The Brothers Marx’, The Music Hall and Theatre Review, August 29, 1891

John Marx, was charged at the Westminster Police Court with an assault on A. Dewell, who is employed at the Royal Aquarium as an assistant to Sampson. July 29, 1891.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, August 1, 1891.

As Brothers Marx. October 12-23, 1891. At Gaiety, Birmingham, England.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, October 24, 1891.

As Brothers Marx. October 26-, 1891. At Scotia, Glasgow, Scotland.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, October 24, 1891

“John Mark (sic), the Modern Hercules”. February 15-, 1897. After successful tour with his own company through Bavaria, opens in Munich.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, February 13, 1897.

May 30-, 1898. At Oxford Palace, Middlesborough, England.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, May 27, 1898.

June 6-, 1898. At Alhambra, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Music Hall and Theatre Review, May 27, 1898.

Pic of him now performing in England.
p.210. Health & Strength magazine, April, 1902.

Great success at the ‘Scala’ theatre in Antwerp.
p.11. Health & Strength magazine, January, 1904.

September 5-9, 1904. At Grand Theatre of Varieties, Hanley, England.
Front page. The Staffordshire Advertiser, September 3, 1904.
p.5. The Staffordshire Advertiser, September 10, 1904.

A recent show. [1904?]. At the Canterbury Music Hall, London.
p.168. Health & Strength magazine, October, 1904.



By Arne Persson

This article was featured in Iron Grip magazine Vol 3 # 4, Oct 2003

Grip and strength enthusiast Arne Persson recently travelled (2003) from his home in Sweden to meet Georges Christen, a well-renowned nail bender, in Luxembourg. Here he learnt about the strongman John Grün Marx, and visited the museum and monument that have been erected in his honour in the town of Mondorf.







These are the two blockweights that John Grün would have lifted with one hand. Arne weighed them in at 32kg each (70.4lb). John Grün would clean these one handed (with the handles together as shown) and then press them above his head. There is a layer of lead added to the outside of each weight, which increases the leverage on the hands.













Pictured here are diagrams of the measurements that Arne took of John Grün Marx’s weights that are kept at the museum, and also pictures of the monument that stands in the street bearing John Grün’s name. This monument was designed by P.Thorn and built by professor Donzalli of the Esch-on-Alzette. The bronze relief representing John Grün was created by the Luxembourg artist J. Mich.


Pictured above are two of John Grün’s dumbbells. Although there were many other barbells at the museum, these are the dumbbells that John Grün labelled his Challenge Dumbbells, and he would simultaneously lift them both, clean them, and then press them above his head. They both have a revolving brass sleeve on the handles.

The monument was completed on June 25, 1920, and has been moved three times before being settled atits current site.

Books written by John Grun Marx

The Grip of Steel. The Complete Science of Hand and Forearm Training as Used by John Marx. Man Power Press, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Books about John Grun Marx

ZEIMET (Frank)
John Grün, Muskelkraft und Welterfolg [Muscle Strength and World Success]. With an afterword about Georges Christen.
Third volume of the Luxembourg Biographies. pp.101. Editions de l’Imprimiere Saint-Paul s.a, Luxembourg, 1989.











Copyright David Horne 2006