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Mike Gritti: Armed for Battle


by Dan Albert
Photography by Michael Neveux

Mike Gritti loves to do battle—not just on a bodybuilding stage but in hand-to-hand combat arenas. From wrestling to mixed martial arts to his latest endeavor, arm wrestling, he puts his freaky guns to work, taking dead aim at his adversaries. In arm wrestling he’s had some state wins and is working his way up the ranks. In bodybuilding he took seventh in a 26-man class at the ’14 NPC USA.

What’s the story on this promising flexer, who’s been navigating the bodybuilding ranks for more than a decade—and what’s up with those crazy arms? We’ll get the nitty gritty from the man himself, beginning with the basics.

IM: Let’s start with your stats—age, height and ripped bodyweight?

MG: I’m 32 years old, 5 6” and around 200 pounds stage weight.

IM: Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

MG: I grew up in Oak Grove, Minnesota; it’s a suburb just north of Minneapolis. I currently live in Lino Lakes, which is not too far away from there.

IM: What do you do for a living? 

MG: I’ve been in the personal-training field for almost 10 years. In
April 2014, I started my own personal-training and nutritional-counseling business called True-Grit Fitness.

“I was a wrestler from the age of seven and competed in college. I also did some MMA fighting.”

 

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IM: What’s your sports background? 

MG: I was a wrestler from the age of seven and competed in college. I also did some MMA training and fighting during college and afterward. In 2011, I started competing in arm wrestling and entered several tournaments.

IM: How did you get into bodybuilding and weight training?

MG: As a boy, I watched tough guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme on TV and wanted to be just like them someday. We did plenty of bodyweight exercises for wrestling, but I picked up my first weight at 10 years old—it was a 12-pound dumbbell—and haven’t stopped since. The only exercise I knew how to do correctly was concentration curls. I would keep it in the living room, and every time I saw it, I’d sit on the edge of the couch and do as many reps as I could.

Like many others, my first set of weights were Weider plastic-covered cement weights, at 12 years old. I was always fascinated seeing the bodybuilders in magazines. I did my first show as a teenager, the 2001 Minnesota Gopher State, and won my class. I took a six-year intermission from the stage to concentrate on wrestling and MMA. In 2007, I came back to win the overall at the Upper Midwest show, followed by the Gopher State. I’ve been competing ever since.

 

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• Ad Free Reading Experience
• Articles Available Online Same Day as Newsstand Date
• Full Issues Downloadable as PDFs
• Full Training DVDs Online for Streaming or Download
• Members Only Exclusive Content
• Special Offers and Coupons for Supplements and More
• Exclusive Hi Res Photos and HD Videos Only Available to Members
• Members Only Contests and Giveaways
• Members Only Email Newsletter

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