John Balik has been a weight-training evangelist, preaching its life-altering benefits, for most of his life. And he’s often been at the right place at the right time to experience some important bodybuilding history: He was smack in the middle of bodybuilding’s golden era when Joe Gold started Gold’s Gym, he worked for Vince Gironda when Vince was training Larry Scott to win the first Mr. Olympia, and he lived with Arnold when the Oak was giving Hollywood a charisma uppercut with his starring role in “Pumping Iron.” In fact, John was actually training with Arnold and Ed Corney when the movie was filmed.And if that wasn’t enough, in 1986, after years of discussions, he pulled the trigger on purchasing the oldest and most respected bodybuilding magazine in existence, Iron Man.
Here’s the story of his muscle odyssey—how it got started, how the ride has been so far and where he believes it may be headed—complete with plenty of interesting insights into Arnold, Gironda, Arthur Jones and others. Fasten your seat belt.
To read the full article, pick up a copy of the 75th Anniversary April issue of Iron Man magazine. On newsstands the first week of March.