Jack Delinger: An All-American Bodybuilder

delinger3There is a certain elevated level of respect held for the age old champions of the body building scene. Currently there are a ton of different chemical methods for bodybuilders to cheat their way to being huge. Years before all the breakthroughs in bodybuilding science there was the great Jack Delinger. 

Deligner is a legend amongst body builders that set the precedent of being an All-American bodybuilder. This Oakland born beast claimed several impressive titles in the mid 20th century with an unparalleled level of dedication and commitment for the sport. He embodied competitive spirit and skill in his training and got an early start to his success. 


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When he was only sixteen years old, Jack started to train at his local YMCA. His original intention was to become an impressively strong athlete. 

He drew inspiration from famous olympic athletes who lifted weights and competed in gymnastics. Early in his training, Delinger promised himself that he would continue to strive towards the level of greatness he saw in his idols. 

Originally a high school gymnast, Jack was a little unbalanced when he started to train with Ed Yarik. Yarik was an experienced mentor with several impressive names under his belt, including the legendary Steve Reeves.

They pinpointed his legs and started to train towards a more evenly thick physique. Eventually Deligner reached 205 pounds and had a pair of tree trunk legs to compliment his muscular upper body. 

Standing at only 5 feet and 6 inches tall Deligner proved that height wasn't a factor in becoming a legend. During his prime, finding a strength on Jack's body was about as difficult as finding a weakness. His build was maintained so well that it was hard to pinpoint which muscles were the most impressive.

Delinger's training split was simple yet effective. He loved utilizing compound movements, especially the ones that focused on the chest like the bench press. His muscular bulk workout looked something like this:

  • Bench Press 3 sets of 9 to 15 reps
  • Bent Over Rows 3 sets of 9 to 15 reps
  • Upright Rows 3 sets of 9 to 15 reps
  • Squats 3 sets of 9 to 15 reps
  • Barbell Curls 3 sets of 9 to 15 reps 


His first major victory came in 1946 when he claimed the title of Mr. Northern California.

Jack didn't stop there however. Three years later he ended up claiming the title of Mr. America with his shredded muscular physique, notoriously blonde hair, and dashingly handsome appearance.

His final great victory came in 1956 when he won Mr. Universe at the age of 30.

In his prime people considered Jack to be the top bodybuilder in the world and he quickly established himself as a role model for aspiring athletes around the globe. 


After his final major victory, Jack decided to settle down with his wife and open up a gym back in Oakland.

For years Jack enjoyed maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spreading his knowledge and experience amongst younger body builders.

Jack passed away from a fatal heart attack in 1992, a month after his son died. It is believed that Jack battled alcoholism near the end of his lifetime and had some emotional issues as well.

Though he had his struggles in his final years, Jack left behind a significant legacy and will be remembered as one of the most influential natural body builders that ever lived.