John Brzenk (born July 15, 1964) is a professional armwrestler from the United States. He competed in the Ultimate Armwrestling League and Arm Wars, among other competitions, and is the former UAL Right-Handed Champion (Heavyweight Division) and Arm Wars Light-Heavyweight Champion (right and left). He is widely recognized as the greatest armwrestler of all time.
Life and Career
John Brzenk's father was an arm wrestler and John says he gained some of his forearm size through genetics. He arm wrestled across tables in school for about five years. When he was in eighth grade, he broke his arm while armwrestling a friend of his father. When he was 16 years old he participated in his first tournament.
John Brzenk won his first world title on ABC's 1983 Wide World of Sports when he was 18 years old. His right forearm is 16 inches in circumference, and his left is 13.5 inches. He works as a mechanic at Delta Air Lines, a job he describes as non-physical so his arms get plenty of rest. He had an uncredited cameo in the 1987 Sylvester Stallone film Over the Top.
Brzenk won four world championships in the heavyweight division through 1994, and gained the nickname of "Superman" for defeating much larger opponents. In 1995, he won the middleweight world championship. The 2009 feature documentary Pulling John chronicles Brzenk's legendary armwrestling career and follows him intimately for 4 years during which he competes all over the world, culminating in an upset loss to Alexey Voyevoda.
In 2015, Brzenk became the WAL's 196-225lb Champion (Right Handed). Brzenk was unable to defend his title in 2016 due to injuries. Brzenk effectively retired until 2021, when he defeated Chance Shaw in a supermatch at the Dave Patton Classic.
In 2018, Brzenk was announced as the co-host for the YouTube channel Pound for Pound Armwrestling's Podcast, with founder Ryan Bowen. He will be involved with match reviews and predictions as well as general information.
It is estimated that Brzenk has won over 500 titles in his career.
For a comprehensive (though by necessity not complete) list of Brzenk's championship and tournament wins, see here.