Ricky Bruch


Ricky Bruch (July 2, 1949 - May 30, 2011) was a Swedish Olympic athlete, actor and poet. His greatest success was an Olympic bronze in 1972 in the discus. He equalled the world record in 1972 with a throw of 68.40 meters. His personal best of 71.26 meters in the discus remains the Swedish record and puts him 9th all-time list.

Despite his Olympic success, we remember Ricky for his training intensity and for the documentary in which he starred, Soul is Greater than the World. This training video ranks among one of the best of all time. One of the scenes shows Ricky blow out a nasal artery while bench pressing, only to ignore the blood for another two reps.

A friend was quoted as saying, "You get to see just how close to insanity the quest for greatness can take somebody."

He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man. Rest in peace Ricky Bruch.


John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.

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Posted in Aggressive, Talk to Me Johnnie, Training | Tagged , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to Ricky Bruch

  1. Big Josh

    Awesome, just awesome. That’s how I finish all my workouts by the way (3:30).

    Not to be picky, but I think he got a bronze in ’72. I’m going to throw the discus in the World Master’s Championships for Ricky. If I could, I’d grow a beard like that for the competition….

  2. The Peoples Needle

    Next squat PR I am definetely punching the ceiling tiles out and running down a dark hallway screaming…

    John when are you going to write an article on Zubaz?? I see the articles Jorts and Rad, I feel as though Zubaz fit right in with those two. They are making a comeback…not saying just saying

  3. Edward Arbeck

    Thank you for this, John! A swede myself, Ricky Bruch meant and means a great deal for me. It’s heartwarming to see him get recognition. As you know, the swedish political climate does not tolerate people like Ricky Bruch. Especially not back in the 70s and 80s. He was and will always be one of the greatest.

  4. Travis

    I found another video of Ricky on you tube. I think you need to find a way to program in the RDL to bicep curl and then through the barbell as far as you can. Looks like the best exercise I have ever seen

  5. Nick

    Hah here it is at 2:20. I’ll call it a reverse hang power clean + throw. Obviously he is a thrower he needs to practice sport specific movement.

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  7. Wrecked

    Truly a man to be emulated in many ways. For other fans of insane dudes, look up benny podda!

  8. Rasmus

    As a Swede this warms my heart! Thank you!

  9. margarita resta

    I have had the pleasure to know Ricky Bruch in Rome on 1974 when he played an italian movie . He was the most funny AND TRUE person I never met in my life . THANK YOU TO HAVE EXIST

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