IronMan, Vol 8, No 2, Page 8, July 1948

Mr America of 1948
George Eiferman

by John Fritshe

One sunny day in July 1946, I was in my yard back of gym soaking up some of these life giving rays commonly known as sunshine. My assistant came out to tell me there was a prospect in the gym looking things over I went in and as soon as I entered a broadly smiling sailor came over to shake hands and introduce himself as George Eiferman. Telling me he had heard a lot about my work and the gym. Now that he was going to be stationed in his home town Philadelphia and expecting a discharge soon, he wanted to know if he could join the gym. "Of course" was the answer, "go and change and come into my office to get measured". It did not take him long. When he came in I was amazed and somewhat speechless. Thinking to myself: "What a physique for a beginner, what fertile fields to tail." People who are physical instructors will know just what I mean. It is not every day students come in with potentialities as did George. Naturally I was anxious to know what he had done before he came to me. Willingly and with his usual sense of humor he said "I'll start from the beginning." Here is his story repeated as well as I can remember it.

"I was born" he stated "November 3rd 1925, a seven months baby." Jokingly he added, "I was in a hurry so I could start training for the Mr. America title. My mother's good care and cooking soon had me around to a normal healthy boy. I was always very active in all the sports a healthy kid is interested in. After entering Olney High School, I spent most of my time in the gym or on the football field. I liked football very much and played on the team for some time. On my seventeenth birthday in 1942, I joined the navy to help in the big scrap. After boot training, we shipped out to sea. On board ship is where I first got introduced to bar bell training. Not much to speak of though. We had very little equipment, long rough periods at sea and prowling around in dangerous enemy zones made our training very irregular. Whenever we hit port, which was few and far between, I'd always look up a gym ,or a friend who had a set of iron. Weight lifting got into my blood and I was dying to do some steady training. Now with the war being over and me getting my discharge, my wish finally comes true. John since you have trained so many outstanding men, I want you to be my instructor and show me the finer points of bar bell training." I told George that he was off to a flying start and began measuring him. Chest normal 42, expanded 43½, arm normal 14, flexed 15½, forearm 12¼, wrist 7 1/8, neck 15½ waist 33, hips 40, thigh 23¼, calf 15, ankle 9½, body weight 180 and height 5' '7½". I told him he had the stuff but some of it in the wrong places. "Well", he said, "write me out a program and I promise to follow it to the letter". I did just that paying special attention to his abdominals and hips which were very much out of shape. Also his chest, although having pronounced pectoral development it was not deep enough to suit me. George did not do much training that day since we had wasted a lot of time talking. He did a few exercises though, everyone on the floor at that time stopped and gazed not believing their eyes. On the sneak they would come to me and ask the usual questions that are, asked when some new outstanding fellow starts in. It did not take long for him to get acquainted since George is a friendly and likeable chap. After his shower he told me, "You will see a lot of me from now on, John. I like the fellows here at your place and want to get some serious training in."

He was not kidding, exercising like clock work was his motto. It did not take him long to show the results we were after. One day in November of that year he came in as happy as can be saying, "today is my 21st birthday and as a present they made me a civilian again. Now I can really start training." So he did. Whenever he had a chance he'd be in the gym working out. Once in a while switching his exercise program for more results. For the Mr. Philadelphia contest in March 1947 he shaped up as follows. Bodyweight 186, height 5' 7½", chest normal 44¼, expanded 46¼, upper arm normal 14 5/8, flexed 16¼, forearm 13, wrist 7 3/8, neck 16, waist 31, hips 38½, thigh 24 3/8, calf 15 5/8, ankle 9¾. George won that title without a question in anyone's mind, that he was the winner. I can tell you Eiferman was one happy boy that night. At the Mr. America contest in Chicago, he placed 5th. He came home apologizing to me because he did not do any better. All his hopes were now set on the Mr. Universe to be held in his home town, Philadelphia, September of last year. George did not expect to win, but hoped for a 2nd or 3rd place. We, here at the gym at the night of the show, wished him and John Farbotnik, who is his training mate, the best of luck. The results of that contest are known to everyone. In my opinion and many whom I have spoken to, George should have placed better than 5th. Of course there were enough men judging the contest and they should know who looked best. This did not discourage him any. He always tells me he is still young and there will be many more contests. A few months ago George left to train with the famous York champions in the hopes of improving himself in his healthful hobby, and perhaps some day profession. All men training with weights have their pet exercises. Here are some of George's favorites: Squats (best 450), supine press on bench (330) on floor (350), press behind neck (235), and all types of dipping movements for the pectorals. Of course he does a lot of other exercises to round out his schedule for all around development. George was in the other day telling me he is leaving for California and promised to be back for the Mr. Philadelphia contest to be held April 9th at Town Hall 150 N. Broad St., Philadelphia. "While we were talking", he mentioned he was going to the west coast to meet some of their champions and get some of that good old sunshine. I took the opportunity to take some more of his pictures and also get his present measurements which are as follows: Body weight 195, height same, chest normal 47, expanded 49, upper arm 15½, flexed 17 1/8, forearm 13¼, wrist 7 3/8, neck 16½, waist 31, hips 38½, thigh 24 7/8, calf 15¾, ankle 9¾. These measurements show George is constantly improving and will go places in the future. He has not only an outstanding physique but also a number one personality. No matter who he meets or wherever he goes, he will make friends. George Eiferman is a real credit to the game. I hope that some, day he will be crowned MR. AMERICA.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The type for this article was set up before we went out to the Nationals and "Mr. America" contest and we told George that he would do us a favor if he won, as we had his story already set up. Though it was a close fight with Dellinger he came out on top and as some remarked "It couldn't happen to a nicer fellow." We believe that George is as well liked by his fellow contestants as any "Mr. America" we have ever had. We know that he will bring honor, respectability and dignity to the title he has won. He worked very hard for the contest out in Vic Tanny's gym in Santa Monica. He looked better than ever and his choice was quite popular with the audience.

There are a lot of other things we'd like to tell you about George, but one little item may give you an insight into the character of the man who has won the title of "Mr. America" for 1948. George told me that he would stay on the west coast for another month then would hurry back to Philadelphia because he was anxious to get out into the Pocono Mountains where he teaches Physical Education each summer to a group of boys at a private boys' camp. He stated that he enjoys working with these boys and being out in the mountains very much. After the summer camp is over he will return to the west coast to make his home. George, we congratulate you on your victory. We wish you the best and know that you will be the kind of "Mr. America" we can all be proud of.

Since George started training for the meet his measurements have increased above those given in this article. His arm is now a full 17½ cold with 47½ chest and 25 inch thigh. Neck 16½, waist 31, calf 16 and bodyweight 195.


- The beautiful photo of "Mr. America", 1948, above was taken by John Fritshe just before George left for the west coast where he later won his title. At the time of winning the title he weighed 195 at a height of 5' 7½", with a neck of 16½, arm 17½, chest 47½ normal, waist 31, thigh 24½, calf 16. He is one of the shortest men to win the title if not the shortest (we don't recall the height of Jules Bacon but believe it was about the same). George is terrifically muscled in every part of his body. He is very strong and is one of the best in the world at the press on bench due to huge pectoral muscles he has developed. They helped him win the "Best Chest" award

- Left to right, Ed Wiza, Bill O'Brien, Jack Ritter, Lower center Geogre Eiferman. These boys all train at the gym of John Fritshe in Philidelphia, John has produced many of America's outstanding physiques. In addition he has become a competent photographer, all the photos in this article being from his camera. Ed Wiza recently took fourth place in the "Mr. Phnadelphia" contest with Jack Riter taking third and Bill O'Brien taking second. This is a good commentary on the training ability of Fritshe and the persistence of all these boys. Seldom do we see so many well built men as members of one gym. Many others such as John Farbotnik train there also.

- The tow photos above show the deep chest and thick pectoral muscles that won for Geo. Eiferman the "Best Chest" title and the superb back that won the "Best Back" title at the 1948 "Mr. America" contest. George probably has the heaviest pectoral development of any one in America. His back is very muscular and has fine separation.

- George Eiferman on the right and John Farbotnik on the left have long been friends, training partners and competitors in physique contests. The above fine outdoor photo affords a fine opportunity to study their individual types of physiques. Don't forget to take a look at the fellow in the center. That's their trainer and coach, John Fritsche, a very powerful little fellow and a master at muscle control.

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