Bodybuilding great Jusup Wilkosz (1948-2019) passed away on November 8. He was 71.

Growing up in Germany, he turned from competitive weightlifting to bodybuilding and quickly rose through the ranks. After winning the World Amateur Championships in 1979, Wilkosz placed consistently high in IFBB pro contests over the first half of the 1980s, highlighted by a third in the 1984 Mr. Olympia and Olympia sixths in 1981 and 1983. He last competed in the 1986 Olympia at 37, before injuries forced him to retire.

Wilkosz thinker pose
Posing at 1983 Mr. Olympia

At 6′ and 230, he was noted for his thick upper body (especially his chest, abs, and shoulders) and perpetually grainy conditioning. He was also the rare bearded bodybuilder, which added to his Herculean look. Fellow German-speaker Arnold Schwarzenegger sometimes trained with Wilkosz at World’s Gym in Venice, California, in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

His wife Ruth preceded him in death in 1989, and he subsequently lived with his sister. Our condolences to his friends and family.

The proportional, thick-but-aesthetic body Jusup Wilkosz sported 35 years ago remains a paradigm for the classic physique.

Wilkosz archer pose