Marvin Eder and the Four Hundred Pound Dip


Few bodybuilders and weight trainers are unfamiliar with the dip exercise. A favourite of Vince Gironda, albeit with some modifications, the exercise is a prime builder for the chest and tricep muscles. Done correctly, the exercise is for my money, up there with the bench press. Done incorrectly, you’re just flopping up and down.

While records on the Dip exercise are few and far between, I wanted to write a short post about Marvin Eder’s incredible feat in the early 1970s, which saw him parallel dip over four hundred pounds!

Marvin Eder

Possessing one of the finest physiques of the 1950s, Eder’s time in bodybuilding was impressive and unfortunately for fans of the sport, short-lived. Retiring from the sport at the age of 23, Eder nevertheless left a list of incredible feats behind him. In no particular order, Eder was credited with

This was done at a bodyweight hovering between 190 and 200 pounds. Known as the ‘Biceps from the Bronx’, Eder’s future appeared very bright in the 1950s when a series of podium finishes in the Mr. America contest annouced him to the world stage. Sadly Eder never fulfilled his bodybuilding potential and for those unsure about his potential, the following feat gives pause for thought.

The Heavy Dip

Writing on Eder several years after his retirmenet, Gene Mozee recalled his time with the ‘Biceps’ out at the East Side Barbell Club

Marvin was particularly well-known for his amazing dips. Zeller recalled that he and Juliano, each weighing 180, could hang on Marvin’s legs while he did 10 dips. I personally saw him do three reps with Juliano and Malcolm Brenner – a combined weight of 420 pounds – hanging onto him. He decided once to break Jack LaLanne’s record for parallel-bar dips, 1.000 in 20 minutes. Marvin and bodybuilder Manny Tsingis alternated doing 10 reps each without resting and blasted out 1,000 reps in 17 minutes.

For those still unconvinced, a picture paints a thousand words


Not a Once Off

Shunning the spotlight for the next several decades, Eder briefly returned to the Iron Game with a series of interviews published over the last few years. Speaking to David Robson of, Eder revealed that even in his mid-seventies, he would dip 70 pounds with ease.

So next time you’re loading up your dip belt, throw a few more plates on for Eder!

As always… Happy Lifting!


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