John Hansen is a true Natural Bodybuilder, from the time he was a
teenager until his retirement from competitive bodybuilding he has held true to
his title of Natural Mr. Olympia. He is the very first bodybuilder to be crowned
the Natural Mr. Olympia and that took place in 1998 in Greece.
To this day the modern day natural warrior John Hansen continues
to wow the crowds with both his accomplishments and his knowledge, from the
average Joe to a competitive athlete, Hansen has brought much to the table
during his career and beyond.
Some of his accomplishments are as follows:
1998 Natural Olympia - Professional Division
1996 Natural Mr. Universe - Professional Division
1996 AAU Mr. Illinois - Short Class
1992 Natural Mr. Universe - Overall Winner
1992 Natural Mr. North America - Overall Winner
1992 NPC Natural Illinois - Light Heavyweight Winner
1990 NPC Illinois Cup - Light Heavyweight Winner
1986 NPC Mid-America - Heavyweight Winner
1986 NPC Illinois State Championships - Overall Winner
1981 AAU Teenage Midwest Open - Medium Class Winner
Mr. Natural Olympia John Hansen first became interested in the
sport of bodybuilding as a very young man. An avid comic book reader, John was
fascinated with the physiques of the colorful superheroes he read about in the
comic books. They were so muscular and impressive that they captured his
imagination and he couldnít help but wonder what it would be like to have a body
He began training for bodybuilding at 14 years old, right before
beginning his freshman year in high school. Although he only weighed a skinny
135 pounds, it didnít take long for John to tell everyone what he wanted to
accomplish. "Iím going to be Mr.
Universe someday", he would say. Of course, no one took him seriously.
Several years later, John began to idolize the late martial arts superstar Bruce
Lee. He was intrigued with Lee after seeing a picture of him with his shirt off
from the movie "Enter the Dragon". Bruce Lee was the only person he had ever
seen who looked like the superheroes he had read about in the comic books.
John soon adopted Bruce Leeís training regimen so he could develop
a body similar to the kung fu superstar. He started jogging, took karate classes
at the local park district, did push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups on a daily basis
and eventually started lifting weights. When he began lifting weights, John had
to buy some bodybuilding magazines to learn how to perform the various exercises
needed to develop his body. When he saw the incredible physiques on the
bodybuilders featured in the magazines such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou
Ferrigno and Franco Columbu , John knew that this is what he wanted to do with
John began competing in bodybuilding contests two years later at 16 years old.
Over the next 3 years, he competed in 10 teenage bodybuilding competitions,
eventually winning the Teenage Midwest Open at 18 years old and taking 5th place
at the Teenage Mr. America contest when he was 19.
After his teenage years were over, John realized he would have
to get much bigger before competing with the big boys. He used the next 2 years
to "bulk up", going from 180 pounds at 19 years old to 205 pounds at 20 years
old and 230 pounds by the time he was 21 years old.
John competed in the Illinois State Bodybuilding Championships at 22 years old,
taking third place in the heavyweight class. His goal was to win state and
regional level competitions before going on to the national level and eventually
to the Mr. Universe contest.
The following year, John won the heavyweight and overall title of the 1986
Illinois State Bodybuilding Championships. Two weeks later, he also won the
Mid-America Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now he had accomplished his
goal of winning bodybuilding championships at the state and regional level.
Over the next few years, John continued to place high at the regional
level but failed to win at the national level. It was during this time that John
learned about the extent of steroid use in bodybuilding. Most of the competitors
at the national level were using high amounts of steroids, cycling them year
round. Even the female athletes were using steroids and other drugs to get an
edge on the competition.
It was at this point that John had to make a decision about his future in the
sport. If he wanted to win at the national level and beyond, it was inevitable
that he would also have to resort to using steroids in the same manner his
competitors were. Fortunately, John made the wise decision to turn away from
competition at that level and compete only in natural or drug-tested
bodybuilding contests. Competing in these contests would insure that the winner
would rely only on training, nutrition and supplementation to win and would not
be allowed to use steroids, growth hormone, diuretics or any of the other drugs
that were being used in competition.
In 1991, John took second place at the Natural Illinois Bodybuilding
Championships. The following year, John was victorious at the 1992 Natural
Illinois and then went to San Francisco to win the overall at the Natural Mr.
North America. The North America was a qualifier for the Natural Mr. Universe to
be held 2 weeks later in Venice, California.
On December 12, 1992, John had his dream come true as he finally won the
coveted Mr. Universe title he had set his sights on when he was only 14 years
old. He was the winner of the Natural Mr. Universe contest.
Over the next several years, John continued to compete to see how
far he could advance his physique. He eventually won the Professional Natural
Mr. Universe in 1996 weighing 10 pounds heavier than when he first won the title
in 1992. Now he was a 2 time Mr. Universe winner.
In 1998, John won the first Natural Olympia title in the
Professional division. This prestigious contest was held in Greece to determine
who is the best natural bodybuilder in the world. Now, with over 20 years of
contest experience behind him, John has reached the pinnacle of his sport.
Now a full-time devoted fitness advocate, John plans to share his knowledge
through personal training, speaking engagements, and booklets written about
fitness and nutrition. He hopes to reach a wider audience since he is now able
to spend all his time devoted to passionately spreading the word of fitness and
bodybuilding. He hopes that his books, videos, audio tapes and seminars will
impact a whole new generation of fitness enthusiasts.
To find out more about John Hansen go to