Jim Quinn was one of the shining lights of the 90’s. A ferocious trainer and a regular in the mainstream bodybuilding magazines of the time, he stood on stage with the greatest bodybuilders of the era!
Possessing one of the best side-chest poses of the time,(from the days when a side-chest highlighted the chest and wasn’t an excuse to showcase how conditioned an athlete’s serratus was).
With a nickname like ‘BIG’ Jim Quinn, you had better live up to it, and did he ever! His quads and calves were a particularly strong feature. Just check out the attached pictures for further proof. With deep cuts, separation most can only dream of and slabs of diamond shaped muscle protruding from the back of his lower legs that, frankly, out-measure most trainers’ arms, he was indeed ‘BIG’!
He was one of the original competitors at the now defunct WBF(World Bodybuilding Federation), owned and run by WWF/E owner Vince McMahon. This was a short lived venture however, lasting only 2 shows, and although allowing many new eyes to witness the showmanship of what a posing routine could offer and the characters behind the stage names, it also served to cause(in some cases) irreparable damage to the relationship between those competitors and the IFBB.
When I first reached out to Jim for this interview I wasn’t sure of the response I would get. What I received was nothing short of everything he personified onstage, in his posing routines, in the gym, and continues to epitomise in his own personal life and in the business world too.
CLASS! Plain and simple.
I watched Jim appearing on Prime Time Wrestiling alongside Vince McMahon and Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan in the early 90’s, I watched him explain how he was in a state of confusion the days before the shows due to a low carb diet. I followed his career in the bodybuilding publications of the day and supported his attempt to unseat Gary Strydom at the 2nd WBF show and continue to support his career to this day.
I wish him all the very best in the future.
To finish I would just like to agree with you Jim, you indeed changed your physique from your football playing days and could never again be slapped with the term ‘blocky’.
Owning the stage
As the No.1 bodybuilding federation in the world, and owners and promoters of the Mr.Olympia competition amongst others, this was obviously a problem in the following years for those wishing to continue with their careers on the biggest stages in bodybuilding!
Finishing 4th and then 2nd in both of the WBF shows(the second being drug tested) is a testimony to his hard work and dedication. These shows were filled with top IFBB talent, with Gary Strydom winning both! Luckily for Jim, he wasn’t blacklisted by the IFBB after the demise of the McMahon attempt to create a genuine alternative to the Weider owned corporation and was allowed to continue his career at the biggest shows on the bodybuilding calender, maintaining his top 10 pro status.
Upon his retirement after the 2000 Masters Olympia, as a finalist no less, he sought a certification in sports performance nutrition, before adding NSCA CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification to his impressive list of credentials in 2007, earning the highest distinction in the health and fitness/performance industry!
Taking into account he was already credited with an ISSA Master of Fitness Sciences certification as well as a university qualification in B.S. Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, this is a man who not only competed at the highest levels in the sport, but also gained the highest qualifications in his field, in order to continue to coach/train and teach those wishing to emulate even a tiny percentage of his accomplishments.
2001 Night of Champions XXIII – 10th
2001 Toronto Pro – 7th
1999 IFBB Grand Prix England — 5th
1999 IFBB Joe Weiders Pro World — 5th
1999 IFBB Mr. Olympia — 10th
1999 IFBB Toronto Pro Invitational — 2nd
1999 IFBB Night of Champions — 5th
1999 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational — 2nd
1999 IFBB Arnold Classic — 5th
1997 IFBB Canada Pro Cup — 1st
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Czech Republic — 8th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix England — 8th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Finland — 8th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Germany — 7th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Hungary — 7th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Russia — 7th
1997 IFBB Grand Prix Spain — 9th
1997 IFBB Night of Champions — 2nd
1997 IFBB Mr. Olympia — 10th
1997 IFBB Toronto Pro International — 1st
1996 IFBB Canada Pro Cup — 3rd
1996 IFBB Florida Pro Invitational — 3rd
1996 IFBB Night of Champions — 4th
1995 IFBB Niagara Falls Invitational — 4th
1995 IFBB Houston Pro Invitational — 5th
1995 IFBB Canada Pro Cup — 3rd
1995 IFBB Night of Champions — 6th
1994 IFBB Grand Prix France — 6th
1994 IFBB Grand Prix England — 8th
1994 IFBB Grand Prix Germany — 4th
1994 IFBB Grand Prix Spain– 4th
1994 IFBB Grand Prix Italy — 4th
1994 IFBB Mr. Olympia — 13th
1993 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Invitational — 3rd
1993 IFBB Mr. Olympia — 11th
1993 IFBB Night of Champions — 5th
1993 IFBB Niagara Falls Invitational — 3rd
1993 IFBB Chicago Pro Invitational — 3rd
1993 IFBB Grand Prix England — 5th
1993 IFBB Grand Prix Finland — 3rd
1993 IFBB Grand Prix Spain — 3rd
1992 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro Invitational — 4th
1992 IFBB Niagara Falls Invitational — 4th
1992 IFBB Chicago Pro Invitational — 5th
1992 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational– 6th
1992 IFBB Arnold Classic — 8th
1992 IFBB Night of Champions — 5th
1992 IFBB Grand Prix England– 8th
1992 IFBB Grand Prix Spain — 10th
1992 IFBB Grand Prix Germany — 10th
1992 IFBB Grand Prix Italy — 10th
1991 IFBB San Jose Pro Invitational — 3rd
1991 IFBB Grand Prix Finland — 4th
1991 IFBB Grand Prix Denmark– 5th
1991 IFBB Grand Prix England — 9th
1991 IFBB Grand Prix Switzerland — 6th
1991 IFBB Grand Prix Italy — 7th
1991 IFBB Grand Prix Spain — 7th
1991 IFBB Niagara Falls Invitational — 4th
1991 IFBB Night of Champions — 11th
1989 Mr. Universe — 1st
1987 European Championship — 2nd
1987 Mr. Yugoslavia — 1st
1986 Mr. Yugoslavia — 1st
Jim Quinn Biography
Jim Quinns’ Bio
1982 B.S. Business Administration, University of New Hampshire, Durham NH
2007: NSCA CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) – earned the highest distinction (certification) in the health and fitness/performance industry
2005 ISSA Certified in Sports Performance Nutrition
1990 ISSA Master of Fitness Sciences
2000: IFBB Master’s Mr. Olympia- finalist
1994 IFBB Arnold Classic- did not make Top 10
1994 Ironman Pro Invitational- 10th place
1993 IFBB Night of the Champions- 11th place
1993 Chicago Pro Invitational- 7th place
1993 IFBB Niagra Falls Pro Invitational- 4th place (top 3 qualified for Mr. Olympia)
1992 WBF Professional Bodybuilding Championships- runner-up
1991 WBF Professional Bodybuilding Championships- 4th place
1990: IFBB North American Bodybuilding Championships- Overall winner, awarded pro card
1983- Free Agent Dallas Cowboys, Fullback
1982: Tri-Captain, University of New Hampshire Football
1978: All-Suffolk County Football Team ( Walt Whitman H.S., Long Island NY )
1. Can you explain how you first started training and what was key to you deciding you wanted to become a competitive bodybuilder?
ANSWER: I was a college football player and we all had a great strength coach, George Dino Elder at UNH. That was my start with serious strength training. After release from the Dallas Cowboys due to injury, I was talked into competing by several of my gym buddies who all had competed and who convinced me I had potential. It was not until I did well in that first show that I decided I wanted to give bodybuilding a go.
2. You have been all over the world, competed at the highest level, graced the cover of magazines and won major championships. Purely in terms of competing, what do you feel was the highest point of your career, subsequently which was the lowest?
ANSWER: The highest point of my career would be placing second in 1992 at the WBF Championships. A close second to that, would be placing fourth at The Niagara Falls Invitational in 1993, missing Olympia Qualification by one point with two more shows to go in upcoming weeks. Unfortunately, that never worked out. My lowest point would be placing 14th in the “Night of the Champions” in my hometown of New York barely making the top 15 and almost not posing at the night show where I had so many supporters in the audience who I did not want to let down.
3. Given you have competed at the highest levels in this sport, who would you say was your biggest inspiration out of everyone you competed against and who was the one person you always felt in order to win any competition you would have to beat, should you both enter the same event, regardless of the eventual winner?
ANSWER: I would have to say Gary Strydom in those first two pro years in the WBF. He was the champ both years and was the obvious guy to beat. I got close placing second to him in the second year, 1992. The transition into the IFBB in 1993 was not good for any of the original members of the WBF.
4. How do you feel the state of bodybuilding is nowadays compared to the when you competed?
ANSWER: There seems to be more of an onus on chemicals than on strict diet and conditioning. The mass aspect is more so than in our era. Everything, every sport is an eventual progression, thus the current focus on monstrous mass it seems at the expense of conditioning and one’s health. I only follow and/or attend bodybuilding shows with someone whom I’m mentoring.
5. Finally, since retiring, what have you been up to and what motivated you to choose that path. Where can fans get hold of you now and what do you see for your short and long term future?
ANSWER: I gravitated back to being a certified strength and conditioning coach and also helping others aesthetically per se. I am most comfortable with a sense of timelessness when in a gym and have never felt as if I am going to work given this vocation. My wife and I continue to raise our son Brady, now 9. That is our future! I continue to help athletes and primarily general public clients reach their potential both in NYC and in our thorough home gym. I have a Facebook page ( jim Quinn ), have a YouTube channel, quinnbodyandperformance, several websites including www.quinnbodyandperformance.com and www.personaltrainingorangecounty.com.
Thanks for your interest.
(The above article was conducted with Jim Quinn by Stuart Jones, for ASAYL Fitness, and as such is the intellectual property of the named and is not for reproduction in anyway, in part or in whole.)
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