I discovered Mendelson while eating lunch yesterday when a friend who I often workout with—I’m huge—pointed to an ad in the Jinky’s menu for F.I.T.; accompanying it was a photo of the massive Mendelson, who owns the gym and the world record for bench press.
“That guy’s got to be Jewish,” I said to my buddy, though I remained a bit incredulous because of the powerlifter’s sheer size.
In fact, Mendelson is the real Jewish hulk. The proof could be found in this three-year-old Jewish Journal article, excerpted after the jump:
He is a three-times national and three-times world champion in the bench press, with an incredible best of 1,005 pounds. He comes by his 22.5-inch biceps both by arduous training and heredity. His maternal grandfather, Morris Reif, known as the “Bronxville Bomber,” was Rocky Marciano’s stable mate and scored 75 knockouts in 115 fights.
For the past nine years, Scot and his wife, Marcielle, herself a kung fu and weightlifting champ, have run F.I.T., first out of their home and now at a fully equipped gym. Their clients range from 40-85 years, about half men, half women, and some 90 percent are Jewish, Mendelson estimates.
The high Jewish proportion, he explains, comes from being located in an area with lots of Jews, and “I’m Jewish, so I click well with the community. Jewish people have always taken care of themselves,” he adds, “and they realize that you need more than makeup and nice clothes to look good. You have to stay in shape physically and mentally.”
Among his longtime satisfied customers is Dr. Uri Herscher, founder and head of the Skirball Cultural Center, who, with his wife, Myna, has a weekly training session with Mendelson.
“Scot is proud to identify as a Jew and he understands the core values,” said Herscher. “It’s clear that he intends never to become a victim. Scot is a taskmaster, but a gentle one.”
The rest of the article can be read here.