Erik Fromm, one of the nationï¿½??s leading amateur bodybuilders, has died at age 36. His fiancÃ©e said he was not a steroid user and had no health problems that she knew of. The Hennepin County medical examinerï¿½??s office is investigating.
Erik (The Viking) Fromm, one of the nation’s leading amateur bodybuilders, died Monday in his Richfield home.
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office is looking into the cause and manner of death. Police said they are investigating but do not believe a crime was committed.
Fromm, 36, took an interest in bodybuilding at age 14 and excelled in a sport that has long been troubled by steroid abuse among some of its competitors. But Fromm’s fiancÃ©e and his ex-wife both said he was not a steroid user and had no health problems.
“When he was bodybuilding, he was a really giant guy,” said Micah Brown, who has lived with Fromm for the past two years and was engaged to marry him. “But he has the genetics that are naturally of a large man.” At 5-foot-11, Fromm’s competitive weight would range from the low 250s to upper 270s.
“He worked his butt off,” said Kori Fromm, of Hudson, Wis., who was married to Fromm from 1998 until they divorced in 2004.
“I went in the gym every day with him. That was our life.”
While living in his native Wyoming and other Rocky Mountain states between 1998 and 2004, Erik Fromm consistently finished in the top 10 among amateur super-heavyweights in national competitions sponsored by the 20,000-member National Physique Committee (NPC). He climbed to second in 1999.
Flex magazine reported in 2005 that Fromm suffered physical setbacks – tearing a biceps and a chest muscle.
Fromm “was very well known and respected in the bodybuilding community,” said Dan Traugott, owner of the Repetrope Productions video company, which covers the NPC.
“He had the genetic potential to succeed in the sport, and he was passionate and committed,” Traugott said from his office in Tampa, Fla. “He was very gregarious and friendly with the other competitors. Sometimes, they try to be tough and psych each other out.”
Brown, 23, said they were to be married in August at Clyth Castle in Scotland, Fromm’s ancestral home. "Things were really coming together,’’ she said.
After Fromm and Brown moved about two years ago to Minnesota from Wyoming, where he was in the oil and natural gas drilling business, he began training people in health and fitness, Brown said.
Fromm had “just absolutely blossomed and created an awesome network” in pursuing his new profession, Brown said. “He was a warrior and … a hero to everybody – everybody’s big brother, everybody’s father.”
Fromm was well known at Los Campeones Gym on East Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. The gym’s MySpace page mourned his death.
A memorial service for Fromm is scheduled for today at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis.
For more on Fromm’s bodybuilding career, including photographs, visit: www.startribune.com/a3992.