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1950s Bodybuilding Legend Bob Hinds

By Strength Oldschool

Not much information is known on this superb USA bodybuilder from the mid to late 1950's, known by the name of Bob Hinds / Robert Hinds. His physique was Incredibly THICK and RIPPED with Exploding Bicep Veins!! 1950's Bodybuilding Physiques are meant to be natural but this man will make you think otherwise!

The photo below I came across online and it's one that I've never seen before. If anyone knows whom the Photographer is, please let me know for credit purposes or from which magazine it came from?

1950s Bodybuilder Bob Hinds

Hinds clearly had exceptional arm genetics with thickly muscled upper arms and forearms which exuded power. It's amazing how someone with that type of physique can go relatively unknown from the public eye.


From the Muscle Memory website, it states that Hinds competed only on two occasions, all during 1956.

  • 1956 Mr America (AAU): 8th place. Awarded 3rd for "Most Muscular" - Beaten by Art Harris (1st) and Ray Schaefer (2nd).
  • 1956 Universe (AAU): Short class, 2nd place.

There was quite a line up for that 1956 Mr America contest. Here are the placings:

1. Ray Schaefer
2. Ron Lacy
3. Gene Bohaty
4. Art Harris
5. Vic Seipke
6. Dean Higuchi
7. Harry Johnson
8. Robert Hinds
9. Tim Sweeney
10. Joe Lazzaro
11. Pete Ganios
12. George Jones
13. Bruce Randall
14. John Leahy
15. Lou Degni
16. Edward Chrupcala
17. Joe Mauri
18. Gene Wells
19. R Berenguer
20. Tom Sansone
21. Constantine Kosiras
22. Frederick Coe
23. Len Bosland

Robert (Bob) Hinds appeared within only a few Magazines...

1956 Iron Man Magazine - November, Volume 16, No. 3.

1956 IronMan Magazine - Bob Hinds

1957 Muscle Builder Magazine - January, Volume 7, No. 6.

1957 Muscle Builder Magazine - Bob Hinds

1959 Iron Man Magazine - JanuaryVolume 18No. 4.

1959 IronMan Magazine - Bob Hinds

I've recently purchased the first two magazines above which I hope contains plenty of good, accurate information on Hinds. If you love Vintage Bodybuilding Magazines like me and appreciate all the old school bodybuilders from the past, be sure to check out my Vintage Muscle Magazines playlist section on Youtube!


As to whether Hinds was "Natural" or not, personally I would assume no, given how much muscle and how vascular he was. Just look how thick his bicep veins were!!

1950s Bodybuilding Legend Bob Hinds

Here is an article except from Jerry Brainum...

"In the past, prominent vascularity was rare in bodybuilding competition. While some muscles, such as the biceps, did show a vein or two, you didn’t see the vascularity so abundant today—yet another reason it’s associated with drug use. Vince Gironda, one of the greatest bodybuilding competitors ever, once told me that he often lost to far less muscular bodybuilders because of his then-rare high vascularity. Most bodybuilders in the late ’40s and ’50s just didn’t show many veins. It made a guy like Vince stand out—which at that time wasn’t good. “The judges just didn’t know what to do with me, so they would place me third or fourth to men who were far less muscular than me,” Vince said.

Another bodybuilder with the same problem was Bob Hinds. I recall viewing a photo of him on the cover of Iron Man around 1959, when he was at his physical peak. His vascularity was astonishing, easily rivaling any of the current bodybuilding competitors. Yet like Gironda, Hinds suffered the same discouraging fate in competition. His highest placing in the Mr. America contest was eighth in 1956, although he did place third in the voting for the most-muscular award. He stopped competing not long after that." ~ Jerry Brainum, Iron Man Magazine [source]

Some people will argue that because Hinds developed his physique during the 1950's, then he must have been natural! I would love to believe this but unfortunately I don't. Steroids may not have been widely available during the 1950's but "Testosterone" may have been. According to Jerry Brainum, Testosterone was given to people way back in 1941 to treat for "Depression". It wasn't realised that Testosterone had "Muscle Building" properties until ten years later!

So did Bob Hinds take Testosterone during the 1950s? I don't know nor can I prove it. But looking at Hinds physique, I find it hard to believe that he was natural. If he was, huge respect to the man.

Here's some brief information on the history of Steroids...

"...Methandrostenelone (trade name Dianabol) was not developed by Ciba until 1958 and both Tony Garcy and Lou Riecke have said they did not even learn of it until John Ziegler introduced it to them in 1960." ~ Iron Game History, Vol. 12, Issue 1 [source]

"1960 was the year in which Dr. John Ziegler convinced Tony Garcy and Bill March of the York Barbell Club and Lou Riecke of the New Orleans Athletic Club to begin using a form of training called isometric contraction and to begin taking a pill called Dianabol, and that the dramatic success of these three athletes ushered in the steroid era." ~ Steroids: An Historical Perspective by Terry Todd

Within the above video Jerry Brainum speaks out about why he thinks Pre-1960's Bodybuilders did not do Steroids. He also mentions "Ciba".

From Steroids: An Historical Perspective by Terry Todd, this small passage I found interesting...

"One of the things about bodybuilders in the pre-steroid era that stood out - leapt out, really - was their vibrant good health. Men like John Grimek, Bert Goodrich, Steve Klisanin, Armand Tanny, Ed Theriault, John Farbotnik, Bill Pearl and George Paine almost literally glowed with health and it was understood that their physical appearance was a manifestation of the care they took to exercise regularly, eat carefully and take sufficient rest...These days, by contrast, in order to reach the very top in bodybuilding and to produce the massive, vein-ridged bodies that are winning, it seems to be necessary to violate, not follow, many of the rules of good health."

I find it strange that Bill Pearl's (1930 - 2022) name was mentioned above, unless Iron Historians, lifters and fans of the Iron Game really believed that Pearl was "Natural" all his days? With respect to Terry Todd (RIP) and Bill Pearl's family and friends, it has been confirmed by those in the know that Pearl (RIP) was a user of steroids and I don't just mean a casual one off occurrence.

Certainly in his younger years, Pearl no-doubt was a natural lifter but at some point, he jumped on the drug scene which could probably easily be tracked by observing closely his physique development from year to year. Such figures to confirm this are Jerry Brainum and Steve Greene (Iron Vegan). See videos below.

For the record, both Jerry Brainum and Steve Greene developed personal relationships with Bill Pearl. Greene personally trained with Pearl throughout the 1970's and was witness to all that was going on.

From GETBIG.com, this photo appeared...

Dr. Gorgott - Bob Hinds - Dr. C. Whitehead

The following information was simply quoted from GETBIG, so it may not be accurate, but the photo shows, from left to right: Dr. Gorgott (spelling could be wrong), Bob Hinds and Dr. Craig Whitehead.

I haven't found any information regarding the Doctors online, and I'll need to do some research, but from the GETBIG post, "Gourgott died young and Whitehead went crazy...". But this may not be accurate as I said.

The fact that Hinds was friends with two Doctors suggests to me that he would have had access to Testosterone, but that's not fact, it's simply my opinion.


Again, there is no information online regarding how Bob Hinds trained. However, upon accident, I did come across the following information...

"In my opinion there is nothing new, radical, or revolutionary, about TUL, CADENCE, PERIODIZATION, "SUPER-SLOW," or many of the other concepts currently in vogue. The great Bob Hinds, a bodybuilding competitor back in the late fifties/early sixties, was known to sometimes perform reps that took from 45-60 seconds each to complete, during sets. I knew a few individuals here in Chicago during the early sixties who trained so slowly that they looked as if they were training in a jar of molasses! I experimented with Bob Hind's approach on occasion back in the 60's. I distinctly recall that I was bored by that type of training, therefore I never used it as anything more than a "break" from the regular grind of training." ~ [source]

That is the only source of "extremely brief" information regarding how bodybuilding legend Bob Hinds trained! So he "sometimes" performed "Super Slow reps" which would take close to a minute to complete. Unfortunately, even that description isn't detailed enough, for example, was it just the negative that was performed slow or both the positive and negative? How many reps were done? How many sets? What exercises were used? Etc.

I really hope the two vintage bodybuilding magazines I've recently ordered will perhaps detail much more information on the life and training of Hinds. If it does, I will definitely update this article asap!

Regarding the "source" link above, which contains a lot of good information but one strange thing, no author name? After trying to track down the author I noticed there were several websites (see below) which were created by the same person but again, no author name?

  • Website one (The author mentions working around Sergio Oliva, training at the  Duncan YMCA in 1965 under the careful eye of Bob Gajda, so since I know several lifters from that time frame and area, who also spent time with Sergio, I'll therefore do some fact checking!)
  • Website Two (Author going by the name of Herb April but I couldn't find anything online regarding the name Herb April?)
  • Website Three (Heavy Zen Press)

After tracing who owned the website (modernronin.com) I was led to a person who lives in San Antonio, Texas. But that may not be the person who wrote the articles on the above websites.

Anyway, once I receive my "Bob Hinds" vintage bodybuilding magazines, I will update this article with more in-depth information on the legend.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you happen to know "factual" information on Bob Hinds regarding his diet, how he trained, what he was like as a person, whether he is still alive or not, then please post your comments at the links below:


If you love Vintage Bodybuilding Magazines like me and appreciate all the old school bodybuilders from the past, be sure to check out my Vintage Muscle Magazines playlist section on Youtube!

Take care and keep training hard folks!

Strength Oldschool

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