By Ben Tatar
1) Critical Bench: Tell us about yourself.
Well, I live in Clearwater Florida with IFBB Pro Ericca Kern and my two beautiful children Cara 12 and Seth 4. Ericca and I are both retired from the IFBB and are working as consultants for numerous nutrition companies and publications.
Ericca and I train about 5 days a week for maintenance. I really enjoyed my 23-year career as a bodybuilder/powerlifter taking two world records and winning the Mr. Florida, Mr. America and Mr. USA that gave me my pro status to compete in the IFBB. My first pro contest was the Niagra fall Golds Classic pro invitational that I won. After winning my first pro show at 24 I went in to the First drug tested Olympia in 1990 and placed 10th then 8th in the night of the champions. After the night of the champions Vince McMahon approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming over to a new federation called the WBF.
( Pic above: ) - Vince McMahon
I asked Vince to put his money where his mouth was and give me an offer to leave the IFBB and explained that the figure had to be huge because if I leave the IFBB I would not be welcomed back by the federation. Vince put his money where his mouth was and gave me a four year contract, The IFBB was furious and Joe Weider kept calling me and asking what it would take to come back, of course I said $$$$ but Joe didn’t match the figure until 3 years into my contract which I came back and endorsed the publication of Muscle & Fitness and Flex along with the Weider Nutritional line of supplements. The IFBB still had a bug up their ass and didn’t treat me too kindly during my come back. Wayne DeMilia stuck me in the back and wouldn’t even call me out along with other WBF champs suffering in the line up such as Aaron Baker, Mike Quinn, Gary Strydom, Mike Christian to name a few. We all looked at each other during pre Judging and knew we were suffering the wrath from defecting from the IFBB in 1990.
2) Critical Bench: Tell us about your workout routine for the 610 raw bench press that you accomplished.
To be honest my routine consisted of your basic ball to the wall training principals no special methods shirts, straps or wraps as a matter of fact I never wore neither, call it what you want. Call it RAW training, Not the Weider principals. I call it instinctive training with the no holds bared attitude to move some weight. I didn’t have what you call a power lifting style routine as a matter of fact when I took my world records I was getting ready for the Mr. USA and did it for fun. I was 220 with 5% body fat. I think it was the dozen doughnuts I had after weigh in that did the trick to be honest. I was asked to compete by Rick Weil a good friend of mine who is also a master at taking world records in the bench. As a matter of fact Joe Ladnier was competing with me in one of my Tampa victory meets that I did over 600 in, I kicked his ass then but without a doubt he can kick my ass now! So, hats off to Mr. Ladnier for mastering the Power game and giving me the opportunity to compete with one of the greats.
( Pic above: ) - Powerlifter Rick Weil
3) Critical Bench: What did you do to get past there?
I feel my World Record Bench had a lot to do with my Shoulder and triceps strength, I keyed on weighted dips by attaching two 45lb plates to a chain, I was very strong at this exercise. The bench is mainly shoulder and triceps strength so by using this kind of sick weight gave me the strength to move some weight off my chest. The chest only comes into play during the last range of motion and that’s the lock out. So to answer your question on what I did to get there I would say by using sick weight on the dip rack.
4) Critical Bench: How important of a roll did nutrition play in both bodybuilding and powerlifting?
I would have to say that Nutrition is the key to all my success, I learned all about nutrition at a young age through the advice of an old Amish gentleman from Uniontown Ohio named Mr. Yoder. He told me all about the importance of RAW Bacteria’s that are found in Goats milk, Yogurts with live cultures, Sauerkraut, Raw Honey, organic vegetation and organic meats, these products gave my body the best nutrition along with live bacteria cultures that maximized the absorption of all the nutrients that I was consuming. This practice helped heal my body at a remarkable rate. By enhancing my diet with the best source of whole and raw foods that are fortified with the highest quality of organic organisms, I have been able to repair injuries done to my body, enhance my immune system, boost my digestion tract and I have been able to utilize 100% of the protein and supplements that I have consumed. I accredit this nutritional strategy to accomplishing the Mr. America, Mr. USA, Achieving two world records and competing for twelve years as an IFBB professional athlete. My goal is to take this technology and convert these RAW ingredients such as these live cultures that are fund in the RAW foods that I have listed above and incorporate them into my own Nutritional performance line.
Throughout my career I have listened to other Pro Athletes talk about their diets and their supplement use. So many of them were choking down handfuls of pills at a time, not knowing that the majority of the value was wasted! I was amazed at how far off base they were in their quest for a better physique. Your body can only digest/utilize so much food without the proper bacteria to aid in the breakdown and digestion of food, along with the build up of mucus from the lack of good bacteria found in these RAW foods. Many athletes do not get proper absorption because they have amazing amounts of thick mucus that has formed on their entire digestive tract all from the lack of RAW Bacteria. Remember this good (RAW), bacteria feeds on this thick mucus found in your digestive track and maximizes absorption and digestion, so if you are chocking down 40gm of protein per meal to feed that body you want to make sure your body is utilizing it all.
5) Critical Bench: You were also an arm wrestling champion. How did you train to be a great arm wrestler and what was your experience like competing in arm wrestling?
To be honest Arm wrestling was all about being at the right time and the right place. If I was traveling and I heard of an arm wrestling contest I walked into it as what I call a sleeper. My experience was that the bigger brawlers that I went against were basically the easiest, and the skinny scrappy guys are the ones you worried about and can rattle your giblets. I remember in the 80s in Akron Ohio I did a match with a 350 door man, this guy really scared the sh*t out of me at the time, I knew that I had to blast him at the get go, get the twist to control the wrist and drive the shoulder to the mat, to make a long story short I snapped his forearm out of the gate and won the $500 and all the Beer you can drink. I thank God it was the right arm I broke and that he wasn’t a south pawl so he couldn’t take a swing at me. The Man was a complete gentleman and even called me from the Akron general to see if I would wait till he got back to have a few beers. Needless to say I gave him my Beer tab.
6) Critical Bench: So, what is Eddie Robinson up to today?
Today I am working as a consultant for a few nutrition companies doing sales manufacturing and product development.
7) Critical Bench: How is your family life, what are your kids and family up to?
Cara who is 12 and Seth 4 just started school and now I can finally get a break from the long summer vacation.
8) Critical Bench: what are your future goals?
My future goals are to stay in the fitness industry; Ericca and I have contemplated on maybe developing our own line of cutting edge products backed with a training program/diet. My future goal is just basically Enjoy Life with my Woman Ericca Kern and my children and to take advantage of all opportunities that come my way.
9) Critical Bench: What do you feel more proud of benching over 600lbs raw and being one of the few men to ever do so or winning the Mr. America and Mr. USA bodybuilding contest?
That’s a hard one. I really enjoyed all however there are no politics in Powerlifting you just get under the weight and getter done, no one can take that away from you. However Bodybuilding is another monster, with some political Bull shit!! Bodybuilding is such a kiss ass sport. If you don’t do what an IFBB official says like Wayne Demilia then you can kiss your placing good by and good luck getting a call out, nothing like busting your ass for a year, getting in the best shape of your life sacrificing everything to get in that kind of condition and then get black balled because some nutrition company had sponsored the show for 100,000 and there endorsed athlete is competing in the show (Go Figure). You know how that goes. It’s all about the pockets of the IFBB. It feels so good to cut loose and talk the talk about the Bull Shit in the sport now that I am retired without any repercussions.
10) Critical Bench: Do you enjoy bodybuilding more or the bench press and powerlifting?
I would have to say I enjoyed the powerlifting more. However Bodybuilding is what paid my bills thanks to my twelve-year contract with Joe Weider and Vince McMahon.
11) Critical Bench: You were on your way to becoming a pro football player, however, you got injured. Then you became one of the best benchers and bodybuilders that ever lived. Looking back do you wish that you could have been the best football player instead of a bodybuilding and bench press champ? Do you have any regrets that your life went in a different direction than what your boyhood dream once was?
I would have loved to have played Pro Ball, however it just wasn’t in the cards for me. I was going through some serious family problems and had to basically support myself and my family, When I realized that football was out of the picture I turned to power lifting and Body building and there was nothing in this world that was going to stop me from making a name in both sports.
12) Critical Bench: You have one of the greatest physiques in the eyes of power builders. Tell us a little bit about your bodybuilding routine and diet. Does it greatly differ from your bench routine?
My body Building routine was very strict, the hardest part would be the diet, you have to have a great amount of discipline to keep you diet strict; to be honest the training was the simple part. When I was power lifting I kept to a semi strict diet, however I allowed myself to have more fats and carbs in my diet but mainly concentrated on the quality of protein such as Fish, Chicken and Eggs.
13) Critical Bench: What are you personal best lifts?
I benched 645, I’ve squatted 875 and I never really maxed on dead lift because of past lower back injuries.
14) Critical Bench: What is your advice for the beginner?
My Advice to the beginner is to have fun with the sport, train by Instinctive training, meaning if you feel like destroying the weight destroy it. If you feel beat, tired then go through the range of motion, and use the weight your body is comfortable with. There are no secrets to raw training, either you have it or you don’t. I can’t give you advice to make you a champion because this come from the inside, genetics, drive, and the no holds bared attitude to be the best by having no finish line and no last rep.
15) Critical Bench: What shouldn’t the beginner do?
Don’t Push your self when you body is not ready, be careful not to over train.
16) Critical Bench: What was the best advice that you were ever told and what was the worse?
The best advice that I ever was told was from Joe Weider back in the 80’s Joe called and said there is no $ in Power lifting and that I had the genetics and looks to make a lucrative career in the sport of bodybuilding. The worst Advise was from Wayne Demilia stating if I wanted to be the best in the sport I had to do the drugs that the others are doing, the fans want a freak show and freaks are what they will get that was the day the sport died in my eyes. I am not against the use of drugs in moderation, but when it comes to Manital, and other site injections to colligenate the muscles without training with huge amounts of HGH, Insulin, is simply out of my league.
17) Critical Bench: Eddie, you are now retired from bodybuilding and will be remembered as a man perhaps beyond your time. What would you like to tell the sport of bodybuilding, power lifting and everyone who is reading your interview in closing?
I would like to tell all my fans to train for your self, Do what feels good! And if it doesn’t feel good, then don’t do it. The Sport of Body Building was a great sport. However today I am sad to say it’s just not worth it unless a fair playing field is established by the NPC and IFBB, as for power lifting. I love you guys. You are the Meat and potatoes of MANHOOD. In the arena of power lifters I have met some of the greatest people with some of the greatest personalities.
As for the sport of BB I have seen it go from a well-recognized sport to a cesspool of Idiots. Wonder why Weider Sold the Publications? I’ll tell ya, Weider Is an unbelievably smart man and knows when it’s time to jump ship. In closing I would like to thank my fans for all their support through out the years because if it wasn’t for the fans we wouldn’t exist. I would also like to say that I am sorry for the negativity I have for the sport of Body Building, I am upset because this was the sport that I have made my life, body building was my rock and it hurts to see the officials of the IFBB make it into a freak show only caring about their pockets and not for the welfare of their athletes. My friends who kept up with the times like Flex Wheeler, Don Long etc. who both undergone Kidney transplants the last years know what I mean when it comes to the direction that the sport has taken.
( Pic above: ) - Bodybuilder Don Long
Let this be a learning tool for he fans that want to be pros in today’s IFBB, and may the IFBB read this and make the proper changes to clean this sport up and set new policies for these new athletes who want to take the easy road and pump Silicone in their lagging body parts. As for the future powerlifters my hat is off to you, you are the true champions of the IRON Game and the true image of MAN, I know my Record of 610 in the 220 class isn’t considered in today’s IRON game, however give me some credit I did it RAW, in a 100% cotton t shirt at 19! GOD Bless you all.
Visit Eddie’s Facebook page - Click Here.
* The following information was provided by Chuck Mirabile …
" I’ve seen an interview with Joe Ladnier who commented on Eddie’s benching ability. Seems he was the real deal. He and Rick Weil both said Eddie could really bench press big weights back in the day and Fred Hatfield also confirmed this. Regarding the 610# raw bench lift, Ladnier said it was really a touch ‘n go lift and he thought Eddie weighed more like 240# rather than 220# as was claimed. It became an issue because Eddie got the best lifter trophy and Joe didn’t, but felt he should have (Joe did a 525 or 535# bench at 220#). Regardless, touch ‘n go or not, a raw 610# bench at even 240# or so is still unbelievable. I know that officially Eddie is credited with a 570# bench at 220# in a meet. I never saw a meet result for the “610# raw bench” and it never got any press in Powerlifting USA which was, and remains the best Powerlifting magazine out there. No matter what, Eddie was one of the strongest bodybuilders ever." ~ Chuck Mirabile
Eddie Robinson touched on the drug abuse of bodybuilding within the above article by Ben Tatar and how some bodybuilders are paying the consequences for abusing the drugs involved in achieving such cartoon proportions. Back in 2015, I created a video to show my disgust in the current state of bodybuilding and also to show the difference between the physiques of old school bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and current champs such as Phil Heath. The sport of bodybuilding has not improved for the better. I recently wrote an article to go a long with the video. To read the article and watch the video click here.
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