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Sergio Oliva Leg Workout with Arthur Jones

Strength Oldschool

1971 Mr Universe - Sergio Oliva

This is a recount from 1971, an excerpt/paraphrasing from Ellington Darden’s book, “New High-Intensity Bodybuilding,” a MUST HAVE book. * To purchase this book click here.

Anyways, he visited Sergio and Jones in August of ‘71 and watched him train legs. At the time, Jones had been training him for only 3-4 weeks. What’s interesting is that Darden had never really noticed Sergio’s thighs before until one day in August. He exclaimed to Sergio that his thighs were enormous. Sergio replied, “Yeah, they’ve really improved since I’ve been doing Jone’s high-intensity thigh routine…Come see for yourself [the routine] on Friday morning.”

That Friday, they went to Deland High School, which Darden says is the only place Jones trained people at in those days.

Casey Viator - Dan Lurie - Arthur Jones - Sergio Oliva

“Okay, Sergio, let’s begin with legs, ” said Jones in a commanding voice.

Sergio had been personally trained by Jones for several weeks, and he knew what to expect. He walked around nervously looking at the floor and slowly shaking each leg.

“Let’s go Sergio,” said Jones, “Into the leg press. Get the weight set.”

Two large football players put 480 pounds on the leg press machine and adjusted the seat.

Sergio Oliva and Two Football Players

“Twenty reps, I want twenty reps,” Jones said to Sergio.

At seventeen reps, Sergio looked whipped.

“Rest a few seconds in lockout and you’ll be able to get three more reps, ” Jones said.

Sergio quickly took five short breaths and squeezed out three more reps.

Arthur nodded to the football players who literally picked up Oliva from the leg press and immediately helped him to the leg extension machine. The weight was set up at 200 pounds, and the goal again was 20 reps. By the tenth rep, Sergio was in obvious pain. Somehow with Jones hurling insults about his manhood, Oliva managed another seven or eight repetitions.

1971 Sergio Oliva

Once again Jones nodded to the football players and they pried Sergio from the machine and hurried him across the room to the squat racks. The bar was already loaded with 420 pounds.

Three weeks earlier, Arthur noted, Sergio had performed a similar routine but with less weight and was unable to perform a single repetition in the squat with 400 pounds. “He’ll do 420 today and for at least a dozen reps,” Jones confidently predicted.

Sergio Oliva - Arthur Jones and Dan Lurie

With 420 pounds on his back, Oliva stepped back from the squat racks and began grinding out the repetitions. The first three reps were extremely hard. In fact I [Darden] didn’t think he was going to make the second rep. Somehow he did. Repetitions four through ten seemed a bit easier than the initial ones. He seemed to get into a sort of groove, even though he was breathing and sweating like a steam engine. Repetition eleven went slow, and repetition twelve was very slow. True to Jones predicition, Sergio failed on the thirteenth rep.

“Take the big plates off,” Jones said to the spotters as they helped Oliva back to the rack. “Okay Sergio, any champion bodybuilder ought to be able to squat with 300 pounds.”

(Sergio did not look pleased)

Sergio, however, responded as Jones hoped he would. He shouldered the barbell, backed up and performed six perfect full squats with 300 pounds. He then returned it to the racks and promptly collapsed on the floor… “Arthur, he looks dead to me,” I said.

Just then I noticed Sergio’s left eye open. When he saw me looking at him, he smiled. “Arthur wouldn’t let me die – at least not until I’ve finished the workout.” (He was done with the leg workout, and was going to do some upper body next)

1971 Mr Universe Contest - Sergio Oliva


* To purchase Ellington Darden’s book – New High-Intensity Bodybuilding  click here.

* Check out these awesome videos on Sergio Oliva...







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