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Casey Viator Talks Arms

By Doris Barrilleaux


Doris: How big were your arms when you began training?

Casey: When I started training I had about a 17 1/2 inch arm.

1971 - Deland Florida - Young Casey Viator

Doris: Along with the methods you use today, what were some of the methods that worked for you in your early years of arm training?

Casey: I used to use a lot of heavy, heavy movements, barbell curls, heavy lying tricep extensions, heavy dipping and chinning. Everything was done pretty strong. I moved slowly so I've never had elbow or knee problems. I did this without thinking. Arthur Jones later contributed  because he brought all this to light. I now understand what it takes for intensity in each set. Doing high intensity sets in the beginning, I didn't quite understand what I was doing. I was doing multiple sets - 8 sets for my biceps in one movement. I was sacrificing my recuperative power, my ability to recuperate from one exercise period to the next.

Casey Viator 225 lbs Cheat Barbell Curls

Arthur Jones (Inventor of Nautilus) using his Nautilus Pullover Machine

Arthur Jones using his Nautilus Pullover Machine

Doris: How powerful are your forearms, biceps and triceps?

Casey: I'm doing 225 pounds on a wrist curl, biceps 225 pounds strict curl (see photo above), and triceps - I do 300 pounds lying tricep extensions.



"Casey once told me by email that he never did any forearm training EVER! He didn't need to as his forearms grew easily from back and biceps work. ~ Strength Oldschool

* Casey Viator compares forearms with bodybuilding legend, Gunnar Rosbo

Casey Viator Huge Forearms compared to Gunnar Rosbo

Doris: How big do you think it's possible to build an arm?

Casey: There is so much lying in the books. I think a 21 inch arm would be freaky and scare people. I don't think anyone in the field has 20 inch arms.

Doris: On the stage one time they asked Boyer Coe (see photo below) what his measurements were and he said he didn't know what they were and he didn't care. He said people can lie. It is how you look that's important.

Casey: That's exactly how I feel about it when people ask me about my measurements. I don't care what my measurements are as long as I look good.

Boyer Coe - 1969

Doris: Who's arm impressed you most during your early career?

Casey: Larry Scott all the way. I think Robby Robinson has a nice arm as far as peak.

Larry Scott at Robert Nailon's gym in 1978.

Larry Scott at Robert Nailon's gym in 1978.

Doris: What do bodybuilders do wrong in their arm training?

Casey: They train too much. And they quit right when they are starting to warm up that muscle. They quit at 8 reps when they should go on. I personally think the maximum you can do is 6 sets for both biceps and triceps and still get maximum gains with intensity. 6 sets of 10 - 15 reps progressive. Repetition, you know, also contributes to all these injuries from doing many sets. Your elbows and knees just have so much lubrication.

Doris: I read an article on a woman bodybuilder that said she does 20 or 30 reps. How do you feel about that?

Casey: She can do that, but the thing is she has to save herself. If she'd do 2 sets all the way to failure, she'd accomplish a lot more. When you try to do too many reps, you're saving yourself for the next set.

Casey Viator Biceps

Doris: Do you have any comments on arms and overall physique symmetry?

Casey: WOW! That's going to take some time. I think arms are my best asset. I think if you can display them right it is one of the basic things to win a physique contest. Proportions mean so much. You have to have everything balanced, that's what the problem is with professional bodybuilders today. There's not a balanced physique. Well, Zane has it but he's not big enough.

Frank Zane - 1966 Mr Olympia Contest

Frank Zane - 1966 Mr Olympia Contest

Doris: Do you think size is that important?

Casey: Definitely! If you're symmetrical. Zane has come as close as possible because his calves are proportioned to his thighs and he is cut up and can display his physique well.

Doris: What do you think about women and bodybuilding?

Casey: I think it is beautiful, a beautiful healthy sport. I just hope the money starts rolling in for you people and things start coming on strong.

* Female Bodybuilder Lisa Lyon

Female Bodybuilding Legend Lisa Lyon

Doris: You say you think a man's arms are his most important part, right? On a female anatomy do you think the upper or lower body is more important?

Casey: I think the lower body is more important as far as calves, buttocks, lower back and abdominals. I think the upper body is last.

Doris: That's the way I feel. I think the lower part is most important and the rest should be in proportion. So many women are now going into the bulky look.

Casey: I've never seen a woman's calves too big. The Europeans have a standard there that's very good. They keep their calves up. All the Europeans believe in the calves and lower body. Few own cars, so they get a lot of exercise.

Cory Everson

Female Bodybuilding Legend Cory Everson

Doris: Do you have any amusing stories from your training career?

Casey: When I first came down from Louisiana to work with Arthur (see photo below) I was living at his house with his son Gary. Arthur was into making him protein milk shakes. He thought up one made with peaches and fried chicken livers. He mixed it up in a blender and handed it to his son and said; "Drink it." Gary sniffed it and said; "Dad, I just can't do it." Arthur became very obnoxious demanding that he drink it. They argued back and forth, and when Gary took a sip he gagged. Arthur snatched it from him saying; "Give me that damn thing! " He took a whiff of it and said; "WOW, that does smell bad! " and he poured it down the sink. He also used to make the same kid that we're talking about squat, (he had a squat rack in his living room) squat until he'd - how shall I say - put dropping in his pants and pass out!

Arthur Jones and a Young Casey Viator Flexing Arms Comparison


Arthur Jones is a staunch realist in all things. He believes to grow fast, hard and strong --- that means training to failure. I've personally witnessed a bodybuilder retching from going to the maximum in a 'Nautilus' style leg routine under Jones' scrutiny. Jones can get a trainer to achieve more in one set that most men can get out of 4 or 5 workouts. To him, intensity is everything. The 70's were his - rather, the 'Nautilus Decade'.

Deland Florida - Arthur Jones [pictured centre] (1971)

Deland Florida - Arthur Jones - 1971

* Info on Nautilus Gym Equipment *

"Jones patented the Nautilus machine and introduced it to the public in 1970 - First to a weight lifting convention in Los Angeles, California. He would hold demos on how the machine worked (The Blue Monster - pictured in Iron Man magazine Nov. 1970). This is the machine Arthur hauled out to California.  In 1975 Dr. Michael O'shea opened his facility, Sport Training Institute in New York City, and offered only Nautilus Equipment.  It was the advent of Nautilus machines that made resistance training appealing to the general public,  fueling the fitness boom of the 70's and 80's and resulting in Nautilus gyms in strip malls across America. They could use the nautilus name for branding as long as they ran their business in an ethical manner and only offered nautilus equipment with the exception of utility benches etc. There were no franchise fees to use the nautilus logo all you had to do was buy the 12 piece circuit, this did get the nautilus name out across the country but it also posed a problem for Arthur to protect the rites of his brand. Jones sold Nautilus in 1986 and founded MedX where his aim was to perfect the testing of human strength, endurance, and range of movement." ~ CyberPump.com

1971 - Deland Florida - Young Casey Viator Training Leg Extensions

Casey Viator now lives in California and trains with Mike Mentzer. As this goes to press, he has just won his first IFBB Pro Grand Prix contest. Nine years after winning the AAU Mr. America, Casey Viator is finally getting the credit and publicity his greatness deserves.

A Muscular Casey Viator

* Mike Mentzer - Samir Bannout - Casey Viator

Mike Mentzer - Samir Bannout - Casey Viator


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