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  1. ** This is an old Interview from 2005 By David Robson - Edited by: Strength Oldschool Dan Lurie would sadly pass away at the age of 90 in 2013. R.I.P Dan Lurie: April 1. 1923 - Nov 6. 2013 In the following interview Dan tells his inspiring story and shares the methods that have helped him to stay in excellent physical shape at age 82. Get the scoop about Dan Lurie right here! Anyone even remotely connected with the iron game will remember one of its greatest ambassadors, Dan Lurie. Back in the 40s and 50s, Dan carved a niche for himself as the worlds strongest, most muscular man. He went on to become arguably bodybuilding’s most successful promoter, starting the World Body Building Guild in 1965 as a way to enhance public awareness, and garner respect, for a sport that was, at the time considered an oddity. Along the way, Dan published several health and fitness related magazines, the most popular of these being Muscle Training Illustrated. From bent pressing with one arm 285lbs, to arm wrestling President Regan, Dan has lived a colorful life, while continually preaching the bodybuilding gospel. Indeed, whether it be through promotion, television, competition, publishing or marketing, Dan took bodybuilding to the masses and helped to transform it from curious spectacle to legitimate sport. His contribution to bodybuilding should never be forgotten for he truly was, and is, one of its more passionate advocates. In the following interview Dan tells his inspiring story and shares the methods that have helped him to stay in excellent physical shape at age 82. (Photo below shows Dan Lurie at the age of 85!) [ Q ] Hi Dan. What have you been up to recently? Well Dave, I just spent the whole day with my son and we went to the Hall of Records in New York. I’ll tell you something crazy Dave. I used to be partners with Joe Weider for several years in the early 1940s and we had a falling out in 1948. In 1947 I registered the name International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) and I held the first IFBB contest on January 15, 1948. Pic above: Joe Weider & Dan Lurie This was the first IFBB show in America. So I came up with the name, but had forgotten about it for 55 years until my son accidentally found the program for that contest, and what we are trying to prove now is that Joe Weider stole the name from me. The IFBB became very famous, but I was the first one to come up with the contest and use the name. So I went to City Hall to find all the records for 1947 – very interesting. [ Q ] And what do you hope to achieve if you can prove you came up with the name? My wife says, “what are you going to get out of it”. If I discovered the airplane, and was the first one to fly the airplane, and they said, “no it was the Wright Brothers who did it”, how would I feel? I am just hoping to get the recognition I deserve. I was forgotten in this field for so many years and would like some acknowledgement. [Q ] Your resume is quite an impressive one and you have been involved in bodybuilding for some time. How old are you and what kind of shape are you in now Dan? I am 82 years young! On April 1, 2006, I will be 83 years young. I am in good shape right now. I workout every morning and I don’t overdo it. I use about 50 lbs and do a lot of repetitions. Pic above: Dan Lurie at 79 years old [ Q ] At what age do you feel you reached your peak as a bodybuilder? At the 1945 Mr America show. Bob Hoffman ran this show and for four years he had everyone from York win the contest. I always wanted to win America’s most muscular man. I did this three times. No one in the world has ever done this three times. In 1945 they had me disqualified saying I was a professional. It was because I was getting too good and was in partnership with Weider. He didn’t want us to get too strong and competitive. They got the AAU to make me professional and I quit competing. You know what happens today when you quit competing. You don’t train like you used to train. In my case I got married. I always worked out, but not with the intensity of one who is competing. I had nothing to prove anymore. [ Q ] How did you get started in bodybuilding Dan? What gave you your big break? I trained for three years at the age of 13 and, at this time, the Daily News in New York was running the Golden Gloves boxing tournament. They put you in all the local arenas and at the end the main show would be at Madison Square Garden. Well I trained for three years and was a pretty good boxer. I was about 5’5″ and 118 lbs. When I was ready to have my first fight, they rejected me because they found I had a heart murmur. A man told me... “Don’t cry kid, I used to be a good boxer but sooner or later someone comes along and beats the dickens out of you so you are better off if you don’t fight.” He told me I had good muscular development and suggested I go into bodybuilding. You know what I said to him? What’s bodybuilding? His name was Terry Robinson (see pic below) and he was Mr. New York State. He will be 90 years old on March 9, 2006. He gave me directions to my first gym with weights. Terry Robinson was a great man. He raised Mario Lanza’s three children. He was the first one to know when Mario died in Italy. He raised Mario’s children after Mario’s wife died a couple of months later of a broken heart. Terry lives in California. He was my mentor and he gave me the direction I needed at that time. So I went into bodybuilding and entered my first New York City contest. I was so bad I came out last. I thought… these guys are monsters, what am I doing here. I was only 17 at the time. But by the time I was 19, in 1942, I was first runner up at the AAU Mr. America contest. They gave me a lot of body part awards and America’s most muscular man title after that. [ Q ] How did you prepare for your first show? What sort of mistakes did you make initially? I didn’t train right. I was too young. It takes time to make your body grow. You can’t just plant the seed and say, “let the vegetables grow tomorrow.” My body was growing and it just needed time and the right training. There were no supplements. I just ate whatever good food I had. My problem was that I could never put weight on. Until I was 125, 130, and then 140 lbs; it took a couple of years. I used to train so hard I burned all the calories. [ Q ] What was your weight when you were at your peak in the 1940s? 168 lbs. I did a one hand bent press of 285 lbs. I never knew how good I was at the time. I thought it was no big deal. [ Q ] And you traveled the country performing feats of strength? I did this when I got on television in 1950. I was a strongman on the TV show, the very famous kid’s show, called The Sealtest Big Top Circus Show. And there I traveled the country doing feats of strength and exhibitions and everything else. [ Q ] What was the bodybuilding culture like back in the 40s and 50s? Whoever did bodybuilding was considered to be a mental nut job. They went crazy and couldn’t see why people would do this. You have to remember, I started because I had a heart murmur. The exercise cured my heart condition. [ Q ] So bodybuilding helped you to improve your health. What else did you find attractive about the sport back then? I enjoyed running all the WBBG shows that I had. All the worlds best built men appeared at my shows, and I had the greatest bodybuilding shows ever. The highlight for me was to get someone that everyone considered a god to appear. They said I would never get him. He lived in Switzerland at the time. His name was Steve Reeves. Pic above: (W.B.B.G) Lou Ferrigno - Dan Lurie - Warren Frederick Pic above: Steve Reeves - Dan Lurie and Aline Reeves I got Steve to come to my show and we put on a great show. We had coming attractions on the screen and in a very famous part of his picture Hercules, Steve Reeves broke down the columns with all his muscles tensing. My son worked the projection room and as Steve Reeves broke down the columns he with his wife and myself walked out on stage and… I’ll never forget how wild the crowd went. They were uncontrollable. They all wanted to jump up on the stage. That would be one of the highlights of all the shows I ran. [ Q ] What other highlights have there been in your bodybuilding career? The hall of fame honoring dozen’s and dozen’s of bodybuilders and movie stars. [ Q ] What was it like to work with Steve Reeves? What kind of guy was he? A nice guy. We used to visit each other at each others homes. When he used to come to my house, he loved to go up to my attic and put on my Seal test Dan muscleman cape that I wore on the TV. I didn’t know, but from 1950 to 1957 he used to watch the show. At that time he was on a Broadway show called Kismet. But we never really met until the 70s when I honored him. We were very good friends and we used to go to Broadway shows together. In fact I had a big fight with him at one time. People were saying – did you have a fight with Steve Reeves. Yes. A snowball fight. We threw snowballs at one another and he loved it. Living in California, he didn’t see much snow. [ Q ] You have been involved in bodybuilding for a long time. At what period was bodybuilding’s greatest era do you think? The golden age of bodybuilding when they didn’t have steroids. Steroids have ruined bodybuilding, and not only for men. If I ever competed in the women’s division today in my best shape, I wouldn’t even place. They would make me look like a beginner. That is how advanced they are – like men. You know how many dozens and dozens of our greatest athletes have died as a result of these drugs. In 1971 I came out on the cover of Muscle Training Illustrated – my magazine – and alerted the world to the dangers of steroids. I said they were killing our athletes. Now some 35 years later it’s all coming out, what with the baseball and other sports also. It’s getting into the colleges and girls are taking them – they are dying by the dozen. That’s why I campaigned to them to save some lives. ** [ STEROID INFO ] ** Strength Oldschool Note: For 100% All Natural Drug Free Vintage Physiques check out the video below: [ Q ] In light of what you have just said, what are your thoughts on the current state of bodybuilding? I don’t follow it like I used to, but when I see these people I don’t believe what they look like. They make Sergio Oliva and Arnold look like beginners. They all seem to look the same. Probably using the same bottle of steroids. Strength Oldschool Note: A bodybuilder by the name of Paul Dillett would have likely made Sergio and Arnold look small. I don’t know if you heard about this in New Zealand, but Arnold’s calves were very poor when he first began competing, and lost to Frank Zane in his first contest in America. Then all of a sudden his calves went from 17 to over 19 inches. [ Q ] This was a result of hard training though. “No, it was a calf transplant.” Today he must have lost a lot of weight but his calves are the same size. If you drop a lot of body weight your whole body shrinks in proportion. Any doctor examining could tell you if he still has the transplants in his calves. [ Q ] This was never covered in the media. They didn’t want to say that about him. Before you say that you need 100 percent truth. I can only say it was rumored for many many years, but I never printed it. By the way, when Arnold came to this country in 1968, my wife and I were the ones who greeted him and Franco Columbu at the airport. Pic above: Thelma - Franco Columbu - Dan Lurie and Arnold [ Q ] Tell me more about this. It was good except he did certain things I didn’t like. He used to fondle the girls in the restaurant. [ Q ] In hindsight, it still must have been good to meet one of the sports icons. I publicized him and helped make him famous and he ended up suing me, period. The whole thing was, he needed money in those days and Joe Weider told him that in America you can sue people and settle, and make a lot of money. [ Q ] Did you get to know Arnold very well? We met a couple of times. We had dinner’s and breakfast’s together. We did TV shows together and he was at the AAU Mr. America shows. He always wanted the publicity and me being a publisher, I could help him. [ Q ] As a publisher what magazines did you have? Besides Muscle Training Illustrated I published Boxing Illustrated, Karate Illustrated, Wrestling illustrated, I had a couple of rock and roll magazines and I had a women’s magazine. [ Q ] How did you get into the publishing business and why? When I broke up with Weider there was no communication to reach bodybuilders for a contest. You can’t get contestants to enter if they don’t know about a show. You can’t get an audience. So I started my magazine in 1965 and I had a partner at the time. After 15 issues he said it wasn’t making money so he wanted out. I knew a little about publishing, but after two and a half years in the industry I got to know quite a bit and I took over the magazine at issue number 16. I started to make money on the first issue I put out because I cut my overheads. He had an office in New York City with secretaries. I didn’t have any of that. I used my own office and my office was my business. All I paid was for running costs for the office, pictures and for an editor. So I had a fixed salary; I would know what each issue was going to cost me. If I didn’t I would have gone broke. [ Q ] Before your publishing career you say you were in partnership with Joe Weider. Tell me more about this. I wasn’t involved in his magazines, only the barbell and exercise equipment. He lived in Canada at the time and if you ship anything from Canada they charge 10 percent duty tax. When it got to America you had to pay another 10 percent duty tax. So that means whatever was selling was going to have a 20 percent duty tax as well as all the freight costs. It was easier to find someone to ship from the United States. We became partners because he needed someone to help him distribute. Just like Grimek did for Bob Hoffman, he used me in his ads. I was shown as the skinny kid with a weak heart who became America’s most muscular man using his system. That’s what got me disqualified because I was in his ads and I was a professional. John Grimek was always featured in Bob Hoffman’s ads but he was considered an amateur. [ Q ] How did the falling out occur? When we started in business maybe we made about $ 5,000 dollars in each year. That was gross. By the time we got through maybe we made one thousand dollars or five hundred dollars each for the year, which was nothing. But when we started to go over $ 100,000 dollars he didn’t want to share the profits with me. So he just cut my name out of the ads in the magazines and put his own name in. He was established already so he didn’t need me. He is a very unscrupulous guy. No loyalty at all. There are a lot of things I could tell you about him but it will have to wait until my new book is out. [ Q ] What can you tell me about Joe Weider? “Joe Weider would put a knife in your back. He would use people, and throw them out.” All I can say is he was an extremely hard worker, but very ruthless in business. He would put a knife in your back. He would use people, and throw them out. There were lawsuits. He did a lot of bad things. But that was him. That was his character. I introduced him to his first wife. [ Q ] Have you had any recent contact with Mr. Weider? No, I don’t see him. Years ago I heard he was in hospital having a hernia operation so I called him and we spoke for an hour or so. We spoke about the good old days when we were kids. You tend to forget about these things. We went our own ways. I was successful as far as I know, but I always felt I was a fly and he was an elephant. I just wanted to make a living. Pic above: Joe Weider - Dan Lurie - Peary Rader [Q ] Tell me more about the World Body Building Guild. I started it back in 1965. I never knew I was the creator of the IFBB. Incidentally, Sports Illustrated is going to follow up on this and do a story on how the IFBB name was created by me and how I ran the first IFBB show in America. The World Body Building Guild was very competitive. Joe was always making it his business to run shows on the same day I would run mine in New York City. At one time Tom Minichiello, one of my gym members and a good friend, was involved with the IFBB and was told by Weider to bury me. He was told to run the contest the same day Dan Lurie runs his show. Of course I had such complete sell-outs. I never disqualified anyone. I don’t care who you were with. If you were a member of the IFBB and entered any AAU or my shows, you were disqualified. That’s not fair. A bodybuilder is free to do whatever he wants. Pic above: Owner of Mid City Gym Tom Minichiello Spots Wrestling Legend Bruno Sammartino (1966). [ Q ] What did the World Body Building Guild achieve? We started the hall of fame that had a lot of famous people being honored. I even honored President Regan. [ Q ] I read that you arm wrestled President Regan. Tell me about this. Who won? He beat me, twice. I wasn’t going to try to beat him. I wanted to give him respect. Besides, he was the oldest man who ever ran for president and they wanted someone to show how strong and youthful he was. So I helped with this, and I have a good ten minute tape. When we left you know what we did to each other? We hugged and kissed each other. Now that’s something for two men to do. And that’s what we did in the White House. [ Q ] What else do you remember about this occasion? He said “Dan when I was a kid I used to read all of your ads in the comic books.” I said, “Mr. President, what were you doing reading comic books.” He said, “I still read them today.” He was the president and he still read comic books. That was an amazing thing. He was a down to earth, warm guy. You see, I went there to honor him. I didn’t complain about anything, about what I wanted him to do. I just went there to honor him. We warmed to each other pretty good. And when we arm wrestled, and he beat me, he said “Come on, you dumped it, you let me beat you.” I said “No Mr. President, you beat me fair and square.” Pic above: President Ronald Reagan and Dan Lurie (60 years Old) Arm Wrestling - 1984. [ Q ] I understand President Reagan was very fit, and was bodybuilding enthusiast for many years. Yes, he used to chop wood on his ranch and horseback ride. We kept in touch after the White House thing. We were supposed to have a rematch but it never happened. It was planned just never happened. The picture of him and me arm wrestling went all over the world. It was on the front page of the New York Times. Many countries featured that picture and ran the story about how the president was so strong he beat a famous strong man. I loved President Regan. He was a warm, decent, down to earth president. Pic above: Young Ronald Reagan. [ Q ] What are some of the strength records you have set over the years? I did 1665 push-ups in 90 minutes and 1225 parallel dips in 90 minutes. I lifted 285 lbs. with one hand over the head. That one was a specialty. I did 1200 pullovers with 55 lbs. Crazy things. Things that involved endurance. People today don’t do this type of training. They train with heavier weights and they end up with injuries and have to stop for a while. I wasn’t going to get hurt. I found my body responded to hundreds and hundreds of repetitions with a lighter weight – 100 lbs. [ Q ] Is this the way you have always trained? Yes and I sweated like a pig. I wore a sweatshirt and people would say “don’t drink water while you workout.” But I was so thirsty I used to gobble it up. They now say “drink water when you workout, it’s good for you.” So who knows. [ Q ] What diet methods have you followed? I always wanted to gain weight so I ate whatever I wanted to. I would lose around three to five pounds every workout. I sweated a lot. Also, I tried not to do much resting in between sets. I rested as little as possible, and it still ended up being a three hour workout. [ Q ] How do you eat today to stay in shape? I eat very lightly, a lot of salads and health foods. And I exercise every morning for about half-an-hour, that’s it. I don’t do too much. I have nothing to prove. [ Q ] What training methods did you establish over the years? When I started manufacturing my own barbells I established the Dan Lurie Barbell Course. I gave it out with a book and pictures and posters. It was very instructive. I was the first one to sell barbells in sporting goods stores. They weren’t sold by York. They were selling mail order and I came out selling to stores. From a $ 5,000 dollar a year start it exploded. Many, many years later I was only doing a small amount because I was only one man. [ Q ] What were gyms like in your day? The equipment was mostly very crude and there were a few mirrors. Now everything is chromed. [ Q ] You discovered Lou Ferrigno. Tell me more about that? Yes, he came to me at 16 years of age. The first thing I asked him was “how far do you want to go in bodybuilding”. I said “You want to be Mr. America?” He said “Mr. America? I don’t want to be Mr. America. I want to be the best built man who ever lived.” That to me was shocking. So I put him on the cover of my magazine and I issued a challenge to Arnold. I said in three years this skinny kid of 6.5 and 185 lbs was going to give him some competition. And he did. And I kept showing the improvements he was making over the years. I had Lou for about six or seven years. Pic above: 1972 Muscle Training Illustrated - Lou Ferrigno Challenges Arnold Schwarzenegger. [ Q ] And Lou ended up switching to Weider. That’s right. He had no contract with me. It was more like a friendship. Weider offered him a $50,000 contract for five years. He did that with Arnold – paid him a big amount over a number of years. Lou switched the night I had Steve Reeves at my show and his father was upset with me because the year before he lost out to Bill Grant who represented Weider. Lou lost out because he took some sort of water pills. The night before he looked unbeatable and when he came the next day I couldn’t believe the change. I don’t know what the heck he was doing. He lost all his definition. [ Q ] How would you like to be remembered Dan? I would like to be remembered as a bodybuilder who loved bodybuilding and treated everyone fair and square. I never hurt any athlete. There were two bodybuilders who sued me – Lou Ferrigno and Arnold. I never said a word about it in my magazine. Now Weider claims he discovered Ferrigno. Bullsh*t. It’s a lie. Just like he said he started the IFBB in 1946. That’s a lie. We have all the old issues and his involvement is not even mentioned. We are doing the research now. He gave me a third page in the Your Physique Magazine when I ran the January 15, 1948 show. He lied and made up stories and people believed it. Joe was a big reader of the Hitler books. I said “Joe, you and I are both Jewish, why are you reading the books on Hitler?” He said, “Think of the power the man had.” He was a 19 year old kid. Who is looking for power at that age. One of Hitler’s sayings was, if you print a lie often enough people will come to know it as the truth. That’s what Joe does. [ Q ] What is most important to you Dan? The most important thing in my life is my wife, my five children and 15 grand children, and soon to be three great grandchildren. That’s the most important thing in my life. Not money. Weider, with all the money he could ever want, has no children although there was some talk around him having a girl at some stage, but who knows. [ Q ] What are the secrets to a long and healthy life? There is no secret. It is all in God’s hands. When I was a kid they said I would live to about five or six years old. People who are healthy die of heart attacks in their 30s 40s and 50s. People in their 70s and 80s… all their lives live until their late 90s. It’s all in God’s hands. We don’t know. [ Q ] Hi Dan. When you went to City Hall to look at the 1947 records to prove you started the IFBB, what exactly did you find? I went to downtown Kings to look for the registering of the name IFBB. But in those days they didn’t keep a register of a name, only corporations. So I could not find a record of it. No record of the sanction. That was done by private clubs. So what I have done is hire the law firm of Adam Atlas from Montreal Canada and I will know within the next two weeks. Ben Weider said he made the IFBB a Non Profit Corporation in 1946. That is not the truth. He never had it registered. So we are trying to find out when it first came up on the Canadian Government Records as an IFBB Non Profit Corporation. Ben Weider says he registered it as such in 1946. This will involve a complete search of records. It could be a Pandora’s Box I am opening up. Could you imagine? They never paid taxes on their shows and they never had the shows registered. When it first started it was no big deal. They (the Weiders) didn’t know what it (the federation) would turn out to be. [ Q ] What exactly did you find at City Hall? They found the records of the gyms I had formed in 1947. They found the corporation of the Dan Lurie Barbell Company that I formed in late 1948, the year I broke off with Weider. But they could not find any record of the International Federation of Body Building, as it was not a business, not a corporation, but only a sanction. They did not keep records in those days, but there is no question I ran the first IFBB show ever in the world, because Weider ran a show in 1947 (the Mr. Canada in October) but I have the program and nowhere does it say IFBB on it. They may have thought about it at the time though. There was a fellow who later worked for Joe Weider by the name of Emanuel Orlik. In 1965, when I published my magazine, he became my editor. So I never knew him from 1940 up to 1965, but I read his articles and he always mentioned his son, who was involved in the International Federation of Gymnastics. So that is how I came up with the name. I stole those three words “International Federation Of” and just added Body Building. [ Q ] And that’s how you say you originally came up with the name? Yes, because it sounded good to me. [ Q ] So now you are waiting on confirmation on whether Ben Weider registered the IFBB as a Non Profit corporation in 1946. Yes. We are waiting for the lawyers to conduct a search which will give me a complete report. This report will include taxes that were paid and everything you would want to know about the Weiders. [ Q ] In our last interview you say you forgot having started the IFBB. Did you get sidetracked? What happened here? This was because I came up with the name, and then broke off with Weider in late 1948. Then I had no way of getting enough contestants to run a show. If you want to run a show and you can’t reach contestants how do you advertise? So I was out until I started up my own magazine in 1965 – with Reg Park on the cover. Then I was able to start the World Body Building Guild and do what I have been doing for years. [ Q ] So you forgot about the circumstances surrounding your conception of the IFBB name? I forgot about it until my son went to look through all my junk as part of the process of doing a book on my life. Everything was put in boxes and my son said “What is this?” The program he found said International Federation of Body Building. I didn’t remember. I said, "Oh my God, who would believe me after all these years.'” This was about three years ago, since he found it. Weider (Joe) claimed they started the federation in 1936, but Weider is four months older than me. So even if he was born in 1922 he was only 14 in 1936. That’s ridiculous. Joe also claimed he discovered all the air in this world, as well as the peaks on the mountains. He discovered them all. I have a picture of what he really looked like when he started – pathetic. But he became large when he took a statue of the body of Robby Robinson and put his head on top. Pic above: Robby Robinson Posing for Joe Weiders Bronze Statue. Now there is a big lawsuit going on because Robby didn’t say anything initially, because Weider gave him a lot of free publicity. But now that it’s over, and he is not competing, he (Robby) wants his image back. [ Q ] So this clearly was not Joe’s physique you say? Joe Weider used retouching art work on several of his pictures. Putting his face on well built men is not new for Joe. I was in London in the mid-1940’s to cover the NABBA Mr. Universe. In the tall men’s class there were only two entries. “Joe said to me, ‘If I enter I have to come out third.'” Joe never had posing briefs. He came on stage with his pants on. Joe was awarded 3rd place. Now here is the kicker: when Weider printed the story and photos, Joe’s head was put on a very muscular body. He claimed this body was his. A real fraud. What a phony. Joe was always slender and never muscular. I still have the original photos. Joe as he really looked in those days. Earle Forbes took the pictures. How pathetic he looked. Remember Weider’s famous arms crossed chest shot? Joe, never looked like that in his entire lifetime. This picture was created by the late artist George Quaintance, in New York City. Pic above: Your Physique Magazine - Joe Weider on Cover - Artwork by George Quaintance. George was the art director of Your Physique. I was in Quaintance studio when he was working on Weiders retouched picture. George made a drawing of me that appeared on the cover of Weider’s Your Physique magazine. Quaintance was head judge at one of my muscle shows. [ Q ] Joe says he discovered Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. What are your thoughts on this? Joe Weider did not discover, or develop the physiques of Arnold or Lou Ferrigno. Arnold was the NABBA Mr. Universe for several years. In 1969, my wife Thelma and myself went to see Arnold and Franco Columbu off at the TWA JFK airport. Arnold won the Pro and Boyer Coe won the Amateur event. Pic above: Arnold Schwarzenegger - Dan Lurie and Franco Columbu at TWA JFK Airport - 1969. Arnold was already discovered and his picture’s appeared in foreign muscle magazines. How strange it is that I printed photos of Arnold in Muscle Training Illustrated way before Weider did. Weider only printed results of his contests. Pic above: 1967 Arnold and Kurt Marnul. [ Q ] Have you had any contact with Joe since you called him at the hospital? I recently tried to reach his office because they said he had back trouble. His secretary told me he was recovering from his back surgery. [ Q ] So to your knowledge Joe Weider is doing well physically? His secretary says he doesn’t come into the office as often, but he would be 83 now. [ Q ] You explained in our last interview that you worked with Lou Ferrigno for six years. Exactly what was your role here? Lou Ferrigno developed his own physique. I gave him advice and helped him. All I could do was encourage him and give him advice on training, but I found out that he spoke to dozen’s of people and got advice from many different people. When I first met him he was a skinny kid. He told me at the time he would like to be the best bodybuilder that ever lived. Of course we made a challenge to Arnold in Muscle Training Illustrated, and I put Lou on the cover and started publicizing him. From the time he was 16 to the time he left me at around age 22, we had a little more than six years together. Pic above: Young Lou Ferrigno at 17. Pic above: Lou Ferrigno at 20 years of age. [ Q ] What actual involvement did you have in Lou’s training? I would correct his posing all the time. I even paid his expenses to go to his first AAU Mr. America show. I paid for him to go to his first NABBA Universe contest in London. I did a lot of things for him but we didn’t have any kind of written contact – it was like a father and son deal. I would meet Lou at least two times a week, especially on Fridays. He would come over to my office around six o’clock and leave around eight or nine at night. We would go through posing and discuss training. What got his father upset with me was when Bill Grant beat out Lou in 1972 at my WBBG Pro Mr. America. Pic above: 1972 WBBG Pro Mr America - Bill Grant Beating Lou Ferrigno. Although Bill Grant represented Weider, I didn’t care. I just wanted the best man to win. I actually wanted Lou to win. They had 18 or 19 judges. The night before, Lou looked unbeatable but he took some pills on the advice of his friends and I couldn’t believe how the definition was gone in one night. He was lucky he even placed second. His father was angry and said “why didn’t you make sure your number one boy won”. But I run an honest contest and the best man has to win, with the judges deciding this. The next year Lou never showed up at my show. He entered the Weider show and I had my Steve Reeves show where I had to put seats on the stage to fit all the people in. [ Q ] But you did have a pretty good friendship with Lou over the years you were with him? Yes. Lou’s friend Tony Badal brought him to me. In fact Lou was supposed to be the best man at Tony’s wedding. Lou never showed up. I was there. He never told Tony why he didn’t show up. [ Q ] What kind of training program did you have Lou on? I always told him to use a lighter weight. He didn’t agree with me. He couldn’t do the endurance that I used to do. I would take a lighter weight and do maybe five or 10 sets of 15. That was too much for him. He had to take a heavier weight and do three or four sets. That was not my way, but whatever he did it worked for him. Now here is the main thing: I always said “Lou, are you taking any steroids?” He always said, “Are you crazy, I would never take steroids.” He knew of the side effects and the fact they could kill so many people. Well, he lied to me. When I met his father I got proof that Lou was on steroids. And I told Matty (Lou’s father), “You know that Lou is on steroids and that could kill him.” You know what his answer was? “It is not important that he dies, it is important that he wins.” I said, “Matty you are crazy.” Who would want their son to die just so they could win a lousy muscle contest? It’s nothing. I always wanted to put Lou into the insurance business – he was a sheet-metal worker – and I said, “With the publicity you are getting, people would call you to handle their insurance. I would send you to insurance classes.” But he didn’t want that. He wasn’t interested in money. He just wanted to be popular and he almost succeeded in Africa when he came third to Arnold in the Olympia. My friend Reg Park ran the show. Reg came to some of my shows to guest pose. Pic above: 1975 Mr Olympia - Arnold Wins Beating Serge Nubret (2nd) and Lou Ferrigno (3rd). [ Q ] Why did you get sued by Lou Ferrigno? I was sued because I used his picture in the back cover of my magazine selling Jet 707. He was featured with Steve Michalik. I had releases from both of them, but Lou stated that even though he signed the release he was under the age of 21. He claimed that he was under 21, but I proved that he was over 21 when he signed the contract. The release contract had the date and this proved he was over 21. My office secretary put her name down as a witness, and it wasn’t until I had to go through the records and check that I discovered this. In fact, I have the complete file – I looked at it last week. [ Q ] And Lou was successful in suing you? Yes. They had two good lawyers and one of them was associated with the judge. So I ended up having to pay quite a bit of money. And then when I went to a Mr. America contest in California, a couple of years later, and I went backstage. At this time, Lou had forgotten that he sued me, and he greeted me with open arms. He was so glad to see me, an old friend. But when I went backstage again a second time, as Lou passed by, this is what he said to me: “You dirty Jew son of a b*tch, the day my father and I bury you will be the happiest day of our lives.” I was ready to kick him in the testicles, but he would kill me. I’m a little guy. I had one chance, but nothing happened because people separated us. I said, “Lou, there is only one person in this world who is going to take care of you. God will take care of you and judge how I tried to help you and what you turned into.” That was the last contact I, or any of my family made with Lou, except for a few years ago when they were having a sports show in Atlanta Georgia. My son was in the crowd. Lou was on stage talking about the people he was representing. He spotted my son and got off the stage, and he said, “I have to say hello to a very dear old friend,” and they hugged each other. Of course, Lou had nothing against my son Mark. Mark was almost his age. They grew up together. Mark did nothing to hurt him, they were like friends. Mark said Lou was so nice he was like a different person. That was the last contact my son had with him. This would have been around 15-20 years ago. [ Q ] Did you have any contact with Lou at this time? No. He left me after the appearance of Steve Reeves at my show. It was verified at the time that Weider offered him $50,000 for five years. Sounds good, but when you break it down it is only $10,000 per year. That is all he was getting for writing and letting Weider use his name for advertising. That was how Weider operated. By the way: Weider didn’t bring Arnold Schwarzenegger into this country. It was someone who worked for him. A guy called Lud Shusterich. He won America’s Most Muscular Man in 1941, and he worked for Weider in Europe. Pic above: Joe Weider - Arnold Schwarzenegger - Franco Columbu - Lud Schusterich. Lud came from Brooklyn. Later on I became partners with Lud in an equipment company I opened in his home town. He made the arrangements to bring Arnold to America. He said to Joe, “I have someone who is going to be good for you in the magazines; he’s known in Europe and has won NABBA (National Amateur Bodybuilding Association) five or six times.” Pic above: 1969 Letter from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Dan Lurie. Pic above: 1969 Letter Response from Dan Lurie to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course Weider never publicized the NABBA Universe – only the IFBB shows. Arnold also got a $50,000 contract for five years. Then they worked things out and it became like a father and son deal. Lud Shusterich was an architect – he built the Weider buildings in Woodland Hills. [ Q ] Why did Arnold sue you? He sued me because he claimed he never knew about the Sergio and Arnold Challenge, which was to take place in New York City, on September 1974. I offered, at the time, $5000 to the winner of this contest. He accepted and Sergio Oliva accepted. I waited until the show, and the Arnold and Sergio Challenge was to be one of the main features we had. The day before he was supposed to come, a fellow by the name of Andy Bostinto who was a friend of mine and Arnold’s, said I have Arnold’s private number in California and we (Dan and Arnold) spoke for about 20-minutes, making arrangements and determining what flight he was coming in on so he could be picked up. He was telling us that Weider didn’t want him to go because I would fix the contest so he would lose. I said to him, “I have some other news. Sergio has agreed to split the prize two ways.” Whoever comes out first or second, still gets $2500 each. At that time Arnold was getting paid $500 to do an exhibition. Plus I had to pay his expenses to come in from California to New York. Arnold said, “with that money, I’ll be there.” Of course he never showed and all I ever printed in the magazine was that he lost on default, because he never showed up. That’s all I ever said. A couple of years later, while running my first WBBG show in Los Angeles, Arnold calls and wants to have breakfast with me and Franco Columbo and, of course, my wife. So we met at the Century Plaza Hotel, and we had breakfast for about two to two-and-a-half-hours. They must have eaten about three breakfasts – steak, eggs. They ate like they had never seen food in their lives. The bill came to close to $300, just for breakfast. I had a normal breakfast – maybe $15-20. Arnold was telling us how unhappy he was with Weider, that Weider was not publicizing great European bodybuilders. He asked if I would publish some of their pictures, along with some of his articles. Of course I said yes, I would be happy to. Arnold had a bunch of papers in his car and when he pulled up to leave, he gave me the package – about an inch thick. I looked at the package and saw a blue paper. That is how he served me with a summons. I immediately called Franco Columbu and asked him if he knew about this. He said, "Dan, Arnold is my best friend and all I know is that he laughed like a madman after the breakfast". Not only did Arnold get me to pay for the breakfast, he got to serve me with papers at the same time. Franco said he swore he knew nothing – he gave me his word. Franco did however say that Arnold laughed like he got the greatest pleasure in the world. Years later, at another AAU Mr. America in Atlanta City, my wife and I walk in and behind us is Arnold. So I walk in the opposite direction. He went to the left so I went to the right. All of a sudden an arm was put on my shoulder and it was Arnold. He said, “Dan, let’s be friends again.” I said, “Arnold, I could never be your friend after what you did to me.” I helped make him famous. In one issue of Muscle Training Illustrated Magazine, I had 19 pictures of Arnold, before Weider ever published any of his pictures. I said, “I helped make you famous.” He said, “I needed the money then.” We left and my wife said, “Wasn’t Arnold nice?” and I said “No, screw him.” Years later I was scheduled to give Regis Philbin an award for being the most physically fit announcer on television. Regis started with my weights when he was 13 years old and kept in great shape. He said, "Dan I will let you know when you can come and present me with the award". Pic above: Regis Philbin and Hulk Hogan. A couple of weeks went by and I get a call, which asked me to be there on a certain date. When I got there, everyone in the green room was saying that Arnold was there. I didn’t know he was going to be on the show. I was reading my newspaper and my son was with me and I have this big plaque that I’m going to give Regis. Arnold walks into the room and he says, “Dan is that you?” I hadn’t seen him for 20 years or so. I didn’t answer him. Then he said “Lurie, is that you?” I said, “Aren’t you ashamed to even talk to me after what you did?” Again he said he needed the money then. I said, “Arnold, I have three words for you. Give it back.” He went on first and did what he was there to do and then left. He wanted to know what Dan Lurie was doing on the show. He thought I was going to expose him for the rat he was. When I did my part with Regis I didn’t say a word about Arnold. I presented Regis with a nice plaque and that was the end of it. [ Q ] So what exactly did Arnold sue you for in the end? What was the outcome? He claimed he new nothing about the contest between Sergio Oliva and him that I had organized. He wanted a million dollars because I had made a fortune on the show, and since he never gave his permission, which was a lie, he sued me for using his name without his consent. He wasn’t really known at that time though. He was just known among a few muscle fans. It wasn’t until he made the picture Pumping Iron that he got known nationally. He sued me on a false claim. We both agreed not to expose what he got but it was well over six figures, plus the legal costs I paid. Read this great article entitled: "Pumping Iron at 40: An Interview with George Butler by Shawn Perine". Also, I had all my witnesses going back and forth. Every time I had my witnesses go there it was postponed, so we went back about three or four times which cost me. In the end, the judge said he had to settle the case. He got me in the corner and said, “Dan, you could lose a fortune, you are better off settling.” Then he got to Arnold and said, “Arnold, you could lose everything. This guy (Lurie) has a strong case, anything you get from him, take it.” He worked one against the other. I was stubborn and didn’t want to give a penny. My lawyer said my fees were going to be more than that if I were to continue like this. [ Q ] People want to know more about Arnold. What else can you share? I’ll tell you one thing. When I first met him at the airport in 1968, when my wife and I greeted him there, we took him out for lunch and he would grope the waitresses. He would touch their breasts and their behinds, and say to them three words, "I vant sex". I said to Arnold, “You don’t talk that way.” Now he is accused of so many things of that nature. I called him on television a slimy snake. [ Q ] Is there anything about Arnold that you did like? He has a good sense of humor, but he is very sneaky, very untrustworthy. He’s not honorable. He uses people like Weider (Joe) did – he had a good teacher in Weider. Weider was the one who encouraged him to sue me, I know that. Do you know how I know? Because the lawyers Arnold had were Weider’s lawyers. How would he get Weider's lawyers if Weider didn’t give him the name of the law firm. Of course, Weider didn’t like me to be successful with my magazines. He even took me to court to try to stop me from using the name Muscle Training Illustrated. He said it was too close to Muscle Power and Muscle and Fitness. Of course, he lost. He tried to stop my distributors, tried to do everything possible to hurt me. [ Q ] Who would you consider the greatest bodybuilder of all time and why? In my opinion it would be Steve Reeves. Steve Reeves had the most beautiful face to rival any Hollywood actor. He was a soft-spoken gentleman, and he never took steroids. He had a natural body, used to ride his bike up the hills of San Francisco all the time. To me he was the greatest of all time. We used to visit each other at our homes. He loved to put on my Seal test cape. I never knew that he watched the Big Top Circus Show. He liked my kids and my kids would visit him at his farm in San Diego. [ Q ] Did you ever train with Steve Reeves? No, but we used to go out to Broadway shows and share lobsters and steaks together, after the shows. We always enjoyed one another’s company. Strength Oldschool NOTE: Check out this book by Steve Reeves: "Building the Classic Physique The Natural Way". [ Q ] What other qualities did Steve Reeves have that made him, in your eyes, the greatest bodybuilder of all time? He had what the French call ‘armench,’ which means he was a very, very, nice person. [ Q ] I understand you had some involvement with Bernar McFadden and his man Charles Atlas. I was the associate editor on Bernar McFadden’s magazine Physical Culture. He used to take me for lunch to the downtown athletic club – where he was a member. I had him judge some of my muscle shows in the 1940s, and every time he judged a show he would hand me a check for $1000 when he left – for being kind to him. Pic above: 1910 issue of Physical Culture Magazine by Bernarr Macfadden. I gave him a nice build up. But people didn’t respect him in the muscle field. He gave Charles Atlas the title of Worlds Strongest Man. This was done through his magazine. I was supposed to honor Charles Atlas in 1971, I believe. I gave him the date and he phoned me a month before and said he had a problem with some property in Florida, and asked me if I could hold the plaque and give it to him in 1972. That was the year he died, so I went to his funeral and was the only bodybuilder there. I gave the plaque to his sons. The Beach that Atlas went to was Point Lookout in Nassau, Long Island. He had a summer home there. Did a lot of running on the beach. He always treated me nicely. In Charles Atlas we lost a great man who helped many thousands to develop their bodies. Atlas always knocked weights saying only his Dynamic Tension could do the job. It was a lot easier selling paper courses than shipping & packing heavy barbell equipment. Atlas used weights to build up his tremendous body, but never gave credit to the exercise equipment. He was a gentleman all the way. [ Q ] What about Bernarr McFadden did you respect most? He treated me very nice. I was a young kid in my late 20s early 30s. He died at the age of 87 I believe. He always liked to walk fast and in his later years he would jump out of airplanes. He was not a tall man, probably only about 5′ 6″, but he was a very good looking man. Pic above: This book can be checked out and purchased from here. [ Q ] Tell me more about your Instant Action Positrain course. Is it still selling? They aren’t really selling that well today. I had an injunction brought against me by someone who posed in the book. I was partners at the time with a fellow by the name of John Lima, who at one time was partners with Joe Weider. With the lawsuit, they said they didn’t give me any permission to use the image and they missed out on thousands of dollars with the sale of the books. I have a couple of hundred books left. I don’t sell many of the books today. I used to sell them to Amazon, and they were doing very well – I sold maybe a thousand or so copies, which was good. And then they put a new rule in that if they didn’t sell X-amount, the amount I got would be cut in half. So it didn’t pay for me to continue selling them, so I stopped. [ Q ] What exactly did and/or does your course, provide? Well, you have to try to satisfy all people, from beginners to advanced. It is hard to put it all into one book. The book is a good way for a beginner to get started. In a lot of gyms today, people don’t lift enough weights. They put them on the treadmill. Back in those days I must have had a dozen different gyms running. It was different then because you knew everyone by name. Today it is completely out of hand – you don’t even know who the members are. So there are more in the way of different fitness needs today. [ Q ] And the book provides different ways for people to train, gives people different options? Yes, as much as I could. I always say the most important thing, even today, is walking. It is the greatest thing people can do. [ Q ] What is so great about walking do you think? Because with walking you strengthen the heart and live longer. People, who have walked long distances for most of their lives, have a record of longevity. Anything that is good for the heart is a great thing. I’m coming out with something and we are in the production stages – my grandson is pushing me. It will be called the Dan Lurie Fitness Rope. This will be a type of rope that no one has used before. A beginner finds it very difficult to jump rope, because the rope hits their feet. With my rope, there is no hitting of the feet. A person will never have to stop because the rope has not gone the complete turn. It is in the works of being patented, so I can’t talk about how it works right now. The new rope will be for people of all ages for weight loss. They don’t have to go out in the rain to walk. They will get just as much benefit if they can jump a rope for 30-minutes-a-day. That would be tremendous for the average person. 30 minutes non-stop with the rope is a long time. There is going to be an infomercial – I have people from television interested. First I want to get everything right. [ Q ] I understand you began your own corporation in the 1980s? I became 50-50 partners with John Lima in the 80s, in a separate Corp. We formed a separate Corp and had our office and Fitness showroom located on West 48 St. and Broadway in New York City. Right in the middle of Times Square. I had my own Dan Lurie Fitness World in my own building located in Queens, New York. I was 100 percent owner and it had over 40,000 square feet of space, with a large Parking area. At that time, it was the world’s largest fitness store. [ Q ] In the 40s and 50s would you have considered yourself one of the worlds strongest, most muscular, men? I won America’s most muscular man three-years-in-a-row: 1942, 43 and 44. I was the only one in the history of the AAU to win it three times in a row. The closest was twice. [ Q ] On that basis, would you consider yourself to be one of the most muscular men of that era? Oh sure. I didn’t realize how strong I was until I started out with the bent press. Maybe I was able to do 150 lbs. I remember the first time I did 100 lbs with one hand I thought, wow am I strong. But it’s all in the technique. I then went up to 150 lbs. At Sig Klein’s show I think I did 200 or 210. As the years went by I kept practicing. It has to do with strength, but the strength is not as important as the technique. [ Q ] Could you describe exactly how you would perform the one arm bent press? Bending away from the weight. Getting under the weight – you had to be flexible. The heavier you are the less you could do. Then I ended up doing 285lbs with one hand, at a bodyweight of 168lbs. [ Q ] Was this ever verified? Yes. The AAU people watched it. It was all done in front of a panel of AAU people. They were there also when I did my push-ups and parallel dips. I didn’t know who they were, but I know the names of them now. One was Rudy Zabo. He was in charge of the AAU in New York City. Another by the name of Morris Weissbrot. He was one of the judges in the 1972 Munich Olympics, which was held at one of the Jewish camps where 11 athletes were killed. [ Q ] Was the weight you lifted ever recorded? Yes, but I don’t know what they did with it. They gave me a certificate and that was it. Records weren’t kept like they are today. [ Q ] How close did you come to winning the AAU Mr. America? Bob Hoffman controlled the sport of bodybuilding in the 40s. Four of his men won. In 1942, Frank Leight (photo below), who represented York, won. In '43, Jules Bacon (photo below), who also represented York, beat me although we both won three body parts each. The contest was only between the both of us. Although the other guys were good, they weren’t in our class. In '44, Steve Stanko (pictured below) won. He also represented York and was the only Mr. America in history that could not walk on the stage, and walk up a posing platform. He had trouble with his legs, and he died from that. When it came time for him to pose, they put the lights out and they helped him out on stage. The 1944 America was held in a boxing ring in Chattanooga Tennessee. They turned the lights out, carried him into the ring, helped him up the steps, and put him on the platform. Then the lights went on. When he was through posing, the lights mysteriously went off, and they helped him off the stage. Same thing when they announced the winners. They had to put the lights out. People didn’t know what was happening – they thought it was a black-out or something. All of a sudden you have 20-30 people on stage and they announced the finalists. He won the 1944 Mr. America. Here’s something interesting: in 1942, Frank Leight won the Mr. America contest in Cincinnati, Ohio, but I was picked as the winner the night before. When they gave out the awards, they announced it as a tie between Frank Leight and myself, and they were going to have an independent judge break the tie. You know who the judge was? Sigmund Klein (pictured below). Frank Leight was the manager of his (Sig Klein’s) gym in New York City. Sig should have disqualified himself. So he picked his man. His answer was a taller man is always better built than a shorter man. [ Q ] When was the World Bodybuilding Guild started? It was started in 1965 or 1966. My first dinner was for Sig Klein. The guy who took away my title. I honored him. He never entered any competitions, but he was built nice from the waist up. His legs were weak though. He never competed, just like Jack LaLanne who never competed in any of the AAU Mr. America contests. Famous People Dan Has Met: Prime Minister of the UK, Winston Churchill. Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the US. USA Senator Jacob Javits of N.Y. Mayor Abe Beame of N.Y.C. Mayor Ed Koch of N.Y.C. Mayor Ed Juiliani of N.Y.C. Mayor David Dinkins of N.Y.C. Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Bagin Prime Minister of Israel, Sholm Peres Prime Minister of Israel, Itsik Schmere Prince’s Grace Kelly of Monaco Prince Reniure of Monaco Senator Al Da-Mato of N.Y. Gov. Soapy Williams of Mich. Gov. Hugh Cary of N.Y. and Son Chriss Gov. Mario Como of N.Y. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of Calif. Special Awards To Dan: AAU Hall of Fame Downtown Athletic Club. NYC King Neptune in Coney Island Parade Daughter Sandy Carl – Queen in Coney Island Parade Sports People: Jackie Robinson – Baseball Mel Allen Yankie – Announcer Joe Louis – Boxer Al “Bummy” Davis – Boxer “Schoolboy” Bernie Freiken – Boxer Rocky Graziano – Boxer Jack Demsky – Boxer Tiger Woods – Golf Sonny Liston – Boxer Red Hollsman – Basketball Ivan Putski – Wrestler Super Star Billy Graham – Wrestler Bruno Sammartino – Wrestler Vince McMahon – Wrestling Promoter “Captain” Lou Albana – Wrestler “Andre the Giant” – Wrestler Antono Rocca – Wrestler Show Business People: Alan Burke Regis Philbin Jan Murry Johnny Weismuller Buster Crabbe Mae West Steve Reeves Clint Eastwood Jack Sterling – Ringmaster, Big Top Circus Bob Russell Barker – Big Top Circus, Miss America TV Show Ed McMahon – Clown on Big Top TV show, Johnny Carson’s Sidekick George Burns Woody Allen Lou Costello Eddie Cantor Al Johnson Soffie Kucker Ruth St. Dennis’s husband Ted Shawn Georgie Tapps George Gerswin Ira Gershwin Steve Allen Walter Cronkite Joe Franklin Marilyn Monroe Jerry Lewis Milton Berle Jane Mansfield and husband Mickey Hagerty Bing Crosby Eddie Fisher Eddie Gormay and husband Steve Lawrence Joey Bishop Alan King Jackie Mason Buddy Hackett Carol Channing Excvia Cuget and Wife Charro Mario Lanza, Terry Robinson Shecky Greene Joel and Joan Gray Billy Rose and wife Joyce Matthews Todie Fields Ray Parker Norm Crosby Harry Bellefonte Dom DeLuise Bob Hope Jerry Colona Jan Pierce Debbie Reynolds and her Mother Ed Sullivan Sam Levinson Jack Albertson Danny Styles Jack Albertson [ Q ] Can you elaborate on the World Bodybuilding Guild, and what exactly is the bodybuilding hall of fame? I started it because I wanted to give credit to top bodybuilders in our sport. I felt it was a nice way to get closer to all the people who are interested in our sport. You go to a muscle contest; you sit in your chair. You may wave at some people there and say “how are you?” At a dinner, you can walk around and talk to people – everyone has a badge on with their name. You can go up to the Dias and talk to whoever is being honored, and you are free to take any number of pictures. It was a good thing to do for the people, and it was a good thing to publicize it in my magazines. And we would run a weekend. The Saturday night would be the contest and Sunday would be the dinner. So all the people who entered would come to the dinners too. It was a nice thing to do, and I enjoyed doing it. Of course, after a while I felt there weren’t enough muscle men to honor and I wanted to get a bigger crowd. I therefore went to sports people and movie stars. Dan’s Hall Of Fame Honorees: WBBG Hall Of Fame Dinners & Awards 1965- Sigmund Klein 1967- Bill Pearl 1968- Ricky Wayne 1969- Boyer Coe 1970- Dennis Tinerino 1971- Sergio Oliva 1972- Reg Park 1973- Steve Reeves 1974- Peter Lupus & Bert Reynolds 1975- Robert Redford & Mae West, Joe Bonomo-Chris Dickerson, Dave Draper & The “Mighty Adam” Joe Greenstein 1976- Johnny Weissmuller-Buster Crabbe, Sergio Oliva-Bruno Sammartino 1977- Steve Reeves-Billy Graham, Serge Nubret- Sylvester Stallone & the Greatest Boxer-Joe Louis 1978- Robert Blake- Clint Eastwood, James Bolin-Sen. Jacob Javits, Jack LaLanne-Jim Morris, Bill Pearl & Ivan Putski Special Awards To: President Ronald Reagan Three Prime Ministers of Israel: Yitzhak Shamir, Shimon Peres, and Menahem Begin Prince Rainier of Monte Carlo George Burns Regis Philbin Charles Atlas Joe Franklin Mayor Abe Beame NYC Mayor Ed Koch NYC [ Q ] Were many of the other honorees bodybuilding enthusiasts. Were they in any way connected to the bodybuilding scene? Some were, some weren’t. Clint Eastwood was a bodybuilder. Sylvester Stallone was always a bodybuilder. He was a member of my New York gym. His brother Frankie reminded me that when he and Sly were 13 or 14 years old when they were thrown out of my gym. I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “You asked me for dues and we didn’t have the eight or 10 dollars to pay.” Stallone was a very nice person. Then when we had Clint Eastwood, he called in the night before and he said he had a problem. He was in the middle of a movie and the producer left so he had to do it himself. This is something not many people could do. So he sent me someone to take his place, to give the award to – James Roland. He was the one who was married to Barbara Streisand and had a very popular show in New York called “Hotel,” based on a nice hotel in San Francisco – the Fairmont Hotel. [ Q ] You honored Mae West with an award for sexiest woman of the century. Why did you choose her for this award and what was she like? Yes, I met Mae West at her home place. After being with her the first three hours, I told her, “Ms. West, I can’t give you any more of my time.” Of course she was the one who was helping me. I said, “My wife is downstairs and she is going to be quite upset.” She asked if my wife would like to come upstairs and meet her. I said, “No, she’s not one of your fans.” She told me to go downstairs and bring my wife up. And that’s what we did. After a half an hour they were the best of friends. We found out something strange. Mae was born in Brooklyn and her father’s name was Jack West – he was a fighter. In between fights he would rent a horse and wagon and sell fruit in his neighborhood. As a kid, she would go to Rockaway Avenue to pick up the horse and wagon. My grandfather owned the place where the cart was kept so we got very warm – I mean, what a connection. We spoke more about her father and what she did when she was living in Brooklyn. She never flew, but always took the train. She was scared of flying. And of all places, she is now buried in Brooklyn. [ Q ] What else can you tell me about Mae West? I must have sat no more than two feet from her and her skin was so soft – no wrinkles, nothing. She was in her 80s at the time. She looked great. She kept saying, “Feel my arms, I work out.” I felt her arms. She said, “Feel my breasts.” I said, “I’m not going to touch your breasts.” [ Q ] A special time in your life. Yes. I’ll tell you another story that is very special to me. In 1943 I went to Los Angeles to compete in the AAU Mr. America. I had a room-mate who was a 118 lbs weightlifting champion, Joe DePietro. He was like a dwarf – about three feet tall. He came from Patterson, New Jersey. Joe said to me one day, "come with me I want to visit my old friend, he has just bought a house in Beverly Hills". Pic above: Weightlifter Joseph DePietro - 1948 Olympics. He didn’t tell me who this friend was. It turned out to be the home of Lou Costello from Abbott and Costello. But Lou Costello had a heart problem and he was on a hospital bed. They would wheel him from room to room. He couldn’t walk, but we spoke and he grabbed my chest like he was going to beat me up. He was just joking of course. Pic above: Abbott and Costello - 1950s. I took pictures of his swimming pool and his yard. But when I developed the pictures, I found a picture of a baby carriage right next to the swimming pool. The day I left his house, after taking the pictures, his son, who was less than a year old, climbed out of the carriage and drowned. I have the only picture of the baby in the carriage before he died. Last picture probably ever taken of him. I tried to give it to the family but this never happened. This story will be in my book. ** More on this sad and terrible tragedy can be read here. [ Q ] Very touching story Dan. When will your new book be out and what will it entail? It is in the hands of the agents and publishers right now so I don’t know just yet. This book will be my life story and also about the dangers of steroids. It will teach how to become a champion without the use of steroids. ** Dan Lurie's book (Heart of Steel: The Dan Lurie Story) can now be purchased by clicking here. [ Q ] You had some dealings with another anti-steroid campaigner, Steve Michalik? Yes, the 1972 Mr. America. He now talks about the dangers of steroids. They made him mentally crazy. His brother worked for me as an artist and when Steve was about 13, he would come with his brother to my home in Long Island to deliver me the artwork. That’s how far back I go with Steve Michalik. Steroids almost killed Steve – he went through divorces and beat up his friends. The anger. He used to eat the glands from monkeys skulls to get big. [ Q ] Joe Louis and Superstar Billy Graham were others you presented awards to? Yes. I honored Joe Louis the day I honored Steve Reeves. Superstar Billy Graham and his boss Vince McMahon, who was just a youngster at the time, were there. Superstar Billy Graham introduced Steve Reeves. Billy Graham was not a speaker, but no one could have done a better job of introducing Steve Reeves. The God coming down to earth to the people was what Billy Graham said about Steve Reeves. It probably embarrassed Steve Reeves, but he was so loved by the people there. I was Superstars manager for a while, then my son picked out his home no more than five miles from me, and Superstar trained at my gym in Lynbrook L.I., New York. Pic above: Superstar Billy Graham. I gave him a key so he could train at five o’clock in the morning. I also found out that as big as he was, Superstar was taking steroids. He almost died from them with kidney problems and other things. He is crippled today. He could have been the biggest star in wrestling but drugs destroy and they destroyed him. [ Q ] On that note we have to end things Dan. We should talk again. I would like that Dave. Thanks.
  2. * Written by Ray Nobile, with assistance from his beautiful wife Marion, and Magnus.* This promotional article has been edited by Strength Oldschool. NOTE by Strength Oldschool: Ray Nobile has a new ebook out which I highly recommend all serious bodybuilding and strongman fans read! As a teaser guests can read Chapter 1 and Chapter 5 below for free to get a taste of what the book entails. To purchase this eBook, at the cost of only 5 Euros, (price may be subject to change) please contact Ray Nobile directly at the following email address: raynobile@gmail.com. INTRODUCTION: Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a worldclass powerlifter? Or a European champion bodybuilder? How about a world record breaker in strongman competition? My name is Ray Nobile and I have been there, done that and got the t-shirt as the saying goes in ALL THREE!! Join me on a journey through the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s as I lift, hold, carry and flex my way through my iron game career. Meet the super-strong highlander who gave it up for love while still in his prime! See the eccentric lifter who raised 700lbs with the help of a foot pump (or did he?)! How about the giant lifter who ran away... from an oily salad? And much more! Meet legends of lifting that became friends of mine, and experience what it was like to compete against them. Stories from my life PLUS chapters featuring Marion my wife and her record breaking success, PLUS various training routines and diets I have used over the years. More than 100 pages of drama, laughter, tragedy and entertainment awaits you within this e-book from a former topflight competitor in the iron game…enjoy! CONTENTS: Chapters / Page No. Foreword by Strength Oldschool – Page 3 1: My first 5 years in the Iron Game: 1965 -1970 – Page 6 2: 1970-1980: From powerful-looking to powerlifting champion – Page 15 3: 1976 – 1980: Power, politics and personalities on my way to the top – Page 25 4: 1977-1980 Worlds to conquer and Battles to the Finnish and Swedish – Page 37 5: 1979-1980 Winning, whingeing and record breaking strong men! – Page 51 6: 1981 to 1985: Big totals, Strongman titles and bowing out of plifting! – Page 65 7: 1986 to 1999: Bodybuilding, gym owner and fire-fighting games! – Page 76 8: Marion tells Magnus about her own career in the iron game – Page 90 9: Some of my training routines – Page 105 10: Dedications and Thanks – Page 112 CHAPTER 1: My first 5 years in the iron game: 1965-1970 Hello Iron Game brothers and sisters, I am very glad you decided to read my story and I will do my best to entertain you along the way. If you don’t know anything about the iron game and it’s all new to you welcome anyway, I will try to explain things and make it entertaining for you as well. I have been living in Bulgaria for about a decade along with my beautiful wife Marion who is a strength athlete and title winner in her own right. Even though I am now over 60 years of age we train hard 6 days a week and eat a disciplined diet, maintaining bodybuilder physiques that are pretty good, even if I do say so myself! We have come a long way from where we started and experienced great triumphs and the odd loss along life’s highway, but here and now I would like to take you back in time and tell you how it was in my early days. I started life’s journey in April 1951, living in a village in South Lanarkshire in Scotland called Bothwell which is roughly 12 miles south-east of Glasgow. The river Clyde runs through Bothwell and the remains of a castle sit on Bothwell Bank. There is a lot of history tied up in this place but when I started training I never imagined at all that one day it would be me making history myself. I was lucky to have inherited good genetics for the iron game which became evident when I was very young. In fact when I was 3 years old I was spotted by a man who was in town with the circus as I ran along the seafront in Largs with my parents. This man offered to buy me from my parents, saying that he had never seen such a well-developed child before and I would make a very good circus performer as I grew up. Luckily for me my parents decided not to take the money! At 13 years of age I started working weekends and school holidays at my father’s hairdressing salon, learning how to deal with ladies hair under the direction of my uncle Adam who managed that side of the business. At 15 years of age I left school and worked full-time hairdressing and attended Stow College of Hairdressing on a day release scheme, picking up my diplomas in tinting, perming and other hairdressing skills. While I was taking my apprenticeship I became inspired to become a bodybuilder when I was 14 years old as I watched the Hercules movies that starred the legendary Steve Reeves and Reg Park, and Gordon Scott as Tarzan. At 14 I possessed a well-proportioned but wiry physique and I thought these guys had incredible physiques. There was even a muscle control act on the talent-spotting TV programme called Opportunity Knocks. A guy called Tony Hollands performed muscle control routines to music, and I just had to build some muscle for myself after seeing all of these bodybuilders. My father bought a Weider barbell set and with little more than the instruction leaflet that came with it I trained in my bedroom for a year. Then at 15 years of age I joined a gym and finally started learning much more about how to train properly. The year was 1966 and the Koby Osaka gym was situated above a Judo studio in Glasgow which had a tremendous reputation in the Judo world due to it being owned and run by a guy called Tommy Morris who, if I remember correctly, was the first man in the UK to attain a 10th Dan grade. Training became more advanced now as I followed routines pinned to the walls of the gym and also sought advice from the more experienced guys that trained there. It was also the gym where I met Robin Love who became my training partner for five years and also became a great friend, more than once being my best man. Thinking of Robin reminds me of one occasion when we went to Blackpool for the weekend and created a bit of chaos in Woolworths while we were there. We went in and told the girl at the counter that we were making a special visit to test the hot water bottles that they were selling there. She said “what do you mean, test them? ” We explained we were checking for leaks and she proved to be a practical jokers dream as she asked if we wanted all of them. She must have been either a new member of staff or a ‘weekend girl’ because she was so gullible she accepted everything we said without question. We settled on one each and after removing the packaging took a count of three then started blowing them up. In next to no time a crowd gathered to watch us and we had the bottles about halfway there when the manager came storming into the room accompanied by a couple of staff members, shouting “what the hell is going on here? ” Robin let his bottle go and it shot up to the ceiling then bounced down onto shelving sending things flying. I was still determined to burst my bottle but was grabbed by the elbows by members of staff and they were forcing me towards the exit. Before we got there Robin dead-panned “here, unhand that man he is not finished yet, the bottle is about to burst so let him continue.” At this I burst out laughing and the bottle took off like a bat out of hell straight into the baby food shelves. We were then booted out onto the street and while we were walking away an old man who looked about 90 called after us “come back lads, you are not well, you need treatment,” but we just kept walking and laughing. Back to the gym and training moved up another notch. I then went on to follow Reg Park’s Bulk and Power routine, which was based on all the basic lifts worked for 5 sets of 5 reps each exercise. Yes young guys, there are 5 x 5 routines by Madcow, Stronglifts, Bill Starr etc. these days, some of them talk as though they invented 5 x 5, but Reg Park was training this way in the early 1950s. And Reg got so strong he set many official British weightlifting records including becoming the second man in history to bench press 500 pounds! I also followed routines from the magazines, especially those created by John McCallum in his ‘Keys to Progress’ series of articles that were published in Bob Hoffman’s Strength and Health and Muscular Development magazines. Years later Randall Strossen of Ironmind reprinted John’s entire series as a book. If you want good advice and funny entertaining articles you cannot do better than to get a copy and read about John’s quirky characters and his admiration for real guys such as the Canadian Hercules Maurice Jones and of course Reg Park. Anyway, I am getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s go to the first contest I ever attended (as a spectator) which was the Mr Hercules organised by Bob Sweeney who was the owner of the Olympic Health Studios chain of chromed and carpeted health studio gyms spread throughout Britain. The winner of this contest was Bernard Bradford who went on to be runner-up in the Mr Britain contest. The junior division of this contest was won by Dave Caldwell. This would not be the last time I came across Dave at a contest! The icing on the cake was the guest poser, none other than Larry Scott (pictured above), fresh from his Mr Olympia victory! Although he seemed to be somewhat shy off stage, when he posed on stage he just exuded charisma from every pore, no wonder Ricky Wayne (pictured below) raved about him in Joe Weider’s Muscle Builder magazine. And the strange thing was in the pictures we saw of Larry he looked quite smooth, but in the flesh he was not just cut, he was ripped to shreds (cut and ripped means the muscles stand out and are highly visible). I said I was just a spectator at this contest but I did get up on stage and compete but not as a bodybuilder. The Milk Marketing Board held an audience participation contest during the break and I won it. What did I do? I had to eat a pie, drink a pint of milk and blow up a balloon until it burst. I had to take two buses to get home from Glasgow and I received some funny looks from other travellers as I carried my prize home, as I had won 12 pints of milk, 12 pies, 24 cartons of yoghurt and a packet of balloons! Not long after I entered my first competition in Glasgow in November 1966. The contest was the junior Mr Caledonia and I placed third. The winner was Dave Caldwell (photo above) who then went on to become runner-up in the junior Mr Britain that year. Later Dave turned to powerlifting like me, and he went on to become European and World champion. Also at this contest I met Rick Wayne who was both a great bodybuilder and possibly the best writer and contest reporter on the bodybuilding world ever. Ricky said I had great potential and would go far in bodybuilding, and was extremely surprised to hear that I was only 15 years old at the time as he thought I was around 17. Over the next few years I competed in bodybuilding I won the junior Mr Scotland 3 times, junior Mr Caledonia twice, the junior Mr Edina (Edinburgh) and the junior Mr Fitness and Health. I also competed in the junior Mr Britain in 1970 and was a finalist, competing against teenage phenomenon young Bertil Fox (photo below). When I turned 18 years of age one of the girls at my father’s salon decided to go it alone and set up her own business, and she asked me to work for her. I decided ‘why not’ but unfortunately she had a jealous husband and after seven months I had to leave. I fancied a change from hairdressing so I went to work the summer season at a Butlins holiday camp, but only worked there for three weeks because John and Andy who trained at the same gym as me set up a new gym in the heart of Glasgow and asked me to be an instructor there. They named it the Nordic Health Studios and were hoping to have the same success that Bob Sweeney had with his chain of Olympic Health Studios. During this period of time in my life I met many great iron game competitors and here I would like to say a few words about some of them: Frank Richards: (photo above) Mr Britain winner in 1968 who was a straightforward, down to earth character who, even when he was competing or guest posing, could always be found in the bar or pub both before and after the competition, as he liked his drink! Frank later trained with guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbu at the original Golds gym and also suffered a very bad accident in his work that almost ended his career but he made a comeback some years later and did very well. John Citrone: I first met John in 1967 at a competition where he guest posed. As well as posing he performed a strength act, part of which was to lift an anvil in one hand and an anchor in the other and hoist them overhead. The anvil had a handle welded on which made it even more awkward to lift. He challenged anyone in the audience to replicate this feat, but despite many very strong men from this era trying no one ever succeeded. John also included his wife, who was a Miss Britain winner, in this act by lifting her overhead with one arm, but unfortunately for the audience‘s strongmen he never invited anyone to try and match that feat! John’s strength was all the more impressive because he was not a huge man by any means, yet he could out-do men that were quite literally twice or even three times his size!! Paul Wynter: (pictured below) A multi NABBA Mr Universe winner who also included strength feats in his act. In those days show promoters got more value for their money as most of the physique stars were more versatile and included strength acts with their posing routines. Paul was strong but was best known for his classical shape, possessing a physique similar to Steve Reeves. Len Sell: (pictured below) Another multi Universe winner, Len was a very small man with a very unusual physique. He also promoted the Bullworker isometric training device, but despite being paid well to do this he would openly tell people that it was rubbish and weights were the one and only truly effective equipment to train with! Louis Martin: (pictured below) A star in the sport of Olympic weightlifting, between 1959 and 1965 was world champion 4 times and won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic games in 1964 when Russian Trofim Lomakin showed up in top form and beat Louis. I met Louis when we toured Scotland together with Precious McKenzie, Dave Prowse and David Webster. Dave Prowse stood around 6 feet 7 inches and later became the Green Cross Code man on TV then Darth Vader in Star Wars, but at this time he competed as a bodybuilder and Olympic weightlifter and was British heavyweight weightlifting champion twice. He also succeeded in lifting the famous ‘unliftable’ Inch dumbbell that had beaten all other contenders during Thomas Inch’s strongman career! Drifting off the subject there, let’s get back to Louis Martin. Louis was a genial sort of guy who liked to read poetry and possessed an amazing physique for an Olympic lifter as he had started out as a bodybuilder in Jamaica before settling in England. He told me that after every training session he would drink a pint of Guinness with a couple of raw eggs mixed in it. I asked him if this helped with his strength and muscle development and he replied that he didn’t know for sure but it certainly kept his muscles happy! Magnus tells me that years ago in Portugal they called Guinness stout beer and raw eggs a ‘drink for tired horses,’ but lots of people also drank it as a tonic. Louis was by far the most successful Olympic lifter that represented Britain internationally that we have ever had. Don Dorans: In 1968 I met Don at a competition and he took me under his wing, organising my training routines and giving me advice about contest prep, diet, posing etc. His routines were very quirky but effective, and he was way ahead of his time with regards to nutrition. We became really great friends when he moved to Scotland, and I used to visit him every couple of weeks and he would introduce me to the latest piece of training equipment that he was designing. Quite a few of the standard pieces of gym equipment that all gyms have these days came from Don’s highly eccentric but also amazingly active and inventive mind. Don was also a very good cyclist for his age at that time (60 years old). I remember one time when I went to visit him and he had just returned from a 10 miles time trial which had been accomplished in 23 minutes. When he told me he was going out again to repeat the 10 mile trial I had to ask why. He explained that he was conducting a nutritional experiment on himself to see if vitamin E would be effective for his endurance, and had just taken 4,000 IU’s of E before going out again. He told me he would be back in 23 minutes but made it in 22 minutes 30 seconds, so had knocked 30 seconds off his time despite being more fatigued on the second time trial, proving that it was effective. One of the routines Don came up with for me was very effective at adding size and strength – see the last chapter for some details about it. Anyway, going back to competitions, things were very different to today’s shows. Now we have contests with lots of classes thrown in such as Miss Figure, Miss Bikini, Mr/Miss Fitness which are nothing to do with bodybuilding and really belong in aerobics shows. Also there are many different bodybuilding federations. Compare that with the 1960s when everything was far simpler and there were only 2 organisations. In the shows there were only the men’s classes, the juniors and the Miss. Everyone was also much more friendly back then, and approachable and pleasant when asked questions. Most of the top guys felt it was their duty to help the novices in the sport. Also there were no prima donnas throwing temper tantrums on stage and smashing trophies if they failed to win. Magnus asked me if I had an outstanding memory from my first 5 years in the sport that stood out from everything else that had taken place. Well yes I do, it was when I had won the Mr Fitness and Health which was staged by David Webster (photo above). I was invited to join a tour of various competitions in the company of Louis Martin, Precious McKenzie etc. (as I had mentioned earlier), and listening to the stories these guys could tell was riveting stuff to a fan like me. There was one thing that partly spoilt it, this was of course when I first found out that Webster was only really involved in it for himself as he always took advantage of us. I was promised that I would be paid for the tour as Louis, Dave etc. were being paid to be a part of it. When the tour ended and I asked for my money, Webster said the fact that expenses incurred such as food, hotel bills etc. had been paid by him, and that this was my payment and there was no cash forthcoming. This was despite numerous newspaper and TV interviews which Webster was paid for but we weren’t. This was my first experience of many with him over the years that followed where he constantly manipulated situations to suit himself. Generally though, I was very happy with my achievements and met many interesting and famous people, and really enjoyed the experience of it all. If you told me I could live my life over again, and could change anything in those 5 years, I think I would be happy to do it all again exactly the same, yes even if I had to put up with David Webster’s interfering involvement. Okay, that brings us to the end of my first 5 years in the iron game, after which life changed. I still trained but only competed occasionally as my new career as a fireman, getting married and starting a family occupied most of my time. Then in 1976 I took up powerlifting which was a new beginning that led to some of the biggest achievements in my life, and eventually took me all over the world…..and I will be telling you all about it in the chapters that are coming up! CHAPTER 5: 1979-1980 Winning, whingeing and record breaking strong men! Hello again and welcome to chapter five! With apologies to fans of spaghetti westerns you could say in this chapter I remember some guys that were good, at least one bad (although I hear he has mellowed with age! ), and occasionally the ugly happenings and behaviour of people from my career in strength. This time the action overlaps with chapter four as it is squeezed into the end of the 1970s and the start of the 1980s; a time when my powerlifting prowess kept on growing up to some of my best-ever results and other opportunities to compete in strength-based competitions appeared: I am of course talking about strongman contests. Back in the 1970s strongman contests were rare and the competitors even rarer. Unlike today with their Grand Prix events, prize money and professional competitors that train specifically for strongman contests, there were no professional strongmen (other than circus and vaudeville type performers). A TV programme called ‘World’s Strongest Man’ was created by Transworld Sports in 1977 but it wasn’t very worldwide at all as all the competitors were Americans (except for Franco Columbu who lived in America anyway). * 1977 Worlds Strongest Man contest - Franco Columbu and Paul Anderson The TV producers looked around for guys known to the public for their strength and invited them to compete. Guys like WWF (now WWE) wrestler Ken Patera who had been America’s strongest Olympic lifter and had lifted in the 1972 Olympic games in Munich; Bruce Wilhelm the current strongest lifter at the time in America; Lou Ferrigno, at that time the world’s biggest bodybuilder and newly famous on Television as green-skinned The Incredible Hulk; George Frenn a hammer thrower and record-breaking powerlifter from the original Westside Barbell club run by Bill ‘Peanuts’ West; bodybuilder and strongman Mike Dayton who was the first to sell a training course that put the focus on mind control. Using his techniques Mike used to break real police handcuffs in his escapology act! American Football player Bob Young was the big brother of world champion powerlifter Doug Young, then came Jon Cole who was well past his best (Jon had been a fantastic powerlifter and Olympic lifter), and of course Franco Columbu 1976 Mr Olympia (and later 1981 Mr Olympia). And that was it – 8 competitors only. Wilhelm won the contest and won again in 1978 then retired. Going back to the 1977 contest, Franco lost his balance running with a 420 lb (190 kg) refrigerator on his back and wrecked one of his legs. This came back to haunt him when he took the 1981 Mr Olympia title with thighs that looked untrained and (oh no! There goes Magnus on his rant against the 1981 Olympia result again! Better change the subject fast! ) caused a storm of controversy. Anyway, you get the picture – guys were invited to compete simply because they were known to the public and usually when they tackled the strongman events they had never done them before, so records back then were much lower than today but injuries were much more common because they did not know the best techniques to use when performing these events. My first invitation to compete in strongman came in January 1979, and what I am going to tell you next will probably make you think I was crazy to accept. A powerlifting meet was being organised by Gus Rethwisch who had finished in fifth place in the 1978 Worlds Strongest Man (years later Gus played ‘Buzzsaw’ in Arnold’s movie ‘The Running Man’). The meet was by invitation only and would feature world champions and world record holders from all over the world, and it was going to be held in Hawaii. ‘Fantastic’ I thought, ‘who would not want to go to Hawaii?’ I was all set to go when a completely unexpected letter from Wally Holland who was president of BAWLA dropped through my letterbox. It said that I had been selected to compete in Britain’s Strongest Man which was being organised and would be shown on TV by Transworld Sport. The contest was going to take place in Woking, Surrey at the same time as the Hawaii trip. Now let’s see – Woking or Hawaii? With apologies to Woking, I think most people would have taken the Hawaii trip but I settled on the Woking contest (the Hawaii event went ahead without me and became an annual fixture in the powerlifting calendar) instead! There was a lot of prestige involved in this strongman contest. I had been selected as a European champion powerlifter along with Andy Drzewiecki (pronounced drev-e-at-ski), British 110 kg class Olympic lifting champion. In earlier days Andy had been a regional discus and shot put champion and won a bronze medal lifting in the 1978 Commonwealth Games. He also finished in tenth place in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Andy was a very strong guy, regularly clean and jerking overhead 185 kg (407 lb) in competitions. I was not sure what to expect in the contest but was ready and eager to go and do my best. I travelled down to the contest with Bill Anderson and Grant Anderson (not related despite their surnames), but both of them were Highland Games legends, especially Bill. And Bill gave me some advice about how to deal with David Webster (remember him from the first chapter in my life story? ). Bill was also involved with Webster, appearing in contests and shows for him and, as a canny Scot of more mature years than I was at the time, he told me that whenever Webster arranged anything for Bill to do Bill would insist on being paid up front. He also gave me good advice, saying “don’t do anything for nothing! You are the champion in your chosen sport you have put in the time, effort and money to get where you are, so always insist on payment off anyone you deal with.” As the contest got under way I assessed my competitors, two of them in particular standing out from the rest in size – Geoff Capes (pictured above) the 6 foot 6 inch 22 stone (140 kg) International shot put competitor, and just a fraction shorter but lighter at roughly 19 stone (121 kg) professional wrestler Pat Roach. Similar in size they may have been but as the competition progressed I found they were almost opposites personality-wise. Pat Roach (pictured above - 3rd from left) became famous for his role as Bomber in the much-loved TV series ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet,’ and much like the character he played was a quiet, genial gentleman who worked hard to stay in shape for wrestling, not only going to the gym but also doing hundreds of bodyweight-only squats throughout the day no matter where he was. Pat also appeared in lots of movies. Ironically he usually played the bad guy heavy roles, but in real life Pat was most definitely a good guy. To read more of this chapter and the rest of the chapters on ‘Ray Nobile – My Life in the Iron Game’ contact Ray Nobile at raynobile@gmail.com to purchase this eBook, at the cost of only 5 Euros! (price subject to change). NOTE by Strength Oldschool: A fairly recent Interview with Strongman Geoff Capes can be viewed below...
  3. This is one of my favourite photos of all time seeing Arnold training with his mentor Reg Park. Classic photo. There surely must be training footage of this?

    © Strength-Oldschool.com

  4. Arnold Schwarzenegger - Made In Britain Bodybuilding fans may not know that Arnold Schwarzenegger actually lived in the UK for a period of time, between 1966 to 1968. The 19 year old Austrian, spoke no English and slept on a sofa at the Muscle Mansion, a gym in Forest Gate, London, run by Wag Bennett (1930 - 2008). Many years earlier, Wag was known to be the first man in England to bench press 500 lbs. Wag's gym was originally situated in the house before he acquired the church hall next door and transformed the church into a world famous gym. The gym was located at 353 Romford Road, East 7, London, E7 8AA. Some impressive bodybuilders trained at Wags gym. Photo below: Note the spelling mistake for Reg Park's name. Photo below: A comparison of how Wag Bennet's Home / Gym used to look compared to a more recent photo. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger stands outside the home of Wag and Dianne Bennett. Photo by Derelict London. Photo Below: Arnold & Wag Bennett standing by the famous Lamp Post outside Wag's Home / Gym known as "Muscle Mansion". Photo below: Not sure what year the famous Silhouetted bodybuilders appeared on Wag Bennett's lamp post but it was a nice touch. I believe after Wag passed away in 2008 and the house and gym went up for sale, someone stole the top part of the lamp post! Photos of the famous Wag Bennett Church Gym (Source). Wag Bennett discovered Arnold back in 1966, during the NABBA Mr Universe contest where Arnold finished in second place with Chet Yorton winning (see photos below). Wag was a judge at that contest and felt that Arnold should have won, which pleased Arnold. As Wag and his wife Dianne were impressed with the young Schwarzenegger, they invited him to live with them and their six children in their flat above the Romford Road gym. Wag trained him while Dianne taught him English. Wag was also known to have trained other top bodybuilders now considered legends such as Reg Park, Robby Robinson and Lou Ferrigno. Photo below: Young Arnold in 1966 meeting his Idol Reg Park at Wags Gym. The 'W' on his vest stands for 'Wag'. Since the passing of Wag Bennett in 2008, Wags Home and Gym has slowly become derelict. Back in April, 2013, a fire broke out. These photos are from 2014... Not sure what Wag's home / gym looks like today but it's a shame it was left to rot like that. A number of years ago a British documentary called "Arnold Schwarzenegger - Made In Britain" was shown on tv which I thought was great. The only negative was that Jimmy Savile was Interviewed in the documentary. Savile was president of NABBA, and handed out awards to winners at the Mr Universe competition. I did upload an edited version and removed the parts which contained Jimmy Savile. So if you would rather watch that 'edited' version, watch the second video below. Documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger called "Made In Britain" without Jimmy Savile If anyone wishes to share stories on Wag or Dianne Bennett, or maybe you trained at Wag's gym, then please consider posting below. ** Do NOT use this section to focus solely on Jimmy Savile!! This thread is not about him ** More info on Wag Bennett can be viewed here.
  5. Bodybuilding Legends Views on Full Body Training Author: Unknown From the early days of weight training, full body training programs were a common thing. Nowadays, split training is used more. What's changed over the years?...Why do lifters frown when they hear full body training? Here are three champion bodybuilders, all considered legends of the sport who believed in training 3 days a week, Full Body style. John Grimek "I trained everything in every workout - I didn’t do what they call split workouts and train legs and arms one day, back and other stuff the next day. No, the only way I ever isolated a group of muscles was when I was finished with my routine for the day and I still thought I needed more for my back or chest or legs or whatever. Then I threw in an additional two to three exercises and much heavier-you know, trying to maximize the thing. And that was it. What is called split training wasn’t used then, although I had read somewhere that Hackenschmidt was using a method where he would isolate certain groups on certain days or else put more emphasis on a specific part while training the entire body on a given day. But I never had a yen for that. I was making progress all over, so there was no need for a concentration on a certain area. And I never found that training the whole body in each workout was too tiring. In fact, when I got through, I was feeling a helluva lot better and more ambitious and energetic than I did when I started." ~ John Grimek Steve Reeves "I trained my whole body every workout. I’d work as hard as I could for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Whatever it took. The split system of training came later, but I don’t believe in that approach anyway. I think if you really train hard, you use up everything- your nervous energy and all the rest of your energies. So you need to recuperate the next day. Recuperation is just as important as Training. I’d train three days a week and rest four. I’d train the entire body almost to failure, then take the next day off." ~ Steve Reeves Reg Park "In regards to whether full body routines 3 times a week work is dependant on the time available and individual enthusiasm. For instance at one stage I worked out 3 hours in the evening Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I trained my entire body. So doing 3 full body workouts 3 times a week can and does build strength, power and bulk." ~ Reg Park NOTE by Strength Oldschool: What's everyone's thoughts on full body workouts, three times a week?
  6. How to Build Strong and Powerful Triceps By Charles A. Smith (1953) Edited By: Strength Oldschool There was a play written some years ago by the late George Bernard Shaw, and although you lifters likely won’t be the least bit interested in it, I think you will be in its title . . . “Arms and the Man,” because regardless of the fact that they might be beginning lifters, physique champions, or just plain ordinary members of the public, everyone associates a large, muscular and powerful pair of arms with a manly, forceful character. A pair of well-developed arms sets off a man’s physique; that is certainly true, and it is also a fact that people often judge you by your body and its shape. I have yet to meet a bodybuilder who hasn’t at one time or another spent twice as much time exercising his arms as any other part of his physique, and I have yet to hear of one who was satisfied with the results that followed. The most common complaint among bodybuilders seems to be this . . . “My arms just won’t grow. I’ve curled and curled but they won’t grow.” Now it is easy for me to see why they fail on a program, but it isn’t always so easy for a beginning lifter. Experienced men have discovered their own easiest and fastest way to gain arm size and strength, and have found the main rules that ensure continued progress. But the newcomer often finds himself unable to make any gains, and is also unable to figure out why. Now, developing size and strength in the arms is not all that difficult, so why is it that some fail, and what is the best way to correct that failure. The key to the problem lies in an understanding of arm muscle function and training methods. Every beginner trains to get bigger arms, but trains along the wrong lines, for he almost always devotes the major portion of the time spent in arm training in curling. One of the hardest tasks I know is trying to convince beginners that large arms are not obtained by curling but by exercising the triceps; that the bodybuilders with the largest, best-developed and most powerful arms are those with the biggest and strongest triceps. Now it is true that the biceps muscle does add greatly to he shape of the upper arm and is responsible for some coordinated pulling strength, but it is the triceps that gives power and bulk. One muscle has only two sections, while the other has three, all of them contributing to the overall qualities. Glance at the photo of any great physique model or strongman, especially one who is famous for arm massiveness. You will notice that the arm as a whole looks big. There’s nothing disproportionate about it. A great meaty curve to the triceps and a full, often high biceps formation that is even further set off by the muscle on the underside of the arm. It is obvious that a great deal of specialized bulk work has gone into building it up to such a model of strength and physical perfection. Where do we go from here? One step further, to the training routines of these men. What magic have they used here? No magic, but simply finding out the functions of the muscle and applying certain straightforward principles. But there are other factors. It is a fact that a great proportion of lifters are not nearly as flexible in the use of their exercises and routines as they could afford to be. Most of them use one or two movements for each basic muscle group and grind away month after month whether they make progress or not. The experienced, thinking man retains a favorite movement, and in addition uses a wide variety of exercises over the years, thus working the muscles with many different approaches. Take Reg Park, for instance. Reg’s favorite triceps exercise is the standing French, or triceps press movement (see photo below). He also uses presses behind the neck with a barbell, bench triceps presses and some dumbbell triceps work. That is the pattern behind almost every successful lifter’s arm strengthening and building progress. Keep to a favorite exercise and select a changing variety of movements for the same muscle group. The favorite movement can always be retained, but the rest of the schedule is changed as soon as it fails to yield further results. Marvin Eder uses bench presses with varying width grips for his triceps power and bulk. This is the main exercise, but he’ll often go to the dipping bars (see photo below) and pump away at scores of sets of dips with a heavy weight tied around him. Then he’ll go on to other triceps movements. Workouts are kept enjoyable in this manner and enthusiasm and challenge are always maintained. When any particular muscle group is given special attention, that constitutes specialized training and one has to take into consideration not only the exercises and apparatus used, but also such matters as diet and rest. Any specialization routine entails the use of a lot of energy, both physical and nervous. You’ve got to work hard and sometimes work on your nerve to jar those triceps muscles into greater power and growth, then let them rest until ready again. The triceps straightens the forearm on the upper arm. You don’t even have to move the upper arm to get full triceps benefit. Hold your upper arm tight against the side of the body, and straighten the forearm out from the curl finish position. As you move the forearm, resist with your other hand; hold the left hand with the right and just straighten the arm from the biceps flexes position. You’ll feel how much work your triceps does. So, you will soon be able to prove to yourself that the triceps are worked pretty fully in all arm extensions. They are in their most powerful position when the upper arms are level with the shoulders, for overhead presses, and start to exert their main force from here. From here to arms’ length, there is a powerful movement or contraction of the triceps muscle. The advantage of using demanding poundages and utilizing the Multi Power (power) rack in a triceps routine should also be explained now. Muscle receives the greatest stimulus from heavy resistance. You might say, “What if the weight is so heavy that I can’t even move it from the starting position? ” If you shorten the range over which the weight is moved you will find that you can handle that “immovable” weight. In other words, if you perform a half squat instead of a full squat, you can handle poundages far in excess of your full squat limit. The same applies to any exercise, and you can build the power of ligament, tendon, and muscle, but you’ll become mentally accustomed to handling heavy poundages. And this, in my opinion, is half the battle. Here I’m going to give you five triceps exercises. First you should use your favorite triceps movement, no matter what it is. Use the exercise that has proven to give you the best results over time, and perform each repetition from complete extension to contraction. After you have completed three or four sets of this movement, start your rack triceps routine. Each exercise should be used as a “half movement” at first, with the resistance increased either by adding more weight, or by lowering the bar in the rack. A good plan is to increase the bar a single hole and continuing in this manner as long as possible. Then you can return to the half movement again and handle considerable more weight. The illustration of the exercises give you the approximate half positions but you will have to experiment a little and find the position which is most comfortable for you to start at. Each exercise should be concentrated on intensely. The triceps muscles can stand a great deal of work and you need not fear you’ll overwork them. Use as heavy a weight as possible, beginning with 4 sets of 5 or 6 repetitions, working up to 4 sets of 10 or 12 repetitions before lowering the starting position, and eventually increasing the poundage. Exercise 1. Seated Lock Out Presses: Place an exercise bench inside the rack. Sit on the bench so the bar is in back of the neck, and level with the top of the head, or at such a height that the upper arms are horizontal. Grip the bar with a fairly narrow grip. Press to arms’ length, lower slowly and repeat the movement. Note, as shown in the accompanying illustration, that the elbows are pointing forward and not to the sides so as to place the strain on the triceps. Exercise 2. Standing Lock Out Presses: The bar should be raised to such a height that it is in the press position just above the top of the head, or at such a height that the upper arms are horizontal. Grip the bar with a hand spacing just slightly less than shoulder width. Press to arms’ length, elbows facing front, lower steadily and repeat. Exercise 3. Standing Triceps Press - Palms Up: Take a look at the illustration and notice the position of the lifter. The forearms are level with the ground while the upper arms point straight up and the elbows face forward. The bar is gripped with a narrow hand spacing, palms of the hands facing up, and is raised to arms’ length and then lowered slowly. Exercise 4. Lying Triceps Press - Palms Down: Set the bar in the rack so that when you lie under it, your forearms are level or slightly above level with the floor and your upper arms pointing straight up. Again you use a narrow grip but this time the palms of the hands are turned down. This is a very tough triceps movement and you’ll have to fight to get the weight to arms’ length. Don’t forget to control the bar down to starting position and note the elbow position. Exercise 5. Supine Lockout Presses: You’ll be able to use hundreds of pounds in this movement, and you’ll certainly get strong, bulky triceps. Set the bar to the position indicated in the drawing. Get under the bar and grip it palms forward with a hand spacing just less than shoulder width, elbows properly positioned. Press the bar to arms’ length, then again use that controlled lowering to return to the starting position. In all these movements you must use the greatest amount of weight possible, in combination with the sets and repetitions indicated. Concentrate fully on the action of the muscle, be determined that you are going to build strong, powerful triceps of great development. Don’t forget to obtain plenty of rest and good food, high in protein content, but above all, WORK HARD! Schedules are peculiar things. They won’t work unless you do.
  7. The Legendary Leroy Colbert Training Philosophy (1977) By Howard Alpert When the definitive history of bodybuilding is written, a significant section will be devoted to a man who 'rewrote' the rules of training and whose physical development still remains as a standard that other bodybuilders try to reach. In an era when a 16-inch arm was considered very good and an 18-inch one was something that trainees dreamed about, the fabulous Leroy Colbert smashed all barriers by developing a 21-inch muscular arm. Only a near-tragic accident (Motorcycle accident in 1955 ) prevented him from going on after winning the Mr. Eastern America title to become Mr. America and Mr. Universe. Leroy loved his motorcycles However, the unfortunate event had a silver lining. It gave Leroy some time to seriously think about his future. He knew that he wanted to find a career doing something that would help people live a healthier life. At first, Leroy thought about opening his own gym. Then he realized that he could reach many more people if he had a health food store. The idea of opening a traditional health food store was not in keeping with the Colbert desire to do things in a bigger and better way than they had been done before. Finally, Leroy decided to open a 'health department store'. Today, Leroy and his lovely wife Jacqueline own and operate the two World Health Centers in New York City. These are unique establishments that contain everything from protein supplements and vitamins to fresh organic vegetables, fish, eggs, and meats, all of which are delivered daily. In addition, each store contains a large selection of exercise equipment. Leroy Colbert and Wife Jacqueline When I discussed with Leroy the idea of doing an article about his training philosophy the concepts that helped him to develop one of the greatest physiques ever seen, he graciously said that he would be only too happy to provide this information for readers. If you could see the busy schedule Leroy maintains during a typical day, you would get a better understanding of how difficult it was for him to set aside time for an interview. You would also get a clearer realization that he is so dedicated to helping others that he did provide the time even though it meant extending his working day well into the night. Leroy Colbert at 15 Years Old Before Leroy stated his training ideas, he wanted to be sure that I set down his views on using steroids. You know me long enough to know that I rarely get angry. But when guys come in here and tell me that the only way they can build a good physique is by using steroids, I want to grab them by their necks and shake some sense into their heads. How can anyone be so foolish as to play Russian roulette with his health? Fortunately, I have been able to convince a considerable number of fellows that steroids aren't necessary by showing them photos of the guys that were my contemporaries when I was competing. How many bodybuilders today can equal the development of Jack Delinger, George Eiferman, Marvin Eder, Reg Park, and, if you want to talk about the defined and vascular physique that is in vogue today, which of the present day stars would like to compete against Roy Hilligenn or Bob Hinds when they were at their peak? Oh yes, there were also a couple of fellows named Bruce Randall (photo below ) and Enrico Thomas who would have given today's competitors a few nervous moments. All of these guys and many, many more built their bodies to exceptionally high levels of development, and they did it the way we did it at that time - through consistently hard training. And we didn't have the information that the guys today have. Nor did we have the different types of supplements - liquid, predigested, even without any carbohydrates. All we knew was that if you wanted to gain weight and size, you trained like the devil and ate everything in sight. When you wanted to cut down, you trained like the devil and ate less. If we had the facts on nutrition that are common knowledge today, we probably could have gotten results in half the time. No, I repeat that the most foolish thing a bodybuilder can do is to take a chemical substance into his body, a substance whose side-effects are potentially so dangerous and that was never intended to be used by healthy people. With that off my chest, let me say a few things about training. When I started to train, the 'rule' was that you never did more than three sets for a bodypart. I wanted a body so badly that after using the three-sets idea for a while, I just decided I had to try something else. As I recall, Marvin Eder (Photo below) decided one day that we would do 10 sets of each exercise we were using instead of the usual three. Then we swore that we would meet again early the next morning to see if we were both still alive. When we felt the difference from training that way and found out that we both lived through it, I threw the 'rule book' out the window and started to grow as I never had been able to do up until that time. From that workout on, I decided to use my head. I used many types of routines until I found the ones that worked best for me. What I found was that 10 sets was the minimum I could use for my 'easy-growing' parts. Usually I did 15 sets for most parts and sometimes went as high as 20 sets a workout for those parts that were really stubborn. I found that working with very heavy weights that forced you to do the exercises slowly was not as effective as working with a weight in a continuously moving manner until you completed the set. I don't mean working so fast that you use sloppy form, but I mean that you don't actually pause at the top or bottom of a repetition but just keep moving the weight in a controlled, steady way. Notice that I said "controlled." I believe that you can't fully control a weight that is so heavy that you can barely do your reps with it. I get much better results by using a weight that makes you work but not one that you have to 'kill' yourself with to get through the exercise. I mentioned before that I usually did a certain amount of sets for a particular area. Actually what I did was to go more by the feel of the muscle and the pump I was getting. If I found that I was beginning to lose the pump in an area I was working, I would stop exercising it even if I hadn't completed the number of sets I planned to do. I found that any sets that weren't increasing the pump were a waste and perhaps were even overtraining the muscle. On average, though, I usually did about 15 sets for most areas. I used to change my workout around every two or three months. I found that if I tried to stay on exactly the same program month after month, I would go stale. Sometimes I would change several of the exercises. Other times I would just rearrange the order of the exercises. For example, if I was doing chins, pulldowns and rowing for my back, I might change my routine by beginning with rowing and finishing with chins. Sometimes I might switch to dumbbell rowing, bent-arm pullovers, and close-grip chins. There is an endless variety of changes that can be made. I found that each new program was a new challenge. 70 lbs Dumbbell Curls with Tom Sansone When I did exercises like squats, bench presses, or deadlifts, exercises for which you would use sizable poundages, I would begin with about 2/3 of the weight I could handle on my heaviest set. I would work up to sets of 8 reps until I hit my top set of 8. This would take about four sets. Then I would drop back for two finishing sets of 8. For exercises that didn't require heavy poundages, I would generally stay with one weight for all my sets. I always kept the repetitions on my exercises between 8 and 10. I think that it is important to maintain a fast pace throughout the workout. I always began my next set as soon as my breathing returned near normal. I found that the more work I could do in a given period of time, the better I would respond. I think that if I had only one thought that I wanted readers to remember, it would be that consistency in training is the thing that separates the best from the ordinary. Train heavier on the days that you feel strong and lighter on those days that you really don't feel great, but don't miss a workout. Every champ I trained with rarely missed a workout. I don't mean that you should train if you are really sick, though we did because we wanted to build our bodies with such a deep intensity that we wouldn't even let illness stand in our way. Just don't let laziness cause you to miss a workout. Cut your poundages in half just to get into a workout on a real 'down' day. Very often by the time the workout is over, you will find it has been one of your better sessions. With these concluding comments, Leroy said that he had to get back to work. Time had passed so quickly that the bright sunshine had been replaced by darkness. Judging by the pile of papers on Leroy's desk, I knew that he would be having a very late supper that night. But as we shook hands, he smiled and thanked me for giving him the opportunity to convey his thoughts to readers. I might add, and the photographs that accompany this article will substantiate it, that although Leroy expressed many of his ideas in the past tense he is still training regularly and is in excellent condition. Leroy Colbert is one of the greatest champions the bodybuilding world has produced. His achievements and philosophy will remain as a permanent legacy to inspire the bodybuilders of today and of the future. MORE PHOTOS... RIP Leroy (1933 - 2015). A lot of personal content by Leroy on training etc is on Youtube. You can also check out Leroy's website! If anyone has information or stories on Leroy please share below in the comments section.
  8. The Amazing Transformation of Bruce Randall (1931 - 2010) By Randy Roach Reprinted from Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors (edited by Strength Oldschool) In 1966, an 18-year-old Terry Strand responded enthusiastically to a Chicago Sun Times advertisement announcing the appearance of a former Mr. Universe at a downtown Montgomery Ward department store. Strand recalled very few people showing up to see and listen to the physique star promote Billard Barbells, a company the muscleman represented. What impressed the young Strand was not just the amazing physique of the 1959 Mr. Universe, Bruce Randall, but the very demeanour and sincere nature of the athlete. Strand reflected: (Below) Newspaper Advert - Nov 28 - 1965 The (bulked up) photo of Bruce Randall above was taken in the summer of 1955, when he weighed 387 pounds at a height of 6'2" and his chest was measured at 61". Later that summer he reached his top weight, 401 pounds, at which time he radically changed both his exercise routine and his diet. Thirty two weeks later he had lost 218 pounds. A year later, Strand met up again with Randall at a Chicago Teenage Youth event where both were participating. Strand was fulfilling a commitment to the YMCA, which awarded him a scholarship for being one of the top five outstanding teenage athletes in the region. Bruce Randall was still as impressive in character as Strand remembered him from the year before: What was so special about this [future] 1959 bodybuilding champion that even Peary Rader would dedicate both his editorial and a feature article to him in the May 1957 issue of Iron Man? Rader set the tone in his editorial titled, "A Lesson from Bruce Randall's Story": Randall (above ), weighing about 350 pounds, was very strong, particularly in the deadlift. He claimed to have done 770 pounds, well ahead of the best dead lift done up until that time. As can be seen in the photo, he also had unusually well-shaped thighs and calves, which were two of the reasons he was successful as a bodybuilder several years later. Rader's lesson in this story was firmly on faith and determination in one's God-given abilities to do what he or she sets their mind to. Randall not only willed himself to bring his bodyweight up methodically to over 400 lbs (181.8 kg) for strength purposes, but to then make such a dramatic transformation that he was able to capture the 1959 Mr. Universe crown. In the same May 1957 issue of Iron Man, Rader shared the "Amazing Story of Bruce Randall." Randall believed his appreciation for the value of proper diet was obtained during a summer job on a merchant vessel. It was during his stint at sea that he attributed the fresh air, hard work, and good eating for taking his bodyweight from 164 lbs (74.55 kg) to 192 lbs (87.27 kg) in 58 days. Back to school and playing football and putting the shot, his weight dropped back to 185 lbs (84.09 kg), where it remained until he graduated. After entering the Marine Corps and finishing boot camp, he was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base. It was at this point where Randall stated he was six months past his 21st year in January of 1953 when he was introduced to the finest weight training facility in the Navy, run by Chief Petty Officer Walter Metzler. Randall was still playing around with his shot put and weighed 203 lbs (92.27 kg) but he wanted to get up to 225 lbs (102.3 kg) in order to play football for the base. Randall stated his initiating strategy for getting bigger and stronger: Bulked Up photo of Randall weighing over 400 lbs! The (athletic and muscular) photo above is from the Todd-Mclean Collection, and was given to Ottley Coulter by Randall in the late 1950's, when he weighed approximately 225 pounds. It demonstrates the body Randall had when he won the coveted NABBA Mr. Universe title in 1959. The remarkable physical transformation he was able to make in just a few years, before the arrival of anabolic steroids, is unprecedented in the annals of physical culture. Even today-with anabolic steroids, human Growth Hormone, food supplements, and an improved understanding of nutrition and training techniques-no one has come close to doing what Randall did. Randall shot from 203 lbs (92.27 kg) up to 225 lbs (102.3 kg) in six weeks. By spring, he was up to 265 lbs (120.5 kg). At that point, Metzler convinced him to drop football and focus on the weight training. Peary Rader liked and respected Randall's attitude and disposition, but was a bit perplexed over his choice of training routines. It was well known that Rader and others were adamant about heavy leg work anchoring a big eating / strength program, but strangely enough, Randall chose to work nothing but arms for those first initial months of training. However, Randall was quite diplomatic about his approach: Bruce Randall did make some alterations to his program, but nothing elaborate and still no squats. He added some chest work and the "good morning" exercise to his routine. On the latter movement, he would build up to an unbelievable weight of 685 lbs (311.4 kg). Most people were afraid of doing the good morning exercise with an empty barbell or even a broomstick, let alone dare think of a weight of that enormity. It was truly a Herculean feat of strength. TRAINING PHOTOS OF BRUCE RANDALL... Heavy Decline Dumbbell Bench Presses Standing Shoulder Presses with a pair of 120 lbs Dumbbells. Loading up a heavy barbell to perform Good Mornings... Heavy Cambered Bar Good Mornings... Bruce Randall - Favourite Exercise - Heavy Good Mornings Incline Barbell Bench Press... Randall originally shied away from the squat because of a serious injury three years previously in which he broke his leg in seven places. He would periodically test his strength in this movement and attributed the hard work in the good morning exercise for allowing him to squat 680 lbs (309.1 kg). Not bad for an occasional attempt. He actually once took a shot at a 750 lbs (340.9 kg) good morning, but had to drop the bar because the weights shifted on him. The only thing rivaling Randall's incredible feats of strength was the quantity of food he consumed. It was his belief that in order to increase his strength, he would have to increase his size, and this meant a significant increase in food. He structured his diet around four meals starting at 6:30 a.m., 11 :30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and finally 9:30 p.m. The only food he would allow between meals was milk. On average, he consumed eight to ten quarts (7.26 to 9.08 L) a day along with 12 to 18 eggs. As mentioned, this was average! He stated it was not uncommon for him to drink two quarts (1.82 L) of milk for breakfast, along with 28 fried eggs and a loaf and a half of bread. He once consumed 19 quarts (17.25 L) of milk in one day, and 171 eggs in total over seven consecutive breakfasts! That's almost five gallons, or close to 15,000 calories and over 600 grams of protein in milk alone. He was known to virtually fill an entire cafeteria tray with rice and pork and consume it all at a single sitting. [Editors note: On one occasion, this resulted in a trip to the hospital. What happened is that by the time Randall got to the mess hall most of the food that he liked was gone - except for rice. So he ate a cafeteria tray full of rice which, not having been thoroughly cooked, swelled so much once Randall had eaten it that he had to have his stomach pumped.] In the photo above, Randall weighs 187 pounds, which is almost as low as he went before upping his food intake and altering his weight-loss training program. He added almost 40 pounds before he won the Mr. Universe contest. The training programs and the diet he used to trim down were at least as radical as the techniques he used to gain from 203 pounds to 342 pounds in just over 14 months. For example, during his weight-loss period he once trained for 81 hours in one week, and in the first 15 days of 1956 he did at least 5,000 sit-ups everyday. He realized that these procedures were potentially dangerous, and did not recommend them. Randall was discharged from the Marines on March 11, 1954 and tipped the scales at 342 lbs (155.5 kg). This was a gain of 139 lbs (63.18 kg) in just over 14 months. He continued to bring his weight up to 380 lbs (172.7 kg), when he made the following lifts: Press: 365 lbs (165.9 kg) for 2 reps 375 lbs (170.5 kg) for 1 rep Squat: 680 lbs (309.1 kg) Good Morning exercise: (Legs bent, back parallel to floor) 685 lbs (311.4 kg) Deadlift: 730 lbs (331.8 kg) for 2 reps 770 lbs (350 kg) for 1 rep Curl: 228 lbs (103.6 kg) Dumbell Bench Press: Pair of 220 lbs (100 kg) dumbells for 2 reps Supine Press: 482 lbs (219.1 kg) after 3 seconds pause at chest Decline Dumbell Press: Pair of 220 lbs (100 kg) dumbells for 1 rep 45 Degree Incline Clean and Press: 380 lbs (172.7 kg) for 2 reps 410 lbs (186.4 kg) for 1 rep [Ed. Note: This was probably a continental clean of some kind and not a power clean] Support weight at chest for 1/4 squats: 1320 lbs (600 kg) 1/4 squats: With weight well in excess of 2100 lbs (909.55 kg) These lifts were rivaling those of the phenomenal 1956 Olympic heavyweight weightlifting gold medalist, Paul Anderson (photo above). Randall stated that he brought his weight up to a final 401 lbs (182.3 kg), but was finding it difficult to focus strictly on his training. [Ed. Note: Not to mention the expense of his diet.] To this giant athlete, his quest for strength through sheer size was driven by the power of a willful mind resembling that of The Mighty Atom: What Goes Up Must Come Down! His "never say never " attitude was about to be put to the test. It was August of 1955 when he hit 401 lbs (182.3 kg) and decided he wanted to "look at life from the other side of the weight picture." Upon his decision to reduce his weight dramatically, he was met by some negative feedback, including some from authorities in the industry. Undaunted, Randall viewed the challenge methodically as he stated: Randall's strategy was basically to reverse all engines. Just as he gradually increased his calories by incrementally adding food to each meal, he did the opposite by slowly reducing the size of each meal until he settled into the following regimen: Breakfast 2 soft boiled eggs Plain pint (0.45 L) of skim milk Glass of orange juice Apple Lunch Salad, dates, nuts Supper Round steak Two vegetables Quart (0.91 L) skim milk with additional powdered milk Gelatine Coffee occasionally He adopted a system formatted similarly to one Vince Gironda used the next year, but Randall would be much more radical in his exercise regimen. He eliminated the starch and much of the fat from his diet and went very light on the lunch. His eating plan was primarily lean protein and some fruits and vegetables. Once again, Randall matched the dramatic reduction in calories with an equally phenomenal increase in his training. Repetitions jumped from three to five up to 12 to 15. His sets went from three to five and his repertoire of exercises went from six to 20. He claimed his sessions lasted from six to seven hours. He stated that he once trained 27 hours in two days, and 81 hours in one week. In his New Year's resolution for 1956, he vowed to do 5,000 sit-ups daily for 15 days straight. He feels the 75,000 sit-ups helped him reduce his waist to 33 inches (83.82 cm). Randall also incorporated a lot of running into his routine and by March 20, 1956, he weighed in at 183 lbs (83.18 kg). This was an amazing drop of 218 lbs (99.09 kg) in 32 weeks. Below are Bruce Randall's measurements at his various weights. He stated the measurements listed at 401 lbs (182.3 kg) were actually taken at a lower weight. Randall went on to compete in the Mr. America that year and placed thirteenth. His weight had gone from 183 lbs (83.18 kg) to 219 lbs (99.55 kg) for that event. What was amazing is that it was noted in Iron Man that after all the weight manipulations, there were no stretch marks or loose skin visible on his body at the Mr. America show. At six feet two inches tall (187.96 cm), 183 lbs (83.18 kg) was not an appropriate weight for him and most likely represented a very emaciated chronically over-trained state. He probably had little difficulty bringing his competition weight up to 219 lbs (99.55 kg). According to the November, 1957 issue of Muscle Power, he placed sixth a year later at 195 lbs (88.64 kg), 24 lbs (10.9 kg) lighter than the year before. Randall's off-season weight seemed to have settled between 230 lbs (104.5 kg) and 240 lbs (109.1 kg). He competed and won the 1959 NABBA Mr. Universe title at a body weight of 222 lbs (100.9 kg). Randall said it was unlikely that he'd bring his weight to such a size again, but would not totally rule the possibility out. His food bill was often over $100 a week and that wasn't cheap back in the mid-1950's. He did state, however, that if he did choose to do so, he felt he could reach 500 lbs (227.3 kg) in 18 months. Bruce Randall finished his revelations to Peary Rader in that May 1957 article with the following advice: It may have been the muscles of Bruce Randall that first drew the young Chicago native, Terry Strand, to go with such enthusiasm to see the 1950's physique star. However, it was Randall's nature that left so powerful an impression on Strand that 40 years later, Strand had exhausted all Iron Game avenues in order to ascertain the remaining legacy of the idol of his youth. Surely, many would be curious as to just what else the amazing drive of Bruce Randall brought him through the subsequent decades of his life. EXTRA INFO / PHOTOS / NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS ABOUT BRUCE RANDALL Little story connecting bodybuilding legend Harold Poole (1943 - 2014) with Bruce Randall... Bruce Randalls's book: "The Barbell Way to Physical Fitness" (1970) There's a great quote from the book about succeeding with your exercise program: "TRIUMPH is just a little "TRY" with a little "UMPH" The following is an excerpt from the book about Bruce Randall: About Bruce Randall Bruce Randall is known as one of the World's most uniquely experienced experts in the field of physique development and weight reduction. As a youngster he dreamed the dream of many young boys of how wonderful it would be to become the strongest man in the world. The basic difference between Bruce and the average young boy is that he set out to try and do it! Summers during High School were spent at various types of hard physical work including jobs in lumber camps in Vermont, coal mines in Pennsylvania and shipping out to sea on a Merchant Marine freighter. Bruce's quest for a strong body took many different avenues, however, it was not until he entered the United States Marine Corps that he became aware of the wonders that weight training can accomplish. It became very apparent that the World's strongest men train with barbells, and in weight lifting as in boxing and wrestling there are various bodyweight divisions from 123 pounds to the heavyweight class. He began training at a bodyweight of 203 lbs. and that combined with the proper diet which was high in protein foods enabled him to build his bodyweight to 401 pounds in 21 months. He competed in weight lifting meets when in the Marine Corps and won the first meet he entered. Upon discharge Bruce found that in civilian life his food bill was often in excess of $100.00 per week. He frequently drank as many as 12 or more quarts of milk a day and once ate 28 eggs for breakfast. Although at 401 lbs. he was very strong indeed, he found it totally impractical to carry this kind of weight and decided to make a bodyweight reduction. With a different program of weight training and diet he made a bodyweight reduction of 218 lbs. in 32 weeks and weighed in at 183 lbs. Bruce decided to continue on in the physical development field and trained for the Mr. Universe Contest. He won this coveted title in London, England at a bodyweight of 222 lbs. The above has not been emphasized to demonstrate what Bruce Randall has accomplished in the BARBELL WAY TO PHYSICAL FITNESS but rather to exemplify what weight training can do for YOU!! On the pages of this book his "How to do it" programs are spelled out for you. This method is the true method of the champions. There are no secret formulas, no gimmicks and no short-cuts- only the common sense application of exercise and diet principals which, when followed, will work for you too! Newspaper Article from the 1970s which details Randall's book above... Mr Universe Contest (left to right): Reub Martin - Pierre Vandervondelen - Bruce Randall - Reg Park SOME MORE PHOTOS / NEWS ARTICLES... Billard Golden Triumph Barbells Bruce Randall - 1970 Newspaper Clipping - 28 Oct - 1967 Newspaper Ad - 27 Nov - 1969 Newspaper Ad - April 7 - 1976 Bruce Randall - Newspaper Article - Ex Tubby - Eyes Mr Universe Repeat Newspaper Article - 21 Feb - 1971 Newspaper Article - 31 March - 1968 Newspaper Article from 1971 on Bruce Randall * If anyone has any stories on Bruce Randall, please share them by commenting below.
  9. John Grimek - Acquiring Shaplier Biceps From Strength & Health Magazine, Nov, 1957. ** Actual article pages are attached to the bottom of this article ** The arm, particularly the biceps muscle, is the best-known of all muscles and incites more interest and controversy than any other group of muscles. Both old and young are, for some inexplicable reason, fascinated by strong, muscular looking arms. The very young are always intrigued and will hound anyone with a fine pair of arms to "show me your muscle! ” Youngsters don’t realise that almost 700 muscles comprise the muscular makeup of the body, but to them only the biceps are muscles because they knot up to a peak when the arm is flexed. And, speaking of older people, on a return trip from Canada a couple of years ago, Jake Hitchins and I stopped for gas in an upper New York state town. It was hot and sticky that day, and my shirt, a short sleeve cotton one, clung tightly to me, especially around my arms. After telling the attendant to “fill ‘er up ” I went to the men’s room to freshen up and didn’t notice an older lady rocking in the shade. As I went by she called to my companion asking him the nature of my vocation. Jake merely answered I was a writer. A pause followed in apparent contemplation, then she added, “My, what a wonderful pair of arms that young man has! ” When I was told this incident after we got under way I was pretty sure that old gal hasn’t seen many lifters or bodybuilders, and calling me a young man was proof enough her vision wasn’t 20-20. She must have been 80-plus if she was a day, and people that age consider anyone younger a mere kid! I mention this because it bears out my conviction that arms for reasons unknown attract more attention than any other muscle, from the very young to the extremely old. At practically every stop we made, some comments were made regarding my arms, primarily because my sleeves seemed to be strangling them. However, this was not the first time such incidents occurred. On every trip I ever made comments were made towards other muscles but it was always the arms that received the most. For this reason I often wear long sleeve shirts or jackets for such comments can sometimes be embarrassing and annoying. But a man doesn’t have to have large arms to create attention. Frequently a well developed arm of 15 or 16 inches causes quite a stir among the neighbourhood small-fry who incessantly request the owner to “show your muscle! ” Perhaps all this interest for arms is the result of many romantic tales relative to arm strength which come down to us through generations. Even Longfellow’s poem about the Village Blacksmith did much to popularize “the brawny arms ” conception from which “muscles stood out like iron bands.” Although today the village smithy is as obsolete as the horse and buggy, the “brawny arms ” conception is still with us. Frequently large arms are associated with strength, and while this may be true in many cases, it does not reflect the truth for the majority. Arm size does not indicate exceptional strength, although the two make an impressive combination. However, when a good sized arm is capped by well-rounded deltoids and massive forearms they make an even better striking appearance and certainly any man with this combination is bound to be fairly strong, especially if these muscles were developed through coordinated, sensible exercise. I find another odd incident regarding the biceps. Many muscle culturists consider the biceps as a single muscle and assume all biceps have the same general shape in all individuals. The biceps, meaning two-heads, vary considerably among all types of athletes and individuals, showing varying contours even when fully developed. In my opinion there are three distinctive shapes; the high peaked biceps, the rounded baseball type, and the longer but massive biceps without any apparent apex. Biceps that show a high peak are more impressive when the arm is flexed, but the baseball type is also impressive and appears more powerful. The long biceps, when muscular, look more massive and larger than either of the aforementioned two and are usually exceptionally strong. But, shape is usually determined by the manner in which the muscles originate and where they insert, although exercise can help to bring out its basic shape. Biceps strength, too, does not depend on size and frequently a medium-sized arm will out-perform a larger arm in various arm tests. Therefore, while some find it difficult to acquire greater arm mass they invariably acquire unusual strength and vice-versa. But here again this accomplishment depends on training and those, especially beginners, who insist on using heavy weights with fewer repetitions are apt to “toughen up ” the muscle making it harder to develop, for a time at least. Under these conditions no amount of training seems to have any effect, although they will show improvement in strength. When this condition occurs it is best to rest from all arm exercises from two to six weeks, to allow the muscles to return to normal, then light progressive training should be undertaken to coax the muscle along, using 8 to 12 repetitions. Resistance should be increased only when the 12th repetition becomes easy, although some may prefer as many as 15 counts. However, as progress is made and heavier weights are employed the repetitions need not exceed 10, because, quite unconsciously one may be doing more exercises and even employing series of the same exercise making higher repetitions unnecessary. Nevertheless, in doing any set number of counts be sure that most of them are done in correct style. I repeat, the first 5 or 6 reps should be done rather easily, but the remaining reps should require increasing effort on your part… there’s your cue and the true secret of biceps development. Those who begin to swing curl or “cheat” with the first repetition are not using the entire biceps muscle, consequently develop a peculiar shaped arm. When hanging normally at the sides, the crook of the elbow isn’t as full or in proportion to the upper biceps, and when the arm is flexed a large gap between the curve of the biceps and the elbow is seen. Naturally some space will be evident because the biceps contracts and shortens, but in many cases there is an excessive gap in what are considered well developed arms. Arms that have their tendons torn will naturally show a decided gap, but arms that are normal with this excessive space are the result of specialising too early on cheating curls, or employing such exercises that eliminate the starting action of the lower biceps ends. To develop this lower end of the biceps will require more deliberate starting action and a thorough extension of the biceps each time the arm is flexed. Reverse curls also react favourably here, as do curls with dumbells while keeping the palms facing each other. I want to emphasize here that I am not condemning cheating curls simply because this method is favoured by the “opposition.” Such exercise may have a place in the training routine of many exercise fans, but is not suited to the beginner or the man whose development is below par. Personally, I have never seen such curls develop any arm from scratch to outstanding proportions, and I have never met anyone else who did. Those who use such exercises NOW have done enough proper exercises to develop their arms first before using this style, more as a means of using heavier weights, which point is conceded, but even then the question remains, whether the biceps actually got stronger or whether it is the combination of other muscles involved that encourage the use of heavier poundage. Anyone who employs this exercise realizes the biceps alone do not curl the weight, but the powerful muscles of the back, legs and abdomen all help to provide the impetus for completing the exercise. I can readily understand the use of this style to encourage more strength where progress of strength has not kept up with development, but so far as actual development resulting from the exclusive use of this style, it is doubtful. In one of our exhibitions on a cross country tour in 1940 I cleaned-curled 295 lbs. which I also pressed using the same undergrip, but this clean was nothing more than an exaggerated form of cheating curl. Yet, under strict conditions I was capable of 215 but could easily cheat curl 240 and 250 in repetitions. To make claims for “curling such weights ” would be preposterous, and this is precisely what many are doing today. My real purpose for doing an occasional cheating curl those days was not to encourage biceps development, but as a means of increasing my cleaning ability, which was done mostly by arm power! For complete biceps development they should be thoroughly exercised by employing the full range of action’ contracting and extending the biceps fully. Repetitions for developing purposes for the majority seem to favour 8 to 12 counts, more for some, less for those who include more variety and multiple sets. Beginners will always do better when 12 or even 15 reps are used, since they do not include a large variety of exercises. Ordinary chinning will often increase biceps size for the average individual, and when combined with such exercises as rope climbing and rowing, gains are more rapid. Yet, chinning never did increase the arm girth of those who already achieved fair development from weight training, unless weights were attached to the feet to increase the resistance. Curling exercises react more directly and resistance can be applied to meet the demand of the growing muscle, benefitting the biceps. Many muscle culturists believe that only curling movements will effect biceps development, while in reality there are many exercises that influence and activate the biceps. In all rowing exercises, for example, the upper arm muscles are strongly involved, especially the brachialis, the muscle that adds width and thickness to the biceps region. Lots of fellows have huge looking arms hanging at their sides, but when viewed from the front the biceps are thin and shallow looking, all because the brachialis lacks complete development. A well developed arm usually looks wide from the sides and equally as thick from the front. It’s because the brachialis, which lies beneath the biceps and extends on each side of the arm, helps to show more massive development. Its tendons attach deeper and lower into the forearms and provide better leverage for the biceps. Most exercises done on the “lat machine” induce some biceps growth, effectively different from regular curling and is advisable if this apparatus is at your disposal. High pullups are equally beneficial to the biceps, as are all methods of cleaning weights to shoulders. Therefore, it’s easy to see how the biceps can be worked even if curls were not included regularly. However, some form of curls are best included if one seeks to attain the maximum in biceps size. Nevertheless there are some fellows who think that in order to get big arms or keep them they have to curl and curl everyday, often using the heaviest weights possible. Frankly, with only a minimum of exercise I manage to retain myself in fair condition as the posed pictures recently taken show. What’s more, for almost seven years I have done practically no curls and am only now trying to coax myself into using them, yet I find no obvious decrease in arm girth. In my training I try to get the most out of my exercises with the least amount of effort and anyone else can do the same, providing they follow sensible training methods. Occasionally we have training with us a man who finds a way to cheat in any exercise you give him and one of his specialities is a travesty on the two hands curl which he calls “lurchers”, which are nothing more than a forward-bend, a heave and then a backbend before the dumbbells reach his shoulders … all in “perfect military form ” because he doesn’t use either the split or squat style! Whenever we ride him for his efforts his retort is always…it works my arms! This we know, but we also know what a terrific strain his back suffers, and once his back gives out the “lurchers” will come to an end! Often I have challenged him to hold those dumbbells in his hands without any effort to “curl” them, for a minute or so, to prove he will still feel the same strain but he refuses to accept the terms. It doesn’t take much reasoning to realize that any strain or stress is enough to fatigue the muscle, but my question is, does this help development? Development results only when the muscle is used over its entire normal range, and this applies to all muscles as well as the biceps. Proper curling motions will undoubtedly cause the biceps to grow and strengthen, although the exercises mentioned previously are also very beneficial and can help to round out this muscle more fully. Regular curls work the biceps very well but some men fail to achieve full contraction in this upright position. By bending forward from the hips, leverage is increased and imparts greater action and resistance to the biceps. Reverse curls, knuckles up, works the biceps differently and bring the forearm muscles into play. Curling dumbbells, knuckles facing out, also works the forearms and activates the lower points of the biceps. Alternate curls are no different except when one acquires the rhythm of performance, more weight can be used in each hand. Nevertheless, I would like to reiterate, while weight is important in all exercises to gain size and strength, it must be emphasized here that correct performance is equally as important in early stages even more so than employing limit poundages. If handling heavier weights is your objective then you can do the exercise in any fashion you like, but if you seek optimal development, be sure you work the muscle correctly first, then if additional work is required for strengthening purposes, employ maximum poundages in the cheating style. To achieve optimal biceps size it’s not necessary to do a dozen biceps exercises, although three to five exercises can do done unless numerous sets are used, then fewer exercises and lower reps are advocated. A word regarding measurements. Regular readers all know we do not stress measurements. The reason for this is obvious; too many grossly exaggerated measurements are published in other magazines. The reason for this is obvious; too many grossly exaggerated measurements are published in other magazines. The number of men today claiming 18, 19 and even 20 inch arms is difficult to count, yet only a small percentage actually have the measurement they claim. Our aim therefore is not to encourage falsified girths but suggest such measurements be judged by proportions and not the tape. A man whose forearms are well developed will have a large looking arm, but if the forearm lacks development the upper arm may appear larger than it is because of the contrast and vice versa. In fact, forearm size is controlled to a large degree by wrist size, the upper arm by the forearms and deltoids. One writer, Alan Calvert, was of the opinion that if the forearms and deltoids were superbly developed, the upper arm would take care of itself. It might to a certain extent but some direct exercises should be done to encourage this growth. Arm length is another factor to consider in relation to arm size. The longer the humerus the “more meat” will such an arm have, making it more massive, although it may not appear any larger than the arm that is two or more inches shorter and equally developed. Stanko’s arm is rather long and shows massiveness not accurately revealed in pictures. Bruce Randall (4) (see photo below standing next to Reg Park(5) ), who visits us regularly, has tremendous looking arms of exceptional length. Strangely enough they look more massive when just hanging at his side or when he flexes his triceps in front of his chest. Because of his arm length he probably has “more meat” on his arm than any man his size, being muscular as well. As for exercises, there are more than can be mentioned if one considers all movements that influence biceps development, but a brief break-down is that barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells can all be used to affect the biceps. Just as many can be done with cables or chest expanders, “crusher apparatus”, gymnastic equipment and many can be done without any equipment. However, increasing resistance must be maintained if the muscle is expected to improve with certain number of repetitions needed to stimulate this muscle growth. Bear in mind that several correct movements are essential that work the biceps over their full range before the shorter, heavier movements are done. Repetitions need not be excessive and those bent on following a system of sets instead of a wider variety should try the 10-8-6-5-3 system of reps which call for increased weight with each consecutive set. Using this system, three to five exercises would be more than sufficient, particularly if several indirect movements are employed in your training routine. Nevertheless, remember to do them correctly, if you are interested in building a shaplier biceps. ** Actual article pages attached below **
  10. Train for Power - Part 2 (1954) By Reg Park Since writing Part One a number of incidents have arisen which I feel will be of interest to our readers. They are as follows: 1/ I received a letter from Al Murray advising me that he had prepared an article, "Body-builders Can Be Strong," which was prompted by the trend in the London area amongst the body-builders. 2/ I hit an extremely good spell -- making the following lifts (1954): 550 squat 2 reps 510 squat 5 reps 500 bench press 270 press 3 reps 270 press behind neck 2 reps 220 strict curl When Chas Coster (see photo above - left to right - Dave Sheppard - Pete George - Charles Coster - Tommy Kono ) learnt of this he was extremely pleased because it would emphasize the importance of POWER TRAINING, of which he has long been a great advocate. Many authorities are inclined to stress too much importance on technique rather than on power. 3/ An old copy of S & H magazine showed up at the office showing Eder (photo above) as he was at 17-1/2 and giving a list of measurements along with his best lifts at the time. At a height of 5'7" and a bodyweight of 181 pounds - 340 bench x 2 250 press 370 squat x 10 That was exactly five years ago (1949) and for your interest his measurements now are: 5'7" 198 pounds 18" arms And his best on those three lifts are: 480 bench 350 press 500 squat x 5 sets of 2 Marvin's interest has always been on building a powerful physique and during our workouts together in 1951 (photo above) we used 350 pounds on bent-over rowing, also 120 pound dumbbells on the seated DB press -- the other lifts and poundages escape my memory. Interesting facts about both Eder and Hepburn -- whilst both train on the press and bench press, they do not practice these two lifts on the same day, and when utilizing the bench press to improve their pressing ability as I understand Davis also does, they use the same width of grip as they would when performing standing presses and start the press from the chest. Issy Bloomberg (photo above) who I had the pleasure of training with during my recent tour of South Africa, and who pressed over 300 pounds as an amateur is another lifter who appreciates the importance of power of body-building exercises such as the full and quarter squat, bench press, bent-over rowing, etc., in order to build up his body power and so benefit his Olympic lifting. Although I may be stepping on someone's corns, it has long been my contention that some of the British lifters who wondered why their performances do not compare with those of the Russians, American and Egyptians (taking the advantages of these countries' lifters into consideration such as time and standard of living) do not stress sufficient importance to such exercises as heavy squats, bench presses from the chest, rowing motions, deadlifts, etc. A comparison which comes to my mind is training for the "long jump." Whilst the actual jump is of importance, and needs to be practiced, it is a fact that sprinting plays an important part and most long jumpers are excellent sprinters. The same thing applies with the three Olympic lifts, whilst it is essential to practice the correct style, technique and performance of these lifts, it is true that such exercises as the full squat build up terrific power and coupled with actually performing the Olympic lifts assists improvement on the latter. Anderson is an example of this for he trained purely on the squat and built up his body power so much that when he went on to the Olympics his performances amazed even the most ardent physical culturists. In order not to confuse you, my interpretation of body power means performing exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses from the chest and bouncing, which permit you to handle more weight and so build greater ligament and tendon power than can be derived from the practice of the press, snatch, and clean & jerk ONLY. Schedule Two You should now feel refreshed to start Schedule Two after training on Schedule One for a month and then having a full week off to rest up. Schedule Two involves training three times per week i.e. MON, WED, FRI, for a month. Please note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. Exercise 1: Squat With Bar At Sternum (Front Squat) Those of you who have never practiced this lift may experience difficulty in balance and also a strain on the wrists, but if you allow the bar to rest on the deltoids instead of trying to hold it at the chest you will find it much easier. This exercise is also very beneficial to lifters who employ the squat style technique. Perform 5 sets of 5 repetitions. Exercise 2: The Clean and Press For poundages and repetitions I would suggest that if your best Press is 250 pounds, warm up with 200 x 2 reps, then 220 x 2, and finally 5 sets of 2 with 230. If you are still strong, perform 2 sets of jerk presses with 240-250, doing 3 reps a set. When you are able to perform this schedule increase your poundages by 5 pounds throughout. Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Exercise 3: Upright Row This exercise has quite recently been accepted by the A.A.U. as one of their strength lifts. Using the same grip as when performing cleans, lift the bar from the floor until it rests across the thighs and then with a hard fast pull lift the bar up until it touches the neck with the elbows held up high, and then lower the bar to the thighs and repeat from there. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 4: Parallel Bar Dip This is a particular favorite of Eder, and I well remember his brother telling me that he considered this exercise had done more for Marvin than any other. Perform 5 sets of 8 and use added weight. Exercise 5: Dumbbell Curl Numerous men, such as Grimek, have handled 100 pound bells on this exercise. Perform 5 sets of 5. Exercise 6: Deadlift When following both schedules only do deadlifts once a week, on an off day and on their own. Work up in singles to the highest poundage you can lift.
  11. Train for Power - Part 1 (1954) By Reg Park Today physical culture has more followers than ever before, and in consequence the progress of the past few years has been amazing. Weight-lifting (read "strength" here) records are constantly being broken and the standard of physique has also improved. Unfortunately, however, bodybuilding and weight-lifting are for the most part regarded as two distinct sports, and it is rare indeed that you find a bodybuilder with REAL POWER or a weight-lifter with a PRIZE WINNING PHYSIQUE. By power I do not necessarily mean that one should become an Olympic lifter and specialize on the press, snatch, and clean & jerk. (Or a powerlifter, if written today). My interpretation of a powerful man is one who can put up a good performance on a variety of lifts, and one who instantly comes to my mind when I think of a strong man is Marvin Eder (see photo below), whom I consider to be The World's Strongest Man when bodyweight is taken into consideration. Marvin has successfully combined training for Power and Physique. His bench press of 480 pounds and his reported overhead press of 350 are the heaviest weights ever lifted by a man under 200 pounds bodyweight. John Grimek also comes into the above category -- having been an American weightlifting champion and winning every physique honor possible. Here in England we have two fine examples in Buster McShane and Bill Parkinson. But the fact remains that there are many top bodybuilders who cannot lift weights in accordance with their physique and at the same time there are strength trainers whose physiques leave much to be desired. When Stan Stanczyk (photo above) was the world light-heavyweight weightlifting champion, it was reported that some youngster who saw him on the beach did not believe that Stan was the world champion because the kid said, "I know fellows with bigger muscles than you." Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is a fact that Stan did devote a lot of time to bodybuilding. I have listed a number of exercises which I consider to be real Power Builders and can be used by bodybuilders and strength men alike. I have split them up into TWO SCHEDULES and would suggest that you train three non-consecutive days i.e. MON, WED, FRI, per week on Schedule One for a period of one month followed by a week's full layoff, and then train on Schedule Two three times per week for a month and note the increase in poundages handled at the end of this time. SCHEDULE ONE Exercise 1: Squat This is a great power builder and has been put to good use by such men as Anderson (photo below ) and Hepburn in their own training, but it is a lift which many weight-lifters omit completely; while bodybuilders tend to rely too much on squats to a bench. Like my good friend Leo Stern, I have always favored the parallel squat and prefer to wear heels on my lifting boots rather than placing the heels on a wooden block. The heeled boots give me a firmer base as well as greater confidence. You may have noticed that Kono lifts in shoes and Sheppard has a built up heel on his lifting boot. I also believe a belt should be worn when performing this lift. The squat should be performed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions -- increasing the poundage with each set. For example, I do 3 sets of 5 on the squat working up to the heaviest weight I can handle then I increase the weight by 100 pounds and do 1 set of 5 half squats, and then increase by another 100 pounds with which I perform 1 set of 5 quarter squats. It has been reported that Anderson can handle 1,500 pounds for the last method and Pete Farrar and myself used to perform 10 reps with 1,000 pounds. Exercise 2: Bench Press This lift has created a great deal of controversy overt the past few years but nevertheless both the B.A.W.L.A. and the A.A.U. now use it as a strength lift in championships. There are several pros and cons but if the lift is performed correctly (pressing each repetition from the chest) and not bounced off the chest, it is a great power builder both for deltoids and triceps as well as giving speedy development to the pectorals. The strict style does in fact cramp the pectorals more than the cheat style. This lift has done wonders for me (Photo of Park above) as I know it has done for Eder, Hepburn and Parkinson. A variety of grips can be used but I favor the same width as taken when performing Military pressing. 5 sets of 5 reps are ideal. Exercise 3: Two Hands Clean The technique of this lift has been fully covered in Al Murray's article on the Clean and Jerk so I will not dwell on it, other than to say 8 sets of 2 repetitions should be employed, working up to as heavy a weight as possible. This exercise can then be followed by taking a weight in excess of your best Clean off the squat stands and holding it at the shoulders for a count of 5. Repeat this 5 times. Exercise 4: Press Behind Neck Like most bodybuilders I have favored this exercise for shoulder development -- and in order to illustrate the power this lift can build I include here the best lifts of several prominent men: Doug Hepburn does repetitions with 300 pounds; Eder 300; Eiferman 280; Wells 280. The bar can either be cleaned or taken off the squat stand, whichever you prefer. The weight should then be pressed and not jerked to arms length and lowered until it touches the back of the neck. Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with the maximum weight possible. Exercise 5: Barbell Curl Perform this for 3 sets of 5 in strict style increasing the poundage if possible with each set, then increase the weight by 20 to 30 pounds and do 2 sets of 5 adapting the cheat or swing style. Exercise 6: Deadlift This lift should be practiced only once a week working up in singles until you have reached your maximum. It is better to attempt this lift on a rest day and not when performing exercises 1 to 5. There are of course other important factors which must be taken into consideration when training for power and in order of importance they are as follows: 1/ To overcome the fear of heavy weights by having a complete positive mental attitude when training. 2/ As much good food as possible especially meat, milk, fruit, starches, etc. 3/ 8-10 hours sleep each night. To read PART 2 click here!
  12. How Sergio Oliva and Victor Richards Built Their Physiques Article by Jeff Everson (RIP) written in 1985. Edited by: Strength Oldschool (adding Photos only) I suppose it all started the day Richard Gaspari was declared National Light-Heavyweight Champion. Yes, I remember the eventful day back in New Orleans in 1984, when the young dragon slayer, ripped to the proverbial eyeballs, took home the gold, ushering in the new era of physique definition. Agreed, before Gaspari we had our striation kings. We had bodybuilders who worked as models for Gray’s Anatomy charts back in the ’60s and ’70s. We used to call them the most muscular men in physique contests. In those days definition was synonymous with most muscular. Physique judges then preferred a fuller (less defined) physique than is the rule today. The lean and hungry look of the yon Cassiuses of those days never won physique titles. If you examine older physique pictures, those of Reg Park, Steve Reeves, Leroy Colbert, Dave Draper and even Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilders were massive with outstanding shape, but certainly not ripped as they are today. But, so it goes. Progress is progress even if it does take a lot of the fun out of bodybuilding training. Indeed, in those days hard training and eating a lot of good food and being strong were what it was all about. Not so today. Now it’s succinates, metabolic optimizers, medium-chained triglycerides, branched chain amino acids, carnitine, thryoid, almost-zero-fat diets, carefully balanced protein diets, calorimetry- measured energy expenditure to equalize energy input with output, cyclic training routines and bodybuilding lifestyle day in and day out. Oh, to be sure, all of the above has pushed the standard of bodybuilding ever onward. Today’s champions have taken muscularity to dizzy heights. Bodybuilders are TOTALLY refined and developed today. Funny thing, though, most kids, most beginning bodybuilders, don’t really care about that. That look, the ultra-refined Gaspari-type muscularity, is best left for the competitive, singly focused bodybuilder who has little time, thought or energy to do anything else with his life except train, eat and sleep bodybuilding. Not that its bad. I make no judgments on people’s lives. To each his own. What is ironic is that most young, beginning bodybuilders long for something other than the look it takes to win. That something is what I call ANIMALIA – pure, animal-type muscle mass. Size. Power. Thickness. Hugeness. It’s what made Ferrigno, Park, Schwarzenegger, Oliva and now, the human house, Vic Richards, veritable legends in anyone’s time. Muscle mass. That’s what basic bodybuilding is all about. That’s why Bertil Fox remains the bodybuilder’s bodybuilder today. You even see this at physique contests, where bodybuilding connoisseurs come presumably to appreciate the more refined, more ripped look, rather than ogling the bulk masters. However, it’s the mass boys who garner the most applause, if not the paid airfares and qualifications to enter the Nationals or the pros. To a lesser and somewhat more unfortunate extent, the same thing applies to women’s bodybuilding. So be it. Bodybuilders still crave bigness and hard muscle mass more than anything else. Back in the mid ’60s, Sergio Oliva was regarded as the biggest bodybuilder around. The most massive man who ever lived. Sergio won the Mr. Olympia in ‘67, ‘68 and ‘69. In ‘69 he beat Arnold to win the title. Even though Oliva took a hiatus from the mid ’70s until 1984, he remained foremost in everyone’s mind as the most massive bodybuilder of all time, even more so than the great Austrian Oak. Today, however, a man lurking around Southern California, when you see him in the flesh, in the gym working out (pictures don’t do him justice at all), is probably more massive than even Sergio at his peak. That man is Victor Richards. What’s the secret to this huge muscle mass? It can’t be steroids. If it’s a given that 90% of your most massive bodybuilders have used steroids, if steroids-were the cause, they’d all be as big as Vic and Sergio – but they aren’t. The secret must lie elsewhere. I know most of you smaller guys out there, especially those of you who think you’ve tried everything to get big and haven’t, will attribute Vic’s and Sergio’s mass to genetic proclivity. Well, having been around powerlifting, football, weightlifting, arm-wrestling, shot- putting and bodybuilding for nearly 25 years, I believe this to be too simplistic. Granted, to rise to the top of any sport, you must have genetic advantages, but human physiology doesn’t vary much, and people can compensate for many genetic disadvantages. Gaining muscle size is not governed much by genetic factors as we understand them in other sports. Leverage is not a concern. Muscle fiber type is not much of a concern (it really doesn’t matter much since across the population there isn’t much variability), speed and quickness aren’t factors. Most people have testosterone levels within the same range. The fact of the matter is, I believe you could take nine out of 10 high school freshmen and train them to be massive bodybuilders – provided they had the desire and wanted to stick to the program long enough! Now maybe the nine you randomly picked wouldn’t get as big as Sergio or Victor, but I guarantee that doing the right things, they could indeed get massive beyond their expectations. Yes, Sergio and Victor both speak fondly about how their brothers could have been bigger than them, but it’s impossible to know how big anyone can be unless he actually tries to get big. I’m sure most of you have read that the only thing important for mass is using heavy weights all the time. If this were true, wouldn’t weightlifters who ONLY lift heavy weights be incredibly massive? Surprise – they aren’t. So, it’s obvious that the number of repetitions plays a part in overall size, in addition to poundage. So does the number of sets. If you do one set per exercise forget about getting MAXIMUM mass. This is not even a remote possibility! In effect, mass is produced by the type and frequency of your training and the types and amount of food or drink you consume. Bodybuilding’s most massive men do far more sets than average sized guys. Examination of Arnold’s, Sergio’s and Victor’s training routines reveals that all three preferred a high-set approach when training their individual body parts. Over the years, Chicago-based writer Norman Zale has on several occasions cataloged and described Sergio’s training routines. I myself studied Sergio’s methods in 1969 while he was pumping away in the old Duncan YMCA in Chicago. Sergio trained once a day following a full day of manual labor (before Sergio was one of Rogers Park’s finest, he worked long hours as a butcher and loading and unloading trucks, sometimes working double shifts). His workouts were long, intense, but steady-state in nature. Sergio literally flowed from movement to movement (and still does today), getting a thorough congestion in whatever body part he was training. The biggest animals seem to do nothing fancy either – they just whale away on basic movements, doing a lot of heavy sets with repetitions falling in the 10-12 range. A lot of times, they do half movements and partials. Indeed, this is a major reason Tom Platz was able to get his thighs so huge (that and an undeniable mental-physical capacity to push back discomfort barriers). SERGIO OLIVA TRAINING STYLE / ROUTINE / DIET I remember watching Sergio train his chest in 1969. At the time, Zale had taped the 5′9′ ‘235-pound Oliva at 56 inches for chest, 29 for waist and 21 for arms. Sergio supersetted bench presses with dips, doing 8-10 supersets with 225-275 pounds in the bench press and bodyweight in the dips. Curiously, he would do four three-quarter benches followed by a complete lockout rep and then another four partial movements followed by a full rep and so on for about 15-20 movements per set. In the dips he’d do the same, a series of partial reps followed by a full rep and so on for at least 20 reps. By the end of his supersets, Sergio’s chest was like a zeppelin. The point being, Sergio got massive doing a lot of sets, partials, higher reps and concentration on thorough muscle congestion. I’m sure a lot of you have heard the stories about Sergio’s prodigious eating over the years. Some of his staples included banana pancakes, chocolate shakes, colas and platefuls of eggs. Sergio was fond of drinking copious quantities of protein-milk mixes toward the end of his workout and right afterward. Sergio was a big eater of steak, eggs, pancakes and more. Too many youngsters who want to get big don’t get enough calories and don’t take in enough fat in their food. They also don’t consume enough mixtures of carbohydrates, from simple sugars to intermediates to long-chained sugars. Definition is different from mass. You can’t have it both ways. You can eat year round as if you were preparing for a contest and gain size very slowly (if at all). Or you can do what most big bodybuilders have done to get big – eat a lot of all foods and train hard and heavy. Contest diets, the ones you read about in the magazine, are for ADVANCED bodybuilders. VICTOR RICHARDS TRAINING STYLE / ROUTINE / DIET Victor Richards could write volumes on big eating and mass training. Vic’s legs are bigger and thicker right now than his upper body is, but he’s bringing his upper body up fast. When Vic began training, he started working on basic mass-building exercises, the kinds of movements that utilize a lot of muscle groups In multiple joint movements. Exercises like bench presses, squats and leg presses. Vic didn’t even do leg extensions or curls, two exercises that are universally considered separators, not mass-builders. Vic didn’t do flyes or concentration curls. Instead he did heavy dumbbell bench presses and heavy curls. He trained long and hard like a barbarian – in fact, he trained with the Barbarians, Peter and David Paul. Like Sergio, Victor worked on the basics. During his first organized, steady seven months of training, Vic’s weight went from 215 to 260 pounds and he used to spend two hours on leg training – just on squats alone. (Paul Anderson used to do the same thing and, with 37-inch thighs, he’s about the only guy who had legs bigger than Vic’s). Vic differs slightly from Sergio in that Vic likes to train heavier with lower reps. But then again, it should be pointed out that early in Sergio’s career (before he met Bob Gujda in Chicago), Sergio had been a weightlifter and consequently did lower reps in his training. While he was a weightlifter, though, Sergio secretly practiced bodybuilding reps and sets, which is why he looked the way he did, in comparison to other weightlifters. I guess both Vic and Sergio break conventional rules in the way they train for mass. Both use reasonably heavy weights, but neither seems to follow the conventional rest and recovery system or do the standard three sets of 6-8 reps for mass. Sergio should never have recovered from his long, arduous workouts on top of his manual labor but he did, the reason being that he replenished so well through his high-carbohydrate diet. Both men now seem to prefer higher reps and multiple sets. In fact, Victor states: Observing Sergio and Vic, we can establish that getting massive takes a lot of sets with reasonably heavy weights in the 8-15 rep range. But what about all of you who say you’ve tried this but dont get any bigger, you just overtrain? I say look to your diets! The more energy stored through your food, the less likely that you will overtrain on your mass program of basics because you can expand that stored energy to meet your demands and thus build muscle. Secondly, don’t try to use too much weight or always try to increase your training weights. Use reasonably heavy weights on basic exercises but do enough reps so you obtain a quality pump! Big eaters, if they also work out hard, get massive muscles. Victor, like Sergio, is a regular Diamond Jim Brady at the dinner table. Here’s what Vic says about eating for mass: It’s obvious that both Sergio and Victor consume thousands of calories per day and convert that caloric juice into muscle through long, heavy, hard workouts with emphasis on a quality pump. To get really MASSIVE, here are the basic requirements: 1. A lot of good food. Many big men get their extra protein and extra calories through protein drinks. Chicken and egg whites are staples. You also have to eat enough carbs and fats for energy and excess calories. 2. Basic workouts consisting of major exercises (as opposed to isolation exercises) such as bench presses, dumbbell bench presses, dips, behind-the-neck presses, inclines, rows, squats, leg presses and curls. 3. Do between 5-10 sets of your basic exercises and vary the repetitions from 8-15, or perhaps a couple more with leg training. Work at a good pace for a thorough congestion of the muscles. 4. Listen to your body. While Sergio grew large training every day and Vic did much the same, neither man repeated muscle groups without significant rest in between them. Vic has proved you don’t need to be a slave to any set system. You can come to the gym and just work the leg press or just work the dumbbell press, but make sure you do A LOT of sets while varying your reps. Make training challenging and fun, not the same old boring thing all the time. 5. There’s no doubt that anabolic steroids will make you gain mass faster. However, mass that’s earned the right way, naturally, through gobs of food and years of hard training, lasts and has better quality. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about any possible health-damaging steroid side effects. You can take all the steroids in the world and if you don’t work out hard and right and eat ample food, you won’t get anywhere! Vic and Sergio are bigger with more animalia than the rest of us because they’ve done things the right way – for mass! This article was written by the late Jeff Everson (1950 - 2019) who passed away in 2019 at the age of 68. His family said that he was complaining of leg and foot pain prior to his death, but he suspected the pain was caused from his previous hardcore powerlifting days and so passed it off as nothing serious. Jeff was married to Corinna "Cory" Everson (4 January, 1958 to present) who was a famous American female bodybuilding champion and actress. Cory won the Ms. Olympia contest six years in a row from 1984 to 1989 and is considered one of the best female bodybuilders ever. I hope Strength Oldschool fans have enjoyed reading this article. Here's a few great videos for you to watch based on Sergio Oliva and Big Vic Richards! Which bodybuilder is your favourite between Vic Richards and Sergio Oliva? And why? If anyone has any stories to share on either of these mass, genetic, bodybuilding giants, then please comment below. Thank you.
  13. Reg Park details his training and diet in an Interview with Iron Man writer Ray Beck, on April 29th, 1956. The Interview was originally Published in the 1957 Iron Man Magazine (March / Vol 16 / No.5). A little info about the author Ray Beck... Wrote for Iron Man in the fifties. Published "Muscle Canada" mag. Ran Western Gym. Started Canada's first chain of fitness stores. Won Canada / USA Masters BB championship at age 47. Likes the drug free Classic Physique of Reeves, C.Ross, Reg Park, etc Back in 2006, Ray Beck was 75 years old and still working out. Today he must be 90 years old and is hopefully still going strong. His last tweet was 2019, so I really hope he still with us. In case anyone doesn't know, he was close friends with the giant of "Natural" Strength, Doug Hepburn. I love articles by Ray Beck because you can bet your boots that the following information written will be true to life and accurate, no made up muscle size measurements or exaggerated fake weights lifted. Iron Man was one of the best bodybuilding magazines around. Anyway, on to the article... How Reg Park Trains by Ray Beck (1957) Please note: Images used have been added by Strength Oldschool and do not represent actual images from the Iron Man article way back then! One of the most popular figures in the Iron Game today is Reg Park of Leeds, England. This much-traveled physical culture leader has demonstrated his amazing physical development and physical strength in many parts of the world. He possesses huge muscle size, plus good proportion and definition and he is strong; in fact he has advanced so far in the latter attributes that he should be considered the top contender for the hypothetical title of The World's Best Developed Man. One finds lots to admire in a man like Reg Park. He seems to have everything a muscle man could hope for: International fame, a flourishing physical culture business, plenty of opportunity to travel, and perhaps most important of all, a happy home life with his wife and daughter. It is easy, however, to understand how he attained this enviable position. You just have to know him for a short time and you will know why. Reg was the feature attraction at our annual "Strength and Health Show" here in Vancouver, B.C. He stayed in Vancouver for three days (visited his aunt and uncle; and was chauffeured around Vancouver by friend Bob Buscombe.) I was impressed at the time, by his proud cultural bearing, and also his intelligence and seriousness of mind. He was very polite to everyone and showed husbandly concern over his charming wife's comforts during their stay. But of all Reg's characteristics, one trait stands out foremost. And this is the one trait that contributes the most to success in muscle-building (or any other undertaking for that matter). What is this all important trait? It's DETERMINATION! They say that nothing can stop a man who has persistent determination to succeed . . . who is willing to do anything or sacrifice anything to attain his goal. I saw this kind of determination in Doug Hepburn and I saw it again when I watched Reg Park train with the heavy weights. Someone should film a Reg Park workout so that it could be shown to aspiring young bodybuilders. What an education and inspiration it would be for them, watching Reg move from exercise to exercise, stopping only to catch his breath. They would see how he concentrates on what he's doing, how smoothly he performs each movement - no jerking or straining with the weight. They would see how he squeezes out the last rep with the assistance of two spotters. He is indeed an inspiration to watch. Reg Park was born in June, 1929. He weighs 230 pounds and is 6'1" tall. His measurements are: Arm - 19 inches Calf - 18 Thigh - 28 Chest - 52 Waist - 32 Wrist - 8 Neck - 19 Forearm (flexed) - 16. These were his measurements on April 29th, 1956, the date of my interview for this article. He stated at the time that he was training for strength and that he was no longer interested in maintaining his body in "physique contest" condition. Reg doesn't have a favorite workout routine. He has done every routine and every exercise in the book. But like most advanced men he has found out what exercises and what routines give him the best results. Advanced training is highly individualistic. What is good for one man isn't necessarily good for somebody else. He says that after the beginner has gone through the preliminary stages of training he will have to discover for himself what exercises are best for his muscle groups. I know a fellow, for example, who gets a good deltoid workout from doing dips on the parallel bars. Another fellow, however, who did the same exercise in exactly the same manner received pectoral and tricep development but no appreciable deltoid development. Prior to the Mr. Universe contest of 1951 (which Park won), he worked out three hours every day. Legs one day and upper body the next day. During his stay in Vancouver, Reg did a one hour workout at the Western Sports Gym. He wanted to keep his bodyweight up so he worked primarily on his legs. Watching him then, it was obvious he is a very scientific trainee. Nearly every exercise he did was done a little differently from the prescribed manner. When he was doing the calf raise, for example, he bent his knees. There were other idiosyncrasies in his training. But we all have them so there is no point in listing them here. Nor is there any point in listing the many routines he follows at the present time, since only about 50 or 100 of the readers of this magazine could follow them with any results. In fact, to force the average bodybuilder to follow Reg through one of his typical workouts would be murderous. Nobody, but nobody, works out as fast and furiously for such long periods as Park. However, here for the first time, is a listing of Reg Park's favorite exercises and the repetitions and sets he prefers to do them in for all round results: Deltoids and Upper Back - Press behind neck, 5-10 sets of 5 reps. Standing Bent Arm Laterals, raise dumbbells from sides to just past shoulder height, very heavy dumbbells for sets of 10 reps. Pectorals - Bench press, 5 sets of 2 reps. That's right: 2 reps. Thighs - Squats, 5 sets of 5 reps (of all the exercises he does he likes this one best). Hack Lifts. Biceps - Barbell Curl, 5 x 5-8 reps. Incline DB Curl, 5 x 5-8. Triceps - French press, standing or lying on the bench. Calves - Calf machine, many sets of 25 reps. Donkey calf raise, many sets of 25 reps. Waist and Trunk Area - Leg raises and side bends, high reps up to 100. Back - High Pulls, 5-8 sets of 3 reps. Power cleans, 5-8 x 3 reps. Chin behind neck, weighted, 5 x 5-5-8 reps. Note: Reg has never done any specific exercises for his neck, forearms, or since 1951, for his waist. One of his favorite upper body exercises is the Bent Arm Pullover. Miscellaneous Observations Reg works each muscle group for approximately 30 minutes. He practices forced breathing between sets. He is more interested in strength than muscle size. He says that the trainee must have the right mental attitude when working out . . . that mental feeling of power and concentration on putting everything you have into your workouts . . . driving yourself hard all the time. Don't fool around, keep talk to a minimum, maybe a joke or a wisecrack to ease the tension. Relax completely between sets and exercises . . . then concentrate on the weight when exercising . . . get mad at it. Have one or two training partners to assist you if possible, to spot you or to help you force out those last two reps. Reg is very particular about training conditions. He attends to every little detail, likes using Olympic bars because of their springiness, dislikes working out in front of mirrors - covers them up if necessary - wears a complete track suit, and often a lifting belt. Diet? Reg eats like a king . . . but eats only food that is good for him. He eats a prodigious amount of food during the day, but adheres to a very balanced diet, with everything in proper proportion. His favorite food is steak, which he sometimes eats twice a day. He also likes salads, orange juice, and wines (he has a wine cellar in his home). He has used protein supplements and also takes Vitamin Mineral tablets with his meals. Reg has written some courses for beginners and advanced bodybuilders which he says just about cover his ideas on barbell training. I've read them and I think they should be included in every serious bodybuilder's library . . . right along with Rader's, Weider's and Hoffman's courses. What about Reg Park's future? Reg says he wants to become the world's strongest man at his bodyweight . . . and perhaps the best built at the same time. And do you want to know something? I think he'll do it! In closing, I would like to mention a belief which Reg mentioned several times. He said that a person shouldn't let training become his only concern. One must hold everything to its right perspective. That is, you should devote a proper amount of time to the social, business and physical sides of living. "Mens sana in corpore sano" . . . A sound mind in a sound body.
  14. Hercules and the Captive Women I thought I'd post this DVD cover for two reasons... One: The movie stars the late, great, Reg Park who was massive in his role as Hercules. Two: The cover design is very sexy and seductive, which I'm sure would have been quite powerful at that time, 1961 I believe. That's if it is the original cover from that time period?

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