Casey Viator’s Workout Routine -Chris Lund (1981)


During the very early part of 1970, a muscle-building time bomb exploded in the form of “Nautilus” and its inventor, Arthur Jones.

The writings and advertisements for Jones and his mysterious machines emerged via the pages of top bodybuilding magazine “Iron Man.”

The articles, and even the ads, became so popular that countless readers wrote to Editor Peary Rader, claiming that they much preferred to digest the “Nautilus Ads”, before they read anything else!

This fact was even more strengthened when the June / July 1973 issue of “Iron Man consisted of an amazingly thick 112 pages, and had Nautilus ads featured from page 41 to 72! Yes, 32 pages of continuous, nonstop ads for those famous exercise machines, which surely must be some kind of record in this unique muscle business.

Many kinds of people were seen endorsing the equipment from doctors, football players, and coaches to universalities, schools, hospitals, and of course, top bodybuilders.

Famous stars such as the great Arnold, Sergio Oliva, Boyer Coe, Franco Columbu, and many others were all invited by Jones to visit the Nautilus plant situated in Deland, Florida.

Many endorsements were published as a result of these and other visits, but the biggest endorsement was yet to come.

The endorsement came in the form of some amazing photos of a very young bodybuilder who had just won the 1970 AAU Junior Mr. America at the incredible age of only 18 years old!

The pictures were of a virtually unknown boy hailing from the Boyer Coe territory known as Lafayette, Louisiana, and the boy’s name was Casey Viator!

The first tempting article and photos on Casey appeared in the September 1970 issue of “Iron Man” just after his Junior Mr. America win and clean sweep of every single bodypart with the exception of abdominals!

The article mentioned that Casey had been training seven days a week, doing thirty sets per bodypart! But it also stated the following, “At the preset time he is back on an every other day workout schedule with a special program and greatly reduced working time, and results are coming amazingly fast, however, at present we are not permitted to tell you how he is working!”

At this time no one really knew why there was so much secrecy attached to his workout routine. It was only as the months went by that the name of Arthur Jones, Nautilus, and Casey Viator became synonymous! All kinds of claims and rumors circulated the worldwide bodybuilding grapevine.

Rumors of superhuman bodily feats such as full squats with 505 pounds for 14 reps, and other amazing accomplishments. Jones himself even wrote that the great Sergio Oliva, on of the greatest physique stars of all time, could not keep up with Casey during one of these secret workouts.

So just how was the training then? How did he build those amazing arms that looked as though they were bigger than his head? The best training article that appeared on Casey during that period was published in the Oct. 1971 edition of “Iron Man” and was written by Achilles Kallos.

The article listed Casey’s measurements as Height 5’8″, Weight 217 pounds, Arms 19 3/8″ (cold) Chest 50″, Waist 31 1/2″, Thighs 28″, and Calf 18″!

The article also mentioned the fact that Casey trained the whole body in one workout, three times per week, and that each workout lasted between two and two-and-a- half hours.

The writer then listed the amazing workout as followed by Casey during that period.

Leg Press
Leg Extension
Leg Curls
Nautilus Pullover Machine
Special Circular Pulldown
Standing Lateral Raise
Press Behind Neck
Nautilus Special Side-Raise
Shoulder Shrugs
Bench Press
Incline Barbell Press
Parallel Bar Dips
Cable Crossovers
Barbell Curl
Nautilus Bicep & Tricep
Nautilus Pushdown
Compound Tricep Movement
Seated Barbell Wrist Curl
Dead Lifts

The most amazing thing about his leg routine was the fact that Casey did each exercise nonstop, going from one exercise to another without rest.

Even now, almost nine years (now 34 years) after it was written, this workout is simply nothing short of incredible when you realize the weights that Casey was handling and for 20 reps, too!

Having already won the 1971 AAU Senior Mr. America shortly before that article went to print, Casey’s appearance at the NABBA Mr. Universe in London was eagerly anticipated, but unfortunately it never materialized. And for some unknown reason, Casey Viator did a disappearing act from the face of the bodybuilding world and its publications! It was even written that Arthur Jones had advised Casey to “get out of bodybuilding.”

Casey’s departure was not for long however, and his name was to be inserted into the record books. This is how it happened. During the month of May 1973, Casey Viator made the history books by making the largest muscular gains in bodyweight recorded on a human being.

Casey, under the guidance of Arthur Jones, undertook a scientific exercise experiment at the Colorado State University. The experiment was conducted under the supervision of Doctor Elliot Plese, director of exercise at the Physiology Lab of the university.

The experiment lasted form May 1st to May 29th. Casey trained only three days per week, and each workout lasted only 30 minutes. Only Nautilus Machines were used, and after only 28 days or 12 workouts Casey recorded the following unbelievable results!

Increase in Bodyweight 45.28 lbs. Loss of Body Fat 17.93 lbs. Muscular Gain 63.21 lbs.

The before and after photos used to add further proof to the experiment were even more amazing . But once again Casey disappeared, not to return for another 5 years. During the early half of 1978, Oscar Heidenstam, president of NABBA in London, England, received a very surprising but welcome entry form from Casey, stating his intentions to enter that year’s Amateur Mr. Universe contest.

Along with the entry form, Casey sent some amazing outdoor black-and-white photos showing himself in terrific muscular condition. He was as big as ever — but literally cut to ribbons, and he was coming to win!

It was with great excitement that this writer made the trip to England to see for himself how the great Casey would match up to NABBA’s previous winners, namely Messrs, Park, Pearl, Zane, Coe, Dickerson, Nubret, and of course Arnold!

I first cast eyes on Casey backstage as he was pumping up prior to the judging. To say I was impressed would be a gross understatement. He was wearing a knee-length steel-gray dressing gown, but how I remembered that I’ll never know. Walter O’Malley, the top British physique star, was standing next to me, and he just couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself, “Look at those bloody calves, will you? I’ve never seen anything like that in all my years in the game,” exclaimed Walter in this thick but friendly Irish accent. “Never mind the calves, look at those forearms!” I answered.

I’ve seen Sergio Oliva pump-up nonstop for what seemed like a whole hour. I’ve witnessed Don Ross pump himself blue in the face from his isokinetic contraction exercises, and I’ve watched Roy Duval pump his pecs till they almost burst. But I’ve never ever seen anyone pump up like Casey Viator!

It’s not just because he works so hard at it. It’s because he does not feel any pain! I watched him perform dips, towel curls, towel triceps extensions, Power Crusher squeezes, plus other standard pre-contest pump-up moves. All the time, he was chewing gum and he had a strange expression on his face, as though he was willing his body to withstand as much pain as possible. In fact, he loved every minute of it. In between exercises, he would strut around the dressing room like a human powerhouse, and I thought to myself, “He’ll blow them all to bits.”

When Casey’s name was called out at the judging, he immediately bounced onto the rostrum and blasted the audience with only a very few of his most famous poses. The double biceps to the front, side chest, one-arm bicep, calf and thigh shot, etc. No sooner had he appeared, then he disappeared!

As so often happens at the St. Pancras Assembly rooms, the walls and roof almost fell in as the audience went wild with pleasure. I myself just couldn’t believe my own eyes at the sight of the front double biceps pose — and then disaster! During comparison pose downs with Dave Johns, Casey’s presentation and nervous manner on stage stood out like a sore thumb. Johns, who, by the way, was in the finest condition of his life, gave a fabulous cool, calm, and super professional display that day. Further trouble was ahead for Casey as he was forced to stand next to Dave in the relaxed but semi-tensed position as the judges tallied up their scores. Being so out of practice from his lack of contest participation during the previous five years, Casey made the fatal mistake of relaxing his abdominals as he stood there in front of the judges. As a result, he looked smooth next to Johns who never once faltered form the full abdominals tensed position, and Casey lost the NABBA Mr. Universe!

There was an awful lot of bad feeling between Casey and the NABBA afterwards, and both he and Oscar Heidenstam made their views felt on the independent pages of “Muscle Digest”.

Casey was then faced with the dilemma of worrying where to turn to next. After making some fabulous gains during his comeback, he didn’t want to go back into liquidation. “He wanted to prove that he was the greatest physique in the world.”

After the falling out with NABBA, he was faced with only two alternative bodybuilding organizations, namely WABBA and of course the IFBB.

Casey chose the IFBB and made his debut at the November 1979 Canada Cup, placing only fifth behind all the IFBB Professionals. As a result of his participation at this contest, it is rumored that he was immediately sacked form his Nautilus position.

Casey, more determined than ever, put all his eggs into one basket and moved lock, stock, and barrel to sunny California, land of the champions.

After some very, very tight seconds behind Chris Dickerson, Casey finally turned the tables and beat everyone at the Louisiana grand Prix and the Pittsburgh Grand Prix!

The pictures of him were now simply quite amazing, his muscularity was unbelievable, his vascularity was unbelievable, his cuts were unbelievable, and even his abdominals were unbelievable. In fact, all of him was unbelievable!

I asked Mentzer how Casey had totally transformed his appearance and he simply replied, “He’s lost twenty pounds in bodyweight, that’s why.”

With the renowned Joe Weider’s famous guidance and wisdom behind him, plus exposure via the bodybuilding magazine, “Muscle and Fitness”, Casey seemed ready for the kill.

Going in a hot favorite to the New York Grand Prix Final, Casey dropped down to a shattering fifth position. It would appear that he had probably burned himself out from all the various Grand Prix events that he submitted himself to.

But where does he go from here? Under IFBB rules he doesn’t even qualify for entry into this year’s Mr. Olympia contest.

Remember, he hasn’t won an IFBB Championship or Mr. Universe, and he hasn’t won a IFBB Grand Prix Final, and finally, he hasn’t taken part in a previous Mr. Olympia contest. Only time will tell.



  1. Hello. I am 52 yaer old bodybuilder. and a Casey V. fan. I would have loved to have had the chance to workout with Casey.We are the same as far as body styles .and strength .I will always keep Casey a part of my Training. god bless

  2. Hey Guys I trained with Casey right before the Mr Universe and just so you know The Colorado was a standing joke with us . IT was and still is a gimmick that sold Nautilus machines IF It were true there would only be Nautilus training facilities and there are none left .When I wanted to mess with Casey I told him there is a guy following him to make sure he doesn’t take steroids or if he wanted a body part to be bigger we could do an extra set on the Nautilus machine.Jones was buying all of Casey’s drugs and when Jones Nautilus sales started to take off He didn’t need Casey anymore he refused to give Casey the raise he wanted after making this old fukster millions of dollars in sales of equipment .That’s how Casey ended up in California training with the Mentzers. One more thing when anyone asked Casey how to gain muscle HE damn sure didn’t tell them to train on Nautilus with high intensity He told them flat out 20 sets of 4 reps in strict form with as much weight as possible per body part.Tiger

    1. Hey Tiger,

      That is awesdome thank you for reaching out. Would love to chat to you about your training experiences if you were interested? Shoot me an email at if so. Obviously no pressure.

      I love getting these sorts of stories!

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