Tag: Vince Gironda

Ron Kosloff, ‘Why I Loved Vince Gironda’

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This will probably be the very last article I will write about Vince Gironda since I think I’ve covered it all, plus I certainly don’t want to over-glorify him and possibly sound ridiculous, as this would be a mistake.

Simply stated, there are two (2) reasons I have such monumental admiration for him. First, he has proven to be the most brilliant mind ever to grace bodybuilding in every aspect.

Second, if you were to look in the dictionary to research ethics and integrity, it would state his name and follow with “like a rock, true and enduring, of the highest moral stature; a decent, honorable, incorruptible man,” plus a ton of other adjectives, including being a tormented man, but he walked the walk and talked the talk!

Vince Gironda, ‘Common Errors in Bodybuilding’, The Master Series of Nutritional Bodybuilding (Iron Guru Publishing, 1983), 5-7

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Gironda is undoubtedly a site favourite. Known for his unique style of training and nutritional approach, Gironda didn’t pull any punches when it came to giving his opinion. The below errors, 35 in total, may raise a few eyebrows. Nevertheless they demonstrated Gironda’s willingness to give his opinion!

Forgotten Exercises: Sternum Chin Up

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Pull ups are perhaps the most misunderstood exercise on the gym floor. At the risk of descending into a ‘back in my day’ rant, when I was taught how do to a pull up or chin up, the form was simple; Pull chest to bar, lower until arms are straight. Rinse and repeat. It was a simple, although far from easy, thing to do. Nowadays pull ups seem to be a mixture between hurtling yourself at full speed towards the bar i.e. the kipping pull up or an exercise in which the body is lower a 1/2 inch from the bar, i.e. the bro pull up.

Admittedly I’ve varied through using strict, not so strict and completely reckless form when doing pull ups. On some day I’d use all three during the same set. What forced me to reevaluate my form was the Sternum Chin Up, an exercise synonymous with Vince Gironda. The Sternum Chin Up is perhaps one of the most effective and unforgiving exercises from yesterday I’ve recycled in my own training.  In today’s post, we’ll run through the history of the exercise, what it looks like and how you can incorporate it into your own training.

Vince Gironda, ‘Biceps: A Six-Week Bulk Course’, Vince Gironda Six Week Bulk Course (c.1968), 3-4

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This program’s purpose is designed to produce quick size by working non-specifically (four different aspects of each muscle) – in other words, it is not a shaping course. Now, the muscle to receive the most work is the muscle you start with. I always start with the arms. So, this is how I will set up the course. Before we start, I would like to point out that muscle tissue does not grow unless taxed 85 per cent! Beware, however, never work to 100 per cent because maximum energy output will stop all muscular growth!

Ron Kosloff, Discipline: The Elusive Quality (2010)

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It’s the endeavor that separates winners from losers, champions from non champions, successful people from non-successful people, and most assuredly, it’s a quality that’s quickly disappearing in America. Why, because mass marketing is controlling our lives, telling us that we should all be the same, to dress the same, drink the same and eat the same fast food, etc., etc! Everything is the same and it’s all done to make money of course. Mass marketing of products is what helped the economy and the wages of the average American and of course no one ever thought that it would come home to roost in our brains. Mass marketing brains, mass marketing idiots, mass marketing people, who can’t think for themselves, who need the television to tell them what to do, like Homer Simpson. The result is that they are doing our thinking for us, making everything easier, or so it seems.

Don’t make anything difficult. We had a generation that fought the Second World War and they were called the greatest generation, well, I have one disagreement with the greatest generation. The biggest mistake they made is to say that their children weren’t going to have it as tough as they did. Well, tough is subjective, what is tough? During the boom and the glory years and the monetary years resulted in us turning our children into spoiled rotten brats. The great Ernie Harwell once said, “We’ve ruined our children giving them everything we never had.” These children want everything the easy way. Consequently, when you are taught about receiving something the easy way you are then not taught to strive, work or apply yourself, so now, the easy way is not the best way. Everything you learn in life builds character. Everything that you are challenged with and have to struggle through builds self-esteem and gives you a sense of gratitude and appreciation. Discipline is something the average American doesn’t possess anymore. The end result is it ends up being in the hands of the 10-15%. Vince Gironda was the greatest bodybuilding and trainer that ever lived. He created a physique through hard work and mental discipline of bodybuilding principles and nutrition. Have you ever envisioned or realized how difficult that was with no steroids! Vince would say, “I get in shape by deciding to do so.” But deciding to do so involves deciding to get up off the couch and go to the gym and work out.

Forgotten Exercises: Reverse Grip Dips

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Image source.

Reverse grip dips are not an exercise you’ll see regularly practised on the gym floor. They can be awkward to set up, hurt the joints and elicit confused stares from others. Problem is, they’re quite an effective way to hit the chest and triceps. The creation of Vince Gironda, reverse grip dips were supposedly a favourite of both the Iron Guru and his most famous protege Larry Scott. So in today’s short post I thought we’d examine the lift itself, its history and how to implement it into your own training programme.

If nothing else the exercise highlights Gironda’s never-ending quest to find new and effective means of targeting the muscles. It was this curiosity which fuelled his genius.

Vince Gironda Weight-Gain Diet

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The following extract comes from Vince Gironda’s 1984 Book: Unleashing the Wild Physique (available here). This book cannot be recommended highly enough, from VInce’s no nonsense take on steroids to his innovative training techniques. Today’s post comes from Vince’s advice on weight gain.

The real secret to gaining weight is food. The more you eat, the more you’ll gain. While eating three nutritionally balanced meals a day is good, it is even more beneficial to eat or more meals per day. Eat smaller meals – but more often – every three hours. If you can’t find the time to eat six meals a day, try eating three main meals with snacks between meals and before going to bed.

The cardinal rules of weight gaining are:

  • Never overeat at any one particular meal (this causes bloating and gas and may actually cause a weight loss)
  • And never allow yourself to get hungry

Revisiting the Anabolic Diet

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What if I told you about a diet that not only mimicked the effects of steroids but also allowed you to gorge on meats, eggs and cheese for days at a time before indulging in pizza and pancakes on the weekend? A diet that would help you get leaner, stronger and more muscular. A diet that seemingly had it all?

This isn’t the stuff of fairytale but some of ways that Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale’s Anabolic Diet has been advertised since it’s inception in the early 90s. A cyclical diet, Di Pasquale’s high fat approach came at a time when the majority of Bodybuilders, along with the American public, were stuck in a low-fat mindset.

Whilst the majority of gym goers nowadays are unaware of DiPasquale’s work, the Anabolic Diet was one of the seminal eating programmes of its time.

So in today’s post we’ll look at the history of the diet itself, what the diet entailed and just why it was so revolutionary.

Before the Carnivore Diet? Rheo H. Blair’s Meat and Water Diet (1960s)

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The Carnivore Diet – the practice of solely consuming meat products – has grown exponentially in the past few years. As someone who has experimented with a range of diets, everything from all fruit to raw meat, it’s remarkable to see an all meat diet gain traction for the lifting community and the general populace. While Vilhjamur Stefannsson popularised the Inuit’s meat dominated diet in the early 1900s, an all meat diet for athletes or lifters appears to be a new development.

So being the type of individual that I am, I decided to go through the annals of bodybuilding and see if anyone had dabbled with a carnivore-esque diet in the past. Echoing the wonderful ‘nothing new under the sun series‘ produced by Chaos and Pain (definitely not safe for work!), we have a precedent for the current carnivore diet in the form of Vince Gironda and Rheo H. Blair’s ‘meat and water’ diet, a short term weight loss diet used by bodybuilders prior to a competition.

With that in mind today’s post examines the reasons behind Blair’s experiment, the bodybuilders he used it on and what lessons, if any, his meat and water diet holds for present day lifters.

Vince Gironda’s Beginner Bodybuilding Course

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Well known as one of the greatest trainers of his age, Vince Gironda’s name has become synomous with bodybuilding champions from Larry Scott to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though Gironda made his name producing some of the greatest bodybuilding champions the sport has ever seen, he sent countless hours with beginners and intermediates seeking to sculpt their bodies or build muscle.

Today’s post discusses Vince’s general bodybuilding approach for beginners with the caveat being that Vince was known for changing exercises based on each trainer’s physique. Nevertheless, there is much to learn from his more generic approaches.