Vince Gironda Was A Legend In His Own Time
In the annals of bodybuilding trainers, Vince Gironda has gone down as one of the most innovative pioneers the sport has ever known. He has trained numerous professional bodybuilders, Arnold, Frank Zane, and Mohammed Makkawi, who made his greatest gains under Gironda (whose moniker was “The Iron Guru”).
Among many of the controversial, yet effective, training methods Gironda used were the following:
- He thought bodybuilding was 85 percent nutrition.
- He thought too many bodybuilders placed too great an emphasis on heavy back squats, making their hips and butts too wide.
- He thought the bench press was overrated, preferring instead that his pupils do dips with a V-bar.
He co-wrote a book back in the 80s called “Unleashing the Wild Physique” which, to this day, is still one of the best books on how to train right in bodybuilding. Surely, supplementation has come a long way in the 20 or so years since the book was published, but he was spot on the money for suggesting that you eat in the same way you train: For specific effect.
He often put his pupils on “weird” diets, where they might eat dozens of fertile eggs, raw milk, and dessicated liver tablets in a day. These were “anabolic” diets intended to force the body to grow. He said that these diets were as effective as steroids in adding mass and in helping the body to recover from hard training.
He also had a lot of ideas that differed from the mainstream bodybuilding community with respect to exercise, and the way exercises ought to be performed. Take a look at Vince Gironda's site and you'll see what I mean.
As an example, while he thought bench presses were good (though not as good as dips), he trained his students to bring the bar down to the neck rather than to the nipple line. Try these! They're very difficult if you're used to regular bench presses, but they're highly effective!
He was truly innovative and rarely thought “inside the box.” For more information about this man who transformed bodybuilding training, take a look at the Wiki on Vince Gironda.