Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Vince Gironda - Triggering the Growth Mechanism for Building a Classic Physique!

(Photo above: Classic Physique Builder and Trainer Vince Gironda - The "Iron Guru")

Vince Gironda came to fame during the Golden Age of Classic Physique Building (the 1940s and 50s) as a physique competitor, gym owner, and trainer. He was a great advocate of the classic physique ideal and when steroids entered the scene in the 1960s, he was strongly against them. Ironically, he is perhaps best known as the trainer of Larry Scott - the 1st Mr. Olympia (and 1st generation steroid user). But he also trained others, including Hollywood actors at his famous "Vince's Gym" in Studio City, California.

As a trainer, he was far ahead of his time and was quite controversial in some of his methods. In the 1990's he had a regular "Question and Answer" column in Robert Kennedy's Muscle Mag International magazine. From that column, we would like to share his "secret for triggering the growth mechanism:"

Question: "... If someone asked you the secret of igniting the muscle growth mechanism in 20 words, what might those 20 words be?" - Gary

Answer: Dear Gary, workout, followed by eating one-half pound of beef. Take one tablespoon of aminos in milk and take a 90-minute nap!!!"

So what is the secret? - proper training (workout), proper nutrition (make sure you have plenty of protein and aminos circulating in your system to help you rebuild after a workout), and proper rest (growth occurs during sleep - what better thing than to take a nap after a workout for triggering growth!). It's pretty simple. The "aminos" that Vince mentions probably add a marginal effect. So the "secret" doesn't really involve any high-tech supplements - just workout, eat your protein, and sleep. We want to emphasize that "sleep" and "naps" are extremely important for growth. So don't neglect proper rest!

Vince was also a master of posing. To view a rare clip of Vince posing during the Golden Age, just click on link: . Once you are at the site, just scroll down a bit and click on the link that has Vince Gironda's name in it. Vince wasn't as big as Steve Reeves or Reg Park, but his physique was "classic" nevertheless!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Steve Reeves on Muscle Control and Concentration!

(Photo Above: Steve Reeves Working Out)

How many times have you walked into the gym and seen guys plugged into iPods working out? How many times have you seen people finish listening to a song before they start their next set? Or how many times have you seen people talking while doing their reps? Is this something that you do? If so, then listen to some advice from Steve Reeves:

"If you really want to experience the greatest benefits from your training, you must enter a stage of deep concentration. Do not let your concentration be broken by anyone or anything."

Now ask yourself, if your mind is focused on the music, or if you are talking during reps, how can you be in a stage of deep concentration? If you are not using deep concentration, then how can you be getting the maximum amount of muscle stimulation from your exercise? You can't! So you are wasting your time and are probably not getting any results!

So, what can you do? When you go into the gym, be focused. Don't plug yourself into the iPod, don't do a lot of talking, don't allow yourself to get distracted. Instead, try to enter a state of deep concentration. Steve says:

"When you work out using this technique of deep concentration, concentrate on doing each movement slowly through a full range of motion. Your total concentration should be only on the muscle fibers being worked. Concentrate as much on the lowering phase (the negative) of the exercise as you would on the pressing and curling (the positive)."

Only by using deep concentration, can you mind really learn to "feel" and "know" what level of intensity results in muscle growth (this ability helps form the basis of the CPB Instinctive Training Principle - first articulated by Joe Weider). Making gains is much more than just a matter of weights, sets, and reps. It also requires a certain level of intensity - which depends on a number of factors, including your ability to use deep concentration.

To help you develop the ability to use deep concentration, Steve recommends the practice of muscle control. About this, Steve says:

"Practicing muscle control improves the lines of communication between the brain and the muscle fibers being worked. This increases the efficiency and speed of muscle development and motor skills."

In using deep concentration, you are trying to use the "lines of communication" that Steve is talking about in order to work the muscle with the intensity it needs for growth. So, how can you practice muscle control? Steve recommends the following practice:

"Muscle control can be practiced while sitting in a chair, at a desk or table. To practice controlling the muscles of the calves, hamstrings, forearms, biceps, pectorals, lats, and abdominals, do the following: Sit in a chair with your lower legs placed at a 90 degree angle to your thighs. Rest your forearms on your knees. Focus on contracting one muscle at a time. Be sure to contract each muscle and release repeatedly for one to two minutes." In Steve's book "Building the Classic Physique the Natural Way" he gives further instruction on controlling the deltoids, quads, and triceps. But you get the idea. (Steve's book can be purchased throught the Steve Reeves International Society at

You should practice muscle control frequently. Steve suggests 10-15 minutes per day. That way, when you exercise and enter a state of deep concentration, you will really be able to focus on the muscle being worked and it will respond better because of your practice of muscle control. So these two things - muscle control and deep concentration - work together and will help you get the intensity you need for classic muscle gains!

So, put the iPod away, cut the talking, and use deep concentration and muscle control to improve the effectiveness of your workouts!


For your free 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder (CPBzine), email your name, city, state (province), and country to That's it!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thanks to All the Early CPBzine Subscribers Across the World!

(Photo Above: Steve Reeves - The Inspiration of All Classic Physique Builders!)

CPB would like to thank all the early subscribers to CPBzine! It's only been a week since we released the premier issue and we already have subscribers from all around the world. These are the following countries represented by our CPB subscribers so far:

New Zealand
South Africa
and St Marteen Island (Caribbean)!

Our movement may be small now, but we are - even at this beginning - apparently a world-wide movement thanks to you!

We really believe that most people who take up weight training are really looking to build a classic physique and are not interested in pharmaceutical-based, mainstream bodybuilding or the extreme physiques that it produces. If you believe this, then help us spread the word wherever you are in the world, so that more people will realize that you don't need drugs or you don't need to spend all your money on modern supplements in order to build the classic physique of your dreams, and that classic physique building is a healthy way of life that can benefit all.

Thanks again to everyone! We hope you are enjoying CPBzine! We welcome any constructive comments and feedback that you may have. We want to improve CPBzine with each issue. So your feedback is most valued!

All the best,


P.S. We are exploring better ways to distribute CPBzine. But so far, the gmail system seems to be the one that works.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Classic Physique Building and Character Development!

(Photo above: Clancy Ross on the cover of the Jun 48 issue of Your Physique magazine, George Eiferman on the cover the Feb 48 issue of Strength and Health magazine)

In a previous post on "Classic Physique Building and the Classic Ideal," we mentioned that the classic ideal valued "the development of the mind and character as well as the body." In the Weider magazines such as Mr. America, articles can frequently be found with titles such as "How to strengthen your character, will-power, and personality" or "Brawn and Brains go together."

In the Sept 58 issue of Mr. America magazine, Clancy Ross (Mr. America 1945, Mr. Pro America 1946, Mr. USA 1948) wrote an article called "Six cardinal rules for a dynamic personality." He states:

"Muscles are my business - all of you know that. It may seem a bit odd, therefore, that I set aside some of the space usually reserved for strict bodybuilding instruction to talk about personality development. Actually, it's not strange at all, because the development of your personality is just as important to you as the development of your muscles. I would be failing my duty to all of you if I confined my instruction to just one side of what should be the complete man."

Clancy goes on to discuss each of his six rules:

1. Posture (how you hold yourself)
2. Learning how to greet the world (being interested and paying attention to others)
3. Giving credit to where credit is due (as a form of generosity)
4. Talk positively
5. Be of good cheer
6. A pleasant voice

The concern for character development can also be seen in the writings of George Eiferman (Mr. America 1948, Mr. Universe 1962). After his Mr. America win, he drove around the U.S.A. delivering talks on the benefits of fitness to High School assemblies. He was known for handing out small printed cards that had his picture on one side and the philosophy of his "Ten Daily Exercises" on the other. We will quote only the first six below:

"1. A good eye exercise - See also the perfection in others. See the everlasting beauty in human kindness.
2. A good tongue exercise - Speak from the heart instead of the mouth.
3. A good facial exercise - A smile often repeated.
4. Hearing exercise - When we speak, we learn nothing. Listening is the teacher. Then speak.
5. Brain exercise - Think only constructive thoughts. Good reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
6. Leg exercise - Walk toward knowledge, wisdom, health, and brotherhood of all men."

This concern for the development of the whole person (not just the muscular system) is what classic physique building was in the Golden Age! And today, it is another treasure that sets classic physique building apart from mainstream, roid-based bodybuilding!

So strive for the truly heroic ideal of building a classic physique, sound mind, and noble character!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Publication Alert: Classic Physique Builder (CPB) Zine is Now Ready!

(Photo above: Finalized Premier Issue Cover of Classic Physique Builder (CPB) Zine)

It's done! The first issue of Classic Physique Builder Zine (CPBzine) is finally done and ready for distribution! We decided to get "ahead of the curve" and make our debut as the Spring 2009 issue (instead of being behind the curve with a Winter 2009 issue).

We want to thank all of our CPB readers for giving us the inspiration to do this. We hope that you will like it. As we said before, it is inspired and patterned after the muscle mags of the Golden Age. So if you have never seen a 1940s or 50s copy of Your Physique, Muscle Power, Muscle Builder, Mr. America, etc, then this will give you a little "flavor" of how muscle mags used to be!

Here is the Table of Contents for Vol. 1, No. 1:

What is a Classic Physique?
CPB Champions of the Golden Age
Steve Reeves' Beginning Workout Routine (for CPB Beginners)
The CPB High Intensity/Low Volume Principle for Building Mass (for CPB intermediates)
Joe Weider: The Father of Classic Physique Building
The Golden Age of Classic Physique Building: An Overview
Questions and Answers
Nutrition Corner
Steve versus Sergio: The Ideal and Disproportionate
Move Past Sticking Points in Your Training!
CPB Champions Hall of Fame: John Grimek
Classic Female Physiques
Classic Muscle Movies: "Hercules" Starring Steve Reeves
What the Golden Age Champs Measured: Reg Park
CPB Champ Allan Paivio's Favorite Training Routine (for CPB advanced trainers)
Pictorial: Steve Reeves
Golden Age Magazine Gallery: Your Physique

This first issue of CPBzine is 30 pages long - small compared to today's muscle mags. But it is not filled with ads! We only have a few ads for our "coming soon" CPB courses. For this year, we will probably stick with 30 pages because it keeps it easy for you to print out and staple! But over time, if it looks like it is catching on, then the issues may grow!

To get your one year, free subscription, all you have to do is send us an email at this special address: Please let us know your name, city, state (or province), and country and we will enroll you for a one year's free subscription! Anyone who enrolls with us will also be eligible for a 10% discount on all CPB Golden Age Muscle Building Courses as they become available! (They aren't available yet, but we are working on them!) Feel free to send copies of CPBzine to your friends, but then ask them to enroll with us so they can get their one year free subscription and discounts as well. All your emails will be handled personally by us (this is not an automated email address - we hate those!).

Once we receive your email, we will personally reply and send you a pdf copy of CPBzine - it is as simple as that! Any personal info that you send to us (name, city, country) will be kept strictly confidential. We are not a typical commercial enterprize that will sell email addresses, etc. You won't get any spam or get on any unwanted lists because of us. CPB is simply a small, do-it-yourself endeavor. We aren't professional magazine editors or journalists or lay-out artists or writers or advertising people. It is just us, our expanding Golden Age Library, our computer, and a couple of programs we know how to use (inspired by an 18-year old Joe Weider and his rented typewritter with which he created the first issue of his Your Physique magazine at the beginning of the Golden Age).

The info we request from you just helps us keep track of how many people are interested in CPBzine and from what parts of the world they are from! We hope that the CPB movement will one day be a world-wide movement. Right now, this is a small, "underground-type" movement because we are definitely going against the grain of the modern, mainstream bodybuilding world. But we hope that this may be the small beginnings of a new Renaissance of Classic Physique Building! We are all in this together and only your participation will help make it possible! So we are grateful to all of you CPB readers!

So email us right away at and get your free, 1 year subscription and the first pdf issue of CPBzine. Print it out (you can print page 2 on the back of page 1, page 4 on the back of page 3, etc - that is how it is intended), put 3 staples in it, read it, share it with your friends, and please let us know how you like it! You can send your comments to the same gmail address above or, better yet, post them on our CPB Blog!

We hope to create the feeling that this is collectively OUR alternative zine, OUR alternative blog, OUR alternative media - not captive to the typical supplement advertisers who are trying to shove their products down your throat (literally) with images of steroid-users!

Thanks again to all of you who, with your inspiration, gave us the motivation to do this!

All the best,


P.S. Please Note: We've just edited this post (2/2/09 12:37 pst) and will be using our gmail address instead of our hotmail address. If you sent in your request to our hotmail address that is OK. But we will be replying with our gmail account. VERY IMPORTANT: The pdf file is about 10 MB (pretty big), so you have to make sure that your email account has enough room to accept this file. Hotmail accounts may experience some trouble (they might not accept large files). If your account can't receive our file, we will notify you. You can then probably set up a gmail account (we know that gmail can handle such large files) or give us another email account for you that you know will accept large attachments. Sorry for any inconvenience, but we are just learning how to do this! You see, we really aren't professionals at this! :)