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!



Ibrahim said...

These are some nice advices.
I like the physique of Vince.
I have even a sample diet info of him. But his diet contains way to much supplements. Tablets and powders. But would interest me is what kind diet he used when there were no supplements.

Here i have a favorite diet plan of mine. It´s from the old time bodybuilder Tony Sansone: Sansone’s Weight Gain Diet

Fresh fruit
Medium serving of whole grain Cereal with cream and sugar
2 eggs
2 pieces whole grain toast, buttered
1 glass of milk

Steak, lamb, mutton or other meat
1 baked potato with butter
2 pieces whole wheat toast,buttered
1 large leafy green salad
1 large serving of berries or other fruit
1 small piece of plain cake

1 cup of bouillon or puree
1 medium serving of meat
1 large serving of cooked vegetables
2 pieces whole grain toast, buttered
Pudding or custard
1 glass of milk

I think you can do a few things different here but like Vince : Train , Eat big , rest well.

- CPB - said...

Hi Ibrahim,

Thanks for your contribution! Tony Sansone's diet was similar in principle to the type of diet that Steve Reeves followed.

We also agree that Vince is known for advocating much more supplements that we usually find in the Goldn Age (the 40s and 50s). Aside from protein powder, vitamins, brewer's yeast, wheat germ, and liver tablets, his other supplement recommendations may have been developed in the 1960s in his attempt to show that steroids were not necessary.

If anyone has a pre-1960 diet from Vince (with supplement recommendations), we would be interested in seeing it as well! If we run across it (in our growing Golden Age Library), we will post it.

All the best,


brendon patrick said...

A very symetrical and of course very lean physique.
He has a different look than the popular fellows do now.
Some of his dietary suggestions my system could not handle!! But the results for him are obvious. And still NO steroids or artificial substances.
His posing is art in motion.

- CPB - said...

Hi Brendon,

We agree on all counts. Vince does indeed have a different look than mainstream bodybuilders now.

Even for classic physique builders, Vince was on the "lean" side. He had what was called an "Apollo-type" classic physique versus a "Hercules-type" (Reeves, Park) classic physique.

He did push the "extremes" of definition at times and was actually marked down for it (since the anatomy cadaver "overly-defined" look was not valued in the Golden Age).

There is no question that he was a master of posing! The more graceful, majestic, and even "noble" character of the Golden Age posing is such a contrast to the current trends in modern, mainstream bodybuilding!

Thanks for your observations!

All the best,


jonny said...

will you be putting any vince gironda workout progams up?. i and many other people would be interested

- CPB - said...

Hi Jonny,

Yes...we will post some Gironda workouts in the future. We know there are Vince fans out there, so stayed tuned!

Our next post may be on the issue of whether to squat or not! You may know that Vince was not a fan of regular squatting! Why? We will let you know in our next post!

All the best,


P.S. If you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for your free 1 year subscription to CPBzine! This is a modern, do-it-yourself, (maga)zine that is patterned after the muscle mags of the Golden Age. See the sidebar for details!

STEVE said...

A comment regarding Aminos. Stating that they are not as important as sleep is simply not correct. Amino acids, especially after training, are possibly the best way to ensure gains naturally. Clearly diet and sleep are very important. See what the world's foremost strength trainer Charles Poloquin says on Aminos, not to mention Creatine, (also found in that Beef Gironda suggests), and Carbs post workout.
In short, Aminos can stop the body going into Catabolism, (where it eats the very muscle tissue we try to build). Consider that a long, hard workout can create enough Catabolism to counter and muscle building effects that the workout produced. This is why most people don't grow month after month.