Tom Venuto's

The Classic Physique - Pre-Steroid Era

Tom Venuto

I love the stuff that shows up on You Tube. This video is classic! Vintage Vince Gironda, circa 1947 - before the steroid era. THIS is what bodybuilding should be, could be and still can be… the natural, classical physique.

Gironda, Reeves, all the way up to Zane… before this current era of mass monsters and freaks took over (way too many drugs).

Gironda’s posing - Amazing! Really makes you appreciate the aesthetic physique.

Ironically, Gironda was so far ahead of his time, (too ripped for the 1950’s era), the judges didnt know what to do with him, and he never had the success onstage that he wanted. His claim to fame came later as a hollywood trainer to the stars in the 60’s and 70’s and into the 80’s with the pro bodybuilders.

Trivia: Did you know that Gironda was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first trainer when Joe Weider brought arnold to america? Legend has it that a bulky Arnold showed up at Vince’s Gym, where the Austrian announced, “My name is Arnold Schwarzenegger and I am going to the greatest bodybuilder who ever lived.” To which Vince replied, “You look like a fat f**k to me!”

Published on 06 November, 2009


MizFit said:

Ive had a few dinners with George Butler and he tells that same story.
With hindsight its amazing anyone had the...gumption to say that to Ahhhnold.

Gironda had an amazing physique. Gone are those days I guess. IMO Shawn Ray was the last of that ilk.

Posted on Nov 06, 2009 02:48 PM

Harald @ Ability Factor said:

Heh, that quote is classic I might actually agree with MizFit - IMO Shawn Ray was perhaps the last top bodybuilder to actually look like something resembling a human - something people could actually look up to. During the early part of his hella long career, though, there were others. Bob Paris is a good example, probably.

Bodybuilding as a spectator sport pretty much killed itself when GH guts almost became mandatory in order to enter a comp...

Posted on Nov 15, 2009 07:06 PM

Sy said:

Quality. Frank Zane is another I would put in Gironda' league - that best vacuum in the business!

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 06:02 AM

planet said:

What about Mr olympia 2009 -Jay Cutler.He is massively huge.Yes i agree that modern builders do not resemble humans :-) Which way to look ahead. Ronnie Coleman is another massive body.

Are these massive guys in there own league.

How could one argue or divide line with old and modern builders.

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 05:29 PM

Muscle-Builder said:

Pre-steroids era had the perfect bodies... when steroids came in hand .. well yes.. went downhill

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 02:22 PM

Lisa Plummer said:

This is amazing. Hard to believe guys looked like this when they had no drugs, no fancy protein powders, no supplements or computer tracking systems. How DID they do it??

Posted on Dec 12, 2009 08:09 PM

Adrian from Body Push said:

Whoa, a Gironda video!

Gironda's philosophy compared to nowaday's roid-beasts you see on stage is really telling.

For example, if I remember correctly, he emphasized building the delts and the lats, and wasn't too keen on training the obliques, in order to get that superhero-like V taper.

Definitely an inspiration, and amazing just to see what the human body is capable of without drugs.

Posted on Jan 07, 2011 08:19 PM

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