Throughout my career in fitness I have seen many fads come and go. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to train under Vince Gironda’s tutelage. The knowledge and wisdom I gained from Vince is vast. Unfortunately, the concept of natural bodybuilding is fading away in the sun set of muscle beach. I can look back and reminesce about the glory days of bodybuilding and feel proud that I was some how apart of it. The young guys today, anyone under the age of 35 years old, cannot relate to natural bodybuilding. The new training focus is all functional in nature. Kettle bells, medicine balls, rubberbands, core boards, balls, power racks, have replaced the classic training machines and gyms. Now the focus is on developing core strength, proprioception, muscular endurance, and working in synergistic movement patterns to improve integrated flexibility, strength and endurance. Though there is nothing wrong with this new type of conditioning, it isn’t natural bodybuilding. There is something addicting about natural bodybuilding techniques that keeps me wanting more. No matter how much I try the new training methods, I always go back to true natural bodybuilding techniques.
It is great that some guys can do a forearm plank for 20 minutes, or deadlift 700 pounds, or perform a reptile walk for 100 yards. These are great feats, but personally I would rather perform 8 sets of Gironda Dips with 100 pounds around my waist, or a Smith Machine Neck press with 225. I know a tremendous amount of information about the body, I understand the difference between isolated movement patterns and multi-plane, multi-joint synergistic movement patterns. There is a purpose for both types of training. If I were playing baseball, or football again I would train with a sport specific mind set. But since I am no longer playing sports, I prefer isolated morphological producing exercises. There have been many arguments from all the current day experts stating that isolated exercises are no good and that we should all be planking, performing olympic lifts, rolling on rollers, etc. as the standard for getting in better physical condition. I guess I will never fit into that mind set. I have been training performing isolated exercises for over thirty years and I can balance on one leg with eyes closed for 8 minutes, perform a plank for 18 minutes, can plyo jump onto a 40 inch. box, can still squat over 450 pounds. According to functional capacity I have not lost anything over the past 30 years. I can perform functional movements (lifting my kids, run, lateral movements, ski) with no problem. So there must be something to the type of training that I do. I believe that Vince knew so much that he was not just building great physiques he was also building better bodies for greater longevity. I have never had an injury training with Vince’s methods.
I love natural bodybuilding and it is what keeps me motivated to train. If I had to only train according to the NEW philosophies of today I don’t think I would have stuck with training. I am not interested in training to lose body weight, or to run a marathon, or play sports. I am interested in creating a classic, well built, symmetrical body that looks different than the norm. Greek God’s were honored for their out of this world power and muscular stature. Having a muscular physique is considered abnormal. It is rare to have every muscle showing. I like to be different and that goes the same for my training. I don’t like training like everyone else. I don’t do the IN programs because everyone else is doing them. I have been doing the same exercises for decades and still get great results. The best part of my career is that I have the knowledge base to train bodybuilders and sports stars. I know the protocols for training a football player, skier, golfer, etc.. and I have the ability to train myself for bodybuilding. This isn’t true for the guys in the business today. Even though they are well versed in sports conditioning and functional training they don’t have the knowledge base to teach true natural bodybuilding, because it isn’t being taught anymore.
There is nothing more gratifying than the pump you get from natural bodybuilding. It is simply addicting. I love it!