Vince Gironda's Insider Tips for Better Gains
By Bob Green
Vince Gironda's seminar last summer in Canada apparently created quite a stir. Over the years I have been privileged to do quite a bit of stirring with Vince as far as research is concerned.
Lately we have been involved in some rather deep conferring on this and that. The result of which has been a collection of tapes and articles that are a book in themselves. Bob Kennedy has some of the material, Denie has some of the material and Iron Man.
These are the publications he trusts and the people in the game he respects (as far as the printed media is concerned).
The thing that's wild is the response both Vince and I have gotten from readers. At this writing only two articles have actually gone to print. Yet Vince has been deluged with mail and I've gotten letters forwarded by various editors.
Obviously we're striking a nerve somewhere and the upshot of it all is guys (and gals) are trying this stuff we're writing about and getting results! Well, that's what it's all about.
I'm not writing this gaggle of goodies for kicks! I know what it's like to train in a home gym far from the cry of the action. I also know what it's like to train in a professional gym with a bunch of sales goons lurking about instruction becomes nil.
So let's ride off into the sunset with Vince and see if we can learn a thing or two;
Vince: Did you ever bring up the fact that in the 60s when the center of bodybuilding champions was at this gym, that they used that hourly feeding system? They would work out an hour or so and then go across the street to the Sizzler for a light protein snack of ground beef or steak and a small salad or cottage cheese wait about an hour then come back into the gym for a second session to finish their workout.
Bob Green: You know, I had forgotten. We did it all the time. Howorth, Pete Caputo, Don Peters and all the guys that were into heavy training.
V: You know, a lot of things escape you that you don't recognize, they escape you until you RECOGNIZE them. No one has talked about that for years (in-between feedings). It was almost a Double Split, but it got their blood sugar up again. Very few people remember that. But it was oh so effective. Even the best guys, like Scott, forgot they used it.
Some guys today, who I'll not mention, show in their bodies that they aren't doing what they did in here. Even nutritionally. The most some of them can remember is Milk & Egg protein. Of course, some champions are hereditary potentials and only did stuff they were told in their courses and plans and didn't stop to think why' they were doing them. In the confusion out there with so many doing stuff wrong, they quit experimenting.
I even experimented with abs doing the 1000-reps-a-day thing. I got zilch! I've tried their way. I always experiment on me first then on others willing to try things.
BG: Let me course you back toward the Specialization' thing. It seems to be so very misunderstood.
V: It is really easy to understand: it means you're bringing out a certain aspect of muscle that you wish to bring out. A-S-P-E-C-T. You only specialize in aspects. For illustration, again, look at the biceps. You need peak, inner and outer heads and low. That's 4 aspects. Same with the pectorals. You want high pec? What? Outer inner or sternum cuts lower? What? How about WIDTH to the lower pectoral? There are specializations within specializations.
If you do a narrow dip you'll get low pectoral, but what if you're now showing enough pectoral to create an illusion of width across your chest by dropping the portion that runs under the deltoid down? You have to do them (dips) wider. Actually, at this point, you don't even have to come up all the way. All you have to do is take it wide, go maximally deep and push up about 12 inches. You don't NEED to finish out. If you want to finish out the dip for the pectorals you should work it narrow.
This is where additional support or insurance is required. What do I mean by insurance? In the case of developing the pecs wider where do you do the insurance'? The insurance is an additional burns-stretch bounce. At the bottom of the movement, where you press up 3 or 4 inches and then drop down again to maximum depth then you do the FULL rep. However, if you're trying to get the aspects off the sternum to get a deeper cleft in the pectoral it would come at the TOP of the movement. In the contracted position and you're contracting this cleft portion by rounding your back up, crunching your shoulders together and you do your double burn-bounce up there.
The insurance' changes. The origin and insertion require two different parts of a movement. They're both dips, but their hand placement has to be different to get one or the other. Now , a dip is a dip is a dip, as far as these writers that write routines in these magazines. They are describing Parks & Recreational-playground-type dips and chins.
The style of dipping is seen at parks on narrow-bar dipping equipment. You know: head up, elbows back and chest up at the top of the movement. Which, in fact, isn't even good triceps, because the hands aren't close enough together to really get the triceps. It's neither fish-nor-fowl or good Red Herring. It's in-between somewhere. It's a generalized second. That's why I even use the V-bar for triceps. I think the V-bar style of dipping bars is the REAL way to go. For various aspects of the chest and the triceps. People can write to me about this if they're not sure how to build them or use them. Particularly how to use them.
Since we're practically doing a full dissertation on dipping here, let me turn em on to the triceps aspect to V-Bar dipping. Just enough to get em to think. When you FACE the wide part of the bar you place the hands in close on the V.' It throws the elbows back in the REQUIRED position. That's why, conversely, the WIDE V throws the elbow forward, facing the other way, for CHEST dipping. That's why I developed the V-bar. I found that out 40 years ago messing around with dips on the fire escape at the old Easton's gym. I was up on the roof getting sun and periodically would try various chins and dips on what was around to dissipate my excess energy.
BG: You mentioned, in your Canadian seminar, the bit about one-armed exercises being inferior to growth. However, I noticed you doing SOME one-arm exercises years ago. It appeared you were doing them in, let's say, a negative style; controlling the lowering with slow, concentrated effort. Am I right and did you get results from this?
V: One-arms stink unless you are genetically superior! Serge Nubret just does one-arm DB curls for biceps and that's all! Almost a concentration curl. He doesn't need anything else. When he shows a preacher curl in a seminar that's just for the troops to show them HOW it is done.
I had gone through life as a right-handed individual for one thing. For another, at the time, well, you have to realize I had a badly separated left shoulder from football. It's obvious I must've protected it to some degree. Even when I hung from a chinning bar I couldn't relax, somewhat, my left hand. The arm would've gone out of joint. So, one of these days would be a good time to experiment again because my bodyweight is lighter than it's ever been and I'm strong; in fairly good shape.
I'd use it (one arm chins, DB exercises, etc.) in my routine as a negative Last in my routine. As you would specializing. Do them in negative fashion. Otherwise it would not be a study it would be a waste. Wait! I don't know if I'd do it LAST. Come to think of it, I'd try it FIRST. Use it as a kind of pre-exhaust and then continue. Why? You're right about trying it first.' (I had mumbled something theoretically and we later did agree on this: doing it FIRST).
I'll tell you why: What am I trying to do here? I'm initially trying to create a STRONGER NERVE PATHWAY. From brain to muscle. You don't build a muscle until you build' the nerve pathway. What comes first? It starts INSIDE. The muscle is only a BADGE for something else. (Good way to put it, eh gang? Author's note).
Look. You're talkin' to a guy that is not genetically superior; I've always been a hard-gainer. I've got every reason to be believed. Hey, even good' things don't work too well on me! I've got to be VERY careful. Or else I'm just going to spend a lifetime burning calories. Which I did for many years. Jees! I overworked myself for years. Whew! I've done enough exercise to build an army of guys.
I don't even like to say I'm getting smarter or more mature about these things, but I'M GETTING CLOSER. Each day I get closer and my students have reaped the benefits many fold.
Referring this all back to specialization' I feel specialization should be done with BOTH hands. Work up an AWARENESS only to the side you wish to develop. You've got to concentrate on it. You have to THINK it into existence. A champion says he's gonna get in shape; he practically thinks his way into it. A champion can come back in a week or so if he wants to. Don't ever talk to a champion when he's training HE WON'T EVEN HEAR YOU. Don't bother getting into his line of vision he won't even see you.
I feel that if you have enough breath to talk in a workout you have just enough breath to do your next set. If you have enough breath to say something you've missed the next set. You should've done the next set instead of talking. You screwed up the meter , tempo.
There are no bad exercises! There are a lot of good exercises. Only bad bodybuilders. It's a thing called ATTITUDE.
BG: You keep bringing that up. Do you think that's the bottom line in this field. I mean more so than most factors?
V: Just watch a champion train and tell me you're not observing something different, and you won't even be able to put your finger on what it is. It takes many years of observation to find a word for it. A word that fits it. It still comes down to attitude.' Singleness of purpose. Larry Scott worked out at a time of day where there were 30 or 40 people around him. Actually, in a very small area. Nobody got in his way, he didn't allow it. He was tuned out. That doesn't mean he had to be an ass he. Oneness of purpose; he was on a mission. He was CONCENTRATING ON WHAT HE WAS DOING. And , if, well, let me put it this way: HE DIDN'T ALLOW IT. He was tuned out. Great champions do that. It doesn't mean they are not hale and hearty fellows.' It just means that when it's time to, ah, how do you put it? Time to boogie'????? Well, it was time to boogie. THEN we'll go out and play.
While Larry or Don Howorth, who were both great champions, and you know I don't bandy-about compliments, were doing their thing' They were concentrating on what they were doing. They were in the office.' These kids and the so-called experts' keep coming down on me and the way I train people, but they don't know the BOTTOM LINE.' They are all looking for something else. They don't understand the real basis for getting results. They don't know how to fire-up a guy. A good coach can not only teach, but fire a guy up in the right, positive way and that, too, is an art.
Here's another one: if Scott or Howorth or any other guy that made it was in the gym and someone else was on a machine, etc. that was next in his routine he'd DUPLICATE IT. Or else go to something else. Why stop? Why be confined to a written routine if the logistics aren't good? If you're in a gym and somebody's on something what are you going to do? Sit around and bitch about it? You can come in at a different time or ADAPT. Don't stop. Do something ANYTHING. You'll make gains.
That's why I always maintained if you workout over 45 minutes straight you're workin' on nervous energy. You've destroyed , just like that chap said, when he left the gym a minute ago, he did a rope pull for triceps. He did an extra rope pull at the end of his workout for something extra.' He said he did a rope pull back there and lost his pump. He even said he can't get it back once he did that.
Overtrained. It's as simple as that. He proved it and wanted to share that with us. And that's simply one exercise too many within the tempo he set up to accomplish. He was experimenting, you know. He'll never forget that. He's one of those AWARE guys that listen to what you tell them, tries it out and sees things for himself.
I must say, and I guess it sounds conceited and I don't mean it to sound that way, but I got him to think that way and, by God, he came to report his findings. That's how you learn and grow.
It's funny: I've been teaching like that for years, yet I don't get any credit for it. It's just interesting. You lay all these pearls of wisdom' out there, but, uh, what does a swine know? Oh, boy. Now I'll really get flak from the readers, but you know what I mean. I'm saying this hypothetically. Don't print that. I'm just trying to make them aware of themselves in the most poignant way I know. I just think students should try to think for themselves first and then ask questions. For God's sake don't take anything for granted!
First you ask yourself the question. Half the time you won't even need the answer (from an outside source). Don't depend on some Guru' to answer the question. Try to find the answer yourself. Then, if you can't find the answer, ask. Like you said, Bob, kind of a Socratesian style of teaching. Hey! It works. Then
, if you wish to DISCUSS it to reinforce your findings THEN you seek out and talk to the GURU. By Guru' I don't necessarily mean me. I mean A Guru. Denie gave me the nickname. THE IRON GURU.
BG: You know, you've just laid out a lot. A ton. Hope the readers sit down and digest what you've said. I mean, if you run a gym or write courses and are a teacher this is what you really should shoot for. And, if I may change the subject a taste I must bring up that you've gotten a lot of static on your high-fat diet. Maybe more so now because of all the confusing research done in that area. You use high fat diets only for a purpose, I know, but the public doesn't seem to understand this. There's quite a divergency of philosophies regarding fats .
V: These people that write for these magazines only get their information from other written sources. It's like the work I've done on glandulars. For years I've almost been afraid to go into this area in the mags. Why? Because they are so potent and they work. I've seen what the FDA did to certain B vitamins in the 50s. Politics! Had nothing to do with nutrition. I wonder: are the medical people asking, Can I prescribe it? If not , to hell with it!' You know this strife as well as I do. It goes back to the National Health Federation, the WHO and all that and their congressional wars with the AMA. Of course the AMA lost on those counts. They had to. They were being dishonest in this area. Maybe they didn't understand nutrition, bio-molecular aspects, orthomolecular therapies, vitamins and trace elements. NOW they're sure looking into this stuff. Oh well, I don't want to get into that area. It's an old saw.
AUTHOR With that, we got into the Glandulars, hormone precursors and things that are VALID alternatives to synthetic steroids. Hey! You do have a choice, gang! I can prove it. Vince can prove it. And so can every guy whose had the nards. I don't mean to be hard core, but any medical researcher that's had to buck the system understands what I'm getting at. So, for the time being, let me paraphrase what Vince and I discussed on glandulars; this, at his request and not to say that anyone is prescribing.
I think the most fascinating points he brought up were: 1) balance and 2) what KIND of glandulars you might be taking.
Although they are safe when used sensibly and certainly much safer than synthetic anabolic steroids, they are potent.
You must use glandulars with the same sensibilities that you would any potent vitamin/mineral supplement.
This is why so many caring health enthusiasts are going to time-released food supplements; better and more gradual absorption values are obtained.
Taking it late at night or before bedtime can cause excessive agitation or even mild aggressiveness. I emphasize the word mild. It won't drive you up a wall like diet pills, but can heat the body up and affect attitude and sleep from overamping the body. It's the epinephrine, you know.
We'll get into that in the next article, but I would like feeding system. Don't just take them in the morning to point out one of THE most important glandulars ORCHIC substance.
[Reidar's note: The above comments don't connect to each other but is typed as it appeared in the magazine]
Vince has a very potent one he uses in balance with the other glandulars and feels it is one of THE most important factors in a natural anabolic program. It should be! It's a substance taken from the testes of healthy source animals. He would like to point out that ANY glandular product you take should include this element. It's basic to this type of a nutritional program.
ORCHIC SUBSTANCE'S significance lies in the stone fact that the testes secrete the male hormone, TESTOSTERONE. Besides this hormone's duties in providing male sex characteristics, it kicks in secondary characteristics responsible for voice deepening, chest deepening and broadening, growth of bones and height in boys. The puberty thing, as it were.
The thing bodybuilders are concerned about is simply this: Without the hormone, testosterone, muscle growth cannot take place. It just can't . Here's the thing the guys taking the steroids are searching for. Testosterone boosting without so many of the secondary characteristics or side effects.
The naturally occurring level of this hormone is limited by heredity and your good ol' DNA blueprint. One of the reasons some guys grow faster than others. Like in school how some guys mature physically faster than others: shaving, voice, muscle, etc.
But you can supplement your testosterone level and you don't have to do it with those highly dangerous steroids. You can do it with ORCHIC and other KEY glandular substances. Even taking the ORCHIC alone will help, but as Vince likes to point out: there is a balance. So the more you balance these things the better the results. For example: the natural levels of testosterone are monitored by the PITUITARY GLAND. It used to be referred to as the Master Gland, but now we find that the thyroid and adrenals have various feedback mechanisms that also influence these things.
I sincerely hope this article has been as much help to you as it has been for buddies of mine that train where I do. We tried some of these things out on those that were eager and willing. Everyone is jazzed so far and getting satisfactory results. They should. Vince wouldn't bother laying it on his pupils if it didn't work in the first place!
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