Vince Gironda: Old School Inspiration Or Old Fool Insanity?

Gironda was the man who invented the preacher curl, and we know how well that worked for Scott. However some of Gironda's greatest legacies were his 'crazy' theories.
When you think of the main contributors to the iron game most people would think of Ben and Joe Weider, Mike Mentzer, Arnold and even newer theorists such as Paul Cribb and Steve Holman. Not many would think of the legendary Vince Gironda. Gironda's influence is almost unsurpassed however. He trained, at some stage in their careers, most of the all time greats including Larry Scott, Sergio and Arnold just to name three.

Gironda was the man who invented the preacher curl, and we know how well that worked for Scott. However some of Gironda's greatest legacies were his 'crazy' theories. He challenged everything about the Iron Game. Dismissing some of today's most popular exercises for slight variations to improve the result. Gironda never used or prescribed regular bench presses or barbell curls instead opting for neck presses and body drag curls. He felt theses common mass builders invoked too much front delt and not enough of the intended muscle group.

He was also 100% against drugs for a variety of reasons and felt training each muscle group only once a week only worked for 'juiced' athletes. Anyway this article is the first of a series. In this one I will describe Vince's beginners program to transform your body in the shortest amount of time. Various movie stars trained under Vince for roles and most used this routine including Denzel Washington, James Garner and David Carradine. Like most of his theories by today's standards it is controversial.

Vince Girondas RAW Beginners Program

Decline Pulley hugs- 12 reps
-This is a decline cable flyes. Because most beginners are weak Vince felt this was the only exercise to successfully hit the lower pec line and improve the overall chest appearance.
Seated cable row- 12 reps
Lateral raises- 10 reps
Triceps Pushdowns- 10 reps
Barbell body drag curls- 10 reps
-Just like a barbell curl however keep the bar in contact with your body and drag it up to your neck to remove front delt recruitment.
Seated wrist curls- 12 reps
Leg extensions- 12 reps
Leg curls- 12 reps
Standing calf raises- 20 reps

Now the really crazy part-

How often: 6 days a week.

This is a month long program to get the athlete in the best shape in the shortest time here it is:

Week 1: One set of each exercise, 6 days a week.
Week 2: Two sets per exercise, 6 days a week.
Week 3: Three sets, six days.
Week 4: Three sets, six days.

After this month Vince recommended for those who aren't needing to be ready for a movie such as the many stars he trained to drop back to a three or four day a week schedule after the first month but the choice is yours.

A lot of people would dismiss this routine but it does work and has in the past. This was Larry Scott's first routine as a 15 year old and look where he went. If anybody is brave enough to try it I would love to hear how it goes.

Until next time,
Callum.