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An Interview With The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz: Part Two!

Following on from where he left off in the last installment, Tom, in this interview, discusses his thoughts on bodybuilding, his life philosophy and his training approach, including his now legendary squatting sessions back in Detroit.

By: David Robson

Part 1 | Part 2

Article Summary:
  • The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz is the Senior Vice President of PROPTA.
  • Tom once squatted 250 pounds for an astounding 10 minutes.
  • Below is also an interview with PROPTA CEO, Dr. Joe Antouri.
  • In part one of this series on bodybuilding great Tom Platz, you will have read that he is now back in the bodybuilding game and that his love for the sport and lifestyle is as strong as ever.

    Following on from where he left off in the last installment, Tom, in this interview, discusses his thoughts on bodybuilding, his life philosophy and his training approach, including his now legendary squatting sessions back in Detroit.

    As bodybuilding has grown so too has the industry that now increasingly supports it. Not merely content to watch pro bodybuilders train from a distance, collecting any scrap of knowledge that is thrown their way, personal trainers and fans now wish to train with the professional athletes themselves.

    Impossible, you say. Not with PROPTA (Pro Private Trainers Association, which certifies trainers using professional bodybuilders as instructors), an organization for which Tom is now Senior Vice President.

    Tom Platz Is Now Back In The Bodybuilding Game.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz Is Now Back
    In The Bodybuilding Game.

    In this interview Tom, along with his CEO, Dr. Joe Antouri, discuss Tom's new role with PROPTA. Here you will learn how Tom and Dr. Antouri plan to revolutionize the pro bodybuilding and personal training industry. A school for bodybuilders, where the pros can learn how to become completely professional from a business, sporting and total lifestyle perspective - you heard it here first.

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    [ Q ] Hi Tom. With all the great talent there is in bodybuilding today, there is still a big interest in what men like yourself have to say. Competitors from the Golden Era of bodybuilding still seem to attract a lot of fans.
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      You are getting a lot of unbelievable talent onstage right now. You cannot negate that at all. But there now seems to be a real interest in retro everywhere you go. Like cars: the Camaro, the Challenger, and the Mustang.

      I have been invited many times by friends from my gym to '80s parties and, as you know, the '80s was my era. I still have clothes in my closet from the '80s. I think there is definitely a curiosity and interest, I get a large number of e-mails and many times they are from people in their 20s.

      I often wonder how did you know about my career when you are only 20 years old? I retired before you were born. But they know all about the history. And that's one good thing about the Internet.

    There Now Seems To Be A Real Interest In Retro Everywhere You Go
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    There Now Seems To Be A Real
    Interest In Retro Everywhere You Go.

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    [ Q ] What level of involvement do you have in bodybuilding today?
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      Well, here's how it went. Before I went after pro bodybuilding, my father - a definite influence in my life - when I was a very young man at around nine years old, said to me: "You have to get your education before you go to California." Because when I was nine years old I was all ready to move to California.

      He made me promise him that I would get my degrees first and that's exactly what I did. So when I retired in '86, when certification organizations were first starting I became sought after because of my educational background and my name, and I was recently retired.

      So that led to a lot of things and I became professor with another organization for about 15 or 16 years. Finally I retired from teaching and I went into something I knew nothing about.

    RELATED VIDEO: TOM PLATZ POSING ROUTINE


    Tom Platz Posing Routine:
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      My strategy for life: When you are uncomfortable is when you will grow. This is the baseline statement for my life. It's like in the gym. When you are uncomfortable - you are doing a set of rep squats and you have got to do 50 and you are at 30 and you have got 400 on your back and have to get 20 more - that's when you will grow.

    CLASSIC BODYBUILDING QUOTE
    "When you are uncomfortable is when you will grow."

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    [ Q ] If your back is against the wall there is nowhere to go but forward.
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      Exactly, it's either that or fall down and die, and you can't quit. So I learned this from the gym and I applied this to a lot of the parts of my life - when I went into automobiles, financing and banking for the last three to four years I really had to learn; I felt uncomfortable, but these were things I was tremendously curious about.

      It was very profitable until recently when the bottom fell out of the car industry. So I resigned from the automobile business, thinking it is not what I thought it would be and that it was not proving to be fruitful any longer - but I'd really learned a lot about applying what you learn in the gym to another business.

      I was doing very well and it became very exciting to me. It was a lot like the gym: the banking and finance. The people I worked in finance, believe it or not, were actually raised with Muscle and Fitness and myself back in the '80s. They are all your age going, "I know you", which really made business very smooth for me.

    I'd Really Learned A Lot About Applying What You Learn In The Gym To Another Business.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    I'd Really Learned A Lot About Applying
    What You Learn In The Gym To Another Business.

      I enjoyed that immensely and I really did not want to resign - but in the end it didn't make sense any longer from a business standpoint. My heart said yes, but my brain said no. So I resigned from the automobile business.

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    [ Q ] I read that you once squatted 250 pounds for 10 minutes. That would be inconceivable to the average person. How hard was this?
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      When I was in Detroit back in the '70s I used to dream about going to California, but had to finish my college education first. Every semester - we had 12-week quarters back then - I would live on somebody's porch or do whatever it took to get my degree - I had no money but I had the gym, of course.

      Well there were a lot of people in my gym back in Detroit that were great squatters, and it was almost like the squat rack became a separate sport, as I mentioned before (in interview one). We would talk about it for months and weeks before and would plan squat day.

      I had a certain periodized schedule that I put into place and I trained and trained. And I accomplished 10 minutes of straight squatting with a quarter (250 pounds).

    Periodization:
    Periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into named blocks. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on periods of time with relatively stable characteristics.

      We planned that and I honestly have to tell you that I was not the best squatter in that group, but I became the most publicized squatter. Because even though the guys I trained with were better than me and performed better than me, they were not publicized. So I owe that to Joe Weider.

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    [ Q ] And your phenomenal leg development.
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      Sure. The legs just responded to very hard work very well. The more intensely I squatted, the greater the response I received. I had a genetic predisposition in that respect.

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    [ Q ] Looking at your legs being so much larger than your peers who also, one would imagine, trained hard, then it is not too big of a stretch to consider you lucky in that regard. But just how hard did you have to work to ultimately achieve such leg development?
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      I don't want to say it came easy because I did have a lot of gruelling workouts on the squat rack to the point where my life would pass in front of my eyes.

      I would lay on the floor in the old Gold's Gym in Venice Beach and my heart would be racing so fast that I couldn't breath and I couldn't see. I would have a towel over my head and would run the water fountain over my face, and after five or ten minutes I would get up and go, "Next set."

    RELATED VIDEO: TOM PLATZ LEG TRAINING


    Tom Platz Training:
    Intense Leg Extensions!

    Check out Tom Platz bust through an intense set of leg extensions after talking with sports hypnotherapist, Pete Siegal !

      And that wasn't a healthy thing to do either, but it was certainly the great American work ethic. And I enjoyed that. I enjoyed working hard, reaping the benefits and getting the results.

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    [ Q ] As you mentioned earlier, you were known as the Golden Eagle. How did this name originate?
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      Back in 1979, early 1980, I had ad space and a mail order going in Muscle and Fitness. Well around this time I was reading Jonathon Livingston Seagull and was inspired by that little book, as I alluded to on The Comeback film. So I moved back to California from Australia, via New Zealand.

      I thought to myself that I liked the idea of Jonathon Livingston Seagull, but I don't think The Golden Seagull is going to sell. So my father suggested the eagle: never saying no, flying higher and higher no matter what - the American symbol. And I thought, you know that is a good symbol. So I just attached it to my mail order page, which I had every month in Muscle and Fitness.

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      I put the eagle on there and used it and it caught on to where they started calling me the Golden Eagle. At the 1980 Olympia in Australia they actually announced me as The Golden Eagle.

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    [ Q ] The Golden part came from the fact you lived in California?
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      Yes, and because of the color of my hair, it became very golden looking.

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    [ Q ] Looking at pictures of yourself and other bodybuilders from the '70s and '80s it was always apparent that the competitors, during those eras, all presented something unique. Bodybuilding also seemed to attract its share of characters back then.
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      Back then we all were different - it was like the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). You had Arnold who was the Austrian Oak, Me who was the Golden Eagle. Then you had Dave Draper in the '60s who was the Blond Bomber. And we all looked different. And I think that was part of the attraction to that era, like you are suggesting.

      Now I think it is to the point where everybody's just so good and so superior at this point in time, they all look similar. You don't see the delineation between physiques quite so much. I'm giving all due respect to the current generation; it's unbelievable; I never thought it could get to this point.

      We have people close to 300 pounds and three or four percent body fat. I think that is one of the things I learned from Arnold, and Frank Zane. I remember after the '78 Mr. Universe I went to the gym and Frank Zane said to me very seriously, "You should really consider marketing your legs."

      It was a suggestion Frank made as a businessman to me, about how to establish my own business in bodybuilding. And that's how it all started.

    You Don't See The Delineation Between Physiques Quite So Much.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    You Don't See The Delineation
    Between Physiques Quite So Much.

      I always respected Frank for his established business acumen. He had this whole aura that was meticulously planned and advertised and marketed. And Arnold did the same thing. And people like Kal Skalak and Mike Mentzer. Mike taught me immensely about how to market myself. And this is what I miss: the comradeship and the association of all the pros in one gym.

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    [ Q ] And today there does not seem to be the same degree of individualism.
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      Everybody is trying to sell the same thing. And it's a good thing that everybody's trying to be the best. I think Dorian started it (laughs). And everybody's trying to emulate that. I think what we need is what could be considered a bit of disruption to what is considered the status quo.

      We need a symmetry guy with a Samir Bannout-type physique with a tiny waist and a huge flowing back and incredible leg development - that kind of thing. I think that would startle bodybuilding and bring it back to the way it was before. It would bring back that pleasing look, if you will.

      I'm all for monsters though. We used to dream of being a monster onstage and having the stage bend. It's like the fascination with retro: everything's coming back.

    RELATED ARTICLE

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      But the men and women currently competing deserve huge amounts of credit; I mean it is unbelievable what they have accomplished. And I want to make sure with PROPTA they continue to receive this career adulation throughout their life rather than having just a short lived decade.

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    [ Q ] You mentioned earlier you intensity style of training as it related to legs. Would apply this style of training to all other body parts?
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      I did. I applied the same strategy to other body parts as well, and analyzed that and learned from my body in terms of red and white fibers.

      Arnold being an ectomorph, he was a long lean, tall guy who could train twice a day, six days a week. When I tried to train that way I got smaller and skinnier.

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    [ Q ] Arnold would be an ectomorph or mesomorph or a combination of the two in your opinion? I would think he was more meso.
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      We are all combinations of all of the above, but I think Arnold was more ecto and I was more meso. My intensity could be higher than Arnold's, but my frequency had to be lower. In other words, 12-times-a-week training was atrocious for me; for me, three-to-four-times-a-week training at a higher intensity was best.

      As I acknowledged this way of training and the other greats that trained at Gold's Gym, Arnold and those guys, I formed my opinions, which led to my education and later to my methodologies.

      It was once written: "Tom Platz' methodologies served as a centerpiece for much of the research that was conducted in the '70s and '80s". The current journal studies are based on and account for what is now considered scientific dogma.

    My Intensity Could Be Higher Than Arnold's, But My Frequency Had To Be Lower.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    My Intensity Could Be Higher Than
    Arnold's, But My Frequency Had To Be Lower.

      My instincts led me to do those certain things along with observations and analysis of other people unlike me. And also applying the education I received in college to this led me to be a professor for many years. And now I'm coming back home.

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    [ Q ] By coming home you would, of course, be referring to your new role with PROPTA. Tell me more about this latest development in your life.
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      When I retired from the automobile industry I was, oddly enough - it's ironic how these things happen - contacted by Pro PTA (PROPTA). I did teach for an organization for about 15 years. And I loved teaching back then, but I retired because I wanted to get uncomfortable again. So I received this contact and information from Joe Antouri from PROPTA.

      It was very intriguing to me, because it was all about the grass roots. And as you know, pretty much all the certification organizations all left the gym and went chasing academia.

      Now all the corporate gyms - the 24 Hour Fitness centers the Gold's Gyms, the Bally's - they are all corporate gyms that have people who come out of a certain training system that is not really from the gym or the grass roots.

      They have wonderful, wonderful excellent qualifications - and I'm all for that, don't get me wrong - but I think one of the things that has really got my curiosity and made we want to get involved as far as teaching for PROPTA is the grass roots association with the IFBB. What I usually say to people is that we are authentic practitioners of the craft.

    We Are Authentic Practitioners Of The Craft.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    We Are Authentic
    Practitioners Of The Craft.

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    [ Q ] So PROPTA are going out there and teaching bodybuilders and weight training enthusiasts how it is done from the perspective of those who have been there and done it?
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      Right. There's no live hands-on instruction from a grass roots level from the men and women who really do it today. And I want you to understand I'm respectful of all educational institutions very much so - but I'm so intrigued by PROPTA because it's like me going back home.

      Going back to the basics is especially inviting for me because all of the certification organizations have left the arena of having real bodybuilders who are qualified. And one of my jobs now is to qualify all of the IFBB pro athletes to be able to teach and to teach with them as well.

      Who would know better? I really believe that you should only learn from men and women who not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. It's rarely done nowadays because it's really changed - it has definitely gone into the corporate arena as far as gyms go.

      I'm going to ask you a question, Dave. If you were a golfer, whom would you want to learn from: Tiger Woods or somebody like you?

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    [ Q ] Mr. Woods, of course. I would want to become a better golfer, not a worse one.
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      You might not get there but you want to learn from these kinds of people. Would you like to learn from Flex Lewis or somebody who watched him compete (laughs)?

    The Executive Team Of PROPTA.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Executive Team Of PROPTA.

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    [ Q ] Very good point Tom - Or someone who has qualified from some big institute, but has no real practical experience over many years? You, on the other hand, have had practical experience over several decades.
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      That is it. There are many, many trainers who are qualified from an academic institute and have many degrees; what I'm getting at is we need to go back to the balance.

      There needs to be a practical application, it needs to be able to come from the roots, from the gym, and there needs to be that balance exist and that's why I'm so wholeheartedly enthusiastic about PROPTA.

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    [ Q ] Has bodybuilding changed for the better do you think?
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      The opportunities from bodybuilding have always been there for me, from teaching to continuing to teach with my new role. Now I'm the Senior Vice President for PROPTA. I'm thrilled to death.

      It's a great role where I can do things and contribute my experience and my talents, if you will, to other bodybuilders. What are these guys going to do when they retire? Not all bodybuilders have a college education that their father made them acquire.

    RELATED POLL
    Has Bodybuilding Changed For The Better Since Tom Platz's Era?

    Yes
    No
    About The Same

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    [ Q ] So your role with PROPTA includes helping pro bodybuilders with retirement plans and life after bodybuilding?
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      Exactly. Being a sister company, if you will, to the IFBB gives PROPTA and myself the ability to really mold careers and a life after, and I think it's important I share these things with bodybuilders and help them to develop a future plan for life after bodybuilding; because most bodybuilders have a decade at most - after the decade's over, what next?

      I was probably fortunate to have the leg thing (laughs). People remember me because of that - 30 years later now. Even young people like you. It was a blessing and not everyone has that goal. One of my functions is to help mold those things in terms of their business, functional life as a competitor and life afterwards as a teacher and motivator as well.

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    More About PROPTA
    dot

    The following part of this interview will include a discussion with PROPTA founder and current CEO Joe Antouri along with Tom Platz, as they discuss Tom's new career move and what he has in store for bodybuilders and trainers the world over.

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    [ Q ] Hi Joe. What benefits does PROPTA offer?
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      [ Joe ] We stand out as a special entity organization by professional athletes educating the students who want to become athletes or who want to teach other athletes.

      When a student comes in to be taught by someone who has experience, it's a totally different lecture and information source and experience than from somebody coming in just to listen to somebody speak, this pro has more experience than somebody who has only memorized the books. This is why we are different.

      Also, on the other hand, we are different because we apply a real practical component to this certification course because this is very crucial. It is like a doctor going to do surgery, who has never had any clinical work.

    Tom Platz & PROPTA CEO Joe Antouri.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & PROPTA CEO Joe Antouri.

      Would you trust him? Having a book in front of you doesn't mean you are educated, especially in this field. Actually, it doesn't work in any other field, even is you are a CPA or a lawyer or nurse.

      It doesn't work unless you real practical application based on real life experience by having one of the IFBB pros, the best of the best in the world - that's why they are in magazines. They use their experience to teach the students and that's why we are so different.

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    [ Q ] Would it be fair to say that with this experience comes a better overall feel for what you are doing?
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      [ Joe ] Absolutely. With bodybuilding and training, most of us probably started either because wanted to gain weight or increase confidence or better ourselves or attract the opposite sex.

      It evolved into something different, all of a sudden we have taken this activity from entertainment or a pastime into a full time enjoyable adventure that we don't want to leave. It becomes so addictive.

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    [ Q ] It's about passing on the passion for bodybuilding and weight training to others.
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      [ Joe ] Exactly, and little by little you start passing the information to people and you start enjoying the atmosphere and getting the recognition where people start recognizing you for your specialty.

      It is like, "Oh here is that guy who comes in to train all of the time. I want to talk to him. Look at his abs, I can't believe he looks like this, he just started three or four years ago".

      So just by being the person you are, you become a special person and enter into that atmosphere where people recognize you for the speciality that you have. Most of the time we have turned this passion into a business and career where we educate and train these students. And we still love and enjoy what we do and our passion has doubled and tripled and quadrupled over the years.

    Tom Platz & Mike Ergas.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & Mike Ergas.

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    [ Q ] And PROPTA does, of course, have a large number of IFBB pro bodybuilders working with it.
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      [ Joe ] We do have a huge number of pro bodybuilders. I will tell you a funny story. I was at Joe Weider's house and we were talking, and he asks me, "How many pros do you have?" and I said, "Over 300".

      He said, "Oh, you have more than me." (Laughs) I said, "Yeah I do." And so Joe really loves what I have done and put together to elevate the quality of bodybuilding and the pros.

      We bodybuilders are educators; we are professionals. We are not lazy, as the public can perceive us as being. We train and eat and sleep for a reason.

      Ninety percent of these pros are educated people with degrees, but a lot of people think they are stupid or they feel they don't know what they are doing just because they go to the gym and lift dead weights. And it's totally the opposite.

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    [ Q ] So the pro bodybuilder does, by and large, have the educational level and the experience necessary to enhance the training outcomes of their clients. What can the pro bodybuilder pass on to the average gym person to ensure they achieve all training goals, which a so-called qualified trainer cannot?
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      [ Joe ] They have the experience first of all, the attitude in the gym, the nutritional information and a real love of the game and the sport. A typical trainer working in a gym, most of these trainers will do this as a job just to make a buck. And most of them are not successful because of that reason.

      The trainer who is experienced as a bodybuilder and who loves the sport I can guarantee you that 99 percent of the time he or she will be very successful in training people because he or she understands nutrition and has actually experienced the bodybuilding lifestyle over many years, the eating and all of these habits that make a successful trainer.

    Tom Platz & Mike Sable.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & Mike Sable.

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    [ Q ] It's almost as if, as a client, you will have, though PROPTA training, your own personally delivered seminar each time you train with a pro bodybuilder?
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      [ Joe ] Yes, absolutely. It's funny you say that; we do have a course where people get taken one on one with a pro for six weeks and learn everything from A to Z about what he or she does, whether it is nutrition or scientific principals regarding all facets of training. No other certification has that.

      We offer that with the pros. That means you can buy the course and meet with the pros and every day will be a different body part and there will be lectures, explanations and experience. And believe it or not we have people traveling from Japan and Korea and India coming in to meet the pros and train with them.

      I mean Charles Glass, for instance. Mike Sable, Mike Ergas. We have Lenda Murray. And people travel from all over the world to be with these guys and train with them.

      Now we have Tom Platz and Tom is a very special breed here in that he is going to utilize his speciality and travel all over the world because a lot of people can't afford the money to come us. So we are going to go to them.

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    [ Q ] To pass one of your training courses would make one pro certified?
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      [ Joe ] Yes, we are the only organization in the world that you can become pro certified by. You also become accredited. The course is endorsed by the IFBB and you become accredited by the Better Business Bureau, worldwide basically, not only in Studio City (laughs).

    Tom Platz & Rob Godwin.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & Rob Godwin.

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    [ Q ] If I were to come to you to become pro certified could I pick whom I wanted to train with?
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      [ Joe ] Yes you can. If you are in New Zealand and you wanted to train with Ronnie Coleman. But he is in Texas and you can't train with him unless you buy a ticket and come to the US.

      You wanted to train with Tom Platz, but he is in Arizona, yes you can, but you have to pay for the ticket and the hotel room. But the pros are available to you at any time.

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    [ Q ] This would be a world first?
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      [ Joe ] Yes, but we have actually been doing this for a long time. All of a sudden with are with the IFBB Pro League and have Tom Platz with us and we are expanding a lot.

      We are doing a lot of moving around and implementing a lot of seminars all over the world, as we speak. We are the only certification that is run strictly by professional athletes really. We do have doctors and lawyers chiropractors and nurses and nutritionists who are going to teach you. We have all that: the best of the best.

    Tom Platz & Sherry Goggin.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & Sherry Goggin.

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    [ Q ] What has the feedback been like so far regarding the PROPTA success rate?
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      [ Joe ] If I were to send you e-mails it would make your hair stand on end. The thanks we get. Some of these people will just praise us forever. People will write to say they enjoyed Mike Sables' seminar and the same with Mike Ergas.

      Now we are going to hear a lot from Tom because he is going to be traveling all around the world. A lot of people will now e-mail us and say "We want Tom back". Because I know with Tom's quality we are going to conquer the world.

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    [ Q ] That is a good way to think.
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      [ Joe ] No, no. That is the only way to think. There is no negative here, it is all very positive. We are going to move mountains. Maybe pretty soon we are going to have Mt. Everest in Los Angeles. So that's how we do things.

    FORUM THREAD
    PROPTA Cert!
    [ Click To Join The Thread. ]
    PROPTA Cert!
    Basically you are trained by IFBB pro's. My gym happens to host this and was debating on doing it in the future. Any input on this cert is appreciated.
    Started By:
    SPACECLOWN

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    [ Q ] As you mentioned you have been doing this with PROPTA for along time and are now looking to expand even more. Exactly how long has PROPTA been running for?
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      [ Joe ] Well PROPTA has been around since 1980. It's funny how we started. I have always had a business mind and wanted to be businessman, even when I was competing.

      When I was growing up and going to school I've always wanted to have my own business so I created the company because I would always have people approach me and I would teach them what to do at the gym.

      So we began running courses and little by little we grew. Charles Glass joined me and Bob Cicherillo joined me, Tom Platz, Lenda Murray, Sherry Goggin and Samir Bannout. We started with this small group and then just kept growing.

      We never advertised like the rest of the people, but the word of mouth has gotten us so far to where a lot of people recognize us as being the Harvard of certification. Not just a certification that you can find on the Internet.

      People come from all over the world to see us so we are not just a certification provider. We are an experience; we offer a life experience that a lot of people would love to have under their belt. "I have met with Tom Platz and he certified me," is what people can say.

      You know a lot of people take this certification and put it in their living room. They send me pictures. I'm not joking. They are happy because they met the pros and were part of it. The past, they experience the legend: some of these guys are legends. Tom Platz is a legend and we are very lucky to have him on board.

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    [ Q ] And the fact that these clients become inspired gives them greater motivation to train other people.
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      [ Joe ] Exactly! You are not just reading a magazine like Muscle and Fitness or whatever.

      It's not just reading a magazine and learning what Tom Platz does. You are going to meet Tom Platz and you are going to get trained by Tom Platz and you are going to get certified by him. How much more can you ask for?

    Tom Platz & Joe's Wife, Edna Antouri.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Tom Platz & Joe's Wife, Edna Antouri.

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    [ Q ] Not a lot it seems.
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      [ Joe ] And as for the money, how much would you pay to train with Kobe if you were an aspiring basketball player and would love to meet him? How much would you pay to train with him?

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    [ Q ] I doubt you could put a price on such an experience.
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      [ Joe ] Exactly, you are so right. But actually, it is small chunk of money to become educated and certified, not only having the experience of training with a pro. And you will become a professional at what you do. It's a cut above the rest.

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    [ Q ] What other elements go into the PROPTA program and certification system?
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      [ Joe ] We have many courses where people can meet the pros and workout with them, there is not only one. They can visit the website and we are always available.

      We also offer health insurance, liability insurance, dental and vision. And it is open to all trainers. It used to be open only for the PROPTA trainers but we opened it to everybody because we discovered that other organizations do not offer these kinds of services.

      We want to help the trainers and the pros benefit because there is no group support or assistance for trainers out there to help them out in business or whatever it is. Everybody takes the money and runs basically. And we are always available. On the other hand, we do business seminars and we are also going to be offering something new called for athletes or trainers.

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    [ Q ] I understand Tom developed what you are speaking of. Tom could you elaborate on this please?
    dot

      [ Tom ] Yes, Q-School. In golf they have a Q-School; before pro goes on tour they attend a Q-School; its like you are playing billiards and setting up a shot.

      It's our intention to have Q-School to qualify IFBB pros. They do not have direct information on how to function as a pro bodybuilder with the IFBB. We are providing that information with the Q-School.

    Q-School:
    In professional golf the term qualifying school is used for the annual qualifying tournaments for leading golf tours such as the U.S. based PGA and LPGA Tours and the European Tour.

    A fixed number of players in the event win membership of the tour for the following season, otherwise known as a "tour card," meaning that they can play in most of the tour's events without having to qualify.

    dot
    [ Q ] What will be some aspects included in this Q-School?
    dot

      [ Tom ] A lot of the course discussion will be on preparing for the event and I don't want to take away from that, but more importantly our emphasis will be on etiquette, business acumen, being able to function in the corporate world not as a bodybuilder as most people would not understand this, but being able to function in the world at large.

      We'll look at etiquette and address lot of things bodybuilders tend to forget about. I think that is one of the reasons we are lacking a corporate identity that which basketball players and football players have. Joe and I believe that bodybuilders need that education and also that presentation.

    dot
    [ Q ] As far as ongoing support for the pro bodybuilder as opposed to pure trainer goes, what have you planned?
    dot

      [ Joe ] We also offer classes in business to teach them how to dress appropriately, how to talk to clients to teach them, help them learn how to respond to certain problems, teach them how to deal with certain situations with clients.

      A lot of trainers today walk around believe it or not - and I have seen this in the gym - wearing what appear to be pyjamas and slippers in the gym. It's not acceptable.

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    dot
    [ Q ] And some trainers even talk on their cell phones while training their clients as I have seen.
    dot

      [ Both ] Yes.

      [ Joe ] And we have these classes where we teach the trainers. And it's mandatory when we do the Academy classes. For example: when Tom does a two-day weekend course there will be included elements of business and how to effectively personal train one's clients.

      There are forms regarding liability and other legalities and those medically related - whatever needs to be known about the industry.

    dot
    [ Q ] From what you have discussed so far it seems that what you do goes beyond training and into a complete lifestyle sphere almost, in terms of how a pro bodybuilder conducts him or herself.
    dot

      [ Joe ] What we provide here is the complete course, a career move, not just a certification that you can have to put on the wall. This will teach you how to make a career move and be successful.

      We put this together many years ago to make sure that these people that graduate and get certified know how to walk, talk and act to be successful. This is very important.

      When you graduate from USC. You graduate from there with honors and people recognize that you have graduated from USC, or for that matter it can be UCLA or Harvard.

    UPCOMING VIDEO CHAT
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    [ Click here to learn more. ]

      Why? Because you have completed all classes to make sure you are professional when you are done. Not just to take your money and say you are certified. No, it doesn't work that way. So we wanted to make sure that people look at us.

      When you have our certification you are carrying our name with you everywhere you go. We want to make sure that you have our name and it's used properly and presented well.

      We don't want somebody to come back and say, "Oh my god, this is a guy who has been certified by PROPTA? He doesn't have a clue what he's doing." In the academy if somebody comes in dressed improperly - with PJ's or slippers, for example - we send him or her home.

    dot
    [ Q ] Is there not a lot of responsibility on your shoulders to provide the correct instruction to trainers the world over?
    dot

      [ Joe ] It's not so hard because we live that life. We are successful and we treat people with respect and dignity and we want people to treat us the same. That's why we act the way we do, and dress how we dress and teach what we do.

    dot
    [ Q ] Tom. Would it be fair to say that back in the '60s and '70s bodybuilders tended to be more focused on camaraderie?
    dot

      [ Tom ] I don't want to downgrade the current pros, but I think if you look retrospectively at how we grew, we grew a lot in the '80s and '90s and I think we are getting carried away to where our focus is on the final elements of physique and not the other skills that will allow any businessman/pro athlete to succeed.

      For instance, Walter Payton - who is an old friend of mine - was a pro football player: he did this very thing for his comrades and his friends in pro sports. He taught them how to invest their money, for example, so that when their time was over they would know what to do.

    The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz.

      When your time is over what are you going to do? He was very serious about educating other athletes, as we (PROPTA) are. Not just on how to get into shape and teach others - and those things are very important - but how to preserve your career forever, how to plan for retirement and things like Joe is talking about: health plans and investment strategies, probably 401 (K) plans eventually.

      [ Joe ] Yes we do have that. We have investment opportunities and real estate and all of that.

      [ Tom ] Back in '93 Walter Payton was doing this and I was on the cover of his magazine Pro Athlete Insider and I started taking about doing this back in the '80s and '90s and these things are now coming to fruition.

      I just can't help but be involved in the distribution and the acknowledgement and the implementation of these items, which is so important for the bodybuilder athlete.

    dot
    Conclusion
    dot

    Tom Platz will be conducting seminars, starting May 30 in Arizona. He will travel the world certifying PROPTA students with other IFBB PROS such as Dorian Yates, Rich Gaspari, Mike Sable, and many other Pros worldwide.

    Part 1 | Part 2

    An Interview With The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz: Part Two!
    davidrobson19@hotmail.co.nz

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