The History of Vince's Gym & The Stars He Trained

Robert Blake and Vince Gironda

Robert Blake on Vince Gironda

About my dear, sweet, longtime friend, Vince Gironda. All over the internet, people are talking about the Iron Guru, the tough guy, the butch disciplinarian. But like most cases, the people who do all the talking about somebody are the people who never even met that somebody.

Vince was my trainer, my friend, my confidante, my supporter, for the 30 years that I worked out at his gym. The real Vince was a gentle, graceful, artist. When we got to know each other real well, I'd go to the gym late at night and he'd pull out his scrapbooks and oddly enough, those scrapbooks showed that he and I started out in the same place, MGM. He showed me pictures of him being an extra in dance movies. He didn't want to be a dancer, he was a born dancer. And his butch father made such horrible fun of him, calling him a sissy and a pansy, that Vince put that side of himself aside and started doing stunts in the cowboy movies, on the Tarzan set, etc.

So if the truth be known, my gentle friend became the Iron Guru as a second choice for his life's work.He was always proud of me because in his heart I was fulfilling his dreams of being in show business. If you want to read the rest of my story, either go to my website, punch up Pictures and Stories of People I Love and find Vince or grab a copy of my book, Tales of a Rascal (there are some used ones out there), or snag a new one on Amazon.

I hope I didn't break your heart or burst your bubble, but I truly owe it to my dear, good friend to let the world know who and what he really was.

Vince Gironda Dip Machine

Vince Gironda Dip Machine

Vince Gironda demonstrating the dip machine to Larry Scott.

Vince had a dip machine in his gym in the early 1980's. It was like a hack slide but you used a seat belt to hold yourself on. You could plate load it and it had 3 positions for hands.

I asked him if I might be able to just hang around the gym and check things out for a bit.

His reply was "Sure if you'd like, just don't feed the animals".

A big animal I did see - big Louie on a dip machine!

Vince Gironda Mr 1949 Physique Contest Trophy

Mr. 1949 Professional Physique Contest Fourth Place Vince Gironda

Mr. 1949 Professional Physique Contest Fourth Place Vince Gironda.

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