To get the story of the great Larry Scott, whom many consider the top physique of the day, we asked Irvin Johnson to interview Larry on tape and send the tape to us. The following article is a transcription of this tape, and in Larry's own words, telling his story and how he trains.
Larry is a great practical joker and the tape is filled with humorous remarks. These are not exactly pertinent to this article and so we have deleted these but have not changed his answers to Irvin's questions.
Irvin Johnson, as most of you know, is the leading nutritionist in the bodybuilding field. It was Irvin Johnson who introduced protein supplements to the bodybuilding field many years ago. He subsequently used and developed many other supplements and has worked such miracles in bodies that they are unbelievable. He is presently performing this service in Los Angeles. As mentioned before and also in Larry's interview, Larry uses Johnson's protein and other supplements as do many other top bodybuilders. Johnson seems to have an ability to prescribe correct nutrition that no one else has. As one top supplement manufacturer described him, Irvin seems to have a sixth sense about what a man or woman needs to give them the physical transformation they usually receive." Chances are this is just a knowledge of nutrition needs and how to meet them that he has developed over the years, but it does seem uncanny. The following interview was recorded on tape with Johnson's Ampex tape recorder in the apartment of Larry Scott.
Johnson: Larry, where were you born; where did you start training and at what age?
Scott: I was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, a small town near Pocatello. I lived in Blackfoot a few years, then moved to Pocatello where I went to grade school and high school. 1 started training in my senior year at 17 years of age.
Johnson: What did you weigh when you started and how did you happen to start barbell training?
Scott: I weighed 120 lbs. I did not gain anything for the first three months. This is because I had been training only my triceps and pectorals. I had picked up a muscle magazine and seen a picture of a fellow showing his triceps development. This magazine said, "You can have a triceps like this in 30 days training," I decided that I would get an old tractor axel or something for resistance and proceed to get me a triceps like that. I've been at it 9 years now and still haven't succeeded. (Editor's note -- Larry is being modest, since he now has one of the finest triceps developments to be found.)
Johnson: You said you weighed 120 lbs. when you started. Did you have any problem gaining weight and muscle? How fast did you gain?
Scott: As a matter of fact, there was never a time when I gained weight rapidly. Every pound came slowly and I had to exercise correctly and hard and follow the correct diet and eat the right proteins to gain weight at all.
Johnson: What was the first contest you won?
Scott: I believe it was the Mr. Idaho in 1959, a contest in which only 12 men were entered. I also won the most muscular, I weighed only 171 at the time. I had then migrated to the land of the eternal sun, California, and the next contest I entered was the Mr. Los Angeles, Hugo Labra won this and I took third and believe I still weighed about the same. I had found it very difficult to gain any more weight in the intervening 1½ years.
It was about this time that I met you, Mr. Johnson, and you introduced me to your protein. I ate almost nothing else but your protein for the next two months and put on 9 pounds of solid muscle during this time and entered the Mr. California contest. Due to this added bodyweight I was able to win this title and feel I owe it to taking the protein supplement. Hugo Labra was second in this contest and Franklin Jones third. I also won Most Muscular again.
Johnson: Larry, we would like to know something of your background to See if your ancestors had anything to do with your fine physique. Were your parents strong and healthy to an unusual degree?
Larry: Yes, I come from a large and healthy family. I had five brothers and sisters. I was second oldest. My father was medium boned and about 6 feet in height. My mother was rather heavy boned and 5'6" ill height. My father had a thin and smooth skin. This, you know, is very important to a bodybuilder and aids him in getting definition. A man with a thick, hairy skin has a difficult time. My mother also had a good skin. I inherited these advantages.
Dad had a very good physique and was very strong. I am left handed and dad is right handed. By using my stronger left hand and his weaker left hand I have never been able to defeat him in arm wrestling to this day. He always had a tremendous forearm and a pretty good build. My mother was always pretty strong too. My parents are now living in San Jose, California.
Irvin: Have your parents approved of your activities in bodybuilding?
Larry: They were never really against my training but neither were they very enthusiastic about it. They did not approve if it was going to interfere with my other activities and duties. On the other hand I was very enthusiastic about training and felt that if I were to succeed I should devote every energy to it and I devoted myself to this completely in my earlier years. I'm sure this made me seem like a rather ungracious person and probably made me a bit hard to live with. It was because of my enthusiasm for bodybuilding that I left home and came to California.
Irvin: Now that you have won the IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. America titles and become quite famous do they feel the same?
Larry: Well, since I'm no longer living at home and they do not have to put up with the idiosyncrasies of a bodybuilder they can look at it a little mOre objectively and they seem pretty enthusiastic about my having won these titles.
Irvin: Larry, could you tell us anything about your measurements when you won the Mr. Universe title?
Larry: At the timeI entered the above mentioned contest I had trained down from 210 pounds (my heaviest-ever bodyweight) to 200 to try for all the "cuts" and definition I could get, and felt a little like a walking whip. At that time my measurements cold were about 50 for chest, 19 for arms, 30 waist, 25 thighs and 17 calves. When weighing 210 I of course had somewhat larger than this but I would rather not mention them just now. At 210 my arm was about 20 inches.
Irvin: Larry, what are your plans for the future in the physique field. Do you plan to get bigger and enter other contests or will you just relax and get soft and fat?
Larry: Contests are a great incentive to train harder to get bigger, heavier and for better balance and shape. I don't know if I will enter more contests or not but I plan to continue training. I want to get heavier and see how large I can become, develop better shape and improve my weak points.
Irvin: Larry, what do you do for a living? Do you just train, eat, sleep, and lie around all day like some fellows, or do you have to work for a living?
Larry: I work at Foxboro Engineering as a technician. I work 5 days a week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then I go to engineering school from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. That is my day and I have to work my two hours a day training into this. You can see I'm quite busy. I'm studying to be an Electronics Engineer and my goal is to go as far as possible in this field which I like very much.
Irvin: Do you have any hobbies, Larry?
Larry: Well, I have many hobbies that I'd like to pursue but due to their incompatibility with bodybuilding I have given up most of them. I like to play golf and did play considerable in the past but have given it up as well as swimming and surfing which I used to do a lot of. I bowl occasionally and like billiards and gymnastics but all hobbies must be secondary to my bodybuilding if I am to become my best. I also enjoy music and it is a vital part of my life. I would hate to give it up. I like classical music and jazz.
Irvin: Would you mind telling us something of your religious background?
Larry: I am by birth a Mormon due to my parents belonging to this church and in recent years I've been able to look at it more objectively and have found it a very good and satisfying religion and have stuck with it.
Irvin: Larry, are you married and do you believe in marriage?
Larry: Yes, I am married so I must believe in it. I've been married about three years.
Irvin: Is your wife a physical culturist and is she enthusiastic about your training?
Larry: My wife isn't particularly interested in physical culture but she is a good helpmate and is enthusiastic over my winning the titles and prepares good meals for me and watches over my training schedule. She is a big help to me.
Remarks of Johnson: As I sit here in Larry Scott's apartment in North Hollywood, across from me is a huge collection of trophies that Larry has won, dominated by the great 8 foot trophy that he won at the IFBB Mr. Universe contest. Larry is an intelligent, well educated man with a good vocabulary. He is a well balanced personality who is constantly trying to improve himself. He is living a full and productive life.