The Training Methods of Vince Gironda

Vince Gironda's Definition Routine

Vince Gironda DefinitionHere is the classic "Definition Routine" by Vince Gironda.

This routine of Vince's can be considered as one of the last, classic definition routines since Vince himself was one of the last classic physique builders.

The German Overload Principle

Vince was the only one who implemented the German Overload Principle in his training. Silly and goofy methods haven’t changed since the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Swing, tug, jerk, pull and hoist the weight any way you can get it up. It’s the weight, it’s the weight, and it’s the weight. If you don’t lift heavy weights, you’ll never make any progress.

Vince completely blasted that theory.

Example: If you do 8 sets of 8 reps of dumbbell bicep curls with 25 lb. weights in an isolated strict movement with 15 seconds of rest, your biceps will be fully pumped and fried (25lbs. will feel like 100lbs.).

Nobody else talks about the German Overload Principle ultimate intensity. The most amount of work in the least amount of time and don’t over-train.

What German scientists proved years ago on rats and human beings is they took a group of rats and separated them into two groups. For the first group they put on a treadmill and ran them just like the long distance runner, a long period of time at a slow speed. The other group of rats ran like a sprinter, the most amount of work at the least amount of time, getting from point A to point B as quickly as they could!

Initially, with no additional protein or no additional nutrients to the diet, the rats that ran like sprinters got bigger muscles. After awhile though, they needed protein and amino acids to make their muscle bigger. The rats that ran like a long distance runner became skinnier and lost weight and their hormone levels dropped and they became emaciated, just like a long distance runner.

Sprinters don’t over-train, long distance runners do. Obviously a long distance runner does more total work by running long distances for hours or more and that’s a lot of work. But low and behold, to build muscles in the human body, the sprinter does the most amount of work in the least amount of time and this is what German scientist’s proved overwhelmingly.

This is paramount for the human body when it comes to building muscle tissue. And of course, that’s why sprinters look so damn good. And up until a few years ago, sprinters never lifted weights.

Today they make it some part of their regimen. The scientists proved that more than 15 minutes to a ½ hour of exercise three to four times a week will have huge negative health affects.

Building Muscular Calves

Calves must be worked in a different way, as Vince quickly found this out since the calves are the only muscle that is directly worked every time you take a step and walk.

Initially, his 3 sets of six, 6 sets of six, 8 sets of eight wasn’t quite working and he didn’t know why and after awhile he realized that the calves should be really overworked or worked more than the biceps, triceps, delts, chest or back and low and behold, it worked.

So Vince always called calves a high rep muscle and you use as much weight as you possibly can to stimulate growth. Vince found out that anything less than 15 - 20 reps per set are not going to stimulate the calves. And Vince also found out in order to stimulate the calves even further, to induce growth, what you would have to do on your off-days is to perform 100 to 150 reps with no weight just to induce circulation. He then discovered that the calves would respond and this of course was through trial and error.

Vince was big on trial and error. He used to spend a tremendous amount of time testing his theories, whether they were right or wrong, and after awhile he found his theory about calves was true.

Now some people, like me, never had to work the calves in this method. And Vince would always tell you, do what works for you. Know the "Golden Rule"; know your body.

My calves would become stimulated with 8 sets of eight reps or 4 sets of twelve reps and sometimes a little extra work. But for a lot of people, this doesn’t seem to work. You have to know your body.

My calves are easy but I wish other parts of my body would grow just as fast as my calves and I had decent calves to begin with so that helped me.

But with calves, do what Vince tells you to do; high rep, as much weight as you can handle, and on your off days, do 100-150 reps with no weight just to induce circulation and you will find out this will really help your calves.

Invoking Nerve Force for Muscle Development

I observe many people at the gym doing one arm exercises, one leg exercises, and one back exercises where they just work one side of the body or the other.

These are not bad exercises but, simply doing one arm or one leg or one side of the chest or one side of the body doesn’t implement nerve force.

And of course, this is why Vince was so far ahead of everyone else, he knew that in order to activate nerve force, both sides of the body must be worked simultaneously.

One arm exercises or one calf exercises or one shoulder exercises are just shaping movements to shape the muscle. They don’t invoke nerve force and when you don’t invoke nerve force then you can’t have growth.

Keep that in mind because I see a lot of people doing that and it is very difficult to tell them the exercises they are performing are erroneous and they’re not going to produce any growth, just shape.

An Effective Bodybuilding Training Split

Monday & Thursday – Upper body workout (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps)

Tuesday & Friday – Lower body workout (Forearms, Thighs, Inner Thighs, Hamstrings, & Calves)

6 sets of 6 reps or 8 sets of 8 reps or 4 sets of 12 reps

- Workout for 30 – 40 minutes

- One exercise per body part

- Change exercise every 2 to 3 weeks

- 15 seconds rest between each set

- Muscles worked with intensity should be rested for 72 hours

For those who cannot do a split routine or are pushed for time, you can try working out the whole body for one hour twice a week.

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