The Training Methods of Vince Gironda

Larry Scott On How Vince Gronda Trains

Larry Scott CoursesVince Gironda believes in rapid training with almost no rest between sets.

He trains five days a week, working the upper body three days and the legs two days.

Vince changes his exercises frequently. He prefers one good exercise for each muscle and does 8 sets of 8 reps in as short a time as possible.

He eats no carbohydrates, consuming only high quality protein and fat. He is an extensive user of supplements. He usually eats only twice a day.

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Cardio and Bodybuilding Mass

Vince Gironda was so anti-cardio, that he would literally remove you from his gym if he even heard the word "running" mentioned. No joke!

At that time, running was just becoming popular, and to Vince this was simply unthinkable for someone wanting to burn off fat and build muscle at the same time.

There are many today that would echo Vince’s sentiments...more than you may believe.

The Dumb Barbell

The barbell was part of the old bodybuilding culture; the machine was the future - although, as Vince Gironda once told me, the barbell looks dumb, but you have to be smart to use it.

Vince Gironda's Raw Beginner’s Program

Vince Gironda’s Raw Beginner's Program

Gironda’s influence on the iron game is almost unsurpassed. He trained, at some stage in their careers, most of the all-time greats, including Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva and Arnold, just to name three.

Gironda invented the preacher curl, and we know how well that worked for Scott. Some of Gironda’s greatest legacies, though, were his “crazy” theories. He challenged everything about the iron game.

In fact, he altered some of today’s most popular exercises with slight variations that improved the result. For example, Gironda never used or prescribed regular bench presses or barbell curls, instead opting for neck presses and body drag curls. He felt that the more common mass builders recruited too much front delt and not enough of the target muscle group.

He was also 100 percent against drugs and believed training each muscle group just once a week worked only for “juiced” athletes.

Even Vince’s beginning programs were controversial, but they were designed to transform a trainee’s body in the shortest amount of time. Vince’s programs worked. Movie stars—including Denzel Washington, James Garner and David Carradine—trained under Vince for roles, and most used his beginning routine. By today’s standards, like most of his theories, it is controversial.

Vince Gironda’s Raw Beginner’s Program

Decline pulley hugs 12 reps

Also known as decline cable flyes. Because most beginners are weak, Vince believed this was the only exercise that successfully hit the lower-pec line to improve the overall chest appearance.

Seated cable rows 12 reps

Lateral raises 10 reps

Triceps pushdowns 10 reps

Barbell body drag curls 10 reps

Barbell body drag curls are just like barbell curls, only you keep the bar in contact with your body and drag it up to your neck. That removes 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: Do the above six days a week.

Remember, this is a month long program for getting in the best shape in the shortest time. The progression is as follows:

Week 1: One set of each exercise, six days a week.

Week 2: Two sets per exercise, six days a week.

Week 3: Three sets, six days.

Week 4: Three sets, six days.

After one month, for those who aren’t preparing for a movie role, Vince recommended dropping back to a three- or four-days-a-week schedule—but the choice is yours.

Don’t dismiss this routine—it’s worked for hundreds, perhaps thousands of people.

Training to Failure for Muscular Growth

Muscle tissue does not grow unless taxed 85 percent but beware, never work to 100 percent because maximum energy output will stop all muscular growth.

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